Monthly Archives: June 2006

thomas veil is not a symbolic name

In fact Nowhere Man is both more and less interesting than its premise — more, because it has the courage to go weird, and do it often, and less, because all too often it misses its opportunities, jumping too easily at the obvious and failing to dig deeply into the interesting possibilities of its storylines. “Paradise on Your Doorstep,” an episode in which victims of the sinister, shadowy organization create a small town in which to hide, for example, quickly loses steam when it becomes a cloddish allegory about freedom and the penalties of yielding liberty to secure safety. In a post-9/11, post-Patriot Act, post-NSA-wiretapping America, there is something satisfying about hearing the star of a primetime action melodrama stand up for individual rights against a snooping, controlling government, but this show was made in 1995, and it’s just bad.
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looking for authorship in the Christian world, pt. 5

If Jonah’s poem seems like an obvious interpolation of possibly genuine revelation from the Prophet into a book which otherwise, to all appearances, seems like it was written by someone else, perhaps it is also the case that whole pieces of Christ’s Revelation have been handed down to us by the authors of the Gospels, at least in substance. Indeed, if this is not the case, reading the Gospels can serve very little purpose, but the question of what, in the Gospels, constitutes His Word will be more easily resolved if we begin to see this pattern of interpolation and interpretation as common to the ancient records of the Prophets and Manifestations of God.

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it’s just like starting over

Mr. Jealousy follows the relationship of Lester (perpetually jealous and suspicious) and Ramona (who can’t say no, especially to old boyfriends); after seeing Ramona’s successful writer ex-boyfriend by chance on the street, Lester joins his therapy group under a false name in order to hear more about Ramona’s past. This could be a disastrously leaden concept, but under Baumbach’s care it’s thoroughly enjoyable, low-key and relaxed in its pacing, yet bright and funny, resembling but not imitating the better Woody Allen films. (Baumbach likes and pities his characters, while Allen generally loathes them; it’s really all the difference in the world, despite the New York locations and comic narration.)
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by definition

There is nothing so crucial or so frustrating to a language student as the dictionary. When I was a Korean student we used the Shi-Sa dictionaries (both English-Korean and Korean-English — and believe me, you can’t make do with just one or the other), which were certainly adequate. But often we felt a certain mistrust toward these, our chief tools of independent linguistic thought — the only means by which we could, sometimes, break free from the apron-strings tethering us to our teachers. Trying to strike out on our own, writing and saying new things, we would patiently look up all the words we didn’t know, only to be greeted with quizzical looks from our Korean instructors. We would tell them what we were trying to say, and they would throw their heads back and nod vigorously and tell us how to say it right. After a while we got used to the first word listed inevitably being the wrong one, the least common and thorniest usage. The art of being a Korean linguist became the art of knowing which of the several definitions after that — the second, or third, or fifth — was just right for your meaning.

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ex foliated

I miss Hoodwinked‘s wild imagination and complete re-invention of the fairy-tale forest, its economy and its relationships. Some have complained about its low-budget feel, but the smooth, toy-like textures only served to make its decidedly non-sugary characters a little more menacing and odd, and if some ideas didn’t work (especially Granny’s sporting character) and its villain turned out to be the least scary element in the film, still, in what other film do we get an ancient hillbilly goat using his own horns as a rocking chair while singing all his lines? In what other film do we get a half-mad meathead schnitzel vendor dreaming of a career in commercials? For that matter, is there anything funnier than the “schnitzel for girls and boys” song? You have to see it to believe it.
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