Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Latest 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

I was originally going to call this post "Media Update (without the Omni-)" but I think this title has more poetry to it.

It's been a quiet week around my house. Everyone has been recovering from various ailments--Sarah's ear infection/eardrum rupture of last week is done with the medication phase, which is the only phase that I know of. Grace had strep throat, Lynda had a work-related cold (the kind of cold where you are working so hard that you can somehow force your body to keep on going and then as soon as the deadlines pass, you sort of crumple into sickness); I had a pretty bad sore throat and cough and cold.

In the midst of all this, Lynda's parents also came to visit for a quick few days. They hung out while we worked and they helped look after the kids when they were home from daycare with sickness one day. It was a nice visit. I hope they had a relaxing couple of days here.

Because it was a sort of quiet week, I don't have a lot of exciting news and activities to report. So I guess I'll take this opportunity to report on some books and other things that I've been reading lately.

While They're at War
I heard about it on NPR. (That should be a shirt they give out to subscribing members during pledge drives.) It started out engaging and at first, I really enjoyed getting the perspective of the wife left behind. Eventually, I grew a bit tired of it. The author's style never wavered and her commitment to the subject remained strong. I guess that I (in a metaphorical shift that reflects a civilian's commitment) grew tired of it all and wanted it to end.

I think this book would be very valuable to any spouse struggling to cope with the myriad of problems they face their their soldier is off somewhere else. The description of the various programs the military provides to make the domestic life easier is all there.

V for Vendetta
There are many reasons that I decided to read this book. First, it's a graphic novel--something that I enjoy reading and this one is written by Alan Moore, one of the best graphic novel story authors. Second, this is the basis of a big-budget movie coming out this weekend--courtesy of the Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix trilogy fame). Third in order of logic, but second in reality, the movie features Natalie Portman, who is a great improvement over the character as drawn in the original story.

The story itself, (written in the 1980s) is set in late 1990s Britain, which is not bombed in a nuclear exchange between the superpowers and their allies (Britain's government having gotten rid of their nukes prior to the war). Though "whole" after the war, the climatic conditions and economic/agricultural conditions bring about the rise of a fascist government to run the country. And then comes the Vendetta part.

The movie ought to be visually interesting and I have some hopes for the acting. The V character (the dude in the weird Guy Fawkes mask) is played by Hugo Weaving. Evey is played by Natalie Portman.

One of the best things about the movie campaign are the movie posters, which are based on Russian revolutionary posters.

Right now I'm reading a collection of essays by David Foster Wallace. I'll withhold full judgment on it until I'm finished, but the selection is certainly varied (everything from the porn industry "Oscars," to tennis star Tracy Austin, to the political, social, and cultural disagreements behind the meaning and usage of Standard Written English. So, its interesting, sometimes difficult to read, but certainly mind-expanding.

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