Chris Neary is a producer for On the Media.
OTM Staff Picks Volume 40
Monday, January 07, 2013 - 11:46 AM
A few of our favorite things this week.
There is something unbelievably funny about this video. Someone overdubbed the dialogue in The Dark Night Rises so that Bane is pretty much only talking about his dietary decisions and making video game references (“C-C-C-Combo Breaker!”). Oh, and in the end he raps a bit. I’ve watched it probably 15 times in the past week or so. It manages to capture all of the absurdity of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, simply by changing a couple lines of dialogue. It takes a minute, but by the time he asks his henchman if he had a “frowny biscuit” for breakfast, I was on board.
We've settled into the hard part of winter, past the distracting holidays and into three months of short cold days. Part of my survival kit is this album that came out last January, Provincal, by John K Samson. It's wordy guitar-pop stuff, with a good ratio of melancholy to upbeat.
It also has more than one song about depressively binging on video games, which means that it's an album after my own heart:
O the streets /
Of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas fill with smoke /
Doorbell rings /
I put my controller down and pick it up /
Shoot some things
Here's that song, but you should just get the whole thing.
First, this amazing, cryptic quote from Dick Durbin from last week. He's talking about John Boehner:
“His anguish has a timetable. It goes through phases and places that I don’t understand,” Mr. Durbin said of the speaker. “And I am afraid every scary chapter has to play out every step of the way before anything is resolved.”
Weird, right? And then this nice piece of dialogue from Bored to Death.
Ian McEwan is a favorite because -- I don't know another way of saying this -- his novels are what I'd write if I had any talent. It's not just his prose, which is elegant and fluid. Nor his descriptions, which are vivid and succinct. Nor his characters, who seem to inhabit all three dimensions. Nor his plotting, which is of the Swiss watch sort. It's his worldview. I read his narrators' observations and find myself nodding. (In agreement, not off.) His latest is "Sweet Tooth," concerning an MI5 recruit who botches her first big assignment more or less from the start in an obvious and innocent way. The book is nominally about the moribund business of intelligence work in England's depressing mid-70s. What it is actually about, in more ways than one, is the male novelist's ability to get into the mind and heart of a woman's character. No less than in previous novels channeling neurosurgeons, environmental scientists and composers, he succeeds with virtuosity.
Over the weekend I was shown this video, described as the “worst death scene in movie history” (worst as in cheesiest, most unrealistic, funniest, and therefore actually best in my eyes). The scene is from the 1973 Turkish film “Kareteci Kiz,” and while I am told the version of the scene uploaded to Youtube is edited to be even MORE melodramatic than the original, I imagine the original must be pretty bad too:
In the early 90's I took a year off from college and worked with people suffering from Schizophrenia. It made quite an impression and I’ve been fascinated by what we know (or think we know) about Schizophrenia ever since. The conventional wisdom when I was working in the field was that the diagnosis that ruled for decades, blaming mothers, was a tragedy but a new day had dawned and sophisticated medications were ushering in a treatment revolution. It now seems as though that understanding has rotated almost 180 degrees yet again. I’ve read some fascinating accounts of how our understanding of the onset of Schizophrenia has evolved, I highly recommend Rachel Aviv’s piece in Harpers, but a recent piece in Wilson Quarterly really turned everything I thought we knew about the diagnosis upside down. It’s a fascinating reassessment and a really brilliant bit of reporting.