At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Driving (halfway) to Alabama tomorrow for Christmas break. To break up the monotony of Oklahoma I'll probably stop here and here. I'll write on Monday when I regain internet access.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Wal-Mart offers music downloads.

Pope likes Gibson's The Passion.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Google Duel. "Beatles" beat "Rolling Stones" by a margin of more than 2 to 1, thankfully.

Christianity Today dabbles in the library biz with a pathfinder, "Where to go for all things Tolkien."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

The Guardian on the mass popularity of Lord of the Rings and its ilk: "We are all nerds now...There's been a trend in popular culture towards legitimising child-like or adolescent pursuits. Previously, we were supposed to grow out of stuff like that. Now that notion has broken down." I guess this explains why my dad, a product of the 1940s, couldn't understand why I watched Pee Wee's Playhouse and the Simpsons in college.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Now that my blog's first birthday is coming up, I'm engaging in the reevaluations typical of bloggers. Right now I'm thinking that the rewards of blogging, in terms of readers gained and new ether-acquaintances made, are too scant to justify the effort I've been putting into it. I think I'll keep it up, primarily for reminiscences' sake later in life, but I'll be a lot more offhand and desultory in my posts. (Yes, that is possible.)

I hope capturing Hussein gives Bush enough popularity points to get him through November 2004. Looks like the only chance of getting Roe v. Wade overturned is if Republicans are firmly ensconced in the White House and Congress, who can then push Right Thinking People into the Supreme Court. The G.O.P. outlawed slavery against the economic considerations of southern Democrats (e.g the cotton trade); hopefully they can do the same with abortion, against the economic considerations of northern Democrats (e.g. the financial burden of pregnancy on poor women).

I rented Final Fantasy X:2. Technically it's an impressive achievement; the combat animation is more fluid than in previous installments and the way the perspective swivels with your characters' movement is very sophisticated. The funky acid-jazz soundtrack is cool. The predominant tone of the game is a little too campy, though. The basic premise (three adventuresses receive mission assignments via radio from a male ringleader) alludes, of course, to Charlie's Angels, and there are plenty of corresponding 70s touches, for instance, the Black Mage outfit with floppy hat and bell bottom trousers, the girls' airship that looks like a chopper motorcycle, or the disco beat in some of the background music. I also don't care for the personality change SquareSoft has given lead character Yuna, from the demeure, pious, modestly dressed priestess of FFX to a sexy pop star and pistol-totin' scavanger hunter. The frivolity is increased by the fact that the monsters and puzzles are (so far at least) much easier than in the previous game.

All that said, I'm enjoying it.