At Home He's a Tourist

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

Sunday, September 05, 2004

More choice journalistic bias: In this story on the controversy over homosexuality in the Anglican Communion, a Scottish journalist calls the conservative Archbishop of Nigeria "fearfully homophobic." Admittedly, though, I don't know if this newspaper is purportedly mainstream (like The New York Times) or is instead self-consciously liberal (like say The Village Voice).

The last time I pulled the plug on this blog, my friend Felix, a Gandalfian figure in sagacity as well as appearance, suggested blogging less frequently so that I wouldn't come to feel it as a chore. Before giving up blogging for good I think I'll finally take his wise advice and cut back to weekly posts. Not much happens around here even in a week, though, so whether the tactic works remains to be seen.

So...hmmm...I've said before that I live a fairly spartan existence. Now, after a couple of years of such frugality, I've saved a bit of money and am hankering to splurge on a big ticket item. Some ideas I've been considering:

  • International travel--My brother has expressed interest in going to Tokyo during cherry blossom season.
  • A better guitar--I've long outgrown my cheapie Alvarez. I've done some browsing at the local shops but the selection is pretty meager; in particular, no one around here carries Martin dreadnoughts, my first choice. A place in Plainview carries some pretty nice acoustic/electric guitars by Godin, a Quebecois outfit, but I'm not convinced they're so much better than my present guitar to be worth the price.
  • Large screen, high-definition TV--Considering how many DVDs I watch, this seems like a smart investment. The flat screen variety would be especially nice, but the ordinary kind are half as expensive.

Speaking of which, here are the past week's screenings:

  • The Mummy--Better than I expected. Sure, it's obviously a poor man's Indiana Jones, but I don't have a problem with that--Lucas was just as obviously ripping off H. Rider Haggard. I don't think much needs to be said about the obvious merits of having Rachel Weisz play a librarian. And best of all, the CGI wasn't as tacky as I feared (though still chintzy in spots).
  • Unbreakable--A good premise but lackluster execution; even taking into account the depressed state of his character, Willis seemed to be sleepwalking through the film. I'm just not a Shyamalan fan, though.
  • Secret Défense--Three hours of Sandrine Bonnaire in all her stony-faced glory; she plays a scientist who applies her analytical skills to solving the mysterious death of her father. You've got to be interested in the photographic aspect of cinema to enjoy Rivette's long, contemplative shots, but it helps that the settings (well-heeled Parisian arrondissements, the lush summertime countryside of France, a pristine eighteenth-century manor) are consistently attractive.

Reading Dracula inspired me to ILL a bunch of Lovecraft, another classic horror author. Good stuff, even if occasionally kitschy ("blasphemously eldritch Cylcopean fanes of unspeakable hideousness" etc.).

Some beverage news:

New Yorker essay on wine and wine criticism. "For it is not wine that makes us happy for no reason; it is alcohol that makes us happy for no reason. Wine is what gives us a reason to let alcohol make us happy without one. Without wine lore, and wine tasting, and wine talk, and wine labels, and, yes, wine writing and rating—the whole elaborate idea of wine—we would still get drunk, but we would be merely drunk."

Home beer taps to be offered in Belgium.

Free gin offered to juniper spotters in UK.

Indian distillery to export single malt to Scotland.

Budapest brewery to launch new advertising campaign for its award-winning Dreher beer. Never heard of it, but I'd like to try it if I could find it here.