Holidays 2013: The ochre-toned movie edition

Have yourself a yellow little Christmas.


Maybe he's signing up for Obamacare. (Christian Bale in Out of the Furnace.)
Maybe he’s signing up for Obamacare. (Christian Bale in Out of the Furnace.)

I’ve felt for some years as if something weird is going on.  Thanksgiving hits, and all these dark, depressing, ochre-hued movie trailers start popping up on the tube (which is what brings me my football, and therefore must be turned on).

I know that this is because films are being positioned for the Oscar nominations.  Don’t bother explaining it to me.  My point is that it seems really out of sync with the spirit of the holidays.  It makes you wonder Continue reading “Holidays 2013: The ochre-toned movie edition”

Attacks chairs and urinating patrons: the San Francisco Public Library


Apparently it’s a blood sport patronizing the Main Library in San Francisco.  That doesn’t stop local reporters from employing ellipsis and euphemism to describe conditions there:

San Francisco is hoping to start a new chapter in the Main Library’s troubled story as it ramps up investment in custodian and security personnel following a string of complaints and unsavory incidents that renewed the focus on patron behavior.

The institution has been marred by violence, drug use, sleeping patrons and Continue reading “Attacks chairs and urinating patrons: the San Francisco Public Library”

Video: Manhattan college students play “baby-killing” game

It turns out that when you insist it’s just a blob of tissue, people do view it without respect.  Students in the video here are playing a game in which young males put balloons under their shirts and try to pop each others’ balloons – with onlookers shouting, “Kill that baby!  Kill it!”

That’s bad enough, of course.  I’m struck by something else as well: the astounding immaturity of the people involved.  This isn’t what undergrads looked or acted like when I was in college.  We were mostly bleary-eyed from working, studying, and keeping up with activities.  We were, naturally, callow, self-important, and over-earnest.  But at the same age as the kids in the video, we would have been taken for adults, rather than for eight-year-olds.  The students in this video literally run around giggling like children in elementary school.

The males’ activity is, moreover, Continue reading “Video: Manhattan college students play “baby-killing” game”