the least bad writing of the week: july 7-14

I realize I’m writing a tad late in the weekend to qualify for the normal “weekly roundups,” but with our collective Sunday hangover critical mass approaching, time begins to appear non-linear. So here’s the inaugural version of my possibly weekly corral of the least bad writing. No criteria exist for inclusion; my exquisite taste and unerring judgment render such trifles useless. Here’s to hoping someone finds something interesting in one of these. Continue reading


Going postal, gray matter style: breaking bad, s5e6

Boy, that escalated quickly.

The Trio and Todd disassemble and dissolve the motorbike in acid in another spectacular opening scene set to somber, contemplative ambient music and devoid of facial expressions. A tactful metaphor, as Matt Yglesias noted, for “ the more gruesome process of dismantling a life.“ Walt initially seems hardest hit, but we find out that his reaction to Lydia last episode accurately reflected his convictions. “Do you have children?” Lydia pleads. “That has nothing to do with this,” he replies.

Walter and Mike look on as Todd cleans up his handiwork.

Walter and Mike look on as Todd cleans up his handiwork.

Continue reading

Dead freight foibles: breaking bad s5e5

I find myself prompted prompted by Matt Yglesias’s moonlighting as a TV critic to post some thoughts on Breaking Bad, partially in hopes of pushback or counter-speculation from Walt-infatuated friends. I typically meet moving pictures with something like an emotional coma, so S5E5 deserves a few words since it goaded me into letting loose a string of expletives and filling my apartment with debates over the episode’s implications—doubly impressive since I live alone.

Jaw drop.

The cookers and Todd look on in slack-dicked horror.

Director George Mastras opens with a signature Breaking Bad scene: the seemingly innocuous, but symbolic silent shot, Continue reading

Signs unheeded: who’s giving shyamalan cash?

Historical repost from January 2010.

Signs (2002) — written, directed, produced — by M. Night Shyamalan

Dumb movie cover, too.

Signs is not a steaming pile of dog shit. It’s a pile of dog shit that has been frozen over in a cold Philadelphia winter, pissed on by a rival dog, and slowly eroded by hungry flies. It’s really incredible that Shyamalan could spew this 106-minute-long piece of shit out after he wrote and directed The Sixth Sense. It really blows your mind, doesn’t it? Should I start with the unfair casting of Joaquin Phoenix, the tawdry, predictable aliens, Continue reading

On weedbeating

Historical re-post from May 2009.
Dearest Jonathan Thomas Bonfiglio,

How naive of you to voice such opinions on the beating of weeds (weed whacking, for those unfamiliar with landscaping vernacular), the esoteric discipline underlying all believed “basic tenets” of the American Dream. When you said these things to me, blasphemous as they were, I did not turn my back on you—nay, I held my tongue Continue reading