31 December 2003

In Blotto Voce

      Just a few brief things as 2003 draws to a much-welcome close. I can't say it's been a very good year, and I certainly can't say there's been much memorable in the life of Doctor J; it's mostly been a lot of the same-ole same-ole, though I guess it's worth noting that 2003 did see the creation of this blog which, altogether surprisingly, at year's end had received over 3,200 hits, about 3,000 more than I ever expected. (Note: this blog does not count my own visits to check up on things.) So, who knew? And who ever imagined that I, of all people, would ever bother establishing a consistent presence on the web? Certainly not most of the people I know. In the words of Henry James, "And there we are--."

      This morning say the finishing, or relative finishing, of long-needed clean-up of my living quarters which, in point of fact, are more office-like than residential. Books upon books upon books staring down at me, reminding me all too well, of all the things I could and probably should be doing, in one critical, creative, or academic form or another. So much for roads not (yet) taken.

      Yes, it's been a productive morning, because I also managed to suffer through the mind-blowingly stupid (pronounce "stooooo-pid") The Cradle Of Life. Sexy as she may be, Angelina Jolie's curvatures are not enough to redeem this pile of cinematic turd, with enough idiocies and continuity errors to arouse the grouses of even the most mentally-addled eleven year-old. Oh, there's blood in the water, and just because Jolie puched the shark in the face (!) and rode him for a bit, the shark swims away from the blood tracks? Oh no, methinks not. That's just an example. The coincidences in the movie (particularly in the action sequences) make the ones Victor Hugo used to invoke seem entirely plausible. This turkey makes Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom look like a brilliant version of the sequel. Call the film Around The World In Eight Melees, with Passepartout suddenly a Scottish rogue (despite having the Irish name "Sheridan") desperately trying to seem like a bulkier Colin Farrell. Don't get me wrong, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief to a degree, but this movie asks its viewers to leave their brains ensconced somewhere within Jolie's cleavage. That in itself might not be so bad, except that there are better views of that range elsewhere.

      Also, by the way, watched Finding Nemo. I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed, and that it's been quite a while since I watched a movie smiling as much as I was. And, yes, before anyone asks: the animation was superb. Pixar just continues to impress me with their visual virtuosity; the ocean, sometimes patently obvious in its animated state, sucks you in, and begins to seem stunningly real. Overall, the film is rousing and fun without becoming overly-sentimental (read in: cloying and pretentious), and it doesn't make the mistake of over-extending its welcome. I can definitely see how the film earned (key word: earned) such adoring reactions from moviegoers. This is something, I must confess, of a shock: I never thought I'd write of a movie featuring Ellen Degeneres with such praise. Who knew? I feel like I'm eating crow, but happily so.

      New Year's Eve looms, and there remains much to do today, though I have to admit to being exhausted already (it's just after 9am as I write this, but I've been up and at it since 2am). I have no idea what the hell I'm going to do for the evening, though it will likely be the same-old routine of dropping down to my oldest haunt just prior to the turning of the year and kicking away the past year with Beckhamesque fervour. Hopefully 2004 will offer a release from the rut. Nah, not likely, no matter what this says. After all, I remember reading that this was supposed to be a boom year. 'Tis to laugh.

      Something in me says that I should write something about 2003 in general, but, to be entirely frank, I can't be bothered. You'll all read it, if you haven't already, elsewhere-- the same ole stuff about Iraq, about the laughable turf-war for the Democratic party, the coronation of Paul Martin, Mad Cows, SARS, blah blah blah blah blah. I'm inclined to think at this point that my time is better spent on other things. Regardless, to those of you reading this, and especially to those of you who've been following this blog through its ramblings and one-liners over the past several months, Happy New Year. May 2004 be a year of cakes and ale. Cheers,

Dock Jay

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