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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2006-07-17 - 1:43 p.m.

Even though I sit in air-conditioned splendor for 8 hours a day, the summer heat has still managed to cook my brain to such a sufficient state of gooey uselessness that I'm reduced to making lists and emitting mild bleats of enthusiasm for things that actually deserve heftier praise.

So here are some things I've been enjoying lately, and some related adjectives. It's too hot for many verbs, they make everything sweaty:

  • A Scanner Darkly: problematic and Keanu-ful, but affecting. (The sequence where what's-his-face recounts his attempted suicide is priceless)

  • Elephant: those long, beautiful tracking shots are hypnotic and inspire such compassion for each of the characters. It's violent but the violence serves a very specific purpose.

  • Simon Reynolds's book Rip it Up and Start Again

  • This book about Shaker music and rituals.

  • The fourth season of Monk on DVD, featuring some of the series' best scripts, including this bit of dialogue from the episode "Mr. Monk Bumps His Head":

    Roger: Don't ponce my ride! What are you doing?
    Monk: It's's not quite straight.
    Roger: What part of "Don't ponce my ride" don't you understand?
    Monk: Uh, "ponce." (Pause.) Most of...all of it, really.

  • The new French Kicks album, which is pleasant if not earth-shattering.

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