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Monday, 20 February
I'm Bobsledding As Fast As I Can
It was a THREE DAY WEEKEND! And I am proud to report that the wife and I truly made the least of it. Well, I did, mostly. The wife actually ventured out of the house on Sunday to go see a play with some friends in it. I didn't, because as has been extensively documented before, I am a cranky shut-in who only snarls at things like The Arts any more, because, after years and years of being some tiny, irritating presence in the world of The Arts, The Arts can frankly all go fuck themselves.
These days, I'm all about the Non-Arts. Like say . . . the Olympics! Again.
I've already spleened about this before, so no need to make this too long. But I just have to say: I am pretty sure I knew that this one . . . I will not say "sport" . . . existed before. I had to have. But my brain obviously rejected its existence as too abhorrent to retain. I assume that every four years I witness--and then immediately forget--this thing, this Galactus of Non-Art, ice dancing.
Ice dancing. Where to start? How about in some of the early rounds, where I watched in horror as these ghastly people did decidedly not-thrilling things like . . . skate around, not jumping at all! I felt like apologizing to figure skating. Here were identical-looking people doing identically idiotic things on skates, but without any acrobatics at all. And at another part of a routine, being informed that "this is the part of the routine where the dancers are not allowed to touch." That's fucking awesome! Because you know what the best part of dancing is? Not touching! We all know this, which is why, at the prom, you routinely see kids enthusiastically not touching each other, particularly during the Prokofiev numbers that have gotten so popular.
I swear that one resplendently pink-clad skaterina looked exactly like Jackie O. would have had she been assaulted by Hollywood drug mules and former Cirque De Soleil costumers. Her partner fared no better, and simply looked like an epauletted bovine tongue. Naturally, the only gratification I got out of the whole thing was seeing these people being dropped horribly and efficiently on their iliac crests.
Ice dancing is figure skating's dumber, embarrassing little brother, the one who suddenly shows up wearing your underwear over his pants when you're hanging out with your friends. The Olympics have more of these annoying siblings. Take for example the bobsled.
Now I can respect this sport as qua sport, really. Get in this ridiculous contraption and go fast! Well, all right. There are stupider sports, and hey, there's no style points or judging going on here. Get in! Go fast! Don't crash. Fine.
But where the dumb-brother thing comes in--and also where I get completely baffled as to who schedules this shit--is that, well, we've already seen things like the luge and skeleton. Hey, stupid! Get on this tiny board and throw yourself down hell's own sphincter! Try not to crash! Hey, you don't mind if your face is eight inches away from the ice, do you? Swell! I mean, hell, they even have cool names. "Luge." It's mysterious, or something. "Skeleton." It is called Skeleton. Bobsled? Bobsleigh? "Make room in the sled for Grandpa, kids! Randy, I know he farts a lot, but it's not nice to say."
After things like skeleton, watching these big-assed beasts ponderously clatter down the tracks is like watching morticians shove discount coffins down a broken escalator just for laughs. Memo to Olympic planners: schedule the bobsled competitions first, for God's sake.
I said I wasn't going to spend a lot of time on this, didn't I? Sorry. Let's move on to the other Non-Art things we subjected our eyeballs to this weekend: horrible movies! In the interest of space--and my total disinterest in spending more time thinking about said catastrophes--I will try to keep this in mini-format. Standard spoiler disclaimers apply to these also standard terrible turkeys.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
A love letter to Jesusland masquerading as a horror movie, but which is actually a dreary courtroom drama. Puzzlingly, the demons win, which you would think would dilute the message, but Laura Linney, the world's bendiest agnostic, seems to disagree after finding a discarded necklace. Tom Wilkinson says things like, "Emily's story must be told!" before leaving the set to go laugh hysterically into some blankets in his trailer.
Actually, just cry.
Hats off to Zach Braff, whose very name sounds like a gypsy curse, for finally creating a movie about a disaffected white twentysomething who finds love and comes to terms with his distant father. And all it took was the completely not-clunky death of his mother! Zach's big emotional turn comes when he and Natalie Portman, for some reason, scream into an abandoned quarry; later, he fucks her. I think we can all learn from this: when screaming into some New Jersey abyss with Natalie Portman for reasons that defy all logic, resist the overwhelming urge to push her in. She may fuck you.
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my favorite skating costumes looked like traffic cones. jeebus, they were ugly!!!
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