Tuesday’s post generated a considerable amount of controversy, and I’ve considered a follow-up, except that the issue has been hashed and rehashed in the comments. So I thought I’d devote a post to several mini-controversies which are sure to generate all kinds of interest.
I have a new iPhone. Yes, I like it – my wife thinks my affections for it are somewhat unnatural – but it’s a little too user friendly. Which is to say, the less I know about what it does, the better. Every time I try to customize the settings – how often I retrieve email, for instance – I find it doesn’t really have any interest in letting you do things your own way. I also find it maddening that it’s impossible to cut and paste anything. Plus the keyboard is much harder to use than a Blackberry. I need real, tactile keys.
American Idol is awful this year. Simply awful. I like the new judge, but I’m sure Paula doesn’t, because it makes her look even dumber than she did before – no small feat, given her point of origin. But four judges, especially when two of them are completely useless, become too many cooks. Plus the performers stink.
24 is much, much better than it was last year. That, too, is a pretty low threshold, but Season 7 is turning out to be one of the best 24 seasons ever. Agent Walker is the most interesting addition to the cast in many a moon, and moving the locale from LA to DC has been a refreshing change of pace, especially in terms of the ludicrous geographical nonsense 24 is so famous for.
The Office has become something of a cartoon. That’s OK; I like cartoons. But watching the British version of The Office demonstrates how far the American version has strayed from reality. The British version is also very, very British, which makes it impossible for Mrs. Cornell to enjoy it, as she doesn’t understand half of what’s being said. The characters have a naturalistic cruelty about them that makes them funnier and more biting than Carell and Co. I think it may well have gotten as big and silly as the American version had it run for an equivalent amount of time.
I recently rewatched The Sunshine Boys for the first time in over a decade. I remember it as one of my favorite all-time movies, and I discovered I liked it even more than I did back in the day. I’m a huge Walter Matthau fan, and this is largely his movie, but for the first time, I came to appreciate the true brilliance of George Burns. His delivery is so unrelentingly dry that it should seem wooden; instead, it’s a revelation. He plays an old, slightly dippy man, and he does so without a hint of irony or guile. A cynical person might say this was because he was old and dippy when he did it, but that would be foolish. You can’t give a performance like that unless you’re in full command of your faculties. His timing was impeccable, and he deserved the Oscar he won for this.
My Facebook status yesterday was “Stallion really likes Fritos. I defy anyone to come up with a counterargument.” It got 97 responses. Who knew that Fritos were so topical?
Living in Utah, I now have to dial the area code as part of any phone number, even for local numbers. I hate this. I hate this almost as much as I hate my car beeping until I put my seat belt on. It’s none of the car’s business whether I wear my seat belt or not, dammit! Far too often, I engage in a battle of wills with my car, refusing to buckle up until after the beeping is done. (It beeps eight times slowly and then fifty times quickly and then it finally stops.) The problem is that my car is not sentient in a Herbie-like manner, so it doesn’t know how many times I’ve been able to tough it out to the end of the beeps. I’m told that a wiser man would never engage in a battle of wills with an inanimate object. But the people who tell me that are just quitters.
I really like Fritos. I defy anyone to come up with a counterargument. (Plus Obama sucks.)