Pop Culture Review


Best Thing I Read: Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons. Though it’s told from the perspective of the youngest girl, it’s mostly about her grandmother Charlie. I love a strong female protagonist, and I spent most of the book afraid that Charlie was going to leave the story. She’s a self-taught doctor who believes she can do practically anything. The book follows her imprint on her daughter and granddaughter.

Also Reading: Persepolis, a graphic novel about growing up in Iran during the Cultural Revolution. I’m making myself not read the entire thing in one sitting. The New Yorkers, a book about (suprise!) New Yorkers and their pups. Live What You Love, and The Alchemist.

Best Thing I Saw on TV: LOST finale. Really, could there be any other choice? Except maybe this YouTube video, which doesn’t necessarily qualify as TV.

Best Movie I Saw: The Darjeeling Limited. I don’t always love Wes Anderson, but this was easily my favorite of his films. It was hilarious, sweet, touching, and the production design was off the charts.

Also Enjoyed: 21, the movie about the MIT kids who count cards and make big bucks at Vegas on the weekends. As much as I hate Vegas, I love movies that take place there.

Best Thing I Heard: Tift Merritt‘s “Broken” is stuck in my head. She’s winsome, that one.

Also Enjoyed: I’ve been listening to some favorites like Gabe Dixon Band‘s LIVE album. I’ve liked them for a while, but they don’t seen to have really taken off. If you’re a Jamie Cullum fan, you should definitely check them out. They are so good live, you can only tell they’re not in the studio by the people clapping at the end of each song.


9 Responses to “Pop Culture Review”

  1. DeJon Says:

    I made it 51 seconds in to those David Caruso clips. And the least annoying thing about it IMO was the scream after each one. Horrible. TV. Show.

    The Alchemist is the last thing I read that wasn’t written in APA style. It was a pretty good little allegory.

    I got to see “21” for free at a sneak preview. I didn’t like it as much as you did, Mrs. Peacock. But I heard the book on which it is loosely based is good.

    I haven’t seen Darjeeling, but I caught the short film intro, Hotel Chevalier. I thought it fit your description of the feature film… Hilarious, sweet, touching.
    If you’ll indulge me… I’ll play.

    Best thing I read: Perhaps this means I’ve arrived at nerdiness, but I loved reading a book edited by a researcher from Marquette named Phlip Seib. His volume is called “Media and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century” — The 10 chapters are written by different researchers. And through Seib’s triangulation the book describes the changing realms of geo-politics and mediated communication. I dig this stuff.

    Best thing I saw on TV: I’m gonna cheat because mine’s actually on DVD. But I’m two episodes from the end of Season 1 of “The Wire.” I know I’m really late, and everyone has already discovered how great this show was. But I’m a little concerned about my attachment to these characters. They are more realistic than most of the people I know in real life.

    Best movie I saw: 21 is my only offering.

    Best thing I heard: This one is way out of my comfort zone, but I had an episode of Austin City Limits on my DVR for a long time, and had never sat down to watch it. At first I was afraid, but by the end I was a fan. The band… “Ghostland Observatory.” I like “Sad, Sad City.” Don’t judge me.

  2. urbino Says:

    But I’m a little concerned about my attachment to these characters.

    Wait till you get to Season 4.

  3. mrspeacock Says:

    And the least annoying thing about it IMO was the scream after each one.
    So true. The blond girl from the show was on Regis the other day, and she was talking about her initial reaction to David Caruso’s character. “Really? With the sunglasses and everything? You can’t be serious.” Glad to hear his fellow castmates feel the same way as the general population.

    You should definitely check out Darjeeling. The Hotel Chevalier comes back around in the end.

    I still haven’t watched The Wire, but I’m thinking of joining Netflix just for it.

  4. alsturgeon Says:

    Thanks, Mrs. Peacock. I need lots of tutoring in the whole realm of pop culture, most especially music. I just listened to “Broken,” and as we all say in northeast Arkansas, it’s a good’r’un.

  5. urbino Says:

    TV: I’ve seen parts of a couple of episodes of “Axe Men” on the Discovery Channel(?). I have very mixed feelings about glorifying the particular work that loggers do, but there’s no denying it’s interesting to watch. I’m told “Mad Men” on AMC is good.

    Movie: Michael Clayton, definitely. The dialog (and monologue) for the Tom Wilkinson character, alone, is more than worth the price of admission.

    Music: I haven’t listened to much new in a while. The only thing I can think of is The Essential Leonard Cohen, which is good.

    Books: I seem to be in a bit of a reading hiatus. However, Amazon has been sending me some really interesting recommendations, lately. For instance:

    Dear Amazon.com Customer,

    We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased or rated books by John Banville have also purchased Tax Free: Volume I: Illegal Evasion by Benjamin Black. For this reason, you might like to know that Tax Free: Volume I: Illegal Evasion is now available.

    John Banville is a terrific Irish novelist and an eminent literary critic. And while the Irish are well known for a certain subversiveness in their outlook on life, I’m not aware that he’s written anything on evasion of the American income tax system.

    Another recent favorite was:

    Dear Amazon.com Customer,

    We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased or rated books by Michael Walzer have also purchased The History of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Montana, 1800-2000 by David Miller.

    Walzer is one of the 4 or 5 leading American political philosophers of the past 50 years; he’s a member of the school of thought known as communitarians. An Ivy Leaguer all the way, he has, so far as I know, never been within 500 miles of Fort Peck, Montana; and while I’ve no doubt they lived in communities of some kind, I don’t believe he’s ever written so much as a syllable on the Assiniboine or the Sioux.

  6. Michael Lasley Says:

    I haven’t seen a movie in a while. Well….that’s not true. I saw Horton Hears a Who. I liked it.

    Music: The Raconteurs Consolors of the Lonely is wonderful. Dejon — it’s worth the money on itunes.

    Reading: The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pyncheon. Very, very good. And What is the What by Dave Eggers.

    TV: Weeds.

  7. urbino Says:

    It’s probably too late for this to do any good, but Tift Merritt will be on Austin City Limits in half an hour, Mrs.P.

  8. mrspeacock Says:

    Dang it! Thanks for the tip, though, Urbino. I should have updates sent to my phone or something.

  9. urbino Says:

    Doesn’t everybody have everything sent to their phone? Get with the times, already.

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