52 Albums, Week 40: Goths (The Mountain Goats)
52 Albums, Week 41: Rattlesnakes (Lloyd Cole and the Commotions)

Sunday Night Journal, October 8, 2017

Contrary to my usual practice, I'm writing this on Friday afternoon. Maybe not the post as it will eventually appear, but a start on it, because we are expecting Hurricane Nate to arrive here on Sunday, and who knows whether I'll even have internet access then. I'm not terribly worried, as it isn't expected to be a bad one, just barely over the wind speed that serves as the somewhat arbitrary point where a tropical storm officially becomes a hurricane. Quite possibly it won't even be a hurricane by the time it gets to this latitude. Or it may get stronger, or it may change direction and go somewhere else. There's a peculiar suspense about waiting for a hurricane, especially of course if it's a bad one. 

A few weeks ago, when it looked possible that Hurricane Irma might end up coming this way, my wife noticed a dead tree among the many live ones on the bluff behind our house. I don't know why we had never noticed it before, as it's obviously a danger to the house, even without a hurricane. We agreed to call a tree company "soon" and get it taken down, but we haven't done it. So that's my point of greatest unease about this storm, as that tree looks as if it wouldn't take much to bring it down. I'm going to set myself a reminder on my computer or my phone for June 1, 2018: get ready for hurricane season (which officially runs from June through November). The serious ones generally occur in late August and throughout September. This October one is a little unusual.

It occurs to me that for some days now I've seen no news stories about the situation in Puerto Rico. I'm sure they're there, but they aren't appearing on the headline-aggregating web sites where I most often get my general news. I've seen a number of snarky Facebook posts about Trump's behavior regarding Puerto Rico, but I don't pay any attention to those. And that pretty much goes for the mainstream news, too. As I seem to say here at least every other week, I'm no fan of Trump. But the media have gone so far overboard in their open desire to destroy him that I don't pay much attention to their attacks, either. I figure they're usually based on some kernel of fact, but that the reporting will exaggerate, distort, and select to make Trump look as bad as possible. And unless it's a hugely important question, it's not worth the bother of trying to dig out the truth. In a day or two they'll be baying about something else anyway.

There are millions of people who look at the "mainstream media" that way, or with even more skepticism and hostility. This is a bad situation, for journalism and for the country. Institutions like the Washington Post and New York Times and the major TV networks still do very good work where their political interest isn't invested. But where it is, they simply aren't trustworthy. They want to be regarded as impartial judges, like referees in a football game, but they openly favor one team over the other, and rule accordingly. I'm sure they are sincere in their belief that it is their moral duty to work for progressive policies, but in so doing they have destroyed the respect which should have been their most effective tool. (This piece at National Review is a good treatment of the whole syndrome.)

On the left end of the political spectrum, invective inflation has set in, and I hear more people saying that they just don't have words to express their hatred and disgust for Trump. That's not surprising. They've been calling everyone who disagrees with them a Nazi for 40 years and more now. If Nixon was Hitler, and Reagan was Hitler, and Bush (2) was Hitler, and Trump is vastly worse than all of those, what can you say about him? Maybe a howl of rage is the only thing left.

I just did a quick search for news on Puerto Rico's situation. Most of the stories that turned up were much more about Trump  than about the situation on the island. The media clearly want this to be "Trump's Katrina". So far it isn't. But then "Bush's Katrina" wasn't Bush's Katrina, either. If the same thing had happened in the Clinton or Obama administrations, the disaster wouldn't have been hung around their necks in the same way. 


If you're ever in the path of a hurricane and want to extract the maximum possible anticipatory dread from the waiting, I recommend reading Isaac's Storm, a vivid account of the 1900 hurricane that destroyed Galveston, Texas. I think I read it in 2005, not long before Hurricane Katrina, though it could have been the previous year, when we had Hurricane Ivan, which was bad enough. Here's my Sunday Night Journal from September 4, 2005, a few days after Katrina: "Uneasy in the Aftermath". I mention in that post that the water was lapping against the side of my house. This is what it looked like:



When a hurricane is churning up the sea, somewhere below the surface there is still calm. I don't know how far down the turbulence extends, but I have the impression that it isn't so very far. That thought has been on my mind frequently of late, with hurricanes in the news, and a hurricane of sorts raging in the Church. I'm referring mainly to the controversy about Amoris Laetitia, but also the general prevalence of factional conflict.

I was sick at heart when it became clear that such conflict was going to be one of the most immediate and striking characteristic of Francis's papacy. I really had thought that the worst of that was behind us, but obviously I was wrong. I think the level of animosity is actually higher than it was thirty years ago; perhaps the internet has a lot to do with that. Or probably. In this respect it mirrors our political culture.

We could argue all day about who is most to blame for the situation, but no matter what one thinks about that, the situation is there. I decided a while back that I would not participate. Occasionally I do let myself get drawn in, but not very far. For the most part I'm able not only to stay out of the fights but to avoid following them in much detail. I avoid the web sites and the Facebook posts where they are conducted. There is nothing I can do to resolve the debates, and they have nothing immediately to do with my own spiritual life. The moral questions involved are not ones that affect me directly and I have no theological qualifications enabling me to pass judgment on the abstract questions. No one is looking to me for guidance and counsel. I trust that the Holy Spirit will eventually straighten it out, but that won't be in my lifetime. And I'm grateful to God and Pope Benedict for the Ordinariate.

I pray, I go to Mass, I receive communion, now and then I go to confession. I read and think. I'm swimming below the surface now, and I don't feel the effects of the storm above very strongly. The analogy breaks down in one way, though: as you go deeper into the sea, it gets darker, but down here there more light, not less.


If you're thinking "He should treat politics the same way he treats the Church's quarrels," well, so am I. It's harder to get away from that stuff, though. And it does have a more direct influence on my life.


Sunday evening

As you've probably heard, the hurricane ended up being a pretty mild affair. I'm not sure it was even a hurricane when it made landfall sixty or seventy miles west of here. The wind we got wasn't much stronger than a big thunderstorm can muster, though it lasted a lot longer. And we had a lot of rain, six inches or so, though I've seen more in the same amount of time (roughly twenty-four hours) from more or less ordinary storms. There was quite a storm surge in the bay, though, The water came up at least four feet higher than its usual high-tide level, washing a great deal of sand and debris into the woods. A lot of piers were damaged; when the waves start pushing on the cross-pieces from below, they come loose pretty quickly. Much of the debris consisted of boards torn loose from piers and other shoreline structures in just such events. I spent an hour or two this afternoon hauling pieces of lumber, some of them quite large and heavy, from the shore and the woods up to the place where the city will pick them up. I'm grateful that I'm still able to do that kind of work.

This is what I saw around 8 this morning. There's not supposed to be water where I'm standing. The beach should start about where that wave is breaking beyond the trees. 




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I think I got under 4 inches of rain in Midtown Mobile, Mac. The biggest thing the hurricane did was I woke up at 2 am and couldn't go back to sleep due to the howling wind so was tired all day yesterday. Happily, I did not lose power.

If it wasn't for following your blog, I would be completely unaware of any unhappiness in the Church and with Pope Francis. I attend Mass at least once a week (Sunday), sometimes more often, pray and try to read the Bible. I guess whatever the Church does or does not do holds little interest for me; or for that matter who the Pope is.

As far as trump goes ... he creates all of his own problems willingly, see this morning's Bob Corker issue. The media helped get him elected through constant coverage, so his every move will continue to be covered and he probably likes it that way.

The only bad thing about having a light storm is we did not get a visit from him where he might have thrown us some paper towels!

I did hear a censorious voice on NPR over the weekend saying that 36 people had now died in Puerto Rico.

They normally do sound censorious on NPR

Heh. Or adulatory, depending on who/what they're talking about. They must have been gaga when it looked like HIllary was going to be president.

We got another 2 inches of rain overnight here. That's bizarre. Normally a hurricane is followed by blazing heat.

Re church controversies, I'm sure your perception is much (much) more usual. 90% of Catholics are probably unaware of them. Politics is much more present.

I agree up to a point. I think that most of that 'filial correction' (for and against) stuff is part of the online bubble that we talked about in relation to 'whole life pro-lifers'.

Having said that, at the start of this semester, in a class with MDiv (pastoral grad students) and seminarians, I was talking about the Arian controversy, and one bishop kicking Arius out and another bishop taking him back and said jokingly, as I have said about a hundred times that if one bishop is going against another there is something like schism in the church. The whole class and especially the seminarians froze and looked anxious. They thought I was making a topic reference.

I thought recently that since 1988 I have probably taught the Arian controversy approaching 100 times. I don't know all that much about it. Its just basic.

They thought I was making some kind of topical point when I was telling an old joke (not a good one but you try teaching that controversy 100 times without knowing all that much about it :) ) I thought when I was doing my calculation that the average rock star probably performs a particular song maybe thousands of times.

A hundred may be an exaggeration. On the old English system, which in my experience lasted down to about 1997 (don't remember), a course lasted a whole year. So in that days I would do it once a year, in Intro to Theology. Even after that, in the UK I probably taught it just once a year. Since I came to America its become twice a year.

I read that the morgues in PR are filled with as-yet unidentified bodies. The toll is going to be a lot worse.

I've been trying to get an effort going around here, but there is a lot of apathy.

I don't doubt that there are fearful casualties in Puerto Rico. But however inarticulate our president was about making the point, PR is an island, and it was not simple to get aid there.

Can someone explain to me why I heard on NPR 'there are 3 million Americans on Puerto Rico who are without electricity'. I heard that several times. Why specify the number of Americans in PR? They wouldn't say 'there are 1.5 million Americans in Houston without electricity'.

Just guessing: it may be because people in general don't think of of PR as being truly part of the country. Because in a sense it's not. It's not a state, and the people are someway or other not fully citizens.

Because of the storm, we went to our local geographic parish yesterday for Mass. There was a second collection for Puerto Rico, and apparently not the first, as the priest apologized a bit for having another. I guess that could mean there was not a good response to the earlier ones.

Very interesting that your students thought you were making a topical point in discussing Arianism. But then that was not an audience of rank-and-file Catholics.

The Arian controversy certainly dwarfs any of our post-conciliar struggles.

Maybe they feel to need to specify because nobody knows in America Puerto Rico's in America?

feel *the need

I looked it up and it seems PR is part of the American 'commonwealth' without being a state of the Union. I must admit I didn't know there was such a thing.

People do get 'compassion fatigue' if they are constantly hammered to give. It would happen equally if the third hurricaine of the month was for instance in Georgia

We learned that about PR in grade school but I doubt I've given it five minutes' thought since then. And that was a long time ago. I just had some idea that it's vaguely "ours", and that now and then someone demands that it be made a state, and someone else demands that it be independent.

I have friends in PR (who have no electricity), so I am more sensitive to its condition. My grandpa was stationed there during WWII.

Janet had some relatives there but they've left now.

It's normal that the news media would go on to the next big story. The thing about this one is that they still talk about it, but only from the point of view of what Trump is doing or saying. Not much about what's actually happening there.

Related to last week's discussion: here's a story on the Democratic candidate's chance of upsetting Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat. Note the use of the "truly pro-life" technique to get people to ignore the candidate's position on abortion. Note also the anti-abortion Democrat quoted in the article "has faced backlash from other liberals and progressives who have told him that he has no place within the Democratic Party."


Well, my granddaughter and her immediate family have left, but my great grandchildren have many aunts and and uncles and cousins and at least one great grandmother there, and, of course, my granddaughter has many friends, so they are very concerned. They know where everyone is, so that is helpful and I think they are mostly in San Juan, which appears to be the best place to be.


I wasn't thinking about treating politics the same way--at least when you said it--but it's not a bad idea.

It does effect your life more, but I can't really see what we can do about it. I just can't handle it anymore.


We just returned from Louisville where we spent a very nice weekend celebrating Abby's first birthday. We expected to spend a good part of the trip driving through bad thunderstorms, but there wasn't any rain at all until we got to Memphis, and even then the sun was shining through the rain--nice double rainbow.

I will say that driving down a very wet road with the sun setting directly in front of you is no fun. ;-).

While we were on the road we listened to Anne Hillerman's third Leaphorn/Chee/Manuelito mystery and I think she has really found her stride with this one. This wasn't someone trying to carry on her dad's work. This was her own voice.


That's interesting. I read/heard the other two and really sort of figured there wouldn't be any more. It seemed like she didn't actually want to do a mystery story. What's the name of this one?

I'm glad your granddaughter and immediate family are out of PR.

Here's an example of the degree to which Trump has freaked out some people. There are reports that the new Blade Runner movie is not doing well at the box office because women aren't going to see it. I heard someone say that it's because many women are at home trying to forget about Trump. .

Btw, I learned that this movie was directed by Denis Villeneuve (sp?), who directed Arrival. So now I want to see it.

Right. I had no intention of seeing it until I saw that. I think it came up in our conversation about Arrival.


I want to see it too, I wonder if I need to remember anything about the original?

Don't you go to the movies in order to forget about unpleasant things happening in the world?

I just isolate myself from the news to do that. It helps to have lots of grandchildren to keep you busy.


I think I may be the only person in the world who's not seen the original Blade Runner movie, or any of the Star Wars movies for that matter. Talk about out of it, and for a mighty long time too.

I think I may be the only person in the world who's not seen the original Blade Runner movie, or any of the Star Wars movies for that matter. Talk about out of it, and for a mighty long time too.

! Blade Runner is one thing, but Star Wars...that's like never having seen a baseball game or something. :-)

I know; it's weird, isn't it? I do know about the various Star Wars characters, though, because I gave my grandson lots of Star Wars–related toys when he was little.

So you can at least sort of fake it, huh? :-) I guess I can imagine someone our age having missed/avoided it if you had no particular taste for sci-fi and didn't have children who were into it when they were at the age when you would have had to go with them

Stu, I read somewhere that it isn't essential to know the original Blade Runner to get this one.

Just one of those movies I saw in the theater and never returned to - apparently 35 years ago. Yikes! I do remember enjoying it, but since I was a SciFi/Fantasy junkie that is no surprise.

Serious sci-fi fans seem to regard it as one of the great masterpieces, so maybe you should have another look.

Looks like tomorrow is going to be the last day for the new one in theaters around here. I don't think I'm going to be able to see it.

It just opened last week! I guess that means no one is interested. That's okay, I'm happy to watch on DVD at home. Going to Utah next Tuesday so I certainly don't have time to take in a movie at the theater.

I'm planning to see it next week. Odd that it's only running for one week in your area. While it didn't do as well as expected in its first weekend, it was still number one and made decent money. And the reviews are very good.

I'm not absolutely sure it's closing, and if it doesn't I should be able to make time to see it within the next week. I'm basing that on the fact that it doesn't appear on the schedules after Thursday in the listings I looked at. But the schedules obviously weren't complete as they only showed a couple of films for a multiplex.

The Fb discussion was on a post by a friend who also lives in Alabama, though not in this area. We ain't got no culture. He went yesterday and was the only person in the theater. Granted, that was a weekday matinee, but still.... He raved about it, but then he is fanatical about the original. He also recommends seeing it in 3D. I'm not so sure about that. Anyway, glad it's not a complete flop. I'm fighting this completely nonsensical feeling that I need to go to support it. Like one ticket in a little Alabama town is going to matter.

I saw ten minutes of the original Blade Runner and was so bored I turned it off. I had no idea what was happening. I saw the original Star Wars trilogy about ten years after it came out - probably more.

Is this a bad time to mention I've never seen a baseball game?

I have played rounders. I gather that's basically the same thing.

We go to 4PM movies a lot and they are usually pretty empty even for the big films.

That's why we like them.


I can't confirm that because I have no idea what rounders is.

One of these years when I feeling satisfying a completely pointless curiosity, I'm going to find out how cricket is played. It certainly looks (sorry, this is the word that comes to mind) a bit nutty when I see glimpses of it in movies and tv shows. Though I can see that it must have something like a common ancestor with baseball.

Anyway, non-Americans are certainly excused for not knowing anything about it. Though it has a very strong appeal in certain other countries, like Japan.

Blade Runner is probably one of those movies that appeals more to men than to women. In fact the Facebook discussion I mentioned was kicked off by the person lamenting a feminist claim that the new one is flopping because the audience is too heavily male.

"when I feeling" -- when I feel like

Cross-posted with Janet. Yes, that's very pleasant. I was the only person at one of the Wagner operas I saw a few years ago.

I've played cricket and I still have no idea what the rules are.

I was taught a bit of cricket at school, and like Paul I don't understand the rules. I was on the second rounders team at school. It is like 'the old baseball'. The baseball I used to catch a glimpse of when I was a child (my parents didn't watch sports on TV). Maybe I didn't catch a glimpse of it and its just my imagination, or the way I pictured it from the baseball cards. The baseball I occasionally catch sight of these days, on widescreen TVs in airport bars seems entirely different - actually in a way more like cricket. There seem to be eternal pauses and its hard to know what on earth is going on.

I was taught cricket somewhere along the line. It might have been at the summer program at the park that was part of the very large playground that belonged to our church/school. We lived next door to the school, so I spent the whole summer at the playground.


I think 'nutty' is the perfect word for cricket. I can't make heads nor tails of it.

I, too, became interested in the new Blade Runner film because of the director, so I recently went back and watched the original. It was disappointing. It has a distinctive style, and this is the best thing about it. It is very slow; the characters are dull; the story is shapeless. I did not enjoy it much at all.

I can believe that the film appeals more to men than to women, and perhaps this is part of my problem: since I've been on parental leave, taking care of four kids full-time, I've been losing my masculine characteristics! My beard was stopped growing, vermin have moved into our garage and I can't get rid of them, the furnace broke and I can't fix it, and so on. I'm trying to watch a bit of hockey to see if that helps things improve, but so far it's not working.

I know this about cricket: sometimes "innings" is used as if it were singular, as in "had a good innings". And sometimes the wickets are sticky, and that's apparently not good.

Janet, were the people who taught you cricket investigated for un-American activities? That was a very strange thing to be doing back then.

Grumpy, your "new baseball" perception is funny. It's still the same game, apart from a few minor changes in rules that would not be apparent to the casual observer. Maybe it's just the way it's televised now. I have an idea that the presentation was much more static in the old days, without all those close-ups. If the pauses are longer (I'm not sure they are) it's probably because of tv commercials.

Cross-posted with you, Craig. What a plight! I hope watching hockey helps. I assume playing it is not feasible.

I saw Blade Runner within the past couple of years or so and found it rather moving. (Not slow-moving. Reportedly the new one is that.)

In the ten minutes I saw of BR1 nothing happened and it was not clear what any of the interaction between characters was telling us.

Yes, Mac, its possible that they just televise it differently - to an extent. I can imagine that the close ups and so on were not part of 1960s TV. But in the old days did Baseball pause for TV advertizements?

Well, there certainly were advertisements. But maybe they were fewer, and were just worked in to the pauses that are just part of the game, when the teams swap places. I really don't know. Wonder if there are any old games on YouTube? Don't have time to look right now.

Interesting piece in the Boston Globe that says part of the reason baseball games are getting longer is along the lines of what you mentioned, Quite Grumpy -- "look-at-me showmanship":

Watch a game from 1969, as the Globe did, and there is no walkup [to the plate] music. There is no preening (and there are no batting gloves). The look-at-me showmanship doesn’t exist.

It is like watching a current game on 1.5 speed, which makes sense, because the 1969 game, a complete-game win for Orioles pitcher Mike Cuellar, took just 2 hours, 21 minutes to play. There are still mound conferences. Trainers still come out to look at hit batsmen. It just all happens faster.

That bit about "no batting gloves" refers back to a comment by Vin Scully that the problem is Velcro, which causes the players to "adjust [the gloves] unceasingly during at-bats".

Well, Arrival was really slow-moving. That's not necessarily bad. We're going after work today.


"I saw Blade Runner within the past couple of years or so and found it rather moving."

Me too. It is a slow starter but I don't recall it staying that way.

The younger people who make up a large portion of today's movie-going public have little patience for anything that doesn't grab them almost instantly. TV, internet, and the associated immediate access to almost everything have killed their attention spans.

Baseball suffers on TV, being at a game is rather exciting and fun, not to mention beer and hot dogs at the ball park which can't quite be replicated at home.

You all have me very interested in watching BR1 and then BR2, I just do not think I will have time for all that this weekend before my trip!

I do remember enjoying the first a lot 35 years ago - isn't Rutger Hauer an android and Harrison Ford isn't? That may be all of my memory, and some sort of mystery is going on.

The thing about baseball is that "what's going on" is pretty subtle. It looks like a lot of guys just standing around most of the time, until you key into the psychological and strategic struggle between pitcher and batter. Big plays don't happen very often.

My dissertation director once said watching baseball was like watching the grass grow.

There are some pretty obscure rules, like the infield fly rule and the ground rule double. The rules about when a man can run and when he is out are complicated. And then, there is the designated hitter. I'm not a fan, which is why I was glad when the Brewers switched to the National League.

A funny story. Back in the late '80s when the Twins were good enough to win a couple of World Serieses, their first baseman, Kent Hrbek, was asked by a reporter why he smoked, even though he was an athlete. His reply was, "I'm not an athlete, I'm a baseball player."

WRT women not going to see Blade Runner, it occurs to me that I have never had a conversation about the original BR with another woman. All the people I know who liked it are men.

Rolling Stones suggest that people aren't going to see it because they are sick of dystopias. I can see that.


The way you wrote that it sounds like Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, etc. suggest that people are sick of dystopias. :)

How prescient of them.

I question Rolling Stone's opinion. Look how popular all that zombie stuff is. Maybe the original BR was not as widely popular as people thought, though I suppose a studio investing many millions in a production like this would have done a lot of market research. Must be a pretty big unknown element in that, as with picking hit records.

It occurs to me that BR1 is something of a mixed-genre piece: sci-fi first, I guess, but also crime drama, action movie, and love story. Maybe that dilutes the appeal to fans of each.

For you who are thinking of watching it (again), my BR-fanatic friends say the one called "The Director's Cut" is the one to watch. Apparently there are at least two different endings. I'm not sure which one I saw.

By the way, I didn't intend "slow-moving" as necessarily negative. It's often a good thing.

In a search for the next mystery series to get hooked on, my wife and I have watched several episodes of Longmire. It's pretty good, but it uses very quick cuts, and I hate that aspect of it. I've given up even trying to watch documentaries that look like they might be interesting because of that. "The Vikings left these intricate carvings" accompanies a 4-second glimpse of the carvings, then YANK, off to the next shot.

Re baseball and tv: yeah, I guess there is a lot of preening. It's been several years since I watched a game, but one thing that bugs me is that they rarely show you the whole field. You see the batter hit the ball and start running, but a second or two goes by before you see where the ball is going. They do something similar with football.

I don't follow the subtleties of either one very much at all, really. Football looks like a free-for-all but it's actually incredibly complex and precise. And *fast*. Anybody who thinks football players are dumb doesn't understand the game. They may be smart only in one very specialized way, but listening to one of them explain everything he saw and did in the space of three or four seconds is kind of mind-boggling to me, especially as I'm literally slow-witted.

Here's an 8-minute clip from the tv broadcast of the 1961 World Series. It does seem to move faster, though there is no sense of hurry.


When I think of baseball and tv, I think of Dizzy Dean and Falstaff beer.

Actually the Theatrical Cut is the one to watch, with the voice over by Harrison Ford. (Don't know if you're referring to me or not), but IMO the Director's Cut ruins it. I also think you really need to see the original before going to see the new one.

I had assumed Nate wasn't much to worry about, given the relative lack of coverage, so I'm very glad it didn't do much. I don't think I even knew it was going to impact in Alabama until just before it made landfall. I had thought it was heading for New Orleans.

Very glad about your ability to haul timber etc. I have a chronic foot problem (getting steadily worse over the last 8 years), which fortunately is improving with some treatment, but it's probably due to wear and tear, so it's been a nasty reminder of the effects of ageing. My grandfather said his fifties were the best time in his life (my mother tells me) and that in later life he confided to her that "getting older has whiskers on it."

Every now and then I try to amuse myself on this topic by making up silly sayings like "Independence is overrated - it just means paying bills."

The other thing is that I remember ageing is "better than they alternative." (Kind of, I guess).

(That was in reference to Blade Runner.)

Yes, I was referring to you, Catwoods, or your other half--can't remember which. Could have sworn you said "Director's". Anyway, thanks, I stand corrected.

Yay! I just looked at local theater listings and it is going to be here into next week. I should be able to manage to see it though this weekend and next week are also going to be busy.

Louise, I'm definitely at an age where I feel like the absence of any major physical problems feels a bit like a bullet dodged, and am very appreciative. Also appreciative of modern medicine, for all its drawbacks. One reason I haven't been online today is that I was taking my wife to have cataract surgery. (She's fine.) I was struck by the fact that of the dozen or so people in the waiting room only one looked to be younger than 55 or so.

Independence *is* overrated.

I'm glad her surgery went well. Is she impressed by her vision?

I love going to my GP because I'm often the youngest person in the waiting room. I figure he must be a good doctor to keep his patients alive so long.


It's too soon for her to notice much difference but I expect she will be.

Very glad to hear that Karen is fine! I hope her vision is fixed up.

Thanks. She's still sleeping off the drugs at this point.

Well, Janet, did you go see BR 2049? And if so what did you think?

We were going to go to the 4:55 pm movie because Bill doesn't get off early enough to go to an earlier one, and we live so far away we can't go home and come back later. It said 4:55 online. It said 4:55 above the poster on the wall outside the theater. The girl at the ticket desk said, "No 4:55."

So, I haven't seen it. Maybe Sunday.


Most annoying, I'm sure. I may go Sunday. Not sure. If I don't see it within the next few days I may not get to as I have a lot of other stuff going on.

We just finished watching the original. I still have a few reservations about it but all in all I think it's really good. I find that last scene very moving. Or next-to-last. This was the theatrical release, the one you get if you watch the one that's just called Blade Runner on Amazon. Guess I won't say anymore since there are people here who either haven't seen it or don't remember it.

Re: the video of the '61 Series,

Wow! Maris, Mantle, and Berra right in a row.

I'm pretty sure I watched that game live. I was really into the Yankees about that time.


I may very well have. I always favored the Yankees, too, for the fairly base reason that they won a lot.

Yes, that's pretty cool, isn't it, Robert? Maris, Mantle, and Berra are still baseball to me. Was that the year Maris broke the homerun record?...yes, it was.

Blade Runner 2049--that date is really too close. I could still be alive, although I hope not, especially if California looks the way it does in the movie.

My husband said that he enjoyed the movie but wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone else.

I REALLY like the movie. It has the same look and feel as the original, but I could also recognize Villanueva's style. There is some uncomfortable nudity,and a creepily uncomfortable sex scene (not graphic, but if you see it you will know what I mean).

It wasn't wonderful like Arrival, but it was a good story. Maybe a bit over the top at times, but good.

The actress who plays Claire Underwood is in it as a good guy, but she is very deliberately plain and almost masculine. I never realized before that this is the same actress who plays Buttercup in Princess Bride.

I'll be interested to hear what others think about it.

It is very long and I would advise you to go easy on the beverages or you may have to leave the movie more times than you would like, and they may be cleaning the close restroom so that you have to go to the other wing of the theatre.


I can't remember the last time I had something to eat or drink in a theater, so that probably won't be a problem.

Claire Underwood strikes me as very masculine. She also resembles...whatsername---Planned Parenthood...Cecile Richards to a degree that has made me wonder if it was deliberate, though that seems unlikely. And I knew Robin Wright was Buttercup, which has occasioned for me a certain amount of meditating on the ravages of time.

Anyway, your recommendation makes me want to see it even more. Monday afternoon may work. After watching BR last night my wife says she doesn't want to see the new one. I admit some of the violence bothered me more than it did the last time I saw it. Something to do with having a better tv now, possibly.

2049 is definitely too close for plausibility. But if they were going to connect it closely to the original they were locked in, as it takes place about now.

There are always funny things in these imaginary futures as they age. In BR's 2019, they have replicants and starships, but computer graphics look very much like those of 1982. They have flying cars, but they also have phone booths.

I think you have probably seen this video of Azuma Hikari: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ySeiSIaAyw.

She's a "virtual wife" in a little glass dome. The blade runner "K" has a virtual wife who is a life-sized hologram. I think it's funny they call him "K"--seems familiar. ;-)

I'm trying to remember if they use cellphones. I'm not sure.


If I remember the first movie correctly, the new one isn't anywhere near as violent--certainly not as acrobatic. It's mostly punching and choking and stabbing and shooting. My idea of not to violent appalls me.

Oh, and some bombs but no odd body parts lying around for us to see.


I had not seen that video. You're saying this is a real thing that exists now, right?

Through the night after this viewing of BR I kept being bothered in half-awake moments by some of the images. Pris's death in particular. Though by today's standards none of it is that big a deal.

I'm not sure what today's standards are, since I very rarely go to movies. But if Blade Runner is no big deal, I think I'm better off not knowing.

Actually, I've seen plenty of action movies where people are killed left and right and it's no big deal. But I always found BR disturbing. I think it's a very good movie, in part because of how upsetting I find it. The violence wasn't gratuitous (which would be easier to watch). I wouldn't say there are a lot of great characters (Roy Batty is the closest to that), but everyone is fleshed out enough that their suffering hurts to watch.

I always found the scene where Batty pulls Decker's hand through the wall extremely difficult to watch, mild as it is compared to everything else.

I will see the new movie when it comes out on DVD (and I can get it at the library) or Amazon or Netflix. I really have no confidence in any new movie. Especially one as long as BR2049 :).

We're not saying the first one is no big deal; I'm saying the new one isn't as bad as the first.


What I meant by "no big deal" was that it was a level of violence that's now become pretty standard in movies, not that it didn't matter to me. As you say, Don, it was more disturbing because of the skill with which it was done, because the director really wanted you to feel the wrongness of it.

From what I hear the violence in some horror films is far beyond anything I would ever willingly allow into my vision. I remember Ross Douthat reviewing one of them, clearly very disturbed by it, and speaking with loathing of whoever was responsible for such imaginings.

Horror film sometime compromise the fear by emphasizing the nauseating.

I wonder if Mother! falls into that camp, although the premise would be very scary. From the way it is described, it seems it would in fact be terrifying.

I'd never watch, though.

After reading a couple of really horrified reactions, I've avoided even learning what happens in Mother!

Yeah, well, I've read the synopsis and it is horrifying. But if I watched that kind of film it would be one that I would want to see. I read it because Bp. Barron or Greydanus wrote an article on it.

I want to see Mother! though I'm not a big fan of that director I think Jennifer Lawrence is great.

Speaking of great actors, I watched the newest Alien movie last night, Alien Covenant, and Michael Fassbender is really fantastic. Those are SciFi horror of course, though after seeing so many of them the *gotcha* aspect of the horror part is gone. More like thrillers in space.

Goodness, I thought they were done with Alien. Does this follow on Prometheus? I saw that one, tv-edited, and it was ok. The things I like about those movies are the non-horror aspects--the exotic worlds, the ships. And they never show those enough. To really experience them you need to see them on the big screen, but I am very much opposed to seeing the horror aspects on the big screen. So I won't be going.

Re Mother!, I saw a review blasting it as anti-Christian, then saw that Greydanus (I think) had reviewed it favorably. So I don't know who to believe. Don't want to see the gory stuff anyway though.

Hey, Harvey Weinstein thinks Mother! is marvelous. The director, Darren Aronofsky, and Jennifer Lawrence must now be trying to distance themselves from him like crazy.

I just watched the preview of the movie and what struck me is that Jennifer Lawrence looks like a baby next to her husband in the movie, played by Javier Bardem. That alone is pretty icky. Also didn't help that while Googling, I discovered that Lawrence and Aronofsky are a romantic item. He's 48 and she's 27.

Little need to wonder how that will work out in the long run, as there probably won't be one.

I'm a little surprised that Weinstein can talk fairly intelligently. I know Miramax has or had a good reputation, but Weinstein's image in my mind was of an old school film tycoon-clod sort, who didn't care what the "pictures" were about as long as they made money.

Y'all are making me want to see Mother! which I had never heard of before reading this thread. But I probably won't.

Gretchen Joanna, who sometimes comments here, lives north of San Francisco in an area that has been on alert because of the fires for quite a while. She isn't there for a while, thank goodness, but her house is. You might want to keep her in your prayers.


"Y'all are making me want to see Mother!"

Fwiw, a friend of mine who is much more tolerant than I am of violence and horror (he watches Tarantino's films with no qualms, for instance) came close to walking out. He said that if he had known up-front how horrific it was going to get he wouldn't have seen it.

On a completely different note, has anyone else seen A Ghost Story yet? I saw it once in the theatre and once at home and really liked it. Just wondering what anyone else thought. The director, David Lowery, is the son of a theology prof at the (Catholic) University of Dallas.

No, I haven't. Sounds intriguing.

I wonder if "mother!"--apparently it's officially lower case--was the movie I saw mentioned several weeks ago as having caused people to get up and leave, or throw up, at one of its first showings. I can't remember.

I guess I won't go.


A brief effort did not turn up a review by Gredaynus. It's not at his Decent Films site. Just searching for the film you see a lot of references to audiences hating it. I didn't read any of the articles because I don't want to read about whatever it is that causes that reaction.

I think I'm giving up my effort to see BR 2049. I'm going to be out of town for several days and just have too much to do.

How is Karen?

She's fine, thank you. Very happy to be able to see better out of one eye and planning to do the other one, which was in about the same shape.

Glad to hear it!

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