Monthly Archives: July 2005


I think TiddlyWiki is absolutely amazing. Go, play with it. Figure out what it is and what it does, and I think you’ll be amazed too.

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DC Flyby

Isometric map of Washington, DC.

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This Place is Science Fiction

This movie is funny – Rock Gods of Rock. Also NSFW.

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Critics in General Read into Things

The editor of writes about the perception of Willy Wonka as Michael Jackson.

Entertain, if you will, the following similarities:

* Both the Tim Burton film and the recent Michael Jackson trial involved reclusive, childlike eccentric millionaires, particularly idolized by kids, inviting young people over for special, personally guided tours behind the gates of their sprawling private Xanadus.

* The physical details of Depp’s performance, including the pale face, semi-pageboy haircut, tightly drawn lips, high whispery voice, effeminate demeanor, and semi-formal candy-dandy wardrobe (tarted-up traditional hats, velvet jackets, glam gloves — all with a fancified military and/or Victorian flavor), reminded many viewers of Jackson.

He also notes that critics were nearly unanimous in making the comparison.

I still think drawing parallels between the character and the man is useless. Yeah, there are a bunch of superficial similarities, but the underlying personalities are totally different. To pick an example, one of MJ’s many creepyisms is his extraordinary insecurity that drove him to mutilate his face. This is certainly more fundamental to the Jackson persona than his wardrobe, and it is totally absent from Wonka in the movie. Of course, then there’s the way completely different way that Jackson and Wonka approach children.

Anyway, the bottom line as it seems to me is that with all the (real but insignificant) similarities, the comparison is just too tempting an intellectual detour for your average movie critic. For a Michael-less review, consult the Onion.

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Grinning Idiots

They think it’s pretty funny.

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My girlfriend has a freaking weird name: Eman Driewgnikaerfasahdneirflrigym.

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Pitchfork’s Fest

The Times has a good little article about Pitchfork’s Intonation festival, making what I think is a pretty dead-on observation:

But let’s not get too carried away with the idea of Pitchfork as a launching pad. The two stages at Union Park weren’t filled with bands that seemed destined to blast into the stratosphere, or even the troposphere. Instead, the stages were filled with bands that are already about as popular as they will ever be.

Which, as a PF reader, I find comforting. Maybe because it counteracts the tunnel vision that creeps up on you.

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Roger Reads into Things

But leaving “Pirates” aside, can anyone look at Willy Wonka and not think of Michael Jackson? Consider the reclusive lifestyle, the fetishes of wardrobe and accessories, the elaborate playground built by an adult for the child inside. What’s going on here?

The thought didn’t cross my mind until reading Roger Ebert’s review after having seen the movie. And I have to say the comparison seems completely wrong to me – built on a few superficial similarities and ignoring the heart of the performance. Roger has in the past said, wisely, that you should judge a movie by what’s in it, rather than what you bring to it. I think he may have a little too much Michael on the brain.

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Catch Up with Rove

Defective Yeti has a relatively quick summary of the ongoing Rove/Wilson/Plame saga.

Oh Also: Here’s what the Republican party has to say about the matter.

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Sorry for the Southern Strategy

Now that race-baiting no longer serves the Republicans’ best interests, the RNC is apologizing for using race issues to win countless elections (and turn the South into a GOP sure-thing) over the past generation.

How sweet.

Slate’s new and excellent Has-Been discusses.

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