July 20th, 2006


and adding one more point to the snob-o-meter

There's a new addition to my list of favorite films: Good Bye, Lenin. Yes, it's a foreign art film, and yes, it was nominated for a Golden Globe. Fuck you. It's not like other art films. It's beautiful and poignant and comic and tragic, but also wonderfully accessible. It's the kind of film you could watch with your family, if you covered the little ones' eyes for the parts with tits.

It's about an East Berlin woman, who is an activist and a strong believer in the ideals of socialism, who falls into a coma right at the beginning of the demonstrations at the Wall in 1989, and misses all the events of the next eight months, including the fall of the Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. When she finally wakes, her condition is so fragile that the slightest shock would send her into a heart attack, killing her, and it is up to her son and daughter, now considerably grown up, to fool her into thinking nothing has changed. This isn't isn't your typical Rip Van Winkle story, however--in weaving the web of lies that keeps his mother alive, the young son discovers his own reservations about the reunification of Berlin and the shock of living in a suddenly different world. Darkly funny and deeply thought-provoking--and it has some of the most hilarious product placement shots ever.

This summary brought to you by Naomi's seemingly inexhaustible videotape collection.

free soda!

Good news: There is an open source cola.

Bad news: It was developed by a company co-founded by Cory Doctorow--egomaniac, hack writer, asshole extraordinaire. (I say this in reference to his World of Warcraft/Quake III Arena story in Best American Short Stories 2004, which was one of my workshop textbooks last year and CURSE YOU DOCTOROW FOR MISREPRESENTING OUR GENERATION AGRAJAGARAFOAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM)

Better news: OpenCola went out of buisness, and the recipe is now free for all to use.

Even better news: Richard Stallman famously said, "'Free software' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of 'free' as in 'free speech', not as in 'free beer'." Well, hey--free beer.

On a beverage-related note, I may or may not be addicted to fruit.