Archive for June, 2012

The Hardest Part Of Wanting Is Knowing What You Want

**Moonrise Kingdom Spoilers**

Wes Anderson films all center around childhood. Sometimes we adults dealing with the fallout of growing up. Sometimes we see the parents who struggle to accept how they raised their children. The transition from kid to grown up is always painful and awkward. There is always a basic lack of empathy separating one generation from the next, and it ends up damaging everyone involved. 

Moonrise Kingdom is interesting because we’re not coming in years after the fact. There’s still hope for these kids. Sam and Suzy have been having a hard time of it lately, but now that they’ve found each other, maybe they’re not fated to wandering the earth as miserable as the characters from The Darjeeling Limited

The unspoken truth of adolescence is that most of us have to struggle through it alone. There’s a gulf between you and everyone around you because you’re too hopped up on hormones to articulate you’re feelings. The frustration of youth is knowing exactly what you want but not being able to explain it. 

Wes Anderson drops us in to the lives of these characters at a point where they still haven’t settled. They strongly know the kind of life they want, and somehow stumbled upon one of the few other people in the world who feels the same way. They can’t really talk about it, but that’s okay, because each of them already knows what the other one wants. It’s an immediate bond, and one that the the adults in the film don’t understand because they’ve never had anyone else know what they want. 

Desire is problematic. Fitting your life into a vague sense of place is difficult, so you compromise. You cut corners. Eventually you wake up one day and find yourself in a Talking Heads song. Sam and Suzy have found the best lifeline you could ask for in surviving growing up. They found a partner. 

Is This Green Hair Dye Still Good?

 In a way, “Punk Rock Girl” resembles a gleefully brain-damaged version of an R.E.M. song that had been released a few months prior and was still in heavy rotation on Teletunes (and inside my brain) at the time: “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” But where R.E.M. crafted a Pollock-like canvas of pop-culture expressionism, The Dead Milkmen hocked a loogie on it.

Jason Heller of the AV Club reminisces about The Dead Milkmen and makes me want to break out my Doc Martins. “Punk Rock Girl” will always remind me of my youth, but I didn’t discover it it was almost a decade old. Luckily, some things never change. 

Categories: Music

War and Peace and E-Readers

Nook version of War and Peace turns the word “kindled” into “Nookd” | Ars Technica

It appears to be a case of Ctrl-F gone wrong. An astute reader named Philip broke the story on his blog, noting that his reading of the classic was interrupted by the sentence “It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern…” The blogger noticed more and more uses of the word “Nookd,” leading him to examine a paper copy to find a more accurate translation that used the word “kindled” instead.

There is branding, and then there is branding

CSA Week One

June 3, 2012 2 comments

I wasn’t exactly born a city boy, but considering my connection with nature, I might as well have been raised on the Lower East Side. If I go too long without hearing a car I get nervous. I couldn’t tell clay soil from cat litter. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere out of walking distance from a good slice joint (we’re missing one in the West End, but that’s a whole other post). 

The point is I don’t even own a single pair of overalls. Working the earth has never been my specialty. So I was a little hesitant to get up at 6 am and go work in a field. And pay for the privilege. Still, kale don’t grow itself. Or maybe it does. As I stated, I’m still not clear on how this stuff works. 

Last summer I joined a CSA near by. Every week I would drive out there early in the morning, before the sun was it it’s most evil, and pick some greens, tomatoes, okra, whatever happened to be ready. In real life, unlike in supermarkets, crops tend to grow on a micro-seasonal schedule. You’ll have a handful of weeks when certain fruits and veggies are perfectly ripe, at the peak of their freshness and flavor. The following week anything that hasn’t been picked is looking it’s age, like a Real Housewife after her fourth Pino Gris and not enough sunscreen. Pretty soon it needs to be plowed under to make way for the next round, and something else is blooming a few rows down. 

I really enjoyed the challenge of this. How much kale is too much kale? There’s only one way to find out. See how many meals you can make out of it. Creativity always comes out of restrictions. How much great art has been created because a starving artist couldn’t afford to buy more paint and was forced to use what she had at hand? Food’s the same way, except you get to eat it afterwards. It’s a comment on transience of life. It’s also delicious. 

Last year was an experiment. This year I’m more prepared. I’ve also agreed to help out. Today I had to till the soil between rows of onions. Got to push this big plow looking thing. Worked with a downright medieval looking contraption called a stirrup hoe. And I’m proud to report the onions are no worse for wear. Mostly. 

For a couple hours of work, I got to walk out of there with a big bag of kale, some bok choy, and red leaf lettuce. Erin already has visions of kale chips dancing in her head. I’m thinking noodles with peanuts and stir fried bok choy. The hard part isn’t so much the tilling and the planting and the harvesting. It’s not even coming up with ideas on how to use bushels of greens. It’s just finding the time to cook all this. 

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