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Topics/Questions/Exercises of the Week—25 December 2009

Some Coal For Your Stocking?: Get a load of some of the icons of Christmas anti-cheer. Above, Martin Short proves he actually can do wrong, as Jack Frost.

"Are you employed, Mr. Lebowski?"

"Ho ho ho!" David Huddleston goes big in two ways.

As memorable and accomplished a performance as it was, Billy Bob Thornton's characterization of a Bad Santa really was truly unpleasant. Brrr.

A very particular blend of Mexican nightmare fuel. Help me, you-know-who.

Full loss of the will to live.

Hey! Sexy!

Hey! It's The Last Topics Of The Year: Wowsers! And since next year I'm resolving to stay out, more or less, of other film writers'/bloggers' sandboxes, maybe now's the time to unload for the last time. Or not. I'm torn. Also, I have other stuff to do.

I will note that, coming in just under the wire, that Jeff Wells has come up with the Wellsism of the year, if not the decade, which reads, in full: "Eat shit, Christian asshole!"

And that every time today that a little angel pops up over my shoulder and says, "Glenn, you ought to do the Christian thing and congratulate Karina Longworth on achieving the position of film editor at the LA Weekly," another little man, who looks rather like the figure rearing back from Kristobal Kringle in the lobby card for the Mexican Santa Claus, pops up over my other shoulder and hisses, "Eat shit, Christian asshole!" Is it just me, or is it kind of weird that, after hearing/reading for umpteen months in umpteen forums that the internet is the future of film culture/film criticism, so many are so excited that a blogger has gotten a job at a print publication? Once again, I ask the pesky question: "What does it all mean?"

All right, enough. If there are still any poor souls out there today trawling the blogosphere who happen upon this post, do let me know what you'd like to see from "Topics" in the next year. And Merry Christmas!

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Karina Longworth at the LA Weekly: “What does it all mean?” The end times, that’s what it means. That there’s no one at the LAW who can distinguish between content and drivel, that’s what it means. That print journalism has rapidly filled itself with the clueless. That we need YOU more than ever, that’s what it means! And if you stay out of others writers’ sandboxes, I’ll lose all respect for you!
Well, Chuck, the inclination to stay out of other writers’ sandboxes comes less from a new-found excess of nice (although consideration for my blood pressure does enter into it) than it does with distinguishing what I do from what they do. Some mutual friend has been goading me in a “what you do best has nothing to do with Poland, Wells, etc.,” way, and it’s a point worth considering. As for Longworth, well, she’s going to have her hands very full very soon, and quite a few eyes on her. To be honest, I didn’t much follow the L.A. Weekly film section when Scott Foundas helmed it, and while I like Scott and admire his work ethic, he only really got my attention when he was doing silly things like trying to make a case for Brett Ratner or engaging in a half-cocked attack on the L.A. Times’ Tim Swanson. That just ain’t my particular kind of provocative content. What Longworth—who recently said of a book with her name on the cover, “I’ve seen the finished product, and though it’s not perfectly polished, I think it’s an accurate survey of what I tried to do…” and once admitted “I am the biggest careerist I know”—will bring to the LA Weekly, and to film culture by extension, remains to be seen. As does how much it engages me, and how much I choose to engage it. So let’s just continue to respect each other, and respect film, and fight for real film criticism and insight, and see how it all shakes out.
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You are my well-balanced hero.

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