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Topics/Questions/Exercises of the week—31 July 2009

Exercise: David Poland's The Hot Blog or the letters of Samuel Beckett? Leave answers in comments.

1) And I am not unsympathetic to the rage about it. I think it is the idea that a child—who doesn't know what he has found—is in control of the grown woman's sex... and the man-child sees what's happening and lets it keep happening. How can that man-child ever be forgiven?

2) ______...I invented him, him and so many others, and the places where they stayed, in order to speak, since I had to speak, without speaking of me, I couldn't speak of me, I was never told I had to speak of me, I invented my memories, not knowing what I was doing.

3) I can't do what ______ does... because, seriously, I would vomit all day long. [...] and every time I raise my voice in an arrogant demand—because I forget and do that sometimes—I am sickened by the eventual self-reflection. Perhaps that makes me “weak.” Each of us must make that call for ourselves.

4) Now, hopefully, I can wash my hands of the slime and get back to more serious things… for now.

5) I'm looking for my mother to kill her. I should have thought of that a bit earlier, before being born.

6) Uh... simple... I don't get it.

Never Let Them See The Product: At Spout, Karina Longworth avows that there's a right way and a wrong way to "market" mumblecore, and provides examples. Any inherent irony in the fact that neither method uses actual clips from the films in question is left for the reader to infer.

Armond White-ism Of The Week: In which our Mr. White finds himself in a bit of a pickle, upon contemplating the fact that his own review of Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker about a month back was in consonance with pretty much every other New York-based reviewer's notice (except Kyle Smith's, of course). This simply won't do, so this week, in the middle of some cerebration on the Dardennes's Lorna's Silence (which involves him, not surprisingly, attempting to split a difference that exists only in his head) he throws in a bit of not-in-any-way-forced back-pedaling on Locker: "When Lorna's pimp tells her 'You shouldn't worry about it, a junkie prefers drugs to life,' it recalled the misconception in Kathryn Bigelow's now overrated The Hurt Locker that "war is a drug.' The pimp's alibi is another art-movie fallacy." You gotta love that "now." Because he says so. For contrast, let's return to White's original Hurt Locker review: "Bigelow’s focus on male psychology won’t satisfy anti-war protestors, who have been curiously becalmed during the Obama administration. The Hurt Locker’s prologue, 'War is a drug,' suggests it could be about any war. This is a breakthrough in the pop-war genre that, since Vietnam, has accustomed us to sentimental agit-prop." All-righty then. What do you think inspired A.W.'s turnaround? We like to think it's his all-consuming contempt for what he calls, in his pan of Apatow's Funny People this week, "New York media elites." All of them, damn it! And to think, this year White is serving as chairman of the New York Film Critics' Circle, and not for the first time. Which inspires the question: is the Circle a bonafide professional organization, or an S&M club without the sex?

2 and 5 are certainly beckett. 1 and 4 lack the movement and rhythym of a beckett sentence/passage.
Don’t know about the NYFCC but Armond is all about S&M without the sex
I really oughtn’t conduct such exercises at a site whose readers are such experts at parsing prose. Obviously the rhythm is paramount, but I figured an even more obvious giveaway would be the use of em-dashes and ellipses…Butm yes, 2 and 4 are the master, the rest are merely the drones of a character that, I still insist, Beckett could have created…
I was hoping for more of a critique of his content. Going after the bloviation is maybe too easy.
David Poland should stop transcribing his napkin scribblings word-for-word into blog posts. Armond White backpedaling on “The Hurt Locker” can be added to the ever-growing list of movies he did an about-face on because he didn’t initially scope out the critical consensus carefully enough to go against it.

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