December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas! Yeah, I said it!

Well, the spotlight on the war on political correctness seems to have fallen on 'holiday greetings' at this time of the year.
I have the feeling that if we could harness the energy people waste on performing various grammatical contortions in order to send emotionally isotonic sentiments to one another, the Northeast wouldn't have to broker deals with Venezuela for heating oil, All of Montana could leave their windows and doors open in an attempt to warm up the state, and I wouldn't have to listen to the same old armchair diplomatic canned discussion about what's the best way to wish someone well during the end of the year.

I wish I could dissect all the reasons why people do this, but the simple answer is that there's rarely a simple answer for why so many disparate people perform the same contrived act of empty well-wishing.

...I sound more like Andy Rooney every day. I wonder if that's a bad thing....

Posted by Jeffrey at 4:32 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2005

Banished Words of 2005

Thanks, Woody.

I think there was a sunday school lesson where Jesus expressed the ideal of thinking and speaking with the purity of children. Along that line of thought, people who seek to mitigate, obfuscate, or just do a pest-poor job of making their message sound "new" by bastardizing the english language should be banished to a special kind of hell.

A kind of hell where they would be stuck in a room with linoleum floors, no windows, fluorescent lights, and tons of people in folding chairs, trying to talk over one another. Everything they say almost sounds like their native tongue, except it's all the same marketing jargon crap they've been spouting all these years. The sound reverberates off the floors, ceilings, walls. They can't escape it, just like we can't with their carpet-bomb ad campaigns. They could try to rip their ears out or plug them, but everyone is wearing mittens, and nothing else.

I thought it would be fun to add to the list as well, since there seems to be some terms missing.

Using "Fresh" to describe a new episode of something on the WB, which I find to be inaccurate. WB hasn't had an original thought for a series with the exception of "Everybody Hates Chris", or is that on UPN? I think the word "Steaming" might have been more appropriate, since it doesn't imply originality, just that whereever it came from, it hasn't cooled off yet. "Coming up next, another steaming heap of 'Everwood'..."

"TomKat" and "Bennifer". This is the kind of talk I expect escaping the braces-riddled, acne ridden face of some 14 year old girl at a slumber party, talking about some single person they don't like. Instead, it's college-age and twenty-somethings and older. It's bad enough that a man suffering from scientology is stuck on the fast-track to Michael Jackson's Crazy Town. Battering the english language with that fecal terminology is just over-the-top.

"Inviting _______ to resign" - You invite people to parties, weddings, get-togethers, etc. You notify people of funerals and give them directions to the church or whereever, but I've never seen a funeral that was by "invitation only." So WTF would anyone think it's going to be better to 'invite someone to resign' rather than 'tell them their fired unless they resign'. Are you going to invite someone to resign so you can send them on a YEAR-LONG TOUR OF THE WORLD?! Is there going to be cake and soda? Punch and pie? Baloons? Can they RSVP? How about if they not show up? Will you invite them to resign next time, or get the clue and stop inviting them altogether?

"To transition _______ to ______." First of all, Transition is a noun, not a verb. You can't transition one thing to another. The act of moving someone from a to b is called a transition, but the act of it is not 'transitioning'. I'm just as guilty of misusing words as most people and I'm thankful for those who correct me. Nevertheless, a fault on my part does not constitute justification for the fault of anyone else.

Now, on to my biology studying.

Posted by Jeffrey at 9:01 PM | Comments (0)

December 4, 2005

Walk the Line

Walk the Line
Joaquin Phoenix(Hotel Rawanda, The Village), Reese Witherspoon(Legally Blonde, Bunny Lake is Missing), Shelby Lynne, Shooter Jennings
Directed by: James Mangold(Identity, Girl Interrupted)
Rating: 3.6/4.0

This movie has received a fair share of press leading up to its release, and many of its reviews are using 'Phoenix oscar nomination' as keywords. Hype like that can kill a movie if it fails to live up to the hype that it is given.

Luckily, this wasn't the case for Walk the LIne a look at the early years of Johnny Cash and the progression of his sound from an earnest gospel singer fresh from the Air Force to the freight-train rumbling penitent voice of the Man In Black that he is best remembered. This aspect, more than making 5'8" Joaquin look 6'4", is what impressed me the most. Cash's voice is not one that is easily imitated without sounding satirical. I was certain, hearing Joaquin's lilt in Gladiator, that they would either have some mighty fine dubbing, or doubly fine voice training. I'm kinda glad they went to the latter.

Voice aside, Phoenix assumes the mannerisms of Cash with an ease that left uncanny a speck on the rearview. The way the guitar was held, sang out of the side of his mouth, tucked his chin, and head motions were all well-captured. I'm hoping this performance is a sign of things to come from Phoenix.

Reese Witherspoon, although the next name on everyone's lips, will hopefully start drawing more and more meatier roles thanks to her grand slam as June Carter. I can't find any definate word on whether she did her own singing and I've never heard June Carter, to my knowledge. But maybe Reese's days of the Legally Blonde trilogy are finally never to see the light of day. I also hope to see more and more interesting work from her.

Posted by Jeffrey at 1:22 AM | Comments (0)