Man, for the shortest month, February is sure taking its sweet time clearing out, isn’t it? I started Friday with good intentions to see at least one movie in a theater, do some food prep for the week ahead, the whole nine. Ended up watching the Sunday HBO lineup, which dropped early because of the Oscar conflict, and wishing I was anywhere but here, where the temperatures dropped, the wind picked up, and life became generally sorta gray and boring.
Made significant progress on “The Underground Railroad,” though. Which I am loving. “Lincoln in the Bardo” is next. “I Am Not Your Negro” and/or “Get Out” will have to wait for next weekend. When it’s cold and the wind is howling, it’s more of an otter eating lettuce sort of Saturday night.
Also, “Piper,” which you should watch, because not only is this short film too stinkin’ cute for words, it is kind of a documentary of me learning to surf.
Whatever happened to going out during the week? We used to do that, back when we both were reliably off work by 5 p.m., which simply doesn’t happen anymore. Plus: February. Chill winds. Et to the cetera.
Just one word before we get to the bloggage, after watching the third episode in the final season of “Girls,” I’m crossing my heart and making a promise that I will pay attention to Lena Dunham throughout her just-getting-started career, and you probably should, too. I thought “American Bitch,” the so-called “bottle episode” airing this week, was a real piece of work, smart and nuanced and funny and not-funny, and sort of amazing coming from the pen of a writer as young as Dunham.
Like lots of people, I have found Dunham hard to take at times, but the more I see of her acting but mostly her writing, the more impressed I am. “American Bitch” is about the gray areas where power imbalance, gender, age and consent all meet, a place lots of women have found themselves, both today and when we were all young. It’s not an easy topic to tackle in 30 minutes, but she managed it, with a great deal of help from Matthew Rhys as the famous dick novelist whose behavior is at issue.
We spend a lot of time here feeling sorry for ourselves because great old artists and entertainers are dying. I think the best cure for that is to find some young ones worth watching. Dunham is.
Plus, she drives conservatives insane, because she’s something of an exhibitionist with her nude body, which is pudgy and has cellulite and is generally the sort they think ought to never be seen unclothed. Fuck those guys, I say.
So. Bloggage? I guess there’s some: Thanks to Sherri for finding this piece on the “brilliant jerk,” a well-known type, especially in Silicon Valley:
This term, “the brilliant jerk,” has been around for a while in corporate lingo. I remember first reading about in a New York Times blog post (R.I.P. blogs) in 2012. (PLEASE DON’T ACTUALLY ME ABOUT REED HASTINGS, YOU JERKOFF, HE’S TWO GRAFS DOWN.) I guess there was a series about Being The Boss and the URL was boss.blogs.nytimes.com 🙁 What a world! Anyway it was a sort of advicey column about what to do about that one archetype, the Brilliant Jerk, in your workplace. It was fun to read when it came out because everyone got to speculate about who their brilliant jerk was.
But everyone already knows who the brilliant jerk at their workplace is because it’s the raging asshole!! It’s not hard to tell. And yet somehow as long as we’ve had a word for it, and probably even longer, we’ve wrung our hands over whether or not to cope with this fucktard over here because—wait for it—HE’S BRILLIANT!
Another Jewish-cemetery incident, this one in Philadelphia. The official word of 2017 is “emboldened.” Repeat after me.
My favorite Twitter chuckle of the weekend:
And on to Monday. But first, some chicken.