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The pale horse is always there. The bell always tolls. [Aug. 3rd, 2006|10:37 pm]
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[mood |sadsad]
[music |So You Want to Be A Superhero?]

The lights always go out.

Bernie Friedman died today.

I’m gonna miss him. I’m gonna miss him.

He was my coclerk for far to brief of a time. But he was my confident for almost seven years. We fought all the time.

I should have known. Bernie Friedman does not give compliments, but just last week he told me I did a good job in the gay marriage case.

Though he played me one of the best compliments I ever got. He not only read a book (American Gods) on my recommendation, he sent me daily rhapsodic updates on where he was in the text. Even though the dead character had the same name as his dead daughter. . . and of me.

We talked so much. Law. Liability. Property. (Our first conversation was an hour and it was about takings. We beat up on a neocon together). Mythology. Utopianism. Science fiction. Cthulhu.

Dahlia Lithwick called us both huggable. http://www.slate.com/id/2146580/.

He was annoying, he was brilliant, he worked on five Apollo missions, he triggered cascading insights, he was my coclerk, and I’m gonna miss him. A lot.
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Best Blog Entry Ever [Jun. 4th, 2006|10:20 pm]


Snakes On a Plane.

Snakes on a Plane.

Okay, never done this before, but I wrote this up for something else, and what the hell, it's current and it's not covered by attorney client privilege.

We mounted an expedition to see X3: The Last Stand this weekend. A lawyer, a librarian, a teacher, a network geek, an HR person, a gay frat boy, and a guy I don't know what does (aside from dating my sister) all went together.

The movie was fine.

But it should have been great.

It has a great premise. Suddenly, the moral question of whether you assimilate, tolerate, or separate is presented starkly, and no one is ready for it, not even the Secretary of Mutant Affairs. And we find out that it’s not just the charismatic anti-hero, the Holocaust survivor Magneto, who has been making moral decisions for other people, it’s our pure hearted leader Charles Xavier. The special effects are fun, the actors great, and Ian McKellen rocks the house.

But the movie is disappointing. They wave at the big question, they never grapple with it. Give me more of Rogue’s anguish; this incredibly powerful woman who can not shake hands or kiss or bear a child. Give me more of McCoy’s loss; this man who was a research scientist who can no longer manipulate the lab equipment. Talk to me about the fact that the cure will kill Logan.

And there were strange continuity problems. Xavier randomly tells Wolverine that he's done these morally questionable things to Jean Grey with no prologue? Then he unleashes at Wolverine for doing “something,” when we just saw him do nothing? Magneto steps over the body of the woman he loves and sends devoted followers to their apparent deaths with barely a shrug? Magneto plays for keeps, but he’s always had the grace to regret it before. Storm’s in charge, but Wolverine’s giving orders? These things didn’t work for me.

There were some wonderful bits. The actors were great, especially Sir Ian. That man owned that film, and any scene with him in it was delicious. Some nicely brutal fight scenes. Kitty Pride’s fight with Juggernaut was just about perfect, though my objectivity may be blurred by the fact I know she is in Buffy's literary ancestory. The slight (unintentional?) political commentary of sending a great big blue ape to the UN made me laugh. And the last scene in the movie proper, while not as good as Magneto quoting Malcolm X from the first film, was still nice.

But I was irritated at what it could have been. The other two movies are great; a fun surface romp with depths that go deep. This was all surface, with a wave at the deep story.

Worth seeing. Any movie that involves telepaths hurling flaming SUVs at Alcatraz gets at least a 7 in my book. But I don’t think I’ll be buying the DVD. Don’t think it’ll bear rewatching.

Afterwards, we decamped to Mama's Mexican Kitchen. The Elvis room still lives.
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