October 7th, 2007

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Lesser-known Icons 19

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Coming soon from the makers of Roomba: the Coffee Robot!

What happens when you mix Clabber Girl baking powder with Jenny Wren flour? A cat fight...?

Posted by Paul DiFi.

The Gloom

We here in the great northwest are officially in the midst of the Gloom. From October to April in Portland and environs, the weather leaves a drizzly, drippy stripe of time that seems to inch past like a centipede along an interminable gray branch. I gotta have breaks. First one comes next month in NYC, where it will also be gray; but New York has sufficient diversions to make it feel like a brighter experience. Where I live--Vancouver, WA--there are no diversions. Vancouver serves as a bedroom community for Portland; at least I can divine no other purpose for it. It's essentially a gigantic strip mall salted with a few neighborhoods, and is among the drabbest places I've ever seen...and I've seen Indianapolis. I lived in Detroit for the better part of a decade, for Christ's sake. But Vancouver...shitty place to live, dead boring, populated by unsightly proles, but a great place to write. I'm never tempted to look out the window. Yet I can't wait for November 19, when I fly out of here.

Somebody sent me this url


which has a list of the 50 best dystopian movies of all time. It's a pretty USA-centric, ignoring all foreign films that have not made a splash in our country. And, too, it seems confused on what a dystopian film is, including flicks like Pleasantville (?) and Starship Troopers and I, Robot; and post-apocalyptic flicks (which are different, I feel, from dystopian films) like a Boy and His Dog, and a number of just plain terrible flicks like Idiocracy and Rollerball and District 13 (a kung fu flick with a science fictional gloss) and etc. I'm not much of a Tarkovsky guy, but I can't respect a list that ignores Stalker and leaves movies like Code 46 and La Jetee unmentioned. That said, the list contains many of the best dystopian films. A Clockwork Orange, Radford's 1984, Escape From New York (now being remade by the horrid Bret Ratner who made X-Men 3), etc. What you think? Any additions?

Here's something that ought to give the women who read this a charge: