Friday, February 25, 2011

comment of the day

law firm associate to me: "you are one of the happier attorneys i know."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Music Video of the Day: Thom Yorke, "Walk It Out"

On the one hand, juxtaposing very serious white people with a banger-cum-meme from the Dirty Dirty is played out. On the other hand, Thom Yorke's dancing! The best.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nicolas Cage, National Treasure

Over the weekend it was revealed that the New York Times, in keeping with its ongoing recent mission to trash journalistic standards it once held dear, actually concealed from the public the fact that Raymond Davis, who killed two Pakistanis in Lahore some weeks back, is actually a former Special Ops/Blackwater guy and a member of the CIA. He claims that the men in question were attempting to rob him. Whether or not that is the case, one of the men he shot in the back as he was fleeing. In broad daylight. In the streets of a country we cowardly drop remote control bombs on routinely, a country we claim to be a great ally in the muddled global war on terrorism.

Why is this important? In part because the Pakistani government has detained Raymond Davis, and the American government insists he's entitled to diplomatic immunity. It may be the case that he is, but it is also looking very likely that the American government sent a trained killer into the streets of Lahore to do intelligence gathering, and he used this license instead to murder someone. As for the New York Times, at the behest of the Obama Administration it decided not to report the truth of Mr. Davis' employment, and has instead allowed its readers to accept as credible Administration claims of Mr. Davis' fictional employ with the Consul and/or Embassy's offices.

So, basically, once again, fuck the New York Times. Thank God for Wikileaks. Et cetera.

But if the Times is ever going to weasel its way back into my heart, it will do so by continuing to celebrate in barely contained snark the full-bodied wonderfulness of Nicolas Cage. Here is a piece in today's Times about good actors who appear in schlock. I clicked on it, hopeful for a nugget about my friend Nic. But a mere nugget? I should have known better. The article, largely a meandering stupidity that perpetuates the lie that Anthony Hopkins is a good actor, crescendos in the final paragraphs thusly:

And it is what good actors bring to movies, even bad ones: discipline, conviction, the ability to help us suspend our disbelief by persuading us that they believe in what they are doing. The more preposterous the situation, the more impressive the feat of seeming to take it utterly seriously. There are other measures of excellence of course — emotional subtlety, psychological acuity, wit — but this kind of unwavering, fanatical commitment is surely a sign of greatness. You might almost say that greatness shows itself precisely in the discrepancy between the performance and the material. If that is true, then it is something like a mathematical certainty that the greatest actor in the world today is Nicolas Cage

This hypothesis will be tested next Friday, when “Drive Angry 3D” opens in theaters, just two days ahead of the Academy Awards broadcast. Mr. Cage is no stranger to the Oscar — he was a best actor winner for “Leaving Las Vegas” and a nominee for “Adaptation” — but he has also been an action star, a comic player and, in recent years, the American cinema’s most popular and prolific purveyor of craziness. 

With a handful of exceptions (Werner Herzog’s “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” and Gore Verbinski’s “Weather Man” among them) critics have not smiled on Mr. Cage’s films of the past decade, which include a grab bag of hits and flops in various genres. He has anchored the juvenile action “National Treasure” franchise, and also science fiction and fantasy like “Ghost Rider,” “Knowing” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Mention must be made of “The Wicker Man,” Neil LaBute’s transcendentally awful remake of a 1970s horror movie, which has enjoyed a rich afterlife as a YouTube laughingstock

Mr. Cage may have been driven to some of this by well-publicized financial difficulty, and some of his admirers have surely been puzzled by his choices. But it can never be said that he phones in a performance. He is more likely to scream into the telephone, or smash it to pieces, or some other sublime and unpredictable piece of business. Just doing his job, in other words.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

goings on at work

now that I work at a nonprofit, especially one that works so closely with law firms, I compare the two a lot. I guess I can't really help myself, as most of my working life has been spent inside a firm in some capacity. You're so jealous.

I work with a great crew of firm associates: they're intelligent, respectful and actually pretty creative, something firms don't generally encourage. They've shown an incredible level of initiative through some trying times.

so where do I fit in? My perennial nightmare is becoming the "crazy nonprofit lady." Who is she? She is always harried, never quite on time, responds to your email like 2 weeks too late, and doesn't quite ever tell you what you need to do.

The thing is, there is a tremendous amount of personal pride on the line here. I know how for-profit attorneys sometimes underestimate their nonprofit counterparts and I don't want to confirm their prejudices.

Of course, I've kind of set myself up to be disappointed. there are 8 associates plus two paralegals from the firm. And just me on my side.

recently, the associates showed me the prototype of a database that they built for our project. You should see this thing. It's streamlined, logical, intuitive and easy-to-use. I was floored. They had built this in 2 weeks. But because it's me, it also kind of massively bummed me out. I would never be able to create anything even remotely close, and whatever piece of shit I could build would take months, since every box of rocks with delusions of grandeur on my side would meddle. it also made me sad because this database also showed that all these well-meaning, affluent, impeccably-pedigreed (and white) associates were working at a firm of a different caliber. One that would allow an IT team to create this enterprise for free. This was just one example of the many resources at their disposal. These kids, who had always been ahead in life, would remain ahead.

you can see why the initial euphoria dissipated pretty quickly. I know. Having been one myself, these associates hate their current lives. No doubt about that. Let me just not have any perspective here, ok?

anyway, I let the associates know that they had managed to both impress and depress me at the same time, minus the class stuff. I think they were somewhat proud that their creation elicited such emotional highs and lows.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

[insert title here]

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who knew that lcd soundsystem would make its last tv appearance on colbert? not i. and before you scoff, i have to explain: you see, i've kind of put a moratorium on blogs. i still surf the facebook and occasionally glance at huffingtonpost, but that's about it. why? i dunno. probably because i think my brain was starting to suffer from a bit of overload. and yes, yes, i too learned about irony and realize that i am writing about my blog respite...on a blog. of course, egypt just had to go and start an incredible democratic revolution during this time. (if you haven't read this article on how the movement was organized, i highly recommend it. it makes you swell with some strange, unfamiliar sense of optimism, but also kind of bums you out that you've never been part of anything so significant even though you are their contemporaries. also, as i mentioned to my coworker, if it were up to us and our current team of morons at work, we'd still be living in a police state).


i went to see some classical music and one of the musicians cracked a joke that really was suitable only for an audience this old and, um, curiously dressed. (why so many nehru jackets?). it reminded me of two things:

1. in the beginning of a modern music class in college, my prof tweeted a couple of trills on a flute and asked us to guess the tune. when we were all stumped, he yelled in mock exasperation, "c'mon guys! mahler's 4th!" and the class erupted in laughter. (hear for yourself.)

2. in college, i first discovered one of the pieces performed tonight. it's the only schoenberg piece i have and probably will ever enjoy, and i played this recording of it very enthusiastically on my friday afternoon classical music radio show. c'mon y'all, orpheus! the conductorless wonder!

like alec baldwin who, as he watches a home movie of himself as a kid opening presents at a birthday party, wonders what possibly could have made him happy enough to yarf, i sometimes play an (imaginary) highlight reel.

to get a bit cheeze on you, i think a fairly sizable percentage of lawyers have either seriously contemplated completely different careers or are currently dreaming about and/or actively planning an escape. and you know, sitting in the studio playing a bunch of CDs and records (wha?) and presumably talking to my listening audience, but really just talking to myself over a microphone: it sounds pretty damn awesome even now.

so i don't know what this post is about except to say that you get old, you move onward, you find enjoyment in many other ways, etc. but you know, ask yourself: have you been happy enough to barf lately?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Music Video of the Day: Enrique Iglesias, "Tonight I'm Fucking You" [NSFW -- Not Safe For Anything}

You know I get it. Dude's been making these subtle videos his whole career, and the point's been lost on us. I mean is Enrique into fucking hot girls or not? Question answered.