Friday, January 23, 2004

Walking In a Winter Wonderland

It is another nut-frostingly cold day in downtown Milwaukee. Walking 5 blocks to work at 8am sucks, because my eyes tear up in the wind and snot dribbles down my nose (lovely, huh?). I hate you StuLee. Still, it could be worse.

Anyway there are at least 3 inches of snow outside and I am in a particularly bloggity mood today for some reason, so there's a few things on my mind.

First, I watched the premier of "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancee" yesterday. Hoo, boy!! What a train-wreck of morality that show is! The premise is that Randy (who is extremely pretty, reminiscent of Sarah Michelle Gellar in her good years) thinks she and another contestant Steve must convince their families they are engaged to be married in 12 days. If they pull it off they win 1000000 dollars. However, Steve is actually an actor hired to be as obnoxious, dumb, and irritating as possible. The result, while a complete vacuum of anything remotely resembling intelligence or value to the culture, is absolutely hysterical. It taps into something deeply American - a mean-spirited voyeurism, the same trait that causes a three-mile backup on a major highway when there's a jack-knifed tractor trailer hanging off the edge of a cliff; there's no obstruction but everyone slows down to get a good, long look. I think it will hold my interest for at least 4 or 5 episodes, and I'll probably tune in for the finale. Sometimes vacuous entertainment isn't the end of the world.

I picked up the new Arthur C. Clarke / Stephen Baxter "Time's Eye" today. Clarke, obviously, is the living legend and grandmaster who wrote 2001:Space Odyssey and helped Stanley Kubric bring the book to life on screen. Critics are hailing Baxter as his heir. The premise is that uber-beings from a distant galaxy have carved up Earth in the 4th dimension like a jigsaw puzzle, putting a chunk of 1700 New Jersey next to a chunk of 1990's New York City, and a swath of 1,000,000 B.C. African planes directly underneath a 2037 Space Station. Then they sit back and watch; it's kind of like reality television for aliens. I'll let you know how it goes :)

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