Game, Book, Film (not in that order)

Since a search of this blog's archive indicates that it's never been mentioned, and I re-watched it last night, let me note that Network is one of the twenty best films ever made. Twenty is a rather arbitrary number which is being used because I don't want to actually sit here and figure out my all-time rankings, and I also can't imagine being able to come up with of nineteen movies I think are better. I used to be under the impression that its depiction of the "Mao Tse Tung Hour" was strongly prophetic of current trends in "reality television", but I've changed my mind recently; the differences between the two are larger than I'd previously realized. I remain a conscientious objector, with very few exceptions, from the practice of actually watching reality television.

I really recommend, especially in light of the Presidential birthday which occurred this weekend, Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation. I described it in comments on another blog as, "... basically a long essay on Lincoln/Booth, followed by two shorter essays on Garfield/Guiteau and McKinley/Czolgosz to pad it out to book length. Not that the padding isn't good reading, but it seemed clear to me that the motivation for writing the book is her interest in Lincoln far more than it is anything else." Bruce Handy's review of it from the N.Y. Times Sunday Book Review is pretty good, though I have two issues with it. First of all, while the book contains a good deal of (quite deserved) criticism of the current President, I don't see what the crack about Bush taking too many vacations adds to the review. Second, and more importantly, towards the end of the review Handy claims that the book is trying to make a serious point about the meaning of Presidential assassinations, but fails to make it. Maybe Handy wishes the book had done this, but I just didn't see anything in the text that suggested this was part of the book's project.

The last two times it has occurred, my team, which is fairly new to the game, has won the Big Quiz Thing. Since we're missing one of our regulars, I'm not totally optimistic about a three-peat1 (also we got lucky last time with a number of questions being in areas about which we were able to make good guesses, no real reason to expect that to happen again), but it's a really good time and anyone who is in NYC and wants to take a shot at the reigning champs should show up at 8:00 tonight, or earlier if you want a seat.

1 - I purposefully do not credit Pat Riley for my use of this term.