Japanese Diorama Dog Movie Review

A movie with this level of hand-craftsmanship doesn’t come along very often, and even if you aren’t a fan of Wes Anderson’s quirky aesthetic or brand of characters and dialogue, I would encourage anyone who likes movies or animation as a whole to go see this movie. Thematically, I think it introduces some interesting characters and ideas that are generally pretty underrepresented. We aren’t allowed to have movies anymore without some kind of controversy, and I’ll delve into that, along with some spoilers, after the jump.

Isle of Dogs is about a squad of dogs dumped on a trash island after the mayor of a nearby megatropolis declares all dogs a public health hazard. A young boy crash lands, searching for his own dog that was also his bodyguard. A quest across a drably intricate and gorgeous industrial decay ensues with snappy dialogue from vocal talent like Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, and Greta Gerwig. I thought it was delightful, 4.5/5.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

Continue reading “Japanese Diorama Dog Movie Review”

The G-Line is Really Coming This Time, Guys

As both a longtime Northwestern Denver resident and a self-sabotaging, economically disadvantaged proletarian, public transit development in Colorado is something I pay a lot of attention to. I’m on my second car and I didn’t learn how to drive until I was 19, which was almost ten years ago, and I didn’t own a car until I was almost 21. From about 15 on, I rode Denver’s buses and trains for work, play, and everything in between. One conclusion I think many of my fellow riders can agree on is that RTD, Denver’s Regional Transport District, is fucking horrible.

Much of my early usage with Twitter was primarily to antagonize the intern running the RTD account. Buses very rarely run on time or don’t come at all. More often than not, a trip with more than one transfer is going to get screwed up, and that makes using public transit as a way to reliably commute almost impossible. Unless you’re planning on leaving an hour earlier, which compounds how horrific RTD’s metro transit routing network actually is: an accurate anecdotal estimation is that for every 10-15 minutes it might take to drive somewhere, you can count on at least an hour on a bus. My commute is about a thirty minute drive. Once you factor in the walking, due to the fact that both my destination and my home don’t have have any direct bus service, using public transportation for my commute takes nearly three and a half hours. One way.¬†Inclimate weather? Go fuck yourself. Continue reading “The G-Line is Really Coming This Time, Guys”

A Spoiled, Rotten Yankee Fan

I’ve never been this¬†ready for baseball season. Maybe it’s two years of Denver Bronco mediocrity, the sting of the Yankees losing to Houston in the 2017 American League Championship Series, and the fact that I’ve been taking in quite a bit of PAC-12 college ball these days, but I’m way more amped up than usual about Opening Day. It’s comforting: as the world unravels and anxiety spikes we emerge anyway from the cold, looking forward to the warmer months of the year always knowing we’re going to be playing baseball. It might be the only constant in America I not just reliably depend on but welcome.

Having never lived in New York and never written a lot about baseball, I realize I have a bit of explaining to do. Or maybe I don’t. This is the inferiority complex I’ve developed as an all-too-common out-of-state fan. In Colorado, a typical baseball season ends sometime around June. After a brief period of optimism that runs itself dry around mid-May, the Rockies (usually) putter out and the town begins fantasizing about summer football workouts. Maintaining enthusiasm for baseball on the other side of the country in the face of such consistently disappointed fans ends up requiring a bit of biographical backstory.

When I was born in 1990 in California, it didn’t take long to get me to an Angel’s game. My dad, who grew up on the East Coast, loved baseball and he’d put me in his glove at “The Big A” where we watched those middling early-90s Yankees teams when they came to town. Somewhere, there exists a VHS tape of me at about 2 watching a tape of the Minnesota Twins winning the 91 World Series, which I watched on a loop that winter because even as a baby, I was irritated there was no baseball to watch. Several of my first sentences were attempts to start a discussion about Kirby Puckett and Chili Davis.

When you’re little, seeing your parents lose their shit has quite a novelty to it. Gene Michael comes in as General Manager, turns the Yankee franchise around, and by 1996 my house had gone stark-raving mad for Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte , Mariano Rivera, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neil, and Derek Jeter. At the same time, my mother, who grew up in Colorado, was attempting to match the Yankee fever with her elation for back-to-back Bronco Superbowl wins and the anointment of John Elway as Saint of All Quarterbacks. As a very young child, I was completely spoiled by watching longstanding familial sports allegiances rewarded with what seemed like championship contending teams year after year. Continue reading “A Spoiled, Rotten Yankee Fan”

FYI: The First Woman(!) to Head the CIA Tortured People At Secret Black Site Prisons

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Connotations as to what being a “news junkie” is have changed in the last few years. To me, it used to mean there was a drive to stay informed and get ahead of stories. Now, I fear it’s the territory of rubberneckers watching a constant train wreck that never stops and civic sadists waiting for their next embarrassing, shameful pain fix. Some of them are scared to death, I suppose, trying desperately to find information that doesn’t make them regret bringing children into the world or not immigrating to Australia in their mid-twenties.

A lot has been made of a “return to normalcy” and if that’s even something that’s possible to do. What’s your definition of normal? When was that? Was it when you didn’t feel like you had to watch the news coverage of purportedly mad men with their fingers on the throat of existence? It was when it was easily ignored. Whether it was Obama’s drone strike program or massive numbers of deportations that surpassed levels during the Bush administration, or the latter administration’s illegal renditions program and massive expansion of domestic surveillance, most regular folks might think Trump’s regime ushered in this authoritative, bumbling totalitarianism. There’s nothing new about it. They’re just doubling down on it. Continue reading “FYI: The First Woman(!) to Head the CIA Tortured People At Secret Black Site Prisons”