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Beatles, Godard, Star Wars, M.R. James, Pats, pliability

Tuesday 1/4/22

* About to start an essay on the Beatles.

* Watched Godard's All the Boys are Called Patrick (1957). Well done. The scenes with the girls particularly.

* The vegetable section—yes, there is one—at the 7-Eleven has a note of the tragic. This is not where you wish to end up if you are a cucumber. Long will be your lonely vigil, and you will shrivel. And for what do you wait? Menace may lie ahead, if you even ever get to leave.

* Apparently now I am supposed to believe that Boba Fett was some guy in his sixties. I don't believe this. There are only three real Star Wars films. That's it. They came out in 1977, 1980, and 1983. Everything else is an attempt to force cash from pockets and keep things going when things were already over. No one can convince me that there is anyone who has actually enjoyed Attack of the Clones or The Rise of Skywalker. I do believe that people want to like these things. Can be desperate to like them. Contort themselves in an attempt to like them. Why? As we've seen over and over again, most people live empty lives. People over a certain age want nostalgia. People under a certain age have more options than ever, and less actual entertainment than ever. As for nostalgia: it is dangerous and creepy. Nostalgia is for people who can't move forward and who have nothing to move forward to. One cannot have less than I do in many ways. No worse life. No greater quantity of bleakness every day. But I move forward. I try. I strive to meaning. To the future I want. The rich future. When I look back, it is because that moves me forward, and I want what I find in the past--some aspect of art, some feeling--to be part of my better-built future. It is not really of the past anyway. For instance: a baseball card. A person would normally want some card of yore because they once collected cards. For me, I see the pictorial art, the German Expressionist component of, say, the Diamond Stars series, and that informs how I think visually in the present and going forward. It does me good to see that art and be surrounded by it.

* Having seen The Rise of Skywalker, I can tell you next to nothing about what happens in it. I have no idea. I could have been looking at anything.

* Watched Gatiss's adaptation of M.R. James's "Martin's Close." You may not agree with what Gatiss does, but he has a plan and he executes it.

* Patriots back in the playoffs--I don't expect them to win in Buffalo with that Wild Card game--and the Bruins took four much-needed points over the weekend, including a win over a not terrible Red Wings team. I remain completely underwhelmed by Mac Jones. Nowhere in this season did he show me he can help you win a game. Or win it for you. He showed me he can not give a game away. 3500 passing yards in this age is pretty bad. Fine for 1979, much less so for 2021. He may be near his ceiling right now, and that won't be good enough. Much was made about him breaking the Patriots' rookie record for touchdown passes in a season, but what no one thought to say--of course--was that this record doesn't count for much. Why? It dates from fifty years ago, when Jim Plunkett--a man with an interesting, even unique, career--finished second in the league in touchdown passes. I'm more surprised, by far, that Plunkett did that than Jones surpassed this mark. Look at passing stats from 1971. Totally different game. Plunkett's record held up because of Brady--he was the QB for so long, so obviously no rookies were coming in.

* I've been stretching each day before I run stairs. It's something I'm making a point of doing this year. I rarely stretch, which is dumb, and I want to be more flexible, too.


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