William Bradley's Day Off

I thought I'd let everyone know how my day off from outrage went.

Pretty well.

Emily and I went to see the new Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter Goes to Phoenix (or something). Emily's a big Harry Potter fan-- she's read all the books, and gets excited about the movies. Me, I don't get the hype. Generally speaking, Harry Potter's not my cup of tea. That doesn't make me cool or clever or anything-- remember, I'm the guy who has a Justice League of America collection. But I've never felt compelled to read the Harry Potter books, and I've found three out of the first four movies to be absolutely tedious-- the first two felt like overproduced "phenomenons," and the fourth one was notable for having absolutely nothing happen until the last twenty minutes or so. Only the third movie-- the one to actually have a director of talent and vision in Alfonso Cuaron-- held my interest.

So I'm pleasantly surprised to tell you that I really, really liked the new Harry Potter movie-- it may even be better than the one Cuaron directed. I'm not going to go into too much detail, since I don't want to ruin it for anyone who's going to see it later, but this movie seemed to have a type of thematic unity that the others lacked. Harry's now 14, and he's moody and angry and wants to be left alone-- like every normal 14-year-old, though in Harry's case the problem is presented as some type of possible connection with the evil Lord Balderdash (or some such shit). But don't be fooled by all the magical stuff-- this is a movie about adolescence. There's even a line early in the movie where someone admonishes some teenage boy wizards that they need to stop "waving [their] wands around." And it's also a movie about the way that youthful idealism and energy can threaten the grown-up, conservative power structure-- exemplified by a pink-clad Phyllis Schafly look-alike who takes over the school when the foolish and frightened forces of the conservative wizard government start to find the "progress for progress's own sake" occuring at the school threatening. Oh, yeah-- it's also about the disaster that occurs when agents of the ruling ideology feel threatened by intellectualism and try to crush it.

Okay, so I didn't quite escape thinking about politics. It was still a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Then, Emily and I came home, ordered some Chinese food, and decided to watch a couple episodes of Arrested Development, which I've concluded is not only the best comedy to ever be broadcast on American television-- it's the best show, period. So Emily and I wound up watching the show's final season in its entirety tonight.

It was awesome.

And now, Emily's gone to bed, and I'm sitting at my laptop, listening to John Cale's blackAcetate, which Mark recommended. I'm on track 12 out of 13, and I wholeheartedly concur with Mark's assessment-- expressed in the comments to my post earlier this morning-- that this is Cale's best album in years. It's much better than Hobosapiens, which makes it light years ahead of Walking on Locusts-- which probably isn't a bad album per se, just a bad John Cale album. I don't know, though-- I haven't listened to it in a long time...

Here's some video of Cale performing with a couple of his really obscure friends. I think these kids are going to be big.

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