This Week in Geek (5-11/11/07)


DVD arrivals this week include Michael Palin: Around the World in 80 Days, the complete Adventures of Aquaman cartoon show, Spider-Man 3 (what the hell, why not?) and Studio 60 on the Sunset Trip, unfortunately the complete series. I started watching it again already and I love that show despite the sometimes incongruous West Wing subject matter. I was really sorry to see it go. Ah well, here's to the next Aaron Sorkin show. Hope he gets the chance.


Some DVDs you watch as soon as you get them, and Michael Palin's original travelogue is one of those. Around the World in 80 Days' weakness is that it is far too concerned with the traveling and not enough about the placed visited, something that was rectified in later series. So there's a lot of boat and train footage, but Episode 3, taking place entirely on a low-tech Indian dhow is still the standout, a touching exploration of friendships made in transit. They can't come out with Michael Palin's Full Circle fast enough for me.

I've got so much back catalog, I don't usually watch other people's DVDs, but for Carolynn, I'll do anything. After sitting on her copy of Me and You and Everyone We Know, I finally popped it in. Written and directed by Miranda July who also stars, it shares a lack of concern for plot that other female directors seem to have, and instead focuses on moments and character. I think there's a proper resolution to all the arcs, but I think I'd have to watch it again (my own copy, one day) to be sure. Certainly, I think it has something to say about how fleeting human contact is in the postmodern world.

Speaking of the postmodern world, I finished Douglas Coupland's Eleanor Rigby last night. Sometimes a bit too self-conscious about how epigrammatic the novel is, Coupland's finishing move once again got me right in the heart. The book is a quirky meditation on loneliness, a major contemporary concern, and is full of surprises and humor. Recommended though it doesn't displace any of my Top 5 Coupland books.

Sword & Sorcery: First, I made my weekly level on World of Warcraft. Lynda has reached 68 and is well on her way to 69. Thanks for asking. Over at the tabletop, we played another chapter of our Planescape campaign. This time around, the characters met the Great Modron March again only to find out it symbolizes the force of nature that bureaucracy has become. Oh, and they help evacuate a town in Heaven from the stampeding horde. Got the good will of the angels and everything. Who says Dungeons & Dragons is for Satanists.

Website Finds

Aaron Maracle was nice enough to favorably compare my Unauthorized Doctor Who card game with the real deal at All my thanks, but I do realize there wasn't much there to compete with in the first place or I wouldn't have started the project. Still, it's always nice to hear.


Austin Gorton said...

Alas, Studio 60. I too loved it, despite its faults (some real, some imagined by overly harsh critics).

I still miss it, and hope Sorkin gets another shot at a show, soon.

rob! said...

Aquaman, Michael Palin, yes. Spider-Man 3, no.

De said...

If you're really in the mood to blow money on DVDs, check out the 20% at Use SUPERSALE as the coupon and knock off another 20% from the already decent prices there.

I just blew about $400 US and the missus ain't happy at all.

Bill D. said...

And what are your top 5 favorite Coupland novels? You've got me curious now.

Siskoid said...

De: I'm fine with the loads of money I already spend, and I try to only use Canadian outlets unless absolutely necessary. I hate the mysterious extra charges that turn up when I order out of the country.

Bill: In no particular order...
Hey Nostradamus
Souvenir of Canada (I said books, not novels)
Souvenir of Canada 2 (which is inferior to the original, but has this one bit about the Edmund Fitzgerald that chokes me up every time)

Note that I still haven't read a number of them, including the early Generation X and Shampoo Planet and others.

cardboardjudas said...

I thought that the beginning of elanor rigby (about the first half or so) was the best coupland i've ever read, he lost me after that for awhile, and although it remained a goo book it wasn't anywhere near his best (Girlfriend in a Coma which shocks me by not being on your list.) And i remember really disliking the ending.

Siskoid said...

It's not on the list because it's one of those books I haven't read yet. It's on my shelf though. I'll let you know how it goes.

Emili Bellefleur said...

"You poop in my butthole,I poop in your butthole"... didn't really cut it for me.

Siskoid said...

Hey Mils!

Maybe not, but it did put a completely new obscenity in my head that wasn't there before.

And that's hard to do.

Anonymous said...

Have you checked out the "Souvenir of Canada" documentary yet? Coupland builds the typical canadian house.

As for You and Me and Everyone we know, yay ... happy you watched it and enjoyed it!

Siskoid said...

Haven't seen the documentary yet, no.

It can't possibly match the epiphany one gets looking at a picture of a very used sock in the book though.


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