Showing posts from February, 2016

Scalias and Arpeggios

My friends on all sides of the political divide in this country seem to have weighed in already on the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Some of the responses have been expected. For those on the left, Scalia represented a form of ultimate bogeyman — a monstrous villain who held the rights and freedom of various interest groups in check with an almost playful (and endlessly erudite) glee. It was not surprising to see “Ding, Dong, the witch is dead!” statements all over Facebook and Twitter, the social media equivalent of burning someone in effigy, I suppose.

On the right, the responses I have seen have been more measured, less coated in emotional release and more (on what seems to my eyes) to be a concentrated effort to make themselves look like the better person for not reveling in the death of someone on the other side of the political tug of war that this country has become.

If you don’t like how I just worded that, keep in mind that before I am (politically) a liberal, I am a cynic. I…

The Shark Film Office [007 Edition]: Licence to Kill (1989)

Licence to Kill(1989)
Dir.: John Glen TC4P Rating: 6/9
Species: Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias); blacktip reef shark (
Carcharhinus melanopterus); Sharkey (Frank McRae); manta ray (Timothy Dalton) James Bond specimen: Timothy Dalton

Sharks and James Bond. Like chocolate and peanut butter. At least, that's the way it seemed for quite a few years. Thunderball (1965), Live and Let Die (1973), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and For Your Eyes Only (1981) all contain scenes where sharks are used as a menacing element, usually (but not always) kept in tanks by Bond's enemies for reasons of torture or dispatching of victims. In my head, I always lump the truly insane, Connery race-changing epic, You Only Live Twice into this bunch, but always have to remind myself that the deadly creatures in Blofeld's lair are piranhas, not sharks. Same concept; entirely different fish.

Hell, Bond even has a nemesis (and eventual ally, briefly) named Jaws, a giant of a man (Richard Kiel) with r…