I recently saw The Art of Video Games exhibit at the Hudson River Museum. It’s an interesting look at the history of console games from an artistic perspective. I found it to be more effective as a history of the video game genre than any actual artistic criticism. Partly because the exhibit is laid out in chronological format, but more because there’s still something lacking in the field.
Ah, Spring. When a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of… Baseball!!!
If you’re a casual fan like me, the first week or so of Baseball Season is filled with brightness, optimism, and hope. April is the month where every team can dream a a shot at winning their division. Given that there are 162 games in a season, the first few weeks are simply too small a sample size to really help determine who is going to be in first place come the end of the year. A team can jump out of the gate on a tear, or can still be working out leftover problems from Spring Training.
Admittedly, some teams have better chances than others. But one can still dream.
This is also the time of year when both experts and fans make their guesses as to how the standings will look come the end of the season. Each division typically has one Favorite, one Contender, two Also-Rans, and one Basement Dweller. The difference between a Favorite and a Contender is usually a matter of luck. The Also-Rans are too close together to pick which one finishes above the other. Here’s how I think things will shake out.
Just as one can argue that there are different types of good movies, there are also different types of bad movies. They can be bad due to directorial overreach, inane dialogue, inept acting, or awful effects. However, the worst sin a movie can commit is to be boring. Movies are inteded to entertain – when a movie fails to do even that, it is irredeemably Bad.
Boring movies are not the ones that attract legions of followers. It’s the others, the ones that fail on technical levels. The ones where we, the audience, can either point and laugh at the great heap of failure on screen, or gape open-mouthed in disbelief at what we have just seen. Those are the ones worth watching. And sometimes, even as we slog through the mountain of garbage, we discover something that makes us say, “You know, that bit wasn’t completely awful.”
So I’m watching “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” with Neil deGrasse Tyson…. and while impressive overall (the simple fact that a major network is devoting thirteen hours out of its schedule for a freakin’ science show is awesome enough!), I did cringe just a bit at the retelling of the myth of Giordano Bruno as a “martyr for science”. While they did give a bit more of his life (the fact that he was run out of towns by Protestants was new to me), they still oversimplified the case against him. He wasn’t executed for his cosmological beliefs. While they were one count in the indictment, there were seven others that were far more serious – like denying the divinity of Christ.
A recent article in The Onion, that pillar of journalistic excellence, described how Americans are bitterly divided over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine between the grossly misinformed and the wholly apathetic. While there is some justification for being apathetic, being misinformed – especially if you want to have some influence in the matter – cannot easily be forgiven.
As the situation continues to develop, it might behoove us to reflect on the history of the area. Because if the United States is going to get drawn in to the conflict, we had better know what we are getting ourselves into.
Every gold medal / medalist from the Sochi Olympics….
Feel free to leave comments either here or on YouTube.