No sleep till Brooklyn

… please, someone, send me to Brooklyn.

#REVIEW: DUNE (2021)

I think the most damning thing I can say about Dune is that even now that I’ve started typing I kind of want to bail on the idea of writing a review.

I am more of a Dune fan than most people but not very much of a Dune fan, if that makes any sense. I have read (and, to be clear, enjoyed) the original novel four or five times, maybe, most recently within the last couple of years, but have never picked up any of the sequels, a fact I consider rectifying every year and never do. Over the last few days I’ve seen lots of people pretending the novel is terribly complex and difficult to read and I don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s long, yeah, but it’s perfectly readable. I have not seen the 1980s original film, either, although my wife keeps threatening to make me watch it, and is probably going to ramp up her campaign now that we’ve watched this one. Frankly, were she not interested in seeing the new film, I wouldn’t have watched it.

It’s … meh.

It’s pretty. It’s got an awesome sense of scale; anytime you’re looking at something that’s supposed to be real real big there’s always something in frame to make it clear just how colossal whatever you’re looking at is. And if I stop typing right now, I can move on with the process of forgetting that I saw it, which I suspect will take all of a day or two. Even complaining about it for a few more paragraphs will give my dislike of the movie more weight than it deserves; I barely have the energy right now to point out the bits that I didn’t like. I mean … bullet points? And not worrying about complete sentences? Sure, let’s try that.

  • The casting is terrible. Every actor is either bad, distracting, or Timothée Challawhatever, who is not remotely heroic. Why is Drax in this?
  • Jessica always, always, always crying
  • Slooooooow-mooooooooo. If they’d cut half of the slow-motion they could have included some, like, context for this nonsense
  • This movie is very serious
  • The phrase “my boy!” is 50% of Jason Momoa’s dialogue and he somehow isn’t even pretty in this movie
  • Terrible pacing. At one point they cut away from a plane crash so we can have a brief scene of a fat man taking a bath.
  • The fat man isn’t even fat enough. I’m fatter than this guy. I want my levitation belt.
  • brown
  • The Gom Jabbar scene is the best part of the book and Chalamet looks like he’s struggling to hold off an orgasm for half of it
  • half the film is inappropriately-timed dream sequences
  • The Harkonnens are, like, cartoonishly evil on a level with Cobra Commander and Skeletor
  • bleh

I mean, see it if you want to, I suppose, it’s not going to, like, hurt or anything, unless you see it in a theater and get Covid-19, and man, dying because you went to see Dune has to be the worst way to go ever.

On (not) being Catholic

I am, by any reasonable standard, a grown-ass man. Furthermore, by most reasonable standards I’ve been a grown-ass man for a couple of decades or more. You would think, after all this time, I would have some idea of what I was like. In fact, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that of all the available topics for me to know things about, “what I’m like” should really be at least in the top five or so in terms of how much I know about that topic compared to other people.

And yet.

I am an atheist. I have been an atheist for my entire life; there has never been even a single minute where I believed in God. My family is Catholic on both sides; my Mom actually attended Catholic schools for at least most of her pre-college education, and I think my Dad went to Catholic schools before high school. I could be wrong about that, but he’ll see this, so he can let me know. They made no attempt to raise me in the Church– I wasn’t baptized, never attended confirmation or anything like that, and we never went to church except for very rare occasions with my grandmother on Dad’s side. That said, I have referred to myself as “biologically Catholic” on any number of occasions– look, I just did it again right there— and I can fake Catholicism way better than I can fake other religions. My first teaching job was at a Catholic school– that’s the church right there, in that picture– and while I didn’t participate in prayers or anything like that I got along with everyone just fine and I was never aware of anyone being upset (or, frankly, aware) of the heathen in their midst.

Why do I mention this? We went to a funeral on Thursday, and said funeral was at a white Protestant church. And when I say “Protestant,” I don’t mean, like, Lutherans or something, where their Protestantism is basically Catholicism with some of the edges sanded off, I mean, like, there were chairs and shit, and there was a fucking drum set behind the altar. At one point a man got up to sing, and that man who was singing was wearing blue jeans and a plaid shirt at a funeral.

The Lord’s Prayer cannot be made into a song, by the way. He tried. He tried mightily. And he was talented! But that prayer is not a song.

Now, I feel the need to make something clear here: I have spent plenty of time in my life attacking religion. I’ve mellowed out a lot about it as I’ve gotten older, but I’ve done it. This isn’t that. Everyone at that church was perfectly nice, the service was fine other than the singing-the-Lord’s-prayer bit, and other than basically thinking the entire thing is fundamentally ridiculous I don’t give much of a shit how people practice their religion so long as it doesn’t affect me, and that drum set on the stage did not affect me one bit. But I’ve got to admit something: I was really surprised at how strong my reaction to seeing the actual sanctuary was. That picture up there is what I’m used to, y’all. And I had twenty or thirty oh what the fuck moments within my first fifteen minutes or so inside that place. I’m not necessarily comfortable in Catholic churches but at least I understand them, right? This? This I don’t get. Like, I know most Christian denominations don’t really go for robes and stoles and collars and such but apparently I really like being able to pick the pastor out in a crowd? And this guy was just, like, a dude in a suit, like a dozen other people in the building.

Who knew.

It’s a no bones day

I’m gonna go read a book.

There and back again

We have returned from our voyage to the northern wilds of Michigan. I have officially missed Parent/Teacher conferences, and in accordance with prophecy I am exhausted. I do actually have a couple of things worth talking about, but … yeah, that bit about prophecy. They can wait until tomorrow or the day after.

Meanwhile, I do believe I promised you a picture. This is even relevant to one of those future posts! Consider it a teaser.