June 15th, 2003

little review

Poem for Sunday

( Poet's Choice: Ishikawa Takuboku )

This week's Washington Post Book World column by Edward Hirsch (linked above) is on tanka, a 31-syllable form of Japanese poetry. Takuboku's was nontraditional:

What prompted her --
Flinging aside that toy --
To gently come and sit by me?


In the weeks since I first saw Equilibrium, it hit me at some point that the luscious Christian Bale had been the little boy in Empire of the Sun, which I hadn't seen since the early 1990s. Last night after midnight for some inexplicable reason, I found our old videotape of the film off HBO and put it on. I am SO glad I didn't remember what he looked like as a child when I was drooling over him in Equilibrium and Velvet Goldmine!

Here's my review of The World of King Arthur for The Green Man Review. For some reason they gave me an EIWA for this one, though I thought my review of The Da Vinci Code was better. Maybe because I haven't reviewed any non-fiction for them for ages, though I have a bunch of books on Jewish mysticism I need to write up next week before going out of town.

Two quick Times arts section articles I made it through this morning: very clever Maureen Dowd on The Stepford Wives and an incredibly stupid article on whether there are too many Holocaust documentaries, because why would we want to document the past while there are still survivors because it would be so much more creative to do something different like focus on the perpetrators? Don't get me wrong -- I think there is an article to be written on the obsession with Holocaust documentaries, global memory and Israeli politics. I don't think there is any question that the Holocaust gets situated strangely in Jewish art and society, particularly in the U.S. But we have a unique opportunity NOT to let survivor voices get lost the way the Cathars were lost, the way no one here knows anything about what happened to the Armenians in Turkey, the way so many American slave voices were lost...what kind of artistic or moral sense does it make not to preserve them while we can?

Off to do Father's Day stuff with my parents, husband and kids. Have a great day everyone who is celebrating!
little review

Surreal Government

This is the illustration in the print newspaper for this Washington Post article, entitled "What I Bring To the Podium" -- TV producer Peter Mehlman's mock application for the job of White House Press Secretary:



Spent the afternoon admiring my father's new flat screen plasma television that he bought himself for his 65th birthday (we all watched Spider-Man), then playing out back for awhile before going out for teriyaki noodles. My mother made German chocolate cake. Yep, that makes it four days in a row that I've had cake. Blaargh!

In other news, I am finding myself more irked about some aspects of the ending of Angels and Demons the more I think about them. I am really glad I read The Da Vinci Code first and was less focused on exactly how much of a grudge Dan Brown might have against the Catholic Church.

Happy Father's Day everyone!