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Wrong? How Should I Know What's Wrong? I'm Not Some Greek Philosopher - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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June 2nd, 2011


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11:11 pm - Wrong? How Should I Know What's Wrong? I'm Not Some Greek Philosopher
Do we not like talking about TV anymore? I thought a whole week of television show posts would be well received, but no one seems to want to talk about Mr. Show with Bob and David (ZERO people are interested in hilarious sketch comedy? Even when you can watch sketches on YouTube and talk about them with me?), Breaking Bad (this show is amazing, we need to talk about it), or Sherlock (okay, I guess some people want to talk about Sherlock, at least).



For Christmas a year ago, Shir sent me the most amazing white chocolate from Israel. But she also sent me a book: Someone to Run With, by David Grossman. Apparently it was a "runaway bestseller" in Israel, but I had never heard of it or the author, so here was a good opportunity to experience some world literature! And learn about contemporary Jerusalem through fiction!

Someone to Run With is the deceptively simple tale of a teenage boy and teenage girl on the streets of Jerusalem. I say deceptively simple because I stole that from a review on the cover but also because it's accurate: while the actual plot could be summarized in just a few sentences, Grossman expands the details into something more meaningful.

Today, Assaf is trying to return a lost dog to its rightful owner.

A month ago, Tamar and her dog were setting up a cave to bring an unidentified man or boy to.

We follow these dual narratives, as Assaf travels the streets of Jerusalem, letting the dog lead him down the right path in search of clues that will lead him to Tamar. Meanwhile, a month ago, Tamar has some sort of plan she is executing that appears to involve some sort of rescue from seedy folk. We patiently/impatiently wait for these two narratives to finally converge. What the hell is her plan? Will she be successful? How does she lose her dog? Will Assaf find her? Will Assaf, as he meets person after person from her life and learns more about her, slowly fall in love with this girl he's never met? (Psst. The answer to that last one is yes, of course. Also the answer to the question, Is it totally adorable?)

Besides the narrative hijinks, the major strength of the book is that Assaf and Tamar, being the two central characters, are so interesting and likable you really, truly root for them. Assaf is kind of insecure and unsure about his future, and he's not sure how he relates to his friends and family anymore. Tamar is basically just awesome, and even though we begin the book with Assaf, the book is truly her story, as even Assaf's story is generally about her. She's a badass singer who'll do whatever it takes, and, well, I like Assaf and all, but I was always excited whenever we switched back to her perspective.

It's a bit Dickensian in its plot elements and—to steal another phrase—improbable strokes of fortune, but I love that shit. As for its depiction of Jerusalem, I now know that there are a lot of street performers and people know all these songs that I have never heard of—in addition to popular American music as well. I don't think Someone to Run With is a great title, but it's a lovely novel.



So the critics were right! Fast Five is pretty awesome!! It's easily the best since the original, and it may even be better, which I am very happy about after the disappointing fourth one. It's like Ocean's Eleven with fast cars and only one white dude. It's like they figured out everything that worked about the franchise and distilled it down to AWESOME. What does a Fast and the Furious heist movie look like? Well, it surely involves an insanely exciting car chase with massive amounts of collateral damage, I'll tell you what.

I love that the team comprises characters from all four movies, giving the franchise a sense of continuity and creating a makeshift family of criminals (and you know I love the old Family You Make for Yourself theme). I love that it takes place in Rio de Janeiro. And I love that Gal Gadot is superultramegafucking hot, holy shit.

Bring on the next one (which, as some clever person on the Internet quipped, I hope is called Speedy Six)!!
Current Mood: uncomfortableuncomfortable
Current Music: Manchester Orchestra - I've Got Friends

(26 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


From:sabra_n
Date:June 3rd, 2011 07:38 am (UTC)
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Just for a little context: David Grossman is one of the good guys, truly. He's long been a protester against the mistreatment of the Palestinians, and he's held on to the philosophy that outreach to Palestinians is better than, you know, trampling their land and building settlements on it. And even though he was in favor of the last Lebanon war, it was especially heartbreaking when his son was killed there. He's lived the nightmare of every Israeli parent, and he's...still at it. Protesting settlements and speaking up for the seeming minority of Israelis who don't want to hole the country up in an impenetrable shell.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC)
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That's cool! I mean, not cool cool, but...good.
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From:sisterjune
Date:June 4th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
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as someone of palestinian descent its always great to hear about israeli's who can understand the plight of palestinians and wants to help. so yeah, i might try to learn more about this guy in the future.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
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HURRAH!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
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You should check out this article, subtitled "Why a movie about car thieves is the most progressive force in American cinema."

Edited at 2011-06-03 06:47 pm (UTC)
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From:etherealclarity
Date:June 3rd, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
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Of the three shows you talked about, the only one I've seen anything of is Breaking Bad. I saw the pilot and honestly disliked it. I just really didn't care about any of the characters, and maybe I got a little fed up with the whole suburban-drug-trade thing after Weeds went downhill in its 4th season.

I'm definitely interested in checking out Sherlock after your write up though.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
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I just really didn't care about any of the characters, and maybe I got a little fed up with the whole suburban-drug-trade thing after Weeds went downhill in its 4th season.
I can understand the latter feeling, but Breaking Bad does not go downhill. In fact, it goes uphill. It's a very different show, and it's not so much about the suburban drug trade as the drug trade in general. Lot more danger!

The first season is excellent and short, though, if you want to give it another chance. Sherlock is also excellent and short!
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From:daynr
Date:June 3rd, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
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I haven't watched any of those shows, though I'm debating breaking bad. I'm not sure I am ready for some more anxiety in my life, though. (tension --> anxiety.)

I am watching the final FNL season as NBC airs it, though, and we can talk about that. It's not original flavor, but I like it.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
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I am amazed at how good FNL is. I watched it when it aired on DirecTV, so I don't know where NBC is at, although I know they've gotten to the thing with Julie, which was probably the weakest part. But it's truly impressive that they basically replaced half their cast in the fourth season and I actually cared about them so much.
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From:daynr
Date:June 3rd, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
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The Taylor's just had a team bbq, they just beat the Panthers, and QB1 has just embraced his dad the suck and started being recruited. Julie is still at home.

I don't love any of the individual characters they way I loved a few in season 1, but I do still think it's an amazing show. And that they've done a good job. The Julie thing is frustrating, because I want to shake her, but I think it's well done. I think Jesse, equipment girl, is lame and unbuyable, and I liked Luke better in season 4. I keep wishing for Hastings to not be so empty!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
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QB1 has just embraced his dad the suck
Oh man, his dad the suck is SUCH THE SUCK.

I think Jesse, equipment girl, is lame and unbuyable
Noooo, I love Jess!
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From:lareinenoire
Date:June 3rd, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
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I read your Breaking Bad post but haven't replied because I haven't finished catching up on it; once I do, I will probably go crazy if my husband's reaction is anything to go by. He's been raving about it for months now but I only now have time to really play catch-up on TV.

I did love Sherlock, though. Have been meaning to rewatch at least the first one, though the most recent Doctor Who gets first priority. :)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
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I read your Breaking Bad post but haven't replied because I haven't finished catching up on it
Ooh, how far are you? My post doesn't contain spoilers (my pimping posts rarely contain spoilers past the basic concept).

once I do, I will probably go crazy if my husband's reaction is anything to go by.
Yeah, pretty much. NEED NEW SEASON NOW.
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From:lareinenoire
Date:June 3rd, 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
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I'm about midway through Season 2, but apparently Season 3 is positively epic.

At present, I've been devouring The Borgias and Game of Thrones, and of course Doctor Who.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
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I'm about midway through Season 2, but apparently Season 3 is positively epic.
Midway? Oh man, shit has not even begun to get real! And then it gets realer!

I don't have any interest in Borgias; I want to read Game of Thrones at some point, so I haven't been watching; but I've been loving the shit out of Doctor Who! TOMORROOOOOOOOOW.
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From:sophia_helix
Date:June 3rd, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
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I've watched a little Mr. Show, but the humor doesn't really seem to be my taste. We watched the first season of BB shortly after it aired and really liked it, but I kept not wanting to watch more because it was grim and stressful (even with its black comedy) and I needed happy TV. But obviously I can talk about Sherlock.

The other option is that now you have time to watch the shows that I watch and then we can talk about them! I AM THE GHOST OF DJ ROOMBA!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 3rd, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
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SOON, YOU.

ALSO YOU ARE COMING DOWN HERE NEXT WEEKEND RIIIIIGHT?
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From:sophia_helix
Date:June 4th, 2011 03:09 am (UTC)
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ALSO COMMUNITY.

Also A. is social director this time, so talk to him, and also I think R. wants to join in and she asked me to ask you.
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From:shamoogity
Date:June 4th, 2011 08:02 am (UTC)
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I still read and enjoy all your posts! But not having seen the shows/movies/books you're discussing, I don't have comments. People are still reading though, I promise.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 4th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! It's nice to be reminded because without comments, I have no idea who's reading, you know?
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From:thetheatremouse
Date:June 4th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
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It's easily the best since the original
This phrase is quite difficult for me to parse...
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 4th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
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DON'T JUDGE ME.
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From:incidentist
Date:June 4th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
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Wellll Robin and I watched the musical joke one, and it was okay. I've watched some Mr Show and...it's funny, and different (so I see why it's sort of a cult classic), but not so funny that I needed to watch a bunch of it. And I think the musical joke thing (and maybe other sketches?) works better in the context of full episodes, or marathons thereof.

I want to watch Sherlock.

And we're all done with Community so you should take those DVDs back and watch the shit out of it so that we can talk about it and/or hurl quotes at eachother.

I might have to get drunk and watch Fast Five at some point.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 5th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
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And I think the musical joke thing (and maybe other sketches?) works better in the context of full episodes
"Joke: The Musical" is particularly hilarious in context because it pulls together various bits of the episode, but I think most can be appreciated on their own.

I want to watch Sherlock.
You should.

And we're all done with Community so you should take those DVDs back and watch the shit out of it so that we can talk about it and/or hurl quotes at eachother.
Yes! We should exchange things tonight!

I might have to get drunk and watch Fast Five at some point.
All right, but don't drink and drive.
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From:sisterjune
Date:June 4th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
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I always like your tv posts best. You're the reason I ever bothered to check out spaced! Which then became my favoritest of favorite british shows. <3
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From:spectralbovine
Date:June 5th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
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Aw, yay!

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