Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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34 Responses

  1. I have a lot of movies that I watch over and over and that, to my opinion, have a sense of absurdity, although unlike your example, perhaps the movies I’m thinking of usually take themselves seriously.

    One movie that comes to mind is “Disclosure,” where Michael Douglas is sexually harassed by Demi Moore. The movie in my opinion is very ridiculous, with absurd potholes. I’m not watching it today, but I re-watch it regularly.Report

  2. Mike Schilling says:

    The first Die Hard was that for me . I think I’ve told the story of how I saw it with a Mormon co-worker, for whom an action movie and a big 7-Up was a wild and crazy night. Afterward, we used to crack each other up with “Yippie-kai-yay”, though he’d never say or even allude to the next word.

    Also T2. “Hasta la vista, baby”Report

  3. Slade the Leveller says:

    I would see anything with Bruce Willis in it. He can go from Die Hard to Twelve Monkeys to Moonrise Kingdom without blinking an eye.

    Last night we watched The Way, Way Back, which we found thoroughly enjoyable.Report

  4. NewDealer says:

    There are films and books that I like to revisit through out my life but unsurprisingly, they are not in your qualifiers. For movies, it is The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Jules and Jim, Stolen Kisses, The Last Metro, After Life, Rhapsody in August, and the Age of Innocence. For books, they are Possession by A.S. Byatt, The Cider House Rules and Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving, and Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse and some others might need to be added. Re-reading or re-watching for me is to add new understanding and new layers of complexity and notice.

    I am reading Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 by Chris Wickham, In the Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco, and a biography of JMW TurnerReport

    • Chris in reply to NewDealer says:

      First time I read N&G, when I was 18 or 19, damn book made me cry.

      I haven’t read any Hesse in years. I should go back.

      Have you read any Mann, Broch, or Fontane? If you like Hesse, those are his obvious German peers. And Glass, I suppose, though he comes later and with the war always in his mind.

      German novelists from back then are like Russians half a century earlier, only denser and more difficult ;).Report

      • Pierre Corneille in reply to Chris says:

        I’m a big Hesse fan, but I just haven’t been able to get into N&G. I’ve started reading it several times, but for some reason I’ve had a block to finishing it. Maybe it’s time to try again.

        However, reading Journey to the East, Steppenwolf, Glass Bead Game, and Demian were amazing experiences. (Demian in particular. I think I’ve noted this before at this blog, but have you read Stephen Roney’s interpretation. It might be old hat, but it was for me a new, counter-intuitive way of looking at it. Here’s the link [PDF]: )Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        That’s interesting. It’s been about 15 years since I last read Demian, which I didn’t like much at the time, so I will have to read it again to know what I think of it, but it seems a little un-Hesse like. Europe, Germany, The War, culture, and their affects on the psyche, but hell? A little too simple. But it is an early novel.Report

      • Pierre Corneille in reply to Chris says:

        Roney’s essay has got me rethinking everything else of Hesse’s that I’ve read, leading me to wonder if he (Hesse) is in fact engaging in Christian apologetics.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        That’s part of what makes me wonder. I mean, based on everything I have read about him personally, and things he said. His contemporaries (like Mann) don’t seem to have recognized it either. But it’s going to be in the back of my mind more that I have decided to read him again.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        I should expand on that. He was definitely interested in spirituality, but I don’t think he was interested in Christian apologetics, but in spiritual connections between various faiths.Report

      • Pierre Corneille in reply to Chris says:


        That’s probably true. When I read most of what I did by Hesse, I had a very naive notion of Buddhism (the Americanized live-and-let-live version….nothing particularly connected with actual Buddhist traditions) and attributed that notion reductionistically to what Hesse was trying to argue for or write about.

        When I read the Roney article in ca. 2000, I was pretty disturbed by it, both because it went strongly against my notion of what Demian had been about (but it also made and makes a lot of sense to me) and also because it challenged me to rethink Hesse’s other work that I had read. So then I started to go to the other extreme and interpret his work as on some level Christian apologetics, or, if “apologetics” is too strong word, then something like a Christian-centric exploration. Your (and from what I understand, most Hesse scholars’) more nuanced view is probably a much better way to read it.

        Still, I can’t shake that Roney article. If I were more of a literature scholar and not a mere dilettante, I’d try to look into Hesse studies and see how or whether Roney’s article was engaged or how it falls in with what other scholars have been saying.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Well, like I said, I haven’t read Hesse in years, and most of what I know about his life and views I know from reading about Mann, who is one of my favorite authors, and who had an extensive correspondence with Hesse over several decades. They talk about politics, religion, war, and their writing, so that’s where my impression comes from, but that’s a somewhat limited perspective.

        I’m definitely going to have to read Hesse again. Maybe I’ll start with Demian and Siddhartha, to dive right into the spirituality (plus they’re both short).Report

  5. rexknobus says:

    “Once Upon A time In The West” — not that I’m a total fanatic, but FemRex across the room just sighed because she could recognize the keystrokes of the title as I typed them.

    First viewing in a Hollywood Blvd theater on Labor Day (on my first off-base liberty from USMC boot camp since April 1, 1969). Went into the theater a huge Leone fan (from GB&U, mostly) and came out very disappointed. Too slow; didn’t make sense, etc. But as I moved from base to base over the next few months it sort of followed me around in base theaters and, rather than sit in the barracks or get drunk at the EM club, I’d go see it. I loved the music — still didn’t think much of the film through about the next 6 or 7 viewings. (Yeah, I know…)

    Standing in line to see it one night, some guy ahead of me was explicating the plot and structure and suddenly the whole thing made total sense. (If you ever explicated the plot standing in line at Camp Schwab, contact me immediately!) Became a fanatic. Followed it on an almost nightly basis as it toured a string of little, itty-bitty rat-infested Asian theaters. Years passed. Saw it in Paris. Taped it off Turner. Got the DVD. Got the Blu-Ray. Probably over a hundred viewings. I’m still crazed.

    (FemRex just sighed again. She knows exactly what I’m doing. I think it might be my breathing patterns.)

    I can truthfully say that I have never watched it without seeing things that I haven’t notice before. The last time was the cart of water bottles and Chinese laborers behind Frank that Cheyenne saw that inspired his suggestion to Jill. Ooooh. Goosebumps. How did I never notice that before?

    It’s most “complete” film I’ve ever seen. Every time I recommended it to someone, they ended up punching me. Not an action flick.

    But somehow it speaks volumes to me every time. Sorry for tl;dr — but I could go on and on. And be careful — I will with just the slightest urging. FemRex is approaching me with a glass of water and a little pill. I think I need to lie down.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to rexknobus says:

      (If you ever explicated the plot standing in line at Camp Schwab, contact me immediately!)

      That was me!

      Never mind. I was in line at Charles Schwab.Report

  6. Maribou says:

    What Jay watched, plus a few episodes of bones.

    Readingwise, homework and fluffy stuff (Laini Taylor, Georges St-Pierre).Report

  7. Will Truman says:

    It’s all Breaking Bad all the time before baby realizes what’s happening on TV. Except when I need to take a mental shower and then it’s a sitcom.

    Working my way through a Michael Connelly audiobook (“Trunk Music”) and trying to figure out what to get next from eMusic.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman says:

      Jesse: Yo, where’s the RV at?

      Walt: Jesse, the baby is at the age where she’s starting to understand language. Please try to set a good example and not to end your sentences with prepositions.

      Jesse: OK, where’s the RV at, bitch?Report

    • aaron david in reply to Will Truman says:

      I enjoyed Trunk Music, but in book form. The series started to go down hill after that.Report

  8. James K says:

    I recently finished Words of Radiance, the second book in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive.

    It did a great job of building on the first book, I can’t wait for the next one.Report

  9. North says:

    I read the three books of the Finovar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay the way the faithful read the bible. from end to end repeatedly over time and periodically just picking it up and reading a chapter or mere paragraph.Report

  10. Michael Cain says:

    Barry Lyndon arrived from Netflix yesterday. The first time I saw it was on a Friday night date as an undergraduate. My date and I agreed about all of the bad things: it drags, the storyline is trite, etc. She wasn’t a cinematography or music sort of person. On Saturday afternoon I went to the matinee just to watch the cinematography and listen to the music. In this day and age, when CGI and other post-production technology make it possible to add pretty much any desired effect after the fact, I was suddenly curious this month to see if the cinematography and music still hold up.Report

  11. aaron david says:

    Just finished Thomas McGuane’s essays on sport An Outside Chance, and will probably start on Hardy’s Tess of the d’Ubervilles next, but also have a Aurther Upfield mystery to read also.

    As for movies that I can watch over and over, The Thing, Millers Crossing, and Blade Runner top the list, but mostly because they have a viewpoint, which seems to be uncommon in most movies.Report

  12. KatherineMW says:

    I’ve got books that are like that, ones that I can read a virtually unlimited number of times, ones that feel like old friends and that I enjoy because of (not in spite of) remembering virtually every line before I read it.

    Jane Eyre. The Lord of the Rings. The Silmarillion (and substantial parts of Unfinished Tales. The Bible (okay, that one I haven’t near-memorized. Not even close.) My old Star Wars books (mainly the ones by Zahn). Watership Down. White Fang. Dracula. Frankenstein. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Little Women. Julius Caesar.

    The main thing they have in common is exceptional writing quality and cadence. Even setting aside plot and characters (though they’re all good in those respects as well), reading a well-written book is like looking at a wonderful landscape or beautiful piece of art. It’s good for the soul.

    (Most of the DVDs I own also fit in the can-watch-many-times category to some degree. I don’t buy DVDs unless they’re ones I want to watch repeatedly.)Report

  13. NewDealer says:

    I just got back from the Grand Hotel Budapest. It was a very Wes Anderson auld land syne to the Austrian-Hungarian empire and a certain kind of world that was largely killed in WWI and had the final plug pulled by WWII. Ralph Fiennes was excellent and I would hope that he is a contender for Best Actor in 2015 with the role. He was very funny but there was also an old-world melancholy about him.Report

  14. Jason Tank says:

    Hey @Jaybird, found this article and immediately thought of you. Some cool stuff in this, but also some sad stuff.

    Don’t read it if knowing how things work breaks your enjoyment of them.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jason Tank says:

      I actually knew those (the most surprising one of those, I think, is that the refs are often in charge of the matches).

      There are all kinds of wacky stories involved in how Vince prevented unions from forming and, well, now he’s pretty much the only game in town. Sometimes I feel guilty for enjoying the sport as much as I do but… dang, when it’s good, it’s *REALLY* good.Report

      • Reformed Republican in reply to Jaybird says:

        From everything else I have heard, I think the idea that the refs are in charge was exaggerated. I got the impression they were important for keeping the wrestlers on schedule, and the occasional emergency change to the finish, but generally the workers were in charge of the match. Maybe that has changed recently, but I have never heard wrestlers talk about refs calling their spots.Report

  15. dhex says:

    i keep re-watching the fatal farm segment from “our robocop remake”. the entire film is amazing for a very disjointed, almost too stupid to be real concept, but ff’s submission is far and away the most amazing/verhoevian.

    (if you don’t know what i’m talking about at this point, you may not want to know. it’s pretty nsfw. they did a retelling of the “robocop shoots a rapist in the junk” segment from the original ’87 film.)Report

  16. Pinky says:

    Jay, you’ve got to watch Con-Air. Imagine Jerry Bruckheimer as his Bruckheimeriest – not the domesticated TV producer, but the guy behind Top Gun and Armageddon. Now picture a dream cast of actors swinging for the fences: Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, M.C. Gainey (you’d recognize him), et cetera. Every one of them playing their parts as big as they can. Add in as many explosions and gunfights as you can handle. And the plot: Under Siege on an airplane. Except bigger. It’s genius.Report