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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28 Responses

  1. Saul DeGraw says:

    Owen Glendower by John Cowper PowysReport

  2. Mike Schilling says:

    I just started watching Luther. Idris is amazing (It’s a shame the Luthers have no kids, as they would be the best-looking people who ever lived), but the supporting actors other than the Big Bad, are just OK, and the first episode moves ponderously. Not for the usual exposition-related reasons: we get told that he’s a troubled, obsessive cop, and that this causes problems for him both at work and at home quite efficiently. It’s once the plot gets going that the show starts to meander.Report

  3. Will Truman says:

    I finished Breaking Bad! Finally!

    @mike-schilling and @glyph… With regard to the purity the conversation from last week…

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  4. Tod Kelly says:

    I have been sick as a dog all week with a really nasty sinus infection that I assume I picked up on the airplane back from OK. Just the acts of coughing, talking in more than a a whisper or swallowing water set off searing pain in my inner ears and the surrounding area.

    On the airplane I did start to get into the show Elementary, which I like a lot. It’s hard not to see it as a twist on Sherlock (as opposed to a twist on the Conan Doyle novels), but once I let go of comparing Johnny Lee Miller to Cumberbatch and rolling my eyes about the potential romantic interest lines with Watson and just let Elementary by Elementary on its own, I found that I was really enjoying it.

    I also started Dance With Dragons, which so far is less of a slog that Feast for Crows. (Or, perhaps, I just really needed an extended break from the series.) I am also just starting George Packer’s The Unwinding and the new release novel The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.

    I saw that Pratchett’s latest is out, but the past several have been going downhill (maybe because of the Alzheimer’s) and I’m not sure I want to read it. I prefer to think of him at the top of his game, which he was for so very long.Report

  5. Fish says:

    Almost finished with the first volume of Gulag Archipelago. The exchanges between the prosecutor and the defendants can be amusing to read when the defendants don’t want to play along with the party:

    “Why did you prevent the people from baking bread in your district?”
    “Because the party cut off our supplies of flour and oil and forbade us from baking bread in privately owned ovens.”
    “So you admit to wrecking by leaving the people hungry and causing long bread lines?”
    “Well, if I’m guilty of wrecking, why didn’t you stop me? After all, you are the head of the party in my district!”
    “Errr…prosecution calls for an immediate recess…”Report

  6. trizzlor says:

    I can’t recommend enough the Sunday Times feature essay on the search for infamous blues musicians Geeshie Wiley and Elvie Thomas. The author, John Jeremiah Sullivan, happens to be a generally amazing essayist, but the reverence he has for this story and everyone involved is palpable.Report

  7. Glyph says:

    Aw, too bad.

    There isn’t a moral center to the show, really. There doesn’t seem to be a good or an evil, just order and chaos.

    Hmmm. Not sure I agree with this entirely, Graham in particular is doing what he believes to be right, though there is certainly more than a bit of the whole “stare long into the abyss etc.” thing going on, and it is wrecking him. But the toll that monster-hunting takes on the monster-hunter is a common trope. Even in Batman.

    Hannibal seems to be doing what he’s doing because he wants to see what happens next. He’s detatched, like a guy looking at slides of swamp water through a microscope.

    This is definitely true from one angle. Hannibal gets off on having a godlike* view of the universe – so saving someone, can be just as interesting to him as killing them. He’s motivated by curiosity as much as anything.

    From another perspective, he does have feelings and even occasionally a kind of regret or remorse (it’s stated he’s not a psychopath – “there’s not a word for what he is”*), he very much is lonely, and his sick games w/r/t Graham are his version of trying to make a friend; someone who understands him.

    Except, you do NOT want Hannibal to be your “friend”. He’s…just not very good at that.

    In fact, he is TERRIBLE.

    *Mads Mikkelson and Bryan Fuller have talked a lot about how Mikkelson is actually playing Lecter as Lucifer, and they’ve emphasized this in the framing of certain shots. There’s also a lot of thematic linkage between this Lecter, and Stoker’s Dracula mythos as well. He’s one of the more interesting monsters out there.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Glyph says:

      Leave Batman alone.

      I more get the feeling that Lecter’s not making friends as much as making peers. Graham, the adolescent girl, the reporter… These are all people that he’s trying to improve. For some weird values of “improve”, of course.

      I prefer Hannibal in a cage.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

        I only brought up Batman because you did! But I don’t think the game being played here between Graham and Lecter is all that different from the one between Batman and the Joker, is it? Lecter even wears dapper-yet-flashy suits! (Side note: has there ever been a storyline where Joker had to pretend to be “normal” for an extended period of time? How did that work? Was it painful for him?)

        (Pursuing this thought further, think of Hannibal as an extended riff on The Killing Joke, except Lecter is marginally more…subtle than Joker. Or, like I said, Dracula – Lecter mesmerizing and manipulating his “familiars” to carry out his will, so that he can feed. And Graham even has “flies”, like Renfield.)

        Anyway, one of the funny things about Hannibal is that he is often giving “good”, honest/insightful advice or therapy to the other characters – though sometimes for self-serving purposes.

        And yeah, he definitely tries to create a little “family” with Graham and Abigail. I have only read Dragon and Silence, so I don’t know all the character’s history, but I gather he has some sort of old-world childhood family trauma, I am unsure if that was being played out somehow here.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well, they *DID* do a good job of getting me to feel strange versions of real emotions.

        Hannibal inspires fascination and curiosity rather than revulsion. Out of all of the ensemble characters, who do I hate the most? The Blogger/Reporter. (Dude! In any real universe, I’d be hating Hannibal and cheering the Blogger!)

        I do think that she responded surprisingly healthily to, erm, “that conversation she was having with the police officer that was interrupted”. But I’m sure that the show gets into that.

        Anyway, are you able to say that if I haven’t been hooked by the show so far that I’m not going to get hooked next episode (or the one after that)?

        (Oh, also, it strikes me that Graham wouldn’t sleep in his bed. He’d sleep in a pile with the dogs. But that’s another thing.)Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

        If it hasn’t grabbed you yet, I am not sure if more will do it. I was in from episode one, and I feel the show’s quality (and what it’s up to) has stayed remarkably consistent (not like say,Fringe, which took a while to find its voice) The blogger/reporter is hilariously sleazily-unethical (as is Chilton). Hannibal’s “person mask” does start to slip as the series goes on, but they have doled that out in dribs and drabs (to my mind, to great effect – the Hannibal you see in the movies – Anthony Hopkins’ version – is the one after the jig is up, and he no longer has to pretend to be human. He is free to camp it up and “perform” for people.)

        Though it’s too bad you won’t get to see Gillian Anderson, who somehow manages to give Mikkelson quite a run in the “cold as ice” acting contest.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

        And man, the guest stars. Lance Henriksen! Amanda Plummer!

        And the movie homages and sly in-jokes (The Shining, more than once, and Pulp Fiction among them).

        God, I love this show.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Okay. I regret to inform that I am putting the show down. Perhaps I will be able to pick it back up in a few… but it’s more in the “Dexter” category than the “Fringe” one.

        Fringe had Walter.

        Hannibal (the show) needs a Walter.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

        Sorry to hear – but trust me when I say this is no Dexter (a show with a completely squandered premise and a muddled idea of what it wanted to do) – this show never forgets what Hannibal is, like Dexter did.

        He’s always the Joker, he’s never Batman.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

        Also, there be spoilers for S1 herein, but if you don’t plan to watch, you may enjoy this analysis:

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Ah, perfect. Thank you.Report

  8. Maribou says:

    I finished that Janet Malcolm book. I do so enjoy her prose style, she could write about just about anything and I would be happy. Her piece on Virginia Woolf was particularly good, though.

    I’m in the middle of a collection of essays on Shakespeare by people who in some way or another live with him (actors, scholars, comic book writers, etc.) which is also quite good.

    Watched a bit more of Game of Thrones Seasons 3.

    I’ve read a quite sizable chunk of The Interestings for someone who supposedly isn’t going to read it just yet, because it’s really, well, interesting.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Maribou says:

      (The Interestings, btw, scratches my “Judy Blume for grown-ups” itch much more so than Judy Blume’s adult novels do. I suspect the author would not take that as a compliment, but she would be wrong.)Report

  9. Neil Obstat says:

    Just finished _Cyberabad_Days_ by Ian McDonald. Collection of short stories takes place in a future India, which by it’s centennial, is split into several republics. Compelling intermix of technology/culture/religious issues. Author’s won a couple Hugo awards for his work.

    I think it would appeal to anyone who appreciated William Gibson’s novels, but without the noir overtones.Report

  10. Pyre says:

    I played the Batman: Blackgate demo again. Upon the second time, I remembered what was familiar with the fighting system.

    I believe that, at the time, I told you that this game was Arkham Asylum for XBLA. In some ways, it still does a better job because it is in 3D rather than 2D. Still Blackgate still does an admirable job and I look forward to the day it qualifies for purchase.

    Also, as of today, I’m 3-for-3 in ducking Jury Duty. Admittedly, I’m not as good as the woman who felt that being arrested was a presumption of guilt or the woman who felt that drinking was inherently immoral but I still got the job done. ^_^Report

  11. Mike Dwyer says:

    I’ve been geeking out on Vikings (History Channel). From my limited knowledge of their culture and the surrounding time period it is pretty accurate. Also somewhat Game of Thrones-eque in that it is heavily entrenched in backstabbing and alliances. I just wish it wasn’t so dang long between seasons.

    Suits just finished up another great season. It’s an interesting take on the typical lawyer show as they hardly ever see the inside of a courtroom (the hero lawyer of the show prides himself on always settling out of court) and it’s based in corporate law so the legal reasoning is challenging to follow for a layman like myself. The cast is all filled with beautiful people so there’s eye-candy for both sexes of viewers. Short layoff and then it is back in June.

    I loaded up the DVR with random documentaries from PBS a few weeks ago. The Birth and Death of Penn Station was fascinating but no other gems yet.

    Getting ready to start a book called The Lost City of Z which is the true story about the search for a lost city in the Amazon.Report