‘No One Loves Dick Whitman’

I have nothing of substance on my mind today, but there are plenty of little things I’d like to ramble about. Let’s not call this a linkdump, because that sounds gross. Instead, let’s go with ‘here are some interesting things you may find interesting as well.’ I think that flows better, anyway.

— Mad Men is back. I’m sure if you’re a fan you’ve already noticed. If you were online at 9 p.m. Sunday night I’d imagine you also figured it out.

Season Five’s two-hour premiere was actually the first episode I’ve watched live as it airs. I started watching the first season on DVD during its long hiatus and caught up shortly after Season Four hit store shelves on DVD.

It’s one of my favorite television shows and, based on Sunday night, plenty of people seem to agree. There have been a lot of stories, recaps and power rankings out there about Mad Men’s return if two hours of Draper and Co. wasn’t enough to get your fix.

Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift has a very interesting look at the show and how it relates to her own career with the magazine, which put the show on its cover.

After that you have an AV Club interview with Jon Hamm which was quite endearing. Don’t forget, the guy used to be a commenter on Deadspin and hates Kim Kardashian. Talk about hitting it out of the park.

If you’re in the mood for something heavier, you could print out this Los Angeles Review of Books piece and murder someone with it if dropped from a second floor balcony.

— Over the last week I’ve read the first Hunger Games book, then saw the movie and started reading the second one. Call it work research. In any case, I have decidedly mixed reviews of both. It’s essentially The Running Man Jr., like those plays they put on in middle school where they took out all the good stuff. I know plenty of people adore the books, and I’m not here to rain on anyone’s parade, but I was a bit let down overall.

I’ll be brief, but the major elements of the books — hunger and games death are things I’ve seen done elsewhere and much better. It’s young adult material, sure, but the agony of starvation seen in The Road or the ‘holy crap did that just happen’ effect of Catch 22 has always stuck with me as I read other books.

Perhaps that’s unfair. Also, maybe it’s unfair that I read this and can’t shake the difficulty for those oppressed to act, or even believe in, some sort of rebellion. Knowing that environment, that lack of hope exists on this planet right now really changes the way you read dystopian future aimed at children.

I’m fascinated by the cultural impact of the series, however, but maybe it’s just the three years of marketing doing all that work and nothing more. Sigh. Moving on…

— I’m not a huge fan of mobile video games, but I’ve enjoyed my brief foray into Draw Something. Corey and I talked about it on our most recent podcast, but one of the things I like about it is that it’s a cooperative game. Both parties are interested in winning, and often how well you know the person you’re playing determines how much fun you have.

I’m a terrible artist with fat fingers and I’ve had a lot of fun drawing awful Miley Cyruses and Tumblr logos. The iPhone app is a bit clunky at times, but I’m sure ‘_____ With Friends’ conglomerate Zynga’s recent purchase of its maker will give the platform a kick in the right direction. Those monsters.

Admittedly I’m not a very big fan of paying for applications on my phone. I’ve actually purchased one: the MLB At Bat app that let me watch Red Sox games on it last season. This year, full access to that comes ‘free’ with my MLB.tv subscription.

Still, I’ve got $20-something in iTunes giftcards sitting around and I may spring for English Country Tune, which The New Yorker calls “ridiculously difficult.” Somehow, that sounds worth five bucks.

Also, there’s a ton of hype surrounding the new Angry Birds Space game, which is actually quite fun. The weird ways they use gravity and the space setting is different and makes for some interesting levels. But hey, a lot of freaking people have downloaded this game. They certainly don’t need my help to sell it.

— If you really need something else to read, this piece about hitmakers in the music industry from The New Yorker is a great, horrifying read. Those type of ‘how the sausage gets made’ pieces are always interesting, and this one is very well done. You’ll hate the subject and feel sorry for her at the same time, which is the perfect way to feel about an unhappy millionaire.

One Comment

  1. Mike

    If you’re interested in the agony of starvation done well in film, you might want to check out Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in Winter’s Bone if you haven’t done so already. You get to see a young woman go through a whole lot of unpleasant things because she has no other option if she wants to feed her family, a portion of which is actually imposing the unpleasantness on her. Great performance that netted her an Oscar nomination.