URLs du Cathy

Cathy Seipp, one of the great sources for stellar writing, common sense, and humor in the blogosphere has passed away. To honor her memory, allow me to share links to some of her writing that I found especially good over the past couple years:

  • Cathy wrote on Bob Newhart;

  • And Richard Feynman (bet you never thought you'd see both Feynman and Newhart this close together in a single post);

  • She did a great interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker from South Park;

  • A perceptive (and prescient) look at TV shows 30 Rock and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip;

  • She looked at online privacy (funny article title: "Gladys Kravitz Nation");

  • A digression on journalistic ethics, managing to be hilarious on a serious topic and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston is a self-important humorless weenie;

  • Her skeptical take on gay marriage;

  • Her devastating review of an idiotic book about Charleton Heston;

  • Her experiences in trying to find an Oriana Fallaci book at City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, and her funny and smart blog post on the fallout from her article;

  • Her response to feedback she encountered to one of her LA Times op-eds on parents obsessed with getting their kids into selective colleges, containing the timeless observation:
    I guess they detected, just beneath the surface, my usual impatience with officious blowhards and took it personally.

  • And finally, something she wrote back in October 2005 about her illness. It probably should be bookmarked by anyone who might need to know someday about how to handle a dreadful disease with extraordinary bravery and class.

She will be greatly missed. My sympathy to her family and friends.

Hollywoodland

[Amazon Link] [3.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

Not to age myself or anything, but I still remember the shock I felt back in 1959 when I read that George Reeves, star of the old Adventures of Superman TV show had shot himself. So you might think I was an obvious sucker for this movie, centered around that event. But … it's just OK.

The movie follows two timetracks: the first is that of seedy PI Louis Simo, played by Adrien Brody, hired by Reeves' mother to investigate the alleged suicide. The second details how Reeves (played by Ben Affleck) progressed from a 1940s player of bit parts, to getting cast (and typecast) as Superman, to becoming a dead guy, all while making bad romantic choices.

Acting ranges from OK to really good, although—sorry, Ben!—Affleck is only sporadically a good fit for Reeves. Neither the fictional Simo nor the fictionalized Reeves is much of a hero. And—possible spoiler here—although different scenarios are presented as to how Reeves' death could have been other than suicide, that little detail remains unresolved at the end of the movie, just like in real life. There is some effort to draw parallels between the life paths of Simo and Reeves, but that seems strained and ultimately lame.

The movie looks great, though, and there's some cleverness in inserting Affleck into Reeves' TV and movie roles.


Last Modified 2012-10-19 2:23 PM EDT