The news from Fuddles, MN: Lileks refrains from scolding an immigrant clerk for her misguided patriotism and a native clerk for her failure to know who took a photograph that appeared on the cover of an issue of Life magazine from 40 years before she was born. He then (rightly) critiques a dumb NYT piece about how Super Bowl ads reflect the violence in Iraq, but goes on to (wrongly) critique those same ads for not being all macho-patriotic and featuring American fightin' men who spur us all on to victory. Because, you know, this war is JUST LIKE WWII, right? As these shitheads have told us about a billion times? Except in the ways that it isn't, which is all of them.
I have finally gotten around to watching Battlestar Galactica, which isn't the greatest show ever made (that would be The Wire), but it's fantastic for what it is, and pretty damn good even removed from what it is. I have three observations, only two of which are horribly sexist.
Observation the number one: many, many of the women on this show are very attractive. I find this distracting. It would be nice if I didn't have to be pulled away from the narrative by constant shots of crazy Dr. Baltar's fantasy Cylon giving him invisible blowjobs, or a sweaty, dissheveled Grace Park pouting in a sports bra, but what can be done about it? It would appear that nothing can be done about it.
Observation the number two: it's all well and good for me to have my fun at the expense of the "STARBUCK IS A MAN DAMMIT" squeakers who can't get over the soul-razing horror of gender ambiguity, but here is something I've noticed about Katee Sackhoff. No, not that she has a funny name. It's that she's a good actress. I mean, a quite amazingly good one -- her range of expression is incredible for an actress that young, and towards the end of season 2, where they really give her a chance to expand the character and express some emotions and an inner life largely absent from the Starbuck character in S1, she turns out to be pretty damn phenomenal. Her little facial asides and habit of gurning in awkward moments is both endearing and surprising. (It's also revelatory when put up against Edward James Olmos, who gets all the attention but is running his role on complete autopilot. In season 2, where he has to pretend to cry, it's like watching an iceberg try to mount the parallel bars.) Here is another thing about Katee Sackhoff: she is hot.
Observation the number three: the interesting thing about the political/topical references on the show: while they're frequently pretty obvious, they've shown a surprisingly light touch -- they're never particularly heavy-handed. You can clearly see what Iraq/terror-war/US political metaphor they're trying to draw, but the way it's carried out rarely involves beating you over the head. I dunno if they can keep walking on glass forever -- towards the end of S2, a few of the parallels get pretty weighty -- but it's been a pleasant surprise thus far.
I finally got back on the cooking wagon this week, as part of an overall attempt to reduce my fatal levels of fatness. (I'd like to say I'm drinking less, too, but whom exactly do I think I am kidding?) I got a new wok, forced my way into a neighbor's kitchen, and made dinner (as opposed to buying dinner or getting dinner from a can) four nights out of the last five, including a lovely vegetarian mushroom stir-fry with rice sticks, and a beef bowl with daikon and wasabi sauce. I've missed cooking, and if I keep it up, I think I can get good at it again, even with my limited kitchen facilities, which is an end in and of itself. Now, if I can just lay in a good store of cookbooks again...hello, Paperback Swap!