Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Last night I bought a jar of Francis Ford Coppola's Mammarella brand puttanesca sauce. On the back of the jar, there's this message bearing the signature of Coppola himself;

This is of course named after the "ladies of the night" (puttane) who originated this sauce. At first, I was reluctant to put the picture of my mom at the innocent age of 17 on the same label with this name, but I like it so much I'm sure she won't mind.

I guess things have gotten ugly in the world of celebrity pasta sauce since Paul Newman died. It is incredibly good sauce, though.

Coppola seems to have become quite the diversified entrepreneur. I'm rather curious about those short story collections with stories by Tom Waits and Woody Allen.

My sister and I were supposed to go to Disneyland to-day, but unforeseen circumstances required postponement. Last night, she and I watched Duck Soup, a gripping and unrelentingly brutal depiction of warfare in the early twentieth century. Or perhaps not.

To-day's Lewis Carroll's birthday. Some might point to Duck Soup and Carroll's work as evidence that my idea about "credibility" in storytelling has no weight. On the contrary, both works support my idea. In the case of The Marx Brothers, the credibility I'm referring to comes from the central players maintaining fidelity to their characters even at the sacrifice of traditional verisimilitude. When Groucho slides down a pole during the ball at the beginning and joins the ranks of saluting soldiers with his cigar, there are a million different things that don't make sense, but all of it serves to display and enhance Groucho's character. Again, letting the audience in on the fun.

As for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, we have a world that's consistently nonsense, and Alice's character, more importantly, is consistent. The contrast between her consistency and the world's strangeness is actually a perfect illustration of the balance between credibility and surprise I was talking about.

I watched the sixth episode of Battlestar Galactica's second season last night. I didn't like it nearly as much as the previous episode, but it wasn't all bad. I was disappointed to see that apparently Starbuck does actually seem to trust Sharon, at least more than Apollo does. I don't quite understand why no-one's commented on the autopsy of the Sharon that died--I seem to remember it looked as though her corpse had been opened up already at the time Adama was looking at her. Shouldn't someone say something about how their insides are either indistinguishable from humans or are strikingly different, and in what way? I guess they can't simply be clones if they have trouble breeding with humans, though the Sharons don't seem to have the super strength and speed the tall blonde ones have. This is, after all, the first human looking Cylon body the humans have had at their disposal since the president had the brilliant idea of shooting the last one out the air lock.

I feel sort of bad for the actor playing Helo. He must have had to decide his own motivation on a lot of things, always under the threat that a later episode would contradict his decisions when some writer finally got around to talking about how he felt about the arrow and Kobol and the differences between the president's faction and Adama's faction.

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