Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Yesterday was "Presidents Day", or "Presidents' Day", or even "President's Day" if you celebrate only George Washington's Birthday, which is Friday. Anyway, I looked all this up and have concluded what I originally suspected -this is a dumb day. 50 years ago every schoolkid in America could tell you when George Washington's birthday is, and Lincoln's too, but today we're all hard-pressed as to which president the day is all about, which is why it's a dumb day. I believe we should commemorate George Washington's birthday, and Lincoln's as well, but to glom them all together onto the third Monday of a month serves only to diminish the rich history of our nation, and from one generation to the next, we forget. This will only end badly.

And, yes, I admit it only all occurred to me as I was checking the mail. There was no mail. It was Presidents Day. I didn't put my flag out.

But I will put it out on Friday and I did put it out last Tuesday. I imagine my neighbors peer out their windows and think, There goes that Ditchman guy again. What country does he live in, anyway? And the customer that I have right now, when he heard I was planning on working Presidents Day, gave me some lip about it. He's a vet, so he's entitled. I shut up. I didn't mention I'd celebrated Lincoln's birthday last week on the actual day by writing an essay on the man, the American hero, and then posted it in a public forum. Best not to argue with the vets. They've been through enough, I gather. God bless 'em.

Finally watched Serenity, and there was much rejoicing. I would've viewed it sooner, but wanted to savor it at full volume, and had to wait for the moment to present itself. I'm glad I did! I'm also glad I'd seen the Firefly series first, as the film really pulled it all together in the end. I didn't think it was possible, really, but good storytellers know what they're doing, and generally should be trusted.

At first, I was hoping for a bit more production value, but knowing the story of Firefly -failed television series that somehow made it to the big screen- I was thankful to get anything at all. I noticed straight away that there were a lot more shadows in the film than I'm used to in the series, but such is the technique indulged when budget limitations abound. Still, it was a generously sweet flick and I have little more than this high praise to offer: A very satisfying movie.

Not for everyone, however. If you don't like snappy dialogue, overwritten archetypes, and crossover genre, you probably won't go for it. But hey, if you like guns and spaceships, one-liners, and good guys vs. bad guys stuff, and some easy-on-the-eyes ladies -you might just go for it. Also: no nudity, and no bad words. See Hollywood? It is possible! Now get back to work and figure it out. The strike is over. It cost the local L.A. economy over 3 billion dollars, I heard. Shall I persist in denigrating the whiny, overpaid scribblers of Tinseltown? I think not. As I mentioned, Firefly was canceled in its prime, so that's what talent will get you. Studio heads and producers can be blamed as well.

The blog will descend into a lawless source of diminishing returns, if I continue down that path. I'm trying to stay upbeat here. Positively! But currently the house is a hollow place, with my peoples out of town and only my lonely self echoing down the hall. Might as well get to work, this grey day. There's nothing for me here.