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Weeknotes #481-482

Looking back over the last two weeks, I find two prevailing themes: reviewing the past, and predicting the future.

The past I’ve already alluded to in my first Blogfodder link dump. Some of those links are nearly eight years old, which is forever in internet time. It’s incredible that so many of them are still accessible. (Yet maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised, as there’s many a site from even further back that hasn’t yet shuffled off this digital coil.)

As for the future? Last night I watched Bob Roberts again for the first time in years, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t prophetic: its parallels to the current social and political climate in America are franky scary.


The cartographers of cinema

From an otherwise unremarkable interview with the Coen brothers in the Guardian last week on release of their latest, True Grit, there’s this:

It is their 14th to date, and the latest instalment in what appears to be a concerted effort to cover the length and breadth of America with Coen brothers movies. Maybe because their preoccupations seem so resolutely antiheroic, or because their ambitions fit so snugly within their love of genre, the scale of this project was hard to spot at first. While everyone else was lost in hyperspace, the Coens have been quietly wallpapering their homeland. They’ve covered New York in the 1950s (The Hudsucker Proxy), Los Angeles in the 1940s (Barton Fink), Mississippi in the 1930s (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?) and 1990s (The Ladykillers), Texas in the 1980s twice (Blood Simple and No Country for Old Men), Minnesota in the 1960s (A Serious Man) and 1990s (Fargo), not to mention Arizona, Washington, North Dakota, Santa Rosa and now, for good measure, Arkansas in the 1880s. A few more like this – covering Ohio in the 1970s, say, or Wyoming in the 1900s – and their work will be complete: nothing less than a patchwork quilt of America.

Blogfodder linkdump part 1

The ‘Blogfodder’ folder in my bookmarks is a bit of a catch-all location for any interesting links I find and might want to explore later in more detail. That was the intention, anyway — over the years it’s completely outgrown my ability to keep up with it, resulting in a whole mess of links left unfollowed and unblogged.

But they say you shouldn’t keep anything for more than seven years without finding a use for it. My first Blogfodder links have passed that deadline, so now’s the time to wrangle out some usefulness before they rot away completely. Best to begin at the beginning and see what caught my attention way back in 2003…