Summary judgments, July 2009

  1. Away We Go.  This got widely panned as a festival of smug self-love.  Not true.  Yes, the movie starts with a series of vignettes in which its protagonists, a couple expecting a baby, come out feeling better than the variously ruined families they encounter — coarse drunks, dopey hippies, etc.   But the movie then brings them up against couples who are just like them — and, who, it turns out, are just as ruined.  I think the reviewers got distracted by the fact that director Sam Mendes’s other big movie, American Beauty, really is a moronic smugfest about the spiritual deadness of the American suburb — gaah, I’m bored even typing it.  This movie, though, is worth seeing.  The end, the earnest part, drags.  But overall I laughed out loud eight or ten times, which is infinity times as many as in a typical comedy.  Letter from Here liked it too. Dr. Mrs. Q points out that none of the comically awful families in this movie are done as well as the Leslie Mann – Paul Rudd couple in Knocked Up. But what is?
  2. Matt Stairs:  Old Guy, Good Hitter.  Baseball Prospectus excels in bringing me simple things like this about players I’d never happen to think about.
  3. The academic job market in math. In the toilet.  The AMS estimates that the number of academic jobs on offer next year will be down 40%.
  4. Lev Grossman’s new novel, The Magicians. Ace.  May make Lev a world nerd hero.  Will blog about this more in August when Americans can actually buy it.  (UKians can get it now!)
  5. Mika, Life in Cartoon Motion. CJ picked this off the shelf at Best Buy because he liked the cover, and I remember being knocked out by the single, “Grace Kelly.”  It’s terrific — the best album in its genre I’ve heard since Erasure’s The Innocents. (Caveat:  it is also the only album in this genre I’ve heard since Erasure’s The Innocents.  I’m picky about dance pop!)  Anyway, watch the video below: if you don’t love it, you’ll hate this album.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

3 thoughts on “Summary judgments, July 2009

  1. Life in Cartoon Motion is indeed fabulous.

  2. Dirty Davey says:

    Americans, I assume, CAN buy it. That’s what amazon.co.uk is for.

  3. Andy P. says:

    Looking over the AMS report, the “down 40%” figure you cite seems to be for this year (i.e. 2008-2009). Of course, I expect next year will be about the same, if not a bit worse. I suppose I should try to finish writing a few more papers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: