newest entry 2002-10-17 11:23 a.m.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

--Proverbs 17:22

Went to see the heartless little flick Igby Goes Down last night with Nan, Stan, and Fred. I felt ripped off, not because it was a bad film but because it was almost good and didn’t live up to its potential. While the performances (esp. Kieran Culkin and the wonderful Jared Harris who I have admired since Sunday) are strong, the story could have had some redemptive power, but instead it chooses to identify with the “poor me” mopester of the title. I have never bought the “disaffected teen as wise commentator on society” thing, not even when I was a disaffected teen. The Susan Sarandon and Jeff Goldblum characters are cartoonish, which isn’t fair in a film where the main character gets to be nuanced and sympathetic.

Some dialogue from the movie that just about sums up its attitude. (I'm reciting from memory, it's not exact):

OLIVER: I talked to Mom today. They found another lump.

IGBY: Good!

While out with N, S and F for a follow-up pint, we sat next to someone who either was Matt Damon or a very reasonable facsimile. Our conversation brought up some puzzlements that led me to do some research today while I should have been working. Here are answers to some of our questions from last night:

  • Thanksgiving has been a national holiday since 1863!

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer started out as a Montgomery Ward promotional gimmick. It was originally a book in verse created by a Ward’s advertising exec., and then years later that man’s brother-in-law wrote the song. What most people don’t know is that the original concept had been “Herman the Hamster with Shingles,” but that didn’t go over well with the stockholders.

  • Shockingly, Bob Hope is still alive—either that or his website is “hopelessly” out of date. Ho ho! Incidentally, you can e-mail Bob, dead or alive, at:

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