Monday, April 7, 2008

Weekend Update

"You can take my fucking gun now, okay?" Last words of former NRA President Charlton Heston (1924-2008).

The power of the internets. Johns Hopkins University manages a population database called Popline, which is funded by the Agency for International Development. On Friday morning, it was revealed that the managers of the database has reprogrammed Popline's search engine in February to ignore the word "abortion." They did this by treating it as a stop term, like "a," "the," "for," and "and." Said a spokesperson for Popline, "As a federally funded project, we decided this was best for now." By 3 PM, having decided that it was actually worse for now, the block was removed. In a related story, the Bush White House admitted on Saturday that the phrase "freedom of speech" has been labelled a stop term while searching the Constitution, and the words "failure in Iraq" have been programmed to automatically change into the phrase "success in Iraq" in all Word documents generated by White House personnel.

So where you been, Lynn? Last week was an experiment in physics. Because there is only so much energy in the universe, and last week the day job sapped up more than its usual share, I had barely enough ergs left in me to type up 60 pages of the novel between Monday and Wednesday, after which for the rest of the week I popped Advil like Certs, curled up into a ball, and dreamed of having enough savings so I could quit working and write on a beach for the next year.

And then I went out and Woggled all weekend.

Friday night at Arlene's Grocery with the Swinging Neckbreakers; Saturday night at Maxwell's with the Doughboys, Holmes, and Hilton Valentine of the Animals.

And on Sunday, he saw a movie that made him miss Heathers. When a movie opens at only one commercial theatre in New York (as opposed to an art theatre), it's usually for one of two reasons--either nobody knows what to do with it, or it's being dumped. With Sex and Death 101, it was probably 50/50. It's not as funny as it thinks it is, the ending undercuts the set-up, and the women are either empty-headed nymphos, castrating feminists, or allegories (Death Nell, anybody?). It feels like writer/director Daniel Waters was trying to please four different focus groups at the same time. Something that I'm guessing didn't happen with Heathers, but would definitely happen if it was made today.