Patch and Pablo and Me

Still injured, which means not much writing happening. Sadly, it also means much more TV since I cannot go anywhere.

I take no responsibility for the following, which was educed in a fog of pain and too much ibuprofen. {Borrowed from TV Warrior}


The Clone Wars 1.5 - "Rookies"

There is so much to say about the new Star Wars cartoon. I wish more people were watching it. Tonight's episode focused on the clone soldiers. (Storm Troopers in later parlance.) It was fascinating to see how men who pretty much all look and sound alike could be so different. Also exciting: a gigantic eel, and best of all, even cooler than Super Battle Droids, Battle Droid Commandos, or as Hyperion likes to call them, Ninja Droids! Seriously: they were so fucking cool. Not that much smarter than the regular droids (with the same annoying habit of saying "Roger Roger" to their own detriment), but cool-looking nonetheless.

Also worth mentioning: I have grown accustomed to the people animation for the most part. It starts to seem more and more normal. Once exception: Obi-Wan Kenobi looks a LOT like a young Kris Kringle from those Claymation Santa Claus specials. What's up with that?

Separated at birth?


As I think I said last week, maybe if this show had come out in 1995, it would be seen as cool. Obviously the quality of a show is not the what, but the how. (I mean, if you think about it, Ellen's sitcom and Seinfeld were pretty much the same thing, in concept.) That said, it's the concept of Crusoe that NBC is hoping will be the draw. And I'm sorry, but after LOST, after PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, heck, even after Survivor, the bar is just too high. I can't see coming back for this one again.


Random thoughts while flipping around all day long:

It looks like Penn State will be in the BCS Championship. Every year I threaten to not watch. Perhaps this will finally be the year.

Dude, the ending to Game 3 of the World Series was way stressful. Did anyone else stay up late? How much cooler was it that Tampa Bay (an American League team) was playing totally in an NL kind of way, producing runs any way they could, not to mention that their manager Joe Maddon, looks like he just stepped out of the 1950s. I haven't rooted for a baseball team in forever, but I just might become a Tampa Bay fan, because that guy is just so cute!

I could eat him up!

Somebody tell me: who was RAT RACE made for? Are you one of the people who enjoyed it? Someone did!


In attempt to get out of my room for a short time, I crawled to the living room to be with my dad. He was watching the last half hour of PATCH ADAMS.

My brother gave me 7 pieces of advice before he moved on, and (I swear to Tengri), one of them was, "Do not ever watch PATCH ADAMS." I never asked him why; I just took his word on it.

Unfortunately, my dad is a big fan, and so there wasn't much chance he was going to turn it, and as it took so much effort to get out there in the first place, I was stuck.

As my father pointed out (though meaning it in a different manner), you can't judge a movie by the last half hour. You have to watch the whole thing, getting a feel for the fabric of the piece. Fair enough. However, just from what I watched.....[SPOILERS]

When I came in, Patch had just found out that someone (maybe he tried to help?) had just murdered 3 people, including Patch's secret girlfriend. This causes Patch to repudiate everything he believes in, hate the world, and quit doctoring. However, then he sees a butterfly, and totally changes his mind. (That's a pretty damn convenient butterfly.)

Also, there is a bizarre scene where a woman won't eat until she gets to wrassle in spaghetti. I swear I am not making that up, although I do admit I may have been delirious from pain. (Which raises the question: why would I hallucinate that? Old women in spaghetti? Is that my thing now?)

Anyway, maybe five minutes after he sees the butterfly (8 minutes with commercials), Patch is told he can't be a doctor because he's too happy. This leads to the oh-so-original courtroom scene where Robin Williams Patch Adams gives a ridiculous speech about how caring for people makes you a doctor, not actual knowledge, and how death is really no big deal and should be treated with dignity. (I'm with him on that, but didn't he just lose his shit a few minutes ago?)

Anyway, Patch gets to become a real doctor after all, though I can't help wonder why he would care, since the only thing that makes you a real doctor is caring, but whatever.

(You know, I love Robin Williams in most things he does, and when he's on, there is nobody funnier on the planet. Nobody. But the whole courtroom speech is so typical of Williams's attitude on real life matters, and the kind of fuzzy Liberal thinking that drives me nuts. I'm not talking politics here, but rather a world-view which declares "caring" to be more important than actual skill and accomplishment. And yes, I did not see the first 3/4 of the movie, so I'm not judging all of Patch Adams. I'm sure he's a wonderful doctor, and the other doctors sold poisoned milk to school children. But there is a reason they teach clinical detachment to doctors, isn't there? We all want them to care more, but isn't it true that in some cases a lack of objectivity leads to bad decision making? Can't there be room to make the excellent point that many doctors (and all of us) could show a lot more empathy to people without getting all Kum Bah Ya?)

Or maybe I'm just a Greg House kind of guy. I like my doctors broken and cynical, like me.

Speaking of which, after my dad went to bed my mom declared no more World Series, which was tolerable only because

A) The thought of getting up and slogging back to my room seemed excruciating and

B) The game was already out of hand

We ended up watching a House episode from Season 3. It's an excellent episode called "One Day, One Room." House gets stuck doing clinic duty and comes upon a girl named Eve who has an STD, which it turns out came from a rape. (Meanwhile Cameron deals with an old homeless man who wants to die in pain so someone will remember him.)

It's a very powerful episode, and if you're into watching House on USA or wherever else you find it, I recommend it. I told my mom (who violently disagrees), that I see the episode as more of a mirrored reflection of the Cameron and House characters, since the two guest characters they interact with don't seem quite real. (In that their actions don't seem believable to me. I think it's set up to look at what makes House and Cameron tick, as it were.) Anyone who's seen this episode and wants to discuss, I'm all for it, as many big issues come up.

Two random notes:

The girl Eve who was raped is played by Katheryn Winnick. I think she's pretty much just done guest spots, but she deserves an actual role on a TV show. She's terrific.

I just found out that Cameron's first name is Allison. How weird is that? Has anyone ever called her Allison? Or Ally? What if they do?

Okay, back to PATCH ADAMS for a minute. I'm not going to hate this time. I just have a question. At the end, when Patch graduates, he's listed as "Hunter Adams." I have to ask: if your name was as cool as Hunter, why would you go by Patch? Patch is pretty cool, if your name is Wilbur or Lloyd. But Hunter is badass, man!

I think it's time to go into Hunter-Gatherer Mode

I can't remember what day I watched it (when you're stuck in bed 24 hours a day, they all look alike), but at some point I saw STAY ALIVE on USA. I thought it was going to be a BeeGee's horror movie, but instead the flick revolves around a video game where--shock!--if you die in the virtual world, you will die in the real world IN JUST THE SAME WAY!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!

The movie didn't completely suck, as far as it goes, but I have to seriously question why I saw it at 10:00 in the freaking morning! I mean, I know it was PG-13 and probably edited down from that, but there was a good amount of blood, many murders, a good scare factor, and oh, did I metion IT WAS ON AT TEN IN THE MORNING??????

I don't think I'm a Puritan here, but isn't that a bit early for gore-and-more? Should horror movies run opposite Blues Clues? Should Dora the Explorer be Dora Dead on the Floor-a? (Admit it: that one's pretty good.)

Why aren't more people upset by this?

Okay, I'm either loopy or feeling bad, but I'm back to Patch Adams. Seems like the real dude was pretty cool, and I know I shouldn't judge until I've seen the movie, but how can I when my brother told me not too, and it's one of only 7 things he ever told me?

Anyway, apparently there is this poem that Patch recites to his girlfriend throughout the movie. It turns out to be a sonnet by Pablo Neruda. I like Neruda a lot. The only problem is, things in Spanish sound a lot more romantic than when translated. However, this one appears to translate pretty well, so I'll end with Pablo, since I clearly haven't been making sense since Friday night:

Sonnet XVII

Pablo Neruda

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

I miss the times when my lack of columns came from suckage, not cripplage

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