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Housefilk Coming! Aug 15!!

Hear ye, hear ye!

There will be a housefilk on Sunday, August 16 in Kew Gardens Hills in Queens, New York, at the home of [personal profile] sdelmonte and [personal profile] batyatoon. The festivities will run from 1 pm to approximately 5 pm. The address is 144-32 71st Road, accessible from the LIE and GCP, and by subway and bus.

Interested? Reply to this post and let us know. And spread the word!

Need directions? E-mail me at simondelmonte @ gmail.com.


Night's Plutonian Shore

A few quotes on the occasion of the Pluto fly-by.

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard -
President John F. Kennedy, 1961

We came in peace for all mankind -
Plaque left on the Moon by the crew of Apollo 11, 1969

Because it's there -
Attributed to George Mallory, 1923

I'm your moon
You're my moon
We go round and round
From out here, it's the rest of the world that looks so small
Promise me
You will always remember who you are
- Jonathan Coulton

To boldly go where no one has gone before
- Star Trek, 1987

Crawl out of the mud,
Ongoing but slow,
For the path that is easy
Ain't the one that lets us grow!
- Andy Eigel

Au Revoir, White Collar

Took me a while, since the final six episodes were not available for free on Hulu and I needed to wait for them to come to Netflix. But I just finished up White Collar.

Have to say, the show was ending at the right moment. There was a feeling for most of these episodes that things were just going in circles. That the string had been played out with one too many romances and one too many cons for Neal. But the last two episodes delivered the goods, and gave us a surprisingly emotional ending. It didn't entirely work. But it was good enough.

I watched this one from early on. The big arcs never, ever rang true for me. But the individual episodes and the development of Peter and Neal's friendship and of Neal's struggle with his conscience and his south-point moral compass worked often. As did the strength of Peter's determination to be the hero. As did Mozzie being Mozzie. At worst, this show was fun. Never remotely realistic, and taking place in some strange, overly sunny NYC that isn't the NYC I live in. (You want my NYC on a TV show? Try Elementary, where it has a tendency to snow and rain as often as it does in the real world). But fun. And often witty and clever and just a little subversive.

I don't root for the bad guys. Even ones as charming and likeable as Neal Caffrey. But I can enjoy what they do just a little when it's not about the crime but the caper. At the end of the day, White Collar was the last word in caper shows, with one foot firmly planted in those stylish films of the 60s where the crooks were the good guys, the victims were the bad guys who deserved to be robbed, and no one used a gun when they could use a grin.

Thanks to all who brought us this charming if slight flight of fancy for six years.

Now if I could only figure out a way to make an Elementary-White Collar crossover fic work.


So almost two years ago to the day, a group of former writers for The AV Club - itself an offshoot of The Onion - started a site called The Dissolve. It was dedicated to movies. Movies new and old, big budget and indie. They alternated reviews with news, think-pieces, and the occasional interview. And they invited comment. I found the site about six months after it launched, and even though I am not as much of a film fanatic as many, I fell in love. With the writing, and with the amazing group of people who posted on the site. It was glorious.

Yesterday, the company that owns The Dissolve, Pitchfork Media, pulled the plug. The Dissolve just wasn't making enough money.

I am bummed. Many of the regulars are devastated as we had formed a great little community, tolerant of others' opinions and lives, able to debate not just film but life as mature adults. The site will live on as some of those people formed their own site, The Solute, to write their own reviews and features. The community might live on, too.

But The Dissolve is no more. I am sure the talented writers will find other gigs. It won't be the same.

Hate. And Love.

If you followed today's news, of terror attacks of all sorts and a funeral that followed one, of cold blooded killers on the run, you know that hate is fairly common. Hatred for the other. Hatred for someone who is the wrong color or from the wrong place or who just doesn't agree with you about the details of your faith. Sometimes even hate for no reason at all.

If you followed today's news, you also know that love is out there, too. Love that can overcome hate. Love that confronts centuries of bigotry, love that can show us the way.

Today, love overcame hate. It didn't do it for good, it didn't do it for everyone. But it became the law of the land: marry whoever you love. In short, love won.

That is a small thing in a world full of hate. But that is also a pebble in the sea, rippling out, changing things further. Changing things for the better.

Some Days are Sad


Christopher Lee, actor and WWII hero

Ron Moody, actor

Ornette Coleman, jazz great

Dusty Rhodes, pro wrestler

Jack King, voice of Mission Control during Apollo

Robert Chartoff, film producer.

Seriously, they must be making some wild movie on the other side with all these people.

Midlife Crisis on Earth-DC?

So as you may have heard, DC Comics has undertaken a soft reboot, relaunching some comics, launching others, reworking things in the rest. After two weeks I have bought eight in this line, and like all eight (with highest marks to Batman, Justice League, and Constantine). I know a lot of you are not big on DC now, but there is more energy around than in a while, and an impressive diversity of art style (see again Constantine and also Omega Men and Action Comics). And a crazy sense of fun in Harley Quinn and Starfire. But that's not what I am here to talk about. I'm here to talk about Batman.

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HYPE: Museum Mile Festival

It's that time of year again! The second Tuesday in June means...the Museum Mile Festival!! Fifth Avenue is closed between 82nd and 105th Streets, and all the museums in between are free from 6 to 9 pm. There will be entertainment and family activities, rain or shine.

As usual, you can find me at the Jewish Museum, most likely working with our photographer. With any luck, the rain will ignore us and everyone can have a great time. Come on down!!


So...it's not great. It's got a lot of problems.

But it is far from the dud so many critics are saying it is. It's amazingly well acted (though having an adult play the teenaged main character is a bit of a cheat), the FX are good but not overwhelming, and there are a lot of great ideas swimming around in here.

I can't say how much you will like it. If you like films were the main characters are distinguished by their brains, or where the very idea of hope for the future is a plot point, you might like it. Just be warned that it does drag a bit, and that some of the ideas drifting about the film never congeal.

Oh, and the people who say it's too preachy, or that it is yet another Randist vision from Brad Bird? They are wrong. There is the right amount of preachy for this kind of film. And I still don't get why anyone thinks Bird is an disciple of Ayn Rand. People see what they want to see, clearly.

Memorial Day and Shavuot

For many, it's Memorial Day weekend, a time to remember those who died for this country, and to enjoy the first weekend of the summer. And for some, it's a weekend to be at Balticon or Baycon or some other con. For those you marking the weekend, I hope all goes well. And if you are at Balticon, have fun for us.

Why aren't we there? Because tomorrow night is also the start of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which marks the day God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Meaning we will be offline till Monday night. If you are celebrating the long combination of shabbos and yom tov, a good shabbos and a chag sameach to you.


Alex W_______g aka Simon DelMonte

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