Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Great Commission

I saw a site in Scotland.

No, I am not speaking of the Loch Ness, nor of the loping, sheep-whisped countryside, nor of the centuries-old cobblestone Royal Mile of Edinburgh, though I saw all of these things.

This was a site you could see anywhere. And that is precisely the point.

On a commuter train from Glasgow to Edinburgh, I sat next to a man. A man in a suit. A man at work.

It is hardly news to find someone working away from the office. That he worked electronically is similarly passe to report. What struck me was that this man did his work, not on a BlackBerry, not on an iPhone—

—but on both.

At the same time.

Is it accurate to say I was next to this man? Can we even speak of being embodied in such a case?

Granted, he made good use of each. With the iPhone and its superior display he browsed, while with the BlackBerry and its superior keyboard he communicated. But what a sacrifice for such productivity!

Truly, the Space of Flows marches onward to the ends of the Earth. Amen and amen.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I saw Up last night.

I was struck by how unorthodox of a film it was. For one, it doesn't follow a traditional story arc, even though some sort of arc is present.

For two, it is full of the whimsical and the fantastic.

For three, it doesn't worry about logically explaining certain things. Normally this means filmmakers were sloppy, but in this case they intentionally don't bother. The ability of an old man to inflate enough helium balloons to lift his house overnight and the associated physics of those balloons just aren't important.

It's also the saddest "children's" film I've ever seen. I don't say that because there is (or isn't) a sad ending or some tragic "Bambi's mom" kind of moment, but because the film is draped in a quietly melancholic aura.

So kudos to Pixar for continuing to tell the best stories, and to be willing to venture well off the beaten path in doing so.

I also took the occasion to rank all Pixar movies. This list is objective and absolute.
  1. The Incredibles
  2. Toy Story
  3. Monsters Inc.
  4. Up
  5. Ratatouille
  6. Finding Nemo
  7. Wall-E
  8. Cars
  9. Toy Story 2
  10. A Bug's Life
Further comments available upon request.