This episode was pretty unusual. The entire episode took place in the apartment of novelist Chuck Palmer (played by Matthew Rhys who you may know for his role as Philip Jennings in The Americans), except for the opening scene where we see Hannah walking into the apartment building on Central Park West, telling the doorman that she’s here to see Chuck Palmer, and then she enters a very ornately furnished elevator.
Also starring in this episode is the apartment. Throughout the episode we see different areas of the apartment shot from different angles. This is an expensive apartment. We are talking several million dollars for an apartment like this with a view of the park. Hannah is also awed by the apartment.
The premise is that Hannah has written some man-hating article about Chuck for some feminist website, and Chuck invited her to see him because Chuck is distraught about being accused of “nonconsensual” sex which he insists isn’t true (and I think you’re supposed to believe him, but it’s not always easy to figure out what Lena Dunham’s point is).
They have a conversation in which Hannah talks feminist stuff and he defends himself, it goes on for a good ten minutes, it doesn’t seem to get clearly resolved. His side of the story, basically, is that young girls throw themselves at him, and he enjoys it.
Eventually he lies down, he asks her to lie next to him, and then he unzips his pants, pulls out his penis and places it on Hannah’s leg. Yes, we see his penis. Then Hannah fondles his penis. And then there’s a knock on the door, it’s Chuck’s daughter played by a half black girl for which this is her first appearance ever in a TV show or movie. The girl tells dad about some flute composition, and she asks Hannah to listen also. The girl is a horrible flute player, and we see Hannah making faces during the flute recital.
That’s it. The end. What’s the point? I’m not sure.
Also, as part of the theme of the series to show Hannah doing disgusting things, when Chuck gets a phone call, Hannah wanders into his bathroom, grabs some toilet paper, and uses it to wipe sweat from her underarms, and then from her vaginal area. At least we don’t see Hannah’s naked fat this episode.
Reading up on the internet, I discovered that it was a prosthetic penis, not Rhys’ actual real penis.
There’s a Managing Partner from PwC on each side of the stage with a briefcase of envelopes. The purpose of this duplication is so that regardless of which side of the stage the presenter enters, there’s a Managing Partner there to give him or her an envelope.
If there had been only one Managing Partner with one set of envelopes, then the envelopes could be arranged in the order that the awards are presented, and the Managing Partner would just have to take the top envelope off the stack.
With two Managing Partners and two sets of envelopes, this requires each Managing Partner to pay attention to what’s happening and select the correct envelope for the situation. However, Managing Partner Brian Cullinan, instead of paying attention, was busy taking pictures with his cell phone and posting them on Twitter.
Cullinan then attempted to delete the evidence of his malfeasance before anyone found out. But stuff you post on social media has a permanency, in situations like this, that exceeds the power of the delete button.
Perhaps in the future, PwC will assign envelope holders who are more junior members of the firm but are more capable of keeping track of a stack of envelopes. As you know, people get promoted to Managing Partner because they are good at politicking, schmoozing, rainmaking and sucking up to their bosses, and not because they are good at doing real work like keeping track of a stack of envelopes.
On October 20, 2006, I wrote the following in a blog post:
World of Warcraft falls into a special category of time wasting activity, because it is like masturbation. Men who are unable to get sex from women often find masturbation and pornography to be better substitutes than nothing at all. World of Warcraft provides a similar fix for men who are unable to get status in the real world.
In the real world, men start out with the dream that they will advance and increase their status. But then they discover that it’s not so easy to increase one’s status in the real world. For example, one can devote three years of life to attending law school only to discover that law school was a a complete waste of time. In the real world, career tracks usually determine if your status will increase, and the fast track to success only holds a few people. Most people toil away at jobs where they never see any direct benefit from their hard work.
This is where World of Warcraft comes in and meets people’s unmet psychological needs. In WoW and similar games, your status increases slowly but surely every time you play. After so many hours in the game, you can see exactly how many more experience points you have, maybe your level has increased, maybe you have better armor or weapons than you had before. Unlike the real world, where you can work 40 hours of overtime and not even get paid for it, if you put an extra 40 hours into WoW you will definitely have something to show for it. Your status within the virtual world of WoW will have increased in ways you can clearly ascertain.
Have you ever woken up from a dream that was so much more pleasant than real life that you wish you could fall back to sleep and return to the dream? Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) this never works, and you start your day off with a touch of sadness that the wonders of the dream can’t be realized. For some, World of Warcraft is like a dream they don’t have to wake up from, a world better than the real world becaue their efforts are actually rewarded with increased status.
I have no doubt that Frank Guan stole my original ideas in his New York Magazine article Video Games Are Better than Real Life. Read the article and see if you agree.
For people who haven’t been following my Twitter feed, follow it for live #Oscars tweets.
Viggo Mortensen is nominated for Best Actor for his role in Captain Fantastic as an ultra-liberal but in some ways also ultra-conservative father who raises his family in the woods of the Pacific Northwest without electricity or any other connection to the outside world except for his library of great works of literature and philosophy.
The conservative part of Mortensen’s philosophy is that he teaches his children to hunt and also trains them in hand-to-hand combat including knife fighting. They’ll be ready for the nuclear holocaust or whatever else causes the end of civilization! And he has six children: what kind of liberal has more than two kids?
The plot of the movie is that Mortensen gets word that his wife, who has been hospitalized for three months for mental illness, has died, and he takes his six children on a road trip to New Mexico to her funeral, where Mortensen and his family clash with his wife’s wealthy parents who want their grandchildren to be raised normally.
The movie very clearly shows some of the limitations of Mortensen’s child rearing philosophy. For example, when his oldest son meets a hot girl at the motor home park, he has no clue how to behave around her. If you want your sons to get married and give you grandchildren, I don’t think that raising them in the wilderness with no human contact outside of your immediate family is a good way to go.
Sorry to talk about the ending (spoiler alert!), but I feel very let down. It seems like a cop-out. After his daughter breaks some bones falling off the roof of his in-laws’ house, Mortensen has the realization that he’s not actually a good father and his children are not equipped to deal with civilization at all. So he leaves them with their grandparents and drives away. Thus the message here is that the ultra-liberal left has graduated from Utopia, radical anti-capitalism and Walden to become SWPLs who go to Ivy League schools and then work in self-actualizing careers, preferably in Manhattan. Right?
Nope! Wait a minute, that’s not what happens! Mortensen’s kids were hiding in the back of the bus, and then they steal their mother’s body from the cemetery to give her the proper Buddhist cremation that she wanted for herself, the oldest son goes off to Namibia instead of going to college (huh?) and the rest of the family goes back to the Pacific Northwest, but now they live in a small house with electricity instead of in the woods, and they go to school. What’s the point of that? Is that a happily-ever-after ending or something?
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Does Mortensen have any chance in hell of beating out Denzel Washington, Casey Affleck and Ryan Gosling for his role in a movie that’s probably too weird even for Hollywood? Not likely.
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Both of the older daughters are redheads. I tell you, redheaded women are suddenly a big thing. Emma Stone from La La Land. The foster mom played bye Nicole Kidman in Lion. The girl linguist in Arrival.
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I’m afraid that I’m not going to be able to watch Hidden Figures or Hacksaw Ridge before the awards ceremony. Which I’m not even sure I want to watch because surely there will be a lot of Trump hatred on display.
Still working my way though Oscar-nominated movies.
Lion is named after my blog, so it has to be a good movie! In truth, it’s a very likable movie about a little Indian boy who gets lost, and is then adopted by nice liberal white people who didn’t want to have any children of their own because the world is already overpopulated and it’s selfish to give birth to your own children when there are so many orphans in India in need of parents.
India is a very photogenic country, so there are a lot of interesting scenes.
Dev Patel, who plays Saroo as an adult, is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. But the black Muslim guy who played the drug dealer father figure in Moonlight is considered most likely to win that award.
This is the most watchable of the Oscar nominated movies, about two white-trash brothers robbing banks so the one brother can pay off the mortgage on his mother’s ranch to prevent it from being foreclosed by the bank, which he does for the benefit of his children.
Jeff Bridges, nominated for Best Supporting Actor, plays a Texas Ranger who’s obsessed with catching the bank robbers before he retires in one week. Jeff Bridges takes on a hick prole West Texas accent, which I guess is what makes it Real Acting. Jeff Bridges makes a lot of American Indian jokes at the expense of his half-Indian half-Mexican partner. I’m not sure how he gets away with being racist. (I suppose it’s because someone thinks that the racist jokes are in-character for an old-coot West Texas Ranger, but I also predict he will not win the Oscar because the Academy doesn’t want to award racism.)
Lots of scenes of West Texas, a barren place with ugly decaying buildings, trailer parks, gas stations, oil well pumpjacks. Lots of people who voted for Trump wearing cowboy hats and carrying guns. There’s nothing in West Texas that’s of any interest to SWPLs.
Perez is the choice of the Obama/Clinton wing of the party, while the black Muslim Israel-hating Ellison is the choice of the Sanders wing. Who will win?
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Looks like Perez will win in the second round. He was only one vote short in the first round.
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Ellison picked up no votes at all on the second round. Perez wins.