Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Other Diversions 

When I started the blog, I explicitly stated that I would also discuss other cultural diversions occasionally. I guess I expected the D-Backs/non-D-Backs split to be about 80/20, maybe even 75/25. I obviously underestimated my ability to write about the Diamondbacks, because the ratio (even after this entry) is probably hovering at around 95/5, 90/10 at best. I don't know if that means I'm not listening to/watching anything worthwhile, or just feeling self-imposed pressure to write something -- anything -- baseball-related on a regular basis.

So, since we have an off-day (though first pitch has probably been thrown by now), here we go again...

Songbook, by Nick Hornby: Although I have many books on my bookshelf (and have given away many more), there are few authors that I have an (almost) entirely complete collection of. Hornby is one of those. His novel High Fidelity and autobiographical memoir Fever Pitch have such a strong voice and speak eloquently about the tradeoffs you make as you grow older and how your obsessions (music in the former, football/soccer in the latter) can become less relevant, that I will always enjoy these novels. But Songbook is much more uneven because he mixes in his casual fans' enjoyment of music with the occasional political comment or reference to the fact that he's met some of the artists he's writing about. There's no longer the feeling that, Oh my goodness, that's me he's writing about! Occasionally good writing, but uneven.

Mean Girls: An occasionally amusing movie, but sort of peters out in the third act because the lead character's shift from good girl to mean girl and, well, back, isn't given much motivation. Oh, well, the Donnas covered Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" over the end credits and while there's nothing special about the cover version (and the song choice itself seems odd), it was nice to hear a song that's just so irredeemably pop and catchy. Just joyful.

Joy is something that's been too rare with the D-Backs lately.

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