Tell me that’s a headline that doesn’t make you curious.

ERIE, Pennsylvania (AP) — A woman used her 4-week-old baby as a weapon in a domestic dispute, swinging the infant through the air and striking her boyfriend with the child, authorities said.

What little else there is of the story is here. It’s hard to reconcile such a cartoon image of violence with the obvious barbarism of the act, so all I can come away with is that headline… that crazy, insane headline.

So I’m watching Malcolm X in a theater on campus, and this Sophie woman is giving me some creepy vibes… where have I seen her before?

I crack open the laptop, cruise on to IMDb, look up the film, find the actress… Kate Vernon. Means nothing. What’s she been in? CSI, Dawson’s Creek… oh, Battlestar Galactica! Who was she? Ellen Tigh. Ellen Tigh! The crazy evil demon woman we all love to hate! Good casting call, movie. Way to predict and tap future craziness.

I roll in to the new HUB cafe with about 2 minutes to go before 9. Good turnout, for Whitworth — that widescreen high-def TV sure is purdy. Seats are filling up, everyone demanding volume UP! for LOST. It’s starting.

Open on an unassuming, suburban-looking kitchen. Why does this woman tending the oven look familiar? (EDIT: IMDb says because she was the mom in Frequency.) “Downtown” is playing on the radio (though not Mama Cass this time) — we’ve heard this song before. Cut to a book club, elsewhere in the same house. Henry Gale is there? Two guesses where we are.

Rumble rumble. Don’t tell me you don’t know where this is going… and it’s everyone’s favorite Oceanic Flight 815, falling out of the sky over an idyllic island village.

Others start piling out of the houses as the plane breaks up overhead. Ooh, it’s Goodwin… and Ethan! William Mapother, you creepy freak. Gale hands down the orders for the Others to inflitrate the newly-stranded Lostaways.


It’s flashJack, stalking somebody in an urban setting… his ex-wife? We’re not here long enough to really find out. Cut to back on the island. Trapped in some dank bunker. He’s kicking a plexi-glass wall, and this is part of a clip I saw online a few days ago.

Kate wakes up in a shower, with Zeke the Beardguy talking smack. She’s supposed to shower up, she doesn’t want to give him the satisfaction — and he drops that Beardguy don’t swing that way. (I guess he really did get rid of the beard, didn’t he? Oh snap!) He stalks off, amused at himself. Kate pulls off a band-aid… somebody’s done some injecting.

Sawyer wakes up at some new Dharma base. He’s in a cage. Someone else is hunched up in a cage across the way, not responding to Sawyer’s questions — a smart move on his part. Sawyer pushes a red food button, which says “warning” repeatedly. Mystery Cageboy tells him “I wouldn’t do that,” so of course, he does it again — and gets violently zapped across his cage for his efforts. Heh.

Jack’s making a huge ruckus in his bunker. An Other cuts in and tells him to knock it off. “Hi, Jack. I’m Julia.” (EDIT: IMDb tells me it’s actually Juliet.) Are we supposed to know her already?

BREAK. A Jeep commercial tricks us into thinking it’s still LOST. A falcon divebombs it for some reason. Whatever.

flashJack. A receptionist asks where Jack’s lawyer is. His ex, Sara, is there, asking the same. Getting divorced? Probably. Jack starts pumping her for info on her new beau, being a pathetic jerk. “I just want to know the name of the man who’s with my wife,” he asks, sobbily. She stalks off, pissed.

Back. Jack’s still yanking on chains. Juliet asks him to knock it off. He doesn’t. “Tell me where my friends are!” She doesn’t. Excellent progress, show.

Kate showers. Opens her locker… and gets swept back to high school as her clothes are snatched. “WEAR THIS” says a masking tape label on another nearby locker. A dress is inside, though it looks like lingerie at first. Beardguy is back. “Come on Kate. He’s waiting.” My guess is Gale.

And it is! It’s a regular Fantasy Island setup on the white beach, comeplete with open bar… and handcuffs. Kinky. Kate manacles herself at the promise of coffee, I guess. Gale wants them tighter; she complies.

Gale analyzes her sentence structure and syntax. He reveals they burned her clothes, and Kate’s full of questions. In a roundabout way, he lets on that this is really an elaborate “last meal” sort of setup, giving her “somthing to hold on to.” “The next 2 weeks are going to be very uokasant,” he says. (EDIT: actually, now that the impetus to TYPETYPETYPE!, is gone, I can safely tell you he says the next few days will be very unpleasant.)


flashJack. Jack’s back on the phone giving someone a BS story about finding his ex-wife’s cell on a train when JackDaddy wanders in, giving him crap for wasting company time. Something rings — I guess we’re supposed to think the schmoe on the other end of the call bought Jack’s lame cover story. Sara is apparently calling JackDaddy’s cell. Jack gets his meltdown on, calls dady some names (”drunk”, mostly).

Back at Craphole Island. Some weird clicking over a speaker in the bunker. Jack, obviously losing it, thinks he can hear his dad’s voice in it. Juliet appears with some food. She explains the Craphole Island cafeteria policy, and Jack gives her some crazy for her trouble.

Seemingly overly significant shot of grilled cheese cut into 4 triangles.

Jack goes into some lie about being a repo man when Juliet asks his profession — he’s not fooling anyone. Jack gives straight answers about his dad’s death in Australia when she asks where he was going when his plane went down. “What the hell is going on here?” asks Jack, and the entire viewing audience sympathizes.

Back at Dhartanamo Bay. Mystery Cageboy, whom Sawyer nicknames “Chachi”, starts getting curious about the qualities of Sawyer’s Lostaway buddies. “Oh, they’re just awesome!” he growls. (Heh.) Chachi asks about the camp where his Sawyer’s friends are… and before Sawyer can even make up a new nickname, Chachi’s out of his cage, and alarms are all crazylike. The boys split up, running into the jungle. Julie’s out there. Sawyer pauses… and she stun-guns him. Sawyer gets tossed back in the clink. “40 days in ze coolah!” We learn Chachi’s real name is Carl. Beardguy makes Carl apologize for trying to help Sawyer bust out of the joint. What a little weirdo.


Juliet starts talking about how the meds they gave Jack will mess him up if he doesn’t start playing nice. This isn’t how Jack operates, though, even when faced with reason, so it’s a tough sell. Jack eventually concedes, and Juliet thanks him.

flashJack. Jack’s at the hospital, with JackDaddy nearby, laughing it up on his cell. Jack ignites with paranoid rage. Later: Jack stalks his own dad someplace downtown. I think this is the flashback where the ep started.

Jack busts in on what I’m guessing right away is JackDaddy’s AA meeting and gets all pissy. Jack goes on a self-righteous rant that’s as unprovoked as usual. The AA lady (I win!) lets on that JackDaddy’s been dry for 50 days, and Jack turns it around into JackDaddy cleaning up to mack on his straying wife. Jack tackles him. (Of course.)

Back in the bunker. Jack totally slams Juliet when she comes in, like who didn’t see this coming. He takes her hostage. Henry Gale rolls in as Jack tries to get her to open some hatch thing in the hallway. Jack lets her go, opens that hatch, and it’s floodtime! Juliet struggles over and they manage to get the thing closed again. (I have no idea how.) Jack hits an emergency button they were talking about earlier, to unknown effect.

BREAK. I’m getting a mocha to calm the shakes. I think I might be getting some kind of throat thing.

Back at Dharmtanamo Bay. Sawyer’s hard at work Rube Goldberg-ing the food release mechanism in his cage. Using a rock for a weight, he victoriously punches that button and revels in the congratulatory music. For his trouble, he gets a fish-shaped “DHARMA”-printed biscuit, an avalanche of kibble, and some water which he hastily gulps down. Some Others bring Kate in, and she’s not looking to be at 100%. Beardguy makes a passing reference to the bears (I’m guessing polar) only taking two hours to do what took Sawyer however long. No word on if said bears were initially jailed for robbing pic-a-nic baskets.

Kate and Sawyer exchange some idle chit-chat. Sawyer tosses her his Dharmabiscuit, which she eats.

Back in the bunker. Looks like Jack’s back where he started. Jack figures out that he’s in some underwater marine facility — an abandoned aquarium. “The Hydra,” Juliet informs us. “It doesn’t matter who we were. It only matters who we are,” she portents, before telling Jack his own life story. Juliet gets all Mr. Smith on Jack and lets on that the bulging folder in front of her is “his life.” She does not, however, inform him that one of these lives has a future, and one does not.

flashJack. Back at the hospital. Sara shows up… then just leaves? Whatever. Jack follows, getting on his “I need to know!” kick again. “Look on the brightside,” she says. “Now you have something to fix.” Burn, I guess.

Back at the bunker. “What would you like to find out?” Julia asks. Jack asks about Sara, Julia says she’s happy, yadda yadda yadda. Juliet tries to get on Jack’s good side again, offers some food if he promises to play nice, and Jack’s too emo now to care, so he complies, all weepy.

“Good work, Juliet,” Gales says out in the hall, all conspiratorial. “Something-something, Ben,” she says.” Ooh, “Ben”. What a shocker of a revelation the end the premiere on.

Wait — that’s really it? Oh whatever, LOST. Whatever.

Gosford Park


Robert Altman’s film Gosford Park has always had my interest for supposedly being improvised in large part by its actors — an unusual feat for a drama. I still don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, every castmember deserves congratulation for complete authenticity.

Gosford Park is billed as a murder mystery, but it barely is one — a murder mystery is present, but it is far from the driving force of the film. It doesn’t even occur until well past the halfway point of the film by my reckoning, and exists primarily as a springboard for the mounting class tensions at the manor we can only assume is the titular Gosford Park (those words are never spoken in the length of the film).

The division between “upstairs” and “downstairs” is at the heart of Gosford, and the class stratification doesn’t end there. Butlers and footman rank above the maids, who take on the family names of their charges for their stay in the country manor. The maids themselves rank above the kitchen staff and hard manual laborers, and factory work is the lowest of the low — a cook distances herself from any possible heritage of factory work during a dinner conversation about family history. They may only be the hired help, but at least it’s no factory.

I don’t want to spoil what I felt was the movie’s most compelling mystery — the secret Ryan Phillipe’s character, Henry Denton, harbors — but the mystery surrounding his character was what kept me most invested in the film’s analysis of English polite society. Also helping to illumine the pecularity of this period is the perspective of Denton’s master, an American filmmaker brought along by English actor Ivor Novello (an actual silent film star from the 1920’s). Constantly on the phone with California about the details of a whodunit in an English county estate, his dissections almost constitute a meta-commentary on the film in-progress.

I always enjoy seeing Clive Owen turn up in unexpected places, and the cold dispassion that he exudes so well here, and in other films like Sin City, make it obvious why Hollywood was after him to be the next Bond. I fully understand his dismissal of the franchise — it’s long passed its expiration date, and Owen is much better as the self-satisfied outcast like he is here than the smug charmer we see in the 007 flicks.

The camera work is brilliantly subtle — always in motion in every shot, however delicately. It feels supremely natural, thanks to the two-camera technique director Altman used to have his actors play scenes as naturally as possible. Wireless microphones were used in place of boom mics to give the actors even further freedom within a scene.

A handful of gently foreshadowing push shots on poisons near at hand in several scenes are equally subtle — shots where the actors are cropped to busy torsos, drawing your attention from their actions to the objects in the corners of the composition, growing steadily larger as the camera lingers. According to IMDb, there are also servants of some stature in every shot of the film — a claim I certainly believe, though I haven’t put it to the test myself.

A word of advice: I watched this late one Friday night with music pouring in from upstairs and resigned myself to turning the captions on. I recommend you do the same no matter how optimal the conditions are, if it’s the first time you’re watching the film. Between the broad range of English, Irish, Scottish and American accents, overlapping dialogue, simultaneous conversations and mutterings, I can’t imagine trying to follow the complex machinations of the plot any other way the first time through.


It’s two birds with one stone to get us all caught up.

Continue reading ‘Critical Hits setlist: week 2, KWRS solo setlist #4′

I’m a bit behind in my setlists — this one is from last Friday’s show.

Continue reading ‘KWRS solo setlist #3′

Alright, so this is kind of insane: Mark Schuldt, an RA in the dorm I lived in last year, a table-top gaming buddy (and owner of the sword featured in a couple pointless videos here) has been served by the RIAA.

Now, this is sort of hearsay, even though I heard it from the man houston carpet cleaning himself, because Mark wasn’t actually approached directly by the RIAA (though I did tell him if he gets anything on paper to let me know; I am absolutely dying to see what one of these things looks like in person).

The person they went through instead is Alan Jacob, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Student Housing here at Whitworth — basically, the guy who oversees the dorm lottery, halls being built, etc. How exactly make money on ebay he becomes the go-to guy I’m not sure, but this is the RIAA’s show, not ours, so I’ll let it slide.

According to Mark, the charge isn’t that serious — I’m not sure if it’s even a formal carpet cleaners dallas charge of any kind as this point. What truly piqued my interest is the penance they’ve asked of Mark: a five page paper (about what, I’m not sure, I guess not downloading/distributing songs) that will make any potential suit go bye-bye.

Is this now the RIAA’s preferred modus operandi? Given that they’ve stayed the course with grandmas, twelve-year-olds, dead people and families without computers, I’m surprised to see them playing softball. Maybe they’ve wisened up a bit after suffering the embarassment of their cases being dismissed time and again in court? They can’t have much against Mark — the guy isn’t computer illiterate, but music really isn’t his bag, and neither is downloading. Talk about your bad luck.

For the record, Mark tells me that best penny stocks the song they nabbed him with was U2’s “Beautiful Day”, which seems at least mildly ironic given the lyrics:

you thought you’d found a friend
to take you out of this place
someone you could lend a hand
in return for grace

“Someone you could lend a hand in return for grace,” eh? Maybe the RIAA does have a sense of humor buried in that deep, dark, litigious heart of theirs.


20 years old and a journalism major at Whitworth College. Born in Portland, Oregon, where he hopes to live on his own someday. Claims to be a recovering nerd, but he's definitely lying about the recovery part.



» don’t be surprised at a lack of updates these past few days — i’ve got some dastardly plague hell-bent on ruining my weekend. lack… typing… energy… # 0

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manchesterthomas & davemanchester & friendsstikfas


20 years old and a journalism major at Whitworth College. Born in Portland, Oregon, where he hopes to live on his own someday. Claims to be a recovering nerd, but he's definitely lying about the free instagram followers recovery part.