My Letterman memories (May 30, 2015)
David Letterman retired this month. I didn’t watch his last show, or his last several, or indeed his last few years’ worth of shows. I did feel compelled to at least pay respects, on the final evening, so I did watch his very last entrance onto the studio floor as the Late Show host via the show’s website, simultaneous with its final television broadcast. That felt like enough; I didn’t stay up to watch the rest.
“Daredevil” owns its violence, but not its torture (April 16, 2015)
I give Netflix’s Daredevil full credit for depicting interpersonal violence as a far more brutal and filthy activity than most any contemporary mainstream entertainment does. The protagonist Matt Murdock doesn’t KO thugs with one punch in the telegenic and antiseptic fashion one typically sees in action-oriented popular media. He slams guys into walls, knocks them down, then puts a knee in their chests and pounds away at their faces, left-right-left-right, until their noses shatter, their orbitals fracture, and their teeth rattle loose under shredded lips. The show pairs every strike with wet, crunchy Foley-work wincingly suggestive of human flesh and bones becoming pulverized through acute trauma. The camera lingers over the way the blood mingles between the bad guys’ mangled bodies and Murdock’s gore-soaked, ever-skinned knuckles.
We embrace to stop the bleeding (February 28, 2015)
Like others beyond number, I learned midday yesterday that Leonard Nimoy had died. I had a little more work to do that day but I did it slowly and poorly; I felt wrecked emotionally. Though cognizant of the unhealthy relationship with celebrity where fans can’t help but assume familiarity with famous people due to their spending so much time with their broadcast images, I unavoidably felt as if I had lost a distant but still beloved uncle.