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Weekend Notebook

By admin Published: May 4, 2008

Bits of this and that, after the jump. ...

Yesterday started earlier than most Saturdays, with a trip to Cleveland for a morning screening of "Speed Racer." I will be posting a review sometime next week. But I can say that the Wachowski brothers are great visual stylists but not nearly the deep thinkers they consider themselves to be. In fact, a lot of their big ideas in "Speed Racer" are from "Rollerball" (the good, James Caan version).

Today I finished reading "Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics," Eleanor Clift's meditation on the death of her husband, Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Tom Brazaitis, and its intersection with the debate over Terri Schiavo. Clift is coming to town later this month, and I may be interviewing her, but I probably would have gotten to the book anyway.

Still, for some reason, I have been on a streak of books over recent weeks that are about two things, usually in some parallel fashion. Before "Two Weeks of Life," there was "The Man Time Forgot," Isaiah Wilner's biography of Briton Hadden, a major figure in the creation and development of Time magazine, whose role was long diminished when his early death let Henry Luce place himself in the foreground; the book is about young Luce as much as it is about Hadden. And before that was "Sound and Fury," Dave Kindred's book about Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell.

There's more to be said about each book, of course. One of the things that struck me about Wilner's was the way the early Time magazine reflected issues that still beset journalism, from the audience's longing for news in easily digestible bites to a sometimes snarky tone that predated modern magazines -- and bloggers. And I'm not convinced that the stories of Cosell and Ali fit together as well as Kindred has tried to make them. And I will have plenty to talk to Clift about. But right now, that's some of what is bouncing in my head.

I promised some thoughts on "Grey's" and "Lost." I really like what "Lost" is doing right now because, well, it makes sense. I know, it doesn't make enough sense, but there are two seasons to go after this one, so I'm not pretending that I will get all the answers. But I liked the kind of gothic tone of Thursday's show, and the way we got to fit a puzzle piece into the Jack/Kate story. I was disappointed that the smoke monster left a surprisingly number of mercs intact, although maybe it did more damage than I realize, since I don't remember how many people were in the unit before Smokey went a-huntin'.

I am still having trouble getting back into "Grey's Anatomy." I liked some of the elements of Addison's return, especially when people had to catch her up on all the things she had missed, and Bailey's resistance to catching Addison up, since she would just be leaving again. Liked the Chief's inviting Addison back in a scene that was framed much like the one where she said she was leaving, and I loved the elevator scene near the end. But beyond that ... I'm just not excited. Maybe it will come later.

Also this weekend: some house cleanup, shopping, family dinner out, church, groceries, and a couple of HeldenFiles columns. We're pushing on.

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