Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sapphire bullets, bullets of pure love

  • My latest On the Scent column is up, on an auteur theory of perfume. Excerpt:
    The first lie may be more damaging on the whole to perfume’s reputation. Unlike the others, which simply wave the marketing wand to make the juice seem more valuable than it is, the first lie degrades a perfume’s status as art in several ways—first, by hiding the real “designers” behind the curtain. Fashion is taken more seriously as an art in part because designers are celebrated as singular artists. Perfumers, no matter how talented, work in secret, like ghost writers—imagine if celebrity memoirs were written by award-winning authors rather than nameless hacks. Secondly it makes perfumery look easy, since designers apparently need no specialized training to do it. And finally, by lumping perfume in with fashion, the industry has created the perception of perfume as outwardly directed, as decoration—a tool to improve how you smell to others, the way cosmetics are a tool to improve how you look. This attitude neglects the potential enjoyment for the wearer. You can’t see your own face with make-up on, but you can smell your own wrist.
    SOTD, BTW, is Miller Harris Geranium Bourbon.

  • There's something mesmerizing about side-scrolling video games. They're fun to watch, even just videos of games, where nothing is at stake. I used to love watching my brother play Nintendo. The current style, where your avatar can wander freely in a 3D-ish world, may be fun to play, but they're boring to watch, especially if you come in in medias res. You lose that simple visual indication of continual progress. Also, it seems like games don't have music anymore, just sound effects. Am I making this up?

  • I'm reading a book that was made into a movie (In the Cut). I haven't seen the movie, but it's difficult, anyway, not to picture the characters as the actors cast in those roles. This is aggravating. The main character really shouldn't look like Meg Ryan.

  • Do you always picture the events in fiction taking place in your own house? I do, even though my own place of residence rarely matches the setting in the book. On occasion I force myself to picture a different house, but it's almost always one in the real world. I don't, however, cast my friends in the roles of the characters.

17 comments:

  1. • i lost interest in video games once they all became 3D-ish. too confusing. i wasn't even aware they don't make side-scrolling ones anymore.

    • In the Cut was hot, if i remember correctly.

    • i often picture my (old) house or my grandparents', though i try not to. i've gotten pretty good at imagining houses. apartments are easier to imagine, cuz they're simpler.

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  2. They probably still make side-scrolling video games, but now they seem retro.

    The book or the movie? Either way, yes, c'est sexy.

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  3. movie.

    i have marked it as to-read.

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  4. According to IMDB, Nicole Kidman was originally cast for the role of In the Cut's Frannie. Would she have been a better choice?

    I saw bits of the film (I'll watch any piece of crap with Mark Ruffalo in it)but it didn't grab me...For some reason it reminds me of the whole Looking for Mr.Goodbar story.

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  5. Interesting ... she seems to beautiful. The character is a brainy teacher, into linguistics. So I think it should be someone kind of wise/quirky-seeming. Meg Ryan is probably closer than Nicole Kidman, but still not quite right.

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  6. i've decided i'm going to picture naomi watts when i read it.

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  7. You convinced me to add it to my to-read list, too. It's fun to read the love-hate comments its provoked people to make on Goodreads, like "If you can stomach gruesome, twisted violence and enjoy analyzing it on a symbolic or literary level, then you may appreciate this book more than I. I don't think this book had anywhere near enough to say, however, to justify its sickening level of brutality."

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  8. I feel like I should say I'm not ready to recommend it yet -- I'm just saying I'm reading it. For what it's worth, I'm 101 pages in and it's not sickeningly brutal yet.

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  9. I like hard-boiled mysteries/crime things generally, so it'd be cool to read one by a woman for a change.

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  10. I'm not sure it's hard-boiled, but yeah, you might like it -- it's a very quick read in any case.

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  11. It has, like, a mystery and crooked cops and stuff right? The way people were describing it on Goodreads made it sound sort of Jim Thompson-esque, but maybe that's not quite right. Anyway, I'm interested.

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  12. well how to you define hard-boiled? I think of it as a tone. The tone isn't like that, though yes, it's a crime story. I haven't gotten to the dirty cops yet.

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  13. Okay, I guess it's not hard-boiled, if it hasn't got that tone. Thanks for clearing it up.

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  14. Sunny side up, over easy, hard-boiled--I'll read almost anything. And I'll still probably read this, even if it's not actually the latter.

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  15. I might post a little excerpt to give you a "taste"

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