Every 25th post, darkadaptedeye takes a planned break from normal business to plumb the shallow depths of its author’s psyche and/or overtly explore the locked attic of memories it only ever really dabbles in otherwise. You might think of it as a pit stop, or maybe a soft reboot. In “Danse Macabre”, Stephen King termed his own such digression “An Annoying Autobiographical Pause”, which I choose to think was kind of charming. Please know I take seriously the challenge of making patent self-indulgence interesting – actual results be damned – and I appreciate you being game. We’ll return to our irregularly scheduled programming shortly…
“Put down that chainsaw and listen to me / It’s time for us to join in the fight!
It’s time to let your babies grow up to be cowboys / It’s time to let the bedbugs bite!
You’d better put all your eggs in one basket / You’d better count your chickens before they hatch!
You’d better sell some wine before its time / You’d better find yourself an itch to scratch…”
What do you say at the moment you finally meet your idol?
This mile marker post snuck up me, I must admit. Normally, I start thinking about what personal aspect or chestnut or toy from the attic I might want to unpack and talk about several posts in advance. It’s a sort of game, occasionally even fun. This time, however, I cycled through a handful of disparate topics and even started writing up one in earnest before also deeming it unsatisfactory. These “25s” (“quarters”?) have been known to impede my progress otherwise before. I made it a rule early on that the mile marker always had to be dealt with, in its proper chronological spot, before other business could be attended to. Someone special died? Some awesome movie filled you to the brim with inspiration?* Too bad. Finish your “quarter” first. Luckily, the answer to this conundrum was staring me in the face the whole time. If I couldn’t quite make it out until the moment it represented was nigh, perhaps it was obscured by the clouds of my ongoing daydream. I come to you here a humble, relatively happy man. Continue Reading
“You will destroy the world, Wakanda included!”
“The world took everything away from me! Everything I ever loved! But I’ma make sure we’re even. I’ma track down anyone who would even think of being loyal to you, and I’ma put their ass in the dirt, right next to Zuri!”
The Wakandan Board of Tourism must truly be a buzzing hive of state-sponsored propaganda and activity, secretive yet proud (with ample reason for each posture), by turns touting and tempering outsider interest in the emerging Central African nation’s rich, impressive, at times head-spinning history, cultural traditions, dangerous geographic beauty, anthropological complexity, philanthropic motivations, and booming industrial and technological concerns in relation to an unsteady, still-evolving position on the world stage. Damn good thing, I guess, that it doesn’t exist. Yet. Wakanda, the fictional swath of third world African flyover country with the clandestine first world pedigree and explosive new world potential, is the breakout star of the much-anticipated Black Panther, and stands tall and apart as the premier achievement in Marvel’s world building efforts thus far. Continue Reading
“He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”
Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour is history writ large right down to the colossal block font used in its main titles, blown up and simplified enough to be digestible without ever quite spoon feeding its audience. It depicts with near-relentless and, occasionally, nerve-wracking intensity Sir Winston Churchill’s harrowing first three weeks as British Prime Minister, a particularly fraught period mere months into World War II where the European continent balanced on a knife edge and the proud United Kingdom stood by, dumbfounded, not to mention relatively powerless for the first time in centuries, watching one neighbor state domino after another (Belgium, Denmark, then, unbelievably, France) fall under the crush of Nazi Germany’s advance.
In what has become something of an unfortunate tradition inside a tradition, once again it takes me until February to officially close up business for the prior year (though the Valentine’s Day publishing date was an unexpected coincidence). I don’t know what to tell you. There’s not a lot to recommend researching, compiling, writing up, and releasing a comprehensive top twenty music countdown without fellow contributors to help shoulder the workload. I write professionally in addition to running this little backwater, and I can tell you that there are days when the last possible thing on my mind is trying to fill yet another blank page with pop culture ephemera. There’s also a level on which I was probably too consistently consumed with national and world events in 2017 to let the year’s roster of music go about its transporting and soothing work to the degree it was needed. Lord knows I could’ve used the break. Continue Reading
As this writing begins, Mike Tomlin, his remaining coaching staff, and an impressive total of nine imminently deserving Pittsburgh Steelers players are themselves getting to work with Pro Bowl preparations in Orlando, Florida. Depending on their individual levels of competitive and team spirit, self-belief, and self-respect, this year-end award might not constitute for them the worry-free holiday, getting paid one last time to play a kid’s game, that it likely will for the majority of their peers. Nor should it. The 2017 Pittsburgh Steelers had big dreams and lofty goals, the sort for which only one final destination, or result while there engaged, will suffice. Falling short yet again with this level of overall talent and seeming resolve should provide a personal reckoning to every person in the organization, and, for all I know, has. Continue Reading
also appearing: Devin Townsend Project, The Obsessed
Express Live! Columbus, Ohio – December 31, 2017
There was a time – a simpler time not terribly many backward miles removed from this one – when I could reliably count on any concert by the groove-slinging desperados in Clutch being attended by most everybody I knew. To me, a Clutch show has always been an event, equal parts party and performance, a saucy suaree chemically engineered to make both your butt wiggle and your head bang, and, as an uncut, undistilled, damned near undeniable example of rock and roll at its most simultaneously festive and combustive, perhaps the preeminent affable, affordable, bi-annual flame to which musical Midwestern moths like me might flock. Even if, beyond the surface, all those not-so-long-ago shows might not have ever been anything particularly special, they always felt singular to me Continue Reading
“What do you want?”
“I want to play hide and seek.”
Normally, I allow a movie a decent amount of time to settle within me – within my brain, my heart, the pit of my stomach, or whatever destination it might have claimed – before launching into the process of writing a review. My digestive system failed me fairly early on, however, as I watched Eli Roth’s Knock Knock. Reviews on DAE are fussy, cockeyed things to begin with, greenlit or squashed like a grape on little more than a whim and subject to sudden, sometimes staggering change at all times. Some wait for their author in the back alley with a tire iron and mounting impatience while others have to be cobbled together out of endlessly revised individual parts days, weeks, or even longer stretches after the fact. Well before I finished Roth’s 100-minute dog whistle concerto, I had already determined there was no real point in writing about it, a decision that, although I made myself slog to its end, still almost single-handedly rescued the remainder of my Sunday from a waist-high and deepening pit of despair. Continue Reading