Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

In Movies on December 28, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Animated movie set in the afterlife.  Twin brothers, one good, one bad, meet after a number of years apart — and then are hit by a bus and die at the same time.  Because of a clerical error (in the gray world of purgatory in which all the afterlife’s bureaucracy is handled), they get mixed up after death.  The good one goes to hell, where he makes friends with a pudgy, anxious, good-hearted little demon who the other demons always pick on.  The bad one goes to heaven and sneaks cigarettes with a lazy, seedy angel.  Meanwhile, some plot is unfolding involving the portals through which residents of the afterworlds observe and influence the life of the living and the unfinished affairs of the two brothers on earth (some family or love trouble). Eventually, the clerical error comes to light, and the good brother is told to take his rightful place up above.  But being so good, he refuses to cast his brother into hell.  The bad brother, though, has already come forward on his own to point out the mistake and get his brother out of hell.  So they both go to heaven; only their two angel friends are reassigned to their proper locations and switch places.


In Movies on December 28, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Animated movie set at a huge laboratory building where researchers conduct tests on animals.  The animals stage a revolt.  Rebel leader is a very cute, round, snow-white rat, rabbit, or hamster whose face has been disfigured by some test, which has possibly also given him superintelligence.

In Literary on December 10, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Book: “Nowadays.”  Book consisting entirely of quotations that begin “Nowadays,” or “These days,” or “In our time…” etc.  Vivid examples of how people in every era, from the Greeks on, believed that their own age was hopelessly corrupt, mediocre, or both, and how things have been going continuously to the dogs since the beginning of civilization.

In Products on December 1, 2009 at 3:01 pm

A more exciting state or national lottery, inspired by Borges’ story The Lottery in Babylon. When you buy a ticket, you sign your name and agree to accept whatever prize you get.  You do this because some of the prizes are bad: you have to pay a fine, or get your head shaved in public, or spend six months in a medium-security prison, or watch as your car is set on fire.  Among the good prizes are not just large amounts of cash, but special perks, the right to be called “Dr.”, to be seated first in any restaurant for a year, even certain government posts.