The best SF comedies
At io9, Alasdair Wilkins and Charlie Jane Anders picked “The 13 Greatest Science Fiction Comedies Of All Time.”
They left out one of my faves, Paul, which is unforgivable.
And they named a few … er, peculiar ones, but any list that includes Galaxy Quest meets with my approval.
Galaxy Quest is a rare trifecta: it’s a great science fiction comedy, it’s a brilliant comedy about science fiction, and it actually works as a pretty decent science fiction film in its own right. The film never loses sight of its parody of Star Trek’s most cliched tropes or its affectionate skewering of the various neuroses of the has-been actors, and it’s a tribute to Galaxy Quest’s comic dexterity that it perfectly balances both threads.
The mystery of Creativity
Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist Leonard Cohen is among the most exhilarating creative spirits of the past century, Maria Popova writes at Brain Pickings. She draws on a 1992 Paul Zollo interview which begins with Cohen considering the purpose of music in human life:
There are always meaningful songs for somebody. People are doing their courting, people are finding their wives, people are making babies, people are washing their dishes, people are getting through the day, with songs that we may find insignificant. But their significance is affirmed by others. There’s always someone affirming the significance of a song by taking a woman into his arms or by getting through the night. That’s what dignifies the song. Songs don’t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song.
Cohen’s most moving insights on songwriting transcend the specificity of the craft and extend to the universals of life.
“f I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often. It’s a mysterious condition. It’s much like the life of a Catholic nun. You’re married to a mystery.
Before I can discard the verse, I have to write it… I can’t discard a verse before it is written because it is the writing of the verse that produces whatever delights or interests or facets that are going to catch the light. The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.
If Strangers Talked to Everybody like They Talk to Writers
Strangers seem very willing to offer advice — ‘self-publishing is where the money is!’ — to writers, Lincoln Michel notes at Electric Lit. What it would be like if people talked about other professions in this way.?
“Ah, a middle school teacher? Have I met any of the students you’ve ever taught?”
“An accountant? Wow, I haven’t even looked at a number since high school.”
“News anchor? Okay here’s a news story I’ve been thinking about for years: the vice president slips into a vat of grape jelly. People would love that story, right? It’s yours! I’ll never have time to get away from work and break the story to a national audience myself.”
“Software programmer? Like, for actual computers sold in stores or just as a hobby?”
13 Dysfunctional Literary Couples Who Should Have Broken Up
Literature is littered with plenty of couples who were meant to be, Tori Telfer muses in a light-hearted piece at Bustle.
…sometimes it seems like everyone in books is experiencing adorable meet-cutes … But for every pair of literary lovers who finish each other’s sentences, there’s a duo that does nothing but drag each other into the darkness… Can you imagine how differently things would have turned out if these losers had just broken up with each other like 50 pages earlier?
Recipe for a Raymond Carver marriage: a lot of drinking, a lot of smoking, and a healthy dash of constantly thinking about how you’d like to leave your spouse. Mix well with weakness of character. Never change a thing.
45 random acts of kindness
Okay, sometimes you just need to be reminded, in the face of everything dark in the world today, that there are a few lights flickering out there somewhere. In spite of it all. Maybe even because of it. Do a kind deed for someone to day – or say a kind word – just because you can. Be a human being.
Check out these random acts of kindness celebrated at Passit Down.
After work, this man takes uneaten bagels and hands them out to the needy on the street.
Rugby player Brian O’Driscoll visited his biggest fan in the hospital.
Quote of the Day
“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one
else can see.“~ Arthur Schopenhauer