Some takes on 2017, before it ends

The end of 2017 is nigh. And with it, the top ten lists, the retrospectives, the predictions. Rather than the Top Books Published in 2017 or the Best Films of the Year or anything like this, here’s my list of opinions, ideas, and arguments that I have not already written about in 2017 and would like to make sure I write about before the year is up and they become potentially irrelevant.

So, here we go.

The Literature Takes

One. Are we living in Vonnegut’s unfinished final novel?

I’ve already written about how painfully the current world resembles a Vonnegut novel. But as nuclear war ticks closer, metaphors invade real life, and madmen in decline occupy the highest positions of power, it’s worth wondering if we might simply be living in Vonnegut’s world.

According to his book A Man Without a Country, Vonnegut had an unfinished novel at the end of his life, a novel with little-to-no prospect of ever being finished. He called it If God Were Alive Today and describes it as

“…about Gil Berman, thirty-six years my junior, a standup comedian at the end of the world. It is about making jokes while we are killing all the fish in the ocean, and touching off the last chunks or drops or whiffs of fossil fuel. But it will not let itself be finished.”

AManWithoutACountry

Is it possible that this is where we are right now? Is Vonnegut writing our history from a different place? Is this idea really dramatically different than Elon Musk saying we living in a simulation? Or the suggestion made by philosopher David Chalmers that we are not just in a simulation, but one that is breaking? Wouldn’t it be at least more reassuring to think that we are in a Vonnegut novel, rather than a computer program that is slowly breaking down? Continue reading “Some takes on 2017, before it ends”

Fourteen Ways to Celebrate Jeff Goldblum Day on October 22nd #JeffGoldblumDay

Everyone loves Jeff Goldblum. Or, if you don’t, you should. And what better way to celebrate Jeff Goldblum and the month of October than with Jeff Goldblum Day on October 22nd (which, depending on what day you’re reading this, is today!)

Why October 22nd? Because that’s his birthday, and now it’s his holiday. Why does Jeff Goldblum deserve a holiday? Why wouldn’t he?

And now, fourteen ways to celebrate Jeff Goldblum Day:

1. Watch The Fly

This, like many Goldblum films, exists between genres. The Fly, a remake of a classic, is a blend of horror and science fiction, a hybrid a la the titular character. Classic Goldblum.

Scary stuff.
Scary stuff.

Also, it’s directed by David Cronenberg.

(it’s available on HBO Go and HBO Now, for those of you who use such things).

2. Watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Okay, admittedly Goldblum isn’t the main character here, but it’s another terrifying remake of a sci-fi staple. One of the highlights is the bizarre, tense dynamic between Goldblum and Leonard Nemoy.

These guys!
These guys!

(Also, this one is easy. It’s on Netflix.)

3. Have a Wes Anderson and Jeff Goldblum double feature evening in which you watch The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Grand Budapest Hotel

What’s better than the scene where there’s a shootout and Goldblum’s character just stands there watching?

Couldn't find the scene I was referencing, so here's this one instead.
Couldn’t find the scene I was referencing, so here’s this one instead.

4. Watch Independence Day

Obviously. Always a good option. Whether it’s Independence Day, Jeff Goldblum Day, or any other day.

5. Watch The Big Chill

I’m not saying this movie is good. But for many people out there, it’s their first Jeff Goldblum memory.

6. Have a Jeff Goldblum Costume Contest

Always a fun time, and a good way to get ready for Halloween.

7. Have a Jeff Goldblum Trivia Contest

See this page for ideas.

8. Have a Jeff Goldblum Impression Contest

“I go visit her in high school and all the guys she goes to school with are, like, strong and handsome and really, like, funny and do good impressions of Jeff Goldblum and shit like that.”

-Dale Denton, Pineapple Express

Just don’t say this:

9. Watch Annie Hall and see if you can detect Jeff Goldblum during his brief scene.

It’s tough but pay attention and you’ll see him.

10. Watch Jeff Goldblum’s Tim and Eric videos.

These are weird. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But they also prove how cool Jeff Goldblum really is.

11. Start a petition to have Jeff Goldblum in the next Jurassic World.

It shouldn’t be too hard to shoehorn him in. I’m not saying he should be the action hero, as we saw how that didn’t exactly work in The Lost World. But if he can provide both insights and comic relief like he did in the original, then it could only make it a better movie.

Yep, that's Vince Vaughn standing behind him.
Yep, that’s Vince Vaughn standing behind him.

12. Write a letter to Jeff Goldblum, thanking him for being in the upcoming Independence Day sequel.

You know who isn’t in it? Randy Quaid and Will Smith. But we don’t need those guys, because Goldblum is reprising his role of “unlikely hero.”

This guy.
This guy.

13. Watch any of his roles on various television shows, from Friends to Portlandia to Sesame Street.

You can start here:

14. Or, just start planning for the next Jeff Goldblum Day. You have a year.