A is for August and Allergies

Things have been quiet here at EcEc for the last few days. Preparations for the upcoming semester are gearing up. Ragweed pollen is high, my eyes are itchy and swollen, and I haven’t been reading much online or elsewhere.

Instead I’ve been watching movies and television episodes on DVD. I watched Heat again because I was curious to see if it was as annoying as I remembered. I enjoyed Miami Vice when it came out earlier this summer, and liked Collateral on DVD. Michael Mann is very interesting to watch visually. But what is it with the shower scenes in Heat and Miami Vice? Is this some kind of code for baptism, cleanliness, vulnerability? An academic paper probably lurks somewhere in the symbolism of water in Mann’s films. It’s doubtful that I’ll ever write it.

On television I’ve been obsessing over Joss Whedon’s Firefly. I’m late to the party by several years but the shows are worthy. The obsessive annotations made about the show on Wikipedia are amusing and instructive in a way that I don’t feel like detailing today.

I took a detour into Miami Vice, based on the Michael Mann curiosity, and discovered that TV shows in the 1980s had about five more minutes of run time than today’s shows, 48 versus 43 minutes. So, ipso facto, I must conclude that commercialism is running rampant in America. It’s proven by anecdote if not statistic.

I saw Cars and the Devil Wears Prada at the theater. Big screens are much more enjoyable than small televisions or computer monitors. Cars was so-so. The animation is really the only reason I go to see Pixar movies, sometimes the story is surprisingly good others not so much. Devil Wears Prada was a fun little romp through the world of New York publishing. As MaryAnn Johanson says it’s too true to be fiction.

Todd Suomela
Associate Director for Digital Pedagogy & Scholarship Department

My interests include digital scholarship, citizen science, leadership, and communications.