On Sunday, I went to a marathon of the original Star Wars trilogy hosted by the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. If you’re unfamiliar with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, I am obsessed with them. It’s partly the preshows, partly the food, partly the free birthday ticket and extensive rewards program, and partly the programming. I first heard about them when they did a summer of programming meant to mimic the cinematic summer of 1982, which is so up my alley it hurts. But, alas, I lived in Georgia then, far away from a Drafthouse, and went unsatisfied. When I lived in Denver, however, I made many a pilgrimage south of the city to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. I saw The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug there and distinctly remember being awed by the very bathrooms.
There’s a location opening up in Brooklyn SOMETIME. I an eternally frustrated by the unavailability of a hard and fast date (just tell me if I can see Rogue One there!), but I realize it’s to do with permits and other deeply unsexy bureaucratic needs.
I never really “got” Star Wars until I found the theatrical cuts on VHS at my favorite used bookstore in Atlanta. (This is, of course, hilarious, as I am now composed of 90% Star Wars.) Inspired by Revenge of the Sith, I watched the special editions in high school, and I surely must have finished all of them. What else could I have done with all of that delicious, now-envious free time? But they didn’t stick. But I watched the theatrical cuts while housesitting in college and that’s when I got it. You see, A New Hope, in its Special Edition form, repeats itself sometimes and drags when it shouldn’t. In its theatrical cut, however, it moves like nothing else. And that’s what hooked the world when it first came out.
I think Disney will eventually release it on DVD, so that I don’t have to keep the tapes in a climate-controlled environment (known as my mother’s house). But it’s just such a shame to go to a wonderful event like that marathon and see what’s been done to it. Especially since so little has been done to The Empire Strikes Back, which is, by nerd decree and my own thinking, the best Star Wars movie.
I finished Getting Things Done yesterday on the train, as I slowly sweated myself to death. (The humidity in New York City right now is unreal. But heat advisories won’t keep me from getting a haircut, although I did ask the hairdresser if she could just leave my hair wet so I could go outside like that and be marginally cooler.) I don’t know if I’ll implement the system completely, but I’ve found the concepts of “the two-minute rule” and “open loops” to be incredibly useful. Before picking this up, I’d already sort of gravitated towards the concept of the external mind, but David Allen offers a systemic way of doing that instead of the more emotional way of doing that (i.e., “if I am having any thought at all about an action I need to take, I write it down” versus “Oh, I’ll remember this!”). And focusing on the systemic over the emotional is a very useful way for me to be productive, so I hope this will help me stay on top of the things that I want to do.
Kyle Chayka’s “Welcome to AirSpace,” about a Silicon Valley aesthetic being recreated on a global scale by individuals rather than corporations brought up a lot of things for me. I deeply dislike traveling, for reasons ranging from bad experiences in the past to my extensive control issues. I don’t like telling people that, because they usually ask for a “good enough” explanation as to why. The answer I’ve given in the past is that I don’t have access to all my resources when I travel (often true) and I loathe leaving my home context behind (always true). But AirSpace “solves” both of those issues: in the age of globalization and the Cloud, the idea that I can bounce from near-identical space to near-identical space with not but my laptop all over the world should put me right at ease. Right? Well, of course not, as both of those are merely symptoms of the root cause: the aforementioned control issues, which are a little more difficult to present positively in conversation. But it’s an interesting article on the world getting more accessible and yet smaller nonetheless.
My adventures in Star Wars: The Clone Wars continued this week with “Escape from Kadavo” and “A Friend in Need.” The slavery arc was very fascinating, to see Anakin grapple with the aftereffects of having been a slave himself. I was also delighted to see the Zygerrian Queen actually tell Anakin to his face that the Jedi are making a slave of him, which is a throughline I desperately wish the prequels had dealth with. Because it’s so true! “A Friend in Need” was less interesting to me, although R2-D2 as some kind of droid savior was intriguing. I really wish that Star Wars would grapple with droids and ethics at some point. Perhaps in Rogue One.