How do two arty Manhattan types like Michael Blowhard and me amuse ourselves when shorn of the wives for an evening? We go see Bad Boys 2, what else?
One can admire the movie, at a safe distance from the theater, for its systematic assault on the critical faculties. It ranges in volume from deafening to ear-bleeding, noise being well understood to interfere with thinking. The director, Michael Bay, a Simpson-Bruckheimer protegé, Michael helpfully informed me — who could have guessed? — favors a garish palette. Miami, once a pastel paradise, has apparently become the City of Primary Colors. Bay also sees to it that of every ten lines of dialogue (and never more than five at a time) at least one is a catch-phrase along the lines of “let’s roll” or “go! go! go!” or “bring the noise.” The villain is a Cuban Ecstasy dealer. Being Cuban, he is of course supplying Castro with drug money. For a touch of realism, we are treated to a gratuitous scene of a youth “overdosing” on Ecstasy; the gutters of Manhattan are littered with Ex casualties, I’m telling you.
In the first five minutes Bay burns a cross and shoots a few Klansmen. Then he blows some shit up, crashes a bunch of cars (and a boat), blows more shit up, crashes a bunch more cars, blows more shit up, dices up a Russian mobster, plows a jeep through a shantytown (miraculously killing no one), and blows still more shit up. The interludes, though short, are long enough to make you eager to see more shit blown up. Spoiler: at the end a whole lot of really big shit gets blown up.
Afterwards Michael and I killed a couple bottles of Israeli Sauvignon Blanc (obviously we were still addled) and settled several pressing questions. First, fifty people blog about politics for every one who blogs about culture not because people are more interested in politics than culture, but because, in a sense, they are less interested: one’s taste is a little too personal. There is also a well-established vocabulary for political writing; not for art. Second, Reason magazine has really started to suck since Gillespie took over. Third, great as Human Action is, the von Mises book for everyone is The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. And finally, the best writer in the blogosphere is not the vastly overrated Lileks, who can do quite a bit with nothing on his mind and usually does, not the equally underrated Alice Bachini, not Evan Kirchhoff, although he’s coming up fast on the outside and has been awesome of late, and certainly not Michael or me. It’s Colby Cosh. That this man is unemployed is as stunning a tribute to the impenetrable stupidity of big media as I can possibly imagine.
(Update: Colby Cosh is understandably embarrassed. And no, the National Post, excellent though it is, doesn’t count as Big Media down here. David Artemiw comments. George Wallace comments. Alice Bachini comments, inimitably.)