Jason Schwartzman is the new John Cusack, just in case you were wondering. I finally had a chance to catch up with Shopgirl this weekend, and in the process of fleshing out a character that was a tad underwritten in the novella, he proceeds to both steal the whole damn movie and create his own updated version of the sensitive, intelligent, and slightly spazzed-out girl-porn archetype that can be traced through Lloyd Dobler all the way back to Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story ("hearth-fires and holocausts!"), and probably even further. Schwartzman comes fully loaded with far more funny little bits of stage business and under-the-radar, hilarious line readings than he needed to. He's endearing as fuck.
Today on Pitchfork: in praise of rock operas. Whereas I'm always glad to see high-concept albums with sustained through-narratives given their due, it's funny to me that the tone of this article is all, "hear ye, hear ye, this is the second coming of the rock opera—you should be thankful we're pointing this out for your benefit." Um, thanks Rob. I'll be sure to get right on my thank-you note after I've stopped listening to DC's Fin de Siecle, and, uh, pretty much everything else I own.
Has anybody else ever been on the brown line with the guy who does the card tricks? I know I've seen him at least once before, but he sat next to me the whole way north to Western during rush hour on Friday, shuffling and bridging and fanning the entire time. I had my earplugs in, so I was fairly successfully able to ignore him, but he eventually got the pretty girl sitting to the other side of him to pick a card, any card. Dude, didn't you get the memo that the only time card tricks are cool are when you're not making a big deal out of them? The more attention you draw to the fact that you're doing one, the lamer it is. Just like impressions. Other humorous things I saw on the El this weekend: a guy reading Rob Gordon's all-time favorite book, Johnny Cash's autobiography Cash by Johnny Cash, and one of those iPod Nano ads vandalized so that the screen says "Fatboy Slimey" instead of "Fatboy Slim." (You totally can't bust me for referencing Cusack twice in one post. I used the character name for just that reason. Hahaha—catch me if you can, suckas! Quick like lightning!)