Saturday, November 17, 2007

Estate pipes

Wow, estate pipes...! Seems a bit ghoulish to me, but apparently it's a standard feature of the slowly dwindling tobacconist diminuendo. By the way, those long skinny jobbies hobbits and wizards puff on are called churchwarden pipes, while female pirates can generally be seen not inhaling their silver-clad black ladypipes.

It must be said that J. R. R. Tolkien approved of pipesmoking as a potent aid to clear thinking, as the frequent asides about Longbottom Leaf (especially in the old "authorized" Ballantine boxed set) clearly demonstrate. Saruman's jibes about The Leaf dulling Gandalf's wits in the movie are non-canonical, adventitious nonsense. You'd own a pipe Tolkien smoked, right? But (*tremble*) would you smoke it?!

Speaking of delightfully insidious, I enjoyed Pixar's Ratatouille — Pixar has been delicately twisting the noses of Disney's old school, ever since Michael Eisner tried to strongarm Steve Jobs out of the pixel business (Eisner lost).

Uncle Walt's purblind mania for mice used to catch flak from the moi polloi in the old daze — not rats, though, which were always villains; Disney's legal department used to go ape about underground comix like Mickey Rat. After all, didn't them big rodents carry the Black Death? And shucks, we all know hantaviruses aren't exclusively mouseborne either!

This film clears all that nauseating madness up for us, probably in excessive, or even obsessive, pestilential detail.

A plague on both your mousses, Remy! (But five stars.)

Update: Of course from a simple Marxist perspective, Ratatouille is just a nice little fable about illegal immigrants working in kitchens and occupying the intimate spaces of our petit bourgeoise homes. Oh, the peril! Personally, I'm still learning high school Spanish (via podcasts), but thanks to Univision, I'm finding reasons to ... besides Texmex kwizzeen.



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