Another Week Ends

1. Sex And The City. As expected, the movie is pretty awful. It’s also inescapable, […]

David Zahl / 6.4.08

1. Sex And The City. As expected, the movie is pretty awful. It’s also inescapable, especially here in New York. In fairness, the reviews failed to mention the one surprising aspect of the film, namely, that the whole thing hinges on forgiveness (not exactly a hallmark of the series…). And the mechanics are undeniably biblical: the Miranda character is unable to forgive her wayward husband until she is forgiven by Carrie for something comparably heinous. It’s a perfect illustration of forgiveness flowing from forgiven-ness, of beloved-ness creating love (Luke 7, 1 John 4, etc). And while it may not be enough to justify the $11.25 price of admission – not by a long shot – it’s certainly a bright spot in an otherwise depressing movie.

2. Weezer. Their new album was released yesterday, the so-called Red Album, and it’s another head-scratcher (4.7 from Pitchfork…). Weezer have always been unpredictable, but this time they’ve outdone themselves: they left the three best new songs – “Pig”, “Miss Sweeney” and “The Spider” – off the record, opting instead to include them as “bonus material” on the deluxe edition. This would less frustrating if the majority of the stuff that made the cut weren’t so bad (“Thought I Knew” and “Cold Dark World” are particularly embarrassing).

I know that part of the decision had to do with Rivers Cuomo’s determination to share the songwriting with his bandmates, and I’m sure that pressures from their record company contributed too. At the same time, the bizarre song choices are consistent with Rivers’ history of confounding expectations at every turn. His penchant for self-sabotage nearly rivals that of Alex Chilton or Brian Wilson. It’s fascinating, and I’ve always wondered where it comes from. Maybe it’s a fear of failure, that if he were to release his “A-game” it might not stand up to scrutiny, and that that would be crushing (I can relate!). Or maybe, like a lot of us, he’s his own worst judge. Or maybe it’s just plain restlessness, who knows. Whatever the case, it makes being a fan a whole lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.