Saturday, April 25, 2015


Isabelle has decided she wants to raise chickens in our back yard. (For those who don't know, our house stands on 0.14 acres. A back yard not quite big enough to play kickball with a six year-old.) Carrie and I both said, "I don't think so."

But Isabelle has quite a bit more chutzpah than I ever did. She solicited from us all our "concerns" about raising chickens, and announced she was going to launch a campaign to change our minds. She's spent the past two days researching chicken care, and looking up the Barre City regulations on the keeping of poultry, and measuring the yard to find a place a chicken coop could be the required thirty feet away from anyone else's house.

We shall see. If she can really address all the issues, I might have to agree, if for nothing else out of admiration for her spirit. Hopefully it will resolve agreeably, however it goes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Home," or How Bad Can Hollywood Get?

Isabelle wanted to see Home, the Hollywood adaptation of Adam Rex's fantastic book The True Meaning of Smekday, so, being a good dad, I gritted my teeth and brought her. All I can say is, what inspires us, that we find it necessary to take a thing of brilliance and beauty, and rip it to shreds? Are we humans no better than Gorg? Not the cute little starfish in the movie, the Gorg, as in "If you took all the Gorg in the world and stacked them one on top of the other, the Gorg would kill you." Are we truly as pathetic as the Boov think we are?

Adam Rex produced a thinly veiled indictment of Euroamerican colonialism, in a hysterical book that simultaneously was also able to convey the devastation of an eleven year-old girl whose single mother has been violently taken away from her. Yes, he really did get all three of those into a single children's adventure tale. If Hollywood made it into a silly romp, that would have been predictably bad. But to paste on a moral that only humans truly understand love and faith and courage, and the human capacity for friendship triumphs over all, is self-righteous horseshit. (Pardon my language.)

No, I was not expecting that Hollywood could adapt this book into a movie. Not even the folks who did a fine job with The Fault in Our Stars. But I am not able to fathom the depth of our banality. These people must be the sort who would paint a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

(I remember hearing that a review should always find something good to say, so here it is: the producers did not chicken out of showing Tip's family as biracial. Kudos.)