Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
A significant portion of the next week is going to spent either working on an upcoming essay and studying for my Christmas exam in Old Icelandic. Combined with my efforts to remain more frugal as Christmas approaches, in order to be able to actually buy gifts for people, this is going to have an effect of essentially isolating me from most activities and people until next Monday. Fortunately I have U2 to keep me company.
I've probably listened to How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb about 10-15 times now, so I think I'm ready to make some kind of comment on it. I like it a lot. It will probably end up somewhere just behind Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree as one of their best. I agree with most of the critical consensus on it, however one thing that bugs me is that all the critics (from Rolling Stone to allmusic.com) keep putting down Pop and U2's 90s work as being a failure, for perhaps being too experimental and vastly different from their 80s work, but then in the next breath saying that the problem with HTDAAB is that it's not experimental enough and that they have just retreated to their 80s style "big rock band sound" that made them a success to begin with. Personally I respect the fact that U2 is still a relevant band after more than 25 years as a group. The Beatles may be the best, but they broke up after less than a decade; The Rolling Stones faded out into self-parody; The Who essentially disintegrated and became irrelevant after Who's Next. I think it's astounding that U2 are perhaps still in their prime as a band well after 20 years. Whether you like them or not, I think that's an accomplishment that few other groups have been able to. I hope that when I'm into my 40s I'm still able to do what Bono and the boys are doing today.
I watched The Godfather last night with my dad, who had never seen it. He wasn't convinced that it could be as good as me and Anton raved, but he was sold on it and watching it again reminded me of how great a film it is. It's not just the craft, but the characters and the themes in it that come through so strongly. It deserves it's spot in my top 10 films.
"Fredo, you're my older brother and I love you, but don't ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever." - Michael Corleone