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Monthly Archives: January 2014

State of the Un-suited

January 30, 2014, 9:48 pm

The State of the Union is typically a very populist moment. Before I get into that, I want to share something hysterical written yesterday in the New York Times. Charles Blow is avowedly liberal, and yesterday’s piece was about how disappointed he is that Obama has changed from Big Things to small ball. He concluded by quoting something Obama recently told David Remnick of The New Yorker: ‘And I think America was very lucky that Abraham Lincoln was President when he […]

The reverse SATs

January 28, 2014, 10:08 pm

Like many people who teach film theory, I’m fascinated by the power of language. You can deconstruct all day (we do!), but like The Dude, language abides; words on paper (and even online) define things, and it becomes hard to separate those things from those words.   For this week, I thought I’d present an excerpt from Dr. Terry’s report, the first time a doctor told us Dar has autism. This was written when he was 26 months old, half his […]

What Are the Best 100-Episode TV Dramas?

January 27, 2014, 10:27 am

Does anyone doubt that the best TV dramas of all time happened since 1999? I mean, if you asked any critic to rank their top five dramas ever, what do you think is going to make the list? The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and something else from the 21st century, right? The consensus on those four shows makes them the Mount Rushmore of serious fiction television. (Actually, that’s unfair…to TV. Teddy Roosevelt was never as locked into […]

Six Rules For Dog Owners (that aren’t in the books)

January 24, 2014, 10:12 am

Dogs are great. Dogs are special. You know how I know? About a million websites say so. And then there are dog-hating sites. Which often devolve into dog-owner-hating sites. Well, let me tell you something. I’m been a dog owner for six years. I love my dog. And some of these dog-owner-haters are right. Today let me offer something I haven’t seen on the intertubes: a sober accounting of what people like me could do better. My fellow dog-owners aren’t […]

My life with therapists

January 22, 2014, 11:36 am

When your kid gets a diagnosis like cerebral palsy or autism (or in my kid’s case, both), you get to know quite a few therapists. You might prefer to get to know two or three who would become surrogate aunts and uncles, but that isn’t our experience. That’s probably because 1) California’s state budget keeps getting slashed, so going into this career now is like starting tomorrow at Polaroid, leading to 2) wages aren’t terrific for this kind of work, […]

Show People Films

January 20, 2014, 12:17 pm

Recently, Liza Schwarzbaum identified a new, or at least trending, sub-genre about men trying to do one last thing. She made some great points. Oscar-watchers, however, are a bit more concerned about another recently trending type of film that has yet to be identified as such in the media. Here are its salient properties: It is set in the nostalgically rendered historical past of the 20th century. It offers forgiveness for its embattled lead male. In the final 30 minutes, […]

What Were We Thinking?

January 17, 2014, 11:35 am

Today, January 17, one of my good friends, who is a Gulf War veteran, asked his facebook feed, “Where were you 23 years ago today?” That’s always a fair question on the anniversary of a major event. During the first part of the 20th century, the US Army would recruit by asking rhetorically, “Daddy, where were you during the war?” They knew that the mere notion of being shamed many years later would be enough to get young men to […]

Waaambulance Wednesday

January 15, 2014, 7:44 am

On this blog we’ve got Media Monday, Waaambulance Wednesday, and Freedom Friday. Feel free to jump off the waaambulance if the siren bugs. So, us parents of autistic kids hear things all the time that are absolutely meant with the best of intentions, but are sometimes a little hard to hear. Let’s run through a few.   Nice person: Ohhh, he looks sleepy.   I say: Yeah, he’s a little tired. I think: Yeah, he always looks like that.   […]

Before Gravity’s Pull

January 13, 2014, 8:04 am

Golden Globes! Stars! Jennifer Lawrence! Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks! Now that I’ve got your attention… If movie stars are similar to the stars we see in the night sky – hence the name “stars” – perhaps movies are comparable to the satellites we also see. They are launched with fanfare, they burn bright for a time, they sustain (or don’t), the good ones give us something to marvel at or talk about, and then (unlike stars) they move […]

The DMV Manual in Seven Words

January 10, 2014, 1:18 pm

Today let’s talk about driving. There are two rules of driving: 1) Never make another driver use their brakes. 2) See Rule #1. That’s it! Those are the only rules! You might think people could remember so few rules. Well, you might be thinking something very wrong. I really don’t care what the heck another driver does, as long as I don’t have to brake. Texting and driving? Rock. Open bottle of Jack Daniels in your lap? Nice one. Barrel-rolls […]