Dopesick: a miniseries about America's opioid problem

DOPESICK Trailer 2 (2021) Michael Keaton

It’s great to see Michael Keaton in more things these days and that’s a major part of why I’m looking forward to watching Dopesick. Based on the book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy, the 8-episode series focuses on “the epicenter of America’s struggle with Opioid addiction”.

Keaton stars as Dr. Samuel Finnix, a well-liked doctor in a Virginia mining town who becomes a pusher for a pharmaceutical salesman who sells him OxyContin. Finnix begins to prescribe the drug with devastating effects and finds himself fighting to reclaim his integrity and the lives of his patients.

7 episodes are available to stream on Hulu now (the seventh just came out yesterday) with the final episode scheduled for 17th November. It’ll also be available to stream on the Star content hub of Disney+, Disney+ Hotstar and Star+ from tomorrow.

When Batman mercilessly killed that Red Triangle Gang member

Batman Kills Circus Clown Strongman

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched Batman Returns and yet somehow, after 28 years of watching it, I missed a vital piece of this infamous scene. It’s the one where Batman comes face-to-face (lol) with a member of the Red Triangle Gang—a bald giant of a man who goads Batman into hitting him. The Caped Crusader uncharacteristically takes the bait but it’s all a ruse, for he’s slipped a bomb into the circus performer’s pants. The bald giant looks down, realises his fate, Batman hits him properly this time into a hole, and BOOM!

That’s right—Batman killed a guy.

But back to my point of missing a key element from the scene. I used to think the bomb was already in the guy’s pants/belt area and he was some kind of kamikaze clown that planned to take Batman with him into the afterlife. I clearly wasn’t watching properly as Batman was always carrying the bomb in his hand. It’s very clear and it’s on me for missing it for nearly 30 years but perhaps the ethos of Batman refusing to kill people for no real reason clouded my judgment. He didn’t have to do that!

(via Den of Geek)

What was François Mitterrand's final meal and why was it so controversial?

The ortolan is a small bird from the bunting family that lives in Europe and western Asia. It is also the last meal that former French president François Mitterrand ever ate, 8 days before his death. But eating ortolans is illegal in France (even though some chefs will still make it) and it comes with some… unique traditions:

[…] To prepare it, the ortolan is drowned in a glass of Armagnac. This is not a metaphor. It is actually drowned, and then it is cooked in a cassoulet.

[…]

You place a white cloth over your head and pick the bird up with your fingers, and then you eat it whole, wings, feet, organs, head, everything except the feet. The ortolan is supposed to represent the soul of France.

The white cloth is to create a closed sensory world of just taste and scent.

The cloth is also, traditionally, to hide the act from God.

via Interconnected

For more on Mitterand’s last meal and the ortolan, read Michael Paterniti’s 1998 piece for Esquire magazine. You can also read this Smithsonian article on the ortolan from 2018 and how it is/was eaten into extinction. (A note that while the ortolan’s global conservation listing is “Least Concern”, in France, it is “Endangered”.)

(Un)productivity or death?

dinos and comics is “a comic about depressed dinosaurs who find hope in each other”. I follow the Twitter account and find their comics light-hearted and amusing.

Today’s comic was particularly clever with the white dinosaur giving Rainbow T-Rex the mantras of capitalism (productivity or death), COVID (unproductivity or death), and the government (simply death).

Sounds about right.

For previous entries, follow @dinoman_j on Twitter and dinosandcomics on Instagram.

Killing the planet is the new black

Every year, Pantone Color Institute releases its colour trends report and the fashion world clambers to follow it. But with all trends, they’re fleeting. People spend billions on clothes and dispose of them within months, only for those colours to return in future years.

Elizabeth Sergan wrote “Our obsession with ‘color trends’ is killing the planet” for Fast Company back in February to illustrate how harmful these colour trends can be.

Companies from H&M to Target have figured out how to manufacture the latest styles quickly and cheaply, making them accessible to a broader range of consumers—but also adding to the waste problem.

All of this has sent us into a state of massive overconsumption. Most of us have about 150 items in our closet. The number of times we wear each item before throwing it out has gone down by 36% since 2000, and many of us only wear an item seven to 10 times before it goes in the trash. And all of this waste is clogging up our landfills and oceans, and spewing vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change.

If you’re not into fast fashion, maybe you’d consider clothes made by fish leather (providing it doesn’t contribute to overfishing).

Cleganebowl, but as an epic lightsaber deathmatch

cleganebowl with lightsabers

Game of Thrones Season 8 was a shitshow. I’d not watched for years so dipping back in for the last season didn’t devastate me as it did for more dedicated fans. But it did suck for many reasons.

While every episode had more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese, one thing did come to fruition: Cleganebowl. If you have no idea what that means, I recommend you read Vulture’s explainer on Cleganebowl. It’s basically The Hound vs. The Mountain – Sandor Clegane vs. Gregor Clegane. But there’s more to it as Vulture explained.

I’ve not put any spoiler alerts because you should have seen it all by now. But if not, tough luck. Sandor finally faced Gregor in Cersei’s crumbling castle and it was a futile battle from Sandor’s perspective. Why? Because Gregor was pretty much undead. But that didn’t stop him trying. In the end, he and his brother died at the hands of his ultimate fear – fire. But what if their sword battle had played out with lightsabers from Star Wars?

ImmersionVFX on YouTube reimagined Cleganebowl with lightsabers and it looked spectacular. It’s interesting that the sword-wielding motions translated perfectly to lightsabers; they never looked out of place, physically or visually.

Game of Thrones with Lightsabers - Cleganebowl