Notes on a Postmodern Weekend
(Told in “Twitter” style)
I had a very disparate, fragmented, over-mediated, maybe-a-bit-too-breakneck weekend. In L.A., these seem to be the norm rather than the exception, but this weekend struck me as a particularly postmodern pastiche of way too much that any one mind should encounter in a 60-hour period. To my horror, one of the ways I coped with the weekend was to think in status updates. But since I don’t Twitter and only occasionally update my Facebook status via my phone, I could not publicize my disjointed weekend narrative to the world.
The only reason I am doing it now (and believe me: this is something I generally oppose) is because, here in the remaining hours of Sunday night, my mind needs to process the weekend in some way—even if it is a bastardized, truncated Twitter-esque form.
Lunch at the North Woods Inn in La Mirada. There are peanut shells and sawdust on the floor, and for some reason I ordered a Shirley Temple for my drink. – 1:07pm
Just found out N.T. Wright is speaking tomorrow (Saturday) morning at St. Andrews Presbyterian in Newport. I decide I’m going, and tell my coworker Jason about it. He’s coming too. – 4:59pm
Driving in horrible rush hour to Hollywood for the opening reception of the City of Angels Film Festival. Listening to Kanye West remixes. – 5:45pm
Gas light is on. Emergency stop at Valero gas on Melrose. Bon Iver: “The business of sadness…” – 6:22pm
Just saw an amazing documentary – The Garden – about the South Central garden controversy in L.A. Thought: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is quite the opportunist. – 9pm
Delighted by the chance to meet “Gilliebean,” an avid reader/commenter on my blog, during a break between films. – 9:14pm
Thrilled at the chance to see a recently restored print of the 1962 film The Exiles on the big screen. Love films about L.A. – 11:02pm
Driving back to Whittier to sleep. – 11:46pm
Facebook update: Brett is haunted by the past of the city he lives in (Los Angeles). – 12:21am
Six hours of sleep. Picking up Jason in Brea. No time for breakfast. – 8:04am
St. Andrews Presbyterian, listening to the brilliant N.T. Wright wow a packed sanctuary. I make note: there are lots of seminary-style hipsters here. – 9:27am
Vintage N.T. – “The point of the resurrection is that God’s new creation has begun! And we have a job to do…” – 10:17am
Driving back from Newport, trying to process more than 2 hours of N.T. Wright’s stunning discussion of “Paul for tomorrow’s world.” Thinking about how it all relates to art. – 12:40pm
Picked up Chick Fil A for quick lunch at home. Just enough time to update my blog “quote of the week” with something N.T. Wright said. – 1:34pm
Thought about taking a nap instead of heading back to L.A. for more film festival. Little sleep is catching up with me. Decide against it. – 2:00pm
Driving to L.A. again. Animal Collective: “No more running…” Air conditioner in February. Traffic makes me want to die. – 2:50pm
Just screened Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven but dozed through parts. Probably should have stayed home to sleep. – 5:30pm
Between films. Coffee Bean on Sunset across from the DGA. Free wifi. Enough time to write most of a blog post before my thoughts on The Garden and The Exiles fade into mushy memory. Blog ends up being about how film helps us avoid mushy memory. Drinking ice tea and eating fruit salad. – 6:24pm
Just screened the impressive Munyurangabo, which played at Cannes last year and won the AFI Fest Grand Jury prize. Debut feature of Christian filmmaker, Lee Isaac Chung. Definitely the highlight of the festival. Chatted with Chung after the screening about our mutual affection for Hou Hsiao-Hsien. – 9:48pm
Met some friends at a bar in Whittier. Reassured a hipster friend that “I will be kind to hipsters in my book.” Two more stops before the night is through and I collapse in bed. – 11:55pm
Up early again. Driving to Long Beach on a lovely Sunday morning. Andrew Bird. – 8:50am
Enjoyed the hipster-friendly 9:30am service at Grace Brethren Church in Long Beach. Perhaps I’ll mention this church in my book.
Listening to Lost expert and EW.com columnist Jeff Jensen give engaging talk on the spiritual aspects of Lost to a crowd at Grace Brethren. He’s a member here. He thinks “Jack’s Grandpa” is actually Jack himself! OMG! – 11:45pm
Eating carne asada tacos and fried ice cream on the grass in Long Beach, post-church, with some hipster friends. – 1:18pm
Driving from Long Beach to Los Angeles. Horrific traffic for a Sunday. All because there is a disaster film being shot downtown and everyone slows down to see whether the piled up cars on the overpass are real or a movie. L.A. is such a Baudrillardian fantasyland. – 2:50pm
Took a wrong turn and ended up in Chinatown. 20 minutes later I’m back on the right track. – 3:12pm
Super late to the next screening at the festival—Silent Light—but manage to get there in time to see the epic opening shot. Love this movie. – 3:40pm
Panel discussion after Silent Light includes Bresson and Dreyer references, and a lot of numbing analysis which kind of ruins a film that is meant to just “be.” – 6:36pm
Back at Coffee Bean, hour-long chat about theological film criticism with the director of the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. I’m invited to lecture to students on Tuesday. – 7:15pm
Driving home. Animal Collective: “Am I really all the things that are outside of me?” – 8:20pm
Still driving. Thinking of my weekend, lamenting not having had any time to work on my book, in awe that I put 400 miles on my car since Friday, and never even left greater L.A. Thinking of blogging the weekend Twitter-style, sort of ironically but also as therapy. – 8:42pm
Finally home. Dinner. Writing blog post while watching the DVR replay of this afternoon’s Kansas-Missouri b-ball game. Rock Chalk Jayhawk! – 9:25pm
Facebook update: Brett is exhausted after a strenuously postmodern weekend. – 9:34pm
Took a break from writing to eat a brownie and watch a screener of the upcoming NBC show, Kings. I enjoy both the brownie and the show. – 10:40pm
Finished proof-reading blog post, typing the final few sentences. – 11:11pm.
Picking out image for blog post. Dead but soon-to-be resurrected John Locke from Lost seems somehow appropriate. Resurrection seemed a thematic constant over this, the first Lenten weekend, from N.T. Wright to Silent Light and so forth… – 11:22pm
One final note before I publish this thing: Check out my article in Relevant magazine, “The Problem of Pride in the Age of Twitter,” by clicking here. It’s on page 26. – 11:34pm.