Durarara!!

A Blithering Mess

Serrano, Piss Christ (detail)“Was I supposed to say that, despite my best efforts, the power of gay porn was too strong for me, and I was asked to step down because of it? Was I supposed to go into detail about the guys I ended up blowing in the bathroom at Splash that summer in New York? Though there may seem like an obvious “yes” answer here, at that point, there was still a part of me that wanted to hide that from her. A part of me that wanted there to still be a chance with her.”

Chris Hernandez

Sometimes the idea of “conversion therapy” seems more like an exercise in self-deception. Then again, those are the good days. From what we hear, most days were a bit like the Spanish Inquisition, minus the Comfy Chair.

Then again, there are those of us who tried self-therapy, and it is possible to find something positive amid the years of lying to ourselves. I got a daughter out of the attempt, and she is a result I will never resent or regret. (more…)

An Exercise in Futility (Mixed Up Mixmaster Mix)

Detail of frame from 'Durarara!' episode 17: Masaomi Kida addresses his color gang, the Yellow Scarves.

The sad tale of Aaron Schock is also one of the stranger scandals we’ve seen lately Marin Cogan of New York magazine explains:

The saga unfolded in the most unexpected way. About two months ago, Washington Post reporter Ben Terris dropped by Schock’s office for a coffee with the congressman’s spokesman, Ben Cole. When Terris commented on the unique office décor — most politician’s offices are painted standard-issue yellow or navy and filled with knickknacks from the member’s district, but Schock’s walls were blood red, decorated with pheasant sprays and antique picture frames — an interior decorator popped out of the lawmaker’s office and offered to show him her Downton Abbey–inspired work. Terris might have never written about it had Schock and his staff not treated him like he was about to reveal a state secret. That story caught the eye of other reporters, who started digging into his spending reports. What they found was not good: Schock had spent more than $100,000 in one year from his taxpayer-funded congressional account on chartered planes — more than the senators who represented the state. He’d taken his interns to sold-out Katy Perry concerts. He misreported a private flight as a software purchase. Along the way, his spokesman was forced to resign after Facebook posts he’d written comparing black people to zoo animals were unearthed.

(more…)

Filler

Major players in 'Durarara!!' (L-R): Izaya Orihara, Masaomi Kida, Mikado Ryugamine, Anri Sonohara, Shizuo Hewajima.

No, really, we got nothin’ on this one, except to say that there are testifiable merits in binge-watching. In truth, having to wait from week to week in order to follow the story can be trying; there is a difference in the way these stories are told.

Which stands out because there are many who would advise aspiring writers toward what seems at first glance a cookie-cutter assertion of in medias res, and each with their own variations on just how it should be done. And the market numbers driving this outlook are most certainly straightforward; there is a reason certain forms strongly resembling tropes work so well.

Good advice from the Dollars: Keep calm and watch Durarara!!Nor is the alternative in this case without its tropes and clichés. But where the shape and rhythm can slip by unnoticed in a quick hit like FLCL, the early episodes of Durarara!! can try the patience. They’re not bad episodes, but structured to a specific purpose.

Nonetheless, for so nearly sycophantic an ode to Ikebukuro, the Brain’s Base team really did work out a functional, compelling story that at some point genuinely overcomes the absurdity that few storytelling media can create. Headless love, and such. Yeah. Never mind. Just, you know, watch. When you’ve got the time. It’s worth it.

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Image note: Top―Major players in Durarara!! (L-R): Izaya Orihara, Masaomi Kida, Mikado Ryugamine, Anri Sonohara, Shizuo Hewajima. Left―Just another one of those. Don’t look at us, we just found this thing along the way.