[So, I've been feeling guilty about neglecting this blog--less guilty about neglecting Trust, because that home-improvement project is chugging along nicely--and I figured I'd do the lazy thing and repost an old entry from 2007, back when this blog was mostly about working in a place where sexual harassment and exhibitionism were considered good things. (I mentioned that we worked with children? Yes, I did, but I'll mention it again--we worked with children.)]

I subscribe to Netflix, and since my queue is typically maxed out at all times, I'll hit these really weird runs of movies because 500 titles ago, I got curious about a particular director or actor or genre.

So recently I saw two Tupac Shakur movies, first Gridlock'd and then a few weeks later, Juice. In Gridlock'd, I thought Tupac was kind of what you would expect from a whatever-turned-actor--just a little unpolished and unnatural, a little stagy, a little exaggerated with the gestures and expressions, and clearly someone pretending to be a character rather than someone who really gives the impression of being the character. In Juice, though, he's perfect--very smooth, very natural.

The thing is, Gridlock'd was made five years after Juice. I don't know if it had to do with the subject matter or the director or the other actors, but I find it interesting that Tupac became a worse actor over that five years, rather than a better one.

That's a phenomenon that really creeped me out when I read City by Clifford D. Simak. It's a classic sci-fi book that is a collection of interconnected stories. The last story was written many years after the earlier stories--if I recall correctly, it was written by Simak once a decision was made to publish the stories (which had appeared in magazines) together as a book--and in my opinion, it's by far the worst-written of the lot. This terrifies me, because you really are supposed to become a better writer with time--I suppose it's to compensate for you losing your looks or something. With Simak, I think I know the reason--he spent the intervening years working as an editor for some dry-as-dust publication, and it infected his writing so badly the last story has all the verve and excitement of the product warning on the back of a bottle of vitamins. (I still think the book is well worth reading, just don't expect too much from that last one.)