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Another Lonely Hitman

Dir. Rokuro Mochizuki
Rokuro Mochizuki’s moody, downbeat Yakuza tale may mention “hitman” in the title, but apart from a backstory sequence Ryo Ishibashi’s gangster doesn’t even use a gun. Out of prison 10 years after whacking a family boss, Ishibashi’s Tachibana tries to fit back into the lifestyle only to find it cynical and without honor. He doesn’t get sent out on hits–instead he and a younger partner usually wind up kicking the hell out of junkies and pimps. You know, dull stuff. At the same time, he tries to rescue a prostitute, Yuki (Asami Sawaki) from the game and get her to kick heroin. Pretty soon, Tachibana wants out.

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The Perfect Shave

It all started with this article over at MSNBC.com, called How to Get That Perfect Shave. I can’t remember what I was searching for originally, something about types of aftershave for sensitive skin. No matter.
When I first started shaving back when I was 15, I didn’t know anything, and my dad had been using blue disposables and Barbasol for years. My total beardage was a thin whiff of a moustache. If I left it on, I looked like a tool. If I shaved it, I immediately broke out. Great options.
Years later I decided that perhaps electric shaving would be better, so I got one of those three-head whirly-blade things for Xmas, and for about a decade I used that. With sensitive skin, this was better, but still not effective, and there were always sections to go over again and again. Then I got the Gilette Mach3 (for a birthday gift, but used only much later) and after reading the article above, starting using that in conjunction with Aveda’s shaving creme and Nivea aftershave balm for sensitive skin.
But I still felt I was missing out of the retro fun of a brush and a safety razor, and sent out a poll to my male friends. Unknown to me, 2/3 of them had already gone back (or had never left) to the traditional, old school method of shaving.
So finally, I invested a little chunk o’ change and got me the goods.

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Theater Review — The Fourth Wall

From today’s S.B. News-Press:
‘Fourth Wall’ is entertaining and troubling

Following on the heels of Genesis West’s production of Caryl Churchill’s deconstructionist “Blue Heart” last month, Ensemble Theatre Company’s presentation of A. R. Gurney’s “The Fourth Wall” adds to the boundary-breaking this theater season.
The play’s title alone suggests something meta-theatrical will be up. The invisible fourth wall that separates performer from audience — can it really be torn down? And does this mean an evening of mortifying audience participation?
Thankfully not, but Mr. Gurney’s play is an odd duck. Not too radical to upset the general public, it hints at subversion but hedges its bets in the second half. I can imagine many being entertained and pleased by Mr. Gurney’s work, but I can’t imagine many being deeply satisfied with it.
But there’s lots to like. We open on a suburban living room, radiant in warm, rosy colors. Two characters enter: Roger (Robert Lesser), a “successful businessman,” and Julia (Gillian Doyle), an old friend from New York. The dialogue is overwritten; the performances wooden.

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How the (Fake) News Is Made

BoingBoing posted a fascinating article (as opposed to linking to one) that traces the creation of a fake news story. The story of "Black Friday"--the big shopping weekend after Thanksgiving--was already written before the weekend was finished, and was not…

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Just Say No to The Drugs!

Photos from a "Moscow Wax Figure Exhibition Highlighting the Graphic Dangers of Drugs". Something wonderfully arty about this house of drugginess. Girl with dolly looks down with devilish disinterest. Mother too strung out to notice Twyla Tharp-ish statement by suicidal…

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