Tenet Off A Vert Ramp: Flagging Interest #31

Flagging Interest is a series of posts in which I run-down (brrm brrm) my cultural intake of the week. It should be on a Monday.

As ever, this post contains no spoilers for anything discussed.

Mr. Hawk is back on four wheels in the computer! Tony, skating around and doing big spins! It’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, and you can do a 900 – spin a full 900 degree rotation in one vert jump – by pressing a total of four buttons. Now we’re back in action! After flesh and blood Tony Hawk managed the first 900 in 1999, it took until 2004 for someone else to manage it. You can do it in very few buttons! A cruel mockery of a life’s work. Cruel. But it’s good fun.

I haven’t yet seen room for a virtual 1080 degree spin. It had better be in there somewhere. In real life, a 1080 degree spin off a vert ramp is something that has been achieved by children under the age of thirteen. Look that up! I once saw a bit of a documentary about a surgeon who was also legally a minor. A child surgeon is the terrifying result of overbearing parents. A child popping a 1080 is sick as hell.

Children shouldn’t be allowed to do anything like this, really. You shouldn’t have an outsized sense of achievement until, at a minimum, early twenties. No record-setting skates, no life-saving surgeries. Ideally, no one under the age of majority should know how to earn money, least of all loads of it doing something important. This week, I saw Tenet – thankfully, only one child is featured and his face barely seen. Still not enough. We have the technology to replace all child characters with computer-generated puppets. I know what you’re thinking: someone will still have to be in an appropriately-sized motion-capture suit. That someone would most conveniently be a human child. To which I say: could this not be work for a hound?

Tenet has been cause for public confusion because the plot involves time travel. These people have misunderstood the source of their confusion. The film does have multilayered plot doing a lot of background work to tie up any loose ends, but its telling is remarkably lucid. And it’s fun! If you go in expecting a spy film about time travel and mass destruction, you’ll be more than satisfied. Like any globetrotting spy film, you might occasionally have to think backwards and remember why we’re suddenly in Mumbai, or London, or Ukraine, or wherever. No more so than a Bond, though, and in this the confusion does not come from the film. Not really. This is just the first time in months we’ve been told to stay still and pay attention for over two hours and we’re out of the habit. If you stay alert – like you might have done before lockdown melted your bones – you’ll be fine.

Meanwhile, my ears have been busy. Sticking to the theme of world-ending weapons and comprehensibility, one episode in and The Deal promises to be an excellent telling of the Iran nuclear deal’s creation, destruction and importance. It’s a podcast from Jeffrey Lewis, nuclear nonproliferation expert otherwise heard on Arms Control Wonk. I’m basically an idiot about this stuff, and can absolutely recommend The Deal for anyone similarly uninformed.

I’m back in the swing of things, folks. I watched a whole film. I didn’t even have to tell you about the pizza I ate afterwards. Look out, world! I’m going to watch another film!

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