Archive for March 5th, 2010

Ranking Bob Dylan Songs, #97: Man of Constant Sorrow

I want to like this song more than I actually do. Of all the songs Dylan recorded on this album, “Man of Constant Sorrow” is one of the most notable and most recognizable. Listeners of today are most likely to recognize the Soggy Bottom Boys rendition from the Coen Brothers’ 2000 film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but there are dozens of other famous versions recorded since it was (allegedly) written by Dick Burnett in about 1913. It’s easy to understand why this song has been performed so many times—there is a playful poetry and malleability to its lyrics. Even the phrase “man of constant sorrow” is particularly lyrical, falling naturally into trochaic feet. And the story told by the song—about a man of humble origins venturing out into the cruel, cold world—is the kind of archetypal material that folk musicians flock to. Continue reading

Survivor Survival Guide: “Tonight We Make Our Move”

Tomorrow we make our apologies. Tonight we make our move.”

—Tom

When Survivor first introduced Exile Island and the Hidden Immunity Idol several years ago, I wasn’t really sold on either concept. Exile Island scenes tended to take time away from more important stuff going on in camp or in challenges, while the Hidden Immunity Idol was an oft-discussed but rarely used piece of strategy. As time wore on, although my feelings about Exile Island haven’t changed, I’ve grown to enjoy the extra strategizing that the hidden idol requires.

Last night was the perfect case in point. After the Villains won the first independent Reward Challenge since the first episode (the last two weeks, reward was folded into the immunity challenge), both tribes found a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol placed on their beach. The problem, however, is that the discoveries in each tribe were made publicly, and therefore nobody could surreptitiously look for the idol. It was interesting that the Villains decided not to waste time searching for it, instead opting to work on their somehow-still-not-built-despite-winning-reward-specifically-designed-for-it shelter.* The Heroes, on the other hand, all went after it at the same time individually. Not surprisingly, Tom was able to find it before anyone else, but he wasn’t able to slip it into his sock before Amanda spotted him. Tom and Colby were already on the outs once Steph was voted off, and the idol placed a larger target on the fireman’s back while giving him a potential way out.

*Russell did get caught “going for a walk” to look for the idol; after I heard how shrewd this guy was in getting to the finals last season, I expected him to be a little quicker than that. Wait till nightfall at least dude! If you’re THAT good at finding hidden idols, darkness ain’t a problem.**

**Best line of the night comes courtesy of Boston Rob on Russell: “He’s like the hobbit on crack.” I was going to criticize him for referring to Smeagol as a hobbit, but he’s right. Continue reading