Dim drizzly day. Went downtown, as I must on a Monday. The lights in the lobby display cases have been turned off, the firepit is cold. They were on last week. It was nice to see the fire. But now it's off and the seating area is roped off.

There were two coffee shops in the building, one in the lobby and one on the skyway. I saw a truck with the coffeeshop logo outside last week, and thought they were starting back up. Well:

It was just announced: they have permanently closed.

Got my hot dog from the hot dog guy, who said he was relieved that the Governor’s speech this morning had not shut down restaurants again. People had expected this, perhaps due to social media stories about Heedless Youth packing into bars and flouting the mask requirements. It makes sense to worry about this, but one man selling hot dogs in a small stand in the empty food court in an empty hotel is not the problem.

The empty hotel and the empty food court is the problem.

Say, are we going to go back to being good friends with our partners in prosperity, China, again? Asking for a friend, who used to have a job.




I was keen to see a show called “Young Wallander,” because I liked the original character. Dour determined Swedish cop. Read all the novels, watched all the TV shows. No real idea who Wallander was, aside from Dogged and Troubled in a rote banal middle-aged way, except for all the accumulated policeman trauma. Maybe it was an intentional depiction of an everyman. Maybe it was the translation.

So! Let’s go back to his roots, back to 70s / 80s Scandahoovia, with all the interesting social milieu of the country working its way into the new era, with all the challenges of immigration and the welfare state and changing mores, and

Opening scene: police car, two occupants, modern music

Ah, crap, they’re doing that thing where they use modern music to add a commentary on a period piece, and also to reassure viewers who cannot conceive of the past unless it’s overlaid with the ephemeral sounds of the moment -

Hold on, he has an iPhone

So it’s . . . a reboot? A reimagining? Or just some rote police drama with the WALLANDER badge slapped on it to reel in fans? That last one. Also, I learned from some poking around on google, it’s shot in Lithuania, because why shoot it in Stockholm or Malmo or somewhere where you don’t have to digitally alter the signs.

They must have hoped that the appetite for WALLANDER came from some detailed appreciation of a character so rich in detail we’d marvel at the audacity of the move, but this is not a case of Sherlock transported to 1940s England, as the Rathbone movies did. For one thing, Holmes was so keenly drawn that he could be dropped in foggy B&W Universal movie without losing a beat. Holmes was a man of his era but he possessed a forward-looking intellect, so he would know phones, planes, radio. He would instantly sweep them into his worldview.

This isn’t like plucking Marlowe out of the 40s and putting him in modern LA, because LA would still be a place of sun and corruption and palm trees and beefcake brutes and long-limbed girls of undetermined backstory and come-hither banter. Even if that isn’t the case anymore, the LA lure is strong enough that we’ll buy it. Prickly Poirot is the same man, whenever, and would seem delightfully out of joint with the modern era.

But Wallander?

Comments idea! Who’d translate to modern times? Who belongs to his era? Who cannot be remade into a modern character?



There’s really nothing as pathetic as 1970s stoner culture. It has a laughable veneer of sophistication, as if someone in ragged filthy crusty bellbottoms and a Furry Freak Bros mustache dragging on a bong called “The Hobbit” is some cultured fellow in tune with the deep and ancient ways of things. As if knowing things about the best way to get high is a form of wisdom. Oh, everyone knew someone who was in to this crap, and had a bright period of carefree merriment and adventure between the ages of 19 and 22, and then everyone else moved on, and they stayed around, still hanging out at the college bar, still getting high, still running that tired “Keep on Truckin’” BS, wearing a ZigZag T-shirt, scoring an ounce here and an ounce there, and finally sure, I know a guy, I can help you score (soul-brother handshake) and finally selling the stuff himself.

Man look at this bong

Nah that’s a disco bong what are you gay


(Answer to question: no)

"Dude okay I guess fine but do you got to play that song from The Sting every time"

"They had weed in the 20s, man! All the poets and the jazz musicians. We’re communing with them."



Dude you don’t know about ISO-Hash

You are in for a treat

I gotta work tomorrow, how strong is this

It’s not about strong, it’s about intensity

Yeah well intensity can be like strong, how long does it last

When do you work

Shift starts at four

Oh, you’ll be fine

(he never made it)

Totally normal cool people who could be taken from random from an SNL audience! Because everyone smokes it

Dude in the upper right hand corner also did a lot of uppers and got into guns

The idea of making dope-specific playing cards for complex games is amusing.

OH THEY WERE BANNED sure they were. One guy turned you away because you couldn’t come up with the deposit.



Dude you don’t want unscientific creases

You might not get as stoned as you could

It’ll end up stained with resin, lost under the bed, stinky on the living room table, knocked over, bong water soaking in the rug, someone will step on it. It’ll be a bummer for a day. But then it will remind you when you had it all together and you were smoking daily sure but you had it all together, and it was like you had it figured out, and then you weren’t working and you were smoking more which was normal because things sucked and you needed to take the edge off and mellow out and figure things out

That was nine months ago and now you have a one-hitter to keep the buzz fresh and you’re really into the game shows and there’s this one soap opera that’s cool you should check it out the chick is hot


That'll do, man. See you around.




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