(Captain's log): I was going to write an article today. I really was. I've been composing one about the contrast between form and substance in all its many manifestations: de jure versus de facto, authority versus power, credentials versus capabilities, awards versus achievements.
But instead I ended up writing a really long letter to Greely about the anime series Angelic Layer. He bought the 7 DVDs of the series about the same time I did, and liked it just as much as I did.
I ended up turning that letter into a separate article here. It's loaded with spoilers, so don't read it if you think you might want to watch the series. And you should watch it; it's superb. One of the reasons I've been overloading Greely's mailbox lately is because it reached me so strongly.
There's a major surprise revealed in the last episode; it made me gasp. Fortunately for me, I hadn't looked at the back of the DVD case and I had skipped watching all the "coming next episode" sequences at the end of each episode, because the idiots gave away the surprise both in the preview for episode 26 and on the back of the DVD case. That's not the only thing they gave away; if you buy and watch this series, don't read any of the DVD cases before you watch all the DVDs, and skip all the episode previews!
Anyway, my letter to Greely offered two explanations for that surprise, two entirely different ways of looking at the series which are mutually exclusive.
I'm also going to be writing in non-spoiler terms about the anime I've been watching lately, and I'll include Angelic Layer when I do.
Update 20040713: Matthew Yglesias seems to be hard up for things to be smug and condescending about. He says the following about the first paragraph above:
Things I find amusing
There is so much joy out here on the inter-web:
2. Steven den Beste's failure to adequate sum up "the contrast between form and substance in all its many manifestations." That's a budding Aristotle they've got up there.
How, exactly, is that paragraph a "failure"?
Update 20040716: I finally got that post about form and substance written.