Variant Edition | This Column Has Seven Days #120 // Not The Musical Instrument
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This Column Has Seven Days #120 // Not The Musical Instrument

Devin R Bruce is a friend to Variant Edition and to all good-hearted creatures who roam the Earth. In each installment of This Column Has Seven Days, Devin discusses his favourite pop culture experiences of the past week in an effort to share the joy of an overlooked gem, an old favourite that’s bubbled up to the surface, or a classic work that he’s finally gotten around to. Comic books, movies, television, novels, podcasts, music, Old Time Radio: there’s something for everyone. Here’s what he’s been up to this week.

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So here’s a fun story. On Saturday night I stepped into my kitchen to make myself a dinner of quick pickles and pan-fried tofu with peanut sauce. (This half-snack/half-meal is Devin-tested and friend-approved, by the way. One of my very good friends who hates tofu once said that it was “the least objectionable tofu [they’d] ever eaten.” For them, that’s a rave review.) I was using a mandoline to cut the cucumber, because it’s fast and makes for slices with a uniform thickness. And because I am dumb, I didn’t use the guard on my slicer. And I cut the tip of my middle finger off.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Always, always use the guard on your mandoline slicer. It is never not a good idea.

As one might imagine, this injury makes typing painful, awkward, and slow. So here are a few very quick mentions to take it easy on my aching digit.

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The final season of Andy Daly’s mockumentary comedy Review was a fitting end to a brilliant show. In Review, Daly played Forrest MacNeil, a professional critic who ‘reviewed life’ by taking suggestions sent in by the show’s fictional viewers. The questions ranged from “What’s it like to go to prom?” to “What’s it like to lead a cult?” to “What’s it like to eat fifteen pancakes?” Daly is a master of black comedy and over the course of 22 episodes and three seasons, viewers of Review were treated to the descent into the abyss that is the psyche of Forrest MacNeil. It’s disturbing and hilarious, and well worth a watch for people who like laughing at the uncomfortable.

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Ellis Marsalis’ Duke In Blue is a tribute to the songs of Duke Ellington by one of the all-time great jazz pianists. It’s just Marsalis on piano, no orchestration, which just goes to highlight how good of a songwriter Ellington was. It’s an old favourite of mine, and just what I needed when I was chilling on the couch this weekend. Standout tracks include the free-flowing bounce of “Squatty Roo” and an elegant and assured take on the classic “Mood Indigo.” It’s an album that is as uplifting now as it was when first heard it. An overlooked classic.

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Cover to Deathstroke #14 by Bill Sienkiewicz.

I caught up the “Twilight” story that ran through Deathstroke #12-18 and yep, Priest and company still have it. Multiple season-long plot threads all twisting together to hit a brutal climax, and Slade Wilson comes out looking like the smartest guy in the room while still not walking away unscathed himself. Plus it uses a supporting character from Priest’s run on Steel from twenty years ago that makes me laugh every time I see him. It’s my favourite book that’s currently coming out from DC’s main publishing arm, and considering how much I love Wonder Woman, that’s high praise.

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That’ll do it for me this week, I think. Until next time, please, be safe. Don’t be dumb like me. I’ll see you in seven days.

AUTHOR: Devin R. Bruce
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