The Empty Balcony: Rush

Racing is a popular sport, but at the same time, it’s very niche. The sport can be opaque, which is surprising about something with a premise as simple as seeing who’s the fastest around a track. But, like all things that human beings get ahold of, a simple premise becomes complicated over time. Rulebooks get thicker, jargon becomes more and more unintelligible to the uninitiated, and the barriers to learning how to appreciate a sport like racing grow too high for many casual observers. To many people watching on television, racing, especially on road courses, looks like a bunch of cars making turns with little context available beyond what’s coming from the announcers. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Rush”

The Empty Balcony: The Avengers, or, the War of the MacGuffin

Dictionary.com defines MacGuffin as “an object or event in a book or film that serves as the impetus for the plot.” Wikipedia goes further, defining it as “a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist (and sometimes the antagonist) is willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to pursue, often with little or no narrative explanation as to why it is considered so desirable (emphasis added).” Alfred Hitchcock is credited with popularizing the term in the movie industry, employing it himself, even turning Cary Grant into a MacGuffin in North by Northwest. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: The Avengers, or, the War of the MacGuffin”