You think you're sick of reading Top Ten Lists? Imagine writing them. With that said, there was a brief bit of playground bullying in The Reeler recently, where Mr. S.T. Van Airsdale gave his Top 10 of Top 10 Lists of 2006: The Reeler's second annual look back at the misconceived hype that matters. This is the sort of piece you'd imagine Antony Lane writing if he had the misfortune of being young today -- if young Lane had never read a book or traveled or had any reason or preparation for being anything other than a smug, gifted master of blanket dismissals. Anyhow, Van Airsdale's rundown (which sounds like an awesome action movie) of Top 10's is a piece about film criticism that uses it as nothing more than a convenient arena in which to be clever and contemptuous. (Much as Lane's reviews are about film, but uses it as nothing more than, etc., etc.) Henry Kissinger used to say that University problems are as petty as they are because the stakes are so small. Mr. Airsdale can say what he likes about me -- apparently, I "reheated ... old hyperbole in tinfoil trays" -- and Jeff, Ryan and Kim no more need a defense from Mr. Van Airsdale's scorn than they need a magical hat to protect them from elves -- but I think that writing such a piece is the kind of mean-spirited nonsense that serves as a reminder of the degree to which life will resemble High School, which is, apparently, complete and unending.

Speaking of rank amateurism makes me think of odor, which reminds me I'm seeing Perfume tonight. I'm hesitant -- I haven't read Susskind's novel in years, but when I did it hit like a brand upon the brain -- and at the same time, how do you film it? Smell's a tricky thing to film -- vision is the nervous transmission of perceived photons, while scent involves physically dragging molecules of what you're smelling across part of your brain. Contemplation of Perfume leaves me in a state where all I can think of is John Waters' sad odorama cards and SCTV's Count Floyd.

What's the next movie you're seeing?

J.