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Articles by Michael T. Lin

October 5, 2010
Oh, stand-up comedy, you sultry minx. I’d always admired you from afar, watching your constantly growing harem of intrepid men and women perform in your name. Those whom you graced with your muse-like powers constantly amazed me, but I never even dared to hope to dream to imagine of even thinking of you as my mistress. Everything changed when one of your favored disciples appeared to train me in your mysterious ways, and I at last slowly stepped into your sphere of influence. Though I am yet a novice in your seductive ways, I consider myself unspeakably fortunate to even occasionally be in your cool embrace.
September 21, 2010
Being the film-inclined person that I am, I’m fortunate enough to have friends that likewise enjoy watching movies and will let me know when nifty movie events happen. So naturally, I eventually caught wind, albeit at very short notice, of the Boston Film Festival that happened last weekend and decided on a whim to hop out after class on Friday and go to my first film premiere.
September 14, 2010
If you had told me five years ago that I would one day be interested in designing video games for a living, I would probably have freaked out that some crazy person claiming to be from MIT was trying to tell me information about my future, then laughed hysterically with skepticism. Back then, my interest in video games was almost exclusively as a player, and not an especially good one, at that. I barely even owned any video games growing up, and my awareness of the development process was limited to channel-surfing into X-Play occasionally and wondering to myself who those faceless people were that produced these parent-terrifying time sinks.
August 31, 2010
The new fall semester approaches, bringing with it new fashions, new television seasons, and new freshmen wearing the latest fashions they saw on television. Having been a freshman recently enough to remember all of the embarrassing missteps I made (except for the ones I can’t remember), it seems appropriate at this juncture to share the golden wisdom I’ve accumulated (both karats of it) with all of you newcomers while reader interest is still running on morbid curiosity.
August 4, 2010
Six semesters in, and I’m only now spending a summer at MIT. I’d heard tales that unlike the brutally cruel winters of New England, Boston summers were actually fairly reasonable as far as climate was concerned. I can’t remember where I heard it, but I’ve decided that whoever told me so was clearly suffering from heat-induced pathological lying. Oh, sure, it’s not so bad anymore, but summer is summer no matter how you slice it, and summer can be downright uncomfortable on physical, emotional, and meteorological levels.
June 4, 2010
Well, that’s it for junior year. Grades are in, sighs of relief have been released and blood pressure is back down. Yet a single understanding hangs over my head like an incontinent pigeon: in a matter of months, I’ll be a college senior. High-pitched, hyperventilated screams of panic abound. It’s not just the looming graduate school or reality, or the fact that I still don’t know which one it’s going to be. It’s not my inability to decide what I want to do or why, either. Nor is it the knowledge that many of my best mentor figures are going off to do with confidence aplenty the very things I’m panicking about. It’s...well, actually, I’m not entirely sure what it is, but it most certainly isn’t any of the above. No, sir, most definitely not one of those.
May 7, 2010
I was watching a movie with some friends the other night when the topic of a woman’s “friend zone” came up. Presumably, the Friend Zone is a Bermuda Triangle-like region from which there is no exit, inside which a male is considered a non-romantic entity, like a brother or a pet rock. I’ve never believed in the Friend Zone, although I suppose it’s only fair to disclaim that my experiences may differ from others’. Maybe it does exist, and I’ve simply never been placed in it, but I haven’t been quite vain enough to assume something like that since I was 15 — it seems much more likely that it simply hasn’t come into my mind as important.
April 30, 2010
The MIT Musical Theatre Guild is currently putting on <i>Evil Dead: The Musical</i>, based on the Evil Dead franchise from Sam Raimi. Personally, I’m somewhat ambivalent regarding the “post-modern” musical, the show that is aware that it’s a musical and tries too hard to draw attention to that fact. My biggest complaint is that these musicals seem almost lazily written, with the occasional self-referential joke used to fill in wherever an in-universe one can’t be found. That’s not the case with <i>Evil Dead</i>. Rather, <i>Evil Dead</i> represents what a postmodern musical would look like with everyone involved — the songwriter, lyricist, book writer, and the characters — were wholly dedicated to making the show as self-aware as possible, and doing so stylistically rather than attempting to be ironic about it. The result is a show that revels hilariously in its horror movie roots as it deconstructs the genre at the same time. Combined with MTG’s remarkably talented, very B-movie execution, <i>Evil Dead: The Musical</i> is conceivably the most fun and entertaining show I’ve seen on campus.
April 27, 2010
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the resurgence of feature films being presented in 3-D. On the one hand, it’s probably the most sensible response to the demand by moviegoers for novel and interesting cinema experiences, as the witty dialogue and compelling character-driven narrative of films like <i>Bounty Hunter</i> (unfortunately not the Boba Fett biopic I was hoping for) doesn’t seem to be cutting it, for some reason. On the other hand, I’ve always enjoyed being removed from the cinema experience — not in the sense of being kicked out by ushers, but of being an impartial observer who can relate to the characters on the screen (sometimes) without having to inhabit their world. <i>300</i> was cool, but I think I’d feel a self-conscious need to work out more (or at least shower) if I saw Gerard Butler’s sweaty pecs popping out of the screen at me.
April 9, 2010
I like to dance. It’s basically the only exercise I get, and I get to meet all sorts of interesting people outside of MIT. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that there are plenty of opportunities around campus to mingle, but coordinated shouting at movie screens can only get you so acquainted with the people around you. I don’t even care all that much about what kind of dancing I’m doing — club dancing, ballroom dancing, I’ll even Michael Jackson dance if the opportunity arises, objections from bystanders notwithstanding. After the past three weeks, though, given that I can count the muscles in my legs and feet based on the individual types of soreness they’re experiencing, it’s become apparent that such a thing as too much dancing does exist.
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