Tuesday, November 28, 2006

File this in the great big bin of Sci-Fi Channel bad ideas; The Wizard of Oz "re-imagined" as boring crap. Apparently it's supposed to be dark and hip--post cyberpunk, you might say, or cyberpunk without all the bothersome weirdness.

What the fuck. I've had tapioca pudding more exciting than the way these television producers think. Dorothy Gale's now "DG"? DG? Seriously, I see that and I think, "Donkey Gong."

At least last night's Heroes was kind of good. I didn't make a big effort to catch it so I missed the first ten minutes. But it was a little better. I still think Sylar was Claire's buddy. I pretty definitely saw a different face under that hat.

On a much brighter note, I finally saw The Departed on Sunday. What a great example of a modern film noir--oddly clever tough guy dialogue, existential and fatalistic themes, and even a little expressionistic camerawork. The actors were all good, too. Jack Nicholson was essentially reprising the Joker, only with more opportunities for viciousness.

There's a lot I could say about movies if I wasn't so sleepy and needed to get up in five hours. I keep meaning to mention I saw Borat a few weeks ago and thought it was a brilliant, fascinating joke at the expense of some of the dumbest people in America. It was something of a safari through the wilderness of the small minded citizens here. As I said to a friend, it's one thing to hear about a tiger, but that doesn't prepare you for actually seeing one.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Declaration of War on Christmas

In the course of human societies and civilised communities of recognised sentient beings there may come, as now comes, just reason and cause for those of intellect and conscience to violently and firmly sever ties with a some time happy holiday.

Let an unbiased, objective, and alien universe observe the following grievances perpetuated by the period, between one and twelve earth days in the latter portion of the Gregorian year, known as Christmas, Yule, Christianica, and All Jesus Yam Feast (in this document henceforth referred to as Gluttonstice);

*) Aphrodisiac talismans of myriad wickedness in shape, flavour, and texture known as candy canes.

*) Enforced placement over residential fireplaces of sock-like garments symbolising the oppressive boot of Gluttonstice's Capitalist God King.

*) Copious forced ocular induced impulses to bloodshed in the form of red coloured objects pornographically draped on trees, stair rails, lamp posts, and children.

*) Grotesque mental degeneracy of Gluttonstice's currently elected president, Archduke Jesus Christ.

It is for these grievances that the forgers and signers of this declaration do hereby openly declare war on Gluttonstice, some time known as Christmas, effective November thirty, two thousand and six in the year of our Dancing Robot. This conflict shall be manifested by wilful replacement in retail establishments of "Happy Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" and cold denial of Christian hymns for the singing of in public schools.

Signed;

Commodore Superior Count Setsuled

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I dreamt a few nights ago that I was trying to retrieve a dead woman's head from a bird's nest, high in a large tree. As I was climbing up the tree, a voice from below warned me I would die if I even looked at the head. I looked down to see that the speaker was a Dia De Los Muertos style skull with red eyes glowing like Christmas tree lights. It was being carried by a little girl who seemed distracted. And that's all I remember.

I put aside the Big Project temporarily as I work on a piece of fanfic for Sonya Taaffe's "Moving Nameless", a short story found in her Singing Innocence and Experience. Maybe I needed to do this because this smaller project was a lot easier to get a full bodied grasp on, and thus, I think, get a better perspective on the comics making thing. The story came to me very naturally as I was reading "Moving Nameless" as both an argument against and an augmentation of some of that story's ideas. Then it seemed to flesh itself out on its own. Yesterday I finished doing the layouts and completed page one.

Robert Altman's dead. I feel sorry I didn't get a chance to see A Prairie Home Companion.

Last night I instead subsisted, sort of, on the new episode of Heroes, which was mostly so bad it put me in a rage. Here were characters I cared about from earlier, better episodes, suddenly made to speak in a language of agonising platitudes--"Believe in yourself!", "You're pretty special!", "Trust yourself and be happy!", "Popularity, blah, blah, blah!" GRAWR, I'm crushing your head, I'm crushing your head! Hey Claire, your best friend is Sylar when he wears a baseball cap . . . Er, okay, don't no-one notice. Why are you leaving Peter behind in a pool of his own blood? Oh, so you won't be allowed to go back to him. Why are we wasting time with this abrasive subplot about the annoying "spirit guide" kid accompanied by what I'm sure someone thought was an appropriately ethnic never-ending loop of hand played percussion instruments? Oh yeah, because it all sucks donkey kidney!

I ought to've known better than to start watching a show in which Jeph Loeb is in any way involved. At least from now on I can feel a little more informed about hating him.

Of course I'll be watching next week, though, like a schmuck . . .

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Some of you might be wondering how the post-Boschen and Nesuko project is going. I'm basically pleased with the progress, though I have competing, nagging feelings that I'm either going too fast or going too slow. Fortunately, a grandmother has given me money for the dental work, so that's one worry off my mind.

I haven't actually done a page yet. I've written ten pages of what I aim to be a twenty four page script. Most of the work so far has been world-building. Though I find as I write the script itself, I quickly change such details to and fro, as it suits the story. But I am of the mind that some details ought to be immutable. I think it adds a sort of credibility to the story when some things are governed by unseen rules. That's why most of the details I've worked out might never been seen in the actual story, which was also the case with Boschen and Nesuko. Though Boschen and Nesuko had the advantage of taking place in a universe I'd been working on since I was thirteen or fourteen, so I am finding it somewhat difficult working out an equal amount of information over the course of a few months.

Right now I'm concentrating on character stuff, though. One character has already changed sex and had four name changes. I've got to scrub the moss from the stones before I can cross the river. I'm just a little afraid the stones will come loose in the process and disappear in the current.

I've seen a couple of movies recently. For a long time, my mother'd been wanting me to borrow her copies of Shopgirl and Cinema Paradiso, so I did.

I was surprised by how much I liked Shopgirl. The characters were very carefully drawn, and almost every moment of the movie, which seemed to have very little dialogue, was a perceptive comment on Mirabelle's relationships. Jason Schwartzman was particularly good, coming off as the sort of dippy guy we've all known, both for the purposes of comic relief, and for the purpose of being the Emotionally Disconnected Young Man.

Cinema Paradiso, on the other hand, was absolutely awful. Somehow it has mostly positive reviews, but I could not connect with this soppingly sentimental tale of an Italian kid loving movies, getting advice from a lovable old projectionist, falling in love with a pretty girl, going to school, and never once betraying a personality to the audience. It was certainly a movie in love with its own smell. I can't remember the last time I've seen a movie that listed its awards and nominations before the opening credits. What the fuck? I've already put the movie in. Are you so afraid I'm not going to like it you have to bully me?

Mainly I think the movie suffers from being part of an early 1990s indie movie vogue. Now the bully's grown up to become no-one and nothing. I can bet not half of the favourable reviews were written by people who've seen the movie in at least a decade.
Who saw it coming?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Every now and then, I like to check in at Leia's Metal Bikini for the uber nerdiest of nerd pr0n, for it pleases me. But a few days ago, it showed me one of the biggest cop outs I've seen in months.

No, "Sonia". Just, no. If you feel you need to wear skin coloured underwear under your slave Leia costume, save us all some time and don't bother. Because I'm afraid you just don't get it. If I want to see dames in skivvies, I'll get myself a Victoria's Secret catalogue, thank you.

"But, oh," you might say, "the rigid costume does not cling protectively to my most shameful parts! Carrie Fisher even said that from certain angles you can see 'all the way to Florida'!"

Too bad! Wearing the metal bikini is a badge of honour. You think it's for everyone? You think Sally Woodennickel in Nebraska, square dancing and going on dates with Jim Bornagain is ready for the metal bikini? You think it's for every common rube with a Return of the Jedi special edition DVD? No. The metal bikini is for ladies of courage, commitment, and good, pure, perversion.

Now get the hell out of my office.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Guess what NES game I was playing a few moments ago? I'll tell you--it was this;



It seems to be a combination of a Castlevania game and a Super Mario Brothers game.

The hero is a thin gentleman with a black vest who can jump slightly higher than Mario. Mario-style question mark blocks yield weapons such as axes and what appear to be acorns that can be thrown rapidly.

Yes, obviously the game is none other than Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Now, here's something truly cool;

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So, wow, jeez, there hasn't been a Democrat controlled Congress since I was sixteen. I sure as hell didn't follow politics back then. I don't even know how to react now. I'm happy, I guess, though my pessimism isn't permitting me to be truly jubilant.

But poor Chris Matthews. I saw him come on at 2pm yesterday, and from what I understand, he was on all night. He was on when I finally switched to watching Nightmare Alley at 2am. And then, when I woke up at 1:30pm, I turned on the television to see Matthews talking live to John Murtha. He was screwing up more names, though--he referred to Rumsfeld as "Cheney" and actually called Murtha "Ted Kennedy" to his face, and didn't correct himself. Someone needs some sleep.

Okay, then, just quickly I'll bitch about television shows--I was bitterly disappointed by Monday's Heroes. I'd been cautiously enjoying the series so far, delighting that the characters were acting like people instead of plot pawns. But on Monday they turned into wind-up dolls of clich├ęs. There still wasn't a traditional plot laying down steel tracks, but suddenly everyone was behaving like stock characters, or reacting to other characters unlike any kind of character, just to keep the lame dialogue going. Like when Nikki mentions her bad dreams to her friend and her friend immediately snaps, "Everyone has bad dreams, Nikki." Who the fuck says that? And what's Nikki going to say--"Oh, yeah, that's true. I feel so much better." Even less pleasant was the stupid After School Special sibling drama with Claire--and that's after the previous episode's wonderful scene of her meeting her supposed biological parents.

I just hope this Jesse Alexander guy (or lady) doesn't write any more episodes.

My other complaint is an ultra-nerdy one about Robot Chicken. There's a show that's sometimes brilliantly funny, but at other times just seems to be thrashing dully about. The Super Mario Brothers bit was one of the latter cases. Wouldn't it have been much funnier if Mario had been able to break those bricks? Isn't their "pimped out" car exactly like Wario's? And why would they mistake a prostitute for the Princess? The sketch is predicated on the idea that innocent Mario world characters suddenly mixing with hardcore real world things is automatically funny. That's just lazy.

And Luigi oughta know the difference between a koopa and turtle by now. They're fundamentally different creatures.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

To-morrow's Fox News headline?



I've already seen RNC chairman Ken Mehlman on CNN talking about flawed exit polls--before exit polls even started coming in. Left wingers have been pointing to a flawed voting system while right wingers talk about flawed polls (see Karl Rove's comment to NPR about "Your numbers and the numbers"). We may see some rhetoric table turning.

On another note, I just heard Chris Mathews inaccurately attribute the term "fearful symmetry" to Robert Blake.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I love how the commercials and trailers for The Da Vinci Code invariably show the old naked guy lying on his back with a spotlight on his crotch. The advertisers must think people love dead guy with the glowing penis. You know, something about that, Tom Hanks' stupid haircut, and the whole Da Vinci Code affair to me add to conjure the word "dildo". I don't know why exactly.

I oughta be talking more about movies. I saw Tideland, which is easily the best film I've seen all year and one of the best movies I've seen in my life. The movie started wonderful and just got wonderfuller as it went along.

The nine year old lead is amazing, I loved her, she was a believable kid, and I hate kids. So that was a little bit of amazing in itself. The movie features copious references to classic children's stories, chief among them Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with which the movie shares a similar tone. There're a bunch of pansy, insulated critics who're disgusted with the movie, but don't listen to them. If Tideland's playing on your continent or island, go see it.

Oh, and vote Democrat to-morrow.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I wish to now wish very belated happy birthdays to my November Third Three, Franklin, Moira, and Trisa. Of course, according to Enigmakat, it's also Gojira's birthday. So may you four have a glorious monster war over Tokyo.
Saddam Hussein was just sentenced to death for something he did one year before he shook Donald Rumsfeld's hand.

Red right hands clasp across the world, folks.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The final chapter of Boschen and Nesuko is up. So ends just over two years of that. Don't look forward to a cheery ending. Happy endings depress me, and I've already had a bad week.

One nice thing is the good reading material I've had. I started reading Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes on October 24, just after midnight. The fourth paragraph on the first page; "One year Halloween came on October 24, three hours after midnight."

And yet I somehow missed Halloween again this year--I feel quite bitter about it, too, as I admire photos my friends post in their blogs of their beautiful costumes.

Oh well. Maybe next year. I did freak out the guy wearing Marilyn Manson contacts at the Pizza Hut with my horrible, horrible teeth. I've been listening to The Pogues a lot lately, as thinking about Shane MacGowan's teeth makes me feel a little better.