Thursday, May 31, 2007

As imperfect as the prequels may've been, lightsabres and Star Destroyers are still fucking cool I says and I want to see this;

Interesting aspect ratio for a television series.

In another part of the fantasy epic spectrum, I was flipping through Return of the King yesterday and I caught this line;

Something struck Sam violently in the back, his legs were knocked from under him and he was flung aside, striking his head against the stony floor, as a dark shape sprang over him.

And, as you may recall, I wrote a few days ago;

I thought perhaps I might escape the strange and infuriating chaos when something heavy shoved me from behind and, striking my head against a rock, I lost consciousness for a moment.

So I think this clearly indicates that I am the reincarnation of J.R.R. Tolkien. Where the fuck are my royalties? Is J.R.R. Tolkien going to have to choke a bitch?

From the Lord of the Rings wiki entry on Eru Ilúvatar;

Tolkien understood Eru not as a "fictional deity" but as a name in a fictional language for the actual monotheistic God, although in a mythological or fictional context. In a draft of a letter of 1954 to Peter Hastings, manager of the Newman Bookshop (a Catholic bookshop in Oxford), Tolkien defended non-orthodox aspects as rightly within the scope of his mythos, as an exploration of the infinite "potential variety" of God (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, No. 153). Regarding the possibility of reincarnation of Elves, Hastings had written:

God has not used that device in any of the creations of which we have knowledge, and it seems to me to be stepping beyond the position of a sub-creator to produce it as an actual working thing, because a sub-creator, when dealing with the relations between creator and created, should use those channels which he knows the creator to have used already

Tolkien's reply contains an explanation of his view of the relation of (divine) Creation to (human) sub-creation:

We differ entirely about the nature of the relation of sub-creation to Creation. I should have said that liberation "from the channels the creator is known to have used already" is the fundamental function of "sub-creation", a tribute to the infinity of His potential variety [...] I am not a metaphysician; but I should have thought it a curious metaphysic — there is not one but many, indeed potentially innumerable ones — that declared the channels known (in such a finite corner as we have any inkling of) to have been used, are the only possible ones, or efficacious, or possibly acceptable to and by Him!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The skies are once again dark with cloud.

At dawn, the Black Easterling was spotted approaching from the north. He was seen by my Orcs long before he reached my camp, for there are now thousands of Orc camps together here, and about me there is a great sea of black armour and thick, goblin skin.

It was not in sunlight I watched the Nazgul approach on his black steed, but in the diffused and grey bruised light of the overcast day. Orcs cleared a path between him and me. The host was a thick corridor to either side of me, twittering in apprehension or cowering in fear. The best of them merely watched. Crebain wheeled above us.

The rider dismounted a hundred and fifty paces from me. And as he strode towards me, I saw that the shadows within his consummately black garb had begun to drift apart, and it seemed eventually to be as black sand drifting in the wind, and soon all that remained was his Ring of Power, which I took.

I had ordered two nearby abandoned mines to be reopened and later in the day I went to one just west of my camp, leaving Zogulth and Durzehth to troop inspection reports. They would tell me little I did not already know; many of the hordes had softened, but they were all keen now to spill the blood of the people of the West.

I walked past the five or six astonished Orcs at the mine's entrance and was soon striding through complete darkness. But light no longer holds any utility for me. Did I know why I entered the mine? I am not sure. It seems now that many of my actions manifest without any forethought from me. It seems this power within me knows where to find what fuel it needs and draws me to such sources.

In the dark before me, there was for a moment a flickering light, a small candle nearly spent, and utterly spent in the next moment. It was held by the thin, trembling hand of the Grey Girl Beast, whom I perceived huddled against the jagged and cold wall. Her poor, naked form was yet wrapped in my cape and her eyes probed desperately at the dark. She knew I was there.

"Hello, Sindaseldeonna."

Her breath caught, but she did not move and said nothing.

"So, what was it you meant to gain in these lands, my poor little infiltrator?" I knelt beside her, and the strain on my metal leg caused black ooze to pour from its edges, something to which I had by then become accustomed. It filled the close air of the chamber with the smell of burning flesh.

When she did not respond I grasped her chin between thumb and forefinger and felt her shudder. I stroked her jaw line with the metal tip of my gauntleted finger. "You don't have to die here. Why don't you think about what you really want?"

My other hand covered her breast, then, the metal biting into soft flesh. "A shieldmaiden is, in the end, a soft thing. But you're a beast, aren't you? You are more than a maiden, now." I stood, and made her to stand with me, which she did on unsteady legs.

She finally spoke; "I . . . I have something to do."

"When the doubt is cast from your mind," I said, breathing the words in her ear, "and the world is on your side . . . you can do anything you want. And you want to strip this world of its destructive cloud, and reveal plain rock, mutable by your fist."

Her head leaned against my shoulder. I said, "You know how you may do this. I will help you."

The Grey Girl Beast let out a great breath, then, and put her small hand upon my mail shirt. I put my arms beneath her and carried her in the darkness.
One of the most perplexing movie reviews I've seen lately is Devin Faraci's review of Paprika at It's perplexing for how perplexed Faraci claims to be.

He makes the claim that most anime is "baffling in the extreme." I might agree that most anime isn't very good, but I don't quite get the "baffling" thing, as someone who watches a lot of anime. Faraci fails to cite any examples. I might grant him Evangelion, which I know a lot of people found confusing, though, if I may humbly submit, I did not. And maybe I'd grant him Lain, which really was essentially style over substance, though I don't see what's confusing about that. But what's even stranger about the review are the examples he cites of Paprika's supposed nonsense;

The movie has some scientists working on a dream machine – it allows you to see other people’s dreams and to enter them. One of the scientists has a dream superhero alter ego named Paprika – I am not kidding you when I say that I have no idea why this is, at all, but she begins the movie like this. I also don’t know what the purpose of having a dream superhero alter ego is, beyond whatever visual aspects it allows the filmmakers to play with.

I'm not sure what bothers Faraci here. That someone has a dream superhero alter ego? Strange, sure, but not really confusing. Is he questioning why someone would want to dream of being a superhero? The question is so inherently stupid I can't begin to think how to address it.

The movie is so dumb that the villain who stole the machine is the guy who owns the corporation that made it. There simply must have been an easier way for him to get his hands on this device, like walk (or roll, he’s a cripple and looks like Professor X) into the lab and say, ‘Hello, I own this company and sign your checks. That machine is, technically, my property. I’d like it, please.’

Kind of an amusingly worded criticism but, again, it doesn't hold much water. Certainly there are lots of reasons why one might conceivably steal from one's own company. It could be insurance fraud. Or it could be he means to commit a crime with the device and wants to throw investigators off his scent. There could be a hundred explanations, most of them in some way interesting and therefore certainly worthy of a story. Is it that Mr. Faraci expects animated movies to be aimed always at children? Is he usually drunk?

I've seen one other Satoshi Kon movie, Perfect Blue, which I quite like. Maybe Paprika's not as good, it's quite possible. But Mr. Faraci's review doesn't give me any idea one way or the other. He fails at reviewing.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I went through a great deal of trouble to get the original Yojimbo soundtrack recently. So, to save some of you the trouble, here's the title track;

"Title Back" - Masaru Sato
Everything is quite different now. I sit alone in the shade of my tent with familiar objects arrayed about me. And yet I am not alone, and yet nothing is familiar.

I lost a tooth tearing muscle from dead Radagast's femur. I found his insides not unlike a Man's or an Elf's. But by the time I had finished his heart, a new set of canines and other sharp teeth besides had grown in my jaws and I had no difficulty with the rest of the meat. Despite all the meat I had eaten during the day, as I devoured the Wizard I only seemed to grow hungrier. It seemed there was a fire that, as it grew larger, demanded more fuel. I ate near the centre of camp, to demonstrate to the Orcs, but I had all but forgotten my environment and those in it. As I finished, I found myself aware of each Orc, Uruk-Hai, troll, Warg, and Crebain about me. I felt their fear and their awe wash over me like sheathes of blue flame.

The Crebain are no longer mysterious to me. There was a cancer in their ranks, but now I touch all their minds, and I watch through all their eyes, for miles and miles. I saw the Grey Girl Beast, sleeping naked in my cloak, curled around her own fear. I smiled. I feel no need to take her now. She is in Mordor, and so long as she is, she is ever in my grasp.

My attentions now are on the disparate Orc tribes of Gorgoroth. In each individual goblin and Uruk, I have sounded the tiny bell, and they are all now massing about me as a great maelstrom. I can feel the Black Easterling, and he is coming to me as well, though I do not know his intent.

As I sit now in my dark tent, at times I can see the flames lick my arms and legs, illuminating nothing, but glowing fiercely. I have just finished sewing a mask from the Wizard's skin, and I am affixing it to a helm. My mind's eye now is often on the Grey Girl Beast's heart, and I delight to see a dark path through which my will may enter. I shall wait and I shall watch her.
It was not long after comparing, in my mind, Burzagan to a Mearas that I was given opportunity to compare the animals in practice, for I and three Orcs astride Wargs pursued the Grey Girl Beast in the late afternoon.

It had been a fine day. I had been enjoying the sweet Easterling meat and the congenial atmosphere of good, rambunctious Orcs when a sharp-eyed old scout named Gugduth spotted a hawk. It has been years since last I saw a hawk, and I do not believe I've ever seen one in Mordor, so I immediately suspected this to be an agent of Radagast. I was only beginning to wonder how I might best deal with such a spy, when the Grey Girl Beast was spotted riding north, away from us.

"It is that woman you seek, yes?" said Zogulth, hearing the report. I nodded, but before I could say another word, he ordered three young goblins to mount their Wargs and pursue. Each had the great, eager bloodlust of youth and I knew I should risk needless discontent in my ranks if I stalled their chase. So I led them on.

It was a warm day and the nice, almost sugary thick taste of a woman's innards in my belly made me even easier. Nonetheless, something had begun to tug on my mind, some small, bad feeling. And then, in an instant, I knew; Sindaseldeonna was a diversion, a diversion so that Radagast might wreak mischief in my absence.

"It's a trick!" I said to my companions, "We need to go back."

But the futile chase had made them mad, their red eyes bulging from their grey-green sockets as their bony frames bent over the shoulders of their Wargs.

"Fine! Enjoy yourselves!" I pulled Burzagan's reigns and turned towards camp to shortly find another chaos of rebellious Wargs and Crebain.

My Orcs ran about, some trying to calm their mounts, others cowering or making for their tents to escape the relentless feathered assailants.

Not again, I thought. This damned wizard would not do this to me again.

"The Brown wizard is behind this," I said to Burzagan, "You shall reject his will! You shall obey me!"

My good steed snorted a bout of smoke from his hot nostrils, and I had to take this as an affirmative as we galloped into the tumultuous camp.

Of the Easterlings, there remained four women and two children and with them, as I had suspected, I found the grey bearded old Istari attempting to cut the bonds of one child with his broadsword. He stood to face me the moment I spotted him.

"Your fell deeds shall not continue!" he said, his words strangely rolling over the area with more weight than they ought to have had and Burzagan reared.

I tried to laugh, though it may have sounded weak as my mind was partly consumed with holding onto Burzagan, "And why does a Maiar who lost his mind to beasts question the right of the strong to feast on the flesh of the weak?"

He seemed to become confused then; he frowned and his wide eyes stared at the dirt. I at this moment put my heels to Burzagan's flanks and drove my spear through the old man's chest. One of the children screamed.

It took nearly an hour for the camp to quiet down and the Wargs to return to normal. Ten Orcs were lost in this disturbance, and those who remain are nervous now, despite the Brown Wizard's very real corpse. In order to allay their fear of wizards, and further demonstrate my power, I have decided to eat Radagast.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

We continued on during the day, for everyone seemed to be in a happy mood. Indeed, it was not a march so much as an ale-soaked meander. Several Orcs stopped to sleep and were left behind, only to catch up with our slow progress later in the day. I do remember the sense of urgency I felt just three nights ago, yet somehow nothing seems of much consequence now.

My Orcs had for me, secured in one tent, a fine gift; a black steed, fresh from where horses are bred, formally for the Nazgul, to the northeast. No horse of Rohan, not even a Mearas, is his equal. He is slower, perhaps, but no Rohan horse's eyes gleam so with the red fire of perpetual malice. A Mearas may outrun Burzagan, as I've named him, but it could not hope to fight him.

I decided, however lazy we may feel, that we really must continue north at dawn. I was tying Burzagan's saddle when I became aware of a commotion in the western side of the camp. A sleepy Zogulth informed me that one of our company had been scouting to the west and had come upon another party of some twenty Orcs with about twelve Easterling prisoners. Men, women, and children.

I could not help laughing at this. I knew that there had been a few Easterling settlements established in northwest Mordor during the War of the Ring and I had long fantasised about raiding one. The soft race of Men have no business in Mordor, not really, save as slaves.

I called for the attention of all Orcs near me. "It seems we have detected a band of Orcs who've traitorously taken Easterlings as captives." Sullen mutterings rippled around me, and I paused. At length, I said, "I propose we welcome our Orcish brothers and share in the spoils."

I was much gratified when a great cheer erupted around me.

The Easterlings were starved, naked and shackled; a ridiculously pathetic sight. They sit at the centre of camp now, assailed by sun as well as spits and jeers from my goblins, whose numbers are even greater now.

Oh, and it seems one of my new Orcs, among a hunting party, spotted the Grey Girl Beast last night and briefly gave chase. Of course, he could not hope to overtake a Mearas, but this news pleases me. Wherever the wizard is, he is not assisting her as part of any offensive. I see no harm in waiting a few days and making sport with human flesh. I believe I have earned the reprieve.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Zogulth and I came upon the Khalkhathal tribe as they were all, to an Orc, yet sleeping under tent just as evening was nigh. I roused the chieftain, Hiuiluth, from loud drunken slumber with a stout kick from my metal toe. A great pig of a creature, and I laughed to behold his frantic rolling white larva body clad only in a small leather loincloth.

"The Grey Girl Beast would make a nice, big nanga from you, friend!"

"The what-beast?" was his angry response.

"It is not really your concern. Khalkhathal tribe is mine, now. Do you wish to fight me as befits an Orc?" He did. He took up a short sword and flail and I removed my own armour and clothes, to fully demonstrate my capabilities to the sleepy and astonished Orc ranks gathering to watch. I would match his two weapons with a single spear.

Truly, his advantage was short lived, as simple manoeuvring on my part tangled his flail round my spear tip and I tore the weapon from his weak, fleshy grip. The action swung my spear to the right and caused him to stumble forward. He was canny enough to turn this momentum towards me, and his bulky shoulder shoved me to the ground. The coarse ground tore at my back, but my mind wandered not from looming Hiuiluth. He took barely a step towards me before my spear found his throat, long before his short blade could hope to strike.

I'd feared that the Khalkhathal might wish to avenge their former chieftain, but I'm pleased to record they're wiser Orcs; they merely laughed at their late leader's fate, and there was no further challenge to my authority. So, now as dawn approaches, I've travelled the night westward with a company of thirty Orcs, ten Uruk-Hai, and two trolls. I shall take this host to Carach Angren, where Kamul now abides. And if I should meet any impertinent shield maidens on the way, well . . .
I was reading about Orcs in this very useful wiki, when I was struck by this bit, "Tolkien did not regard Orcs as evil in their own right, but only as tools of Morgoth and Sauron. He wrote once that 'we were all orcs in the Great War', indicating perhaps that an Orc for him was not an inherent build-up of personality, but rather a state of mind bound upon destruction."

With that in mind;

I am now camped a day's journey on Warg-back north of Seregost, and I am accompanied by a young Orc named Zogulth, who I can now hear snoring from where he sleeps on the opposite side of the fire. Not yet in his seventeenth year, and already he shows the bloodlust tempered by cunning that marks a fine chieftain six years his senior. Overhearing my aims in the mess hall, Zogulth offered to accompany me north, and his sincerity of manner fills me with a cautious optimism for Mordor.

I wandered the cold dungeons of Seregost before leaving, passing torchlight over cobwebbed racks, Scavenger's Daughters, cat's paws, pears, and thumbscrews. I thought of all the time the Grey Girl Beast and I could have spent together. In my almost melancholic musing over the marvellous old devices, I thought I should not like to have permanently damaged the Girl Beast. I think, in time, a shield maiden such as her would find the sting of the lash something intimate with the core of her being. For surely, such women pursue war because they want men to hurt them. And I would have done so with a truly deep respect for her insidious mind.

Zogulth and I departed Seregost at dawn and, by the sure-footed speed of our Wargs, quickly made our way through the mountains, and found ourselves on the hard, grey old dirt of Gorgoroth. The flattened layers of ash on the ground is testament to a time when Orodruin shielded us from the burning white of daylight. I wonder now if Kamul can truly reignite the flames of the mountain. If this is truly something an Easterling can do. Of course, if it is true what I hear about the identity of the one he serves, then we may yet see a time of greater darkness than even Sauron himself managed at the height of his powers.

But as we are now . . . I let it be known that I offer bounty on the Grey Girl Beast's head, and I hope that it is believed that I can provide such a reward as I've offered. I've told the Crebain, but I have no confidence in their ability to spread word any more than I am confident in their ability to bring word to Kamul. I must build might from the ground up, from raw muscle and steel. This is the way of Mordor, this is the way of strength. And this is what Rohan, what the "free peoples" do not understand. In Mordor, the powerful may become more powerful simply by killing those who stand in their way. And there is no reason to fear death unless one is weak, and such creatures deserve death as their existence is a pathetic thing. I shall wring a great power from Mordor, worthy of the vision of Morgoth himself. It shall be through fire, and it shall be through pain.

I bade a smith at Seregost to fashion me a new leg of rigid steel. With it, I shall stamp to meat the soft flesh of the world.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I want to see this:

"The movie was inspired by the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' ride at Disney World. If they film 'It’s a Small World,' does that mean all those cute little dolls have to die?" --Roger Ebert

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why have I been so cursed? It seems all of Middle Earth, from its animals to its lands, has been set against me since birth. I had need to kill my false parents and make my own way to father Mordor, only to be robbed of mighty Sauron within a few years. But the morning of a few days ago must surely rank among the worst of my accursed life. Pain shooting from my ruined leg like the roots of some Elf-blessed plant nearly usurped my consciousness, and it became clear that I must severe the limb. Captain Iathskar needed little encouragement.

I leaned alternately on him or Lieutenant Margmarn as we slowly made our way to the Caranduin. The Girl Beast had taken my boots and cape, and perhaps she would find it amusing in a puerile way how the same rocks that had cut her pretty feet now tore at my one remaining foot. The Crebain had calmed, though only one of them spoke to us and his speech was confused and the animal seemed distracted. Does the presence of the wizard wholly account for the unusual behaviour of these birds? I cannot say, but I somehow think it not so. My sense is yet that aspects of Mordor are becoming unravelled. Which is not to say there was anything unusual about the two companies of Orcs who were fighting at the gates of Seregost when we arrived. Captain Iathskar crushed some skulls and we soon had a path into the fortress wherein drunken Orcs lay either dozing or dead. It was good to be home.

I met with General Hosglob, a pale, fat Orc with dry strips of skin ever hanging off his flesh. I related to him my experiences with the Grey Girl Beast, and he listened with his gelatinous red eyes half closed.

"And why must I pay heed to a crippled kû who could not handle his kâl-snaga?" he said.

"Because, pushdug, as I've already made clear, this kâl-snaga is none other than Sindaseldeonna and she travels with a wizard! Meanwhile the kragun are becoming increasingly unreliable and even hostile--" Hosglob was picking meat shreds from his teeth and was no longer listening to me. I left him to his weak self-absorption and hobbled, using a spear for a crutch, down the black stone steps into the mess hall. A not entirely unpleasant few hours of cavorting and brawling with my Orc brothers followed, at the end of which I had some knowledge of the current state of the tribes in this region. I learned that of the strong tribes, I might procure the assistance of the Khalkhathâl or the Burzumbiur, both camped just to the north, on the Plateau of Gorgorath. I shall make what use I can of one of these tribes, but I believe I must get word to Khamûl himself, for only he might muster anything like the powers that may be necessary.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Things had been going so well. Before reaching the place where I meant to ford the Caraduin, I came upon a patrol from Seregost of fifteen Orcs led by two Uruk-Hai. I bound the ankles of my pretty captive and put her belly on the back of a Warg. The Orcs eyed her covetously and I was considering whether I wanted her entirely to myself when a noise to which I had almost become accustomed was replaced by a silence of what was to be terrible portent;

The Crebain, whose cannibalistic battle had been joined earlier by twenty or so more birds, abruptly ceased their noisome violence and shot straight down at my Orcs like black comets. I tore a shield from a stunned grunt to my left and lifted it just in time to hear him shriek as he suddenly found black talons tearing at his face. A great blow against the shield nearly knocked me from my feet, so I crouched and peered through the bizarre melee. Beyond the spectacle of Orcs swiping furiously and to no avail at the sudden swarm, I beheld a brown robed figure standing upon a high boulder, leaning motionless on a staff. It was the mad Wizard, Radagast the Brown, and just as I was cursing the intrusion of another mad person in my life, the Wargs rebelled. The one beside me immediately gripped an Orc head in its jaws and decapitated the soldier while his comrades now found attacks from sharp teeth and claws ripping asunder their own limbs and entrails. I backed away.

I thought perhaps I might escape the strange and infuriating chaos when something heavy shoved me from behind and, striking my head against a rock, I lost consciousness for a moment. When my wits returned, the chaos had only intensified and the naked Grey Girl Beast stood above me, her bonds cut, seemingly comfortable among her beastly brethren. She held my scimitar and, as I watched, took her book from me. Just as I was expecting her to cleave my head from my neck, a beautiful chestnut mare approached from behind her. She mounted it as easily as she had the bull days earlier, and both she and the mount were suddenly gone. My vision beats red even now with rage, but I am yet Rohan enough to recognise a Mearas when I see one, and I bitterly wonder what royal name the Girl Beast must have been given at birth, and how sweet a prize it was I had lost.

Only myself and the two Uruk-Hai escaped with our lives and now, as the last shadows of night fade into another dull inferno of a day, we are forced into motionlessness as we tend our wounds as best we can under a small overhang of rock, hoping some enemy Crebain does not espy us. My right knee was all but pulverised, and I do not know how I hope to make Seregost, but I fully mean to, and fully mean to bring all of Mordor's might that I may rally down upon the Grey Girl Beast. And I fear more than my desire for vengeance may depend upon me doing so.
Just after midday, I decided to rest. The Crebain would watch over the Grey Girl Beast while I slept. I recommended to her she sleep as well, lest she wanted me to drag her the next day. At midnight, I awoke to find her sleeping, facing me, on her side, curled up very much like a beast. Her dirty, wheat coloured hair across her face was like a filthy cobweb veil in the moonlight. No clouds in the sky, unlike the days when smoke from Mount Doom ever blanketed the land.

I nicked her cheek with the tip of my sword. Her reaction was merely a wince before her eyes fluttered open and looked at me. Two little pools glittered in her shadowed face. Still did I not know her feelings or thoughts. I bade her to stand and we recommenced our journey.

I had found on her person a small book, a diary of some sort, I supposed, though it was filled only with rows and rows of meaningless scribble.

"Here, you!" I laughed, striking her across the shoulder with the book. "Don't you know how to write? You know there's naught on these pages but silly lines?" She stumbled when I hit her but otherwise she did not react. I opened the book again and saw that what had been nonsense before had been replaced somehow by perfectly regular, perfectly foul Sindarin. I don't like such tricks as these. I took up my whip then and gave her six lashes, and I felt an invigorating spray of blood and shredded hair. I gripped the copious tresses that yet remained on her and pulled her to her feet. Two of her tears spilled to the ground as I did so.

It occurred to me then that the respect she must surely hold for me after I captured her twice has probably been deepened by fear and awe. These tears were likely because she feared she had disappointed me. I petted her and told her, "You must think of a way to please me." She said nothing, possibly too ashamed to speak, so I looked at her diary again. Sindarin makes my stomach ache and I had need several times to spit as I read. I understood little, but one word I took to be a name was littered throughout the book; Inwë.

"Who is Inwë?" I asked her. She bowed her head, did not respond, so again I asked, "Who is Inwë?" I was making ready to whip her again when I became aware of a terrific commotion from the Crebain overhead. Several were dashing at one another and even as I watched, two fell from the sky to lie dead on the ground. Many birds fled, and it was some time before the skirmish subsided, at which point only three of the creatures remained, circling above. As we have finally entered upon the Mithram Spur, but are at least a day from Seregost, I hope these crows are yet my allies.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I was awakened by her scream--I had chosen a spot where torn earth had created a nine foot long ditch, yet still I heard the cry which was like a child watching her entrails spilled before her. I hurried fast as I could to the Grey Girl Beast but found her sitting silent, hugging her knees and watching the river. I smile now as I try to imagine what terrible dream inspired such a cry as that. I like to think fear is driving her mad.

The night wore on and the Grey Girl Beast did not move except to rearrange her legs into a more comfortable posture. I wanted to pace, but didn't dare for fear of revealing my position a short distance away behind some dead shrubbery. So I watched her and made what meagre breakfast I could from the maggots I prised from the places in my mouth were I missed teeth. After a while, moonlight off the water producing a hazy luminance behind the Girl Beast caused my mind to wander. Her tense, motionless shoulders and bowed head a black silhouette, causing the glow by contrast to seem all the brighter. My mind was wandering, and to this I attribute the vision; at one point, it seemed as though four pale figures stood in the luminance, barely distinguishable as they seemed themselves to glow with a similar light. I fell backwards, and I was afraid. They wore Elven armour and seemed to watch me.

But of course, they weren't there. I realised this only a moment later when I could see that it was only moonlight and water and the Grey Girl Beast's posture had not changed. The next several hours I spent staring at her and steeling myself. Foolish to let my fancies become my enemy! I found myself gripping the pommel of my scimitar. An hour before sunrise I decided I was tired of waiting and of thinking--I drew steel and walked to within a few feet of the woman, who still had not moved. I said, "Stand, Sindaseldeonna!"

Instead she twisted around and lunged at me with her bull's horn, a gesture I easily avoided by simply a few backward steps. She did stagger to her feet then, and though she watched me warily, her eyelids drooped as though she were under the effects of a drug or spell.

"Lay down the horn," I said. It fell from her hand.

"Where are your men, Commander?" she asked. Maybe it was a taunt, I'm not sure. Her voice was hoarse and hard to hear.

"Tell me your mission, or die," I said. She said nothing. "You're going to Seregost, yes? Why?" She said nothing. "All right, then. We'll go together and see how you like the dungeon. But first, take off those rags."

She stripped bare without emotion, as though the action involved no concession to me. Aside from the obsidian shard, she had nothing. She left everything there by the river, which we left then to proceed more directly for Seregost. We walk in sunlight and her pretty white flesh is burnishing red before my eyes. I'm tired, but I feel good.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Another long night of walking. The Grey Girl Beast's aim is no clearer, of course. She seems to be making for Seregost, where she can expect no more than death upon arrival. For a time I thought also she may seek the treasures of Carn Telloth, though such foolhardy avarice would not seem in line with the arrogant nobility described in tales of her that I've heard. Perhaps the meagre life of a shield-maiden of Rohan has at last driven her to a madness for wealth? It seems unlikely to me. Yet no likelier explanation for her presence here occurs to me, except . . . What if word of Kamul's existence has somehow reached the lands of Men? I've heard nothing to suggest that it has, but Mordor's intelligence network is not what it once was. If it is true, then a renowned shield-maiden might seem to the Enemy the essential form for a Nazgul's assassin, if they believe it was the sex of the Witch King's killer that facilitated her most foul deed and not cowardice and insolent tactics. It was, if I'm not mistaken, that self-same murderess that inspired my quarry's career, in fact I understand there has been a burgeoning in the number of shield-maidens in Rohan ranks in recent years. Can they all be virgins, I wonder? Though my village lay on the southern banks of the Limlight, far from the Grey Girl Beast's Aldburg, even there it was known that she preferred the congress of women. Perhaps it was her unnatural appetites that drove her to exile among the Elves. Of all the wretched diversity among the so-called "free races", Elves have long been the most disgusting. And yet, if her mission is to destroy the Black Easterling, why is she alone? Perhaps even the Elves have cast her out? Perhaps she means to prove herself? How well I know the confusion and hatred that breeds in the heart of an exile. Maybe she means to prove herself a worthy agent of Mordor . . . ? If I do eventually rule Mordor, she may make a worthy concubine or even consort. Certainly, my possession of a woman of such fame would be a nice blow to the hubris of Men.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I sleep as she sleeps, during the sunlit hours, and I'm reminded of a time when Orcish legions could afford the luxury of nocturnal lifestyles, avoiding the hateful fire of Anar. A Crebain keeps watch while I slumber, and this evening I awoke to see the bird tearing bloody pieces of some rodent. Another crow alighted upon the grey soil as I was making what breakfast I could from the leftover carrion. The new Crebain gave me to understand that a force of some twenty Uruk-hai and a hundred Orcs was camped a few miles to the northeast. The Grey Girl Beast had not yet risen, and I was making ready to approach her when another Crebain dove from my right to strike his messenger brother! I watched in no small astonishment as black beak tore into black, feathered breast. My companion Crebain seemed surprised as myself, leaping backwards emitting several of his race's distinctive loud, barking croaks. Beak bloodied, the murderer Crebain blasted a louder, more hideous cry at the both of us and told me something I yet have difficulty believing; the other Crebain had been lying, it said. There were no Orcs for more than ten leagues in any direction. The Crebain then left and the remaining bird began to feast upon his dead comrade. This, I fear, is a sign of new discord in the black veins of this land. Perhaps I should not be surprised, now that we're under the command of the Easterling Nazgul, Kamul. And so what am I to take as true? And what means this to my mission? Damn, foolish confusion--is basic reconnaissance too much to ask? It was almost a comfort to spy Grey Girl Beast again--her pleasing and oblivious shape a balm for me as I imagine what sport I shall eventually take from it. Her mind likely in nervous shreds now, it should be like holding a rabbit. That she is formidable shall make the conquest even sweeter. Even I am impressed at my own prowess in remaining completely undetected by her. I never thought of myself as a spy, yet with only this minimal experience I seem to have mastered the art. I cannot recall ever feeling more powerful. Perhaps all of Mordor shall one day benefit from my genius . . .

Friday, May 18, 2007

It seemed to me Sindeseldaonna may not have been so consequential a threat as I had supposed as, after only a brief attempt to journey north along the Caranduin, she again collapsed in an apparent abject weariness unbefitting a military commander. The sun was a cruel flame I could feel through my armour which seemed to become heavier the more I observed the woman, and in the interest of stealth I was forced to abandon my cuirass and greaves. But her ever diminishing strength seemed to lend her elegant frame a succulence that further aroused my appetite. Again she lay on her back before me and sweat glistened across her sun-reddened breast where she had torn her tunic open down the middle. I was making ready to seize her when I realised I could hear hooves just over a small ridge to the north. I froze, and my first thought was that one of the Nazgul had come to claim the Grey Girl Beast--perhaps this was in her mind as well, for she immediately sprang into a crouching position and produced from her belt what looked to be a five inch shard of obsidian--it seems this was what had so grievously cut my goblins. The hoof beats, while quick, I realised were too uneven to be a Nazgul rider, and I was not surprised to see a lame, half-starved bull gallop as well as it might over the ridge. Apparently some remnant of the livestock from when these lands were farmed--the thing was now clearly wild. It hesitated and snorted once when it caught sight of Grey Girl Beast but then, for whatever reason, charged. Fully expecting her pretty body to be pierced by a black horn, I was considerably surprised when the woman briskly manoeuvred to the right of the impending gore, grasped a horn opposite her position, and swung around to mount the creature. It was only later I made sense of this flurry of movement, at the time it seemed simply as though she were suddenly astride the bucking and enraged bull, her thighs clasped tightly to the protruding ribs. She plunged the obsidian repeatedly into the beast's brain, and hours later she was roasting the meat over a small fire. She sharpened the horns into crude weapons and moved on--I crept up to the carcass to take a few strips of the meat she'd left behind. This is no waif for me to simply commandeer--this is indeed the Grey Girl Beast, and I shall be more cautious henceforth.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Slept late to-day, baking under sunlight in the small goblin fishing boat. My dreams were of crows, dashing strangely through coloured space in some dance. I awoke to find a crow perched on mouldering wood beside me, watching me. I smiled and ordered the Orc fisherman to alter his course, and before long caught sight of a wretched old galley on the horizon. I commenced to whipping the two oarsmen, but when we were less than half an hour away I saw black smoke beginning to twist its way upwards from the ship. Spots of orange light confirmed what I'd suspected--the crazed bitch was burning her own vessel. I then spotted a hateful figure leaping from the craft and disappearing into the waters now glimmering with firelight. Shore was but fifty yards away and I had my pathetic little crew make for it. I stepped onto grey mud and bade the half-blind Orc to take his charges and return to whatever dull life it is he leads. Receiving aid from the crows has given my path a renewed lustre--Mordor's network is with me, and consequently the Grey Girl Beast's mission has become more interesting. I am not pursuing madness, it seems, and that's why I refrained from striking when I spotted her resting on the beach. On her back with the shape of soft flesh exposed through her soaked tunic, for she had abandoned her armour on the doomed galley, I watched her from concealment and thought of how long it had been since I'd had a human woman. The regrettable state of our side has created a short supply of Enemy slaves, and Orc whores have done little to sate my appetite in these bad years. So I shall watch her for a time and see if I can guess her goal. There are few greater swordsman than myself in this land and I'm confident I may overpower her should the need arise. And I've little doubt the crows are gathering forces to my aid, perhaps even some of the Uruk-Hai I've heard tell of in this region . . .

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

At least the Easterlings are gone--this I keep reminding myself in all the black moments of these past hours. An infuriating waste of time, making our way east, and in the morning, I found the Easterlings had deserted us. Good riddance. Yes, our numbers were fewer, but what is that? Without the Eye, we are aimless, and the orcs do little but quarrel with each other and kill what few rabbits we find in the wastes. When we reached Thaurband for supplies, I let them disperse to find whatever debauchery might suit them, and I may have done so too if not for a leprous orc's mutterings about a strange woman who'd taken a ship across the Nurnen. I was right! It was the Grey Girl Beast, I am certain, and I will have her! I must--all have heard how she slaughtered orcish ranks in Ered Mithrin, driving them into the Grey Mountains and to their doom in the choked passes--thus earning her accursed name. Sindaseldeonna she is called by her foul Elf cohorts. She is not only of the enemy, she is the Enemy, one of the promiscuous faces. So I pore over each detail in my brain now as the decrepit, half-blind goblin I hired sits almost motionless on the ship's bow, ordering his two man crew with barely a twitch of a claw, here and there. What strange denizens of this erred world. Is it all for madness now? No! I am on the trail of an Enemy commander. That's irrefutable. And Rohan be damned.

A pot of coffee, five cups of coffee at a restaurant, an espresso ice cream truffle, and a cup of whole leaf Earl Grey tea, and the tightness in my head suggests to me I may just have had slightly too much caffeine to-day . . . I managed to finish colouring six pages last night, though.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

She escaped! All that lofty talk from me about treating a prisoner as befitted her station and I let her slip through the claws of some blundering goblins under my command. I would say the messy work she made of the nether regions was punishment enough except now I have the Easterlings giving me cold looks--mutinous looks, if you ask me. Blasted Easterlings! I didn't leave Rohan to make peace between orc and Man. But they are reliable, I'll give them that. On their side of camp, the great Grey Girl Beast would be naught but great sport this morning. As it is, I know I shall have somehow to overtake her before nightfall if I don't want an Easterling blade through my back. But where the devil has she gone? What was she doing here without escort? Trying to puzzle over it now, I can seem to remember a look of what I might call a confused determination. Has she lost her mind? Has one of the great commanders of Men lost her wits to go wandering in Mordor on some phantom mission? How bloody wonderful--we may then never guess her movements, for mad as she may be, she covers her tracks well. The Easterlings believe she's gone east, so I suppose that's where we shall go, though I myself believe she's moving towards the Sea of Nurn. Somehow I associate madwomen with the sea. It would be as good a destination as any--as I cannot guess what she means to accomplish. I wish we had not left Khand.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Thriller - En Grym Film (Thriller - A Cruel Picture, or They Call Her One Eye, or even Hooker's Revenge), a 1973 exploitation film starring an adorable little Christina Lindberg.

I actually thought Lindberg was better in Sex and Fury, where she was given quite a bit more material to work with. Which is not to say Thriller must have been a cakewalk, as she's seen in the movie receiving extremely realistic looking karate lessons. Her character, Madeleine, becomes an expert in karate, shooting, and driving in order to exact bloody revenge on the people who forced her into a life of prostitution and heroin addiction.

The first thing that surprised me about the film was how beautiful much of it is, particularly in the beginning, where the camera lingers over autumn yellow leaves, complemented by Christina's yellow dress. However, there is a great deal of dullness to the movie as well; the bare grey walls and naked mattresses of the brothel, the hardcore insert shots of penises pumping stand-in vaginas (very clearly not Christina's own), and the ponderous slow motion shots of guys getting the squibs blown out of them as they find themselves in Madeleine's path.

On the one hand, the movie's glacial pace was tedious, as it was usually not spent in service of character development or action choreography. Yet it did succeed in gradually creating a sort of crushingly grim atmosphere--Madeleine goes from a slow, crushing, inescapable position, to becoming a slow, crushing, inescapable monster. By default, you root for her, but there's almost none of the glee found in the Tarantino movies Thriller inspired.

Still, it's a sort of deathly spooky film, especially because the mute Madeleine's face is Christina Lindberg's--sensual, and finely communicative. On one level, she seems generally disconnected with what's going on around her, but then intriguing hints leak through her features . . .

Here's the trailer, which doesn't entirely communicate the movie's feel;

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

To-day is a better day. No workmen until 1pm, and I slept 'til 12:30, having gone to bed at 4:30am. Lucky the cat is still hiding out in my room, and Victoria the cat lurks somewhere in the shadows--as always, she is both everywhere and nowhere, but always watchful.

I've been watching Twin Peaks with my sister, and last night we decided to skip eleven episodes of the second season. This is my sister's first time watching the series, and even I was surprised how little there was I needed to catch her up on for the skipped episodes. With the absence of David Lynch, there's really no reason to watch a big chunk of the second season, except maybe Windom Earle, who I still think is a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Already doing a little better to-day. Some Wild Turkey helped me to sleep by 3am (I got the idea watching Wicker Man, when Howie takes some whiskey before bed).

I saved Heroes for this morning. Did I TiVo it? Well, if by "TiVo" you mean "tape", then yes. Did I just give you temporal vertigo? Is there a horrible wrongness in such a casual anachronism, like seeing a group of nineteenth century coal miners crossing the street, or glimpsing a daemon horseman galloping through your neighbourhood? I can't help what I am, this . . . thing.

So, yeah, I didn't watch Heroes in High-Def for once. I actually liked the episode--maybe I was expecting something much worse from Elizabeth Bear's review. I'm with Caitlin in starting to like Sylar. And I like Hiro, though I'm not sure I understand why so many people are absolutely wild about him. As far as I can tell, he's as likely to suffer from bad writing as any of the characters. Last night's was nice not so much for how good it was but for how bad it wasn't. Sylar's thing with his mother was interesting, but mostly the episode was lukewarm, which is still better than outright annoying any day.

Well, I've got pixels to colour. I'm hoping Sarah McLachlan will write a song about me, "Yeah, you're working, colouring pixels, choosing so carefully . . ."

Mono no aware, folks . . .

Monday, May 07, 2007

I am very sleepy. Noisy workmen came to break tile and scare cats upstairs and I had to get up at 9am. I watched half of The Wicker Man while eating breakfast, then, from 10am 'til 6pm, I did almost nothing but colour--I paused only for lunch and to feed the cats.

Yet I did not finish a single page.

THIS IS TAKING A LONG FUCKING TIME. I am in serious need of a new computer with more RAM. My problem is clear when I click an area to fill it with colour and it takes thirty seconds for the colour to appear . . . But I shall persevere . . .

I was colouring six pages at once, six pages with lots of people in them. But scanning these things at higher dpi than Boschen and Nesuko has created all sorts of problems--aside from the RAM issue, my scanner seems to leave thousands of pixel sized flecks that I can only fix by erasing them manually, one by one.

So that's my exciting day. Lunch was an excellent burrito at Tacos Del Mar, Diane. Spinach tortilla wrapped around refried beans, genuinely hot sauce, salsa, rice, guacamole and cheese--delicious. That was five dollars and eighteen cents, but a very large burrito. Weather was ridiculously hot, the air was like hot ooze, but I enjoyed the walk all the same.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs), a 1960 film by Mikio Naruse, is a film I'd not heard of, by a director I'd not heard of, until somewhat recently, and yet I think it's a movie I've wanted to see for a very long time. I'd wanted to see a Japanese film about Japanese women living in actual, peculiarly Japanese social roles, preferably from a woman's perspective. The closest approximations I could find were heavily westernised melodramas like Memoirs of a Geisha, or Japanese exploitation films like Lady Snowblood or Sex and Fury, which may have had strong female characters, but they lacked the perspective on traditional female social roles I was interested in. Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki delivered in spades.

In his review of Memoirs of a Geisha, Roger Ebert mentions having seen movies illustrating in the world of geisha "currents deeper and more subtle than the broad melodrama on display" in Memoirs. He may well have been thinking of several of Naruse's films, most of which, unfortunately, seem to be unavailable on DVD. Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki is not about geisha, but it deals with another denizen of the mizu shobai, the bar hostess, who is both on a lower rung, professionally, than the geisha and yet also in the world of 1960 Tokyo's Ginza district, was quickly replacing her.

The movie stars Hideko Takamine as Keiko Yashiro, sometimes referred to as "Mama", due to her alpha position among hostesses in the bar where she worked. These hostesses seem to be endemic of a traditional Japanese attitude which regards the female sex as a servant species. Hostesses lacked the training in the arts characteristic of the geisha, and were not booked for functions, but instead acted as social diplomats, informal escorts, and occasional sexual partners for their successful businessmen customers, who could only be among the higher echelons to afford the services of such bars.

However, the movie is not a study of social hierarchies within 1960 Ginza, but rather a nicely woven character drama that expects audiences to simply know all of these things, which is perhaps why Naruse's films see so little foreign distribution. Yet, at the same time, Keiko's difficult position illustrates problems endemic of the country's economy, social structure, and attitude towards women. And a lot about money.

Mikio Naruse was never a wealthy man at any point in his career, unusual even among Japan's great directors like Ozu and Kurosawa. So perhaps this is why there's a definite sense of how money, and the need for money, traps Keiko in a life she doesn't like--early on, she remarks on how much she hates climbing the stairs into the bar every night, becoming the artificial creature for unpleasant men, and being obliged to drink liquor she dislikes. But there is no other option for her--another career could not provide her mother, brother, and nephew, who live in a poorer, industrial district, with the money they need to live. Keiko herself lives in an expensive apartment and wears expensive kimonos, yet, as she observes, she could afford to do no less as it is precisely this superficial glamour that attracts customers.

This set-up could easily have been overblown melodrama, yet Naruse handles it with a beautiful subtlety, the xylophone jazz soundtrack cool with elegant imagery of dark, burnished walls under hazy neon signs. There are few exterior shots, the movie seemingly confined to a beautiful rats' maze as Keiko goes from one man to another variously to collect fees, to pay off debts, or to tactfully request loans. A number of essays I've read on the movie frequently include a quote from Naruse about his characters; "If they move even a little they quickly hit the wall." We see this as Keiko's attempts to escape her world--and there are only two possible avenues for her, to either start her own bar or marry--are continually thwarted. And every thread of plot is constructed with a heartbreaking credibility, until the web prevents Keiko from moving at all.

In the DVD commentary, critic Donald Richie calls Keiko's attitude at the end of the film mono no aware, a Japanese concept having to do with accepting the nature of ones own existence and circumstance. I can't imagine there are many films equally as brilliant illustrating the concept as this one.
There was an AP article linked to by a headline on Huffington Post to-day about the Rudy Giuliani campaign's complaint to NBC about Keith Olbermann. This comes after one of Olbermann's "Special Comments", an editorial that occasionally comes at the end of Olbermann's show, in this case it was a commentary on Giuliani's assertion that the country would be less safe under Democrats than Republicans (you can see the Special Comment here).

What strikes me most about the AP article is its assumption that we can all see that Olbermann's commentary is corrupted by bias. "Clearly there's a taste in America for both a partisan and nonpartisan press." And yet it doesn't spend one sentence attempting to debunk Olbermann's commentary. Anyone unfamiliar with the pundits and journalists mentioned in the article would have a hard time figuring out what the article's getting at, what precisely it means by "Olbermann's popularity and evolving image as an idealogue has led NBC News to stretch traditional notions of journalistic objectivity." Whether the AP writer, David Bauer, realises it or not, the AP article is itself an opinion piece.

I think this is indicative of the general trend in the media to assume that "balance" is the same thing as "objective". This is what caused Jon Stewart's meltdown on Crossfire years ago. I actually don't think Stewart was very articulate in the encounter, but I think so many people responded strongly to it because we all sensed what Stewart was getting at--that in the mainstream media, giving equal credence to right wing and left wing positions is more important than the truth.

When Rudy Giuliani claimed that there would be more casualties under a Democratic president, he was using terror as a tool. That's simply the truth.
Saturday involved a lot of colouring. I listened to David Cronenberg's commentary for Spider which was, as I'd suspected, particularly interesting. I bought a birthday card for my grandmother that wasn't completely stupid, which still amazes me.

I've just finished some plum flavoured ice cream I got at Mitsuwa a few days ago. It was good stuff, though it tasted peculiarly like bubblegum. Now I have azuki ice cream to try.

I started writing this entry thinking I'd talk about what I was doing besides watching movies and working on my comic, but I just realised I haven't really been doing anything else, at least nothing worth talking about. I saw some ravens tear apart a squirrel in the birdbath. That was sort of interesting. The huge black things carrying away stringy red bits and tufts of grey fur. Lucky the cat is fortunately too fat to excite the birds' interest. Otherwise, they seem to have taken custody of the backyard.

A baby opossum strolled past the open door to the backyard while I was eating breakfast one afternoon. I knelt in front of him and we regarded each other a moment before Victoria the cat came from nowhere to chase the little fellow into a bush.

I went to North County Fair mall on Thursday because it holds one of the only two comic book stores currently operating in San Diego county that I know of, but found nothing of interest. It's a big store, but the only people in there were two cops looking at action figures. I feel like that image implies something, but I'm not quite sure what it is.

Well, welcome to Sunday, folks.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

My life is full of spiders lately. A couple days ago, I finally got David Cronenberg's Spider on DVD, I'm currently reading Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, and I just got back from seeing Spider-Man 3.

It was, as you might imagine on opening day, a very crowded theatre, and as is often the case with crowded theatres, it demonstrated to me that most people aren't very bright, at least not judging by the fact that most of them laughed at every dull, perfunctory punch line in all the billions of advertisements preceding the film. But I have to say I can't blame them for laughing as much as they did during the film.

When Spider-Man 3 did comedy, we laughed. When it did tragedy, we laughed. When a creepy old butler we'd never seen before said he loved Harry Osborne, we were all hysterical. Every time someone cried in the movie, we laughed. Sometimes I felt bad enough for the filmmakers that I managed to merely cringe, but mostly I think Sam Raimi and company deserved a pie in the face.

It's not hard to see the problem--for whatever reason*, a whole bunch of different ideas for movies were crammed into this one movie, giving us only room for brief bites of character development and establishing of motives, so Raimi tried to compensate by putting a shot of whiskey in each bite, only he grabbed the bottle of sugar water on accident.

We get earnest proclamations like "I love you!" at completely the wrong times. We have characters doing phenomenally stupid things to provide motivation for other characters--Peter kissing Gwen Stacy in front of Mary Jane without it even occurring to him that it might make her jealous. Mary Jane insisting Peter doesn't know how she feels when discussing a bad review of her recent Broadway performance because Peter mentions how Spider-Man gets bad press, too**. And there's the Panic Room effect when Mary Jane convinces Peter she wants to break up with him only because Harry, who's out of earshot at the time, has threatened to kill him.

Worst of all is the movie's handling of its Moral--that vengeance is ultimately a bad reason to do things. This is something that's part of a lot of comic book stories, and it's not an unreasonable theme for discussion. But it's gotta be discussed. This is a movie, not a political rally. We all sense it's a profound enough subject that we're all a little irritated when it's handled haphazardly with battling slogans and broad, artificially contrived emotions. Sure, it's bad to kill if you don't have to. But are we really to believe Spider-Man didn't have to kill Sandman***, when Sandman obviously is willing to hurt innocent people and can't be contained by any prison, and seems indestructible anyway?

Well, the movie wasn't a complete waste of time. A lot of the action sequences were fun. Bruce Campbell was the best thing about the movie.

*My guess is, Sam Raimi had decided he didn't want to make any more of these movies and therefore decided to cram every half-formed idea for whole Spider-Man movies into this one.

**No, Peter, I don't want you to go help those people you heard about on the police radio because I need to talk to you about my feelings because I'm a stereotype of a sudden!

***Of course he didn't really kill Sandman, and it's obvious to everyone that he didn't, but he thinks he killed him, and that leads him to a conversation with Aunt May who, despite knowing it was Sandman (in an extremely stupid re-writing of history) who killed her husband, and without knowing the why and how of Sandman's death, can only think to say that it was wrong of Spider-Man to kill. Oh, sure, Raimi, let's just breeze through the philosophy, it's not like this is an extremely sensitive subject that happens to be on everyone's minds because it relates to the war in Iraq and the Virginia Tech. shootings.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

And Now, For Our More Dreadful Sacrifice

But where can we find a fool who acts like a king?

As many have pointed out, Bush has declared May 1 to be "Loyalty Day". He also likes to sacrifice people loyal to him. Though he's not technically a virgin, I bet there are a lot of things that would be new to him, like introspection. Perhaps that's the most profound virginity of all.

Well, I can certainly feel the approach of summer. It's already gotten so I can't have my fan on any setting lower than maximum.

I expect to post more later to-day, but, knowing me, I probably won't. Saint Sisyphus asked me to talk about a few more movies.

Number of times I heard the song "Passenger" on Monday in different contexts; 3.