Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I really need to get more sleep. Only four hours again.

Class was interesting last night. The teacher seems pretty laid back. The first reading assignment, of course, is Beowulf. The Seamus Heaney translation, which I've never read. I'm looking forward to it.

Here someone has introduced Elvis Costello to Mutt and Jeff;

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I couldn't get more than four hours of sleep for some reason. But it's probably just as well, since I have to get up early to-morrow and the next day. To-night, I have school to go to. The first time I've gone to school since, I think, 2004. I'm taking British Literature 1. Just one class. Hopefully I've outgrown my academic fuckupery.

Lots of nostalgic things so far this week. I watched the pilot episode of Deep Space Nine yesterday for the first time in, I think, a decade. A lot of it felt surprisingly fresh. I remember making fun of Avery Brooks' half interestingly intense, half really awkward performance, but it seems like I'd forgotten the experience of actually watching the performance. I raised my eyebrows as if seeing for the first time his weird little "aow!" in the beach scene.

Otherwise, I didn't do much else yesterday except watch more of Vertigo again. I'm guessing this is the fourth time I've watched it in the past three weeks and it just seems to be getting better each time. I've been writing an analysis that's been getting really long. I know Vertigo's a movie that's been written about extensively, and obviously not all those writings are available to me, but I'm trying not to be redundant. The movie has so many layers that play off one another so well. It all fits together like a watch, as Keyes in Double Indemnity would say.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Olfactory! Olfactory! You need it, don't you see? 'Cause you're a fella, I can tell, who could really use a sense of smell!

No fail for he who can tell who and what stands on the other side of the wind.
A shining, dogged trail of a communal secret snail, laid bare when odourlessness you forefend.
Caspar can't conquer space alone, with eyes, ears, shape; a nose is crucial.
Stupid children cannot ever atone, not when certain thoughts are inconsequential.

Can you see what you can't smell? In any case, I would not advise it.
The scent of male, the scent of female; in the hay or in the dock, you will find it.
Parsing bad from good, lucky man, or rotten from fresh and sweet
Wafting fast from fluttering fan; you'll know when your trolley's fled down street.

Water and smoke in the sky, the city things seen but not seen
No need for how and why, not when there's odour on the screen!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Torrents are continuing to be an addiction for me. I downloaded the remastered Neon Genesis Evangelion, which is a vast improvement on my DVDs, not just in terms of picture and sound but also in terms of subtitles, which are much better written in the remastered edition. I also downloaded Mikio Naruse's Floating Clouds, which isn't currently in print in the U.S., which is sort of extraordinary when you consider, as the imdb entry notes, it was voted "Third in the centenary poll by Kinema-Junpo magazine about all-time best Japanese films, Shichinin no samurai (1954) and Tôkyô monogatari (1953) preceded it." The Wikipedia entry consists only of one short sentence; "Floating Clouds is a 1955 film directed by Mikio Naruse."

Watching the movie and the first couple episodes of Evangelion got me thinking about Japanese attitudes regarding sexuality and the socially proscribed roles for men and women. The second episode features Misato Katsuragi, a beautiful, 29 year old woman who takes in 14 year old Shinji Ikari and thinks nothing of barraging him with sexual innuendo in a couple of scenes that resemble the sex comedy of awkwardness typical of anime, though the significance of this relationship is broadened later in the series. Even by this second episode, there's the curious juxtaposition of Shinji being forced to adapt to this newly sexually charged atmosphere at the same time that he's being asked to perform acts of extreme violence. It's understood that Misato has no true sexual designs on Shinji, and she seems to think she's flattering him with the attention. A character later in the series points out to Shinji that he ought to feel honoured because Misato lets him see her as no-one else does.

But it is a sloppy relationship with ill-defined boundaries. I never really thought about it before.

Japanese film and television is often filled with enormous catastrophe, and it's hard not to see this as a reflection of the atom bomb's lasting influence on the culture. The popular American attitude is that Japan had it coming, though a lot of people don't think that's really true. As William S. Burroughs said, "Bombs bursting in air over Hiroshima proved through the night that our flag was already there."

Floating Clouds is a movie of post-war Japan, which is really beginning to fascinate me as a subject, after seeing this movie and Kurosawa's Ikiru, Druken Angel, and Stray Dog, which are none of them directly about the impact of losing the war on Japanese society, but are nonetheless permeated by it, psychologically and, very impressively, visually. Extensive location shooting can't fail to show the overwhelming, and very real devastation of Japanese cities. A nation-wide humiliation is ever palpable, which, by the way, is one of the reasons the Neo-Con idea of Iraq reconstruction being analogous to Japanese reconstruction is complete baloney. The Japanese cared. The nation was fully invested in war against the Allies, and they thought they were on the road to a glorious victory. They didn't just lose, they lost big and bloody.

I can understand, I think, why Floating Clouds has gotten so little western attention--which is the case for all of Mikio Naruse's movies*--because it deals so fully with the characteristically Japanese gender dynamic.

The film stars the beautiful and talented Hideko Takamine, Naruse's regular star, and Masuyki Mori of Rashomon and Ugetsu. Takamine's character, Yukiko, having been raped by her brother-in-law, takes a government job in Indochina during the war where she has an affair with her superior officer, Mori's character (Tomioka), whose wife is back home in Japan. After the war, Yukiko is forced to return to Japan, where she understandably thinks nothing of stealing many of her brother-in-law's possessions in order to get by. She has a meeting with Tomioka, who's not interested in continuing their relationship.

In Indochina, Tomioka's attitude was cool towards Yukiko. He spoke casually insultingly to her, making her tell her age in front of strangers, telling her she looked older. There's an ingrained assumption of his superiority to her. In Japan, after the war, they both go through a complicated series of humiliations as their roles are broken down by circumstances in their world. While their relationship was hardly equitable by objective standards before, at least they had the comfort of knowing what was expected of them. But in post-war Japan, where Yukiko is forced to become a prostitute and eventually finds herself financially far better off than Tomioka, nothing seems to work right. The two love each other, and are irresistibly drawn back into each other's company, even as they find themselves bitter towards one another and completely at a loss as to how to interact. Yukiko's forced to realise she's smarter and better equipped to survive than Tomioka, and that she resents his endless string of superficial affairs with other women. He's in the uncomfortable position of depending on Yukiko more than he feels he has a right to, and knowing that she's a smarter, more able person that he is. It's painful and humiliating for them both, but they can't escape because they love each other.

*I wrote an analysis for Naruse's When a Woman Ascends the Stairs early last year. You can view it here.
I was a rather lousy person a couple nights ago. You know, a former friend of mine once said she preferred books as friends over people. At the time, I thought this was a sort of pathetic view on her part, that it essentially meant she didn't have the fortitude to handle friends who were capable of looking back at her with consciousnesses that could note her imperfections. But now I think she was pretty smart.

It's been a long time since I read Fahrenheit 451, but I remember a scene where the character named Faber talks about how the power books have is in the power the people have who read them to be able to put them down at any moment.

I've been thinking about that. I think it thereby makes every piece of information or imagery that comes out of a book consensual by default. It's an intimate and fully engaged relationship because the reader can only engage voluntarily, which results in some dissolution of the reader's potentially fearful and numbing reflexes.

So, since I feel like I haven't been a very good person lately, I'm going to see if I can be more of a book.

Thursday I finally saw Juno. It's a pretty good movie. The first twenty minutes felt like a flat, Bugsy Malone version of Citizen Ruth, but after that, the characters start to seem a little more interesting and complex and it becomes a nice little story that only puts you at arms length on one or two more occasions with what it apparently thinks is wit.

Oh, and I've also been re-reading Dostoevsky's White Nights. Maybe there really is something to be said for books as friends, because Dostoevsky never fails to make me feel less alone.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Short on time again to-day, only this time it's because of a ritual orgy I'm set to take part in. Yesterday it was because I was seeing Atonement, which, while it had it's moments, was mostly just a low-rent, overly melodramatic version of These Three.

I just realised Heath Ledger was born precisely seven days before me. I'm not quite sure what to make of that, except it has me thinking about whether I'd be satisfied with the life I've led if I died to-morrow. Mostly, I'd say yes. Sure, I'd like a girlfriend, but I still see that as a fringe benefit. I'm happy Boschen and Nesuko's out there. I've seen plenty of good movies. Yeah, I wouldn't mind going now very much. I don't want to, but at least I have no "oh, gods, I never ____ed!" thing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Very short on time to-day, so this'll be a quick entry.

My sister just told me that Heath Ledger was found dead. It's really too bad--the guy was genuinely talented, at least from what I can tell from Brokeback Mountain. He was able to convey a lot without words, with very subtle body language. He was an artist.

I think this guy's quickly going to become this generation's James Dean. I mean, heart throb with only a handful of genuinely good movies who dies young. Fits the bill.

Of course, the rat I am, my first thought was, "another cursed Terry Gilliam movie."

Anyway, I'll leave you with more of the illustrated adventures of Toubanua Tairov, my female alter-ego, who's starting to look more and more like her namesake;

I've found shopping in Chinese stores in Second Life is exactly like shopping in Chinese stores in real life--thousands of beautiful little knickknacks, as far as the eye can see;


This outfit was too small, but it quite unexpectedly made her look exactly like Mia Wallace;

Monday, January 21, 2008

Last night I dreamt I was in the Black Lodge--which is the red curtained area Agent Cooper first sees in his dream on Twin Peaks;

I dreamt I was going through one of the curtained halls when I came across someone who looked like Peter Sellers as Dr. Strangelove, except he could walk and he was much taller than me. He didn't say anything, but he was sneering at me and holding his hands out towards me. He was wearing white gloves. I knew he wanted to strangle me.

"Olfactory!" I said, and he stopped. Then I started singing, making up words as I went. I knew as long as I could keep making up words for my olfactory song, I could keep him from killing me. I sang until I woke up, but I don't remember most of the song except;

Olfactory! Olfactory! You need it, don't you see? 'Cause you're a fella, I can tell, who could really use a sense of smell!

Anyway, here's what my female avatar looked like as of last night;

Yeah, I slimmed her down. There just aren't many clothing options otherwise. Plus, whenever she put her hands on her hips, they disappeared inside her.
One of those moments where I love MSNBC;

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I admit it; I was a big fan of Dragonlance in high school. Well, I first discovered the books in elementary school, and I'd been reading them for years before I read The Lord of the Rings and found out how much had unabashedly been ripped off from Tolkien's universe. But I'm not exactly bitter about that--Tolkien came up with Middle Earth, hoping to create a new mythology, which would naturally imply multiple storytellers. Since the Tolkien estate keeps an iron fist on the Middle Earth property, folks don't have much choice but to make thinly veiled alternate versions.

My loss of interest in Dragonlance, I think, had to do more with its shoddy underlying philosophies, and almost complete absence of the astounding, beautiful aesthetic sensibility of Tolkien.

But, having just recently discovered the magic of torrents, I couldn't resist downloading the new Dragonlance direct-to-DVD animated movie last night. And, watching it, I was reminded of what was so good about the series--or maybe I'm just now able to articulate it to myself. It's a group of very well realised characters, interacting with fun and credible dialogue, on a quest. It was incredibly clear to me that the story is based on a series of role playing sessions, and the movie gives you the idea of how fun Dungeons and Dragons and role playing can be when done properly.

This is aided in no small part by the very talented cast of voice actors, particularly Kiefer Sutherland as Raistlin Majere, by far the most interesting character of the entire Dragonlance saga. The novel was actually very well adapted into a screenplay--the writer was very good at knowing what to cut and how to make things flow. The musical score was excellent and sounded full.

And yet, the movie's a disaster.

The animation is absolutely abysmal (and not in a good way*). Stiff, poorly shaded 2D animation reminiscent of the old Filmation He-Man series at best is crudely meshed with the cheesiest looking cgi dragons imaginable. Apparently the animation was given over to a Thai studio called Toonz. I don't think I need to explain again why I think this was the whole reason things went south--I covered it pretty well in my post about Hellboy: Sword of Storms.

You hire a cast who're obviously passionate about the material. You get a screenwriter who knows what he's doing. You get a decent composer and a whole damn orchestra. And then you leave the animation reins to a group of people on the other side of the planet who's language you don't speak and who probably don't know thing one about Dragonlance?! THE HELL?!

So it's sad. You're probably better off watching Record of Lodoss War, an anime which ripped off plot and imagery from Dragonlance about as shamelessly as Dragonlance ripped off Lord of the Rings.

After this, I decided to create a female avatar in Second Life;

Her name's Toubanua Tairov--Toubanua being the name of Nesuko's sister, though I made no attempt to reproduce Toubanua T'Kreth. That's a picture from after I spent money on her. I was actually doing pretty well with just freebies;

That yukata came from a really nice area recreating Heian era Japan. I had a really nice conversation with the area's owner last night about Akira Kurosawa, and she recommended the freebie place to me called Freebie Planet, which did actually have a lot of nice things.

But, I couldn't resist decking my girl out, so I wired a thousand lindens from my primary avatar and she went shopping at the GION project;

I'm really proud of those puffy eyelids. I figure, everyone's trying to make pretty avatars. I keeps it real! Er, in the fake world. I built her off the "City Chic" female default, so I obviously made a lot of changes.

*Dragonlance fans know what I'm talking about

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Boschen and Nesuko seems to be getting an abnormally high number of Japanese hits to-day. It seems to have just gotten listed on Japanese Yahoo, and people are finding it by searching for "Nesuko". I know Nesuko is the Japanese name for the Loch Ness Monster. I hope I'm not damaging a bunch of Japanese kids looking for a trailer for The Water Horse.

But if I've retained any Japanese readers to-day; Ohayo gozaimasu! Dozo yoroshiku. Benkyo!

. . . I saw Cloverfield last night. Which I pretty much liked. I think most of the problems I had with it were my own fault. The handheld camera thing doesn't really do much for me--the conceit that it's somehow more realistic than traditional filmmaking doesn't hold water with me, as I can see a million and one ways in which what I'm seeing is artificial anyway. And there's something else about faux home movies that I've generally found to be true that I first saw Roger Ebert point out in his review for Reality Bites;

The friends are about as inane and boring as most people are while goofing off in front of a camera, but what's remarkable is how badly the footage is shot. The camera operator has no notion of how to frame a shot, how to hold the camera steady, or how to choose subject matter. The result looks like something that might have been obtained by the Monkeycam on the Letterman program.

Also, I'm finding that, with even insurance commercials now featuring ultra-realistic shock accidents, and video game trailers showing gritty street fight footage with aliens, I'm getting kind of numbed to that shock-effect. More effective in Cloverfield, I found, were all the quiet moments where the characters were waiting for what was going to happen next. The Statue of Liberty's head landing in the street didn't get me--it was everyone getting used to the idea of it sitting there. The cameraman zooms in for a moment on her eye, which struck me as kind of an interesting moment.

I felt like a lot of time was spent trying to prove to the audience that a giant, rampaging monster could be effective on a visceral level. I was already on that page, but I liked things like quick shots of hastily abandoned restaurant tables covered in dust.

The saddest part of the movie for me, though, was thinking, "All these people are going to die without ever finding out what it's like to have a personality." Marlena seemed to have something more to her, but for the most part, everyone felt rigorously empty, especially the other two girls. Something's wrong when, during a monster attack, all I can think about is how long Lily can keep those pumps on. I kept thinking of Ghostbusters, and how much it helped that movie that the heroes had personalities. When three of Cloverfields protagonists were trudging up a building's stairwell, I kept wanting one of them to say, "Tell me when we get there. I'm gonna throw up."

But I don't know. Maybe it was intentional.

I don't really mind reveals of the monster. I wish it had been given a stranger, more interesting design. But they must have done something right, because I found myself wanting to see Evangelion unit 01 fighting it.
It's the Singin' in the Rain reference that slays me in this one;

Friday, January 18, 2008

You ever write a conversation one week, then have it the next? It happened to me yesterday. Now I have to look at my comic script and decide what I want to keep and what I want to change, because I really don't want it to be about the conversation I had yesterday or the person I was having it with. I'm almost tempted to rewrite the whole thing from another angle. All kinds of problems in it seem to crop up now, too; I don't think the main character's interesting enough, I don't think the dialogue's lively enough, some of the dialogue seems irrelevant.

Life imitates art imitates life imitates art from over fifty years ago quite often for me, as I came across a similar conversation again last night in Mogambo, John Ford's 1953 film, set and filmed in Africa. I watched it on TCM. It had just about everything I loved about the 1950 King Solomon's Mines only with John Ford's beautiful photography. There's a great, persistent contrast in Ford's movies between plain, violent men (Clark Gable in this case), and gorgeous, sensitive photography.

It's not one of Ford's better movies. It features a rather milquetoast love triangle and some vaguely racist overtones, even as the movie seems oddly respectful of the people of Kenya, and showing authentic tribes without much ignorant, Hollywood doctoring. It's a beautiful, 1950s colour film and it's just a pleasure watching beautiful Ava Gardner in her starched, hourglass dress struggling to feed a baby rhinoceros despite a baby elephant's attempts to interfere, all the while trying to laugh and smile. Apparently Clark Gable didn't get along with John Ford primarily because of how Gardner was treated. The movie clearly was no picnic for her, which makes her poise and pretence of good humour sort of awe inspiring.

Grace Kelly's in the movie, too, and she's great to look at. I wish I could take screenshots.

Apparently Gene Tierney was originally up for the role, but had to drop out due to "emotional problems", which I found rather intriguing, prompting me to read a bit about Tierney's tragic and strange personal life. I'm really amazed I never managed to read or hear of any of this before;

After some 27 shock treatments, she attempted to flee, but was caught and re-institutionalized. She became an outspoken opponent of shock treatment therapy, claiming that it had destroyed significant portions of her memory.

This was when she was only thirty five--still quite young enough to a leading actress even by Hollywood standards of the time. She'd already, by this point, had two kids, followed by affairs with John F. Kennedy and Prince Aly Khan.

Tierney's autobiography was only two dollars on Amazon, so I ordered it last night.

I finished the evening by watching half of the Rifftrax version of Daredevil. I don't see a reason to watch that movie any other way.

Finally, thanks to the Enigma Kat for turning me onto Blood Red Shoes;

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lousy coffee pot. I don't know who or what molested its noodle--you know, the little nipple on the bottom of the filter case that's supposed to shut when you remove the pot, in case you want a cup of coffee before the full thing's done brewing. This one doesn't shut, meaning you either have to wait 'til its done or just deal with coffee spilling everywhere, which is how it goes most mornings.

To-day, I'm trying not to let these things get to me. In the shower I tried blanking my mind and just concentrating on a spot of light at the end of a tunnel. It helped a little, but it's an uphill battle. I found out to-day that my hotmail address,, isn't receiving some e-mails, not even in its junk folder. I found this out after clicking the "I forgot my password" on two forums on which I'm a member, one of which reset my password when I did this. I have no idea what my password there is now, because the e-mail notifying me just never showed up.

So. E-mail me at from now on. If you sent an e-mail to my hotmail address recently and I never replied, my apologies. It's irritating, too, thinking of what e-mails I may've missed, like comic book publishers getting back to me.

Well. I doubt that. Say, is anyone interested in seeing the project I was working on last year? I'll post it if there's interest, though not on my web site. You have to keep in mind that it's a project that won't be finished unless I do get one of those magic e-mails. I'm not even sure I want that to happen now since eight pages of it are lost forever on the computer that went kaputz.

As for projects I do see myself completing, I did finish the script for the first issue of the mini-series yesterday. I feel pleased with it. I know of only one or two things I want to edit.

Anyway. Still eating breakfast here. Oatmeal and coffee--I never get tired of plain, old fashioned oatmeal. Its tasteproof; you either accept it or you don't. I've been peculiarly tired of alcohol lately. I'm irritated that the rum I was drinking on Sunday kind of diluted the experience of watching Vertigo, so I've been watching it again with breakfast. Maybe alcohol is only good for certain movies. I don't intend on finding out any time soon. "Booze kills feelings" as Amy Sedaris pointed out. I hate killing feelings.

Oh, and, hey, Jurassic Park makes no damn sense! "But you can't think your way through this one, John, you gotta feel it." I was under the impression that's what he was doing when he tried to create a theme park based on his flea circus dream! Gotta feel not think--sheesh, yeah, thinking's the root of all evil. No wonder Michael Crichton became a Neo-Con.

Okay, Sets, calm down . . .

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eh. I don't know if I want to watch The Daily Show or The Colbert Report to-night. They've just been kind of sad and hollow without the writers. I'm getting pretty sick of "sad and hollow" lately. I really miss the cats. Apparently my grandmother and aunt have some really bad blood now--my grandmother had the locks changed and I'm under orders not to let my aunt into the house. Apparently one of the cats clawed up a nine hundred dollar antique dress. Once again, I reveal myself to be a sucker because I think that's nothing to fight over. Everyone's gotta have their ridiculous little beefs, and it's making me nuts.

Various activities to-day. I found this site which compares screencaps from Vertigo's San Francisco location footage with photos of modern San Francisco. Nice to see what hasn't changed, while noting that what has has invariably changed for the worse.

Hola. Another nice day of writing yesterday. I went to a coffee shop called The Living Room and wrote five pages in a few hours that I'm even happier with than the previous day's. The only trouble is, at seventeen pages now, this thing feels like it's just getting started. So I think this'll probably end up being a mini-series. I'll have the first issue done by Valentine's Day, but I'm not sure I consider this a Valentine's Day special anymore.

This script has been good for working off a lot of aggression I don't seem to have any other outlet for.

Last night I watched Curse of the Cat People, which I'd avoided watching for a long time because I figured it wouldn't hold a candle to its predecessor, Cat People. It's indeed not as good as the first film, but it is actually quite wonderful in its own right. It's actually a completely different kind of movie, having more to do with family psychology and the function of dreams. It had great mood.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I like Amy Sedaris. I gave a copy of her book, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, to my sister for Christmas, and I have to say it was the gift I was proudest of giving. There are excerpts from the audio book in mp3 format on her web site--read by Sedaris herself. I particularly recommend "Party log; grieving" and "Grieving (continued)".

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I went to the mall to buy phone minutes after getting cut off in the middle of a conversation with Trisa. I sat down at a table at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and wrote several pages of comic script that I'm really very happy with. Then I came back here, stared at a fire in the Second Life Dune sim for a few hours while taking screencaps from Vertigo.

I did end up watching the Martin Scorsese documentary on Val Lewton, and I'm very glad I did.

It's now been one solid week of people not noticing my haircut. I've found that, when dry, it looks fairly ridiculous, poofing out on the sides like Dr. Wily, except with hair on top. I probably ought to mind. And yet I don't.

So ends this blog entry.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm thinking I might watch at least part of the Val Lewton marathon on TCM to-night. I'll certainly check out the Martin Scorsese documentary.

I did practically nothing yesterday. I can't even remember most of it. Seems like this happened last Sunday. Or was it the Sunday before?

Eto . . . I've been kind of annoyed by how brazenly 99% of the media has taken Bill Clinton's "fairytale" comment about Barack Obama out of context. The single sentence has been used to suggest that Bill Clinton was somehow saying that it's impossible for a black person to be president--Tim Russert used the clip, along with a montage individuals apparently taking what irresponsible news media spoon fed them, to needle Hillary Clinton on Meet the Press.

Here's the quote in context;

It's ridiculously obvious that Bill Clinton is referring specifically to Obama's war stance. I really don't think Hillary Clinton ought to have voted for that resolution, but there's a hell of a lot more nuance to this thing than people seem interested in acknowledging.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I got stuck briefly yesterday behind a van that wouldn't go when the light turned green. The van's license plate read "ENTMOOT". Yep.

Lots more writing on my noir gangster Valentine's Day comic. And no, it probably won't have anything to do with the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. But then again, I haven't finished it yet.

I met my family for dinner at a new Italian restaurant, then did some role playing in the Second Life Dune sim. I logged back onto Second Life again at around 2am after seeing yet another news item about Second Life's GOP Headquarters. I just had to see this place, even if I couldn't vandalise it.

There were free cigars. I guess the Republicans just had a baby. I have to say my avatar looks pretty natural here. "Boy! Find me the scalp of a poor person--I need an ashtray!"

A stirring platitude from Ronald Reagan graces this monument. An impossibly hilarious detail; the little black ball at the bottom was labelled "Pray", meaning if you clicked on it, your avatar would get down on his or her knees and pray to Ronald Reagan. Stephen Colbert couldn't make this shit up. The POW/MIA flags to either side are maybe meant to suggest this is a memorial for fallen soldiers, but we can plainly see what's front and centre.

Here are the characteristics Republicans claim as their own. Apparently, Republicans have a monopoly on the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness idea. It's not until the fourth item down that you get to a patently Republican ideal; "allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn." Though "allow certain individuals to get more money" would probably be more honest.

Doing a search for "Republican Headquarters" also brought up Ron Paul's Second Life HQ, so I decided to see what's doing in the senile racist department.

Giving a speech in front of a sanguine portrait of Emmett Kelly Ron Paul. "Er, business owners should be able to hire all white employees! Gay people make bad parents! Where am I? Who are the people supporting me? Why are my pants are wet?"

Also at Ron Paul headquarters. I should've known.

Whenever a candidate uses "We the People" in a campaign, I always think of Taxi Driver. "'We are the people,' is different from 'We are the people.'"

Next door to the Ron Paul place was this distinctly white supremacist looking place. I don't actually know if they are white supremacists, but they're certainly a virulent strain of prudes. This news group sponsors "Sacred" (careful with that link--the music player on their site caused my browser to crash). I found there an article condemning a certain sex shop that sells tentacle sex toys--the very shop where my I bought my avatar's penis. Sorry, SL Enquirer, they've been a better friend to me than you have.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tired. Apparently someone's here to clean the bathroom on the other side of the wall from my bed. I'm up early and I have nowhere to pee, shave, or brush my teeth. Quaugh.

Let's see . . . lots of writing on my new script yesterday. I'm settling in. I think I'm creating the impression of 1928 well enough, but I'm making just getting comfortable with the characters a higher priority, figuring I can fix slang and contemporary references later. Some of these mp3s have been helpful to get me in the proper mood.

That's also partly why I was watching Double Indemnity again, even though it's set in 1939 (and filmed in 1944). Of course, all the 20s movies I have are silents. I guess the closest I have to a 20s talkie is Trouble in Paradise.

Anyway, I noticed that the "kid" in Double Indemnity, Nino Zachetti, was twenty seven in real life and twenty eight in the movie. My age! I'm still a kid, so says Walter Neff! That's a relief.

I also played Oblivion at Tim's house yesterday, where he and I got in an argument about Ron Paul. Tim didn't notice my haircut, neither has my grandmother, or several other people who ought to've. So far the only person to notice it without me pointing it out for them was my mother on Tuesday. My hair was well past shoulder length before--it's a big difference here. My whole head's a different shape. I don't get it. I guess people try not to look directly at me, like a Ghostbuster trap.

Friday, January 11, 2008

This coaster came with my latest can of David Lynch coffee;

I love you, David Lynch.

I worked on the script for my new comic yesterday and went grocery shopping. I finished the day by watching Double Indemnity. That is all.

The FTP utility I've been using for years, SmartFTP, has just abruptly stopped working. I have to use Yahoo's file manager now, which is a little unwieldy. But at least they finally have one--they had nothing back when I first got my web space.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not much to say about yesterday. I picked up a copy of Jaime Hernandez's The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S., since I liked Maggie the Mechanic so much. So far I'm liking this one, too.

I've been watching Cowboy Bebop again lately while eating breakfast and really enjoying it. It's one of those shows the never fails to get just a little better every time I watch it. However, last night I made the mistake of trying to watch the Cowboy Bebop movie again, which, while it has some truly fantastic action sequences, actually seems to be largely devoid of the series' charms.

Anyway. I'm working on the script for the new comic to-day. I've decided it's going to be a Valentine's Day special and that it's going to be black and white so I can make a bunch of copies to hand out at Comic-Con. It's a gangster noir set in the 20s inspired, I think, by Miller's Crossing and Red Harvest. I've spent a lot of time over the past couple days reading about Al Capone, Prohibition, and the mafia.

Tip of the day; never enter a dance competition against Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers;

This is the original version of this song and viewer comments on YouTube seem to be unanimous in calling it the best. I have to agree. I think Fred Astaire's voice is often underrated, but it just hits the spot perfectly. I mean, he does something where it's like he's circling just on the edge of hitting a spot. And Ginger Rogers' face is so warm and open--even as this seems to be him trying to entice her, there's something subtle about him that's tantalisingly just out of her reach. She can't hold anything back, and he can't lay everything bare. Their movies don't always take advantage of that dynamic, but, boy, when they do . . .

(The clip is from Swing Time, by the way).

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So I did end up cutting my hair. After firmly deciding I was not going to, I abruptly went into the bathroom and did yesterday. I did it myself, which means I saved money. I'm not sure how right it looks, though. My hair has a lot of body, I cut it about an hour after a shower, and I put gel in it so it's pretty limp to-day. I haven't seen the hair in full bloom, if you will. But it looks okay right now.

I'm kind of amused by Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire as everyone had apparently been fully prepared for her to lose, including Senator Clinton, who actually teared up about it a couple days ago. Though, as Jon Stewart pointed out, it wasn't the meltdown everyone was making it out to be.

The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have certainly been strange without the writers, though the two hosts do seem to have decent enough improvisational skills to carry thirty minutes. Mostly I was just disturbed that I found myself agreeing with something David Frum said on The Daily Show last night--that the closer you look at Ron Paul, the more disturbing the guy is.

Sure, as one of Rudy Giuliani's advisors, Frum has reason to paint Ron Paul as a disturbing nutjob since Paul is now looking like a serious opponent of Giuliani. Plus, there's a general dismissiveness of Paul from the right, as evidenced by Paul's recent exclusion from a FOX Noise debate. They don't want the right wing pool to digest someone who's against the Iraq war while being on the same side of the fence as they are.

But in this case, the right wing establishment has plenty of ammunition as apparently Paul is a disturbing nutjob--even more of a nutjob than I thought, I found out yesterday. See, I'd known about a newsletter where Paul revealed himself to be a racist by claiming that black people were more inclined to commit crime. Paul had denied taking the stance, even though the newsletter was in his name--I'd heard Paul was blaming a ghost writer who published the piece without Paul seeing it. Paul didn't come up with this excuse until seven years after the fact and I didn't buy it for a moment. But I could sort of see how some people would believe this one newsletter had escaped Paul's notice.

Yesterday, though, I discovered it wasn't just one issue of a newsletter, but decades worth of newsletters. This article from The New Republic reveals, with direct quotes, a long running, vehemently racist, homophobic, anti-government paranoid publication apparently written by Paul himself. Paul's campaign claims that all of the particularly nasty issues were written by ghost writers that somehow continually managed to fly under Paul's radar while continuing to bear his endorsement.

The New Republic article makes this rather valid point;

Paul's campaign wants to depict its candidate as a naïve, absentee overseer, with minimal knowledge of what his underlings were doing on his behalf. This portrayal might be more believable if extremist views had cropped up in the newsletters only sporadically--or if the newsletters had just been published for a short time. But it is difficult to imagine how Paul could allow material consistently saturated in racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy-mongering to be printed under his name for so long if he did not share these views. In that respect, whether or not Paul personally wrote the most offensive passages is almost beside the point. If he disagreed with what was being written under his name, you would think that at some point--over the course of decades--he would have done something about it.

There are really only two choices. Either Paul's an enormous bigot or he's phenomenally stupid.

Which makes the devotion this guy's inspired all the more sad. I found the New Republic article through a link on The Huffington Post, where there are now 1,352 reader comments regarding the article, mostly consisting of ridiculously simple-minded arguments from Ron Paul supporters, which seem to be variations of, "Ron Paul is good so he would never lie, he's not a racist!" That's a lot of incredibly naïve people. Suddenly I'm reminded of that skeevy hypnotist I saw on the cruise.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It's a good thing I didn't know when I was five that black liquorice and rum are so fantastic together or I'd have started in on them right away. I do wish someone'd told me Twizzlers suck. I'd been eating black Red Vines, but I decided to give Twizzlers a try last night and wish I hadn't. They seem to be made entirely out of the gelatine used to make capsule pills and are completely flavourless. But the rum was still good.

I started watching Ikiru again while drinking, but somehow I became incredibly tired at around 1:30am. I had a hard time believing it, but I fell right to sleep when my head hit the pillow. I woke up at 6:30am and couldn't get back to sleep until I found a really strange way to sort of blank out my mind--I started picturing Vasquez from Aliens in the place of Snow White in the 1937 Disney movie. The fantasy never got more complicated than Vasquez saying, "I'm not doing your fucking chores, man!" and Grumpy replying, "Well, who asked you?"

I did get some work done on my wiki yesterday, but more and more I'm feeling like this is going to be a very, very long range project. I've been trying to think of another comic I could do in the meantime. I've thought of and rejected a couple ideas, but this morning I think I finally got something I can run with. It's one of those things where beats pop automatically to the surface and interesting ripples appear naturally. Hopefully it's not one of those things where the good ideas come too fast for me to remember most of them.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Once again, I didn't get anything done yesterday, but all week I'd promised myself I'd take the weekend off so I guess everything went according to plan.

Gods, what did I do yesterday . . . ? I'm trying hard to remember. Hmm. I guess it was another one of those days where I spent a lot of time brooding. That's the only way I can make sense of it.

I'll be working my wiki ways to-day. But first, I enjoyed this bit from the Wikipedia entry on will-o'-the-wisps;

An Irish version of the tale has a ne'er-do-well named Drunk Jack or Stingy Jack who makes a deal with the Devil; offering up his soul in exchange for payment of his pub tab. When the Devil comes to collect his due, Jack tricks him by making him climb a tree and then carving a cross underneath, preventing him from climbing down. In exchange for removing the cross, the Devil forgives Jack's debt. However, as no one as bad as Jack would ever be allowed into Heaven, Jack is forced upon his death to travel to Hell and ask for a place there. The Devil denies him entrance in revenge, but, as a boon, grants Jack an ember from the fires of Hell to light his way through the twilight world to which lost souls are forever condemned. Jack places it in a carved turnip to serve as a lantern.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

By the way, if anyone's wondering how I take screenshots from DVDs for reviews like yesterday's, I use VLC Media Player, which is completely free. It's not good for much more than its ability to take screenshots--as a regular player, it's kind of crap. If it's a good player you're looking for, nothing beats the tweaked Media Player Classic included in the Combined Community Codec Pack, which is also free. But so far, VLC Media Player is the only free player I've found that takes screenshots.

I didn't do much else yesterday. I drove to a grocery store in La Jolla and bought stamps. I learned recently that Anne Rice actually lives in La Jolla now. Figures she'd abandon New Orleans for one of the most upscale neighbourhoods in the country now that she loves Jesus.

I thought about seeing Juno, but I was quite unprepared for the fact that a book of stamps apparently costs eight dollars and fifty cents. So I came back here and had some of the liquorice and rum I bought a couple nights ago. I have a sweet tooth this week, I have no clue where it came from. They always blindside me.

I might blame the rum for the dream I had, though it was probably more to do with the fact that I've been thinking of cutting my hair. I dreamed I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror, not just cutting my hair but also growing it in places. I realise now that I was modifying my hair as I would my Second Life avatar's. It will come to that one day, I expect.

There've been a number of weird dreams in my skull lately. When I was on the cruise, I dreamt I was watching a Christian propaganda safety video starring James Franco. The video seemed to be warning people against the dangers of some kind of large, metal building with a conveyor belt taking people through table saws and giant shears, dicing them up. The video was extremely graphic--it felt sort of like Red Asphalt. I was watching it with my family in the dream, I guess because I was with them on the cruise, and I remember my sister and I laughing at the video for how ridiculous and unnecessary it was, and my mother pretending to laugh, too, but then telling us in a very sober tone that we needed to look out for this kind of thing.

A few years ago, I wrote a short story about a girl who's visited in a dream by a dragon who gives her a mask which she puts on after waking up. It turns her into a berserker and she goes on a killing spree. A couple nights ago, I dreamt the dragon gave me the mask, and though I think I went around killing people like an animal, it feels like I spent most of my time drinking out of a pond--somehow the mask didn't get in the way, and I lapped up water from the pond with my tongue.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Akahige (Red Beard)(1965)
Directed by Akira Kurosawa

"Cheerful, melancholic schizophrenia" might describe this picture, or perhaps "pulp existential humanism", but not in a cloying I Heart Huckabees way. The story of Yasumoto (Yuzo Kayama), a young, spoiled rich doctor being forced to work at a crowded, under-funded slum clinic run by the superheroic Red Beard (Toshiro Mifune) is the basic frame used by the movie to tell a series of vignettes about people whose methods of interacting with the world are dominated by their poverty and feelings of guilt. Repeatedly, the movie shows lives destroyed or made miserable when someone places the right to property over consideration for others.

This theme is brought to the fore from the beginning when Red Beard asks for Yasumoto's notes and Yasumoto refuses to relinquish them, accusing Red Beard of wanting to steal his ideas. Red Beard replies that medical knowledge belongs to everyone.

It's no surprise Yasumoto wouldn't understand this concept. His assignment at the clinic was quite unexpected--his ambition was to serve as the shogun's personal doctor. The movie takes place in the late Tokugawa period, when shoguns, military generals, were the ruling powers. By Yasumoto's desired position, and the disgust he expresses in being drafted to work at the clinic, we can understand that Yasumoto sees tending to the health of the shogun as a greater honour than tending to the health of the poor. But Yasumoto's young, and Red Beard sees he is essentially good, lacking only better knowledge of human nature. Yasumoto needs to be taken down a few pegs.

We learn that Yasumoto had a fiancée who cheated on him while he was in medical school, and now bears the child of another man. Yasumoto feels only disgust for his former lover, until, in a fever fuelled rant much later in the film, he tells Red Beard about how he was himself nearly seduced by The Mantis, a beautiful, but insane woman isolated in a small house outside the clinic, where only Red Beard and a nurse are permitted to enter.

The Mantis escapes early in the film and traps Yasumoto in his quarters, telling him about her life, how she had been raped by several men, how she felt she couldn't trust men at all, which is why she killed several of her lovers with a hair pin, which she attempts to do to Yasumoto once she has his guard down. Suddenly Yasumoto doesn't feel so superior to his ex-fiancée.

We only see the ex-fiancée once, very briefly, near the end of the film, but Red Beard is filled with more interesting female characters than any other Kurosawa movie I've seen. There's Onaka, who agrees to marry a man, Sahachi, she met one day in a snowstorm, to whom she gives an umbrella.

Although she loves him, he doesn't know that she's already engaged to another man. She doesn't let him meet her parents and manages to keep him ignorant of her other fiancé. The spend two happy years together after being married, but Onaka begins to feel an overwhelming guilt for her happiness, gained at the cost of her broken promise to the other man. When an earthquake strikes while Sahachi is away from home, Onaka uses the excuse to fake her death and return to her former fiancé.

Onaka and Sahachi meet again by chance and now Onaka is carrying the child of the other man on her back. She reveals that she was indeed happier with Sahachi who, despite the anguish he feels at being abandoned, is willing to let Onaka return to her other husband. The guilt drives Onaka to suicide--the story would seem like garish melodrama if not for Kurosawa's expert touch, and his use of the scenario to again illustrate the tragedy of relationships influenced by guilt and territoriality. Onaka's unable to feel happy because of the feeling that her former fiancé "owns" her, and she kills herself because she can't live feeling guilty about ruining her happy life with Sahachi, who would evidently sacrifice his own happiness for her.

My favourite character, though, is a twelve year old girl named Otoyo, an orphan whom Red Beard and Yasumoto rescue from a brothel. She's introduced in an astonishingly stylistic shot, showing her as a ragged black silhouette in the background of one of Kurosawa's distinctive, ingeniously blocked dialogue scenes of five or six characters.

Apparently, Otoyo's story is based on a character, Elena, from Dostoyevsky's The Insulted and Humiliated. This is perhaps a big part of why Otoyo's a fascinating and almost perfectly constructed bundle of guilt and despair.

The brothel madam, although she beats the girl and refers to the girl's persistent shrinking from any touch as "spite", claims an ownership of the girl because she paid for the funeral of the girl's mother, who died on the brothel steps. This, incidentally, means that Red Beard has to, bare-handed, break the arms and legs of twelve hostile yakuza, which he does. How? He's Toshiro fucking Mifune, that's how.

Red Beard takes the feverish Otoyo to the clinic where he assigns her to Yasumoto as his first patient. "Cure her," Red Beard commands.

There's more to Otoyo's illness than a fever, we see quickly, as she pushes away Yasumoto's hand whenever he tries to place it on her forehead or feed her medicine. Of course, Red Beard manages to get Otoyo to swallow a little medicine, but only after she's flung several spoonfuls into his face. Never becoming angry, Red Beard merely smiles with real warmth until Otoyo begins to laugh a little, too, almost against her will as she watches the man with wide, cautious eyes. After she's taken some of the medicine, she buries herself under a blanket, seemingly terrified of what she's done.

Later, Yasumoto attempts to feed her, telling her he wants to help her. Otoyo smashes the bowl and demands, "Do you still want to help me?" which causes Yasumoto to turn away and cry, as he seems to feel utterly helpless. Later, he witnesses Otoyo begging in the streets to acquire just enough ryu to buy him another bowl. When he confronts her, she accidentally drops and breaks the new bowl. He asks her why she had to do this for him. He says he didn't scold her for breaking the other bowl, and he says he apologises if that's the impression she got--and there's this great, perfect moment as Otoyo cries in what seems like absolute despair. It's clearly not the cry of someone who's sorry for the wrong she's committed--though she is--it's the cry of someone who can't escape. She's bound by the concept of ownership of something as simple as a bowl, and a spiral of guilt involved in her inability to make amends or to receive the punishment that seems the natural consequence to her. The brothel madam might have called this reaction "spite", which might be recognised as a symptom of the madam's own suppressed humanity.

Yasumoto contracts Otoyo's fever, and Otoyo seems to grow healthier as she cares for Yasumoto. After Yasumoto recovers, Red Beard assigns Otoyo to work among the clinic's female employees, a contingent of cooks and nurses. We meet another new character, a five or six year old boy named Chobo for whom Otoyo looks the other way while he steals some of the clinic's gruel.

The head cook scolds Otoyo in a tone reminiscent of the brothel madam for aiding the thief and we soon see there is a link. Otoyo and Chobo meet again when Chobo comes to offer Otoyo some candy he's stolen. Otoyo won't take stolen candy--she says she'd sooner beg than steal. Gruel is one thing, but stealing a luxury like candy is evidently beyond the pale for Otoyo's newly emerging sense of morality. Chobo sees it a little differently--begging would be a blow to his pride. In this world, there is power in ownership, and therefore there is more power perceived in stealing than in accepting what is given out of pity.

Listening unseen, the head cook cries, now feeling guilty for wanting to prevent the boy from stealing gruel. She'd have realised sooner if she'd taken the time to think about it--why would a child steal gruel? He's obviously starving.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that Yoshitaka Zushi, the child actor playing Chobo, is the best child actor I've seen on film. I'm not sure how much of it is him or Kurosawa's direction, but there's a scene the kid has with Otoyo where you can clearly see what he's thinking about even as he's saying something that, on the surface, seems to be completely unrelated; he's telling Otoyo she looks beautiful, he wants to remember her this way, and that he and his family are going somewhere where they'll never have to worry about being poor again.

This movie is over three hours long and it feels a bit like the Kurosawa movie to end all Kurosawa movies, though of course he still had several ahead of him, of which I've only so far seen his 80s movies, Kagemusha and Ran, both of which are notably bleaker than the movies I've seen preceding it.

I feel like Kurosawa's movies of the 60s are haunted by The Bad Sleep Well, his version of Hamlet in contemporary, corporate Japan. It's hard to watch that movie without immediately wanting to watch Yojimbo, the film Kurosawa immediately made afterwards. It's as if Kurosawa needed to convince himself that there are good people who triumph in the end. But Yojimbo and its sequel, Sanjuro, don't have quite the resonance of The Bad Sleep Well or the moral ambiguity of High and Low, the noir that comes between Sanjuro and Red Beard. Mifune almost essentially plays the hero character of the Yojimbo films again in Red Beard, and it almost seems as though Kurosawa was trying to inject his super hero into a more complex and dark world. The resulting film is wonderful and brilliant, but I wonder if there's some connexion between Kurosawa's intentions for the film and the fact that it's his last film with Mifune, with whom he became estranged. And I wonder if it relates to Kurosawa's attempted suicide in the early 70s.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I'm basically happy that Barrack Obama did well yesterday. I've mostly been for Hilary Clinton, mainly because she seems to be able to answer any question she's asked and really sounds like she knows what she's talking about, while Obama usually struggles and says something shiny. But his record on the war is better than Clinton's. His health care plan is better than Clinton's, though he still shies from free universal health care. We really need to get past this--we live in a country where Paris Hilton exists, yet people insist it's unfair to tax the American people to the extent needed to fund free universal health care. People making these arguments aren't necessarily dumb, there's just something wrong with them.

I saw a friend of mine recently get rosy again talking about Ron Paul. I really don't know how this guy has suckered so many people. Well, I kind of do--he has a great marketing campaign, targeting the interestingly large demographic of greedy young people. I understand he has a huge following on World of Warcraft. I guess there are a lot of guys who think, "The government can't tell me what to do with all this gold I spent days performing repetitive tasks to acquire so that I might perform other repetitive tasks!" World of Warcraft might be making the perfect capitalist work horses. Who'd have thought the nightmare of extreme capitalism would've looked so much like the nightmare of extreme communism?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I just rolled sixty three dollars worth of coins. And that's not even half of all the coins I have accumulated. Mostly I've been digging through a basket I've had for years wherein I found ticket stubs buried under layers of pennies; one for a 2002 Morrissey concert, one for Russian Ark, one for when I saw Wild at Heart at the wonderful, now long gone, Madstone cinema on March 9th, 2003.

And why am I plumbing the depths of my embarrassing accumulation of loose change? Well, remember how I said I had exactly enough money for my car's new tires? Well, turned out I was four dollars short and my checking account charged me thirty dollars for the overdraft. Plus, my payment for Live Journal's due on Sunday, and New Year's Day seems to've fucked up the mail, so the money I normally receive from a grandmother isn't showing up. So I've been a sub-loser for almost a week, but I feel good knowing I've pulled myself up by my bootstraps back to my loser level.

I keep thinking, "Man, what if I'd walked away from the Blackjack table just one hand sooner?" Oh, well. It's fate, I guess.

Two nights ago I watched Funny Face. It was a decent movie. Fred Astaire was still fantastic at 58, seeming as though he walked right out of a movie from the 30s--his style and everything about him was an unconscious anachronism, except maybe for the dopey cardigans and ascots he wore. Audrey Hepburn's cute as a button, and even the fact that she can't quite sing is kind of cute. I don't know if she's much of a dancer, but it's hard to tell because she's definitely a charming dancer. Gawky and elegant at the same time, which is pretty much the essence of Hepburn's charm. I see Cyd Charisse was originally up for the role--something I suspected all through the movie--but although Charisse would've been a better dancer, it's Audrey Hepburn who has the real funny face.

There were some annoying beatnik caricatures in the movie, but I find that's something I often have to put up with from Hollywood movies of the late 50s. There seems to have been a real resentment for the new culture, even as there was an attempt to adapt. Hepburn dancing in the club in black sweater and slacks and Astaire dancing with the unexpectedly great Kay Thompson, are nice sequences, but exist way off in their own dimensions.

The movie has some really great visuals, my favourite of which were the scenes taking place outside this small church;

It's like something right out of a fantasy movie. Just really gorgeous.
In less than two hours, an aunction for a copy of Caitlin R. Kiernan's Tales from the Woeful Platypus ends. I have exactly zero dollars, so I can't bid, but I urge you to with all the power of the cosmos. Plus, Caitlin chose not to mention this, but I happen to know an intergalactic fairy army shall pledge loyalty to you if you buy this thing, and they'll call you "Captain". The fairy army will be obliged, too, if you purchase other Caitlin R. Kiernan items from eBay. Do this thing!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I noticed my sister's uploaded some pictures from the cruise;

I think that's the best photo of me in years, but I still look like shit. I swear I'm turning into Otho from Beetlejuice. The martini looks great, though. Probably because I know how fantastic it was.

Not a particularly spectacular New Year's Eve for me. I find fireworks sort of dull, so I spent the evening in my room drinking absinthe and watching The 39 Steps. Madeleine Carroll taking off her stockings has to be one of the sexiest moments in cinematic history. The movie itself is a lot like It Happened One Night with a real, constant sense of peril added in.

I also worked more on my wiki yesterday. It's becoming clear to me that I'm using the wiki format to create a story--or several stories at once, actually, though many with recurring themes. It makes me wonder what the Beats would've done with mediawiki, particularly William S. Burroughs. Talk about a word virus.

Last night there was also some Alien versus Ripley. How's that for novelty?

Okay, Ripley had a lightsabre and the fight took place in the House of Blue Leaves from Kill Bill. Jedi Academy has to be the most underrated game of the past twenty years.

Later, Ripley's bot messed up a little and things got kinky;

This morning, while eating oatmeal, I watched my favourite episode of Cowboy Bebop, "My Funny Valentine", where Faye reminisces about waking from cryogenic slumber after fifty years, finding she has amnesia, and falling for a con man. I love when she takes the con man from Jet, claiming the bounty on the con man as hers because she owes the con man her life and Spike says, "Amazing! She clearly states a pointless argument!"

Here are two great songs about television;