How cool is that? The squid darts by the like Enterprise in the old Star Trek credits.
:: Seriously, you’re sitting in a theater wearing a pair of 3D glasses with a box of Jujubes in your hand watching a movie based on a pulp scifi novel written in 1912 about a guy in a loincloth sword fighting four-armed green-skinned Martians in order to save a half-naked red-skinned princess who’s also the chief scientist of the Ninth-Ray, and you’re all pissy that there isn’t some fancy dialog about the nihilistic pessimism of fate and circumstance described in narrative ellipses and playful points of view that explores the similarities and differences between Gods and Men, East and West, sin and virtue, good and evil?
I think you might have wandered into the wrong theater by accident. (I've got my own post about John Carter on the way, but until then, here's a placeholder.)
:: Instead I sit, and mumble, and grumble, and wonder whether I am the only one annoyed that winter never really came to the northeastern United States this year. (No, you're not the only one. I hated this winter. What a steaming bowl of FAILy suck it was!)
:: I promise I didn't realize this ahead of time, but I'm thrilled that it came down to these two. Looking back at the list of contestants, it always had to. (Michael May has been doing a "March Madness" involving cinematic bad-asses. Check it out, and read back into his series! Fun stuff, even if I do think he sold Det. Martin Riggs a bit short.)
:: We need an It Gets Better campaign for America–except I’m not sure it actually will.
:: But overall I’m happy with my purchase and figure that this will get me through the next couple of years just fine, by which time I’m sure phones will have gained intelligence and launched our own nuclear missiles at us. Whatever, man. As long as I can read the Internet on the phone until the very last second, I’m good. (Geez. I can't even do that. I'm still a couple of years from even entering the smart-phone arena!)
:: I'm so tired of Paul Ryan I could scream. Every year we get a slightly different version of the same old thing, and every year we have to waste entire man-years of analysis in order to make the same exact points about it. And the biggest point is that his budget would force enormous, swinging cuts in virtually every domestic program, especially those for the poor. If this bothers Ryan, he's had plenty of time to revise his budget roadmap to address it.
But he hasn't. He knows perfectly well that his budget concentrates its cuts on the poorest Americans. It's been pointed out hundreds of times, after all. If he found that troublesome he'd change it. Since he hasn't, the only reasonable conclusion is that this is exactly what he intends. Let's stop pretending otherwise. (All I need to know about Paul Ryan is that he requires his staffers to read Atlas Shrugged. One can't hold up a brighter billboard for moral inadequacy than that.)
:: For the past couple of weeks, I've been reading Princess [A Princess of Mars - Ed.] out loud to The Girlfriend, one chapter per night, just before bed, and she observed very early on that the story is essentially a Western with giant, four-armed green men standing in for Native Americans. But of course that's what it is. Consider the book's history. It was originally published in serial form in 1912. Wyatt Earp was still alive in 1912, and I'm pretty Buffalo Bill's Wild West show was still touring then. The Old West occupied a tremendous amount of real estate in the popular imagination, Western stories dominated the pulp magazines that Burroughs was trying to break into, and science fiction as we now understand it did not really exist. (Indeed, Burroughs practically invented the sci-fi genre, or at least a certain subset of it.) Plot-wise, Princess actually starts off as a Western, with Carter fighting Apaches in the Arizona Territory just after the Civil War, before Burroughs unleashes his imagination. To complain that a movie based on this seminal, century-old story doesn't fit so neatly into our modern generic pigeonholes indicates to me that you're missing the point. (OK, one last John Carter link.)
More next week!