Sorry to go all Towleroad on you, but we’re rolling the odometer on Stinque Post #3000, and the gag doesn’t work with Stormy.
On a thoroughly unrelated note, the not-MSNBC ad is now trying tell me how awesome Bill Kristol is, and that I should “join him”. Unless I’m “joining” him in a game of “take a shit on Bill Kristol’s neocon face”, I’ll pass.
Prime factors are 2, 3 and 5, the three lowest possible primes.
You rock, Noj. All the above-the-fold folks rock. All you commenters rock.
TJ/You must read this!
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: All of Shyamalan’s movies suck bat shit off of cave walls.
In that movie, Signs, with Gibson, he should have substituted the alien for fucking Jesus stepping out of a UFO and raping Gibson in the ass and describing how all religions were created by aliens to introduce social friction and drive societies mad – as an entertainment for the aliens. Their version of TV.
@al2o3cr: I’ve got some credoaction thing. Something about ending filibusters. Pfft. We couldn’t even do it when we had the seats.
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: No as hard as you, baby. Not as hard as you.
When are we going on the prowl to eyeball some dudes together. Just looking. That’s okay, right?
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: BWAHAHAHAHA! Didn’t read the spoilers — the lede was enough.
Mr. ‘Catt would kill me even for that, but I do it.
ADD: We should go to GAYmeboy in Weho sometime…all gay asian boys, all the time.
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Did you like the Wentworth Miller tribute? Not sure he’s your type… The all-fours shot was for you, well, and for me, too. (I even gave you your own tag.)
I’ve got to find a way to work in hot wymmnz soon for my lady-bits-loving friends.
Hehe. Some white guys work for me, but htey have to be real smooth and very doe-eyed….
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: He’s bi-racial — you don’t like the awesomeness of those interesting eyes? He also played the young Anthony Hopkins character in The Human Stain.
Fine. I’ll work in some Asians. The Navy Filipinos were very good to me…
ADD: Sheesh. You totally didn’t click on the links. >:-/ Wentworth is smooooooooooth…
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Here is where I lost it: “you have to feel your feelings, in order to gerbil machete fish dumpling crank handle.”
I clicked the links…let me go check…
So, if the original Star Wars had given us a tracking shot of rocks, with a voiceover explaining that Luke was learning to use a lightsaber someplace else, it would have freed up more screen time for Luke to stand around shouting, “JAWAS! THERE IS SAND UNDER YOUR FEET!”
Missed the on all fours one, which is actually worth all of the other links combined. Yum.
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Where is this link?
@Promnight: “you have to feel your feelings, in order to gerbil machete fish dumpling crank handle.”
Now I’m interested.
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: That’s more like it.
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: For I-Hate-the-Eighties nostalgia, you can’t beat “You will be finding chunks of Joseph Campbell’s calcified spooge behind your ears for three days after watching this film, no matter how many times you bathe.”
We may have the Showgirls of SciFi here.
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: I would still say that Shamalyan, or however you spell it, has a real talent, and forgive me if you think I dishonor Hitchcock for saying this, but, well, his movies have the Hitchcock vibe down. Signs, that was The Birds, except, without the plot, dialogue, and acting. But thats all he can do, create a really cool creepy sense of foreboding. But maybe he should be directing movies written by someone who can do character, dialogue, and plot.
@nojo: BWAHAHAHAHA! Dude was annoying. Moyers, more so. But that find/follow/somethinglikethat your bliss thing, well, I can’t argue with that.
@nojo: Follow Tommcat’s link, Nojo, its a masterful evisceration.
@JNOV: I never could understand the Campbell-worship. I finally got around to reading the ancient myths, judeo-christian, and greco-roman, from the original sources. Campbell’s tone of spiritual reverence for the mythic tales of our culture are actually an impediment to understanding. You have to read them as total farce, comedy. The Bible was written by the Glenn Becks of that day. The last thing you want to have in mind when you read the old cannon, the works that created the religious and moral underpinnings of our society, is any kind of romantic reverence for some kind of spiritual wisdom supposedly present there. Its better to approach the Iliad completely blind, than to approach it after exposure to Campbell.
@Promnight: read the old cannon
It says “Wash in hot water.”
@nojo: Jesus Christ, I just read the Iliad, for the first time, last month, because it was free on my Kindle.
Holy shit, what a fucking let-down. Interesting, from a sociological point of view, I could actually feel, palpably feel, the artifacts that stem from the fact that this work came from that period in human history right when the transmission of knowledge, and art, transitioned from oral, memory-based transmission, to written texts. Whats most obvious is the constant repitition of stock metaphors and similies. This is such a glaring sign that what was finally written and come down to us as “Homer,” is a transcription of a performance by a pre-literate oral tradition balladeer. Its fascinating, and if you study this topic, and then read the new testament in the same critical way, you see, there is no sign of this memory-based transmission, I am not saying that the bible is more accurate, only that its clear it was based on text-based transmission. My study new testament texts, only from a historical, textual, literary, sociological standpoint, convinces me that the jesus myth was settled, in its details, very early in christian history, within a generation, and the written sources we have now are amazingly unchanged from what was accepted in 300 AD, and probably 200 yeears earlier.
Thats all just a distraction, but, really, you have to read everything, the bible, milton, homer, naked, and without anyone’s exhortation to any kind of reverence just because its old. When someone says you have to read this shit with some kind of mystical reverence, that makes you prone to, when you discover its really kind of juvenile, and morally bankrupt, reject it wholesale, discarding the good with the dross. Approach it with no preconceptions, no reverence, approach it with the same critical attitude you bring when you watch the latest movie, and you are more able to pick and choose, see the value of whats valid, and discard the bullshit.
@Promnight: I’m very close to launching into Julian Jaynes’s observations on Homer’s language and the evolution of consciousness, but I have to compose the Morning Blather.
@nojo: Oh, I don’t buy the idea that Homer represents a time when self-conscious thought itself was just entering the human experience. No, it was a time when the communication of thought was undergoing changes, but not thought itself. The artists of Lascaux were, I am sure, as cognizant creatures as Picasso, 25,000 years ago.
@nojo: And nobody called Pablo Picasso a caveman. Yet his genius might just be that he was.
I *hug* you all. Here’s to 10,000 more.
Confidential to Seattle-area Stinquers & lurquers: GAWDAMITSCOLD!
“all religions were created by aliens to introduce social friction and drive societies mad ” – see also the Babylon 5 backstory…
There’s some interesting stuff there, but real understanding of the textual sources would seem hard to come by given that there’s quite a few centuries of outright censorship of dissenting sources between us and the originals. I seem to recall they’re *still* turning up totally unseen early books every couple decades.
@Promnight: My ultimate take on Jaynes is this: Whether he’s right or wrong (and speculative hypotheses are unverifiable anyway), he wedged me out of a conventional approach to consciousness and language, paving the way for Wittgenstein.
To put it another way, consciousness had to evolve, like anything else. We’ll never be certain how it did, but some guesses are more intuitively insightful than others.
On the other hand, fart jokes spontaneously combusted.
@nojo: Nice alt-text, Captain Nojo.
@SanFranLefty: I thought Benedick would be all over my ass for that image.
@Original Andrew: Got our shirts today! Ready to go running. Well, almost ready. You’re an inspiration. :-*
@SanFranLefty: Indeed. I always forget to check that.
@nojo: You’d love that…
Oh, man. There’s that Wigg guy again. ::puts on dunce cap::
@Nojo and all: thanks for letting me play in the sandbox with you all, even if the short bus makes me late to class some time.
:::snatches dunce cap from JNOV:::
Sorry I haven’t been keeping up the posts lately to make up the numbers. Will work harder.
Srsly — congrats.
@Promnight: I don’t use the #16 Adams because it’s old and venerated, but because it works.
Headed the mountains in a bit. We’re getting a lot of rain from Hurricane Alex. I think the tv said they closed part of the interstate south of here due to heavy rain. Wasn’t paying attention – too busy filling fly boxes for me and Son of RML. Oh, and the bear invasion. Game and Fish put down 30 of them so far this summer. One I may have seen as a cub is terrorizing my friend’s chickens at his ranch. He took 14 shots of socialist rubber buckshot provided by Game and Fish at the bear.
@nojo: We were watching Amarcord. Haven’t seen it since it came out. Still rich and funny and sad and gorgeous and human and hilariously dubbed and awesome. 300, or, as we like to call it, Die, Fag, Die is a frat boy film made for frat boys by frat boys of limited intelligence who haven’t been on a date in 2 years and so consequently spend all their time hanging out in each other’s basements masturbating to Shauna Sands sex tapes. Consequently I don’t have an opinion either way.
@Promnight: Darling, don’t, no, don’t stab me in the heart like that. If I have hurt you, forgive me. I will try to be a better person.
What translation of Illiad did you read? I have no greek because I hardly went to school but might I suggest Fagles? I’ve read a couple and he’s very good. Christopher Logue’s part-translations; War Music, Kings, and there’s another one I can’t remember, are fine as a gloss on the real thing, but oh the real thing! Talk about in medias res! The war in heaven that tears apart the human world! Homer inventing the subconscious! There are earlier texts but nothing that simply soars with the voice of a great artist taking what’s been done before and hammering it into a whole world that’s new. Yes there are tags to aid memory, it’s a tic that was used so when a character appears he comes with his tag hence, “Achilles of the killer abs…,” so the audience can keep characters, places, and even some things clear in their minds. There was no rewind, remember. This tic crops up in many epics, even in War and Peace. Tolstoy develops a shorthand to remind the reader who everyone is among its huge speaking cast. When Elena hasn’t been around in a while she comes always back as “… the beautiful Elena,” for instance.
The mortals are at war though most of them hardly remember why and can give no reason for their actions. It’s only when the reader sees Athena standing invisible beside Achilles or Poseidon beside Hector and then know why they hate each other, etc that the human actions become understandable. It’s brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. And yes, I am crying, thank you for asking. Only on rare occasions is the veil torn aside so the mortals see the gods fighting among them and begin to understand that they are meaningless pawns in the huge struggle going in Olympus. And that world soaked in light! And the burning of the ships! And the death of Patroclus! And the death of Hector! And Priam coming to Achilles tent to beg for the body of his son!!!!! Dear God. Shakespeare knew it well. And sidebar, Patroclus and Achilles are clearly not lovers in Homer’s account. According to Paederasty and You that came later and nobody better drop the soap when the Dorians are around. And then comes Odyssey! Stranger by far and its violence somehow more appalling.
I would have made a very good pagan. Makes total sense to me. Apart from the animal sacrifice aspect. I’d have started a tofu sacrifice cult. But while the Israelites were wandering Judea looking for decent whitefish and writing that mean, crabbed, spiteful series of books, Homer was soaring.
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Okay — Jr and I read it together (I haven’t read aloud to him in years), and it’s by far one of the best things I’ve ever read.
I’m trying to coax him to the board to give his take on the TV show, although he hasn’t seen the movie. We’re still debating whether to shell out the cash for it or wait for Netflix.
Anyway, thanks for the link. Fucking awesome. We had to repeatedly pause to look at each other and laugh. At least we weren’t fighting over the inhaler. Brilliant!
@nojo: I would guess that you can observe the evolution of consciousness, with no need to postulate about prior forms or levels, because you can find all levels of consciousness right now in the population. Some people have primitive minds, some have limited minds, look at all the magical thinking, it drives our politics. The invisible hand, its a myth just like Zeuss. I have known people who have a magical understanding of logic itself, their logic is a cargo-cult simulacra of logic. And of course, the ontogeny of consciousness recapitulates the phylogony of consciousness, have a kid, watch it become aware, you don’t need to tease threads from Homer about the evolution of consciousness.
@Benedick: Oh, Benedick, its OK and all, but the repitition, it screams of a memorized plot adorned with trinkets, one from column A, one from column B. How many times do I have to hear the formulaic “well-greaved greeks,” the rosy-fingered dawn, the wine-dark sea. No wonder people remember and quote those phrases so much, they are repeated 73,000 times. And there were still bards who recited oral-tradition epics in macedonia in the 20th century, and they were well-studied, and the studies showed that they did not memorize anything word for word, they knew the plot, and they had a toolkit of cliches, which they would ornament and embellish the plots with. You can see it, its palpable, in Homer.
@Benedick: I also like the Larrimore translation, particularly for the Odyssey. One of my favorites scenes in the Iliad is when Hector is saying goodbye to Andromache and his son, and he removes his plumed helmet because it is frightening the little boy. Such a tiny detail, but so true, so human, so touching.
@Mistress Cynica: These are really long books, right? ;-) Oh, to be better read…
Hey look what Ebert said about the Airbender of Shymallan: “The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here.”
I was reading some reviews yesterday one of my favorites started like this:
The current national priorities should be as follows: reduce carbon emissions and stop funding the films of M. Night Shyamalan.
If you thought it was bad when writer-director M. Night Shyamalan was channeling Rod Serling, wait till you see him try to be George Lucas.
having said that. I think it was better than Avatar.
@Mistress Cynica: OK, I only just stopped blubbering so I could take one of the dogs to the vet to have a dew claw removed. Do you really want to start me off again? The Larrimore was the first version I read. The whole poem is so astonishingly observed. And though a lot of it is pitched high it is packed with human detail. It begins in the middle and ends before it’s over: we still use the same structure to tell stories. I love it in Odyssey that only the dog Argos recognizes Odysseus when he reaches his home. He sees his master, wags, and dies.
I honestly thought an Airbender was like those aluminum trailers you tow behind your car. What are they, Airstream?
@JNOV: One time I told a guy that I was working my way through “the classics.” He started talking about Herodotus and I had to explain that I meant, you know, Joyce, Faulkner, that kind of thing.
@mellbell: In my business, Joyce and Faulkner books are “Modern Firsts,” i.e., usually only collected as first editions and published after 1900. We had quite an argument over the use of the subject heading “Classics” in our catalogue. My boss felt it obviously only referred to Greek and Roman lit, and I argued that “Classical Literature” would be more accurate for the ancients, because some people might consider 18th or 19th century novels–Dickens, Austen, Balzac–“classics.” I have to admit, nothing from the 20th century even entered our minds.
@Benedick: Si, Airstream.
@Mistress Cynica: Mellbell rule of thumb: Published over 50 years ago and still widely read? It’s a classic.
Edit: The Mother has informed me that I should add a spoiler warning. Though I doubt any of it will actually be discussed in the movie, in the following post, I mention a couple plot points in from the Avatar series. You have been warned.
@JNOV: Right. So, The Last Airbender. Mom wanted me to give a little rant (as if there is such a thing) about it since I’ve seen the whole show. Basically, this is for the people who have not, but are considering seeing the movie, anyway. As my mother stated, I haven’t actually seen the movie yet, but I want to–mostly out of morbid curiosity. One thing you absolutely need to know going in is that It’s a movie based on a 61 episode cartoon show with an actual plot. Because the show spanned 3 seasons, each with their own story arcs relating to Aang mastering another segment of his training to become Jesus, (from what I heard) they decided to split the story into multiple movies. The Last Airbender is effectively just a retelling of the FIRST season. So…you probably shouldn’t head in looking for many plot points to be resolved.
I hope to FSM this is actually the case because, as frustrating as the next few films are bound to be, there is no other excuse for excluding Toph. On a side note, I have personally confirmed that there is no such thing as an Avatar (either one) video on Youtube that has not been dubbed over with Linkin Park or Evanescence. I also don’t think you can technically call it an “anime music video” if the “anime” was made in America and the “music” is Dane Cook’s stand-up.
In any case, I’ve got a few gripes about the movie. First the superficial stuff. For one thing, it’s kind of fucked up that they can’t even call it by its proper name (“Avatar: The Last Airbender”) on account of LOLJAMESCAMERONISADICK. And then, of course, there’s the whole race thing. I figure I should make special mention of that since it’s what’s got most of the fans’ panties in a twist. Here are the three lead characters in this part of story, Aang, Sokka and Katara, first in their cartoon forms, then again in their live-action forms.
Now…Aang’s race is debatable. In fact, most characters from the show are rather ambiguous when it comes to such things. The main way to tell which country each character is from is by looking at the color of his/her clothing. Many characters in the show appear to be white. It just baffles me (and, apparently, many other fans) that the only explicitly brown people on the show are now white and an entire nation that could pass for white is now brown. Imagine if you went to see the next Spider-Man movie and Peter’s suit was recolored purple and yellow while, for some inexplicable reason, the rest of the main cast were midgets. Neither of those things would change the characters’ personalities, but it would still give pause to anyone familiar with the franchise.
From what I’ve heard, The Last Airbender is the worst-reviewed movie of 2010. I’ve got a theory on this and the short answer is that Shyamalan tried to turn Avatar into something it isn’t. For one thing, any time you condense a long-running, episodic series into a movie, you’re going to have some issues. You’ll have to cut out 80-90% of what went on in the original story just to fit everything in without the movies coming out at LOTR length. This would be absolutely fine if it weren’t for the fact that they seem to have cut out all of the comic relief.
The comedy, as ridiculous as some most of it was, actually had a large hand in developing the characters. Despite the fact that he could demolish a city block by sneezing too hard, Aang’s lighthearted personality humanizes him. Sure, he may be the 900th reincarnation of the physical manifestation of the forces of nature, but the fact that he never seems to take anything seriously lets you know that he’s really just a regular 11-year-old kid. Compare this intro for the cartoon to this trailer for the movie. I’ve seen a couple commercials for the movie and I have yet to see Noah Ringer smile in any of them. In the first two seasons of the cartoon, Aang could hardly get through a sentence without a goofy grin on his face.
And even despite being a good 70% comic relief, Avatar still managed to be fairly deep–at least for a kids’ show. In fact, fairly early into the first season, we discover that the whole reason the Avatar disappeared for a century is because of Aang’s immaturity. It turns out that he wound up frozen in that iceberg because, upon being told that he was the next Avatar, the weight of the responsibility that comes with the position got the better of him and he ran away from home. He somehow managed to get trapped in a storm near the north pole, where he was frozen for a couple decades. Maybe that kid’s not so happy-go-lucky after all, huh? Maybe, despite the constant optimism, Aang realizes that not everything is unicorns and candy canes?
And while the strongest human on the planet was taking a nap, war broke out. A lot of people died. Everyone he ever knew was murdered. As the series progresses, it becomes apparent that those deaths weigh on Aang every moment of the day. He starts taking his role in the universe more seriously and, several times, he nearly dies or accidentally maims someone he loves because of his eagerness to fight the Big Bad (who was voiced by Mark Hamill) and end the war for good.
If you take away all of the funny bits, though, Aang devolves into a bald, sociopathic leprechaun bent on breaking as many bones as physically possible before his time on screen is over. And that’s just one character. Sokka’s entire role in the show is centered around being the butt of the joke, but occasionally coming up with some genius (but insane) plan to get the baddies. Toph’s dialogue consists solely of one-liners and little-blind-girl-that-can-kick-your-ass jokes. Katara…is the straight man. She’s the one that takes everything seriously and keeps everyone else from tripping on cactus juice.
In any case, I think you folks get the idea by now. All film making “talent” aside, Shyamalan wanted to create a summer blockbuster, Avatar just wasn’t the right source material, and the movie came out as one might expect because of that. If you’re really dead-set on seeing the movie, rent a few volumes of the show first so you can properly understand what a bastardization this film really is.
@JNOVjr: Bumping for Tomm, and cuz I think you’re great.
@JNOVjr: The Mother has informed me that I should add a spoiler warning.
Me, I don’t let Mom anywhere near this joint. Or Dad. Unless Bro snitches.
@nojo: I can’t help it, man. It’s like she follows me around or something.
See, and read the whole thing and agree with you. But do you really think Avitar isn’t great blockbuster source material? It just seems like it was handled very, very badly.
@JNOVjr: Have you tried ducking into a coffee shop, donning fake glasses with a mustache then hiding behind a newspaper? I’ve seen it work in the movies.
ADD: Would Nabisco Jr. – who is ten – like the movie, ya think? He watched a bunch of the shows, and I know that he and his little gangposseclutch of friends used to talk about it and trade cards and stuff like that. He was disappointed when “Avatar” came out and and it had nothing to do with what he knew as Avatar and in fact was not made for his age group.
Or drag. Your mother never recognizes you in a dress, I’ve found.
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Honestly, I’m not sure. Making a movie about Avatar that retains the feel of the original is probably doable, but the writers and director would have to be extremely familiar with the series. Hell, why not get the people who made the cartoon to make it? Even then, I’m not sure if it would be an epic, blockbuster action movie. Actually, you know what? It would probably come out something like a Jackie Chan movie. Come to think of it, Avatar is kind of like if someone said, “Why don’t we take Jackie Chan Adventures and give it a more focus, depth, a better budget and a more complex plot?”
@Nabisco: Coffee shops are a bad idea. She’s more likely to enter those than most other establishments in the area.
@Tommmcat Still Gets Carly Confused With Meg: Been there, done that. This one knows, man. She knows.
@JNOVjr: And I can read your mind.
@JNOV: I’m so glad I grew up before those pocket mind-readers hit the market.
@nojo: I need the decoder ring sometimes…
@JNOV: My folks tried one of those, but it stripped its gears.
@Nabisco: Derp, forgot to respond about your son. I’m trying to ask myself whether or not I’d have liked The Last Airbender when I was 10. My answer is “probably.” I know I would’ve wanted to see it because it looks stunning and there’s kung-fu, if nothing else. The alterations to the original story probably wouldn’t have bothered me that much. Judging from how awesome I thought Pokemon was back then (don’t get me wrong, I still do, just not for the same reasons), I would’ve probably begged Mom to take me to see The Last Airbender, anyway. Now, do I know if it’s age appropriate or not? I have no clue.
@Nabisco: @JNOVjr: Re: age appropriateness, the New York Times, which does a wonderful job of expressing movie ratings in terms that a layperson can understand, says, “It kind of looks like they’re fighting.”
@nojo: I wouldn’t trade Jr for the world, but we do have an interesting relationship. They say don’t be your kid’s best friend, but, well, he is mine. (Okay, yeah, I’m getting pretty wasted already.)
@JNOV: Darling, pace yourself. It’s early yet. Have you eaten?
@Mistress Cynica: Nope — think I’m about to. My liver had repaired itself from my brother’s wedding on the 12th, just found out a friend has 3-6 mos to live, so, like, yeah. I’m kind of not giving a shit right now.
I do thank you, Cyn. Very much.
@JNOV: I am so sorry about your friend. That really, truly sucks.
@Mistress Cynica: Thanks. And, yeah, like you, she’s a virtual friend but a friend nonetheless. And to think I’ve been having my own personal pity party this past week over some inconsequential bullshit. Stupid , stupid stupid! She just finished breastfeeding and found out today. ARGH!
@JNOV: Oh shit, honey, that’s terrible news. Baby just makes it all the sadder. Cancer?
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Oh, hey, kids - long time no see!
I am delighted to see you all still kicking it.
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@nojo: When bad things happen to bad people, and they get what they deserve.
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