Saturday, July 26, 2008

The hell? Fat-at-Comicon. Part 2 (of 2).

Fat's second and final day of field note submissions from Comicon.
Mo Cheeks is eating
breakfast where we are.
10:51AM Sat, Jul 26

This guy walking by just
issued this huge belch
and didn't excuse
himself. Mo and I
exchanged disapproving
eye contact and
11:11AM Sat, Jul 26

Ben Edlund autograph!
'I'm a huge fan. I think
yer a genius.' 'Uhm. I'll
take it.'
1:02PM Sat, Jul 26


Friday, July 25, 2008

The hell? Fat-at-Comicon. Part 1.

Fat's in SanDiego at Comicon. He took the time to file some field notes.
Tshirt idea: got
9:42AM Fri, Jul 251

Caution: Seaman shirt
10:36AM Fri, Jul 25

Scott Shaw! and Sergio
Aragones booth to
Booth! I'm seriously a
little starstruck.
11:06AM Fri, Jul 25

Rom back issues. SO
yoinking these!
11:45AM Fri, Jul 25

Captain Sisko! Freaking!
1:54PM Fri, Jul 25

Venture Bros panel! Line
insane, am skipping it.
3:46PM Fri, Jul 25

Young woman
cosplaying as Dazzler.
Jesus wept. Not sure I'm
going back to-morrow.
5:23PM Fri, Jul 25


1 I responded to this:
Keep working on that
9:43AM Fri, Jul 25
because I didn't think it was very funny. Not that I thought it was offensive, just I think it particularly funny. Also, I had no coffee yet.

Fat wrote back:

Post it.
9:51AM Fri, Jul 25
Then, later, he "accidently" sent me this one…
DDT hated this joke,
but at Comicon, every
fifth shirt should read
'Got Asperger's?'
1:01PM Fri, Jul 25
To which I responded…
Well, that's funny. A shirt
by itself not so much.
1:04PM Fri, Jul 25
Because 'every 5th shirt' IS funny. Context!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NBA Gaiden: Ben Gurion slouches toward Beth Lehem and buys her a drink

as the failing eyes of Stern David turn away, one thousand pointless voices strive to make a horrible joke about Brand Disloyalty

A prime tactic in Reviewieran praxis is the imposition of story on things perhaps not inherently narrative. Eventually--and it don't take long--that thing becomes so imbued with story-quality that it becomes difficult to partake of it without story. Which is why random NBA games between teams I'm not invested in are essentially unwatchable visual noise at this point.

Without context (backstory), the grace, athleticism, &c., no longer compels. Thus, we find ourselves languishing amongst Contradiction's Consequences:

turbulent stories being better than bland ones
and excellence/winning being bland
we prefer Bad Teams.

This Consequence befinds me in literal transition--from Portland to Oaktown--and DDT in transition away from the Blazers. Organizationally, they've become competent and aggressive, and in a crucial development, possess the resources to enact their visions! To put it another way:


I leave behind this Spurs-like assemblage I can neither fault nor care about.

My new position is perhaps more enviable, local to a Warriors team that bulletpoints like so:

  • not yet committed to its rebuilding status, as evidenced by blowing all their money on a guy just good enough to cost them ping-pong balls
  • 2 years ago, they posted the second-best first-round upset in league history
  • last year, they won more games than any lottery team in history
  • their coach, who's probably been doing this with mirrors, is on his way out
  • the rebuilding plan seems to consist of:
    building the team around the second-best Clipper of the last half-decade
  • BTW, the guy in charge of rebuilding? no longer an alcoholic, but now literally addicted to giving longish contracts to desperately replaceable NBA players:
    off the top of my head, Mullin's doled out 4 or more years to all of the following:
    Adonal Foyle
    Lil' Dun
    Troy Murphy
    Jason Richardson
    Derek Fisher
    Corey Maggette

Richardson aside, there's not a special player in the bunch, and even Richardson is a pretty pedestrian brand of special.

Whatever. The best part of the ride of a rollercoaster is the feeling of endless descent, the vertigo where friction yields wholly to gravity, and everything becomes inertial. Eventually, the Warriors'll bottom out, endure a series of sickening lurches, and clang to a halt. That'll probably be ten years from now, when I'll be ready to move again.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Balls Shot Off for a Cause

Animal Mother print (by d.d. tinzeroes)

It'd been a while since I watched any Kubrick, but recently I stayed up 2 late 1 night watching, of all things, A.I. on cable.

Frankly, I was shocked, SHOCKED! (I say) at the jarring transition from Kubrick's subtle, complicated meditations on robot ethics to Speelburgo's schmaltzly Pinocchio pastiche. The trauma was enough to (finally, I guess) make me realize, profoundly, the (totally obvious) detail + care of Kubrick's craftmanship.

I was quickly reminded of an article I had rushedly read regarding Full Metal Jacket at the library front desk during my college years. Said article detailed several scripted scenes which Kubrick never shot or chose to cut out of the final version of the film, mostly in direct reaction to critics' praise of Platoon.

Some rather painstaking internet research later, I was able to locate said article, key excerpts I quote hereafter, in the spirit of my previous bibliographic essay.1

1st up is a pair of cut scenes from the Parris Island sequence which, while not related to the "this-movie-is-not-Platoon" angle, do highlight what I'm talking about w/ Kubrick's killer instinct in dealing w/ ambiguities rather than holding the audience's hand in AI. In this case, in regards to Sgt. Hartman:
Two scenes were eliminated which would have made the drill instructor a monster: one where he nearly drowns Pyle in a bowl of urine, and one where he orders a recruit who has cut his wrists to clean up the mess he’s made before reporting to the doctor.2
One must confess, these 2 scenes would have been so over the top they would have made Hartman a bit of the cartoon, whereas instead his jocular language, while inducing giggles at 1st view, in fact are imbued w/ the meaty language of indoctrination to the ways of killing.

As interesting as this may be, the following selection is the 1 I have routinely semi-quoted whenever the conversation has turned to Full Metal Jacket in the last, oh, 8 years:

Kubrick during the year-long shoot stripped away the elements in his own script that made Joker someone with whom the audience could identify: his voiceovers reduced finally to four or five; the instinctive revulsion that impels him, in a scene that was either cut or never filmed, to kill an Arvin colonel who is murdering prisoners during the helicopter ride from Da Nang to Hue; and his death and burial, which would have concluded the film on an elegiac note – replaced here by the group-shot of soldiers singing the Mousketeer anthem that was originally planned for an earlier scene, after the assault on Hue.3

To sum:

1. Joker originally had more voiceovers;
2. Joker originally was to kill an officer murdering prisoners; +
3. Joker originally would have died at the end of the film.

For starters, the 1st point was clearly cut to demolish similarities or comparisons between Modine and Charlie Sheen's character in Platoon. I see a similar logic to the 3rd point in regards to William Defoe's character in Platoon, as well. The 2nd point simply makes Joker to sympathetic to the audience, and paints the film in good/bad right/wrong terms which make the audience feel good abt itself.

Not that it matters, anymore. Since Saving Private Damon any movie with any wartime setting is basically 100% war-porn.


1 See Red Hot Flower of Hysteria, Oct. 3, 2007.
"Full Metal Jacket," by Bill Krohn.