October 31, 2005

The Great Old Pumpkin

I committed everything I knew to memory, burned all my papers, and embroidered my most unfathomable and precious secrets in near-invisible thread on my security blanket, which as you can see, I carry still. ~ John Aegard

The Great Old Pumpkin, by John Aegard is a Strange Horizons gem that must be read on this of all days. I prefer reading it before reading the conclusion of Snuff and Gray's adventures in Lonesome October (which, I bet NONE of you lot bothered to pick up).

You must know, Doctor, that I did not choose to seek psychiatric help. I have no faith that I shall exit this room a healed man; I know now that I have been destined for the asylum since childhood. No mere conversation with you can steer me clear of that fate. That said, let us proceed with this court-compelled farce before my mad prattle provokes your crabbiness further.
As you are no doubt aware, I am the issue of solid Dutch stock—the prosperous Van Pelt family of St. Paul. Mine was a comfortable and happy childhood, and I spent much of it in the devoted service of the Great Old Pumpkin. For him, I cultivated an annual pumpkin patch—mostly Autumn Gold and Big Max, as I thought he would find the Atlantic Giants tacky. I also evangelized him in the community, relating the tale of how, every year on Hallowmas Eve, the day when the spiritual most strongly encroaches on the substantial, this mightiest of gourds would rise to revel across the world with the most sincere of his adorers. My neighbors were understandably skeptical; after all, not once had this superbeing ever chosen to grace my pumpkin patch or any other place in our town. I vowed that I would coax him into my backyard, and I set out in the manner of a learned man to discover how I might do this.

Continue With The Story HERE

Blather d'Art | Mirth by Doxy at 05:42 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

October 16, 2005

I Am River Tam (Barely)

He looks better in red. ~ Summer Glau as River Tam (via Jose Molina)

Okay, so I accept that you can't fight the signal, but it does disturb me that it took a tie-breaker question to decide if I was River or The Operative. Eeep.

Which Serenity character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

River Tam

You scored as River Tam. The Fugitive. You are clever and dangerous, which is a nasty combination. The fact you are crazy too just adds to your charm. They did bad things to you, but you know their secrets. They will regret how they made you.

The Operative


River Tam


Capt. Mal Reynolds


Simon Tam


Zoe Alleyne Washburne


Inara Serra


Kaylee Frye


Hoban 'Wash' Washburne


Shepherd Derrial Book


Jayne Cobb


Props to MasterLordStar of Red Dragon Sanctuary

Blather d'Art | Groovy | Mirth by Doxy at 01:06 PM | permalink | talkback (2)

October 06, 2005

The Hanso Foundation

We're gonna need to watch that again. ~ Terry O'Quinn on "Lost" (via Javier Grillo-Marxuach & Craig Wright)

I could totally geek out about Lost. With Buffy and Firefly gone, it's just fun to dissect all the clues they keep planting for sci-fi research freaks like me.

They're also using the web brilliantly and I think they'll get better at it with time. Case in point: The Hanso Foundation.

I might post more if I can get over feeling foolish about wasting time on TV fantasy theories.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 06:54 PM | permalink | talkback (2)

September 30, 2005

A Night in the Lonesome October

Life is full of doors that don't open when you knock, equally spaced amid those that open when you don't want them to. ~ Roger Zelazny

It's September 30th and tomorrow begins my annual ritual of re-reading Roger Zelazny's A Night In The Lonesome October.

Roger Zelazny's A Night In The Lonesome October

I love this book. Every year I read a chapter a day throughout the tenth month of the year; it is my personal October advent calendar. Each chapter summarizes a day in the life of Snuff, a dog. Snuff and his master are players in a strange game that encompasses events and characters that feel familiar, but their group adventure is utterly original. In fact figuring out who the strange cast of oddities are is half the fun. Zelazny found a smug way to avoid any copyright concerns by simply not naming the characters he co-opted for the story. This dog-day diary begins on October 1st and concludes on October 31st. Some chapters are a page long, others are more substantial. All of them build a story that is part metaphysical mystery, part vintage throwback shtick, part Gothic horror. There are vampires and vivisectionists and pet familiars (through which the story is narrated). There is a great detective and his portly friend. There are homages to classic horror writers and nods to a few mystery-shrouded historical figures.

Like most Zelazny it is fast reading, so it takes up very little of time each day, except for the final day and one or two others that are meaty chapters. Of course, I've read it over and over and so my desire to finish the book all in one sitting passed a long time ago. I read it at more of a mosey these days. It's an act of savoring and not the gush of "I have to know how it ends" exuberance. It's my wine not my whiskey.

I cannot recommend a better October read. If you think you don't like Zelazny because the word "Amber" makes you cringe, put those feelings aside. This is altogether different. It's out of print, but there are paperbacks and hardcovers all over the net -- Amazon.com and Half.com both have copies aplenty.

Phone Sex Slut Hugs and Kisses

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 12:45 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

September 03, 2005

R.L. Burnside RIP

I love this little angel;
I love her all for myself.
I don't want her
To spread her wings
Over no one else.
~ RL Burnside, "Sweet Little Angel"

When it rains it pours and then it rains some more.

I think the world of the blues has taken enough hits for the rest of the decade.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 03:20 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

August 27, 2005

Who Are Those Guys?

Voice comes to you through a spell, a trance. The best voices are not you, they're a little away from you. ~ Barry Hannah

You know their voices, but hearing them speak while looking at them feels oddly creepy.

Five Men in a Limo

An oldie but a goodie.

Blather d'Art | Groovy | Mirth by Doxy at 07:03 AM | permalink | talkback (2)

August 26, 2005

The River Tam Sessions

Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. ~ Jorge Luis Borges

It's hard for me, as a sci-fi geektress not to see the obvious parallels between the cult fan base of Joss Whedon's Firefly and the fans from the primary Star Trek mythos.

Stop me if you've heard this one:

A science fiction visionary who has paid his dues in the competitive rat race of the broadcast television industry by achieving a few modest successes gets a shot to launch the show he considers to be his masterpiece. This new offering draws on traditional themes that viewers should be able to relate to, but is unique and somewhat brave in the depth of its scope and substance. The network, unable to relate to it, rejects it without ever giving said visionary the opportunity and acts on the hereditary instincts of their place by denying it breathing room with all the gusto of parental indifference. A scattering of viewers mourn this passing; they enjoyed what they saw during the show's brief existence. They mutter and complain and infect others with their enthusiasm until the dollar signs they generate begin to draw the attention of those who sought to murder creativity in its fetal state.

So they make a movie.

There are a lot of things that could stop Serenity from being a mainstream hit. It could be too inbred and only appeal to its existing fan base. Maybe the audience or the method of storytelling won't crossover to a film format. Maybe the film can't possibly live up to expectation. Maybe the once brilliant visionary will have lost his edge and his work will fester into self-indulgence and special effects nonsense. Maybe it'll just be bad.

Or maybe the planets will align and the visionary, his fellow creators, the cast, and audience will be in step and this movie will go where no Trek movie ever managed to get before.

The Firefly mythos has better weapons to fight for its life. Whedon has a marketing toll Roddenberry never dreamed of. He has rabid fan bases with net connections and Buffy conventions have obviously taught him how to feed the beast.

In a stroke of Blair Witch reminiscent marketing brilliance strange "excerpts" have begun to surface on Firefly fan sites. These clips provide glimpses of River Tam's "sessions" at the Academy. I know it's marketing, but it's marketing done RIGHT.

And, since these obviously must have been written and shot by Joss and he is the likely sneaky distributor, and given his propensity for preserving and respecting his own complicated time lines, then we're supposed to get EXACTLY these excerpts right now -- between the end of the series and the start of the movie.

Hinky little bugger.

So far as I can tell there are three sessions we've being teased with as of now. They all tell us a great deal without telling us anything. You can find them with mirrors at Session 416 or simply follow the links below that open in Quciktime on Internet Archive.

Session 1 Excerpt
Session 22 - Excerpt
Session 416 Excerpt

Personal theoretical nonsense:

According to this convincing time line we can guess that River went to the Academy sometime in 2514 and Simon rescued her around May of 2517. Joss doesn't tell us how often the sessions are held. If they're taped everyday then 416 would be a year and a couple of months after River's arrival. Or maybe they were taped every few days and 416 was the last session.

Also, as a friend of mine continually reminds me -- we have not seen the alliance do anything that was outrightly evil. They are the bad guys from the Browncoat perspective, but other than being bureaucratic asses we haven't seen them do anything completely black hat.

So I'm going to throw this out there because it would be SUCH a Joss thing to do.

What if River is bad and she really does need to be stopped for the safety of God, alliance, and baby kittens? What if the crew of Serenity is actually doing something really awful they don't realize by harboring her.

What if our lovable scruffy gun-on-hip smuggling buccaneers are actually doing the WRONG thing.

Wouldn't it just be delicious?

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 06:08 PM | permalink | talkback (5)

July 13, 2005

Joel Stein is Stupid Stupid Stupid

Our whole life is but a greater and longer childhood ~ Benjamin Franklin

Joel Stein and critics/comics like him need a cookie. Not just any cookie. I'm thinking something in the Neiman Marcus urban legend recipe variety.

This editorial is one example of how some hopelessly sardonic individuals vent revenge for not feeling kindred to the little things in life that many of us indulge in with carefree childish glee. The trade of superiority complex in lieu of playfulness isn't a wise investment. In this particular case it's also misplaced and sloppily reasoned.

I think all of us feel a trickle of disgust on occasion about entertainments the masses embrace which we personally find vacant. I have never felt so apart from my fellows than the day I sat in a theater watching Titanic. Sure, I give my friends a good spoonful of grief for some of their guilty pleasures -- we're required to make fun of our friends to keep them honest. But there is a difference between poking fun and being mean-spirited.

Besides, I have eaten my share of crow for the poking. I was merciless to friends who enjoyed Buffyverse for years until I sat through a few episodes and was converted into a Whedon addict.

I've also taken my fair share of hits. I've put up with Trek digs my whole life (although, to be fair, after going to my first and last convention in 1993, I understood why). I'm not even going to get started on the Disney heckling I've endured.

Yes, there is something to be said for not falling too far back into childhood fantasy. If you accidentally spend your rent money on action figures, you may have a problem. If children's books are the only books you read, then it probably wouldn't hurt you to expand your horizons. But I find Joel's statements to be wildly inappropriate for the point he claims he's trying to make:

"After a generation of boomers choosing to remain in a state of stunted adolescence — wearing jeans, smoking pot and cranking their BMW stereos to blast Eminem songs they clearly don't like — the next generation has opted for a stunted toddlerhood. Adults see "Finding Nemo" without bothering with the socially accepted ruse of dragging an unwilling 11-year-old nephew along. Grown men play video games and couples go to Disneyworld on their honeymoon..."

Dems awful strong words for a guy who admits to having a unicorn collection in his bio. Plus, Disney World is two words, you asshat. What does it say about a grown man with press credentials that can't be bothered to spot-check his articles before submitting them for publication? Further, Stein claims to have only had to read 50 pages of the first book in the series to come to his "you are all stupid, stupid, stupid" realization. I'm sure, by that logic, he condones those who diagnosed Terry Schaivo from video snippets. Let's hear it for a guy that wants to talk down about immaturity in his generation, but who doesn't have to read or research thoroughly to come to a conclusion and hand in his op-ed assignments.

Oh, wait. I was making a broad sweeping generalization from an incomplete data set? Bad me.

And, bad Joel.

The irony here is that the Harry Potter books haven't only jump-started a generation of children into reading, but likely they have spurred functioning illiterate adults, too. I worked as a reading counselor in a community college and I saw many adults who didn't read so much as a newspaper. I took one lesson away from that job: anything that gets people to read is good. I think The DaVinci Code is tripe, but if it gets someone to read who wouldn't ordinarily pick up a book, then I say go for it. Ditto Harry Potter.

Rowling has come a long way from that first novel. As a writer and an avid reader, that has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of the Potter experience; watching her talent develop. Of course, I don't consider the Potter series to be children's books. They are, at least, for a teen audience. I think Rowling herself actually said she didn't set out to write a child's book, just to write a book about a child. That's a fairly accurate description.

I'm not going to rhapsodize about the books in terms of "keeping my inner child alive" or such. I like them (albeit not in an "dress as my favorite character and wait in line at midnight" way). I am looking forward to Amazon bringing my copy to my door on Saturday, but the Potter books don't take the place of my *real* reading. Still, I make no apologies for them. Nor do I think anyone else should either.

I know they're fluff, but they're good fluff. They deal with their share of complex issues like the dangers and limits of a bureaucracy and what happens when world leaders engage in petty behaviors or don't face realistic problems.

Joel warns: "A culture that simplifies its entertainment down to fairy tales is doomed to simplify the world down to good and evil." It's a point well made. Which is why even 50 pages should have made it clear to him that Potter books are not fairy tales. The last book, Order of the Phoenix delved into the discovery that the concept of "evil" is complicated. We learned that someone doesn't have to be "evil" or under the influence of some magic evil to commit evil acts. It was also explored that people who claim to have our best interests at heart can be blinded by their own fears and limitations. We have an entire nation of adults unable to grasp that right now. And you don't see it being tackled by "adult" fare like Mr. & Mrs. Smith or the latest Kay Scarpetta novel.

Other social matters woven into past Potter plots are things like slavery, prejudice, media irresponsibility, etc. These books are not Clifford the Big Red Dog as Joel snickers and the fact that he snidely infers a similarity demonstrates his own ignorance on the topic. It's reminiscent of Bill Maher panning the Lord of the Rings films as being nothing but "three hours about magical midgets."

It is exactly this kind of mean-spirited snobbery that creates backlash from the "Average Joe" toward institutions of education and it fosters the exact opposite effect Joel is likely trying for. It's this kind of sentiment that makes "college educated" come off as a negative in election years. Talking down to people and making fun of them never won anyone their point in a debate. This isn't writing to make a point, it's writing to feel superior. Which I guess I'd have to do a lot more if I had a unicorn collection, too.

Okay, I'll stop with the unicorns. But, hopefully I've demonstrated that glass houses are brittle places in which to live. I wonder if he was just feeling a moment of childish glee when he admitted the unicorn thing in his bio.

I've got a degree in English Lit. I'd happily take on Mr. Stein any day of the week and twice on Sunday if he wants to have a little reading comprehension / advanced literature challenge. I know about three dozen Potter readers who could equally take him on any intellectual setting of his choosing.

We like to read Potter. We also like to read more complex materials. But then I am lucky to have the choice and inclination. Many adults in our world are not as literate as Joel, my friends, or myself. If a non-reader picks up a book of any reading level for whatever reason, then who the hell are any of us to try and make them feel bad about it?

When someone is starving you don't scold them for eating junk food.

Ironically, the higher point Stein claims he's trying to make with his more-adult-than-thou rant is thus:

"When we share our entertainment palette with the Wiggles set — watching comic book movies and teenage singing talent shows — we deny an attempt to understand human emotion."

Human emotion is contained in the Potter, books, you dolt. It's also contained in Finding Nemo for that matter. It's contained far better in a great deal of young adult materials than in other forms of so-called "adult" entertainment because today's entertainment gurus know that parents need to be entertained while they share with their children. It's worth noting that it's easier to access human emotions while accessing childhood thoughts and feelings because that is when our emotional blueprints were drafted. Joel, meet Freud and have a cigar.

I'm all for porn, but it never brought anyone to a better understanding of social injustice. So the concept that something is more socially beneficial just because it's intended for an adult audience is slightly lacking in any kind of mortal logic.

Everyone has their guilty pleasures. Fuck. How could we survive the Bush administration without a little frolicking? I have friends with degrees in medicine that enjoy Xena reruns and computer genius pals who watch American Idol and the only thing I've learned is that there is no line you can draw for others in their entertainment venues. And if you want to try, you're no better than those freaks who want to censor everything.

People who waste extreme levels of energy, time, and money trying to reclaim their childhood are sad, yes. But just because someone enjoys a few childish things doesn't put them on the road to Neverland Ranch. Life is hard; the only way to get through it sane is to remain open to the childhood experience. And if that's the greatest sin anyone commits in this life, then I say more power to them.

In closing, I can't resist addressing this:

"...you might as well buy something from the back of the bookstore instead. You won't have to wait in line for "Ulysses."

Yeah, there's a reason for that. James Joyce is an over-rated cherry-picking bore and while many of us had to struggle through his work in college, write term papers on him, and squeeze every drop of meaning out of his blather to appease college professors that got wet at the mere mention of his name, that doesn't make him the high water mark we should all aim toward whenever we buy a book. People who toss Joyce references around to flaunt their intellectual superiority make my crotch itch.

Someone get Joel a blow job. Then get him a cookie and a velvet unicorn painting so he can lighten the fuck up.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 11:16 AM | permalink | talkback (8)

June 22, 2005

Top Movie Quotes of All Time?

Some of you might note that AFI released their top 100 movie quotes of all time. Their list has vast differences from mine.

Missing from the list:

"Who are those guys," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," 1969.

"Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" "She Done Him Wrong," 1933.

"You can't fool me, there ain't no Sanity Clause," "A Night at the Opera," 1935.

"Insanity runs in my family -- it practically gallops," "Arsenic and Old Lace," 1940.

"When the fall is all there is, it matters," "The Lion in Winter," 1969.

"Love, in a world where carpenters get resurrected, everything is possible," "The Lion in Winter," 1969.

"Liberty's too precious a thing to be buried in books," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," 1939.

"Lawyers should never marry other lawyers. This is called in-breeding; from this comes idiot children... and other lawyers," "Adam's Rib," 1949.

"No woman could ever run for President. She'd have to admit she's over 35," "State of the Union," 1948.

"That's quite a dress you almost have on...what holds it up? ... Modesty," "An American in Paris," 1951.

"I wonder if you wonder," "Double Indemnity," 1944

"I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I'm all outta bubble gum," "They Live," 1988.

"We're on a mission from God," "The Blues Brothers," 1980.

"How much for the women?" "The Blues Brothers," 1980.

"I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," 1975.

"It could be worse...could be raining," "Young Frankenstein," 1974.

"What hump?" "Young Frankenstein," 1974.

"Abby someone. Abby who? ... Abby normal," "Young Frankenstein," 1974.

"Mongo just pawn in game of life," "Blazing Saddles," 1976.

"Excuse me while I whip this out," "Blazing Saddles," 1976.

"I'll be all around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be there in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be there in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they built - I'll be there, too," "The Grapes of Wrath," 1940.

"They'll talk to ya and talk to ya and talk to ya about freedom. But they see a real free individual, it scares 'em," "Easy Rider," 1969.

"Merry Christmas, movie house," "It's a Wonderful Life," 1946.

"Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings," "It's a Wonderful Life," 1946.

"God bless us, every one," "Scrooge," 1951.

"Bah! Humbug," "Scrooge," 1951.

There are probably a million more I'm forgetting.

Their list after the cut.

(typo fixed to accomodate sarcastic friends)

1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," "Gone With the Wind," 1939.

2. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse," "The Godfather," 1972.

3. "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am," "On the Waterfront," 1954.

4. "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

5. "Here's looking at you, kid," "Casablanca," 1942.

6. "Go ahead, make my day," "Sudden Impact," 1983.

7. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," "Sunset Blvd.," 1950.

8. "May the Force be with you," "Star Wars," 1977.

9. "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night," "All About Eve," 1950.

10. "You talking to me?" "Taxi Driver," 1976.

11. "What we've got here is failure to communicate," "Cool Hand Luke," 1967.

12. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning," "Apocalypse Now," 1979.

13. "Love means never having to say you're sorry," "Love Story," 1970.

14. "The stuff that dreams are made of," "The Maltese Falcon," 1941.

15. "E.T. phone home," "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," 1982.

16. "They call me Mister Tibbs!", "In the Heat of the Night," 1967.

17. "Rosebud," "Citizen Kane," 1941.

18. "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!", "White Heat," 1949.

19. "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!", "Network," 1976.

20. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," "Casablanca," 1942.

21. "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti," "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991.

22. "Bond. James Bond," "Dr. No," 1962.

23. "There's no place like home," "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

24. "I am big! It's the pictures that got small," "Sunset Blvd.," 1950.

25. "Show me the money!", "Jerry Maguire," 1996.

26. "Why don't you come up sometime and see me?", "She Done Him Wrong," 1933.

27. "I'm walking here! I'm walking here!", "Midnight Cowboy," 1969.

28. "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By,"' "Casablanca," 1942.

29. "You can't handle the truth!", "A Few Good Men," 1992.

30. "I want to be alone," "Grand Hotel," 1932.

31. "After all, tomorrow is another day!", "Gone With the Wind," 1939.

32. "Round up the usual suspects," "Casablanca," 1942.

33. "I'll have what she's having," "When Harry Met Sally...," 1989.

34. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow," "To Have and Have Not," 1944.

35. "You're gonna need a bigger boat," "Jaws," 1975.

36. "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948.

37. "I'll be back," "The Terminator," 1984.

38. "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth," "The Pride of the Yankees," 1942.

39. "If you build it, he will come," "Field of Dreams," 1989.

40. "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get," "Forrest Gump," 1994.

41. "We rob banks," "Bonnie and Clyde," 1967.

42. "Plastics," "The Graduate," 1967.

43. "We'll always have Paris," "Casablanca," 1942.

44. "I see dead people," "The Sixth Sense," 1999.

45. "Stella! Hey, Stella!", "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.

46. "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars," "Now, Voyager," 1942.

47. "Shane. Shane. Come back!", "Shane," 1953.

48. "Well, nobody's perfect," "Some Like It Hot," 1959.

49. "It's alive! It's alive!", "Frankenstein," 1931.

50. "Houston, we have a problem," "Apollo 13," 1995.

51. "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?", "Dirty Harry," 1971.

52. "You had me at 'hello,"' "Jerry Maguire," 1996.

53. "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know," "Animal Crackers," 1930.

54. "There's no crying in baseball!", "A League of Their Own," 1992.

55. "La-dee-da, la-dee-da," "Annie Hall," 1977.

56. "A boy's best friend is his mother," "Psycho," 1960.

57. "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good," "Wall Street," 1987.

58. "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer," "The Godfather Part II," 1974.

59. "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again," "Gone With the Wind," 1939.

60. "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!", "Sons of the Desert," 1933.

61. "Say 'hello' to my little friend!", "Scarface," 1983.

62. "What a dump," "Beyond the Forest," 1949.

63. "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?", "The Graduate," 1967.

64. "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!", "Dr. Strangelove," 1964.

65. "Elementary, my dear Watson," "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," 1929.

66. "Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape," "Planet of the Apes," 1968.

67. "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine," "Casablanca," 1942.

68. "Here's Johnny!", "The Shining," 1980.

69. "They're here!", "Poltergeist," 1982.

70. "Is it safe?", "Marathon Man," 1976.

71. "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!", "The Jazz Singer," 1927.

72. "No wire hangers, ever!", "Mommie Dearest," 1981.

73. "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?", "Little Caesar," 1930.

74. "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown," "Chinatown," 1974.

75. "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers," "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.

76. "Hasta la vista, baby," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," 1991.

77. "Soylent Green is people!", "Soylent Green," 1973.

78. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL," "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968.

79. Striker: "Surely you can't be serious." Rumack: "I am serious ... and don't call me Shirley," "Airplane!", 1980.

80. "Yo, Adrian!", "Rocky," 1976.

81. "Hello, gorgeous," "Funny Girl," 1968.

82. "Toga! Toga!", "National Lampoon's Animal House," 1978.

83. "Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make," "Dracula," 1931.

84. "Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast," "King Kong," 1933.

85. "My precious," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," 2002.

86. "Attica! Attica!", "Dog Day Afternoon," 1975.

87. "Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!", "42nd Street," 1933.

88. "Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!", "On Golden Pond," 1981.

89. "Tell 'em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper," "Knute Rockne, All American," 1940.

90. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," "Goldfinger," 1964.

91. "Who's on first," "The Naughty Nineties," 1945.

92. "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!", "Caddyshack," 1980.

93. "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!", "Auntie Mame," 1958.

94. "I feel the need -- the need for speed!", "Top Gun," 1986.

95. "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary," "Dead Poets Society," 1989.

96. "Snap out of it!", "Moonstruck," 1987.

97. "My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," 1942.

98. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," "Dirty Dancing," 1987.

99. "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!", "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

100. "I'm king of the world!", "Titanic," 1997.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 01:32 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

June 17, 2005

Always a Mary Ann, Never A Ginger

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels. ~ Faith Whittlesey

Sometimes all it takes is a photo or ad to get me thinking. Recently I spotted this photo ad for the horrid reality show The Real Gilligan's Island:

Ginger or Mary Ann?

And, you know, it got me thinking.

I believe most little girls of my generation (and previous generations who knew what it meant) grew up wanting to be Ginger.

The sparkly dress – the Marilyn ‘tude, the fawning attention from the menfolk. These things made it more appealing to dress up and play “the movie star” instead of that other character who was referred to as “and the rest” in the original theme song.

Ginger was glamorous, slinky and pouty and treated like a prize. Mary Ann, on the other hand was pigtails and Pollyanna enthusiasm, and treated like just one of the guys. I don’t know what it was in my pre-pubescent mind that identified the advantages of being a Ginger and aspire during playtime to be her. What overpowering behavior signals, body language, or subtext could there possibly have been in a show that saccharine? Maybe it was enough that the producers obviously felt Ginger was the superior woman in a “what men want and women want to be” way. In fact, I can’t say that I remember a single plotline from a Gilligan’s Island episode except for the one where Mary Ann accidentally knocks herself on the head and wakes up thinking she’s Ginger so everyone puts on a sad charade of letting the poor little wanna-be parade about until it’s revealed she’s just plain old Mary Ann after all.

As I got older, it was clear I was more Mary Ann than Ginger. Sure I loved to play dress up in slinky dresses by myself, but I was mostly pigtails and Pollyanna enthusiasm. And, once I spent time with peers, I was far more tomboy and one of the guys than I was “don’t get my hair wet” prima donna. I retained my desire to dress up and wear frilly, pretty things in the right circumstance, but even in pretty dresses and stockings I wasn’t able to effectively masquerade as a bona-fide glamour girl. I was always just a Mary Ann in a pretty dress and I suppose I developed my personal balance with that.

I never made the connection regarding my comfortable (if gradual) acceptance of my inner Mary Ann until I was older and some beer commercial featured a group of guys around a pool table playing X or Y. The ad was likely part of the “tastes great / less filling” campaign, but I don’t remember. What I do recall is one of the guys tosses out “Ginger or Mary Ann” and after a pause they answer in unison “Mary Ann.”

And I thought: "Huh?"

A beer commercial, marketing to other guys was clearly inferring that a majority of men preferred Mary Ann. This bewildered me and I set about asking (okay, pestering) my male friends for explanations.

It turned out that their impression of Ginger was a high maintenance airhead who thought of herself as unattainable. Mary Ann was more girl next door cosy; the type my guy friends now refer to as “an MILF in training.”

Obviously, both Tina Louise and Dawn Wells were/are beautiful women. I don’t kid myself that even though Mary Ann was portrayed as “plain” that Dawn was anything but a plain young woman. Still, it’s fascinating to me that the transition took place socially as well as personally. Did I evolve as part of a personal journey or has American society evolved in general? It’s hard to tell sometimes. But I think it’s both.

Sure there are the Paris Hiltons who still get attention just because they’re "beautiful" (or, perceived as beautiful -- I don’t get people that think she’s attractive, but then I don't get the Brad Pitt thing, either). But there are women who can embrace inner sexuality and be revered for other traits as well. Let's face it, being the awkward geek girl is offically cooler than being the perfect doll. It all depends on the company you keep.

Yes, there is still overwhelming aesthetic prejudice in society and the arts, but we’re human animals and I don’t know that we’ll ever get over that. I also don’t know that we should. Maybe that’s part of the evolutionary recipe that produces an Elenore Roosevelt every now and then. Maybe it’s the social hindrances that come with not being traditionally attractive that allow for occasional sparks of extraordinary humanity to move to the forefront.

Some of us will never be pin-up girls no matter how many pairs of sexy panties and high heeled shoes we own. And if that is the greatest tragedy of our lives, then they are charmed lives, indeed.

There will always be Gingers and Mary Anns for as long as some girls feel pretty and others don’t. But for the first time in my life, when I think of which one I am and which one I want to be, I realize it doesn’t have to be a war or a choice or a disappointment. I want to be a little bit of both and mostly neither. My inner pie-fight between the island gals is all cleaned up and put to rest.

Which doesn’t mean I don’t want to watch THIS COMMERICAL as often as possible (warning, ads prelude video which starts instantly). Just because my inner catfight is over doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy watching other gals work out their issues.

*sigh* That’s another mark against my getting that sisterhood membership, isn’t it?

Phone Sex Slut Hugs and Kisses

Blather d'Art | Idle Prattle | Poli-Sci by Doxy at 04:50 AM | permalink | talkback (2)

June 10, 2005


There are bad dreams for those who sleep unwisely. ~ Bram Stoker

For my fellow brethren out there who consider themselves goth/sci-fi/horror geeks who love it when someone approaches the genre in a unique way, THIS Peter Watts offering is really a fun way to waste twenty minutes.

I'm not 100% sure what he's plotting to do with this savvy set-up but I'm tres interested in finding out. He's got my attention.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 09:18 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

June 04, 2005

Venture Bros.

In 1969 the Guild of Calamitous Intent enacted an addendum to article 47 of the Unusual Torture Act. So let's cut the monkey business! ~ James Urbaniak as Dr. Thaddius S. "Rusty" Venture (via Doc Hammer)

If you haven't been watching the Venture Bros. you have to start. Now. I'm serious. Get off your bum, pick up the TiVo remote (or cheesy cable DVR remote) and set a record command for it. If you don't have TiVo...well, then you have to make arrangements to tape it on one of those old fashioned VCR things -- Monday nights at 1:00am on Cartoon Network. Go on. Get to it.

Oh come on. Faster. Scroll to "V" then click over to the "E" and it'll pop up. No, not Vegas Vacation, keep going. THERE! Venture Bros. Now click it! Set it. Done.

Okay. All finished? Hmmm. I don't quite trust you. You're not going to take my word, are you? Fine *sigh*. I'll woo you. You're always so difficult.

Where to start? Venture Bros. is, on its most basic level, a parody of the old Jonny Quest cartoons. But where many cartoon parodies would stall because they're doomed and confined to the limits of their source, Team Venture has developed characterizations and story lines that give it real comedy and surprising depth. The all-around scope of the writing is wickedly funny. If you remember the old JQ cartoons you'll get a kick out of some of the throwback humor, but there's also a rainbow of flavors of pop culture reference jokes ala MST3K and the plots lend to situations and dialog that are just plain boffo. There's action. There's mocking. There's sarcasm. There's more mocking -- and then things blow up. It's rock 'em, sock 'em robot, snort-Pepsi-through-your-nose hilarity.

Still not convinced? Fine. Here's a character run down:


Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture
The son and heir of Dr. Jonas Venture, "Rusty" is a middle-aged former boy genius who almost was but never quite got there. He continues to trudge on in the shadow of his father's legacy, trying desperately to make his own mark and failing pathetically. He suffers from Freudian delusions and nightmares about consuming another being in his mother's womb, resulting in a pill addition among other personal crutches. He is alternately confused and repulsed by his throwback Stepford twin sons and carries with him a sense of disdain toward the world at large.

Money quote: "One of them was dressed like a cheerleader and said she was 19 but she had a Cesarean scar and her face had more lines on it then a mirror at Studio 54."

Brock Samson
Dr. Venture's bodyguard, ex-football hero, super secret agent man, and one hunka hunka burnin' studmuffin. Cooler than Steve McQueen, tougher than Clint Eastwood, and sexier than Harrison Ford. He's Han Solo meets Wolverine meets Batman. Voiced by the unbearably adorable Patrick Warburton. Oh, and Brock drives a '69 Charger. Very. Wet. Panties.

Money quote: "I left the number of the national guard on the fridge. You'll be fine."

Hank Venture
The more bold of Dr. Venture's twin sons. A blonde kid with a pug nose who is slightly more aware than his clueless brother. Never the sharpest knife in the drawer, but what he lacks in...well, most things, he makes up for with gung-ho enthusiasm.

Money quote: "Dad! We knew you wouldn't let us down. It's just in a nick of time, too. The Monarch was getting all 'creepy uncle' on us."

Dean Venture
The innocent, freckle-faced more clueless half of the "Go Team Venture" twins. A missing link from Brady Bunch Land with ADD who can't help crushing on the cute little goth girl next door. He believes that every time you curse, a baby angel dies.

Money quote: "Hank, we're not just any poor suckers, we're the Venture brothers. Our dad's a super genius, with, like, chemistry stuff. He can fix this no prob."

The robotic servant and pet of the Venture clan; their mechanical Bandit. He showers his human family with unconditional love and loyalty. He has an inclination to munch on test tubes, although it sometimes results in robot indigestion.

Money quote: "Bleep. Bleep bleep. Bleep."

Dr. Jonas Venture (deceased)
Head of the original Team Venture; man among men, genius among geniuses. Adventurer, hero and one helluva guy. The ultimate icon of everything smart and macho that no son could ever live up to. Not that "Rusty" has ever come close. Jonas founded Venture Industries which his son now mismanages.

Money quote: "Ground control to Major Tom! Your circuit's dead! There's something wrong!"

Dr. Byron Orpheus
Next door neighbor of the Venture clan. An over protective single dad and "necromancer" who yearns for an arch nemesis of his very own.

Money quote: "How sweet, a bible! Well if you don't mind sir, I have a book of my own for this little ritual. Keep your fingers clear of it's mouth, he's a nibbler!"

Triana "Pumpkin" Orpheus
The delish little purple-haired goth girl who lives next-door to the Venture Compound with her overprotective Dad, Dr. Orpheus.

Money quote: "Look at these things! Giant grandma thunderpants. Don't they rule?"

The Monarch
A super villain who thinks of himself as Dr. Venture's arch-nemesis. He patterns himself after the monarch butterfly because he thinks it's cool (and because a bunch of monarch butterflies "raised him" after the tragic childhood accident that robbed him of his parents). Delightfully sarcastic if utterly pathetic. It's a mystery how he ever made time with Dr. Girlfriend.

Money quote: "I know your type. You think 'I'll just get me a costume; rip off the neighborhood kids.' Next thing you know you've got a jet shaped like a skull with lasers on the front."

Dr. Girlfriend
Former femme fatale extraordinaire and recent sidekick / love interest to the Monarch. A hottie that dresses like Jackie-O in miniskirts, and although she sounds like Harvey Fierstein, she's still sex on a stick.

Money quote: "I guess the muscular one is all right, but the boy is just going too far. Can't we just use the puppet again?"

Baron Verner Underbheit
Metal-jawed bad guy with enough attitude for ten Ahrnold-archetypes. There is some confusion over whether he is the actual arch-nemesis of Dr. Venture.

Money quote: "You've succeeded in exposing my sinister plan to lock myself in a dungeon chained to an albino!"

Molotov Cocktease
The scantily clad ex-Cold War Yin to Brock Samson's Yang. She's a hot slice of tail in barely clinging vinyl but she can only go to second base -- which means she may be the only woman to appear in the series that Brock hasn't nailed.

Money quote: "Promise me you won't be gentle."

Gentle readers, if you've ever taken my word on anything, do so now. This show is simply the funniest fucking animated fare on television today.

Phone Sex Slut Hugs and Kisses

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 05:31 AM | permalink | talkback (1)

May 23, 2005

Book Tag

Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings. ~ Heinrich Heine

I was tagged. So, here it is.

1) What is the total number of books I've owned?

Before 1992 when I was still in college nerd girl mode, I had my books indexed on note cards (then transfered to AppleIIe and then to my first PC) mostly because research pre-web required me to have my own personal library. On August 20th, 1992 I had just purchased books number 1029 and 1030 (Stephen King's Four Past Midnight and Needful Things). Both books had already been out for a while, but I hadn't gotten to them yet. Among the other 1028 were novels of all genres, nearly every textbook I'd ever been issued, three sets of encyclopedias (1971, 1980, 1989), some rather expensive hard-to-get reference books I'd picked up on the cheap from library auctions, and one beautiful 1847 first edition of Henry Longfellow's Evangeline which had been given to me as a special gift when I graduated from High School. The entire collection was wiped out by a mighty wind. I probably have in the 300 - 500 range now but I don't keep track because a) I'm not that anal anymore and b) I figure it would be hubris and bad karma to do so again.

2) What is the last book I bought?

Last book I bought:
Assassination Vacation - Sarah Vowell (for my Dad)

Last book I bought for me:
American Gods - Neil Gaiman

3) What is the last book I've read?

The First Time I Got Paid For It - Peter Lefcourt & Laura J. Shapiro (eds)

4) What are the 5 books that have meant a lot to me?

I can't do 5. I can scrimp by on 12; listed biographically:

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk - Carolyn Keene*
Curtain - Agatha Christie
My Secret Garden - Nancy Friday
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
It - Stephen King
Thieves' World, Book 1 - Various
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Night in the Lonesome October - Roger Zelazny
Animal Dreams - Barbara Kingsolver
The Norton Book of Science Fiction - by Ursula K. Le Guin, Brian Attebery (Eds)
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom - Cory Doctrow

Extra credit question, 'What book would you wish to buy next':

The Gutenberg Bible,
or, better yet,
Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, first edition.

Although I'd much prefer to get one of them as a gift than to buy one myself.

TAG! You're all it!


Blather d'Art | Mirth by Doxy at 04:23 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

May 13, 2005

Sledgeweb's Lost...Stuff

A man once told us that no man is an island But I know a man that thinks he’s an island Drifting out to the sea, sand in his ears and lies on his tongue. Jungle grows in your mind when you’re an island. Welcome to the Island of Fear ~ Pain

Yeah, I know it's tacky to follow up a heartfelt entry with a cheese sandwhich link. So sue me.

For those of us hooked on ABC's Lost..., this site by Sledgeweb offers some interesting facts (timelines, profiles) that would have taken too much time for most of us to bother compiling. Gotta love the net for giving us time-wasting entertainment manna like this.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 08:56 AM | permalink | talkback (1)

May 11, 2005

Sipping Saki

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. ~ Saki

Being a recovering English Lit major means that there is a lot of stuff taking up room in my head I will never be able to use. The Canterbury Tales, or Beowulf, for example, take up hard disk space on my gray matter that I'd like to defrag and reclaim.

You know how you get a piece of music stuck in your head all day and can't get rid of it? That happens to me with dialog, or snippets of prose. It's maddening. The Internet has, I think, gone a long way to keeping me from being a clinically insane person up to my chin in tomes muttering things like "I bet it was Dickens! Now, where is my copy of The Pickwick Papers?"

But every now and then a ghost whispers in my shell that takes on a life of its own and cannot be Googled. Not enough data retrieved from the source code for a valid search. Something like: "it was his to take." Yeah, Goggle that. Or I'll have a key word wrong, or only remember the gist of the phrase but not the wording.

This was the case in recent conversation while trying to recall Saki's short story "The Open Window." I remembered the gist of the infamous last line, and the impact it had on the rest of the tale -- completely transforming it from the type of story you thought it was when you started reading it. But the actual line of impact eluded me. As did the author. Or anything else about the fucking story.

Then, randomly, I was listening to a little TMBG and the song "Window" came on and -- just like in the movies, it hits me -- "The Open Window." One Google search later and it's on my screen, mocking me.

These brain candy reward discoveries should really be more satisfying. It should top orgasms. But it's more just a moment or two of intense "AH HA" followed by a very dull feeling of "Okay. One less mystery in life. Now if I can just find out what happened to Amelia Earhart..."

At any rate, the story is now in the public domain, so I'm posting it after the cut for you to read should you so desire. May it live on your hard drive and haunt you forever.

The Open Window
By: Saki (H. H. Munro)

"My aunt will be down presently, Mr. Nuttel," said a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen; "in the meantime you must try and put up with me."

Framton Nuttel endeavored to say the correct something which should duly Hatter the niece of the moment without unduly discounting the aunt that was to come. Privately he doubted more than ever whether these formal visits on a succession of total strangers would do much towards helping the nerve cure which he was supposed to be undergoing

"I know how it will be," his sister had said when he was preparing to migrate to this rural retreat; "you will bury yourself down there and not speak to a living soul, and your nerves will be worse than ever from moping. I shall just give you letters of introduction to all the people I know there. Some of them, as far as I can remember, were quite nice."

Framton wondered whether Mrs. Sappleton, the lady to whom he was presenting one of the letters of introduction came into the nice division.

"Do you know many of the people round here?" asked the niece, when she judged that they had had sufficient silent communion.

"Hardly a soul," said Framton. "My sister was staying here, at the rectory, you know, some four years ago, and she gave me letters of introduction to some of the people here."

He made the last statement in a tone of distinct regret.

"Then you know practically nothing about my aunt?" pursued the self-possessed young lady.

"Only her name and address," admitted the caller. He was wondering whether Mrs. Sappleton was in the married or widowed state. An undefinable something about the room seemed to suggest masculine habitation.

"Her great tragedy happened just three years ago," said the child; "that would be since your sister's time."

"Her tragedy?" asked Framton; somehow in this restful country spot tragedies seemed out of place.

"You may wonder why we keep that window wide open on an October afternoon," said the niece, indicating a large French window that opened on to a lawn.

"It is quite warm for the time of the year," said Framton; "but has that window got anything to do with the tragedy?"

"Out through that window, three years ago to a day, her husband and her two young brothers went off for their day's shooting. They never came back. In crossing the moor to their favorite snipe-shooting ground they were all three engulfed in a treacherous piece of bog. It had been that dreadful wet summer, you know, and places that were safe in other years gave way suddenly without warning. Their bodies were never recovered. That was the dreadful part of it." Here the child's voice lost its self-possessed note and became falteringly human. "Poor aunt always thinks that they will come back someday, they and the little brown spaniel that was lost with them, and walk in at that window just as they used to do. That is why the window is kept open every evening till it is quite dusk. Poor dear aunt, she has often told me how they went out, her husband with his white waterproof coat over his arm, and Ronnie, her youngest brother, singing 'Bertie, why do you bound?' as he always did to tease her, because she said it got on her nerves. Do you know, sometimes on still, quiet evenings like this, I almost get a creepy feeling that they will all walk in through that window--"

She broke off with a little shudder. It was a relief to Framton when the aunt bustled into the room with a whirl of apologies for being late in making her appearance.

"I hope Vera has been amusing you?" she said.

"She has been very interesting," said Framton.

"I hope you don't mind the open window," said Mrs. Sappleton briskly; "my husband and brothers will be home directly from shooting, and they always come in this way. They've been out for snipe in the marshes today, so they'll make a fine mess over my poor carpets. So like you menfolk, isn't it?"

She rattled on cheerfully about the shooting and the scarcity of birds, and the prospects for duck in the winter. To Framton it was all purely horrible. He made a desperate but only partially successful effort to turn the talk on to a less ghastly topic, he was conscious that his hostess was giving him only a fragment of her attention, and her eyes were constantly straying past him to the open window and the lawn beyond. It was certainly an unfortunate coincidence that he should have paid his visit on this tragic anniversary.

"The doctors agree in ordering me complete rest, an absence of mental excitement, and avoidance of anything in the nature of violent physical exercise," announced Framton, who labored under the tolerably widespread delusion that total strangers and chance acquaintances are hungry for the least detail of one's ailments and infirmities, their cause and cure. "On the matter of diet they are not so much in agreement," he continued.

"No?" said Mrs. Sappleton, in a voice which only replaced a yawn at the last moment. Then she suddenly brightened into alert attention--but not to what Framton was saying.

"Here they are at last!" she cried. "Just in time for tea, and don't they look as if they were muddy up to the eyes!"

Framton shivered slightly and turned towards the niece with a look intended to convey sympathetic comprehension. The child was staring out through the open window with a dazed horror in her eyes. In a chill shock of nameless fear Framton swung round in his seat and looked in the same direction.

In the deepening twilight three figures were walking across the lawn towards the window, they all carried guns under their arms, and one of them was additionally burdened with a white coat hung over his shoulders. A tired brown spaniel kept close at their heels. Noiselessly they neared the house, and then a hoarse young voice chanted out of the dusk: "I said, Bertie, why do you bound?"

Framton grabbed wildly at his stick and hat; the hall door, the gravel drive, and the front gate were dimly noted stages in his headlong retreat. A cyclist coming along the road had to run into the hedge to avoid imminent collision.

"Here we are, my dear," said the bearer of the white mackintosh, coming in through the window, "fairly muddy, but most of it's dry. Who was that who bolted out as we came up?"

"A most extraordinary man, a Mr. Nuttel," said Mrs. Sappleton; "could only talk about his illnesses, and dashed off without a word of goodby or apology when you arrived. One would think he had seen a ghost."

"I expect it was the spaniel," said the niece calmly; "he told me he had a horror of dogs. He was once hunted into a cemetery somewhere on the banks of the Ganges by a pack of pariah dogs, and had to spend the night in a newly dug grave with the creatures snarling and grinning and foaming just above him. Enough to make anyone lose their nerve."

Romance at short notice was her speciality.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 05:42 AM | permalink | talkback (1)

April 27, 2005

Walk Down the Right Back Alley in Sin City, and You Can Find Anything...

Burt Shlubb and Douglas Klump. Two any-dirty-job-there-is thugs with delusions of eloquence. ~ Bruce Willis as Hartigan (via Frank Miller)

For a long time now geeks like me have had to watch our beloved comic books and graphic novels churned out into a celluloid holocaust of trash. Hollywood has, by and large, never understood the medium and rarely bothered to try. They see the bright colors that depict gritty explosions and their coal-lined hearts translate them into dollar signs before they bother to think about the subtext or the core of the stories and characters. We've seen a horrendous succession of mediocrity thrust at us. Ben Affleck as Daredevil being perhaps the lowest moment we had to suffer. And if the cast is right, the script is vomitus (can you say X-Men, boys and girls?).

Hollywood sees these as million-dollar jerk-off fests to showcase popular stars and special effects. And it's always the GREAT ones they rape. There are a LOT of bad comics out there. Do they go and fuck those up into film fodder? Nope. Bastards.

For years now I've been holding my breath in terror that Neil Gaiman's Sandman would come up on the block. That it hasn't is perhaps one of the last remaining possibilities of evidence that there may be a benevolent God. I think if I had to endure seeing some flavor-of-the-month star like Ashton Kutcher play Morphus, I'd really lose it and end up climbing a bell tower with a hostage and some automatic weapons. And I'd be justified.

So, when Sin City was announced there was that familiar dull sick feeling that cued Queen in the back of my mind ("Another One Bites the Dust").

I'm fiendishly, wickedly delighted to be wrong.

Sin City got it right. Rodriguez/Miller/Tarintino NAILED IT. They didn't make a movie about a graphic novel. They recreated a graphic novel using film as the medium. Every moment of the movie is poetry translated into visual splendor. The acting is spot-on. The atmosphere is eerily effective and from the opening to the ending you are on a journey that doesn't play by rules or phrases like "Hollywood ending" or "plot arch" or "star time."

It's gritty. It's dank and dark and dismal. It's hopelessly fragile and painfully beautiful. It's passion and loathing. It's goddamn glorous.

The moments of elegance in the film are of gut-wrenching beauty. And, like in graphic novels and modern comics, happiness is tentative, hard-won and often nothing more than a random gesture from a stranger. As with many in real life, the characters in Sin City find their joy to be fleeting and the rest of life is just about pacing the cage. Yeah, there are caricatures and bad-asses, but they are true to the form and not simple guns ablazin' white hats. Sweet complicated twisted webs are woven in the inner thoughts of the main characters and you are privy to them all.

The good guys aren't nice guys. Sometimes they're just the least maniacal of the maniacs. The bad guys aren't always criminals, but senators and cardinals and people in positions of power gone terribly corrupt. Because in the real world criminals can cause a little trouble, but we all know corrupt individuals in places of power do the real harm with their puppet-master mindsets. Take that game to the extreme and you have the basis of Sin City.

And the women! The woman are all that is right and wrong with graphic novels and comics. They are sympathetic and brutal and often both on a whim. They are on pedestals as angels, or wallowing in recesses with the darkest of devils. They are goddesses and Valkyrie; easy to get for a dollar, or unattainable for any dime. They are worth killing for, dying for, going to hell for...and sometimes that's just the prostitutes. They are the best and worst of the female animal as seen through the eyes of men. Sure it upsets a few feminist feathers in my soul to watch the damsel in distress card get pushed even further at times by this type of story-telling, but that's the way it goes. When a man tells the story, it's his eyes you see the world through. Doesn't make it right or wrong. It just makes it the story.

This film is brutal and bloody and unapologetic. It's also carnal and venereal. The sexuality isn't cheesed out of it like with Cool World and it isn't diluted to nothing for a PG-13 rating that will allow more under-aged asses into seats. It is the bar by which all others that follow it will be judged. And for those of us that have been waiting too damn long for someone to get it right, it is a welcome fucking relief.

And, for those of you who might have motivations far less complicated than mine, let me just say that Carla Gugino naked is worth the price of admission all by her scrumptious self.

Seraphs and saints with one great voice
Welcomed that soul that knew not fear;
Amazed to find it could rejoice,
Hell raised a hoarse half-human cheer.

~ From "A Ballad of Hell" by John Davidson

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 07:43 AM | permalink | talkback (3)

April 21, 2005

Zombie Jamboree

The purpose of man's life...is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question. - Ayn Rand

What is it about zombie movies? Why do they have a higher creepiness factor on the baseline of my mind than any other incarnation of Hollywood horror?

Now before you start thinking I'm just some shriek queen girly girl, allow me to present my credentials.

I grew up in the heyday of hack and slash cinema; the years when Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Myers embodied the term "unholy trinity." I *still* remember being in my bed one night as a wee lass and hearing the theme music from Halloween for the very first time (emanating out of the Betamax in the living room). It gave me gooseflesh from toe to crown and I loved it.

It started out innocently enough with Creature Feature on Saturday afternoons. A Bride of Frankenstein here - an Invasion of the Body Snatchers there. But before long, I was on the hard stuff: The Omen, The Exorcist, The Fly. Then I graduated to the big leagues renting stuff like Suspiria from the back shelves of video rental stores (back when video stores had porn and gore in seedy back rooms and no one had ever heard of Blockbuster). I was still in pigtails when I got into a furious argument with some idiot clerk who didn't want to let me take out Faces of Death 2 without my parents present.

And it wasn't just all about the movies (or the, erm, predecessors to rotten.com). In my pre-teens I was a well-established horror genre veteran likely to be spotted reading King, Koontz, Higgins-Clark, Straub, and anthologies with titles like “Year’s Best Horror Stories: 19XX” (I did manage to grow out of all those authors except King). You have no idea how many times some random adult looked at the cover of the book I was reading and then glanced at me and shook their heads muttering something along the lines of, “you shouldn’t be reading that kind of thing -- you look like such a nice girl.” Heh. If only they knew. Of course I learned creative ways to hide those covers (which came in handy later when I discovered Nancy Friday books).

I couldn’t get enough. You have to remember -- horror films were interactive in the 80’s (RHPS experiences aside - that’s a whole other entry). There were screams and lurching in seats and funny comments shouted at the screen in a very "got to break the tension" way. No one minded. You were, in fact, expected to yell "don't go in there!" at least once per film. It was pre-MST3K, but community interaction was born into the experience. The formula was well-established. In fact, I distinctly remember going to see Candyman in the theater and thinking “not enough time after the scare for the start of that dialog.” Because if you were going to pull the gross card or try the “something’s gonna getcha -- oh, no, it's just the cat" routine you had to allow for the screams and laughter to die off before having meaningful conversations between characters. Kinda like the way you let the sniffles die down in E.T. type tug-at-yer-heartstrings movies by cuing the John Williams music before moving on to critical dialog.

All of this is just a long-winded way of explaining that I earned my "you'll have to do better than that" indifference to most horror venues a long time ago. A director/writer/monster make-up artist has to work to scare me or trigger my "ewww" reflex. You have to try something I haven’t seen before (or do something classic VERY well). Gore doesn't affect me in movies and the fake-out bathroom-curtain billowing trick was old when I was six. It's not always a good thing. Thrillers that terrify the hell out of other people merely interest me and I don't get that feel of a roller coaster scare-thrill like I did as a kid. The Ring? Loved it, but it didn't scare me. Sadly, most films have a maximum chance of barely tipping up to “slightly creepy” on my personal scare-o-meter. The vast majority don’t even skirt my edges.

But zombie movies and stories have always been different. Other than the original 1963 film, The Haunting, no movie has ever scared the piss out of me that wasn't a zombie movie. And the grand pappy of them all is still 1968’s Night of the Living Dead (aside - fuck the remakes of both Haunting and NOTLD, they suck). As far as books go, Pet Sematary remains the only King book that scared me to shivering. I actually stopped reading it halfway through and vowed not to read another word (a resolve that I obviously broke).

Now, yes, you can always argue in favor of the disturbing social statement made by Romero, adding real-life horror to the mix of movie-horror. But it’s more than that. There is something fundamentally disturbing about zombie stories. Even when they’re stupid-silly (and, let’s face it, the vast majority of them are) they have a disquieting scene or two that just triggers my creep meter. Hell, just playing Resident Evil freaked me out to the point where I had to pause and walk away more than once.

Why? Do they set off some deeply buried human taboo reflex against cannibalism? Is it the violation factor? They aren’t merely going to kill you, they’re going to infect you and thus make you drink from the ultimate bowl of Kool-Aid. Brainwashing is for pussies as far as these monsters are concerned. Is it because we all fear losing the few ticks of intellect we are allotted? Eternal life with eternal knowledge equals sexy vampire juju, but undead sacks of flesh behaving like rabid animals is just jeepy creepy. Maybe there is some human instinct to by appalled by such a display of reverse evolution. Some ancient kick in the head that forces us to live in fear of losing that which keeps us reared up on two legs and able to conjugate verbs.

Maybe I'm just over-thinking an irrational fear, or maybe it’s a combination of all these things.

Whatever the reason, in 2002 28 Days Later re-introduced me to the horror fetish of my childhood by chilling me to the bone; it rekindled (just a spark or two) the love of all that was gnarly and horrible. All that tragic horror cheese that I’d placed on the back burner of my entertainment fare. I couldn’t resist it. These were not Romero’s “limping along doing the zombie shuffle” critters. Garland/Boyle’s highly infectious zombies could hunt you, run you down, and end you before you even knew what was happening. 28 Days Later maxed out my creepy meter and pushed me to that “maybe I'll sleep with the light on tonight” high. And, as with Romero, the film cultivated the real horrors of the dark side of humanity within the film horror to yield just that perfect resonating pang of "even if the monsters go away we're still fucked."

I was sorta hoping for another 28 Days Later when I watched 2004’s remake of Day of the Dead. Watching the film inspired this entry because even though it managed to trigger my zombie creepy reflex, it just isn’t anywhere near as powerful. Compared to the original spin on the genre of 28, it isn’t even a blip on the radar.

Which reminds me: who is Ving Rhames’ agent and WHY does said agent still have a job? This movie is so beneath Ving I spent most of the movie assuming it had to be a look-alike. Sorry, I digress...

But even as I sat watching this cheesed up action/horror monstrosity (barely interested and completely aware of the formulaic plot development), I could feel myself getting the chills. I instinctively turned on a light or two more than I normally have on in the house. I ridiculously double-checked to make sure I’d locked the front door when returning from the little girl's room (because zombies would bother with testing the knob rather than just kicking the damn thing in, right?). I found myself in that state of hyper-awareness that only fear triggers. That moment in all the horror books when the person about to die says to themselves “this is ridiculous, why am I frightened when X can’t be happening.”

It’s a dumb movie. Lackluster horror at best. And still, it got under my skin.

Fucking zombies.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 09:38 AM | permalink | talkback (2) | trackback (0)

April 04, 2005

Monday Morning Deadwood

I'm going to just start posting my favorite Deadwood quotes on Mondays. It's my blog, I can laud if I want to.

From the lips of Al Swearengen:

“You got gall – coming before me prettier’n ever.”
“Bedridden I know more’n you.”

Contender for Jane’s best insult:

“You frog-faced fuck.”

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 04:10 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

March 12, 2005

Movies I Shouldn't Like and Soundtracks I Shouldn't Love

No fishing like fishing in the sea. ~ French Proverb

I have a soft spot for certain bad films. Those who know me understand and forgive that while I expose myself to a healthy portion of foreign and world cinema, I also indulge in the occasional inexcusable Hollywood drek. I have no excuse or explanation. Film is art, but movies are entertainment and sometimes I just want the escapism factor. And I think Hudson Hawk is really fucking funny, okay?

So enough pre-apology.

French Kiss is one of those movies that I can't hate the way I should. It's pretentious. It's vile. But it's got Kevin Kline speaking French. Christ, I'm only human.

However, while I have guiltily enjoyed this movie (much the same way I guiltily enjoyed Milli Vanilli in my youth) I never gave any notice to the soundtrack which is lovely (you can actually hear Ray's ears bleed if you listen close).

There are a few known treats such as:

Van Morrison's Somone Like You
Louis Armstrong's La Vie en Rose
Ella Fitzgerald's I Love Paris

Plus a few unknowns and instrumentals. It's an amazingly wonderful in-the-background while blogging or cooking collection of ditties.

There is also a track that has Kevin Kline singing La Mer (the original French version of Bobby Darin's Beyond the Sea). I'm only human.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 05:29 PM | permalink | talkback (0)

Have You Seen Dan Rydell?

I've been through alcohol, marriage, and network television. If you want to kill me, you're gonna need kryptonite. ~ William H. Macy as Sam Donovan (via Aaron Sorkin)

Has ANYONE seen Josh Charles lately?

Whre Is Josh Charles

Those of you who might have missed one of the best television shows ever -- Sports Night -- aren't alone. I missed it on first run. But, luckily TV on DVD now exists because this show was BRILLIANT.

The majority of the cast (including main players and many regular guest stars) have popped up in new projects this season or bigger and brighter things before this season. But Josh remains the one major exception. What's going on? Aliens? Abu Ghraib? I'm putting out a phone slut APB -- we've got a Dead Poet MIA! Suit up, people.

Sports Night Roll Call:

Peter Krause = Six Feet Under;
Felicity Huffman, Brenda Strong = Desperate Housewives;
Joshua Malina = The West Wing;
Sabrina Lloyd = Num3ers;
Robert Guillaume = semi-retired (understandable, he had a stroke during Sports Night's run) but still all over the place compared to Josh Charles;
Teri Polo = Many things including West Wing and naughty photos;
Ted McGinley = continuing to make shows jump the shark;
William H. Macy = bigger and better things (read: film);
Lisa Edelstein = House;
Jayne Brook = working steady, various projects;
Megan Ward = Ibid;
Clark Gregg = Ibid.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 03:15 PM | permalink | talkback (1)

March 11, 2005

What's It All About, Alfie?

People listen to the music and sense what it is about. Sometimes they know exactly what the songs are about, sometimes they interpret their own meaning to the music... ~ Enya

THIS might be an interesting way around copyright law for song lyrics. Fair use does give a great deal of leniency for academic endeavors.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 01:25 PM | permalink | talkback (0)

March 10, 2005

Don't Fear The Reavers

They'll rape us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skin to their clothes. And if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order. ~ Gina Torres as Zoe (via Joss Whedon)

An interesting article on buffy.nu about a band of Scottish pirate-like bogeymen called "Reivers" that some people thought might have been the inspiration behind Whedon's Reavers in Firefly (the best show you couldn't watch because the fucking network aired it OUT OF ORDER).

What's most enlightening about the article is the somewhat depressing / somewhat comforting realization that there are throwback thinking freaks everywhere. I wonder how long until the religious right starts finding cursed stones in our backyards.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 06:13 PM | permalink | talkback (0)

March 05, 2005

He Was a King and a God in the World He Knew

It was beauty killed the beast. ~ Carl Denham aka Robert Armstrong aka whichever of the four script writers came up with the line

There is a new fan-made trailer for Peter Jackson's King Kong. I'm looking forward to the film (though not nearly so anxious of many others I've become aware of) because like most MySTies King Kong was one of those first tastes of the genre. For amateur effort, it's a nifty trailer, even if it includes mostly footage of the original film.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 06:33 PM | permalink | talkback (0)

February 27, 2005

Join The Fuckin' Club Of Most Of Us

In life, you have to do a lot of things you don't fucking want to do. Many times that's what the fuck life is -- one vile, fucking task after another. ~ Ian McShane as Al Swearengen (via George Putnam)

The new season of Deadwood is going to start soon. There are approximately ten million good reasons to watch this show. I will explain a few of them:

1. The writing and dialog is, hands down, some of the finest that has ever been. I hesitate saying “the best that has ever been in television” because it’s not just that it’s good for TV. It’s amazing writing without the qualifier. And, although a great deal of bru-ha-ha has been made over the constant use of profane expression, it isn’t foulness for foulness’ sake. The profanity is necessary and damn near poetic. It’s a character of the show – much like the mud and dust that constantly cakes and coats the players over the course of their charade.

2. The acting is unmatched. Some of these actors are newcomers, some of them not, but each person delivers their performance with layered complexity. Ian McShane is a brutal villain/not-quite-villain full of woe and vice, and Timothy Olyphant is the sublimely conflicted I-don’t-want-to-be-a-hero who was fucking BORN to wear old west costuming. Powers Boothe portrays an evil cocksucker I would not have thought him capable of from his previous roles, and Brad Dourif and Molly Parker deliver stand-out supporting roles that are quirky, disquieting, deliciously morose and just frickin' flawless.

3. Ricky Jay has a recurring support role and you know any show that has Ricky has GOT to be cool. Ricky even wrote an outstanding episode and you get to see a little slight of hand here and there. Ricky rocks.

4. Luscious, scantily clad women and damn fine men. Two whorehouses are key locations in the show and we get to see a lovely selection of their privy parts. Alongside the ladies are some displays of masculinity that make the Marlboro Man look like a pussy.

5. You don’t need a number five. I could go on and on. Just watch the fucking show already. The first season is out on DVD and the second season starts March 6th. You’ll thank me later.

1. The Soundtrack is also a-fucking-mazing.

2. There is a Wild West Tech episode that focuses on the real-life Deadwood. It's a nice compliment to the show to contrast the history with the drama.

Blather d'Art by Doxy at 02:11 PM | permalink | talkback (0)

December 03, 2004

Upon Further Review: Holiday Spirits All Around

You ever get something off your chest and immediately feel better about it?

This is the benefit of having a blog – even one updated as rarely as mine. You bitch, you feel a bit better, mission accomplished. The bottom line, I suppose, is that I don’t know what the next four years will mean domestically. I don’t know how far this push on behalf of the religious right is going to test our civil rights and our sexual freedoms. I do know that they’re fighting against progress and if history teaches us anything, it’s that fighting social evolution is a losing battle. I’m not giving up any of my rights, or those of others quietly. And I will not tolerate it without making a little rumble of my own. All the FCC fines in the world won’t change the fact that we have advanced in our social behavior from the 1950s and trying to turn back the dial is dangerous and impracticable. So, you know, hope springs eternal and all that. If you feel like I do, join the ACLU. Write your congressperson. Don’t sit quietly and politely when someone chips away at things you hold dear. We’ve all been tolerating too long. Agreeing to disagree. It doesn’t work. Those of us that have the decency to live and let live have been losing ground to those who want to dictate morality. We’ve got some catching up to do. It’s easy to effect change by censoring and suing and fining. The hard work involves processes like education, treatment, communication. Yeah. It’s going to be an interesting four years. We’ve got our work cut out.

But for now, enough of that. I’m not Wonkette. My politics are personal and hardly the main thrust of my life. I’m just a phone sex slut, and what’s a phone sex slut going to do? Mope all thru December? Na.

Okay. So it’s the start of December. Salt over my shoulder. Black cats off my porch. Joy juju and happy thoughts engaged. I’ve decided to make an effort to get into the swing of the holidays. I’m flighty like that. Woman’s prerogative. Besides, it’s no fun being Ebenezer Scrooge. Sure, it’s been a wickedly twisted year. Between hurricanes and election results a little jingling of bells here and there is definitely due.

As I sort of muttered at the end of Tuesday’s entry, I’ve vented some of my frustrations in writing An XXXmas Karol. It’s sarcasm-laced political farce and full-fledged Daddy’s girl incest all rolled into one. Beat that with a stick.

For those of you looking for other holiday erotica there is my delightfully warped and somewhat cruel Boxing Day tale as well as a few selections on Satin Slippers that are top-notch. These include the roguishly semi-non-consent of Karl’s The Man With The Bag, Circe’s rompishly wicked non-consent Bringing Down Santa, and Kerrie O’Keefe’s sentimentally sweet The Nice Older Man. Hopefully there’s something there to offend and titillate everyone.

And, hey, what’s up with there being no Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Winter Solstice smut stories?

Oh. That reminds me. Yes, I decorate my site for Christmas, but that’s because it’s the flavor of holiday I celebrate this time of year. Please don’t waste time being offended or feeling left out if your culture isn’t represented by my sluttly little site. I just feel it’s hypocritical to try and be all-encompassing. You attempt to please everyone and you end up with hot water instead of soup (anyone else remember that story?). I’m not a Hanukkah girl (although I have friends that let me eat their food -- soofganiot and latkas are nummy). So, you know, it would feel white-bread offensive to toss a few dreidels here and there just for show. /political correctness disclaimer.

Speaking of the decor, some of you may have noticed the succulent window dressing draped on the home page and the logo area of PSD. My Doxy Toons are provided courtesy of Sinai Tendergal. I’m setting up a page for anyone else that might be looking for a little Custom Comix of their own, although to be honest I’d rather keep her all to myself.

Oh, and speaking of art: I WANT I WANT I WANT!

Jack Henslee has managed to get his print gallery back online for Christmas after payment problems earlier in the year forced him to shut down for a while (Do we hate PayPal? Oh, yes we DO!). And there is some major new eye candy to make us cream. I know many of you enjoy his pretty ladies and will likely buy for yourselves and loved ones. Anyone *ahem* wishing *ahem* to put a little tinsel on my tree can just select one of the below and instruct Jack to ship to Doxy – trust me, he knows the addy.

The Offering Erotic Fantasy Art By Jack Henslee Nor Iron Bars A Cage Erotic Submissive Art By Jack Henslee Sittin Pretty Erotic Demure Art By Jack Henslee

/end annual shameless pleading for mouthwatering masterpieces.

In other holiday shopping news, I’ve added some new reviews for My Pleasure items including the Micro Rocket and Forbidden Fruit. Because, we all need to buzz the ones we love (and don’t forget to love yourself!) ;-)

*sigh* I want some Farm Stores eggnog. God I miss civilization. Eggnog and homemade snickerdoodles. Ungh.

Okay. No more food fantasy moments. On to phonesex slut movie reviews.

Recently, I bought and watched three different movies based on Koji Suzuki’s book, The Ring. The American film incarnation of The Ring, the Japanese version, Ringu, and the Korean version, The Ring Virus.

I like foreign films. And, unlike other genres, mainstream thrillers in different markets really reflect interesting aspects of their respective cultures. Art films are often about a guise. Thrillers can encompass more nitty gritty everyday matter.

To start with, I re-watched the American version that most are familiar with. I consider it an all-around good film. Creepy in the right places, dreary and somber on the whole for a perfect sense of atmosphere. The jump-out-and-getcha parts were reserved for the right moments. Not quite horror, not quite thriller. Mostly compelling if not completely unique in style. The horse drowning element felt awkward to me and the middle of the movie lagged because of it, especially during some of the “put the pieces of the puzzle together” steps that came off as forced. But, I thought upon this viewing as I had when it first came out, that it pulled off what it attempted to accomplish. The sophistication of the character relationships was its greatest strength. Underplayed and developed at a slow boil.

In contrast, Ringu was the most disappointing of the three for me. The Japanese counterpart of the main female character played by Naiomi Watts in the American version is a very different woman. Reiko Asakawa is more a damsel in distress than a strong, single working mother and hard-edged journalist. Even her beyond-his-years son seems more respected than she does. As such, she comes off as much more dependant upon her ex-husband to walk her through solving the mystery. Apparently, being a smug, superior, absentee father still allows one to be a hero in Japanese cinema. It didn’t work for me. And when this culminated into a scene where the male character had the obligatory slap-the-hysterical-woman sequence I was annoyed out of any enjoyment I’d gleaned from the film. I’m not sure if that’s a statement about the Japanese culture or the lack of understanding toward it on my part, but the dynamic of the main character relationships suffered greatly because of this in my opinion. This version also incorporated the pseudo-science “ESP experiment” subplot that the US version abandoned. To me, I felt the US screenplay was better for getting rid of this clumsy ploy, but it did lose an interesting social element in the process. In the Japanese film, the relationship of man and water (especially the ocean) is far more intimate than the US version. You get a sense that this is a culture with a firm relationship toward the sea. Indeed, it is considered a force all its own to be respected and not toyed with – and there is punishment for taking pleasure in the water. The punishment in this case is a supernatural, arguably malevolent child that is implied to be of demon descent. This parallels the non-supernatural aspect of the story; the child that belongs to the main characters is a punishment of responsibility. However, in weighing the pros and cons of the subtext, I’d have to say that it was worth losing this in order to avoid the cheese factor of the ESP subplot.

The Ring Virus, the Korean take on this story, was surprisingly much more sophisticated than the Japanese version came off (although, as mechanics go, the subtitles were badly translated in areas on my DVD). The main female character, Sun-Ju, has a daughter instead of a son which was a nice twist since there is a very female focus within the story in all incarnations (the main character, the first character to die, the source of the supernatural events, etc). Also, the environment of this film was far more Westernized, which I wasn’t expecting. In one scene, two characters even meet at a McDonalds. Sun-Ju is far more complex than Reiko, but she’s sexually harassed in every aspect of her life. The film starts with her conducting an interview about ancient beliefs on sexuality at an art museum for reasons later explained in the film. Her partner at the newspaper office she works for is a sex-obsessed goofball. Her ex (who is not presented as the father of Sun-Ju’s daughter unless I missed something) is a sexually predatory “I’m so smart everything in life’s a game to me” asshat of the first water. She even has to deal with a creepy run-in with a sexually inappropriate coroner (yes, it’s as twisted as it sounds). All of this together manages to make a statement about the misogynistic slant of sexuality that still prevails in many modern cultures (especially Asian cultures), as well as offer poignant testimony regarding the danger of degrading and closeting those of alternative or minority sexualities (personified by incest and hermaphrodite subplots). Unfortunately, introducing these sexual subplots into the already clumsy mix of supernatural events, renders the overall storyline as overwhelmingly and unnecessarily complicated. On the plus side, this version also preserves the cultural relationship with water. In a choice between this one and the Japanese version, I’d take the Korean flick anytime.

So, if you’re considering placing one of these in the stocking of a movie buff pal, consider Korea’s The Ring Virus in lieu of, or in addition to the much-venerated Ringu. At least that’s my two cents ;-)

I guess that’s all for now. Glad I updated again. Would have hated to leave things on the sour note of my last entry. Ho ho ho and all that jazz.

Phone Sex Slut Hugs and Kisses

Blather d'Art | Idle Prattle | Internal Combustion | Naughty Bits | Poli-Sci by Doxy at 02:30 PM | permalink | talkback (0)