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Everything posted by R.CAllen

  1. Re: Rogue 3’s imagepost : I never put it together before that the Gene Takavic Cinnabon® narrative stream is being evoked by the black’n’white (and the loneliness!) of his Sand Piper commercial. Also, also, in the episode where we see the flashback where Chuck’s ex-wife, well, at the time she was just his wife, Rebecca, when Rebecca meet his brother for the first time — and then she ends up liking him so much that it basically helps drive Chuck into full blown mental insanity (!?!?) — before he gets to the house and they’re getting dinner ready there’s a whole scene where Chuck is saying we should work out some sort of signal if anyone’s uncomfortable and he explicitly references Carol Burnett, the Carol Burnett earlobe thing. If you watch the scene Michael McKean says the name Carol Burnett! Twice!
  2. I’d sort of half-convinced myself into thinking we’d never see really see Kim again, no closure, no nothing, maybe she’d even be dead or dying. I figured the show was going to go do a hard zag instead of a zig and would deliberately tweak any and all audience expectations. Instead, what I got was ten times worse (in a good way; that was a great episode of TV!) because I had to sit there and watch a Kim Wexler absolutely drained of any and all self-confidence in her own judgments, a Kim Wexler who can’t even bring herself to correct and revise and correct over and over again any of her documents, a Kim Wexler who can’t decide between two different flavours of ice cream, a Kim Wexler who gets plowed by some oaf she won’t even let stay the night, a Kim Wexler who finally does what’s right at long last and seems to feel no relief whatsoever (that’s how I took the breakdown on the bus; she finally came clean and it didn’t help her at all), a Kim Wexler who seems way less of herself than even Jimmy/Saul/Gene does at that stage in life. Horrible! Terrified of what’s to come next week. Am I going to see Jimmy/Saul/Gene die? Will Heisenberg-strength meth fumes resurrect Howard and Lalo’s intermingled corpses into a singleminded revenge monster? Will this Howduardo “Lamlo” Samlinacin be finally defeated by the immortal Kaylee Ehrmantraut, Mike’s granddaughter, whose age has been canonically indeterminable for the entirety of her years and years worth of appearances on Breaking Bad (‘08-’13) and Better Call Saul (‘15-’22)? WILL WE FINALLY SEE MARIE!?!?!?!?!? Terrific, terrific stuff. Television!
  3. R.CAllen


    I can’t find my copy of Hy Bender’s Sandman Companion (which, if memory serves, is a lengthy issue-by-issue overview of the series via an extended interview with Neil Gaiman; can’t remember if the artists, colourists, Todd Klein — wait, did anyone other than Todd Klein ever do the letters? not going to bother to check, sorry, you’re on your own — get interviewed too, I assume they did but maybe not to the same extent, I don’t know, could look it up, of course) but if I could then I’d be able to flesh out what I’m about to say, sorry, I can’t make the following two points with the necessary detail but just wanted to say : 1) The series doesn’t really seem like the sort of thing that’d reward my interest? It’d have to meet with near-unanimous critical acclaim from certain ultra-specific sources in order to make me give it a shot. I tried w/Good Omens (‘19-’22???? What? they’re making more of it?????1?) and that kind of felt like a big waste of time so none of the points in its favour — great casting, creative involvement from Gaiman himself — really hold much water w/me. But the one thing they COULD do that’d make me check it out is if they adapted parts of The Sandman (‘88-’96, ‘03, ‘13-’15) which never actually got made. There was a whole arc planned out later in the series that he mapped out in detail which he actually ditched. He talks about in in the book, the Hy Bender book! From memory it involved a return of one of the victims of the sleeping sickness, I think he was black, Daniel Bustamonte (?) and also some friendly Satanists? It involved a lot of things. Gaiman lists them in a single paragraph. Wish I had the book in front of me. He was also going to do an arc riffing on themes of the myth of Orpheus. It was going to be a sequence of interconnected one-offs. But then he did some signings in America and every time a fan would ask him “Wow! Neil, what’s next? What’s going to happen next in your comic, Neil?” and he’d tell them they would just respond with “What? Do you mean Morpheus?” and he figured that the American educational system had failed an entire generation and everyone was so unfamiliar with the basic story of Orpheus & Eurydice that he may as well scrap the whole thing because it’d all go over their heads so he just did the Special w/Bryan Talbot instead to set up the final parts of the series. My point is this : I’m not really interested in seeing stuff I’ve already seen on the page show up on the screen. But I am really curious about seeing stuff on screen that’s never even been on the page. That could get me on board! So if they do that for Season 3 or 4 or whatever, wait, will Netflix give them that much time? entirely possible it doesn’t! Oh, there’s a good bit in the Hy Bender book where Gaiman is asked what he’d have done if the series had been cancelled in its earlier issues before it really became a success. He said he wouldn’t have tried to wrap up the whole plot then and there but instead would’ve just filled up the remaining space with a few short stories in the hope eventually somewhere down the line some friendly editor would ask him to pick up where he left off. That’s what they should do if they know they’re not going to get to do the whole show! If this first year is kind of a flop and they get one more year out of it, seems like that’s kind of the model the algorithm spits out, then next year should just be all new original stuff! Like, I’m pretty sure there’s, for example, there’s a big love story between Dream and another character, one of his many exes that he wronged, her name escapes me, it’s like Princess Zamunda or something like that, evocative, Google thinks I might be thinking of Alianora, maybe, I think we actually get a lot of the details there but I think there’s someone who’s only named and we get nothing else. Whatever. Okay, so for me, there’s like three different ways the series could intrigue me enough to give it a try. Okay, okay. 2) Making Death a black woman is a really neat idea. There’s a recurring motif in the series of a young black woman being introduced and then immediately dying in horrific fashion, it keeps happening and happening, until eventually Hob Gadling goes to that ren fair with the black lady and the pattern is broken. They talk about this in the book! Not sure if this aspect of it has come up in any of the show’s publicity; I remember when some of the casting was announced and there was more of a generic flavour to talking about this and, for example, whatshername, Clara Oswald, Jenna Coleman as a gender-switched John Constantine. That also makes a lot of sense, y’know, because of the multiple existing Constantine adaptations as well as the fact that Gaiman already introduced a girl version of Constantine (ancestrally) in the series itself, y’know? I mean, this sort of thing always makes sense but in these particular two instances it makes sense again, even more so, on an additional level. Addendum : okay, I found my copy! I was somewhat mistaken and/or unclear on a few points here and there. a) There wasn’t going to be an entire arc of Orpheus-ish stories. Just the plan for the Special was going to be less a straightforward retelling of that particular myth and more riffs on that theme. and b) The thing w/the black women is v. specif. them burning alive. Nada’s city is consumed by a fireball, Ruby dies in a hotel fire after she smokes in bed, Carla is incinerated by Loki. It’s explicitly referenced within the text itself when The Corinthian eats Ruby’s dead eyes. and c) It wasn’t a complete planned arc I was thinking of. It would’ve been maybe four additional issues of the Season of Mists storyline dealing chiefly with the subplot of the dead returning to Earth because Lucifer has shuttered Hell. He wrote the first seven pages of it and then threw it away because he didn’t think the audience would have the patience for him to stretch things out that long at that time in the series. I’ll quote : “It was good material, involving creepy magical types on the run; a young lady named Isolde Bane and her baby Anthony, a group calling themselves the Fashion Satanists; and the return of Daniel Bustamonte from issue 1.”
  4. Got my second booster shot on Friday. Felt pretty bad over the weekend, not gonna lie, although I’m not entirely sure that’s the sole fault of Mr. and Mrs. Pfizer. Still, whaddyagonnado? Not get vaccinated every couple of months from now until the end of all things? No way! I’ll take all the vaccines I can get! Sign me up for the bivalent vaccine as soon as it’s available to me! Give me the shots! Shots, shot, shots! I’ll be a living God!
  5. The first time I saw that scene it seemed absolutely obvious to me that they were having a quick clean short sharp non-conversation; something that we’re not privy to but are assumed to be able to have a good guess at the rough details without hearing the actual words themselves. I mean, it’s presumably Kim just telling him to turn himself in or eff off, right? It couldn’t be anything else in my mind until you raised that possibility and now I’m honestly wondering. Was the conversation with someone other than Kim? Kim dead? Kim have cancer? Looking up the timeline on the nerd wikis reveals that Jimmy has been Gene for ... hah! ... Jimmy has been Gene for only a few months. It’s still 2010! I don’t know. I wonder if the show is going to go a certain way with this, I wonder if we’re not going to get any reconciliation of any sort on any level between the two, I wonder if we may only see Rhea Seehorn again in flashbacks.
  6. 12? 13? 14? I don’t know. I don’t feel like I’m the age I am, that’s for sure. And I’ve always felt a sort of weird simultaneous melange of two contradictory feelings about whatever chronological year I actually factually am at — “I am young, so much younger than everyone else, everybody else can get things done because they’ve got so many years on me” and “I am too old, it’s too late for me, should’ve made those decisions years and years ago, it’s over!” — and so now, for decades and decades, it never really reconciles into just one thing or the other. There’s a bit in one of John Hodgman’s more recent books where he talks about how his audience is this group of self-serious little mini-adults who are all about twelve or so (I don’t know why I identify with that so much; I was, like, eighteen when his first book was published but then again I’ve felt this way for pretty much forever, I felt this way at the time, I felt this way when I was a little little kid) and I remember reading that and going, yeah, that’s me. There I am. There’s another bit, hold on, I’ll go look it up, oh no, Google is no help on this. Can’t find the exact text. Something to the extent of a writer (Forster? Not sure who.) being aghast at the sight of his own face in the mirror, not recognizing it aged, because after all up until then he had been a young man all his life.
  7. ninth episode – this is the one that’s Aliens (1986)
  8. eighth episode – this is the one that’s The Princess Bride (1987)
  9. I keep forgetting to give over my Star Trek thoughts, my Star Trek opinions, my Treknobabble. seventh episode
  10. Just going to zoom through this and pick out the stuff I’ve seen and liked : The Handmaid’s Tale, Difficult People, Future Man, Solar Opposites, I thought the Hillary docuseries was kind of interesting (there’s a bit in it where one of her campaign aides is making very clear and cogent points to her as to how ‘16 is different than ‘08 and she just sort of cuts the conversation short so the two of ‘em can ride to an event in different cars and tells the guy they’ll continue later; there’s a bit where Tim Kaine sort of gleefully recounts how President Barack Obama told them there’s a fascist on the ballot; there’s a photograph of Bill Clinton in the 70s where he’s reading a copy of The Atlantic where the cover story is a work of fiction by my favourite author, I don’t know, I guess that one there is mostly just of interest to me), umm, let’s see, let’s see, I’ve watched some of The Wrong Mans, I really liked the first few seasons of UnREAL but I’m not sure I’ve seen it all the way to the end, oh Letterkenny, yeah, that’s my recommendation, final answer : Letterkenny. Give that a try if you haven’t seen it already. I hear good things about The Bear, though. Going to give The Bear a watch sometime.
  11. R.CAllen


    I watched the first few episodes of The Orville (‘17-?????) and gave up. Not funny! Less funny than its source material! Less funny than the episodes of Enterprise (‘01-’05) in which Seth MacFarlane cameoed! There was maybe one half-decent joke — there’s a bit where the crew sees a magnificent vista and Doctor Kassidy Yates earnestly quotes something from literature and Seth MacFarlane pretends like he knows it and faux-wisely responds with something like, “Ah yes, Shakespeare.” and she corrects him that, no, wait, I’m completely misremembering the details here’s a link — and just lots of really sloppy writing. They introduce the crew (in this comedy! it’s a comedy!) by just having Seth MacFarlane walk up to each character standing at attention individually in a line and having earnest one-on-one conversation with each one without any sort of crosstalk or commentary or interruption or jokes of any kind whatsoever!???? A character is established as having superstrength in the pilot and then there’s an episode where that character doubts themselves and struggles with who they are and yet there is no, literally no, allusions to the fact that this character has superstrength!??? Yeah, it’s been years since I’ve seen this stuff and I still remember these flaws, I’m gonna die mad about the little bits of dumbness in what little I’ve seen of Seth MacFarlane’s Star Trek parody show (I love a good Star Trek parody show! I love Hyperdrive (‘06-’07)! I love Other Space (‘15-’15)!) because that’s the way I am. I choose to believe that Seth MacFarlane is absolutely positively miserable making that show, though. I refuse to imagine a universe in which he’s happy. He was almost fourteen years old by the time TNG (‘87-’94) premiered! There’s no way he’s loving re-enacting it! That’d be like me loving re-enacting Enterprise! He’s a TOS (‘66-’69) guy! That’s what was on when he was a kid! That’s what he does all the impressions of! He wanted to make his Star Trek show but everyone he needs to make his Star Trek show is dead so he’s settled for making a copy of a copy of the Star Trek show he really wanted to do! There’s no way in his heart of hearts he wants to be Picard! He wants to be Kirk! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
  12. I’ll try to clarify my opinions, man. Re: actual political praxis — My thing is that they seem to aiming straight for the absolutely smallest of ways to hold these people accountable instead of going big. They could’ve started out by declaring that they’re going to recommend to the Justice Department that they charge the former president of the united states and eleven other speakers at the rally with pretty much the same offenses they’re charging every other dumb dumb who went into the capitol building on January 6th, right!? The hearings could’ve been about laying out to the public why they’re doing that. Instead it’s about ... ??? ... the soul of the nation??? The future of democracy??? Re: political spectacle — My thing isn’t about changing hearts, it isn’t about changing minds, it’s not about changing positions, my thing is that they’ve got to show the shit smeared on the walls of the capitol building. They’ve got to show the blood on the corpses. They’ve got to show the gravestones of everyone who died that day or died a few days later. That’s what I mean by substantially redefining the event itself. Something like six out of ten Americans think the president committed crimes so if they’re not going to go big and actually put the cuffs on him then they can at least make it brutally clear to the public imagination what the nature of that crime was. Re:historical record — For the hearings they conducted a lot of interviews, right!? I’m seeing excerpts of recordings of those interviews played during the hearings. I think the entirety of those interviews, soup to nuts, should be made available to the public, to the world at large, for the sake of history, for posterity itself. Because it’s the 2020s they can just put this stuff online, right!? They clearly have videos of these interviews! I’m seeing bits and pieces of these interviews and I want to see the rest! I want to read the transcripts of these interviews! That’s what having things be online has to do with the historical record, man! Historians have Internet too! They’ve got the same Internet I gots! I acknowledge that I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know if that is or isn’t strictly speaking legal. Maybe the reason we’re only seeing the relevant portions of what Bill Barr or whomever said under subpoena is because that’s the way it works. Maybe all that stuff will be released/published later. I don’t know! I’m speaking in ignorance here, on this and so much else!
  13. I’m watching bits and pieces but so far it all seems kind of ... scattershot????? I don’t know. It doesn’t seem to be functioning well as actual political praxis (nobody important is facing charges!), it doesn’t seem to be functioning well as political spectacle (they’re not substantially redefining how the public sees the event itself!), it doesn’t seem to be functioning at all to provide what’s necessary for the historical record (forgive me, I’m not a lawyer, but shouldn’t every moment of every interview be online!?!?), what is it then!? What does it do? Who is it for? Probably better to do it than leave it undone, I suppose. It’d be odd if there weren’t hearings, y’know? It’d seem weird.
  14. Tough one! I’ve personally used Psalm 91:15 (“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and bring him to honour.”) in a little mini-speech to mark the occasion of my grandfather’s death but I’m not necessarily sure the particular contexts which made it meaningful will automatically translate outside of the local circumstances. Umm, I’m thinking, I’m thinking ... oh wait, I see you’ve said that Psalms is already covered and you’re trying to cover the Old Testament now, oops, sorry... umm... okay, now I’m just looking through my browser history trying to find what bits and bobs of the Bible I’ve looked up recently (I Samuel 13:19, Song of Songs 2:13, Genesis 2:7, Deuteronomy 23:3, I Kings 11:3; nah, not sure these would really be fit to purpose) and coming up kind of empty. Huh. I don’t know. There’s Numbers 11:11-17 where Moses complains to God about how tough is to look after others (“I am not able to bear all this people myself alone, because it is too heavy for me.”) and God is all like, okay, man, I’ll find you some folks to help you out, here you go dude (“And I will come down and speak with thee there; and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.”). There’s Isaiah 53:10 (“Yet in whom the Lord delights, He oppresses them with disease; to see if their soul would offer itself in guilt, that he might see their children, lengthen their days, and that the desire of the Lord might prosper by their hand”, I’ve freely translated there a little, sorry) and Jeremiah 15:18 (“Why must my pain be endless? My wound incurable, resistant to healing? You have been to me like a spring that fails, like waters that can’t be relied on.”), probably too morbid, hmmm, I’m trying I’m trying, let’s see. Uhm. Isaiah 43:2 (“"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee") and Job 22:21 ("Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace, thereby shall thy increase be good")? Micah 4:6 (“On that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather the outcast, and those I have afflicted”)? II Samuel 22:29-30 (“For Thou art my lamp, O Lord; and the Lord doth lighten my darkness. For with Thee I run upon a troop; with my God do I scale a wall.”)? Jeremiah 29:11 (“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and hope.”)? I don’t know. Bibbling and bobbling through Sefaria Dot Com trying to find relevant verses kind of makes me feel like Matt Walsh’s character from Veep (‘12-’19) asking his phone why God allows suffering. Hope this helps!
  15. Mazel tov to the happy couple! I wish them every happiness — well, not literally, some of the things that’d make them happy would make me unhappy. So, nope, like, for instance : I don’t want Donald Trump and JFK Jr. to become president in 2021 (resurrection and time travel!? I don’t know. I guess that footage is old??????) and I don’t want to find out how noted conservative James Woods is a part of the conspiracy to defraud the American public into believing that Joe Biden is alive!?!? How does that work??? He’s a Republican! James Woods is a Republican! Oh, wait, acting! He’s pretending to be a Republican the same way he’s pretending to be Joe Biden, the same way he pretended to be Sharon Stone’s boyfriend in Casino (1995). I guess he’s not actually her boyfriend. I guess he’s not actually a Republican. Stagecraft! Showmanship!
  16. My condolences. If there’s anything you need, anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to reach out. No idea what that might be and what I could realistically provide under this scenario but I’d like to emphasize that the previous sentence was not some pro forma statement but a genuine offer of any kind of help I can give — I don’t know, I could proofread a eulogy or whatever. I’m so sorry! I hope things will be better in the future.
  17. Saw the fifth and sixth episodes! No real complaints! I mean, I guess maybe the game of b-i-n-g-o has substantially changed by the time of the 23rd century but other than that, nope, rock solid episode. And, well, for the sixth episode, I kinda, wait, this is sort of a spoiler ...
  18. There’s also one where the guns are arranged so it looks like they’re sort of cresting in a wave behind the person being photographed!?!?!? There’s a lot of these photographs. A lot of people getting their digs in on the people in the photographs. I can’t really criticize! I’m one of the former people(s)! I posted my dig right here!
  19. There are these photographs of people in and outside their homes surrounded by their gun collections which have been all over the social media. Not sure where/when they’re from — assume they’re from some news story, looking up one of them makes it clear they’re at least a month old, oh wait, it’s from here, taken by Gabriele Galimberti for The Sunday Times — but my thing is that I’ve seen one of them (there are others, there’s one where the guy is sort of trapped inside his own little gun room while his spouse sits far away in the kitchen, there’s one where the gun guy isn’t a gun guy it’s a gun girl, a little teenager, a gun child!?!?, there’s one where the guy and girl are on a bed in their underwear!?!?) probably a dozen times --- it’s this one --- --- people pointing out the guy looks super duper old, people pointing out the lack of helmet on the kid riding the bike, that sort of thing. But I only just just just just juuuuust noticed the roof. Look at the roof! I’ve seen that photograph a lot a lot and never noticed up until now the guns on the roof. I laughed! You gotta laugh. Or not.
  20. Saw the 4th episode. I’m still on board! The dialogue in these things is still kind of rough any time it strays outside treknobabble but on the whole this was a good’n! Love to see the ship! Love to watch the people on the ship nobly sacrifice themselves for each other! * I didn’t put it together before this episode but if this show has a single touchstone in prior Trek it’s actually not TOS. That’s right, you guessed it, it’s Season 4 of ENT. Think about it! Aenar! Augments! Gorn! The folks at Paramount+ know what the fans want, what the fans NEED, they’ve done the research, they’ve done the testing, and they’ve decided to go with continual references to everyone’s favouritest Star Trek spin-off and everyone’s particular favouritest season of that spin-off. The fans love Captain Jonathan Archer! (Real talk : it’s just that they’re so unoriginal the franchise itself has already been unoriginal in EXACTLY the same way they’re doing now. They’re tripping over their own unoriginality from years before! It’s like how VOY is just a copy of a copy. But I shouldn’t complain. Hope this show ends up as good as VOY, honestly!) * in 1000% percent agreement w/you on the suits issue, Spider-Man. No, actually, like 10000000%! They should wear an EVA suit and another EVA suit on top of that EVA suit. Maybe also those life support belts from the animated series too. Safety first! Can’t be too careful! After all it’s like Captain James R. Kirk famously said, “Risk is not our business.” (Yeah, sorry, I don’t know why I’m making fun. I have my own peccadilloes! Every time they use the bridge screen in a way that I dislike and personally register as a kind of breach in the established grammar of the series — talking to people inside the ship itself; demonstrating things I’d prefer to see on some other screen elsewhere or in some other room entirely — it makes me feel like I’m watching the first season of TNG and they haven’t yet figured out how to do what they gots to do.) * re: the crew quarters thing, well, that’s been on my mind since last week and thinking of the Scotty episode of TNG where he has that line about how even his paltry guest quarters on the 1701-D would’ve been fit for an admiral back in his time. I don’t care, really, can’t fault the show for wanting to have things look good for locally accepted values of good, can’t fault the show for not wanting to be a braindead 1-to-1 correspondence with the exact dimensions of the sixties show (if you want to see that sort of thing there are fanfilms and stuff like that, v. impressive stuff), anybody sufficiently nerded up about all this should also be able to recall that it’s established canon back in Pike’s time his Enterprise had ~half the crew it does in Kirk’s. * But wait, omigosh, speaking of fanfilms! I just put two and two together here! There was a fanfilm a few years ago. Walter Koenig was in it! It was called something like Renegades or whatever. It featured Khan’s granddaughter! The show, which is in and of itself a wholly unoriginal exercise, is so committed to scraping the bottom of its particular barrel that the tools it’s using to do this were first held by the hands of the very audience members it’s pandering to! I mean, c’mon already! They may as well just have Lt. Mary Sue Smith, aged 15½, beam aboard!
  21. Yeah? Probably, yeah. If it’s the sort of thing that everybody did all the time as kids and the joke is that he’s a grown-up just taking it unusually seriously, sure. (Feel like that’s the type of gag they’d do fairly often, actually? First sketch that comes to mind w/that premise is the one with a bunch of people on a bus singing ♫ NOBODY LIKES US ♫ EVERYBODY HATES US ♫ LET’S JUST GO EAT WORMS ♫ and then they actually do it.)
  22. There’s a thing about that bit that they show actual footage of in the documentary (which is fantastic!) which makes it clear that ... it’s something they used to do on stage!?!?!? I don’t understand how it’s funny if you can’t actually show through forced perspective that he’s crushing their heads. But apparently Mark McKinney used to get laughs at the Rivoli long before the TV show even existed just sitting up there and doing it to the audience. I guess the people there would imagine what he was seeing!?
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