Thursday, July 05, 2012


So, a friend loaned me a book called The Fourth Turning which, so far, is mostly about the attitudes held by different generations and and the effect those attitudes have on history.  According to the book, a "generation" is everyone born within a 20-ish year block, and after four generations a "saeculum" is complete, each generation representing the four seasons.  How accurate the book may or may not be in it's approach or data collection is of far less interest to me than the new paradigm it presents.  Even just thinking about generational shifts makes me see things differently.

I went to see DARK SHADOWS with my older sister and she laughed and hooted and clapped through the entire movie.   This made the movie a lot more fun, obviously, but it was interesting because I didn't think it was quite that amusing.  To me it was the same sorts of jokes that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp like to tell.  Visual jokes like vampires doing normal stuff

or vampires trying to find someplace to sleep

and cultural contrast jokes like vampires presented with eggos

or sitting in beanbag chairs.

Caroline loved it and it prompted me to do some googling.

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are only a handful of years older than my sister.  When they came of age they began to make films with a very specific ethos, a vision very different than anything anyone had ever seen. Twenty years later, what they created has become NORMAL, and the distinctions between their subversive vision and normal pop culture today are almost non-existent.   DARK SHADOWS is a fine film, and the campy soap-opera acting was fun, but it showed the Burton/Depp ethos to be shockingly conventional.  I mean, little kids run around dressed like Captain Jack Sparrow and Jack the Pumpkin King at Disneyland.  It doesn’t get any more mainstream than that.

JOHN CARTER, however, is nothing BUT old fashioned and out-of-date which is no surprise at all since the source material for the film is a book first published in 1911.   The real question is WHY Disney thought it would make a good movie.  Yes it's a classic series, yes they probably got the rights fairly cheaply, but there's still no reason to put ANY movie on Mars, much less one with "magical flying machines" and sword fighting and princesses in dire need of saving.

However homo-eroticism has never gone out of style

I'm thinking the real reason JOHN CARTER was made was a lame attempt to cash in on the Steampunk trend that was happening there for a bit.   Yes, there is a community who still enjoys steam punk gear and books and lifestyles, but when Steampunk is part of an episode of Castle and has spawned a line of romance novels... well, I think we all agree that it, as a trend, has jumped the shark.

That said, you do have to give props to the writers of JOHN CARTER for explaining how something we KNOW looks like this:

"Hey look! There's my shovel!" -- Mars Rover
could possibly support life that looks like this:

"Does the BLM know yall spray painted all that sagebrush here in Death Valley?"

Their VERY clever explanation is that, sure, Mars is a complete wasteland now but that's just because the Martians wreaked ecological disaster on their own planet. In the 1890s it was totally just a desert-ish place populated with cute things like toad dogs

It's both cuter and creepier than you think.

and six-limbed "primitive" native peoples who live in caves.

"Welcome white unattractive dude.  We expect you to go native & then betray us for a white woman in exactly 1.5 hrs." 

Now, it's not all bad.   The princess has some fantastic henna.

and I liked the Star Wars monster

but other than that it was pretty ho-hum.  I think a lot of my apathy was because of the leading man, Taylor Kitsch.  Bad acting, over acting, speech impediments,and general unattractiveness I can live with but please, please, don't let the leading man be BORING! 

Admit it.  You got bored just looking at this photo.
Mr Kitsch is DULL.   And that is a big problem with a swashbuckling, sword-fighting, big-budget picture like this.   

Also, when casting a leading man, make sure he can make skirts look manly.  Kitsch looks like he's wearing a nice party dress for most of the film.

"What? Skirts don't chafe!"

Sunday, July 01, 2012


I know a few things about a few presidents...George Washington has wooden teeth,  William Henry Harrison served a 30 day term  ( got immediately sick and DIED)  and Abraham Lincoln was a BAD ASS

Fact!: Abraham Lincoln was PISSED and weapon of choice was an AX coated in silver.  I could never see Mr. President as  a gun man, but an ax man I get.  At first I was a little sad because he wasn't wielding it, he was twirling it like the flag girl in the marching band thus making me uncomfortable but it took SECONDS for him to become one with his ax giving him one bad ass weapon of choice.  Once you get that weapon where you want it, whose to say you can do OTHER things to it, like stick a silver stabber on the end...or a gun in the handle??? Oh wait Lincoln DID that.  
"Hmm... maybe I'll install a flame thrower on this thing..."

Fact: Tall and lanky doesn't mean you can't do things like dodge horses that are thrown at you.  I don't know another president that was equally as tall, or equally as strong, or equally at awkward looking...but I know that because of all those things gave Mr. President 16 the TRIFECTA of bad assery, THUS giving him the ability to dodge thrown horses.

Fact: Just because you are 50 doesn't mean you can use AWESOME things like Silver knuckles (because brass knuckles doesn't kill vampires duh!)  

Fact:  Just because you are 50 does not mean you can't beat the hell out of vampires on TOP of a high speed trains.  I know that he groans when he sits down or grunts when he has to stand up, and no matter what people tell you 50 is NOT the new 40...all I know,  kicking ass a top of a train and leaping from car to car SANS grunting isn't very 50. 

"It's fixin' to get REAL in here, yall!"
Fact: The South was full of Vampires.  I don't know if you are like me but I am not a fan of slavery, OR vampires.  Both are evil bitches that need to be put to death, and if shooting Silver from cannons would kill them both, then  I say do it.  Lincoln did it, and THAT is why he was president.  

"I'm about to speech the HECK outta this this speech!"

These are just some of the reasons I know that Lincoln was a bad ass.  Now I am not positive, but I am pretty confident that Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, could beat the hell out of ANY Avenger.  I mean really could any one of them write the Gettysburg Address?? Oh look ANOTHER reason Mr. AL is my new super hero.  Now somebody give that man a cape.

"Cape? I don't need no stinkin' cape! I gots my hat to keep me safe!"