Archive for May, 2010

21
May
10

In Regards to the Draw Mohammed Post

On May 20th I participated in the Everybody Draw Mohammed Day meme. It was created in response to Islamic threats against those who depict Mohammed, such as Lars Volk and the South Park guys. We believe that threats made by religious fundamentalists should not, cannot trump freedom of expression.

So in solidarity, we all drew silly pictures of Mohammed.

It was my last post before I left for New York. The next day I was sitting at the gate (I arrived five hours early, because I’m a dunce) when my phone rang. It was from “Unknown”.

“This had better not be the Great Vast Unknown. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for months and I don’t want the unfathomable void to blow my mind with my insignificance before I even get on the plane.”

It turned out to be a different unknown: the Globe editor’s room. I had forgotten that while this is my blog, it’s hosted by their site. They were concerned that the post was too offensive for the paper to host, and they were torn between my free speech and not offending the Globe’s Islamic readers. I obliged and let them disconnect the post until I could get to my computer the following week.

I have thought about it over the past few days, and I’ve decided that I’m going to ask that the post be restored.

It is offensive, no doubt. It’s kind of the whole point. I get offended all the time. The Globe’s Christian readers are probably offended all the time. Ditto the vegans, the Democrats, Republicans, Pagans, Kelly Maddy fans, etc. It is not the end of the world to be offended. And mere pictures don’t warrant death threats like Lars Volk has recieved.

It doesn’t make sense from a business perspective either- conservative Christians make a much bigger slice of the readership pie than Muslims, and I rib on them all the freaking time. For the record, I haven’t gotten any threats from either Muslims or Christians. Why are hypothetical extremist Muslims getting special treatment?

Perhaps the hypothetical Muslim reader was offended, not by the picture, but by my calling Islam a barbaric faith system. I stand by that opinion. Any religion that rejects science, dumps on one gender, and terrorizes and bullies nonbelievers, is barbaric. That goes for nearly all Abrahamic religions. Sorry. The fun, interactive portion that you can play along with at home is this: you don’t have to agree with me. You’re free to disagree, knock yourself out, but you’re not free to not be offended by my opinion. I don’t say “show reverence to my atheism, or I’ll put a death warrant on your head.” It would be nice of you, hypothetical extremist Muslim, if you extended the same courtesy to me. A countering blog post mocking me, as I have mocked you, would suffice.

Speaking of offense, this action is offensive to moderate Muslims as well. This is saying to them that they cannot handle encountering a different opinion than their own. You’re lumping them with the “bad Muslims” that terrorize Lars Volk and bring underwear bombs onto airplanes. I imagine the American Muslims on my Facebook agree with the principle “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.”

I will keep the Mohammed post private as the Globe has requested. Hopefully, the Globe changes its mind and will allow the post to be restored fully.Then we all can have more integrity than Comedy Central.

20
May
10

Yippie-Ky-Yay! It’s Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!

Everybody get out your drawing apps! It’s time to whip out your irreverence and mock a ridiculous yet barbaric faith system!

Yessir, it’s Everybody Draw Mohammad Day! I’ve done my part. Continue reading ‘Yippie-Ky-Yay! It’s Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!’

17
May
10

We Don’t Need Feminism Because We’re Equal Now, part 1 of Infinity

Daria is not amused.

When a movie with a male lead bombs, the reasons are understood to be many and diverse.

When a movie with a female lead bombs (or doesn’t make 1 gazillion dollars right out the gate), there is only one reason why.

Are there plans to do any more sequels for the recently released DC animated films?
We had originally planned to do sequels for Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, but Wonder Woman’s sales started out extremely slow and then over time were eventually able to catch up to probably Justice League Frontier. The Exec’s [sic] decided because it wasn’t able to sell quickly right away, where as Justice League was, that there wouldn’t be any more female super hero films right now. We were developing and hoping to get started on a Batgirl film based on Year One, but because of Wonder Woman’s slow sales start, that won’t be happening now.

It’s not because the screenplay was mangled by the executives, or bad advertising, or the half-assed “battle of the sexes” crap shoehorned in, or inept disregard for the source material. It couldn’t have been anything else other than the unacceptably high vagoo levels.

Strangely, Green Lantern’s disappointing sales haven’t blacklisted all male superhero movies. Although, I shudder to think what they would have done if the Green Lantern they used was the John Stewart version.

This isn’t new; in fact the head exec of Warner Bros. made it a policy for their live action films way back in 2007.

Warner Bros president of production Jeff Robinov has made a new rule that “We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead”, according to DeadlineHollywood. Apparently, Robinov won’t even look at a script with a female lead.

Hurray for our post-sexist society.

I sit here typing this while watching episodes of Daria. For those unfamilar with the show, Daria was a hilarious MTV cartoon starring an unconventional teenage girl struggling against the jaw-dropping stupidity of those around her.

For years it was the top 3 requested shows on TVShowsOnDVD.com. Let me repeat that. Top 3. As in this was a DVD that consumers were begging for. It was at the top of that list for years.

So they solved the issue with music copyrights, and they finally released the freaking thing a few days ago. As I type, Amazon says it is the second highest selling TV series on DVD (next to True Blood, which if I’m not mistaken also stars a chick). I imagine it will only climb as people realize “HOLY MONKEYS THEY FINALLY RELEASED A DARIA DVD!!11!!”

Daria’s vagoo doesn’t seem to be slowing her down any. Maybe, just maybe, that isn’t what the audience at large cares about? Maybe they care about competent filmmaking and engaging stories?

Huh, yeah right. Make way for the latest DC superhero movie, Wonder Man. Keanu Reeves stars as an Air Force pilot that crash lands on an island of peaceful blue-skinned Amazonians. He becomes super competent in their way of life in the course of a week, and leads them to battle against Spartans. Because they can’t do it themselves.  Also the Amazonian princess Diana falls in love with him. She’s a strong female character- but not too strong! Coming soon to a theater near you.

Is the eco-Obama-terrorist that sabotaged the Gulf’s oil rig reading this? Can you do it again, only this time somehow pull it off so that it only soaks Warner Bros. execs in sweet, sweet fossilized pollutants? That would be great.

01
May
10

Sic Semper Tyrannis

On the State Seal of Virginia, the Roman goddess Virtus (Virtue) stands triumphant over the supine form of Tyranny. Thus always to tyrants, it says underneath. It’s your typical stirring image of freedom overcoming authority.

Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli doesn’t like it, because you can see her booby. So he covered Virtue up. Because Virtue is just so indecent.

English majors! Is that ironic? Or is it just sad?

Somebody explain to me why nipples are bad? Why specifically female nipples are bad? I have never heard a good one. And we would like a rational explanation, not an obviously useless one involving talking snakes and magical fruits.

You know, we laughed at the Iranian cleric who said that boobies cause earthquakes, but are we any better? I thought Boobquake was a bit pointless, because it’s (mostly) American women sticking it to an Iranian prude. Ooo, how edgy. You defied a religious figure across the globe in a way that guys at home got a big kick out of. Big deal.

You really want to be edgy? Do a NippleQuake. Send Ken’s office photos of Venus di Milo. Send a Polaroid of your left nipple. Do a cosplay on the lawn at his office.

Does anyone know how to say “Nipples Always to Tyrants” in Latin? Let’s make this a Facebook event.

EDIT: It’s Papillae Semper Tyrannis.

01
May
10

A Nightmare On Elm Street: Oh NoES!

I normally avoid remakes like dimly lit public restrooms, and I avoid giving Michael Bay money like dimly lit public restrooms with piped in Gretchen Wilson music. But sometimes you have to pee, and sometimes you have to see A Nightmare on Elm Street.

You can read a review anywhere to get how boring it is, so instead I will provide my mental notes so you can pretend you‘re in the theater making fun of it with me. HERE BE SPOILERS, I recommend you read anyway instead of seeing this crap movie:

–Before the movie even starts, a woman and her son sit in front of me and my friends. A woman and her son who couldn’t have been older than six.

You should know by now that I’m no fan of kneejerk mollycoddling  of kids. Give your kids credit. I was watching R-rated movies when I was ten. In fact, when I went to see Kick-Ass, I pretended to be the cousin of five strange 14 year old kids who wanted to get in, because c’mon, it‘s Kick-Ass. I’m nice like that.

But you do not take a kid under six to A Nightmare On Elm Street. Come on. Freddy Krueger is the ultimate nightmare fuel for little kids. Even the G-rated parody on Tiny Toons, Freddy Cougar, made me cover my eyes when I was that age. The only exposure to Freddy at that age should be at home, where your child can run out of the room or hide under a pillow and only take in snippets of Mr. Krueger. Not in a theater.

– The credits have me cracking up already. What they did was write the credits in SPOOKY chalk on SPOOKY sidewalk. Which was cool. But some mouth breathing test audience member (or some other meddler, this is Hollywood after all) must have had trouble reading them, so they superimpose normal credits on top of the chalk, which completely ruins the effect. LOL redundant credits.

– The first scene takes place in a diner. Your first scene should not be as tedious as this.

– Now we meet the other boys. I have trouble telling them apart. All I can notice is that they’ve gone all-out on the eye makeup. Normally in movies, it’s the girls you have trouble telling apart; here the two are helpfully color coded for the audience (Kris blonde, Nancy brunette). Regardless of sex, they’re all really, really boring. I would take talking about prom or a big party over “Hey, isn‘t that Kris?” “Hey, you are attracted to Nancy.” “Sorry, that guy just broke up with blonde girl.”

–Even the first death is boring. Slit your own throat, wow. In the original, the first death was a girl being thrown around the room like a rag doll and then getting stripped to ribbons by an invisible assailant. You’re not even trying.

– Cue the crying six year old, as predicted.

– Funeral. God, all these people are boring boring boring. I take it Kris is supposed to be Tina? Maybe we’ll get her tossed around the room after all.

– OMG Kris has an Aussie Shepherd!…that dog had better not die. It’s going to die, isn’t it? I remember it used to be that the dog and the annoying kids never died in horror movies. Apparently the UN lifted the ban on dogs getting killed in horror movies, since now everyone does it.  They could have made it a Yorkie or something, just leave the Aussies alone.

– This movie really abuses the dream fakeout, and it becomes repetitious really quick.

– The scene with Freddy pressing through the wall is rehashed, but it’s done with CGI. I want to spank you, movie. You could have done a practical effect for less money and to greater effect. HATE, HATE , HATE.

– This movie shows Freddy way too much. Less is more, guys!

One of the highlights of this movie is Jackie Earle Haley, who is fantastic in everything. Especially when he’s Flashback Freddy– he just screams “creepy groundskeeper that loves children.” The fact remains that Freddy with Robert Englund just isn’t Freddy. But Jackie tries his best, and his best is pretty darn good.

I don’t like his makeup, though. The snake eyes, the Jonah Hex-style mouth, it’s just not working. He looks like a desiccated baboon with syphilis. I imagine a lot of burn victims look like that, but still.

– They killed the dog. The number of characters I care about are back to zero.

– Aha! They redid Tina’s death! Just as I predicted! It doesn’t have the same oomph, because it should have been the first death. In the original, it was like a roller coaster– the big hill goes first. It’s just rote here.

– …why did that guy run back out again?!? Cops are after him! Doesn’t Nancy have a closet or something?

– The dream in the bookstore was especially pointless. Although I appreciate the plug for Powell’s bookstore.

– Nancy remarks on Quentin’s crucifix, he says you have to believe in something. The crucifix, or the topic of faith, is never mentioned again. Somebody needs to get out their Syd Field books.

– A scene with the be-Speedoed boy’s swim team. THANK YOU MOVIE. Finally, something pleasing to the eye. Also, Quentin standing around in Nightware Flashback World in his Speedo while Flashback Mob runs around him made me LOL. He’s the Ghost of Speedos Past!

– “Let me just slip my coat off while I’M DYING IN A FIRE.” Also, where’s the hat? And glove? How do you get those items if you don’t die while wearing them? Come to think of it, why do ghosts wear clothes anyway? Stupid movie metaphysics.

– While watching I thought “Gigablast” was a fake movie search engine, like 555 area codes. Then I found out it was real. They should make a fake search engine for movies, though. It’d be cool.

– The video blog by that kid just made me groan. It would have been more effective if they just stuck with the headlines. So, so fake.

– The bodybag standing up is an effect that actually works. About time.

– At the hospital. Hey! I just realized that this movie passes the Bechdel Test! Now, if it just doesn’t suck so much. And there’s adrenaline in an unguarded, unlocked cart? Oh I can see how thaWHAAAAAAAAT?

–STOP SAYING “MICRONAPS!”

– I’m going to tackle the pedophilia plotline in one big note…

A big difference between this and the original is that it goes into what happened to Freddy that made him a goofy hypnagogic serial killer. In the original, it was just “Freddy killed kids, so the town burned him, now he’s killing teens in dreams,” and that’s that. In this one, he’s not a child killer but a child molester, and we get flashbacks and tidbits as to what he actually did.

For most of the movie it was implied he was an innocent victim of mob mentality. Oh, he wasn’t a bad person, society made him that way. Barf. This works in some movies, and often in real life. But it doesn’t work if you want to make a horror movie monster.

Examples: Take Silence of the Lambs. Buffalo Bill and Hannibal Lecter don’t get flashbacks explaining their motives. Buffalo Bill doesn’t skin fat chicks because Beth Ditto pantsed him in front of the school assembly. You don’t know why he does it, he just does. That’s what makes him scary.

Now compare that to the prequel Red Dragon. The killer (I can’t even remember his name) is introduced with a sob story right off: we pan through his house with a voiceover of his grandmother abusing him. Poor dearie. You just want to be loved. We’re not scared of him anymore; at best we pity him and at worst we resent him for being such a weak villain.

It looked like NoES 2010 was going to do the same thing. But we get to the end, and it turns out he wasn’t the innocent victim of mob mentality. He actually was a messed up pedophile. It’s one of the few unsettling moments in the movie.

One review for this movie said that they should have stuck with the mob mentality hyptohesis to “give it depth” or something. Bullcrap. That would have made it a million times worse. Give the movie credit, it’s one of the few things it gets right.

I still don’t know if fleshing him out like that is an improvement over the original. They said they wanted a less campy Freddy, and they got it. I just prefer the old one I guess.

– Speaking of humor and camp, I just realized that there were no  jokes in this movie. I just realized what an aberration that is. Nearly all movies, even “serious” (cough) ones, have at least some attempts at humor. Without humor, a movie is lifeless.

– CGI blood coming through the ceiling makes me pine for the practical effects of the original again.

–Nancy in this one is a whole lot more useless than the first. She only gets one kick ass moment.

— The jump ending is the most aggravating thing of all. We see it coming, yet we also don’t see how it ties in with anything. At least this dumb movie is over.

I’m going to watch the unrated version of The Descent to cleanse my palate. Now THAT’S a good horror movie.




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