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These Foolish Things

1foolish15It was quite late when I watched the film, These Foolish Things and for the parts with Andrew Lincoln I fancied this would have been a funny and interesting episode of The Walking Dead…well, except Andrew Lincoln was too clean, there were no zombies, and most notably, he didn’t kill anyone, not that it wasn’t tempting for him I’m sure.

Then my mind jumped to how cool it would be if some of the other actors in the movie, like Terence Stamp and Anjelica Houston showed up in an episode of The Walking Dead – people might not be so scared of the zombies then.

These Foolish Things, a fine movie based on the hilarious Noel Langley novel, There’s A Porpoise Close Behind Us, or as an alternate title to parts of my life.

My only real issue? I wish this adaptation about life in the British theatre on the threshold of WWII was less melodramatic love triangle and more humour, although leaving what they had to Terence Stamp worked, in a big way.
While the movie wasn’t without difficulties, the later interaction between Stamp and Houston, and sometimes Lauren Bacall was riveting. Such acting powerhouses, you could almost feel the energy flowing from them.

1foolish10I don’t know if it was conscious decision, but next I rewatched the latest Sense and Sensibility, starring David Morrissey and Dan Stevens, which in my tired brain made me think of combining The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey…hmm, The Downton Dead?

As much as I love the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility this adaptation is more visceral; there’s substantial intensity and sensuality, implied of course, this is Jane Austen after all. I’ve always enjoyed this work, Austen was able to extend and express herself, you can really feel the frustration of the women as their circumstances are reduced, but with no ability to raise them up, except to the glass ceiling of marriage.

This timeless tale of love found and lost and found again is a classic for a reason; it doesn’t matter how many adaptations, the power of Austen’s story shines through.

Still on the subject of Jane Austen and zombies, I was pleased to hear the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies based on the book by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books) has begun filming.

The cast is an intriguing mix: Matt Smith (Doctor Who fans know him as the 11th Doctor);1dead14Charles Dance and Lena Headey from Game of Thrones; don’t know if they’ll be father and daughter again, but at least they’re used to a high body count;

1dead8Lily James (Rose from Downton Abbey), Bella Heathcoate, Sam Riley, Douglas Booth, Jack Houston and more. Natalie Portman, unfortunately, is going to produce instead of star as was originally suggested.

1dead13I love Austen, but I’m not a purist, I think it’s cool reading or watching genres collide.

It’s not such a stretch, death during the Regency period was a complicated matter.
Women weren’t allowed at funerals because of their delicate sensibilities yet somehow that fragility didn’t extend to preparing the deceased.
Speeches weren’t allowed in graveyards because it was consecrated ground.1dead6
Cages or concrete slabs on graves, under certain circumstances, even stakes through the heart – all intended to prevent premature resurrection (oh my!).
Posed photos of the dead.
All the literature and folklore concerning the dead…
Zombies would have fit right in.

Over 200 years ago, Jane Austen gave the world Pride and Prejudice.

5 years ago, it was reanimated, ready to take a bite out of the world…


The Monuments Men

1george10So I noticed George Clooney is getting married again…and not to me, again.

While I wish them all possible happiness, for me, The Monuments Men and One Fine Day will have to do; I don’t think my stomach is up to Gravity http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/13/gravity-vs-supermoon-whoever-wins-we-lose/

The Monuments Men painted a whole other picture of World War II. Of course, watching it I thinking of Jon Stewart’s interview with Clooney which deteriorated rapidly until they were discussing how if only Hitler had gotten into art school WWII might never have happened, and how it was probably the interview portion that kept him out of art school…and then things got ugly funny. Still Life! But I digress.

1george7Clooney has a wide range when it comes to his acting and directing. He’s gone from The Facts of Life to ER to a huge movie career. Known for his sense of humour and passionate activism, he’s obviously swoon-worthy, especially his smile, fully crinkled at the corners of his eyes, yet I’m always a little disappointed when these activist stars live in huge houses and throw lavish events; not good for the environment and waste a lot of money. Just seems like a weird disconnect.

“It is amazing how the world can change, he thought, during the life span of a fruitcake.”~Robert M. Edsel

“It is amazing how the world can change, he thought, during the life span of a fruitcake.”~Robert M. Edsel

 Based on a true story, a film like The Monuments Men can easily come across as propaganda.  Like the book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel it has some historical inaccuracies, including not being clear that there were over a dozen nations involved in the MFAA (Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program), some military facts, and that there were many Monuments Women, not just men. While The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC took the lead, many, working together saved millions of stolen treasures.

1george21Struggling to fight a war and free countries from horror and tyranny, these people go into the fight to save art. Huh? Why would art count? Here’s the paradox, it does. Art, literature, music, architecture, culture – these inspire, they make us understand that life isn’t just about shelter, food, procreating; even cave dwellers expressed themselves through drawing because it’s not enough to be, we have to express that we were.
Despots work at taking away people’s history, their dreams, their excellence because they know it breaks their spirit. Tyrants know that to rule they must subjugate, and the best way to do that is to take what matters to people, their freedom, their hope, and their dreams.1george18Brilliant cast, fun to see Clooney with John Goodman (both in Roseanne) and Hugh Bonneville – in case you haven’t heard, Clooney is going to make a guest appearance in the Series 5 charity Christmas special of Downton Abbey where he will play a handsome American businessman who has a moment with Maggie Smith…lucky Mags. I particularly enjoyed Bill Murray and Bob Balaban, but I didn’t feel we got to know the characters well and the pace of the movie seemed at times jagged. Written by George Clooney (who also directed) and Grant Heslov I would have enjoyed this more as a TV series or miniseries where we could have focused per episode on the characters as they went their 1george23separate ways to search for the stolen treasures.

This movie reminds us how quickly what we have and what we are can be taken, not just by war, but by greed, lust for power, neglect, acceptance, compliance, inattention, and mostly, taking it for granted.

As for One Fine Day, George Clooney and the kitten, am I right?


What Would You Do With Forever?

1forever18What would you do with forever? My answer now is a lot different than it would have been when I was young. Then, I alternated between thinking I would live forever and thinking maybe I wasn’t here for a long time but at least a good time.  Now, for me, I guess a lot would depend on how I received my immortality, how I was able to live with it, and maybe attitude?

The idea of living forever or being immortal haunts humans. It has been relentlessly explored in art, literature, TV, movies, religion, philosophy…

Would you like to live forever? Or do you think you’d start to tire of it? Or you’d feel lonely and sad as those you grew to love died.

In history’s elongation, humans are really just no more than fruit flies as life span goes. We are born, we live, we die. Whether it’s hours or years or decades or even over a century, in the end, no one, as far as we know gets out alive.

Clearly, some immortals use their ability to be long-lasting better than others.

In the Twilight books and movies Edward Cullen uses his immortality as a vampire to go to high school over and over again and get a teenage girl pregnant.

1forever12The Doctor in Doctor Who travels through time and space helping others, mostly.

In the comedy Death Becomes Her Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn learn just how long forever can be.1forever19

1forever13

Dorian Gray, uses his time to party and commit crimes.

Kenny from South Park, yeah, um, nevermind.

Methuselah, spent a lot of it procreating and waiting.

Captain Jack Harkness, Doctor Who /Torchwood uses his time to try to help and find romance.

Highlander – looking for a way to die.

Tithonus – begs for death, eventually becomes a cicada? Or The X-Files episode of the same name a photographer stalks Death while it stalks others.

ABC’s Forever is about a N1forever17YC medical examiner who can’t stay dead; sort of a crime solving version of Groundhog Day. As a doctor in the slave trade, Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) dies and gets cursed with immortality, maybe to teach him a lesson? Seems like an anemic premise for a series, but who knows. His body disappears after death, returns some time later in a nearby body of water, memory intact, same age, no clothes – this seems like a transparent plot device for having Gruffudd (Mr. Fantastic, Fantastic Four) in varying degrees of nakedness; not complaining, just commenting. The interaction between Gruffudd and his ‘son’, Judd Hirsch, whom he and his wife at the time adopted after he was found in a German concentration camp in WWII, is the best part of the show.

We too often see immortal protagonists waste a lot of time. Why not cure cancer, solve world hunger problems, bring about a lasting peace…sorry, forgot, only they’re immortal.

From Star Wars to Harry Potter to Pirates of the Caribbean to Peter Pan to mythology…humans can’t get enough of immortality, but would we know what to do with it?

The stories are most often a cautionary tale, what we don’t know is more important than what we do know. Be very careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

What would you do with forever?1forever15


Everybody Hurts…Sometimes

1love35

I read my way through my town’s library as a child and many others since. My reading could be best described as voracious and eclectic, but my favourite reading palate cleanser is still romance novels, even more so when I’m ill and want something lovely to think about other than being ill. Perhaps I’m trying to find romance or love without the pain that comes with it. This may need deeper analysis, or none at all.

Some romances are taken seriously, others aren’t, when really, all romances are about the same things: finding love, losing love, fear of losing love, hope of finding love…what’s the pattern here? Love.1darcy8

What’s the difference between a classic romance
and ‘trashy’ romance novels?
Jane Eyre, Northanger Abbey,
Anna Karenina, Persuasion,
Outlander, Wuthering Heights,
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Stardust,
The Notebook, Mansfield Park,
The Tale of Genji, Doctor Zhivago,
A Room with a View,
Sense and Sensibility,
Romance of the Forest,
Gone With The Wind,
North and South,
Pride and Prejudice, versus1diana1
A Rogue By Any Other Name,
Invincible, Stormy Persuasion,
Hard to Handle, The Pirate Lord,
Much Ado About You, Protector,
Pride and Pleasure, Love Overdue,
Wyoming Strong, I Adored A Lord,
Texas Born, A Scandal to Remember,
The Cowboy and the Lady,
How to Romance a Rake,
Noble Intentions,
Reforming A Rake,  
A Seduction at Christmas, which I have to assume involves wrapping paper…

 I guess the differences are: timing, marketing, perception, bias, and maybe luck. Fabio covers aside, the industry has changed. Romance sells and continues to evolve: Historical, Contemporary, Regency, Gothic, Erotica, Paranormal, Steampunk, Fantasy, Suspense, Mystery, Futuristic…the sky’s the limit. 1love28

Diana Palmer (aka Susan Kyle) is a prolific romance writer who weaves delightful stories of love, but her books are actually more about: history, law enforcement, murder, mercenaries, gaming, the environment, social values, and a whole passel of cowboys.1diana3
1diana6When I was reading Ms. Palmer’s latest books, Invincible and Wyoming Strong (HQN), borrowed courtesy of Netgalley.com for the great price of an honest review, I was reminded again how this ex-journalist can skilfully compose not only remarkable characters, but stories that entertain and enlighten.
1diana5A little melodramatic, sure, but isn’t that the point? The drama, suspense, tension, wondering whether the hero and heroine will get together in the end? It would be a boring if they met, fell in love and lived happily ever after. There needs to be conflict and obstacles so the main characters change and grow throughout the story.

Palmer is exceptional at crafting deeply flawed, but wonderful characters. Not perfect people whose eyes meet across a crowded room; they’ve survived trauma and hardship and have found that love isn’t always perfect, or convenient, or easy, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be wonderful. They’re damaged in various ways, as R.E.M. famously crooned, Everybody Hurts Sometimes, but life doesn’t stop and neither does love…On a plane, on a train, in a boat, in the rain…In a house, with a louse. In a tree? Let it be. Aliens invaded, or your looks have faded. Mind scarred by trauma, life full of drama. Surrounded by the undead, or your children waiting to be fed. Your heart has Humpty Dumpty shattered, like it never really mattered. Yet you may find love here or there, you may find love anywhere.
The point, whatever you read or whomever you love, tolerance might be the key to saving us all; it’s fairly clear intolerance is doing us in.

1love18


Every Breath You Take

         1climate12

    I can’t believe the news today.
I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.
~U2

 

 

  We’ve all heard the terms global warming and climate change. I’m sure you’ve also heard people during heavy snowfalls say, see, how can we be having global warming. Sigh. This kind of ignoring, willfully misunderstanding, mocking, or twisting of facts may get a few Likes or giggles on Facebook, but it doesn’t change the facts.
The Industrial Revolution has been a boon and a curse for humanity. We made more faster. The problem was, we made more, faster, but it’s all an illusion. None of it means anything if you can’t breathe the air, drink the water, eat the food…

The UN Climate Summit 2014 is happening in New York, right now. For days around the world people who care have been taking to streets, letting their voices be heard. Activists, parents, children, celebrities, all essentially saying we have to care.  http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/   #climate2014
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor and long-time activist has been appointed UN Messenger of Peace, a sort of Climate Change Ambassador and one his first duties was a speech to the UN Climate Summit,

“As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems.

I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.”

Please check out the rest of the speech, it was wonderful.

1climate8We need to admit we made mistakes, now let’s fix them, before it’s too late. We don’t have to keep believing rich men, governments, and corporations who are lying to us for money and 1climate1power. We really can change.

Have you ever read the book There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly ? The latest version of this book (North South Books) was illustrated by Rashin, making this cautionary tale more up-to-date and accessible. Also an excellent book to help struggling readers. This was one of the books my cousin who taught special needs children suggested for my son who had a reading disorder.

This book always fascinated me, I don’t know why.
I never knew why an old lady would swallow a fly.
I thought perhaps she had some sort of disorder,
That most certainly made her life shorter.
But it always seemed callous and cruel
To make those animals turn into stool.

Why?1comm5
Why did the old lady swallow the fly, or all the other creatures?
The old lady’s behaviour was not only self-destructive and lead to her demise, but it was counter-productive.
We’re the old lady. We know climate change is being exacerbated by manufacturing, yet we are buying more and more stuff.
We know that the fossil fuel industry, coal, fracking, etc. are destroying the planet we live on, yet we consume more and more.
So the theory of our time, even for those who profess to love their children is, eat, drink and be merry, who cares about their tomorrows?
We keep swallowing the lies, but why? Why does it have to be economy versus environment? We can have both.
If we admit it’s true we would have to accept the recommendations, that means changing our lifestyles, possibly even make some sacrifices.1climate11At times the green movement is its own worst enemy.
Too many people lying, or exaggerating for shock value, to make points, or make money. Some just too self-righteous or really flaky.
The facts should speak for themselves, but we become so easily distracted and big business uses that.1climate9The rich will do anything to hold onto to their money and power, have no doubt about that. But they are a tiny percent of the population. There are more of us than there are of them.
People have stood together and overthrown tyranny before.1climate5Instead of standing in line for iPhones, toys, TVs, airline tickets, stand in line to vote, stand up to those who will kill our future, our children’s future for profit.

How angry would you be if you came home tonight and someone had destroyed your home? Planet Earth is our home.

1climate13


The True Cost of Advertising

1brand2

 

What
is
the
true
cost
of
advertising?

 

 

 

For starters, we pay a lot more for products and services to pay for advertising. So you pay to hear about something then you pay more to buy it. Brilliant.

Product placement and advertising have been around since the dawn of entertainment…I’m not swayed by either and I know people have to pay the bills, but it’s sometimes annoying; distracting from the TV show, books, movie; and can diminish the entertainment value.
For me advertisements are a perfect time for household chores, checking my email, reading, writing, exercising, visiting the privy, turning to another channel and forgetting what I was watching, etc. I don’t believe advertisers, so if I watch ads it’s only for entertainment.

Since the surge in streaming, DVDs, PVRs, etc. the TV industry has gone a little over-the-top with product placement to in-series advertising.1brand19

No matter your economic or social standing, you have Apple products, or you should have them, or at least that’s what they want you to believe.

In-series advertising is intrusive. A show stopper. It seems out of character for Temperance Brennan (Bones) to go into a spiel about how the car she’s driving can parallel park itself.

I tried to watch the first episode of The Mysteries of Laura which was actually a giant advertisement for Target and creepily over-focused on the children after a bath in Underoos of Batman and Superman.

Considering they’re Under the Dome there’s a lot of product placement, and they get the internet just long enough to do full-blown ads for the Surface Pro…At least it’s good for a laugh, my son was joking that they’ll be advertising for CLR next season – Dome getting stained, smudged, and covered in bloody handprints? New CLR for Domes will clean your Dome, no muss, no fuss, no streaks. Available at stores, inside and outside the Dome.

1brand30

When I watch TV I want to be entertained…I want to try to solve the crime, see who wins the battle, travel in time, watch love, loss, redemption, hope…I want to see the stories unfold.

It’s fine to see Rick, Michonne, and Carl driving in a Hyundai, another for them to discuss how fast it can drive over zombies and the traction it can get despite the ooze. Maybe a new Hyundai shows that South Korea wasn’t hit by the zombie virus.

1brand1It’s one thing to see Bates using shoe polish on Downton Abbey, another for him to start peddling the product.1brand24Red using a smartphone, sure; explaining how he can upload The Blacklist to The Cloud, no.1brand25

Placing a product in a TV show, book, or movie if done subtly is a necessary evil, but when someone starts selling those items during the program that’s intrusive.

There’s a time and a place for everything. If it you can’t work it seamlessly into the story, don’t do it.
If I wanted to watch advertising I could, it’s literally everywhere. On the internet, phones, TV, books, songs, movies, clothes, charity events, public transit, billboards, amusement parks, sports events, concerts, in stores, everywhere, some day I expect to swim to the bottom of the local pool and see a Bounty ad painted on the bottom explaining how absorbent they are.

1brand16
Now they’ve found a new way to trick people, Native Advertising, just another term for sneaky. Companies purchase ad space and news outlets pay someone to write a content piece that looks, for all intents and purposes like a real editorial piece, but it’s not, it’s ad space in disguise. A majority of people can’t tell if they’re reading a real weight loss article or an ad for Weight Watchers and that’s exactly what they want. A story about how smartphones help your children learn or an ad for a smartphone. It’s a brand new way to lie to the public.

Personally, I find myself disliking products that intrude on my entertainment, books, TV, movies. It should be my choice.

The true cost of advertising? No escape.1brand6


Summer takes a bow and hands the stage to Autumn

Leaves crunch beneath my shoes, a trail of summer’s end.fall21
Skies translucent and composed until rain visits again.
Nights come sooner now to add crisp breath to my sleep.
Summer takes a bow and hands the stage to Autumn.

The other thing I like about this time of year is the Fall TV line-up, so while I’m ill and not up to enjoying its beauty I thought I’d do a blog version of a clip-show, cough cough, hack, gargle, cough.

I’m already getting to know some of the shows; some relationships will clearly last longer than others. Meeting some new ones soon: Gotham, Scorpion, The Flash, Gracepoint http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/09/14/gracepoint/

blackl3Looking forward to the return of some old friends,
definitely a shiver of anticipation for The Blacklist
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/07/the-blacklist/
Can’t wait to see what trouble Emily/Amanda, Nolan
and all the rest will get into this year on Revenge
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/15/revenge/

I love comedies, but laughing now, with razor blades in my throat, doesn’t sound too appealing.
Still, the shows must go on…This Hour Has 22 Minutes; The Rick Mercer Report;
The Big Bang Theory http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/05/03/the-big-bang-theory/
Yet another hit and miss season of SNL;
snl10 Family Guy and American Dad http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/07/14/all-in-the-familyguy/
Giggling with Mindy Kaling (so Bridget Jones) and the hilarious cast on The Mindy Project.
Back to following Dean and Sam in Supernatural…they’re funny, watch it.
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/26/supernatural-impala/

Mooning for mystery, wit and sleuthery with
Elementary http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/09/20/elementary/
Murdoch Mysteries
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/13/murdoch-mysteries/
and eventually Sherlock
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/13/sherlock/

holmes3Awaiting the ferocious fairytale attacks in Once Upon A Time and Grimm  http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/24/once-upon-a-time/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/26/grimm/

Ready to go marauding with Vikings http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/02/21/vikings/vikings3Wondering who or what will arise in Resurrection
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/04/14/resurrection/

wd9And am I the only one counting the days until the return of The Walking Dead ? 23.
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/31/the-walking-dead-theyre-screwing-with-the-wrong-people/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/03/the-walking-dead-emofest-2/

http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/02/11/teen-angst-walking-dead/

Just realized this list goes on and there probably isn’t enough time to watch them all…I may have to make some tough choices.

My other addiction is books, while waiting for the return of Sleepy Hollow I borrowed a copy of Sleepy Hollow Children of the Revolution by Keith R.A. DeCandido (Broadway Books) from Netgalley.com
In Sleepy Hollow the lines between fact and fiction blur significantly. Historical facts cleverly smushed together with fictional elements make for a fierce ride even if there wasn’t a headless horseman.1sleepy4
References in Children of the Revolution lead me to believe it takes place between Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mill’s adventures, The Golem and The Vessel, although tie-ins aren’t always linear; either way it’s another step toward saving us all from the apocalypse – oh apocalypse, why do you stalk the human race so? It was a rhetorical question, I watch the news.
DeCandido cunningly gives us a glimpse of the changes in not only Ichabod Crane’s world, but ours as Ichabod ponders the large amount of people he now interacts with, all the time. He feels awash with strangers. We truly are awash with strangers (some much stranger than others) and now we’ve made it so we’re constantly in touch with everyone, 24/7/365.
DeCandido managed to convey the cool shadowy cinematography a la X-Files within the printed word, but I did miss Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane), he’s terribly lovely to look at and that accent, oh my, somehow Ichabod’s archaic and pretty speech is better onscreen; it just sounded overly flowery in print and I thought it bled into some of the other characters. Luckily I could conjure him in my brain as I read. TV and movie tie-ins are awkward, too much time spent summarizing and explaining, but I did like the nods to Sleepy Hollow, it made me want to visit some more.1sleepy3 Ichabod Crane: That building used to be a livery stables.
Lt. Abbie Mills: Yeah? Well, now it’s a Starbucks. Where they make coffee.
Crane: And that building is also a Starbucks?
Mills: Yep.
Crane: Well, how many are there?
Mills: Per block?
Crane: Is there a law?


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