Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

Charming Savage Events

1antihero4

When did we start cheering for the Black Hats instead of the White Hats?

Classic movies, TV and books were easier. There were good guys and bad guys. You knew your protagonist, even the flawed ones were always good and your antagonists were always bad.

Then the lines not only blurred, they splintered apart.
We started cheering for a serial killer because he kills bad guys the law can’t put away.
We felt empathy for a teacher with cancer who became a drug lord.
We couldn’t wait to visit a family of mobsters.

1antihero3
We used to know who the bad guys were and hated them, now we’re worried if they’ll be ok.

We seem charmed by the savage events we witness; repulsed yet mesmerized by the violence, greed, self-absorption on-screen, in politics, the news, and in books.

Maybe we pay more attention to product placement, ads, and merchandise with the glamorized ugly.

Have years of governments and corporations flaunting their corruption, immorality, greed, and dissolution made this all seem normal, even appealing?

Or are we simply being more honest, realizing that good people sometimes do bad things and bad people sometimes do good things?
Noble people can be ignoble and vice versa.

Flawed heroes,
or villains who are heroes in their head,
bad guys who we love,
are all gaining speed:
Tony Soprano, The Fonz, JR, Philip Marlowe, Jason Bourne,
Dirty Harry, Snape, Jack Bauer, House, V, The Lannisters, Hellboy,
Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, Loki, Jax
1antihero2
Stewie, Batman, Shrek, Blackadder, Daryl Dixon, Kirk, Raylan, Hawkeye Pierce, Gallaghers, Klaus, Scarlett O’Hara, Don Draper, Nancy Botwin, Tommy Gavin,

1antihero7
The Winchester boys, Kratos, Sherlock, Dexter, Walter White, Emily Thorne, Mal, Wolverine, Aiden Pearce, Captain Jack Sparrow, Holden Caulfield, Brody, Archie, Francis Underwood, Bane, Eric, Bill and well, most of True Blood characters…
and too many more to name.1antihero10

Strangely, while our governments and the news try to convince us that one group after another are evil and scary, and we agree, in theory, but applaud evil and scary, worshiping at the cult of ambiguous moral codes and hazy regard for the law.

They’re selling us Black Hats while we watch The Blacklist.

We’re told about atrocities, torture, and murder, to make us scared enough to toss away our personal liberties, while we wait to see who gets tortured and murdered on Game of Thrones. GOT4

Escapism? Entertainment? Or evolution?

Fleeing from reality or seeing its fuzzy reflection?

Dastardly is the new valiant.

Advertisements
Posted in Books, Canada, Family, Holidays, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

Religion, Politics, and The Great Pumpkin

Halloween19Halloween crawls inexorably toward us, a wild beast about to attack with treats, costumes, and decorations, horror movies and specials.

As I re-watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for like the millionth time (sadly, this may not be as much of an exaggeration as it should be), this time I’m trying to see it through the eyes of a child, today.

So with that in mind, I’m putting aside the symbolic struggle represented for those whose beliefs are in the minority, as with certain religions, theories, or Linus and his Great Pumpkin; also, everything I’ve learned from this, including parts that, at times, seem a bit weird.

Here are a few older posts that look into that.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/29/stuff-i-learned-from-its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/27/its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/

  • Do children now really like these older classics or are we transferring our fond memories to them, assuming they’ll like them as much as we did? Are they humouring us?

  • Lucy getting dog germs from Snoopy, is that still a thing?

  • How about the sucker getting leaves stuck on it?

  • Does anyone even remember what a Sopwith Camel is?

  • Do they think Schroeder should just use an app to make music?

Halloween21

  • Do they think the homemade costumes are bizarre?

  • That old-school animation is boring?

  • Do they need more sophisticated animation? Bigger musical numbers? Action? Adventure?

  • Is this show just too slow and too old-fashioned for modern audiences?

1halloween1

I guess I’m hoping in this frenzied, mixed-up world there’s still a place for the simple joy of Charlie Brown and friends…

Posted in Books, Televison, Uncategorized

The Nerdist Way

ImageI don’t know what I was expecting from this book, The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick (Berkley Books), but I was surprised.

Now I will give it the penultimate compliment. I almost bought it. Almost. Then I ended up reading most of it at the bookstore and then borrowed it from the library. Sorry, new books just aren’t in the budget of a broke and obscure blogger. It was close though.

The internet loves to pick on people and Chris Hardwick (host of Talking Dead, @midnight, standup comedian, blogger, author, actor, podcast king, etc.) is not exempt.
One of the criticism I’ve read, often, he’s a sell-out, overly enthusiastic about everything and everyone.

nerd4
Is he supposed to be depressed sitting next to, I don’t know, off the top of my head Nathan Fillion, Tim Burton, David Tennant, Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Matt Smith, etc.? Well, you get my point. He has a dream job. He’s a Nerd who used to be overweight who now spends his life meeting cool stars, telling jokes, playing with cool nerd stuff, playing video games…I’m surprised people don’t have to pry him off the ceiling. This is a good example of the internet needs to pick on something and that’s all they could find.nerd17

Having been a Nerd even longer than Hardwick (it’s an age thing), I really get it.

We’re not only no longer mocked for our love of all things Nerd, it’s become cool.

TV is packed with Nerd-friendly stuff.

So are movies, books…graphic novels lie thick on the shelves.

One can display their Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice toys without as many titters and snorts…

Being able to quote Family Guy, Doctor Who and Star Trek is considered knowledge, no longer just, get-some-help-then-a-life. familyguy7Just the accessibility of Nerd gifts, collectibles and memorabilia is mind-boggling, although nothing beats a stick of celery on your lapel to say, I still appreciate the struggle we Nerds have endured.

Our people have gone through the Nerd desert and come out into the Land of Facehugger soap, K-9 stuffies, South Park Christmas tree ornaments, dolt hats, Minecraft wrapping paper, Metal Gear Solid Risk, Carl Sagan riding a dinosaur with a lightsaber coasters, Buffy beach towels, World of Warcraft waffles, sonic screwdrivers (Pertwee or Baker era), Pokeball Death Star tees, zombie cookie jars, and Dalek cake molds.dw4This is like having the Heart of the TARDIS flowing through us.

We’re boldly going where Nerds always wanted to go.

Of course Chris Hardwick is exuberant, we Nerds are living through a golden droid era.

Back to the book being a surprise. Cool, yes. Funny, yes. Self-help book, yes. In case you missed it, the 3rd point was the surprise. Not bad advice either. Sensible. Reasonable. Helpful.

Having been a Nerd my entire life with a Nerd son I felt this book is a must read for those of us who are the shorter and slightly less offensive ‘N’ word.nerd16

www.Nerdist.com
www.Nerdistway.com
Twitter.com/Nerdist

Posted in Books, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized, Zombies

Why Zombies Will Rule

wd69

1. Zombies won’t just be dangerous because of the biting flesh part, they’re rotting corpses. Think about all the diseases they would cause, not to mention all the scavengers and parasites they would attract. Like some people you may know, zombies are toxic, but literally.

2. Zombies don’t need to sleep.

3. They’re not distracted by TV, the internet, cell phones, etc.

4. They don’t have any vices.

5. Zombies don’t get sick, I mean eventually they decompose, but who knows how long that will take?

6. Society will fall apart if they don’t have cell phones, the internet, TV, etc.wd76

7. Sadly, Zombies will kill off children and probably their parents quickly, come on, think of how long it takes to get the average toddler to put on their shoes, get to sleep, etc…and how would they stay quiet enough? How would they be amused without technology?

wd87

8.  Zombies don’t get bored and don’t need entertaining, they just wait around for food to be delivered to them or they wander around looking for takeout.

9. So many people are too apathetic or lazy to even get out and vote which effects your life just as much as zombies (have you seen some politicians?). How are they going to survive?

wd8810. Statistically as there are more zombies and less humans, well, you do the math…the odds are against us.

willf1

Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

WATERSHIP DOWN

ImageEver read a book you basically wanted to dislike for various reasons yet still you like it, and you like it a lot? Watership Down by Richard Adams is one of those books, for me. It should seem cheesy and all rabbity and odd, but it’s endearing and compelling instead.

I suppose it depends on how you view the story. ImageAs a sweet tale a father started telling his children on car rides or an allegory about corporate persecution, domination of the vulnerable, logic and sentiment at war and so much more.

If viewed as the latter I wonder who would be most disturbed by a freedom so longed for, snatched away, the children or the parents? Both can understand, but children still have the hope of that freedom, while adults realize it is more illusionary.

Depending on the level you choose to read or believe, perhaps a challenging read, but worth it. Very strange, but there it is.

Watership Down has been adapted to film, TV, theatre, games, and has inspired songs, album titles, references, and parodies, it’s become a cult classic. Why? I’m sure there are various reasons.

Perhaps because the 1970s were a time of change where people were exploring massive social, political, and economic shifts. Using anthropomorphic depictions of animals lets us examine human issues, problems, flaws, transformations, strife, horror, etc. through nonhuman images in a sort of Safe Mode.

It’s a lot like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (by Robert C. O’Brien, later made into The Secret of NIMH) which published just a year before, similar ideas and visions. But maybe we’re reading too much into WD, sometimes a rabbit is just a rabbit.

bunny2I wonder…40 years from now what literature will represent our times, to last the test of time, if any? Maybe just an app or chip or a memory. Hopefully all is not Lost.

Posted in Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

JUST ONE MORE THING…COLUMBO

columbo1I loved this show as a child. I waited for that moment when the rumpled, allegedly forgetful detective turned back to the suspect who thought they’d gotten away with it. Columbo would say something like: “Just one more thing” or “There’s something that bothers me” or “Just one more question” or “Just a few loose ends to tie up”. Then you knew and the suspect knew, they were caught. The classic false exit ending.

Columbo was one of the best inverted detective format shows ever. No whodunit. You knew who did it, in fact many times in Columbo we saw not only who did it, but how they did it. The problem was proving they did it. Catching them.

Columbo was on from 1968-2003 (with some time off here and there). Well-known for his crummy looking trench coat, his meandering, overly chatty style and his keen eye for detail, he was unusual and fun to watch.

In between telling the suspects personal details, some of which were actually true, asking them how much they paid for their shoes, asking about things for his wife (anyone remember the best-forgotten spinoff Mrs. Columbo starring Kate Mulgrew?), looking around their homes, cars, etc. he always found the clues that caught the bad guys.

Peter Falk wasn’t the only actor to play Columbo, but he was certainly the favourite. His seemingly absent-minded portrayal of Lt. Frank Columbo was brilliant and unforgettable.

I loved Peter Falk in so many things, especially Murder By Death, The Princess Bride, and the trilogy of Christmas movies where he played a quirky angel named Max, but for me and most people he will forever be Columbo.

Oh, uh, just one more thing…columbo2

Posted in Books, Movies, Televison, Uncategorized

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

cf9Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

What can I say about this masterpiece that hasn’t been said thousands of times and ways?
And if we’re going to involve the movies or TV series made of this novel that’s wow, just wow.
P & P is warm fudge topping over heavenly hash ice cream.
It is a kitten’s purr.
Silk on your skin.
A musical piece that caresses your soul.
It is all that the blarry, scratchy, low-manners modern world isn’t.
It is perfection that one can visit and relax. It is tea.
Tea with fresh crumpets.
Tea with fresh crumpets and jam.