Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The Master, now the Prime Minister of Great Britain, takes over the earth with Imperial Probe Droids, and turns the Doctor into a geriatric.
I’m a bit conflicted on this one. I’ll have to break it up.
The story is excellent. It’s full of drama and edge of the seat excitement, which is why I gave this episode such a big score. I got a big laugh out of the Master watching the Teletubbies- an obvious reference to the original Master (Roger Delgado) watching the Clangers in "The Sea Devils" for us old-timers. Another great gag was him offering someone a Jelly Baby (which was an affliction of the 2nd & 4th Doctors.) The shots of Gallifrey were beautiful, and actually coincided with the way it looked in "The Invasion of Time."
1: When I saw the 1996 TV movie, the second most appalling thing was Eric Roberts’ over-the-top performance as a wise-cracking, cackling master. (The first was the moronic suggestion that the Doctor is half human.) I’m sorry, but John Simms’ portrayal of the Master is even worse. Does he have to be an overblown psycho to be a successful villain? Every Master has strayed farther and farther from Delgado’s cool, controlled persona. Does he have to be thirty-something, so kids today will think the show is cool? Derek Jacobi was by far a much better choice.
2: Russell T. Davies seems to have a love-hate relationship with anything in the history of Doctor who that is not HIS Doctor Who- he loves to borrow from it, (Such as re-making the novels “Human Nature (free ebook!)” & audio adventures "Jubilee" and "Spare Parts" into episodes of the new show,) but he obviously dismisses them as non-cannon (How can the events in “Human Nature” have happened to two Doctors?) Specifically, this episode nullifies the novel “Lungbarrow (free ebook!)” (which specified that Timelords were never children in the physical sense) and the Big Finish audio adventure, "Master,” (which explained the Master’s homicidal nature & his relationship to the Doctor in a far more interesting way.)
3: Using Jack’s Vortex Manipulator to escape last week’s cliffhanger was such a copout.
4: The elderly makeup job on David Tennant was as good as can be, but why don't filmmakers ever realize that actually using a wizened old man is even better?
Why does the Doctor keep calling him “Master” instead of referring to him as “The Master?” I’m getting a sort of unclean vibe here. Why doesn’t the Master just hypnotize Martha’s family into doing what he wants the way he always did? (Which is... um... why he's called "The Master.") Why does he gas (or slice up or electrocute) people instead of shrinking them? Why do British people think all American presidents sound like Ted Koppel?
Hopes for part 3:
Please oh please oh please let the secret identities of the Toclafane NOT be another excuse to bring back the Daleks!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The lovely Caroline suggested listing the contents of my bag. I don't have a bag (baby) but I have a wallet...
Metrocard (subway pass)
2 Visa check cards
Visa credit card
Business card for our apartment complex's office
Friend's realtor business card
Social Security card
An expired prescription card
UMUC ID card
Business card from a bar (Jimmy's No 43 in Manhattan)
NY state driver's license
Local Union #3 member's card
IBEW calendar card
Queens library card
Master Card check card
7 ATM receipts
Last week's paycheck & stub
Picture of a bottle of Pride & a bottle of Joy ("Want to see my pride & joy?")
Picture of Jennifer (wife)
Picture of Joe (son) at age 8
Picture of Amanda (daughter) at age 1
Picture of Sophia (niece/ goddaughter) at 6 mos
Picture of Joe age 2
Picture of Amanda 6 mos.
Picture of Joe 6 mos
Picture of Joe age 5
Metal-stamped Social Security card
Optometrist business card
3 doctors office receipts from 5 years ago.
Mensa membership card
This, of course, all inspires a poem...
by Tony LaRocca
All my life can be explained by garbage on the floor.
All my life in cluttered piles leading to the door.
So much extra energy is wasted trying to get through the day
So much time is lost in trying to guess what I had to say.
Clutter in my mind, clutter in my pocket, clutter around my belly,
One day too much clutter in my heart will turn my brain to useless jelly!
Do you really need this, do you really need that, papers wrapped with strings and tape,
If I can find a shovel small enough, I’ll dig my mind out and escape!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
"They fail, and they alone, who have not striven." This badly translated bit of synchronicity was my fortune cookie with my Chinese takeout tonight. I've acquired many rejection letters over the years, from the one or two science fiction magazines that still exist. There was once a sort of system to writing; magazines were considered the minor leagues, books were considered the majors. Sadly, many of the short story pulp magazines of old have gone the way of the dodo, and the only realistic way to get into print is to jump into the majors. Still, I cling to my dream of being a published author. The trick is I have to actually finish writing a book first...
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
He said that she had left- she didn't want me to find her. There were pictures of her all over the house but they were all out of focus. One showed she had been pregnant. The man said that in college she had gotten involved with eco-terror groups, which held drug induced orgies, where she had gotten pregnant. Her kids were crack babies & were "all messed up." At this point, the alarm woke me.
Now the really odd thing is I haven’t given a thought to M since high school, sixteen years ago. We were friendly, but we really didn’t know each other that well- and (as far as I know) she defiantly didn’t become an eco-terrorist or have crack babies. So where in Hades did my subconscious dredge all this up from?
Monday, June 11, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
This is an image I made years ago. It was a submission for a project where everyone continued a story by making an illustration for the next card in a deck. This would make a great album cover, I think...
"Things fall apart, the center cannot hold," William Yeats said in his poem, "The Second Coming." If he were to have written that poem today instead of 1919, I think the next line would have been, "And no one gave a damn, because 'American Idol' was on television." It probably would have been a better line than that, with the meter matching the rest of the poem, but you get my drift.
Nothing seems to WORK anymore. I bought a motion sensor for my father. I hooked it up- it didn't work. I took it back, and got another one. I bought a refurbished Nintendo Gamecube (I utterly refuse to buy a Wii as long as they're artificially prolonging the demand so they can keep the outrageous price up.) When we got it home, neither the Gamecube nor the memory chip worked. (Will someone please tell me why you have to buy a 32 meg cartridge to save games? Couldn't they just have put 32 megs of storage memory in the hardware?) We brought it back and traded it for another one. Elena and I have gotten my parents two DVD players. Both of them were utter pieces of crap. Guaranteed, you get what you pay for & they weren't top of the line models, but how do things get on the shelves without working at all? Every summer, here in NYC, we have rolling blackouts (only in the outer boroughs - they would never dare let anything happen to people who live in Manhattan) because our antiquated power grid cannot take the demand anymore. Last summer, neighborhoods here in Queens went TWO WHOLE WEEKS without power, and no one did ANYTHING. The infrastructure of the country seems to be falling apart, and nothing gets done. It all comes down to what the Romans called "bread and circuses." Keep the people fed and entertained, and you can get away with anything. Why do you think the entertainment industry is the only industry America has left?
On the funnier side of the news, as a sequel to the previous post, Paris Hilton is back in jail. I hope the judge sends Sheriff Lee Bacca to jail for contempt as well. How could a sheriff possibly think he had the authority to change a judge's sentence? Some major moolah must have shifted hands for this idiot to think he could get away with that one. Now why can't I be in a job where someone would bribe me a crapload of money to do something for a rich, slutty bimbo? Maybe next time she wants to release a porno on the internet to promote her TV show, I could be cameraman. I don't know how a bribe would be involved in that, but I'm sure we could work out something...
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I'm so glad you have nothing better to do than post your two-page long political views as comments on my blog. Obviously, you know your ideas are worthless because if they were not, a) you would have just put up a post on your OWN blog rather than trying to use mine as a random high-trafficked soap-box, and b) you would have had the courage of your convictions to actually link back to your own page, rather than Elvis Presley's on Myspace. (For those who are not Myspacers, record labels often put up pages for their talent, living or dead.) In the future, save yourself the time and energy and save me the bother of having to delete your worthless puddles of literary vomit.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
As Joe is learning that there is more to sci-fi than Star Wars, I decided to show him (and my mother) one of my favorite science fiction movies ever made, Dark Star (John Carpenter & Dan O'Bannon's film-school project.) My mother, for some inexplicable reason, wasn't impressed. Joe, however, loved the extremely expensive special effects (the alien is basically a beach-ball with puppet hands,) but two parts disturbed him: one, that the astronauts could communicate with the dead & frozen commander of the ship via radio (An homage to Philip K. Dick. The other major homages are to Ray Bradbury's classic short story, "Kaleidescope," & of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey.) And two, he didn't quite understand the ending, which concerns teaching phenomenology (did I mention this was a college film?) to a bomb with artificial intelligence.
"OK," I explained, tucking him in for the night, "prove to me that you are not the only thing in the world, and that everything you see and hear isn't just part of your imagination."
He thought about it for a moment. "Because you're real," he said.
"Prove it!" I said.
He thought about it some more. "You are!" he said.
"Prove it!" I continued with a grin on my face.
"Stop it, Daddy," he said, and I could tell the problem was starting to bug him. A little too much for a nine-year-old before bed, I guess. Instead, we both agreed that "Time for sleepy-by, you worthless piece of garbage!" is the coolest thing possible you can say to an alien before you shoot him- especially in a G-rated film.
Friday, June 01, 2007
In the next life, I get to be the eyeball.
Questions that keep me awake at night:
1) Is it just me, or does Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song sound a lot like the theme song from Get Smart?
2) In Star Wars Episode III, just what the hell do they do on the planet Mustafar? Why would you want a giant factory on a molten rock in space? Do they have a lucrative business exporting lava to planets that don't have any?
3) Does Anarchy Online ever get interesting, or is every mission exactly the same (kill a bunch of bots with die-rolling, or put an inventory object on another object?) Is there actually any real multi-player interaction? Do people actually waste money on this crap? (I'm a Froob & I'm proud!)
4) When deaf children swear, do their parents wash their hands out with soap?
5) Does anyone really think that in Blinded by the Light, Manfred Mann's Earth Band are actually singing "revved up like a deuce"?
6) Does anyone actually (I use that world a lot in this post, don't I?) give a flying fig about Lindsay Lohann going in to rehab, how Paris Hilton is preparing herself for prison, or which bimbo A-Rod is boinking? If the newspapers/programs did NOT make this stuff front page material, would anyone out there honestly search for it on their own? If you feel as I do, check out Jib-Jab's excellent animation, What We Call the News.
Feel free to add your own