So I’ve done a lot of posts here hyping our podcast – Time Travel Murder Mystery – and this post won’t be any different, except I want to talk about how Benjie and I have another podcast that we’re doing, Greedo Shot First.
This is us getting out all of our hardcore old school Star Wars nerdery and kind of bullshitting around with it and looking at the hype and speculation and strangely shaped observances that come with the upcoming Episode VII. I can’t promise that this podcast is any less dorky than other Star Wars podcasts, but I can tell you that ours is far more mean spirited and foul mouthed.
Anyway, I’m especially excited to share with you some art we have for the podcast…
…provided for us by our good friend, Michael Manuel, whom you may or may not have heard of us talk about on the podcast sometimes, usually referred to as “Erotikus.” Mike has sometimes referred to our podcast as being “A Star Wars podcast for people who hate Star Wars fans,” and I think you could say that’s about half right. Anyway. Say hey to Mike and give him money to do art and check out our podcast in iTunes or keep track of it either here, or at the Time Travel Murder Mystery site. May the Force be with you.
I was really bored earlier.
It’s an old fad, but somehow something on the internet got me to click over to That Can Be My Next Tweet! and I put in a few usernames of people I follow and laughed at the results, and then, of course, I put in my own name.
Nothing really important to say here, just that I’m mildly fascinated by the latest interest in things Hitchcockian… There was that HBO movie with Toby Jones and Sienna Miller, and there’s the new one with Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, and ScarJo, which will probably get some mild Oscar buzz. And then there’s also a new TV show, a prequel to Psycho, starring Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga as Mama Bates. It has Carlton Cuse, from Lost, as its showrunner.
I remember when Brian DePalma did his best films in the 80s, which were all nu-Hitchcockian fare, and even Curtis Hanson did a decent riff on Hitchcock, The Bedroom Window, which starred Steve Gutenberg (LOL), Elizabeth McGovern, and Isabelle Huppert. Anyway, doing stuff in the style of Hitchcock is one thing, but all these movies about him… Just seems interesting to see competing projects of this nature.
1. It’s a very inspiring, and in many ways, uplifting movie. Quality filmmaking, which is never a surprise from Spielberg. Not only is he the most successful commercial filmmaker (at least alive) but does any one else actually consistently make films at this par? Certainly not to the volume of Spielberg.
2. It’s interesting to watch this film and now with utter certainly that Daniel Day Lewis will be winning a Best Actor Oscar for it. It’s strange how happy I am that Liam Neeson left this project after having been excited for so long that he had been attached to it.
3. It’s funny how charming his Lincoln is. The strange, unkempt hair, the weird way he walks, the fact that he’s always sitting, wrapped in a blanket. He’s both disarming and endearing in a way that makes you root for him. A simple demeanor, hiding so much complexity, moving from scene to scene pouring out love and looking almost as if the ceaseless weight of the world will crush him.
4. The way the movie ends, moving around the President’s fate, is really quite interesting, I think. The film is incredibly, wonderfully, and painfully accurate to our American history, you almost wish that at the last second Abraham Lincoln could have tilted his head to the side just in time to miss the fatal bullet and someone how been saved. They can do that kind of thing in movies, right?
5. Maybe he could live on and go and fight vampires or some kind of shit like that?
Filed under podcast miscellaneous:
The end looms large, but it still a ways away and down the road a bit. But I kind of wanted to look back a little, month by month, at this blog. Maybe not every single month, but most, if I can. I guess I’m getting reacquainted with what I’m saying goodbye to? Or maybe in the back of my mind I’m always remembering that you have to put the chairs up before you turn the lights off and go home…
10/02/10: “And Then…” by one Marco Sparks: Pictures and Borges and links to previous Counterforce posts… Sigh. The more things change, the more they don’t seem to matter, right?
10/04/10: “Tongues Of Flame“ by yours truly: Pictures of girls in some sort of relationship with the water, and the horizon, and the poetry of T. S. Eliot. Well… Who knows what I was thinking or where I was coming from back then. I mean, I could tell you, but who cares?
It seems like the hipsters are all shit talking Eliot now, but I don’t care. I still like him. Whenever I’m at my most lost, there’s usually a few lines from Eliot that can perfectly describe where I am, what I’m feeling, and sometimes that’s enough. Also, this poem was quoted in The Magus, which was a notoriously bad movie.
10/04/10: “The End Of The Story Is Unwritten“ by myself: I really like Harlan Ellison, though it is sometimes to do so. I think at this point, when I was writing this post, I had yet to see the documentary about him, Dreams With Sharp Teeth, which is a fine film.
I’ll always be a science fiction nut – maybe you’ve noticed? – but once or twice or thrice a year I really get back into it, and Ellison is one of those writers I go back to. To me, he’s the ur-Neil Gaiman, but less magical and twee. I respect that Ellison doesn’t suffer fools well, that he’s serious about his craft and those who practice it. In many ways, it would appear that he is not a human at all, but a new creature, one best described in works of his favorite genre: all sharp edges and protected, wounded heart and acid and witty talent.
10/06/10: “Powers And Responsibilities/Up, Up, And Away We Go“ by myself: Spider-Man and Superman! Perhaps some day I’ll write a book about super heroes, and how they’re trapped in our world and in desperate need of being given life beyond it, and just get it all out of my fucking system, you know?
Also, it’s not like I need a reason to do a post with copious amounts of Emma Stone pictures. Seriously. And: Jon Hamm really should be playing Superman/Clark Kent.
10/06/10: “Crucifixes“ by myself: I like Richard Pryor and I don’t like religion. In fact, if I remember correctly, I shit talk about it a little on the latest episode of our podcast. But that’s a whole other story, and one for another time.
If I were to get into the nuts and bolts, a post like this comes about like so many others that exist out there in the internet: I saw it somewhere and I liked it. Someone shared it with the world and I was one of those folks in the world who saw it and wanted to pass it along to the rest of my own little corner of the internetting world. I came, I saw, I reblogged.
10/08/10: “Animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others,” by myself: Pictures by Dave Eggers, quotes by George Orwell and Voltaire, links from the internet. What a bizarre mixture.
10/09/10: “Nobody told me there’d be days like these,” by myself: People who have problems with authority always gravitate towards John, don’t they? Lennon is the favorite Beatle of the perpetually disenfranchised and the smart, smug assholes. I look back at some of these posts and want to delve into a little of the making of them, but… I don’t know. Sometimes it’s all right there in the post, you know? I wanted to do a post about my favorite Beatle, and maybe I was itching for a little Instant Karma.
10/09/10: “Vendettas“ by myself: Tom Gauld!
10/12/10: “Running“ by myself: This is just another thing I saw online and thought was funny. Also, it’s October, the month of Halloween, the time for goblins and things that are a bit ghoulish and macabre, right?
10/12/10: “Who Is Natalie Portman Fucking These Days?” by myself: One of my favorite posts on this site, actually. If we talked about solely about celebs, then… Well, I imagine it’ll be something like that. Of course now this post is severely dated… Black Swan has come and gone and we all know who Natalie Portman is fucking these days, and thankfully it’s not John Mayer.
10/14/10: “Video Killed The Internet Star,” by myself: Videos and links about movies and shit I found on the internet. You know… whatever. And a picture of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly.
10/14/10: “Meditations“ by myself: “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” That sounds about right.
Some of the things you notice already about this month: Too many posts by me, which is boring. Lots of doubling up on days, with two posts a day for some reason. Lots of just little things from around the internet. The blog was the pin board for things I found interesting from around the web. Well, I guess in a lot of ways that’s what it always was.
10/16/10: “Chaos Reigns“ by myself: Ahhhh, YouTube comments. They are frequently a treat. I don’t even understand why people bother to engage in “intelligent” discourse there.
In fact… most conversation on the internet is flawed. Severely. Nobody wins an internet argument. Like the famous webcomic says, you can spend your whole life standing vigilant, the sentinel against the raping of the truth, strong against the fact that Someone On The Internet Is Wrong, but there are no winners. You’ll never best someone with your logic. Your insults and your put downs will never be properly scored. All people will see is that you were in an Internet Argument and everyone will be pronounced “Loser.” State your case, and move on. Also, fix your typos.
10/16/10: “The Patient Labyrinth,” by myself: Again, I was mesmerized by Borges and the ideas of puzzles and mazes of our own design during October of 2010. That was the theme running around somewhere in my head back then, I guess, and it was weakly explored, for sure.
(Also, you’ll notice another picture of a young woman who has a curious relationship or proximity to the ocean…)
Again, I apologize that all these posts are just me. The difference between myself and my co-authors, I believe, was that they wrote when they had something to say and the energy to say it. I always had something to say on this blog, and usually pursued that impulse even when I didn’t have the energy to do it right, or as coherently as it should’ve been. I think it’s fair to say that I deserve the lion’s share of credit for any failings of this blog. A lot of my favorite posts on Counterforce were those written by the others.
10/18/10: “Red Dawn“ by myself: Ahhh, Laura Leighton. Proto-Emma Stone, perhaps? Perhaps not.
10/18/10: “Bad Things“ by myself: True Blood! Looking at this, I’m just reminded of how weird the finale of the latest season of the show was.
10/19/10: “I Got You Babe“ by August Bravo and myself: This is us talking about Mad Men‘s fourth season finale, “Tomorrowland.” Just so weird to see us looking over the episode and being curious and confused and pondering where the show would go next.
10/20/10: “The Fate Of The Blogger“ by myself. I’ll be brief on this one: I like Eddie Campbell. Also, it’s two years later and I’m still pondering the fate of the blogger.
10/21/10: “What a man is is an arrow into the future and what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from,” by myself: Ha ha. A mash up between Sylvia Plath and Saved By The Bell.
10/22/10: “I Walked With A Zombie,” by myself: Links and funny pictures, but there’s something else here too… Something that I sense and feel now, but perhaps didn’t notice at the time, a kind of darkness. Beyond the seasonal darkness, I mean. I guess that would make sense. The second half of The Year We
Make Made Contact was especially hard on me.
10/23/10: “The Boob Tube“ by myself: This is me ranting about what’s wrong with popular TV and how it could be fixed/saved. And now Benjamin Light and I do a podcast about this. We’re on a mission to civilize! But, anyway, a lot of these notes still make sense and feel relevant, and desperately need to be read and followed by the people running some of these shows. Now more than ever, perhaps. The thoughts about The Office and Community, especially. But thankfully The Office is (finally) ending after this season, and Community is most likely ending this year (if they ever decide to air the new season at all). Why? Because NBC is dumb as shit and they’re not afraid to show it.
10/23/10: “The Year Of The Depend Adult Undergarment“ by myself: David Foster Wallace!
10/24/10: “Nintendo Power“ yours truly: The idea of the “friend zone” is total bullshit but I just thought this image was funny and wanted to share it. Thanks, Mario, but…
10/25/10: “All Things Truly Wicked“ by myself: Ernest Hemingway! Paper Hemingway was a mean, messed up old bastard, but I still like him, despite all his flaws. And I feel that every time I start to accumulate those flaws, just the obvious ones, and add them up… Well, then I’ll see one of his quotes out of the blue and it’ll just fit into something missing puzzle piece in my brain at that moment and I’m flashing back to what a great writer he was. Also, it’s funny, but we still get a decent number of hits to this particular post from an old BuzzFeed post from a year ago that’s nothing but pictures of Ernest Hemingway partying like a maniac.
10/25/10: “This Is Still True“ by myself: Again, more authors and pictures and quotes. This time, it’s Vonnegut. I hope the kids these days are still reading Vonnegut. His was such a delicate balance of moral righteousness and self loathing, but married together so charmingly.
10/27/10: “Which Came First“ by myself: I don’t know what to say about this post, though it’s weird to look at these almost a full two years later.
10/27/10: “Ma-Sheen Man” by myself: From pictures of and quotes by famous authors to… this. I regret blogging about Charlie Sheen. About Charlie Sheen and so many other things.
10/27/10: “You were an island and I passed you by,” by yours truly: Not the greatest post, but one of my favorites by myself here on the site. Roger Ebert has a great quote in his recent Cloud Atlas review: “Any explanation of a work of art must be found in it, not taken to it.” I agree with that wholeheartedly, but I keep thinking about the questions and the digressions of thought that come out of the works of art. I keep thinking about the way works of art can act as explanations for ourselves, for our lives, for the way we live and exist and make our way through the complicated cosmic murals we’re all sloshing around in.
Anyway. If you know me or not, illustrated in this post about Lost is basically a diagram for how my own personal thought processes tend to work, bouncing from thing to thing, riding along the little connections, going from medium to medium and then essentially looking back at where I started from. As you’ve seen, it’s a convoluted process, and one that doesn’t always yield the most fruitful results, but hopefully it’s been fun at times for you. It certainly has for me.
10/29/10: “Vampire Sluts“ by myself: Kate Beaton! I really like Hark! A Vagrant. I like it a lot.
10/29/10: “The risk of going too far” by myself: Pictures and links and words by T. S. Eliot. Too far is never far enough, right? Or something.
10/31/10: “Samhain“ by myself: I like how this post starts “Another year, another Halloween.” It’s said with such weariness, or, at least, that’s how I perceive it now. That’s how I feel now, anyway. Another year, another Halloween, and a little more of the magic is gone. The masks are getting heavy, folks. Also interesting that the second line is about how once Halloween arrives you have to accept the inevitable: the year is fading away. The same can be said for now, just as it was back in the year we made contact, only when this year fades away, so does this blog.
Edited to add: I meant to post this at the tail end of October and obviously that did not happen. Sorry. Real life shit got in the way.
10/31/10: “Las Ruinas Circulares“ by myself: This is one of my favorite stories by Borges. Fitting for the time of the year, perhaps. I’ve always felt that there’s a tenuous connection between dreams and the dreamer of those dreamers, something akin to the chicken and the egg. That may be a little too heavy.
10/31/10: “Season Of The Witch“ by myself: Ha ha. Christine O’Donnell. Ha ha.
The odyssey of the Republican party in the last ten years or so has only gotten more sad and tragic, and Christine O’Donnell is just another one of their sad war stories, I think. Ignoring her for the most part, or this Gawker story about some guy’s claims of having had a one night stand with her, what I really was interested in was the comments section on that post. Internet comments are, of course, terrible. Trolls begetting trolls, all hiding under their bridges and flinging out their shit and hate upon the world with no consequences. And I guess that’s what fascinated me: the way people weigh in on things when there’s no rules, no consequences.
10/31/10: “Paradise Circus“ by myself: I first heard this song in an episode of True Blood‘s third season and it just floored me. A few years ago, during a particularly hard time I was going through, this song was my summer jam, which kind of tells you what that summer was like for me, I think.
It was during that summer that I first started watching the cop show, Luther, a British show starring Idris Elba as the titular detective, and “Paradise Circus” was the theme song for the show, which instantly tells you that it’s going to be unlike any other kind of cop show that you can imagine. Luther is a fun show, a bit silly at times, but darkly interesting and all the actors on the show do very interesting work, Idris Elba especially. I’m glad that he backed out of playing Alex Cross to keep doing (other) movies and eventually a third series of Luther.
And Ruth Wilson, who is exceptional on the show as his sociopathic ally of sorts, is rumored to be in the next Avengers movie. I kind of doubt that will happen, but I’d really like to see it.
But anyway, that’s another thing for another time. Again, in a less interesting way, this post was similar to the one about Lost from a few days earlier… Just a glimpse into the way a thing will pop up into your life and spawn legs and connect to other things. And those things, be it songs or TV shows or whatever, will just find you. Claim you, when you think you’re claiming them. It couldn’t been tackled in a much more interesting or succinct way, definitely, but that stuff still fascinates me.
And that’s how the month of October, 2010 ends. Maybe we didn’t create the blog. Maybe it created us?
* * *
I enjoyed doing this, so I think I’m going to do a few more retrospectives of other months in the history of this blog before it becomes permanently just that: History. Again, I don’t think I have the time, space, nor total desire to do every single month, but at least a few more, if I can help, and quite a few more, if the universe is kind. Any suggestions for which month to look back on next?
Just a quick thought about the new James Bond movie, Skyfall…
In last week’s episode of the podcast, Benjie and I looked on the Daniel Craig movies in a different light from each other, not just which of the movies we favored over the other, but whether Craig’s films could be considered soft reboots or soft prequels. Either point is not a big deal, especially since we’re not nazis about “canon,” but I would take the view that either argument could be valid, though I still lean towards the idea of them being pseudo-prequels.
A prequel vs. reboot argument is detrimental to a film review, usually, so that’s why I’m saying this here, to not get in the way of us talking about Skyfall in the next episode of Time Travel Murder Mystery. Without going into any spoilers here whatsoever except that: I really think that with the ending of Skyfall, you could park it right before Dr. No and say that the film series starts right over and that the next Daniel Craig-starring installment could could go just about anywhere. There would be little inconsistencies, of course, but every Bond film has more than just a few little inconsistencies. That’s the price of escapist espionage fare.
And seemingly no one seemed to complain about the same thing being done in that terrible X-Men: First Class film. And I’m not looking to have a conversation on the timeline of these films because it’s not interesting beyond mere trivia.
Anyway. Beyond all that, Skyfall is an interesting entry into the series. Being a 50th anniversary film, it’s got a lot of subtle little nods to the rest of the series, acknowledging them and their value while still not quite committing to being a sequel or a prequel, and there’s even nice nods to the books as well. That’s all I’ll say for now, reserving any other comments for the next episode of the podcast. Plus, I think Benjie and I have an extra little surprise up our sleeves for this week…