Scottish Manes.

On our Star Wars podcast a few weeks ago, I was threatening that I was going to write a monograph about Ewan McGregor’s hair in films, and I’m sure Benjamin Light thought I was just joking. He probably – rightfully? – hoped that I was.

Scottish manes.I wasn’t. Thought Catalog was nice enough to publish a piece by me the other day: A Selection Of Films Rated On The Quality Of Ewan McGregor’s Hair In Them.”

Here’s the sad thing: I could have gone on and on, and in quite a big of greater detail than I did. Their might be a strange little e-book on this topic in the future so, you know, beware.

* * *

At some point, I feel like I could write another piece (though a much shorter one) on the hair of prominent comic book writers, especially those in the Marvel bullpen. In short: They’re all bald! Sometimes they have the wall of hair on the side, a power move that I’m sure is called “The Captain Picard” in barber college. Sometimes they just go for the shave and shine, electing to try to convince us that they chose to shave their head, not that they were losing a war with genetics. (“Make it SO!”)

I can see you!

Oh well. These are the people who decide who of our favorite four color heroes will die (like Peter Parker recently) or get raped and stuffed in a refrigerator.

FYI: TV Tropes informs me that it is actually referred to as “Bald Of Awesome.”

* * *

Benjamin Light informed me tonight that Ewan McGregor was rated as #5 on GQ‘s list of Most Stylish Men. I could tell you who was rated higher than him, but it’s bullshit. At least it wasn’t Michael Fassbender or Channing Tatum.

Men in suits.

Fucking Channing Tatum.

* * *

The blog is just days away from ending!

And, as always, I’m going to ask and suggest that you check out our podcasts…

Podcasts!

Time Travel Murder Mystery is on a very short hiatus currently, but I imagine that you can expect new episodes again in early January. Meanwhile, Greedo Shot First, our Star Wars podcast for people who hate Star Wars fans, is still going strong. I believe that the subject of our next episode will be a rewatching of The Empire Strikes Back. The haircuts in that movie were really just so so.

13 bak’tun.

Tomorrow is the first day of the end of your life.

from here.

Tomorrow is the end of the world as we know it.

Only, you know, it’s not.

I have somewhat of a New Age streak to me, but a lot of this 13 bak’tun, Nibiru, and “galactic synchronization beam” shit, the works of Terrence McKenna, and any of the panicked reports on the Long Calendar you hear about on the internet is just silly. Interesting, but silly. It’s fun, when it’s tongue in cheek, but still silly. It’s your average modern confusion. It’s fun to joke about, to make funny macros of, but it’s as important to our lives as cat memes.

Cat memes like Colonel Meow:

I want Colonel Meow to replace Xenu in the hierarchy of cosmic nogoodniks.

Today a girl I know came into my job. I like her because she’s a bit silly and we can talk about goofy science things sometimes, but I’ve been growing increasingly worried because she’s deadly serious about being terrified about 12/21. She’s been telling me for weeks how she’s been meditating continuously, trying to affect global consciousness shifts for the better. She’s memorizing maps of ley lines and trying to save up good karma to release into the atmosphere. She told me that she’s bought plenty of cat food and is taking tomorrow off of work and that she plans to spend the whole day meditating.

I hear meditation and I keep thinking masturbation.

Could I meditate for a whole day? Well, the manly bragging side of me says sure, that I could certainly give it a try, but honestly, I think I’d run out of material after a while. After a while it’d be just vapors…

Anyway.

Its all about me-ow.

I like the think of the world in terms of chess, or more appropriately, abstract chess metaphors. It’s all about analysis, experience, knowledge, imagination, and movement. Progressions. There is a board, a set pattern, but also, there’s a field that stretches out. The moves we make exist before we make them and they continue to exist after they have occurred. The game has ended before it’s even started, and by the time you’ve played it out and finished the game, another one has already started.

The wave harmonics of history, fuck yeah!

That sounds like a endorsement of reincarnation of some kind of psuedo-Buddhist notions. I have none such. To me, metaphysics and God are exactly the same: I am curious about them, but I do not believe in them. Except for the “mysterious ways” in which they work that can all be boiled down to simply physics and scientific understandings of the world.

I’m obsessed with time. Just the same as you, just the same as anyone. People still wear watches. The time readout is a huge part of most cell phone dashboards. We look at calendars, we read our morning horoscopes in the newspapers, and we make plans (and we make God laugh). We can both travel in time and change the past when we use our memories.

The end is the beginning, and vice versa.

To borrow from The Invisibles: Time is the soil in which we grow.

Get comfortable in your Fiction suits.

I believe that everything is possible. Or, everything is permitted (and nothing is possible), as Hassan-i Sabbah said, but all is determined under one strict criteria: Perspective.

Creation is the same as destruction, and one follows the other, and always has, at least if you look at it in the right light. Anything can happen (and similarly, can not happen), but it all depends on your scope. The sky is the limit, but only if you let it be.

The end of the world makes for good TV. It makes a bad joke a more often told joke. It probably translates into pageviews right before Christmastime. It turns small minds into bemused minds into fearful minds, and stupidity abounds.

Sing it, Randy.

Prophecies are a cool idea, the same as foreshadowing in stories, but they only come true when they’re made to come true. There is no difference between fate and free will. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, whether we’re talking about the end of the world, the perception of the web of time around us, or even the end of this very blog: Mektoub.

It’s fascinating to look back at ancient cultures and see how they perceived time, how they built up Gods and Demons and explained the world to themselves in stories. I find all of that history of yesteryear interesting, but I’m not afraid of it. I’m more terrified of where the cultures of today go next. Times are hard, paychecks don’t last as long, and we really need to start worrying about where our next LOL will come from.

We should look forward to the moments in which we outgrow our fairy tales, but never forget how important they were to us, especially since they lead us to this…

Probably not.

Whatever this is.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

I’m quite curious about the end of the world, and how things get dismantled over time. I think about that kind of thing especially as this blog draws to a close, as the song slowly fades to its inevitable conclusion, and we put the chairs up and flip off the lights before we go. Let’s leave it with the sage wisdom of the distant past: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…

The internet is a unique and creepy and incredibly special place.

After this: 85 posts to go til the end!

But until then… Just some random pictures and one video from the internet…

Wonder Woman by Hellen Jo, from here.

from here.

from here.

from here.

I’m really fascinated by images of Christopher Nolan on the set of The Dark Knight Rises – see below  – which comes out so fucking soon now.

and

One of movies that I enjoy that is fairly obscure to your average film goer is Michael Haneke’s Caché from 2005. On the most basic level the movie could be viewed as a horror film when a well to do family in Paris has their quiet life turned upside down when someone starts sending them surveillance videos of themselves and their lives. They don’t know who’s sending them or how they’re capturing the footage of them. Just from that alone the movie makes a really chillingly effective psychological thriller, but it’s more artsy, and has a compellingly confusing final shot that makes you question just about everything you had just seen in the film that preceded it…

Anyway, the reason I bring it up is because a large part of the film is just long shots of people interacting and moving through their existence, just being. An unedited existence observed in a slightly ghostly fashion.

And that reminded me of this:

Just footage from what I presume was streaming video to some kind of function involving The Amazing Spider-Man, since Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are together. Obviously you know that the two actors are dating if you read any gossip columns or frequent any of those websites that post pictures of celebrities wearing tacky clothes as they stroll out of their homes to buy groceries, but it’s so odd to see them just hanging out somewhere and talking to people. People watching can be a fun time waster when you’re there, when you’re in the place or in the moment, but to just kind of hover over folks, it’s extra creepy.

But maybe I’m just reading too much into it?

Perhaps, but just watch a few minutes of this video and tell me you see it differently now. The glitch producing the echo in the audio doesn’t help any and I have to say, I felt a slight tingle when the actors stop and looked right at the camera. Suddenly… They could see me!

from here.

by Farel Dalrymple.

from here.

from here, and…

from here.

And before I go, until next time, I’ll leave you with a song I like…

All of these worlds are yours.

Meanwhile on the internet:

Ricky Gervais: Why I’m An Atheist.

The objectification of writers.

Alf drops the n-word.

Escape From Spiderhead” by George Saunders.

Quite frankly, Argentina has better dance reality shows.

Ten of the most intriguing movies of 2011.

Sarah Palin’s gloomy new poll numbers.

What has always been missing from your life and will now make it more complete: A mash-up between Fiddler On The Roof and You Got Served.

Eisenstein, Mickey Mouse, and the synthesis of ecstasy.

WikiLeaks and Nerd Supremacy.

15 things that Kurt Vonnegut said better than anyone.

The scientist who lit up the Dark Ages.

These screencaps, of course, are from Peter Hyam’s 1984 adaptation of 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

One of the absolute best comics of the year: Phonogram: The Singles Club.

One of the absolute worst comics of the year: When Kevin Smith took a big, smelly shit on Batman.

Does our universe show “bruises” from where it collided with other universes?

Angry people in local newspapers.

“Look at your God. Now look at me.” Cthulhu and Old Spice!

Three days.

Three days. That’s how many are left in 2010.

That is so wild, right? The end of the science fiction year that wasn’t too science fiction-y, sadly. Or maybe it was and I just wasn’t paying nearly enough attention. Or maybe I’ve just gotten so accustomed to the very pedestrian and incredibly mundane and boringly sexy science fiction-y aspects of my normal life?

from here.

I’m sure it’s something like that. Absolutely. Definitely. Whatever.

Also, this:

from here.

In this year, in this world of internetting and bloggery and social media, I had five very simple goals that I laid out at the start of 2010 and wanted to complete by year’s end. In order of my own personal interest and their importance, they were:

1. Not going to tell you (you’re not ready for this one yet, folks)(and neither am I).

2. Not going to tell you (forthcoming).

3. Not going to tell you (total abysmal failure).

4. Not going to tell you (worked, but was embarrassing and not worth mentioning again).

5. Getting 2,010 tweets in 2010!

The fifth one is the one that I’m going to definitely accomplish. Unless I lose both hands sometime in the next three days. Or lose my phone or computer or both. Or unless an EMP just wipes out all technology in the country/world.

But, well, I just don’t twitter much. And getting 2,010 tweets in 2010 was a silly, frivolous goal that I jokingly threw out on my twitter sometime back in… I don’t know what month, but sometimes those things you only jokingly declare are the ones that stick with you. It was somewhere around the start of the year, I believe, and I think I had less than a thousand tweets then and was probably tweeting an average of four to five tweets a month, roughly.

And eventually I just thought, yeah, I can do this shit, why not? Because it’s stupid? Stupidity has not stopped me from doing anything ever in my life.

Also, this is the 825th post on your friend neighborhood Counterforce. That’s wild. We didn’t make it to 1000 posts this year, but that’s perhaps for the best.  Personally, I’m just shocked that I managed to ramble on for nearly 2,010 tweets. I mean, what a silly declaration. Thinking back upon it, at first I was like this:

And then I was like this:

You understand.

Oh man, how creepy is this photo below?

Right?

Also, New Year’s Eve is almost upon us. Time to celebrate!

Also, this is fog porn:

from here.

And this is the first x-ray picture of a lightning strike:

from here.

Speaking of “science fiction,” the recent Doctor Who Christmas special was fucking wonderful.

So fun and smart and a nice little twist on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol cause, hey, why can’t the ghosts of Christmas’ past, present, and future be time travelers and holograms?

Michael Gambon was brilliant, but ruthlessly mean and joyously funny in places. And while the show did play around with some of it’s own rules towards time travel (and that’s why we have rules about time travel, folks: so they can be broken!), I found the idea of one watching their own past and memories change before their very eyes to be fascinating. Plus, the interesting but slight references to “the silence.” And I had to love the nice little nods to the recent JJ Abrams Star Trek movie with the copious lens flares on display of the crashing starship’s bridge.

Honestly, it was just nice to have Doctor Who back. The trailer for the upcoming season at the end of the special was a nice little tease as far as potential goes. Can it be April already?

Also, I’m worried that this (below) is what women must think of me whenever they see me…

from here.

Sigh. And I’m just trying to be normal and cool and down to earth and approachable. We can’t all be perfect, can we?

from here.

Oh well. Remember this always:

from here.

This is a picture from Tron Legacy

…which I hear was pretty terrible, but that Olivia Wilde was the best part of. Is it me, or is Olivia Wilde totally the new Angelina Jolie?

I mean that based on a lot of things, like her acting ability, her potential, the type of roles she’s taken in the past, but also based on her seemingly having that same ability that Angelina Jolie has to turn straight girls a little curious.

You know?

This is an abandoned theater in Detroit:

from here.

This is a monolith:

This is some good solid crazy fun rough housing:

And this is some old school adorable chillaxing right here:

The last six months or so on this blog and in my life have been… weird, to say the least. I’d go into more details here, but quite frankly, I don’t want to. I’ll just say that due to illness in my family, my life got a bit… derailed and I’m astonished that I’m seeing the end of this year without having gone totally insane. Or maybe I have already gone totally, stupendously insane and it’s just helping me see the end of this year more clearly? Like 3D glasses? That’s a comforting thought, right?

Anyway, at some point this will all be over and I’ll get back to some kind of semblance of “normal,” whatever that is. Are we still doing that? “Normal?”

Hopefully, if we’re lucky, we’ll be right back to asking “Who’s your daddy?” in no time flat.

This is what religion looks like:

from here.

And this is my basic worldview in a nutshell:

This is an example of the happy medium between sanity and fear:

This is an example of how Batman is both a master of surprise and also quite probably a huge pervert:

And sadly, no matter what we say or do, Lost is still over and done with:

Oh well. Three days to go. And then…

Fingers crossed about something exciting happening in those next three days (after all, a good deal of people on this planet thought that their magic wizard man came back from the dead in that same amount of time) but not holding my breath. Exciting, but not too exciting. Wow me, thrill me, blow my mind, fuck me over and fuck me up (but in a good way, please), but remember that when the sun comes up, I’ve still got bills to pay and TV shows to catch up with. Three days to go, promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep, and a long journey sprawling ahead of us through mountains upon mountains. This is both the place we made together and the journey we started together and I’m gonna be there with you. And wherever we end up, whatever new definition of home or normal we excavate, when we do we’ll turn to each other and say, “This must be the place!”

Remember, remember…

…it’s the 5th of November. It’s Guy Fawkes Day. The Gunpowder Plot. Not a huge deal here in America and, well, actually not a deal of any size here in America, but I forgot about it and then was reminded of it by the internet today, thanks to several individuals’ mini salute to the V For Vendetta film adaptation from a few years ago.

And it’s not an outlandish movie to watch so closely to our midterm elections from a few days ago. What a bizarre, strange, curiously odd bit of America that was.

What a strange time we are in currently in this country. Everything is emotions. There’s a phrase I keep hearing bandied about: “post-fact America.” Scary true. Most people get their dish on politicians from stupid email forwards than they do from the honest, serious media, and it’s all bullshit. Of course, there is no such thing as the honest, serious media anymore, is there? You can say anything and it gets reported, which is great, but does it get checked for a basis in reality? No. And why should it? Reality has no basis in our lives anymore, does it?

People are frustrated and upset and with good reason, especially given the precarious financial woe we’ve been in for the past two years. We want someone to blame and most folks don’t even care if if they’re upset at the right person. Tell them anything. Lie to them! Just turn their anger and their fear and heir sadness into something that’ll keep them warm: Hot, irrational anger. They want a rebellion. They don’t know what that means and they don’t care. Just articulate their feelings of uselessness into something that’ll fit onto a sign that they can hold up in public and we’ll worry about the damage we’re allowing to continue to be done in the morning after. And who cares? That’s a million years from now.

Our former president says that Kanye West calling him a racist on TV was the low point of his presidency. Not 9/11, not the lying about WMDs, not Iraq or Afghanistan, and not allowing our economy to slowly fade into shit. Not even the fiddling around and poor management post-Katrina, not even that was the low point of his years in the highest office in the land. No, it was when a rapper said what so many of us were already thinking.

Benjie Light were talking the other day, having a post-election pow wow and just sighing in exasperation at this place we now all inhabit together here in this age of conflict vs. compromise. “Probably less than a thousand people in this country really understand what went wrong with the economy,” he said to me and while I question the exact percentage he uses, I fear that he’s right. Hell, I don’t even fully understand the full intricacies of it – but reading The Big Short is on my to do list! – but I do know that we are better now than we were two years ago.

Not terribly better, no, but we’re on the right track and it’ll be a slow one, and a hard one. Now is the time for serious people to take serious action and leave some of the rhetoric behind. The Tea Party had some amazing victories this past Tuesday, regardless of the facts behind so many of their claims, but it’s fascinating how the real winners within that collective were the ones who went back to the center at the last moment, leaving the nutjobs like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell flapping in the wind. And that’s a good sign though. America can only handle morons to a certain degree and I’m thankful for that. Obviously I don’t agree with something like 95% of the beliefs of your average Republican, though I certainly understand where a lot of their feelings and overreactions come from, but my hope is that if they’re going to control something as goofy as the House of Representatives, then, please let’s have the serious people step up to the plate. The Democrats were lucky to retain the Senate, and guys like Harry Reid should be getting down on their knees and thanking his lucky fucking stars for having not lost (or having had such a ridiculous opponent), but what I’d like to see next is some understanding of how important it is that he actually does something with this second chance.

I’m not sure that syncretic politics is exactly the ideal or should be the goal, not always, but it’s what (and not the “noble idea” of anarchy [in the UK]) I think about when I think back on V For Vendetta. The film was one of the few examples of taking original source material, in this case the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, and taking the elements that worked from it and crafting a slightly different story from it. Or just telling the same story, but much better. The original graphic novel is a bit on the immature side, but I think that’s how reactions to the politics of the 80s feel to us now, despite the similarities to the world then and now.

And granted, the movie features Natalie Portman, whom I always like, for a lot of reasons, but part of that is because she has an eye for good films to appear in. And V For Vendetta is an ambitious tale, and kind of a poetic one, an action movie about this romantic idea about the vox populi, and the gentle tether that connects people with ideas and governments and control. “We the people” aren’t always right, I don’t believe, and more often then not the vox populi is woefully misinformed and complacent and lazy.And it’s not always about the level of control you maintain or that you manage to avoid succumbing to. Isn’t part of the point of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom that you sometimes have to give up the idea of freedom to instead find happiness? Either way, it’s about a balance, one that you can flourish under, and that others can as well, one that people can live with.

The other thing that Commander Light said the other day that was incredibly interesting to me was that this election just a few days ago could be about anything you wanted it to be about. Whatever your point is, whatever your thesis statement is, you’ll find something in your analysis to back it up. It’s a multi-layered thing and whatever is being said about America in those polls and votes and turnouts and wins and losses and bullet points from the mouths of babes and talking heads is whatever you want to be said. But what really matters now, the thing that we really need to find some kind of meaning and purpose in is what happens next.

The fate of the blogger.

from The Playwright, the new graphic novel written by Daren White and illustrated by Eddie Campbell, who has previously done the Alec series, as well as From Hell with Alan Moore, and The Fate Of The Artist and Bacchus. And this image I found in his interview with Forbidden Planet: