The legs, the nose, and Mrs. Robinson.

This is a Doctor Who post.

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I walked with a zombie.

from here.

Meanwhile on the internet:

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while…

Steven Spielberg commits to next direct ROBOPOCALYPSE.

…which I think we’ve mentioned before in some context.

The trailer for Strange Powers, the documentary about Stephin Merritt.

Julie Newmar on The Monkees.

Shocking news: James Marsters and the rest of the rest of the cast of Buffy The Vampire Slayer are so much cooler than Luke Perry.

There is so much fucking water on the moon.

from here.

Liam Neeson to replace Mel Gibson in the celebrity cameo department in The Hangover 2. The downside to that? There’s a sequel to The Hangover.

Why I want to fuck J.G. Ballard.

The replacement cover for the “banned” cover to Kanye West’s new album is ugly.

An interview with Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino.

This site hits far too close to home.

The School of Night.

The comic above: That’s Cyanide & Happiness, which I found over at The High Definite, but after you’ve read that, I’d highly recommend checking out Part 1 and Part 2.

What your favorite movie characters would do if they were attacked by zombies.

Inside the minds of Daniel Clowes and Johnny Ryan.

Conan O’Brien announces who his first week of guests will be.

Interesting video concerning New Zealand actors and The Hobbit, which just cast Martin Freeman in the titular role.

Life on Earth could be transformed by NASA space technology.

Incredibly creepy website promoting Black Swan.

And below, from here:

The patient labyrinth.

Mad linkage:

Are “masters of the universe” born or bred?

Weezer offered $10 million to split up.

Natalie Portman to offer “gratuitous nudity” in what is not but certainly sounds like it would be a sequel to Pineapple Express.

(But that still doesn’t tell us who she’s fucking these days, does it?)

The musical farewell to Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.

from here.

Angelina Jolie’s Bosnian rape romance.

The 17 differences between the East Coast and West Coast versions of the live 30 Rock episode.

Making sense of The Shallows.

Aaron Sorkin responds to a blog commenter about The Social Network‘s misogyny.

Best Coast and Deerhoof to guest on the new Go! Team album.

Who is the biggest drunk on Mad Men?

Look at this fucking article about hipsters.

“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”

-Jorge Luis Borges, from Dreamtigers.

The Soviets’ secret, failed moon program.

Those lovable scamps in ICP are actually hardcore Christians. Whatever.

Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy.

Remember the Singularity? Shocking news: It may not be coming after all.

You have the right to go topless.

Don’t forget that Mad Men‘s season finale is tomorrow night!

from here.

The power of the babe.

A reminder that those World Of Warcraft nerds are still fucking perverts.

One-way mirrors and social media “stalking.”

Of course one of the 33 Chilean miners was having an affair!

A Mars Supreme!

Hollywood needs to turn towards Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison.

The ballad of Mick and Keith.

And then…

“Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.”

-Jorge Luis Borges, “The Threatened.”

from here.

Can you believe that it’s…

…already? This year is going by so fast. Or so slow, I guess, depending on how you perceive time.

Previously on Counterforce: September came and went and Peanut St. Cosmo remained chillwave as fuck. Mad Men remains easily the best show currently on TV. Movie script endings. Those three little words everyone longs to hear. Bitches ain’t shit LIVE in Nashville. They are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired. Is the omission of chocolate a racial thing? A selection from the new Criterion Classics: The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2. And it’s mirror universe opposite: New Moon. You must defend your blog from intruders. Does anybody remember August Bravo?

Also: Blog nerdy to me. Right now you should be loving yourself in this country of winners and gladiators. “There is no difference between the behavior of a god and the operations of pure chance.” Diets of shame. Imagine Hemingway and Castro getting jiggy with it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt vs. Rob Gordon. Cosmic loneliness. R. Kelly is for real, no doubt. How to determine your philosophy of life. For a short time Peanut St. Cosmo was the interim finance minister of Japan, all until that unfortunate sex scandal.

from here.

And seriously not forgetting: Obama porn, bad poetry, and nonsensical costumes. ID-4… 2? Donald Barthelme, George Saunders, and a bunch of weird Japanese kids getting into hijinks. No hugging, no learning. Italian urologists and swans used as murder weapons. Explanations are for everyone but the explorers. Something something something Patti Smith. And: The Moon.

And where do we go from here?

Anywhere you like.

Haecceity.

Maybe this is not for you. Maybe it’s just not the time for this kind of thing?

Continue reading

In the blood.

Mad linkage:

Finally, a manifesto for the internet that makes sense.

Emergency search and rescue effort launched for teen sailing around the world.

In TV, it’s always the same old news.

Kelly Clarkson steals from Arcade Fire?

Makes me nostalgic for this song.

Not long after Al and Tipper Gore separate, so does their daughter and her husband.

There’s six new True Blood promos!

…and maybe perhaps they’re over-marketing it a little?

Thankfully, Eggs is still dead.

A guide to some of the new characters appearing this season and who they were in the book series.

This season the show promises “sexual insanity.” Story of my life.

Last night I watched the pilot for Persons Unknown, one of the new crop of summer event TV in the vein of a Lost-style mystery. It stars Alan Ruck, some annoying guy who’s been in literally every bad TV, and the guy who played Skippy in Kicking And Screaming and was written and created by Christopher McQuarrie. The last part there is the most trembling since I always liked McQuarrie and this show is amateur hour at best.

Extreme Solitude” by Jeffrey Eugenides.

“I love you! No homo.”

Woman charged with public adultery in New York.

Bye bye, Facebook.

Huge seas once existed on Mars.

The German super rick offer to pay “rich tax.”

The Vaselines to release first new album in 20 years.

Nocturnal altertness improves after exposure to milliseconds of bright light flashes.

Sack tapping can be dangerous. Seriously.

The mystery of the sun’s corona.

The formation of Saturn’s ring moons explained.

Do women manipulate men with noises during sex?

“Eyes I dare not meet in dreams…”

“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.”

-T. S. Eliot

More poetry, since, after all, this is the very end of “the cruelest month,” isn’t it?

Oh, and Thomas Stearns Eliot… I had planned to do one more post of a collection of a few of his verses or another poem or two, and then I got an email from a friend of mine, Lia, mentioning that she thought that Eliot was… and how shall I put this… interesting, to say the least. Actually, I believe the word she used was actually “bonkers,” but I think I get where she’s coming from.

To me, Eliot, is the epitome of what I want in a poet. Simple, but complex. Vague but truthful. High minded but communicating to us from the lowest depths. Sad and melancholy but happiest when translating that into words that transcend.

from here.

From Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” I give you a favorite verse:

She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.

But, I should add, that when it comes to poetry, I’m only a casual investor. My bag has always been prose,  proper stories of fiction or non-fiction. Or poetry more lyrical, set to music, reverberating with sound. I’m just not the snobbiest when it comes to poetry, nor am I the most discerning or knowledgeable, I’m afraid. In fact, to me, there’s really only three kinds of poetry out there…

1. Simple stuff. Rhymes that are cutesy and intriguing, delighting the imagination and pleasing the easiest of senses. Perhaps grotesque or macabre, but in a way that sets the intellect aflame. This could be anything, really, but typically stuff you learn in school, from grade school to junior high to high school. We’re talking anything from Where The Sidewalk Ends to Edgar Allan Poe.

2. Stepping it up a bit. More adult. Rhymes, sometimes, but like I said before, deeper with truth. You hear the words with your ears and then they echo within, touching on something all too familiar. Can be a tad cute-sy, but also rewarding for a generation like ours with our hypertext annotations, the kind you’d read “Prufrock” or “The Waste Land” or “The Hollow Men” with at some point in your life. Obviously, this could include Eliot, but also poets as fanciful Federico García Lorca or Pablo Neruda, or as simple as Richard Brautigan. Hell, it can be as simple as Shakespeare or Shelley, even.

3. Everything else, but ascending. Some of it’s so deep and smart and amazing that I just don’t have the brain power to comprehend it, or I’m just not there. I’m sure you can suggest something for this category. The only downside to that is, well, if you can, then you’re probably an asshole. But you worked hard for it and I salute you.

But I admire the idea of the poet, the romantic nature of such a “profession.” It’s like an emotionaut, diving into the psyche, and trying to describe to the guarded observers what is found there. Sometimes poetry can be too childlike or too grandiose or just too overblown and pretentious, because that’s who it’s writers are. And, more often than not, that’s who the readers are too. What you look for in that sea of words is most likely exactly what you’re going to find.

You can four more wonderful poems by Eliot here: “Mélange adultère de tout,” “The Naming Of Cats,” “Luna de Miel,” and “Whispers Of Immortality.”

from here.

And I shall leave you this month with one very last poem by T. S. Eliot, this one being “Conversation Galante,” which I hope you enjoy…

I observe: “Our sentimental friend the moon!
Or possibly (fantastic, I confess)
It may be Prester John’’s balloon
Or an old battered lantern hung aloft
To light poor travellers to their distress.”
She then: “How you digress!”

And I then: “Some one frames upon the keys
That exquisite nocturne, with which we explain
The night and moonshine; music which we seize
To body forth our own vacuity.”
She then: “Does this refer to me?”
“Oh no, it is I who am inane.”

“You, madam, are the eternal humorist
The eternal enemy of the absolute,
Giving our vagrant moods the slightest twist!
With your air indifferent and imperious
At a stroke our mad poetics to confute–“
And–“Are we then so serious?”


The year in pictures, part one.

…but not for much longer.

Midnight In Dostoevsky” by Don DeLillo, who has a new novel in 2010!

Plotting the ruination of Radiohead?

Lady Gaga and the Queen.

This is easily the film I’m most looking forward to next year.

2009 was the year to set aside childish things. Namely, the last eight years.

Putin to retire soon? “Don’t hold your breath,” he says.

“Like taking candy from someone who seriously likes candy.”

There’s always time in time and space to stop and smell the flowers.

from here.

There’s water on the moon!

What this decade has been lacking thus far: Authenticity.

Who’s your favorite Beatle?

The end of love, part one.

Person of the year?

Is this what the culture’s come to?

You know what, don’t answer that.

Going where others have gone before.

Iran pisses on itself just a little more.

“You better be in fear.”

If you are neighbors with Sarah Palin, I guess that puts you within visual range of Russia?

New terror in the skies?

First rap is dead, then love (part two)?

Serious contender for best picture of the year, right?

Both Winston Churchill and Pynchon love inherent vices.

LUV U, LILY.

MISS U, SWAYZE.

New Justice.

Hacker of the year?

Just think about all the sex you’ve had in the past year (or should have been having.)

MISS U, Batman (though not for much longer).

MISS/LUV U, Juliet.

Tiger Woods killed Brittany Murphy!

“Memes” and “Contraflow.”

I saw her again last night.”

Birds successfully begin phase one of their attack on humanity.

In the year full of recurring royalty and ending love affairs, of course the king of pop songs would die. Makes me want to scream.

Was 2009 the year of sci fi?

The end of love, part three.

To be continued!

“How do you say ‘Hamburger’ in Japanese?”

We want to get hammered on Prohibition-era hair tonic and open a hotel on the moon and make the rock full of cheese as American as possible (and be greeted as liberators)(before we blow it up) and maybe, just maybe, Conrad Hilton agrees with us. With a little bit of “wow!” as a lady friend of mine once said, between our dreams and our desires, we existed with last night’s new episode of Mad Men in the “Wee Small Hours.”

August Bravo: That Betty sure is a dreamer…

Marco Sparks: You may say she’s a dreamer, but she’s not the only one

It’s really shaping up that this season is all about the meeting of dreams with desires, two things that aren’t necessarily the same thing.

August: So it seems. Betty is afraid to give into these desires. Don, however, is not.

Marco: I think Betty’s a smart person, a worldly person of sorts, but not a person of depth. Is she really afraid to to combine her wants and dreams of a silver fox lover from the Governor’s office, or is she just trapped within the boundaries of her princess mindset? It seemed like she would’ve fucked that guy (had the show been set in the present day, they would’ve been twittering naughty little missives towards each other) as long as it hadn’t been so “tawdry.”

But that aside, I loved that the episode started off with Betty laying in the dark with her dreams and ended with Don finally asleep in bed with the thing he wanted.

August: I think she’s still trying to see if she still has it. Don neglects her because, let’s face it, he doesn’t seem to give a fuck anymore…

Marco: They’re practically roommates raising kids together.

August: Yeah, and she wants some attention. Some naughty play on the side to get excited about. Reminds me of my ex-girlfriend, actually.

Marco: Which one?

August: Actually, all of them!

Marco: Yikes. Betty just reminded me of my feeling for this show, at least this season, when she’s patronizing  her nanny/housekeeper Carla about “her station” and talking about those four dead girls in Birmingham. “This has really made me wonder about civil rights. Maybe it’s not supposed to happen right now.”

And I feel like when you really get down to it, everything Don does is a reaction to something. Quite probably everything.

August: Betty may actually want the guy from the Governor’s office, but she’s just reacting too, I think. Betty is slowly becoming a more interesting character to me as this season progresses. And more like Don.

Marco: He is one of the most influential characters on TV or in real like in, like, forever.

August: I think Betty wants without thought towards consequences, and last night she got lucky in her covering of them and not getting too caught up by them.

Marco: I loved that Betty A) of course had a hard time discussing civil rights with Carla, but B) threw that fundraiser pretty much to cover herself with Carla, who had Henry Francis, the man from the Governor’s office, coming over for an illicit hello.

August: I don’t think Betty’s going to be so lucky in the future. And yeah, Don does just react. I don’t think he starts a lot of the situations he finds himself in. They just present themselves and he does what he can to craft them, to shape them. He is crafty. But for now, Don isn’t going to stop doing, getting, or taking what he wants. He’s in that 1960s mindset, and why wouldn’t he be?

Marco: The 1960s were like a theme park for insecure men with money to walk around just being better than everyone. Especially their women. And the women of Mad Men have to be careful because they can be let go when they reach their full potential.

August: Yeah, really. Don is the man, quite literally, so therefore he’s accepted as being better than Betty. He deserves more.

Marco: And takes more.

August: He brings home the bacon. And sometimes he wants a woman to play with that bacon. And why shouldn’t they?

Marco: He is Don Draper, after all.

August: He works hard, he plays hard. I think that’s how he feels.

Marco: Don Draper is secure enough in his awesomeness to show up to work late pretty much all the time.

August: But usually because he’s at home reading the bible with his family, of course.

Marco: Oh, of course. You’re really feeling Don, aren’t you? So is Don beginning the relationship with teacher, the very “close to home” relationship, based on the disapproval of his new father figure with unrealistic desires (like the moon), Conrad Hilton?

August: Oh yeah, definitely. I think Don’s just fed up with everything lately. “Give me more ideas to reject,” he says.

Marco: “Now that I can finally understand you, I am less impressed with what you have to say.”

August: Having to say things like that daily and put up with your underlings while constantly being jerked around by a powerful man like Hilton can stress a guy out. At that point, Don really needed something his life to go right, and go right the way he wanted it to. He needed a good powerfuck.

Marco: And the teacher was perfect for him because she presents herself to the world he lives in like she’s from another planet. And I’d like to think that, deep down, she’s outing herself as being from the same planet Don is from, or heading to as the show progresses, but who knows.

She jobs along lonely stretches of highway at all hours of the night, she lives above somebody’s garage, and she advocates not staring right into the sun. And she’s seen their entire affair, and knows exactly how it’s going to end. Who knows what Don Draper’s views on fate and predestination are, but I think he knows the one thing he can control, whether doing so is a reaction or something else or not, is to fuck this woman’s brains out, especially if there’s a higher risk of him being caught than ever before. “Doesn’t that mean anything to a person like you?”

August: You can tell that Don’s giving less and less of a shit about Betty, it seems. She asks if it’s okay to have the fundraiser there and he says sure, as long as he doesn’t have to go. Don’s a little like Betty in that he wants what he wants, and right now it’s the teacher. He’s drinking too much coffee, he’s not sleeping, he’s giving more and more of himself over to Connie, I don’t know.

Marco: Everyone’s walking around hunched over, with burnt fuses sticking out of their necks.

August: Exactly. Everything, especially everything with Don is a ticking time bomb at this point. Especially when it comes to Conrad Hilton. Don may want Connie’s approval, but I don’t he’ll be able to give Connie the love he wants.

Marco: Speaking of time bombs, I feel like yet another fuse was lit last night in the coming hardcore show down with Roger and Don.

August: Seriously. Even though Don and Roger technically agreed on aspects of the Sal situation last night, there’s still going to be a showdown. I’m hoping for a fistfight!

Marco: More American bloodlust as usual, huh?

And Don did cause all of us to step back a little with the way he treated Sal in this episode, wouldn’t you agree?

August: He knows about Sal, knows about what went down on in that hotel room with the bellhop and Sal, or was about to go down in that hotel room when they were out of town together. Sal’s being bit in the ass for not having given in. Don’s a cool guy with a lot of the things that flow outside what is currently considered the social norm of his time, but it seems he doesn’t trust that lifestyle. The way he mutters to Sal, “You people.”

Marco: It was absolutely chilling, wasn’t it? It’s kind of funny that when Don is mean to people like Pete Campbell or Ken Cosgrove or Kurt or Smitty, Kinsey and Crane, and the rest, we kind of cheer it on. We want to see more of it. Maybe even with Peggy, a little. But when I said that Joan was the spine of this show in a lot of ways, I think you could make the argument that Sal’s part of the ribs of the thing.

From his first scene in the first episode, when he walks in and you can tell he’s gay, and you instantly know how hard his life has to be in this time period, I think there was too much of a chance that this character could’ve been a joke, but he’s always been written well and Bryan Batt has played him with such class. And I think we’ve come to realize how much we like Sal this season just by watching him suffer so. Especially at the hands of Don Draper.

August: But Don had to do what he had to do. Lucky Strike is their biggest client, after all.

Marco: They were there since the pilot too, weren’t they? They’re “toasted.” But in Lee Garner, Jr. we have a villain you can really hate. A bully. He wants what he wants, as do all the characters on this show, and he won’t be told no too.

August: You upset him and Lucky Strikes and you’re fucked. Like Sal is now.

Marco: I blame it all on Harry Crane, who looks more like young Isaac Asimov to me than Perry Mason.

August: When I said that Sal was fucked, well, it was Harry Crane who did the fucking. He should’ve done something when he got that phone call, and his silence is what did Sal in.

Marco: Yeah, it is. It’s funny to me that a majority of the other characters all have better gaydar than Sal, in that they can all tell that Sal is gay and he’s clueless about them. But then again, that commercial was super homoerotic, so maybe it wasn’t so hard to figure out.

But, to be fair to Don, it seemed like Don and Sal never talked about Sal’s sexuality, so with Don witnessing Sal’s hookup with a bellhop out of town, he may’ve assumed that it was a regular thing with him (as I think you could call all of Don’s extramarital partying around) and Don may be upset that Sal didn’t follow his vague advice of: “Cover your exposure.” Eh… then again, maybe not.

I just hope that Sal finds some temporary solace there in Central Park…

August: Seriously.

Marco: …and then teams up with Joan for a comeback at Sterling-Cooper.

August: Is it too late to make a comment about Sal being shafted? Sal got shafted!

Marco: I guess it’s never too late.

What about the moon?

August: And you reminded me, where the fuck was Cosgrove? I think I liked Roger’s line the best, the one about what the company is going to be known for…

Marco: ”That’s what you want this place to be known for? That and some guy losing his foot in the lawnmower.”

August: Yes!

Marco: I think that Betty actually got not just the line of the night, about the meta-statement of the season, maybe the entire show itself when she was referring to Baby Eugene and Connie at the same time…

August: “‘I want what I want when I want it,” as she feeds the baby in the wee small hours…

Marco: “…and you don’t care what it does to the rest of us.”