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Sunday, June 24, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (let’s call it July 2018)

With so much time spent fostering garbage takes on food, perhaps many of you missed Tom Breihan’s “A History of Violence” series, which kicked off in 2016 with a celebration of Bullitt:

When you talk about the history of action movies, you sort of have to define what an action movie is first. As with any movie genre, lines blur, and movies can be multiple things at once. Action—fights, chases, bodies forced into extreme circumstances—has been a part of narrative cinema since narrative cinema became a thing. If you wanted to be ultra-pedantic, you could say that the 1903 silent film The Great Train Robbery was the first action movie, though it would take a whole lot of work to draw a historical line between that and John Wick.

For the purposes of this column, action movies didn’t arrive in their modern and fully-formed state until the late ’60s. There were other genres of movies that supplied the kinds of thrills that action movies would later provide: Westerns, war movies, crime thrillers. (All those genres will appear, in hybridized forms, in this column later on. We’re also going to stay away from things like superhero movies, sci-fi, fantasy, and Oscar bait, except in the rare instances when those genres cross over fully with the action genre.) And there were movies that could be considered proto-action movies: John Sturges’ 1955 Bad Day At Black Rock, Hitchcock’s 1959 North By Northwest, all the early movies in the Bond series.

I should also add that the whole goal of this column is to pick the most important action movie of every year, not necessarily the best or most beloved. (Most of the time, though, it probably will be the best or most beloved action movie of its year, partly because bullshit usually doesn’t leave that deep of an impact and partly because I have no desire to rewatch a bunch of bullshit.)

 

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: June 24, 2018 at 06:43 PM | 939 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   901. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 30, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5718124)
Flip
   902. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 30, 2018 at 05:20 PM (#5718125)
My hometown! Let me know if you want a recommendation for a restaurant or drinks depending on when you get in.


The last few years we have been eating in Huaraches Moroleon and it has been yummy, but I will accept any other recommendations. We should arrive in the mid-afternoon (depending on how quick we are tomorrow morning).
   903. PreservedFish Posted: July 30, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5718136)
Are there any people that are widely recognized as world-class elite dungeon masters?
   904. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 30, 2018 at 06:00 PM (#5718137)
There are always a bunch of live-streaming D&D games on Twitch, I’m guessing at least some of those people must be great at it to keep people watching along.
   905. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 30, 2018 at 06:07 PM (#5718143)
Are there any people that are widely recognized as world-class elite dungeon masters?
Ichiro.
   906. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 30, 2018 at 06:32 PM (#5718149)
No, I am not going to google it. We're trying to have a conversation here.


I was in the grocery store today, the lady ahead of me in line had four kids with with her. The checkout clerk offered them "stickers," and two took them, two said they were too old for stickers. When my turn came, I said I was too old for stickers, too, which dropped me down a five-minute rabbit hole about stickers, comic books, superhero movies and DC v. Marvel. My contribution was that I had seen Thor and Dr. Strange, and I lied about liking (or even comprehending) the latter.
   907. PreservedFish Posted: July 30, 2018 at 06:33 PM (#5718151)
There could be a whole world of elite D&D! Millionaire players are flown in private planes to undisclosed locations, their identities kept secret. Like the orgy in Eyes Wide Shut, except it's actually just obese tech magnates.
   908. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 30, 2018 at 06:52 PM (#5718161)
Kumate for nerds.
   909. PreservedFish Posted: July 30, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5718166)
Two half-elven druid sorcerers enter, one half-elven druid sorcerer leaves!

edit > Wondering if "druid sorcerer" is either redundant or contradictory.
   910. K-BAR, J-BAR (trhn) Posted: July 30, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5718167)
Do modern-day receivers have Bluetooth capacity?


Stereo (or AVR) recievers almost universally have BT. In fact, most also have support for some combination of Chromecast audio or Airplay over WiFi (often in addition to some other proprietary music casting solution) down to about the $100 range. If you don't need AM/FM or a bunch of inputs, even the $30-50 Chinese Class-T amps have Bluetooth antennas on them.
   911. McCoy Posted: July 30, 2018 at 08:47 PM (#5718215)
I was considered a good one in our group. Mostly because I had a script, made them roll for their character traits in front of me, kept each player's character sheet when we were done for the day (so they wouldn't cheat), and would patiently steer them through their stupidity. " No you don't want to charge in blazing with a pistol against a level 20 great horned dragon. Perhaps you might look for another way to get in. Oh, you found a home that leads to a tunnel under ground? Very good. Perhaps you should explore that. No don't give your fellow player a ticking down fusion bomb disguised as a box of chocolates. Come along, come along"

My little group liked the idea of RPG but didn't really have the right mindset for it. Which is probably why M:TG swept right through and took over everything.

Other GM were either like what's his name in the coming FoxTrot where you would spend all day creating your character and getting everything organized only to have the GM use the game as a cruel power trip and to do mean spirited jokes. The other times it would take 2 hours to resolve what should have been resolved in 5 minutes as players did stupid shvt and GM went along with it or if the group split up and the GM would desk with each person individually.

Outside of any adventures I ran not a single storyline ever even got close to being resolved. To be honest I don't even know why I stick it out for as long as I did.
   912. PreservedFish Posted: July 30, 2018 at 09:31 PM (#5718236)
I was really into D&D for about 6 months when I was like 13. Needless to say I never experienced a DM that was even remotely competent.
   913. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 30, 2018 at 09:55 PM (#5718252)
The first few GenCons were held in Lake Geneva, WI, hence GenCon. Mellows recall reminds me that it was in Kenosha for a awhile in the 80s. Funny how the Convention follows me from MKE, to Indy. I think they are over 60,000 attendees now. Some of the best people watching you can do anywhere.


Quite the contrast from the National FFA, another huge convention except those lovely kids all wear the same uniform, except for their respective home State seal.
   914. McCoy Posted: July 30, 2018 at 10:00 PM (#5718255)
Had no idea it was held at Parkside back in the 1980's. Used to live near the campus back in the mid 90's and then in the early to mid 2000's. That kind of a convention by that point in time surely would have been a strange site in that area.

I think Bronycon has it beat in terms of people watching.
   915. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 30, 2018 at 10:12 PM (#5718263)
Oooh, yeah Bronycon would be hard to look away, though I don't know if it has the range of GenCon, where there are so many stunning ensembles. The budgets ranging from $1 (presumably) to $$$$ to put these costumes together is something else. Usually it is only Halloween when the convenience stores have the 'no masks in the store' signs up, this week's gotta be a hoot working retail/hospitality.
   916. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 30, 2018 at 10:19 PM (#5718265)
I happened to be in Pittsburgh when there was a furry convention - they have an "official" name but I forgot it. It was really freaking weird.
   917. McCoy Posted: July 30, 2018 at 10:20 PM (#5718266)
I've worked hotels that have done dragoncon and bronycon, plus a third that I'm Forgetting. A jap animation one. In DC I loved near the convention center and saw all the conventions there as well.
   918. PreservedFish Posted: July 30, 2018 at 10:27 PM (#5718267)
I've worked hotels that have done dragoncon and bronycon


This must be an absolute riot.
   919. McCoy Posted: July 30, 2018 at 10:48 PM (#5718276)
Otakon was the other one. Just did one in Atlanta for all things Sherlock Holmes.

The thing about these conventions is that the a good chunk of the attendees are on the spectrum. We do pre-con meetings with the organizers and we'd go through the different color badges the attendees might wear. Red might mean don't talk to me, yellow might mean take a picture from afar, so on and so on. For many whatever particular convention we were holding that was the one big event of the year that would get the attendee out of the house and actually physically interacting with other human beings.

One year, I believe it was for Bronycon, we hosted that convention and a Baltimore fraternity reunion at the same time. I think it was genetically implanted in the frat guys to meet with the brownies. Some rough moments there and a few times the cops had to be called.
   920. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 30, 2018 at 10:54 PM (#5718279)
Insert SABR convention joke here.>
   921. PreservedFish Posted: July 30, 2018 at 11:04 PM (#5718284)
I'm guessing the Sherlock Holmes crowd is a bunch of mild 60+ year olds, probably fairly boring people watching. Probably a more even gender spread.

Fewer men that think they're married to pillows or animated ponies, at least.
   922. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 31, 2018 at 12:56 AM (#5718330)
Every year I say to myself that I'll attend Sakura-Con, the anime and Japanese popular culture convention held every year in Seattle, and every year I cop out. Several bands from Japan that I love have played there, and voice actors from several of my favorite anime have appeared. I could even get tickets for free - I've been offered them by friends I made when I worked as a music critic. I'm just a little hesitant to enter such a different world, especially at my age, and of course I'd never cosplay in a million years. Yet I've watched over 200 anime series in the past few years, and I'm sure that I could have an intelligent discussion about them, and would enjoy the panel discussions. And I'm sure I know more about J-rock and J-pop than half the people there. In the ten years that I've been a fan of J-rock, I've had exactly two extended discussions with people who were knowledgeable about it, and I loved talking about it with them. I'd love to be able to do that again...
   923. McCoy Posted: July 31, 2018 at 07:31 AM (#5718341)
No the Holmies are not a bunch of 60 year old women. Benedict Cumberbatch will skew the demographics. It is a lot of women but from many agree groups and a high % of LGBT.

Many years ago I did work a Holmes society soiree and that had a lot of 60+ year old people but was a good mix of men and women.
   924. Howie Menckel Posted: July 31, 2018 at 08:24 AM (#5718350)
every year I cop out.

"'tis better to have loved, and lost - than never to have loved at all."

in other words, JUST DO IT.

in 1986, about 20 of us agreed to make a pilgrimage to Wrigley Field to celebrate the Mets bestriding the NL like a Colossus. only 7 actually made the journey (on newly-cheap plane tickets from Peoples Express). I never got the hesitation.

I'll partly make a fool of myself at the Aug 11 BBTF softball game, but "severe osteoarthritis" be damned.

JUST DO IT
   925. Baldrick Posted: July 31, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5718470)
Every year I say to myself that I'll attend Sakura-Con, the anime and Japanese popular culture convention held every year in Seattle, and every year I cop out.

I attended this by accident one year, because a political science conference I was attending ran simultaneously with it. There was also a third conference happening in the same hotel: the International Conference on Roundabouts!

It was a real heady mix to have all three things happening at the same time.

Edit: I didn't actually attend Sakura-Con since I was busy with my own thing and that's not really my jam anyway, but it was very cool to share the space and seemed like everyone was having a blast. You should go!
   926. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5718503)
The Ringer's Top 100 TV Episodes Since 2000

Evidently they are only choosing one episode of a series. "Pine Barrens" gets a lot of love, but my favorite Sopranos episode is from later in the series.

"Better Call Saul" should be way higher. I actually have no problems with a "Lost" episode at the top (I haven't watched Mad Men, GoT, The Wire, or virtually any of the reality shows).

   927. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5718531)
Just finished S1 of B5. As recalled earlier, the arc picks up some pretty serious steam by the end of the year.

One thing we noticed was how interesting it is, really, that Morden is nothing but nice, good manners, personable, etc. but you immediately know he's evil. On the flip side, you have G'Kar, who is laid out initially as a brute and nominal bad guy, but by the end of year 1 is set up to be sympathetic and capable of growth. Oh, and all those diversity claims are bogus - *both* Franklin's assistant (seen in the final episode, behind a surgical mask) *AND* Sinclair's GF/Fiancee, who as I recall is about to disappear forever unmentioned, are Asian! And there's aliens EVERYWHERE, duh.
   928. BDC Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5718555)
The Ringer's Top 100 TV Episodes Since 2000


Jeez, I have seen eight of the 100. I didn't know I was that out of touch.

I understand their rationale for including so much reality and "lifestyle" TV, but I wonder how many of those episodes you'd really re-watch: which would be one of my criteria for "top" entertainment, something you could enjoy several times. I do confess to re-watching clips from the Gary-Busey/Meat-Loaf Celebrity Apprentice episode over and over, but I don't know if that would make my artistic pantheon.

Several of my favorites would surely be represented if the list were limited to dramas: The Shield, Ripper Street, Boardwalk Empire, Deutschland 83, Fargo. I don't watch contemporary sitcoms very much, but Archer is wonderful. I don't know which episodes I'd nominate from those shows, but at their best they've been outstanding.

I am also an extravagant fan of the original CSI. It had its ups and downs over the years, but the Miniature Killer sequence, particularly the episode "Monster in the Box," is really strong by any standards.
   929. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5718564)
"Better Call Saul" should be way higher.


That was indeed an amazing episode of drama ("Chicanery"). Such brutality towards one another. I would've chosen elsewhere from Deadwood.
   930. Lassus Posted: July 31, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5718623)
Evidently they are only choosing one episode of a series.

Weak. I was excited for the list until reading that.
   931. PreservedFish Posted: July 31, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5718677)
the International Conference on Roundabouts!


I think one could write an entertaining travelogue that just involved attending things like this.
   932. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 31, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5718693)
Update...one of my music writer friends has offered to go with me to Sakura-Con next year, and he has access to free tickets. I didn't say maybe, or waffle - I've committed myself to going. So I'm going!
   933. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 31, 2018 at 11:24 PM (#5718861)
That roundabout thingy was here a few years ago where I live. Apparently our suburb of 80,000 has more roundabouts than any city in the U.S. I believe it, I can't go 2 miles w/o hitting at least five. We have 120 and there are probably 10 more being installed right now. Gonna be a one stoplight town pretty soon.
   934. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: August 01, 2018 at 03:12 AM (#5718895)
The Ringer's list was interesting. A little disappointed by nothing from season 4 of 'Halt and Catch Fire' or season 1 of 'In Treatment' (unless I missed them). I would probably also want to try to get something from season 2 of 'The Expanse' in there as a surprising heir to 'BSG'/'Firefly'. And I really liked 'Scrubs' right out of the gate with "My Old Lady"; that was a fun statement of intent.
   935. Greg K Posted: August 01, 2018 at 07:18 AM (#5718908)
My brother's a pretty experienced DM (I can't speak to how proficient he is). He's been running games fairly regularly for about 15 years. I had to stop playing about 14 years, and 50 weeks ago though. The sessions run around 8 hours, and our mutual friends who play tend to be easily distracted. They recently did a cottage weekend session that was probably 20+ hours of play over a weekend. I, of course, didn't go, or I would have ended up drowning someone in the lake (possibly myself).
   936. Greg K Posted: August 01, 2018 at 07:24 AM (#5718909)
"Better Call Saul" should be way higher. I actually have no problems with a "Lost" episode at the top (I haven't watched Mad Men, GoT, The Wire, or virtually any of the reality shows).

I can see the Lost episode being the reason that list was made. It's one of the rare TV episodes that can lifted from the context of the show and just be enjoyed on its own.
   937. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 01, 2018 at 08:47 AM (#5718923)
Jeez, I have seen eight of the 100.


That's exactly where I ended up. I can't help but think the website was testing its own staff to see if anyone was uncool enough to suggest a Big Bang Theory episode.
   938. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5718924)
The sessions run around 8 hours, and our mutual friends who play tend to be easily distracted. They recently did a cottage weekend session that was probably 20+ hours of play over a weekend. I, of course, didn't go, or I would have ended up drowning someone in the lake (possibly myself).

That sounds about what I generally experienced playing RPG.

For me my first experience with RPG was Star Wars first edition followed by Rifts first edition. From there occasionally someone would by another system and we'd play it for a week or so. Star Trek, Paranoia, TMNT, Heroes Unlimited, Nightlife, Robotech, Battletech (which I guess is not really a RPG), Shadowrun, and another one that I'm forgetting the name about alien races that are setup like Ancient Roman legions but have lasers and stuff. Eventually we got into AD&D 2nd edition and then a quick jump to Dragonlance from there.
   939. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 13, 2018 at 08:11 PM (#5726070)
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