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Saturday, September 01, 2018

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (September 2018)

The new TV season is upon us.

[H]ere is Deadline’s annual rundown of fall premiere dates for new and returning series. The list covers hundreds of broadcast, cable and streaming shows bowing between September 1 and December 31 and some high-profile one-off programs.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: September 01, 2018 at 12:05 PM | 396 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   301. McCoy Posted: September 12, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5742869)
Flip
   302. jmurph Posted: September 12, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5742870)
He and Tarkovsky are two of the “Grand Masters” whose work I do not connect to one iota. To my great shame!

Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice is great. Or maybe just haunting and captivating, I'm not really sure.
   303. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 12, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5742876)
He and Tarkovsky are two of the “Grand Masters” whose work I do not connect to one iota. To my great shame!


Insufficiently woke!
   304. PreservedFish Posted: September 12, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5742882)
There's a British author I like named Geoffrey Dyer that I like a lot. He likes noisy jazz, he likes travel, and he wrote a book about aircraft carriers. He wrote a book about DH Lawrence that was in reality a book about his own inability to complete a book about DH Lawrence. He wrote an entire book about the Tarkovsky film Stalker, which I've never seen, but I'd like to, just to read the book.
   305. McCoy Posted: September 12, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5742883)
I saw thin red line in a theater when it came out. What movie going experience I ever had. Wise than Star trek generations. Watched tree of Life at home. Wound up fast forwarding through most of the movie.
   306. jmurph Posted: September 12, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5742886)
I love Dyer, he's great. I have the Stalker book but have yet to actually watch the movie so I haven't read it yet. But the Lawrence book, the novels, and the essays are all great, he's one of my favorite writers.
   307. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 12, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5743039)
This video of a track from The Joy Formidable's upcoming album showed up this morning. After just a couple of times through it, I adore everything about this song - the drum sound, the guitar sound, the off-kilter crunchiness taken to the extreme...
   308. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: September 14, 2018 at 09:12 PM (#5744681)
I actually saw a Tartakovsky film with my son tonight.

There’s one part where the villain trucks Dracula into eating garlic, and, ya know, you think it’s gonna kill him, right? WRONG: the reason this Dracula avoids garlic is cuz it makes him......FART!!!!
   309. PreservedFish Posted: September 15, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5744979)
Update in my quest for a fantasy book or series to enjoy. I picked up a collection of the earliest Conan stories, Conan the Barbarian that is, although in this edition he's called Conan the Cimmerian, which for all I know was how he was known pre-Schwarzenegger. I had no idea what I was in for, but only a couple stories in and I'm loving it. The prose reminds me a lot of HP Lovecraft, hilariously purple and self-important, the story so chock full of ancient ineffable terrors as to be ridiculous. Here's a typical sentence, in which Conan grapples with some magical hellbeast that, in Lovecraftian fashion, the author more or less refuses to describe precisely:

Conan felt his soul shrivel and begin to be drawn out of his body, to drown in the yellow wells of cosmic horror which glimmered spectrally in the formless chaos that was growing about him and engulfing life and sanity. Those eyes grew and became gigantic, and in them the Cimmerian glimpsed the reality of all the abysmal and blasphemous horrors that lurk in the outer darkness of formless voids and nighted gulfs.


I don't know if this Robert E Howard influenced HPL, or the other way around, or if they both just belonged to a milieu wherein everybody wrote like this, but I really get a kick out of it.

The other thing about it is that it's amazing how many stock fantasy elements are packed into just a few short pages. This one story I read, of 12 pages or so, could easily be stretched out into an entire epic novel. Conan has a dream about an ancient sorcerer, and finds that his sword has been emblazoned with a magic symbol, and uses that sword to kill the hellbeast, and learns that in his dream he was shown the secrets that only a handful of members of some ancient cult of acolytes over thousands of years had ever been shown ... all that happens in like 4 pages. The summoner of the hellbeast was a magician, lost his magic ring, was enslaved by another magician, then found his magic ring and regained ... that all took about 3 pages. Meanwhile every other sentence is dense world-building exposition that at the moment is just total gobbledygook to me - "through his princely kin in Nemedia, it was easy to persuade King Numa to request the presence of Count Trocero of Poitain, seneschal of Aquilonia" - I assume that A Song of Ice & Fire is also chock full of this kind of stuff, there's just something amusing about finding it in a short story.

And this was all published 5 years before The Hobbit! Is Conan a towering achievement in the history of fantasy? Or were there a bunch of writers all working on the same kind of material all around the same time?
   310. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: September 15, 2018 at 10:22 PM (#5744981)
Remember, these guys were paid by the word; Howard made his living with his typewriter. (Lovecraft was too much of a self-styled gentleman aesthete to partake of such Philistinism, not that one could tell that from his prose style.)

Other than whatever passages might've shown up unadulterated in the Marvel adaptations (both the color comic & the b&w Savage Sword of Conan), I don't believe I've ever read any Conan. I did read & enjoy Howard's Kull collection as a teenager, though -- pretty much the only sword & sorcery I've ever read, with a couple of minor exceptions (John Jakes' first Brak novel, David R. Mason's Kavin's World ... that might be it).
   311. cardsfanboy Posted: September 16, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5745029)
And this was all published 5 years before The Hobbit! Is Conan a towering achievement in the history of fantasy? Or were there a bunch of writers all working on the same kind of material all around the same time?


He was more or less the inventor of the Sword and Sorcery style. He combined a bunch of influences into stories he was writing for Weird Tales.
   312. yo la tengo Posted: September 16, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5745035)
Just took my 15 yr old son and a buddy of his to Madison Square Garden last night for Childish Gambino. Gotta say I am pretty wowed by Glover as an artistic voice. Not much of a singer, but a great performer and his music resonates. Balance this with his TV work, his movie acting, his stand up comedy, his videos for music. Dude is on a roll and it was a special evening.
   313. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5745436)
Conan just chased an ice nymph for miles in an attempt to rape her. She escaped. That was basically the whole story. In his defense, you should have seen what she was wearing, which is: nothing.
   314. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 17, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5745471)
I don't know if this Robert E Howard influenced HPL, or the other way around, or if they both just belonged to a milieu wherein everybody wrote like this, but I really get a kick out of it.


They were contemporaries, and apparently corresponded frequently after Howard praised Lovecraft in a letter to Weird Tales.


Conan just chased an ice nymph for miles in an attempt to rape her. She escaped. That was basically the whole story. In his defense, you should have seen what she was wearing, which is: nothing.
Frost-Giant's Daughter, right? Don't forget to mention that Conan had to kill her brothers too. She really was asking for it.
   315. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5745486)
Yes. She really was asking for it, but after he killed the Ice Brothers it became clear that she didn't really want to have sex, and I think at that point we have to concede that Conan was trying to rape her. Not sure what allowances we have to make for his easily inflamed barbarian passions, perhaps the Kavanaugh hearings will be instructive.
   316. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5745493)
He was more or less the inventor of the Sword and Sorcery style. He combined a bunch of influences into stories he was writing for Weird Tales.


What influences? How immediate were his sources?

I mean, obviously he didn't invent, like, the idea of the wizard (Merlin duh), but I'm surprised to see his stories full of fully recognizable pre-Gandalf wizards, guys wearing cloaks with long beards that cast spells. I thought that Gandalf was the modern ur-Wizard, the guy that set the archetype, but he isn't, this guy's got wizards up the wazoo. And magic rings, eery prophecies, ancient priesthoods, demi-Gods walking amongst us, magical weapons, ancient bloodlines, etc etc.

My point is that my understanding of the development of fantasy fiction is so sketchy that I can't tell if his stories are sui generis or rank pastiche or something in between.
   317. McCoy Posted: September 17, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5745664)
I've been cannonballing through the Sopranos lately. Have gotten almost all the way through season 4 now. Have two episodes left in that season. Surprisingly the Pine Barren episode didn't hold up as much as it did in my mind. My wife had watched a few episodes back in the day but couldn't get into it but has joined me in watching the show this time around. She finds it interesting and when I realized we were watching the Pine Barren episode I kind of jumped around in glee. Afterwards she asked me why people think that was the best Sopranos episode and I had to say I couldn't really put out there a great argument.

Watching it again reaffirmed my hatred towards virtually all of Tony's immediate family problems and scenes. Watching AJ be AJ and Meadow be Meadow while Carmela does Carmela is just laborious.

I also figure that the Dr. Melfi gets raped storyline that goes nowhere got thrown in there as filler when the actor portraying Tony's mother died in real life. From what I have read recently season 3 was going to deal mostly with Livia testifying/going on trial and the maneuvers Tony employs to keep her from testifying. So when she died all of that had to be scrapped and you can kind of feel that the show was a bit rudderless because of that. The whole airline ticket storyline disappears and I think I hear a mention of it once in season 4.
   318. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 17, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5745694)
I've been cannonballing through the Sopranos lately.



The Sopranos was more a like thing for me than love. I watched it all, but have no desire to re-watch. As opposed to The Wire, which I did re-watch. I never understood the adoration. It was well made and the acting was terrific.
   319. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 17, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5745704)
Watching it again reaffirmed my hatred towards virtually all of Tony's immediate family problems and scenes.


I have the same problem with Casino and Goodfellas. It's like when the Marx Brothers had a musical interlude - you just have to assume that they're talking to a different part of the audience for a while.
   320. jmurph Posted: September 17, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5745713)
Watching it again reaffirmed my hatred towards virtually all of Tony's immediate family problems and scenes.

That stuff seems like, essentially, the entire point of the show.
   321. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2018 at 02:16 PM (#5745737)
That stuff seems like, essentially, the entire point of the show.


Right? I feel like the gangster stuff is there because it needs to be there - but the show is really about how even a kingpin has the same quotidian problems as the rest of us.
   322. BDC Posted: September 17, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5745740)
What influences? How immediate were his sources?


I would bet that Howard had read H. Rider Haggard, especially She, which was published in 1887 and very popular for a long time. Haggard's prose can be somewhat purple and his settings somewhat over-the-top. But if I am remembering She correctly from having read it a very long time ago, it is only semi-fantasy, in that it starts in the known world and our heroes wander into the fantasyland in darkest wherever. I seem to remember that Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar books (from the 1910s) are similar, and Howard would certainly have read those too.

As you can tell this ain't exactly my field :-D
   323. Nasty Nate Posted: September 17, 2018 at 02:24 PM (#5745743)
I've been cannonballing through the Sopranos lately. Have gotten almost all the way through season 4 now. Have two episodes left in that season. Surprisingly the Pine Barren episode didn't hold up as much as it did in my mind. My wife had watched a few episodes back in the day but couldn't get into it but has joined me in watching the show this time around. She finds it interesting and when I realized we were watching the Pine Barren episode I kind of jumped around in glee. Afterwards she asked me why people think that was the best Sopranos episode and I had to say I couldn't really put out there a great argument.
I always thought that episode was strangely over-rated. But then again, I loved the Test Dream episode, so what do I know.
   324. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: September 17, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5745777)
Unlike Lovecraft, Howard wrote everything, just about -- boxing stories, Navy stories, cowboy stories ... Whether those displayed the same sort of overwrought prose as the Conan excerpt above, I have no idea, but I doubt it.
   325. McCoy Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:00 PM (#5746066)
Which one was the test dream?
   326. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:10 PM (#5746075)
Unlike Lovecraft, Howard wrote everything, just about -- boxing stories, Navy stories, cowboy stories ... Whether those displayed the same sort of overwrought prose as the Conan excerpt above, I have no idea, but I doubt it.

Makes me want to read some of the other stuff! A cowboy story with this grandiloquent prose would really be something. Definitely give Zane Grey and Louis Lamour something to think about.

I would bet that Howard had read H. Rider Haggard, especially She, which was published in 1887 and very popular for a long time. Haggard's prose can be somewhat purple and his settings somewhat over-the-top. But if I am remembering She correctly from having read it a very long time ago, it is only semi-fantasy, in that it starts in the known world and our heroes wander into the fantasyland in darkest wherever.

I've read King Solomon's Mines, which I enjoyed, it being an amusing cross-section of fantasy and colonialism. It's mostly an imperialist adventure but there is one ageless voodoo priestess character and a lot of prophecies, ancient runes etc. Both he and Howard like to say things like "from his fine high forehead and trim mouth one could tell that he was of a noble race." (Sidenote - when did authors stop describing mouths and foreheads? I feel like it's ubiquitous until about WWI.) Looking at the wikipedia summary of She, the two books seem to have virtually identical plots.

I seem to remember that Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pellucidar books (from the 1910s) are similar, and Howard would certainly have read those too.

He's been on my list to get to as well.

As you can tell this ain't exactly my field :-D


Is it anyone's? Can one get a PhD and a job while specializing in this sort of stuff?
   327. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5746083)
What influences? How immediate were his sources?


Howard was a pretty smart guy, so it's hard to really pinpoint exactly, since he actually intentionally wrote his stories and style to get published often times. (for a guy who killed himself at age 30, he wrote a ton of different genres.... at the time of his death he was mostly writing westerns, but has significant credits in boxing fiction, obviously sword and sorcery, horror, poetry and even a bit of detective writing)

But he was a fan of gaelic and greek myths, he created the hyporean(sp) world based upon Texas, but he has credited Jack London, Kipling and Bullfinch as influences. Basically imagine a nerd living in Texas in the 20's who has a fascination with reading and writing and being smart enough to combine those influences into whatever it was you wanted to write about. He created a character for one magazine, and it got popular enough that other magazines were asking him to create a rip off of that character for their own magazines, and would have three of them being published at the same time. (and no this wasn't Conan, but a travelling boxer)
   328. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:31 PM (#5746093)

I mean, obviously he didn't invent, like, the idea of the wizard (Merlin duh), but I'm surprised to see his stories full of fully recognizable pre-Gandalf wizards, guys wearing cloaks with long beards that cast spells. I thought that Gandalf was the modern ur-Wizard, the guy that set the archetype, but he isn't, this guy's got wizards up the wazoo. And magic rings, eery prophecies, ancient priesthoods, demi-Gods walking amongst us, magical weapons, ancient bloodlines, etc etc.

My point is that my understanding of the development of fantasy fiction is so sketchy that I can't tell if his stories are sui generis or rank pastiche or something in between.


That I couldn't tell you. Before Howard you did have Edgar Rice Burroughs and his John Carter of Mars which had some similarities to Kull(which preceded Conan) but at the same time there was enough differences that they were considered different genres. Howard was really the first writer to combine the swords aspect of the Three Musketeers with the sorcery aspect where it was a 'vs' type of thing instead of magic happens type of thing. And there are plenty of influences before Conan that exists, but for the most part Conan was successful because it was something new. (combined with a few famous writers loving the source material that they kept reviving it every 20 or so years)


The one thing to be careful of while reading Howard is to see whether you are reading actual Howard or if you are reading edited Howard... some of the editing didn't happen until the mid 60's.
   329. PreservedFish Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:35 PM (#5746094)
Thanks for your answers CFB. The edition I'm reading is at pains to explain that these are the original, un-edited versions of the Conan stories.
   330. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:36 PM (#5746096)
Makes me want to read some of the other stuff! A cowboy story with this grandiloquent prose would really be something. Definitely give Zane Grey and Louis Lamour something to think about.


Here is a wikipedia explanation of his first "almost" published novel.

A Gent from Bear Creek

A Gent from Bear Creek is a collection of Western short stories by Robert E. Howard. It was first published in the United Kingdom in 1937 by Herbert Jenkins. The first United States edition was published by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. in 1966. The stories continue on from each other, like chapters in a book.

The stories are humorously written as if told by Breckinridge Elkins, a hillbilly with no schooling. He and his kin live in the Humboldts in Nevada. Elkins is six feet six inches tall, is as strong as a grizzly bear, and he can be just as bad tempered if riled. And there is a lot to rile him, especially his relatives.

Though a dead shot, he prefers to use his fists, feet, teeth, etc. In numerous fights he attacks whole groups of armed men and commits mayhem. No one actually dies but limbs are broken, jaws shattered, faces are trod on, skulls fractured, ribs broken, and so on. Even buildings do not always survive such an attack. He picks up many injuries himself, but being shot, getting many cuts with Bowie knives, head bashed with numerous objects, having his ear chewed, scratched up by a mountain lion he then threw into a room full of feuding men and such are just minor nuisances to him.

He previously rode an old mule called Alexander, the only animal that could carry him till he came across Cap'n Kidd, his equine equivalent, and tamed him. Elkins is the only man tough enough to ride the giant, pugnacious horse. Glory McGraw (a local girl) is his sometimes love interest but he is often too dumb to see it.
   331. cardsfanboy Posted: September 17, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5746101)
Thanks for your answers CFB. The edition I'm reading is at pains to explain that these are the original, un-edited versions of the Conan stories.


There is a reason for that. Howard was popular enough in his own lifetime, but was a prodigious writer and had a lot of stuff that went unpublished. And had a lot of stories edited even when they were published.... but the rights to his work changed into a lot of hands for a short time and when he got repopular, people put out a lot of his work with heavy editing to combine them into stories that would work. (this was the mid 60's) .... eventually of course in the 80's there was a push to make sure that his work was published as written...even though Howard was a publishing whore who would pretty much make changes that was asked of him by the editors(he was literally out to make a buck) for some reason this faction of people want to make sure that Howard's first/early drafts got published, even though he rarely ever submit a first draft(except a few times when he got lazy)
   332. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: September 18, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5746601)
Last night I had that most awesome experience where right after I finished watching a movie I just sat there for a bit and was all....”Holy ####, did I just see the greatest movie ever made?”

Granted, I was buzzed, and while buzzed I’m prone to hyperbole. And also I mean, it’s happened before of course and usually a couple days later I’ll be down to “No of course not, but it was still really really really good.” So I mean, I’m sure that’s where I will land here.

Anyway. The movie was Honey, from 1999, written and directed by David Ball. I saw it on YouTube here.

Please note you’ll need a high tolerance for amateurism and lack of technical skill. Because boy are they both on display here.
   333. PreservedFish Posted: September 18, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5746615)
Davo, have you ever gone down to your local university to see the film thesis presentations? Seems like it would be up your alley.
   334. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 18, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5746697)
Holy ####, did I just see the greatest movie ever made?”


I recall a similar feeling after first hearing Bobby Goldsboro's song of the same name.
   335. The Good Face Posted: September 18, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5746702)
And this was all published 5 years before The Hobbit! Is Conan a towering achievement in the history of fantasy? Or were there a bunch of writers all working on the same kind of material all around the same time?


It was a towering achievement, but as others have pointed out, Howard also had predecessors that influenced him. If you like Howard's Conan stories, you'd probably enjoy Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar books, which came out in the late 60s and were sort of spiritual successors. Much swashbuckling, deeds of derring do, and epic benders (Leiber was a raging alcoholic, and he could write drinking bouts like nobody's business).

Yes. She really was asking for it, but after he killed the Ice Brothers it became clear that she didn't really want to have sex, and I think at that point we have to concede that Conan was trying to rape her. Not sure what allowances we have to make for his easily inflamed barbarian passions, perhaps the Kavanaugh hearings will be instructive.


My recollection of that story is that the ice nymph was intentionally trying to lure men away so they could be killed by her brothers, although it's been a few years since my last read, so I could be wrong. Throughout the Conan stories he never actually rapes anybody and tends to treat women with a kind of rough chivalry. Of course, they pretty much all throw themselves at him anyway because he's just that manly and awesome.
   336. PreservedFish Posted: September 18, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5746775)
Your recollection of the story is correct. And thanks for the Leiber tip, I'd never heard of him.
   337. cardsfanboy Posted: September 18, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5746940)
And thanks for the Leiber tip, I'd never heard of him.


So I'm guessing you never played D&D? Or if did, was never a huger follower.

Note: I never read Lieber, but Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser along with Lankhmar are pretty major components in the early history of AD&D.
   338. cardsfanboy Posted: September 18, 2018 at 07:56 PM (#5746943)
tends to treat women with a kind of rough chivalry.


I like that term, rough chivalry, and it's a pretty accurate description.
   339. PreservedFish Posted: September 18, 2018 at 08:18 PM (#5746962)
I sort of played D&D. Bought a bunch of books and got really into the idea of it for a couple years around 7th grade probably, but I never actually played a game with a competent DM.
   340. cardsfanboy Posted: September 18, 2018 at 08:50 PM (#5746987)
I sort of played D&D. Bought a bunch of books and got really into the idea of it for a couple years around 7th grade probably, but I never actually played a game with a competent DM.


Fritz Lieber was a pretty big influence in the AD&D world... they got mentioned in the first edition of Deities and Demigods(had to be removed for copy-write reasons after that if I remember correctly) but any adventure that took place in a city, clearly had a Lieber influence on it most of the time.



I like that you list 'competent' DM as a qualifier. I think that makes a host of a difference in people's experience in continuing to play... I've tried to be the super prepared DM, but the party always f-s you over and I quickly learned that overly prepared is not as important as flexibility on what the party wants to do. Once I learned that I got people literally knocking on my door to wake me up to play a game. D&D is interactive storytelling, not interactive rules playing. But I always sucked at "flavor text" but fortunately my parties never cared about that as much as moving the story along.

Every campaign I've ran in the past 30 years features me and each individual player creating the character together separately from the party. And maybe even playing a 1 hour adventure, but the important thing is that I get an idea of what the player wants from his character... I do that with ever individual player in the party... and my prep for the next game is creating a full background history for the players that includes potential motivations, contacts and the hook for them in this introductory adventure.

I hate pre-gen adventures because they are generic to a group motivation, while everyone in the party has their individual motivation, so until about 4-6th level every adventure needs to have a personal reason for each character to work with the others, eventually of course they gel and work with each other on their own..

anyway I digress.... it's fun, and I've converted dozens of people to being fans of it. (and I'm hoping by this time next year that I will have created a rudimentary rpg computer game based upon the Talislanta World.... although I still haven't heard back from it's creator on whether the fact that he has open sourced it will allow me to do that)
   341. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 18, 2018 at 09:00 PM (#5746999)
Just took my 15 yr old son and a buddy of his to Madison Square Garden last night for Childish Gambino. Gotta say I am pretty wowed by Glover as an artistic voice. Not much of a singer, but a great performer and his music resonates. Balance this with his TV work, his movie acting, his stand up comedy, his videos for music. Dude is on a roll and it was a special evening.

That's fantastic! Well done raising your child well enough that he recognizes greatness at 15. At that age I was disturbingly pro-Nas.
   342. Omineca Greg Posted: September 18, 2018 at 11:41 PM (#5747129)
Saxophonist Big Jay McNeely dead at 91.

He had a #1 Race Record (4 months before they changed the name of the chart to "R&B") in 1949, "Deacon's Hop".

His "There Is Something on Your Mind" was even a bigger hit, even getting some crossover Pop action in 1959.

We'll do "Deacon's Hop" though...less yack, more sax.
   343. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 19, 2018 at 08:35 AM (#5747177)
Speaking of notable passings, the guy who set up an organization to clothe naked animals also died just the other day.

Alan Abel, Hoaxer Extraordinaire, Is (on Good Authority) Dead at 94
Alan Abel, a professional hoaxer who for more than half a century gleefully hoodwinked the American public — not least of all by making himself the subject of an earnest news obituary in The New York Times in 1980 — apparently actually did die, on Friday, at his home in Southbury, Conn. He was 94. ...

Mr. Abel’s first major hoax, the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, or SINA — which sought “to clothe all naked animals that appear in public, namely horses, cows, dogs and cats, including any animal that stands higher than 4 inches or is longer than 6 inches” — began in 1959. It starred his friend Buck Henry, then an unknown actor and later a well-known actor and screenwriter, as the group’s puritanical president, G. Clifford Prout.

The campaign, which Mr. Abel intended as a sendup of censorship, proved so convincing that it found a bevy of authentic adherents, with SINA chapters springing up throughout the country. Over the next few years, the organization’s activities (including a 1963 picket of the White House by Mr. Abel, who demanded that the first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, clothe her horses) were faithfully reported by news organizations, among them The Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and CBS News. ...
   344. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 19, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5747587)
Anyway. The movie was Honey, from 1999, written and directed by David Ball. I saw it on YouTube here.


For a second I thought you were yanking our chains, and talking about the Mariah Carey movie. ("Honey" was one of her singles, with a cinematic music video).

   345. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: September 19, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5747650)
344– Haha, nope. Nor was it the Jessica Alba star vehicle of the same name either!
   346. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 20, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5748069)
So, who else always hoped that one day we'd live long enough to see Batman's dick?

Though as the AV Club notes, "Of course, it’s worth pointing out that "Damned" [issue #1 of a new Batman title] is part of DC’s new Black Label, which is for comics that are targeted toward an adult audience, so that means this isn’t the Batman from the main continuity dropping his pants. Therefore, this isn’t Batman’s canonical dick, which is probably an important distinction for some people."
   347. Lassus Posted: September 20, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5748093)
"Of course, it’s worth pointing out that "Damned" [issue #1 of a new Batman title] is part of DC’s new Black Label, which is for comics that are targeted toward an adult audience, so that means this isn’t the Batman from the main continuity dropping his pants."

That's not particularly logical. Where is the indication it's not both? It's not ELSEWORLDS or anything, is it?
   348. BDC Posted: September 20, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5748101)
Finished the third season of Fargo, which is uneven but as lurid as seasons ! & 2. The actresses are outstanding (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Carrie Coon, Olivia Sandoval).

Also read trade volume #30 of The Walking Dead. I still like the comic. Having largely managed the zombie hordes (though there are still some chop-'em-up scenes here and there), the survivors have progressed through various dystopian situations and are now dealing with utopias that are not quite as great as they seem.
   349. Howie Menckel Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5748105)
much hullabaloo yesterday over the 40th anniversary of a famous Springsteen show at the now-defunct Capitol Theater in Passaic NJ (not far from Manhattan, geography-wise at least).

one of the aspects that made it famous was it was a 3-hour show with no breaks.

almost 40 years later, Bruce did a lengthy U.S. concert tour in which the shows (no breaks) frequently lasted...... 4 hours.

that's Jersey for ya, right there
   350. Lassus Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5748108)
frequently lasted...... 4 hours.

that's Jersey for ya, right there
Maybe NJ Transit.
   351. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5748114)
I don't have anything to say about Batman's penis, but I think that image makes him far too muscular. Batman should be somewhat lithe.
   352. BDC Posted: September 20, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5748137)
Maybe NJ Transit


"You leave from Pennsylvania Station at a quarter to four,
Read a magazine and then you're in Newark,
Dinner in the diner
Nothin' could be finer
Then you have your ham and eggs in Princeton Junction"
   353. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 20, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5748145)
almost 40 years later, Bruce did a lengthy U.S. concert tour in which the shows (no breaks) frequently lasted...... 4 hours.
The length of Springsteen shows has always been exaggerated. He did take breaks - he had about a 20-minute intermission until, I think, the Reunion tour in the late '90s. He has actually gone over four hours only a few times, and only by a few minutes each time. That said, the norm on the 2016 tour was around 3.5 hours. Impressive for anyone, but the guy was 67 years old at the time. And his pace of play was great - no mound visits, no stopping in midsong to switch Nils out for a lefthanded guitarist for the next chorus.
   354. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: September 20, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5748150)
Last night I saw The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) which has the sort of premise where....well, I don’t think you’ll see this getting rebooted anytime soon:

Teenager Susan Turner (Shirley Temple), with a severe crush on playboy artist Richard Nugent (Cary Grant), sneaks into his apartment to model for him and is found there by her sister Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy). Threatened with jail, Nugent agrees to date Susan until the crush abates.

   355. jmurph Posted: September 20, 2018 at 01:17 PM (#5748153)
That said, the norm on the 2016 tour was around 3.5 hours. Impressive for anyone, but the guy was 67 years old at the time. And his pace of play was great - no mound visits, no stopping in midsong to switch Nils out for a lefthanded guitarist for the next chorus.

Saw him on that tour with my very pregnant wife (the next night we went to the hospital, our son was born the following day) and we tapped out before the olds in the band did. It was around the 3:15 mark and they hadn't taken any kind of break, it was amazing.

(EDIT: I checked the next day and I think we missed either 2 or 3 songs, so they got to pretty much exactly 3:30.)
   356. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 20, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5748199)
Robert Smith tried to match Bruce, but failed. The most recent time I saw The Cure, they played 29 songs, and did five encores.

These days, the Cure are predominately a live act, renowned for their epic, multi-encore shows. In Mexico City, as a 53rd-birthday treat, Smith tried to break Bruce Springsteen’s record of 4hr 6min, but miscalculated and fell three minutes short. “I was a bit crushed,” he says, “because we could have honestly kept going for another half an hour.”
   357. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5748214)
Record?

For NYE 2000, Phish took the stage just before midnight and played straight through until dawn had broken.

YouTube tells me that set was close to 6 hours ...
   358. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: September 20, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5748229)
Last 10 movies I’ve seen. With my rating from 1 to 100, cuz that’s how Mike D’Angelo does it and he’s cool:


98 Honey (1999, Ball)
80 Madeline’s Madeline (2018, Decker)
78 Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (2014, Decker)
75 Christmas, Again (2014, Poekel)
64 Thirst Street (2017, Silver)
61 Cluny Brown (1946, Lubitsch)
54 Butter on the Latch (2013, Decker)
30 Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018, Tartakovksky)
24 A Simple Favor (2018, Feig)
15 The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947, Reis)
   359. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 20, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5748238)
For NYE 2000, Phish took the stage just before midnight and played straight through until dawn had broken.

YouTube tells me that set was close to 6 hours ...
Imagine if they'd played a fourth song.
   360. Lassus Posted: September 20, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5748239)
I don't have anything to say about Batman's penis, but I think that image makes him far too muscular. Batman should be somewhat lithe.

I dunno. He's never been lumbering, but I never saw him as actually lithe either. Perhaps I'm thinking of the word wrong. I mean, he's more of a Mike Trout than a football player, but he's not lanky like Thor either. Those images look about right, actually.
   361. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 20, 2018 at 03:44 PM (#5748265)
I posted the "first look at Batman's penis" item in error. As it turns out, it's only the second time we've seen what it looks like.
   362. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5748470)
I saw Stevie Wonder a few years ago play a 4 hour concert. He was phenomenal.
   363. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5748483)
Imagine if they'd played a fourth song.


I love Phish and I laughed hard at this.
   364. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5748484)
I saw Stevie Wonder a few years ago play a 4 hour concert. He was phenomenal.


I am super jealous. Stevie is incredible.
   365. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5748503)
I read some Conan aloud to my kids tonight. The passages concerned the rise and fall of an ancient race of winged apes, who once attained cultural heights that humans can only aspire to, but eventually fell as a civilization due, surprisingly, to climate change. Hemmed in to a single jungle city by changing weather patterns, a chain of volcanic eruptions poisoned their land and water, ruining their civilization, and sending the winged apes spiraling further and further downwards into debased forms. This history is revealed to Conan during a dream brought on by intoxication from the deadly black lotus.

Conan comes across the remnants of this civilization, and the last ape standing is able to murder his crew of 20+. "A cloud of huge black flies buzzed loudly above the blood-splashed stones; the ants had already begun to gnaw at the corpses." It was at this point that my wife suggested that I at least edit what I was reading to the kids.
   366. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:45 PM (#5748507)
I dunno. He's never been lumbering, but I never saw him as actually lithe either. Perhaps I'm thinking of the word wrong. I mean, he's more of a Mike Trout than a football player, but he's not lanky like Thor either. Those images look about right, actually.


So much of his thing is speed and sneakiness. I don't imagine him as a muscle man. Also, a guy with arms that big would look out of place at the society events that Bruce Wayne attends.
   367. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5748516)
365.... still it sounds fantastic....and I'm pretty positive (assuming the kids are over 5-6) that they were enraptured by your story.

I'm more a Piers Anthony/Dan Brown(yes I know) type of reader than a Stephen King/Gordon Dickson(who is actually one of my favorite writers of all time, but he, like King, has a tendency to steep the story in more description than story--and I was going for a well known name in sci-fi that was a little too descriptive---I could have gone fantasy with George R.R. Martin I suppose.) but good flavor text is always going to be appreciated.
   368. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2018 at 09:59 PM (#5748519)
I dunno. He's never been lumbering, but I never saw him as actually lithe either. Perhaps I'm thinking of the word wrong. I mean, he's more of a Mike Trout than a football player, but he's not lanky like Thor either. Those images look about right, actually.


I think of batman as an Olympic quality male gymnast with about 10-20 more pounds/muscle.... Robin was always portrayed as more "lithe" than Bruce, but still we are talking about a guy who is 6'2, 210 or so pounds, so not really a hulking guy, but not a Marilyn Manson either.

Using bb-ref, going with 6'2" and 200-220 pounds we end up with Nolan Arenado, Mark Reynolds, Ryan Braun, Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto, Adam Jones. (Batman is listed as 6'2, 210 pounds for the record)
   369. PreservedFish Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5748521)
The kids are 3 and 6. The pompous prose flew way over their heads and I had to translate every paragraph after finishing. But what’s funny is that my daughter is too scared of Matilda to read it and yet here she is begging for more Conan.
   370. BDC Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:16 PM (#5748528)
   371. cardsfanboy Posted: September 20, 2018 at 10:55 PM (#5748569)
Adam West was 6'2".... not sure about the body weight. (wiki has him at 196 pounds)
   372. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 21, 2018 at 01:18 AM (#5748627)
I beseech all of you, do not look up "batwings" on Urban Dictionary.

Can we please just go back to good old classic Batman, and forget about this penis stuff?
   373. PreservedFish Posted: September 21, 2018 at 06:38 AM (#5748636)
Batman as I remember him.


I like the setting - wood paneling, ugly curtains, a big globe. Did the Adam West Batman live in Wayne Manor or in a split-level ranch in the Gotham suburbs?
   374. McCoy Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:05 AM (#5748642)
Saw Mandy last night. Definitely not a pop movie at all. Has the look and feel of a movie meant for film school attendees and budding directors, camera guys, and editors. Not really sure what story the director was trying to tell and what all his symbolism meant but it was definitely something. I'm pretty sure there are going to be a few screenshots taken from this movie and used for memes.

One of the interesting things about this movie is that in some quarters the reviews for this movie are quite glowing despite the fact that these reviewers typically shred movies nowadays that use the death of a GF/wife as a motivation for the hero's quest. I haven't seen mention of that when these reviews talk about this movie.
   375. Lassus Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:08 AM (#5748645)
I have never, ever, ever liked the Adam West Batman. Ever. Go ahead, fight me.


Joey Votto

Joey Votto as Batman is goddamned perfect.
   376. BDC Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5748655)
I have never, ever, ever liked the Adam West Batman. Ever. Go ahead, fight me


***POW! BAM!***
   377. Lassus Posted: September 21, 2018 at 08:56 AM (#5748659)
Well done.
   378. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 21, 2018 at 09:04 AM (#5748662)
So I watched the recent Tomb Raider last night. It was a cromulent action movie. The set pieces were fine and the casting was very good (Alicia V is very well cast as young Lara Croft IMO).

It didn't escape being OK, because the actions was a little too repetitive - there is Lara running at top speed ... again, jumping ... again, now she is hanging by her arms from someplace high up ... again, now she acts impulsively, good heart zero plan ... again. And it also just wasn't very clever. The dialogue, direction, solutions, twists (such as they were), all of it was OK, without ever rising to the level of clever.

If you like the genre or want to watch an attractive and capable young actress run, jump, hang by her arms (many times each) for about two hours then you won't regret it. Don't expect much more than that though.

Note: It is an origin story. I am not a fan of origin stories. I much prefer being dumped into the middle, with the origin to be inferred. That may be coloring my judgment a bit.
   379. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: September 21, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5748779)
Teenager Susan Turner (Shirley Temple), with a severe crush on playboy artist Richard Nugent (Cary Grant), sneaks into his apartment to model for him and is found there by her sister Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy). Threatened with jail, Nugent agrees to date Susan until the crush abates.


At first I thought I'd seen this, but IMDb advises me that I'm thinking instead of Mr. Belvedere Goes to College, which also features a grown-up Shirley Temple (who plays a *gasp* single mother, albeit widowed). I love the Mr. Belvedere movies; for that matter, I would happily watch Clifton Webb in just about anything. (Hard to believe he made only 21 post-silent films, though obviously he was prominent on Broadway before that.)
   380. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5748829)
I don't know that I've ever heard a single song of hers, but ... ummm ... interesting.

   381. Tin Angel Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5748841)
Re-watched Cop Land last night. Such a great cast, many of whom can be seen a couple of years later in The Sopranos. Underrated film.
   382. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 21, 2018 at 11:52 AM (#5748853)
I love the Mr. Belvedere movies
The TV show was better.
   383. PreservedFish Posted: September 23, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5749858)
I know you guys are dying for more Conan updates. He just banged a princess mere feet away from the warm corpse of a 3,000 year old sorcerer.
   384. BDC Posted: September 23, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5750066)
A pretty good offbeat crime novel: The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro, by Antonio Tabucchi.
   385. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 24, 2018 at 02:09 AM (#5750367)
Maybe my favorite SRV show.

Certainly my favorite "Little Wing" ...

In the teeth of his addiction, as well. You can hear it when he speaks during the song.

Having been to Red Rocks ... it'll bring it out of you.

SRV has to go down as the biggest "could have, should have" musical miss in my life ...
   386. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 24, 2018 at 09:34 AM (#5750432)
Why I love "The Road Warrior"

That isn't CGI.

Those things flying?

Are real.

Maybe my favorite movie explosion ever.

It holds up ...
   387. The Good Face Posted: September 24, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5750433)
I know you guys are dying for more Conan updates. He just banged a princess mere feet away from the warm corpse of a 3,000 year old sorcerer.


I'm more interested in how you explained that scene to your 3 year old. "Well son, sometimes when a barbarian hero and a princess love each other very much..."
   388. PreservedFish Posted: September 24, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5750447)
Luckily Howard's sex euphemism of choice is "crush," which I think a clever child would just figure is the way that a warrior naturally gives hugs.
   389. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 24, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5750484)
Barbarian heroes

NSFW (it's a webcomic with adult dialogue.
   390. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: September 24, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5750490)
Why I love "The Road Warrior"

That isn't CGI.

Those things flying?

Are real.

Maybe my favorite movie explosion ever.

It holds up ...


I had to be pretty much dragged to see the movie (at a drive-in, fading memory tells me, though otherwise I can summon up no recollections to corroborate that impression) one night while my first wife & I were visiting her sister in North Carolina back in mid-'82. By the time it was over, it was probably in my Top 10 movies, period ... & definitely among my Top 10 action movies.
   391. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: September 24, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5750561)
I read the first half of Anna Kavan’s short story collection Julia and the Bazooka last night and...guys, I love her books so so so so so much. She’s on my Mount Rushmore:

Neil LaBute
Sarah Kane
Michel Houellebecq
Anna Kavan

I also saw two Hollywood movies at the theater: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was a tough, unpretentious B-movie with a zillion dollar budget, taking what could have been another bloated/weightless summer blockbuster and SQUISHing it down into a gothic horror/haunted house flick (it reminded me a lot of Paul WS Anderson’s work).

The Princess and the Frog was one of the last in the period where Disney decided to make super expensive hand-drawn animated movies. It was, obviously, terrible, but my 4-year-old son had a great time, getting out of his seat and dancing to its many jazz songs, so, ya know, there’s that.
   392. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: September 24, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5750602)
Appropos of not much, I just re-read JOB: A Comedy of Justice, and it's still really good.

That is all.
   393. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 24, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5750609)
   394. McCoy Posted: September 24, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5750611)
Mad Max 2 was on last night. I was surprised by how many of the effects were of just speeding up the film.
   395. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: September 24, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5750619)
Late - but if I may explain the love for Pine Barrens from the Sopranos...

First, there's the dark comedy of the main plot line -- "interior designer? His apartment looked like ####!", together with the inherent Paulie/Chrissie fish out of water stuff.

Second, there's a sort of 'waiting for guffman' aspect - that Chase, of course, milked to the hilt no in just this episode, but almost by strategically mentioning/not mentioning Valery's fate.

Third, I think the subplots -- Tony/Gloria reaching an apex, plus Meadow/Jackie ending in sort of a inverse of Tony - work really well and actually, play off each other quite nicely.

In short, I think it's actually a perfect encapsulation of what I still do think was an awesome show -- none of these are "good people".... they all do bad things, yet, as the stars, we sorta/kinda 'root' for them. Taking them out of their elements, bringing the inevitable conflicts to a head - so clearly showing all their problems as really a manifestation of situations they themselves created.
   396. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 24, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5750798)
Why I love "The Road Warrior"

That isn't CGI.

Those things flying?

Are real.

Maybe my favorite movie explosion ever.

It holds up ...


I love the Mad Max series of films. I have a hard time deciding whether I more passionately love Fury Road or The Road Warrior. Both have so much to recommend them, and the stuntwork for both are all time great.
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