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Sunday, May 03, 2020

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (May 2020)

The shutdown has lasted for less than two months, but in that short time the fallout from the pandemic has brought the film, television, music and theater businesses to their knees. It’s the greatest economic calamity to ever hit Hollywood, Broadway and other entertainment business hubs, dwarfing the wreckage left by such recent catastrophes as 9/11 and the Great Recession. And it’s being felt most acutely by production designers, camera operators, makeup artists, grips, stagehands, ticket takers, casting directors and character actors, whose names may not adorn cinema marquees but whose work forms the backbone of the business.

In February, the Motion Picture Assn. estimated that the film and TV industry directly employs 892,000 people. It’s not yet known how many of those jobs have been lost, but it’s possible to make a rough guess. According to federal data, about 125,000 of those employees are movie theater ushers and concessionaires — nearly all of whom have been furloughed or laid off. Another 170,000 work as actors, directors, camera operators, lighting technicians, set designers and other production workers — a large percentage of whom are also not working.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: May 03, 2020 at 03:23 PM | 228 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   1. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: May 01, 2020 at 08:02 PM (#5946815)
10% of the way to April's comment total.
   2. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 01, 2020 at 08:37 PM (#5946819)
I'm writing from America in May 2020. What is pop culture?
   3. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 01, 2020 at 10:07 PM (#5946829)
Re-watching The Mandalorian with a Star Wars geek friend of mine who has never seen it.

It goes down easy, mostly too easy, it certainly trades in tropes ... but "baby Yoda" IS the destructor ... slaying waste to everything in its path.

B/B+
   4. PreservedFish Posted: May 01, 2020 at 10:38 PM (#5946831)
I'm writing from America in May 2020. What is pop culture?


A few weeks ago it seemed chiefly defined by Tiger King. Not sure what this week's flavor is.
   5. Greg K Posted: May 02, 2020 at 08:33 AM (#5946865)
To judge by my girlfriend and most her friends, desperation for home entertainment has made The Sims 4 the new Tiger King.
   6. Baldrick Posted: May 02, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5946887)
Important cultural news: the new season of Early Stuart England just started. Into the Civil War!
   7. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: May 02, 2020 at 02:49 PM (#5946905)
Live music's quick adaptation to Instagram etc is great, but makes me feel very old. Apparently there's a Tame Impala concert streaming in a few hours on something called "NTS".
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 02, 2020 at 03:10 PM (#5946909)
Annie Savoy’s house is on the market for $1.15M. 4 BR, 3.5 BA, 3598 Sq. Ft. on .72 acres. Pandemic pricing not yet in effect.
   9. Greg K Posted: May 02, 2020 at 05:29 PM (#5946938)
Important cultural news: the new season of Early Stuart England just started. Into the Civil War!

You're just pimping the show because you got a mention last week!

(Unless I'm screwing up my BTF handles again...)
   10. Lassus Posted: May 02, 2020 at 08:38 PM (#5946985)
My new quarantine binge is something I've never actually watched full through, just something I've caught clips of online: PORTLANDIA!

As a former twice-resident, I'm loving it. I also love that some of my full-time, long-time Portland friends hate it.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: May 02, 2020 at 08:54 PM (#5946991)
I really loved Portlandia - captured the zeitgeist and so many of the stereotypes that were swirling around America's self-consciously cities. It's a great document of the age.
   12. Baldrick Posted: May 02, 2020 at 09:51 PM (#5947005)
(Unless I'm screwing up my BTF handles again...)

Yeah, that was me. Appreciated the depth of the answer, and I picked up the book (sadly, edited by Niall Ferguson) with the John Adamson essay to read once I'm finished reading this huge book on the Reformation that I'm about halfway through.
   13. Greg K Posted: May 02, 2020 at 10:01 PM (#5947007)
sadly, edited by Niall Ferguson

Yeah, I chose to leave that part of it out.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 02, 2020 at 11:09 PM (#5947019)
Dominion-Christian-Revolution-Remade-World

Not quite pop culture, but an excellent book from a noted popular historian. A history of Christianity and it's influence on the modern world, and particularly the modern mind, from a major popular historian of the Roman era.

I'd also recommend his history of the origins of Islam.

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Sword-Birth-Global-Empire

Long story short, everything you've been taught is basically Muslim propaganda.

   15. chisoxcollector Posted: May 02, 2020 at 11:57 PM (#5947025)
So I’ve been “working” from home for the last six and a half weeks, which for me has meant answering 1-2 emails/calls a day. I’ve basically been off of work the whole time, with absolutely nothing to do. So I’ve watched a TON of movies during that time. In the last 45 days, I have watched 150 movies. I never thought I’d get tired of watching movies... but I’m getting close!

   16. Howie Menckel Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:15 AM (#5947026)
am still busy with work, but in my downtime I have been watching those "Dateline: Mysteries" reruns and the similar CBS version.

they put the "formu" in "formulaic" - but with 50 states to choose from, they have had no problem finding their share of bizarre and intriguing tales of murder. they're really well-produced.

speaking of which, those comic book movie blockbusters are pretty much running on a loop on multiple channels these days. I have hardly seen any of them, in spite of enjoying the comics in the early 1970s.

I must admit that they, too, tend to be fairly entertaining. haven't yet committed to DVRing an entire movie in the canon, but I have watched wide swaths of some.
   17. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:29 AM (#5947028)
   18. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2020 at 08:02 AM (#5947042)
Long story short, everything you've been taught is basically Muslim propaganda.


What have we been taught? My understanding is that Muhammad himself was a general and led armies, and that there were huge military conquests spreading out from Arabia.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2020 at 08:23 AM (#5947044)
I've previously explained how I find many non-fiction books too long - it seems clear that publishers don't usually want to touch anything that isn't 350+ pages, unless it can be marketed as a kind of slim handbook of pithy wisdom. Very often a book is expanded from a magazine article, and the magazine article contains about 80% of the important material. I suppose the publishers don't think that consumers will go for books that don't seem weighty (in both senses of the word). Of course sometimes a book is so well-written that I enjoy every line of it and don't care that I'll soon forget most of the detail. But that's not typical.

Anyway, when I get a book recommendation that I'm semi-interested in, I'll hop onto Youtube, because you can often find videos of the authors giving lectures or interviews promoting that specific book, and usually they get straight to the marrow of their work. The Tom Holland book snappy recommended is 624 pages (Yikes!). But on YT there are options: a 2 hour lecture, two 1 hour interviews, and a 10 minute interview.
   20. Lassus Posted: May 03, 2020 at 09:03 AM (#5947047)
Anyone want to return to 2004 and watch a movie about some of us (plural) playing poker?

Freeze Out

It's hard for me to judge, but it's probably not that good. Sarah Silverman's sister is in it. I know some of the makers pretty well from college. It never got picked up or developed. The director became a reality-TV editor, mostly.

It's not like there's a lot else to do.
   21. Lassus Posted: May 03, 2020 at 09:35 AM (#5947052)
re: #14: OK Boomer Snapper
   22. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: May 03, 2020 at 09:48 AM (#5947053)
So I’ve watched a TON of movies during that time. In the last 45 days, I have watched 150 movies. I never thought I’d get tired of watching movies... but I’m getting close!


Whereas I haven't even turned on my TV during this period, other than to watch, I believe, 2.5 episodes of the '90s version of The Outer Limits. My reading is way down, too. Very odd, really.
   23. Lassus Posted: May 03, 2020 at 10:12 AM (#5947060)
My reading WAS down, but it's back up. Might simply be the material but the internet really is the death of book reading, so that's a big part of it.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2020 at 11:13 AM (#5947076)

What have we been taught? My understanding is that Muhammad himself was a general and led armies, and that there were huge military conquests spreading out from Arabia.


From what I've read (not just this book), the evidence for Mohammed as a significant figure is sparse. Islam probably didn't exist as a separate religion until the Arab Empire was well established; the Koran dates to at least a century later. Islam seems to have originated as a Christian-Jewish syncretic heresy; early Caliphs minted coins with crosses on them. The original location of the Kaaba was in the Palestinian desert, not Mecca, as early Mosques orient in that direction for prayer.
   25. Lassus Posted: May 03, 2020 at 11:49 AM (#5947082)
"Muslim history is all propaganda, Christian history is all true" seems a less-than-reliable narrative.
   26. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:01 PM (#5947085)
I've gone through and watched a bunch of older movies, some from Edgar Wright's list posted to MUBI here: Edgar Wrights 1000 Favorite Movies. The Naked City was a good watch, but I found An American in Paris not to my tastes. I hadn't seen North by Northwest, so I quickly rectified that. His taste for 70s horror (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Sisters, The Brood) is not one I share. Southern Comfort was a watch-once for me. The Big Chill captured the attention, though (what a cast!)

I seem to remember that the above list was shared on one of these threads a couple of years ago, so, to whoever did that: thanks.

EDIT: For those interested in animation, I thought 'Wolf Children' was really good in a certain melancholy way.
   27. Greg K Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5947087)
I recall I had a lecture on early Islam and the historical evidence of Mohammed in one of my Medieval History classes. As I recall, the general consensus is that Mohammed was preaching a kind of monotheism that came loosely out of the Christian tradition (which got him booted out of Mecca). For a while at Medina it wasn't entirely clear Mohammed wasn't a Christian teacher, and Christians seem to have been welcomed into the community. Ultimately it was at Medina Islam started to take on distinctive characteristics as a kind of civic government/religion.
   28. Greg K Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:09 PM (#5947088)
I'm sure that doesn't accord with orthodox Islamic tradition, but are there many historians that endorse any other religion's self-mythology?
   29. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5947092)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers


Is pretty great and is more creepy tension, paranoia "horror" than a gore/shock fest (haven't seen the other two you list, so I can't comment on their style).
   30. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5947096)
a kind of monotheism that came loosely out of the Christian tradition


Isn't that still what it is?
   31. Greg K Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:36 PM (#5947099)
In a sense. I think it was less loose (tighter?) at the beginning though. As in, Mohammed and his followers may not have thought of themselves as not Christian.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5947103)
I do find the subject fascinating - one of my Top 100 books is From the Holy Mountain, a travelogue exploring the isolated Christian communities of the middle east. These places have LONG memories - the theological controversies of 1,000+ years ago are still hot topics - and every one of them seems to represent a potential path that mainstream Christianity could have but did not take. It was published not long before 9/11, and many of the communities he discusses were already on their last legs - I fear some of them must now be entirely gone. I don't recall if he visits the Druze or Mandaeans but those are equally beguiling - how incredible that there remains a culture, thousands of years later, that still reveres John the Baptist above all.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:47 PM (#5947106)
"Muslim history is all propaganda, Christian history is all true" seems a less-than-reliable narrative.

Not at all my position. Christian history has been subjected to a tremendous amount of historical study and analysis by non-Christians, and competing Christian groups. There is also a lot of contemporaneous documentation from Roman and Christian sources which has been analyzed to death. Lots has been proven true, but a fair bit has been disproved, or cast in serious doubt.

Islamic history has endured no such scholarly analysis. People cite the "facts" about Mohammed straight from the Koran and Hadiths.
   34. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:50 PM (#5947108)
Is pretty great and is more creepy tension, paranoia "horror" than a gore/shock fest (haven't seen the other two you list, so I can't comment on their style).


I definitely enjoyed the craft of it - I almost always enjoy good location work - but the story itself didn't grab me. It may just not be my genre. Sisters is apparently a Hitchcock homage of sorts, early De Palma, but again, the central plot didn't move me. The Brood I think pushes boundaries fairly well in places, and has a certain awful momentum to itself.

We recently tried Midsommar, which I guess is horror? That might be my kind of horror movie. I also got round to watching Hellraiser a couple of weeks ago, and the surreal aspects of that were interesting.
   35. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: May 03, 2020 at 01:57 PM (#5947119)
Speaking of well-crafted horror, I viewed Suburban Sasquatch last night. Anyone else seen this hidden gem?
   36. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 03, 2020 at 02:04 PM (#5947120)
   37. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 03, 2020 at 03:07 PM (#5947132)
Where is this one theater that is apparently open and showing three IFC films? Or is IFC allocating some portion of its subscription revenues based on streaming numbers for the films?
   38. phredbird Posted: May 03, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5947136)

almost anyone who has gone to art school and continues to work as an artist spends lots of time listening to music while they work.

lately my absolute favorite listening experience has been henry rollins on KCRW.

he has a two-hour broadcast show every sunday, but now he is putting together a series of 4-hour stream-only shows called 'the cool quarantine'.

his enthusiasm for all types of music is infectious, he's a great host.

it's all free on KCRW's online site.

fanatic, you can't say you haven't been told!
   39. chisoxcollector Posted: May 03, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5947138)
Is Suburban Sasquatch actually good? The reviews are... not promising.

One well crafted hidden gem horror movie that I give my highest possible recommendation to is One Cut of the Dead. It’s one of the most clever, entertaining films I’ve seen in a long time. Please watch it, you won’t regret it. Be warned, it is Japanese with subtitles. But it’s such a fun watch.
   40. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: May 03, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5947145)
<quote>Is Suburban Sasquatch actually good?</quote>
No. Not at all. But it was extremely entertaining. I was tearing up from laughter at multiple points. It's probably just behind Glen or Glenda for my most enjoyable movie experience of the past year.
   41. Greg K Posted: May 03, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5947147)
I do find the subject fascinating - one of my Top 100 books is From the Holy Mountain, a travelogue exploring the isolated Christian communities of the middle east. These places have LONG memories - the theological controversies of 1,000+ years ago are still hot topics - and every one of them seems to represent a potential path that mainstream Christianity could have but did not take. It was published not long before 9/11, and many of the communities he discusses were already on their last legs - I fear some of them must now be entirely gone. I don't recall if he visits the Druze or Mandaeans but those are equally beguiling - how incredible that there remains a culture, thousands of years later, that still reveres John the Baptist above all.

It is tempting to think of them as time capsules, preserving a form of Christianity as it existed before it was integrated into (for lack of a better term) European civilization. Sort of like the linguistic time travel of going to Quebec to get a closer approximation of 17th century French, or South Africa for Dutch.
   42. Baldrick Posted: May 03, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5947150)
I read Tom Holland's book on the Millennium and it was fine but it was pretty clearly history with far more emphasis on what makes for a fun story than history with aggressive attention to parsing fact and myth. I don't think he made stuff up. There was just a lot of situations where one source suggests something and he runs with it, where someone else would identify all the counter-arguments and other possibilities.

Which is fine. I know very little about that period and found his book far more engaging than a far more rigorous book I read by Christopher Wickham on the same period. So I definitely learned more from Holland insofar as he gave me broad strokes that I actually retained.
   43. Srul Itza At Home Posted: May 03, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5947153)
Islamic history has endured no such scholarly analysis.


If you debunk Christian or Jewish myth, they put you on You Tube

If you debunk Islamic myth, they put you on a death fatwa list.

   44. Greg K Posted: May 03, 2020 at 05:09 PM (#5947165)
Heh, Wickham was the guy I based my early medieval class on. It was probably the same book too - "Framing the Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean 400-800"?

As you say, I'm not sure Wikcham would necessarily refute Holland's account, but he gives you a more nuanced impression of the period rather than a fun narrative. I'm also a bit biased because I just watched a Second World War Netflix documentary featuring Tom Holland's brother, James Holland, and he is laying on the neat, exciting style of history a bit thick.
   45. Baldrick Posted: May 03, 2020 at 06:07 PM (#5947190)
Heh, Wickham was the guy I based my early medieval class on. It was probably the same book too - "Framing the Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean 400-800"?

The Inheritance of Rome, 400-1000, which sounds like it was just an expansion of the original.

Very good book. It just offered a level of detail that told me a lot about a bunch of individual trees when I didn't really know what forest I was in. I really wish I'd read those two books in reverse order. I think I would have gotten a lot more from Wickham.

Meanwhile, this book I'm reading on the reformation is something I picked up seven or eight years ago but only got 100 pages into before getting distracted by grad school. But I've returned to it now...largely because I'm playing Here I Stand, the board game about the reformation.
   46. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2020 at 06:19 PM (#5947195)
I also read The Inheritance of Rome, and I found it a total slog. Lots of detail that would seem to be unnecessary to all but graduate students. There must be a way to write history that is neither cartoonishly exciting nor so stuffed with detail as to be impenetrable.
   47. Greg K Posted: May 03, 2020 at 06:22 PM (#5947196)
It is a rare feat.

I remember in grad school we had to list three careers we were aiming for after we finished our PhD. Since putting any thought into my future is not really my forte, I cheated a bit and went with history professor, popular historian, and something else I forget. The reaction was not positive...though I wasn't sure if it was because they were looking down their noses at "popular history" or because writing popular history is not as easy as an arrogant grad student might suppose.
   48. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2020 at 06:40 PM (#5947202)
I had an interesting experience recently reading John McPhee's Annals of the Former World, which is an omnibus of his multiple books on the geology of America. I have an average American's knowledge of geology - I know there's a difference between sedimentary and metamorphic, and that's about the extent of it - and there are sections of the book that are basically impossible to understand. Geology's a difficult subject anyway, it's almost impossible to get the proper perspective on a gut level, how mountain chains rise and fold and deform over hundreds of millions of years. McPhee is one of my favorite writers, everything he writes is superb. In the book he gives accessible introductions to some topics (for example, how Louis Agassiz discovered that there had been ice ages, and how plate tectonics theory developed) but in other topics he actually revels the impenetrability of the terms. It's clear that half of his attraction to the subject matter is literary - the book is a celebration of the sound of the geologic terminology, and it's orchestrated so well that it almost doesn't matter that you probably have no clue what he's talking about, it just sounds that good.
   49. Lassus Posted: May 03, 2020 at 06:53 PM (#5947204)
Anyone ELSE watching the Westworld finale tonight? I was very excited for this season, but it hasn't been as interesting as the previous one. It seems to have been spinning its wheels with philosophy but little actual movement. Nothing that intriguing or innovative.
   50. Greg K Posted: May 03, 2020 at 06:59 PM (#5947208)
I think grad school ruined me for non-fiction books in that sense. I just naturally breeze past sections that aren't giving me what I'm looking for. I find I have to consciously force myself to just sit back and enjoy the writing.
   51. Mayor Blomberg Posted: May 03, 2020 at 06:59 PM (#5947209)
Thanks for that appreciation of McPhee, Fish. yes, an immensely talented author and really smart man.
   52. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5947216)
I think grad school ruined me for non-fiction books in that sense. I just naturally breeze past sections that aren't giving me what I'm looking for.


And me, I'm trying to develop that habit. It's funny, given my condemnation above of too-long non-fiction books, but I've just embarked on another doorstopper, Wendy Doniger's The Hindus, and I'm trying to get better at skipping sections that I don't really care that much about, rather than trudging through them.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 03, 2020 at 08:19 PM (#5947235)

If you debunk Christian or Jewish myth, they put you on You Tube

If you debunk Islamic myth, they put you on a death fatwa list.


And that's a big problem.
   54. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 03, 2020 at 08:58 PM (#5947249)
Starting a rewatch of Firefly with a couple of friends who have never seen (or even heard of it before, though one has seen Serenity.
   55. PreservedFish Posted: May 03, 2020 at 10:06 PM (#5947258)
Good bit from my McPhee:

"Geology was called a descriptive science, and with its pitted outwash plains and drowned rivers, its hanging tributatires and starved coastlines, it was nothing if not descriptive. It was a fountain of metaphor - of isostatic adjustments and degraded channels, of angular unconformities and shifting divides, of rootless mountains and bitter lakes... there was fatigued rock and incompetent rock and inequigranular rock...

They had roof pendants in their discordant batholiths, mosaic conglomerates in desert pavement. There was the slip face of the barchan dune. There were festooned crossbeds and limestone sinks, pillow lavas and petrified trees, incised meanders and defeated streams. There were dike swarms and slickensides, explosion pits, volcanic bombs. Pulsating glaciers. Hogbacks. Radiolarian ooze... Rock that stayed put was called autochtonous, and if it had moved it was allochtonous."

He also appreciates the less evocative technical language:

"A cactolith was 'a quasi-horizontol chonolith composed of anastomosing ductoliths, whose distal ends curl like a harpolith, thin like a sphenolith, or bulge discordantly like an akmolith or ethmolith.'"
   56. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 03, 2020 at 10:52 PM (#5947261)
Yeah, PF, if you read and appreciated even just the passage quoted above, you have far from “an average American’s knowledge of geology.”
   57. PreservedFish Posted: May 04, 2020 at 08:43 AM (#5947281)
I don't know what any of those words mean. Aside from, like, "glacier." And "ooze."
   58. BrianBrianson Posted: May 04, 2020 at 08:51 AM (#5947283)
Not sure what this week's flavor is.


The Michael Jordon documentary already passed Tiger King in viewership.

As for me, I finally got around to buying and installing Kerbal Space Program, and let me tell you, it's the Bee's ######' Knees.
   59. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: May 04, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5947291)
My reading WAS down, but it's back up. Might simply be the material but the internet really is the death of book reading, so that's a big part of it.


The main problem for me has been finding myself easily distracted, to the point that if I don't consciously bear down I find myself reading maybe 2 or 3 pages at a time before flitting over to somewhere else.

The new Stephen King (originally due to arrive last week, but delayed by Amazon backups & such) should be at the UPS Store (where I've been renting a box since October after one too many instances of porch piracy) waiting for me today, so we'll see if that's enough to overcome this annoying tendency.
   60. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2020 at 10:17 AM (#5947297)
if you're on the fence re "The Last Dance" of the Bulls' last title team, I'd hop off - hmm, I sound like Yogi Berra there.

while Jordan controlled the final outcome of the 10-hour series that includes previously unseen footage of NBA Entertainment having inside access all of that season, he for whatever reason has decided to 'take off the mask.' he seems to realize it's not all flattering - but I think it's even more unflattering than he grasps.

lots of current commentary by Jordan, and also flashbacks to his college days, arriving in the NBA, getting stomped by and then finally vanquishing the hated Pistons, and so on. I think I could even make the case for it to a non-basketball, or even non-sports, fan.

tale of how someone clawed his way to the mountaintop - warts included at no extra charge.
   61. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 04, 2020 at 10:39 AM (#5947309)
I don't know what any of those words mean. Aside from, like, "glacier." And "ooze."
I got "trees," "streams" and "explosion."
   62. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2020 at 10:49 AM (#5947318)
slickenslides and hogbacks are either from Dr. Seuss or Harry Potter.
   63. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: May 04, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5947361)
They're actually interbred families in West Virginia.
   64. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 04, 2020 at 12:25 PM (#5947397)
I know "isostatic adjustments" are how Greg Maddux won four Cy Young awards, but that's all.
   65. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 04, 2020 at 12:31 PM (#5947404)
Fatigued rock = Bon Iver
Incompetent rock = Creed
Inequigranular rock = ??
   66. PreservedFish Posted: May 04, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5947409)
Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace
Like slipface barchan dunes
Heed the path that led me to that place, mosaic batholith
My Cactolith beneath the summer moon, pitted outwash plain
Sure as the dike swarms float high in June, when movin' through Kashmir
   67. PreservedFish Posted: May 04, 2020 at 12:36 PM (#5947411)
Autochtonous rock: AC/DC
Allochtonous rock: Radiohead
   68. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: May 04, 2020 at 01:47 PM (#5947458)
Good god. Stranglers keyboardist Dave Greenfield dead at 71 after contracting COVID-19 during a hospital stay for heart problems.
   69. base ball chick Posted: May 04, 2020 at 03:14 PM (#5947498)
Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 03, 2020 at 12:29 AM (#5947028)

When a music producer has free time on his hands, he remixes something on Twitter to produce the catchiest song of the year.


- that was ****ing AWESOME

but it made me realize how much i miss having little kidz around. little kidz are fun. teenagers on the other hand...
   70. Kurt Posted: May 04, 2020 at 04:05 PM (#5947529)
There was a fun baseball trivia quiz on learned league this weekend. I expect most regulars here would find it pretty easy. Question 6 in particular made me think of this place.

   71. PreservedFish Posted: May 04, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5947535)
I got "Byung-Hyun Kim Ng" in an instant, but have to imagine that that question would be literally impossible for 99.999% of the country.
   72. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 04, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5947543)
Watched Dredd again last night; I think I liked it more than the first time I saw it, way back when.

Definitely not your momma's Stallone version (thank dog).

Good cast, very good action, but brutal violence, be warned.
   73. Kurt Posted: May 04, 2020 at 05:27 PM (#5947581)
I got "Byung-Hyun Kim Ng" in an instant, but have to imagine that that question would be literally impossible for 99.999% of the country.


I am ashamed at how long #1 took me. Trying to figure out how the middle word could possibly be "D'Angelo" or "Alfonso".
   74. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 04, 2020 at 05:31 PM (#5947582)
Starting a rewatch of Firefly


One of the things I need to pick up from our apartment when the wife and I go into Brooklyn on Wednesday. Haven't watched it for a couple of years now, definitely time.
   75. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 04, 2020 at 05:33 PM (#5947583)
I am ashamed at how long #1 took me.
Might want to get checked for prostate issues.
   76. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: May 04, 2020 at 05:44 PM (#5947586)
70 - that was fun. i missed #1, though - i'm terrible with awards and baseball years.

i've been very busy during pandemic times, so my movie watching has been on hold for months but one cut of the dead has been in my queue for awhile. only heard great things (and i'm not a horror buff).
   77. chisoxcollector Posted: May 04, 2020 at 08:39 PM (#5947628)
i've been very busy during pandemic times, so my movie watching has been on hold for months but one cut of the dead has been in my queue for awhile. only heard great things (and i'm not a horror buff).


If you can make the time, you won’t regret it. Halfway through the film, I thought it was good but nothing special. Then I watched the rest, and it completely blew my mind. It was so clever, so inventive, and wildly entertaining.

During the lockdown I’ve been rewatching tons of films from the last 20 years, and working on my top 100 of the 2000s list. I’ve seen 1754 movies released this century. One Cut of the Dead is a contender for the top ten of that list, and a lock for the top twenty. I really can’t recommend it strongly enough.
   78. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: May 04, 2020 at 08:45 PM (#5947630)
So I saw "Escape from New York" was available on Prime and then the Simmons "Rewatchables" podcast discussed the movie. So I said wtf.

This movie is hilarious. Not an original take I am sure. But it killed
   79. Lassus Posted: May 04, 2020 at 10:14 PM (#5947682)
"Because... because.... well, because they're bad people."

- Me settling on an answer to Jules' "Why didn't people like The Last Jedi?" question.
   80. PreservedFish Posted: May 04, 2020 at 10:47 PM (#5947693)
That movie was brutal, Lassus.
   81. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 04, 2020 at 11:33 PM (#5947711)
I didn't hate it, but I have no desire to ever see it again.
   82. chisoxcollector Posted: May 05, 2020 at 12:27 AM (#5947720)
I just watched Synecdoche, New York for the first time. That was... a lot. I don’t like to describe movies as being profound very often, as I feel like a pretentious douche doing it. But that was probably the second film I’ve ever seen that I would label as profound. The other is the David Lowery film A Ghost Story.
   83. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 05, 2020 at 12:34 PM (#5947914)
I am ashamed at how long #1 took me.
...
Might want to get checked for prostate issues.


From an old episode of "The Hollywood Squares":

PETER MARSHALL: "George, true or false? In India, there is a pea that has lasted for a thousand years."
GEORGE GOBEL: "You know, sometimes it sure seems like it."
   84. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: May 06, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5948316)
Read 300 pages of the new Stephen King yesterday, and that was with a pretty frenetic afternoon and evening occasioned by *ugh* work; otherwise, I'd have consumed the remaining 130ish pages as well. So at least my reading muscles haven't atrophied or anything.

I even managed to fight my way back off my fainting couch after being laid low by the dreaded misspelling "miniscule."
   85. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: May 06, 2020 at 11:24 AM (#5948319)
Bad week for great pop keyboardists; Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider is dead at 73.
   86. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 06, 2020 at 11:39 AM (#5948323)
@PreservedFish

I never actually saw them. But I'd watch a fan edit.


Here's the one I watched.

Changes:


The investigation of Dol Guldor has been completely excised ...

The Tauriel-Legolas-Kili love triangle has also been removed ...

Several of the Laketown scenes have been cut ...

The prelude with old Bilbo is gone ...

Several of the orc skirmishes have been cut ...

Several of the action scenes have been tightened up ...

A lot of filler scenes have been cut as well ...


The link has more detail on all of the above and also contains a link to a torrent for download (just under 6GB).
   87. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 06, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5948324)
Bad week for great pop keyboardists; Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider is dead at 73.


I was going to quip that "Ray Manzarek had better watch his ass" ... but it turns out he's been dead since 2013!

Sorry, Ray!
   88. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 06, 2020 at 11:56 AM (#5948332)
@PreservedFish

This made me shudder. What the actual ####.


What? You don't remember Tolkien writing about a Dwarf-Elf-Elf love triangle in The Hobbit?

Obviously, you don't have the "Expanded Edition" that Christopher cobbled together ...

JRR was Rule 34 ... before there even WAS a Rule 34.

/s (it was mind-bogglingly awful)
   89. PreservedFish Posted: May 06, 2020 at 12:16 PM (#5948339)
Last night I intoned the fateful words, "A smaller and lighter horse, but restive and fiery, was brought to Legolas. Arod was his name."
   90. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 06, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5948368)
Crossing over from the COVID thread...

Portugal is an ideal travel destination if you like any or all of the above:

1. Great food (seafood on the coast, beef/lamb/pork inland)
2. Great wine
3. Music
4. Beautiful scenery
5. History
6. Architecture
7. Walkable cities
8. Not ridiculously expensive

We visited Lisbon, Porto, Evora and both the northern and southern wine regions. The cities were fascinating, and the wine country was just gorgeous (as most wine countries tend to be, granted). The locals seemed to be at a good point on the "tolerance of tourists" spectrum - rightfully proud to show what they have to the world and a sense that their time in the spotlight is starting, but not to the point where they're sick of visitors yet (except for the Brits, apparently - people in Lisbon believe British tourists tend to be obnoxious drunks). Plus, if you're coming from the US, Portugal is pretty much the shortest flight to Europe, which is a big deal for people such as me who really don't enjoy flying.
   91. chisoxcollector Posted: May 06, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5948375)
The link has more detail on all of the above and also contains a link to a torrent for download (just under 6GB).

I'm going to have to check this out. The Hobbit films were pretty bad, especially the third one, but a single 4 hour cut might be watchable.

Peter Jackson isn't a very good director, but seems to still be treated as though he is a good one. Are their any other directors like that? My possibly contentious nomination would be Darren Aronofsky. I love The Wrestler, but I feel that movie only succeeds because of an amazing Mickey Rourke performance. I find everything else Aronofsky has ever made to be middling at best.
   92. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 06, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5948390)
I'm going to have to check this out. The Hobbit films were pretty bad, especially the third one, but a single 4 hour cut might be watchable.


It's not just the length that's an improvement, it's the complete excisement of several completely useless sub-plots (hey, let's make a dwarf look human so he can romance an elf HOTTIE! Yeah, that's the ticket!!!) that makes it better.

Not saying it's great, but it's a vast improvement over what Jackson released.*

Peter Jackson isn't a very good director, but seems to still be treated as though he is a good one.


Jackson is no longer a director whose films I'm interested in, but Heavenly Creatures** and Forgotten Silver are very legit and Dead Alive is a wonderful, inventive, gory zombie schockfest. I even remember The Frighteners fondly, though it's been a LONG time since I've seen it, so don't hold me to that.

But yeah, no longer. The LoTR trilogy was when he started to go off the rails and King Kong seemed to be when he embraced his inner Lucas and never looked back.

*Which, to be fair, wasn't all on Jackson. What I really would have liked to have seen was a vastly truncated (say short 2 part) Hobbit from Jackson and a LoTR trilogy from Del Toro. Alas.

** Frankly, Heavenly Creatures is what had me so excited when Jackson was announced to be directing LoTR in the first place.
   93. Accent Shallow opens his curtains at 7 AM Posted: May 06, 2020 at 02:22 PM (#5948397)
Speaking of movies, I did a The Wicker Man marathon, where I watched both the original and the Nicholas Cage version.

The original was certainly not what I was expecting -- for most of the movie, you don't really have horror movie beats, and there's much more singing (which manages to deliver relevant exposition!) than I had anticipated. Later in the film, as I started to anticipate the payoff, even as the horror movie beats came up, the movie zigged where I would have expected a zag. (As an example, the cop can't get the seaplane to start, and he's being watched by the locals wearing animal masks. We get a typical horror musical cue, and . . . then nothing). When we get to the procession at the end, it really drives home how small the village/cast is. Up until they seize the cop, it looks like something silly a summer camp or a small music festival would do. And yes, it's a horrifying film -- the cop is a sanctimonious prig, sure, but the Lord orchestrating this is willing to sacrifice him, for a ritual that he (the Lord) doesn't even believe in. (At least, that's the sense I got from their conversation in the manor house). Speaking of, that was a little hard for me to accept, that Christopher Lee's grandfather would have been able to reintroduce Celtic paganism somewhere in the British isles and have it take that thoroughly in ~100 years, but whatever. Still something I very much I enjoyed.

Unfortunately, that's in sharp contrast to the Nicholas Cage remake. For whatever reason, this is set in the US, with the pagans in Washington state. And rather than play up the conflict of the devoutly Christian cop with the overt paganism of the locals, we have the pagans be an extremely matriarchal society. Unlike the original, this is very self-consciously a horror movie -- and it falls flat, even without focusing on Cage's acting. We don't have singing exposition (which is fine!) but we don't have a whole lot of exposition, period, and it feels like we're lurching from scene-to-scene that are adapted from the original. Some work OK (the schoolhouse scene), others don't (Sister Summerisle's speech on how the pagans landed in Salem and made their way across the country is even less plausible than the explanation for paganism in the original movie). Overall, a mess, but it feels like there are hints of an entertaining movie in there. I think to do that, you'd need to play up how the matriarchal society really works here, as well as showing how the pagans really are controlling what Nicholas Cage does and sees. (We get one warning from his love interest, and that's it). Just about the only thing I can say I liked more about this than the original was the explanation for why he can't call for help (no cell service), as opposed to the cop in the original movie, who neglects to use his radio or a telephone to report to his superiors or anyone else at any point in the movie.

Anyway, I'm glad I had plenty of beer and popcorn.
   94. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 06, 2020 at 02:28 PM (#5948398)
I expect the re-remake to feature murder hornets, instead of bees.
   95. Accent Shallow opens his curtains at 7 AM Posted: May 06, 2020 at 02:31 PM (#5948401)
I expect the re-remake to feature murder hornets, instead of bees.


The version I watched cut that scene, unfortunately.
   96. Baldrick Posted: May 06, 2020 at 02:40 PM (#5948403)
I know I talked about it when we were there two winters ago, but I loved Portugal. We were only there for a few days, but Lisbon immediately rose to become one of my favorite cities. It doesn't have quite the same level of awe-inspiring stuff that you'll find in a Barcelona or Paris or London or Berlin, but it really is quite affordable and much easier to settle into and relax. We only went because we got one of those 'why not stay for a couple nights on your layover' deals from Air Portugal, but it's now high on my list of future trip plans. Want to see more of Lisbon and the rest of the country.
   97. mathesond Posted: May 06, 2020 at 02:52 PM (#5948407)
I haven't seen the original Wicker Man, although my wife is a huge fan of it. We both saw a sneak preview of the Nic Cage movie, and my impressions was that it was a forgettable movie for the first hour or so, before going ridiculously off the rails for the last 20 minutes or so. The biggest memory I have was people booing the movie when it was done - and they all had free tickets to see it!

I did enjoy Hot Fuzz's send up of some of the original's plot lines, though.
   98. Hot Wheeling American Posted: May 06, 2020 at 03:06 PM (#5948414)
Best Scenes from "The Wicker Man" has been on youtube for over thirteen years! The passage of time sucks!
   99. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: May 06, 2020 at 03:48 PM (#5948430)
Portugal is an ideal travel destination if you like any or all of the above:

1. Great food (seafood on the coast, beef/lamb/pork inland)


I wasn't in love with Lisbon - cruise ship visitors dominated some areas, although it was genuinely full of interesting things - but my wife and I did have INCREDIBLE surf 'n' turf in Vilamoura, near Faro, a few years back. The food really is exceptional, and the cost of living also makes it extremely attractive for retirees. I am keen to try Porto, as well.

I tend to think of Portugal as somewhere we might have a holiday home if/when we complete our move to Sweden. On vacation, I might choose somewhere else, but for somewhere to settle in for a few weeks or months and just live? Pretty special. Assuming that international travel picks back up again . . .
   100. Egregious Hidden Genitals (CoB). Posted: May 06, 2020 at 03:53 PM (#5948433)
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