Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Indiana Jones and the Deus Ex Machina

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

I say this knowing that I may get a fair amount of flak for it, but Indiana Jones is the single most useless movie hero in cinematic history. I love the movies, but really, what does he do? He always seems to merely lead to bad guys to the artifacts they so desperately seek, whereupon they discover that, OH MAN, the ancient object was too powerful for them, dudes, and dissolve (or something). In the new one it's no different; basically Cate Blanchett just follows Indy to the place where she can use the plastic (sorry, crystal) skull, then there's an alien, and it thinks at her too much and she incinerates as a result of "too much knowledge" (probably in this case Derrida's Of Grammatology, or potentially Middlemarch). Nothing to do with Indiana Jones. He didn't actually do anything, he just didn't try to put a stop to it when the villain was getting her comeuppance.

But that being said, the movie was still pretty entertaining. And I can't fault Indy for being useless, I'd do the same if that kind of thing always happened: "You want the skull? Fine, go ahead ... don't say I didn't warn you!"

Also, I have no idea if this pattern was followed for Temple of Doom, because I've blocked it out of my memory. My babysitter showed it to me when I was 7, and because of that heart scene I haven't been able to hear the words Kali, or Kali-Ma, or even the name Carly pronounced in an English accent, without cringing in fear ever since.

Monday, 19 May 2008

too emotional to get involved...

I wanted to comment on Gareth McLean's blog on the Guardian Comment is Free site today, entitled Admit it: The Simpsons is the best sitcom ever made and just shout out how utterly, eternally write he is, and hug him, and then twirl with him through a flower-draped field while laughing at the memory of that episode where Homer gets all the spiders on his face...

But then I looked at the comments and realized I was far too emotionally involved to comment. So here is my two cents - The Simpsons is not only the greatest sitcom ever made, it is the greatest television show ever made, and one of the most greatest collaborative pieces of art ever created. There, I said it. It never "jumped the shark tayears ago," as "hansofoundation" says, nor has it been "shit for a decade," as "gingerjon" says. It is a ridiculously strong television program, and I say this as a FUCKING AUTHORITY. I have watched at least one episode of the Simpsons every single day for the last 14 years. You just have to look at it like all television shows - sometimes you may encounter one episode you do not like. But out of over 400 episodes, that's a pretty good track record.

In one particularly misguided comment, "RexZeppelin," writes:

"But sadly they carried on for too long and now the shows frequrntly end in mad, zany out-there situations that are just loud and obnoxious. Homer has become very hard to like in recent seasons, an annoying oaf who never undersnds what he's done wrong - unlike previous seasons where he learns to accept Lisa's differences, or Marge's POV or whatever. A good example is the PBS one where Homer becomes a missionary and the episodes ends with him about to fall in to lava only for a 'PBS' pop up that demands money. The End. Or where Bart and Homer fake leprosy and spend all their time on a tropical paradise except when they have injections that cause them to scream. Endlessly."

Well, you tool, those examples are from Season ELEVEN, EIGHT YEARS AGO! Have you watched every episode since? No? Well, I have.

Case closed. Anyone who disagrees with me is an uneducated tool. I have LOADS of university degrees to back it up.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Dead Fox

There was a dead fox outside my house today. Well, across the street, but practically in front of my house. It was quite a shock. There I was, out for a morning run (I make it sound as if I do it all the time, but really it was just an excuse to get out in the fresh air and sunshine), and there he was, poor dead fox.

I didn't get too close - I have a horror of death, which comes from having seen too many horror films, and I was afraid if I got too close it would come back to life and bite me, and I'd become some kind of fox/zombie, wandering my nights trying to break into chicken coops, which isn't really how imagined I'd spend my life. But it was quite clear to me that this wasn't roadkill, it had just died. It wasn't on the road, it was on the pavement. It was in pretty good shape, not squished, just laying peacefully on its side. Like it was asleep.

Had Mr. Fox said "fuck, the Conservatives are winning, better get out of the game now" and taken an overdose of slug pellets? Had it been some kind of murder/suicide pact? Did he just get really sad one day? It's all rather creepy. Animals generally hide away when they know they're going to die, so a large fox in the middle of the pavement is a queer thing indeed.

Looking out the window as I write this, I see the fox has been taken away. By who, I wonder? All that's left is a dark shadow on the pavement as the undead fox has risen again to haunt the streets of London.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Don't panic.

It's difficult gauging a crowd with regards to political material. I've had a few jokes about the American election kicking around for awhile, which I usually feel like I can trot out as long as I get the vibe that most people in the room know who Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are. There's a greater distance when talking about an election in a foreign country (yet the media also raises it to celebrity status in the UK, which means it's perfect comedy fodder).

Last night I was in Stoke Newington at a brilliant club called The Poodle Club, and it seemed only appropriate to do a few Boris Johnson jokes on election night... I wasn't sure about the crowd, though. They seemed very middle class, average age 30-35, in a very up and coming area (Stokey) right beside an extremely downtrodden area (Dalston) - their politics could lie anywhere. Luckily they laughed at the jokes and it was a great gig. I still don't know who they supported or voted for, but they enjoyed it nonetheless.

Today, I wake up and see the race is neck and neck, with a prediction for the blond douchebag to win. Oh, I had dreams, I had dreamt that perhaps Boris would get a dismal 2% of the vote and the telly would show him weeping, intercut with random Londoners saying "oh, we never supported Boris at all... we were just doing it for a bit of a larf... lookit his face!" But 'tis not to be. Turns out, people are willing to be seduced by a racist dickhead because his hair looks like a drag queen's wig. Oh, the Brits were so superior over America, with George W Bush and Arnold Schwarzeneggar, but look at London now! Voting for someone with zero qualifications because they'd seen him on Have I Got News For You! At least Schwarzeneggar was in Batman and Robin!

You know what? If it's a joke Londonders want, we deserve what we get. It'll be funny, yes, but funny like a practical joke, i.e. physically hurtful and humiliating. We brought this on ourselves. Ashton Kutcher isn't punking us. If seven-o-clock hits and that idiot is mayor, the joke's on us. Enjoy your larf.