28 June 2008

The Short Tale of the Blog Entry That Never Was

last week, i spoke of a post that i was planning on writing about the recent behind the scenes upheaval at dc comics.

a funny thing happened on the way to the forum:

i simply lost interest. it turned out to be, as shakespeare put it, a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, yet signifying nothing. if you look at the websites that i linked to, you'll see that a LOT of people are chattering about this topic. and, to tell you the truth, there really isn't a whole lot to talk about after all.

so, i'm moving on. i have a few other ideas brewing.

more later.

23 June 2008

George Carlin RIP



as my friend dave said when he heard the news this morning:

suddenly, the world's a little less interesting.

george carlin died last night of heart failure at the age of 71. it is very difficult for me to speak about him in the past tense. so, if you'll indulge me, i'm going to speak about him in the present tense.

about twenty years ago, jerry (one of my best friends) introduced me to the work of george carlin. george is one of my heroes. one of my absolute heroes...he's up there with harlan ellison. they share something in common in that they're both pissed off. i aspire to be as pissed off as they are. why? because of the way in which they express their anger.

george carlin is elequent. he is every bit the musician that miles davis, john coltrane and charlie parker. his chosen instrument: the english language. the way in which he puts sentences together...the construction is intricate, beautiful and fearless. he also makes robin williams' most vulgar routines sound like disney by comparison.

case in point - arguably his most famous routine, the seven words you can't say on TV. this routine became a lightning rod for the FCC:



another favourite topic of his is religion. his opinion - religion is bullshit. as a survivor of twelve years of Catholic school education, this routine resonates with me (apropos of nothing, for those of you out there in the studio audience who are curious - i am not an atheist...any further details on this subject are not really appropriate for this entry...sorry for the interruption, we now return you to your regularly scheduled eulogy):



this is what he had to say about the ten commandments:



he often spoke about environmentalists. he has a very strong opinion about saving the planet. this is another routine that resonates with me. i went to school at michigan technological university, one of the top engineering colleges in the country. my major was in civil-structural engineering. some of my classmates majored in civil-environmental engineering. i got along with them just fine. their professors, however, were assholes. they are the people that george is talking about:



my absolute favourite routine of george's, though, has to be the airline announcements. any of you out there who have flown know EXACTLY what he is talking about. this is probably the only routine of his that i can recite by heart (almost...my mind is getting a bit fuzzy lately):



i implore all of you who are reading this to join me in raising a glass and toasting george.

goodbye, old friend. you will be deeply missed.

20 June 2008

Comic Book Geekdom

this will be a very short one before i go out with friends.

for my next post, i plan on writing an essay/editorial/review on what has been going on at DC comics. i have only recently dipped my toes back into the DC comics waters after a rather lengthy absence. i'll get into this with more depth when i post the essay. however, there is a LOT of info to digest. in addition to specific directly related titles that i have read, here are a few articles that i plan on using as background:

(A NOTE FROM THE MANAGER: apologies for the lack of HTML acumen...blogger doesn't want to cooperate with me today...kindly copy paste the addresses into your browser.)

http://io9.com/5016959/dc-comics-heading-for-major-shake+up

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/080612-DixonNoDC.html

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/080609-MorrisonFC01.html

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/06/13/fridays-editorial-conference/

if you like, skim them. it's really interesting stuff if you're a fan of comic books at all.

the plan is to write the post tomorrow after acupuncture while i'm convalescing.

ttfn.

18 June 2008

In The Name Of All Things Sacred, PAY The Man!

i will say it right out:

i love this man. who am i professing my love for? his name is harlan ellison. he is, without a single solitary doubt, one of the great writers of all time. he is the quintessential angry young man.

however, you will want to get two things straight about him. just two:

1/ NEVER EVER EVER call him a science fiction writer.

2/ ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS pay the man for his services.



i plan on writing more about mister ellison in a future post. for now, please enjoy the video shown above.

16 June 2008

RIP Stan Winston

at the behest of chick young, kind proprietor of "trash aesthetic", i was going to start a series of informative blogs, beginning with a list of my favourite filmmakers and what they mean to me on a personal level (this is still forthcoming). however, it is my sad duty to announce the passing of special effects legend stan winston.



stan winston is responsible for some of the greatest achievements in feature film special effects. he was a true pioneer and stands shoulder to shoulder with ray harryhausen. my first exposure to his work was in the films of james cameron's "the terminator".



he also helped rob bottin and john carpenter with the effects on "john carpenter's the thing" (one of my absolute favourite films of all time). rob bottin was overwhelmed with the effects work and needed a hand. so, stan winston created the mutated dog sequence, one of the scariest scenes in the film.



his work on aliens was just staggering. stan extended and improved upon h.r. giger's design from the original film with the alien queen puppet.



finally, he revolutionized CGI and animatronic puppetry in "jurassic park". despite the fact that i was not a huge fan of the film, i completely lost myself in winston's effects work. i truly believed that dinosaurs again walked the earth.



winston revolutionized the world of film effects. his work is the stuff of nightmares and fantasy. please, treat yourself and watch the above noted films.

rest in piece, stan. you will be missed.

14 June 2008

neuromancer and convalescence

just finished reading neuromancer for the fifth time. i am shocked and amazed (pleasantly so) at how vital this book still is for me. i tried rereading it a few years ago and it didn't take. i assumed that i had moved on. thankfully, i was wrong. now wondering what i'm going to read next. i think i'm going to start count zero, which is the second book in william gibson's "sprawl" saga. i have only read it once, and that was way back when i first read neuromancer in 1995. it should be interesting. i don't remember anything about it.

no movement on writing. i've been bitten by the world of warcraft bug. will try to write after i post this entry. i am trying to kick my t.v. repairman story loose again. we'll see what happens.

i have also spent the past few saturdays convalescing at home. my acupuncture schedule was recently switched from tuesday evenings to saturday mornings. one of the caveats of this new style of acupuncture that i'm trying is that i have to stay off of my feet and relax for the remainder of the day. i'm hoping to get my schedule switched back to tuesday evenings, because, while i do enjoy relaxing, i also like to get out on the weekends.

i would also like to take this opportunity to again turn your attention to my good friend nick's blog trash aesthetics, which can be found here. he is doing work that, in my humble opinion, is simply staggering. he takes the simple idea of the top ten list and turns it into an artform. his "gone to bed" series is also excellent. well done, mate.

and now, it's time for me to shake some writing loose.

ever onward.

01 June 2008

for chick young



this is a photo of the lovely barbara steele. for those not in the know, she graced the screen of films by mario bava and david cronenberg.

fyi: sorry i've been away from the blogsphere for so long...life has been very busy. not to fret, though. i'm working on a new writing project. this is something separate from the haunted house script. the haunted house thing is still happening, i'm just not finding my muse for it right now.

more later.