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Posts Tagged ‘imaginative fiction’

This family…didn’t choose…to [allow] Jefferson Parish to look into their home and judge what happens there.  –  Chelsea Cusimano

The big news this week was the death of Eddie Van Halen; I wasn’t really a fan, but this song was recent enough when I was teaching that some of my students used to “innocently” sing it within earshot.  The links above it were provided by Nun YaStephen Lemons, Tim Cushing, Popehat, Scott Greenfield, Cop Crisis, and Thaddeus Russell, in that order.

From the Archives

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No Explanation

October is, of course, Halloween month, a time for spooky stuff; my October movie choices are always horror.  That of course means older movies; series-obsessed Hollywood long ago lost the ability to consistently make good horror movies.  Every time some creator manages to come up with a decent fright flick, Hollywood has to turn it into a franchise, totally destroying any possibility of a scare.  The original Nightmare on Elm Street was a good, original, haunting flick; the studio soon destroyed that by turning its haunt into a wisecracking clown.  Paranormal Activity was entertaining; how many sequels are they up to now?  Even older movies are remade or sequelized into absurdity; I recently read that they’re trying to make an “origin story” for Damien, the boy Antichrist in The Omen (and several shitty sequels).  Let’s put aside for a moment the absurdity of making an “origin” prequel to a movie that is already an origin story; instead I’d like to comment on the misconception at the root of all this.  The author of that linked article states matter-of-factly, “Horror, more so than other genres, often struggles with how to offer viewers satisfactory explanations for the terror that unfolds on-screen.”  No, no, no; that’s almost the exact opposite of a correct analysis.  In true horror, there is little to no “explanation”, because the unnown is far more horrifying than any trite Hollywood “origin”.  Compare the utterly terrifying 1963 The Haunting, in which the only explanation for the goings-on is that the house was “born bad” (???) with 1999’s idiotic yawner of a remake with its ridiculous “explanation” involving “slave children”.  One of the things that makes Ringu (and its US remake The Ring) so terrifying is that it turns this stupid trope on its head, smashing the protagonist’s attempt at “explaining” and thus laying* the malevolent ghost back in her foolish face.  It’s just too bad there’s no way to lay Hollywood’s art-negating greed, which just keeps coming back as often and pointlessly as the protagonist-villain of far too many teen-oriented slasher franchises.

*Yes, “laying” is the proper gerund for destroying/stopping an undead creature. “To lay” is short for “to lay to rest”. eg, “they laid the vampire by putting a stake through its heart”. Sometimes different uses of a word from different time periods generate unintentional humor.

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I can’t breathe! I’m gonna die, help!  –  Stephen Dolceamore

The great Diana Rigg died late last week, and though I could’ve moved things around I preferred to honor her with a video as well.  UK readers may not ever have seen the “chessboard” intro, which came before the main credits in the US for the 1966 season, the first one shown in the US.  The links above the video were provided by Franklin Harris, Zuri Davis, Elizabeth N. Brown, Scott Greenfield, Cop Crisis, and Robby Soave, in that order.

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  Daniel Prude

It’s hard to believe that today is already the 21st anniversary of the greatest disaster in human history, when we lost the Moon to a bizarre nuclear accident.  What, you don’t remember that?  The video below may help.  The links above it were provided by Mistress Matisse, Cop Crisis, Popehat, Billy Binion, Amy Alkon, and Popehat again, in that order.

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  Derrick Scott

A Brave New World radio play narrated by Aldous Huxley himself?  With a Bernard Herrmann score?  Yes please!  The video was contributed by Anarras Ansible, and the links above it by Stephen Lemons, Conner Habib, Popehat, Mark Bennett, Mama Tush, Radley Balko, and Amy Alkon, in that order.

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How dare you!  –  Greta Thunberg

Here’s yet another unusual song cover to prove that “cultural appropriation” is awesome; it was provided by Radley Balko, and the links above it are from Franklin Harris, Rick Pettit, Kevin Wilson, Popehat (x2), The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and Stephen Lemons, in that order.

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In Hollywood movies, robots are characters; they are often funny, charming, resourceful or even heroic.  So naturally, in the movie Robocop, the title character was heroic, resourceful, and, to a degree, even funny and charming.  Of course, in real life, robots have no personality; they are (as Isaac Asimov once observed) “high-speed morons” which will do anything they are instructed to do, no matter how stupid, destructive or violent, without the slightest delay due to judgment, instinct, empathy, ethical considerations, or other human factors.  From the standpoint of rulers, then, real “robocops” would be ideal; they would inflict whatever violence they were instructed to inflict, using whatever criteria they were programmed to use, without an iota of conscience or personal ethics.  They would “only follow orders” and faithfully “do their jobs” by carrying out the whims of the rulers, no matter how idiotic, abominable or mutually-contradictory, without a moment’s hesitation.  So perhaps it’s a matter of judicial wishful thinking that in this century, US courts have increasingly ruled that cops are so robotically stupid that they are absolutely devoid of human moral judgment, and therefore cannot be held responsible for even the most flagrant violations of law, ethics or even basic common decency unless they are specifically instructed that the exact act, described in the most precise detail, is wrongful:

Two businessmen who [were robbed by] Fresno police [of] more than $225,000…are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to close a legal loophole that shields [cops] from liability.  Under “qualified immunity” victims can only sue government officials for damages if they prove that their rights were violated and that those rights were “clearly established.”  So when the two men, Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, filed a civil rights lawsuit against the [robbers], their case was dismissed.  “There was no clearly established law holding that officers violate the Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment when they steal property seized pursuant to a warrant,” the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in September…Ashjian told the Fresno Bee last year…“if the police have a search warrant that’s valid, they could steal your things and you don’t have the ability to pursue it…I am about as pro cop as anybody, but what happened doesn’t make any sense”…
It’s really too bad that we can’t, through some super-scientific reprogramming of the brains of these supposed “heroes”, force them to limit their depradations to judges, politicians, and other “pro cop” douchebags.  Alas, some things exist only in science fiction.

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The government does not have the power to change the dictionary.  –  Justin Pearson

The best parody is very close to the truth; this video (from a dude we’ve seen before) is an excellent example.  The video was provided by Annie Sprinkle, and the links above it by Franklin Harris (“cosplay”), Dave Krueger (“imitation”), Nun Ya (“literal”), and Jesse Walker (everything else).

From the Archives

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Live forever.  –  Mr. Electrico

This video is no surprise, given that it’s one of my favorite songs and I’ve featured videos from the lovely Luna before.  The links above it were provided by Juvenile Bluster, Mark Bennett, Anarras Ansible, Jesse Walker, Boatfloating, and Jesse Walker again, in that order.

From the Archives

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I think I’ve drawn almost everyone in Hollywood.  –  Mort Drucker

This 1933 cartoon version of The Wizard of Oz only resembles its source material in that it features a little girl, her dog, a tornado, and an animated scarecrow and tin man.  It was provided by Jesse Walker, who also gave us “Heyerdahl”, “Drucker”, and “fireworks”.  The other links above the video were provided by Angela Keaton (“puritans”), Clarissa (“Blackman”), Kevin Wilson (“surprises”), and Brooke Magnanti (“Cthulhu”).

From the Archives

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