Thursday, March 26, 2009

Paging Captain Obvious....

I draw your attention towards the Freeps daily dose o'stupid, 'We Asked You'. Instead of the 96 shut-ins who typically respond to the daily poll, we got something a little, um, juxtapositional today.

I sorely wish this was some printing press underling's idea of sly humour - a bit of glistening irony for those with a quick eye. But, alas, I'm guessing it's a coincidence of supernatural proportions.

And now I await the inevitable letters to the editor, or an eye-glaser penned by the likes of Rory Leishman.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Grab-Bag

Using a term held dear in the heart of my 16 year-old daughter, here are some 'random things' I've been thinking about:
  • Can one ever have too many books? The answer is 'yes' - if you have to move them from one place to another. That's what I've been doing. I moved 2 bookshelves from one room to another this past weekend. Then I spent 2 days putting coats of paint on some walls. This evening I shall, again, move 2 bookshelves from the one room to another. And it's all for a bunch of books I mostly keep as pretty pets. I think it might be time to consider donating some.
  • I did make some time to see The Watchmen last evening. The SuperOmniMegaPaloozaPlex was suprisingly devoid of people on a Sunday night during March Break - but Theater 8 was absolutely packed for the 8:30pm show. My take: very, very good movie. I liked it a lot, and the ending worked for me - moreso as I've been thinking about it today. As for my angst about what 18A really means, I chose to leave my teenaged son at home. This turned out to be the right choice. The Watchmen is very true to the source material - which means it is violent and graphic in more ways than a kid should know about.

  • My companions in Theater 8 last evening are fellows I've know for 30-ish years. Back in the day, these were my go-to guys for prolonged rounds of D&D, weekends of Risk, Star Wars at the old Park Theater, and all the other things geeks do when they're 16-ish and waiting to be noticed by girls. As I sat there in Theater 8, I couldn't help but reflect on the fact that we're all still sitting together in movie theaters watching geek fare. And true to form, we're planning to get together later in the week for a game of Risk - with our own geeky kids in tow, ready to learn why Madagascar never really matters very much. I love this kind of personal continutity - these links to an unencumbered Me. Or perhaps I'm in a 30-year rut.

  • This evening my teenaged son, JediBoy, (yes, that one) submitted his audition video for Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. He has adored the books and has decided he should be in the upcoming movie. It should be understood that JediBoy is the shy, quiet type - so creating an audition video is a Big Deal for him. To suggest it's out of character is to suggest that our hometown of London, Ontario is sort of a boring place (duh!). Nevertheless, we spent 13 takes acting out the prescribed audition scene, and then dutifully sent it into the ether. I don't expect he's the right type (they're looking for a Bill Murray-esque personality), but I admire the hell out of my son for just trying.
And for the record, I've never believed in 'random things'.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Follow The Money

As confounding as these recent Dr. Who shennnanigans are, there's little wonder that we find lucre involved. Witness this quiet little announcement. The alarms bells chime for the obvious:
  • Center for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations? Really? I've been to Cardiff, so whatever...
  • What alien language is that?
  • The annoucement is a giant anagram for 'Death to the Daleks and their African toady, Mugabe. And Catherine Tate is forty' - with a few letters left over as a diversion.

Art Bell, are you listening??

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

First, Daleks In Bogs....

.....and then it got weird.

This puzzle needs a few more edge pieces, but the light of day shall prevail.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Another Grassy Knoll?

We've been had, and there's no telling how deep this subterfuge goes. For decades we've been told Untruths masquerading as simple entertainment. Why the Time Lords entrusted the BBC as their Ministry of Disinformation is beyond my understanding. Things that are thought to be buried always find a way of becoming unburied, it seems. Were Daleks really the bad guys, or is everything we ever believed just a fiction, a cover-story, to hide an ugly truth? All I know is that the conspiracy had begun to unravel.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Kid Is Alright (I Hope)

There's something oddly impressive about the qualities of focus and commitment displayed by Geeks when they're on a mission. How else can one explain Cosplay, the pagentry of the sci-fi convention floor, or days-long line-ups for the newest installment of Star Wars? And so it has been for my only son, JediBoy - a nascent Geek with a major jones for the Watchmen film.

Rewind to last Summer. As I left him behind for a week-long stay with my in-laws at the family cottage, I made a point of pressing a copy of Watchmen into his young hands. I wasn't sure he'd get into the story - its complexities and decidely mature subject matter. He skimmed a few pages before the boat ferried his Mom and Dad back to the promise of indoor plumbing. His verdict: it wasn't grabbing his attention. "Fair enough", I thought - but I left the book with him anyways.

After a few rainy cottage days with little to do but re-read the same comics and perhaps push Link across a 3-inch screen in search of treasure, JediBoy telephoned to let me know he'd picked up the book again.

"Dad, I've been reading the Watchmen", he said.

"Great!", I answered. "How far have you gotten? Further than before?"

"Ummm.... I finished it. All of it.". His voice trailed off. "Ummm...Dad?"

"Yes?". I sounded tentative.

"It's.... There's some inappropriate stuff in there. I'm only 12 you know.".

This was classic JediBoy - straighter than I was at his age and incapable of dishonesty.

"I know.", I said. "I thought you could handle it. Should we talk about it?".

I could feel his whole body relax - even on the phone. "It was awesome! I really liked it!".

"Great!", I said. "You know they're making a movie."

I could feel the hook plunge deep inside his brain. I knew that feeling. It was that frantic sense of 'must have now' I can remember feeling in 1976 when I first encountered the promise of Star Wars.

Since that exchange we've both been tracking the progress of Synder's film version - checking out trailers and bits of news here and there. It's been a sort of mental Advent Calendar exercise leading up to March 6. All the while I've been secretly dreading the possibility that the film might slavishly translate the book - mature themes and all.

And by all accounts the film has done just that. The first inklings of issues were the American TV commercials that confirmed an R-rating. JediBoy has been on tenterhooks worrying about the possibility he might not be able to see Watchmen in Ontario theaters. Much to his relief, of course, the film has earned an 18A rating allowing him the possibility of seeing Rorschach & Friends on the big screen.

Every good story needs conflict, so here's mine: after all of the anticipation (his and mine), would I be a responsible parent by taking him to see this movie? Would I be an uptight dickwad for not taking him to see this movie?

I've been purusing the Innertubes for a few hours, trying to see if others adults have asked the same questions of themselves. After weeding out the idiotic debates about whether drinking and smoking should drive an R-rating, I found a pretty even split between the No and Yes camps. In other words, there were no clear answers.

So here's my feeling on the matter: JediBoy is 13. He's a good kid that knows what's real and what's not, what's right and what's wrong. We sometimes watch other 'mature stuff' together (such as South Park) - even if some storylines mean we'll be changing the channel. In the end, I trusted him enough to read the book.

There's a collection of Usual Suspects with whom I've spent the past 30 years making pilgrimages to darkened theaters to take in the latest cinematic Geek treasures. From the highs (Indiana Jones, Batman, Star Wars) to the lows (Doom, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman), we've seen them all. Naturally, we plan to numb our butts for Watchmen sometime during March Break.

And JediBoy will be there, too - medium popcorn and a root beer at the ready. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bizzaro World

Don't ask me how I found a video involving Amanda Palmer, her underwear, a ukelele, Neil Gaiman, his laptop, and dark intimations of his Scientology ties - but I did.