Must be seen to be believed.
The podcast War Rocket Ajax created the Worst Christmas Mixtape Ever for their War on Christmas episode.
Aside from the warning in the subject header, you should also know these are not just incredibly terrible and physically painful, some are downright offensive.
If, like me, you really enjoy Christmas but are not a Christian, it can feel a little weird to fill your home with Christian symbols of the celebration: the tree, the star, the candy canes, the wreaths, the whole deal. A fair list of those Christian symbols can be found here and here.
I figured it was long past time we came up with a list of explicitly secular symbols for the modern Christmas decorations, so that they can not only be beautiful decorations, but meaningful to non-Christians as well.
The artificial tree: Long reviled by purists, fake trees look better and better each year and they’re becoming more popular. Of course, they’re made of serious plastic, so they have to be in use for some 15 years or so before they offset the effect of cutting down trees every year. But an artificial tree reminds us of what we make out of the world and that we have to be mindful of how we use it. As human beings, we make our lives better by creating joy and beauty, but we have to remember that it comes at a cost.
The natural tree: Except for the part about “serious plastic” and fifteen years, same thing.
The star atop the tree: Stars are the source of all life (well, ours is) and they also represent the future. As we celebrate this annual holiday, we need something to remind us to keep moving forward.
Multi-colored lights on the tree: It would be easy to say that these stand for the need to keep a wide variety of people in your life–not just variety in the color of their skin but also in their political beliefs, their gender, their sexual orientation, their hobbies and preferences. That would be easy but it’s not enough. The colorful lights should also remind us to seek out a wide variety of experiences, too, and to do so brightly with exuberance. And, of course, they’re all strung together, because it’s important to share those experiences with the important people in our lives.
Little white lights on the tree: These symbolize a need for uniformity, conformity, and a desire to withhold powerful emotional expressions to give the appearance of good taste. (Sorry, white-lighters, but ugh, go for the color.)
The wreath: Everything that comes out of the Earth must return to it someday.
Garland: A strand or rope of bright reflective stuff, garland represents the connection we feel with the people closest to us all year long. Sometimes that’s family, sometimes it’s friends, sometimes it’s a family of choice. And best of all, garland is easy to break when it has to be broken.
Stockings: I’m told that once upon a time, the stocking hung by the chimney with care were actual stockings sized to fit actual feet, and people received their gifts in them and were grateful. Now they’re sized for giants, are sewn to hang flat (to be decorative) and are made to hold gifts. What’s more, the gifts inside stockings have become the little things we get for each other, trifles that we don’t have to wrap or put a lot of thought into. “Stocking-stuffers.”
Those giant, oversized stockings should remind us all of the *stuff* we can make now, and how cheaply we can make it, how little we really value most of it, and the poverty of some of those people who actually do the manufacturing.
Mistletoe: Once again, I refer to the olden days (of not that olden ago): Women were mostly forbidden from expressing overt interest in a guy if she wanted to be treated with respect. She wasn’t allowed to *want* to kiss, not at first. So you had bullshit like mistletoe, which gave people an excuse to kiss someone else, and hopefully that someone else actually wanted to be kissed and was glad for the excuse.
Nowadays, that stigma is reduced to the point that we don’t need excuses like mistletoe anymore, which means it now represents people taking liberties they would not otherwise be offered. Mistletoe: a tradition we can do without.
Santa Claus: Santa represents generosity, which is especially important for little kids. Generosity can be very difficult for little kids to grasp, and all the myth and story around Santa Claus present utterly selfless generosity to them in the best possible light. Among the other benefits of believing in Ol’ St. Nick, he’s a role model for very young kids that their parents can never be.
For you very young child, everything comes from their parents and/or guardians: clothes, meals, TV time, a special milkshake all your own–getting stuff from your parents is how the world works. But Santa is different. Yeah, he is also giving things to kids, but it *feels* so different. It feels like a special occassion.
Finally, when a kid gets old enough to figure out that Santa is just a story, what do they discover? That their parents have been behind it all along and taking absolutely zero credit.
Secret kindness. Generosity without expectation of being repaid. Just talking about it makes me want to watch the end of HOGFATHER again.
What else? Are these too dour? Is there a decoration I left out? Do you want to defend little white lights (as if)? Comments are turned off on my blog but you can add them on LiveJournal, Twitter, Facebook, or G+ if you want.
Coca Cola comes to France, 1950. By Mark Kauffman pic.twitter.com/GdQetIHQI6
— ClassicPics (@History_Pics) December 23, 2013
2) Ten Things Food Banks Need But Won’t Ask For. At first I thought it was a little late for me to be posting this, but then I smacked my forehead. People are hungry all year round, not just during the holiday.
3) At first, I thought this was satirical, but when I saw that it was Conservapedia, I believed it. Those people are too far gone to satirize: Extreme right wingers rewriting Bible because it’s not conservative enough.
4) Why Marketers Fear The Female Geek. As a marketing category, “geek” is not truly going to come into its own until every kind is welcomed.
5) U of C study demonstrates that “drug-sniffing” dogs do not actually sniff drugs. What they actually do is respond to the K9 officer’s signals on when to alert, essentially giving police the power for warrantless searches.
6) Downtown Seattle’s PERSON OF INTEREST technology. Okay, so it’s not quite POI, but what the SPD has installed (and won’t talk about) is creepily invasive.
And the best ghosts in any version of A Christmas Carol was in Chuck Jones’s 1971 tv special, which you can watch here:
If the embed doesn’t play you can watch it on YouTube. I don’t care much for this version of Ebenezer, and at only 25 minutes the story is obviously extremely short–the big change at the end barely feels earned.
However, as someone who already knows the story very well, I appreciate the abbreviated version of it, especially since it’s so fucking gorgeous. Seriously, there are so many amazing choices being made here, from the candle-lit darkness of Scrooge’s stair to the zooming POV to the inclusion of Ignorance and Want (which I screencapped for my holiday Twitter avatar).
I watched this as a little kid and there was a lot I didn’t understand: What contract did Scrooge have with the sad young woman? What was the big deal about the lunch and the bed curtains? Still, those ghosts scared the naughty out of me.
Of course, if you just can’t bear another version of Dickens’s story, there’s always Ernest Saves Christmas.
Christmas has twelve days–at least, according to the song it does–so I thought I’d do you the favor of sharing 12 Giftmas nopes (presents you really want nothing to do with. Here you go:
2. A belly button brush. For the disgusting Pig Pen in your life.
4. Generic “Weener Kleener” Soap. I assume it has that name because of the shape. “Fits most men!”
5. Real nightvision goggles for kids. Only someone desperate to be the “cool aunt/cool uncle” would buy this, especially if they wanted to be cut out of their siblings’ will.
7. A single blue-raspberry flavored Gummi Bear that weighs five pounds. In case you want to spend months gnawing on something vaguely bear-cub shaped.
8. A goatee-shaving template. Don’t bother pointing out that it’s actually a Van Dyke. That battle’s lost.
9. A Unisex Adult The Big Lebowski The Dude Wig and Beard Kit. In case your loved one has too much pride to use a shaving template.
10. A Nose Shower Gel Dispenser. For people who want to imagine themselves rubbing snot all over their bodies.
11. A coffee mug shaped like a toilet bowl. For loved ones trying to quit coffee.
12. Shittens. Not a typo.
Be honest now. You’re tempted by the pink rabbit fur poncho, aren’t you?
Okay. First, I’m not going to say that ARROW is a great tv show. It’s not. It’s flawed in some pretty glaring ways, unconvincing in others, and not exactly brimming with complex insights into the human condition.
However, it is a compelling show, and I think there’s something to be learned from it.
First, let’s contrast Oliver Queen in the comics and in the show. They have similar origins: billionaire playboy asshole is marooned on an island for five years, where he’s forced to learn how to survive and learns to shoot a bow and arrow with inhuman accuracy.
In the comics, Oliver Queen is blissfully unaffected by this. He puts on a green suit and little Robin Hood cap, then heads out with his bow and trick arrows to play superhero. Worse, most everyone writes him as an old, annoying hippie. I guess there’s a New52 version that’s a bit different, but let’s come right out and say that, according to Science, Green Arrow sucks worse than Aquaman.
The show handles it differently: The pilot opens with his rescue and BOOM, he’s immediately returned to a hospital room in his home city. His mother stands anxiously at the door while the doctor explains that he’s covered with scars and has obviously suffered numerous broken bones. Whatever happened to Oliver Queen while he was marooned, it was really, really bad. The doctor warns her that he won’t be the same guy who vanished five years before.
As Jim Butcher would call it, Oliver Queen has exotic position in this world. He’s famous and infamous. Every new character he meets recognizes him instantly and most think they know everything they need to know about him. Also, the story slowly builds up “the island” as Hell-on-Earth and deliberately does not go into much detail about it. Oliver refuses to talk about it with his family, and as he pursues his plan in the current timeline, flashbacks cover his time on the island where he learned all the skills (and earned all the scars) he brought home.
So he’s a ninja, he’s Robin Hood, and he’s the Scarlet PTSD-pernel (except he targets the upper class instead of rescuing them). Who he is sets him very much apart from the other characters on the show. Exotic position.
If you followed the “exotic position” link above, you saw a note about “Exaggeration,” too. Oliver Queen isn’t just regular guy, he’s heir to billions. And he wasn’t just a spoiled jerk before being marooned, he was a complete asshole: When his ship went down, he was in bed with his girlfriend’s sister. Not only did he cheat on her, it was her kid sis and he’s responsible for her death. Also, the dead sister? Her dad is the detective who ends up investigating the vigilante.
It’s not just one thing working against him, it’s several all woven together. The vigilante isn’t just pursued by the cops, he’s pursued by the cop with a deep hatred of Queen’s family. Queen isn’t just pining for the girlfriend he betrayed (who’s picture he mooned over on the island) he’s forced to keep his distance from her because he’s got the whole vigilante thing going, and she has no respect for him because of the Scarlet Pimpernel-ish playboy act he puts on, and his best friend is in love with her and trying to make it work, and the more she learns about the vigilante the more she admires that dude, who’s trying so hard to help others.
Every complication is multiplied as much as possible. It’s deepened and made more complicated so that the relationships between the characters are incredibly twisty. (More on that in a minute)?
Another smart choice is that rather than just follow the usual model and creating a character who fights whatever generic crime appears, the show’s creators have given him a list of bad guys to take down. In fact, it’s was his father’s dying wish that Oliver undo Papa Queen’s wrongs.
Comic books are generally bullshit when it comes to portraying families. Bendis manages it pretty well, if you can stand the dialog tics, but most comics are all about jumping and kicking and massive battles. In the midst of all that, hashing over family drama is trite as hell.
On TV, the most cost-effective screen time you can get is two characters talking to each other on a pre-built set. There is no better special effect than an actor’s face. There just isn’t.
Of course, there are a lot of shows with friends and family squabbling at each other, but Arrow is really well cast. What’s more, although the dialog is trite and the drama is too often “Second Act Shouted Accusations/Fourth Act Reconciliation”, the actual drama itself is pretty fresh.
There’s a love quadrangle with Laurel, the woman Oliver loved like crazy but betrayed and hurt, his best friend who loves her, too, and the vigilante, who has all the traits (basically, acting like he cares what happens to people) Laurel wished Oliver would show but never does.
Oliver’s little sister grew up into a teenager while he was away, and now she’s becoming the party girl asshole that he was before he disappeared and still pretends to be in his Scarlet PTSD-pernel persona.
What’s more, that list his father gave him of bad guys to take out? Oliver’s mother has the same list, because she’s part of the conspiracy. In fact, it’s clear very early on that there’s a real conspiracy here, not just a catalog of assholes, and it takes a long while for Oliver to catch up.
Finally, the main villain is motivated by revenge for the loss of someone he loved very much.
Back when I was still trying to figure out how to be a successful writer, one of the earliest skills I mastered was the exciting action scene. I could make them inventive and weird, full of unexpected twists and odd moments.
What I couldn’t do was assemble them into a story. I couldn’t connect them.
Once, my friend and (although he might not know it) mentor Bill Martell talked about using theme to create character. Actually, I think he meant the lesson to be “using character to explore theme” but we take our lessons where we can grab them.
As an example: an author is writing a mystery about a wife suspected of killing her husband in a marital dispute. Marriage, amiright?
So, in creating a cast of characters, the author consciously explores every facet of marriage she can think of: maybe the detective is still mourning the loss of their own spouse, who died of Spouse To A Sad Cop Syndrome. The bride’s parents have been happily married for thirty years. The groom’s parents refuse to divorce even though their relationship is a DMZ. The bride’s best friend is in the middle of a divorce. The groom’s BF never married and is ecstatic about it. The neighbors are ooey-gooey newliweds. The detective’s partner is bored with his wife.
And so on. It doesn’t have to be obvious (in fact, better if it isn’t) but it gives the story unity.
On ARROW S1, the theme relates to (as Helena Bertinelli says) “going through a crucible.” Oliver was shipwrecked, watched his girlfriend and his father die, and struggled for five years to stay alive. When he returned home, he was transformed.
The other characters in the show reflect that theme: Thea responded to the pain of losing her father and brother by trying to grow up just like Oliver. Worthless billionaire bf Tommy had never gone through any kind of test or transformation, and he starts the show as the same boy-man he was five years before. Moira Queen, for her part, mourns and moves on with her life, marrying again. Diggle can’t get past the death of his brother. Finally, there’s Malcolm Merlin, the season’s villain, who can not get past the pain of his wife’s death.
Yeah, there are problems. Too much of the dialog is trite and on the nose; people complain about the actors, but I think the scripts are the real problem here. The first two episodes have a really unfortunate voice over, which doesn’t work at all. And the pilot introduces the Queen’s house maid, who was supposed to… actually, I’m guessing here, but I think she was supposed to humanize our good-looking billionaire hero by showing he could be friends with a poor, but it was really weird to see him be so warm with the maid when he was so cold to his mother and sister.
Also, if you can’t get past the idea of a ninja archer who can’t be hit with machine gun fire while he nails baddies with arrows, this ain’t the show for you.
There are also shallower pleasures. I showed my wife a video compilation of all the workout scenes from S1 and she was all “When is this show on again?” Fit, muscular dudes with their shirts off. It’s a feature.
Another thing they’re doing right: integrating existing DC characters and concepts into the show, after retooling them for TV, which is something I said AGENTS OF SHIELD should have done but they haven’t. Deadshot is an obvious addition, and The Huntress, too, (although I thought they miscast the father). They even retooled the Royal Flush Gang, cutting the budget so much the gang only had four members.
(Of course, the head of the Royal Flush Gang had his own crucible, and he made his own choices because of it. More unity.)
So, yeah. There are clumsy flourishes in the execution, early missteps, and action scenes that require reinforced scaffolding for your disbelief.
But! The show handles the lead character’s exotic position really well, and ties everything back to it in a unified, intelligently exaggerated way. That’s why a show I expected to be a dime-store BATMAN BEGINS is one of the few must-watch programs on my schedule.
This will have to cover two weeks because I didn’t do one after the session on 10/20. It will also be somewhat abbreviated compared to previous writeups, which I’m sure will be a relief to those of you scrolling past big blocks of text.
At the end of the last writeup, the team (which was down a member because a player was out sick) managed to lure one of the alien bad guys out to a remote location and overpower him, taking him prisoner. For those who don’t remember from previous updates, the alien is called a Shailun and, as we only recently discovered, they are the innocent aliens who have been taken over by a conquest-minded parasite called the Shinkara. In fact, the entire alien invasion was an attempt to destroy humanity to deny the Shinkara their next hosts, as the Shailun are just about all used up.
But! The first step in defeating the parasites is to learn more about them, so trickery and kidnapping.
Our missing character from that previous session was Evan, our degree-less mad scientist and anti-alien
terrorist resistance-fighter, so we wrapped the alien (named Gerlik) in an impromptu Farraday cage (during his abduction he showed a distressing ability to do Ego attacks and it was thought the cage might block them) and rushed to Evan’s secret lab. Unfortunately, upon arrival we discovered that someone had broken in and, judging by the security footage, used gen-en superpowers to overpower and kidnap him.
(This is what the GM does to you if you miss a session around here.)
Travis gets a call from his brother. Chandler has become a bigwig in the Roman Industries hierarchy, and he smugly reveals that he has a Shinkara parasite inside him and feels pretty sweet. He reveals (unnecessarily) that he has Evan and wants to trade him for Travis. Travis reveals that he would rather trade Gerlik for Evan, and Chandler agrees so readily that he confirms Travis’s suspicion that Chandler is a big fibber.
It’s unclear how much of the host’s memories the parasites have access to, but if the Shinkara knows what Chandler knows, Travis is the kind of guy who says “Let’s order Thai food” when he actually wants pizza, so nobody is trusting anyone here.
The party and the narrative split. Evan was held prisoner inside an extremely well-guarded Ex-Agg facility, getting alternately questioned and punched. Finally, he was put into a cell, where he used a metal spork to dismantle the light fixtures and turn them into a magnetic something or other to break the secure keypad. After overpowering the guard outside the door, he stole the dude’s uniform and began to sneak out.
Cut to the kidnapper portion of the party (as opposed to the kidnappee), where Finlay is using her underworld contacts to find a mob doctor (not that there’s a mob) with illicit imaging equipment so we can get a look at this parasite. Before we “trade” Gerlik, we might as well get everything we can from him. While searching, we discover that Walt, our gen-en soldier, has been framed as a terrorist. The Ex-Agg assault on his home (that nearly killed his daughter) is being sold to the public as a terrorist attack that killed way more people than were actually affected by the firefight. Travis and Finlay immediately get to work on a disguise for him, since there is a big fat reward for him, dead or alive.
Of course Finlay knows a guy (it’s one of her stunts) named Lynch and the only thing he wants in return is a date with her: he doesn’t even ask for movie and a dinner, just coffee. Of course, that was his offer before he saw who we’d brought to his door.
Turns out the mob doc has a deathly fear of aliens, but we pressure him into running the scan.
And we see the alien we’ve been fighting against. It turns out to be made of energy, in that Star Trek:TOS alien sort of way.
Lynch is thoroughly freaked out. We assure him he has good reason to be, and Travis shares the link to the Video That Explains It All with him, asking him to spread the word as much as possible.
At that moment, Walt, in a spirit of full and friendly disclosure, takes off his disguise and reveals himself as the guy who’s been all over the news because nothing says “Join Our Resistance” quite like “I am the man everyone blames for the deaths of several hundred people oh, and also, Mr. Criminal and his several bodyguards, my cooling corpse is worth six figures.”
You know, sometimes I tease my buddy Jim about the in-game choices he makes, but I think everyone reading this will realize that I’m completely justified in doing so.
Luckily, Lynch is too freaked by the alien to realize what a profit center his new visitor would be and we carry the still-unconscious Gerlik out of there before the light bulb switches on.
In the meantime, Evan is searching for an exit when he passes a pair of guards speaking Shinkara-ese. It would cost a Fate point to pass them by without incident but he opts to accept a Fate point for spinning and shooting them both in the back. The gunfire draws a bunch of Ex-Agg baddies, including the two gen-en supers, but Evan remembers that he has a sturdy +2 Deceive and sends them on a wild goose chase.
Eventually, he makes his way to a hangar bay and steals a hoverjetcopterthing.
The kidnappers are in the midst of planning the quintuple-cross that will rescue Evan without losing Gerlik when Evan calls them. He is, obviously, the self-rescuing sort of kidnappee. Unfortunately, he was unable to recover his two Extras, although he probably can whip up spares.
Evan has yet another secret lab (the last one without a stunt or something, our GM assures us) and we carry Gerlik down a secret hatch, through a long dirt tunnel, into Evan’s last (absolutely last!) secret lab.
He finally wakes up in the lab. Travis tries to use Empathy, Deceive and Rapport to control him, but Gerlik is no mook. He also reveals that, rather than being the glorified shipping clerk we’d originally been told, he was actually in charge of security for everything shipped to the space station. So, he’s actually an important dude.
Then Gerlik gives Walt a hard look and Walt staggers back with a sudden nosebleed. Travis has been on the sharp end of Gerlik’s mind powers before, so he doesn’t buy Walt’s assurances that nothing was wrong. Unfortunately, his Empathy roll is a huge pile of ass, and he is forced to succeed at a serious cost, which is that Gerlik panics and triggers the mental suggestion he’d just planted into Walt’s mind.
Hey, everyone on the team is pretty competent, but Walt is built for fighting. His duplication powers return and he cuts Gerlik free.
Fight scene! Gerlik is a difficult opponent on his own, but with the hardest hitting in the party on his side (not to the point of murdering his former teammates, but punching is allowed) we’re in for some trouble. Finlay moves to the door and draws her pistol. My notes are unclear on what she’d planned to do, but her roll was so terrible that she just couldn’t bring herself to squeeze the trigger.
Walt had no such hesitation and he “sweeps the leg”, putting Finlay on the ground. Gerlik, rather than kick Travis’s ass (again) bolts for the exit, making it as far as opening the door. Travis shouts at Walt that he’s fighting the only people who are willing to help him with his daughter, which pushes one of Walt’s aspects and breaks Gerlik’s hold.
Evan decides this is a good time to throw a grenade. I have to admit I facepalmed this harder even than Walt stripping off his disguise in front of Lynch–Gerlik was standing right beside Walt, with Finlay on the ground beside them–but it turned out the grenade was for the dirt tunnel outside. Evan rolled well (luckily) and the grenade bounced down the long tunnel and blew it, collapsing Gerlik’s escape route.
So, that turned out to be a better move than it seemed at first. Walt and Finlay turn their aggressions on Gerlik and put him down again.
At this point, Travis becomes pretty much useless, especially since he failed the Empathy role that would have downgraded Walt’s Will consequence. Walt gets busy digging out the tunnel with his duplicates, which Finlay and Evan get to work separating the Shinkara parasite from its Shailun host. Travis plays Candy Crush or whatever.
Actually, I stepped away from the computer to get my kid some food at this point, but Evan and Finlay work together to give themselves serious boosts and make some stupendous rolls. Not only do they remove the Shinkara parasite, but they manage to save the Shailun host’s life.
Oh, actually, Travis did have a role to play in that last part; he had to convince Evan that saving the Shailun was worth the effort.
The session ended with the Shailun comatose and the captured Shinkara, bereft of a host body, died. At this point, we need to figure out a way to weaponize the process Finlay and Evan created to separate parasite from host, then mass produce it.
Also, will the Shailun still go by Gerlik when he wakes or was that his Shinkara name? Hey, as long as he can resume his post as head of security so he can sneak some fun gadgets into that space station stronghold, we’ll all be happy.
The outside world: comics film funny games interesting things people publishing
by Harry Connolly
2) Steve Rogers: Premature Anti-Facist. h/t James Nicoll
6) Pacific Rim in the Power Rangers style! Video.
7) Want to deter pests without using chemicals or traps? Try an automatic lawn sprinkler with a motion-sensor attached.
Let me start with this: I think THOR (the first movie) was underrated. No, it’s not a great movie, but the performances were solid and there was a human story buried under all that cgi and hammer-swinging. Two brothers, a father disappointed by them both, an heir disinherited and forced to live among common folk where he learns humility, the bond of love and resentment between the brothers… Strip away all the stuff about frost giants and being worthy of Mjolnir, and you have a basic story that anyone can relate to.
In T:TDW, you don’t get any of that. You have a villain trying to destroy the universe with a hidden superweapon that was taken from him, like The One Ring, in a long ago battle. Now the weapon has attached itself to the humblest of creatures, a Jane Foster, and the Big Bad Villain is hunting for her so he can reclaim it.
Except that The One Ring was a ring you could wear that had magic power in it. Everyone has heard of magic rings. In T:TDW the deadly weapon is a cgi liquid that flows through the air like a movie special effect.
And the baddie has to get the weapon in time to use it during The Convergence, when the nine worlds are aligned, and he has to use it in a special place…
Look, I’ve written my share of climaxes that take place at the site of a magic ritual, and the big danger is that the whole thing can seem so arbitrary and artificial. It’s not a conflict between members of a family, it’s a race to stop a guy from doing a thing in a place that looks good on camera.
So, the visuals are cool. The dark elf masks are creepy as hell and Asgard, while not as beautiful as the first movie, is still eye candy.
But where are the complicated relationships? Thor and Loki still have their thing, although it’s evolved to be less complicated than it was.
There’s nothing that hooks the stakes into a real-world concern we can relate to. It’s not an invading army. It’s not lost love (a theme that gets toyed with but not taken seriously). It’s not family drama (seriously, the first THOR could have been moved to a mundane corporate setting without too many changes).
It’s just a bad guy who wants to take the universe back to the state it was in before there was light, which is a thing you can do with magic/superscience floaty liquid, apparently.
Another thing I can’t say I’m fond of is the decision to make the Asgardians and the other members of the Nine Realms aliens. In the comics, Thor is the Thunder God, and what that means cosmologically is whatever the story needs it to mean. He controls the weather, he’s super tough, he comes from a distant place.
In the film the dark elves are given ray guns and space ships with fancy readouts. Yeah, they fight Asgardians with glowing not-light-sabers, but the Asgardians have ray gun anti-aircraft emplacements and flying Viking boats with missile launchers.
It’s a deeply odd set of design choices, especially since the villains have a major advantage with their powerful ranged weapons. Honestly, it would have been better if they’s stuck with magic and pre-gunpowder war-making; Odin would have seemed like less of a tool sending his soldiers into combat with spears and shit.
If you like spectacle, there’s spectacle. Hemsworth, so winningly cheerful in the first film, is mopier here. Yeah, it makes sense that he’s missing Jane but come on. The guy is incredibly charismatic. Let that show. And since this is the spectacle paragraph I’ll mention that he only goes shirtless once, which seems like a missed opportunity.
Anyway, I should have waited for other peoples’ reviews. I wish I had. I liked THOR but THOR: THE DARK WORLD did not live up to expectations.
Okay! The jack o’lanterns are lit, making a path from the top of the stairs to my apt door. Spooky lights are lit. Dracula is on the Netflix, but it won’t load because I can’t imagine why a horror classic would be slow to load on Halloween seriously can’t imagine.
I also have a candy bowl with four Butterfingers, four Snickers, four Nestle’s Crunches, and four (meh) Milky Ways.
There is also a cold beer in the fridge, waiting for my kind attention.
I’m going to live blog the number of kids who come, what treats they take, and what costumes they have. Assuming any show up at all.
Anyway, movie’s playing. I always liked swapping out Renfield for Harker at the start of Lugosi’s Dracula. It simplifies things.
6:28: HOORAY! A tiny little girl dressed as “a rabid raccoon” selected a Crunch candy bar. One kid, at least, has come by.
7:00: No other kids have come by.
7:39: No other kids. Should I just give up? Shut out the light and stuff the candy into the freezer?
7:59: Seriously considering the freezer now.