this neighborhood already went to hell, and tomorrow I get to find out what comes after that.
even the foreclosed crumbling rat-packed house that no people have lived in for years has freshly mowed grass, and has consistently since May. I did not always have time to personally inspect it but courteously the deed-doer made certain I could hear the process. Who is paying for it? Who is it supposed to impress when it is partnered with a house that looks like somebody got murdered in it, then came back to life, climbed onto the roof and jumped off?
Yes, I took the previous picture on a sunnier day, but that does not mean the light does not turn grey and condemnatory whenever the house is looked at directly.
There is DUCT TAPE on the chimney! My house does not even have a duct taped chimney, and I am someone with a toilet on my back porch.
AND I am at a point where I do not even realize having a toilet on my deck is out of the ordinary so I had to go outside just now to take the picture in the dark with a flash instead of during the daytime when I took the other pictures, and I am saying the neighboring house is a horrid heap that is going to bring down my splendid heap’s value!
Perhaps making an offering to our patron saint will improve my fortunes.
Hey, do you want to read about voting? Neither do I! You can read it first.
This is less likely to shame me into voting than it is to make me go to their office a throw a brick through the window. It is worse news that some company I have never heard of has a record of my votes than the content of the record.
But this came addressed to my sister, Saginaw. I was sent a weird call where the speaker reminded me that I told them, who I have never heard of, that I was going to drive to the polling location early in the morning to cast my vote, even though I voted last time at 5:30pm, cannot drive legally and never told anybody anything. They found me at a Madison Connecticut telephone number but would not let me vote in Madison because my non-driver id card still says New Haven on it. I am sure you care. I appreciate it.
Hey just checkin’ in. Ya votin’? Hope you’re votin’. Heard you weren’t votin’. Ya know that’s below average? Not sayin’ it’s bad but… just sayin’. It’s bad. Okay gotta go. Probably not goin’.
For my older brother Cochise, who has not lived here in thirteen years, I got to meet a woman wearing sunglasses and ludicrously bright lipstick at my front door. In retrospect I imagine the exchange might have gone like this:
hi we’re working to build support for ted kennedy jr. can we count on your support this november?
who is we? I just see you here
we are the committee to elect ted kennedy junior and we are hoping we can count on your support at the polls this november. We’re just passing out literature right now
literature? is he an author?
no Ted Kennedy Junior is running for State Senate and hopes that-
oh another kennedy
yes he is the son of the late ted kennedy
so he is qualified based on that?
no he is qualified because etc etc etc as you can read in the literature
i have just remembered i can’t read
that’s OK! Ted Kennedy Jr has worked tirelessly for the rights of the disabled can we depend on your support?
He needs my disabled support to fight for the disabled?
the people’s voice matters and we can’t do it without you
why aren’t I running, then?
this is america. if you believe in yourself you can do anything. Have you considered offering us your support?
but in actuality I went to special education for eight years and the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services for more years afterward, and I dealt with staff who talked like that so frequently I cannot even imagine a hypothetical exchange in which they did not have some condescending phony-optimistic reply for everything. When you work for a political campaign you are trained that no potential voter is too dumb. You cannot risk interpreting the dopiest question on the planet as a joke, because somebody who asks a stupid question sincerely is more likely to believe their vote counts and to feel special when some creep from a campaign pesters them at home, whereas somebody who is so disgusted by the process as to deliberately abuse campaign workers is likely a lost cause.
after 16 years of being moderately aware of the political situation I have observed that at every election, the two controlling parties and their news-slaves put forth the story about how high the “stakes” are and who stands to gain/lose “control” of this or that house. But regardless of who wins, the same stuff doesn’t get done. My optimism was artificially propped up by the people i was aware of in 2008 and nothing changed after that either, except that I stopped being able to distinguish my “friends” online from the banner ads that I had only just found a reliable way of blocking. So how are there people two-to-three times my age who still act like this is an urgent situation year after year? It just starts to look like the two sides are useless but at odds on purpose so that people focus on the bickering re:nonsense and ignore the horrid rubbish both ends agree on, like getting into undeclared wars, using robots to kill in wars that are even undeclareder, supporting allies who kill indiscriminately with and without robots so long as those allies promote American commercial interests, sometimes within confinement of a wall that they themselves built, monitoring citizens, fric-a-fracking, propping up obsolete industries, outsourcing the ones that are still profitable, and on and oh. What do people criticize President Barack Obama for? Wearing a light brown suit. Calling some jackass celebrity a jackass. Having a middle name. Taking away Our Guns despite not having done a ding dang thing to that end.
That should do it. The S here looks too much like a 5, though, making this wall into a buzzfeed headline. 5 TOP WARS you don’t own but should!
And meanwhile, the news media, our actual governing body… if you want to complain about them rushing to declare a winner before all votes have been counted, they declared Hillary Clinton the next US president the instant Obama was inaugurated, if that late. It doesn’t matter who wins, so we might as well announce it eight years in advance. Although that’s no reason we can’t keep tittering excitedly about it for the next 96 months.
Hey look this potential candidate that is not part of our pre-written outline has passion on an issue! Let’s laugh at it until it cries. We need to eliminate anyone with actual emotions or the potential for shame from the herd. Need more smirking dead-eyed married couples with inherited nonpinions STAT. Get pictures of the kids, too. And a dog that they didn’t have prior to entering politics, GREAT. This is just irrelevant enough to be crucial. No kids, no dog, no service.
And the crummy debates are always closely monitored. you get 30 seconds to answer, “let’s move to the next question.” NO! If they have more to say, let them say it, and let them address each other. Are we electing a governor or a game show host? We probably know more about Louie Anderson’s background than that of Tom Foley, the challenger to Connecticut governor Dan Malloy. And when one brings up a point that your preplanned questions do not ask about, for beet’s sake ask that question. “My opponent is saying things about me that just aren’t true.” Things like what? Oops no time. And neither protests because neither really cares beyond saying their scripted lines.
Look at these yahoos. These guys are chum buddies. One of them HAS to be in charge from now on. I don’t believe for T seconds that anything major is going to improve based on one being elected. We just choose what we want to get worse slower.
They both own boats and devised a scheme to make boat ownership a bigger campaign issue than actual campaign issues (the campaign issues being “taxes.” They “mix it up” by sometimes talking about taxes first and boats second). They probably own paintings of boats. They probably own paintings of their own boats, which are then displayed on the boats. No boat, no ugly white baseball cap, no service.
Even if I had never seen them before I would feel like I had seen them before.
It is true, the taxes in Connecticut are nasty. But I do not trust this guy to reduce them in a way that will provide a net benefit. He wants to be in charge of a whole state (admittedly, a tiny one) and all he has is “I have a plan to cut taxes and create jobs.” Oh so? This is literally Mitt Romney’s platform from two years ago. He could have lost the republican primary election to a parrot trained to say “tax cuts” and “job creators” if the target voters were not likely to perceive a red, yellow and green candidate as gay or Mexican*.
(those are actually the colors of several countries in South America but everything south of real “America” is Mexico to the sort of person receptive to this pitch)
Even with Zob on his side it didn’t work.
can you believe it, somebody drawing this pathetic X over the donkey silhouette on a cheap printout at an institution of supposedly higher learning didn’t clinch the deal either.
the most effective anti-democrat promotion I saw was something they made themselves. Vote or DIE. Or maybe this means Vote AND die.
Every time: One oaf says “I’m going to lower taxes and protect your guns” and the other says “we’re going to FUND services and protect the environment or or whatever you want me to do, I swear.” They promise impossible outcomes, so then at the next election whichever side lost then can claim the winner LIED. Candidate advertisements, when they give information at all, are the equivalent of saying to a child “I have a plan to push back bedtimes, make the bath cuts permanent and give you candy for dinner.” There are consequences to these actions and only an undeveloped fickle mind would fall for it. Not only do people fall for it, they fall for it over and over again, despite rising evidence of the consequences. They fall for it as a matter of personal principle and are more motivated to vote and squawk about it through falling for it than people who realize it is rubbish, because the opposition’s broken magic tricks are less impressive and no more varied. “I’m going to protect the environment, control guns, hold the banks accountable…” Or in other words “If I elected I pledge to give you a bigger bedroom, make dogs stop barking at you and drive you to school instead of making you take the bus.” More responsible sounding but unlikely to be delivered.
HEY did ya vote yet? Hope so! Heard ya didn’t. Say could ya help me? I think I’m stuck.
You cannot save the economy just by cutting taxes and you cannot save the world just by raising taxes and throwing money at issues. This year the incrumbent democrab Malloy did not even bother to say what he was going to do or already did. He just pointed at his opponent and said “this guy is a scumbag.” Or rather some other voice said “this guy is a scumbag” and then the actual candidate said “I’m me and I approved this message.” It would be nice to believe that our governor was busy actually governing and had no time to contribute to messages beyond saying that he approved one, but his use of the “I approved this message” tag shows what an unthinking imbecile he is. Show me the poll that shows voters demand that their candidates say those exact words. Nobody does. Nobody cares. Nobody notices when they do not hear it. Even candidators who say their OWN messages have to remind me that they approve what they just said. Candidates in USAmerica elections are legally required to include proof that their campaign authorized its own ads, and for good reason, but not to use that exact wording. They just do it because they have no will or desire to do anything but what the person from their party before them did. I have been conditioned through my upbringing and preference in media influences to illogically believe democrats are usually right, and have an unshakable subconscious belief in that, just as I have a subconscious illogical belief that Jesus Herbert Walker Christ really doesn’t want people mentioning him, and that he knows, out of many billions, who is doing so and how often. If that is the case he can send me a vain name-taker report card.
Jon Stewart, who I hated in 2000 and came to appreciate, was also with me through the past gang of elections. Even when the people he likes get hired, the same nothing goes on occurring. How can he still believe in this donkey vs elephant, red vs blue rubbish? He was the lone “late night funnyman” who seemed to legitimately care about the state of this country, and not just go with its flow for fresh joke setups.
And you can say “but his JOB is to tell jokes!” but he acts like it isn’t! Unless somebody challenges him, in which event he says “ey I’m on Comedy Central! The same network as Battlebots! I don’t know nuttin’.” Battlebots was canceled in 2002, to give you an idea how long Stewart has had that excuse.
And you can say “we talk about blue vs red because no other colors get to this stage!” But we don’t let them! This isn’t Double Dare. The world doesn’t start with just two opposing sides (and I doubt the geriatrics in congress would be able to break enough water balloons in 60 seconds to fill a cup past the red line).
The presence of independent candidates in minor elections creates a false impression that these opportunities are out there and not taken. These independents are exceptions, and in races that are monitored by national media, exceptions are caught early and are the first ones to go.
Halten Sie! We interrupt your regular programming to bring you an important update: 6. Why we couldn’t have crammed this six into a smaller part of the screen without interrupting or, if this 6’s contract requires it be fullscreen, shown you it during the preceding hour of scheduled, election-soaked news programming is oops here’s another update:
We’ve interrupted the only show on broadcast television you actually watch with this big old map on our Connecticut affiliate even though Connecticut isn’t actually important enough to be colored on our map! Now back to your common rubbish.
Must… get to polls! Must return… to polls! Must… replenish… my strength…
I forgot that I wrote a more comprehensive, comprehendable piece about why “children’s” music is dumb over two years ago. I could say it has not gotten less dumb in that period, but this here is based on older text than that. Maybe I am multiple people and each wants to say the same thing differently.
People have a tendency to blast any old noise to the extent that no one can hear themselves think or others speak. This happens at restaurants and at terrible parties. It makes me uncomfortable and inclined to leave. Others, who think themselves influential visionaries, via the ease with which they are influenced by things which were crummily visualized, think “I should do this at MY terrible party too! Or just whenever I play any music for any reason.”
Perhaps someone who expresses individuality by purchasing a mass-produced trinket that insults people other than the buyer, that the semi-enslaved assemblers probably couldn’t read.
Whenever I am in a car with someone who is fond of their own musical taste, even one I do not hate, they always have to reduce the volume if they want to hear me say something. And then it goes right back up again. Perhaps in the hope that I will stop saying something.
Children, I would expect, have sharper ears than people who’ve been deliberately dulling themselves for years. But I hear the terrible baby-aimed music very, very loud out my window from the neighbor’s house. I used to be terrified of them hearing me listening to music, even though I think my music is good, and so I would greatly reduce the intensity to near inaudibility if such people were themselves audible to me. They seem to have no such reciprocal fear.
Is there some deep musicialness to really “feel” with those songs? Something so subtle you can only appreciate it by blowing out your speakers? I say nay. I hear one main instrument, one voice and occasionally a really simple bass line. Curiously, I have heard much the same sort of dewwww-dadewww, dewwwww-dadewwww bass in the country music the adults of the house listened to when the children were not visiting. This was a few years ago by now, but the sister of mine is looking to launch a new baby imminently, and of course this is the most important topic. Forget the matter of bringing a new person and an additional parent into an 87 year old home that we desperately need to sell before it crumbles to dust in a town we could already no longer afford to live in: I, a 31-year old demi-human living with its own parents might have to deal with some undesirable music.
My brother Iga, at a low age, was made to listen at, and came to insist upon hearing, albums by the self-described “troubadour” Raffi. As grating as those could become, at least Raffi put his unique raffiness into his songs. It wasn’t just mass marketed focus group council of militant neglectful parents approved rubbish. He may have turned down big money from mass market focus groupers. I can appreciate that, even if Joshua Giraffe haunts me to the day I die.
And when that was over, if more Raffi really was necessary, we had a DIFFERENT Raffi tape to put in afterwards. We had Baby Beluga AND Everything Grows. I know you can fit more material onto a typical disc medium than our old audio cassettes, but these people didn’t try, despite their songs being short, plentiful and totally public domain, they’ll be done in 20 minutes and start over again.
I never expected that these people outside my window complaining about how their seagrass is taller than their hydrangeas could seem reliefesque.
My cousin in Florida had the EXACT same album as the neighbors for his children as my Connecticut neighbors, even though every one of those songs has been recorded and pressed in dreadful compilations thousands of times. Why would this version have influence 2000 miles long? I overheard that it was Baby Einstein brand, which shocked me. Not so much because I never considered knowing the muffin man a pre-requisite to understanding the functions of time and space, but because I thought that company only made mind-mushing television programming. I didn’t know they did sense-softening singalong tapes too.
It has been said, a lot, that Albert Einstein did not make out very well in basic schooling. I believe calling an early childhood development product “Baby Einstein” is correct in this aspect, at least, but only because kids who watch and listen to it will be total morons if it has its way and not because the later school material bores them. You might argue that if he had neglected his work in favor of saying “pollywollydoodle” all the day we never would have had nuclear weapons, but I’m sure Alan Oppenheimer would have figured it out eventually.
Likewise, if Baby Einstein had never been born, someone else would have had these exact same sappy singers singing the same sappy songs. By now we’ve had 20 years of Blues Clues, Elmo and Dora types, an army of “positive influences” who smile all the time, never say anything negative or unordinary, and kids aren’t any smarter or nicer. If anything, they are nastier because their concept of conflict resolution is so warped, and they think anyone who has a grievance with their unique special smiling regularly-self-photographed selves is a deranged “hater” whose criticism cannot possibly have merit.
I used to know a bunch of people who were obsessed with being offended on behalf of others or condemning with complete confidence havers of “terrible opinions.” They made little effort to socially justicify their condemnation, because the reason was evident to club members who already agreed with them, and no one else mattered, and thus nothing was proven to anybody. And they might point to a sentence like that one and say it justifies such responses, without explaining why, and then get offended when asked for an explanation. I would blame that on too much internet sooner than television, but more television certainly would not have helped.
I suppose you could say that I, despite my technologically inferior/implied superior upbringing, am perpetually angry, and look harder than anyone for things to have problems with. It is not so. I find them without looking.
And Baby Einstein does not specify “Albert.” It could be Bob Einstein, TV-I-Don’t-Watch’s Super Dave Osborne, who comes across as kind of a bonehead. And he even has a brother named Albert, who changed his last name specifically to clutter this website entry with me explaining that.
That was all based on an experience I had in 2006. November 2006, four months after a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission from the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood or something like that about media products that purport themselves to make babies smarter whose claims are utterly unsubstantiated, which eventually led to the demise of the brand. I never heard about that. Did you? I just found out now when I went to find pictures of the rubbish. No, this stuff isn’t treated like it is a big deal. “Oh you say cheap junk from stores is bad for us? What else is new.” Unless it’s a NIPPLE that no toddler could discern was a nipple nor have any reason to feel offended by, considering that it is their instinctual inclination to try and acquire nourishment from them, nobody cares about damaging Our Kids. Hey hey don’t use The F word around my precious biological commodity! Rated E for Everyone!
By the way butt butt butt butt butt butt poop booger fockers
Even a product that serves a purpose and that is supposed to make things less messy and unpleasant is vulgar for no reason.
Actual doctors requesting that we cease a specific deliberate action get no traction unless they are used in the promotion of another product. People will BUY something because a doctor was quoted saying so, but never NOT buy something. Lunchables, Count Chocula and Sunny Dee are still available, right? I realize that I eat fried chicken and drink coke every week, and also am greatly put off by certain words. I am a lost cause.
Supposedly the Disney company recalled the Einsteinian products in 2009 after a research study suggested the things were actually of no benefit to babies, but this recall occurred two years after the company demanded that the study be retracted. And again this was not major national news despite the millions of parents who were duped by the marketing. I have not read the study, and I do not need to, and I do not need to look at “scores” on weird tests to figure out that this nonsense is way too stupid to benefit anybody of any age. I think the “harm” will be cumulative, based on months and months of non-interactive simplistic nonsense that some unreliable outside party insists is beneficial based on this or that thing that the parent of the consumer cannot ask for proof of, and probably would not ask for if they could. Parents love to brag about how smart their babies are while simultaneously treating these babies like they are idiots at best, and maintenance-heavy toys at worst. Babies get smart by overcoming challenges, unless the only way to make the “challenge” bearable is to dullen their perception. This stuff may no longer be sold, but, again, I only found this out when I looked it up just now in 2014. Parents who can’t find braindead dvds for sale (and I am sure they CAN) will locate and submit their children before something just as dumb on broadcast television without considering it might be a bad idea. Those bad scores may be related to some other thing that the sort of parent who buys those dvds does.
But forget Einstein. He is just a meaningless stereotype to people. A goofy non-specifically-European man who never combed his hair, but was smarter than me, smarter than you, because he did some science stuff, right? and was named Einstein. Surely we can find music recommendations unassociated with pseudo-religious devotion.
Gosh the Bob Dylan of regular music isn’t even all that good at it. What does that remark even mean? The guy moans a lot and has messier hair than Einstein?
I didn’t think he had 7 GOOD songs, but apparently those 7 are not only GREAT but there are 63 others that are also GREAT, and presumably some others that were great but not enough so to get on the list. Otay, so why do I only get to hear the 3 or 4 terrible songs when someone else is choosing them? I suppose I might have looked inside this magazine for insight but I was concerned about being able to use this specific complaint in a website entry three years after it was printed.
As far as being sick of the wiggles goes, “jump in the jumpy house” sounds too dumb even for them. And make no mistake, I am here to bury the wiggles, not to praise them. They might request that I jump in the big red car or inquire as to whether I could point my fingers while I did it. I am sure Mr. David is not remarkably worse than others in his field, and may have had nothing to do with this advertisement, but I am not comfortable with marketing that tries to connect something new and untested with something old that may not be questioned.
Golly bees I sure have opinions about minor aspects of child rearing! Thankfully I am not at risk of impregnating anybody or becoming pregnant.
In more relevant news, somebody attempted to give the pregnant party a baby-accessible i-phone control device, and fortunately she declined it.
Being near a pregnant person does remind me that there is positivity and chances for renewal in the world: I realized I have not worn sweat pants in years.
When I first saw this picture, I thought it was a woman pregnant with a green skeleton. I have been told this baby expects to come out with flesh and organs, but it is good to be prepared.
I have this picture open in another browser tab. I keep forgetting about it and then making very alarming laugh-noises and exclaiming “Iron Eagle!” in an increasingly high pitched voice when I unexpectedly find it again. It is the video cassette box art for Iron Eagle III: Aces,
akadaka Aces: Iron Eagle III
and sometimes just
ACES when for some baffling reason we want to pretend there weren’t two warning shots before this one. I went to a school called Aces at one point and I tell you this picture just about sums it up. That is not true, but maybe when I am yet older and do not quite remember, this explanation will suffice and I will not investigate the matter more deeply.
I attended in a hope to provide challenge for the staff, because as anyone in the field will tell you, sometimes teaching is way too easy. I know some of you like your cinnamon and bucket challenges, I prefer the Iron Eagle challenge.
I am told the larger edition was the original theatrical advertisement poster, and also that after 2 Iron Eagles this was still able to get itself into theatres. I can’t think why it was cropped for the video release. The more picture I see, and the less obscured it is by lettering, the better it looks and the less cheap their 1992 pre-Photoshop effects look.. Photoshop existed in 1992 but I doubt these people could afford it or internet to pirate it on at that time. At best they hired someone who was really good with scissors to make a collage.
What intrigues me so about this situation? Is it the enormous, legless man floating/propped up behind the tiny woman? Is it the man’s goofy facial expression and Lipton tea officer hat? Is it just the name “Iron Eagle” combined with my knowledge that he IS Iron Eagle because his colonel hat has an Iron Eagle on it? That real colonels actually have silver eagles, but this guy is so corny that he only gets a rinkity dinkity eagle made of a much cheaper metal? That the series is named after him even though he wasn’t actually the main character of the first volume? He looks so concerned. Like he just realized he is Iron Eagle and all the ramifications that involves. That was a magical period; there were two iron eagles already, and you wonder “where can it go from here?” never realizing you’re not even done yet;
there’s still Iron Eagle: on the Attack yet to be made and released. Do you grasp that? It hasn’t even been MADE yet. Iron Eagle is STILL in active production. ANYTHING can happen. Plenty more iron, plenty more eagle still to come.
Only ONE MAN will suffice! Who is it? Iron Eagle! It is no longer a remark on the unlikelihood that he would be promoted to general and receive a non-bird for his hat; by this point it is HIS NAME. Don’t tell me everyone in the movie calls him “Chappy” (because that would mean you had seen the film and have a more important destiny than reading dumb web pages) challenge in life) to me he is only Iron Eagle.
As before, it was initially presented as a non-numbered original production in the apparent hope of appealing to sequel-snubbers, with the marketers eventually having to admit, yes, this IS Iron Eagle IV, so that sequel enthusiasts could figure it out.
And if Roman numerals are too highbrow for you, we’ll put a regular 4 on the
You can tell Iron Eagle IV and Iron Eagle on the Attack are the same movie because the ONE MAN tagline is unchanged, even though in both cases Iron Eagle has visibly failed to prevent something from blowing up while he poses for the picture. Maybe he wants to make sure we understand: He IS Iron Eagle, the one man, and until we meet his demands, things are going to be pretty lousy.
I saw Maleficent, the 180 million dollar fan-fiction some time ago. I have no idea what movies are playing but I enjoy a cinema visit now and then if someone else I know is also going. “Now and then” means long enough that I forget how much I disliked my last visit.
This cinema sold meals instead of just snacks. Not a bad idea! I would much rather pay twice as much as I should for tacos than six times as much as I should for popcorn.
I was planning to bring a pizza and full serving apparatus like I usually do but the sign said no.
I need to do what I can to keep this place in business so they can keep their terrible posters illuminated and homeless vagrants informed about classics like Blended and
other movies from the guys all night every night.
As to the motion picture the group viewed, Maleficent attempts to humanize and validate an underdeveloped villain by putting her against a different underdeveloped villain, making sure to write him to be totally unsympathetic, so to save us another retcon 50 years from now that shows how perfect and slighted he is. In fact nobody else is sympathetic either. Everybody is stupid, weak and ugly. Except Maleficent!
I almost feel like Maleficent’s movie was made because business sense says she is too pretty to be evil. What that’s not right. Can’t we do something where all the mean stuff is actually done by somebody else? And look at how pudgy and elderly those colored fairies are! We NEED to make a movie where they are stupid and useless. And we’ll change their names to be dumber, too, so everybody gets it. Get me Alfred E. Neuman on the phone.
The only humanoid who understands the greatness of Maleficent is Aurora, because she is pretty, too! You ugly people just can’t relate.
I say, if you want to have a “bad ass” hero, you need to allow the hero to have some psychological or physical shortcoming. Maleficent is like if Bugs Bunny had wings and shot Elmer Fudd and killed him and then was congratulated by Elmer’s family. And instead of giggling goofily Elmer just sulked and acted like he wanted to die anyway. I cannot even think of a metaphor where Maleficent occupies a villain role because nothing about the tone of this film suggests I should ever disapprove of anything she does, except about ten minutes midway through, that seem there only to make content for the trailer. It’s like the ten minutes at the end of a superhero movie where the main characters actually wear their costumes and solve a problem, except in the middle and causing a problem that goes largely unsolved.
Do we put this classic villain in a better light by giving context to her seemingly negative actions? No, we just change the story so she didn’t really do that stuff! So why should anyone care? It is a different character with the same costume and name.
Angelina Jolie executive produced the film and also portrayed the title character. If you executive produce and star in a movie where every other character is uglier and dumber than you, you can fly, curse and kill whoever you feel like, and survive to the end without any valid opposition, the viewing of that movie is likely to be a frustrating experience, and people will assume you set it up that way.
The premise of this film no doubt started with somebody asking “why wasn’t Maleficent invited to the party at the beginning of Sleeping Beauty?” The answer the writers came up with was “because they’re haters. U mad?”
That should be enough but I wrote about six pages of junk about this.
Maleficent is not a bad film but it put swerving people familiar with the previous Disney story ahead of entertaining them. There were plenty of points at which it could have done something that would have made sense and been satisfying, but since the original Sleeping Beauty film had already done it, the script has the OPPOSITE occur just to mess with the audience, and it got really annoying.
Why did you set that up, then? Why did you introduce that character? That is how you write a parody; you use familiar source material and show how ridiculous it is. And then Maleficent not only survives, she gets back the magic power beyond her already unmeasured magic power whose removal was symbolic of her pain, the primary slight she was angry over. She had no consequences or regret about anything in the end. Yes, I hate when a heroic, redeemed or generally likable character in a film dies in a lazy attempt to make the story seem “deep,” but some poetic balance is in order here. In this situation the protagonist has cursed a family, which being a royal family thus cursed the kingdom that served the family’s whims, out of simple revenge that she changes her mind about, but then doesn’t care enough to notify the secondary victims of.
No doubt it caused great anguish for the kingdom to have what appears to be a significant part of its economy destroyed, judging by the number of thread spinning wheels smashed, heaped and burned by man-folk trying to beat Maleficent’s silly, arbitrary curse. It’s no wonder the Luddites got violent when automated textile mills showed up. She might have saved the kingdom from Rumpelstiltskin, but only inadvertently, and since Rumpelstiltskin isn’t pretty he would have joined the other side anyway, scoring another point for contrarian plot twists.
I have my own problem with doing something primarily because it seems like too many people do the opposite. That is why my stories all have terrible endings or are impossible to conclude. Don’t tease me by making 1/3 billion dollars in profits!
Perhaps to make up for the spinning deficit, Maleficent’s noted, unexplored, unquestioned tendency to be scalded by iron inspires a boost in the kingdom’s production of it. However, that causes a massive plothole beyond the illogic of sending your newborn child to live with a trio of idiots you never met before out of fear of something that is not going to happen for more than a decade and a half (the spinning wheel curse-sleep). I am to believe that men producing and operating means of war full time, overtime, for 16 years cannot make any progress against their enemy. Meanwhile this enemy is lounging about in plain view watching a child and some bumbling, sniveling old ladies (written without any redeeming characteristics, naturally) the whole time, never in fear or anxiety for a moment. Is Maleficent a fairy or a god? Intermittently she wanders over near some soldiers –soldiers that are only attacking her because she cursed their king’s family, because the king cut off her wings instead of killing her, which reduced her destructive power by approximately 0% and prevented other hunters from coming after her because they assumed she was dead until she showed herself to deliver the curse– and effortlessly beats them up, smiling and elegant the whole time. She does not pause and consider “these men are out to KILL me using the only substance that can harm me. It is a sad state of affairs. Maybe I should tell them I changed my mind about the curse that caused this so we can both have some peace.” Even the vampires in Twilight were more morally-conflicted super beings. Maybe I am over-analyzing it, but when the goal of your movie is to look clever by showing up some other movie, then you invite examination of your cleverness.
If she could have gotten out of this without killing anyone, or if she helped more than Aurora (the princess), one victim of hers out of thousands, I would say let her live, but that was not the case. Aurora’s mother had to die, though, for no reason, and offscreen, too!
Sleeping Beauty is kind of a stupid story, but since that (the 1959 cartoon version) is also a Disney property, that viewers of this are expected to be familiar with and like, this film is not really in a position to take that apart like it needs to be taken apart for the self-aware, swervy approach to work.
Not only did Maleficent kill the king, she killed the previous king as well. Not directly, but she did use magic power to toss an old man off his horse and he never walked again. And worse, he probably coughed. If you cough in a movie then you have to die.
The king-strike was in defense, of course. But a hero is defined by more than self-defense and revenge. Maleficent does not prove herself more heroic than the men who persecuted her and cut her largely superfluous wings off. If she does, that occurs between the climax and the epilogue and is not shown. She does prove herself better than a single act of malicious intent, but since it was her own act, undoing it only makes things even.
Instead of bringing depth to an old, simple story, it removes what depth there was to ensure that the studio’s desired interpretation is the only one possible, and to make the non-sense fantasy more “realistic.” This is usually how you turn a video game into a movie, not another movie. This film has little value on its own, and it degrades its source to obtain its value. This is also what I hear “Saving Mr. Banks” was about. Not to tell an untold story, just to redefine and emphasize Disney’s preferred image of something, in that case Disney himself.
As if we do not have enough movies where the BAD people are really the GOOD people! Monsters are GOOD! Dragons are GOOD! Despicable Me is not actually me! (I am despicable) Make a film with a “message” if you want, but do not pretend this approach is novel or inspired, or that declaring opposite day on a few elements results in a story that makes sense. Maleficent is one fourth of Rashomon stretched to be four times as long.
I wrote all that two weeks ago but did not post it right away since I was too busy to format it, which was bad because I kept thinking about it and it kept getting longer. Then I read a positive review that claimed the film was “feminist.” Do I look anti-feminist to complain about it? So I had to dwell on that awhile. Between now and then, an openly male individual I talked at on another topic frustratedly suggested I was talking like a feminist, so I may need to consider that “feminist” is often used to dismiss or exalt something without giving an explanation, and may have no real meaning when examined. I do not claim to be any sort of -ist. I am what I am and I ist what I ist.
I will say no (for example), it is not reasonable to expect or demand that women will play professional America foot’s ball on the same green rectangle with men (in fact I question whether men should play football with men). “Equality” is not possible, or necessarily ideal for all things, and the topic requires that we be reasonable. However, it is indeed feasible to make a better film about a flying woman with magical powers than this one. If this film has some feminist concepts, they are independent of how foolish the plot is. Idiocy is not tied to eex or gender. Women and men have the same right to make a stupid movie. A movie where a mother dies for no other reason than to show that her husband is bad for not caring, while nobody else cares either, is consistent with the non-feminist scripts this is supposed to be an improvement on.
Conan the Barbarian is a man who wins many fights and gets revenge, but there is no subtext that he is a decent person, or misunderstood. Conan is entertaining because of how awful he is. His oafiness is comical, whether that is the intended interpretation or is not. He wins fights but there is always a chance that he might not. His movies are incredibly stupid and barely plausible, but they are honest about what they are. And like before, I do not demand a female Conan equivalent. “Female version of” a male something is derivative and secondary, and like M’s movie will have a lot of changes done just to be contrary and not necessarily because they are functional. It should have a bigger goal than that. Also, this almost invariably incorporates sex-appeal toward demographically-charged males, rather than intimidation appeal toward foes, as a core element. If that is a factor for Conan it is not deliberate. I think we can have female adventure heroes without needing them to be glamorous and perfect, and without their lack of “perfection” being used as a comedic element. Or if we make them perfect we should give them more interesting or capable adversaries. Maleficent might be a good foe for Conan. He is enjoyable to see get beaten up.
Next week: If I see a movie I don’t like then I tell somebody right away before I have a chance to figure out why.
In theory it should only take me 3 minutes to update this.
I do not believe I mentioned here that I would be in Paris, France, Europe, for the month of July. I might not have until it became relevant, but it might not have been relevant for a long time.
Tumbling up on a previous item,
this is from the deviant art website. It was also a featured object shown to everybody [who cared to be aware] and had 1119 users proclaim it “favorite” as of the time when I saw it, august 2011. Observe the system drawing people in: putting simplistic faces on inanimate objects, particularly the big arc mouth with perfectly circular black dot eyes at the ends. Anything drawn like this is immediately marketable, especially food. Can you write the letter U and a period? Can you draw a square? Congratulations, you created HappyBread® Brands LLC INC. Here’s 3 millions dollars. Don’t put ears on it, though; that’s copyright infringement against CatLoaf, the exclusive intellectual property of Bananazone International Holdings, who get to sue you now. Don’t put eyeshadow and white makeup on it, either; that’s DeathLoaf, the inspired imaginatorneering of Gatherib Wendlemeyer, praise be upon her, a talented genius prodigy 17 year old graphic professional designist from Seattle who gets to order cronies to taunt you on twitter forever and then sue you also. Um I think this is art theft u guys???? I actually have total confidence in my statement but this insecurity is a total put on guys?????? Idek is it??????????????????????? Guys. It’s like, I just.
Watch this, here be a horrid picture of something that I ate, because I compulsively photographed my food for a few years, to assist the coroner.
Here it is again with that one face drawn on it. Notice how it’s still ugly, but it has that face on it. This is “cute” to some people. Specifically, the ones who spend $30 on an ugly flat-colored short sleeved shirt with a slogan or a logo on it. Imagine if you drew this face vomiting a rainbow that also had this face on it. Much like the poster bodonies, it’s really easy and really popular.
What is my problem? Can’t I just be happy for other people’s success? Clearly I can’t (and it is worse when it is people I have met in person but do not have any financial connection to). That isn’t real success, anyhow; the person did three other nearly identical scenes, and almost nobody who looked at this one looked at the others, and even less looked at the things which weren’t this. Why build people up to such a ludicrous degree like that just to immediately chop them down with your negligence? That’s rude. Why not make an effort at an earnest, ongoing appreciation, or, if you don’t truly think it is special, not pretend it’s some historical masterpiece? Because those who appeared were someone else’s crony. They like ugly, easily produced artwork, but only if the right person tells them to.
Anyhow, this was meant to transition into my real point, which is
Hey later, man. I’m eatin’ a celery stick.
That is a good reason. Very well, you are excused. Who is still here?
I have to go, too.
Friday the 28 – Saturday the 29 interval: Good news! I have a word heap that will be ready to display in the morning, which needs merely to be proofread with a mind clear enough to see errors but not enough to know better. The bad news is that I was kidding about that being good news.
Everybody knows how much I love the website “tumblr.” Everybody is also occasionally confident of erroneous information. “Tumblr radar” is a section of the website layout for identifying “hot” circulating objects, as a convenient and benevolent means to ensure popular stuff gets more popular. However, in practice it generally just shows really bad artwork from a limited range of grotesque styles.
This is the first thing I remember having a problem with. “why the heck is this artless piece of trash on the ‘radar’.png” I asked, unaware in May of 2011 that this was the radar’s primary function and that we would continue to regard each other in the same way for the duration of our relationship. I had a minor rainbow breakdown in November of that year, and didn’t even need to incorporate this picture because it’s so consistently done and unoriginal and so consistently praised for being original.
I’ve seen rainbows come out of every possible orifice, but almost nobody ever eats one. Although it is difficult to tell which direction this one is travelling in, the idle teeth suggest involuntary action. For decades the Skittles company has invited us to taste the rainbow but never to overindulge to the point that we can no longer contain it within ourselves. This picture is “original” in the respect that the protagonist does not have a horse-like shape.
Afterward I had this labeled “tumblr radar tops itself by tunneling beneath the worst thing it showed me previously.” I don’t seem to have kept a record of them prior to this. Now I reevaluate my position because though it took absolutely no effort and brings me no joy to look at, i can at least swallow a piece of food while it is visible. Even if it is a rainbow excretion orgy it’s being run on Atari 2600 hardware before they figured out how to make those gradient backgrounds.
This is literally a picture of typed characters. Why do i bother? Even the infinite monkeyss at typewriters would be disgusted to have this shoved at them as an example of success.
I’m not proud of you for remembering something that somebody else said! Even if that person’s name rhymes.
Oh I just noticed that says “explodingdog” on it. I’m not looking to know what that is but I’ve seen that particular random combination of words before. Sure that and toasty frog and flying omelette and dresden kodak and
There’s no subject matter that people who can’t draw and can’t think like better than coffee (except rainbows issuing from bodily orifices and food with faces). Coffee + bad art + high exposure + underlining how lame it is = MORE exposure.png. Yes the whole internet must know that somebody approves of coffee (and bagels, the world’s least exciting food after wheatabix). Rather than stand up to their expensive addiction or peacefully coexist with it they gleefully pay homage to it. It’s the exact same way cigarettes were treated in the 1950s. Except cigarettes are only expensive now because of unfair taxes on them; coffee is obscenely overpriced just because the people who sell it feel like obscenely overpricing it. Maybe 20 years from now there will be anti-coffee campaigns, taxes and lawsuits and trendly sorts will have a replacement religion based around waiting in line every singular day-length-period to pay to have themselves punched in the stomach while experts assure everyone there are no longterm health detriments to doing that. I eat ice cream because I like the way it tastes, but I’m not nearly proud of myself for doing so.
Have you heard? I quit.
If you’re too late to be fashionably quirky, you can always get by on pointlessly disgusting (but don’t forget the teeth). An entire generation of animators who watched Ren and Stimpy and never found a fault in it have proven that.
At this point I considered that it might be necessary for me to disable the radar entirely. Tumblr provides no means to do that, but browser extensions have been designed to do the deed. I never installed one because I also considered that I would probably write something like this and might want a better horror selection at such a time. I hate/appreciate me. Having fulfilled that, I have today concealed the thing. I am a questionable entity.
What the orp even IS this thing? I had to look at the large size version to figure that out, and I still couldn’t tell. Is it cells under a microscope? Is it a geographical map with the color balance altered? Is it a dirty kitchen floor? Is it a spoiled wheatabix? What I do know is that it looks like nothing I want to see, and digging and doing research to find out what it IS wouldn’t change that. However I suspect if I went outside and dug I’d eventually find something this reminded me of.
I see this same artist or somebody utterly indistinguishable far too often. The same hemispheric line mouths with the same large dot eyes directly at the ends, the same parallel, turned-on-the-side feet that would be incapable of bearing weight. If you see a piece of food or a popular electronic trinket with limbs and a face it’ll probably be one of these, especially if it’s printed on a shirt. And fine, one person can have a style. But copying it bothers me. I consider art “better” during the ages of guilds and mass apprenticeship because people who could copy but not create had a greater standard to silently adhere to. Unfortuantely all they were allowed to paint were Jesus and hills. Now people are free to draw any sort of things, such as bands they’ve been ordered their whole lives to think are great. Or at least as long as their recent marketing surge has persisted. Do you remember what a huge deal it was when the Beatles songs were at last at first available on utines? Even though Beetols have had every single album of theirs available at every single record store since they existed? And that even stuff that they didn’t finish or remember they’d made was just as hard to not find? Well I hope not; I’ve currently forgotten if I put that complaint in an entry already and I’d hate you to know I was repeating myself.
When did people get the idea that it was alright to draw feet like that? 1493bc in Thutmose’s tomb? This is the “I’m about to fall over and twist my ankle” pose. Hopefully those little saran wrap box toes don’t brush up against any flesh in the process.
In fairness to the radar, somebody reblogged this at me, after several thousand other people expressed, I’ll assume, approval. I reduced the size for the sake of consistency and a misguided belief that nobody has a problem with me copying their pictures if I keep them tiny, but I should make clear that for every basic large natural detail that mystified the artist there is a tiny fully rendered round tooth protruding from the mouth (and then a strip of three stuck together). These people love to draw teeth. I had to stop looking at my queue entirely because even people I liked invariably liked stuff I hated enough to tell everybody about it with such regularity that I could no longer look at my flow of updates at all without getting so mad that I wrote a brooding paragraph about it each and every time. This wasn’t even one of those things, and look at what a state I’ve entered over it.
Ah great, back to getting mad at people I have no tangential relationship to. Is there a law against being able to draw and getting on here? I figured out from the comments that one or both of these floating torsos is from a television show. I couldn’t tell what and didn’t care to remember. The drawing is still not a thing of such magnificence to be broadcast all across the land. You don’t need to upload everything you thoughtlessly doodled on an envelope during a telephone conversation. The second one at least shows an attempt to be done better, but it comes across as creepy because there’s so much no detail and suddenly heavy cheek lines, a bloody-lipped semi smile and eyes that don’t appear to be facing any direction. I suppose it’s progress that I have a clue where to start complaining, rather than being baffled into irrelevance..
I dare you to put a picture by somebody who can draw on there. Although now that I have turned the thing off I’ll never know if my dare is received, and thus it may be. I am selfless and beneficial to society. And so tonight I will sleep and not worry what innocent person I’ve needlessly wronged by complaining about what they made and exhibited for free and never asked to have shoved in my business.
I had attached above a previous entry but it was a totally different topic so I suppose it’s worth placing separately.
I overheard that Lance Armstrong is being “stripped” of his titles due to palling around with dopes, a truly revile-worthy act. If you want to punish him, let Lance Armstrong keep his titles but strip him of the name “Lance Armstrong” that is synonymous with the sport moreso than his trophy collection or whatever he won apart from the money that is not also being stripped of him. Maybe we should just strip him in general, in public, wherever he goes. The anti-dope authority could have operatives that follow him around in disguise and yank his clothes off at the worst moments. I also heard that he was “banned from cycling for life.” Which is a good idea considering that he’s retired or reached the point where he threatens to do so every year. I noticed he wasn’t banned from competitive cycling; it sounded like all cycling. He can’t keep a bicycle at his house. He can’t have a tricycle, either. Or a washing machine, because those run in cycles. We’ll have to confiscate his encyclopedias, too. Ransack his house, find that Grolier cd which came with the $3000 basic desktop computer he bought in 1996 after winning the Tour Duhfrontz the first time. We’re finally gonna GET this guy for making Americans give a flopping fish about professional bicycle races. As much as you Europeans hate having an American win it, think about how THEY feel. Armstrong was probably ordered by the US government to use “performance enhance”rs just so that would make him sound tough when the story came out since that’s what American tough guys do.
Mr. Chu, when I posted this initially, spoke up to the effect that just about everybody involved is probably putting SOMETHING inside themselves that they are not meant to, and Mr. Armstrong was targeted because he was the winner, and the important thing in all this is that it generates garbage publicity, which benefits everybody involved, Lance included, probably, I inferred, and the collective societal elite get to continue their prolonged respirator-assisted laugh on the rest of us. And then I said something like “I am definitely of the belief that there’s little difference between the “illegal” substances and those $200 jars of dust that somehow fill racks and racks of shelves in different varieties at “nutrition” stores. They are legal primarily because they aren’t illegal yet.” In fact that’s exactly what I said. I have a good memory of what I selected and pressed ctrl+c over.
I will have something nice next week. Comparatively.
Bimshwel: five years of ehhh, three years of ah? and two years of oh.
Just think, in ten years bimshwel has gone from an irregularly updated personal weblog angry about stuff that doesn’t matter, maybe a little obsessed with old video games, written by an unemployed student with delusions of being a successful cartoonist and read by a few people. It all goes to show that if you work hard on something you love and never give up, you too can alienate the people around you.
I had absolutely nothing planned for this occasion apart from that sentence. I have been overwhelmed with deadlines for arbitrary tasks and only just realized “today,” Friday, gah, here is another one, and my own fleeping fault, this time. I knew this was coming. I had ten years to prepare. But there is nothing.
It has been my experience that when somebody tells me to give them something two weeks from now, at the end of two weeks they may remark “you had two weeks to do this!” More likely I had a few isolated hours across two weeks, during which I was incapable of coherent thought. And so, with all my deadlines recently, not one’s task was completed to my satisfaction. I am both difficult to satisfy and lacking in the skill to produce satisfaction. However, those also were externally assigned tasks that were not of personal importance to me. The things I make that matter to me, the ones I have tended to tell myself “no one else cares about,” that I do without deadlines turn out the best. They also get shoved aside when I do the bidding of others. So ducks to your birth-date, bimshwel. I shall speak of it when I deem prudent and some day when you’re older you’ll know I was right. Now get back in your room and play the piano! I want to hear those scales! Now! Stop crying! I didn’t raise no sissy website!
Lizard? I HAVE NO LIZARD.
I’ll see to it that nobody else has one either, if you keep that up.
Five years ago I appear to have questioned that I could still possibly be doing this five years from then. I wonder if I sincerely believed that I would not. Around that time I had only recently entered into online art-sites and displaying my pictures on them. I did not mention it here because I was ashamed that I had, at last, publicly become involved, even though I had been browsing the things for a few years. So when I did post my own nonsense I did it under names that I thought didn’t sounded like I came up with them because I didn’t want anybody from here to find me there. Now I have links to the things on the side of this page. It seems that no matter how ashamed I become of what I do, I follow it up with something else that makes it seem forgivable by comparison. I suppose I’ll start linking to that without even thinking to comment in another year or so.
I mentioned new websites that quickly got more popular than my old website. I reckon few of them are still updated, if they even exist. So I win. Nothing. Now I have the same gripe about the relative fame of users on the dumb art sites. Someday I will win nothing on them as well, merely by being so socially immobile that I linger long after most people stop caring.
Look there, 900! That’s a lot! Especially for me! I should be overcome with emotion at the approval. This proves that people like what I do. However, there are also 30 different oafs in the same vicinity who have drawn the exact same dog-thing over and over again for years with minimal creative ambition who easily have twice the approval. Three times as much if it’s a dog-thing from a bad video game or hideous cartoon and multiply either by 1.8 if the dog thing is a dragon thing. I have checked and verified these figures. It means nothing.
Not everybody really wants to be creative, anyhow; they just do it for fun. Fine for them, rageful for somebody who sincerely tries.
Half of this 900 lot probably don’t even go to the website anymore… which helps me in my quest for victorious nothingness but also implies that they are better than you (you being me), for their having left first, the scamps. A third of the remnant are ready to drop you at any moment, and eagerly anticipate a reason. Or perhaps they want you to watch their page. Not you specifically, but anybody at all who will increase their always-visible point total. Perhaps it even happened out of pity. Or maybe they like your drawings but find you despicable. Or perhaps just like the last thing you put up, or someone who means more to them than you mentioned you. It seems fashionable, for the moment, to acknowledge you, but by and large you are of negligible importance. It is necessary to build absurdly large support networks because the actual units of support have so very little meaning. Anybody can suddenly hate you at any moment And by beanbags I’ve done it myself. The personal weblogs can no longer be imagined by me to threaten me, but fleeting, fickle nothingness yet thrives. Those who are truly dedicated to the site or their cliquey support networks don’t have any more use for me than I for them. But I like it better than twitter. I have no hope in that nothingness. 300 or so who potentially might care is pretty good, even in a really dumb place. After all, they defeated the Persians and more importantly inspired a really lazy meme that prospered among the same sort of people.
Porridge, I spent three weeks writing some mopey introspective thing like that for a class that is now done. I don’t need to recreate it here. I may pull out some relevant bits and impose them on you later. I had to turn that in precisely when it was due. Bimshwel is never due. Bimshwel is not concerned that I acknowledged such a major anniversary a day late or that I talked about other websites than it the whole time. I broke its spirit years ago. It may have shamed itself into forgetting what the day was. You probably didn’t know either. I could say it is today, and nobody but me would know. I miss every birthday in my real family; quite finkly it would be rude of me to make an exception for this distasteful abomination.
I spend too much time thinking about nonsense. I am three years older than Napoleon and my realm is pitiful. But I maintain my composure because these are trifling issues. I don’t need to be the “best.” I have a narrow appeal, since I have such difficulty or unwillingness to latch on to other people’s gimmicks. I am not a winner. I am not good enough at anything that enough people do to have a contest over to even compete for the victory. I might have a chance of winning a contest whose goal was to be me, but if there were other people who could conceivably be me then there would be no point to it. I am as isolated by choice as necessity. And that is perfectly all right. The sooner I accept that the sooner I can enjoy my existence. The needless jealously and pointless aspiring to meaningless smalltime niche digital fame cease today!
ARRRGH I’LL GET YOU, YOU INTOLERABLE GINGERBREAD MANNEQUIN! YOU THINK YOU’RE BETTER THAN ME JUST BECAUSE YOU DRAW POKEMON AND HOMESTUCKS AND CLEOPATRA 2525! I’LL BEAT YOU I’LL SHOW YOU! I’LL LICK THE WHOLE KABOODLE USING JUST MY NOODLE! MY ORIGINAL DERIVATIVE CHARACTERS ARE (C) ME!!! I SHALL AVENGE THE MARSHMALLOW PEEPS SLAIN TO MAKE YOUR CLOTHING! Come to me, winged cronies! I have been slighted! Do my bidding and I’ll give you *hugs* with lots of extra asterisks on the sides! Otherwise I’ll know who my REAL friends are! I need to clean out my watch list soon HINT HINT
My hubris shall be my downfall.