2015 in pictures
Ordinarily I post this on the last night of the year. This time I did it on the first night of the next year to give people the chance to recover from my explosive shop rite reporting. Undoubtedly future historians will regard that as the story which defined 2015 so the literal definition of the overall year was less urgent. Nonetheless it must be delivered.
Usually I would say that is everything that happened that year, but I concede that nothing happened at all in a few of those months, and I wish that yet less had happened than that!
Ahoy there matey: 27% MORE. And yet, as impressed as I am, I feel under-informed by this comparison.
There is 27 percent more in this bottle than the bottle that it has 27 percent more than! Do you realize what this MEANS? It means nothing! I do not understand why this is a boastworthy feature. Also, I have never seen another relish bottle. Was there a lot of competition for that at one point? I suppose relish is called for infrequently-enough that this bottle could date back to a time when the relish wars were a hot topic.
18 is 6 more than 12. Are you keeping up so far?
Wow! This box has more in it than the box that has less in it! All because the last time I used formula, I cursed the heavens and wished that I had two point five times more than twelve point seven ozes of the formula. Ironically, this formula is incomplete since it fails to state what 2.5 x 12.7 is equal to. My kingdom for an equation!
That is more like it! 8=10 you say? oh ho, 8=12!
at some point it is not enough to state accurate figures. You can provide any old number you want provided you also provide tiny print that admits the figure makes no sense or that your comparison is questionable.
But why are we fighting? There is no reason 8 cannot equal 10 and 12. Sparkle was so ashamed at coming up short in the small number equals bigger number race that that they made their own 8=12, and if that is not enough, it is even 6x. And furthermore, 50%. Let’s just dump as many unrelated numbers and symbols on there as possible. However, for you more traditional folks who prefer a time when life was simpler, 8=10 is still available, but keep in mind that it IS 8+2. I know you don’t want to hear it but it is a basic fact of nature.
Gosh now this stuff is getting complicated. I cannot even get past “ultra regular.”
in other math news, shrek.
Find your name on a Coke. If you discover that your life suddenly has meaning where once there was none, well gosh, congratulations. That is much healthier than drinking the stuff. Why even bother selling a product, really? You are rather fortunate; when Donald Trump was your age, he could never find his name on a Coke, and I don’t think it was good for him. Bow hoydy am I topical! I admire Donald Trump. He says something crazy, and people laugh. I say something crazy, and people get legitimately worried, even though I do not actually have the fiscal resources to DO anything crazy. There is a man who knows his stuff.
My favorite kind of sharing is when I don’t actually have to, and these two agree. Although with their conspicuously perfect and plentiful teeth and just about full bottles, they do not owe their states of barely-human ecstasy to being Coke drinkers. Snorters, maybe. Or perhaps they derive their extreme enthusiasm from “sharing” the fact that a bottling plant printed statistically probable names onto labels, which is hypothetically impressive and a reason to purchase a single unit at a rate inflated beyond what multiple units would cost if purchased at once. It is actuality not.
It is however a perfectly valid reason to purchase cheapo signs to convey crucial information to Santa Claus. Otherwise he isn’t legally obligated to obey. Also, a vaguely religious figure with a long beard, unnaturally long life and weakness for fermented beverages who pals around with livestock? Santa IS Noah.
No, you should not. And the longer you ponder that, the greater the potential there is for hardship. The object could melt, or you could realize you are not biologically fit to grasp it, and drop it, or that you have your spectacles fastened under your ears instead of over. I imagine you have a frustrating and difficult life. Have you considered finding “Elephant” on a coke? I suppose it is judgmental for me to assume that this is Elephant and not Piggy just because it superficially resembles an elephant more than it resembles a pig. Who am I to say that “Piggy” must necessarily be pig-like in appearance? Just because people who advocate freedom to choose one’s name, gender, religion and whatnot act like you like you poisoned a reservoir if you want to change your ethnic identity? The figure IS wearing Piggy’s Specs, after all.
I shall honor the recently dead Christopher Lee by posting these pictures of him laying down the law while clutching a ridiculous over-sized vegetable pod and some manner of questionable imp looks on. If there were pictures of me in the same situation I would want people to know while I was still alive, however.
I do not think there is anything sad when a world famous celebrity gets dead at the age of 93, however, especially ones that have appeared in over two hundred films.
If Casey Kasem’s death was sad, it was because there was an unresolved dispute in his family, and the man’s final days were probably stressful, with lingering stress for those who could not fix the problem. It is NOT sad because it made Shaggy “Norville” Rogers, who is a fictional character, cry Mountain Dew Baja Blast-colored tears, when he went to some oddly sparse cartoon graveyard where nobody else is buried.
Much stranger are scenes showing just Scooby Doo weeping at the weird cartoon grave, as if the voice actor dying means the character is dead, even though four people apart from Casem have voiced Shaggy since 1998 in [wholly unnecessary] newer cartoons, and the initial Scooby Doo voice Don Messick has been dead since 1997, with Frank Welker doing the replacement, and he also has always provided the voice of Fred. It might be appropriate to show Fred rubbing his hands in treachery as he plots to take over more of the cast. In a weird cartoon graveyard.
With Messick’s death predating deviantart, I was sadly able to turn up far fewer creepy drawings of his gravestone, which is nonetheless a considerable achievement considering that he was cremated. Kasem meanwhile was buried in Oslo, Norway because his wife was crazy, which as far as I know is accurately depicted in the crude green-carpeted voids seen in these drawings. In another twist, Shaggy is alive again.
Just kidding, they are both actually dead. Gosh it is almost as if cartoons are not real people and thus are neither dead nor living and this sort of illustration has very little reason to exist.
A true mystery: Shaggy and Scooby at Casem and Messick’s imaginary graves, but this time there are two additional graves whose inscriptions cannot at this time be read. Is the implication that man and dog are next, with no reason to go on never-having-lived? Or has this person who couldn’t even be bothered to crop the digital camera picture of this lightly-stained ten minute drawing so that it is at least the center of attention put more effort into rendering a populated graveyard than any of the people who sprang for crayons?
My favorite shows Scooby Doo AND Bat-Man –who of course know each other; this partnership is not in itself notable– at a Kasem grave, Kasem having voiced Batman’s assistant Robin in Hanna Barbera cartoons. Even though those versions of Robin and Batman were based on the ones from the 1966 non-cartoon television series, which starred Burt Ward as Robin, who is not dead yet. Meanwhile, Olan Soule, the first voice (and my preference) of animated Batmen, has been dead since 1994. And once again the live Batman, Adam West*, yet lives. All the while, creepy oversized ghost heads float nearby with contented expressions showing they are oblivious to or quite proud of the suffering and confusion they have caused.
*West himself took over the animated Batman’s role later, but he and Scooby were no longer on speaking terms.
In other news, Ken Spears and Joe Ruby, the writers who actually conceived the Scooby Doo concept and characters, and presumably introduced Scooby Doo and Batman to each other, are also both still alive. Maybe they can get a pair of typewriters to cry at their hastily engraved resting places later.
There were a staggering meepload of these for Robin Williams. But in a week/month/year of tributes to a supposed comic genius, the hardest I laughed was coming across this, cartoon characters at a grave for a man they can’t plausibly have known existed, who was cremated, and didn’t actually voice them. Shouldn’t the grave say something like Cloppin Fillyums on it, given the alternate allegorical stupid horse-pun-based universe they inhabit?
That is true; otherwise this scene is completely serious and logical. But according to the image description, which regrettably was written, and regrettabler glanced at by me, the person who posted it didn’t even draw it; the person just assembled the elements from other drawings from other people, and only accomplished this much. So even if we are lost enough to imagine these characters are real and an acceptable vector for our own emotions on completely unrelated topics, at best they are faking it in front of a green screen on some other occasion. The animated franchise with the greatest potential for instant dork fame after spending the least amount of time learning to draw like it, and this person couldn’t even manage that, and still gets more recognition weekly than I ever had for almost any one thing my entire life. I felt bad making fun of the artists earlier, who clearly were not getting much respect as it was, but this kind of self-sustaining garbage is hard to coexist with calmly, even after five years.
But at least Robin Williams gets some scenery and a stylish mound, and a cheerfully inappropriate font.
That was rather odd, but could we possibly get a bootleg pikachu leaking Tide detergent onto a creepy cartoon grave that you stuffed five dead people into, four of whom certainly never had anything to do with Pokaymon plus one I never heard of?
I knew I could count on you.
I think these originated with Mel Blanc’s death and a widely-circulated drawing of Bugs Bunny and the et als, whose most distinguishing traits are the myriad ways they show no respect to anyone, looking mopey beside a spotlit microphone with the heading “SPEECHLESS.” To this day, prints of it are sold as if they haven’t been being cranked out for 25 years for apparent profit for the Time Warner company to people who would gladly pay to remember someone who made them glad with something that wants to force them to be sad. It seems the only thing better than institutionalized misery is spending money to take part.
This one for KC Case ’em at least makes a dorky joke on the topic that clashes with the intended air of reverence.
When Leonard Nimoy got dead I saw online remarks from people saying things like “I was driving when I heard and I had to pull my car over and cry for a while,” like this was someone they had met and knew very well, who had made a direct, personal investment in their lives. I am told he participated in his cult fan-dom, and had a fatherly aura, but he hardly left a great deal of business unfinished in his life. This level of attachment to celebrity is lost on me.
I remember when George Carlin did it, there were months of tributes to him, and I did not really see the prolonged public justification. But I accepted that; I did not seek out standup comedy, generally, and most of the tributes were from people who had worked with him or seen him perform who just happened to have high-profile television jobs but didn’t feel like doing him any favors while he was alive. I also remembered that when Bernie Mac went dying there was hardly anything within my radius, but I accepted that I mainly watched shows with mainly white people on them. Steve Jobs, alright, I never liked Apple-computer-brand stuff. Even my i-pod, which I did like, felt needlessly hard to use just to seem innovative. Literally, Apple’s slogan of the period was “Think Different.” No need to think better, just arbitrarily turn practical 2-direction control into a wheel and give it a plug that nothing else already uses or potentially will ever be able to use. And try to force me to reconfigure my operating system outside the i-pod while you are at it.
But with Robin Williams: he himself, not just people who knew him, was in films, and on television, stuff that I saw, and the effect of his death on me was about the same as any others I mentioned. I saw tributes from people of my approximate social status to the effect that they felt like they lost a family member or a piece of themselves forever even though the stuff he did has been preserved in the exact same form it was first encountered in (unless you saw him perform live, which none of these people have (maybe they WANTED to, and now know they cannot ever, but much emotional difference does that make?)). So now I know I do not belong. It was not the society-wide media-mandated mourning of the World Trade Center attack, but this was just one person, who had made quite a bit of money and, at the very least, knew he was about to die, and not a few thousand done in without warning.
In this country. Who cares if hundreds of thousands die or are driven from their homes somewhere else? Nobody is expected to care about everyone else in the world; it would probably kill any of us if we tried. But certainly we should take stock of what we are losing our marbles over. I have breakdowns all the time due to very personal things; in fact they rarely involve any unconnected figure’s hardship. I could not mentally afford that. It would never let up. I can’t even handle birthdays.
I was wondering what yet-living public figure has made the biggest impact on my life. But they, at least the ones we make celebrities out of, almost always work in groups, and rarely produce a totally unique, non-imitated/imitating product, and no singular product sums up my life, or would cease to sum it up if one of the people who made it stopped living. And I say that as someone with very little social contact, who theoretically should have all the more reason to fill my empty life with far off Hollywud
Back to Williams, it WAS sad to me, because it was a suicide, and in fact I never had any ability to relate to Williams prior to knowing he had a depression issue –yes, I have also acted like an idiot for attention, but with far less encouragement– and could barely stand him at all until he took on a more subdued persona post-heart surgery, but he will not quickly be forgotten if we don’t rush to say he won’t be.
And Leonard Nimoy has contributed to about 536 Starry Trek-related productions, probably enough where if you watched them all in order you would have forgotten the first one by the time you got to the end and you could start over. He lacked the potential that Robin Williams had to take on future significant projects, and hardly needed it by the time of his not-quite-deadness. And I am not advising to forget the creations and participations of people who appeal to you, but to quote somebody I hated during My Childhood, take a chill pill, get a grip.
In fact I did not see anybody freaking out over Christopher Lee but apparently I deleted this text from an earlier post, presumably the one I just linked at, and this seemed like my best chance to use it. For the love of MacGuffin, if you like something somebody did 20 years ago, please tell them before they die, because afterward that is going to be a lot less important to them, and undoubtedly someone else you know could use the attention more by that point. And please don’t put me in a box in the ground in a sad grave. ESPECIALLY if you like what I did while alive, don’t ruin your or anyone else’s day unless you truly have to. Put me in one of those cadaver museums or feed me to needy owls, or something useful.
2014 in pictures
I think that about sums it up.
According to my vegetastic livejournal page this is also the tenth anniversary of 2004 in Pictures. In honor of that I have dishonored it by correcting its image links to not point at geocities anymore.
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 am told that this larger edition of the picture was for the original theatrical advertisement poster, which also means that after two whole 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 its 1992 pre-Photoshop effects look. Photoshop existed in 1992 but I doubt the people at fault 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.
In fact 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.
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) 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.