December 8, 2008

I’d love to explain this to you.


What did I do yesterday? Can anybody tell me? I did not get any work done yet I most certainly did not do anything fun, either.

These things are sort of fun, though.

I’m going to miss you, too.


Hey, that which I posted recently regarding Madmartigan reminds me of some crazy rambling essayoid I wrote about MadMartigan two years ago. It went a little something like this. A big something like this, actually.

I thought for certain I’d have taken a picture of the box or one of the numerous stupid sights of the film at some point, but none seem to exist. I show instead Whoopi Goldberg in Burglar, which you will be glad to know that despite the suggestive themes I did not steal. Clearly that is a big problem at Wal Mart, though.

I saw the 1988 Lucasfilm classic “Willow” recently. A DVD copy of this was the thus far apparent culmination of an inside joke the likes of which cannot be understood (it involves diapers). Surprisingly, it was much worse than I thought it would be. It may also be surprising, perhaps, that I expected it to be good. It did make me wonder, though, how anyone expected much from Star Wars “episode 1” when a George Lucas movie with many of the exact same faults had already existed for ten years, but without any past franchise success eager to jinx it. Quite simply, they, much like meself, had not seen Willow. It’s one of those movies where seeing things continuously not quite fall into place is more disappointing than had there been no chance. If the movie had been a total disaster I wouldn’t be bothered theorizing alternate versions that are better.

There is a point, for example, where Madmartigan is stricken with magic love dust and then rushes into the tent of Sorsha, his female adversary, and wakes her up while telling a stupid poem. In theory, it could be funny, except Sorsha becomes conflicted over the act, rather than just kicking Marty in the face and calling some guards, none of whom were apparently watching the prisoners or their leader.

And then I was thinking “how about there is no love potion, and Madmartigan sneaks in there planning to kill Sorsha, but he can’t bring himself to do so because because because but she wakes up and Martigan must pretend to be crazy and that would have made more sense…” I have more important things to think about than that. Specifically, just Madmartigan in general.

He isn’t even Mad Mart-igan. He is Madmartigan. He is not a man named Martigan who has a reputation for flipping his matters out at people. His birth certificate says “Madmartigan McMeeplesworth” on it. I have found myself just speaking “madmartigan” repeatedly. And he’s really not that important a character. He’s supposed to be, but again, the movie is just badly done. Here, he’s in a cage. Next, he’s just nowhere, and he’s lost the baby Willow trusted him with. Look, he’s disguised as a woman and running away from some ramshackly establishment. Hmmm? Oh, now he’s captured again. Fight? No, escape. Now he’s falling down a snow-covered mountain’s side. “He’d better not turn into a snowball,” I quipped. Now he’s turned into a snowball. Ah, now a fight. But what’s going on? Where did these monsters come from? Who is hitting who? Why did people load all these crossbows and catapults and then abandon the fortress? Who is this talking rodent again?

I have no problem with the “dated” visual effects. I love stop motion monsters and cartoon lightning bolts. The only things that look totally out of place are the “brownies,” regular sized people meant to seem tiny, filmed separately and inserted into the main picture with a pre-bluescreen era process that makes them appear really far away rather than small, but they’re in the foreground and ugh. A bit like that Buddha “statue” in Mortal Kombat that looks more like somebody’s desk paperweight. Focus on the focus, people! But that’s not important, because my nonexistent “ideal” version of the movie hardly has brownies in it at all (except for the part where Airk Thaughbaer happens upon one of Willow’s “magic” laxative-laced confections, intended as a housewarming gift for the villainous Kael, and hilarity ensues when Airk tries to conceal his deed). They look out of place because they are out of place, in more ways than two. This is why people write fan-fiction. I don’t want to write fan-fiction. “Fan-fiction” being stories about characters one likes enough to write stories about. The inventors of the quote-marked phrase seemed quite sure non-fans would not bother.

The Willow arcade video game makes more sense as a video game than the Willow movie makes as a movie. The real question is whether that sentence made any sense. But see: in the game, Willow’s too busy throwing sparkle glitter at soldiers and rat dogs to carry a baby. You find out Bavmorda (the villain who desires the baby) already has the baby in the first level. That’s fine, since after 90 minutes of movie in which Willow is supposedly going towards some place safe Bavmorda gets the baby anyway. Additionally, I have great fondness for the method used to digitize the intermission scene people, even if the Willow a player actually controls looks as much like Chucky as Warwick Davis.

As I said, I don’t want to write fan-fiction. I said that to lead into this paragraph. But then I didn’t. But now I have. I like to think that at best I could amount to more than Phillip Jose Farmer, the kook who invented the “Wold Newton Family,” the concept that all the pre-established characters he’s spent his life writing his own stories about or as not only logically coexist but are related to each other. I probably won’t but my aspirations ought to.

Not that I think Mr. Farmer is a bad writer; I don’t really remember. I went through a bunch of stories by him back when I read and it wasn’t until years later that I realized how crazy he is or has been. He was most prolific in the 1960s and 70s but yet lives, and yet writes, even if the Wold section of his official website strongly implies he became dead some time in 1997. At any rate he’s done well enough that his work typically isn’t referred to with a deprecating label like “fan fiction.” But it’s the same thing.

And now here’s a rebuttal, also by me, from only one year ago.

Is the inclination to write asinine fan-fiction really so indicative of maladjustment? All of the most “beloved” animated films are freely interpreted from pre-existing works and using pre-existing characters. The only real difference is that the subject matter was sought out rather than received and gobbled up gleefully. Even wholly authorized and admitted “adaptations” seem to feel no lack of validity inventing new stupid situations at the director or whoever’s contrivance. In the time of ancient Greece any yahoocles could write his own story about Zeus (women and slaves, obviously, were not permitted to do so) magically transforming into a duck and doing unlikely sexes to the goddess of the author’s choice. Our modern fanfictioners are part of a greater tradition than they realize and/or deserve. Just instead of Zeus it’s Nick Jonas and instead of a duck it’s Vulpix and instead of a goddess it’s Jesse from Full House. The fact that popular fan-written characters aren’t all-powerful masters of all things who we might presume to have such powers (and in fact rarely exceed average functionality) or living in a time which predates the concept of moral decency need make no difference. Maybe it ought to, but it doesn’t need to.

I should know better than to rebut myself in public.

4 Responses
  1. 1
    11:26 pm, December 9, 2008

    The love child of Ayn Rand and Geraldo Rivera sez:

    I saw Willow multiple times as a child, but I don’t think I was old enough to quite appreciate its badness back then. I do, however, clearly remember the scene with Madartigan dressed as a woman, as well as some large, hirsute fellow inexplicably finding him attractive in typical Looney Toons fashion.

    Philip José Farmer I recall primarily through a bookcover featuring a large mass of fairy tale characters engaged in fierce mêlée using ray guns (I have no idea whether this accurately reflected the contents of the tome itself). That and his pretending to be Kilgore Trout at one point.

  2. 2
    10:12 pm, December 10, 2008

    Beanbiebklar sez:


    Prior to being a Trout Farmer wrote a book as the famous John Watson and afterwards another as, for all purposes and intents, Phileas Fogg. A book titled Venus on the Half-Shell and Others supposedly exists dedicated to Farmer’s writing of such a deceptive sort. I have to assume this is different from when I write as someone apart from myself, in which it can still easily be identified as something I wrote, and that there’s more to being a better writer than me than that, because why compile a book specifically of such a thing, otherwise?

  3. 3
    12:55 am, December 13, 2008

    Rick Moranis sez:

    Honey, I blew up the kid!

  4. 4
    2:26 pm, December 13, 2008

    Beanbiebklar sez:

    Why I oughtta…!

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them`s fightin` woids: February 13, 2020
Frimpinheap sez:
don’t let me stop you!
February 12, 2020
Dewd sez:
ON that globetrotters thing under all-new I wanted to wright Shitting the limits..
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That is such a great question that I would not wish to foul it with an answer.
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Why doo yo sy h=g=how to kill a sexy dood?
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Righto, now it’s live!
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alright NOW it should work. I had clicked the “publish” button on the draft mode...
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