Friday, January 25, 2013

Quotations: Community Season 3 Edition

If I wanted to run a monkey hotel, I’d install a banana buffet. I’d use vines as elevators. And I’d put tail holes in the bathrobes and I’d lower all the shower knobs.
Dean Pelton

Feel the terror of the Norwegian Troll!

I demand to be housewarmed!

And he chainsawed them into bits. And then he put them back together, and then he chainsawed them again. Forever.

And she ripped into his torso like a gerbil shredding a Quaker Oats box, sending chunks of viscera and an aerosol mist of blood all over the skanky concubine. Then she flossed her teeth with his tendons. And because he was vampire he lived through all of it. He had to watch her swallow his last eyeball. She kept it connected to the optic nerve so he could see down her throat to his own partially digested flesh in her stomach.

I've become a stranger to myself. I'm bald now. I've always been bald. I merely dreamt of having hair. And now the bald man is awake.

I know what an analogy is. It's like a thought with another thought's hat on.

You think this is just a room where Troy and I play dinosaurs versus river boat gamblers together?

I'm more turned on by women in pajamas than lingerie. I just want to know they're comfortable.

Talk to me more about 'crazy town banana pants.'
Dr. Heidi

Chang eats the sun and drinks the sky and they both go with him when he dies.
Some girl in the heist episode.

Shut up Leonard...
I found your youtube page. What's the point in reviewing frozen pizzas anyway?
I know about your crooked wang.
those teenage girls you play ping pong with are doing it ironically.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Man of Steel Trailer

Here's a link to an interesting piece on Robot 6. What's even more interesting is the discussion that follows it. It all kicks off with a quote from J. Michael Straczynski, followed by some commentary from the columnist Michael May, the trailer for Man of Steel. It's all about the idea of what sort of character Superman should be. The comments below it feature some interesting remarks by Straczynski and by Mark Waid. It's also got a link to another article that I'll probably bring up again some day.

The discussion goes in some interesting directions, particularly its focus on the comment in the trailer that Jonathan Kent makes about how 'maybe' Clark shouldn't have saved a bunch of kids from drowning, so he could protect his secret. It's interesting, but I think I'll wait until the movie comes out and I can see the whole scene before I comment on that.

What was especially interesting was the occasional criticism of Straczynski's Earth One stories. The specifics aren't important here. The important part is that Straczynski himself felt it necessary to chime in with a lengthy defense of his stories. My feelings about Earth One aside (it's utter tripe), I think the fact that the writer had to explain what he was trying to do says loads about how well he did it. Meaning he didn't get his point across very well in the story he told.

The discussion made me think of the types of stories being told today, in movies, television, and comic books. We live in an era where fandoms are becoming the dominant audiences courted by media storytellers and executives, in part because fans spend lots of money on things. So there needs to be lots of things for them to spend their money on. The result of this is that stories are told at great length, with the details fleshed out in sometimes excruciating detail. Star Wars is the perfect example of this. What was essentially one paragraph's worth of information in the original movie became more than six hours of film time (not to mention the animated series, novels, comic books, etc). Some people wanted that story told. Not me. Though I was excited to see them, I liked the spark in my imagination, lit by the hints in that one paragraph of information. The Clone Wars in my head are so much more interesting than what the movies revealed them to be.

Anyway, I think that Superman is most compelling as a fully formed hero, not as a hero-in-the-making. Siegel and Shuster got it right in the first place: limit the back story, get right to the adventures in Metropolis. I don't need to see how he came to the decision to be a hero. In fact, I'd say it diminishes him. It makes it contingent on events, tells us that if something had gone just a little bit different when he was 15, or 16, or 18, or 20, he would be a villain, or a different kind of hero. There are plenty of characters whose stories already do that. For Superman, I'd rather have a lot left to my imagination. But that's just me.

The thing is, I know that telling the story of how Superman made the choice to be a hero can be a valuable story. I have interviewed people for whom that story has made a difference in life, has led them to make their own choices, has given them inspiration: an "If Superman could make the right choice, could figure out the best way to live his life, then so can I" sort of thing. I just hope they don't look to Earth One for this inspiration.