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Archive for April, 2010

Prognostication

April 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Yippee-Ki-Yay

Halloween this year
tweens to flabby old fanboys
Hit Girls everywhere

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Categories: movies Tags: , ,

Daddy’s Little Grrrrrrl

Value: High | Intensity: Uneven

When my daughters were little, they joined the Brownies.  My wife became the Brownie leader.  While she loved working with the kids, the thing she hated was the paperwork.  Yes, that’s right, the Brownies – indeed, the whole Girl Scout movement – is built on a solid foundation of paperwork!  If you want to take the troop to get ice cream: paperwork.  Allergy forms…  Permission slips…  If you want to do a craft project: paperwork.  Safety training for hot glue guns, and medical emergency releases.  And that doesn’t even touch on the training and background investigations.

Meanwhile, at their same age, I became the Y-Indian Princess tribe leader.  This was a YMCA-sponsored father-daughter organization, similar in concept to Girl Scouts, but worlds apart in execution.  On a typical Indian Princess get-together, we taught the girls how to play poker and blackjack, and how to successfully gamble for prizes.  At our summer campout, we brought out the .22 caliber rifles, and taught the girls how to shoot.  That’s right – while the Brownies required permission slips for ice cream and glue guns, we were taking 5-year-olds out to fire live ammunition for the first time.

But what happens if your 5-year-old finds herself in a difficult situation, and hasn’t had the foresight to be armed with a weapon?  I mean, 5-year-olds don’t think of everything!  So I also enrolled my daughter up for karate lessons.  Another very fun daddy-daughter bonding experience that I recommend highly.

Why am I telling you these random child-rearing tales?  Well, I went to see Kick-Ass tonight.  First off, if you haven’t seen the movie: see it!  Unless you have an aversion to graphic violence, and exploding bodies.  Then see it with your eyes closed.

The second thing I was thinking was:  Where do I get a daughter like that?  I took my kid shooting.  I had her in martial arts training.  Where did I go wrong?  Should I have adopted one of those ultra-violent Russian babies?

So obviously the “real-life” superhero part of this drama is a façade.  But the movie still rocks.  And it really is not what you’re expecting.  No spoilers here.  Just see the movie.  But not with your daughter.  What, are you kidding?  It’s WAY too violent!

Categories: movies

What’s In A Name?

April 3, 2010 1 comment

Value: Geek| Intensity: Harsh

I love the Escapist Magazine web site.  I like it’s concept, it’s presentation, really everything about it.  Except one thing.  And I can’t stop watching it.  It’s called “I Hit It With My Axe”.  The concept is sound enough: Get a bunch of porn stars and strippers together and film them playing D&D.  What could go wrong?

And now, let me totally date myself by admitting: It’s the tattoos!  I just can’t stand all the tattoos the girls have.  I just can’t take anyone seriously that has that many tattoos.  Maybe it’s a cultural thing.  Perhaps it’s just because I’m Jewish.  (Yes, that’s right, HackNSlash is not the original family name.  When the family lived in Eastern Europe, we were Höchenczlaz.  But they changed it when we came through Ellis Island.)  Have you ever noticed that Jews don’t get tattoos?  Every wonder why?  Consider this exchange from my youth:

Me: “Hey, mom.  Can I get a tattoo?”

Mom: “No.  Don’t be an idiot.  You don’t want a tattoo.”

Me:  “But Grandma has a tattoo!  If she has one, why can’t I have one?”

Mom:  “HA!  Why don’t you go ask Grandma if you can have a tattoo?”

Me:  “If she says ‘Yes’, can I get one?”

Mom:  “Absolutely.”

(goes to Grandma)

Me:  “Hey, Grandma.  Can I get a tattoo?”

Grandma:  “What do you want a tattoo for?”

Me:  “I don’t know.  I think it might be cool.  So can I get one?”

Grandma:  “No.  Only the Goyim get tattoos.”

Me:  “But you have a tattoo!”

Grandma:  “That’s different.”

Me:  “Why is that different?”

Grandma:  “Because ADOLF HITLER gave me *my* tattoo!”

So I have come to the conclusion that, due to the Grandma factor, Jews are culturally incapable of getting tattoos.  And we will not overcome this limitation until the last Holocaust survivor has passed away.

And so I watch a collection of life’s tatted up castaways trying to play D&D.  Why do I watch?  I think it’s the name of the show.  I just…  like it!  I think it proves exactly the opposite of Shakespeare’s query.  For example, what’s the worst-named movie of all time?  “The Shawshank Redemption”, of course.  And yet, it’s also one of the best.  They play it on a non-stop continual loop on TNT, because everyone will watch it over and over again.  But who saw it in the movie theatre?  Roger Ebert, Tim Robbins mother, and the ghost of Gene Siskel.  That’s because of its name.

So where does “I Hit It With My Axe” rank on the Name Scale?  This is the scale that goes from 1: “The Shawshank Redemption” all the way up to 10: “Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb”.  I think I’ll give it an 8.

Anyway, it sure beats “Prognosticrat”!

Categories: thoughts

“You are Number Five, James”

April 2, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been watching this British TV show. It’s set on an island, which is mostly referred to as “The Island,” and it’s pretty clearly an analogue for England (but an England of the past). It’s very surreal in look and tone, and honestly kind of creeps me out.

The island is populated by strange characters. There’s a hierarchy at work; the evident authorities on the island direct the actions of the sympathetic characters. While the authority figures have names (although they seem more like titles or codenames), the rank and file characters each have a number. Furthermore, these characters don’t seem to be able to leave the island, but instead, must carry out tasks assigned to them by the mysterious rulers of the island, according to some unclear agenda. Occasionally, one of the numbered characters will misbehave and the authority figure will attempt to bring him back into the island’s social order: “Sir Topham Hatt is quite cross with you, Thomas.”

Value: Retro| Intensity: Moderate


Value: Kids| Intensity: Mild