Archive for the ‘thoughts’ Category

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

Most. Pointless. Fine Print. EVER

Value: Geek| Intensity: Mild

So I’m watching Caprica on TV…  No, to be accurate:  I’m watching Caprica on DVR.  So I can skip the commercials, duh.  Anyone out there watching Caprica?  (Come to think of it: Anyone even reading this? <-> idle curiosity)  The pilot episode is definitely the best thing I’ve seen on TV since Firefly.  Now, the best thing EVER on TV was Twin Peaks.  From start to the big Bob reveal, it was the flat out best.  Lost its way after that, but let’s be grateful for what we got.  It will be interesting to see how this new series evolves.

Hopefully, it won’t go the way of Battlestar Gallactica, its parent.  The good parts of that series were very, very good.  But when they were attempting to give it an indefinite lifespan, it went all grampa on us and pointlessly rambled.  There were too many throw-away episodes.  Hopefully there will be a more focused vision for this show, because it has promise.

Observation:  Promise is ruined by compromise.  Blanks?  If you want to be the best, don’t be afraid to take it to the limit.

So, anyway, as you can tell, I am enjoying the show, and as I’m fast-forwarding through the commercials for episode 6, I notice Mr. Sulu flashing by.  I like George Takei, so I stopped, and rewound to the beginning of his commercial.  It was so cheesy, that I seriously questioned that it was a real commercial.  But there was no indication that it was an “in-show” commercial.  Though it should be, ala Alan Moore’s Crying Gorilla adverts in Promethea.  I did admire Sharp’s choice in going cheesy, and hiring a true sci-fi Big Cheese like Mr. Sulu to shill their Quattron model.  (Quattron?  Seriously?  This *has* to be an in-show commercial, doesn’t it?)  And then I noticed the fine print at the bottom of the screen:  “Actor portrayal.”  Now, who hires Mr. Sulu to do their commercial, and then feels the need to put “Actor portrayal” at the bottom of the screen?  I mean, isn’t that the *point* of hiring Mr. Sulu?  Anyone that just might buy your product based on his endorsement, already knows who George Takei is…  Frakking lawyers!