Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Chronicles of Mindless SF Plots

My wife and I couldn't help it the other night. We watched that disaster called The Mutant Chronicles. Wow, that was like those books in the thrift shops that even used book dealers won't take. It was like Geraldo opening the Al Capone vault and finding...nada. It was like John McCain promising that he had a strategy to save the economy. It was like Bill Clinton at the 1988 Democratic Convention giving us three hours of economic policy wonk. It was like going to the dentist and having not one but two root canals. Oh what fun! Well excruciating actually.

The thing is my wife and I enjoy watching silly movies like Godzilla and The Bride of Frankenstein. They're ridiculous, with low production values but fun as in get out the popcorn and kick off the shoes. We loved 10.5 and Deep Impact. Okay, the United States is not going to split down the middle. And it's going to take more than a nuclear blast a few hundred miles from the earth to stop an asteroid. Yes, both those movies were preposterous... but... they weren't boring. The Mutant Chronicles was boring. Worse, if you're going ask viewers to suspend disbelief, then have a story that makes sense. Somehow some Hollywood writers think that finding new ways to mutilate human beings, repeating footage from World War I, jumping from scene to scene and laying it on thick with lame distasteful images are recipes for good stories, TV shows or movies.

I've been watching the ads for Transformers. The ads smell like a bad movie. Ah, but apparently a number of people are catching on who are older than 13. A bizarre site called Topless Robot reviews, demolishes and deconstructs the latest Transformer movie. If half of what is said there is true, Hollywood needs to revamp and start telling real stories. I know, a good movie trailer can rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in profit despite a bad movie—unfortunately, that's one of the absurdities of our era. But maybe, just maybe, people are catching on.


Friday, July 03, 2009

By Resigning, Sarah Palin Free to Indulge Greed

Saran Palin may have been the know-nothing vice presidential candidate for John McCain but she's not totally dumb. Many newspapers are speculating about the reason for her resignation. Here's the Los Angeles Times:
She spoke in that cryptic fashion throughout her appearance Friday, saying her decision to step down had been some time in the making, although she never clearly spelled out why.

"Many just accept that lame-duck status and they hit that road. They draw a paycheck. They kind of milk it. And I'm not going to put Alaskans through that," Palin said.

I can't say exactly why Palin is stepping down. I know it's entirely possible another scandal is on the way. But my first reaction after reading her comment about milking the lame-duck status is BINGO! Why? Because, like many contemporary Republican politicians, Palin has a way of squirming out from under by attributing to others her own motivations. There is money out there waiting to fill her pockets: if she can just get out from being obliged by various ethics laws that apply to remaining governor.

If I were a betting man, I would say she's resigning in order to cash in. If it leads to the presidency, that will in her mind be a bonus. But at the very least she will become a wealthy lady by hitting the speaking circuit, etc., etc., etc. It certainly has worked for other politicians, mostly Republicans but certainly some Democrats. If anything motivates Palin, it's all those goodies she'd like to get her hands on. More than likely, Todd Palin is on aboard. Ironically, I doubt that Alaska will miss her.

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