Archive for April, 2011
Yeah, neither did I, but I went to a rugby match today in Fairfield, just north of the city, close to Jungle Jim’s. In fact, Cincinnati has had rugby for more than 30 years. They’re the Wolfhounds, Cincinnati RFC, or Rugby Football Club. They won a first round playoff game this afternoon against the Boca Raton Buccaneers, which was not entirely made up of retirees from upstate New York. I will post a couple pics laters.
Just a note on why Rugby is not popular here in the U S of A. There’s a good amount of action and it’s hella violent, but there are too many moving parts. There’s a lot of kicking the ball that I really didn’t understand, and there are some plays which seem to arise from an “if, then” format. I would like to go again, though, it was pretty fun. A video below, not from today, but still rugby.
Reading the review of Knowing that I wrote last September, I’m kind of in love with it. I still have a lot of those same feelings today, only moreso, if that’s possible. However, reading this piece on io9, I am forced to think more critically about the ending of Knowing, which is basically a mad rush to get to a rendezvous so the aliens/angels can do something. Nic Cage isn’t entirely clear on what that something is, but he’s hell bent on getting there. It turns out that the world really is ending and the two kids at the heart of the film are being taken onto a spaceship/ark to preserve humanity on a different world. Everyone else dies. That’s it, go home.
I am in the camp that this was a pretty awesome ending. The movie plays with our expectations from apocalyptic movies ranging from zombie movies (Dawn of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead reboot, Planet Terror, Land of the Dead, etc) to post apocalyptic or disaster movies (Escape from New York, [especially] Escape from L.A., Mad Max, 2012 etc.). Nearly all of those movies have at least ostensibly hopeful ending. The two that are especially bleak, the Dawn of the Dead reboot, and Escape from L.A. are kind of cheeky and playful. Knowing doesn’t have much hope or playfulness. Not really. You know that the ending is going against the grain when, with 10 or so minutes left, the female lead is killed in a car wreck. Despite all the gnashing of teeth about Hollywood endings, we are conditioned to expect the survivors to put their backs against the ocean and fight the zombies, or whatever. If Knowing offers any hope at the end, it’s at best perfunctory, because the character whrough whose eyes we’ve seen the whole movie doesn’t survive. He races to get to the meeting point and then, he’s given no hope other than his genes will live on.
To paraphrase The Player, which I just watched with JT, “no stars, no pat Hollywood ending, because this story is too important. This is real life.”
Sympathy for Delicious is the story of a disabled homeless former DJ living on Skid Row whose touch can heal. (Glen Beck thinks Obama will nominate him to the Supreme Court, or something) I saw this on Ebert, and, as Jesus bade his disciples to go out and perform faith healings as they handled snakes and drank poison, I felt I had to blog it. Apparently, the trailer includes just about all of Orlando Bloom’s appearance. If you watch the clip at the link, listen closely, or you’ll miss the mention of Bloom.
Faith healing is about the most boring thing ever. It’s pretty much like vampires. Different characters in different stages of life get the power of healing, like that kid on My Name is Earl who wasn’t really a healer after all. There’s not a whole lot that changes about faith healers, they’re either charlatans who find Jesus through their chicanery, like in the excellent Steve Martin movie, Leap of Faith, Music Man, Elmer Gantry, or or they’re a retched soul who can’t handle the power of healing, but get saved anyway.
In my world, all miracles are like the Monkey’s Paw. If you get healed, there are negative consequences. The deaf may hear? They also hear the cries of all the people suffering around the world, or something slightly less cliched. The blind may see? They are unable to tell men from women. Oh wait, that really happened. In my world, Jesus doesn’t do miracles anymore because they always have an edge of darkness, and he’s pure light.
I was going to write a post about how the end of the world was continuing with the unprecedented tornado activity in the South, as God metes out His divine wrath on those who presume themselves to be His chosen. However, I decided not to do that. Why? Because it would be incredibly heartless and cruel. Also, it’s not true. A much more plausible explanation is that global warming triggers progressively more severe weather patterns as storms build up to dissipate progressively higher amounts of energy stored by the sun.
The fact that some of those folks cast the same aspersions on natural disasters in other parts of the world is totally beside the point. Being a heartless douche bag doesn’t mean you can’t be saved. Oh wait (hand to ear piece). I’m actually being told that’s exactly what that means. Still, I think global warming is a better explanation. Natural disasters don’t care if you’re a good person, only that you have faith in Jesus. Oh wait, I guess that’s actually God. Natural disasters don’t really care about any of that.
Which brings me to a singularity. I really don’t understand why the faithful don’t embrace the reality of global warming. I really don’t. No more flood, the fire next time? What does fire do? If you answered, “cause warming,” you would be correct. It fits in perfectly. God brought the flood, but humanity is bringing global climate change, sometimes called global warming.
The problem is that the faithful actually want the end of the world to come about and are Hell bent to see it happen. To fight against global warming would actually be against their interests because if they did, it might not happen, proving that man is not wholly corrupt.
However, in rapture mythology terms, those who drive gas guzzling SUVs are, in fact, imbued with the mark of the beast. Because where does oil come from? If you said, “under the ground in countries filled with heathens, you know, where Hell is,” you really need to get out of my mind. But that is where Hell is.
I don’t know, millenialists, just think about it. You’re dooming yourselves. The meek inherit the earth.
I started posting on biblecomix one year ago today. In that year, I’ve made more than 550 posts and watched countless movies, read countless books and passed on reporting several thousand stories about cats, star wars, legos or a mash up thereof that appeared on every other geeky site. I go my own way, I don’t ask like Lenny Kravitz, I’m individual, a nun, that’s my habit.
Much more on this breaking story to follow…
For now, please show your love in the comments.
I just finished issue number 6 of iZombie, which details the origin story of Scott, the were-terrier. It’s full of interesting little details, some cliched (his parents died in a car accident and he was raised by his frandfather) and some not so much (his grandfather provided the voice for the animated monkey, Mr. Chimps. Although he brought joy to kids everywhere, he resented the cartoon and was always hard hearted toward it. While not technically a comic book cliche, this detail does remind me, quite vividly, of Satanic Verses, and what a kick ass comic book/graphic novel it would make.). The story also seems more of a riff on Being Human, with minor details changed, like the vampire in BH is a zombie here. There’s even sort of a zombie/revenant syndicate that coordinates brain eating. Gwen, the zombie of the title, also solves Scooby Doo mysteries inspired by the brains she eats.
My point is, that, though zombie and vampire stories have been done to death, I think we’ve really only scratched the surface of their nature. The successful stories, thus far, have gotten by on minor tweaks to the vampire mythos (in Twilight, vampires sparkle in the sun. Woo hoo.) and strong characters. However, very little has been done to explore variants and mutations of vampires. Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter trod down this path, suggesting there are different species of vampire, but the only major differences were that the vampires died in different ways.
I think this is the future of vampire fiction. I’ve already proposed that Jesus’ blood and vampire blood sucking are related, the Eucharist is a pretty vampirific ritual, etc., but I envision vampire castes in India who eat human excrement or semen and are associated with the castes who clean the toilets or the prostitute caste (though I’m not sure if there is such a thing as that last.) The point is that these vampires would bring a whole new dimension to the stories. As outcasts, their rage would be driven not by hungers, but by resentment and shame. (There are, BTW, many different caste systems already proposed for vampire world, but they are all pretty tame, with such classes as ‘priests,’ or ‘counselors,’ but these don’t challenge the vampire mythos in any meaningful way. Maybe people don’t want any changes. It just rearranges chairs on a My guess is that they do.
All that said, I rather liked the following page from issue six:
I don’t usually just wholesale repost from other blogs, and this one is two times removed from the original anyway, but there’s not a lot to add to what’s already been said. (read the original, it’s suitably snarky and employs a satisfying pseudo-intellectual tone to deconstruct the new covers.) However, I might add that it’s no secret that end times conspiracy theories feed birther and other conspiracy theories about our president, and this reimagining of the covers feeds off that energy. It’s notable to me that the only body part of Nicolae Carpathia featured on the cover of Nicolae is his ear. What’s Barack Obama’s most prominent physical feature (other than his skin)? That’s right, his ears!
I got kind of hooked on oglaf this weekend. It’s insanely bawdy, but set in a medieval alternate universe where sex is a weapon and when the titular apprentice practices onanism, his ejaculate turns into a sprite and tattles to the queen. Quite charming, actually, and quite graphically pornographic at times. I found the comic below to be quite entertaining. I know the pornography is a gimmick, but I think the author could subsist on fountain comics alone.
I am thinking about a picture I drew with crayons a few years back that depicted Jesus having awoken from his mortal slumber on Easter morning and being greeted by bunny rabbits and Easter eggs. If I had it with me, I would post an image, but I don’t know where it is, at the moment. On the reverse side was an attack by the bunnies when the rapture hits. Because, you know, I’m pretty sure that, when the fire comes next time, as I’m sure it will, Jesus’ armies of Angels will be accompanied by bunny rabbits and, possibly, the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.
This isn’t as whimsical as mine, but it’ll do, pig:
I just finished the first volume of the comic book, Locke & Key, the supernatural comic written by Joe Hill, spawn of Steven King. I’ve never gotten into Steven King, I think the only thing of his I ever read was The Cycle of the Werewolf, which was not, to my dismay about a werewolf winning the Tour de France. It was ok, and involved a werewolf both seducing and killing a corpulent woman, which was, as Miley Cyrus would say, pretty cool.
I didn’t know anything about Locke & Key, especially not its pedigree, before commencement of reading, which is probably a good thing. It’s about a normal family, alcoholic mom, depressed, dreadlocked daughter, disillusioned older brother, adventurous young boy open to supernatural contact. The father, who gets murdered in the opening pages, is a true paterfamilias, an outsize personality who is also a high school principal. It’s very similar to lots of other families from these kind of works, and various characters remind me of characters and relationships from Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Game of Thrones, Umbrella Academy, and, most comprehensively, The Incedibles. In a lot of ways, this story felt like The Incredibles mashed up with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.
The story concerns the Lockes, a family who, after the murder of aforementioned paterfamilias, move back to the father’s creepy, supernatural childhood home, an estate on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. As the young son unlocks (my word choice is Key, here. Seriously, the story involves lots of keys.) the secrets of the estate, starting with a door that allows your spirit to become disembodied from your mortal coil and continuing on to progressively more weird and dangerous locks and keys.
The thing that I most like about this book is the supernatural world. I’ve always had a kind of instinctive rejection of most supernatural worlds in comic books and novels, especially Neil Gaiman and the Umbrella Academy. I could talk about the reasons why at length, but I find myself more accepting of Locke & Key’s world because it is so personal and limited. There’s no suggestion, yet, at least, that any characters control the underworld (Sandman), have prevented or effected real life global scale tragedies (Umbrella Academy), or that various gods sit on a council of gods (American Gods).
The artwork is not superhero comic, but very animation/anime style. That said, I rather like it. There’s plenty of graphic violence, which is good, though, to this point much too little sex and/or nudity, which is not necessarily bad, but is never a plus, either.
Verdict, check it out. I have volumes 2 and 3 on hold at the library. Don’t let the fact that Steven Spielberg is producing the TV adaptation deter you.