Archive for October, 2012

30 for 30

I also watched Ghosts of Ole Miss, a documentary about the integration of my Alma Mater, the University of Mississippi and the undefeated football team they had that year, the only one in school history.

I wept throughout, even though it glossed over some of the ugliness in the school’s past. For instance, the documentary suggests the school’s sports teams are named the Rebels to honor the University Greys, the young men rho left the school to fight for the Confederacy. None came home alive, apparently. The documentary does not mention that the name was bestowed not soon after the events, but in the 1930s, the winner of a contest to replace the unwieldy nickname “The Floods,” from the flood of 17. Second place in the competition was Ole Massas, as in Ole Miss Ole Massas. It also mentions the first African American cheerleader refusing to carry the Stars and bars in 1982, but not that students marched on his fraternity house chanting “two four six eight, he’ll no, we won’t integrate.” so yeah. I cried mainly at the terrible violence and the lengths to which people had to go for one man to be treated like a human being. I hadn’t seen such a detailed explanation before.

Still Chancellor Khayat, who is probably one of my favorite people of all time, is interviewed and the ingenious way he rid the Vaught Hemingway stadium of the rebel flag is featured (he banned the sticks used to wave them. They are no more)

Most satisfying to me is the fact that I was at Ole Miss during the great awakening that happened under Khayats watch. There were mini demonstrations and rumors and allegations abounded, but, little by little, the path of the school bent a little more toward justice.

I am actually sympathetic to some of the claims of heritage. I would not ever suggest taking down the memorial to the University Grays from the grove. There is something that is cool about the rebellion, even if it was unjust.

I also keenly understand that those symbols are keenly offensive to many people. For me, the rebel flag is more closely associated with segregation dead Enders than the Civil War.

These two thoughts fist fight in my mind. Here’s my preference: the college be made a national monument, a mausoleum of all hope and desire, a reminder of a defeated rebellion and the effort to find redemption.

I worked on the James Meredith monument. Chancellor Khayat overruled the piece submitted by the group. It was a good decision. What’s there now is awesome.

976-evil II

For All Hallows Eve, I treated myself to something a little less scary than Bing Crosby narrating The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on a jumpy VHS cassette. I splurged on 976-EVIL II. It’s a title that makes no sense (it wouldn’t even have enough numbers if it were III), but which contains some moments of pure genius. The special effects are really bad and the titty shown gratuitously in the first five minutes is never reprised, which is a state of affairs worse than the special effects.

As for the sfx, they are by and large cheap camera tricks, poorly executed double exposures, awkward lighting effects, stuff like that. Nonetheless, the tricks move along the plot, which involves a high school principal who answers a phone call for his horrorscope, which gives him the power to pursue a lovely teenage coed who happens to be the sheriff’s daughter. When the principal is arrested for a series of murders he inexplicably commits, his soul leaves his body in the prison cell and commits more murders.

It’s all mildly enjoyable pablum, but pablum interspersed with almost indescribable wit and cleverness. Director wynorski combines two public domain classics, Night of the Living Dead (which explains how my local theatre could show it on Bluray) and It’s a Wonderful Life where the party celebrating George Bailey’s humanity turns into a zombie invasion.

There’s a cool scene in Lucifer’s occult shop, also, though the Brigitte Neilsen look alike who is the proprietor is hindered by the fact that we don’t see more of her.

Finally, the ending is inspired in a way that only b movies can be. I could offer a spoiler, but, in this case, if you won’t watch it, you don’t deserve to know the spoiler.

UPDATE: is actually Brigitte Nielsen, is not look alike

High tide and werewolves

According to this story from CNN’s sister station, MNN, there’s a full moon that is exacerbating the Frankenstorm with a high tide. And werewolves.

I envision millions of rats, wererats, flowing out of the NYC subways. Also, ghostbusters should be involved.


Medusas gaze

I’m reading Medus’s Gaze, Vampire Bite, which Ira Flatow told me was good. He has an excerpt here. It’s a pseudo scientific look at where our monster myths came from. I prefer to believe dragons were leftover from Eden. It’s easier that way.

Apparently, this guy doesn’t identify the connection between Jesus and vampires, which is good. That’s my bag, baby.

If only

This isn’t a political blog, but reading a piece on the impact of anonymous super PAC donations on elections made me think of the clip below from out-of-wedlock-pregnancy haver Murphy Brown. If only the candidates of today didn’t believe the filth they were expected to spew.

(warning to the kids, if you close your eyes, you might think Rex the Dinosaur is racist.)

Face in the crowd

I had never seen A Face in the Crowd until a week or so ago. I read about it in college, in a book during grad school about the depiction of rednecks in film. I was largely mesmerized when I caught the movie the other night on tv. The best scene was the one below. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Also, Vitajex was almost literally five hour energy drink in pill form.