Saturday, August 02, 2003

  • THE THING: The movie called Pleasantville.
          Starts out as expected
              but builds unexpectedly...
                  quite a lot to see.
    Pleasantville was on TNT last night! And there was nothing else on that I wanted to see. For some reason I have wanted to see this film for YEARS, and just always passed it up for something else.

    I was not disappointed.

    The springboard into the main part of the story is a sort of silly, bad Twilight Zone or Amazing Sotries device, but it got us to where we needed to go -- two people from the a modern world trapped in a TV show from half a century ago.

    The clash of societies has been done before, but this was an interesting look at it, I thought. There was a nice unfolding of the pristeen, perfect Pleasantville world. Everyone seems nice, decent, and, dare I say, pleasant. The town seems rather homogenous. But as they interlopers introduce modern thoughts into their society, the people are unveiled. Some are truly pleasant, some hold back feelings that they wish they could release, and some are downright dangerous and violent.

    The film hints at elements, images, and issues of religion, racism, choice, beauty, tolerance, and suppression (many others... this is a tiny list). Sometimes it's quite overt, and other times it's a bit more subtle. I actually would like to see it again to see what I missed.

    It is presented in appropriate style, with a fine attention to detail.

    It's an enjoyable watch (if a book can be a "good read", a movie can be an "enjoyable watch"!) -- funny and clever. Or, perhaps more appropriately: nifty and keen.

  • THE THING: This series of books by Jack Vance:


          Starts out tedious
              Seems too much to get it all.
                  Then draws you all in.

          The epic proceeds.
              An investment in book 1
                  requires book 2.

          The epic concludes.
              More magic, battles, secrets.
                  a grande finale.

    When I began the first book in the series, Suldrun's Garden, I was instantly confused. The first chunk of the story consisted of verbose descriptions of the countryside and its history. I was unengaged, but for some reason decided to continue. The story proceeded into some interactions between kings and their offspring. It spent sometime following the birth of an unwanted daughter (Suldrun). Suddenly, a whole world of kings, wizards, faeries, trolls, and complete other worlds are introduced. A story that began at an intolerably slow pace flipped into a whirlwind of characters and places that seemed impossible to keep track of. Characters travelled in disguise and with assumed names. My brain was swimming...

    I almost discarded the book about a dozen times.

    But as the threads of the story are cleverly interwoven, I found that I had invested too much time and effort, and I craved the payoff. I could see, unfolding before me, what could possibly be the most epic fantasy story I had ever read. It had a sort of potpourri of everything fantastic. For a time it seemed disjointed... a regal clash of kings on one chapter, a troll eating children in the next... but it somehow worked to build a full, rich world.

    The characters are consistent, but develop throughout. The third book ties up loose ends from the first. This series of three is a tidy package of a huge fantastic world. I must compare it, in style, scope and quality to what is probably my favorite series of books: The Amber Series, by Roger Zelazny (available all together in The Great Book of Amber).

Final Score on the Chris Worth Scale: All three together, I would score the package at $40. It was tremendous, surprising, and original. I shall read them again, and that is a rare thing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

  • THE THING: A bug bite.
          Vicious mosquito
              managed to find my butt crack
                  and got a mouthful.
    Tonight I was just sitting outside trying to read a bit. I KNOW that dusk is when the blood sucking insects appear and begin their nightly feed. I KNOW that they have an exceptional effect on me. I KNOW that when I get a tiny little bug bite that I swell up like crazy.

    I did NOT KNOW they they could possibly slide down my pajama pants and bite me on MY BUTT CRACK!! I HAVE A BUTT CRACK BUG BITE SWOLLEN INSATIABLE ITCH!!!! I have about 6 other bites on my feet, as well, but the crack one is the one about which I am mostly concerned.

    My only consolation is that the mosquito received ass blood. Wait! He actually receive ass CRACK blood, which, I think, would be even worse. I have never been a blood sucker, personally, so I do not know the nuances of blood from a variety of places, BUT IF I DID, I can only assume that ass crack blood is the nasty blood.

    So, a mosquito is flying around with blood extracted from BETWEEN MY ASS CHEEKS.

    Man, it's itchy.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

  • THE THING: A dream
          I had my first dream
              which had a commercial break.
                  TV overload?
    It was so odd. I was just having a regular dream last night -- nothing major, I think it was a repeat. It was a just one of my classic, oridinary dreams like Sorority Car Wash, or Sorority Pillow Fight, or Sorority Locker Room Towel Fight... nothing unusual.

    When, right in the middle (I swear this actually happened!), my dream went dark, and went to commercial. I remember it quite well (I just woke up, actually). I went just like this:

    The scene opens to two guys sitting in an apartment.

    Guy #1: "Hey, where's Jeff?"

    Guy #2, with a big smile: "He's out trying out his new birthday present. That I got him." Guy #2 sits back with a smug smile.

    Guy #1 leans forward inquisitively: "What'd you get him?"

    Guy #2: "A new parachute!"

    Guy #1: "A new parachute? That's pretty cool. Jeff loves parachuting. But a new parachute is expensive. You don't have any money. Where'd you get it?"

    Guy #2: "I got it at It's the best! They have everything you could ever want! This parachute was just twenty bucks!"

    Guy #1: "You got Jeff a cheap, used parachute?"

    Guy #2: "Naw! This one was new! It said it on the site!"

    Guy #1: "I've been to They just sell used stuff!"

    Guy #2: "Not the parachute. It said that it had never been taken out of the packaging."

    Guy #1 thinks for a second a asks: "What did it say, exactly?"

    The camera zooms in a Guy#2, face all squirreled up in a pose of thought -- it zooms right into his forehead, and the camera fades to his memory. We see the computer screen that Guy #2 saw. The description next to the picture says simply "Never opened!" The point of view of his memory centers on the word used in Then back to "Never opened!" Then back to used. And back to "Never Opened!" The point of view zooms back out of Guy #2's brain and we find him just screaming. The picture fades into a guy with a helmet an goggles (who is obviously Jeff) screaming in exactly the same fashion.

    The screen goes black, but you can still hear the screaming. There is a voice over that says " [that shows up on the screen] Where you can get anything you want, cheap and used. But, please be careful."

    And then it was right back into Naked Invaders From the Planet Sorority, or whatever the "main" dream was.

    I can't believe even my BRAIN has commercials now. By the way, is not a real site. I woke up an looked for it right off once I woke up. If it had been a real site, I think I might have freaked out. I would start wearing aluminum foil helmets to protect my brain from getting beaming with any more corporate advertising.

    Although, since I did check for the site immediately, apparently is was a good, effective commercial. I suppose I'm pleased that at least my brain isn't making bad commercials.