Apr 29, 2013

Not about gay erotic writing (Tony)

We know, we know, we should focus more; this has nothing to do with the mission of this blog. Anyhow, here it is, a Lufthansa Airbus 380 landing on San Francisco International.  And it doesn't blow up, the Airbus, there are no glitches, the pilots don't have sex (as they do in an anecdote we've heard from a credible source, the pilots flying together for the first time, and they really like each other, really, and then the flight attendant forgets to knock on the cockpit door (we are not making this up)), anyhow:




Did you watch it till the end? Pilots not having sex, right?

Update: When we posted this we had no idea that one day later we would go to San Francisco with this flight, LH 454, and we survived. Go here to see what happened.

Apr 27, 2013

Oblivion --- the movie

Perhaps you remember a post from last year, a report from Phuket, the Thai beach 'n sex paradise with its empty, black-marbeled multiplex located in the main mall showing Prometheus, the Ridley Scott movie. What a bummer, Prometheus. After Scott's flick I had given up all hope --- what a silly, one-dimensional horror-story clad in sci-fi illustrations and peopled by captains that fly at superluminal speed and then land their space ship manually on visual clues coming from co-crew that happens to look out of the window.

Hi, I'm Tom Cruise. Yes,  I'm pleased to confirm, turtleneck collars are back in fashion.

An easy act to follow, Hollywood must have thought, and yes, Oblivion is better. There's actually a story, a bit too complex for me, perhaps, the story, but just-so for Chang, who relates to movie scripts like wild boar relate to truffels, he is always, always one step ahead of the script (if that's what wild boar are, the analogy is a bit shaky, perhaps). So Chang knows already that something's wrong with Jack Harper, Tom Cruise's character. Jack and coworker/lover Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) are manning this modernistic, nicely appointed, totally airborne watch post, all glass, steel and plastic, a mile high in the sky but otherwise almost looking like Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona pavilion except for the futuristic rounded edges from central casting that have signaled sci-fi since the dawn of time. The watch post also features a swimming pool.

Airborne watch post and helitropic vehicle

Apr 24, 2013

Freedom Fries --- Chapter 3: "I said Hu" (Part II)

Previously, Pamela Nachtrieb Timbers, the voluminous Dean of Berkeley Law School, had been asked by President Obama to swing by for an interview --- a position at the Supreme Court is vacant --- but Pamela, regretfully, had to tell Obama about a skeleton in her closet. She is now explaining to Georg Lukacs, the charismatic hedge-fund titan (who happens to be an old friend of hers) why. Various secret services are listening in of course, anything Lukacs does is of interest, and even more so when it involves a potential future member of the Supreme Court.


“You really want to be a Supreme Court judge?” Lukacs continues on the tiny screen of the Park Avenue spies. All hot dogs have been finished by now, and Smith is twice as happy as his partners.
-“What’s left in store for a wise, hence middle-aged, woman? Plus, it would get me away from Berkeley.”
-“What’s wrong with Berkeley?”
“The sun always shines, and this Yoo always smiles, you know, John Yoo.”
-“Sure, torture memos.”
-“He’s back, you know.”

“Did you talk to Obama about Yoo?” he asks.
-“He couldn’t care less. He cares about the torture thing only because it could mess up his agenda.”
-“To the extend he has one.”
-“To the extend he has one.” Funny, Pamela thinks, we always agree on politics.
-“Did you mention him at all?”
-“Only between the lines.”
- “And?”
-“He answered only between the lines.”
-“Well, you’ll have to return to your Yoo now, and teach him torture manners.”
-“Very funny.”
-“You need my help?”
-“How?”
-“I could help, you know.”
-“You know, Yoo got pranked, sort of. It wasn’t on the news? Well, he’s go pranked. Somebody got into his class, with the Abu Ghraib outfit. It’s on the internet, YouTube.”

Jim, the driver, is back in his seat when a NYPD officer knocks at the side window of his van. Jim lowers the window, and the cop lowers his pointed cap into Jim’s cabin. “You are mis-parked, to put it mildly,” the cop says. Jim points to a sticker on the dashboard with a large picture of Hizzoner Michael Bloomberg, surrounded by a sizable posse of doting women, a large signature of Bloomberg, and the message ‘EXEMPTION, HOW CAN I HELP YOU?’ The officer squints, shakes his head, and is about to say something, when the Tea Room conversation audibly resumes inside the van.

Apr 7, 2013

Consequences


"I've possibly read too much of the Green Eyes!"

(Artwork by Bob Bienpensant)

Scribble, scribble, scribble, Mr& (4) --- Dracula (4)

(This is about Part II of the Green Eyes (Go here for previous post): A week-long "King Dracula" contest will enliven the Georgia Beach Festweek, the main event of Part II, whence our interest in Bram Stoker's Dracula. We've been discussing the equivalent of the delayed fuck Dracula-wise, with the protagonist (Jonathan Harper, in this case) unable to see the elephant vampire in the room.)

Along those lines, consider a brief take from Connubial Bliss. You are sitting on the bed next to your partner who's studying the latest Samsung TV-screen commercial on his laptop, about the SAMSUNG 40ES6100 TV LED 3D. And it's great, this screen, its display, the brilliance, sharpness, vibrancy, so many parameters, the best image ever. You can see it, can't you? We must buy the new Samsung screen now, it's better than anything before. "Better than your laptop?" the jaded you in you is about to ask, and because this is us, we actually do (ask): "Better than your laptop?" "Of course," is the answer (of course). And because we carry traces of school-mastery pedantry in our DNA (where else, not our fault), we continue the conversation with "How is it possible that your laptop screen is able to shows an image quality exceeding its own image quality," to which your partner (still sitting on the bed next to you) will reply "Shut up!" or "You always do this to me," or "This is also a Samsung".


Luckily, the analogy breaks down very quickly since there are other dimension absent from this picture, such as time, complementation, or wit. In case: we can show other people's smartness by giving them a quick mind (we have minutes, if needed hours, to write a quick comeback for Alex), or equip them with knowledge we don't possess by finding it on the internet, and so on.

Apr 3, 2013

Scribble, scribble, scribble, Mr& (3) --- Dracula (3)

(This is about Part II of the Green Eyes. Go here for previous post. A weeklong "King Dracula" contest will enliven the Georgia Beach Festweek, the main event of Part II, whence our interest in Bram Stoker's Dracula. We've dived right into the text of the book:)


The walls "frown," "doubts and fears crowd upon" Harker whose "flesh answers the pinching test" (not bad, that one), but a "flame burns without chimney or globe of any kind," "throwing long quivering shadows as it flickers" and we hear the words:

"I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome."

Right, this line will go into part II somewhere.

Christoper Lee, Belosi's successor on the silver screen

Dracula has a "marked physiognomy," we admire "the high bridge of the thin nose," but "the general effect was one of extreme pallor." "There were hairs in the centre of his palm," the "nails were long and fine, and cut to a sharp point," and

"his breath was rank."

Apr 2, 2013

A sense of urgency (2)

"You've read Michael Ampersant's outrageous new novel Green Eyes, admit it!"
(Artwork by Bob Bienpensant)

Scribble, scribble, scribble, Mr& (2) --- Dracula (2)

(This is about Part II of the Green Eyes. Go here for previous post. A weeklong "King Dracula" contest will enliven the Georgia Beach Festweek, central to this second part)

Let's interupt us briefly here and go do something to justify the header and talk about vampires.

The various tribes involved in the competition will share the general inclination of play-acting vampires, but differentiate according to specific traits. Well, what could those traits be? Lets got to the source then: "Dracula," by Bram Stoker.

We naively thought the idea originated with Stoker but got it wrong, of course. Wikipedia tells you that:
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person/being. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in many cultures, and may go back to "prehistoric times", the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe, although local variants were also known by different names, such as vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to mass hysteria and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism.
And while we are at it --- you see, it's actually useful to do this, forcing some measure of discipline upon a vacillating author --- lets quote some more from another, newly discovered Wiki page, a really unbelievable page that provides a matrix of vampire traits crossed with sources (folklore, fiction, media), and differentiates between a totality of 32 traits:

Skin color, fangs, reflection, shadow, (physical) attractiveness, stake (would it kill them), sunlight, decapitation, drowning, fire, silver (bullet, possibly), garlic, holy symbols, running water, invitation, arithmomania (we don't even know what that is), immortality, enhanced strength, enhanced speed, unnatural healing, flight, shapeshifting, psychic powers, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, fertility, means of reproduction (bite, transfusion, consumption of vampire blood), demonic possession, diet, effect on victims and OTHERS   --- WANSTW (write a novel, see the world), arithmomania is an obsessive-compulsive disorder inducing subjects to count objects or actions, and pyrokinesis is a word coined by Stephen King, referring to the ability to create or control fire strictly by thought (we'll get to Stephen King soon, by the way, perhaps 3 posts down the line).

Bela Lugosi, the original movie Dracula

Ouuff.