Dunkelziffer creates a viscerally effective PSA about the importance of helping kids who experience sexual abuse. A slithering arm/penis thing, covered with hair and moles, appears at various points in a woman’s life, leaving only when she’s dead. Ad accurately transmits the deep disturbance and revulsion that survivors of abuse can feel in almost any situation, as well as the feelings of disgust, invasion and violation. Also great use of the arm/penis thing to depict how the abuse seems to take on a life of its own. One and a half minutes of pathos and horror.
I checked out ep 2 of season 1 of Moonlight this morning. After having previously slagged it as “treading in a well-worn path” and then later as a “tortured cliche,” I am pleasantly surprised to find out that, despite being derivative and unoriginal, it’s still solid. Writing’s not particularly tight or quippy, and the crime plots are about as sophisticated as an ep of Witchblade, but there are a few glimmers of hope.
1. The angstball vampire Mick has a snarkball friend played by Jason Dohring, who is so good at playing snarkballs, as we have seen with his role as Logan in Veronica Mars. The snarkball balances out the angstball.
2. There appears to be a sense of humor burbling somewhere in the show’s veins. When Mick flashed back to the 1980s when he was killing cavalierly, Duran Duran’s Hungry Like The Wolf played in pitch-perfect counterpoint.
3. Unlike Angel, who just sat around looking so unexpressive that I couldn’t believe he was suffering, Mick actually has a moment in which he communicates his shame clearly. After being shot by silver bullets [poisonous to vampires in this universe], he crawls back to his pad and slurps desperately at a blood bag [which has an obvious congruence with a baby bottle, thus underlining his vulnerability in this scene]. While he’s pushing fluids, suspicious reporter/mortal love interest comes by. Gasping in pain and hunger, Mick says, “Please don’t look at me.” He just sounded really wretched at that moment, which I appreciated. I like characters in states of humiliation.
Unfortunately, there is no place online to view past eps beside those illegally posted in segments [of crappy quality] on Daily Motion. The AOHell links don’t work, and I am sad about that.
I checked out the pilot of New Amsterdam just now. It concerns a 400-year-old immortal homicide detective who will die only when he finds his soulmate. Derivative but potentially interesting, right? Wrong. The actors have no chemistry or interest in their parts; the mysteries have no originality; the “quips” are stupid and bloodless, and the main character is incredibly dull for someone who supposedly has a death wish. I think he’s supposed to be a lonely, suffering character, but he doesn’t seem either lonely or suffering. He just seems bored, detached and incapable of human connection, living because that’s all he knows how to do. Kill it! [Filed under “vampires” because it addresses immortality…BADLY.]
Oh look — some eps of Moonlight on AOHell TV…
I burned through a few eps of Bones this afternoon, observing with glee the sparring between forensic anthropologist/socially inept nerd Temperance Brennan and her extroverted, severely annoying partner Seeley Booth. Their humorous, semi-antagonistic relationship drives the series, often highlighted by the B stories among the energetic and amusing secondaries at the forensics lab. Engaging characters, solid plotlines, moderate suspense and realistic gore make for a pretty good show. It’s kind of like Law and Order with more character development and tongue in cheek.
So I checked in to Hulu to watch 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails, previously mentioned here. Instead of being a full TV miniseries, it was actually a collection of mini-eps, 3 to 5 minutes in length, that were originally posted on a Web site. It was something about a frenetic weirdo wearing a knit hat, despite the fact that he was in New Orleans, trying to pay back money he didn’t have and bring information to his friend who communicated online with someone who was a prostitute, and his girlfriend was tweaking out from lack of drugs, and some vampire researcher’s office got completely trashed, and, oh yeah, somehow we managed to wedge about 2 gruesome demises and 3 vampire sightings in per ep.
So, to recap, there was entirely too much plot, running around pointlessly, jump-cutting, cross-twitching and camera jerking, not to mention the fact that everyone screamed like whistling tea kettles, which was most annoying. I think the vampires were killing people just so they would shut up. There was a pretty awesome scene around mini-ep 3, in which Frenetic Weirdo and Tweaker Girl were hiding in a closet, watching through the slats as the vampire slowly lurked toward them. The soundtrack finally shut up for a moment during this brief interlude so that we could hear F.W. and T.G. whimpering and panting and thereby highlighting their vulnerable mortality and the fact that they weren’t hiding very well from something with a supernatural sense of smell and hearing. But, then, of course, the moment was broken, and the vampire attacked, and red Kool-Aid started flying everywhere.
I think that the miniseries was supposed to be scary and shocking — or at the very least startling — but it was pretty funny, from the moment F.W. accosts a police officer, flailing wildly and blithering, “We intercepted a message from them on the Internet!” Yeah, like that’s really gonna enhance your credibility, you blood-slathered, mouth-breathing slob. It was also funny was some drug dealer gave F.W. a swirlie…and when his friend the computer nerd drew his obligatory Sword of Repressed LARPing Computer Nerds to defend himself, but failed…and also when C.N. turned into a vampire and his intestines fell out as he lurched toward F.W. and T.G.
2,475 gallons of red food coloring bravely sacrificed themselves for this series. Let us have a moment of silence for them. They shall gush no more forever. They have gone to the Big Fake Blood Packet in the sky.
On the plus side, this is EXACTLY the sort of thing Pippilotta loves to watch. I can picture her hunched over the monitor avidly. She alternates between flinching away in disgust whenever the red Kool-Aid goes flying and then looking through her fingers and yelling advice to the characters on the screen. [“NO YOU MORON DON’T GO NEAR HER SHE’S A FREAKIN’ VAMPIRE AND SHE’LL TRY TO RIP YOUR THROAT OUT! Why are people in horror movies so damned stupid?? By the way, that’s NOT what a gushing carotid artery looks like! Who ARE your SFX consultants anyway?”]
P.S. I think I spent longer writing this blistering review than I did actually watching the mini-eps.
Neil Jordan, director of Interview with the Vampire, introduces the film on the DVD by saying that the characters are “the saddest vampires you’ll ever see.” I think he meant to say that the vampires were UNHAPPY, but I cracked up because they’re actually the most PATHETIC and RIDICULOUS vampires I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, I enjoyed the movie a lot more than I enjoyed Bram Stoker’s Dracula [a.k.a. Coppola’s Love Fest of Heaving Bosoms and Red Water]. Here is the real screenplay:
Anne Rice: I’m going to write a screenplay that’s so faithful to my book that it recreates every tortured sigh and piece of unbelievable, melodramatic dialog. Yet, somehow, in spite of my involvement, the movie won’t be even half bad.
Brad Pitt as Louis: Hooray, I’m a vampire! [kill kill kill kill, slurp slurp slurp slurp] O woe, I am a vampire. I must atone for my bloodlust by walking in picturesque mopiness through the rainy night as my preternaturally lush hair swings fetchingly across my back. Hooray, I’m a vampire! O woe, I’m a vampire! [repeats cycle ad nauseam for entire movie] Also, please stare at my petulant, comely mouth and ignore the fact that a) I’m entirely too plump and robust to make a convincing corpse and b) my acting consists of stupid fixed stares.
Tom Cruise as Lestat: Put up or shut up, bitch boy. [kill kill slurp slurp orgasm orgasm] Being evil is fun, especially when you’re super strong, super sexy and at least somewhat talented, which is more than I can say for you. Notice how, when I leave the screen, the audience falls asleep? That’s YOUR doing, Braddy.
Audience: Wow, he’s actually…sort of…good in this role. He looks like he’s enjoying the hamfest. But don’t think we’re going soft, Tom. We’re still not forgiving you for Legend, Far and Away, Rain Man, The Last Samurai and the Minority Report…especially not Far and Away.
Kirsten Dunst as Claudia: Hi, guys! I came to add some plot to your sorry whinefest…also to show Mr. Pitt here how to act. See, doofus — this is how you create a convincing character full of pathos and freakiness. Too bad Tom and I aren’t playing the heroes, because we’re certainly a lot more compelling, with better dramatic character arcs, than your lump of tofu.
Antonio Banderas as Armand: I am hot. Smoldering hot. You shall know this by my sexy Eurotrash accent, my flowing black locks, my penchant for floofy robes and my riveting gaze. I love you, Louis. I want to have sex with you, but I can’t because, despite the pints of homoerotic tension seeping from every orifice in this movie, someone on the staff suddenly chickened out and made it so we can’t even touch. Therefore I must merely stand here, brooding, looking to a disturbing degree very much like Jennifer Connelly, only less stupefied because I keep my mouth closed.
On the plus side, the movie did get me all fired up about vampires again…not that I needed more fire and not that I ever stopped. Makes me want to read the book to figure out if the hamfest was intrinsic or added in the importation. I have a sinking suspicion, based on what else I’ve attempted to read by Anne Rice, that it was intrinsic.
P.S. If Louis was so tortured by his hellish existence, which he thought was inherently cruel, unnatural and abominable, what the hell prevented him from killing himself? I’m sure he could have rationalized it as a mercy killing. “He had a certain…naive charm, but NO MUSCLE!!!” observed Frank without remorse. 😀
I just watched the latest ep, Jus In Bello, of Season 3 of Supernatural [mentioned previously here and here] and, lo and behold, I still love that show. Part of my attachment to it can be explained by my crush on Jensen Ackles [who plays Dean, the really-tries-to-be-macho one], but, beyond that, it’s just all-around high quality.
In a show with only two returning characters — our protagonists, the brothers Winchester — the responsibility for success or failure depends in large part on how the actors take on the parts of the main characters, and let me say that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padelecki do very well with their roles. They both use body language to add expressive depths to their characters that the scripts don’t provide, and, even when the scripts are cliche fests, both Ackles and Padelecki deliver their lines with enough convincing emotion to make the cliches work.
Furthermore, the two actors have a real chemistry with each other. On screen, they seem very relaxed and familiar when interacting with each other; they seem to really like each other and to have fun doing the show, and their enjoyment comes across as a camaraderie that is perfect for the brotherly characters they are playing. I could watch an entire ep of Supernatural where Sam and Dean were trapped in a cell and all they were doing was talking — that’s how believable and interesting the characters are when played by Ackles and Padelecki.
I hope it goes on for a 4th season!
Just recently Hulu.com opened up for public viewing. It contains clips and full episodes of past and current TV shows. It also contains clips and full-length features for certain films. Like ABC, Hulu sponsors the full-length offerings by interspersing them with ads. Among the interesting options:
30 Days of Night: Blood Trails: A miniseries that acts as a prequel to vampire gorefest 30 Days of Night.
Bones: A romance/crime drama. Starring the unbearably tofu-like David Bore-anaz, but I think I can live with that.
Cleopatra 2525: Sexy women, skimpy outfits, schlocky effects.
28 Days Later: Zombies.
Attack of the Puppet People: People try to escape from the man who minaturized them.
Quills: Geoffrey Rush chews up the scenery, swallows it, shits it out and smears it all over the walls as the Marquis de Sade. Hurrah!!
Yeah, I’m probably really behind the curve here, but here’s a British ad for Heinz Beans. I like that the transman seems confident, relaxed and happy, while the bio man’s head looks like it’s going to explode. His confusion and trans-related anxiety seems to be the butt of the joke more than anything. Your sex may change, but never your love for baked beans.
The transman’s self-ID as Christine rings false, though. Even though he says, “It’s Christine!”, it’s NOT Christine. It USED TO BE Christine. Now it’s whatever his current name is. If I were in that situation, I would say something like, “Hi, [FormerClassmate]! I’m [MyName]! We went to school together.” Then I would talk generally from that commonality and explain a bit later that I used to be [MyFormerName] if [FormerClassmate] was still confused about how he knew me.
As a follow-up to my analysis of Svedka Vodka’s stvpid ads targeted toward straight viewers, here’s an equally pathetic attempt by the same company to target gay viewers.
According to the copy, Svedka Vodka is right up there with clipping your toenails, taking out the trash, watching paint dry, doing laundry and all those other value-neutral activities that gay men would rather be doing than having sex with women. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement. Heck, I don’t even think this endorsement can reach the bell. If it does, it just bounces off like a foam ball, having made no sound on impact.
Svedka Vodka: Making useless, gratuitous, confrontational and meaningless comments about your sexuality since 2006.
Cory is a cunning linguist.
I was reading When The Chenoo Howls by Joseph and James Bruchac, an awesome collection of monster stories from Native American traditions, when I came to the realization that most cultures distinguish between the smart vampiric or cannibalistic creatures and the dumb ones.
Taking the Native Americans of the Northeastern woodlands as a cultural group, we can see the contrast between smart and dumb cannibals in the following two creatures: the tsinoo and the flying head.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the tsinoo [or chenoo, but I like the other spelling better] kills people and eats them. It may also deplete their souls. Though murderous, the tsinoo retains human characteristics of reason, emotion and even empathy, as the story about the woman melting the tsinoo’s heart illustrates. Because it is humanoid in intelligence, rationality and emotions, I’m calling the tsinoo a smart vampire.
The flying head, on the other hand, is scary, but dumb. According to Seneca stories, the flying head is an oversized head with a large mouth. It flies through the air, looking for humans to scoop up in the big bear paws growing from either side of its neck. The appetite of the flying head is indiscriminate, though; it will chew on pretty much anything. The Bruchacs tell a great story of how a young mother defeated a flying head who was stalking her and her infant son. When she knew the flying head was watching, the woman roasted chestnuts in the fire, then ate them. Because the chestnuts had blackened shells, they looked like coals. Thinking to follow the woman’s example, the flying head burst through the smoke hole of the woman’s house and began shoveling not chestnuts, but COALS, into its mouth. It either died from burns or injured itself so severely that it never bothered the woman again. [This is what I mean about some Native American tales having a very dry sense of humor. The picture of a big monster head stuffing its face full of hot coals is highly amusing.] Definitely not the sharpest arrowhead in the quiver…
There’s a quick summary of the story of the woman vs. the flying head available on Google Books in Legends, Traditions and Laws of the Iriquois or Six Nations and History of the Tuscarora Indians, by Elias Johnson. [Interestingly, Johnson, as a “native Tuscarora chief,” has a much different perspective on his material than Charles Leland, whose Anglocentrism I harassed to shreds previously. He comments: “I …have longed to see refuted the slanders, and blot out the dark pictures which the historians are wont to spread abroad concerning us. May I live to see the day when, it may be done, for most deeply have I learned to blush for my people.” Unfortunately, he has been dead for quite some time, but the “slanders” are still going strong.]
Modern U.S. movie mythology, which is catholic, promiscuous and syncretic, makes the smart/dumb distinction as well, using vampires and zombies. Vampires, as they currently manifest in the majority of popular U.S. media, are seen as superheroes: incredibly strong, often sexy human beings with full powers of reason and emotional sensitivity, hindered by their hunger for human blood. Zombies, as they currently manifest in the majority of popular U.S. media, are seen as the flying heads of bloodsuckers: menacing, but also easily outwitted since they have few wits to speak of.
I’m not sure where to go with this division, only to say that I have observed it elsewhere too.
Well, I ordered some guts and bloody stumps for my manananggal, but they didn’t come, so I worked on the rest of her, that is, her top half. You can see Cory [short for Corazon] below. I am not sure what her style is, but, whatever it is, she is rockin’ it hard. She is a lot of fun to make. I put her in the therianthropes category because she has bat wings and an insectile tongue, so I think of her as therianthropic. I added the “devil horns” because they seemed to go along with the bat wings…and her tough demeanor. I don’t know if you can see this, but she has three eyebrow piercings, one nose ring and rings at either corner of her mouth!
Phoenixmasonry, a Web site for and about U.S. Freemasons, contains scans of a fascinating catalog, DeMoulin Bros. Fraternal Supply Catalog No. 439. Published in 1930, this pamphlet contains elaborate, expensive gag devices designed to trick and entertain people at Masonic gatherings.
Many of the pages feature items containing goats, such as the Ferris Wheel Coaster Goat, which combines a blindfolded rider, a toy goat, bleating sound effects and a starter’s pistol, all in some gyroscope-like device, for maximum disorientation sadism larfs results.
What kind of results? A testimonial on the product page for the Human Centipede claims, “We are very well-pleased with the paraphernailia we are using, and it is the only thing to keep up the attendance.” Because shocking people is hilarious. Please note how disturbed the men on the “centipede” appear to be by the electrical lines emanating from their asses.
I’m particularly interested in the Electric Branding Iron, which uses a heated “bluff” iron to which is attached a chamber of fake smoke, to create the illusion that the candidate is actually being branded. This is not just some cheap, quick trick. This is highly involved pageantry [see illustration with two guys holding down the candidate] with real functional props. In fact, it’s a performance as much for the audience as for the candidate.
Mason 1: “Come on down to the Lodge tonight. We’re gonna pretend to brand Jenkins. It’ll be a scream!!”
Mason 2: “I’ll bring the popcorn.”
Mason 3: “Can I dress up as the Devil?”
I find this rather disturbing… The gags remind me of the punishment spectacles referred to in Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, in which, for example, criminals were hanged publicly, events that the attendees treated as festival days. The extreme violence of such penal displays, in which someone could be hung, then drawn [dragged by a horse] and then quartered [chopped into pieces], seems reflected in the extremity of the gags here, in which someone is not just blindfolded, but also stuck on a fake goat AND turned upside-down AND frightened by a blank going off. These pranks represent spectacular overkill. I’m sure it’s enthralling to watch the recipients get pranked, but the overkill makes me think that some of these pranks were motivated less by good fun and more by Schadenfreude.
Also…blackface is inherently funny.
On and off for the past few months, I’ve been trying to make a digital verson of the penanggal, a Malay vampire with a distinctively monstrous appearance.
In my attempts to make a digital penanggal, I’ve run up against two problems. 1) It’s hard to divide a digital model of a complete person into realistic pieces with bloody stumps. Since digital models are basically hollow balloons in the shape of whatever they are supposed to be a model of, removing a limb or body section from a human model lets you see the model’s empty insides.
2) It is very hard to find digital intestines for casual use. I found some commercial digestive systems, but they were way outside my budget. I am not going to spend $350.00 on something that is not even in a format that I can use!
I also have an aesthetic problem with the penanggal. Dangling viscera are just disgusting, not to mention unsanitary. Therefore, I decided that I would make a variant of the penanggal with an entire torso, including arms, and the viscera dangling below her waist. Because some of the dangling viscera are partly “protected” by her torso [even though it’s open at the bottom], the fact that my penanggal variant has at least 50% of a body makes her more aesthetically acceptable to me.
Then I discovered the manananggal, clearly related to the penanggal, but better for my purposes. The manananggal, a Phillipine vampire, is a female creature that detaches herself from her waist and legs and flies about on bat wings to suck blood. She also has a long proboscis-like tongue, which she uses to drain blood. To my mind, a legless character with bat wings and a butterfly tongue is a lot more interesting than a pile of guts with a head on top.
I also found a source for guts. Over on Renderotica, the marketplace for Poser porn, Davo sells something called the Gore Pack for Vicki, which supplies realistic-looking stumps for limbs and also some intestines. Plus it’s on sale for 50% off until the end of March! I’m gonna go get it. Guts are pretty useful to have around, even beyond the purpose of rendering a mananangal. Stay tuned for pictures of my manananggal.
She would be a pretty amusing character for LHF. “Can you get off my carpet, please? Your viscera are, uh, staining my rug….”
In my effort to reacquaint myself with Abenaki stories, I found The Algonquian Legends of New England by Charles Leland on Google Books. Copyright 1884, this public domain work is now available for readers everywhere to marvel at two things which are stupendous for entirely opposite reasons. The stories are stupendously GOOD. They display world-wide scope, thrilling adventure, thoughtful moral guidance, a very dry sort of humor and the inexhaustible layers of dense symbolism and imagery that any mythos provides. In other words, stupendous stuff.
The second reason for which this book is stupendous is the egregious, stupendously BAD self-insertion of the narrator. Leland wants to portray himself as a learned authority on the "red man," so he goes to laughable lengths to trot out his intellectual achievements. His "achievements," such as they are, consist basically in very strained comparisons between the Abenaki mythos and either the Norse mythos or the Finnish mythos. I'm all for investigating the influence of certain myths on others and the spread of certain story tropes and what this might say about the modes of thinking common to all cultures [we've all got dragons, vampires, half-human, half-fish water creatures, were-animals, etc., etc., etc.]. However, Leland is less interested in universal mythic themes than he is in proving the Abenaki mythos a poor derivative of the great European traditions. We see Leland's Angoclentric bias most clearly in his comment about Glooskap, a kind of Trickster/Creator/demi-god/buffoon/cultural hero:
Glooskap…is by far the grandest and most Aryan-like character ever evolved from a savage mind and…is more congenial to a reader of Shakespeare and Rabelais than any deity ever imagined out of Europe… (p. 2 of the introduction)
Leland clearly assumes that the Abenaki people are "savages," that is, mentally deficient and unable to attain the literary heights represented by Shakespeare and Rabelais. The supposedly primitive corpus of Abenaki stories produces only one character that measures up to "Aryan-like" standards of grandeur. All the other characters are pathetic stereotypes. It's screamingly obvious from Leland's comment that the observer cannot be separated from the perspective, i.e., that his basis for comparison is Shakespeare and Rabelais because that's all he knows. It is possible to try to look at a mythos on its own terms, i.e., how it talks to itself, to the people, to the world around it, but Leland only wants to use the Abenaki stories to learn about himself. The Abenaki stories serve his preconceived conclusion that the "Aryan" culture [= white western European] is the most civilized, advanced and intelligent ever and everyone else is just a shoddy knock-off.
Heck, Leland even admits that he went into this story-collecting project with expectations of finding inferior stories. He says in the preface (p. 1):
When I began, in the summer of 1882, to collect among the Passamaquoddy Indians at Campobello, New Brunswick, their traditions and folklore, I expected to find very little indeed. These Indians, few in number, surrounded by white people and thoroughly converted to Roman Catholicism, promised but scanty remains of heathenism. What was my amazement, however, at discovering, day by day, that there existed among them, entirely by oral tradition, a far grander mythology than that which has been made known to us either by the Chippewa or the Iriquois Hiawatha legends, and that this was illustrated by an incredible number of tales.
In other words, he thought that the Passamaquoddy community had had all their native blood bleached and beaten out of them, taking the stories with them as it spilled into the earth. Upon "discovering" that the Passamaquoddy perpetuated their culture, tradition, religion and stories, Leland was as stupefied as he would have been if someone had told him that women should be allowed to go to college. Despite his realization, enumerated in the title of this entry, he could not comprehend that the Passamaquoddy were people just like him and therefore continued to "prove" their inferiority by showing the degeneracy of their cultural traditions as compared to the glorious Aryan originals.
And you know — this complete blindness to one's prejudices is still be practiced right this very instant on Native Americans and anyone else dead white males think is uninteresting or unworthy of note.
I’ve been poking around Abenaki mythology recently, looking for the vampire equivalents, of which there are always several in every single culture.
A cursory Wikipedia search yielded the tsi-noo, a promising vampiric specimen: “a person whose heart is made of ice and has no soul; he eats the souls of others for sustenance and strength.” Further Web searches yielded no information about this creature, so I had to widen my search.
I looked under general terms like ” abenaki supernatural vampires,” and eventually I came upon Joseph Bruchac’s When The Chenoo Howls: Native American Tales of Terror. At this point, I began thinking that tsi-noo was an alternative spelling of chenoo, a conclusion confirmed by a search along the lines of “supernatural chenoo monsters vampires algonquian,” which yielded the story The Girl and the Chenoo. As adapted here by Elaine Lindy, the chenoo is a large, hairy, ugly, cannibalistic monster with great strength and a frightening, stoic manner. Despite his outward appearance, the titular girl treats him kindly; he helps her and her brothers out, and eventually the girl helps the chenoo to melt his evil icy heart [literally it’s a piece of ice] and turn back into a human being. The traits of the chenoo — heart of ice, scary, monstrous, no soul, consumes other people to survive — overlap with the traits of the tsi-noo, making it obvious that chenoo and tsi-noo are the same thing.
The story The Girl and the Chenoo is a particularly beautiful tale with many neat symmetries. The chenoo is supposed to be a consumer of humans, but, instead, the kindness and humanity of a human being consumes him. The chenoo is also supposed to be a creature that turns people from humans into bitter, cold, heartless creatures. Instead, the human girl is the one with the transformative powers here; combatting his negative power with her positive ones, she brings him back to his original human state. Instead of him draining the good from her, she drains the bad from him! The chenoo demonstrates the vampiric trait of absorption very clearly because he absorbs the goodwill of the girl and her brothers, but their hearts are so big [despite their nervousness] that he cannot deplete them into despair. While demonstrating the message that goodwill fosters goodwill, this story also contains the implicit point that bad will fosters bad will; therefore, the only way to break a cycle of violence is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
My favorite part of the story is when the girl invites the chenoo in, calling him by the honorific of “Grandfather,” bidding him to eat dinner with her. The poor guy is just so completely dumbfounded that anyone would ever want to be nice to him that his mind gets completely derailed from malicious thoughts, and he consents to be her guest. Lindy writes, “The Chenoo was amazed beyond measure at such a greeting where he expected yells and prayers, and in mute wonder let himself be led into the wigwam.” You can just see him saying to himself, “Wow, someone is being friendly to me! I wonder when the other shoe will drop.” The story traces his transformation from taciturn, grumpy and suspicious to polite, helpful and much less tense.
More about the chenoo and the Anglocentrism in an 1884 collection, The Algonquian Legends of New England by Charles Leland [available for PDF download from Google Books!!], later. I have to go back to work.
I got this for Copyranter, a copiously illustrated stream of snark about modern advertising. Fun fun.
Last year Svedka Vodka [?] advertised on phone booths in New York City with some transgender robots. Svedka_Grl, a cute robot, claims, “I’m a gay man trapped in the body of a fembot.” I don’t buy it. He should just be able to buy some mechanical attachments. If humans can modify bodies that they feel trapped in, why can’t robots who are made to be modified?
I will accept the trope of using the objectified female form to sell something unrelated, like alcohol, but why mention gay men? To do so puts the viewer’s mind into a series of mental contortions to figure out what exactly that means. [It means that the bot will come on strong to straight guys because it’s a “trapped gay guy.”] It may be memorable, but it’s not clever or humorous or useful. [Here’s an example of a funnier use of transgender imagery — offensive, yes, but also funny. Incidentally, why is it the vodka ads that show such penis-o-phobia?] Svedka apparently wanted to put “gay” in there to be edgy and hip, but they come across as copywriters flinging words wildly against a wall to see what will stick.
Once you get beyond the sheer gross-out factor of DYED and CANNED SAUERKRAUT, the character sketches of the pro-kraut women are hilarious.
We’ve got Cousin Nina, an anorexic who is apparently channeling a stereotypical gay man. [She also moonlights as an Asian-stereotype dominatrix, Lady Lotus of the Orient.] We’ve got Aunt Sam, who combines nutritional nerdiness with a flamboyant past as a daring aviatrix. There’s Sister Allison, whose obsession with dyeing kraut, giving the colors cutesy names and forcing other kids to do it suggests that she’s a few leaves short of a cabbage head. [Her staring eyes provide a startlingly direct portal to the yawning abyss within.] And there’s Mama, whose mysteriously stunted growth reminds us that perhaps we shouldn’t hit the kraut for EVERY SINGLE MEAL.
You could dye this stuff a reddish-pink and feed it to zombies in lieu of brains.
…I finally have enough skills to realize a project that has been bugging me for years: my music video to I Go Wild. Of course, it would be like a movie slide show because I refuse to animate it [it would take years], but I could do it nonetheless!! It’s a great excuse to get a straitjacket and some fiendish devices. [It’s a toss-up between MADLAB-4 and the Re-education thingy.] Alas, alas, no one would ever see it unless they personally came over to my home computer and looked at it because there is no way that I would put anything so explicit up on the Web.
I’m really looking forward to illustrating…
You left me; I’m braindead
I’m feelin’ nothing, strapped to my bed
On life support, tubes in my nose
Tubes in my arms, shot full of holes
In other, not really related news, Sadotronic would be a great name for a band, preferably a Norwegian death metal one that thinks it’s really edgy and blasphemous.
So I’ve been poking around for some superficial information about Abenakis in New England, since Absinthe, an LHF character, has Abenaki ancestry [her great-grandfather]. While looking around the Web site of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki [the band with which Absinthe associates], I came across the following comment about the existence and visibility of Native Americans:
Any other ethnic or religious group in the world need only declare their existence. Only the American Indian is required to document genealogy to the beginning of time and blood quantum to show how much real "Indian" they are.
Intrigued by the concept of "blood quantum," I did further investigation, and I learned something new.
Keanu Reaves as Jonathan Harker: [brain is on screensaver]
Anthony Hopkins as Abraham van Helsing: I chew ze scenery, ja? Is between my tees, ja? HAHAHAHAHAHAH!
Bill Campbell as Quincey P. Morris: Goldurn it and tarnation! I’m madder than a riled-up hornet. Dadgum — how many fake folksy expressions does a feller have to use to compensate for the fact that his Texan hick character has got as much karikter development as an advertising picture on the side of a feed sack?
Gary Oldman as Dracula: I am sensitive. Note the deep wells of feeling in my large liquid brown puppy-dog eyes. Well, actually, they’re more like the eyes of a hairy horny werewolf, given that I screw Sadie Frost’s character on a sundial in a labyrinth while looking like a monkey/bat combo. But pay no attention to my furry palms.
Winona Ryder as Mina Murray: Sure, it makes no sense at all that an unaccompanied fin-de-siecle woman engaged to be married to an utter twit would a) be walking around scummy London unaccompanied and b) allow herself to be accosted by a mysterious “Prince Vlad” and then c) go see nudie movies with him and d) pet wolves, but THROW ME A BONE HERE! I’m doing the best I can with utterly stupid material.
Bosoms: [heave heave]
Red Water: [gush gush]
Scenery: Hello! We are obviously matte paintings and sound stages and overly employed dry ice! Not to mention soap flakes for snow. But you should give us an Oscar anyway. Or two. Or three. PLEAAAAAASE.
Crosses: Watch how we break. This is Very Symbolic. VERY SYMBOLIC.
Annie Lennox: You know, I’m just going to ignore the entire movie and write a seriously awesome love song for the end credits that transcends any of the efforts put forth by the cast in terms of quality.
EDITED TO ADD: Viewers: Mmm, this cheese tastes good.
36 questions, 3-word answers. Yanked from ashbet.
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend?:
At La Biblio.
3. Your hair?:
Sticking out everywhere.
4. Where is your father?
In a grave.
Cheesecake AND beefcake!
6. Your favorite thing to do?
7. Your dream last night?
Mythic and weird.
8. Your favourite drink?
O pos, 98.6.
9. Your dream car?
Don’t need one.
10. The room you’re in?
The “living” room.
11. George W. Bush?
Stake through heart!
12. Your fears?
Sterility, impotence, femininity.
13. Nipple rings?
In near future.
14. Who did you hang out with last night?
Mark and Velvette.
15. What you’re not good at?
Just about everything.
16. Your best friends?
Don’t have any.
17. One of your wish list items?
Blood-resistant lip gloss.
18. Where did you grow up?:
West Slummerville, Assachusetts.
19. The last thing you did?:
Typed an answer.
20. What are you wearing?
Tight new corset.
21. Tattoo on the lower back?:
No, not interested.
Blood’s much tastier.
23. Your computer?
Time to upgrade.
24. Your life?
Don’t have one.
25. Your mood?
Hyperbolically melancholy, pretentious.
Daylight, breath, death.
27. What are you thinking about right now?
Kids: some day…
29. Your work?
Pornoriffic yet dull.
30. Your summer?
Could’ve been worse.
31. Your relationship status?
Could be better.
32. Your favorite color(s):
Pink, orange, red.
33. Last time you laughed?
When with Velvette.
34. Last time you cried?
110 years ago.
35. High school?
Class of 1888.
36. This quiz:
Answers too short!
…by illustrating something that I saw with my very own eyes…how the squirrels around here get so damn big. Apparently I broke my Comic Book Creator export functions, so it looks like I’ll have to go with Comic Life and redo ALL the LHF eps I’ve done so far, aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgh. Anyway, this comic is just a screen-captured jpg. Also I am aware that the French fry looks like a rectangular solid colored tan. Go bite the wax tadpole.
I kind of want to throw some toony bipedal wolves into LHF because this guy is so damned appealing. Plus he has both a waistcoat set and a dress and cap set… Excuse me while I indulge a moment in a rockin’ cartoon about bipedal animals, as there are also bears and pigs.
http://lab108.x0.com/lab108/furniture.html Great…Chow needs one…
Goddamn, we loved that game. I remember playing it with my siblings and creating “the unerasable horse quest” just to find out if the horse on the castle grounds did anything else besides eat grass. [Answer: Not that we could tell.] I remember hitting the up arrow to kill monsters, calling the scene where all the goblins hung out Goblin City, dying because of drinking Troll’s Sweat, picking your nose [“Congratulations! Your left nostril is now open!”] and finally winning the game through collaborative efforts and a bunch of cheats. The character who won was festeringsnotballlives! Now that I found this walk-through, I want to find a copy of that game.
“I never realized we had such a collection of things that cover your whole head and face.”
“I never realized how many of them you can’t wear outside the bedroom!”
Masks on sticks http://www.renderosity.com/mod/freestuff/index.php?user_id=12263
I wish I could find a free mask with zippers on it. [Apparently these are called gimp masks, which puzzles me to no end.]
High fantasy veil http://free.daz3d.com/free_weekly/detail.php?free_id=21
Fotoonz illustrate puns with a variety of digital models and settings. Clean, crisp rendering and consistently funny. For some reason, I find puns endlessly hilarious.
Please wait while the squirrel collects all the nuts on your hard drive.
I got a squirrel this morning, primarily because it was on sale. It is a lot cuter than a real squirrel. It is also a lot skinnier. It needs more fat…also some French fries. [You wouldn’t believe some of the things squirrels in the city eat!] I am not particularly perturbed that it is Mimic-compatible [i.e., set up for a program that makes it talk], but I am rather perturbed that it has facial expressions. When the HELL have you ever seen a smiling squirrel?
Now I should find a use for it in LHF. Knowing my characters, they would probably eat it or drink its blood at the very least.
A perfect explication of how the comment “That’s so fucking dumb!” actually = “I do not comprehend this thing; therefore, I will dismiss it as pointless.”
I made this on Friday, but didn’t get to put it up till today. I’m so witty I can’t stand myself.