"My feet, they can't move under moon
and star. Where am I to go now that I've gone too far?" Golden Earring, "Twilight
Nothing possibly can be bad about a
letters column that starts off with an 80s rock quote.
Subject: A very funny website.
Hi, This is a very funny website.
I hope you would enjoy it. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks! I'm sure trying to.
First up: a letter from the author of a Star Wars book we recently reviewed
here on you-know-where.
FAO Peggy Hailey
thanks for the Using
the Force review - with something like this you really can't please all
the fans all the time, let alone the non-fans, but I'm very glad you mostly
liked it. I laughed at "Brooker is a geek." - I guess I am one of those who
tries to resist the label.
"so it feels a bit like preaching to the converted."
It might to you, but this is going out to a wider readership who think SW
is a kiddy fantasy that should only be taken seriously by kids. So I am on
the defensive on fans' behalf, pointing out and I hope, proving, that they're
not passive idiots for the benefit of readers/reviewers who still hold this
opinion. I don't think it will just be SW fans who buy the book, as it's in
a cultural studies tradition of audience research - so I wanted to explode
stereotypes to some extent.
"Most of the observations that Brooker is making about Star Wars fans in particular
seem to me to be applicable to fandom in general. Goodness knows I know Trekkies/ers,
Xenites, X-philes and even Rocky Horrorites (Rocky Horror-ists? Rocksters?)
who act in similar ways."
You might well be right about many of these - I'm not immersed enough in them
- but I doubt that X-philes and Xenites have had *time* to become as invested
in their text as SW fans have. My respondents had 25 years of it - long enough
for it to become like family or religion, and to shape your whole career and
education path. Hence the whole nostalgia thing that lies behind prequel-bashing.
This phenomenon is not present with Xena and X-files, as nobody has grown
up with those from age 7 until the point where they're 32 and feeling the
creators are messing up their childhood memories.
But these are quibbles.
Don't resist the label! You just wrote a book
about it! Which I plan to read, if I could just stop answering these letters
for five seconds...
Some setup is in order for the following 2 letters: There has been a
lot of screeching on the Net, and in one case, from a "politically correct"
journalist in Chicago about how Episode II is racist because a "Hispanic"
actor plays the "evil" Jango Fett.
Never mind that the actor is Maori, not Hispanic—and fans generally say
he's one of their favorite characters in the movie. The other 2 being Yoda
(green), and Mace Windu (black). If you want to look for racism, look for the
distinct Wookist slant of all the prequels—no Wookiees anywhere.
But seriously: Allow me to give the soapbox to a couple of people with informed
opinions about the matter:
Ok, first of all I'd like to explain that I'm from New Zealand,
where a lot of the Episode 2 actors came from. Both Jango and Amidala's captain
(and young boba and clones) are maori actors from New Zealand. They are different
The Maori are New Zealand's native culture and they have a distint Maori accent.
In NZ the whole movie theatre cracked up laughing when we realised that Fett
was Maori. It would be like an American audience hearing a classic native
american voice for Fett.
If you want to see the actor who played Fett in a good film. See Once Were Warriors,
an insight into the nasty culture of poor urban maori. It's really really
Okay, here's the thing. Queen Amidala's bodyguard is played by Jay
Lagaia, Jango Fett is played by Temuera Morrison. Both actors are from New
Zealand. (Like me.) Both are Polynesian, but Lagaia is Samoan and Morrison
is Maori (one of the native people of New Zealand).The child Boba is also
played by a 100% authentic natural you-bet New Zealand child. If you look
at good, clear pictures of both Lagaia and Morrison you can see that they
are not that similar in appearance. Their resemblance, if any, is chiefly
down to racial characteristics - Polynesian hair and skin colour and texture.
It's a case of 'All Chinamen look alike' - to American viewers, unaccustomed
to see Polynesians on the big screen (unless they have some kind of masochistic
thing that involves heavy repeat viewing of 'Rapa Nui'), the similarities
of these alien faces are easier to see than the differences. One of the actors
appearing as a young-adult stage clone of Jango has a nose more like Lagaia's
(pointed and high-bridged, as opposed to Morrison's more broad and flat specimen),
I find it utterly bizarre to hear that people Stateside have claimed the Clone
Army represents white America's fear of hordes of south-of-the-border immigrants.
Apparently just because Tem Morrison has played Hispanic characters in such
forgettable movies as Six Days, Seven Nights and Speed 2,
he's an honorary Mexican and his real ethnicity counts for nothing, like having
to give up citizenship of your homeland wen you gain it in another country.
The reason he's been cast as a Hispanic in the past is, again, because Hollywood's
casting community does not exactly go a bundle on genuine racial diversity
or accuracy. Apart from a few recognised nationalities, it seems everyone
from light cafÈ au lait to chocolate brown in colour is a kind of interchangeable
'foreign.' In the bad old days, Leonard Nimoy, who I believe is ethnically
Inuit, was cast as a string of Asians and Mexicans before landing his career-defining
role as a Vulcan. The pattern just keeps repeating.
As it happens, Temuera Morrison is a nephew of Sir Howard Morrison, one of
the most culturally and socially prominent Maori in New Zealand. He played
Jake Heke in the seminal film of Maori family tragedy through violence, Once
Were Warriors, and in its redemptive sequel, What Becomes of the
Broken-hearted? He is about as Maori as you can get. If I can at least
get this through to the visitors of RevSF.com, and if we can all correct anyone
we hear talking about the Hispanic Hordes of AOTC, I'll feel a lot better!
There. Now, can someone please talk about The X-Files? PLEASE?
A Requiem for the X-Files
A good article. I'd have liked to have seen more written honestly.
Also would have LOVED to hear what anyone else had to say about the quasi-religious
yet oh, so incoherent final scene.
Also. Does anyone know the source of tension between Anderson and Duchovny?
I know she was perturbed about the distance in salary but she's
also been somewhat vocally anti-porn where as he's been a fairly vocal advocate?
Any connection? (email@example.com)
I can't decide about the X-Files
ending. On one hand, it gave me a good feeling, because it was kind of sweet,
and kind of nice for the characters to be acting like that. But then, the entire
show has taken every opportunity to show repeatedly that there's no reason to
have any faith, because everything's a lie, and aliens this and oil and blah
and blah. So it was cute, and then we get 2 more seconds of Scully and Mulder
acting like an actual couple. I mean, except for the French kissing at the beginning
of the episode, which even disgusted Skinner, and he's a freak.
Thanks. I never tire of hearing what he has to say. Maybe
I should be angry at Gaiman. It was the publication of Sandman that
ruined comics for me. I judge everything by the Sandman yard stick.
Nothing measures up though a few things have come close and some show a different
brilliance though perhaps not as luminant. But how do you honestly read
Sandman then go back to X-Men? Damn him. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maybe Gaiman should not have tried so
hard. Come on—why can't he write superhero team books like everyone else?!
Space Flying Tiger Drop!
Now I reach a part of the column wherein
I share a link that one of my fellow Revstaffers has passed along to me. I call this
section "Space Flying Tiger Drop." Because that has buzzwords that make it sound
Anime Editor Kevin Pezzano says that if you can download and play the MP3s,
then you should go here:
Kevin says, "Some funny-ass stuff.
Joe, I think you especially will be amused by this."
I'm not sure what the filk he meant by that, but I'll assume it was meant with
the purest of intentions. So go there, and enjoy.
Space Flying Tiger Drop!
A letter from email@example.com caused me to
write the recent news article about Invader Zim appearing in an upcoming video
game. It also contains a
link with a screenshot from said game.
Info adds: "Also, Nick has just announced three
Butt Ugly Martian DVDs. The show blows, but it's worth mentioning because
it fuels the hope that there will be a Zim collection at some point.
I only wish that Jhonen was seeing some of the proceeds from either project."
This will not make sense. (Draft 2)
Pain. Pain Pain Pain Pain Pain. More pain from Ep.2, which I FINALLY forced
myself to see, then from the pain this small bug has caused me. It's called
a mosquito and it's the only reason I'm at this site again. I dunno how I
forgot about it, but if that little murdering bug thing hadn't flown STRAIGHT
INTO MY EYE I probably wouldn't have remembered. It was weird, it was like
"OH LORD! THERE'S A FREAKING MOSQUITO IN MY EYE... heeeeyy.. I wonder whats
goin on at RevSF !" and then I was here. God... that movie SUCKED. It was
pitiful. PITIFUL! I wanted to vomit. Of course,
the Yoda fight scene was pretty amazing. I laughed. But it was worth going
to see it, THERE WAS A MATRIX PREVIEW!
I could not breathe, I was so excited. Through
the entire preview I'm all like "Ohmigod...
Ohmigod... Ohmigod.. I can't breathe.." And it was one of the happiest moments....
EVER! Then, ofcourse, Ep.2 started and it was RUINED, but oh well. MATRIX!
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! umm... I'm sleepy.
..What were they thinking when they decided to make a Hey Arnold movie? Must
have been something unpleasant.
~A very sleepy, tired, disappointed,
yet Matrix Obsessed FRO!~
..heh heh heh, sleepy and tired.. they mean the same thing! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This makes me wet with
jealousy. I saw Star Wars Episode II, as is required—but there was
no Matrix preview. Both times I have seen Spider-Man, I got there
too late to see the Hulk trailer. And then, when I went to see Spidey
a third time, and got there in plenty of time, before ANY of the trailers started—they
didn't even show it.
Sure, the trailer's only about 15 seconds, and I could go somewhere
on the net right now and download it, but it's the principle of the thing.
Lone Gunmen Can't Be Dead
I loved the LGM. When they died, I couldn't believe it. I loved the
anylasis on Jump the Shark (it was great). The comparison to Star Trek is
weird, but thats exactly what I thought. ("Corn Bread")
Weird analysis is what we're all about.
(Today's anonymous letter brought to you by what I plan to eat with
At what point in the evolution of the stormtrooper did they lose
the ability to aim? (email@example.com)
Sounds like a good topic for the Sci-Fi
Theorizer, which I now
plug cheaply. My theory: SHHHHHHHHHHHH! That's all explained in Episode
If I'm not mistaken, I believe the "SpongeBob" folks live on the
No Bikini Atoll. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I don't get it. No—wait... nope.
Still don't get it.
Jango FETT. Jango Jango Jango Jango Jango Jango. I like that word.
But how do you feel about Dooku?
Subject: Uhh... Doi...
[Wake up and move out of your parents' basement Starbuck!]
Mmmmm... Coffee... (email@example.com)
If I ever meet Dirk Benedict, I am going to ask
him if he ever goes in to one of those stores, for fear of people making some
wisecrack about it. And then I'm going to ask him what it was like to work with
There are two reviews of this show:
1) It's bad. 2) It's good, provided you turn off your brain. And then there's
the opinion of diehard fans of the show: THERES THIS REALLY COOL SHOW ABOUT
UBER-KAWAII BISHONEN WHO KILL DOODZ 4 CASH AND YOU SHOULD SEE THIS RITE NOW
PPLZ!!!!!!111 OK BYE ^_^
So which one is rite... er, right? Personally, I think it's alright, a fun
little time waster. So if you want to see despite/because of these reviews,
I recommend downloading an episode first to form your own opinion first before
renting or buying it. THNX 4 YOUR TIEM BYE ^_^ (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I totally appreciate your take on the anime audience.
I feel it -- it is now a part of me. And I'll let anime guy Pezzano review that
for The People. Unless he did already and I'm too lazy to search the archives.
DBZ = ROOLZ 4 LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BYE ^_^
Subject: Bad news for the world
I'm sorry to say this, Joe, I really am, but this news is
just so horrifying, so immoral, so... badder-than-usual, that this very story
has to be told, so the world can be warned of its oncoming presence...
Seinfeld is returning to TV.
Yes, I said it. I said it, and I hate myself for saying it (well, YOU would,
too, wouldn't you?), but it had to be told. (email@example.com)
What's so terrible about Seinfeld? That show was mighty dad-gum
funny. Now, during Seinfeld's time, the world had not yet seen the comic
genius that is SpongeBob Squarepants. But if you pretend SpongeBob
never even existed, ever, then Seinfeld is one of the funniest shows
Subject: looking for logic
in all the wrong places
My thanks, firstname.lastname@example.org, for your answers to my quandaries. The
one about Ani's mom was the one that really bugged me, and I think your answer's
probably correct--and that means that George Lucas's writing is as bad as
Joe says it is. If Jedi training for Ani involves being cut off from family
like that, then they're not the same kind of Jedi as the caring, noble one
that Alec Guiness portrayed. (email@example.com)
I do indeed say that
George Lucas' writing is bad. But you know, the ideas obviously come into his
brain just fine. GREAT, even. It's when he puts them on paper himself, that
we get the problem.
Or, to quote Lucas himself from a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly:
"Writing is hard."
The Simpsons, and more Metal...
...er, sort of. Good news, Joe Crowe! Futurama, as I have recently
heard, is NOT cancelled. It wasn't the petition(s) that saved it, apparently
someone at Fox saw the new Star Wars film and said, "If we drop this show, billions of
science fiction fans and television viewers won't
have a reason to tune in and see our ads for the next crappy million-dollar
grossing George Lucas crapfest! Hold
Re: The Simpsons: Does anyone know where to get a copy of the episode in which
Homer pledges (I think it was) a million
dollars to PBS, only to have Betty White come to his door
with hundreds of volunteers to collect? That's just the beginning...
he takes refuge in the church and is sent off as a missionary. It gets more hilarious from
there. The episode, to my knowledge,
has never been rerun on Fox or any other network. Was it the "Save me, Jebus!" line? The conspiracy against good comedy deepens...
And, if you like Pat Boone's In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy,
check out Hayseed Dixie. They have two cds out: A Hillbilly Tribute to
AC/DC, and the just released A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love, featuring incredible covers of
songs by Ted Nugent, Spinal Tap and Queen.
It Rocks! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I've heard of no non-rerunning of any
Simpsons episodes. Maybe you're just not watching The Simpsons
EVERY SINGLE TIME it airs.
I have heard some of this Hayseed Dixie of which you speak. They have even
performed concerts in the city in which I live. I didn't go, but they were here.
That second album sounds like something I will buy. A Spinal Tap cover?
GO, NIGEL, GO!!! Ahem, sorry.
new Indy film
As far as the new movie goes, hey I'll be there to see it. It's comforting
that Darabont is directing it. As he did The Green Mile and Shawshank
Redemption, I'm sure he can do a competent job on it.
As long as George stays way the hell away from ANYthing involving production.
Let him sign the checks, put up a Lucasfilm sign, and the THX logo, and I'll
be happy. If he WRITES ANY PART of the script, I'll be grumpy.
Bastard'll probably add a six-year old snake-loving math prodigy with an affinity
Regarding Harry (bad pun intended): If he can do the job as Indy, great.
But I'll be disappointed if he breaks a hip while dodging boulders, or has
to eat monkey brains at a Hometown Buffet Senior Hour, or if his biggest complaint
ISN'T the damn snakes but "Ahh Marian, da kids nevah cawl no mo. Ay, where's
my prunes? I need my fibah. When's da movie on? Ah, dat's too late, I gotta
be asleep by 8."
Then I'll swear off movies altogether. (email@example.com)
Darabont's writing, Spielberg is directing. Which
is fine by me. And where's Short
Round? Can we get him back for Indy 4? Judging by former child stars,
he's either in jail or he's a nuclear physicist. [Editor's note: Nope! He's
still in the biz. Apparently, now he's a stunt coordinator and recently worked
on X-Men and The One. Shane Ivey]
Uhh, you kid me, no? Franz Kafka, wrote "The Trial," to which I was
referring. Fond of people with one-lettered last names. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Of COURSE I was kidding!
My favorite thing about Franz Kafka was when Kevin Nealon
played him on Saturday Night Live, and he would say "I just want to pump
(and then he'd clap his hands) YOU UP!"