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Enough shilling. Back to your mashed taters while I answer
Subject: This Week’s News About Things Coming
Out of Capt. Kirk’s Butt
I hate to break it to everyone (esp. Joe), but... KIDNEY
STONES DON'T COME OUT OF THE ANUS.
They come out from the urethra (Make a Nichelle Nichols
joke @ your own risk). So in Shatner's case (presumably) they
would be coming out of his...how to put it into Trekkese..."Yeoman's
Pleasure Drive". (Zed)
Well, I’m an idiot. This shows I’ve never had
a kidney stone, otherwise I’d certainly know where they
As you will notice, I changed the headline. I almost changed
it to “Capt. Kirk’s Ding-a-Ling,” but cooler
heads prevailed. So to speak.
It also proves that I don’t know my butt from a hole
in my penis.
"But Smallville has given us a Super-fix and a bodacious
Lois Lane for a few years."
What show have you been watching? It can't be Smallville;
Lois Lane on Smallville is an abomination. (Did I express
myself strongly enough? Maybe I should amp it up a little.)
I think a certain part of my anatomy may have written that
line for me. But I don’t know which one. I say bodacious,
you say abomination. Tell me more.
You might want to go get a lovely beverage before settling
into this, our EPIC TOLKIEN RANT SECTION.
I think this article by Michael Moorcock ("revised"
yet again, cynically, to include *just* a nugget of sympathetic
reference to the all-conquering Ms Rowling!) is basically
a load of crap - or "poo" if you prefer, without
Medievalistic epic fantasy might not be everyone's cup of
tea, but seriously, to compare J R R Tolkien to some kind
of fascist propagandist (seriously!) and to say that his Dark
Lord villain Sauron is representative of a leader of the working
class, is frankly - and frantically - ludicrous.
I won't even go into the former accusation in depth - but
seriously: you HAVE to know something about these books! You
have to have READ "The Lord of the Rings", preferably
as both a child and an adult; and also to have read "The
Silmarillion", because it explains a lot of things.
Sauron - unlike Rowling's more recent villain, "Lord
Voldemort", isn't even HUMAN. Which human leader of the
working class would he be supposed to represent - Stalin,
Sauron is a member of a type of beings called the "Maiar"
- a sort of lower-order angel or demon, in Tolkien's mythology
(as set out most clearly in "The Silmarillion").
A cherubim or deva, in effect, to use words from other mythologies.
He isn't human, ie a "man", working class or otherwise:
never was and never will be. He is a fallen angel who fell
because of his allegiance to the GREATER fallen angel, Melkor,
a member of the higher order of angels/gods, or Valar: who
is part of Tolkien's "ancient" mythology, and who
no longer has any foothold in Middle-Earth. Try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silmarillion
Sauron had an evil effect on the elder history of Middle-Earth
(it's all set out, in the good editions, in the appendices!)
because he used his formerly beautiful appearance to have
a subtle evil influence among Men, and went out among the
Nine Kings of Men and converted them to evil ideas... they
became the Nazgul, OK, the Black Riders or Ringwraiths! (As
in "One Ring to Bind them All"!) Or *Nazis*, as
MANY readers, myself included, have seen them!!!
I am only sorry that the modern Peter Jackson movies didn't
bring out these themes of Nazi terror in a more overt way
- his opus has led to public comparisons between the evil
hordes and Osama, etc, which is frankly feeble! (Well, anything
to be "with-it", eh?)
The Lord of the Rings is an anti-totalitarian fantasy (yes,
it criticises Stalinist/Maoist communism and "collective
farming" too). So, basically, Michael Moorcock, [filk]
Though I will say this: I partially agree with his comments
on the strengths of more "homely" writers such as
L Frank Baum and E Nesbit, as opposed to the "epic"
tradition of fantasy. I always appreciated the strengths of
the above authors, kings and queens in their field, although
perhaps not as appreciated by the modern "adult"
fantasy crowd. He's picked a couple of good examples of their
writing strengths, as well! (And, conversely, some unfairly
mediocre ones of Tolkien!)
C S Lewis, although he was, in fact, influenced by Edith
Nesbit (little-known fact! He admired the Scottish woman writer),
does, I feel, exhibit some flaws of style in his "Narnia"
books. They are a bit too "chatty" in style, and
filled with needless sub-clauses; and they do seem to "talk
down" to kids just a little bit! However, this doesn't
seem to have put children down the ages off them at all. Go
figure. Nor do the obvious Christian themes. C S Lewis, unlike
his friend J R R Tolkien, admitted to writing an allegory.
It works, in his case, as art - because this man was not some
bottom-feeding Victorian "tract" writer; he was
a highly learned medievalist, and it shows! The echoes of
the pagan and the medieval romance resound all over his works,
which is why, I moot, so many people still enjoy them today.
Gets us back to our cultural roots! (And, of course, in the
middle ages, Christian allegory was an "accepted"
format... just as "post-modern" allegory - ie Terry
Pratchett - is to us today!)
I will in addition say that I do, on balance, commend Mr
Moorcock for having the gumption to say *anything* about political
influences/messages in fiction *at all*. Most modern journalists/reviewers
are SO unserious about this!! They want to be "politically
correct" and not offend anyone - particularly not anyone
who has made it in a medium or media, because "the media"
is nothing but a bunch of sycophants these days, all celebrating
"success" and little else.
And they're post-modern dilettantes. You're not SUPPOSED
to "see" anything in any modern fiction, you know:
it's the MEDIUM, not the message, dontcha know! Therefore:
I am looked at askance on internet sites for criticising the
movie "Sin City" for its crypto-fascist (well, not
that well hidden!) ideas, I am just supposed to comment on
the clever visuals!
*Right.* (I'd very much like to know what Michael Moorcock
thinks of that movie, as a matter of fact: editor, any leads?)
And just now on a livejournal blog, or rather its "comments"
section, somebody treated me as "insane" for "daring"
to criticise Neil Gaiman!
You see?? The entire world is mad these days, or rather,
suffers from ostrich syndrome. Nobody seems to have any strong
opinions or ideas; and to display them is tantamount to blasphemy,
"tin-foil-hattery" or the like. We're all just supposed
to quiescently CONSUME.
But Michael. "Sauron = working-class-hero"??
*That's* a bit much, I think!!!
Still. I think it was better when fiction WAS supposed to
contain strong messages; of any kind: and we WERE allowed
to criticise movies, etc, for their content as well as for
their camera angles. (ekonline)
RevSF Contributing Editor Mark Finn says:
This hissy fit perfectly encapsulates why I don't like Tolkien.
If I have to read the author's notes and book-length appendicies,
written with the dry parchmenty tone of a 1950s history textbook,
just to find out WHAT the bad guy in the three main books
is, then I call that book a failure as literature. As a writing
exercise — the generation of a hidden age of mankind,
a mythic chronicle— LoTR is great. I'm just more interested
in real history as a reader, rather than fake, made-up history
of the race of elves.
I also love it when people put the word "crypto"
in front of words like "fascist" when discussing
a book or movie. Jan Strnad called Conan a "Crypto-Homosexual"
in the 1970s, citing the use of swords in the most Freudian
manner possible. He was wrong then. Just as this person is
wrong now about Sin City being "Crypto-Fascist."
But, again, I dig this person for the same reason they commend
Moorcock. Strong opinions are nothing to shy away from. See,
to me, when I hear "Crypto-Fascist" employed against
something so "surface" as Sin City, it makes
me think that this person has never seen a crime movie, never
read a crime novel. Sin City is a pastiche. Slick and
stylish, sure, but it's also indicative of the highs (and
lows) of the genre. So, this person says that Sin City
contains hidden messages of fascism, it makes me think
that this person thinks the whole genre has hidden fascist
messages. And while that is certainly an interpretation (not
a valuable or nuanced one, but still), there are much more
interesting models to hook a discussion of Sin City to
that don't make me want to defend it outright against the
slings and arrows of a seeming chucklehead.
RevSF Managing Editor Shane Ivey says:
Oh, yeah. Saying you can't criticize one book without reading
another, unrelated one is just silly. Tolkien should have
given more clues as to the nature of the supernatural powers
at work in the books, Sauron included; it's a failing of the
story when some of the most compelling ideas are squirreled
away in appendices or notebooks never published in the author's
lifetime. And why in the world would you open the tale with
an interminable chapter on the history and food preferences
of hobbits, but relegate an adventure story as terrific as
Aragorn's early life to the footnotes? I enjoy LOTR tremendously
nevertheless, and disagree with most of Moorcock's politically-informed
interpretation of it, but I certainly won't call him wrong
for disliking it.
RevSF Fiction Editor Jayme Blaschke says:
I'm probably the biggest Tolkien fan on the RevSF staff,
and I've just got to put in that this nimrod is off his nut.
There's no literary work ever written that doesn't deserve
a good, critical evisceration. If Tolkien's work is truly
worthy, it can handle the heat without losing its luster.
Working himself into a Donald Duckesque lather and hurling
spittle at the screen ain't gonna change a single mind.
Looking over at my bookshelf, I've got a first edition Silmarillion
next to Karen Wynn Fonstand's Atlas of Middle Earth. Mixed
in there is Tolkien's translation of Sir Gawain and the
Green Knight, Morgorth's Ring, The War of the Jewels, plus
Ruth Noel's The Languages of Tolkien's Middle Earth
and Bored of the Rings. I've got a shitload of Tolkien.
I've also got a shelf full of Moorcock, and I also interviewed
the man, something I've been unable to do with any Tolkien.
I'm looking at Wizardry & Wild Romance right now.
And you know what? I disagree with a lot of Moorcock's contentions.
But the man makes a valid case for his arguments. He does
his research. He knows him some books. I don't accept all
of his arguments, but I respect them. I sure as hell ain't
getting my panties in a wad about it.
Ultimately, I think the literary disconnect is more cultural
than anything else. Tolkien was a rural man at heart, loved
isolation and the wilderness, hiking in pastoral countryside
— elements of his life Moorcock despises in his fiction.
Moorcock, on the other hand, is an urbanite through and through,
leaving Austin for Paris because it's not cosmopolitan enough.
Moorcock's told me he's not comfortable in a city of less
than four million people, a concept that would have horrified
Tolkien. I don't find it too hard to accept that people can
come at the same material from such diametrically opposed
perspectives that the context soul of the writing becomes
something entirely different, even though the text on the
page is the same for all parties.
Heck, I even hear tell that some folks didn't like Sky
Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Philistines.
Back to Joe: Wheeeeee! Now for some shorter things. But
nevertheless enjoyable, so don’t stop reading. Please.
She is so cute!!!!!!!!!!! (gabby)
Eh. I’m more of a Mon Mothma guy.
More, With Feeling review
I love Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar is my idol, really i'm
serious, I love buffy the show because I just do. I love everybody
I love Seth Green he is so freakin hot nobody knows. But I
love the musical it is the best one that I love. Buffy the
vampire slayer is my favorite show. I loved the songs they
were great I know every single word on it. So yaeh I just
love the show and thought I would send you guys this to tell
you what I thought about it.
Eh. I’m more of a Tara guy.
I wish that I could print out that page it was funny. and
it was the truth and who ever said all that stuff was the
real deal so I liked it wright some more.
1) You can print out the page, 2) I am indeed the real
deal, and 3) I will write more, and am doing so even now. Anybody
else want anything while I’m up?
No I’m So Sorry!!!
Jewel Staite - 20 pounds DOES NOT EQUAL Kaylee! The ! was
meant to be next to the =, not next to the pounds. Oh, how
woefully I fail at life! (arc highbeam)
Proofreading is a harsh mistress, my friend. Learn to love
The most amazing special effects in this movie are not the
obvious ones, but that you never realize until you get to
the "twist-ending" that this is a complete and total
rip-off of "The Sixth Sense." And the most amazing
special effect of "The Sixth Sense" is the way it
rips off Orson Scott Card's "Lost Boys." (rtjhnsn)
Wow, you people read stuff.
Great article!! Personally, my favorites for Halloween are:
Movie: Session 9
Horror themed game: Shivers
Oh, and regarding the Stephen King story about the dead
grandmother...it was the SCARIEST episode of the 1980's "Twilight
Zone series on CBS!!! (as well as being a great story by itself)
I was terrified by the one where Rudy from Six Million
Dollar Man played the guy who created Farscape, Rockne
After Batman Begins, I went back and watched the first two
Tim Burton films. And I have to say that I'm in the Burton
camp. Call me strange, but I like my Batman not to be Superman.
I like him to be human, which implies a little weakness. Keaton's
Batman/Bruce Wayne was perfect. I like the fact that he's
smart enough to realize that dodging bullets really isn't
an option, so bulletproof suits are as good as they are going
to get. I also like Burton's take on the villains: monstrous,
charismatic, and pitiless.
And they listen to Prince! Well, one of them.
Subject: Batman Sucks / Rocks
I was amazed that you left off Batman Beyond: Return of
the Joker. It gives Mask of the Phantasm a run for its money
(and with Mask only just barely being equaled by Batman Begins,
that's saying something) and the flashback sequence may be
the single most chilling thing ever presented in the entire
DC animated universe. Hell, maybe in the entire film or TV
history of Batman, for that matter. (gbeenie)
I’m with you there, but if we got to writing about
the Bat-animated series, any of them, we’d choke our servers.
Subject: Batman Returns
Unless I'm much mistaken, Bruce Wayne says the bit about
not being a Ted Bundy/Norman Bates type in "Batman Returns,"
not "Batman." Also, the picture of Michael Keaton
awash in the Batsignal is from "Batman Returns,"
but is featured on the "Batman" page. We shouldn't
be mixing our Tim Burton movies up. (rtjhnsn)
Jason Myers says: "I am ashamed. My bat-fu is bat-poo."
Thank you SO MUCH for including the 1966 Batman movie in
your discussion of the caped crusader's cinematic exploits.
I practically grew up on Adam West's and Burt Ward's scenery
chewing. It was a mystery to me why Robin ended every sentence
with an exclamation mark ("It looks bad, Batman! This
brassy bird has us buffaloed!") while Batman was fond
of a more Shatneresque variable dialogue delivery ("This
strange .... mixing .... of minds may-be-the-greatest-single-
service-ever-performed-for humanity! LET'SGO, but--... in-con-spi-cuously
... through the window. We'll use our ... Batropes. Our job
is finished"). The TV series may not have had much to
do with the comic books, but it is a classic in its own right.
How bout that iconic scene, somehow left out of the "Rocks"
list, when Batman's efforts to dispose a live bomb are stymied
by continually reappearing innocent pedestrians (nuns, mothers
with strollers, a marching band playing "Bringing in
the Sheaths")? "Some days you just can't get rid
of a bomb!" Accusing this movie of camp is like accusing
"The Shining" of being scary.
As for "Batman Begins," while I wish they'd named
it something more memorable, is a remarkable movie, and a
polar opposite from the 1966 comedy. I imagine this is what
you'd get if you found a talented writer who had never heard
of superheroes (perhaps he's lived in a bomb shelter all his
life, a la "Blast from the Past"), outlined the
Batman story for him, and asked him to write the screenplay.
"Good lord," he'd exclaim, "what do you MEAN,
he's a rich, handsome playboy who is depressed all the time?
He's that rich and powerful, and he fights crime through vigilante
justice? He dresses up like a WHAT? It's going to take at
least the first AND second acts to justify this character's
actions. The Batman, what a stupid name ..."
"Batman Begins" is the first Batman movie wherein
I saw Bruce Wayne in a Batsuit, instead of Batman in a tux.
My only real complaints about the movie, aside from Katie
Holmes, are that the accents were kind of random (a guy named
Henri Ducard has an English accent?), and that the Scarecrow
is seriously the lamest Bat-villain I've ever seen. And I'm
including Mr. Freeze. A psychiatrist with a burlap bag on
his head. Couldn't Jonathan Crane have the decency to by a
50 cent halloween mask? Thanks for letting me vent. I have
to go unravel a sinister riddle. Bon voyage, Pussy. (rtjhnsn)
I grew up on a farm. YOU try not to go crazy when someone
puts a burlap bag on your head.
Subject: I haven’t slept, and I blame you
Okay: I want to know if the dog dies in "Lost."
I have to know when and how if I am to continue to watch the
first season DVD. I cannot bear anything tragic with an animal,
so you HAVE TO tell me. Eating people willy nilly is acceptable.
Also, there's not a bunch of breastfeeding going on now that
the pregnant chick's had the baby, is there? I know this is
something that you might very well like to see with the lovely
Emilie de Ravin, but I like my TV breast-free. The breastless,
the better. So, I need feedback on these issues.
I have to say that I have chuckled, snickered, and perhaps
even hooted during some of your articles. So far, I most enjoyed
this quote: "So I'm fully entitled to poke gently at
fellow state natives. Which isn't what the aliens will
I also got a rich, robust chuckle from this quote on your
colleague's "Batman Sucks/Rocks" commentary: "I'm
both Bruce Wayne AND Batman", he says, "Not
because I have to be. Now, because I choose to be." Whoever
wrote that should be shot. No, seriously.” (jackolantern)
Emilie de Ravin’s breasts are my business and no one
The dog lives. I think the dog actually is the island,
and all the survivors are just fleas.
Policy Wonk Ahead
To Van: Yes, it's true Reagan spent the Soviets into oblivion.
He knew that that a vibrant free-market economy will ALWAYS
beat out a planned statist one. However, during his administration,
social spending grew more than defense spending (which by,
the way, only had to increase as much as it did because of
the MASSIVE defense spending cuts made by the previous administration).
Another fact you ignore is that ALL spending originates in
the House of Representatives. Currently, it's the Republicans
who are spending like sailors on shore leave (all apologies
to the sailors, who are at least spending their own money).
Guess who controlled Congress during the Reagan years? I only
addressed this subject because your misconception is, unfortunately,
a common one. (gbeenie)
This is why I don’t talk about politics or religion
or real world stuff. People just get all tingly. Changing the
subject. Hurley from Lost. Jabba the Hutt. Who would
Now changing the subject again.
Apologizes for Lexx
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH VERY FUNNY! I really like it! More funny
things about Lexx! (lexxladyjax)
I think that may be all of it.
You have an aversion to Jett Porkins's first name, or what?
AAAARRGGH! Stop splitting my hairs! Such . . . tremendous
. . . pain! AAAARGGGH!
And by the way, it’s “Jekk.”