deep thoughts

I need to start writing these prophecies down

Last year, when I wrote a blog post reacting to Sarah Palin’s nomination as a VP candidate, I almost included a lame joke about how Palin would be great at foreign affairs, since Alaska is right across the water from Russia.

Then on Friday, when I posted about Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, I thought about including a line that said, “I give conservatives 72 hours before somebody makes an affirmative action comment.”

Guess what.

MJ and the Cruisers

Via cherylmmorgan, The Pagan Prattle is tracking developing conspiracy theories that (a) Michael Jackson was murdered, and (b) he’s not really dead.

The latter possibility already occurred to me over breakfast this morning, not as serious speculation but as possible story fodder. How hard would it be, do you think, for someone as famous as Michael Jackson to successfully fake his own death? And perhaps a more interesting question, what would the public reaction be if he reappeared ten or twenty years later?

I know the movie Eddie and the Cruisers and its sequel kinda covered this territory, but those guys didn’t have anywhere near the same candlepower of fame.

Simulating a low-gravity environment on film

Yesterday’s New York Times had a Dave Itzkoff piece talking up Moon, the new SF film by Duncan Jones (aka Zowie Bowie) and starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey. The movie sounds interesting, and I look forward to seeing it. Itzkoff’s article, however, included a throwaway line about the “scientific accuracy” of 2001: A Space Odyssey that woke up my inner Aspergers’ child, because seriously, 2001 is a Bible picture for pot-smoking atheists, and the fact that they turn the sound off during the spacewalk sequences doesn’t change that.

Anyway, I was still buzzing about “accuracy” when I watched the Moon trailer, and, first, it looks like a very cool film, but, second, I noticed that they’d gone the usual route in portraying the Moon’s lower gravity—inside the moonbase, Sam Rockwell moves exactly the way he would on Earth, but when he steps outside, the camera switches to slow-motion. Which got me wondering: if you wanted to accurately simulate 1/6th Earth gravity in the indoor shots where he’s not wearing a space suit, how hard would that be to do, and would the audience accept it or would it look distractingly weird?

So I’m halfway through Underworld: Rise of the Lycans…

…in which Rhona Mitra takes over for Kate Beckinsale in the ass-kicking vampire chick role, and it occurs to me, “Rhona” has the same number of syllables as “Lola,” and “vampire” has the same number of syllables as “showgirl,” so if you wanted to do a parody song set the to the tune of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana (“Viktor went a bit too far / lycans sailed across the bar…”), you’d have a good running start.

Because, yeah, it’s the kind of film where you think about that sort of thing.

Live Free or Die Hard: action movie tip of the day

When someone’s firing armor-piercing bullets into your car from above, screaming “Get down! Get down!” to your passengers actually doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

(Driving over a fire hydrant in order to take out an airborne sniper with the resulting geyser of water doesn’t make sense either, but it does earn you style points.)

And on a personal, authorial note…

I love the fact that he stumbled a bit during the oath of office. Next time I screw up during introductory remarks at a reading, I’m going to remember that, and how it doesn’t have to detract from the main show—as long as you’ve got the goods.