Saturday, July 23, 2011

I guess we need a [chat]

Amy Winehouse: Dead

Untalented attention-whore dies to drug overdose.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Strictly Hand Held Is The Style I Go

Sesame Street breaks it down from Wonderful Creative on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Louis C.K. and I love Ewan McGregor

So, as some of you may know, I have a gay crush on Ewan McGregor. I am not gay; I am not sexually attracted to men. Except for the fact that I would totally have hot gay sex with Ewan McGregor. When people learn this they think I am a bit odd. But I maintained that it is entirely reasonable, after watching Moulin Rouge, to want to fuck Ewan McGregor. For years I thought I was alone on this issue, until I stumbled upon this clip:

Louis C.K.? He gets it. Ewan McGregor is a beautiful man.

Daniel Radcliffe is quite awesome.

I was not aware of this, but apparently Daniel Radcliffe is an awesome, funny guy. He seems like he'd be fun to get a beer with.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cowboy Bebop - Session 6: Sympathy for the Devil

After running through a significant amount of important-but-not-understood plot detail last week, Sympathy for the Devil feels like a return to the show's entertaining-but-trivial style of episode: a bounty-focused story that goes light on expanding main characters in any way and, as a bonus, shares its title with a classic rock song. Although true that it does very little to build on anything obviously relevant to the series as a whole, there are a few tidbits worth noticing.

The first of these are in the opening scenes of Sympathy, during which Spike is apparently undergoing surgery to implant a mechanical eye. When or by what means he lost the eye being replaced aren't quite known, nor is there any hint as to why it matters that one of his eyes is a fake. As with the other seemingly trivial details collected from other episodes, however, it's generally wise to just remember that these things happened and wait for that knowledge to pay off.

So, following this eye surgery of presumed future import, we're introduced to a child prodigy harmonica player who is apparently mixed up in some criminal organization by way of his wheelchair-bound guardian. What follows is some remarkably Star Trek-y business, right down to a convenient piece of technology that allows Jet to essentially mind-meld with the recently deceased in order to gather information from him. What he discovers there leads to a plot involving a hyperspace gate accident and what Bones might have called a "Fountain of Youth Effect" that halts the decay of a living person over time and allows him to recover quickly from any injury.

The person affected by this strange condition uses his seemingly endless supply of available time to become one of the galaxy's biggest bastards. His invulnerabilities make him immune to the maturity that follows when we realize that, like everyone else, we aren't going to live forever and that we are vulnerable in ways we only gradually come to understand. Without that understanding, he turns aggressive and arrogant, even dismissive of other peoples lives, which is most obvious in that criminal organization of his and the ease with which he kills its members and anyone else in his way.

Back on the ship, Jet and Faye exchange barbs in a quiet battle of the sexes that dovetails with the issues of maturity going on elsewhere. When Faye can't understand why Spike would volunteer to fight a seemingly losing battle against the immortal, Jet responds that men live for duty, adding that women easily betray others. Taken in the context of an earlier scene in which Faye eats the last can of dog food while explaining to Ein that women are born great and are therefore entitled to such things, it would appear that the show is heading towards misogynistic territory.

But although Faye (and all women, by extension) may seem singled out in this episode as immature, we already know that Spike has trouble letting go of something in his past and Jet's comment about women and betrayal suggests that he has a similar problem. Add to that Spike's repeated phrase expressing his inability to understand difficult matters being translated "As if..." in a couple of places during this episode and we get a growing sense that all of these characters struggle with maturity in some way.

In fact, Faye is becoming one of the only people who ever seems to care about anyone else and who comes the closest to admitting it. In the previous episode, Faye may not have been as good a caretaker/singer as the woman in Spike's past, but she at least stayed beside him. In Sympathy, she tries to talk him out of going to what she believes to be his death and mutters that men are idiots after he insists. Not exactly gushing romance, but compared to Jet's most visible act of concern being his accidentally cutting the wrong branch on his bonsai tree in the last episode, hers is a relatively loud proclamation of some kind of care.

Yet despite her protest, Spike sets out to defeat the immortal which, fittingly, involves returning him to the normal flow of time by way of what is basically a magic bullet. As goofy as that may be, it does restore the age and, more importantly, understanding it brings that he had been able to delay indefinitely. As his body withers and dies, he asks Spike if he understands as well, to which Spike replies, "As if...".

While this story is, again, not exactly a key piece of the series entire, it is a great opportunity to lay down some concepts related to the flowing and halting of time and what it's like to become older. These ideas, much like the past/present comparisons that came at the end of the previous episode, will be given closer attention later in the series and, I would argue, will become central to what this show is about.