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Postby Dezro on Tue Aug 12, 2003 6:49 pm

Is Barton's hand covered in puke, or made of puke?
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Postby TODCRAProductions on Tue Aug 12, 2003 6:58 pm

Puke-hand! Oh boy, oh boy!
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Postby SBernard81 on Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:37 pm

I remember like... 7 years ago, when I had to read Johnny Tremain in the 8th grade, I always thought they should have left the melted silver that burned his hand on his hand. Then he'd change his name to Johnny Silverfist and he'd fight crime with his badass silver fist. Oh man, that'd be the awesomest book ever made. Without the crime fighting, that book sucked.

Of course, my review may be related to my irrational hatred of all things related to 19th century America.
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Postby NOW!!!! on Wed Aug 13, 2003 12:12 am

SBernard81 wrote:I remember like... 7 years ago, when I had to read Johnny Tremain in the 8th grade, I always thought they should have left the melted silver that burned his hand on his hand. Then he'd change his name to Johnny Silverfist and he'd fight crime with his badass silver fist. Oh man, that'd be the awesomest book ever made. Without the crime fighting, that book sucked.


He could've been anything from a superhero to a Dick Tracy-style gangster!
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Postby theangryQ on Wed Aug 13, 2003 8:42 am

I never read Johnny Tremain, but in 8th grade I had to read Shane. I hated that book. I thought it was so freakin' boring. I don't know; maybe you have to be a boy to enjoy it. A friend of mine told me he rather liked that long, long part about the stump because it reminded him of "male bonding experiences in which someone inevitably gets injured".
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Postby BabyJ on Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:01 am

I loved me the Mockingbird. So much I married a toothless old man.
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Postby NOW!!!! on Wed Aug 13, 2003 12:43 pm

theangryQ wrote:I never read Johnny Tremain, but in 8th grade I had to read Shane. I hated that book. I thought it was so freakin' boring. I don't know; maybe you have to be a boy to enjoy it. A friend of mine told me he rather liked that long, long part about the stump because it reminded him of "male bonding experiences in which someone inevitably gets injured".


I also hated that book! AND THE PART ABOUT THE STUMP WAS MY LEAST FAVORITE PART TOO!!

We had to do this project in the class where we had to show what happened to Shane after the book, using any media we wanted. A friend of mine and I made a claymation, in which Shane stole some guy's cow after shooting him (the guy was modelled to look like a friend of ours we called "Smilez," as was the cow), was attacked and beaten by environmentalists carrying signs that read "Save the stumps!" got lost in the desert, had to shoot and eat his horse, and eventually starved to death.

We used music from Earthworm Jim and Earthworm Jim 2 for the soundtrack, and the funniest thing about the environmentalists was that since we didn't have enough clay to make them, we just took a bunch of characters from other claymations we'd done, dressed them up as cowboys, and gave them the signs. The group included Yoda, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, a hulking Indian named Little Chipmunk (from a claymation we'd made about the Whitman massacre), Mulder and Scully from the X-Files, a beaver, and a car. Yoda and E.T. lookd pretty hilarious wearing cowboy hats and bandanas.

At the end, all the characters took off masks, and they were all Smilez in disguise.


For our efforts, we received a D.
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Postby TODCRAProductions on Wed Aug 13, 2003 5:47 pm

Then you killed people, right?

If not, you should say you did. That makes all stories rule.

Also, I am surprised that we have gotten this far without anyone mentioning "they should have called this book Johnny Deformed!"
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Postby theangryQ on Thu Aug 14, 2003 6:13 am

NOW!!!! wrote:We had to do this project in the class where we had to show what happened to Shane after the book, using any media we wanted. A friend of mine and I made a claymation, in which Shane stole some guy's cow after shooting him (the guy was modelled to look like a friend of ours we called "Smilez," as was the cow), was attacked and beaten by environmentalists carrying signs that read "Save the stumps!" got lost in the desert, had to shoot and eat his horse, and eventually starved to death.


That sounds so cool.

We had to write a ballad based on the story. Mine was a little... avante garde. And that's all I'll say about that.

Of course, there are a fair amount of people who believe that Shane is actually dying as he's riding off into the sunset.

Then again, there are also a fair amount of people who believe the whole stump thing is a big metaphor for gay sex or something (not that there's anything wrong with that). I swear to god. Something about the kid's father running his hand along the smooth underbelly of the hard wood.
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Postby theangryQ on Fri Aug 15, 2003 2:46 pm

Maybe it's because the good classics can be seen as subversive in some ways. I really don't know.
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Postby NOW!!!! on Fri Aug 15, 2003 3:08 pm

There are lots of classics that are good. The problem is, they aren't the ones they have you read in school.

In this day and age (especially given our modern government), Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World should be required reading in high schools, IMO.

I think highschoolers should also be given some fun and interesting books like A Confederacy Of Dunces to read, too.
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Postby SBernard81 on Sat Aug 16, 2003 12:37 am

Hermann Hesse is an amazing classic author (read Siddhartha), Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is a classic novel (note: not the science-fiction story by H.G. Wells), Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory is pretty good (even if I don't agree with all of Graham Greene's philosophy), Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is amazing (again, don't necessarily agree with everything the man said, but he's an amazing author), the aforementioned George Orwell is also one of my favorites, and, I don't know if Kurt Vonnegut is considered a classic author yet but if he isn't he damn well should be (read Cat's Cradle and Sirens of Titan).

That right there is a damn good list of classics. And as long as I'm listing favorite authors, read Frank Herbert's Dune (best science-fiction epic of all time), read Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, read Lord of the Rings, and for the love of god:

Read The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.

The Carl Sagan book should be required reading for humanity. I think it should be our new bible. Ask no questions. Go purchase it. Now.

Oh, and also, if we're going to talk about "classics that suck," Charles Dickens is my least favorite person. In the world. Great Expectations was the worst book I ever had to endure.

P.S. - The Of Mice and Men guy is John Steinbeck. Oh yeah, that reminds me, Grapes of Wrath is also a good classic.

P.P.S. - I'm not just trying to make a big list of books in order to pose as an intellectual and then steal all of your money. Seriously.
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And now for something completely different...

Postby SBernard81 on Sat Aug 16, 2003 12:57 am

I don't know if Aldous Huxley's Brave New World has a lot to do with a right-wing conservative government, really. I know all dystopian literature tends to get lumped together (Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 always lands in the same category as 1984 and Brave New World , too), but really it seems to me that Huxley's book is more about a society that is conquered by pragmatism then a world conquered by the power-hungry.

Look at it: a society in which people have renounced the traditional parent-child relationship, a society where casual sex is expected and almost enforced, a society where drug use has become the norm (good ol' Soma holidays)... The biologically engineered caste system whose only purpose was to see that "everyone is happy now." Almost closer to a progressive hell-hole then to a right-wing tyranny, really.

Of course, what was particularly strange about the book is that Aldous Huxley was certainly not an author expected to envision such a society: read any of his other novels, from The Island to Doors of Perception, (the latter of which was basically Aldous Huxley rambling about this one time he took PCP), and it becomes clear that Huxley mostly enjoys the progressive concepts he paints so horrifically in Brave New World.

What the hell? Why am I writing a damn Aldous Huxley book report? What's going on? Why am I awake at 5 AM? Who are you people? Screw you!
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Re: And now for something completely different...

Postby NOW!!!! on Sat Aug 16, 2003 8:31 pm

SBernard81 wrote:I don't know if Aldous Huxley's Brave New World has a lot to do with a right-wing conservative government, really. I know all dystopian literature tends to get lumped together (Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 always lands in the same category as 1984 and Brave New World , too), but really it seems to me that Huxley's book is more about a society that is conquered by pragmatism then a world conquered by the power-hungry.


Yeah, I had this thought when I was typing out the message, but I figured... meh.

It's a good book, so people should read it!
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Postby SBernard81 on Tue Aug 19, 2003 1:39 pm

Oh yes, both Huxley and Orwell managed to predict different aspects of our society quite well. Especially Huxley, I think. Not that it isn't possible to draw all kinds of parallels between Big Brother and the Bush Administration, it is, but I think the "ignorance is bliss" attitude of the Brave New World society is much closer to our current state of affairs than the frightening nature of the Party in 1984.

Also, I think Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is particularly significant today. Not necessarily the book burning part, but when I watch an episode of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and see the respect our populace has for a bunch of unknowledgable comedians' hilarious opinions, I can't help but feel Ray Bradbury predicted our hatred of wisdom perfectly. Also, the ending, in which Americans (or whatever fictional country the people live in in that book) become so sheltered and unknowledgable of the outside world that finally the outside world rises up and destroys them, has turned out to be shockingly prophetic.
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Postby webrunner on Wed Aug 20, 2003 6:43 am

One English class I took you had a choice of what you could read.

Two of the things you could choose WERE Fahrenheit 451 and 1984.
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Postby theangryQ on Wed Aug 20, 2003 8:35 am

SBernard81 wrote:Oh yes, both Huxley and Orwell managed to predict different aspects of our society quite well. Especially Huxley, I think. Not that it isn't possible to draw all kinds of parallels between Big Brother and the Bush Administration, it is, but I think the "ignorance is bliss" attitude of the Brave New World society is much closer to our current state of affairs than the frightening nature of the Party in 1984.


Yes. I recall that we came to that conclusion in class discussions about BNW. Someone (a critic, not a classmate) once phrased it beautifully: "Orwell's fear was that people would burn books; Huxley's fear was that nobody would bother to read them." Why would they? They were too busy playing "Hide the Zipper".
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Postby David_McGuire on Wed Aug 20, 2003 6:09 pm

webrunner wrote:Two of the things you could choose WERE Fahrenheit 451 and 1984.
Speaking of Bradbury, have you ever read his short story, The Sound of Thunder?
It's always used as the prime hands-down best example of tme travel fiction anywhere.
In it, the main character accidentally kills a butterfly in the prehistoric past, changing the future for the worse.
And that's the entire story.
That's the problem with a lot of Bradbury's short storys. They're just ideas instead of actual plots. I keep on reading his storys and thinking, "What next?" or "Wouldn't it be interesting if someone wrote a story about that!"

Not all of his storys are like that, of course; but enough are for me to complain about it.
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Postby SBernard81 on Wed Aug 20, 2003 9:34 pm

Yeah, I agree with you there. Even Fahrenheit 451 had next to zero character development. The lead character turns from a book burnin' fireman to a book readin' fool almost instantly, without any real internal struggles. One day he just decides, "hey, I think I'll stop burning books now." What the hell? Still, Fahrenheit 451 had enough cool philosophy in it to justify it's existence, I think.

I would critique the rest of Bradbury's work, but I haven't read anything else. Except the short story All Summer in a Day in like ninth grade, which was stupid.
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Postby NOW!!!! on Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:44 pm

David_McGuire wrote:
webrunner wrote:Two of the things you could choose WERE Fahrenheit 451 and 1984.
Speaking of Bradbury, have you ever read his short story, The Sound of Thunder?
It's always used as the prime hands-down best example of tme travel fiction anywhere.

In it, the main character accidentally kills a butterfly in the prehistoric past, changing the future for the worse.
And that's the entire story


In any case, that idea shows up a LOT in pop culture, though. I was watching an MST3K the other day (Prince Of Space, the episode with the wormhole and the Phantom of Krankor). When Professor Bobo falls in the wormhole and Pearl says they're going in after him, Brain Guy asks why, to which she responds, "Because, what happens if Bobo goes back in time and does one of those space-time-paradox-thingees where he steps on a butterfly or something, and because of that, mammels never evolve, which means mankind never comes into existence to invent slot machines, and because of that, my favorite hobby goes straight down the toitie?"

I'm sure there are a lot of other references to that story/idea from other TV shows and such that we could think of if we tried.

David_McGuire wrote:.
That's the problem with a lot of Bradbury's short storys. They're just ideas instead of actual plots. I keep on reading his storys and thinking, "What next?" or "Wouldn't it be interesting if someone wrote a story about that!"


That's exactly my feeling.

But actually, someone DID write a short story pretty similar to the above mentioned one: Philip K. Dick. He wrote a story where these people using a special time-travelling camera or something send it into the future, and the whole planet is a wasteland. They keep sending the camera into the same general time period to try and figure out what went wrong, but every time, things look worse and worse, so finally, they put this guy in this time-travelling car and send HIM into the future, and when he gets there, things look much more peaceful and tranquil than they did in any of the other "looks," with grass and trees and stuff, and all these really beautiful butterflies, but absolutely no people. He sees this ruined city and explores it hoping to find somebody so they can tell him what happened, but there's nobody around. Then when he goes back to his car to go back home, he gets attacked by the butterflies, and he realizes that the butterflies had something to do with the end of humanity, and he has to go back and warn everyone about it. So after the butterflies almost kill him, he just BARELY manages to get into his car and go back in time... but some of the butterflies attach themselves to it and go with.

PKD wrote a lot of really neat short stories like that, though. ;)
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Postby NOW!!!! on Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:53 pm

SBernard81 wrote:Yeah, I agree with you there. Even Fahrenheit 451 had next to zero character development. The lead character turns from a book burnin' fireman to a book readin' fool almost instantly, without any real internal struggles. One day he just decides, "hey, I think I'll stop burning books now." What the hell? Still, Fahrenheit 451 had enough cool philosophy in it to justify it's existence, I think.


Yup. I couldn't even finish the book because I was so bored with that kind of stuff.

I've heard good things about a book by Ira Levin entitled "This Perfect Day," but it's been out of print for awhile and is really hard to get ahold of. Is there anyone who's read it here who would know if it's worth the effort?

I've had an interest in this kind of fiction ever since I read 1984 when I was in 8th grade... and I think there's so much going on nowadays that could be used as material for another really good future-society-fiction-type story of this nature, too... everything from the saturation of television and advertising to people misusing the legal system (pretty soon we'll have to fill out forms in triplicate just to get fast food in order to absolve the restaurant of all legal responsibilities should we become obese)...
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Postby SBernard81 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:00 pm

The Philip K. Dick story sounds interesting... Theorhetically, space-time loops such as that (where something doesn't truly have a beginning or end) are possible. Actually, all of empty space is supposedly filled with the things, if Stephen Hawking's black hole entropy theories are right.

Basically, according to Hawking, all over empty space, two particles will randomly appear out of the nothingness. One of them is a particle and the other is an antiparticle. Immediately out of the nothingness, the particles fly apart from one another; but soon, the positive/negative electromagnetic attraction between the particle/antiparticle pair pulls the two back together again. As soon as they hit each other, they simply cease to exist.

Now... that is what the event looks like to our three-dimensional minds. What is really happening, however, requires the use of the time dimension. These two particles are actually only one particle; when the one particle gets pulled back into the "other" particle, it becomes the other particle, and flies backwards in time back to the beginning point again, at which point it starts moving fowards in time again, in an infinite loop with no real beginning or end. So you see, antiparticles are merely regular particles moving backwards in time.

Theorhetically, the same thing could be true about human-devouring butterflies. Of course, that seems doubtful... The idea that something so complex could simply exist without a real beginning or end... well, the idea would seem to require some sort of divine intervention, really, which has nothing to do with science. Still, it's an interesting idea.
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