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Postby SBernard81 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:21 pm

Once I tried to write a story about the saturation of television in our lives, but it just came out sounding cliche and preachy. I don't know if anyone has really written a story that is entirely about a television-obsessed dystopia, but I think it's been a small part of many of the larger dystopian novels, plus it's been handled so well in non-dystopian-science-fiction novels... Chuck Palahniuk is a great culture critic, for example. Anyway, I just gave up on that.

The idea of a dystopia about the misuse of the legal system is interesting... A world where everyone is afraid to interact with anyone else out of fear of criminal negligence, where parents have to get their kids to sign a form before they eat dinner, where you have to give 48 hours notice before you drop by someone's house, so they can safety-proof the place, put down the non-slip mats, test for radon... Lawyers rule the world. That's good. Someone should write that.

Lately I've been trying to write something about the contrast between man's urge to change the world and the impossibility of actually doing so. It would be a sort of anti-superhero story, something about the helplessness of living in modern society, the futility of being shown all of these horrible atrocities on television every day but not being able to do anything significant about them. I think a lot of people are feeling that these days.
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here's one I remembered without trying

Postby Dezro on Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:53 pm

NOW!!!! wrote: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.
I hate to mention it after a bit about saturation of TV, but of course there is the Simpsons. In one Treehouse of Horror, there was a parody of the Sound of Thunder. It was much better than the source. I try to pretend that the source never existed and that all the references to it are references to the Simpsons episode. But it doesn't work...
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Postby theangryQ on Thu Aug 21, 2003 3:35 pm

SBernard81 wrote: It would be a sort of anti-superhero story, something about the helplessness of living in modern society, the futility of being shown all of these horrible atrocities on television every day but not being able to do anything significant about them. I think a lot of people are feeling that these days.


That sounds a little like Too Much Coffee Man. Then there's that one Calvin and Hobbes strip, where Calvin wonders why superheroes don't go after more realistic problems, and Hobbes responds, "Yeah, he could attend council meetings and write letters to the editor and stuff. Quick, to the Bat Fax!"

The idea of a dystopia about the misuse of the legal system is interesting...


You could always go the opposite way. There's a huge backlash against the hey-let's-sue-everything impulse, which creates a general attitude that all law is frivolous:

Person 1: Oh my God! I just found out that Evil Corp has been putting cyanide and rat poo in its soft drinks!
Person 2: What're ya gonna do? Sue? *snort* Baby.
Crime is down and, oddly enough, so is tourism.
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Postby TODCRAProductions on Thu Aug 21, 2003 4:29 pm

I actually have a copy of This Perfect Day. It's by Ira Levin, and I found my copy at a Goodwill, and I figure if you look enough, you'll find one eventually. Ira Levin wrote a lot of 1970s Potboiler Type Books (he also wrote Stepford Wives (OK, I guess), and Rosemary's Baby (erm, sorry, but boring as hell).

As for the quality of it: It's OK, Enough, I guess. If you get it at Goodwill, it'll be definately worth the 45 cents or whatever. But, like, don't pay fifty billion dollars for a copy. This Perfect Day, I don't really remember a whole lot about it, because it was about 10 years ago when I read it, but I remember it being sort of like Dystopia-Lite. In fact, I remember thinking "Hm, this Future Dystopian World isn't terribly Futurey, nor really _that_ Dystopian. Sure, it's Dystopian, but compared to a lot of the stuff I've read, this world's a walk in the park."

Anyway, I usually mention this, and you've probably read it anyway, but I _REALLY_ check out We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. (For more on it, search the boards for "zamyatin", because I've posted about it a few times). Some of Burgess's stuff is OK, but it's a bit... burgessy. Like, "The Wanting Seed" is OK. "A Clockwork Orange" is pretty keen, but I doubt I needed to tell anyone that. "1985" is more interesting for the first half (essay about Dystopias, or Cacotopias as burgess terms them), than the second (Burgess writing YA Cacotopia, only this one's sorta boring.).

Uh, I could probably tell you a lot more if you'd asked me 10 years ago, though. I had basically a history-type thing going on with those and I could tell you all sorts of tons of things. but I've forgotten most of it. So, uh, yeah.

But, yeah, re: Perfect Day: If a copy falls into your lap, ROCK. If not, eh, whatever, it's not terribly worth seeking out.
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Postby NOW!!!! on Thu Aug 21, 2003 9:27 pm

Oh goody! So much to respond to... we've got a LIVE TOPIC HERE!!

SBernard81 wrote: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.


I started reading his short stories last summer (after having read a bunch of his novels during previous years... my favorites are still A Scanner Darkly and Ubik, btw). Since I've been reading his short stories, I've found looping time travel is a device he used frequently (two other examples spring directly to mind: "Paycheck" and this other short story about this guy with these wings that help him to fly and... well, you have to read that one, I'm not sure I can describe it here).

In any case, I wrote most of the scripts that I've been using for my own comic strip about a year in advance of using them, and, FUN FACT, just scant MONTHS before I read The Collected Stories Of Philip K. Dick (which contains Paycheck and the other two shorts I've talked about), I wrote a story in which one of the jokes revolved around characters getting a time machine from themselves... if you want to check it out, the storyline to look for is "Godwin's History Lesson." It's my favorite story out of all the ones I've done (though not my favorite single strip... that would be "Entertainment Today"). Read it, hopefully it'll at least muster a chuckle or two. ;)

Anyway, END PLUGGING!

SBernard81 wrote:Once I tried to write a story about the saturation of television in our lives, but it just came out sounding cliche and preachy. I don't know if anyone has really written a story that is entirely about a television-obsessed dystopia


The most notable example would be the 80s movie/tv series Max Headroom. It's been attempted a few other times, but none of them have been nearly as succesful (to give you an idea of how hobbled they were, one series that tried to do something around that theme in the early 90s starred Jim Belushi, the less-talented Belushi brother!)

Obviously, it doesn't work as a TV show or mainstream movie because anything that slams the entertainment industry is going to get squashed by the industry bigwigs. Free speech? Not if the mediaopoly has anything to say about it!

"Please stand by, pleeeease stand by, it means there's technical dif-fi-cul-ties, supposedly, so if you see, a 'Please Stand By,' you know it's all part of GE's big lie...

SBernard81 wrote:but I think it's been a small part of many of the larger dystopian novels, plus it's been handled so well in non-dystopian-science-fiction novels... Chuck Palahniuk is a great culture critic, for example.


Chuck rules. I just wish all his novels didn't sound so identical.

SBernard81 wrote:Anyway, I just gave up on that.


THEN IT'S UP TO ME TO PICK UP THE SLACK.

Seriously, I've already got outlines and elements for comic series or something stored away, and I'm totally gonna go ahead with it when I feel like I have enough of it gelled together and my own skills honed well enough to do it justice.

SBernard81 wrote:The idea of a dystopia about the misuse of the legal system is interesting... A world where everyone is afraid to interact with anyone else out of fear of criminal negligence, where parents have to get their kids to sign a form before they eat dinner, where you have to give 48 hours notice before you drop by someone's house, so they can safety-proof the place, put down the non-slip mats, test for radon... Lawyers rule the world. That's good. Someone should write that.


Someone will :). What I was picturing was a world so tied down by red tape and disclaimers that progress hasn't just stopped, it's started going backwards (except in legal areas, of course), where fast food takes 3 or 4 hours to get to you because it takes time to process forms (though you're usually lucky if you ever get it), etc. Sort of like Brazil, but with private legal madness rather than government buearacracy(sp?).


Dezro wrote:I hate to mention it after a bit about saturation of TV, but of course there is the Simpsons. In one Treehouse of Horror, there was a parody of the Sound of Thunder. It was much better than the source. I try to pretend that the source never existed and that all the references to it are references to the Simpsons episode. But it doesn't work...


That was one of the other examples I was thinking of... but I went with the MST3K ref because I was just watching the episode the other day, and because honestly, the Simpsons started to suck and lost all traces of humor so long ago that it's gone from being one of the few GOOD things about television to being just another example of one of the PROBLEMS with television (specifically, good things get run so far into the ground that it hurts other good things or even BETTER things (I'm of course thinking of Futurama and Family Guy here), and all the creativity and life gets sucked out of the rare good show that manages to stick around for awhile until all that's left is a husk hocking stuff for the likes of Burger King and Reebok... Sometimes you have to spoil yourself, spoil yourself, spoil yourself, spoil yourself!!).
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URGENT TELEGRAM: IGNORE POSTS FROM DEZRO. STOP.

Postby Dezro on Thu Aug 21, 2003 10:02 pm

Well, I think the Simpsons episode is the better ref, since
1) It was from an episode from the good days, whereas he MST3K ref was from the Sci-Fi channel episodes (I think?),
2) The Simpsons gave it more than fifteen seconds,
3) The Simpsons was the ultimate in pop culture for a while. More than once I've heard someone reference a Simpsons reference to another reference, without even knowing about the original source referenced.

Anyway, I can't think of anything else to drive the thread off this 'book' topic. Oh. Nobody answered my puke hand question. I'm damn sad.
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Postby SBernard81 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 10:55 pm

Chuck rules. I just wish all his novels didn't sound so identical.


Agreed. I've read them all except Fight Club, and they're all pretty much the same thing. Lulluby was a little different, being a "horror" novel and all (as long as by "horror," you mean "references to witchcraft in a totally unfrightening book"), but at the same time, Lulluby was probably my least favorite of his books so far. I keep meaning to get around to reading Fight Club, but I haven't, because:

a. I hate hate hate hate buying books that have movie photos on the cover, and I haven't gotten around to buying a used copy of the hardcover yet. I'm about to graduate college as an Illustrator, and it just plain pisses me off to see good artwork taken off of books and replaced with stupid movie pictures that are also on the damn DVD, so it has become a matter of principal for me not to buy them.

b. Reading a book after seeing the movie is never quite as satisfying as reading a book cold.

One final note about ol' Chuck: if you dig his writing style, for the love of god, read Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Read his books now. Palahniuk's writing style owes Vonnegut big time, except Vonnegut is superior. Way superior.

That sounds a little like Too Much Coffee Man. Then there's that one Calvin and Hobbes strip, where Calvin wonders why superheroes don't go after more realistic problems...


I'm not familiar with Too Much Coffee Man, but I am familiar with said Calvin and Hobbes strip, as I am familiar with all Calvin and Hobbes strips, as it is the best comic strip ever made. My idea is... it's about the fact that I have a Christ complex of some kind, and I can never quite grasp the fact that the world isn't mine to change. At the same time, I also can't stand myself and know I am incapable of changing anything. The story is about that duality. Blah, blah, blah, who cares? The day I publish it or burn it or delete it from my hard drive I'll talk about it some more.

Oh, and one last thing, I haven't read We yet, but I know I should. I'll get on that.
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Postby SBernard81 on Thu Aug 21, 2003 11:20 pm

Hahaha, I just read your Godwin's History Lesson storyline. The only problem is that at the end, there is a joke about what was done with the time machine, but obviously they gave the time machine to their past selves, so their past selves could use the time machine to go on the adventure in the first place, duh!

Speaking of time-space loops, I keep waiting for incredible riches and/or adventure (that results in riches) to grow out of a time loop of some sort. For example, my future self could come back in time and give me a million dollars and a stock market guide for the next 20 years. Then I'd use the million dollars to make one hundred billion dollars, and use my immense wealth to fund time travel research, and build a time machine so I can give my past self a million dollars and a stock market guide. Damn, that's genius. I think I'll do that riiiiiiiiiiight................NOW!

Damn, it didn't work. Still, I've got my fingers crossed.
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Re: URGENT TELEGRAM: IGNORE POSTS FROM DEZRO. STOP.

Postby NOW!!!! on Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:16 am

Dezro wrote:Well, I think the Simpsons episode is the better ref, since
1) It was from an episode from the good days, whereas he MST3K ref was from the Sci-Fi channel episodes (I think?),
2) The Simpsons gave it more than fifteen seconds,
3) The Simpsons was the ultimate in pop culture for a while. More than once I've heard someone reference a Simpsons reference to another reference, without even knowing about the original source referenced.


Oh, I'm not debating which reference is BETTER, mind you... I was just saying I mentioned the one I mentioned for the reasons I cited. ;)
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Postby NOW!!!! on Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:27 am

SBernard81 wrote:
Chuck rules. I just wish all his novels didn't sound so identical.


Agreed. I've read them all except Fight Club, and they're all pretty much the same thing. Lulluby was a little different, being a "horror" novel and all (as long as by "horror," you mean "references to witchcraft in a totally unfrightening book"), but at the same time, Lulluby was probably my least favorite of his books so far. I keep meaning to get around to reading Fight Club, but I haven't, because:

a. I hate hate hate hate buying books that have movie photos on the cover, and I haven't gotten around to buying a used copy of the hardcover yet. I'm about to graduate college as an Illustrator, and it just plain pisses me off to see good artwork taken off of books and replaced with stupid movie pictures that are also on the damn DVD, so it has become a matter of principal for me not to buy them.

b. Reading a book after seeing the movie is never quite as satisfying as reading a book cold.


Most people think Survivor is his best book, but I think fight club is still his best. Besides being "the original," it has a certain rawness to the writing that all his other books lack. Sort of like the first album by Netherlands formerly-a-band-but-now-just-its-brainchild-DJ Junkie XL. The first was AWESOME, the second was AWESOME but lacked the rawness of the first (parts of it felt almost TOO refined by comparison), and the latest one that just came out was okay, and certainly demonstrated some of the best mixing and DJing from a technical standpoint, but it wasn't nearly as great as the first two.

SBernard81 wrote:One final note about ol' Chuck: if you dig his writing style, for the love of god, read Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Read his books now. Palahniuk's writing style owes Vonnegut big time, except Vonnegut is superior. Way superior.


I started to read Player Piano, and was enjoying it, but I had to return it to the college library before I was finished when summer started.

Hey, while I'm at here, I'll plug something a friend of mine wrote too, since, if you liked Palahniuk, you'll probably like his (he involves similar themes, and one character is named "Maura," which I realize is awwwfully close to "Marla," but seriously, ignore those initial similarities,'cause they're only skin deep and it's really good): Lobster Clouds And Pieces of People. I was his editor and designed a cover for it. :D
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Postby NOW!!!! on Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:29 am

SBernard81 wrote:Hahaha, I just read your Godwin's History Lesson storyline. The only problem is that at the end, there is a joke about what was done with the time machine, but obviously they gave the time machine to their past selves, so their past selves could use the time machine to go on the adventure in the first place, duh!


No, see, that's the joke.
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Postby NOW!!!! on Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:32 am

By the way, I should probably add something that I forgot to mention earlier, and that's that the best example I've ever seen of making a fictional futuristic "story" about the effects of television and advertising on people and society was a single episode of Cowboy Bebop: Session 23, "Brain Scratch." It was one of those things where I didn't really appreciate it the first time I saw it, but on subsequent viewings and after having time to think about it, I realized how good it actually was.
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Postby SBernard81 on Fri Aug 22, 2003 7:18 am

Player Piano is alright, but you've gotta realize that was his first book and subsequent Vonnegut books have kicked that book's ass (almost all subsequent Vonnegut books). Although, it is funny that Player Piano is brought up, as that is yet another dystopian science-fiction novel. Ignore it. Read Cat's Cradle. It is quite simply one of the best books ever. I would also recommend Sirens of Titan before I recommended Slaughter-House Five.

Your words make me even more ashamed of not having read Fight Club. Damn me!!! Of the ones I have read so far, I definitely liked Survivor the best, which also happens to be the first one I read. I hear he has a new one coming out next month, but if it isn't a significant departure from his others, I doubt I'm going to be in any hurry to read it.
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Postby TODCRAProductions on Fri Aug 22, 2003 7:18 am

Ah, geez. I think instead of doing a big ol' monster reply, I'm just gonna hit on a few thigns, probably in backwards order.

NOW wrote:By the way, I should probably add something that I forgot to mention earlier, and that's that the best example I've ever seen of making a fictional futuristic "story" about the effects of television and advertising on people and society was a single episode of Cowboy Bebop: Session 23, "Brain Scratch." It was one of those things where I didn't really appreciate it the first time I saw it, but on subsequent viewings and after having time to think about it, I realized how good it actually was.


Never saw that one, since, erm, I.... never got into Cowboy Bebop. I know, I'm sorry, that's total utter blasphemy. It's very pretty though, but the show just doesn't do anything for me. The Intro is badass things ever, though. Sometimes I'll just watch the intro, then flip around or watch it on mute with a record going (as it is very pretty).

ANYWAY: I didn't post that just to say I don't like Cowboy Bebop and have thus blown all my hipster/anime geek/animation nerd cred. What I _WAS_ going to say, was that I just finished Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, and that hits on some of the same themes, and I think it's pretty damned rockin' (although if you've never read DFW before, I recommend reading one of his shorter works, particularly "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men", a collection of short stories, so that way you can find out if you can get into his style, because you don't want to buy a 1000 page book to find out 10 pages in you want to beat him with a pipe. Apparently, this is a common reaction. DFW seems to be one of those Either Really Like Him or Despise Every Essence Of His Being authors.). It's ostensibly about a film cartridge so entertaining it's fatal, but it's more about addiction (of both media and drugs). [Yeah, I _know_ this description is all Adbustersy. Don't let that stop you. Where Actual Adbusters has maybe a 20% success rate, IJ has a much higher one. (Also, if you actually DO like Adbusters: Do _NOT_ read Kalle Lasn's _Culture Jam_ (Lasn's the founder of Adbusters) -- it will make you UTTERLY DESPISE him and the magazine, even the bits you previously found good. JESUS FUCKING CHRIST if there's a man on this earth who does Not Get It, it's Lasn. What a fucking retard. GOD. I shouldn't get into this, since this is SUPPOSED to be about David Foster Wallace, but anyway, one bit of his Gems is that you should Protest McDonalds for Corporate Policies (note: this part, sure, that's cool, don't have a problem with that; I'd probably more want to protest them for their shitty food, but hey.) by HARASSING THE REGISTER JOCKEYS. Yeah, because Everyone WANTS to work at McDonalds, AND they're gonna go "Oh, one of the clerks in our Backwater, IN franchise said some guy came in saying that they didn't like how we bulldozed rainforests and whatever! We better knock that off! And give that clerk an executiveship!" No: it's not gonna do anything, except make some poor guy's day _EVEN WORSE_ and I imagine that if you have to work at McDonalds, you don't have a whole lot of Utterly Bitchin' Days to begin with. So, uh, yeah, FUCK YOU, KALLE "RETARDED JACKASS ASSHOLE" LASN WITH YOUR BOGUS DILDO. YOU CAN STICK THAT UP YOUR ASS, HONEY, NOT MINE. Anyway, he says a lot more stupid shit, but that was the thing that made me want to have a sit down with him.) Anyway, it seems that about 80% of what Adbusters does is sorta preachy, pretentious and sorta misses the point anyway, but about 20% of the time they do cool stuff, but I've sorta started to hate the cool stuff too, since reading his retarded book so... I gather he's sorta like Hilary Rosen and the Adbusters Organization should learn NOT TO LET HIM OPEN HIS BIG YAP.] Anyway, long Adbustersian-parenthetical-rant-that-should-have-been-a-footnote-aside, Infinite Jest is pretty cool, and I recommend people check it out.

Dezro wrote:1) It was from an episode from the good days, whereas he MST3K ref was from the Sci-Fi channel episodes (I think?),

You're right about it being Sci-Fi era, but I must disagree with your assessment of Sci-Fi MST3K == Late Era Simpsons. While the Host Bits got worse without Dr. F, they were still actually funny, and also, the movie-segments got a LOT better. And I watch a TON of MST3K, both old and new. In fact, I'll probably watch some more tonight!

and, remember, use plenty of lip and tongue action.

NOW wrote:I read The Collected Stories Of Philip K. Dick (which contains Paycheck and the other two shorts I've talked about)

Which volume? There's 5 you know. I've got all five, but I don't have them immediately handy. For some reason "Short Happy Life Of The Brown Oxford" is calling to me, but I have no idea whether or not that's the actual volume.

NOW wrote:where fast food takes 3 or 4 hours to get to you because it takes time to process forms (though you're usually lucky if you ever get it)

HEY! IRS burger! From the one where Krusty Dies!

Also, on the subject of [Good-Era] Simpsons, and Obscure As All Get-Out References (not that IRS burger is one of those), I recently found out that the whole Gabbo episode was loosely based on a 1928 Erich Von Stroheim film, which I assume 99.9% of the audience had never ever heard of, let alone seen. Hell, I hadn't, and I'm a Film Guy. The Great Gabbo: http://www.imdb.com/Title?0019946. So, how's about that?

Also, apologies for not including all of your exclamation points.
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Postby SBernard81 on Fri Aug 22, 2003 11:31 am

I utterly despise anyone who harasses minimum wage cashiers for anything. I think there should be a law against that, where the punishment is the death penalty. What do these fuck ups think they are trying to prove? Leave the goddamned cashier alone, he's not the one that invented the bonus card system! Oh yes, and I'm sure the cashier was directly responsible for the pricing of Oscar Meyer baloney, so you should really bitch him out for raising the price!! While you are at it, why don't you tell him that you think he is lying when he explains that all of the prices are computerized!!!! Because you know, you're eighty-seven years old, and are obviously really up to date on the technology!!!! I'LL PUNCH YOU IN THE THROAT, OLD MAN!!!!!!!!

It's been three years since I've had that job and I still have Vietnam-esque flashbacks.
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Postby Dezro on Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:31 pm

TODCRAProductions wrote:You're right about it being Sci-Fi era, but I must disagree with your assessment of Sci-Fi MST3K == Late Era Simpsons.
I never said that. Nothing is worse than Late Simpsons. However, I do think good era Simpsons > Sci-Fi MST3K. Mostly because I'm a big fan of TV's Frank, and seeing episodes without makes me cry.
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Postby NOW!!!! on Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:06 pm

TODCRAProductions wrote:Ah, geez. I think instead of doing a big ol' monster reply, I'm just gonna hit on a few thigns, probably in backwards order.

NOW wrote:By the way, I should probably add something that I forgot to mention earlier, and that's that the best example I've ever seen of making a fictional futuristic "story" about the effects of television and advertising on people and society was a single episode of Cowboy Bebop: Session 23, "Brain Scratch." It was one of those things where I didn't really appreciate it the first time I saw it, but on subsequent viewings and after having time to think about it, I realized how good it actually was.


Never saw that one, since, erm, I.... never got into Cowboy Bebop. I know, I'm sorry, that's total utter blasphemy. It's very pretty though, but the show just doesn't do anything for me. The Intro is badass things ever, though. Sometimes I'll just watch the intro, then flip around or watch it on mute with a record going (as it is very pretty).


Well, the comment was directed towards the television/dystopia conversation, so it's okay. ;)

A lot of people probably wouldn't agree with me, but I think that one in particular is the best single-Session that's not part of any of the other multiepisode arching storylines. Feels almost like it could be the basis of another TV show, really.

TODCRAProductions wrote:ANYWAY: I didn't post that just to say I don't like Cowboy Bebop and have thus blown all my hipster/anime geek/animation nerd cred. What I _WAS_ going to say, was that I just finished Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, and that hits on some of the same themes, and I think it's pretty damned rockin' (although if you've never read DFW before, I recommend reading one of his shorter works, particularly "Brief Interviews With Hideous Men", a collection of short stories, so that way you can find out if you can get into his style, because you don't want to buy a 1000 page book to find out 10 pages in you want to beat him with a pipe. Apparently, this is a common reaction. DFW seems to be one of those Either Really Like Him or Despise Every Essence Of His Being authors.). It's ostensibly about a film cartridge so entertaining it's fatal, but it's more about addiction (of both media and drugs).


Funny you should mention that, because I wanted to make "electronic addiction" (television and cyberspace and the like) a big part of this thing that I'm planning (I particularly had some neat ideas about television-addicts losing their perspective on reality and all kinds of fun stuff planned relating to cyberaddiction).

TODCRAProductions wrote:Anyway, long Adbustersian-parenthetical-rant-that-should-have-been-a-footnote-aside, Infinite Jest is pretty cool, and I recommend people check it out.


I'll be sure to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

TODCRAProductions wrote:
Dezro wrote:1) It was from an episode from the good days, whereas he MST3K ref was from the Sci-Fi channel episodes (I think?),

You're right about it being Sci-Fi era, but I must disagree with your assessment of Sci-Fi MST3K == Late Era Simpsons. While the Host Bits got worse without Dr. F, they were still actually funny, and also, the movie-segments got a LOT better. And I watch a TON of MST3K, both old and new. In fact, I'll probably watch some more tonight!

and, remember, use plenty of lip and tongue action.

NOW wrote:I read The Collected Stories Of Philip K. Dick (which contains Paycheck and the other two shorts I've talked about)

Which volume? There's 5 you know. I've got all five, but I don't have them immediately handy. For some reason "Short Happy Life Of The Brown Oxford" is calling to me, but I have no idea whether or not that's the actual volume.


Volume 1 and parts of Volume 2 while reading one or two of his other novels, too (Flow My Tears The Policeman Said and one other one, I think).

TODCRAProductions wrote:
NOW wrote:where fast food takes 3 or 4 hours to get to you because it takes time to process forms (though you're usually lucky if you ever get it)

HEY! IRS burger! From the one where Krusty Dies!


Heh! I totally forgot about that!

TODCRAProductions wrote:Also, on the subject of [Good-Era] Simpsons, and Obscure As All Get-Out References (not that IRS burger is one of those), I recently found out that the whole Gabbo episode was loosely based on a 1928 Erich Von Stroheim film, which I assume 99.9% of the audience had never ever heard of, let alone seen. Hell, I hadn't, and I'm a Film Guy. The Great Gabbo: http://www.imdb.com/Title?0019946. So, how's about that?


Wow, that is obscure. It's funny how subtle or obscure a lot of earlier Simpsons humor was.

I still want to know if that "Hick-A-Doo-La" thing from that one Family Guy was just a parody of those beach-blanket movies of the 60s or a reference to an actual, really obscure TV show, though.

TODCRAProductions wrote:Also, apologies for not including all of your exclamation points.


'Salright.
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Postby theangryQ on Fri Aug 22, 2003 2:59 pm

Some of there stuff can be pretty good. I like it when they just let facts speak for themselves, you know? And the Creative Resistence contests are pretty nifty. I think the problem is that they lack a sense of humor most of the time.
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Postby SBernard81 on Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:55 pm

maybe I shouldn't read posts about Phillip K. Dick and Steven Hawking while listening to Naphalm Death.

I find that Stephen Hawking mixes well with recent-era Radiohead, much of the lighter Aphex Twin, and minimalist classical music like Philip Glass.
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Postby TODCRAProductions on Fri Aug 22, 2003 6:20 pm

angryQ wrote:Some of [Adbusters'] stuff can be pretty good. I like it when they just let facts speak for themselves, you know? And the Creative Resistence contests are pretty nifty. I think the problem is that they lack a sense of humor most of the time.

I'd go along with the sense-of-humor thing. They can have a tendency to be sort of shrill sometimes, too. The bits I tend to like are the ad parodies, like their Absolut series a while ago. But it seems that a lot of the recent projects I can think of are sorta... I dunno. They tend to remind me of those hippie-anarchist sorts (yeah, I know that doesn't typically go together) who are really into smashing the state and bringing The Man Down, but haven't really thought a whole lot of it through yet.

Note: I don't actually have a problem with smashing the state/bringing The Man down or anything, I'm just a little leery when it seems like more of a Knee-Jerk sorta thing. (Even though a lot of the stuff what, say, corporations do doesn't really need much more of a "hey, no that's EVIL!" response without really thinking much about it.)

I'm not sure, it's hard for me to put into words that Exact Feeling Of Adbustersness along with What Exactly I Don't Like About It. Although I do really like "Put down the fucking [copy of] Adbusters" as an insult to someone who's being Very Much Like That Feeling Of Adbustersyness I Don't Like (usually coupled with the Not Really Thinking Things Through aspect).

I think it's like some people's (not really mine) beef with Michael Moore: while they agree with what he says, they don't like _how_ he says it. I agree with some amount of Adbusters in Theory, I just tend to think they're all wrong in going about it.

And Kalle Lasn's a tremendous ass. I think I actually shouted at the book when he started going on about how harassing clerks was a Blow Against The Pig Power Structure or whatever the fuck. I suppose I could make some sort of comment about "Hey, it's _EASY_ to beat up the little guy when you don't have to worry about where your next pair of Birkenstocks is coming from" but I don't think I will, cause it's a little cheap.

Thing-Fish wrote:I like a lot of what adbusters do, but alot of it strikes me as something a naive "socialist libertarian" type would do. Videotaping yourself throwing money in the mall to "laugh at the capitalists" is just pointless eliteism.

Heh, it's funny that you sorta mention that. I'm currently reading (oddly enough, on the 9th anniverary of the event through an amazing coincidence) "K Foundation Burn a Million Quid", a book explaining a project where Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty (formerly of pop group The KLF) take a million pounds from their bank account (from selling all the KLF records), go to the island of Jura and (oddly enough) burn it. Anyway, on a whim, they videotape it, and then, a year later they, on a whim, decided to tour the film around and ask the audience questions.

It's really funny because one of the venues was an "Anarchist's Club", and while it's sort of vague whether or not Cauty and Drummond actually had a point (they tend to have a similar reaction towards me re: having a distrust of saying "Hello, this is a STATEMENT for/against WHATEVER" and rather letting it say or not say it as it happens. -- it's sort of hard to explain without actually directly referencing a lot of what the KLF/K Foundation/Etc. has done) the Anarchists were the most big on missing it. It was funny, because they honestly seemed the most upset by the burning of the money. Y'know, the people who you'd think would sort of twig to the whole "Money Not Really Having Any Inherent Value Other Than What We As A Society Put On It, Not Like, Say, Food Or Arguably Art Or Whatever" thing. And you had the people going "YOU SHOULD HAVE BURNED THE HOUSES OF PARLIMENT!!!". One person suggested they should have burned a tenner instead.

It's actually a pretty interesting book. And the thing I like about it is that they weren't really Making A Statement (or, rather, they never Explicitly State their statement if they have one), and it's more of just looking at what it represents to people and whatnot. One person called the act incredibly stupid and they agreed. One of the interesting things that came up was someone mentioned that they did it just because they could afford to and implied that they'd basically had the silver spoon and whatnot, and actually:
a) They both came from poorish working class backgrounds.
b) They could afford it in that they could Get By sans the million, but it _was_ the bulk of their money.
c) They actually were sort of worried about the whole "well, what happens if, say, my kid has a tumor that I'd need 150,000 pounds to pay for the surgery" aspect.
d) But, because of A, they realised how Weird And Silly it is to just come into a million dollars at once as if by magic, and how at that point it just doesn't seem to be real, although they made it real by deliberating about what to do with the money for so long.

I don't know. It's one of those things where it might not be the absolute best thing to do with the money it, and I wouldn't really want to do it to my own money, but I think it's kinda cool that they did it. It's an interesting read at the least.

Not to mention that the book is pretty evenly split between people who are "HEY THIS RULES" and "THIS IS HORRIBLE AND OFFENSIVE AND DUMB". So it's not like it's all Self-Congratulatory or anything. It's pretty neat.

NOW wrote:I still want to know if that "Hick-A-Doo-La" thing from that one Family Guy was just a parody of those beach-blanket movies of the 60s or a reference to an actual, really obscure TV show, though.

IIRC, on the commentary track, they said it was just a parody of those sorts of movies. Which is pretty awesome, since it's one of the things I laughed hardest at in Family Guy, which is keen cause there's a lot of stuff I've laughed hard at. Like the, hell, entire Toad episode.

But yeah, I don't think it's a Direct Parody of any particular movie or show, but I wouldn't be surprised if the title was inspired by shows like Hullaballoo. Because there were a bunch of 1960s TV shows that were primarily Dance Type Shows with Gibberish-y Sorts Of Names. (Well, Hullaballoo is sorta a word, but... yeah. You know what I mean. And I think there were some actual ones that WERE gibberish, so, hey.)

Dezro wrote:I never said that. Nothing is worse than Late Simpsons. However, I do think good era Simpsons > Sci-Fi MST3K. Mostly because I'm a big fan of TV's Frank, and seeing episodes without makes me cry.

Fair enough. TV's Frank is AWESOME. Damn you, Torgo The White!

SBernard81 wrote:I utterly despise anyone who harasses minimum wage cashiers for anything. I think there should be a law against that, where the punishment is the death penalty. What do these fuck ups think they are trying to prove? Leave the goddamned cashier alone, he's not the one that invented the bonus card system! Oh yes, and I'm sure the cashier was directly responsible for the pricing of Oscar Meyer baloney, so you should really bitch him out for raising the price!! While you are at it, why don't you tell him that you think he is lying when he explains that all of the prices are computerized!!!! Because you know, you're eighty-seven years old, and are obviously really up to date on the technology!!!! I'LL PUNCH YOU IN THE THROAT, OLD MAN!!!!!!!!

EXACTLY. And I'm know that when you had that job you had an INSTANT ear to the CEO of whatever company it was you were doing cashiering for, not to mention a lot of weight to throw around company-wise.
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Postby SBernard81 on Fri Aug 22, 2003 8:17 pm

EXACTLY. And I'm know that when you had that job you had an INSTANT ear to the CEO of whatever company it was you were doing cashiering for, not to mention a lot of weight to throw around company-wise.

CASHIERS: BLAMELESS INNOCENTS? a play by steve bernard
[As the scene opens, a powerful, smartly dressed corporate executive, MR. McEVIL, sits at a desk in a dimly lit room. A shadowy figure emerges from the darkness, and as the light falls upon him, he is revealed to be a cashier. This is ME.]
ME, the lowly cashier: Another old man angrily yelled at me today.
MR. McEVIL, ceo of tops: Haw haw haw, delightful. Was it the inconvenience of the bonus card system again?
CASHIER: [ominously] Yes. Of course. The bonus card system.
CEO: That is just great. Don't you agree?
CASHIER: [irritated] Of course I agree. The bonus card system was my idea, or have you forgotten?
CEO: How could I forget? Ahh, how I love it when your brilliant ideas piss off more innocent customers.
CASHIER: I have a new idea. I think we should raise the price of Oscar Mayer baloney to $7.99 a pound.
CEO: But... but wouldn't that make it hard for an 87 year-old man to afford? That... that is simply too evil, Mr. Cashier.
CASHIER: [furiously] NO!!! You will do as I say, Mr. Powerful CEO, or you will suffer my cashier's wrath.
CEO: [horrified] If... If I must... [as MR. McEVIL breaks into tears, he hoarsely whispers] Why do you do this?
CASHIER: Because... I am... the antichrist.
CEO: [shocked] No!!! Why, God, why are all cashiers inevitably the antichrist?!
[the CASHIER begins laughing maniacally, and walks back into the darkness. out of the darkness, more cashiers descend, and the viewer suddenly realizes that the CEO is simply taking orders from a never-ending line of CASHIERS]

The moral of this story is clear. Punch a cashier in the face today!

I hate people.
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Postby SBernard81 on Sat Aug 23, 2003 10:17 am

Ha, I was going to add Boards of Canada. Never heard of Vangelis though.
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