Tagged ‘mass hysteria‘

Which you so nobly serve

Shout out to the ebayer who hooked me up with last minute solar viewers for a very reasonable six bucks and one-day shipping. Not least of all because they were ostensibly legit, since my retinas seem mostly intact.

Today’s eclipse also got me thinking bout all the fun SciFi disasters astronomical events have kicked off throughout cinematic history. One of the earliest movie VHS tapes I remember us getting when I was a kid was 1984’s NIGHT OF THE COMET, which had Earth passing through the tale of a comet precipitating the zombie apocalypse. Nice gimmick wagering the 1986 pass of Halley’s Comet against the 1984 box office I reckon. Also one of my earliest impressions of Valley Girls and Shopping Malls.

And speaking of astronomical phenomena as movie gimmicks, I was also reminded of 1997’s epic THE FIFTH ELEMENT, probably in part due to all the 20th anniversary press floating around out there. That film did kick things off with a triple planetary eclipse, making for 3-times the dramatic space hoodoo and subsequently turning loose the Big Bad Hershey’s Chocolate-drooling omniscient Evil. Everything about THE FIFTH ELEMENT made it one of my most favorite movies of 1997– but please, whatever you do, don’t go googling my name + THE FIFTH ELEMENT. But then, 1997 was a great year for some classic fun movies.
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It’s way past my bedtime, so how about a good old fashioned conspiracy theory? I was doing some full-bore internet while streaming the debate tonight- keeping up with Fark comments, ebaying, screwing around on Facebook, outlining two plots in google notebook and I stumbled into 10xCSN. Here’s what I’ve gathered so far:

10xCSN = 10 times  Clear Solar Noon. A moment (November 17th 2008 by one account) when all commerce is going to collapse because Earth’s geomagnetic field is about to banana-go-nuts on our radiation protection from the Sun. The Commie’s are involved of course and some sort of New Age hippies. Then there’s a mention on a site, that is somehow more disturbing than commies AND hippies, called Jones and Pickle (no relation). Satellite charts indeed.

Throw coded crop circles in the mix, spice it up with a dash of this week’s predicted alien invasion and smooth it over with the always popular pyramid angle and you end up with something really special.

The beauty of it is, now I don’t have to worry about all that John Titor/cancelled elections jazz. Figures. I finally get something I’ve written filmed (minuscule though it may be) and the apocalypse sneaks up while I wasn’t looking.

Maybe it works with brain-damage…

I’ve never thought of myself as hard to please. Discerning, sure, but there are plenty of films, books and television that I enjoy without congealing into brilliant mind-bending plots with deep, dynamic characters. So I thought that the mindless action that Die Hard 4 and Transformers promised would be right up my alley.

And as much as I was looking forward to them both I just ended up bored and annoyed. What’s bothering me is that more than a few people seem to be able to enjoy these and I just don’t get it. I swear I’m not hard to please! I may hype myself up a little too often, but dammit I like mindless action! Here’s a list for you:

Independence Day
Con Air
The Long Kiss Goodnight
Passenger 57
Under Siege
Deep Blue Sea
The Postman
Point Break
3000 Miles to Graceland
Tango & Cash
Lethal Weapon 4
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
51st State
Blown Away

I consider these to be fairly typical mindless action flicks where plot, continuity and development end up sacrificed for spectacle- everything I expect from MAFs. I like all of these films, own about half of them and can quote cliché dialogue at length from more of them than I should admit. In the canon of MAFs these aren’t even the all-stars but I specifically picked these because they all score between a 5.0-6.5 user rating on the Internet Movie Database, with one exception. One scores a 7.1- Any guesses? It actually sort of surprised me. But pretend IMDB isn’t horribly skewed and say 5.0s are pretty average. SHOULDN’T I find more than a chuckle or two in Live Free or Die Hard – an 8.2!!!! Or Transformers – an 8.4?!

What the ever-loving-fuck?! Part of me insists that I embrace the popcorn flick as much as anyone else. I SHOULD be able to enjoy them. But I see a distinct void between these movies and Transformers (Die Hard 4 to a lesser extent) and I’m annoyed about it. Transformers was damn near incoherent. Just not fair.

No Boston, NO! bad puppy!

Seriously, Boston. You look like a bunch of tools.

As ad-campaigns go, this is one step up from putting movie posters up on construction sites. I personally made a few throwies myself out of leftover crap from my electronics class in college and tossed them around the coffee shop I like to go to. So all Boston gets is my scorn and derision. And in case there’s any doubt in your mind, if you have a moment, just look at the devices in question and how they were installed. I think I’m totally going to got out and get the components and make one of these now.

okay boys and girls, let's learn

US History, as I recall, is an 11th grade Social Studies requirement in the state of NC. I’m thinking this is likely the case elsewhere, since, well, we live in the US, and history is important. If you want to argue history isn’t important, I’ll meet you in the parking lot after work, and run you down on the fun baseball facts I’ve retained since my childhood. Be warned, Ty Cobb is my favorite baseball player.
But I’m not here to blog about baseball history just now, I’d rather refresh your brain on a sliver of knowledge that I hope and pray was instilled in your mind at some point in time, (assuming you’re not that Russian porn spammer here to hack my comments again). If you grew up in the US, this should be somewhat familiar to you:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is the First Amendment of the US Constitution, that exemplary document upon which the structure of our modern life rests upon. As a foundation for religious freedoms, consumerism and democracy in our nation, this is the most important scrap of paper in your life. You should respect it. You should champion it. You should take five fucking minutes to remind yourself why it is important, because kids, it may not be around forever. In fact there’s a good chance it won’t, whether it’s some socio-economic crash, or meterological distaster that kicks America to the curb, one of these days the US Constitution ain’t going to mean jack shit.
You may ask, “Nicolle, why are you taking time out of your busy pop-culture consuming schedule to bother us with rants about the effing Constitution?” and well, my answer to that is to quote South Park- “Whatever! I’ll do what I want!” Then there’s the fact that the patriot act has been approved by Congress.

And okay, maybe I’m getting a little carried away, I mean who needs Civil Liberties anyway? Public Library card? Gotta cut that one up. The Interwebs? Well….*shrug*.
Awareness is important. I’m not marching, I don’t have time to do much more than bitch about it on my website, but that’s what I’m pitching here, some awareness. There’s a lot of material out there, that if you take five or ten minutes to look at will give you some inkling of why this is not a good thing. Wikipedia is your friend. If you’re looking for a jumping off point, I’d suggest checking out the Reichstag Fire Decree. I’m not saying it’s the same thing, there are clear differences, but there are some obvious similarities. It’s history folks, learn from it.
In a vague, only related in my own mind sort of way, I’d also suggest everyone go see V for Vendetta  when it opens on March 17th.