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On Quirk

[ 34 ] September 15, 2014 |

I have a bizarre obsession with the movie “Gentleman Broncos,” because I see it as the ultimate example of wasted potential. The premise–sad, fatherless boy writes good (?) cathartic sci-fi story only to have it stolen by successful sci-fi writer in a creative slump (as played by Jemaine Clement!!!)–sounded so delicious and ripe for comedy to me, I was positively giddy about seeing it. The movie is actually pretty terrible. It didn’t have to be; it was ruined with QUIRK.

Quirk is tricky, but I’d say that if there were one rule regarding quirk, it’s this: Quirk must seem organic. Quirk has to seem like it just appeared of its volition. It can’t be movie icing.–it can’t be something you just slather all over your movie to make it more interesting.

The reason “Gentleman Broncos” didn’t work for me is because I felt like the director was so focused on making the film quirky and weird he got in the way of the story. In fact, the story itself always felt secondary to me.  Actually, it felt buried under layers and layers of awkward weirdness. It looks like it’s 1985 for some reason and the mother has a “talent” for making hideously ugly nightgowns. The small-town auteur is over-the-top freaky in a really mannered way. It’s like the Jared Hess ingested “Napoleon Dynamite,” vomited it up then boiled it down to make a concentrated movie syrup and served it up to us. It’s not good eats.

I think quirk is tricky because it can make a detour into awkward weirdness or saccharine cuteness really quickly. But it can be employed to good use, too: think of the Charlie Kaufman-written gems “Adaptation” and “Being John Malkovich.” They’re both weird as hell yet incredibly accessible and  better than they have any right to be. I seriously don’t know how “Being John Malkovich” ended up being as organically bizarre and hilarious as it was. But that is QUIRK DONE RIGHT. 

Wes Anderson mostly does quirk really well, too; sweet, artful quirk is just part of his aesthetic.

I just think quirk is a thing best used sparingly unless its in the hands of the truly gifted.

Tyler Perry’s “Racist Lawmakers”

[ 33 ] September 12, 2014 |

Fran Millar of Georgia wants educated voters voting, not Black ones, because there is no overlap between Black voters and educated voters OBVIOUSLY. I always wonder if people like this actually know or have known any Black people EVER. Or do they simply base their opinions of them on having watched Tyler Perry comedies?

The Ultimate Blank Canvas

[ 101 ] September 12, 2014 |

The boneless, skinless chicken breast: is there anything as simultaneously exciting and boring? I mean, there are tons of things you can do with them, but they’re not exactly the most inspiring cut of meat. That being said, what do you do with them?

BONUS QUESTION: I have a couple of super-thick, fatty pork chops to use. What would you do with them?

Wednesday Odds and Ends

[ 98 ] September 10, 2014 |

Last night I was at a loss as to what to make for dinner. I knew two things: I wanted to use some salmon and I wanted to use up some of the fresh veggies in my fridge. So here’s what I did…

  1. I sautéed some thinly-sliced onions, fennel, tomatoes, and zucchini in olive oil, salting and peppering to taste .
  2. I deglazed the pan with a generous splash of white wine and dumped in some chicken stock, along with some tomato paste.
  3. I let everything simmer together for several minutes. I was basically just trying to make a vegged-up tomato-fennel broth, which is my favorite thing to bathe seafood in.
  4. I nestled four salmon fillets in the broth and covered everything until the fillets were cooked through.
  5. I served the salmon fillets, veggies and broth over rice. I topped everything with some fresh fennel fronds. O…M…G.
  • Whenever I hear about the money woes of wealthy and/or upper-middle-class people it always strikes that those woes are due to extremely poor budgeting skills. And then I wonder why people who are poor or middle class are expected to live within in their means but rich people aren’t. I mean, isn’t that the weirdest thing?
  • I actually only watched a handful of episodes of “Homicide” back in the day, but I remember it being a chronically low-rated critics’ darling. So I’m not sure why I found this Margaret Lyons article arguing that the show was underrated so compelling–I really have no dog in the “which is the best cop drama?” fight. Speaking of which, which is your favorite cop drama?
  • Here’s a wonderful summation of #GamerGate.
  • As always, Alicublog is a great read.

Here’s my latest:

In Darkness Forged

Ophelia Benson Makes Me Post Adam Sandler Clip

[ 54 ] September 8, 2014 |

Penises, go to your homes!!!!

#Winning!

[ 157 ] September 6, 2014 |

We Hunted the Mammoth has the latest on #GamerGate. Spoiler Alert: women are being harassed into leaving the gaming world. It’s pretty great.

So great, one guy turned around slowly in a chair, stroked a cat and said “The dominoes are falling. We are winning. It’s brilliant.” THIS GUY:

To be fair, I cannot verify the fact that he turned slowly around in a chair and stroked a cat as he said the aforementioned, but as far as I know no one in the history of the world has ever said something like “The dominoes are falling. We are winning.” without also turning slowly around in a chair and stroking a cat. Granted, in this case, the chair is probably a tattered rocker-recliner and the cat is a jizz-stained stuffed animal…but the point remains: he is winning.

UPDATE:


Still winning!

Friday Creature Feature: What Is this Bug?

[ 26 ] September 5, 2014 |

What is this buggy?

He looks kinda like a praying mantis or stick bug.

“Buggy wants to say hi to me. He has big eyes–they’re fweaking me out.”

In other news, if you enjoy doing drugs, my twitter feed may be just what the doctor ordered this evening.

In other other news, rape is solved!

Nothing More Needs to Be Said

[ 38 ] September 4, 2014 |

Jessica Williams has the final word on catcalling and sexual harassment.

Wednesday Morning Grog Bowl

[ 154 ] September 3, 2014 |

Good morning, LGMer’s. Here are several things that have nothing to do with each other for you to look at.

  • Anita Sarkeesian Kickstartered a video project continuing her work on women and tropes in video games. Gamers everywhere responded with  measured skepticism by threatening her with rape and death. She was even temporarily hounded from her home. But she was a feminist on the internet–she should have known what she was getting into. Christina Hoff Sommers, vile faux-feminist, approves.
  •  

  • Yes, that’s right. Christina Hoff Sommers is backing doxxers and men who think making rape and death threats is a reasonable response to a video project exploring sexist tropes. Oddly, this should surprise no one, as Christina Hoff Sommers is an old school Chill Girl. Only it’s an especially unseemly brand of Chillgirlism at work here  because Christina Hoff Sommers is ancient and looking for head-pats from slobbering cretins half her age. OH, CHRISTINA.
  • Alicublog has more on the Sarkeesian-related lunacy and continued conservative outreach to women. (Apparently, catcalling has passionate defenders at NRO!) As Roy notes–it’s going great!
  • The male privilege at work in this story of a man who fired at people who interrupted his public fellatio is almost poetic in scope. (Thanks so much to Origami Isopod for the link.)
  • My latest work is done:
  • “The Night Stylist”

As I say at my gallery, when this idea came to me, I was thrilled. I loved the idea of someone “putting up” the night–pulling up the cloak of darkness and sprinkling it with stars and moons.

Book Review: Quicksand House

[ 24 ] August 30, 2014 |

When you hear about a book called “The Faggiest Vampire,” you can’t help but be intrigued, especially if you are eight, which I am. So, one day while I was “researching” a post for this site, I looked into the works of Carlton Mellick III, the author of the aforementioned. His book titles are all pretty remarkable–funny and shocking. But I was most intrigued by his “sci-fi”-horror story, “Quicksand House.” The premise–two children who’ve lived their entire lives in a huge nursery venture out into their enormous house, dodging “creepers” in search of their parents (whom they’ve never seen)–sounded so claustrophobic and sad and creepy to me. I bought the book.

The author is not without talent. He’s clearly passionate about his weird stories, and I respect that kind of passion. He’s also got one hell of an imagination, almost Kingsian in scope. (Yes, I just made up the word “Kingsian,” deal.) And occasionally, he really has a way with words. His description of the paper mother of his dreams (because she’s only existed in his drawings of her) was creepy and sad. She always gave him paper cuts as she stroked his face. Because she was made of paper. Clever, really. And the book is not devoid of cleverness and humor. Papercuts I like. It’s the shortcuts I like less.

As I mentioned earlier, the book has a sort of sci-fi element to it. Granted I have not read much sci-fi so I’m hardly an expert on the genre, but my understanding is that it it supposed to be part science, part fiction. Mellick is down the fiction, notsomuch with the science.  It always seemed as if he were trying to get from point A to point C by bypassing point B. For example, we’re told women now have antlers and go into heat occasionally. We are never told how or why this happens, it just happens. Similarly, we are told that “evolution” has made newborns disgusting worm-like creatures who suck blood from their hosts (usually an older) sibling. Again, we are never told how or why evolution went down this path, we’re just supposed to accept it and enjoy the weirdness that ensues because of it. Well, I can’t do that. I’m really into the weirdness, but even weirdness needs some basis in reality. I need to know why things are the way they are. Bear in mind, I watch daytime soaps. I am pretty great at suspending disbelief, so the fact that I had a hard time doing it here should tell you something.

And then there’s the no editor factor. I don’t think this guy has one and he needs one–DESPERATELY. He actually used the phrase “on accident,” which almost made me put the the book down. But I persevered. Until I read…bear with me here…I’m recalling and paraphrasing…”as he left he could hear her squirming and pouting.” Apparently in the future, pouting has become audible. More of that weird evolution, I guess.

I won’t even get into the cheesy cover art. There’s only one master of the antlered-women genre and it’s me.

Creatures Feature

[ 5 ] August 29, 2014 |

Been a looong time since I had a proper space to make art. I’m still pressed for time, unbelievably pressed, but..

More substantive posts coming soon.

Do You think Kirsten Gilibrand is Hot?

[ 59 ] August 28, 2014 |

Do you think she’s fat? In either case, could you keep it to yourself?

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