Promethisaurus Rex – Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

Warning: Explosive Bolts. If you hate spoilers, do not read this review. Just see the movie Prometheus.

Love cars, hate salesmen. A critic said Ridley Scott’s new movie ‘Prometheus’ created a mix between Bladerunner and Aliens. Being devoted to all things Ridley Scott, and having a day job, I was in the 10:30pm theater line. And all by my lonesome, as my wife knew something I didn’t. She hates salesmen worse than I, but I’m primitively attracted to shiny things.

Pre-reviewers painted a picture of discovering a lost civilizations in space, beings connected to us.  The first five minutes of the film suggest as much, so my imagination began taking the trip.That’s because after working on the latest NASA Hubble Space telescope images and making fine art prints of the grandeur of the Carina Nebulae, I was ready for a vision!

The thing about car wrecks is mostly they don’t have to happen. Sadly, even an expert driver, having ridden the long highway too many times, the roadsides all decked with franchises and blinking lights, a man can find himself dozing off.

The greatest thing to say about Prometheus is what it might have been. The awareness of planetary civilizations. (Civilization, in case you don’t know, is that thing  going out of control for much of human-kind). Imagine, some other world of minds is out there existing. We are not praying to the aliens, but  trying to understand and possibly love them like Starman or 2001 – the stuff many felt in 1966 when Star Trek was about to pilot and we were about to land on the moon. It is what archaeologists on site and historians feel when they realize there was something greater than we now – something came before, when humans had another magnificence. The discovering of civilizations brought hope.

My mornings in Escondido begin at my doormat. Ferrel cats nicely lay out  half- chewed gopher kidneys and tails – an honorable instinct learned in Egyptian times.

And so what hope does Ridley Scott lay at my feet? Kidneys and tails. Kind of like Prometheus, the clay god punished for stealing fire. Each day an eagle sent to feed on his liver, only to have it grow back to be eaten again. Like an Escondido morning, Promethean gutlore. In my Cineplex bay, really, must advanced civilizations desire to rip the heads off every living thing and scare the bejeebers out of the audience with every move they make? Where’s the wonder? There is more head ripping, tail swallowing than when Joe Bob Briggs ended every drive-in review with the body count and number of bouncing breasts.

This mashup of Aliens belies the little and lazy imagination. Space is the place! But, to not be transported? To be flushed and brought down again? I’m already living in that civilization.

Driving the highway. Nothing like a wreck. I’ve seen cars on fire, vehicles crumpled on the highway. Not like  John Chamberlain’s, the Pop artist who made an art from compressing automobiles. (Just passed in December 2011). All those Promethian wrecks. Were they good wrecks? Who’s to say? Take this movie.

Prometheus did not even fly the myth. I am certain, kindergarteners imagine better screenplays. Actors were stellar mostly; but the stars did not shine. The always watchable Sean Harris (the mangy assassin in HBOS’s The Borges), and the sensitively courteous android ‘David’ played by Michael Fassbender made the theater seat worth bearing. David was the only civil creature of the civilizations. How much I wanted the original ‘girl with the dragon tattoo’s’ to take the camera (Noomi Rapace), but damn, the dame comes off like your mom. She made the theater floor worth watching. And Charlize Theron, perhaps the most capable dimensional actress of our times does nothing but stand up straight. WHO WAS DIRECTING?

So for another creature-is-com’nta-gitchya movie, as Joe Bob says “Everything’s in this one. It’s a no-holds-bared but tasteful drive-in flick, an oldie but not necessarily a goodie. We’re talking plus-nine dead bodies, creature-fu, helmet-fu, alien aardvarking, but we got a problem: zero breasts. The T& A team sucks. There’s a drive-in Academy Award waiting for someone.”

Great moments in literature – Mojave Crossing

Rolled out the trash in Escondido Monday night. This paperback probably fell out of another bin. Picked it up. Made it mine. Under the cover, the teaser:

DESERT SHOWDOWN

It was hot and still. Far off over the desert a dust devil danced among the Galleta grass and the creosote brush, but I saw no dust of human make. It could be we had shaken them. Maybe we would have no trouble after all.

What made me turn my head I’ll never know, but glancing over my left shoulder I caught just a glimpse of a rifle muzzle as somebody drew sight on me.

Mister, I left off of that rock like I was taking a free dive into a swimmin’ hole, and I hit that heaped-up sand on my shoulder and rolled over. When I came up it was on one knee, the other leg stretched out ahead of me, and my Winchester coming up to firing position.

Get’s me to the first paragraph.

When I saw that black-eyed woman a-looking at me I wished I had a Bible.

Stop. I could see where this hombre was headed. Read this find to my wife after dinner all excited. She tells me this is why the male species needs to be exterminated.

Louis L’Amour – Mojave Crossing 1964

Library of the Future

“ESCONDIDO — The Escondido Public Library has launched its eBook download service. Patrons can browse the collection online. The service is free with a valid library card. The program can be downloaded from the library’s website to a computer, iPad, electronic reader or smartphone.”

No more moldy books with underlines, browsing in the stacks, thumbing through middle pages and having to wash your hands. Days gone by. Infinite books ahead.

Not going to use the recommended Adobe EPUB reader –  a piece of crapulent programming. I type in the URL and browse the ebooks, mostly bestsellers. In “New Arrivals” – Steinbeck’s “Mouse and Men”. I click on an old arrival.  “Place a Hold.” 14 readers pending, “You will receive an email when the selected title becomes available for checkout. Once you receive the email, you will have 3 days to check out the selected title.”

So they have perfectly replicated the worst part of the library experience – having to wait for the single copy that the “library owns.” If I remember correctly, the first ever libraries were medieval with chains attached to the books.

It has been an hour since I placed a book on hold that has (0) Readers waiting. Either the volunteer librarian is still making a PBJ or they are having a heck of a time trying to file the digital book in the Adobe Shelf Filing Software – Civic Edition. But then they probably are sharing the one legitimate license between all the civic libraries forced to participate in some councilmen’s free lunch scheme.

Mark Richard Beaulieu

PS – A week later I got an email notice for one of the books. You enter your library card # and pass through some hard to follow tree to put the book into a cart. You can check it out for 7 or 14 days. You are supposed to load this .acsm file into the appropriate Adobe software to read it, although I have another reader. I finish in one hour, realizing the book is not my cup of tea. Courteously I go to the library site to let the next reader have it. There is no way to “return” the book or indicate you are finished. Obviously a scam to keep the publishers happy to keep the book out of circulation, yet appear to be offering the title for the community.

MRB

The Revolution Will not be Televised (what I heard)

Gil Scott Heron passed, and this is his classic. I used it to score one of the first Adobe Premiere movies made.

The Revolution Will not be Televised
You will not be able to stay home brother.
you will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
you will not be able to lose yourself in a stare in hip hop and skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will be televised

The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be brought to you
by Xerox in four parts without commercial interruptions
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell, General Abrams or Spiro Agnew to eat hog balls confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary
The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by the shape of the war theatre and will not star Natilie Woods or Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs
The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner

There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays pushing that shopping cart down the block on a dead run
or trying to slide that color tv into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able to predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still lifes.
or Roy Wilkes strolling through Watts with a bright red and green revolutionary jump suit that he has been saving for just the proper occasion.

Green acres, Beverly Hillbillies, Hooterville Junction will longer be so damn relevant
and women will no longer care if Jack gets down with Jane
because black people will be on a the streets looking for a brighter day
The revolution will not be televised

There will be no hilights on the eleven o’clock news
and no pictures of hairy-armed liberationists
and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose
The theme song will not be written by Jack Webb or Francis Scott Keyes nor sung by Glenn Cambell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Engelbert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will be back right after a message about a white tornado, white lightning or white people.
You will not have to worry about a germ in your bedroom or a tiger in your tank a giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with coke

The revolution will put you in the driver seat
The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will be no rerun brother,
The revolution will be live

Children of the world – I need an architect

This weekend two movies, back to back “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and “Inception.” The 48 hour Chinese Water Torture justly served cold. The two confused as follows:

Imaginarium – Worth it to hear the lyric – “We are the children of the world and we have suffered for your sins” and the visage of Lily Cole’s Valentina, what a lensful.

Inception, the plot? “Man walks into a special effects machine. Things happen.”  Seriously, a finely mad movie of elaborate construction that ends up the design of an architect. The fect of this film is as bad as seeing Jaws for a kid who is going to the beach the next day.  You will never sleep again because when you go to bed and sit up in your jammies, you dream about you sitting up in your jammies. And you are really sitting up in your jammies. That kind of thing. Reminds me of a conversation with Gary Wolf (Wired) when we both determined to have a hundred French meals in San Francisco.  May have been dreaming there.

As any good googler knows, Terry Gilliam never injected his child suffering song into the world wide brain. I listened. Here’s my take. With my devious variant.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

We Are The Children of The World
lyrics: Terry Gilliam

We are the children of the world
and we have suffered for your sins
but if you open up your hearts
a beautiful new day begins
to lead us out to pastures green
where we are free to laugh and run
with our good shepherd so mean
please let his will be done

Improved:

We are the children of your world
And we suffer for your sins
If we can open up your hearts
a beautiful new day will begin
to make you suffer we will scream
so we’ll be free to laugh and run
without your good shepherd he’s so mean
we pray our will be done

Each Book A Revelation

I read to write. I write to read. Reading a book is a Revelation. Blogs open as a read/write media in time.  I book read, sometimes to hear an imaginary voice and block out the brags and moans of the day. Something new is to read books to remember. To comprehend and retell. I read the good ones to be able to tell the story too. This is revealing. The Great Books invite you back for more. And when I read in this new way, I find that the urge to write. Oftentimes, the writing is improved likely because I have digested savory paragraphs, purposeful sentences. I am drawing the tap this month on:

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, the Great Book by Edward Gibbon. Please note, this is not the rise and fall. It is decline and fall, down hill all the way.

Collapse“, continuing all you want to know about decline and fall. Jared Diamond writes not as well as “Guns Germs and Steel”. He was hungrier then. Note to self, must civilize. Taking civilization and governance out of its hidey hole is the V-50 lectures. At least someone if breathing in fresh air like (next).

What Would Google Do”, by Jeff Jarvis. A thinking person would come to the same conclusions, but he has spent the time to gather supporting evidences, and hung to some key thoughts for two minutes longer than most people.  Seeing it written down does makes it stick. I sat next to Jeff at a VON conference, front row where I always sit to see the humanity of speakers. Asking him, what do you do? He said I’m a blogger. After he spoke I figured out that it was time to learn blogging.

Pales By Comparison

Wait, let’s see that VP debate transcript. Did Sarah Palin really say the Taliban are working with us in Iraq? No it was Maliki and Talabani, ok, no gaffe. But with the many slips in her speaking, you never knew if she knew what she was talking about, as was clear in the Couric interview. As Kathleen Parker puts it

“Before we relax into giddiness or cynicism, however, it’s important to consider that a debate differs from an interview in significant ways. A debate is a point-counterpoint exercise that allows little opportunity for probing or follow-up. An interview requires that a candidate explain an idea in depth and offer specifics.”

Amid the betcha’s and eye wink connectives, Palin largely followed Biden’s topical lead, even though she had many opportunities to coherently advance the subject or even once seize the first response to the moderator. When confronted or perhaps not understanding difficult questions, she took the conversation into oddly irrelevant areas to what the audience was focusing on and waiting for her counter punch. For example when Gwen asked about policy on mortgage and bankruptcy, Joe gave a perfectly fine answer. Sarah’s turn. “I want to talk about, again, my record on energy policy”. For the audience, an unsatisfying comeback and repeating herself again already.
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