Klostermeme VIII

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

You begin watching a new television series, and you immediately find yourself strongly relating to one of the supporting characters. You’ve never before experienced a TV character that seems so similar to yourself; this fictional person dresses, behaves, and talks exactly like you. And – slowly, over the course of several episodes – the similarity grows spooky on two separate occasions, the character recounts personal anecdotes that happened in your real life. The actor portraying this character begins mimicking your mannerisms. In at least 3 different episodes, the character’s dialog quotes things that you have said (verbatim) during casual conversation.

tim canterburyYou become convinced this is neither coincidence nor mental illness: somehow, this character is being actively based on your life. The show’s writers generally depict the “you” character in a positive manner, but as far as you can tell – you don’t know anyone involved in the show’s production or creation. It’s totally inexplicable.

You have two friends who also watch this show. One of them is certain that your theory is correct and that (somehow) the character is, in fact, based on your life. She tells you to get a lawyer. The second friend concedes that many of the similarities are amazing, but that the whole notion is ridiculous, impossible, and egocentric. He tells you to see a therapist.

How do you respond to this situation? Do you do anything?

My Answer: I wouldn’t do anything. Isn’t identifying with characters one of the reasons people love a show? Sex and the City fans wear t-shirts that declare which character they are most like. The internet is full of “Which [Popular TV Show] Character Are You?” quizzes. I usually don’t identify with (and am often appalled by) characters on shows like Sex and the City and the shows I do love mostly involve fantasy or historical situations (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, Deadwood) which are metaphors for modern life. I think it would be quite refreshing to finally have a character that speaks to me in every possible way. Or maybe I would hate the character. Either way, it would be a pretty entertaining TV show for me. It would also make for great blog fodder.

Klosterman Theory: He would write about it but otherwise do nothing.

Your answers in the comments, puh-leeze!


Obvious Casting of the Day

tim burtonAccording to a tip on AICN, Johnny Depp has been attached to the role of the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie (coming in 2010).

Well, DUH. Could it have ever been anyone else? Tim Burton doesn’t audition. He just watches his old movies to cast his next one.

That means that the Queen of Hearts will DEFINITELY be played by Lisa Marie.

Oh wait…I forgot…He’s boning Helena Bonham Carter now. Scratch that. Helena Bonham Carter will get the job.

Sorry Lisa! If you’re looking for work, I just heard they’re opening a new Sonic location in the Puget Sound area!

My Dream Last Night

Let me tell you it…

I was in my childhood home in Virginia, as I often am in dreams. I was upstairs with Balthazar Getty and two blond women, one of whom might have been Nicole Eggert. He was assaulting them. He had a gun. I tried to stop him. Somehow, I managed to get the gun away from him, but I couldn’t figure out how to fire it. I frantically fiddled with switches and buttons on the gun whilst pulling the trigger. He laughed and advanced. He was almost on top of me. But then I lucked into getting a shot off.

lost highwayIt hit him in the chest, on the left. He was so close to me that when he fell forward, he landed on me, knocking us both to the ground. I pried him off of me and stood up. But then he came to and started to lift himself up as well. I saw that I had only him him in the shoulder!

I still didn’t know how to work the gun. So I ran. I ran down the stairs and into the garage. I worried that automatic garage door would open too slowly and he would catch up to me. But I had no other choice. I was already in the garage. So as soon as it was open wide enough, I crawled under and ran up the steep driveway. A neighbor was across the street. I shouted to him, but he wasn’t the man I knew who lived there, and he either couldn’t hear me or was ignoring me. Balthazar was still behind me, getting closer. He was really angry. If he caught up to me I was dead.

Then I woke up.

Now, I imagine I had this dream due to work stress. Dreams in which someone/something is trying to kill me are not at all uncommon. Though they usually aren’t B-list actors. Also, I have been reading a lot about Balthazar traipsing about with Ho-hemian Sienna Miller when his wife’s baby is not even a year old. This makes me think of him as an asshole. But a murderer? Maybe I’ve seen Lost Highway one too many times.

Anyway, I open the comments to other interpretations.

Klostermeme VII

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

pillYou are offered a Brain Pill. If you swallow this pill, you will become 10% more intelligent than you currently are; you will be more adept at reading comprehension, logic, and critical thinking. However, to all other people you know (and to all future people you meet) you will seem 20% less intelligent. In other words, you will immediately become smarter, but the rest of the world will perceive you as dumber (and there is no way you can ever alter the universality of that perception).

Do you take this pill?

My Answer: No. Part of the usefulness of intelligence is being able to convince other people that you have good ideas which should be taken into consideration. You would have a much harder time in work and social situations. Unless your current level of intelligence is so low that it hinders day-to-day functions, there is no reason to take this pill.

Klosterman Theory: He would not take the pill, as he is concerned with public perception.

Put your answers in the comments!

Today in Disturbing Hollywood Announcements

I’m seriously considering changing the name of my blog to Effed by Hollywood.

divineFirst up is the sad news that dear old John Waters has gone senile and decided it’s a good idea to make a sequel to his movie musical based on a Broadway musical based on his movie which contained music. He hopes to reunite the original cast of the movie musical based on the Broadway musical based on his movie which means that he actually thought John Travolta in a fat suit was a suitable substitute for the bad ass legend, Divine. This makes me sad and pukey. I usually cry when I puke, so I’m crying twice as hard for this one.

In other neutering of beloved sexually progressive films based on musicals, some shitheads at MTV are planning to remake The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I don’t understand how a film which STILL plays to packed houses of rabid fans can even be considered for something like this. Apparently, they don’t fear rabid fan mobs anymore. Or perhaps they never did…

Are You Faster Than the S.L.U.T.?

Of course you are! Prove it by racing the damned thing.

Faster Than the S.L.U.T. Guerilla (Run or Bike) Race or Ride

Thursday, July 24th
7:15pm START

Who can keep up with the S.L.U.T.?

A 2.6 mile race from Pacific Place Hub (start) to Fred Hutchinson (finish).
Or, join along the route at Whole Foods/ Westlake and Denny stop.

Why wouldn’t you beat the S.L.U.T.? And you’re going to DRESS LIKE a S.L.U.T. (interpret at your will). We want to see SLUTty!

$1.75 entrance fee (if you RIDE the S.L.U.T.)
Free if you RACE the S.L.U.T.

Make Seattle proud people!!
Spread the word, bring your friends.

After Party at HOOTERS on South Lake Union (Mmm… hot wings!)

I’ve never been a jogger due to my gimpy knees, but I bet I could even out-hobble it. And defeating the S.L.U.T. is definitely one of my life’s goals.

ride the slut

Klostermeme IV

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series will feature these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments! It will also challenge my recollection Roman numerals.

And so…

At the age of 30, you suffer a blow to the skull. The head trauma leaves you with a rare form of partial amnesia – though you are otherwise fine, you’re completely missing 5 years from your life. You have no memory of anything that happened between the ages of 23 and 28. That period of your life is completely gone; you have no recollection of anything that occurred during that 5 year gap.

You are told by friends and family that – when you were 25 – you (supposedly) became friends with someone you met on the street. You possess numerous photos of you and this person, and everyone in your life insists that this individual was your best friend for over 2 years. You were (allegedly) inseparable. In fact, you find several old letters and emails from this person that vaguely indicate you may have even shared a brief romantic relationship. But something happened between you and this individual when you were 27, and the friendship abruptly ended (and apparently you never told anyone what caused this schism, so it remains a mystery to all). The friend moved away soon after the incident, wholly disappearing from your day-to-day life. But you have no memory of any of this. Within the context of your own mind, this person never even existed. There is tangible proof that you deeply loved this friend, but – whenever you look at their photograph – all you see is a stranger.

Six weeks after your accident, you are informed that this person has suddenly died.

How sad do you feel?

My Answer: Probably pretty sad but I’m mourning the loss of my memory more than I am my dead friend whom I don’t remember. I imagine losing those years would take quite an emotional toll on me. I do so love to remember the past. Of course, then my unshakable Catholic Guilt would kick in and I would mourn not mourning my friend enough. It’s a vicious spiral.

Klosterman Theory: Not sad at all.

First IMDb and Now This!

Amazon and partners continue to bona fi my career as I am now listed as an author on Amazon.com!

not for tourists book

If you have a minute (and a copy of the book), please give it a (preferably favorable) review.

The 2009 book is on its way!

The Dark Knight: Yeah, It’s Good

It’s possible that I was influenced by the majesty of IMAX. The six story screen certainly brings you right smack dab into the middle of the Gotham. But even without the enveloping surround sound and the large-as-life cityscapes, The Dark Knight is really damned good. That’s what everyone is going to tell you. Because it’s an irrefutable truth. If you liked Tim Burton’s Batman, Batman Begins, or pretty much any aspect of the Batman oeuvre, you will not be disappointed by The Dark Knight

With Batman Begins Christopher Nolan was just getting warmed up. We all knew the man had an ace up his sleeve by the name of Heath Ledger. But he didn’t stop there. He traded in his crappy Katie Holmes card for a Maggie Gyllenhaal, to create a winning hand which already included Christian Bale and the glorious Gary Oldman (playing soon-to-be Commissioner Gordon with all the heart and internal conflict that role requires). Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox is fleshed out, tag-teaming with Michael Caine’s Alfred as Bruce Wayne’s moral touchstone.

The replacement of Katie Holmes was completely necessary. She was the big honking blemish of Batman Begins, walking through scenes like a necromanced cardboard cutout. “Step Aside. I am a District Attorney,” she said flatly and we couldn’t help but recall Keanu Reeves’ delivery of a similar line in Point Break. She had no chemistry with Christian Bale (because only Andrew McCarthy can have chemistry with a mannequin). But Nolan had the wherewithal to cast Gyllenhaal. And suddenly, Rachel Dawes was a real girl. She had emotions and witty things to say. And most of all, chemistry with not one – but two male leads. What a breath of fresh air she is.

dark knight jokerAnd then there’s Heath. Once the trailers hit, I don’t think anybody doubted that he was going to nail the Joker role. The over-hyped talk of Oscar noms gave me pause. How could it not? It would be so cheap to give him a posthumous Oscar when a comic book film would never be considered for such things under ordinary circumstances. But he was a mean Joker in every sense of the word. He was simultaneously scary and hilarious. He embodied the character full stop. He made someone like the Joker a real-world possibility. He certainly gave Jack Nicholson a run for his money (not that such things are difficult, these days).

But lets not forget the other villain of The Dark Knight: Two Face. Gone are the days when multiple Batman villains gather together in each others’ lairs and cackle and scheme. Two Face doesn’t revel in his evil. He hates it. It reminds him of everything he lost. But he is no longer in control of his own destiny. Like Anton Chigurh, he obeys the outcome of a coin toss. This makes him more frightening than a room full of Batman villains. Save the Joker, of course.

Thank you, Christopher Nolan, for breathing life into Batman once again. Fantastic actors are playing comic book characters straight and for realism. I really like this trend. Let’s hope it sticks.

The Dark Knight is in theaters now. You pretty much have to see it. Spring for the IMAX if you can.

Watching (Snippets of) the Watchmen

Preceding the Dark Knight is the first trailer for the upcoming Watchmen film, based on what is essentially considered the greatest graphic novel ever written. This film has been in development forever, shuffling about directors and actors and continuing to piss off Alan Moore, the man behind the book. Alan Moore is right to be concerned. So far, his brilliant graphic novels have been turned into appalling films which strip them utterly of their effulgent genius. Remember The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? I try not to myself. (Fun tidbit. League was the film which Sean Connery accepted in lieu of the role of GANDALF in a little indie trilogy called The Lord of the Rings.)

watchmenYou know what though? The Watchmen trailer didn’t look…that…bad. I know. I couldn’t believe it either. Granted that Billy Corgan soundtrack was pretty atrocious and I couldn’t help but snicker when they billed it as being “from the visionary director of 300“. Visionary? Really? The man knows how to use a green screen and that freeze motion camera effect, I’ll give him that. But so do lots of people in Hollywood. Was Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow a visionary film? (Don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical. And also, no.) 300 was at best a decent action film (and at worst, an offensive right wing polemic.) Before that, Zach Snyder poorly (and needlessly) remade one of my favorite films of all time, Dawn of the Dead. The man is on pretty thin ice with me.

But Dr. Manhattan looked pretty amazing. Hell, everyone kinda did. We saw a glimpse of Dr. Manhattan’s Mars. We heard Rorschach’s growl. We saw the Comedian’s cocky grin. We know that the movie is taking place in it’s original time period (the 80’s) which lessens the preachy parallel-to-our-current-administration potential. Everything, thus far, appears to be in order. Time will tell, of course. I am worried about what they will cut out. At 400 pages of Moore’s signature dialog-heavy storytelling, they have to cut something. (And I sure hope it isn’t ANY of Dr. Manhattan’s explanation of time travel and why he is unable to stay connected to the human world.) But for now, I rest a bit easier. I hope Alan Moore does too. But let’s be honest. Ain’t nothing pleasing that old curmudgeon.

And just remember. No matter how bad it gets, it could have been much, much worse:

watchmen nightmare