bad movies

The Hand That Gives

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal', by Zach Weiner, 19 February 2015.

Oh, come now.

And then come again.

Or is that joke getting kind of crusty?

Move along. Nothing to see here.

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Bonus Note! Don’t forget to check out SMBC’s special to The Nib today, and file under, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 19 February 2015.

Overstated, Obviously

Detail of 'Mary Death' by Matt Tarpley, 9 December 2014.It is a famous song: “Thank Heaven for little girls”, though for my rock and roll generation it’s a bit warped, since Pete and Dave appended, in 1985, “and some of the other sizes, too”. And, besides, it’s a fucking twisted songα. No, really, what kind of sick monster sings something like that?β

Still, though, the younger generation, regardless of chromosomal disposition, has much to offer their elders in terms of basic wisdom. Sometimes it’s just about terrifying, ravenous monsters smashing up the city, and that’s all there is to it.

And, you know, every once in a while we ought to pay attention.

Still, though, kaiju pajamas. Fun. Pacific Rim might have been a terrible film better left unmade, but we can pretend that Mary is smart enough to have skipped it and instead, like the geek we know she will grow into—well, barring awful plot twists or one of those weird things where after fifteen years we wonder why she hadn’t grown a day—she has plenty of other reasons to adore (dai-)kaiju in general. And, hey, that way her parents don’t have to explain just who “Slattern” is, or why the writers chose that name.

Or, perhaps, it really is just about terrifying, ravenous monsters smashing up the city, and we really ought not waste our time fretting that Mary has somehow wasted a couple hours of her life on that film.

On a thoroughly unrelated note, I have no idea what to make of the idea that Death can overthink things like that.

You know, just like the rest of us.

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α “Thank Heaven for little girls, for little girls get bigger every day! Thank Heaven for little girls, they grow up in the most delightful way! Those little eyes so helpless and appealing, one day will flash and send you crashing through the ceiling. Thank Heaven for little girls! Thank Heaven for them all! No matter where, no matter who, for without them what would little boys do? Thank Heaven for little girls!”

β Maurice Chevalier wasn’t alone; Perry Como performed the song, too.

Tarpley, Matt. “Pajama Party”. Mary Death. 9 December 2014.

The V.A. Shuffle

Grieving in Columbia

“If the price tag is any indication, Sanders compromised quite a bit – the Senate bill, which passed in June on a 93-to-3 vote, had a price tag of $35 billion over 10 years. This new agreement with the GOP-led House has reduced the aid package to $15 billion, less than half the original total.”

Steve Benen

Perhaps some of us recall a recent Beltway dustup when it was discovered that the Veterans Administration was apparently failing to do its job, even going so far as to keep secret lists describing reality while devising all sorts of lies on paper to suggest everything was … well … that is the question, isn’t it?

After all, perhaps some of us also remember that the idea of the VA as a bureaucratic nightmare akin to that planet-eating monster thing in Rise of the Silver Surfer, a film that, like the 113th Congress, probably should have been shelved, or else simply never greenlit.

We all know the cycle; this is just a particularly ugly manifestation. Indeed, it seems a perpetual part of our American experience; take a noble endeavor that cannot be recorded in body counts, territorial annexations, or ledgers, and think about how a society engages those challenges.

Twenty years ago, it was schools. The “No Child Left Behind” debacle was the height of a movement idea. The schools, facing budgetary issues challenging their ability to perform their jobs, were told that they needed to show they could do the job without the extra money, and then the legislatures would consider writing the checks.

Step one? Describe the problem.

Step two? Refuse to do anything about the problem.

Step three? Tell people that if they show they can solve the problem without the legislature’s help, the legislature will consider the possibility of just maybe deciding to do something to help.

To wit, perhaps some might also conjure up a strange memory, seemingly recent, in which a sitting U.S. Senator castigated veterans support groups for failing to agree with him. (more…)