Series!

Ok, I’m here.

I had an idea. I want to do a series on Villains. Comic books, movies, television, villains from all over. I have some favorites.

I want to tell you why some of my favorite villains are so compelling. I want to introduce them to you if you haven’t ever had a chance to experience them.

I’m going to do a post on each of my favorites. I might find more favorites later, but these will be a good place to start. I need to do a little research and planning first. 

So no villain tonight, but I assure you, There will be villains in the days to come!

Pop Culture Craving

I’m seriously craving a few things.

Crave

Crave (Photo credit: thebittenword.com)

Most of the time, the term ‘craving’ deals with food. Not always, but that is where you will hear it used most frequently. I get the occasional food craving, but the majority of my cravings have to do with pop culture or activities. This is weird, I know, but stay with me.

Right now I’ve got several cravings vying for my attention. I want to do some more 3-d modeling(the computer generated image kind),  I want to try playing guitar again, I’ve got 3 or 4 shows on Netflix I want to finish, I’ve also got 2 series of books I want to re-read, and some old Stephen King I want to re-read or read for the first time. I want to watch horror movies that I know I’ll regret watching.

I’m pretending to be an adult. I have a job that is officially 41 hours a week, that I occasionally have to fill in more hours for. I own a home with The Lovely Wife, and all the responsibilities contained therewith. I’m not busier than anyone else, but I’m not really swimming in free time. I don’t have enough time to satisfy all these cravings. I certainly don’t have the time if I continue to do all my everyday things in lieu of picking one of those things up.

I know that I’m over thinking it, I always do that. I’m worried about getting part way through something and then either losing focus or getting too busy. I’m trying to finish other shows or books or video games before I start something new. IT all boils down to the fact that I want to absorb too much information and I don’t have enough time to do it!

I think I need to start planning a vacation. I know you’re thinking it. I’ll go ahead and say it, “But you just went on a vacation!” I did. I’m beginning to think I need to plan several small vacations every year just for getting some of my crazy cravings out of my system. I’m serious. I think maybe I should take a week off every 3 or 4 months, and just binge on information. Spend a week living in the dark and just doing whatever I want 24 hours a day with no responsibilities or schedule. I strongly suspect this is implausible.

I think that may be my natural state of being. I am a creature of whim and impulse. I have strong desires to do things and I’m not always sure where they come from or there intended result. I naturally thrive in a system of ordered chaos. I tend to operate naturally in a place where I am isolated but able to reach out. Where no one expects anything of me and I am able to act completely without conscience. It’s a strange feeling knowing that one may be best suited to living in a cave by oneself.

As we all know, that’s not how life works. We have responsibilities and jobs. In the future, I’ll have Munchkins. Part of what makes us human, living in a society with other humans is the ability to rise above our base urges. Some people don’t need to do as much rising. Some people are naturally suited to burying themselves in their work. If they start early they may have no one to satisfy but themselves. Some people desire only to care after their children and are afforded that opportunity.

The rest of us are needed to rise above those urges. It’s what makes us a society. I do think the vacation thing is a good idea. Everyone needs some time to be who they naturally are. Within reason of course.

This won’t hurt at all…

Sorry for the delay, I’ve had this idea bouncing around in my head for a few days now, and just haven’t been able to get it spit out on to the digital page.

Why can’t we enjoy remakes of classic things?

This seems to happen most often with Movies and TV shows and, to a lesser extent, music. Someone releases an obvious remake to a previously enjoyed movie, let’s say. They tell everyone that it is a remake, they do interviews explaining any changes that they made, any artistic decisions. They address concerns about included and removed content. They spend all their time explaining and defending why it isn’t exactly the same as the original.

We hate it.

What got me thinking about this is Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).

The original movie, itself an adaptation of the 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was wonderful. It’s something that both my parents and I enjoy. It’s something that we watched together because they were fond of it, and it was a good family movie. I’ve rarely met anyone who didn’t care for that movie and Gene Wilder’s portrayal of the reclusive candy maker.

I’ve also not yet met anyone who like the 2005 remake of this movie. This is where I get stumped. I know and understand that there are some significant differences between the two. I also understand that there are many people who prefer the character of Willy Wonka to be the version shown in the original movie. What I wonder is, does that mean that the remake is bad? or does it just mean that most people like the original better?

Let’s pretend you could watch the two movies completely independent of one another. Let’s say I have a machine that can temporarily remove and store your memories. So, you watch the first movie, you think and feel whatever you’d like to about it. Then, I extract those memories and feelings, and set them aside. Now you watch the remake, with no knowledge of the previous version, and no thoughts or feelings attached. You form an opinion of the remake. Then I give you your memories and feelings back.

Do you still hate the remake? (I’m assuming you currently do since, as I said, I haven’t met anyone that likes it)

I ask because it seems to me that people are perfectly capable of enjoying a movie that is a remake or an adaptation of another story, so long as they have no prior knowledge of the story.

I suppose I can see both sides of this discussion because I am able to enjoy the two movie about Willy Wonka as independent entities. I enjoy them for separate reasons. I also tend to be somewhat disappointed with movie adaptations of comic book series. I have a much harder time separating the two ideas. For comics, I guess I always felt the story was pretty well laid out with lots of action so no real need to make changes.

So my main point would be this; Why is it so difficult for us to separate ourselves from a previous version of something, so that we would be more able to enjoy something new?

Seems like we could all have a little more fun if were could sit back and enjoy what we were doing instead of comparing it with something we did once before.

Night Of The Living Dead (In Which I Examine The Walking Remains)

I’m sure you’ve all noticed the recent abundance of undead in pretty much every medium recently. The strange young adult female obsession with Vampires, the over-abundance of vampire like people in television shows, and let’s not forget that we’re at the tail end of a huge i8nfatuation of zombie themed television and video games.

So my question is, why the undead? We all know why the teenage girls like the vampire movies, but if you need an in depth analysis, The Oatmeal has one here. That’s pretty damn accurate. Not to mention, what young adult male isn’t excited asbout the prospect of surviving in some sort of post-apocalyptic wasteland where his only hope for survival is his shotgun and his chainsaw?

What I can’t seem to figure out is how it all went mainstream? Since when is it cool to like nerd stuff? Don’t get all testy, Vampires have long been Nerd-Girl fodder, and Zombie Apocalypse falls firmly into Geek territory.

I know there was a big Vampire boom in the late ’80s into the early ’90s that was fed by the series of books, The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. The movie versions of these being released afterwords gave them a big boost as well. Then there was a big dry spell on the Undead front until a few movies rehashed every Zombie film ever, which caused video game companies to find anyway they could to tie Zombies into their games.

I’m not terribly upset by the concept of Zombies in video games. There’s no denying they make perfect subject matter for violent video games because they don’t represent real people getting hurt, you can have as many Zombies as you want, there’s already a well known set of facts in place in regards to how to kill them, and last but not least, they explode awesomely.

I guess I just realized that the Undead have been everywhere lately. maybe we’re closer to the inevitable Zombie apocalypse than I thought?

Where’s my Boomstick?

-Christopher