Friday, February 03, 2006

Well I'm That Kid In The Corner, All Fucked Up and I Wanna So I'm Gonna


Remember these gorgeous pictures of an abandoned Japanese amusement park? If that's your thing, you might want to check out the LJ communities Urban Decay and Rural Ruin. There are some amazing images there. One of my fave photogs who posts there has a photo-journal at Decaying Echoes, and has just posted some amazing photos. The interesting thing about these communities is that often the pictures are of places that are closed to the public, so the photogs don't like to reveal the locations. Which just adds to the air of mystery, which suits me fine. Of course, there are some known locations, like this Japanese ghost town built upon a coal-rich reef--the photos are pretty amazing. If that doesn't feed your inner Ballard, you may need to seek help.

(Apparently, looking at the above, "amazing" is my adjective for the day. Sheesh.)

Y'all should subscribe to Giant. OK, after the first three issues (which featured Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and famous novelist Ethan Hawke) they must have decided that men don't sell magazines and they started putting so-called "hotties" on the cover, but it's not Maxim, honestly. (OK, the so-called blog is kind of gross, but really! They're not like that!) They've had huge features on "Office Space" and "The Big Lebowski" (they love the Coen brothers), they have great taste in music, and they actually talk about books. They feature a character actor in every issue. Beneath the glossy OMG-Denise-Richards-is-hot veneer they've adopted there's still a geeky but insecure guy hanging out there. Make him feel wanted.

In other photography news, bone cathedral. And here.

After due consideration, my good friend the Doctor informs me that Moreau Industries will be moving its operations offshore. Seems the President doesn't approve . . .

Started watching the new BSG. It might be good if not for this Baltar guy and his phantom mannequin. I doubt I'll make it through the first season at this rate.

That's it for now. School has made me boring.


Anonymous Pete said...

That Japanese ghost town--hell, make that ghost city--is nothing short of astounding.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I know! Part of my brain looks at it and thinks there's a story there, but mostly all I can think is "guh."

2:10 PM  
Blogger Abigail Nussbaum said...

God, Baltar really is annoying in the first season of BSG, isn't he? I don't want to say that he gets better, but he certainly becomes a fascinating character, and his relationship with Six is equally fascinating. Not so much in the first season, unfortunately, but it does happen.

Where are you in the season? Any thoughts about characters other than Baltar?

8:59 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Hey, Abigail. Yeah, he's driving me bats! And honestly, the woman playing Six is even worse.

Where I'm at: the last episode I watched was "Litmus," which I thought was an awful mess.

Other characters? I'm a big Starbuck fan, although she gets shunted to the background more often than I'd like. (And WHY they let her grow her hair out I'll never understand.) I generally like the Adamas and Tigh and the Prez and some of the minor characters like Callie and the Prez's aide and his might-be GF on the Galactica bridge.

My big problem, other than wanting to plug my ears with my eyes every time Baltar/Six nonsense starts happening, is that I'm finding the Cylons to be rather uninteresting adversaries. I'm not feeling the "OMG-they-could-be-right-here-among-us" thing at all, probably because we're getting so much from their POV that there's no tension in it. Except for their utterly inexplicable manipulations of Helo on Caprica--which by this time I've lost all interest in--they're pretty much the opposite of mysterious. That entire side of the series fails to engage me.

And yet, there have been some really good episodes. I liked "33" and "Bastille Day" (although the repercussions of that haven't been explored at all) and "You Can't Go Home Again" a lot. So I'm torn, and I'd kind of like to know whether to look forward to more of that sort of taut storytelling, or more slow-to-develop intrigues and mind games. 'Cause I don't much like mind games, and I don't think they're handling the intrigue very well.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Abigail Nussbaum said...

I know this is going to sound absurd, given that all she's done so far is vamp and preach, but Tricia Helfer, who plays Six, is quite fantastic. Six has a lot of faces (there's a twist to her character in the middle of the second season that is too fantastic for words), and Helfer switches between them effortlessly. Like I said, most of that is in the second season, and I'm afraid to say that you have a lot of vamping and preaching to look forward to, but if you stick with it, Helfer will surprise you.

Ah, "Litmus", the ultimate proof that BSG should steer well clear of 'issue' episodes. Happily, it's the most egregious example of brow-beating in the first season (and in the second, now that I think about it, although sadly not the worst BSG entry ever).

As I understand it, Katee Sackhoff asked the producers to let her grow her hair out. I think it looks nice.

I'm trying to respond to your thoughts about the Cylons without posting spoilers, but there is a definite shift in attitude when you move over to the second season. The 'anyone might be a Cylon' theme is toned down a great deal, and there's more exploration of the Cylon psyche and why they're doing what they're doing. I'm not sure that we were ever supposed to feel menaced by the Cylons - the show's writers are far more interested in inter-human struggles.

There are repercussions to "Bastille Day" that show up later in the season - including Tom Zarek.

I think in general the BSG writers have a very specific story they want to tell, a story about the things that happen to a society when it undergoes a 9/11-to-the-nth-degree event. Which can be a good thing when it means taut political and emotional storytelling. On the other hand, the writers tend to neglect other aspects of their universe - the more SF-nal aspects mostly, but also, as you said, the intrigue (I do not for a minute believe that the writers know what the Cylons' plan is). Sometimes that means terrific television, and other times it leaves you screaming at the screen because the characters aren't acting like human beings.

I'd give it until the end of the first season. You'll know if you're a fan by your reaction to the cliffhanger :-)

11:16 AM  

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