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[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
Reverend Rafferty's LiveJournal:
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|Tuesday, February 21st, 2017|
|Doomed to Repeat It: Would Disney Pay for Things They Don't Know?
AV CLUB: Oddly enough, one of the thing that really brings home the sexual undercurrents in Devo’s songs is the Devo 2.0 project from 2006, where you and Disney assembled a group of tweens to sing revamped versions of Devo songs. Not only is “Girl U Want” changed to “Boy U Want,” but the references to watering mouths and an “aroma of undefined love” are completely reworked.
Jerry Casale of DEVO: That’s the best story. The Disney people, in the beginning, go, “Hey, how would you like to repurpose your material for a 4-to-8-year-old audience?” And we went, “Really?” They said, “Yeah. We want you to do a whole DVD. What would you do?”
They gave us about a week to think about it. And I said, “Well, what if we did it like The Monkees? What if we cast a bunch of kids that can actually sing and play, and they will play Devo songs, and I’ll shoot videos with them, and we’ll tour them at middle schools.”
“Yeah, that’d be great. But we want to pick the songs.” [emphasis mine] And we said okay. So they picked 12 songs [emphasis mine].
What’s fantastic is, they must never have actually listened to those songs. Because deep into the picture, at the phase where we’ve recorded everything and we’re shooting the videos and I’m turning in a video budget—it’s at that point that somebody upstairs in the Disney Taliban would like to see all the lyrics printed out. I don’t think I’m hiding anything, so I send the lyrics.
Oh my God. Unbelievable, the next thing that happened—the firestorm that started. They’re poring over these lyrics, executives in their 30s and 40s, suits at Disney poring over these lyrics and for the first time paying attention to the songs they loved and picked. So it was like, “So listen, um, ‘Beautiful World.’ We’d really like that on the DVD, but you can’t say ‘It’s a beautiful world, but not for me.’” And it was like, “Oh really? Gee, that was kind of the whole point. What can we say?” The guy goes, “How about ‘for me too?’” And it just got better from there.
My favorite of all was—there’s a verse in “That’s Good” that I wrote the lyrics to in 1982. And the verse goes, “Life’s a bee without a buzz / It’s going great ’til you get stung.” Meaning, basically, you can get surprised. You can get ambushed, and that’s the point.
They go “You gotta take that whole verse out of there, or replace it with another verse, or edit the song.” And I’m going, “What do you mean?” They go, “We know what you’re talking about, Casale.” And I go, “What do you mean? What am I talking about?” They go, “‘Life’s a bee’ means ‘Life’s a bitch.’ ‘Without a buzz’ means unless you’re getting high. And ‘It’s going great until you get stung,’ meaning as long as you get away with it, unless the cops pop you.” And it was like, “Who was I talking to here? P. Diddy?” Their sensibility had been so formed by hip-hop and current music that they were reinventing meanings in my words to go along with urban street culture now. The words were written 30 years ago, [emphasis mine] basically. You went beyond getting mad to just like going, “This is proof of devolution. This is it.” We thought it was really funny.
|Thursday, April 7th, 2016|
|Monday, January 11th, 2016|
|Memento Mori Afa Astrae
The genius of David Bowie was that he could look at any typical endeavor, and he could find a way to add a new spin on it, usingly merely the resources he had, at hand.
Like: say, make a simple publicity photo more memorable by swapping a few clothes.
Or get a piano from the studio basement and make a whole new song, right there, on the spot.
Or name your last album in a way both eminently strange and yet easily readable on all modern social media platforms..
Let us remember not just what he gave us, but also that he was always looking for something new to give. Throw your manuals away and see what your toys can do.
|Monday, December 21st, 2015|
|What does perfection look like?
I've railed against gaming journalism since at least 1999. Game reviews have only gotten sillier, with a "5 star" system not offering enough objective gradiation, so it's now fractions like "9.75 out of 10." (Reviewing to three significant digits?)
So God bless Toby Fox. Here are the review quotes he uses, for the Steam page selling Undertale
, to show us what 100% perfection looks like.
“The puzzles aren't particularly impressive.”
10/10 – Destructoid
“I have a couple of issues with the user interface.”
10/10 – PCInvasion
“If there’s a criticism to be had, it’s that sometimes Toby Fox doesn’t know when to let a joke go.”
10/10 – The Jimquisition
I have a new hero. ^.^
|Wednesday, September 30th, 2015|
|Only following orders...
What's fascinating about the anthropomorphization of corporations is that, somehow, if people are part of a collective, they're absolved from responsibility.
LIke this whole Volkswagen
ordered the project. Someone
programmed the computers to do the fooling. Someone
did the quality-assurance to make sure it worked.
These people did what they did, willfully and voluntarily. And yet somehow, it's the fictional corporation that's at fault, and not the actual people who are a part of it?
Huh, the Wikipedia article said Ford and GM tried the same thing back in 1996. Now I have to wonder if my new car gets such great mileage because it spits out more poison?
|Wednesday, September 9th, 2015|
|Media ethics: Microsoft and Machinima
So it's been leaked that Microsoft was paying Machinima, who in turn paid its contributors, to talk positive about Xbox One games (video link)
. Some observations:
- The FTC said that Microsoft wasn't at fault, only Machinima was, and that Machinima is the one who would be punished in the future, and then it's only a fine of about 50% of the video's worth. The lesson here is that if you're a huge company with deep pockets and a vested interest, it's not unethical to offer the money. The only people who will suffer are the people who take the money. Of course, people couldn't take the money if it wasn't being offered...
- This pay-to-play promotion started two years ago, in 2013. Back in January of 2014, reps from Microsoft denied the whole thing, even as these videos were being posted in the same month. Xbox sales floundered at its debut in 2013, then sales tripled in 2014. The lesson here is that the promotions were successful.
- Machinima claims there was a change of management in March 2014. The lesson here is that being a corporation means shuffling people around absolves your entity from responsibility. People are to blame, never the brands, never the culture, never the system.
|Sunday, July 19th, 2015|
|Saturday, July 18th, 2015|
|Saturday, July 4th, 2015|
|Memento Mori, or "Then They Changed What It Was"
(cross-posted from a FurAffinity comment thread)
Some greymuzzles will romanticize the "good old days", when you only had 3 TV channels and you were forced to watch "Battle of the Network Stars" or whatever crap those guys were airing. That era is gone, and it's not coming back. And greymuzzles will also have to ask what was all that great about their old stuff, when it can be made freely accessible to new audiences at no cost. Why isn't more of this available? Where are the classics? If this old stuff was so great and so innovative, where is it?
There's far, far too many creators (not just furry ones) who were born on third base and thought they had hit homers. Back when there were fewer players in town, if people wanted furry content, they could only get it from a few sources. As digital-delivery and print-on-demand has grown, now people who want furry content to their needs can go to more places for it. Some of the older creators have found that when people could find alternative product, that the customers stopped coming to their door.
Subjectivity aside, there has to be something
to modern furry content that resonates with audiences. For example, how does the My Little Pony revival figure into this? It's a 1980s property about anthropomorphic horses, so it should surely be something in the greymuzzle's bailiwick. When the bronycons have more attendance than furry cons, then it's not purely an issue of "more diverse" content. There's something in MLP:FIM that resonates with people. A lot of people.
By far, the biggest challenge of the greymuzzles is to remember that the furry community is larger than ever, but it's also more discriminating than ever. You were a kid once. What spoke to you, then? And as an artist, what can you do to make it to speak to people, today? And as one of the best artists, what can you do to make it speak to people of tomorrow?
|Tuesday, May 26th, 2015|
|Sunday, May 17th, 2015|
|Meanwhile, in the id....
'One very unusual activity from October 1998 to October 1999 was some sort of involvement of Streamline Pictures with Margaret Kerry and her adult son, Eric Norquist. Kerry had been the Disney studio rotoscope model for Tinker Bell during its production of Peter Pan around 1951-1952. She was also the voice of one of the mermaids in Neverland. Later in the ‘50s she was on the staff of Cambria Productions, the animation studio that made the Clutch Cargo, Space Angel
, and Captain Fathom
TV cartoons. It was her mouth that was photographed speaking the dialogue in Cambria’s patented Synchro-Vox “living lips” system, superimposed over the cartoon characters’ faces. One of Kerry’s colorful stories was, “They strapped me into a chair like an electric chair, with a big head clamp so that my head wouldn’t move while they were filming my mouth reciting the dialogue. I was eight months pregnant at the time, and it wasn’t comfortable! I asked if I shouldn’t remove my lipstick when they were photographing my lips for the he-man male characters like Clutch or Swampy, and they said, ‘Naw! Nobody’ll notice!’”'
-- Fred Patten @ Cartoon Research
So, whose fantasy was "8-months pregnant Tinkerbell immobilized in chair and repeating voices while wearing too much lipstick"?
|Friday, May 8th, 2015|
|Thursday, April 9th, 2015|
12 ounces soyburger
4 ounces frozen spinach
12 ounces tomato paste
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. oil
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons bay leaves
1 teaspoon bacon salt
9 lasagna noodles
1 1/2 cup + 4 Tbsp. water
In a colander, defrost the soyburger and spinach under hot water.
In a small bowl, mix 12 oz. tomato paste with 1 cup water to make tomato sauce.
In a large bowl, mix together 4 tbsp. of water, 2 tbsp. oil, 4 tsp baking powder, and 1 tsp. corn starch until uniform.
Then add ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, parsley, bay leaves, and bacon salt.
To assemble, in the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking dish evenly spread 3/4 cup of the sauce mixture. Cover with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 3/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and 1/4 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with 3 noodles, remaining sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 cup water to the edges of the pan. Cover with lid.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
|Monday, February 16th, 2015|
|Wednesday, February 11th, 2015|
|Saturday, February 7th, 2015|
|Monday, February 2nd, 2015|
Being an adult means I can have coffee with my peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
Right now, being an adult is awesome. Current Mood: full
|Saturday, January 31st, 2015|
|Monday, January 5th, 2015|
|Quote for the day:
“I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I’d rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas”
|Wednesday, December 31st, 2014|
( Mindless Ones, Comics Commentary Blog: "Big Boys Don't Cry" )
The thesis? Modern comic-based movies don't subscribe to the Campbellian "Hero's Journey"
arc. Rather, the hero never actually grows up. If anything, the hero starts by rejecting the outside world, the outside world imposes on our hero, and our hero reacts, putting things back the way they were. Like a Byronic hero
, the character doesn't have a place in the story... but the character doesn't always meet a tragic ending. In these movies, the hero triumphs anyway.
This modern-comix hero works in Guardians of the Galaxy
because the team is purposefully set up to be a bunch of angry misfits. Time is spent with them complaining about their problems. The characters actually do have an arc -- they learn to put aside their differences and to work together. In the end, they triumph because they are willing to fight, even for a cause they have little or no stake in, in the first place. It's not their
planet, after all. And earlier, these very same people had arrested them! Our heroes step in to deal with a mess they helped create, and then they ride off into the sunset, always apart.
This modern-comix hero fails in the Nolan-verse Batman movies. Nolan-Batman learns nothing from his adventures. He is helplessly manipulated by his environment. He spends years alone, by himself, doing absolutely nothing. And worst of all, other people
are frequently shown doing more, and making greater sacrifice, than our hero. The movies are framed in such a way that the audience is to identify with Nolan-Batman: the narrative follows him from genesis, through his travails, and eventually to his end. But Nolan-Batman barely even reacts to his world, and he takes no ownership for what he causes. Joker and Bane wouldn't even have any power if it weren't for his own mistakes. Heck, Bane's plot wouldn't even work, if Batman wasn't so horribly negligent at even the most basic precautions. Our hero's lack of action created this mess, other people step in to fix it, and then our hero goes back to doing nothing.
The DC movies have a dark side to them -- the hero who is demonstrably more powerful than others, and yet who actively refuses to help people. Going by Mindless-One's thesis, Nolan-Batman resonates with modern audiences because they identify with his disillusionment. To quote Watchmen's
Rorschach: "[A]ll the whores and politicians will look up and shout 'Save us!... and I'll look down and whisper 'No.'" It's a adolescent's power fantasy, the child crying that, "Someday, I'll be on top, and then you'll be sorry." In the Marvel movies, sometimes the heroes can be bothered to take time out to help people, even if those people will inevitably reject them.