Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas! Because you can.

How can I agree so much with someone I disagree with so much?!!

https://celebrity.yahoo.com/blogs/celeb-news/kirk-cameron-urges-women-to-save-christmas-by-cooking-decorating-singing-141250143.html

I'm pretty much the polar opposite of Kirk Cameron. I have nothing against Christianity - I'm a believer myself, just not a churchgoer - but I have everything against fundamentalism of any religion.

But see, tradition is nice. Think back to when you were a child. My mom, while not religious, did all the things mentioned in this article. She made Christmas awesome. By being too "cool" or "modern" or "feminist" or whatever the fuck to bring that to your own household, aren't you denying your own family what you grew up with? And yourself? Naturally, this goes for whatever tradition you follow, not just Christmas. Including purely secular traditions. Cause who the hell doesn't like the smell of pine trees?!

So yeah, I agree with Kirk fricking Cameron about something. Or maybe I just hate the pointless over-modernization of society that the tone of this article reeks of even more than I hate fundamentalism. At least this time.

And for all the feminists who are grumbling about why does it have to be the wife... because men won't do this stuff. You know they won't. So just suck it up and do it. Not everything has to be a feminist punch to the gut. Some things are just nice to do.
Sadly, Rocktober has come and gone, leaving us with one of the most boring of all months, November. More like Nofunber, amirite? So anyway, I'm gonna keep the Halloween season going a little longer with some horror talk.

First, last week's Walking Dead. Mullet Scientist, nooooooo! :( Can I just say how much I wanted to believe in Mullet Scientist, not just for the future of the human race but because he was a scientist with a mullet, fighting against the odds! I wanted our hero to be an odd smart dude with an early90sVinceGill!mullet. But, nope. He lied about the whole thing. He's just an odd, smart coward. Not a Mullet Scientist, more like a... Mullet Savant.

So, now what? There's no cure, so what is there to strive for now other than pure survival? And what will happen to Eugene? I hate what he did, but I still oddly kinda care about the guy. He was endearing.

Second, I watched a movie a few days ago called House of the Devil. I'm not sure I've written about this here before, but I mostly HATE horror movies of the last 20 years. The atmosphere, pacing, writing, and general creepiness of my favorites from the 60s, 70s, and 80s have been replaced by cheap scares, CGI crap, and gore that serves no purpose other than to be gross. I'm a fan of gore, when used properly. When it's genuinely scary and not used in place of real plot. Gore is an enhancement to a good scary movie, not a raison d'etre.

But my main complaint with most modern horror movies is the godawful pacing. Everything's FAST and LOUD and IN YO FACE. The characters are annoying; it's near impossible to make them anything else with that style of filmmaking. They've forgotten that some of the scariest moments in horror are the QUIET moments, the parts where nothing's happening that are building up to a big scare. This creates tension and suspense, and without it, the scares are MEANINGLESS. It all goes back to "Automatic" again. We want everything RIGHT THE FUCK NOW, we can't even wait for a build up in this attention deficit world. And it makes for truly awful filmmaking.

They also seem to have forgotten that characters need personality traits other than "obnoxious" and "sex crazed" to make them compelling and, you know, people you actually give a crap about. Now I'm not asking for highly developed characters in a slasher film, but don't make them utterly 2D and for god's sake, don't make the people you're supposed to root for so hateful. A perfect example: The original Laurie Strode and Dr. Loomis in the Halloween series, versus the same characters in the godawful remakes. Likeable vs hateful. I just don't get it. Once again, it totally lowers the stakes and your involvement in the movie.

So back to 2009's House of the Devil. I've watched many, many 80s horror films, both popular and more obscure, and if I hadn't known this movie was made in 2009, I would have thought it was an 80s film I somehow missed. That's how right they got not only the look and sound of the 80s, but the pacing. Words can't express how refreshing it was to see a horror movie that felt like real life again, instead of stuff jumping in your face all the time. The lost art of suspense in the age of automatic. And no CGI! Not only do you NOT need CGI to make a good scary movie, I think it actually hurts it most of the time. Because it takes you out of the movie. It's so obvious, it lowers the stakes. So I'm genuinely impressed with House of the Devil, and it will become one of my semi-yearly standards.

The other more recent horror movie I enjoy is Trick R Treat, in fact it's one of my top favorites. It gets the pacing and storytelling just right, and it's very original. Where House of the Devil is more of an homage to 80s "satanic cult" horror films, Trick R Treat is like nothing else really. Both are genuinely creepy and I highly recommend, especially if you also hate the Cheap Scare Era of filmmaking.

Now I'm off to watch last night's American Horror Story, another show that gets it right. I've only written about that show here once I think, and it was more about how I miss portable radios and the good music that was played on them, but yeah. it's a great show.

From two Novembers ago:

"I was watching an episode of American Horror Story (best show ever pretty much), and it was a flashback to the 60s and this guy was alone with a little portable radio, and it was playing one of those 60s doo-wop type songs and the guy was just ROCKING OUT to it like it was the only thing in the world, and I was like holy frick, I miss the days when all you needed to be happy was a radio and a good song. People were just happier then. There's no way they couldn't have been. Then his wife was killed by aliens or something, but that's beside the point. The point is, it takes too damn much to be happy now."

Yep. And it's just getting worse out there. So find what you love, and hold on tight.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

ch-ch-ch-chia

Amusing Yahoo Headline/Photo of the Day:

"Obama nominates new attorney general"


Congratulations, chia attorney general! You've come a long way since you were a bunch of seeds slathered on a pot. My chia pet just sat on a shelf and collected dust. Lazy slacker.

Now YOU can have your own chia attorney general for the low, low price of only 19.95!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Murr. I'm at a bit of a loss what to write about right now. Lately I've been really into 80s music, shopping, horror movies, and eating strawberry pocky. I think I'm 13 again :D