Tuesday, January 25, 2000
The man has no business being on Earth. He should be banaished to the arm pit of satan to smell the vapors of hell sweat. This show sucks! Only stupid people need apply. And Regis is a dickwad for always wearing that fucking mafioso suit.
On the brither side I finished Timeline and, to say the least, it was exciting. However, even though it was very exciting, the characters were typically shallow, cardboards nobodies. The medieval period was portrayed at first as a very different palce than had been expected by the historians but that only lastyed a few seconds. After a bit it devolved into the same meldramatic nonsense that they were cranking out in the days of Erol Flynn.
The medieval period was very complicated and the personalities in it were equally complex. Knights were seldom the mindless killers that they are made out to be. Ceremony and ritual had deep routes and were not window dressing. The level of piety, by our standards, was extremely high, even by those nasty knights.
The author seemed to want it both ways. He wanted authenticity of culture but not the real emotion that brought that culture about. Again the religous aspect of the book was downplayed into near oblivion, where as in real medieval Europe, particularly in the 14th century, Religious issues dominated politics, social life, and warfare.
He did bring up some interesting points. The fact that nobody really knows what the inside of a 14th centruy castle looked like. Or the fact that people bathed more often than we want to admit they did. Yet all these things do is make me mad that the authior didn't follow through on his apparent desire to show the medieval period for what it was.
His knights were evil in the manner of Freddy from nightmere on elm street. Darth Vader, for all his cardboard nature, is a far deeper character than any of the villains of this story. The only character that was believable was the Lady Claire. All the rest, moderns included, were stock.
As far as the science involved, puke! It sucks. First of all the idea of quantum foam is cool. But the author trys, stupidly, to make quantum foam out to be this bubbly stuff on the floor of the lab, instead of what it really is, which is part of every atom in all directions. We are, right now, moving through quantum foam, we are made up of it. It may be the reason we have TIME. We may be, at this momment, transsioning through countless universes like a moive where each frame is multidemensional yet static. I guess I wish I didn't know as much about quantum foam so that I could be awed by the concept of traveling through it like the dudes in Fantastic Voyage. But since I have seen it done before, in that movie for a matter of fact, it was not very exciting or original.
Critten falls again and again, into the worst trap of science fiction; the trap of technology. The best sci-fi books I have ever read have little to do with technology. When you try and base your story on an emerging technology you better get it right or you are going to look like a dufus. The best advice is to keeps things as vague as you can get away with. A matter transporter is just that, it needs no explanation as to how it works. Therein lies the trap for no matter what you say your going to get it wrong and you will instantly date your story. Critten falls into this trap big time. But I am not going to let him off the hook. He attemtps to tell us how the machine works to get people back in time but fails to tell us anything aobut how they are able to accurately pinpoint the exact time the traveler is going to.
And, since you are dealing with quantum foam, the answer to that question is that you can't. Because on that level there is only uncertainty, nothing can be accurately predicted. Certainly not navigating a traveler to a specific universe and a specific time in that universe.
And the contrivences of convinience made me a little sick too. The big glass!? tanks to shield the transit booths from stray rays? Why glass? Oh yeah, so they can conviniently break when things explode. And the silly babble-fish ear-peice that can translate middle french and english on the fly. Nothing like a computer that can translate multiple dead languages that have no written dictionay so nobody knows exactly all the words used in them. Remember we base our knowledge of these languages on a pitifful few manuscripts compiled by a very narrow segment of the population.
Swords: Yes they were heavy but unlike the ones in the story, they were expertly balanced so that they could be wielded with only moderate effort.
War: Yes things sucked pretty bad in the year 1357. But most battles did not happen at castles. They were hardly ever attacked. As Critten accurately noted in the book, a siege took too much time. A free company wanted quick loot. But if a castle was attacked the attacker almost without acception, layed a long term seige that could last six weeks or six months. Look at Harflur, the king of England seiged that town for months before it fell. And the seige cost Henry V half his men to disease. The seigfe cost more lives than the battle of Agincourt! At that was a town! Big castles, built high on rocky outcrops didn't usually get attacked.
Court: Feudalism was almsot totally overlooked in the book. The relationship between Oliver and his knights would have played a much larger role in the book if the reality of feudalism had been incorporated.
Jousts: The typical medieval trournament took weeks and there was little excitment for the masses. There was, if anything, even more cerimony and ritual here. Knights fought with squared off swords and lances that, again were expertly balanced. Tournament armor was also different than combat armor. It was a money making endeavour for the lord who held it, He didn't really benifit from having a knight get killed. And most knights didn't want to get killed in a joust. It was a violent sport for sure, but not a leathal sport. High nobbles put a heavy penelty for knights who got out of hand and killed their opponent. That was a no no punishable by death? No just a steep fine.
That brings up another point that could have been made and that is that medieval justice on average was mainly delt out by way of stiff fines and confiscations, not torture and death.
Time paradoxes: If not totally glossed over it is almost tottally glossed over. The CEO's explanation that one man could change history sucks. But I guess in the book it is true. Yet look at the last scene at Eltham Castle...
Best part of the book: The very beginning and the very end. I was touched by the final scene at the castle of Eltham. That was how the whole book should have been.
The problem as I see it, is that a cictern on the roof is A: too heavy and B: too prone to fill up with bird droppings. So I think we either take the water we want to use or have access to a filtering system. Taking the water up is the more pathetic of the two ideas. but it is less problematic in that no gizmos are required, the water comes up fresh and clean to drink. If each person brings up a 2 gallon jug that should be plenty for a few days. In the kitchen-pod there would be bays to store the water supply. Each person would use his or her own jug of water. Bathing would be done using rainwater. It doesn't have to be as clean and you wont drink it.
As I stated earlier we can have a gas generator for emergencies, but otherwise we don't got no power. We could try wind power or solor power, but those sytems are too expensive and you are at the mercy of nature. I think the best system is a shit pot load of insulatory substances and a roof that is black as the ass of the devil. The southern exposure could also be painted black to aid in radient heat absorbtion. At night we would crank up the wood stove. This unit has to be small and sheilded from th woody parts of our hovel.
We don't want our shack to be ruined by rats, snakes, coons, etc. So we need to practice pest control with extreme predjudice. We'll need to have bait stations under the floor of each pod for rodent control. Furthermore we'll need to use steel screen buried a foot deep to prevent snakes from coming in a biting us to death. Insects are the most insidius of pests. If we are away from the shack for a long period of time the first thing we should do upon entry is bug-bomb the place inside and out. I know this is not eco-freindly but I don't really give a shit. Those lousy insect fuckers don't need to exist anywhere near us. I want them to look upon our domain the same way medieval Eastern Europe looked on Mongolia. "Fuck that shit I ain't go'in in there."
This is potential the worst pest. It is fucking huge, strong, evil smelling, fury and can bite your leg off if it is pissed. So we'll need to protect ourselves with a weapon that can do in a five hundred pound beast. I think that we should find a 12mm elephant gun, saw off the barrel for close range. A shot gun wouldn't do. Since the pesky little pelletts woulde nd up all over the place and a bears fir and fat are tough. But a nice solid shot 12mm slug will make ungentle Ben into a rug with one shot.
Friday, January 14, 2000
Young person: Unh?
Me: When was I born?
Young creep: 1965, that makes you 35.
Me (Slamming my fist into the young creeps head) Older than you'll ever be.
Young asshole: (Gasping for air as I try to stangle him) True...very true..Gag
I fling him into a recycling truck and try to punch his face in.
Yeah I am feeling a bit on the old side. So what? I tell you this ain't nothing until thsoe college age freaks start running the world. Then all bets are off.
Wednesday, January 05, 2000
Now that we are living in the YEAR 2000 we have to start dressing and acting the proper "year 2000" way. First we all need to wear tight fitting suits with our colors turned up. The ladies can start by squeezing into tight spandex jump suits. Next big primary color lounge chairs! Our houses need to be really clean and devoid of anything that might add humanity to them. Our cars have to have big bubble tops and sound like hoover vacume cleaners.
As far as how we should act we should start by, acting supior to everything around us...oh yeah...we already do. Next we need to be smug about our technological sublimity...almost there now. Smugness will be big in the 21 Century. Speaking of 21st Century...what the hell is Fox going to do with their film leader now that it is no longer the 20th Century? Anyway once we have the smugness and superiority thing nailed down we need to be bland. And I mean blannnnnnnd! Monochromatic moods galore! If your not bland your banned! That'll be the mantra of the new age. We need to strive to maintain and even strain no matter what is happening.
So once we can achieve the Zen of being a smug, bland, fascist, and dressing the part, we can safely begin making all the same mistakes we made in the 20th Century. And here's the cool futuristic part, we can make them all in a gleaming, brand new, Century!
Saturday, January 01, 2000
This movie stinks like a whale that had a sadomasochistic love afair with a general's daughter only to end up beached in the movie Jaws 2. Stiiiiiiinky! It sucks like a chest wound! And another thing. Travolta's neck is too damn thick. Get a stair master you big fat freak. And what is it about that skinny dude who also played the cheif in LA Confidential. The guy looks half dead all the time. Get a fucking blood transfusion! I am also tired of the fucking fog mahine. Turn it off! Any film maker who rents more than one fog machine should have his balls stapledto his forehead. The movie made me want to spend the whole two hours in the bathroom and brew a hemeroid. I didn't like the type style used in the credits either. And the video cassette had a scratch on it. And the night was too cold and rainy when I went to the movie store so over all I had a very non-enjoyable time with this crappy flick. Gets a 1 only because...oh fuck it it gests a 0.
Terry Gilliam made one hell of a drug moive. This movie makes Train Spotting seem like a Captain Kangaroo show. Gilliam, if the not the king of wierd, is deffinately a Duke or other such higher mucky-muck. Johnny Depp a most enoyable dope fiend.
What the fuck is going on here? Two good movies? Yeah I know. Harvey Keitel as Elvis? But this movie really work. The mark of it's coolness is that it takes that most contrived and over-used vehicle, (American road movie) and actually ends up by being a good movie. It is a highly recomended movie on my list.
I really liked this movie. Nobody had any redemaing qualities but it was funny enough to make me forget about that. Makes me want to stay away from delapidated Enlish streets. I wish I had more funny thingsto say about this movie but I liked it so much that I can't think of any.