Help My Friend Michael Scott

Posted: October 4, 2014 in Threat Quality

So, Michael Scott (not of the Office, a different Michael Scott) is a friend of mine.  He’s an independent filmmaker and VFX artist in California.  He’s kind of well-known for this pretty great series of lightsaber fighting videos he made:

as well as for his enthusiasm for (and criticism of movies).

On September 30th, he was hit by a car and critically injured.  Like, very critically injured.  His friends are trying to raise money to help him.  I think he’s got insurance to cover his medical bills, but we all know that severe injuries cost a lot more than medical bills — based on the extent of the damage, he could be out of work for months (possibly forever).

Michael was the first person who expressed interest in film rights to The Translated Man.  He has since hired me to write several film treatments for him.  I’ve found him to be a very smart, very good, very generous person.  I know that many of you guys don’t know him from Adam (strictly speaking, most of you don’t know ME from Adam), but if you’ve got a few dollars lying around, he sure could use the help.

GoFundMe

Cara Blouin

Here is a quote from Manohla Dargis’ review in the New York Times of the movie “Boyhood,” by Richard Linklater, which — as I am sure you have heard — used the same actors over a decade to tell the story of the life of a single child:

It’s no surprise that watching actors naturally age on camera without latex and digital effects makes for mesmerizing viewing. And at first it may be hard to notice much more than the creases etching Mr. Hawke’s face, the sexy swells of Ms. Arquette’s belly and Mr. Coltrane’s growth spurts. You may see your own face in those faces, your children’s, too.”

I am not familiar enough with the sexy swells of my own belly to know whether or not I could have had some deeper human experience by identifying with those of Patricia Arquette. But I did not actually see my face in the two mentioned, because my face is female.

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Some Notes on Growth

Posted: September 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

It’s always hard to talk about “economic growth,” because people in general and Americans in particular tend to talk about things in this very Boolean sort of a way.  i.e.:  Economic growth is good, TRUE OR FALSE?  And if you say “true,” then you’ve got to support everything that “grows the economy” at all times, and anything that interferes with growth in any way is self-evidently bad.  And if you say “false” then you must want there to be no economic growth ever and actually you want the world to descending into a crippling, grinding poverty for eternity until there is no money and everyone is eating old shoes for dinner.

There is, of course, no answer besides “true” and “false”, so when we start with that presumption, the terms of the argument are fixed from the beginning.  While we can argue that some other things might be good as well, we’re stuck having conceded that economic growth is always good everywhere forever.

Well, look.

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Riot Girl Comics 5

Posted: September 1, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Riot Girl Comics 4

Posted: August 29, 2014 in Uncategorized
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CHELSEA CHERRY

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Riot Girl Comics 3

Posted: August 29, 2014 in Uncategorized
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THE REASONABLE MEN

The Reasonable Men are an army of unstoppable robots of the law, that the Chamber of Commerce calls in when it starts to look like they’re losing control of the regular crowd-control police.

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For the most part, they look like robot Bertie Woosters — tweed suits and straw boater hats — with retractable nightsticks for hands.

The lead unit of the Reasonable Men, of course, looks like Jeeves

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He has an umbrella shield and a laser hand (as you can see).

The tension in stories with the Reasonable Men is that they look completely ridiculous, but are actually brutal, aggressive, and hyper-competent. They are, exactly as their name doesn’t imply, also completely UNreasonable, immediately escalating all conflicts to blunt-force-trauma subdual mode at the first hint of resistance. (i.e., 158: Failure to Comply with Law Enforcement Demands; the Reasonable Men announce all of the crimes that you are guilty of [usually: Failure to Comply, Resisting Arrest, Aggressive Action] over and over as they beat the hell out of you.)

Guardians of the Galaxy did really well, so that means there will be a sequel (Guardians of the Galaxy 2: 2 Guardians, 2 Galaxy), and I think that is a great opportunity to correct what I perceive to be a glaring flaw in the first movie:  Gamora’s criminal under-utilization as the most badass character of all.

Now, everyone loves a good, clean karate-fight.  Your Captain America versus Batroc the Leaper, &c.  But also one of the things that makes fights great and interesting is when there are obstacles or limitations that the fighter has to overcome (think basically every Jackie Chan fight scene ever).  These are good ways to make the fight unique and creative, and also often to raise the stakes of a fight scene part way through, so that we don’t get tired of seeing people try to kick each other or what have you.

Guardians of the Galaxy did do one of these, the Gamora / Star-Lord Supine Karate Fight, and don’t get me wrong, I love a good fight where both characters are lying down.  In my opinion, almost ANY fight could be improved by having the fighters lie on the ground and try to hit each other!

Still, you’ve done that once.  Here are some other ideas.

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