Archive for March, 2010

Today, in Idiots: Thom Nickels

Posted: March 31, 2010 in Braak
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Thom Nickels thinks that priestly sexual abuse of minors was maybe caused by the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, probably because he’s an idiot.

I am not, normally, considered to be an ally to the Catholic Church…but I am a well-known enemy of sophistry.  My response to Nickels’ post, after the jump.



By now, everyone should be more or less caught up with the last episode of Lost. You know, the one that promised an extended flashback utilizing a guy we know to be centuries old and privy to a whole mess of the Island mythology only hinted at – an episode that presumably would follow Alpert’s arrival on the island, his initial meetings with Jacob and Smokey, and his subsequent dealings as advisor to the island residents?

Well…you got those first two. If 2/3 of the episode wasn’t “Richard in Chains in the Black Rock” – just so the slow readers in the audience were able to pick up on the Richard-Slave theme – it might have gotten to the other stuff. But no time!

But hey, longtime viewers did get one burning question answered: What happened to the statue? Turns out, it got bashed to nothingness by a wooden boat (which was not similarly smashed to bits, which…look, I’m no physicist, but wood vs. granite…I don’t know if that can really happen). It was such a monumental event that it got all of 20 seconds of screentime.

As the ABC promos declare Only 7. Episodes. Left!, even the most patient viewers have to be wondering if that’s enough time to satisfactorily answer everything (key word: satisfactorily – by which I ask, was anyone particularly sated by how off-handedly the numbers were explained away? Or, the statue’s destruction – something that we assumed was a big deal?).

With help from Friend of Threat Quality Matt Burns, here’s a starter-list of things that would seem to be kind of essential for the story to reach a full conclusion, that still need to be addressed:


Braak’s Cosmogeny

Posted: March 29, 2010 in Threat Quality

Painstakingly reconstructed from spotty 20th-century records, the following is a cosmology of significant mythic figures of that era, their relations, and their offspring.

Lines with triangles indicate servitors.  Lines with diamonds indicate modes (aspects, avatars, and incarnations).

Acting does, in fact, require you to know what to do with your arms.

Yesterday, I talked about the communal experience that is watching an awful movie with a like-minded audience. It led me to the theory that the quality of a movie can sometimes be secondary to the enthusiasm of the viewers.

With that in mind, I popped in Twilight: New Moon. Because based on my experience with the first film in the ridiculously popular teen-vampire franchise, I knew there was no way of being pleasantly surprised.

But indeed I was. Because somehow, New Moon managed to be even more awful than its predecessor.

So I am here to spread the pain.


Your Usual

Posted: March 25, 2010 in Threat Quality

boring stuff from Holland on Thursday is pre-empted by this:

(OR: “In Praise of Terrible Movies.”)

Nevermind that Zombi (or Zombie II, an unrelated Italian film that tried to cash in on Dawn of the Dead – which, I guess technically, should have made it “Zombie 3” but don’t worry about that just now) is not exactly “good.” Nevermind that the acting ranges from Gloriously Hammy to “He knows there’s a camera on him, right?” (the standard B-movie scale, actually). Nevermind that it had a budget so low that its ending image – zombies are walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, but apparently that’s not enough to slow down traffic – is undercut by its teensy-weensy budget.

(I like to think that’s because New Yorkers are JUST THAT JADED.)

This is a movie here to bring you joy, dammit. You know how I know that?

Well. Zombie Vs. Shark: (more…)

Writing Advice Week, I Guess

Posted: March 24, 2010 in Braak

Here is a letter from David Mamet to the writers of The Unit, which I think is a new pornography?  I haven’t seen it.  It comes to us courtesy of /Film.

There are three things that struck me about this letter: