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“Selfie” and “A to Z”

2014-10-21T08:00:21+00:00

I’ve started watching two new shows.

Selfie” features Scottish actress Karen Gillian of “Dr. Who,” and John Cho of “Harold & Kumar,” “Sleepy Hollow” and “Star Trek.” It’s a modern rendition of “My Fair Lady,” right down to the names of the characters (Eliza and Henry), and follows Henry officially trying to teach Eliza how to be a better person, while she unofficially teaches him how to be a better person. It’s quite good so far and both leads are well-cast.

A to Z” features Ben Feldman (Andrew) and Cristin Milioti (Zelda) as two young professionals who fall in love. It’s very current with its cultural references to dating apps and the Internet, which means it won’t seem very fresh if it makes it into syndication and people try to watch it ten years from now. It’s sweet and enjoyable, but also includes an unhealthy dose of liberal propaganda with every episode. (Episode 1: driving identical Prius cars, and a rant against marriage and families (and implicitly, corporations) in the first minute of the show; Episode 2: everyone in the office making out, including some prominently-featured homosexual couples; Episode 3: a major plot point is Zelda’s marriage fraud, which is a felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, and would result in Zelda being disbarred or never even qualifying as a lawyer.) It’s nice to hear Katey Segal (“Married with Children,” “Sons of Anarchy” and “Futurama”) narrating the show.

Both shows are fun to watch while “The Last Ship” is on hiatus. We’ll see whether either show annoys me to the point where I stop watching. It’s a low bar, and most shows (like “Sleepy Hollow”) cross it by season 2. But we’ll see.

Stage 4 brain cancer, part 5

2014-10-20T06:11:25+00:00

We saw our friend who’s dying of stage 4 brain cancer. He is doing poorly. Long-term steroid use damages the liver and kidneys, so his doctors tapered off his steroids, which apparently were responsible for his doing well over the summer. Now he is bedridden again. His wife doubts he will see the New Year.

We had a nice conversation with him. He was lucid and cracking jokes. It was difficult for me to reconcile the image of the pale hairless blob in the bed with the tall vigorous man I knew him to be.

Every time we see him might be the last time. So we left on a positive note. I tickled his feet.

She was embarrassed to show me her “Fifty Shades of Grey”

2014-10-15T14:56:48+00:00

At the car rental desk, the young agent (who reminded me of Hispanic actress Eva Mendes) mentioned that she was looking forward to reading her book this weekend. I asked her what she was reading.

She smiled secretively. “I don’t know if I should show you,” she said in a low voice.

I smiled and said, “Why?” She pulled out her book. It was one of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books, I’m not sure which one.

We laughed together.

“I know,” she said, putting it away again. “it’s ‘mommy porn.’ And I’m not even a mom.”

“It does seem to be a popular series among the women I know,” I reassured her. I have never read any of the books, because I’m not interested. Fellow aliens have glanced through them and expressed revulsion, and their critiques were sufficient to satisfy my curiosity. “I hear the books are fun,” I said convincingly.

“They’re very good,” she sighed, fluttering her eyelashes.

“I’m sure,” I agreed. Our conversation then turned to something else.

It seems that every woman I know has these books in their home. Some of those women would classify themselves as man-hating feminists. So if the subject of the series is Bondage, Discipline, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) between women and men, I’m unclear why those women would be interested in it, unless they are hypocrites. I don’t really care, though. Their psychological issues are not my problem.

I did happen to see the 2013 television program, “Inside the Fifty Shades,” however. It features sex workers who specialize in BDSM, talking about their experiences and their work. Listening to their stories made me realize just how varied the human mind can be in the stimulation that it enjoys. But it also makes me realize that one would have to be deeply vested in their corporeal body to enjoy such forms of stimulation.

I’m not. The body I wear right now is a tool, a vehicle, and a relatively frail, damaged one at that. I use it to move and observe things around me on this planet. There’s really no point to activities which could damage the vehicle or infect it with a disease.

And if I damage or destroy my vehicle before my mission here is complete, I may not be assigned another one very soon. One must treat with respect the equipment they are given for their mission.

So, I think it’s amusing, the types of abuse with which some of the natives here use for entertainment.

I think I’ll stick to music.

No one will remember me and that’s okay

2014-10-14T21:08:58+00:00

I was reading about the Mexican Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, which of course is actually three days, not one. Apparently one of the purposes of the event is to remember the dead, reminisce about them, and tell amusing anecdotes about them. I think it’s just another type of ancestor worship. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. The holiday dates back 3,000 years to the Zapotecs and similar tribes. But Martians have no use for ancestor worship, since clones have no ancestors as such, just stem cell lines and batches.

It’s sweet that living people would want to remember dead people as they were, not as they are. But no one will remember me after I’m gone. That’s okay with me. I like influencing people with ideas. Sometimes you can have a huge impact on a person’s life just by saying the right words at the right time.

As long as the events I set in motion continue to ripple outward, I am content to vanish from history, to be unremembered. The force of the wave is what matters, not the object that set the wave in motion.

 

Muse, “Madness”

2014-10-14T14:32:29+00:00

Stuck in my heads today. You must suffer too. I like the monotone “ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma mad mad mad” motif that mirrors the synth bass line.

The electric touchscreen guitar shown in the video is a Misa Kitara digital guitar with its own onboard synthesizer tone generator. It was produced only from 2011 to 2013, and was phased out largely because guitarists didn’t like it and keyboardists didn’t need it. Now Misa makes the Tri-Bass, which is a guitar-shaped MIDI controller without any onboard tone generation capability. I’m not sure how that makes the concept any better, except that at $800 USD it costs less than the Kitara did.

I like the slow motion dance interpretation of a riot in the subway, with the man and the woman largely unaffected by the violence around them, yet that violence mirrors the conflict inherent in their own relationship. Or so I think.

You can only read so much into it.

Dear Algebra, stop asking us to find your x. She’s not coming back.

2014-10-13T08:52:33+00:00

I was talking with an acquaintance whose wife had left him and gotten her own apartment and a new boyfriend. I asked how his plans were proceeding to win her back.

“Fine,” he shrugged, indicating it wasn’t. “She said she needs more time. I said, ‘what, like until Sunday?'”

I can see that she’s not coming back. And with his attitude, I can’t blame her. He just wants her back to fill the role that she used to fill: taking care of the children while he plays with his toys and his friends. He hasn’t learned much, if anything, from her leaving him.

I didn’t tell him that, of course. He needs to figure it out on his own. Telling him outright will just annoy him and make him resent me. It’s not worth the trouble.

They’re re-making “12 Monkeys” into a television movie???

2014-10-12T23:18:20+00:00

Uh oh, SyFy channel is making a television movie out of the Bruce Willis movie “12 Monkeys” (1995). That means it’s going to stink, probably. Remember, this is the same channel which continually tries confuse (or dumb down) otherwise-intelligent people by showing wrestling. And Defiance, an hour-long regular series that basically promotes a failed video game.

The 1995 movie “12 Monkeys” was an inscrutable, many-layered work of art, like the Mona Lisa. I fully expect the television movie version to be the crayon version of the Mona Lisa.

I hope SyFy proves me wrong.

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