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Okay, fine. I’ve made another two TikTok videos. The first is a three-minute whimsical review of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s 2018 science fiction novel Children of Time. My written review of the book is more straightforward and detailed. TikTok videos are brief by design, so I had to compress everything into a max of three minutes. As I wrote my script, I realized there was no way I could deliver anything serious in such a short time period, so I punted and this is the result.
Photo of Lester Del Rey
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What disturbs me more is the whole concept of purpose as applied to any literature. To the Marxists, intent upon subordinating everything to the good of the state, the arts must serve a direct purpose of life — usually propaganda, I’m afraid. But why people in this country accept such Marxist ideas is a puzzle.
–Lester Del Rey as quoted from The World of Science Fiction, 1926-1976: The History of a Subculture
I suppose it’s a mild coincidence that I’m quoting Del Rey on his birthday. These words from his tome, which I reviewed HERE and HERE, are predictive of the world of science fiction (and entertainment in general) we experience today.
Del Rey saw SciFi as a lot of things, including instructive, but most of all, he believed it should be fun.
But where has the fun gone?
And while Lenin read a book of Marx
The Quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died
And they were singing bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singing, “This’ll be the day that I die”
This will be the day that I die
–Don McLean from “American Pie” 1971
Just substitute “escapism” or “fun” for the word “music” above, and it fits. There’s a lot inspiring this missive, including this recent one.
Publicity shot of actress Gina Carano
Addendum: 2-12-2021, 5:30 p.m. mountain time: I was reminded that what happened to Gina Carano makes Disney+ and the social media cancel culture/hate mob guilty of the decades old practice of Hollywood Blacklisting. Click the link and have your eyes opened.
Addendum: 2-12-2021, 11:59 a.m. mountain time: Looks like Gina has a new project set up as well as new representation. I hope it all works out for her.
Addendum: 2-11-2021, 3:20 p.m. mountain time: Terrific 13+ minute video (some language) giving a detailed description of the cancel culture and yes, though they don’t think of themselves this way, the “hate mob.” Give a watch.
“Nobody has the right to live their life being protected from offense, or from insult, or from hurt feelings. It is an occupational hazard of living in Society! And if you really can’t take it, become a hermit”
Yes, we all say and do things that sometimes upset others and sometimes other people say and do things that upset us. It’s the nature of being human to disagree with one another.
However, in the case of actress Gina Carano, it’s gone well beyond that. For the “crime” of expressing her opinions, she’s now out of a job. In other words, she was fired.
Screenshot from twitter
So I came across a tweet on twitter from someone I follow named “Mara Jade” (@OG_MaraJade). It was a retweet of this.
I followed the link to the source and came up with |Blake| the Villain (@Enemies_Allies) who originated the image. He also said “This was a very successful tweet. They literally just expose themselves.”
Promotional image of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) from the 2019 film “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
A day or two ago, I saw a YouTube video on Mara Jade’s twitter account commenting on a Bounding Into Comics article titled Fans Threaten J.J. Abrams and Report Mental Breakdowns Over Kylo Ren’s Ending in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Frankly, I was amazed. I guess I shouldn’t be. As a fan of the television show Smallville (2001-2011), I watched fans on social media tear each other apart over which female lead should be in a relationship with Clark (Tom Welling). I watched the show for the superhero stuff, even though it really was a teenage/millennial soap opera.
So why shouldn’t Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) be any different?
However, the more I read the outrageous comments being supposedly made on twitter (to read them, click the appropriate link above), the more I became curious. Are these people real?
© James Pyles
DISCLAIMER: This film review is loaded with spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet and want to be surprised, don’t read any further!
Yes, I went to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker today with my son, my grandson, and my son’s girlfriend.
What I’m about to say will probably annoy or even anger some of my friends and acquaintances, but the movie wasn’t half bad. In fact I liked it for the most part.
This isn’t to say that it didn’t rehash the original three films from the late 1970s and early 80s, but it was better than Director Rian Johnson’s horribly failed The Last Jedi (2017).
First of all, it was visually very impressive. Just in terms of cinematic “eye candy” (no, not that kind), it’s a pleasure to watch.
Found at knowyourmeme.com
Oh heck. I wasn’t going to comment on this here. Seriously. I admit, when I saw the title of the File 770 article Fandom, Entitlement and Toxicity I had a pretty good idea of what it was all about. When I saw the author was my old “friend” Hampus Eckerman (really, we’ve only had brief online encounters, but they were pretty unpleasant) I was sure of it.
Turns out I was wrong.
What Eckerman was really saying was that his “ownership” of certain characters and franchises, he focuses on “The Amazing Spider-Man” comic book, can lead us as fans to respond pretty badly at times when the creators of these pieces of work do something that rubs us the wrong way.
Promotional image for the 2018 movie “Solo, A Star Wars Story”
So I finally got around to watching last year’s Star Wars story Solo starring Alden Ehrenreich in the title role, with Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, and Donald Glover. To be honest, I’ve been avoiding it.
Actually, last February, when I wrote my commentary Jason Reitman and the new Ghostbusters: Respecting the Fans isn’t Misogynistic, I made the mistake of calling out critics of Reitman by tagging them on twitter. I also mentioned that I’d not only avoided the 2016 Ghostbusters remake, but had also never seen Solo for similar reasons.
I was immediately attacked, but fortunately being “small fry” on social media, the twitteratti just as quickly lost interest in me.
However, some of what they said stuck with me including how I probably shouldn’t judge a movie I’ve never seen. I’m still avoiding the Ghostbusters remake, but when I saw that Solo was available as a DVD at my local public library, I figured it wouldn’t cost me anything (except 135 minutes of my life) to watch it.
A statute honoring Ray Bradbury was unveiled outside the Waukegan Public Library just after sunset on Aug. 22, 2019, the 99th anniversary of the late author’s birth. (Dan Moran / Lake County News-Sun)
I just read an article at File 770 called Waukegan Public Library Unveils Ray Bradbury Statue (click the link and read, the story’s pretty short). Waukegan was Bradbury’s hometown and I’m thrilled to see that he is being honored. He is a truly timeless writer, and I can prove it, since my 33-year-old son Michael just read Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Over a year ago, I wrote my own wee Bradbury essay titled Should We Burn Ray Bradbury’s Books?. I crafted my missive in response to Katie Naum’s essay at Electric Lit called The New ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Movie Fails to Reckon with Bradbury’s Racism.
I seriously doubt he was a racist, at least in the dictionary definition sense, but assuming Bradbury had character flaws and perhaps some dated beliefs given that he was born in 1920, that doesn’t change his influence on the field of science fiction, nor make him unworthy of being honored.
Of course, we’ve seen this sort of thing before.
Promotional image for the 1981 film “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
This morning on the radio, I heard a clip from an interview with actor Harrison Ford where the host asked him who he’d like to see play Indiana Jones after Ford retired from the role. Ford replied no one. When he goes away, Indy goes away, too.
The fifth and last Indiana Jones film starring Ford is slated to come out in 2021, though after 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I think Indy’s getting a little long in the tooth for this sort of thing.
The DJ on the radio program I was listening to thought Ford was being arrogant in making such a statement, but I think he’s spot on. It’s not just that Ford originated the character and is terrific at it, but the first Indy movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark came out in 1981, and the only other Indy movie worth a damn (in my opinion) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade hit the theaters in 1989.