Friday, July 28, 2017

Mid Year State Of The Blog: July 2017

Mid-Year State Of The Blog: July 2017

Well it is the halfway mark of this year. Technically a bit past the midway point. With this being only the 10th post of the year I've made then I will be well less than half of my personal yearly quota by years end. 😢 I personally don't like when I'm this low. If my low trend continues this will be the third year in a row and the 5th year total that I've been below my yearly posting goal. My other personal goal with this blog is to try to at the very least make one post each month. 

At least for this blog I have not missed a month. I did a quick check it looks like I've hit each month. Many many months I have had only one post that month the bare minimum. I don't want to accept going more than that without blogging. I feel terrible when I see the low numbers. I have never been so proficient that I would have multiple posts per day. Some people can write that much and do. If they miss just one day of posting they feel even worse than I do just missing one month. On my trading card blogs I have missed a month once or twice each. I have made a personal vow to never do that again. Sometimes the evening of the last day of the month I have had to tweak my posting time slightly if the blogger system has already crossed over to midnight.

Before this post is published I have two posts for this month here. On my Trading card blogs nothing in July yet. I have plenty of posts in draft on them, but for some reason or another I haven't published any. I will even if it is on the 31st at 11:50 pm and I have to fudge the time to 11:59 pm on the 31st instead of 12:03 am 01 Aug.

Maybe I should start showing sexy photos of scantily clad women on a regular basis to up the viewing numbers and to up the posting quota. I probably could, but I would soon bore of it. It doesn't say that "this is MY Blog". I also might be accused of stealing someone Else's material.

I forget the source of that "writer" image. I got it from one of those social media quizzes that show what job/career you should really be doing. There are times I would love to get paid as a writer. However, to quote Douglas Adams "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." I have never been good at meeting deadlines. I have perfected the art of procrastination. In school I used to wait, waiting isn't the right word but whatever, til the night before something was due sometimes before even starting the dang thing. Often with English classes if an essay, book report was supposed to be over 1,000 words or at least 10 pages I would often fail to get even that. My word count even using a ton of "and"s and "the"s along with many other filler words I would still only manage to get only about half of what the requirement was. If I had a professional writing gig I don't know how I would manage to get things in on time. Especially if I had a weekly or monthly deadline. Maybe if there was a loose deadline I might make some of those.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Doctor Who: Who Is New?

ON Sunday 16 July 2017 the internet was all ablaze, at least the Sci-Fi part of it, with news of what actor would take on the mantle of the title role of The Doctor on the long lasting British Science Fiction Television show Doctor Who. The announcement was made after the Wimbledon Finals in the form of a video teaser trailer. One of the big questions was would they make the risky decision to cast a woman in the role? The announcement would answer that as well one way or the other.

In a risky casting move The BEEB Chose actress Jodie Whittaker to portray the 13th (well technically 14th, or 15th) incarnation of The Doctor. Not to be confused with American actor Johnny Whitaker who s famous for playing a character named Jody. Jodie is most known for the BBC Series Broadchurch which was produced by on-coming Who producer Chris Chibnall it also stars Doctor 10 David Tennant with another potential choice for first female Doctor Olivia Colman, as well as Who Alumni Arthur Darvill, and the sci-fi movie Attack the Block. I have wanted to see Broadchurch which has ended after 3 series (seasons) but haven't gotten around to it or the made for American TV Gracepoint which as far as I know is a complete remake using Tennant and maybe a few other of the original actors but not many. I've been meaning to pick up the DVDs. I am also a several series/seasons behind in picking up Doctor Who DVDs.

It would be best if they don't make any obvious comments about the sex/gender change in dialog. However during her "just after the regeneration" scene when she is checking out what has changed. At some point she will notice her breasts probably very casually and will have to make some kind of acknowledgement that she is now female- "face, smooth skin, delicate features, small ears, firm breasts, (checks hair and sighs) pity still not ginger..."

It might be interesting if they do visit it when she meets the Daleks for the first time. After a couple of skirmishes The Doctor and her companion(s) are captured by the Daleks. The Doctor is taken for interrogation.

DALEK: I-Dent-Ti-Fy! I-Dent-Ti-Fy Your-Self!
DOCTOR: I'm the Doctor.
DALEK: The Doc-Tor? But you are a Female. The Doc-Tor is Male!
DOCTOR: Check your files I do change from time-to-time.
DALEK: Yes it is true The Doctor does change his appearance often.
DOCTOR;  His? Oh Well, there you have it. I've changed again. Silly me.
DALEK: But you are still...
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, yes I'm still a Female and I AM The Doctor. Imagine that. Now here's the part where you tell me all I need to know about your plans of domination of this planet, and don't forget the clever bit where my companion(s) and I make a daring escape and ruin all those maniacal plans of yours before you can say "Ex-Ter-Min-Nate".

Now a few years ago I was in the "Never A Woman" camp. Partly because of Tradition and probably more so thinking that if the producers made that change they would be caving into the PC crowd that wants to change sex, gender, orientation, race, ethnicity, everything and anything about a character just for the sake of changing it that way. Or that they were doing it as a gimmick.

I realized that it doesn't matter for the Doctor what his/her sex or gender is. It is their character, and good quality writing. Now for a character like James Bond switching to Jane Bond is a No-No. Having another 00Agent sure fine, but Jane Bond is a different character than James. Hmm I wonder has there ever been a case of an established female character switched to male? There have been a few where the original draft, or source material like the original novel, or maybe even a draft script was originally written as a female. For instance in the Original Star Trek series the original vision had the 2nd in command as a woman. Number One in the originally un-aired "The Cage" played by Majel Berrett (Roddenberry). Before the series started regular production the character was changed into Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

There have been some very successful male to female changes to characters. Starbuck and Boomer in Battlestar Galactica. In the James Bond films they changed Bond's boss M into a woman. I recall in Comics Marvel gender-swapped their Capt. Marvel after they had killed him and made her Ms. Marvel. Recently the entire Ghostbusters crew was swapped. Many fans of the original hate the all-female version, but I like it. Loved the cameos from the original actors Dan Aykroyd as a cabbie was great. I don't love it like I do the original but I enjoyed it, except for the hippity-hoppy music during the end credits with their silly dance moves an establishment of the situation is OK but a full blown full "music video" performance ah no. It is like when songs add an all music break, or a solo in the middle of a song, often it breaks it up too much.

There have been many nay-sayers who have said they will no longer watch the show because of this decision. Over the years there have been fair-weather "fans" like that before, even as recently as when Peter Capaldi took over the role 3-4 years ago because he was TOO OLD. bah. I will still watch the series for as long as it lasts, or for as long as I last which ever comes first.

Here is a fun video that is worth a few laughs:

Some more fun was done for one of the Comic Relief specials Doctor Who - The Curse of Fatal Death. Parodies the Doctor regenerating and of course a gender-swap. At the time Joanna Lumley had been mentioned as a possible female Doctor.

I am fine with the decision. It surprised me at first, but I am OK with it. If this had been 4 or 5 years ago I might not have been, but I don't think I would have abandoned the series. I hope Jodie has wonderful writers for her stories and that she blows everyone away with her performances.

Just remember the first producer for Doctor Who was a  woman Verity Lambert.

The Announcement Videos:
13th Doctor Announcement Teaser
13th Doctor Announcement Reveal

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

R.I.P. Zombie King

On Sunday 16 July 2017 Movie producer, director, writer George A. Romero passed away he was 77. He is best remembered for being the creator (writing and directing) of the cult horror classic Night of the Living Dead. He continued with zombie horror for several other films.

Hearing/reading about his passing reminds me of one of the first times I watched Night of the Living Dead all the way through. It was late on a Saturday night (maybe a Friday) late 1970s I was either in late elementary school or early junior high. My older brother was in High School. On one of the local independent television stations they were showing NotLD on their Creature Feature type show. I'm not sure if I had watched the movie before, I think this was my first time. I was really getting into the movie. It had my full attention. Now days I don't like Zombie movies much and get turned off of them very quickly. I think it was because of the Craze for Zombie movies in the 1980s through 1990s. Plus the gore still tends to gross me out.

Oh so I'm watching this film in all it's glorious Black and White glory, in the family room in the basement of my childhood home. For most of it I'm lying on the floor probably with one of the couch cushions or a pillow under me so my torso doesn't hurt from the pressure of lying on the cold early 1960s tiled floor. There is a large area rug there as well but it is old and doesn't add any comfort. I might even have a blanket wrapped around me. Actually it might be Summer time so it might not have been that cold.

Near the end of the movie as the Zombies have surrounded the house and are breaking in. I'm not sure if the token black guy has gotten killed at this point or is about to be killed. The Zombies are starting to break in and.... Commercial break... at that exact moment...

...there is a knocking on one of the front basement windows. I got super freaked out and must have jumped in shock about 10 feet, OK maybe not that high as I would have hit the ceiling I think it was a little over 10 feet high. I'm not sure if I screamed or yelled but I was super startled. Turns out it was one of my brother's friends who came over and knocked on the window to get my brother's attention. Since it was late night he didn't want to disturb our parents who I think were already in their bedroom sleeping.

At the time my brother used one of the basement rooms as his den/alternate bedroom, he had a bedroom upstairs but used the basement room most of the time and was his "den of inequity". He did all his socializing in there (and entertaining the ladies). In later years I used that room as a den but not as a bedroom. His friends when they would come over late night, they were teenagers after all, they would knock on one of the windows to my brother's den then he would let them in the front door. Actually our house was designed in such a way you could hear the front door opening most of the time, or people clomping down or up the wooden stairs so it wasn't a perfect system.

At the time of the window knocking my brother was in the family room with me. I think he was also watching the movie until his friends came over.

Man was I super freaked as I said. It was perfect timing and the perfect set up for the scare. It was totally unplanned on any one's part. I don't think I had originally been planning on watching the movie but decided to anyway.

There are very few moments of the film that I remember in detail. Sure there was a lot of scenes of zombies walking around the cemetery and them trying to get into the house. I even have memories of the people in the house sitting around wondering what to do and jumping at every little sound. But there is very little of the plot I remember. I don't even remember if they explain "HOW" the zombies start stirring. I don't even remember the ending exactly. The only thing that really sticks in my mind is getting such a damn big startle from knocking on the basement window.