Pixel Scroll 2/18/18 The Turn Of A Friendly Pixel

By JJ:

(1) THE DOCTOR IS | IN | . Gallifrey One, the Doctor Who convention, is taking place in Los Angeles this weekend, and fans are posting some great photos:

(2) THE LEFT MENU OF DARKNESS. The Paris Review, which has previously interviewed Ursula K. Le Guin, has recently published an article by Valerie Stivers in which the author created a series of recipes based on food from Le Guin’s The Left Hand Of Darkness. Dishes include Hot Beer For Two, Batter-Fried “Sube-Egg” Porridge with Winter Vegetables, and others:

Overall, I found Winter’s low-food-chain ingredients easy to work with; they fit in well with our modern sustainability-oriented cooking, an approach Le Guin, a passionate environmentalist, would have welcomed. The sticking point was the drinks. The characters in The Left Hand of Darkness consume hot beer, which, Ai explains, may sound gross but “on a world where a common table implement is a little device with which you crack the ice that has formed on your drink between drafts, hot beer is a thing you come to appreciate.” Some research revealed that even on Earth, hot beer was common prior to refrigeration and often contained nutritious items like eggs or half-curdled cream. I tried several recipes that were uniformly undrinkable until coming up with an adaptation of something I read about in a Wall Street Journal story calling hot beer a trend. As improbable as it sounds, the results were wonderful, and I can only urge you all to try it. Remember, sometimes it’s nice to be speculative – in beers as well as in love and in fiction.

(3) IN MEMORIAM. In “Two Seattle Memorials to Ursula K. Le Guin”, Cat Rambo provides specifics for those who wish to attend:

Folio Forum: A Tribute to Ursula Le Guin
Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 7:00 PM
The Seattle Athenaeum, 314 Marion Street, Downtown Seattle
$10 at the door; $8 for Folio Members, SFWA Members, and Town Hall Members
Complimentary wine reception to follow
Noted local authors and fans honor the great writer, plus a recording of Le Guin, reading her famous story

 

Celebration of the Life and Work of Ursula K. Le Guin
Sunday, February 25, 7:00 PM
Blue Moon Tavern, 712 NE 45th St, Seattle, Washington 98105
$free (please support our venue by buying food and drink!)
Please join us for a reading to commemorate the words and worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018).

(4) ABUSER MANUAL. Lurkertype points to a graphic sequence where “Someone kinda like The Little Mermaid ‘splains how to fight sealioning”.

(5) ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERS TO THE ELDER GODS. In “Octlantis is a Just-Discovered Underwater City Engineered by Octopuses”, Ephrat Livni describes a revelation in octopod behavior:

Gloomy octopuses – also known as common Sydney octopuses, or octopus tetricus – have long had a reputation for being loners. Marine biologists once thought they inhabited the subtropical waters off eastern Australia and northern New Zealand in solitude, meeting only to mate, once a year. But now there’s proof these cephalopods sometimes hang out in small cities.

In Jervis Bay, off Eastern Australia, researchers recently spotted 15 gloomy octopuses congregating, communicating, dwelling together, and even evicting each other from dens at a site the scientists named “Octlantis.”

The discovery was a surprise, Scheel told Quartz. “These behaviors are the product of natural selection, and may be remarkably similar to vertebrate complex social behavior. This suggests that when the right conditions occur, evolution may produce very similar outcomes in diverse groups of organisms.”

(6) CAN’T LET IT GO. In “Why (some of the) Right Hates Elsa”, Camestros Felapton unpacks some of the criticisms of the Disney animated movie Frozen from conservative blogs, and tries to determine why, more than 4 years after its release, the film still seems to generate so much antipathy in some quarters:

The issue is not hard to diagnose. Frozen is mainly conventional Disney – in some ways even less than that. The plot is slight compared to other classic Disney films (e.g. the Lion King) and the songs (bar one) are unmemorable. Yet it does a few things and those things are interesting…

The story rejects romantic love as its central message and instead centres on the familial love of two sisters.

This being Disney, there really is zero implications about Elsa’s sexuality EXCEPT that at no point does she act out of desire for a romantic relationship with anybody of any gender. And with that we get to part of the multiple issues the right continue to have with the film.

(7) IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME. A new Kickstarter promotes the 6th Extinction Card Deck, a playable poker deck showcasing 54 extinct animals and birds from the ice age to the 1980’s, as illustrated by 34 different artists. One of the artworks featured is by Oor Wombat; her designated lifeform has not yet been revealed, but perhaps we can pry it out of her with a suitable bribe.

The Kickstarter has thus far achieved $843 in pledges toward a goal of $3,600, with 25 days left to go.

(8) GO MAKE ME A SAMMICH. Forget digging to China, here’s the new global craze: Earth Sandwich. (click on the photo on the left, then click on the right arrows to scroll through the gallery)

(9) CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, REDUX. The January 22 Pixel Scroll (Item #13) reported the viral campaign of New York native Frederick Joseph to set up screenings of Black Panther for children across the U.S. through the #BlackPantherChallenge. The website for the challenge is now live; donors can click on any of the icons on the map to see existing GoFundMe challenges and choose one to which to contribute. (unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a “list” view, so in areas with numerous challenges, zooming in on the map is required to differentiate between them)

(10) HOT COUTURE. On the Daily Dot, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw interviews Gersha Phillips, who designed the costumes for Star Trek: Discovery:

In the end, Discovery wound up with a more sleek and high-tech look. The new uniforms follow the classic idea of color-coded Starfleet departments (gold, silver and bronze accents for Command, Science, and Operations), but also take inspiration from contemporary athleisure brands.

Speaking to Gersha Phillips, we delved into Discovery’s fashion influences from Alien to Balenciaga. She’s a fount of knowledge about the canon background for costuming details like Klingon armor (Klingons have different internal organs!), and cosplayers have her to thank for the Mirror Universe’s beautiful gold capes.

(11) #BOWIEURCAT. Somehow, I don’t think that this is quite what the Thin White Duke had in mind.

(12) BIRTHDAYS.

  • Born February 18, 1919Jack Palance, Actor (Batman, Solar Crisis)
  • Born February 18, 1948Sinéad Cusack, Actor (The Ballad of Tam Lin, V for Vendetta)
  • Born February 18, 1984Genelle Williams, Actor (Warehouse 13, Bitten)

(13) MORE GALLIFREY ONE PHOTOS.

(14) FIRE THE CANON. Grant Snider, at Incidental Comics, asks “Who Controls the Cannon of Literature?”

(15) MAPPING THE WORLDS. Sarah Gailey contributes to what has now become a series of posts on cartography in SFFnal worlds with “Hippos, Worldbuilding, and Amateur Map-Making”:

About a year ago, I attended a panel on worldbuilding in young adult literature. All of the authors on the panel were young, brilliant, dynamic women. They wore flower crowns and they talked about mapmaking and spreadsheets. They were impressive as all get-out. I have never felt more intensely envious in my life.

I was jealous of their flower crowns, of course. I was also jealous of the easy way they talked about going in-depth on planning color schemes for each chapter they wrote, and the Pinterest boards they referenced for their character aesthetics. I was jealous of the way their worldbuilding all seemed to start from the ground up, because that seemed to me to be a whole other level of professional-writer-ness. My worldbuilding has always leached out from my character development – I write how a character moves, and their movement defines the world they live in. The women on this panel were talking about writing thousands of words about the world their characters inhabited, all before they put a single line of dialogue on a page. They were clearly worldbuilding masters. I was in awe.

It only took seven words for my awe to become fear.

(16) THE TOR BOYCOTT IS STILL TOTALLY WORKING. The Tucson Festival of Books will take place from March 10-11, and you can do your part for the Tor Boycott by checking out their author sessions. Tor/Forge and Tor.com Publishing authors Candice Fox, Nancy Kress, K Arsenault Rivera, Myke Cole, Annalee Newitz, Kristen Simmons, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., and Patty Garcia will be participating. A schedule can be found at the link.

(17) DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY.

(18) BIRTHING PAINS. Jill Lepore, in a very long and very interesting essay at The New Yorker about childbirth, grief, and the de-feminization of Shelley’s best-known work, says in “The Strange and Twisted Life of “Frankenstein”: (content warning for miscarriage and infant death)

Because Shelley was readily taken as a vessel for other people’s ideas, her novel has accreted wildly irreconcilable readings…

“This nameless mode of naming the unnameable is rather good,” Shelley remarked about the creature’s theatrical billing. She herself had no name of her own. Like the creature pieced together from cadavers collected by Victor Frankenstein, her name was an assemblage of parts: the name of her mother, the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, stitched to that of her father, the philosopher William Godwin, grafted onto that of her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, as if Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley were the sum of her relations, bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh, if not the milk of her mother’s milk, since her mother had died eleven days after giving birth to her, mainly too sick to give suck – Awoke and found no mother.

(19) RULE 34 MEETS THE SHAPE OF WATER. (warning: this item is utterly Not Safe For Work) Doug Jones, who plays the fishman in Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical movie, admits of the glow-in-the-dark erotic accessory currently being marketed:

With a light chuckle, I can tell you it’s not exactly what I’d hoped for. After pouring my heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into this romantic, beautiful, magical role, the last thing I want to be remembered for is a silicone appendage that comes in two sizes.

(20) NOT EXACTLY WHAT I MEANT BY “SPIDEY-SENSE”.

 (21) UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE. The exhibit “A Conversation Larger Than the Universe: Science Fiction and the Literature of the Fantastic from the Collection of Henry Wessells” will run from January 25 to March 10, 2018 at The Grolier Club. Publishers Weekly describes the exhibition:

This erudite and altogether fascinating collection of essays from Wessells (Another Green World) explores the development of science fiction from its roots, focusing on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which the author considers “the point at which science fiction emerges from the gothic.” He then takes the reader on a personal journey through his favorite books, pointing out historic firsts such as Sara Coleridge’s Phantasmion (1837), the first fantasy novel published in English. He surveys the publishing history of some of the pillars of the genre, including Philip K. Dick, James Blish, Thomas M. Disch, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Robert Sheckley, as well as highlighting the work of authors whose names are less well known by the general public, such as Avram Davidson and R.A. Lafferty.

(22) MAKE THE ROBOT HAPPY. An SF & Fantasy Humble Bundle from Angry Robot is currently available, including books from Anna Kashina, Carrie Patel, Christopher Hinz, Dan Abnett, Danielle L. Jensen, Foz Meadows, Ishbelle Bee, Jay Posey, Justin Gustainis, Kaaron Warren, Keith Yatsuhashi, Megan O’Keefe, Peter Mclean, Peter Tieryas, Rod Duncan, and Wesley Chu. 10 days are left to grab the bundle, which benefits humanitarian charity Worldbuilders (be sure to click on “Choose where your money goes” before going through the checkout process).

(23) GIVE MY REGARDS TO KING TUT. Io9 says, “You Can Now Watch the Original Stargate Movie for Free”:

Back in 1994, few could have predicted what Stargate would become. The original film was a hit, but what happened after is damn near unprecedented. Not a theatrical sequel, no, but several popular television series and a rabid fandom that far overshadowed the people who saw the original movie in theatres.

But it did start with that original movie, directed by Roland Emmerich, starring Kurt Russell and James Spader. And though it’s been available in multiple formats since its initial release, this week MGM put the full film on YouTube for free.

 

[Thanks to Camestros Felapton, Cora Buhlert, Greg Machlin, Hampus Eckerman, James Davis Nicoll, jayn, Juliette Wade, lauowolf, lurkertype, Mark-kitteh, Paul Weimer, Rob Thornton, and Robin A. Reid for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 Contributing Editor of the Day JJ.]

113 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/18/18 The Turn Of A Friendly Pixel

  1. @Rev Bob (et al) continued: it occurs to me that the carpers are ignoring another factor: that pressure gets in the way of learning (even self-teaching) control. This was hardly a new thought when Ellison used it in one of his early stories, “Deeper Than the Darkness” (1957). People who think the shouting trainer is the be-all and end-all of learning will have trouble coping with the usefulness of backing off, instead of continuing to pound, when the student makes an error, but preventing the student from even trying is worse.

  2. Meh, I didn’t like Frozen either. Full of snow and diva songs. Give me Moana any day.

    I am, once again, astounded and impressed by Timothy’s erudition. My own cat leans more toward songs with ten-minute guitar solos.

  3. Evidence has been found that Mozart sometimes corrected mistakes, and may have even had first drafts. I mention this because for a while I was hearing that he simply seemed as if he was taking dictation, and wrote it out clean the first time. And he wasn’t the only one. (Not Beethoven. His scores are messy as all get-out.)

    In the field of animation, Robert McKimson, who went on to direct a lot of good, workmanlike cartoons and a few inspired ones, was the guy who slept at his desk all morning, and after lunch, he would yawn and then do more animation than anyone else at Termite Terrace, and his work was so clean that observers said it was like he was simply tracing an existing drawing nobody else could see.

    Winsor McCay, of “Nemo” fame, was similar. He had a photographic memory. He arrived at his office one day as an editor was tearing his hair out over the lack of a picture of some new piece of fire-fighting equipment. McCay went to his desk and drew one you could have built a prototype from, having walked past it on his way in. I saw a number of original Little Nemo In Slumberland pages once at the Newark Museum, and they were confirmation of what I’d read—he worked right in ink (his speech balloons betray this sometimes) and simply put every line in the right place with uncanny precision and design. There was no sign of erasure or correction except on one page that had a pattern of white paint (early corflu) under the ink drawings that clearly said, “Yup. He spilled a pot of ink.”

  4. 8) The earth sandwich thing, afaik, goes back to Ze Frank’s 2006 project that was spun off from The Show. If you’re not familiar with The Show or with Frank’s follow-up, A Show, then you missed out on one of the most wonderful things the Internet has ever had to offer. Both were remarkable and compassionate projects that continue to make me smile and feel good about people in the same way Fred Rogers still does.

  5. Off-topic status report:

    I just saw Black Panther and it made me absurdly, transcendently happy. Like, crying my eyes out through the credits for sheer joy that what I just saw exists happy.

    Off to read reviews that have spoilers in!

  6. Robert Whitaker Sirignano on February 19, 2018 at 4:29 am said:

    I judged FROZEN as “not to be watched” based on the ugliness of the snowman mascot. This seemed to have worked for that film that had “gurgee” in it. The less likeable the mascot, the worse the film is.

    Shrug. Your loss. I had been ignoring Disney’s movies for a long time, then something or other made me watch Frozen, and I then proceeded to watch it at least a dozen time, and have the soundtrack on repeat. Just because it is aimed at children, or even worse!, girls, doesn’t mean it’s simple, simplistic, or childish. And for my money, Moana was the best film of 2016.

  7. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little on February 19, 2018 at 2:45 pm said:

    Off-topic status report:

    I just saw Black Panther and it made me absurdly, transcendently happy. Like, crying my eyes out through the credits for sheer joy that what I just saw exists happy.

    Off to read reviews that have spoilers in!

    It was awesome. And it will make the puppies mad on so many levels, for so many reasons.

  8. Greg Hullender on February 19, 2018 at 1:12 pm said:

    “Shakespeare’s plays were not really written by him, but by someone else with the same name.”

    The version I’m familiar with is “The Iliad and Odyssey were not written by Homer but by another blind Greek poet of the same name.” Which works particularly well, since, unlike Shakespeare, who is fairly well documented, just about the only things we know about Homer are that he was Greek, a poet, and may have been blind. 🙂

  9. @Xtifr: A Heinlein character uses that joke about Homer to defuse some tension during “Double Star” – possibly the first time I heard that one.

  10. So has anyone else watched Final Space? First two episodes are available on the web. I like it so far. The style of humor makes me think of a bit of a cross between Futurama and Star vs. the Forces of Evil.

  11. @ James Moar

    Thank you for the link re: “oor”. I was quite certain that there was a Scots dialect literary reference behind it, but had no idea how to go about hunting it down.

  12. @bookworm1398, While there are theories about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays there’s no doubt he was, in many cases, retelling stories.

    @Laura Resnick’ (octupii?)

    Afraid not, but close. It is one of my favorite plurals though and “octopi” is an acceptable usage – through previous usage – according to Oxford. The fun part is that as a modern “Latin” word (it originates from Linnaeus) it would be considered 3rd declension which would make the “correct” Latin nominative plural “octopuses” rather than the 2nd declension “octopi” (the actual word Romans used was polypus which was pluralized polypi). Also acceptable is the far more cromulant “octopodes”, from the Greek.

    (6) I’m no scholar of Frozen and have, in fact, never seen more than the clip in that article but I get the idea that the young lady in question learns to temper her powers and her desires through the love for her sister. Wouldn’t that make the message “Love and do what thou wilt”? Which, of course, is quoting the notorious Satanist; Saint Augustine of Hippo.

  13. Late-night ruminations on the “movies with girl leads are bad” attitude…

    It strikes me that while Frozen, the Ghostbusters reboot, The Last Jedi, and even the upcoming female-led Greatest American Hero have been denounced as SJW/PC pandering, I haven’t encountered anything like that backlash related to the cinematic Underworld, Resident Evil, or Alien franchises… all of which are led by kick-ass, capable women. As unwise as it may be, this got me thinking.

    As I look at the two sets, the pattern I see emerging is that the “pandering” set celebrates “girl power” and/or de-emphasizes masculine solutions. Elsa is defeated – if you can call it that – through love and acceptance. TLJ demonstrates that flashy heroism can exact a terrible price, and moreover it shows women knowing better than – and having power over – the men they outrank. Ghostbusters and GAH are painted as women literally replacing men in male-valued narratives.

    By contrast, how do Ripley, Alice, and Selene prevail in their movies? By embracing masculine solutions. They throw lots of big guns and bullets at the baddies until the twitching stops. In a sense, they’re surrogate men – but even while kicking ass, they remain dominated by the male gaze. Ripley’s panties, Alice’s red dress, Selene’s head-to-toe black latex… if anything, their facility with firearms is played up as another aspect of their sex appeal.

    This suggests to me that the alt-right’s issue with the first set of movies isn’t so much about women (even independent women) as it is about – and I still wince as I type the word – the patriarchy to which the complainers have become accustomed. It’s okay with them if women are action leads, as long as they look hot while doing it; those functional jumpsuits in Ghostbusters simply Will Not Do, and the power of love must give way to the appeal of sex.

    Or am I completely off base here?

  14. @Rev Bob – I have seen people complaining about Ripley, but not to nearly the same extent as the others and Alien has been around for decades. I think you’re on to something.

  15. @Rev. Bob: I don’t think male-gaze–worthy is a requirement; it helps emphasize that the women are using male solutions instead of getting all weak and relation-y, but I wonder whether the recast Ghostbusters would have been more accepted by that … stratum … if it hadn’t outright mocked men by making the villain a hopeless nerd and (perhaps worse) by casting Hemsworth as a himbo (another role inversion that would raise an allergic reaction in those who say the new Doctor ~”stomped all over [their] childhood”). OTOH, it had other problems; my (female) partner’s reaction was on the order of “We spent $8×2 [matinee price] for that?”

    Somewhere there are alternate timelines where we could test reactions to each element without the other.

  16. @Chip:

    Remember, though, that the negative reactions to Ghostbusters were flooding in well before the himbo/nerd elements were known. “That stratum” made up their minds to hate the movie as soon as the words “all-female team” were disclosed.

    Now, I ain’t denyin’ that the himbo/nerd stuff eventually acted as an aggravating factor – but it was neither primary nor even necessary to the insta-hatred. That’s why I didn’t analyze it as a factor: because when the outrage began, it was not one.

  17. Thing is, people can Not-like whatever they choose not to like (putting one of Disney’s most successful products in the same pigeonhole as one of its least successful based exclusively on the unattractiveness of the sidekick seems an odd way to judge a movie’s possible merit, it’s not exactly an *invalid* one.)

    But when people are examining why a particular bent of the alt-right liked or disliked a given product, it seems odd to feel the need to defensively leap to pointing out other reasons to dislike it.

    Frozen had a thin plot. Ghostbusters was silly. I liked them both (and would watch them again/foist on my friends) but did not love either, and I understand why others had either “loved” reactions or “Meh” ones, based on their mix of merits and disadvantages.

    But the alt-right reasons for disliking these things seem to go beyond “here are plot and character reasons this fell flat for me”. And their reasons are worth examining with a close and dubious eye without others needing to defend their own disinterest or dislike.

  18. I almost didn’t go to see Frozen because the trailers all focused on goofy-snowman-hijinks, and I didn’t care about that. Three Stooges comedy doesn’t work for me. And, honestly, I thought (from the trailers shown) that goofy-snowman-hijinks was the whole point of the movie. It turns out, of course, that goofy-snowman-hijinks is only a small fraction of the movie, and I did enjoy it.

  19. @Lenora Rose:

    I think both films named Ghostbusters were about as silly. Sure, fine, I grew up with one, and saw the other as an adult. Doesn’t stop me from having fond memories of seeing both, but I am definitely more likely to re-watch the reboot than the original.

  20. @Lenora Rose

    But when people are examining why a particular bent of the alt-right liked or disliked a given product, it seems odd to feel the need to defensively leap to pointing out other reasons to dislike it.

    Thanks. While I’m definitely not alt-right, there are times when it seems like my criticism gets tossed into that basket (or an adjacent one) because it is an easy basket to toss things into.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing. – Isaac Asimov

  21. I liked Tangled rather more than Frozen (although Mulan is always and forever my number one Disney Princess film) but Frozen was enjoyable enough. I’m perfectly sure that kids twenty years from now will still be enjoying both of them, since I loved Sleeping Beauty a good thirty-odd years after it was made. (Although Sleeping Beauty in particular is hard to beat on an aesthetic level.)

    Speaking of Disney, am I right in thinking that the last installment of Mari Ness’ excellent Disney Read-Watch on Tor.com being in January 2017 means the whole series is eligible for Related Work? Because if so I’m nominating it. Really enjoyable, really interesting, lots of in-depth information about both the fairy tales and the films – the format is alternating articles about the source material (e.g. fairy tales) and the animated films. Fascinating stuff.

    @Dann

    My sense on it is that occasionally you are in that adjacent unconscious-and-unexamined-bias-bucket, but more often you accidentally fling yourself in via your approach, and it takes a couple of rounds back and forth before it’s revealed you’re actually a couple of buckets over. You have a habit of starting out by defending people you don’t actually fully agree with (or, sometimes, agree with at all) just because (so as I can tell) they’re right-wing and you feel someone has to take their “side”. I can understand the urge, but I suspect you’d find yourself in that bucket less often if you just stuck to your own views instead of trying to find common ground with the more extreme ones. 🙂

  22. @Meredith: (Although Sleeping Beauty in particular is hard to beat on an aesthetic level.) surprises me; I saw it in one of its cyclical theatrical releases (before DVDs, when Disney was still doing rereleases) and was struck by how cheap the animation was compared to previous Disney. Parts of Maleficent weren’t bad but the rest was (at best) meh; what struck you favorably?

  23. @Chip Hitchcock

    Partly I just like the distinctive design – which was apparently also difficult to animate so perhaps that’s where your impression of cheap comes from? – partly the gorgeous and incredibly detailed painted backgrounds. Sleeping Beauty was actually very expensive to make! It wasn’t until after Sleeping Beauty that they started trying to cut corners on the animation (which is why 101 Dalmatians, for example, has all those thick black lines).

  24. 101 DALMATIANS was the first Disney film to use the Xerox process, which made it possible to shoot from pencils. I wonder how many women they let go. Much as I like the movie, it was also the beginning of Ken Anderson’s ascendancy in character designs, which brought us many of the mid-run films that are so damned forgettable. I got so tired of that look.

    Speaking of cheaping it out, they also took to reusing animation, apparently as early on as DUMBO. For instance, a dancing scene in their lousy Robin Hood movie is straight out of SNOW WHITE, and they also re-used some of Kaa’s movements from JUNGLE BOOK for the snake in RH. A search on Disney recycled animation will bring up a lot of resources including lists and various comparison videos. I wanted to be more specific, but things just aren’t loading today.

    One article says that Woolie Reitherman called for re-use of scenes because they’d been proven effective and denies that this was a cheapskate move. The same article states that rotoscoping is not tracing, so cum grano salis.

  25. @Meredith: different minds, different triggers. The thing I most remember was the “riding” in front of those backgrounds; it appeared to be simulated by moving an entire layer up or down a bit between frames, rather than making any attempt to show complex motion — but I suppose that’s another axis from design.

  26. @Chip Hitchcock

    I just had a quick poke around on YouTube for clips, and about the only thing that looked similar – although I won’t pretend to have done an exhaustive analysis of every riding scene – was a very brief first-person shot of riding towards the thorns. Every other riding bit – and there were multiple angles and distances – were a full shot of the horse movement. I have definitely seen animations where they cheat the horse-riding by not showing the legs and moving the background instead, but Sleeping Beauty isn’t one I would point to for that.

    Can you remember any more specifics? Or perhaps a specific example from an earlier film which you felt was superior? I’m really curious now! (Not that you have to satisfy my curiosity, of course.)

    And, yeah, design/style/look isn’t quite the same as expense/technique – although Sleeping Beauty was extremely expensive even without animated backgrounds (more expensive than Pinocchio). I think 101 Dalmatians looks good, for example, but it was the start of finding cheaper and less labour-intensive ways to animate.

    @Kip W

    Well, I’m going to plug Mari Ness’ Disney Read-Watch again – that has an awful lot of information about the animation and business decisions as well as the stories.

  27. @Meredith: what has stuck in my mind’s eye (from decades ago) is a scene from fairly early, in which (IIRC) two kings are conversing about I-forget-what; I’m reasonably sure I’m not misremembering another movie, since animation was much less common then (and most of it was doldrums-era Disney — this would have been over 30 years ago based on where I saw it and with who I didn’t), and the shot is tied in my mind with the three fairies and other bits from the Disney version. OTOH, at that distance misremembering is possible.

  28. @Chip Hitchcock

    Funny you mention the scene with the two kings, because I wouldn’t be surprised if it was partially inspired by an earlier, similar scene from Fleischer’s 1939 Gulliver’s Travels adaptation (which I also loved as a kidlet, although the animation is obviously older and it shows a bit, and the style is less beautiful – I think Sleeping Beauty has aged better).

  29. @Meredith

    Thanks and I apologize for the delay. I liked Tangled more than Frozen as well.

    My sense on it is that occasionally you are in that adjacent unconscious-and-unexamined-bias-bucket, but more often you accidentally fling yourself in via your approach, and it takes a couple of rounds back and forth before it’s revealed you’re actually a couple of buckets over.

    That’s fair. Permit me to offer a couple additional options?

    – On those less frequent (in your description) occasions, instead of being in the UAUBB, I might simply disagree in either direction or quantity with the more frequently proposed “solutions”.

    – That some of the extreme, IMHO, “solutions” being proposed need an extreme counter just to get the negotiation points back into a reasonable range.

    You have a habit of starting out by defending people you don’t actually fully agree with (or, sometimes, agree with at all) just because (so as I can tell) they’re right-wing and you feel someone has to take their “side”.

    Also fair. And again additional thought.

    – Sometimes those folks have a point. Having “a point” doesn’t validate everything they believe. Having other goofy thoughts doesn’t invalidate the times when they have a point. Goofy thoughts certainly don’t justify incivility.

    Thanks for your feedback. Please don’t take any of my response as directed your way.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome. – Isaac Asimov

  30. @Dann: “some of the extreme, IMHO, “solutions” being proposed need an extreme counter just to get the negotiation points back into a reasonable range.”

    That strikes me as intentionally arguing in bad faith. “Oh, I don’t believe this, but I’ll say it because it’s extreme” is functionally very difficult (at best) to distinguish from trolling of the “whoa, I got flamed for that, so I’ll say I was only kidding and hope they buy it” variety. In both cases, the speaker establishes that his positions cannot be trusted, which to say the least is not conducive to productive discussion.

    Or, to be more blunt – if you tell me you sometimes lie to my face, I have every reason to distrust everything you say and no reason to believe any position you take. You might as well take the shorter route and just set fire to your reputation right up front; it would save everyone a lot of time.

  31. @Dann

    I don’t expect you to agree with me that you’re sometimes in the UAUBB. 🙂

    That some of the extreme, IMHO, “solutions” being proposed need an extreme counter just to get the negotiation points back into a reasonable range.

    I don’t think that makes sense at all. All you have then is two extreme positions, and one of those positions isn’t even honest. You’re likely to just get people dismissing you (which, hey, seems to happen to you a lot, so maybe this is part of why) if you deliberately take a position you don’t even believe to be correct, that’s polar opposite to whomever you’re speaking to. It’s too different to get any traction. If your actual position is moderate, it is far more likely to be listened to. Why waste everyone’s time, including yours, on what isn’t far off from trolling in the service of a position you don’t even believe in?

    Sometimes those folks have a point. Having “a point” doesn’t validate everything they believe. Having other goofy thoughts doesn’t invalidate the times when they have a point. Goofy thoughts certainly don’t justify incivility.

    There’s a difference between winkling out a good idea and defending that, and defending a person and their whole argument. Usually you start out by doing the latter, which means the former is all but lost and by the time you get around to focusing your argument most people have stopped listening.

    I guess it depends on what your priorities are, and whether you care more about those good points or making sure that the person who made it has a defender.

  32. @Rev. Bob

    I just assumed Dann was busy elsewhere – he’s always commented in bursts and taken breaks, which is fine, and probably sensible when you’re being criticised (unsolicited! which was a bit rude of me not to check first). I’d be stuffed if that wasn’t fine, anyway, given all the breaks I take. 🙂

    [snipped an expansion on why-Meredith-thinks-that-rhetorical-trick-is-counter-productive because it was starting to feel a bit like putting the unsolicited boot in]

  33. Re:movies.

    Saw Black Panther. It was a blast!

    Would have enjoyed it better if we hadn’t had the guy behind us providing stream of consciousness commentary, including echoing some of the dialogue. After a bit, we moved seats, though we could still hear him during the quieter moments. (Don’t think he was aware he was doing it.)

  34. Soon Lee: That is how I saw BAMBI in the theatre a few years back, three or four rows behind a kid four or five years old. Whatever thought was in his head came right out of his mouth.

    Normally, that would have bothered me, but I decided to treat it as something interesting: the next best thing to being able to read a child’s mind. I sat back for the running commentary.

    Bambi’s mother isn’t there! There’s a shot! Bambi turns around? “Where’s Bambi’s mother?” the child asked his mother. “Shh. She was shot.” “No she wasn’t!” Soon after, we are looking at full-grown Bambi. “There’s Bambi’s mother!” said the kid. “That’s Bambi,” said his mom. “No it isn’t!” said the lad.

    (And I thought, you’re right kid. Bambi’s the fawn that we see whenever Bambi makes a guest appearance in some Disney comic, following a rule set out by a fellow Apatooner: “The Ending Never Happened.” Thus, Pinocchio is always a puppet, Bambi’s always a faun, Snow White is still with the dwarfs, and so on and on.)

    An otherwise forgettable character in Animaniacs managed one excellent cartoon on this topic. Slappy Squirrel is watching BAMBI (I can’t keep up with the slightly changed names they used for licensed properties in this cartoon, so I’m just keeping the originals.) with her nephew, and when they get to the scene: “I love you, Mom!” BANG “Mom…??”, the little fellow’s eyes get huge and reflective and he starts bawling. “It’s just a cartoon,” says Slappy. “No it’s not,” the child refutes her, “IT’S A MOVIE!” Slappy ends up flying him out to Hollywood where her friend who played Bambi’s mother lives. “You’re not Bambi’s mom! You’re OLD!” “Thanks, kid.” The actress makes some effort of will and looks exactly like she did in the movie again, calming the kid until they fly home and they’re watching the in-flight movie: “I love you, Old Yeller!” BANG! Slappy turns to the camera. “Can we just end this cartoon now?”

  35. @Soon Lee: We’re going to see “Black Panther” next week. I was feeling “meh” about it, since I never read/was never into his comics. Then I finally realized that since I enjoyed Captain America’s movies (never read/was never into him, either!), I’ll probably enjoy Black Panther’s movie, too. 🙂

    I’ve sat near someone kinda like that a couple of times, usually behind me and usually not doing it non-stop, but often enough to be very distracting. Randomly tedious declarative statements (“X did Y.”) and occasional repeating of lines that may or may not have been amusing or interesting on-screen, but were just annoying to hear repeated a second later by some rando behind me. Oh well.

  36. @Meredith

    Thanks very much for your patience. Yes, things have gotten a little busy.

    And I like to pretend that I provide a thoughtful response when having a thoughtful exchange.

    Be well in the meantime…

    Regards,
    Dann
    You can take everything a man has as long as you leave him his dignity. – John Wayne

  37. I was friends with, and briefly dated, a guy who did that during movies. I managed to convince him to tone it down a little, but it seemed to be how he processed what he was seeing so he could follow it, too, so I didn’t want to tell him to shut up entirely.

    He also seemed to manage to do it quieter, and just to me or another person we were with, in a public theatre.

  38. @Meredith

    Oh I’m absolutely certain that there are times when I am in the UAUBB. Just like most folks, I’m working on it. At the same time, I believe that there are times when I am mistakenly placed in that category.

    I don’t think that makes sense at all. All you have then is two extreme positions, and one of those positions isn’t even honest.

    Not exactly. One group may say “this” is a problem and we believe the correct solutions are A, B, C, D, and E. Another group may say “this” isn’t a problem. I might agree that “this” is a problem, that solution C sounds productive, solution D is worth exploring, solutions F and G ought to be considered, but solutions A, B, and E are either inappropriate, counterproductive, or unjustified.

    The lack of support for the full range of solutions A-E generally gets me tossed into the “isn’t a problem” group by a few vocal and increasingly intolerant advocates for “this”. I would point at the maltreatment of Greg Hullender, Lawrence Summers, and Bret Weinstein as more prominent (at least one SFnal) examples where the perceived lack of full “wokeness” resulted in a disproportionate response. I would also point out that I know that I have significant disagreements with all three gentlemen on many issues. So I’m not cherry-picking people from my corner of the pool.

    [snipped extensive analogy about negotiating with car dealers. Yer welcome!]

    There’s a difference between winkling out a good idea and defending that, and defending a person and their whole argument.

    Sure. A couple of points.

    One is that there is a general trend of dismissing conservatives (and libertarians…just to hoist my personal flag) out of hand. While a few have done enough to justify that response on an individual basis, most have not, IMHO. As a result, simply rising to defend that one good idea is frequently misconstrued as defending their whole argument.

    A second is that, despite claims to the contrary, some of the more….enthusiastic….supporters of political correctness will demonstrate some of the most unkind, intolerant, and inconsiderate behavior witnessed these days*. Prudently or not, that sort of thing raises my hackles.

    Lastly, I appreciate your candor, thoughtfulness, and consideration. Would that we lived in a world where all of that could be considered as unremarkable.

    Regards,
    Dann
    No way, I took call waiting of!@#$!(!@ ) #$! NO CARRIER

    *Other folks had that ignoble distinction in the past. They have the capability of recovering that title in the future. But IMHO, the current PC crowd owns that title.

  39. @Dann–

    I recently, in an exchange about birth control and women’s health care, was sent a picture of an aborted fetus, because obviously that was a relevant response, right? (No, we weren’t discussing abortion, except as the right wing has decided that birth control is abortion.

    I’ve gotten, as responses in other discussions, comments on my age and (lack of) sexual attractiveness, as well as denigration of my professional competence as a librarian, and insults to my intelligence because I am, clearly, not smart enough to recognize that InfoWars is a more useful source than CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

    But that’s just me, and my experiences have been mild. Right now, the survivors of the Parkland shooting are being called crisis actors, puppets, lying leftwing activists, disrespectful, and bullies. They’re getting death threats.

    The families of the Sandy Hook victims have been called crisis actors, accused of never having had the children who were murdered, sued in efforts to get them to release detailed documentation of their children that would enable those children’s information to be used for identity theft–which would make it mighty easy to “prove” that those murdered children weren’t dead, wouldn’t it.

    It’s routine on the right to claim that all mass shooters are Democrats, liberals, progressives, the loony left. That Dylann Roof was a white supremacist, Elliot Rodgers an MRA, a couple have been neo-Nazis, and most have no known political affiliation at all, is simply denied when it can’t be totally ignored. Within an hour, 8chan creepers had begun the effort to paint the Parkland shooter as a leftist, including doxxing a random innocent with almost but not quite the same name,

    Women doing things the raving right doesn’t approve of routinely get both death threats and rape threats. Several prominent examples should spring to mind.

    This is not civil behavior. It is not behavior tolerant of differing views. It’s also not coming from the “politically correct” crowd.

    It’s coming from those poor, innocent, defenseless souls on the right wing, who think we horrible liberals need to be nicer to them.

  40. @Lis Carey

    I could provide a similar laundry list. Perhaps starting with an FCC commissioner who was not so subtly threatened by leftists that think their ideas of net neutrality are gold plated brilliance writ large that also showed up at his home.

    Just because you don’t see me doing much here to oppose right-wing lunacy, please do not assume that I approve of it. There is less of it here and usually, others deal with it faster than I can get to a keyboard. I do address it in other areas as time and circumstances permit.

    It is a bi-directional problem.

    Regards,
    Dann
    There is no substitute for a militant freedom. The only alternative is submission and slavery. -Calvin Coolidge

  41. Dann,

    When talking about Lawrence summers, do you mean the reactions to his sexism and prejudices? Or something else?

  42. @Dann–

    And you have links to real news sources for Ajit Pai being “not so subt it threatened” by leftists, right? From real news sources, not the same good folk who tell us that all mass shooters are leftists?

  43. Okay, I find, aside from the expected raving right and Russian propaganda sites:

    Ajit Pai says his children are being harassed over net neutrality

    Racist threatening attacks on FCC chair Ajit Pai won’t save net neutrality

    And both contain what one rarely sees from the right: condemnation of the attacks. Indeed, that’s the focus of the second article.

    When I provide, in response to demands, links showing that, for example, gun dealers who thought they were going to start selling guns with new safety features, such as being locked to the owner’s fingerprints, backed out after getting death threats, the response is never to just condemn the attacks and then defend the substance of their position. No. Never that.

    Instead, it’s to demand that I provide proof that the gun dealer filed a police report on these “supposed” death threats–something I’m of course not reasonably in a position to do. And when I say that, the response is that the claim of death threats is obviously fake, a cover for the fact that they really changed their minds because of market response and are embarrassed or afraid to say so…

    And of course you know that even when Gamergate targets are absolutely known to have filed police response, Gamergate defenders continued to claim that the threats were “obviously” fake.

    So no, not so far persuaded that the left is as bad, much less, as you claimed, clearly and obviously worse.

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