Pixel Scroll 6/19/19 You’ve Got Mule!

(1) GREEN EYED MONSTER. Elizabeth Bear’s “Jealousy part two: what if it isn’t a friend?” is a public post from her subscription newsletter.

In response to my previous newsletter on dealing with jealousy for the career successes of friends and colleagues, I’ve had a couple of conversations about how one might deal with an even more difficult form of jealousy: jealousy for the successes of people you just can’t stand—or, even worse, who have done you some personal harm. Sometimes abusers, toxic exes, harassers, or people who got you fired go on to have brilliant careers and amass great amounts of personal power.

And that’s a hard thing to take. Especially if, every time you go to an industry event, somebody is telling you how awesome that person is.

If there’s one thing that the #MeToo movement has made evident, it’s that this isn’t a problem unique to publishing. It’s a terrible situation to be in—triggering, traumatizing, and grief-provoking. It can make you doubt your own experience, memories, and senses. It can prove a constant reminder of violation.

It’s also (if there’s another thing the #MeToo movement has made evident) a depressingly common situation.

So how does one deal with it, when one finds one’s self in a situation like that?

(2) BECOMING SUPERMAN. J. Michael Straczynski previews his forthcoming autobiography. Thread starts here.

(3) TWO-COUNTRY PROBLEM. Jiayang Fan profiles Liu Cixin for The New Yorker: “Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds”

… When the first volume of the series was published in the United States, in 2014, the models for Trisolaris and Earth were immediately apparent. For the Chinese, achieving parity with the West is a long-cherished goal, envisaged as a restoration of greatness after the humiliation of Western occupations and the self-inflicted wounds of the Mao era. As Liu told the Times, “China is on the path of rapid modernization and progress, kind of like the U.S. during the golden age of science fiction.” The future, he went on, would be “full of threats and challenges,” and “very fertile soil” for speculative fiction.

In the past few years, those threats and challenges have escalated, as China’s global ambitions, especially in the field of technology, have begun to impinge upon America’s preëminence.

…As the standoff has intensified, Liu has become wary of touting the geopolitical underpinnings of his work. In November, when I accompanied him on a trip to Washington, D.C.—he was picking up the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation’s Award for Imagination in Service to Society—he briskly dismissed the idea that fiction could serve as commentary on history or on current affairs. “The whole point is to escape the real world!” he said. Still, the kind of reader he attracts suggests otherwise: Chinese tech entrepreneurs discuss the Hobbesian vision of the trilogy as a metaphor for cutthroat competition in the corporate world; other fans include Barack Obama, who met Liu in Beijing two years ago, and Mark Zuckerberg. Liu’s international career has become a source of national pride. In 2015, China’s then Vice-President, Li Yuanchao, invited Liu to Zhongnanhai—an off-limits complex of government accommodation sometimes compared to the Kremlin—to discuss the books and showed Liu his own copies, which were dense with highlights and annotations.

(4) CHANGING EXPECTATIONS. Why didn’t the latest Men In Black movie take off? Is it the chemistry of the leads, the script, or a third cause proposed by The Hollywood Reporter: “‘Men in Black’ and When Spectacle Isn’t Enough”.

There’s another potential explanation as to why Men in Black: International has failed to click with audiences, and it has to do with spectacle. Spectacle has long been a key part of the draw of big-budget Hollywood films. And for a long time, spectacle in terms of what films were using the most cutting-edge technology — had the most lifelike monsters, the most extensive battle sequences and so on — quite often corresponded with what films did well.

Think of a film like Avatar (2009). No one was writing home about the story. In spite of the various box office records it broke, the actual content of the film has left little lasting impression on popular culture in comparison to other comparable box office successes. While Jaws lives on in references like, “you’re gonna need a bigger boat” and the characters of the Star Wars films or the Marvel Cinematic Universe are household names, a lot of people would have a far more difficult time recalling any characters or lines of dialogue from Avatar. And this is because Avatar is the sort of film that reached the heights it did by merit of technical spectacle — immersing the audience in what, for many, was a compellingly photorealistic alien world.

(5) AUDIO FURNITURE. The new Two Chairs Talking podcast, in which David Grigg and Perry Middlemiss talk about sff books and movies, takes its name from the pair’s history as Worldcon Chairs — David: Aussiecon Two; and Perry: Aussiecon Three and co-chair of Aussiecon 4.

The fifth episode, “Episode 5: An Incomplete History of Serious Events”, features guest Leigh Edmonds talking about how he became a historian, and about his project to write a history of science fiction fandom in Australia.  It also features Perry on Greg Egan, and David, as he says, “talking probably for too long about the tv series A Series of Unfortunate Events.

(6) CALLING DOUGHNUT CONTROL. Krispy Kreme is cashing in on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing by launching a new type of doughnut. (John King Tarpinian, who sent the link, promises he’ll be sticking to his traditional Moon Pie.)

One small bite for man. One giant leap for doughnut-kind! As America prepares for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Krispy Kreme is making a giant leap for doughnut-kind by introducing a whole NEW interpretation of the brand’s iconic Original Glazed. This will be the FIRST TIME Krispy Kreme has offered another version of the Original Glazed Doughnut on the menu PERMANENTLY.

(7) GOAL EXCEEDED. The Dennis Etchison Memorial Fund at GoFundMe raised $5,445 to help Kristina Etchison with costs incurred to have Dennis laid to rest. (The target amount was $4,000.)


  • June 19, 1954 Them! released on this day.
  • June 19, 1964 The Twilight Zone aired its series finale: “The Bewitchin’ Pool”, penned by Earl Hamner.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born June 19, 1915 Julius Schwartz. He’s best known as a longtime editor at DC Comics, where at various times he was primary editor for the Superman and Batman lines. Just as interestingly, he founded the Solar Sales Service literary agency (1934–1944) where Schwartz represented such writers as  Bradbury, Bester,  Bloch, Weinbaum, and Lovecraft which including some of Bradbury’s very first published work and Lovecraft’s last such work. He also published Time Traveller, one of the first fanzines along with Mort Weisinger and Forrest J Ackerman. (Died 2004.)
  • Born June 19, 1921 Louis Jourdan. Fear No Evil and Ritual of Evil, two tv horror films in the late Sixties, appear to be his first venture into our realm. He’d play Count Dracula in, errr, Count Dracula a few years later. And then comes the role you most likely remember him for, Dr. Anton Arcane in Swamp Thing which he reprised in The Return of Swamp Thing. Definitely popcorn films. Oh, and let’s not forget he was Kamal Khan, the villain in Octopussy! (Died 2015.)
  • Born June 19, 1926 Josef Nesvadba. A Czech writer, best known for his SF short stories, many of which have appeared in English translation. ISFDB lists a number of stories as appearing in English and two collections of his translated stories were published, In The Footsteps of the Abominable Snowman: Stories of Science and Fantasy and Vampires Ltd. : Stories of Science and Fantasy. Neither’s available in digital format. (Died 2005.)
  • Born June 19, 1947 Salman Rushdie, 72. Everything he does has some elements of magic realism in it. (Let the arguments begin on that statement.) So which of his novels are really genre? I’d say The Ground Beneath Her FeetGrimus (his first and largely forgotten sf novel), Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights and Haroun and the Sea of Stories. If you’ve not read anything by him, I’d start with The Ground Beneath Her Feet which is by far both one of his best works and one of his most understandable ones as well.
  • Born June 19, 1953 Virginia Hey, 66. Best known for her role as Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan in the fabulous Farscape, series and playing the Warrior Woman in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. She’s also Rubavitch, the mistress of KGB Head, General Pushkin, in The Living Daylights. She also had a brief appearance as a beautician in The Return of Captain Invincible, an Australian musical comedy superhero film.
  • Born June 19, 1954 Kathleen Turner, 65. One of her earliest roles was in The Man with Two Brains as Dolores Benedict. Somewhat of a Fifties retro feel with that title. Of course, she voiced sultry Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, one of my favorite all time films. I still haven’t seen all of the Roger Rabbit short films that were done. She voiced Constance in Monster House a few years later, and was in Cinderella, a television film where she was the lead of the Wicked Stepmother Claudette.
  • Born June 19, 1957 Jean Rabe, 62. She’s a genre author and editor who has worked on the Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Rogue Angel and BattleTech series, as well as many others. Ok, I admit to a degree of fascination with such writers as I’m a devotee of the Rogue Angel audiobooks that GraphicAudio does and she’s written according to ISFDB five of the source novels under the house name of Alex Archer.  
  • Born June 19, 1978 Zoe Saldana, 41, born with the lovely birth name of Zoë Yadira Saldaña Nazario. First genre role was Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. She’s Nyota Uhura in the  new Trek series and she’s also Neytiri in the Avatar franchise. She portrays Gamora in the MCU, beginning with Guardians of the Galaxy, a truly great film.


  • This Off the Mark could be the pilot for CSI: Springfield, if you know what I mean.

(11) SIGHTING. The commemorative Moon Landing Oreos have hit the markets. John King Tarpinian snapped this photo in a Target store.

(12) HUGH JACKMAN. Ahead of his live show in Houston, Hugh Jackman visited NASA, something he’s been dreaming about doing since childhood:

Also, in the opening number of the second act of his show, channeling Peter Allen, he brought a NASA salsa dance instructor up on stage with him. Who even knew NASA had salsa dance instructors? It’s a real thing apparently! 

“I don’t know about you guys! I’m going to Mars!” … “I’m gonna sign up to be an astronaut tomorrow!”

(13) THANKS FOR PLAYING. Kotaku: “Amazon Lays Off Dozens Of Game Developers During E3”.

Yesterday, as the video game industry’s attention was focused squarely on the final day of the E3 convention in Los Angeles, Amazon’s video game division quietly laid off dozens of employees.

Amazon Game Studios, which is currently developing the online games Crucible and New World, told affected employees on Thursday morning that they would have 60 days to look for new positions within Amazon, according to one person who was laid off. At the end of that buffer period, if they fail to find employment, they will receive severance packages.

Amazon also canceled some unannounced games, that person told Kotaku.

(14) FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND. BBC now knows “Why are Nike trainers washing up on beaches?”

Over the past year, from Bermuda and the Bahamas to Ireland and Orkney, hundreds of pairs of unworn shoes have washed up on beaches. But how did they get there, and why are scientists so interested in where they are being found?

…The source of all these shoes is believed to be a single ship.

“Through the research I have done,” Mr Ribeiro says, “everything indicates they may have been from some of the 70 to 76 containers that fell overboard from the Maersk Shanghai.”

…Despite the environmental damage, scientists can salvage something from such incidents – a better understanding of our oceans and the currents that drive them.

While many of the shoes from the Maersk Shanghai have been washing up on beaches, far more are likely to be doing laps of the North Atlantic ocean, stuck in a network of powerful currents.

…Even more enlightening, Dr Ebbesmeyer says, is how the shape of the shoes seems to dictate where they end up.

“The left and the right sneakers float with different orientation to the wind,” he explains. “So when the wind blows on them they will go to different places. So on some beaches you tend to get the left sneakers and on others you get the right.”

(15) VLOGBRO NOVEL. Ana Grilo’s “Book Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green” appears at The Book Smugglers:

…This book is a cool mixture of puzzle-solving, personal story and world-changing events.

What strikes me the most about it though is the choice of having this particular type of protagonist because April? Not exactly a super great person. She is kinda of a jerk, she is flawed, full of contradictions, she well and truly fucks up on numerous occasions. She loves AND hates all the attention and fame she receives – especially in a world that mirrors our own in terms of how social media shapes the lives of people. There is good in it, but there is also bad and there is certainly the ugly too and at different times April embodies all of these possibilities.

(16) KEEP ON DOWN THE ROAD. Andrew Liptak praises Rebecca Roanhorse’s next novel — Storm of Locusts is like American Gods meets Mad Max: Fury Road. (Beware spoilers in the body of the review.)

In her debut novel Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse introduced readers to a compelling future in which climate change and wars have wrecked North America, resulting in some fantastical transformations to the country. Native American gods walk alongside mortal humans, some of whom have developed fantastical clan powers, and magical walls have grown around the traditional Navajo homeland Dinétah. In her next adventure, Storm of Locusts, Roanhorse ups the stakes for her characters and the world….

(17) KEEPING THE SRIRACHA IN SF. This is Jason Sheehan’s advice for NPR readers: “Regular Old Sci-Fi Not Weird Enough For You? Try ‘FKA USA'” (Reed King’s new book.)

Hey, you. Did you really like A Canticle For Leibowitz but think it needed more robot hookers and a talking goat? Then FKA USA is the book for you.

Did you think The Road suffered by not having enough gunfights with Mormons? Do you have a fondness for The Wizard Of Oz but believe, deep in your weird little heart, that it suffered a crippling lack of footnotes, bad language and fart jokes? Yeah, me, too. Which is (maybe) why I liked FKA USA so much.

(18) SAVAGE BUILDS. The Verge invites everyone to “Watch Adam Savage make a flying Iron Man suit in his new show, Savage Builds.

For a limited time, the first episode of Savage Builds—in which Adam Savage (late of Mythbusters) constructs and tests an Iron Man suit—is available free on the Discovery Channel website.

Adam Savage became a household name as the cohost of Mythbusters, and now, he’s returned to the Discovery Channel with a new show: Savage Builds. In each episode of the series, Savage goes out and builds something, consulting with other experts and builders. The series just began airing on Discovery, and the first episode, in which he builds a flying Iron Man costume, is available for free online (at least in the US) for the next two weeks

Think of it like a builder’s version of Mythbusters: take a thing from pop culture or history, and make a version that functions as closely as possible to its on-screen counterpart. In the show’s first episode, Savage sets out to build a real, flying Iron Man costume that’s also bulletproof. 

(19) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Woke Up Looking” on Vimeo is a love song Gideon Irving sings to his robot.

[Thanks to Kat, Irwin Hirsh, Contrarius, Andrew Porter, Carl Slaughter, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

Discover more from File 770

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

45 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/19/19 You’ve Got Mule!

  1. (18) I saw the first episode – it was a lot of fun.

    A Man, A Seldon Plan, a Foundation: Terminus! (if I could actually make that a palindrome, I would)

  2. 1) Met Elizabeth Bear at Balticon and she is a very good sort. Also met Filer Steve Davidson there and bought a digital subscription of Amazing Stories from him.

  3. OGH: I think the title of this Pixel Scroll is incorrectly dated—the date should probably be 6/19/19.

  4. 17)-This book is getting so much hype. And being puffed up as the book we’ve been waiting for. Makes me wonder if they’re trying too hard.
    And comparing it to “The Road” puts it on my skip list.

  5. Ref: sneakers washing up on beaches. Some few years ago–in 1992, actually–a container full of rubber duckies fell off a ship in the Pacific, and oceanographers have learned a great deal about winds and currents by noting where they have washed up, such as Australia, Chile, Alaska, even England. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_Floatees.


    But when?? WHEN???

    Aha — Saturday, June 22! Google is my friend!

    (16) Yeah, I’ll definitely be reading the new one, no doubt about it.

    (17) He had me at postapocalyptic gunfights with Mormons. I’ve always said that Mormons will be the ones to survive any coming apocalypse. I lived in Salt Lake City for five years, and those people are ready!

  7. Ms. Elizabeth Bear is an extremely good sort, indeed. But I hope to soothe us English-language pedants that she gets straight on the difference between jealousy and envy, two terms often confused: Jealousy (the green-eyed monster of Othello infamy) is the fear of being replaced as the object of someone’s love or desire. Envy is a desire to gain someone else’s personal possessions or advantages.

    (ISTR they were portrayed separately in ‘Bedazzled’, the real one with Peter Cook & Dudley Moore.)

  8. So on some beaches you tend to get the left sneakers and on others you get the right.

    Huh, that I would not have predicted, although it makes perfect sense in retrospect. I love fascinating and unexpected little details like this.

  9. “Only left or right shoes, but never both” is actually a common phenomenon known to beachcombers. Along the North Sea, left shoes wash up on Dutch, Belgian and French beaches, right shoes on English beaches.

    Another reason why you only ever get one kind of shoe is that sometimes, left and right shoes are shipped in separate containers to discourage theft.

    And if a lot of containers are lost at once, as in the MSC Zoe spill ealier this year, the cargo tends to separate itself along beaches, so one Dutch town got lots of My Little Pony toys, another Dutch town got shoes, yet another got BMW headlights, a German island got Ikea furniture and another got lightbulbs.

  10. One of our more famous basketplayers in the days of yore went to US just to buy athletic shoes that weren’t available in Sweden at that time. He took work on one if the large passanger liners to New York, managed to navigate to the store he was looking for, tested out the shoes for a great fit, hurried back to the boat and left back for Sweden the same day.

    After opening the shoe box in his cabin, he found he had bought two right shoes.

  11. depending on location, some dancers with two left feet are very happy.

    @Rob Thornton. It was a pleasure to meet you, and thanks again for the purchase. I do want to note though that meeting me does not require a purchase….

  12. Robert Whitaker Sirignano says Krispy Kreme : proof that air is not free.

    We’ve got many local donut operations here in southern coastal Maine. Hifi Donuts which is less than two years old is my fav one as they do a yeasted recipe that is light and lacks the greasy feel on the mouth that oh so many other donuts such as Dunkin Donuts have. Chocolate sea salt is my favorite variety.

  13. And a delicious, delicious Meredith Moment: Nalo Hopkinson’s Sister Mine is $2.99.

  14. @Cat —

    We’ve got many local donut operations here in southern coastal Maine.

    There is nothing much better than a plain glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut straight off the conveyor belt. Unfortunately, there is no KK here in my town east of Nashville! Fortunately, there is a little hole-in-the-wall place — just a small cinderblock building that closes at 2PM every afternoon — that uses nearly the same recipe. Good and yeasty. 🙂 We also have two Dunkin Donuts, but I never did like them!

  15. @Cat
    The city I grew up in has a 24-hour donut place (also has fritters, bagels, and coffee, all cash only) that’s very good. They don’t have a website, though: the “Donut Wheel”, in California.

  16. On a nearby highway (Rt. 40 in Catonsville, MD), a Krispy Kreme franchise took over a local McDonald’s location. Now there is a big Krispy Kreme sign on the side of the road and, much to my dismay, a smaller neon sign underneath which glows when the donuts are fresh and hot. How fiendish!

  17. If there are irresistible doughnuts in my area, I don’t know about them. Consequently, I can pretty much resist doughnuts. My tragedy, I guess.

    When I was five, our grocery store had an automatic doughnut-making machine. They’d bloop out of a sort of nozzle, splash into the ring-shaped trough of hot grease, where they were guided around. Halfway, they’d be flipped over, and when they got to the end of their course, they’d be nudged out and they’d slide down a chute. I lived for the times it would be in operation when we visited, which was seldom. (There’s a video of a similar machine, used in a dramatization of the classic Homer Price story—genre, I’ll say— “The Doughnuts,” which might be findable at YouTube. I have it on a VHS. The machine’s the best part of the video, which is kind of earnest, unfortunately.)

  18. @2: how science fiction and comic books saved me from a life of crime. Would that Fred Wertham were alive to plotz over this….

    @3: and I wish Poul Anderson, with his decadent Earthlings and vigorous-but-unworthy Merseians, could see this — although I don’t hate anyone enough to make them read Three-Body Problem. (Yes, I know it got a Hugo; I would have quit partway through if it hadn’t been nominated, and skimmed quite a bit.) Liu’s comments on DC are … interesting, given that the train station is on the edge of one of the older parts of the city. It’s also fascinating that he parrots PRC fables about the need for control after such a vivid portrayal of the failures of past attempts at control.

    @4: that’s an interesting argument, but there’s a big gap between “no quotable lines” and “spectacle is all”; I’d argue that Avatar fits between them, in that it has a story. (The need for a hook is one of the misbeliefs of certain classes of observers; Leonard Bernstein has a story-essay in which a producer asks how the current show can possibly be successful when it has no tunes the audience can hum.) I also disagree that the previous MiB depended on spectacle; there were a smattering of good lines (“Elvis isn’t dead — he just went home.”), and #3 in particular seemed to me to have a solid story behind it. From what I’ve heard, MiBI fails (for those it fails — IIRC some Filers liked it) because it has no spectacle and no story.

    @18 parallel: the Brit building a jet suit has upped his game — now says he can do 50mph and is taking students (video)

    @Rick Moen: in the only Bedazzled I acknowledge, the Sins were Wrath, Sloth, Envy, Vanity, Lust, Gluttony, and Avarice. (Lists in other cases sometimes substitute pride for envy and/or greed for gluttony.) I saw it many times back when cheap movie reruns were my secondary entertainment. I’m unsure how clear people are on the distinction vs. jealousy — that may be another vocabulary degeneration (cf lay/lie).

    @Cora Buhlert: that’s a fascinating description of the assortment of lost goods; I can imagine it being caused by different containers being lost in different places rather than a single container being scattered, but don’t have any hard data. Unfortunately, it sounds like there’s minimal advantage to exchange between towns. (The counterexample that your description reminded me of was the US Army clerk who got several 9-piece kits for field refrigerators in Vietnam and simply sent 9 boxes to each outpost; improvisation and multi-sided trades ensued.)

    @Kip Williams: a Sears in DC (in, not just near) had one of those machines; we’d drive up to the roof parking, and I’d see the machine running if I were lucky (and get a doughnut if I’d been behaving). I assume the machine died long before the store (I can’t remember a Sears having so much as roasted nuts after ~1970 — the machine was in the early-to-mid 1960’s), which probably died long before Sears itself did.

  19. @Kip: I saw the Homer Price movie as a kid (as I recall, it was about 1974) – the local library showed it (on film of course) during the summer as a way to keep us kids entertained and out of most trouble.

  20. I also remember that Homer Price donut machine from the film; and I still get a kick out of watching the machine in the Tom Thumb donut carts at the state fair.

  21. Chip: It looked like Liu was going west from Union Station to or by the Trump International Hotel, so probably along the chain of parkland from the station to the Mall, and then up Pennsylvania Avenue. This would avoid the residential areas to the east.

  22. The vegan coffee shop a couple blocks from where I work has cake-style donuts that are actually really good. I’m kind of hoping the place is a money laundering front though, because otherwise I don’t see how any place that sells donuts for $2.50 each can stay in business.

    They do make a pretty good Americano at least.

  23. Rose Embolism says The vegan coffee shop a couple blocks from where I work has cake-style donuts that are actually really good. I’m kind of hoping the place is a money laundering front though, because otherwise I don’t see how any place that sells donuts for $2.50 each can stay in business.

    That depends on how many donors they’re making. Some local shops can easily do fifteen hundred a day. Add in coffee and another sales such as breakfast sandwiches which many do, and the bottom line is quite good.

    They do make a pretty good Americano at least.

    And coffee drinks have a very good markup.

  24. @4: I really don’t think it’s true that prior to 2013 or whatever, movies with a lot of special effects were guaranteed to do well for that reason alone, which would have to be the case in order for the fate of MiB:Intl to be as mysterious as this writer seems to think it is. It’s also bizarre to act like the only reason the first MiB was a hit was the flashy visual stuff; it’s received plenty of critical praise (not unanimous of course) for its script and directing and performances, and it continues to regularly make it into retrospective lists of best SF comedies and action-comedies in general. Not liking something is fine but pretending others didn’t really like it is silly.

  25. Eli, The first MIB film was the only I felt everything worked from the acting to the story being told to the aliens created for the film. Neither of the next two films came close to having this level of delightful storytelling. In contrast, the Back to the Future franchise held up all the way to the end with each film being a delight to watch.

  26. @Cat: I haven’t seen the 3rd but I agree about the 2nd. But, first, the article entirely dismissed all of them on every level except “spectacle”; and second, it’s hardly unusual for an incredibly popular and well-done film to attract a large audience for a sequel that’s less well done, especially when they have the same stars, so #2 is not an example of “it did well only because people used to love anything with CGI”. And #3 was actually pretty well reviewed, along the lines of “not a classic, but much better than 2 and it has some new twists”, so, again, not a mystery why people would go.

  27. @Chip Hitchcock
    The MSC Zoe, one of the biggest container vessels in the world, lost more than 300 containers in a storm in January and littered containers and cargo all over the Dutch and German North Sea coast. The photos of the flotsam and jetsam were fascinating, e.g. the beach of lightbulbs, the beach of My Little Ponies, the beach of rifles and helmets (thankfully toys, not real), the beach of Ikea furniture, the beach of fridges, the beach of TV screens, the beach of little blue toy trucks or the beach of shoes. And here we have two happy Dutch beachcombers with their loot, lots of shoes and My Little Ponies.

    They’re still looking for some of the lost containers BTW.


    There is absolutely nothing in this description which sounds even remotely appealing to me.


    There is absolutely nothing in the linked review that doesn’t appeal to me and it just went a very long way toward the top of my to-read list. Sure it looks like a mess that will crash and burn before it gets to the end and it might not work but it also looks like it will be a bucket of fun

    a glorious mess; a jangly, spit-and-duct-tape creation that you can feel shaking itself to pieces even as you read; a visionary head-trip of apocalyptic political satire; a kitchen sink quest story that reads like someone’s high school RPG session gone full-on Technicolor bonkers..

    That’s what I’m looking for some days.

  30. @Chip Hitchcock: The canonical list of Deadly Sins that I’m used to, has Pride where you have Vanity. Greed and Avarice tend to be somewhat interchangeable. This is the list that was used in the Shazam! movie.

    In the original Captain Marvel comics, they left off Lust for obvious reasons, and listed the “Seven Deadly Enemies of Man” as Pride, Envy, Greed, Hatred, Selfishness, Laziness, and Injustice.

  31. I use the mnemonic PEG’S LAW, hence Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Avarice, and Wrath. Then I have to re-grok what the difference between envy and avarice is every time.

  32. Eli says I haven’t seen the 3rd but I agree about the 2nd. But, first, the article entirely dismissed all of them on every level except “spectacle”; and second, it’s hardly unusual for an incredibly popular and well-done film to attract a large audience for a sequel that’s less well done, especially when they have the same stars, so #2 is not an example of “it did well only because people used to love anything with CGI”. And #3 was actually pretty well reviewed, along the lines of “not a classic, but much better than 2 and it has some new twists”, so, again, not a mystery why people would go.

    I really think CGI. Only goes so far to making a film appealing. Yes Groot and Rocket Raccoon were pure CGI but without a an appealing voice a Tor and a story for them, but wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting as they were.

    Too many of the aspects of both MIB II and MIB III felt like they’d been thought up at the last minute without actually being really fleshed out as actual interesting story elements that made sense as made of the entire film. Sort of a WTF is that doing there was my feeling too often in both films.

  33. Avarice is aka greed, which means that I get it more mixed up with the broader, not-just-food-based concept behind gluttony than with envy.

    But all of avarice, gluttony, and lust seem to me to point to one particular kind of sin – wanting too much stuff – (While envy and arguably lust again, also hit “Wanting stuff that is not yours/you have not earned”) and the list seems to me to miss out on the “I’ve got mine, you can hang” anti-compassion type sin entirely. Captain Marvel at least covers Selfishness, which is kind of the thing I am thinking about, though it sometimes seems to go beyond just being selfish to *actively* pushing others beneath you. People might bristle if I suggest “Rugged Individualism” though…

    And this discussion is making me want to rewatch Fullmetal Alchemist, not Bedazzled or Captain Marvel. Though not the recent live action movie attempt of FMA. Once was more than enough.

    We have artisanal donut makers around here. Some of their creations really are worth $4.00 per — especially since that price means you DO only buy one and they taste so good it would be easy to fall into gluttony if they were cheap. But if you want the straightforward box of a dozen, people still stick to Timmies and sometimes Robin’s. (I actually like some Robins goods better. Their tea biscuits, for sure.)

  34. @David Goldfarb: as I said, the list I gave was specific to Bedazzled; I wouldn’t be surprised if Pride were more often listed than Vanity, but the latter provided a cheap-but-effective sight gag for the movie.

  35. Pingback: Moon Landing Oreos | File 770

Comments are closed.