Question of the Day

How large is the intersection of these two sets of people:

A: People who are praising actor  Ed Skrein for withdrawing from the Hellboy reboot because he is not of the same ethnic background (Asian-American) as the original character in the source material;


B: People who want Idris Elba cast as the next James Bond.

I think Idris Elba is a fantastic actor.  I love his work, especially in the BBC series Luther.  I think he could also be a tremendous James Bond. But the fact remains that he is not of the same ethnic background as the original character in the source material.

You can’t have it both ways.

And another thing: it is my opinion that the Doctor is and always has been a unique character in the science fiction universe. For fifty-five years the Doctor has been an ever-changing male character, but coming soon, she will be female.  One of the wonderful things about sci-fi is the number of possibilities and choices that are available to the writers and showrunners. The freedom to take risks like this (and it is a risk to offer such a change to an audience overwhelmingly familiar with a male Doctor) is what creating art is all about.

I like Jodie Whitaker too.  I think she could be a fantastic Doctor.  Much will depend on the strength of the stories she is given and of the supporting cast.  A new showrunner with
new ideas setting new expectations makes this the perfect time to make this change.  I hope it brings a new demographic to the show, and I hope she succeeds in the role. But I’m not so foolish to think that if the ratings suffer, she won’t be replaced. Doctor Who is not ars gratia artis, it’s art for profit, and the goals are different.

But nothing ever remains static in television or movies.  Change happens all the time, whether we like it or not. Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have made a separate art form within an art form of shocking their audiences with the unexpected deaths of major characters.

In the long run, I think it is simply foolish for those people who believe casting choices should conform to some arbitrary and capricious social justice agenda.  That cheapens the art. Let the artist have the vision and bring it forth as he or she desires.

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

Look for yourself and see what Marvel Comics has learned in the last three or four years about this.


I Just Realized Something

In this comment over at Hogewash! there’s a clip from The Princess Bride. In it, Vizzini says:

You only think I guessed wrong! That’s what’s so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!” Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha..

[Vizzini keels over dead.]

I have just now realized this statement shows that Vizzini is, in fact, an idiot.

According to him, the most famous of the classic blunders is “never get involved in a land war in Asia.”  Hence, to avoid making that blunder, one must ALWAYS get involved in a land war in Asia.

Similarly, one should ALWAYS go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, or else risk making that only slightly less well known classic blunder.

In both cases, however, the opposite seems the prudent choice (Vizzini himself being the exceptional Sicilian who proves the rule).

Is anyone else confused?


Star Wars: The Cultural Insensitivity Awakens

It scrolls by quickly so you may want to pause a few times to catch up.

h/t Reason by way of Instapundit.

UPDATEUPDATEUPDATE – for all the geeks…a highly respected local television film critic gave Star Wars: The Force Awakens an A+ on his rating scale.  Not only is it the highest rating on his scale, it is the first time he’s ever given it.

Take it for what it’s worth.  I’m sure the semi-trailer full of action figues is pulling up to his house right now.


Only A Week Late

Inspired by this:

Lieutenant Kaffee: Colonel Jessep! Did you eat all the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?!!”

Judge Randolph: You don’t have to answer that question!

Jessep: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?

Lieutenant Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to them.

Jessep: You want answers?!

Lieutenant Kaffee: I want the truth!

Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!

Son, we live in a world that has teeth, and those teeth have to be guarded by dentists with drills. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for children with fillings, and you curse the dental profession. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know — that children with fillings, while tragic, probably saved teeth; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves teeth.

You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at Halloween parties, you want me on that drill — you need me on that drill.

We use words like “brush,” “floss,” “rinse.” We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and eats his Sugar Frosted Chocolate Bombs with the very clean and healthy teeth that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide them.

I would rather that you just said “thank you” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a drill and stand the post. Either way, I don’t give a DAMN what you think you’re entitled to!

Lieutenant Kaffee: Did you eat all the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?

Jessep: I did the job I was —

Lieutenant Kaffee: — Did you eat all the Peanut Butter Cups?!

Jessep: You’re god damn right I did!!!


The Phone Call I Wish I'd Made Tonight

Me: beep-bip-boop-555-beep-beep-book-bip-SEND.

Ring.  Ring.  Ring.

Them: Good Evening! Thank you for calling Joe’s Multiplex. How may we serve you?

Me:  Hi! Listen, I know I’m not supposed to be using my cell phone in a movie theater, especially after watching 15 minutes of cute cartoons about how unforgivably rudeit is to ruin others’ moviegoing experience like that.  But I’m sitting waaaaay down here in theater 93 WITH SOME FUCKING ASSHOLE WHO BROUGHT A SCREAMING BABY INTO THE OPENING NIGHT OF A PG-13 MOVIE, so if you could maybe send an usher or seven down here to just stare at this INCONSIDERATE PRICK until he takes his child out into the hall, I would be most pleased to put my phone away and enjoy this lovely movie with the rest of this room full of people who dropped ten bucks a pop and for that much money deserve to be able to watch their movie in peace, don’t you think?  Thanks a bunch.