Carnival of Souls Post-Holiday Special #4: Everything Else

* Though I think I’ve only ever played the original and Ocarina of Time, I love that Legend of Zelda continuity is so convoluted and contradictory that people theorized it must involve divergent timelines; I love even more that they were right.

* Ta-Nehisi Coates has what ought to be the final word on the vices and virtues of Louis Farrakhan Ron Paul. I don’t know why I never thought of Paul advocacy in messianic terms before, but of course that’s what’s going on; the support of noted Great Man enthusiast Andrew Sullivan, who appears to have retracted his recent retraction of his slightly less recent endorsement of Paul for the Republican Party presidential nomination, is surely evidence of that. The problem is with seeing individual politicians, with all their flaws (and in most cases “flaws” is putting it mildly, whether you’re talking about States’ Rights dogwhistler and gold bug Ron Paul or indefinite-detainer and non-due-process-assassinator and Skynet-activator Barack Obama), in memetic-engineering terms — “If we support this person we’ll change the conversation and steer the nation toward the good” — fails to consider the systemic nature of successfully implementing change, and dismisses a host of hugely problematic issues with any given candidate in a rush to paint an Alex Ross version of their portrait. And again, no one’s forcing anyone to endorse anyone; doing so as an act of supposed bravery but downplaying your candidate of choice’s problems is in fact an act of cowardice.

* Related thought triggered by Coates’s material on Farrakhan: All religions are completely crazy in terms of their “supernatural history,” if you will; it’s just that we’ve been hearing about the major ones for so many centuries that receiving celestial instructions from a brushfire or rising from the dead and then flying up to Heaven no longer seem quite as crazy as more recent developments like the Angel Moroni or Intergalactic Warlord Xenu do. That said, I feel like between Mormonism, Scientology, and the Nation of Islam, America has cooked up some uniquely science-fictional cults-cum-full-fledged-denominations, and I wonder if anyone’s ever stacked them up side to side as such.

* Jim Henley wrote a song for America; they told him it was clever.

* I hadn’t been super enthused for Ridley Scott’s yes-no-maybe-probably-yeah-definitely Alien prequel Prometheus, because it’s 2012 and it’s Ridley Scott. Then I saw this trailer. Any knucklehead can make a compelling trailer, but pacing and music and title font treatment aside, you simply don’t see scary cosmic monoliths like you did in ’70s SF anymore. Seeing that giant whatever-it-is on that alien planet was like coming home.

* In case you missed it, my favorite fantasy franchises gave us several Christmas presents:

** Here’s a sample chapter from George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter. (SPOILERS, of course!) The great Elio & Linda of Westeros.org discuss it here.

** Here’s a trailer for Season Two of Game of Thrones. Everyone looks great and Stannis sounds great.

** And here once again is the trailer for The Hobbit, which I suppose I should get used to calling The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for the purposes of this first film. The chills I got when the Dwarves started singing their song! Straight-up outreach to everyone who was raised on the Rankin-Bass cartoon, and successful outreach at that. BTW, I saw a lot of talented artists complaining about what they perceived to be fussy, overly toyetic, off-brand Dwarf designs, but let’s face it, the filmmakers had to help the audience be able to differentiate between thirteen axe-wielding beardos, because it’s not really like Tolkien himself even tried!

5 Responses to Carnival of Souls Post-Holiday Special #4: Everything Else

  1. Tim O'Neil says:

    I will call for a boycott of the HOBBIT movie if there is not some version of Glenn Yarbrough’s “The Greatest Adventure” represented therein.

  2. Zom says:

    “I saw a lot of talented artists complaining about what they perceived to be fussy, overly toyetic, off-brand Dwarf designs”

    Which talented artists were these? The ones with such a weak sense of function and design that don’t recognise that those character are dire need of different looks? Also: off brand? Give a fuck.

    • Give how hard a time a lot of people had even telling Merry and Pippin apart, you really do need to carve out 13 separate, recognizable designs for the Dwarves. “Thorin, Balin, the fat one, the two young ones, and all the other ones” isn’t going to cut it.

  3. Zom says:

    Exactly.

    Reaching for the toyetic argument – although, yes of course it factors in – seems like lazy thinking to me.

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