Monday, March 15, 2010

Ranting at Monday:

Hi people1. My Monday sucked today. But rather than discuss that, I'm going to start a new feature, where I rant about some random topic unrelated to anything2. It will likely be poorly reasoned, poorly written, poorly edited, and completely atopical within itself. The goal is to maintain an unrestricted stream of consciousness, so you3 can perhaps understand how my thought process works. You may wonder, "How does this differ from your normal writing?" My completely honest answer is that it doesn't. EXCEPT, I require my readers to score me on how far I depart from my original course of thought (10-point scale with 10 points being complete departure from original topic). Unlike my usual writing, this will contain no footnotes or hyperlinks to distract you from the drivel that is stuck between my ears.

Now, take two preparatory Excedrin and enjoy:

I frequently wonder about the genesis of cinematic mistakes. Specifically, I'm thinking of the epic final scene of "The Karate Kid," where Daniel Larusso is fighting Johnny (Jonny? Gihonni? Giovanni?) of the Cobra Kai. After Johnny/Jonny/Lonnie scores a point on Daniel, one of the Cobra Kai gang (I'm too lazy to look up his name, though he seems like his name should be Barry) shouts in a manner that completely fails at subtlety, "Get him a body bag! Yeah!" While a line like that is supposed to stand out, whoever (whomever? No that's wrong. It's whoever...) edited the soundtrack for the movie completely failed, as the audio on his voice jumps up 20dB (exact figure) above the crowd noise and sounds distinctly like it was recorded in a studio. Of course, post-production sound is nothing new or exciting, but someone, somewhere decided that the audio on that clip should be that loud. Someone audio editor listened to that part dozens of times, said "Hmm...we should make that more conspicuous," and pushed the sliders on track 13 up a couple inches. You'd think someone would have second-guess him or her. I don't get it.

But then again, I don't get a lot of things. Another conspicuous error comes to mind from "Star Wars: A New Hope." Of course, I'm speaking about Obi-Wan's complete omission of midichlorians (mitiklorians? michiganians?) when describing the force to Luke. Oh, sorry. That was one of thousands of mistakes from "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," which George Lucas should have buried in the lunar soil with the original copies of the "Star Wars Holiday Carrie-Fisher-is-on-Heavy-Sedatives Special." But that's my $497.83 - $497.81 = $.02.

Where was I? Something about the first Star Wars movie, a stormtrooper knocks his noggin on a low-hanging door, making an audible sound. How does someone miss that in post-production and not edit it out, reshoot it, or at least remove the sound to make it less obvious? Maybe the actor playing that particular stormtrooper made enemies with one of the editors. Not like it would matter, since the actor is assured of his anonymity, what with the mask and all. Maybe someone told George Lucas, but he was too busy planning on where to spend all of his money while he sat aboard the real Death Star. "What's that? Some guy hit his head on a door in the movie? Hmm...maybe can we market him as a special edition toy eventually? We'll leave it in." Thanks, George. Maybe Indiana Jones can fight Han Solo in your next movie; you can just have your arms around Han and Indy, and ya'll will just laugh at the audience for 105 minutes.

By the way, can you imagine how much damage Luke Skywalker caused to the Tattoinian economy when he killed Jabba the Hutt? If Obi-Wan was right about Mos Eisley being a "wretched hive of villainy," it stands to reason that Jabba had a significant hand in that. On a planet that is allegedly in the middle of nowhere (galactically speaking) with no apparent resources, most of the economy likely came from illicit sources, which again points to Jabba as a driving force in the Tattoine economy. So by destroying Jabba, he essentially annihilated the fulcrum of the planet's economy. And, sure, maybe Luke cast off the yoke of oppression for a few white people dumb enough to live in the dessert, but he also threw the rest of the planet into economic panic. Or worse, he ruined all interstellar trade to the planet. That's quite a claim for the leader of a group of "freedom fighters" trying to improve life in ALL of the galaxy. Way to ruin the economy on your home planet, Luke. But it's OK, because you're going to free the Ewoks by, uh, making a bunch of them die at the hands of the Empire. You know, it really didn't seem like the Empire was bothering the Ewoks. Come to think of it, Luke's kind of an asshole.

Anyway, you know what another word for "freedom fighters" is? "Terrorists," that's what. Luke and his band of "rebels" were really just a bunch of freedom fighters trying to ruin the rule of law. If Luke had turned himself in to our former president instead of Darth Vader, he would have been rendered by the CIA back to a very nearby moon of Coruscant and tortured until he told them everything about Osama Bin Laden. There. I said it. You see what I did there: I mixed my metaphor with the thing I was drawing comparison to. It's confusing, huh? You could probably do it, though. And then you would be a TV news pundit. Hey-o!

What happened? I just blacked out there for a bit. That reminds me someone I met last weekend who worked at a small newspaper. The paper was understaffed one particular day (there were only two people assembling the whole paper). When laying out pages, it's generally standard to write in headlines and cutlines (photo captions to you laypeople...haha, I'm looking down at you from my ivory tower) as something like "XXXXXX XX XXXXXX" or "16-pt. head goes here." Sometimes, when page designers are feeling funny, they write humorous placeholders that are meant for removal later. On this particular day, one page of the newspaper featured a photo of two "adult-learners" using one of the town library's new computers. Unfortunately, the cutline's humorous placeholder made it all the way to the printer with the following cutline: "Two old people look at porn in the library." Those two old people showed up at the newspaper office the next day and set it on fire. And by "it," I mean the porn they printed off on the library's printer. True story. Except it's all fabricated. Well, some of it was.

The end.

[Please join me 4 next Mondays's rant when I omit vowels. t wll b awsm. srsly.]

1 I assume there is more than one of you. Please see footnote 3.
2 Certainly unrelated to anything interesting or intelligible.
3 This is the plural "you." One of the clear problems with English is its lack of a distinguishable second-person plural pronoun. This is clearly a problem that those of the Southern dialect have attempted to compensate for. Of course, I'm speaking of the pronoun "ya'll," which is an amalgamation of "you all." Well done, Southerners! You did something that makes sense. Now please explain NASCAR to me, because that's some damn confounding shit ya'll are into.


  1. I'm going to put your ranting skills in a body bag. 4.

  2. You put a vowel in "awesome," Mr. Copy Editing Pro.

    Since porn (which the old people are watching) is a type of movie, and you started out talking about cinematic blunders (of which starring in a porno is one), I'd say you didn't do so well.

    But I'll give you two out of ten, because I'm a nice guy. And because the journey was fun.

  3. Being a constructionist, I take a narrow view of the topics you've addressed and award you a seven for deviating quite far from the original thought.

    However, you lose awesome points for being a Star Wars dork.

  4. I'll give you a middle of the road 5. You stayed on topic of f'ed up movie mistakes for awhile and held them together with the glue of featuring 2 franchises, whose stars were never really heard from again. FYI, there's another movie mistake in "A New Hope" Luke blasts the Death Star, lands back at base and shouts "Carrie!" when he sees Leia. Nice.