Saturday, October 25, 2014

I got nothing...

There's plenty of awful shit I could be blogging about, but I just don't have a real post in me right now, so here's one of my favorite scenes from Barton Fink instead.  ( Warning: this scene is from near the end of the movie... if you haven't seen it yet, it's kinda spoiler-y.  )


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Thomas Friedman is an idiot

I normally pay very little attention to Thomas Friedman, mainly because he so rarely takes a break from openly pining for Chinese-style autocracy to say anything even remotely useful.  Now Friedman is trying to compare ISIL to the Joker from The Dark Knight.  I should probably ignore this drivel too, but I just can't stand seeing someone use such a great movie to make such a shitty analogy.

If you insist on comparing ISIL to a Batman villain, then they are clearly Bane, not the Joker.  ISIL doesn't "just want to watch the world burn", they want to run it; they want to be the ones who get to decide which cities are spared and which cities are burned to the ground.  ISIL doesn't see itself as an agent of chaos, it sees itself as a check against the decadence of the West, much as The League of Shadows sees itself as a check against the decadence of Gotham.

( And of course, Friedman being Friedman, his ultimate diagnosis is that Iraq and Syria just weren't enough like China to keep ISIL from spreading.  Sigh. )

By the way, if anyone is like the Joker here, it's Obama.  The Joker wanted to upset the order of things; he wanted to turn the heroes of Gotham City into villains by repeatedly forcing them into making impossible decisions.  Obama seems pretty intent on upsetting the order of things too.  ( Hey, remember his promise to fundamentally transform the country? How did that work out for everyone? )  The Joker detests what he calls planners and schemers.  Obama doesn't seem to much care for people who have plans either; he told us about eleventy billion times that if we liked our plans we could keep our plans, but of course that was always a pernicious lie.  Speaking of lies, the Joker tells so many conflicting stories about himself in The Dark Knight that you can't tell if there is any truth at all there buried under all the fabrications; he might as well have been Obama's ghostwriter.  And how can anyone watch that scene where the Joker sets a great big pile of money on fire just to piss people off without thinking of Obama?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tweets of the Week (9/28/14 - 10/4/14)

The Obama Protocol

One of the few things I can actually remember from President Obama's inaugural address was his trollish promise to "restore science to its rightful place."  The nerve of that guy.  When has Obama ever not put politics ahead of science?

Obama used his deliberate misunderstanding of the term "greatest geopolitical foe" as an excuse to have a hissy fit in his foreign policy debate with Romney, and now he spends much of his time trying tell us that "climate change" is the greatest threat of the century.  Give me a break.

When Bush was president, Obama tried to make political hay out of panic over the bird flu; and in 2010 he scrapped the very same quarantine rules that he pressured Bush into adopting.  Funny how the science always seems to be settled in favor of whatever position is most politically expedient for Obama at any given time.

And now for the very first time we have a confirmed case of Ebola right here in the United States.  You'd think the first thing we would do is restrict all travel from the West African countries affected by the epidemic, but the White House has flatly dismissed the idea of any sort of travel ban.  Why?  It's not our fault that Ebola comes from predominantly black third-world hellholes, so can we please stop agonizing so much over whether a travel ban might be seen as racist somehow?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tweets of the Week (9/21/14 - 9/27/14)

The many faces of stately Wayne Manor

Despite hearing mixed things about Gotham, I decided to give the premiere episode a try.  It's a far cry from Chritopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, which I consider to be the gold standard for all things Batman, but I do like seeing Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock enough to maybe stick it out a while longer.  One thing I noticed while watching the show was that the building used to portray Wayne Manor looked very familiar:


That building is the Webb Institute's Stevenson Taylor Hall, the same building that Joel Schumacher used for the exterior shots of Wayne Manor in both of his unspeakably awful Batman films.  Gotham is being filmed mainly in Manhattan, so reusing Stevenson Taylor Hall right there in Glen Cove probably made the most sense.

My favorite version of Wayne Manor is the one that appears in Batman Begins; Christopher Nolan used Mentmore Towers for both the interior and exterior shots:


Oddly enough, the design of Mentmore Towers is based very closely on the design of Wollaton Hall, which was used to portray the completely rebuilt Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises:


( I'm not sure whether or not any interior shots were taken from Wollaton Hall; at least one scene was filmed in the entrance hall of Osterley Park. )

Tim Burton used Knebworth House for the exterior shots in Batman.  As much as I liked the movie, Knebworth House has to be my absolute least favorite out of all the different versions of Wayne Manor:


Tim Burton wisely used Hatfield House for all the interior shots in the first Batman film; I believe Hatfield House was also used in Batman Returns, though for some reason Burton decided to use a custom-built scale model for all the exterior shots in that film instead of using a real house.

The first time I ever saw Wayne Manor was the one shown in the campy Batman television series starring Adam West.  It has no fancy name, but you can call it 380 San Rafael Avenue:


That house is in Pasadena, California.  Sets were used for all the interior shots on the show, so I have no idea what the inside of that place really looks like, but I bet it's fantastic.