Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dear Oscar


Let’s not mince words. 

We’ve grown apart.

I still love film but I can’t stand by and watch what you’ve become.  This has been coming for a while now but the corporate “industry” has tipped the scales at the expense of “entertainment” at the expense of the art.  I know that art will find a way and eventually, so shall we.  I’ll be wherever the story is being served while you will be in the gift shop selling yourself.  That is not a bad thing it just cuts to the core of our separate motivations.  We are looking for different things and, I fear, we have met an impasse.  Neither of us really wants to change and you could say that neither of us has to.  Perhaps someday you will reconsider and rediscover that love of storytelling that originally caught my eye.

I used to do a yearly blog concerning the Academy Awards where I would force myself to ‘think the way the Academy’ thinks to try to pick the winners.  We had a good run, you and I.  Some years you would win, some years I would.  The fact of the matter is, Oscar, these days I have enough on my hands avoiding things such as SOPA or PIPA than I do adding any further grist to the Academy mill.  I’m not a pirate and being treated like one by the corporate office(s) in the entertainment industry has me feeling more than a bit alienated.  And then there is all that wasted time and energy on, “the red carpet.”  Oscar, even you must see the self-aggrandized, bloated, misguided sense of importance & worth that the people you run with these days are about.  You do, don’t you?  That red carpet is another reason why I can’t bear to be with you this year.  You know me, I still go to the movies but these days, I’m picky; very picky.  I can feel myself getting more so as time marches by.  Really the best thing to get people back into theaters is to tell good stories.  You and your friends know that, right? 

I don’t say these things to hurt you.  I say them because I truly want to believe that deep down beneath that shiny exterior there lays a glimmer of that spark of creativity, wonder, and sheer storytelling that first drew me to you in the first place.  Who knows, perhaps that spark still exists in some of the people that you have been calling friends these days too.  I’d like to think that is the case. 

I hope one day we will strike a balance again you & I and once more we will pit our picks against each other.  I just think we need this time apart. 

Please give my love to Billy, I’m sure he’ll do a fine job.


Evil Chicken

Monday, February 20, 2012

Barsoom Bound

The film, “John Carter” is about to be released and I, as a huge fan of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books, am waiting with baited breath.  I voraciously read the Barsoom (Mars) novels.  I’m due to read them again as a refresher; still the voices of Mars call to me.  The mighty Tars Tarkas, the beautiful & dangerous Princes of Mars – Dejah Thoris, and the noble Woola all still hold a place in my imagination.  And I was not alone in discovering that world of wonder.  I could tell you how influential the Mars books are; how far reaching the scope & imagination or how there would not be a “Star Wars” or “Avatar” without their first being, “A Princess of Mars” (the book in the Mars stories that the film is based on).  I could tell you all that and more but all that has already been done by Jesse Schedeen in the article, “Without John Carter There Would be No Star Wars”, which can be found right here:  It is a great piece that illustrates just how important the Mars books have been to the tradition of storytelling.  And, Gentle Reader, furthering the tradition of storytelling is what it’s all about.

John Carter was in, ‘development hell’ for decades.  There were a host of very talented people wanting to bring Barsoom to the big screen but for whatever reason(s) the plans fell through.  The rights for the project came to Disney and they eventually hired Mr. Andrew Stanton, director of Pixar’s, “WALL-E” to bring the world of John Carter to life.  The man knows how to tell a story but it wasn’t until this article by Quint from Ain’t It Cool News entitled, “Quint travels to Barsoom and visits the John Carter Set!!!” that I discovered how much of a fan Stanton really is.  There are spoilers but I encourage you to read it right here:  It is a wonderful visit loaded with interviews and some great behind the scenes shots that you will not see anywhere else.  Case in point?  Willem Defoe had to learn to speak Thark to play the part effectively while standing on stilts.  I love the shot of Defoe in the motion capture suit on stilts with the guy in the green-suit next to him.  I guess green-suit guy is his spotter.  Whatever the case read it!  It’s a great on-set article from Lake Mead, Utah; otherwise known as Barsoom.

The cast looks the part and it sounds like they are all very much so into their roles and have a sense of the source material – Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books.  It is my sincere hope that the cast and crew are successful in bringing Barsoom to the masses.  Further, I hope that the masses respond well to Barsoom.  This could be the flashpoint of a great, epic story and an amazing franchise.  With Stanton at the helm I believe that Mars is closer than I have ever imagined.

I have a date with a Princes of Mars on March 9th!  I’ll be there opening night ~ Guaranteed.  How do I know this?  I am a fan of furthering the tradition of storytelling and John Carter deserves his due.    

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston 1963 - 2012

Growing up in the eighties there were certain things ~ wonderful things that you simply could not miss.  Whitney Houston was something wonderful. 

Here are some pictures that the Today Show put together: 

The columnist and author, Ms. Donna Brazile Tweeted, "May Jesus love, Luther Vandross greet, Lou Rawls comfort, Michael Jackson dance, Etta James welcome, and Ray Charles see Whitney ASAP."


My prayers for her family and loved ones at this time.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Double Dipping & the Big Game

I am really not a sports guy.  For a series of non-interesting reasons, I never got into football.  I have to strain to think about who is playing in the ‘big game’ tonight in the Superbowl.  This is not about the Superbowl; no, it’s about food.

Yesterday I made a batch of hummus from a recipe that I got from a friend of mine; let’s call her, ‘Amy’.  Amy’s Hummus has become a staple here at Rancho del Evil Chicken.  It is AWESOME.  Anyway, as I was folding a small piece of toasted, wheat pita and just about to dip I announced to my family, “Don’t worry, I am not Double Dipping.”

“It doesn’t matter.” My 14 year-old daughter told me, “Mythbusters blew that out of the water.”

“…How can this be?” I asked trying to wrap my mind around, well… exactly how it could be.

“They tested and the amount of added germs is negligible.”

“But… how?”

“It’s true, Dad.” My 11 year-old chimed in.  “They did a whole segment on it.”

“Hmm…” I thoughtfully said as I scooped a liberal dollop of hummus onto my pita.  If this was true then I had to find out.  So I did.  Here is what the Mythbusters have to say:  It turns out it is negligible and would only be a problem if we all started playing “Bobbing for Hummus” where ones bacteria laden mouth comes into direct contact with the contents of the dish.  So there you have it Gentle Reader, tonight when you are at your Superbowl (or Anti-Superbowl) parties know that you can Double Dip with confidence. 

Information such as this should not be contained; no, the PEOPLE need to know.  Case in point CNN is still reporting about the horrors of Double Dipping:  Double Dipping is not the problem; hand washing is.  I just hope that John Q. Football fan has no open sores and has washed those crusty, sausage-like fingers before he goes wrist deep into that salsa.  Trust me on this; he simply does not remember where they’ve been.  That's not a slight against football fans it's just common guy knowledge.

Enjoy the game!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

It's February!

As strange and wonderful as it may be February is now upon us!  It's been so long since our last communique ~ what, 3 - 4 minutes?  But what a difference those minutes can make.

Whew, February... who'd a thunk?