Monday, July 21, 2008

The moment that gave birth to imagination...

39 years ago yesterday, humankind first set foot on another celestial body.

Most think it routine, but most are not aware of our long, arduous, millennial, triumphant path from single-celled organism to trilobite along the way to Neanderthal and our most recent inception as Homo Sapiens.

Only approximately 4 billion years of the 4.6 billion years since Earth's formation have passed since the estimated origin of life on Earth first began, yet in our planet's and our species young emergence, we have found several Revolutionary schisms between times past and times present, one might say a Cambrian explosion of thought, or a moment where our species defied previous, non-existent expectations, and leaped forward exponentially:
In the last 400-500 years of scientific discovery that have given rise to everything from Boeing 747s to nuclear weapons to Wi-Fi internet and the Apple iPod Touch, there have been several moments that stand alone in the upright and righteous herald and royalty of reason and the scientific method over the stagnant and static status quo of ever-present human dogma:

-Copernicus's notion of Heliocentric astronomy

-Newtonian Physics

-Darwin's Theory of the Origin of Species, later dubbed Evolution

-Einstein's Theory of Relativity

These are the Biggies, but Nothing in our so recent and temporally blind memory trumpeted the genius and profundity of human ambition, goodness, or discovery more than this moment:


As Phil has said, it is a definitive Before and After Moment.

It is a moment that our species has chosen to fixate upon, and some have speculated, may have philosophical implications for the rest of us, ideology or no, that will echo throughout our own lives and those of our children and grandchildren. To realize our place and time in our own personal, ephemeral universe is to know greatness and at its very least, galactic, perhaps a universal sense of humility. Drawing upon my list of heroes, Dr. Carl Sagan identified this idea long before I was aware of it, but his phrasing drew him, among many fellow scientists from the venue of the empirical to the vast and beautiful forum of meaningful, modern, existential, and appreciative human literature. His efforts should be viewed as if produced among the works of our greatest philosophers in conjunction with our most talented poets. READ HIS BOOKS! Beyond that, we only have the draw of the devotion of his fans:




(if I had $16 million dollars extra, I'd air this during the superbowl, SERIOUSLY)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Education in the classics

I mentioned BSG, and other returning shows I like, but time for a bit of
Brilliant but canceled/over.

Funniest. Thing. Ever:


Homicide: Life on the Street, the major network true crime drama.


The Wire, child of NBC's Homicide on HBO. Best. Show. Ever.


Six Feet Under, Alan Ball can do no wrong in entertaining you.


Firefly, the best show FOX never gave a shot


Sports Night, Aaron Sorkin does Olbermann in his ESPN years, with brilliant character actors to flesh out the ensemble. AKA when are the networks going to realize the laugh track is DEAD?!


"What's the deal with sitcoms?"


The West Wing, the liberal political fantasy of flawed, yet intelligent and good-hearted humans with leadership qualities in the White House.


Futurama




Nuff Said.

Friday, July 11, 2008

In which we imitate "This Recording" to make BSG that much more accessible and hip to "Losties", "Whedonites", and "Jerichoans?"

The mid-season break of Battlestar Galactica's Final Season, ended on a note.

A minor note.

It must be said that the off-key ending between the six to seven month hiatus was NOT disappointing nor could be savaged in any negative light given the original premise of the show itself. In point of fact, it was Jaw-dropping, for an EP like Ron Moore to anticipate this audience's expectations, and go ALL IN, oh so early.

It leaves so many questions, it leaves so many speculations, it leaves so many opportunities for further narratives (We shall wait and see whether this is sequel-ism for dollars-sake, or an artistic smoothing of the edges.)
beyond spin-off TV series.
In the last hours of the show, recently completed, and aired next January 2009, I beg that I'm not disappointed, only that my enthusiasm for the material has been vindicated. Not only in terms of plot and character, but for its mere aesthetic value, How fucking cool is this final tracking shot? :


That said, the new shows I'm looking forward to the most are Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse", Alan Ball's "True Blood", and while I despise a writer's foray into the supernatural, J.J. Abrams's "The Fringe" still looks promising.

My returning shows still hold up (for the most part):
House
Lost (if you abandoned it because season 2 dragged, you missed out. I skipped the last half of S1, all of S2, and caught up with recaps. The show has been on high octane since S3 and is astounding.)
Flight of the Conchords
Futurama
Friday Night Lights
Psych
Dexter
The Venture Brothers



Peace,
Nick

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rifftrax Palate Cleanser

Rifftrax.com

Mike Nelson, Kevin "Tom Servo:TNG" Murphy, and Bill "Crow T. Robot:Redux" Corbett.
The Re-imagining, or later writers of MST3K now have a website that produces feature-length mp3's that sync to a specific DVD, whether it be Spiderman 3, The Grudge, or Cloverfield; and in addition, have
Divx based On-Demand products for vids in the public domain that continue in the Genius tradition of mocking what needs/should/shouldn't* be mocked (Youtoob link, Aspect Ratio Compression is not my fault):



*this IS mocked above, and dutifully so (Holy SQEE! wtf would he have done with TMNT?!), however, as far as I'm concerned, there are no Sacred Cows...
with these heroes.
They earn my respect, as a skeptic, as a human, and a person naturally predisposed to self-deprecation when they parse and concurrently trash aforementioned company owner Michael J. Nelson's (as well as one of my and my father's**) favorite movie


to shreds***.

***this sample is not much compared to the humor and scrutiny that it is ultimately subjected to. It is Popcorn, not for the calories, but for the taste and visceral satisfaction alone. It must be stated that there is no wrongdoing in making such a film. In my own opinion, this movie gets a free pass, in as much as its first and only goal is to entertain. But, and I must say "But" to me, the more irreverent and savaging the commentary became between Mike, Kevin, and Bill, the louder I laughed. To me, Rifftrax succeeds not only because they make fun of movies I hate, but because of the fact that they include some of my own sacred cows in the process. I can't wait until they truly rip George Lucas a new one for the Groundhog Abortion that was Indy 4. Anyways, the point is that you're emotionally, or intellectually involved; even if it's anger, skepticism, or joy.

Peace,
Nick