June 29th, 2006


I don't believe that I'm the first mentioning this ...

Watched a good chunk of the new "Blade" series on SpikeTV tonight ... I forgot that it was going to be on and ended up landing on it about half-way through the 2-hour pilot, so missed the "backstory" on all the various characters and had to "fill in" with what I remembered from what I've seen of the predecessor movies.

All in all, not bad ... after all, you're not going to get deep acting in a vampire/action show, but the dialog didn't make me cringe and the "look" and pacing were pretty decent. The one thing that did get a "WTF?" from me were some of the F/X ... the "now you've got bleeding/smoking open sores, now you don't" reaction to brief exposure to sunlight wasn't too bad (but was "iffy" in a how/why? basis), but the vampires going up like so much burning tissue paper when "staked" seemed weak ... I guess a quick generic flame-out like that saves a lot on the budget (vs. a more plausible age-decay-dust sort of demise), but it looked cheap in context, even if the effect itself was well done in frame.

There were a couple of other "super vampire power" moments that also looked less than convincing (like where the gal jumps from building to building towards the end ... it looked like a freeze-frame of her being superimposed over the background and shrunk as it was dragged along an arc), but the "flash paper" kill was the main dissonance I was having.

Anybody else watch this?

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Yawwwwwn ...

Man, I really like Goth/Ethereal stuff, but it's so hard to STAY AWAKE when I'm playing same at my desk! One of the CDs I got in my recent "burn through the Amazon gift certificate before it expires" shopping frenzy was Teignmouth by Love Is Colder Than Death, which seems quite nice ... but every time I've had it on I've nodded off!'

Yeah, I'm just bitching.

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Would have posted this last night, but ...

Somewhere, something was Not Working Right in between me and the Internet in The Wee Small Hours of the Morning (if Mr. Sinatra will allow me to borrow a song title here) ... Netscape couldn't find Google, couldn't find L.J., couldn't find Dogpile, but was able to follow most of the "naughty bits" links from TheHun just fine, go figure. I guess sometimes the universe presents you with a clear choice between surfing for smut and sleeping. Being a Libra, I opted for falling asleep at the keyboard.

Anyway ... my connectivity seems to back, so I can upload a lovely new poem for all you angst-starved masses out there!

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See! Fresh new poetry for your schadenfreudic enjoyment! Be happy! Live Long and Prosper! Have a nice day! Be One with the Force! Get Down, Boogie-oogie-oogie! Reap The Wild Wind! Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera ...

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and, another book ...

Well, that was more like it ... it really bugged me that I got "stuck" the past couple of weeks with very little reading getting done, and I was able to knock down this book in just a couple of days! Part of this might be due to my being fairly familiar with much of the subject matter ... I had a lot of "been there!" moments going through the various archaeological sites in this book from my many trips to Mexico back in the 80's and 90's.

Another title from the Time-Life "Lost Civilizations" series, Aztecs: Reign of Blood and Splendor is an interesting over-view of the Aztecs, and their regional predecessors. One thing that this book did was put a focus on the chronological context for much of the cultures in central Mexico ... despite how many times I've been there, I've always "filed" these sites in time slots much earlier than they actually arose. After all, it's not been quite 500 years since the Spanish took Tenochtitlan and destroyed the Aztec empire ... and the "mythic era" of Teotihuacan was somewhere around 100 CE, which was the same era as Trajan was emperor of Rome, 12 rulers past Caesar ... which in the western cultural time-line is, if not "yesterday", at least in a very easily conceptualized period. Somehow the vast metropolis of the Aztec capitol always seemed a more distant thing.

Like the Celtic book that I reviewed a day or so ago, this is heavily illustrated, bringing together materials from dozens of museums, etc., which certainly helps "bring home" the elements of the culture. Of course, most of the materials have had to come from archaeological kismet, as nearly all of the documentation from the Aztecs was destroyed in a campaign of cultural obliteration by the Catholic Church, and very nearly all gold, silver, and gemwork was purloined by the Spanish. Fortunately, in recent decades many significant finds have been made from the old Aztec capitol that escaped the monks and soldiers.

Frankly, there is a lot of unsettling material in here ... the Aztecs were "not nice people" by our own cultural standards, working in a mythos that demanded almost constant human sacrifice, which drove a culture that was militarized in such a way to provide a never-ending stream of captives to kill ... and the writers don't spare their readers much in terms of graphic descriptions. Again, I'd "been aware" of much of the material here, but it was quite an eye-opener to see it all presented as it was, and most of it was placed within a more in-depth cultural context than I'd seen it before.

Like the rest of the series, Aztecs: Reign of Blood and Splendor is out-of-print now, but you can get a "like new" copy from the Amazon new/used vendors for as little as a penny ... so if you'd like to take an unblinking look at the Aztec culture, you could pick this up for next to nothing! If I didn't have it already, I'd jump on that.

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