Two of today's headlines from CNN.com:
This was also a day where a women dying after a freak collision with a sea ray got a lot of play.
Who is new New York governor David Patterson? I mean really. When nobody is looking, who is he? Here's a theory:
Patterson was left blind by a childhood ear infection.
Daredevil was blinded by a childhood accident with radioactive waste.
Patterson's father served as Secretary Of State of New York, setting an example that his son would have to struggle to live up to.
Daredevil remains haunted by the death of his father, killed by gangster's after refusing to throw a fight.
Patterson has a law degree.
So does Daredevil.
Patterson: Tortured romantic history.
Daredevil: See above.
I guess what I'm getting at is that while I'm not sure there are tights and a fighting stick in Patterson's closet, I'm not sure there's not.
Barack Obama delivered a speech yesterday that a) excellently defused the Rev. Wright controversy b) demanded that this political season be played on higher ground and c) revealed the soul beneath the politician. I thought I might have overestimated its effectiveness until I read an editorial than went even further than I was thinking.
Not everyone got it, however. Here's how it appeared in the headline feed at CNN.com:
In the Box Of Paperbacks post that went up today I wrote about Wolfshead, a 1968 collection of miscellaneous Robert E. Howard stories. It was packaged, like the paperback collections of his Conan stories, with a cover featuring Frank Frazetta art, in this case a slightly censored version of the painting below (as always, click to enlarge):
One of my readers commented that "The Howard and E.R. Burroughs boom [of the 1960s and '70s] was the result of the Frazetta covers as much as the stories." I don't think he/she is right but they certainly played their part. Frazetta is the definitive adult fantasy artist. And one whose work fills me with profoundly mixed feelings. As I wrote back, "Every bit of good taste and refinement in me wants to resist all those image of musclemen, dripping swords, heavy-breasted women, and scowling animals but I can't. His stuff is amazing." It's all that's leering, and sexist, and simpleminded in fantasy and science fiction but it also accesses the parts of those genres that reach directly to the id. I shouldn't overthink it. If I can like Brahms and The Cramps and I can like Mondrian and Frazetta.
That's not even the point of this post. The point was to spotlight a few weird Frazetta corners I found in researching that Wolfshead post. Namely, a couple of paintings done for L. Ron Hubbard Novels.
This is The Lieutenant from Final Blackout, a Box Of Paperbacks subject I covered (pretty unfavorably) here:
And this is a puny Man-Animal doing battle with an alien in Battlefield Earth. (If the movie looked like this, it would have been much better):
Finally, here's a piece of art from From Dusk Til Dawn I'd never seen before, with Salma Hayek in full Vampirella mode and Frazetta renderings of Tarantino, George Clooney, and Juliette Lewis:
Again, that's much better than the movie I remember. Maybe, if they'd used that as the poster, it would have drawn a bigger audience. Maybe that guy who wanted to credit Burroughs' and Howard's latter-day success to Frazetta was on to something.
Hulu, NBC and Fox's joint online video venture debuted today and it's pretty neat. Scott Tobias and I both signed up to be early users. He got accepted; I did not. But via his login I've been playing around with it for a little while. Now that it's a fully operational Death Star of a site it's even more impressive. You can embed whole movies in your blog, if you choose, in addition to TV shows from The Office to Galactica 1980. Users can also watch them on the Hulu site and the quality is impressive.
But one of the neatest features has to be the ability to trim clips. Like, say, you just wanted to share the part of Boat Trip when Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sanz realize they've accidentally signed up for a gay cruise, gay Roger Moore and all:
Oh, Boat Trip. As if seeing you once for professional reasons wasn't bad enough, you came back to me like a bad meal last fall when my dad was in the hospital. One of his succession of bad roommates was a grotesquely overweight man prone to make room-clearing use of his bedpan in ways that were pleasing to none of the senses. He also liked to play his TV at maximum volume. Consequently we once spent a Sunday morning in a fetid hospital room while a TBS showing of Boat Trip blared in the background. I can laugh about it now. Kind of.
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