Camelot…Where They Sing From The Diaphragm A Lot… [Updated]

I watched the first episode of Starz’s Camelot series today (it debuts tomorrow evening, but I’m  magic).

I had no interest in it until yesterday, when it came to my attention that Eva Green was playing Morgan le Fey in it.

Eva Green.

As Morgana.

That said to me that someone, at least, had a clue.

So I checked it out. Watched about half of it, and had an “eh” reaction. The direction was sorta crap, especially at the very beginning. It was TV fantasy, not fantasy fantasy, with some really bad editing choices and “dramatic” camera angles that annoyed the hell out of me.

The guy playing Arthur was sorta callow and Teen-Beat. Eva Green was hot and intense (which are two things she can’t help but be, because she is, after all, Eva Green), but Morgan wasn’t that interesting. Joseph Fiennes was an intriguing Merlin, though…

Then it started coming together. The first half, I figured I’d never watch it again. The second half bought them the next episode at least.

Morgan’s conniving got more interesting. The callow young Arthur pulled out a spine, and the writers established him as an underdog in very interesting ways. Camelot itself was a revelation, an ancient Roman fortress abandoned and lost to wildness before being reclaimed by the new king. And Merlin got more and more charismatic and intriguing.

So, yeah. Check it out. It has promise.

I’m looking forward to seeing more direct conflict between Merlin and Morgan, myself…

[UPDATE: Upon further reflection, I just lack interest in this show. I think I may have been trying to convince myself just to look at Eva Green every week. But I haven’t watched it since.]

Malaprop 4: Wrath of the Malapro

“Don and Katy watched hypnotically Gino place more coffees out at another table with supreme balance.”

The usual mandate of my Malaprop posts is to share bits of bad writing I gather from sources all over the place (usually the net), ranging from the rabid comments sections of the blogosphere to the esteemed pages of the New York Times. I tend also to focus mainly on instances where people misuse words or phrases, like writing “they were chomping at the bent” instead of “they were champing at the bit.” Awful spelling, grammar, and generally fucked-up writing are all too easy to find on the web, so I don’t bother calling attention to them.

I also don’t source the screw-ups, as I’m not really trying to target anybody specifically for their errors.

Today, however, we have a very special episode of Malaprop. I will be showing you the latest batch of culls, of course (including a clever use of the word “armature” I got a kick out of), but also I’d like to introduce you to our first malapro, writer Jacqueline Howett.

Ms. Howett is a human being, and obviously a very emotional one, so I’m going to try to be as kind as I can…though simply sharing any of her writing (like the tidbit atop this post) and discussing her behavior is, in itself, gonna be innately rough on her. But I think discussing her is valuable because she’s a stark object lesson for any writers out there (or, really, artists of any ilk) in how not to act. Continue reading

Chain Lightnin’ (Song of the Week, 3/28/2011)

Huge thunder storm right now, here in lovely Decatur, in the wee hours, and I’m awake not because of my all too frequent insomnia, nor because of the storm itself, but because the weather service decided it was really important that people in the middle of a thunder storm know that they’re in the middle of a thunder storm, even at 3:27 am on a Monday morn.

So my phone, which is also my alarm (standing vigil till it has to awaken me at the now seemingly less ungodly hour of 5 am) starts vibrating loudly (the ringer being muted). And the buzzing drags me out of dreams, and I cannot return.

It’d be nice if I could set the emergency system to call me only if there’s an actual freaking threat, like a tornado, and not when there’s just another thunderstorm. But, alas, no.

Still, sitting here typing in the dark morning with thunder shaking the firmament, the susurration of  rain, and flashes of lightning through the open blinds is pretty damn cool.

I was going to offer up the classic Jackson Browne song “You Love the Thunder,” but it’s apparently not available anywhere online. I could change machines, dig up off my iPod, upload it…but nah. Instead, here’s the second tune that came to mind, .38 Special’s “Chain Lightnin’,” which I always loved back in high school.

Stay dry out there. Unless, you know, havin’ sex.

Introducing My New Monthly Column on Pulp Adventure: The Pulp Pit

A Typical Pulp Hero...

As I mentioned in the Song of the Week post yesterday, I have a new monthly column over at Inveterate Media Junkies. The first installment is now live and you can read it here:

I Am Doc Savage

The column is called “The Pulp Pit,” and as you might deduce, its subject is pulp. I’ll be covering whatever pulpy topics tickle my muse (or maybe cuddle my muse, since she’s not that fond of tickling), pointing out cool pulp stuff for people to enjoy, and reviewing books, comics, movies, games, TV shows, and whatever else as appropriate.

For those with possible review materials they think might be on-topic for a pulp column, please drop me a line at thepulppit at (just connect the two parts up with an @). I’m interested in any sort of pulpish media, old or new. I don’t want people just sending me things that stack up and I never get to, as that costs you money and both of us time. So tell me what it is, and if I think it’s something I might actually make time to read/watch/play/etc., I’ll tell you how to send it to me.

Regular readers of this blog  might have noticed a recent password-protected entry titled I Am Doc Savage (Pulp Pit # 1). Two weeks after a column appears on IMJ, I’ll remove the password and make the post public, so it’s available to readers here.

Cliffhanger Music (Song of the Week, 3/21/2011)

To commemorate my new monthly column on pulp, which debuts today at Inveterate Media Junkies, here’s John Williams’s perfect cliffhanger background music from Raiders of the Lost Ark…

And as a bonus, here’s Taylor Dayne’s “Original Sin,” the Jim “I Wrote All Meat Loaf’s Best Songs” Steinman creation used for the Alec Baldwin version of The Shadow

I Am Doc Savage (Pulp Pit # 1)

[This is a Pulp Pit column, originally published at Inveterate Media Junkies. These columns are exclusively available at their site for two weeks, then I make them available here on my blog.]

I am Doc Savage.

If you know me, you know that to the world at large, I am a strange, mysterious figure of glistening bronze skin and golden eyes. A man of superhuman strength and protean genius. My life is dedicated to the destruction of evil-doers. I am the greatest adventure hero of all time.

Now hear me out. Sure, I lack the bronze. My eyes are blue, and I tend toward what you might call an Irish tan, which is to say, freckles at best, charbroiled melanoma at worst. So, I’m not literally the original superman, standing tall with a tropic tan and eyes of swirled gold.

Nor do I live in the Empire State Building, have a team of action-packed scientist aides, or play a mean violin.

Plus, I don’t live in the early twentieth century.

So where do I get off saying that  I’m Doc Savage? Continue reading

The Real Chuck Norris Is So Chuck Norris… (UPDATED)

…I’d never let him in my house.

Chuck Norris is a tool. He’s a bad actor and an over-the-hill karate instructor and a particularly idiotic political commentator.

The jokes about him are often funny, but they aggrandize a man who should be allowed to wither in obscurity without the eyes of the world upon him. Granted the aggrandizement is largely ironic, but Norris is such a nitwit I’m sure he takes it all in as evidence of his place of respect in the world.

Back in May 2009, I took it upon myself to spend the day tossing out Facebook statuses which were Chuck Norris jokes that more properly belittled him. Offered below, for posterity, are my creations. I invite you to add more in the comments.

It’s a worthy cause. Continue reading

Regarding People Who Vote Against Their Own Interests

Walker, Wisconsin Danger

The following comes to you through a chain of association I hope will continue. I got it from Krista Smiling Wolf Hill, who got it from the blog of Al Stefanelli, who got it from his friend Joe Markey. It originated with someone posting in an online forum under the screen name “yeahIknow5.” I hope you’ll read it and pass it on in turn.

Reading it, I felt that it might well have been written about my own father, or any number of other folks I know who have locked-down minds and are easy prey for the authoritarian puppeteers of our world. Continue reading