Nice interview at the beginning.
Massively influential, but hard to mourn his passing. Long but informative obit here.
Production-wise, the show hadn’t worked out how to achieve these bigger, more spectacular episodes. The writers loved them and the producers loved them. We all loved them. But there were people at the animation studio who were like, “We have to tell them to cut back. These are too complex.” Part of me is thinking, ‘We’re asking for a lot.’ But the artist, or even the kid, in me is thinking, ‘No, these are fucking awesome and we just have to figure out how to do them.’ I always leaned more that way, because I liked the ambitiousness of the episodes and where it took the show. From just a family comedy to these big, overwhelming animated pieces. They were like little movies.
– from An Oral History of ‘Marge Vs. The Monorail’, a great read. Season 4 is now regarded as peak Simpsons, but at the time there were already complaints that the show had lost its way.
My own town has toyed with the idea of a monorail as a solution to the mass transit problems that will only get worse.
The Virgin Hyperloop seems to have everone’s attention now.
But as I learned in a fantastic article here, we are basically re-inventing technology that already exists and not doing it well. Lemme transposplain to ya:
In a vacuum (a figurative one: an alternate universe in which the rest of the post-industrial world were not absolutely goddamn bursting with operating networks of authentic high-speed rail; where high-speed rail were not already such a well-developed form of transit that the TGV system, which routinely moves huge numbers of day-to-day commuters across large distances of France at speeds well more than twice that achieved by this sad two-person billion-dollar pod going from nowhere to nowhere across a tiny patch of worthless desert, were not both infinitely better and more sophisticated than any presently available commercial rail in the United States and fairly outmoded in comparison to newer [yet still not all that new!] systems in China and Japan and elsewhere) the Virgin Hyperloop could almost look like an impressive accomplishment.
On Hulu tomorrow.
Not sure what the quota is for remakes (at least #4, I think) but this looks fun. I rarely watch 1983 Dune, because Lynch has such distaste for it, but I caught the first 30 minutes the other day, and thought those sequences were amazing.
Just started reading No Country for Old Men last night, and somehow stumbled onto this video while eating breakfast. It’s a script-to-screen comparison of THAT scene. Brilliantly written, adapted, directed, acted, costumed, lit, shot, edited. It all has to be there for it to work this effectively.
Best YouTube comment regarding Chigurh’s motivation for the coin toss …
I think he would be fine with it either way. The way he sees it, it’s just. The coin makes the decision not him. If the coin says heads then he should be pitied, a worthless peasant able to finish out his life. If its tails, he should be despised for his weakness, a waste, and removed from the earth. Chigurh understands this, that he is both, and the coin simply dictates the action to be taken. So it doesn’t matter either way. There’s always a reason to kill him and there’s always a reason to spare him. So the coin will sort it out.
I’ve seen The Thing probably 30 times. Just watched it again the other night as a matter of fact, and it never occurred to me before that Childs-Thing tips his hand at the very end when MacReady offers him a drink AND HE TAKES IT. Carpenter even telegraphs this early in the film by having MacReady pour his J&B into the computer for cheating. My mind is blown.
Did anyone notice that Dead Stars put out a new record a couple months ago? Me neither!
Seriously. Clever and not easily thwarted.
Also reminded me of this bit from early Letterman, which I was delighted to find on the youtubes.
As some of our kids are rounding the bases on their senior year of high school, I thought I’d share a journal entry from 33 years ago. By the way, I don’t journal with any consistency, this was just something I did specifically for that school year. Sorry if this is lame, I’ll try to leave the boring parts out. But I often find myself trying to remember if we did the same stupid shit my son and his friends do now. Of course we did.
Friday, I turned in my English paper, went to Wendy’s for lunch with Mike and Jeff, then headed to Target for battery operated water guns. Afterwards, we went to graduation practice till about 3:15, then had the water fight to end all water fights. It started with water guns and balloons, then people started pulling out big buckets and coolers. David hit Mr. Phillips (our principal, who was a total dick) in the side of the head with a water balloon from about 35 to 40 feet. It was truly beautiful.
We did that until about 4:30 and then I squishily drove home to take a shower and get ready for our last high school dance ever. Eric’s band played but not many people showed up. They’d just started “Blister in the Sun” when this security guard came from nowhere and stopped the band mid-song. She said she had to end the dance because of all the “bad apples” getting in fights and drinking.
So the dance was over by about 10:30. Doug, Jeff, Mike, David and I met at my house and we decided to head Downtown. That was lame, and we ended up at a convenience store where I bought a bag of cookies and Coke. The highlight of the evening was seeing some guy laying out on some steps, possibly dead.
Sunday, I went to baccalaureate and then lunch with the family. I rented three movies from Blockbuster while we were out: Maniac, which I didn’t get to see, Westworld, and Shock Treatment, the sequel to RHPS. Bryan, Jay, and Mon came over to watch some of Shock Treatment with me before we went to the park to hang out with a bunch of people. When we first got there, Eric and Scott were racing around a parking lot median, in a Mercedes and Toyota Supra, respectively. Then Eric threw a log through the windshield of a car that appeared to be abandoned and took off. Everyone else (besides me, even then I knew this was idiotic) put dents in the sides and busted out the headlights for some strange reason. We made a fire at the pavilion while Katy, David, Doug, and Jay went to get s’mores fixings, Cokes, and chips. After they came back we told ghost stories.
The next day I went with Chris to alumni brunch, which had great cinnamon rolls. Later at graduation, Wade pulled out a long, red scarf as he walked across the stage. Mr. Phillips told him he would pay for that and tried to take away his diploma. I haven’t talked to Leigh Anne (a girlfriend I was ghosting) except on graduation night. She congratulated me. Today I wrote thank you notes and cleaned out my car. I’m thrilled to be graduated and can’t wait for summer – Florida is just around the corner. I’m getting scared of college (the unknown factor fear) but am excited all the same.