Thursday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Top this one Bill: Philippines local police chief killed by fighting cockerel

    Officer was taking part in raid on cockfights when one of the birds severed his femoral artery

    3
  2. CSK says:

    Here’s an article about Michael Reynolds (Michael Grant) and Katherine Applegate. Michael had mentioned pulling the plug on the Animorphs project:

    http://www.cbr.com/animorphs-creators-exit-film-adaptation-creative-differences/

    5
  3. Bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Top this one Bill: Philippines local police chief killed by fighting cockerel

    That was my headline of the day. I would have posted it already except this forum didn’t come up till after i had taken my morning walk.

    You won’t beat my Florida one.

  4. Bill says:
  5. Bill says:
  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    My headline of the day contribution:

    Woman allegedly pretended to be a prosecutor and filed paperwork to drop charges against herself

    I encourage you to click through to see her legendary give-no-shits mugshot.

    1
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Points for chutzpah if nothing else.

  8. MarkedMan says:

    @Bill: And the guy was a registered Republican. Florida is so weird in so many ways. Truly the Indiana of the South…

    1
  9. CSK says:

    Come on. Can any of you beat this headline:

    “Ohio Man Facing Charges for Having Sex with a Picnic Table.”
    — March 8, 2008, fox19.com

    Thought not.

    1
  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    @MarkedMan:

    We prefer to be thought of as the Florida of the North.

    1
  11. Scott says:

    The last few days I’ve (and the rest of us) have been thinking about the Supreme Court and its actions and behavior. What would happen if a state, after a SC ruling, just said: No, we are not agreeing with the Supreme Court, we will do this instead? Would there be a constitutional crisis?
    Would the Federal Government try to use force/ A couple of days ago, I referenced Dred Scott, as a case where the SC tried to settle an issue with disastrous consequences. We also discussed legal vs legitimate. We’ve been talking about the hypocrisy and public fiction of Supreme Court justices wrapping their personal opinions in legalese.

    Well, here is an article that explores a lot of those same thoughts:

    The Supreme Court Is Begging For a Legitimacy Crisis

    At a minimum, we are now about to find out what it is like when the Supreme Court joins the rest of us on the low ground — liberated from the pretense that it is anything but another arena in the battle for power.

    For a generation, the words and actions of the justices themselves — combined with an infusion of partisanship and ideological warfare into judicial appointments in which both parties are culpable but Republicans more so — have shredded the mystique on which the High Court rests.

    After the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore — in which Republican-appointed conservatives overrode their supposed preference for deferring to states and for narrow interpretations of their constitutional authority to order an end to vote-counting in Florida — Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a blistering dissent. He warned of the damage the majority had done to public confidence in the Court: “Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today’s decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

    When Roberts sermonizes about independent judges and a nonpartisan judiciary, he is demonstrating the old adage that hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue. He isn’t describing the reality of the judiciary as it is, or perhaps even as it will ever be, but he is describing an ideal that people should at least try to approximate. It is dangerous when a democracy lets go of hypocrisy altogether.

    6
  12. Scott says:

    @CSK: My kids were avid Percy Jackson fans and when that movie came out, they were outraged. Not only was the plot changes, it was changed in a way that made sequels (at lease sequels that follows the book sequels) impossible. The whole movie series just collapsed.

    2
  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Links or it didn’t happen. 🙂

  14. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    I know three novelists whose books were ruined (in my and their opinion) by what Hollywood did to them. This is an old, old story. The saying is: “Good book, bad movie.” Most of what makes a book good doesn’t translate to the screen anyway.

    The other day I mentioned that the better part of wisdom in dealing with show biz is to get the option money, get the purchase price, and then pray they don’t make the movie.

    4
  15. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Google is your friend. 😀

  16. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Scott:

    What would happen if a state, after a SC ruling, just said: No, we are not agreeing with the Supreme Court, we will do this instead? Would there be a constitutional crisis?

    Barrett brought this up in her confirmation hearings. I’d have to go looking for the exact quote, but it was essentially: We may be the last word when it comes to the law, but we have no power to enforce our decisions.

    We have always followed what SCOTUS said because… “Mom & Dad said so”–we trusted in the system even if we disagreed with the decisions.

    Now…? I have no fracking clue.

    4
  17. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: The extended editions of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is the only case I can think of where I felt like I understood the books better after watching the movie.

    Unfortunately, his “The Hobbit” seemed to fall into the Percy Jackson mode.

    2
  18. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Occasionally that happens. One of the reasons that no one has ever (to my knowledge) been able to make a decent movie version of The Great Gatsby is that it runs on its prose style, which is marvelous. And prose style doesn’t translate to the screen.

    On the other hand, a truly shitty book–lousy prose, ludicrous plot, flat characters, abysmal dialogue–will sometime provide the basis for a halfway decent movie, if you like action movies. Sylvester Stallone once said that his ideal screenplay would consist of one word. He didn’t say what that word was.

    3
  19. Teve says:
  20. Teve says:

    The best Project Lincoln ad yet
    the Covey Spreader

    3
  21. Teve says:
  22. Jen says:

    @Teve: Yep.

    I have a friend who recovered from covid who was recently diagnosed with Celiac, which is an autoimmune disease. Her doctor believes this was set in motion by covid. I’ve also previously linked to articles that show some post-covid patients in India developed a strange hybrid of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes after recovering.

    2
  23. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    Sylvester Stallone once said that his ideal screenplay would consist of one word. He didn’t say what that word was.

    “Adrian!”

    3
  24. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    😀 Probably.

    1
  25. Teve says:

    The Economist: why it has to be Biden

    Donald Trump has desecrated the values that make America a beacon to the world

  26. Mu Yixiao says:

    Presented without comment:

    Mr Farage said of Mr Trump: “This is the single most resilient and bravest person I have ever met in my life.”

    2
  27. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Farage needs to get out more.

    6
  28. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @MarkedMan: Actually, the way I heard it, it would have two words: “Yo, Adrian!”

    1
  29. JohnMcC says:

    @Scott: “What would happen if after a SC ruling a state just said: No….”

    Two words: Nullification Crisis.

    3
  30. Teve says:

    “First you could get corona, now you can get hypothermia? By the end of the weekend, Trump is just going to be tossing snakes out into the crowd.”

    -trevor noah

    1
  31. sam says:
  32. Kathy says:

    Speaking of movies, the other day I caught the tail end of Terminator 2, specifically when the T-1000 crashes the liquid nitrogen tanker truck into the steel mill.

    I had never noticed before how bad the climactic sequence and ending is.

    Oh, it’s well executed, with lots of action, suspense, and thrills. it just makes no logical sense.

    1) When the T-1000 is frozen by the liquid nitrogen, the T-800, aka Arnold, should have carried the frozen form over to the nearest batch of molten steel and dumped it there, ending the movie without further injuries.

    2) Having missed option 1) (see above), the T-800 shoots the T-1000, shattering it into pieces. The pieces thaw from the heat of the steel mill and begin to coalesce. T-800 says “we don’t have much time.” We see the T-1000 reconstitute itself, and out intrepid heroes are still there. They don’t take advantage of the short pause to put distance between themselves and the killing machine hunting them.

    3) Proving stupidity is not limited to the good guys, T-1000 hunts down Sarah Connor (who does another short wait to allow the machine to reassemble after she shoots it with a shotgun), disarms her, and tries to get her to call John over. Ok, since this machine can take any form and imitate any voice, which we’ve seen several times, why doesn’t it just kill Sarah, take her form and call John itself? Take out a dangerous enemy and get closer to the target.

    4
  33. Gustopher says:

    I don’t know how I went through my life not knowing about this:

    It was Coney Island in the early 1900’s. Beyond the Four-Legged Woman, the sword swallowers, and “Lionel the Lion-Faced Man,” was an entirely different exhibit: rows of tiny, premature human babies living in glass incubators.

    Barkers, including a young Cary Grant, called out to passersby, enticing visitors to come see the preemies.

    The brainchild of this exhibit was Dr. Martin Couney, an enigmatic figure in the history of medicine. Couney created and ran incubator-baby exhibits on the island from 1903 to the early 1940s, and though he died in relative obscurity, he was one of the great champions of this lifesaving technology and is credited with saving the lives of thousands of the country’s premature babies.

    It’s a wonderful story. Man provides a greater quality of care than most contemporary hospitals can provide, charges the parents nothing, and funds it through gawking strangers.

    ——
    Now I finally understand what the Lou Reed song “Coney Island Baby” is about.

    3
  34. Jen says:

    The Wisconsin Republican Party apparently fell for a phishing scam, inadvertently paying $2.3 million to the scammers.

    They keep calling it “hackers” but there’s no evidence of that, it’s a classic phishing attack.

    Hitt said the hackers manipulated invoices from four vendors who were being paid for direct mail for Trump’s reelection efforts as well as for pro-Trump material such as hats to be handed out to supporters. Invoices and other documents were altered so when the party paid them for the services rendered, the money went to the hackers instead of the vendors, Hitt said.

    1
  35. Teve says:

    @Kathy: why does Skynet keep futzing around and sending killer robots to years where both John and Sarah Connor are fairly physically capable? Why didn’t it originally send the T-800 to 1970, find 5 yro Sarah Connor on a kindergarten playground, and tear her limb from limb?

    4
  36. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The extended editions of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is the only case I can think of where I felt like I understood the books better after watching the movie.

    The exception that proves the rule. Probably because LOTR is written to have pages and pages of purely descriptive text that actually converted better to a screen image than reading them did (my professional writing wife can get VERY snarky about LOTR as a novel). As a book goes, it was remarkably easy to replace massive sections with a screen backdrop for the action to take place because it turns out there is remarkably little action over the 3 novels 🙂

    3
  37. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Gustopher:

    I knew about that. It was on QI quite a few years back.

    The guy tried to sell the incubators to hospitals, but none of them would buy. So he went to Coney Island. When it became successful (in more ways than one), the hospitals started buying them.

    1
  38. Teve says:

    @mediaite

    WATCH: MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Asks if Joe Biden is Taking Covid ‘Too Seriously’

    If you want to know how Shitty tv news is, I stopped watching Meet the Press because Tim Russert was so godawful, and Chuck Todd is distinctly worse than him.

    @ParkerMolloy

    Can we put Chuck Todd in a catapult and launch him into the sun?

    2
  39. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: That’s news in Ohio?

    My next door neighbor had a particularly fetching mailbox, which attracted the amorous intentions of a local man. Every few days she would spot him, and scream at him, and chase him away to protect the maidenhood of her mailbox.

    She called the police one time, and they said they would be right there, but they came after he had, and they were not about to use a rape kit on a mailbox. She had photographs, but they were poor quality.

    The attacks upon the postal service continued, and the police pulled out the big binder of sex offenders in our neighborhood. She failed to recognize the post box paramour, but she did recognize the guy on the bus, the guy who took walks every day, the guy who had the nice dog, the guy at the grocery… many, many sex offenders.

    She kept up her vigil, chasing the man off and photographing, and the police did their part, dropping by with photographs of various public masturbators, until by chance they had picked up her mailbox’s lover who was caught cheating on her mailbox with a lawn ornament a few blocks over.

    Despite identifying the man, and helping convict him, she didn’t quite feel safe, as she saw all the other sex offenders in the neighborhood every time she went out. She sold her house and moved to another neighborhood where she couldn’t recognize the sex offenders.

    3
  40. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Ok, since this machine can take any form and imitate any voice, which we’ve seen several times, why doesn’t it just kill Sarah, take her form and call John itself?

    TV Tropes gets into a discussion about this (under the heading “The T- 1000 can’t call John”).

    4
  41. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK:

    The saying is: “Good book, bad movie.” Most of what makes a book good doesn’t translate to the screen anyway.

    The exceptions are so rare as to be notable. The Princess Bride is probably my best example; the book and movie are very different, but both wonderful.

    Conversely, you can sometimes make a great movie from a truly awful book. Examples that spring to mind include:
    Jaws
    The Hunger
    Three Days of the Condor
    …others?

    2
  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    Last week we were mulling over whether Trump will flee the country, so has another.

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/10/28/is-president-donald-trump-a-flight-risk-433313?cid=apn

    I still believe he is a greater risk to suicide.

  43. Teve says:
  44. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Why does it send only one killer robot that our intrepid heroes now know how to defeat?

    Terminator Genysis, the movie that wasn’t, was quite bad, but I liked the notion that Sarah and Pops could systematically take out Terminators with relative ease.

    For that matter, in Men in Black III, why does O send just J back instead of like the whole MIB field agent complement? They’d have dealt with Boris and deployed the Arcnet in five minutes.

    Why did Boris tip his hand by attacking K in the present?

    I could go on. It may be possible to pick apart the plot of every movie like this (fun, or massive film pooper?) But I must say that prior to Trump, I thought making a bad decision after bad decision was confined to movie plot devices.

    1
  45. Bill says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Jaws
    The Hunger
    Three Days of the Condor
    …others?

    The Godfather

    1
  46. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve: Thanks. I had forgotten Planet of the Apes; that’s a good one. I haven’t read the books for the others, though I guessed that The Godfather probably wasn’t very good.

    How was The Caine Mutiny (Wouk) or The African Queen as a novel?

  47. Mu Yixiao says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Conversely, you can sometimes make a great movie from a truly awful book.

    I have a good friend that does the opposite: He’s hired to write the novelizations for movies, games, and even toys. He also writes “back stories” for toys and games.

    When Star Trek (JJ Abrams) came out, the company with the toy license hired him to write scenarios for their “away mission” toy set. He requested a few sets, and spent a few days playing with his kids (5 of them). He went from something like 5 missions to a few hundred–just by adding a few extra lines to the communicators and tricorders. 🙂

    I know he’s making enough money to live nicely and put 5 kids through college, but I still have to laugh at some of the things he’s asked to write. 🙂

    2
  48. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT:

    The Princess Bride is probably my best example; the book and movie are very different, but both wonderful.

    I actually think that’s one of the more faithful book-to-movie adaptations, in no small part because Goldman was the screenwriter. It takes out a lot (particularly regarding the somewhat meta frame story, as well as some of the back stories of characters and the history of the lands), but the stuff it keeps in is taken almost directly from the book, down to much of the dialogue.

    The underrated movie Holes is an example of a very good and faithful adaptation of a children’s book. (“Faithful” isn’t the same thing as “good,” but in this case the two go hand in hand.)

    I recently wrote about some of my problem with fantasy adaptations on the big screen. Harry Potter and LOTR are exceptions, and even they have problems. The recent Artemis Fowl (sent to Disney+ rather than getting its theatrical release postponed because, I suspect, the distributors knew they had a stinker on their hands) was amazingly bad.

    2
  49. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: The trailer for Artemis Fowl looked visually interesting, so when it came out and I saw it got one of the lowest scores I’ve ever seen on rotten tomatoes, I asked a young friend what was up with it, because I heard that the books were really well liked. He said he couldn’t even pick out what was so terrible about it, because literally every single thing was terrible about it from start to finish.

    2
  50. Sleeping Dog says:

    The screen adaption of LOTR’s worked for a couple of reasons, they followed the trilogy and did 3 movies, not trying to condense the books to one or two movies, all were shot concurrently, so there was no substituting actors and computer animation technology was advanced enough to make the fantasy scenes believable.

    1
  51. JohnSF says:

    @MarkedMan:
    @Just Another Ex-Republican:
    Denethor should sue.

    As massive LOTR nerd, I thought the films were well done in their own terms, but they really mangled the story in places, or got some characters dead wrong in one way or another.
    And the thing is, that the mangling wasn’t essential to making the films work as films.
    (Except leaving out Bombadil I suppose; and perhaps the “Scouring of the Shire”)

    And as for the Hobbit films, I think Dain speaks for us all when the giant worm-things emerge in the Battle of the Five Armies

    “Oh, COME ON!”

    3
  52. JohnSF says:

    I have an alternative Florida headline of the day suggestion:
    Man mauled by leopard behind Davie home
    Who knew the Leopards-Eating-Peoples-Faces Party was campaigning so hard?

  53. Teve says:

    @JohnSF:

    As massive LOTR nerd, I thought the films were well done in their own terms, but they really mangled the story in places, or got some characters dead wrong in one way or another.
    And the thing is, that the mangling wasn’t essential to making the films work as films.

    I had a longtime friend who had read the books over and over, and when the movies came out he was angry and he said basically exactly what you are saying.

  54. JohnSF says:

    Latest shock revelation Hunter Biden nonsense; and it is hilarious:
    Tucker Carlson says

    Damning Hunter Biden documents suddenly vanish

    ROFLMAO.

    2
  55. Mikey says:

    @Kathy: This following of script at the apparent expense of logic reminded me of something I read about the movie “Titanic,” and why sometimes it has to go that way even if it doesn’t make “sense.”

    The Mythbusters did some calculation of the size of the door Rose floats on and determined Jack could have gotten on there, too, and lived. They took their findings to James Cameron, who basically said, “the script says he dies, so he dies.” But then he expanded, saying “the movie is about love and loss, if Jack lives, the whole thing is kind of meaningless.”

    I mean, if T-1000 offs Sarah and becomes her and calls John over and does him in, then why have a movie at all?

    And don’t get me started on how Indiana Jones is an entirely irrelevant character in the first Indiana Jones movie…

    1
  56. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:
    A great story, well told. Thank you.

    @DrDaveT: @Teve: @Kylopod:

    Goldman was a talented novelist as well as talented screenwriter, so I’m not surprised TPB worked as well as it did.

    I once had a conversation with Stephen McCauley, and he was upset that Wendy Wasserstein didn’t use one line of dialogue from the book in her screenplay for the movie of The Object of My Affection. She also made Nina the main character and reduced George to a secondary role.

  57. Kylopod says:

    @Mikey:

    And don’t get me started on how Indiana Jones is an entirely irrelevant character in the first Indiana Jones movie…

    Huh? He’s the one who finds the ark!

  58. Teve says:

    @Mikey:

    And don’t get me started on how Indiana Jones is an entirely irrelevant character in the first Indiana Jones movie…

    I will get you started on that. Irrelevant? Pray tell.

    1
  59. BugManDan says:

    @JohnSF: I liked the LOTR movies, but they were not as good as the books. If only they would have waited for the current love of limited series on Netflix, etc. LOTR as a 1-2 season show could have been nearly perfect.

  60. Teve says:

    @ssamcham

    That we’re all sweating bullets about the result, when a candidate is up 9 points in the polls with a few days left and many of the votes cast, tells you how little faith anyone has that our system will translate the popular majority into political power.

    7
  61. Kathy says:

    @Mikey:

    I saw the Mythbusters Titanic ep (I think I’ve seen them all, great show).

    I mean, if T-1000 offs Sarah and becomes her and calls John over and does him in, then why have a movie at all?

    Well, no. T-1000 kills Sarah, calls John into a trap, and T-800 rides heroically to the rescue. But then who pushes the button to melt T-800 and secure the future, and who narrates the epilogue? So that does’t work either. Ok, then T-1000 tries to kill Sarah, but is saved at the last second by John, who disobeyed her and risked his life and humanity’s future to save her.

    Hard to believe? Yes. But it makes sense.

  62. Gustopher says:

    @DrDaveT: Closely Watched Trains is an excellent movie and book — I think this is something done better everywhere but here.

    Hollywood movies tend to have a really narrow range of what makes a good movie, so books get bent towards that in the screenwriting. Particularly recently.

    (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest was a fine movie and book, if I recall correctly, and I shudder to think of it as a Micheal Bay production now)

    1
  63. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest was a fine movie and book

    I’d agree about that, though there were significant differences between the two, and on balance I’d place the movie a bit higher. Ratched is more cartoonishly evil in the book; it deals more directly with the mental illnesses of the patients, which are ironically somewhat ignored in the film; there’s some troubling racism, less so in the film–though ironically it’s only in the book that Bromden is the viewpoint character, since Hollywood in the ’70s, with rare exceptions, didn’t put nonwhite actors in starring roles with a mostly white cast. Ken Kesey was something of a Timothy Leary, LSD enthusiast, and it can be seen in Bromden’s supposedly schizophrenic visions in the novel.

    The production history of the film is fascinating. Kirk and Michael Douglas tried to get it made for over a decade before it was greenlit; executives found the material too subversive and unsettling. It was originally supposed to star Kirk Douglas, who starred in the play, but he got too old.

    1
  64. Teve says:

    @AOC

    Republicans are Very Mad (again) about my appearance. This time they’re mad that I look good in borrowed clothes (again).

    Listen, if Republicans want pointers on looking your best, I’m happy to share.

    Tip #1: Drink water and don’t be racist

    5
  65. MarkedMan says:

    @DrDaveT: I don’t know if it qualifies as a great movie, but “Forest Gump” seems to have come from a pretty bad book. I didn’t actually read it, but when the movie came out I was living in Atlanta (or New Orleans?) and the local alternative news weekly got some grief about how they had panned the book. Their answer was to republish the review, which was lengthy and quoted extensively from the book and, dang, it sounded horrible. Basically, meaner, and consisting of a novels worth of jokes about just how stupid Forest really was.

    1
  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy:

    why doesn’t it just kill Sarah, take her form and call John itself? Take out a dangerous enemy and get closer to the target.

    As far as I can tell, this must be the reason.

    ETA: Or, maybe it makes for poor cinema because the movie is too short to release then.

  67. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: I am among a small group of people in the world who read Forrest Gump before seeing the movie. It’s more whimsical and outlandish than the film–there’s a sequence where Gump goes into space with chimpanzees, I kid you not–but a lot less focused, more episodic. Even the author (Winston Groom) agreed the movie was better. I think that was also the case for another Zemeckis film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, though in that case I haven’t read the novel (called Who Censored Roger Rabbit, where the toons were from newspaper comics rather than animated films).

    While we’re on the topic of authors’ reactions to adaptations, Stephen King is an interesting case. He thinks the 1976 Carrie was an improvement over his novel, and I think a lot of people would agree. He famously hated the 1980 The Shining, despite its acclaim and cult following (though that was gradual–it received mixed reviews upon its release and Razzie nominations, and frankly I think it’s overrated), and it pushed him to do the 1990s miniseries and the sequel Doctor Sleep (which I haven’t read or seen yet). He loves the movie versions of Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption, and I definitely agree. But he also liked the altered ending to 2007’s The Mist, and I find that baffling.

    1
  68. Tyrell says:

    I wonder when the Dodgers will have their victory celebration and parade. I would like to attend and see some of the Dodger greats. When I was young I saw Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax pitch back to back in Atlanta.
    There is a famous video of Herman Munster of “The Munsters” fame trying out for the Dodgers! Hilarious! The famous baseball coach Leo Dorothea and some Dodger players are in it.
    “Herman Munsters tries out for the Dodgers!” video.

    1
  69. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Tyrell:

    Maybe when they get out of quarantine.

  70. Mikey says:

    @Kylopod:

    But he also liked the altered ending to 2007’s The Mist, and I find that baffling.

    Oh my god do I absolutely despise that ending. I have never been so pissed off at the ending of something and I watched all of the last season of Game of Thrones.

    1
  71. al Ameda says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Mr Farage said of Mr Trump: “This is the single most resilient and bravest person I have ever met in my life.”

    Round up the proctologists, we need a search party to find little Nigel.

    2
  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I wouldn’t have expected it to be particularly good. I work middle school a fair amount and in the schools where the students have programs that encourage more reading, I see lots of kids reading lots of books, but Artemis Fowl has been more in the library than in the halls in kids’ hands.

    Small sample, I know, but I’ve seen lots of series that seem more popular.

  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mikey:

    And don’t get me started on how Indiana Jones is an entirely irrelevant character in the first Indiana Jones movie…

    Had to think about it for a moment, but good point!! The whole movie can happen without him. Totally!

  74. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Almost.

    I think if the bad guys hadn’t followed him to Nepal, they wouldn’t have found Marion’s medallion and thus the ark.

    Of course, then the ark remains undisturbed underground in Egypt rather than in a warehouse in America. Same difference.

    Strictly speaking, for the rest of the movie Dr. Jones is irrelevant to the outcome, but not to the story. Come, the convoy scene was one of the best stunt performances of all time.

  75. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    King said that Frank Darabont explained to him that movies, unlike novels, novellas, or short stories, can’t have ambiguous endings. I myself was told something very similar by a producer.

  76. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Remember, though, they didn’t find the ark; Indy did. Their run-in with Marion in Nepal resulted in Toht burning his hand on the medallion and getting the wrong measurements for finding the ark.

    This whole “Indy was irrelevant to Raiders” is a meme that’s been going around for years (it was even featured in an episode of Big Bang Theory). The tone of this argument is always that it proves a fatal flaw in the movie and ruins one’s childhood. Part of the problem with this claim is that, as mentioned, it isn’t strictly accurate. Indy definitely makes a difference to the outcome of the story. If he’d done nothing at the beginning, the Nazis wouldn’t have found the ark. If he’d done nothing after their run-in in Nepal, they also wouldn’t have found it. They found it because he found it, and then they snatched it from him. He also could have blown it up at the end, but chose not to.

    What this meme is really a reaction to is the fact that Indy doesn’t save the day at the end. He remains tied up with Marion, while the spirits of the ark finish off the Nazis (a literal deus ex machina), which they would have done anyway even if Indy had never gone after the Nazis to get it back after they took it from him. His only significant act in that scene is closing his eyes and getting Marion to follow suit, thus saving the two from God’s wrath. When people say Indy was irrelevant, they seem to be basing it entirely on the climax and forgetting the process by which the story got to that point.

    Moreover, the movie’s final scene is clearly emphasizing the irony that nothing was accomplished in the end–that’s by design.

    3
  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: Proving once again that life is far stranger than fiction.

  78. Tyrell says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I would like to see a sort of barnstorming tour of the country. Years ago the famous Stanley Cup came nearby and I got some nice pictures.
    Famous championship trophies: Borg-Warner: Indy 500 winner, Stanley Cup: hockey, Lombardi Trophy: NFL Super Bowl winner, Cy Young Award; best MLB pitcher, Heisman Trophy: best college football player, and the World Cup: soccer.

    1
  79. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    King said that Frank Darabont explained to him that movies, unlike novels, novellas, or short stories, can’t have ambiguous endings.

    I can’t agree with that as an absolute principle (I can think of a lot of great movies with ambiguous endings), but there are times when this kind of change works, and the most relevant example regarding Darabont is The Shawshank Redemption. I think that was actually due to studio interference, which gets a bad rap but in this case it worked to the movie’s benefit. And I’m not saying the book’s ambiguous ending is necessarily a flaw in the book. But the movie contains one of the most emotionally exhilarating endings I’ve ever seen in a film, and it really needed that unambiguous final payoff; anything less would have been a letdown.

    The end of 2007’s The Mist was just stupid. People talk about it as being a “punch in the gut,” but I can take a dark ending when it’s earned. The problem is that it’s a blatant deus ex machina, and the way it leads up to it is contrived and unconvincing. It’s also a ripoff of the end of Shaun of the Dead (albeit with a slightly different outcome), which worked better in that context because it was a comedy, and therefore has an easier time getting away with a deus ex machina.

  80. DrDaveT says:

    @JohnSF:

    As massive LOTR nerd, I thought the films were well done in their own terms, but they really mangled the story in places, or got some characters dead wrong in one way or another.

    Concur.

    It took me a long time to get over the way Peter Jackson replaced the character of Aragorn from the book with some guy with the same name and polar opposite temperament, motivation, and complexity. I eventually concluded that Jackson is just so deeply personally republican (small r) that he couldn’t stomach making a movie with an actual aristocrat as a protagonist. It took me a while to figure it out; Americans tend to be totally oblivious to how deeply bipolar the former British Empire is on the topic of monarchs. It’s easier for us to romanticize them.

    2
  81. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: The famous baseball coach Leo Dorothea and

    Are you perhaps thinking of Leo Durocher?

  82. Bill says:

    The OMG, are they nuts? Sports headline of the day-

    Chicago White Sox name Tony La Russa, 76, new manager

    The White Sox have done this before too. Dig up an old manager of theirs*. After the 1954 season, Manager Paul Richards left the WS to take the manager’s job of the Baltimore Orioles. 22 years later, Richards was rehired to manage Chicago. He only lasted one season.

    *-I knew this without the accompanying ESPN sidebar because I play lots of 1950s Strat-O-Matic baseball plus Bill James in one of his baseball books wrote an article about Richards.

  83. DrDaveT says:

    @BugManDan:

    LOTR as a 1-2 season show could have been nearly perfect.

    LOL, the Council of Elrond would have been two entire episodes all by itself.

  84. Bill says:

    @Tyrell:

    There is a famous video of Herman Munster of “The Munsters” fame trying out for the Dodgers! Hilarious!

    Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster, was the stepson of early 1960’s MLB outfielder* Ken Hunt. Hunt was also in that episode.

    *- In the early 1960s, there were two MLB players named Ken Hunt. The other was a pitcher. Don’t say it, I play too much Strat-O-Matic baseball.

    1
  85. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    What this meme is really a reaction to is the fact that Indy doesn’t save the day at the end.

    That, and the fact that the ark is supposed to be this great, dangerous artifact we cannot let the Nazis lay their hands on, and it ends up stashed away in some warehouse, never to be seen again. Kind of like the whole movie, save the opening sequence in South America, was for nothing.

    Well, then, who the hell cares whether Indy had any influence in the outcome? It’s all about the action sequences and stunts.

    Hell imagine if in Star wars all of the struggles by Luke, Han, Leia, Lando, Ben, etc. succeeded in overthrowing the Empire and Palpatine, only so they’d both resurrect somehow and cause trouble to them and their children?

    Oh, wait.

    3
  86. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK:

    King said that Frank Darabont explained to him that movies, unlike novels, novellas, or short stories, can’t have ambiguous endings. I myself was told something very similar by a producer.

    That sounds like a challenge! Movies with ambiguous endings…
    I’ll start with “Being There”. Who’s next?

  87. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT: There are too many to count, but what’s remarkable about that statement (assuming it’s being quoted accurately) is that ambiguous endings are a staple of the horror genre, particularly apocalyptic horror. Did Darabont ever see The Birds? The original ending to The Mist is pretty much along the same lines.

  88. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Well, then, who the hell cares whether Indy had any influence in the outcome? It’s all about the action sequences and stunts.

    And that’s pretty much just a restatement of Hitchcock’s principle of the MacGuffin.

  89. Bill says:

    @DrDaveT:

    That sounds like a challenge! Movies with ambiguous endings…
    I’ll start with “Being There”. Who’s next?

    I love Being There!

    At the end of the movie, people are discussing Chauncey Gardner as a candidate for President. I’d vote for him over the two nincompoops running right now.

  90. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    That, and the fact that the ark is supposed to be this great, dangerous artifact we cannot let the Nazis lay their hands on, and it ends up stashed away in some warehouse, never to be seen again.

    Don’t worry, Sméagol will stumble across it eventually.

    (Oops, I crossed the streams…)

    2
  91. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    With respect to the ambiguous ending, it depends on the kind of movie you want to make and, more importantly, the kind of audience to which you want to appeal. An ambiguous ending works mostly in films that are intended for an intelligent audience, i.e., adults who read and have sophisticated tastes. That would be disastrous for a blockbuster that’s intended to draw in zillions of adolescents worldwide. Judging from what Darabont told King, Darabont wanted to make a movie with the widest possible appeal.

    I’m sure you’ve encountered the saying that movies are made with 15-year-old boys in mind, which is why so many of them consist of an endless sequence of car chases, car wrecks, explosions, naked bodies, shootings, more car chases, more wrecks, more explosions, etc. for 120 minutes. That’s a generalization, of course, but there’s a lot of truth to it.

  92. JohnMcC says:

    Sorry to post this on the movie–novel thread, but interesting item in WaPo says Glenn Greenwald has resigned/been fired from the Intercept (which he founded). Seems he was recycling the Hunter Biden/Burisma story and when challenged on some of his ‘facts’ … he quit.

    Maybe we learned who purloined Tucker’s letter.

    3
  93. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I’m quoting King accurately, if that’s what you’re asking.

  94. Bill says:

    @DrDaveT: Capricorn One is another. The future Mr. Barbra Streisand is saved by the future Mr. Streisand but we’re left to wonder about the scandal and what becomes of Hal Holbrook’s character? A cell on Texas death row…..

  95. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT:
    It’s also quite possible that Darabont had other reasons for wanting to change the ending, and he told King what he did because it was the most graceful way out of a difficult conversation he could think of at the time.

  96. Teve says:

    @JohnMcC: Greenwald immediately started claiming that he was being censored, which prompted an editor there to put out a statement explaining the reason for his termination, basically, ‘we respect who he used to be as a journalist but now he just wants to repeat unsubstantiated Republican bullshit’

    3
  97. Teve says:

    @CSK: i like King, but because he never figures out his plot in advance and just plays it by ear he has notoriously terrible endings.

  98. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    In fairness, I don’t think there’s any substantiated Republican BS.

    3
  99. JohnSF says:

    @Teve:

    …he never figures out his plot in advance and just plays it by ear he has notoriously terrible endings

    Much like Rudy Giuliani and Tucker Carlson then 🙂

  100. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnMcC: From the snowflake himself:

    Glenn Greenwald
    @ggreenwald

    My Resignation From The Intercept

    The same trends of repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity plaguing the national press generally have engulfed the media outlet I co-founded, culminating in censorship of my own articles.

    A long thread, if one feels the necessity to subject oneself to a blizzard of bullshit.

    1
  101. Teve says:
  102. Kylopod says:

    Many years ago I read a book by Greenwald (Great American Hypocrites), which I liked. This got me to regularly reading his blog for a while, but he quickly grew tiresome. He’s a go-to example for anyone who believes in the horseshoe theory of politics, and he underwent some kind of evolution from Bush Republican to CATO libertarian to anti-Democrat leftist, but at bottom he’s just a bad-faith actor with questionable motives. He has always had the same insufferable personality, the idea that he and he alone is right and anyone who finds fault with him is part of some conspiracy against him.

    5
  103. Teve says:

    Gateway Pundit:

    HUGE BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Hunter Biden Has a PornHub Account Where He Uploaded His Personal Porn – Including with Family Member

    Oh noes!!! Surely this is true and well-sourced and will destroy Biden!!

  104. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: Tiresome, if ever a single word was a perfect fit for an individual, tiresome and greenwald go together like hand and glove.

  105. JohnSF says:

    Speaking of insufferable personalities who a convinced of their personal rectitude; news from the UK:
    Labour suspends Jeremy Corbyn over reaction to anti-Semitism report

  106. JohnSF says:

    OK, edit button re-appears, but when trying to edit a comment, shows the text of a previous posting?
    WTH?

    1
  107. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    True. The build-up in It (the novel) was so intense that the ending was kind of a letdown.

  108. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: If I recall correctly, It was the final novel he wrote during his coke phase, and it shows.

  109. JohnSF says:

    Speaking of well sourced:
    How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge

    A 64-page document that was later disseminated by close associates of President Donald Trump appears to be the work of a fake “intelligence firm.”
    “… author of the document, a self-identified Swiss security analyst named Martin Aspen, is a fabricated identity”
    And Typhoon Investigations website suddenly appears in October, but with previous references to their “report” from late August. Which itself are turning up on an “interesting” site pattern

    Sloppy work again, guys.

  110. Teve says:

    @CSK: I read It just last year. It was terrifying. And then the ending was Meh.

  111. JohnMcC says:

    @JohnSF: I saw that ‘Jeremy Corbin suspended’ headline several places. Made me sort of wonder about British political traditions. Like: How high was he suspended? Did they hang him up by the ears? Did he get a haircut first so he wouldn’t swing in the wind?

    I think it’s a custom we could use on this side of that fabled pond. Does anyone have a copywrite? Or can we start measuring the Present Occupant right away?

  112. Teve says:

    @isaacstonefish

    Exclusive: Wilbur Ross served on the board of a Chinese joint venture until 2019. In other words, while helping run the Trade War, the Commerce Secretary was partnered with a Chinese state-owned enterprise. Thread on this massive conflict of interest.

    Foreign Policy article: https://t.co/Dbza7INy4Q

    @BarbMcQuade

    How could Ross possibly think it was ok to serve on the board of a Chinese joint venture while also serving as US Secretary of Commerce? When I became US Attorney, I had to resign from my kids’ elementary school PTO.

    1
  113. JohnSF says:

    Speaking of well sourced:
    How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge

    A 64-page document that was later disseminated by close associates of President Donald Trump appears to be the work of a fake “intelligence firm.”
    “… author of the document, a self-identified Swiss security analyst named Martin Aspen, is a fabricated identity”

    And Typhoon Investigations website suddenly appears in October, but with previous references to their “report” from late August. Which itself are turning up on an “interesting” site pattern
    Oh,and their address apears to be

    Sloppy work again, guys.

  114. JohnSF says:

    But not quite as sloppy as my editing.
    What the heck is going on with the wretched edit function?
    Now edit inserts new version of the post.
    Eeek!

  115. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I don’t think anything could have lived up to the build-up he gave it. There was no monster sufficiently scary.

    I don’t know if you saw the tv miniseries, but the monster looked like…a giant lobster. I kept looking for a bowl of drawn butter.

  116. Teve says:

    @DrGJackBrown

    FACT: The President of the United States is fighting the release of his DNA in a rape case — evidence that would exonerate him if innocent. Let that sink in.

  117. JohnSF says:

    @JohnMcC:
    Heh! Equalities and Human Rights Commision published report on investigation into ant-semitism in Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer planned put out a statement accepting it, Corbyn gets in first with a message including repeating yet again the Cporbynite line that the whole thing had been got up by his enemies.
    Without clearing with Starmer or Labour HQ first.
    Sir Keir’s response, basically: “F*ck off, Jeremy. There’s one leader of this Party, and it ain’t you any longer, pal.”

    “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation. He has also had the whip removed from the Parliamentary Labour Party.”

  118. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Perdue Ditches Final Debate Against Ossoff, Will Campaign For Trump Instead

    I’m surprised there was enough Perdue self respect left to deny another flaying at the hands of Ossoff.

  119. Teve says:

    @RottenInDenmark

    Incredible. Greenwald self-published his hit piece on Hunter Biden and the central allegation is that he … asked Joe Biden for favors and didn’t get them.

    thread, if you care

  120. Bill says:

    @Teve:

    i like King, but because he never figures out his plot in advance and just plays it by ear he has notoriously terrible endings.

    I have never read any of King’s books.

    Authors can start writing a story with the plot still evolving in their mind. In my 2019 published espionage novel, it occurred to me about half way through the writing process that I set the stage for a Honey trap. After thinking it over, I went down a path that hadn’t occurred to me up till then.

  121. JohnSF says:

    In relation to my previous posting about the “Typhoon Investigations” and the anti-Biden propaganda; here’s some tweets from someone better at this sort of snoopery than I:
    Elise Tomas:
    I have been looking into the timeline of the “Typhoon Investigations” report … I’ve found a few interesting things.
    and here
    I have been continuing to piece together the timeline behind this ‘Typhoon Investigations’ Biden-China report.

  122. Teve says:
  123. JohnSF says:

    @JohnSF:
    Back to an earlier post:
    The last bit re. “Typhoon Investigations” was meant to say:
    Their address on their website is given as 1c, Via Maggio, Lugano, Switzerland.
    But that seems to be the address for Sapori Italiano Supermarkets.
    Hmm.

  124. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    So? maybe they operate a counter in the manure aisle.

  125. Tyrell says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, my keyboard put that in and I did not catch it in time.
    Durocher was a knowledgeable coach who knew the players.

  126. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    Actually, update on that; I don’t think it’s a supermarket per se.
    Looks like a number of companies operate out of offices at that site.
    And suites are avaialble for rent it seems.
    May just be offices related to Sapori, and others.

    So, possible Typhoon could be based there.
    BUT, Elise Thomas reporting that the Typhoon website had earlier iteration had a different addresses; also in Lugano, but was for a computer repair shop !

    And interesting, a commenter in one of Thomas’s threads remarking on story knocking around for more than a month (trying to establish a “astroturf” or obfuscate origins, I wonder?) on Falun Gong related accounts.
    Now who else do we know with a Falun Gong connection, eh?

    Ah, Mr Bannon.
    You appear with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season.

  127. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    Well, in fairness, some countries, like Mexico, have a “fiscal address” and then a physical address. I know more than a few companies, perfectly legitimate ones, that use a home address as the fiscal one, though they operate no offices or facilities there.

    1
  128. Teve says:

    Bloomberg

    @business

    Walmart has temporarily pulled ammunition and guns off its shelves ahead of any possible civil unrest that could take place following next week’s election

    Clearly worried about Antifa. 😛

  129. JohnSF says:

    And continuing with my mild, but possibly annoying, fixation on the nefarious dealings of Giuliani, Bannon etc:
    WaPo on Bannon, Guo Wengui and anti Biden disinformation.

  130. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Yes, on the condition that Trump didn’t rape anybody the DNA evidence would exonerate him. Notice the “would” though. Is that would signaling future tense, a conditional mood, or a subjunctive (which in this case would signal “counter to fact”)?
    Grammar matters.

  131. JohnMcC says:

    @JohnSF: Thank you for the link. I too am fascinated by the wriggling little slimy things that one sees after turning over the rocks. And for the serious reply to my attempt at humor r/t Mr Corbyn.

  132. Joe says:

    @Teve:

    would exonerate him if innocent.

    Well, in that case it might. But the world’s a big place.