June 26th, 2009



  • 08:26 That was a messed-up dream I had last night. #
  • 08:29 @JaredofMo So where's Bowyer in all this? #
  • 08:30 @JaredofMo It's the Australian equivalent of Candyland. #
  • 10:18 Saw a sign today for "World Net Realty." So are they, like, hardcore right-wing realtors? #
  • 10:19 Saw a car w/3 angel bumper stickers: "I believe in angels," "This car protected by angels," "My angel is an honor student at Heaven High" #
  • 10:19 Okay, I made that last one up, but there really WERE three of them. #
  • 14:05 Farrah Fawcett died today. Never quite understood why she was a sex symbol in the 70s, but it's definitely too bad to lose her. #
  • 14:06 @JaredofMo But they can't get you when you're out in the sunshine! #
  • 14:40 @InBloomers I still like my idea for a Mario-themed bumper sticker: "Save an Ostro, ride a Shyguy." #
  • 14:57 pitchfork.com/tv/#/musicvideo/3690-jenny-lewis-ft-elvis-costello-carpetbaggers-warner-brothers-rough-trade "Carpetbaggers" video #
  • 14:57 Elvis Costello appears in the video, and I believe Zooey Deschanel does as well. #
  • 15:01 Stoned wallabies make crop circles bit.ly/2etJcU #
  • 18:49 And now Michael Jackson? Today is messed up. :( #
  • 18:56 An old lady's car had a bunch of anti-Obama bumper stickers, including one saying, "Got a birth certificate?" #
  • 18:56 I know a lot of people believe dumb things, but the idea that Obama somehow faked his birth certificate just takes the cake. #
  • 19:43 Daryl Hannah was arrested? Is it because she was naked when she came out of the ocean? #
  • 20:33 @PFTompkins No way! You're the only one who gets to taste the rainbow! #
  • 20:35 @twobitme But if you're a transforming robot, it don't matter if you're black or white! #
  • 22:12 @DVDBoxSet Not the one with George Wendt and Richard Moll, I assume? #
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Oz Noir

I finished playing Emerald City Confidential last night, and I must say I enjoyed it. It's a film noir mystery story, taking place in a somewhat darker version of Oz than the one from the books, but was obviously written by someone familiar with the original stories. If you want to see the Cowardly Lion as a sleazy lawyer and the Frogman as a mobster, then this is the game for you! And if you don't...well, you and I are very different people. {g} What's even better is that the game usually sticks to the origin stories from the books. Yes, they do things that would be out of character in terms of how Baum wrote them, but the game explains this as their means of dealing with the aftermath of a tragic war against the Phanfasms. I do have to wonder why, if they stuck so closely to Baum's back stories in most cases, they made Cayke a Munchkin. And why does Cayke appear at all, while I saw no sign of some more significant characters, like Button-Bright and the Hungry Tiger? Also, while I realize the characters have undergone some changes, it's still kind of disturbing to see how much of a bitch the game's Ozma is. Actually, she kind of reminds me of the alternate-universe Ozma who shows up in Paradox in Oz. Getting back to the game, as far as gameplay goes, it's a fairly simple point-and-click adventure, with emphasis on following clues and solving puzzles. If you get stuck, there's a hint feature, which I must admit I resorted to a few times (and usually had a "yeah, I should have figured that out myself" reaction to). Since the plot and the solutions are the same every time, I wouldn't say it has a lot of replay value, but I'll probably come back to it someday.

By the way, a question for anyone else who might have played the game: Is the mirror in Ruggedo's bar supposed to be anyone in particular? I thought that would be revealed eventually, but I finished the game without its coming up again.

In a Wonderland They Lie

Recently, my friends page has featured some discussion of Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland film. I think it has some potential, although it kind of seems like Alice has been filmed to death. I know that Paramount did a version in the thirties, featuring several stars of the era, including Cary Grant, W.C. Fields, and Gary Cooper. I've never seen this version, and Netflix doesn't appear to have it. Then there was Disney's 1951 animated version, which I liked pretty well, but thought kind of missed the point. (I've heard that it was one of Walt's least favorite full-length animated features.) I also remember the mid-eighties musical with Carol Channing and Jonathan Winters, and there have been plenty of others over the years. Burton does seem to be taking an interesting new take on the story, though, with its being sort of a sequel with an older Alice. As long as it's done well, I don't know that I can say I really object to that. After all, we're never really told about the future life of the books' Alice (as opposed to the real Alice Liddell, who married Reginald Hargreaves and became a society hostess). It's not like how people want to write scripts about a grown-up Dorothy Gale, when anyone who's read the Oz books knows that she came to live in Ozma's palace and DIDN'T grow up.

It looks like this new movie, like several other (perhaps even most) adaptations over the years combines elements from both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. I guess filmmakers tend to think Alice's adventures are crazy enough that the order of events doesn't really matter that much. I know some takes have combined both books into one long story. In truth, I find Looking-Glass to be significantly different from Wonderland, in that it has more order and sticks more closely to particular themes (chess, mirror reversals, and nursery rhymes [1] being the main ones), but I've never had any serious objections to, say, Tweedledum and Tweedledee showing up in the domain of the Queen of Hearts. In fact, Carroll actually intended for the Hatter and the March Hare to reappear in Looking-Glass, although I didn't realize this in my childhood until I finally read a version of the book with the original illustrations.

[1] The only featured nursery rhyme that I was actually familiar with as a kid was "Humpty Dumpty." I guess the other two have decreased in popularity over the years (and maybe "The Lion and the Unicorn" was never that big outside the United Kingdom).