Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 164

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 167

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 170

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 173

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 176

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 178

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 180

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 202

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 206

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 224

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 225

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 227

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 321

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 321

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 321

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.layout.php on line 321

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 54

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 54

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 54

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 54

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 54

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 54

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 54

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 54

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 54

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/lil58eks/public_html/bleat/wp-content/themes/platformpro/core/library/class.options.metapanel.php on line 47
Wednesday, August 05 | The Bleat.

 ‘Twas National Night Out, which I dumped on over at the Stribblog. Oh, it’s a nice incentive to get together, but when the second point in the National Night Out (TM) site’s FAQ lays down the rules for using the Official Logo, and the fourth point covers the need to buy your promotional material in a timely matter, well. Well. But we went, and it was fun – I talked with the son of a neighbor, who’s back from school. Where do you go? Naval Academy. Oh! Well, thank you for that. What do you want to do? He said he wanted to fly, and I ribbed him a bit: isn’t there another branch that handles that, and it’s, like, Job One? These are the things we civilians don’t get: there are reasons for wanting to fly for the Navy, just like there’s reasons to want to captain ships for the Marines. Something for everyone.  

He’d just spent two weeks on a sub. Most young people you meet at a block party aren’t fresh from a fortnight in the briny deep, so I was keen to learn more; asked which class    of sub he was on. (Ohio.) I have limited knowledge of these things, but I know what a SLBM is, and the difference between a fast-attack and a hang-around-waiting-to-nuke-somone sub, so I asked questions until I had nothing left but “see any good sub movies? They’re all the same, but they’re still good in their own way.” I had the feeling he wasn’t entirely accustomed to civilians taking an interest in the particulars. Or all too accustomed to wannabees eager to be One of the Guys. Who knows. The only sub movie he’d seen was “Hunt for Red October.” 

“Not even Das Boot,” his mother said, joining the conversation. “That’s what I thought of when he said he was going on a sub.”

“Well, the chances he’ll run the straits of Gibraltar under Allied fire are low,” I reassured her.

She gave me a kind look: you’re not a mother. The world is the straits of Gibraltar.

Talked with other neighbors about that one house with the kids, and the problems; discovered that another neighbor has been working for one company his entire life: Burger King. Marketing. Oh, joy! So, what do the franchisees pay to the company to fund promotion? Four percent of sales, and about half goes to national campaigns, which includes the campaigns designed to thrive on the internet via word of mouth. So put yourself in the shoes of some guy who runs a Burger King in Minot, coming across the Sir Mix-A-Lot / Spongebob ad on YouTube, thinking: I’m paying for this. Man. 

After a couple of hours we went home; daughter was tired and disengaged after a long day at Phy-Ed camp. “There’s nothing to DO here,” she said. I asked what her friend was doing. “She’s just petting a dog.” Under ordinary circumstances she would have been doing the same; I recalled previous Block Parties, where she would run to the end of the street, to the magic yellow tape that blocked off the road, and most of my conversations were interrupted by periodic interrogations of the perimeter, to make sure the Kidnapping Ninja Brigade had not deployed from stealth copters and stolen my child. I wondered if she was being bored because she wanted to go home and return to the imaginary-friend world of her collaborative internet iScribble storytelling sessions. 

I don’t want to raise a kid who prefers the virtual to the real. 

“I just don’t feel all too great,” she said.

This isn’t an act, so you can go home and get on the computer? If it’s an act I’m going to enroll you in theater camp so you can hone your skills. You want to get away with something, you’ll have to use an English accent. A convincing one with a specific dialect, not your generic posh pseudo-accent. Why, you’ll have to master Mancunian vowels, child, and - 

“Dad! I just ate too much and I’m tired and they’re just petting the dog.”

Sometimes it’s just that.  

All in all, a fine day – cool, of course. But busy.  Now I’m taking a break from watching “Aliens,” which, as I said on Twitter (something I say just to admit I’m repeating myself) is the movie that makes Michael Bay know how Salieri felt whenever he heard Mozart. Leaving aside all movies that do not involve spaceships and giant acid-blooded xenomorphs, it may be the greatest film ever. I’m surprised how long it takes to get to the action – you don’t notice it for two reasons. One, the scenes on board the ship en route to the planet were just rockin’ good fun when the movie first came out; the idea of Marines in Space was uber-cool, and new. Nowadays they’d never spend that much time on such a sequence; the filmmakers would assume we knew the basics, because we’d seen it in “Aliens.” 

 

Two: the movie begins with a sequence that confuses and unnerves. It seems as if we go right to the Aliens, and you don’t know what’s going on.  When Ripley’s ship is cut open by the salvage crew, the shape of the cutting tool makes you think an Alien is outside – what, they’re running blow torches now? What? -  and then you realize it’s not. When the door falls open and the sensor probe enters the craft, it has the outline of an Alien, crouching. The movie tricks you, twice, right away, and what would be an ordinary sequence is almost heart-pounding. 

 

The first time I saw the first Alien movie, I was so unnerved I had to turn on the lights a month later when an ad came on TV late at night. The first time I saw “Aliens,” I thought it was the most comprehensively effective thing I’d ever seen. Perhaps you had to be there – if you’re younger than I happen to be, you’ve seen “Aliens” repeated over and over again. But at the time? This was every movie we’d waited for. 

 

Later: Out of Context Ad Challenge, around 10; Minneapolis in the afternoon; the Stribblog scattered throughout. See you soon!

 

51 Responses to Wednesday, August 05

  1. Fred says:

    Back to Submarines. If you ever want to see a look of disgust and scorn on the face of a submarine sailor mention the movie “Crimson Tide”. If he’s seen it he will either growl with anger at the sloppy, inaccurate details or he will laugh at how inexcusably they go it so wrong. I go back and forth between both emotions but most often settle on disgust and anger, probably because ‘Hunt For Red October’ got it so right…

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:


Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!