Third incarnation of my Weblog. 2007-8 and 2012-5 Weblog entries are archived. And 2015-8 Weblog entries also are archived.
For this incarnation of my Weblog, I will be sequencing entries from most recent to least recent, thereby guaranteeing visitors to this Weblog that the first ruminations, sharings of information, or defences of Season Two of Space: 1999 (yes, the saga goes on, and on and on and on) that they see from me will be my latest ones. With thanks to Jonathan Wood for contacting me with a suggestion to this effect.
The archived sections to the Weblog will continue to be chronological from oldest to most recent.
July 19, 2018.
Returning to a few of the subjects of my Weblog entry of yesterday.
I have almost always leaned towards conservatism while also being stimulated in my imagination with 1960s and 1970s opuses having a humanist's liberal view of human advancement towards a Space Age. But the liberalism of the 1960s and the 1970s would be considered conservative today, as it did not embrace Marxism or socialism. The Star Trek episode, "Return of the Archons", among others, addressed the dangers of collectivism under the Communist model, and according to Marxist-Leninist thinkers, socialism is the first stage of a process toward Communism.
I am not usually fond of parables of Earth politics in science fiction, and "Return of the Archons" has never been one of my favourite Star Trek episodes for that and for other reasons. But the parable is there. Indicative of an anti-Communist stance on the part of Roddenberry and his script writers.
I would prefer my imaginative entertainment not to be mired in present-day political ideology. Political Left or political Right. But I judge the political Left to be particularly objectionable because it is not reverent of the heritage and values of the Western civilisation that yielded my favourite works and the treasured eras of my life. And of which my parents and their generation were consientious stewards in the years of my youth. The best years of my life.
My father was definitely conservative. My mother less so, but she had misgivings about the welfare state and did not approve of flaunted sexuality. I would say that she was a blue liberal. My father always made clear to me the disagreeable nature of socialism and Communism. And from that, I extrapolated the Marxist's defective view of human nature. Human nature is not malleable to voluntary, selfless adherence to the dictates of some collectivised state. Individual achievement and the right to private property are essential for maintaining a man's voluntary and productive engagement in a societal structure. Where the engagement is not voluntary, a state must utilise increasingly coercive measures, along with propaganda to dull the minds of a sufficient number of people made dependent on the state, for the more strong-minded libertarians of society (the people who are often the entrepreneurs in a capitalist system) to be outnumbered, easily segregated and identified for consignment to forced labour camps in some formidable locale. And even the people whose minds are dulled will eventually crave freedom, and increasingly oppressive measures will be "called for" by the oligarchs in control of the state. Orwell saw to what direction this would lead.
I am not sanguine about unregulated capitalism either. Something like nuclear power which poses a threat to public health, has to be outlawed. Capitalism should be free to generate productivity and wealth, but not when it endangers the health of the citizenry. Which is why some regulation is essential.
No system is perfect, but the best one that there is, is a liberal democracy with free enterprise. And with competition for profit (fuelling the urge to innovate) and occasional advantageous-to-everyone cooperation between capitalist establishments within sovereign states and between whole sovereign states. It was the free enterprise and liberal democracy and cooperation between multiple states model for human interaction and human development that Roddenberry envisioned as leading to a Space Age. His Federation of Planets is a salient galactic extrapolation of the cooperating sovereign states of Earth, Captain Kirk asserted the freedom of the individual to self-actualise, Kirk and company revered the American flag and the liberal-democratic and sovereign-nation values for which it stood, and the Starship of Star Trek was called Enterprise. And rugged individualism and the American frontier and pioneer spirit were very much in effect in the exploratory impulse of Captain Kirk and his crew in the individual-rewarding meritocracy in which they functioned.
Globalism and socialism will only lead to Orwell's dystopia. Not to Star Trek.
And I like my private property. Always have. Always will. The money that I spend on it helps to fuel the economy. And I have money in investments and do know that I can expect a higher return on my investments when government spending is curtailed, monetary deficits are avoided, there is consumer confidence, and capitalism is functioning.
I studied Marxism when I was in university, and it is an unrealistic ideology in its goals and despicable in its methods. The form of Marxism that exists today is setting groups within nations against one another, seeks to subvert the culture of the most successful nations of the past couple of centuries, and wishes to dis-empower the individual intellectual mind through constant indoctrination in news and entertainment. I see it at work in what is being done to the "franchises" that I mentioned yesterday. And that is "down to" Hollywood and the Democrat party for which Hollywood "shills", along with the news media. The same news media that sent the Fukushima disaster down a "memory hole" and that is trying to spur the Trump administration into war with Russia. We were dangerously close to that in April. Closer than we have been in my lifetime (and that includes the Cold War).
On the subject of James Bond. Back in 2012, while Skyfall was in theatres, a friend I had at the time was touting Skyfall to be the best James Bond movie ever made. I had a decidedly different opinion on Skyfall. And we "fell out". Yes, we "fell out" over a movie. The "falling out" was due to him not respecting me in my assessment of the movie and his patronising attitude over my disliking of the 2006 reboot, stupid old goat that I allegedly am. And me holding my ground, not budging an inch. He most confidently argued that the reboot was right, that all previous Bond movies, especially the ones of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, ought to be discounted because they were sexist. He cited the Pussy Galore character as particularly offencive in her name, and I reminded him that the Pussy Galore name was from Fleming's original Goldfinger novel. He "dissed" Moonraker utterly, laughing at my contentions that Moonraker was escapist fun from a time when such was what movie audiences wanted, in a Space Age vein following the success of Star Wars. I did fail to mention the portrayal of the love interest in that movie as a highly intelligent, professional woman. But somehow I think that he would have dismissed that by citing her succumbing to Bond's masculinity, especially in the final scene with the weightless love-making.
There were several intelligent and physically and emotionally strong women in the vintage Bond movies. They were strong while being quintessentially women. Diana Rigg's character in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, for instance. The Barbara Bach character in The Spy Who Loved Me. Even the maligned Pussy Galore of Goldfinger (indeed, her help was instrumental in enabling Bond to defeat Goldfinger). But all of this said, if the Bond movies of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s were sexist, I do not care. James Bond movies of those decades were men's movies. They were made by men for men (and boys). Women back then had their own movies. Family dramas. Romantic comedies. Historical epics. And men had theirs. James Bond movies and other movies of that ilk. War movies. Westerns. Men wanted dominant male heroes in their movies. James Bond is a twentieth century archetype of the male hero. His movies were produced by men, written by men, and directed by men. Men were the demographic being sought first and foremost for viewing of the Bond movies. And outcome "beared that out"; the majority of Bond aficionados and routine Bond movie ticket buyers were men. Some women enjoyed the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s Bond movies. But mostly because they fancied the actor playing Bond. Connery, Lazenby, Dalton. Moore, not quite to the same degree. But Moore kept returning to the role of Bond because because men (and boys) were going to the theatres to see the Moore Bond films.
There may be some women who appreciate James Bond for story, milieu, action. I do not reject that idea outright. But I suspect that most women who attended Bond movie screenings in the twentieth century were there to gaze at the handsome and attractive leading actor.
In 1987 when The Living Daylights was in theatres, I went to the Plaza Cinema 1 to see it one weekday evening. Seated behind me in the theatre was a group of college (or late high school) students. Some of them male. Some of them female. The young ladies were only commenting on the less sexually promiscuous than usual Bond and lamenting about that. They kept plaintively asking when Bond was going to have sex with some woman or with the love interest played by Maryam d'Abo. And that was the limit of their conversation. While the males in the group were remarking about the action scenes and the gadgets and the storyline. I remember them scoffing at Koskov surviving the collision between his jeep and an aeroplane. That was admittedly rather unbelievable. They were occasionally expressing bewilderment at the story and its development. But they were there for the story, for the intrigue, for the action. It was primarily them for whom the movie was made.
My problems with the twenty-first century Bond movies have nothing to do with how the ladies in them are written and portrayed. For me, the concerns are aesthetic and conceptual as regards the characterisation of Bond and the nature of the spy scenario in which he operates. And the diminishment of the fun factor in the Bond formula, with the tired tropes being all the more wearisome because of how bereft that they are of the fun that used to be an integral part of them. And the lack of necessity in making more Bond movies. They achieved their artistic zenith decades ago.
My friend refused to acknowledge any acuity in my assessment of Skyfall (despite the fact that many reviewers of the movie were of a mind similar to mine) and rejected all of the Bond movies with which I was raised on the basis of the "critical theory" of academia of today. Male dominance, even that of past decades, is taboo. Even in men's movies. Are the Bond movies of today in fact men's movies?
I mentioned preferring Season One of Space: 1999 in the early 1980s. Yes, I did. I started to find myself drawn more toward Season Two episodes toward the end of the 1980s. And then I met Dean, whose observations and insights on patterns and symbolisms in Season Two were all recognisable and verifiable. Etymologies and motifs and similarities between episodes cannot reasonably be denied once they are stated. They are factual. I changed my outlook on Space: 1999 then and have had no compelling reason to change it again. The loutish hostility and blinkered, dismissive attitude of bullying fans could not possibly have a prayer of making me reject Dean's astute findings, and my own. Not even my "falling out" with Dean could produce that outcome.
All for today.
July 17, 2018.
Something I routinely do when on vacation is to revisit my old high school, Fredericton High School. The outside of it. Most specifically the driveway, curbside, and entryway of the academic C-Wing of the school, where the school buses that I rode each day deposited and collected students. And the doors of which I passed through during lunchtimes when I walked to either Wendy's or Burger King, going to the latter via the high school fields, and passing the old Plaza Cinemas and K-Mart Plaza while en route to the Home of the Whopper. During a school bus drivers' labour dispute in spring of 1982, I would walk to the K-Mart Plaza to meet my father, who would transport me to home in his car at the end of the school day. I also joined my parents there on May 2, 1983 before we began our travel to Ottawa that afternoon. Gazing out from the pillars to the entryway to C-Wing, I look at the driveway where I "caught" the afternoon school bus in Grades 10, 11, 12. Where in Grade 12 I boarded Bus 93, joined by Tony as we talked about WVII's autumn of 1983 weekday showings of Star Trek, the bus then bringing us to our home neighbourhood in the afternoon sunshine and my father at home waiting to ask me how my day went. And I look at the old K-Mart Plaza (now, the Smythe Street Plaza, K-Mart having long ago discontinued operations) and the building that used to be the Plaza Cinemas many dozens of metres in the distance, past the soccer and football fields and a bushy incline as the frontiers of Fredericton High School give way to the rear driveway of the Plaza. And I direct my vision two o'clock to the right at Priestman Street, onto which was the first turn of a homeward-bound school bus, and which was the first street of my long treks to home after seeing a matinee performance of a science fiction/fantasy movie at Plaza Cinema 1 (e.g. Star Trek II- The Wrath of Khan in June of 1982 and Return of the Jedi in July, 1983).
What often crosses my mind now as I "take in" these sights and recall myself to the way that I was back then, and the way my world was, is how good it was to be young. To be un-jaded. To be seeing so many productions either for the first time ever or for the first time again after a passage of a number of years since some prior experience with them. To be with friends who were also young. Alike to me in that they were unmarried. Not interested in pursuing marriage or romantic relationships. Totally free to share with me the experience of being enamoured with and drawn into fanciful fictional worlds. In between fun games of baseball, badminton, etc.. And to have my parents and my grandparents living, my life untouched by death apart from that of some pets in early-to-mid-second-life-era. My mind was not burdened with worries of loss due to death. Although school was a "drag" and commanded some of my attention, I was free to immerse myself with fervour in the colourful excursions of Spiderman (and to delight in my ever increasing collection of videotaped episodes thereof). And post-summer-of-1983, in the fantastic future and spatial encounters of Moonbase Alpha in Space: 1999 via the most gratifying acquisitions of episodes of it on videotape from Nova Scotia. Plus Star Trek, returned to television in my area in the autumn of 1983 in a very big way, on two television stations for a combined total of six broadcasts per week. And Star Wars, with the release to theatres of its third produced movie in summer of 1983, continued to impress, even though it was starting to "flag" in the creativity department prior to the rather "pat" resolution of its storyline in Return of the Jedi. Everything still seemed quite fresh, and I would be excited to see a long-elusive episode of Spiderman again, or to receive a videotape of Space: 1999 episodes, impressed by the spaceship battles of Star Wars, desirous of having The Empire Strikes Back on videotape, and gratified to add another James Bond movie to my holdings of those. Everything, from Bond to the George Lucas opus to the revived Star Trek in movies, just seemed to be unstoppable in their quality of output. I will reiterate that I was un-jaded. Except, perhaps, where the Warner Brothers cartoons were concerned. But that was more to do with how they were being handled at the time by CBS than with diminished aesthetic appreciation on my part. They were being brutally film-spliced. With little to no variation from year to year in the truncated cartoons offered. And increasingly worn and faded film elements. And less and less dependable airing of them on WAGM- Presque Isle. Back then, I was more "into" the cosmic element. Deep-space adventure. The Warner Brothers cartoons, even the ones with Marvin Martian, seemed quaint by comparison. My interest in them would rebound by mid-decade (i.e. mid-1980s). I was not jaded with them in any permanent way.
I miss so much from back then the untrammelled sense of wonder that I had. There was still a "magic" to everything. Cynical, fault-finding fans did not contaminate my experience with any of my favourite entertainments. Oh, I knew of course about the errors in Bakshi's Spiderman episodes, but I did not "dwell upon" that, preferring to be swept into the awesome adventure being had by the intrepid web-swinger. And with regard to Space: 1999, it was virtually unassailable on matters of quality of technical production or story structure. I saw very few lapses of depiction or story in the episodes of either of the two seasons. I preferred Season One then (yes, my viewpoint is not set in stone; it changes, with new perspectives, new observations, new insights), but I was delighted to be reunited with Season Two when episodes of it stared coming my way on videotape. Everything in life was just so "right". Apart from the medium that was VHS videotape. But it was all that I had then for building a collection (the RCA VideoDisc had been a cul-de-sac).
My exhilaration at gaining new videotape-recordings of favourite works was complemented by treasured friendship moments (especially with my buddy, Joey), winning decisions in neighbourhood baseball games, and a prosperous outlook for world economies and developments in technology. The Space Age still looked as though it might be upon us. This was before the Challenger disaster of 1986 and the Chernobyl disaster of that same year. Imagination was "fired" by the possibilities that seemed then to be boundless. And male heroes with whom I identified went on the awesome journeys to the array of strange new worlds.
And as I say, it seemed as though what is today called "franchises" could do no wrong. Or if they did, it was just a small anomaly. An untoward "blip" quickly rectified in the next outing.
Now, today, everything is a mess. Everything has been "done to death" and is being besmirched by people who do not understand, or wilfully overlook, the "ethos" of the subject matter that they have seen themselves fit to undertake in further and further and further production. After more than fifty years, Doctor Who has been "done to death". The well is hopelessly dry, and it is just serving the old tropes for the umpteenth time, the only new "thing" offered being heavy-handed sociopolitical commentary hewing to the increasingly divisive political Leftism, or neo-Marxism, that permeates media and academia of today. The so-called "culture war" that I have mentioned. Star Wars fans are railing against it. And good for them. I say that unironically. And without condecension. Even though I am of the opinion that Star Wars had been "done to death" already by the end of Return of the Jedi. That the well had dried after The Empire Strikes Back, and that, really, Return of the Jedi just "served up" the tropes of the first Star Wars, with a "dash" or two of the second. The only really novel thing was the Ewoks of Endor. And that is not very widely considered to be much of a mark of distinction. At the time, they were popular enough with children to lead to a "spin-off" pair of television movies. Plus the Ewoks/Droids cartoon television series. But whatever deficienies there may have been creatively with Return of the Jedi, Star Wars ought to have finished then while it was somewhat "ahead", and "called it a day" with the conclusion of its 1983 movie. For fifteen years, the aforementioned television movies and cartoon television series aside, Return of the Jedi had indeed been the end of the Star Wars saga. It was regarded and accepted as such. Though rather rushed and perfunctory in its "wrapping-up" of conflicts and storyline questions and arguably less than profuse in its creativity department, it did serve as an effective resolution to an overall story arc. Star Wars should have been left at that. The prequels were unneccessary and largely just returned to the old tropes and gave to them another "go". But there were some interesting new worlds depicted, and casting Christopher Lee as a villain was an inspired move. All in all, I can accept the prequels and the original trilogy as a cohesive and effective saga. Albeit an uneven one by times. But that is where the absolute end should have been.
Ah, but there is money to be made by putting derrieres into theatre seats. Because of its popularity passed from generation to generation, Star Wars could be a "cash cow" to be "milked". And "milked" often. Even annually. Or twice annually. Disney now has its hands on Star Wars and is intent on exploiting it for every profitable million dollars that it can yield. Disney was so confident that anything Star Wars would be successful, no matter how recycled the tired tropes, that it opted to use Star Wars to propagndise the hapless masses to the political Leftism of Democrat Hollywood, political Leftism that is apparently seeking to subvert traditional Americana and the values of Western civilisation, and bring a dystopian pan-global, uncultured, subsistence-level socialism. With an elite of oligarchs living in luxury. The first step would appear to be the denigration of traditional male heroism (a pillar of myths upon which much of Western culture is founded), hence the debasing and "killing off" of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. And simultaneously offering a super-powered juggernaut of a female hero to replace them. What Doctor Who is currently doing is to follow a distinctly similar path, divesting its hero of his maleness. These "franchises", along with those of Star Trek and James Bond, have already been "done to death" and are only being kept alive by "franchise"-recognition, force of habit, misguided, erroneous nostalgia proclivity (trying to find nostalgia in modern rather than vintage material), and the "push" by political power brokers and monied interests to use culture to indoctrinate the citizenry to accept political Leftism as the new paradigm for centrist norms.
James Bond is still male, but he is not the character that Connery portrayed. He went through Skyfall failing, ultimately unsuccessful in his mission to keep M from being killed. He can survive a fall from a bridge (not even Max Zorin, genetic superman that he was, was that impervious to death) and can be underwater without oxygen supply for several minutes but cannot succeed in his mission. As to Star Trek, the stoic, deliberate heroism of "Alpha Male" Captain Kirk has been reduced to the puerile and reckless behaviour of an arrogant man-child. Chris Pine is no William Shatner. Not by the wildest stretch of the imagination. No, not even my imagination. I saw Star Trek (2009) once, and I have no desire to see it again. It was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. And Chris Pine's Kirk was an integral component of the unpleasantness. Parodies of Captain Kirk over the years were more satisfying than Chris Pine's effort. Give to me Frank Shuster's portrayal of the Enterprise's Captain any day over his.
Once all of the Ian Fleming books had been made into movies and Roger Moore had decided to leave the role of Bond, the James Bond movies ought to have ended. Cubby Broccoli had achieved what he had "set out" to do. Movies of the Ian Fleming books. By 1983's Octopussy, every Ian Fleming James Bond book had been made into a movie. Granted, Casino Royale (1967) was a spoof made by the man, Charles K. Feldman, who had the film rights to Fleming's Casino Royale and to it only. Still, every Fleming Bond book was a movie by 1983. That should have been sufficient, fond though I may be of The Living Daylights and Tomorrow Never Dies. I know that A View to a Kill and The Living Daylights had come out of a couple of Ian Fleming James Bond short stories. I suppose that an argument could be made in favour of the making of those. Perhaps combining those stories into one premise for Moore's and Bond's swan song. Yes, I think that Moore retiring from the role, and Bond going into retirement at that time, would have been consistent with the age of the Connery Bond in Dr. No as projeted some twenty years into future. The time would have been right to retire Bond. People respected the creative decisions to stop the Mary Tyler Moore and M*A*S*H television series. Those were not decisions based on popularity. Or on the monetary viability of and profit in further production. Ah, but in the case of the Bond movies, the profit motive persisted, and persists to this day. Just keep on "churning them out", and people will pay to see them. Generate the hype. Denigrate all the prior movies, tout the latest one as being the best one ever, and the masses go out to the movie houses and open wallets. I went to see Skyfall as something to do out of the house in the aftermath of my father's death. I knew as I was watching it that the "ethos" of Bond cinema had drifted very far, unpalatably far, from my viewpoint, from Cubby Broccoli's seminal renderings of Ian Fleming's works. Apart from that, it was a bland and unpleasant movie in every respect. Characters. Visualisations. Music. There really was not much action. James Bond movies of old usually climaxed with a huge battle of Bond and his allies with the villain's forces. And there was an exciting chase or skirmish every so often over the course of the average vintage Bond movie. The average vintage Bond movie helmed by Broccoli, or by Broccoli and Saltzman. Bond would prevail most of the time. Sometimes not. Sometimes he would be captured. But he would ultimately foil the villain's plans, sometimes dispatching the villain in some very apt way. I did not see Spectre, and I still have not to this day. I was able to sit through Casino Royale (2006) after several unsuccessful attempts to do so, when I viewed it on Blu-Ray in 2013 (it came in the box set; I did not buy it individually). I tried to give to it "a chance". It was after all based on Fleming's first James Bond book. I have not seen Quantum of Solace. The reboot in 2006 was unnecessary and disrespectful to the efforts of all of the tremendously talented people who brought the vintage Bond movies to the screen. Effectively nullifying them from consideration in the public mind as new movies are "trotted out" by people vainly thinking that they can better what was made when the essential Bond story material was fresher and more germane to world affairs of the day (i.e. the Cold War). Efforts to present Bond as a hero who does not have experience and wide-ranging expertise and who is subservient to an older female superior stern and scolding like a school teacher, and who routinely fails and is angsty about his failures, amount to a subversion of the "ethos" of the James Bond of Broccoli and Saltzman. And to try to "overwrite" the vintage films with this, I judge to be disrespectful. And besides this, the post-2006 Bond films are not colourful and beautiful films. They look "washed-out" and dreary.
As I say, the Bond films ought to have retired in the 1980s. Mission was accomplished. The Fleming books had all become successful movies. All that is being done now is to "milk" the "cash cow". Subversively.
As to Star Trek, it ought to have stopped with Roddenberry's death and the retiring of the original crew. I think there is a climate of opinion that Star Trek is a spent concept. That it was spent as a concept with the last of the Next Generation movies. Whether that climate of opinion is the prevailing one, I cannot say. These days, it is difficult to determine truth from fiction. The news media would have the common man believe that everything is "hunky dory" with every "franchise". I have to concede that J.J.'s movies always seem to have a widespread and enthusiastic following. As confounding as that may be to me.
But back when I was in my late teenage years, there was so much enjoyment to be had and wonder to be felt. Imagination was vivid and colourful. My male heroes went forth on their journeys and would ultimately "win the day" with flair and unabashed masculinity. And sometimes, sometimes, having to pay some price in their victory. Evil was clearly defined and defeated through the hero's efforts. And if it occasionally prevailed as it disturbingly could, that was an aberration that usually would be rectified in due course. And my adulation for Space: 1999 was untainted by antipathy or hostility on the part of condescending, preeminent sections of fandom. It was a different time. A better time. If only DVD and Blu-Ray were available then. Then, I would have had everything I could want. A vast collection of entertainment on top-quality media. Friends. My parents. My un-jaded youth.
I can dream. It is one of the few pleasures that I have left for my vacations.
July 16, 2018. Forty years ago to this day, CHSJ-TV ran a videotape-delayed-from-CBC's-May-telecast Space: 1999- "Dragon's Domain" in lieu of Walt Disney. I remember that vividly. And my friend, Mike J., saying to me the next day, "Hey, Kevin. Space: 1999 was on Walt Disney last night." Ah, the "good, old days" when people watched the same television stations and had televisual subjects for conversation.
It is so difficult to adjust to the notion that forty years have elapsed since then. Oh, it was a long time ago. But forty years just seems to be an excessive amount of time to separate those experiences with my today's awareness of them.
I wish to return to my commentary yesterday about self-awareness and self-criticism.
Both of those are essential for intellectual growth. One requires them for self-correction and for adaptation to new modes of thought, and new ways for looking at things. Where they are lacking, a person remains fixed on old viewpoints and old interpretations of events. New data that contradicts them and that "calls for" an adjustment of perspective and accepted fact, is not "taken up", is rejected. A person's growth in mind and knowledge is stunted.
This Website is a prime example of the value of self-awareness and self-criticism. I have updated the Website many times over the past twenty years. In the case of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page, I have made updates numerous times in the past two decades because new awareness and sudden memory flashes have prompted me to change data on which cartoons are in an episode. Such new awareness and flashes of memory have necessitated rethinking on the content of the instalments. Rejection of old reportages of data and replacing of them with the products of new insight. I became suddenly aware of similarities between "Wild Over You" and "Mouse-Taken Identity", began thinking about the possibility that "Wild Over You" was cartoon two of Show 3 and not "Don't Axe Me" as had previously been supposed (if only because it was the only cartoon on The Road Runner Show as that television programme known to me in 1997, that seemed to fit into The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour's first season in its early batch of episodes). I later, in 2009, learnt that "Wild Over You" was in The Road Runner Show's cartoon package. In 2015, I had my sudden insight into the similarities between it and "Mouse-Taken Identity" and the apparent fit of the knight's armour motif with other cartoons in Show 3 and Show 4. And then, the flashes of memory of seeing the opening scene to "Wild Over You" while in our house in Douglastown. And fairly early then. 1973. Or 1974. Based on all of this, I had to change my cartoon listing for the episode. Self-criticism made that possible. Had I lacked self-criticism, I would just have said that as I am always right, I had to be correct back in 1997, "Don't Axe Me" therefore has to be cartoon two of Show 3, and new indications to the contrary should be rejected. Self-correction that ought to go with cataloguing of vintage material from memory alone, is essential to the integrity of one's work in that field of endeavour.
It is also self-correction based on self-criticism that has prompted me to reject old ideas and favour new ones for my Space: 1999 chronology that has changed numerous times in the past thirty years. I may indeed someday reject what I currently have with something quite different as new and better ideas come to light for chronicling the subject matter in a coherent way that is respectful toward given data.
If I were lacking in self-criticism, I would not have given consideration to the self-improvement books that I read in the early 1990s. I would not have grown mentally and become aware of different angles for looking upon my childhood experiences and for better understanding my friends' actions toward me.
What my oh, so favourite people in Space: 1999 fandom routinely say is, "I felt that..." Or, "I thought that..." Always citing their past, initial reaction to something, some episode, some character, some concept, some performance, as set in stone, immutable, the sacrosanct product of some unquestionable orthodoxy. And they are never wrong. They cannot ever be wrong. Any contradictory observations or insights are rejected outright, and these men and women congregate into groups of people whose outlook on the television show matches theirs precisely and who in unison "slap down" anyone who possesses cogent insights that might compel a reasoning, open-minded individual to reassess an episode, a season, or whatever.
Oh, they accepted David Hirsch's observations about the "mysterious unknown force". Of course, they did. Because those observations buttressed their established preference for "Year One". Indeed, they coopted them fully and have become rabidly dogmatic in proclaiming them, and in rejecting the season that opted to veer away from them. No matter what insights may be had from that other season. People seeing merit in it are heretics. Delusional "flakes" who are "one can short of a six-pack". Who must be pilloried in the court of opinion.
Derangement syndromes can be the ultimate outcome within groups of "echo-chambered" people lacking in self-awareness. When questioning of accepted norms within the group has become unthinkable, when rather than adapting to changing circumstances or facts that point to a different conclusion, people become deeply entrenched in their established outlooks and base their biases rigidly upon those outlooks, scapegoating of an outlier or of outliers and routine attacks upon him, her, or them becomes standard practice. And this is where a derangement syndrome "kicks in". Some deranged groups are congregations of losers. Others, if they have political power to some degree or some established control over the dissemination of thought outside of their bubble, can be quite dangerous. There are all too many minds that are attracted to ideologies that demand unquestioning obedience to an idea or course of action. And history has shown to where that may lead.
Problem is that people lacking self-awareness and self-criticism cannot be reasoned-with. And to them one should not ever show weakness. They tend to be attracted to positions of authority and political power, and when they achieve that, people possessing self-awareness and self-criticism must be exceedingly guarded in how they proceed with their enlightened processes of thought. Self-aware people cannot afford to show self-doubt, and any mistake (all humans make mistakes) will be used by the authority person or persons to nullify them in the eye of the hoi polloi. And, yes, I am alluding to my experience in 1995 with a certain fan club president. I learnt too late what sort of person I was dealing with in the early-to-mid-1990s. Him, plus the the rank-and-file, hive-minded crucifiers of the person whose thoughts do not belong in the vaunted group.
I really must go back to work on restoring my Era 6 memoirs. I keep losing my initiative, as it is not a time period of my life for which I have any large amount of affection. Apart from the fact that my parents were alive then. Indeed, that is the one undeniable merit of that life era, and it was a merit of every life era prior to their deaths. The better eras preceding 1987. Them, also.
July 15, 2018.
Just a short Weblog entry for this morning. I am on my vacation. Vacation from work. Vacation from contending with Fredericton drivers and traffic patterns. Vacation from responding to the asininity of people who have nothing better to do than to slur and smear a decades-old work of the imagination that I happen to fancy, for the amusement and approval of hive-minded, echo-chambered doltish louts who think themselves to be high-minded sophisticates.
But I will pose a question. Or a series of connected questions. If a man really detests and holds in contempt some production, why does he possess copies of it? And why does he watch said copies? Why does he sit down on his sofa and dedicate an hour of his life's ever-lessening hours of time to the viewing of something that he cannot abide and from which he is closed-mindedly incapable of gleaning any salient insight? And then march over to his keyboard and waste further minutes of time in the typewriting of a "hit piece" on it to share with people of the same persuasion who have said the same things and read the same things time and time again before?
It is patently ridiculous, is it not? To anybody possessing a rational mind and hailing from an upbringing rooted in common sense? It is an irrational behaviour that is indicative of some individual and collective disorder. A group of people each one of them so desperate to be validated in his or her negativity toward some work that he or she feels compelled to watch that work, myopically fault-find with it, and share with the approving herd more and more reiterated confirmation-biased attacks upon it. And then they, in their cosy circle of a few hundred (or perhaps a few thousand) wretchedly blinkered for decades wastes of highly evolved brain matter, feel superior to anyone who likes it, and declare themselves to be absolutely so through force of their numbers. And from that each one of them derives some sense of personal worth.
Of course, this is in reference to the Facebook group for Space: 1999. It is another usual day there. People approving one another's skewed hostile perspective on episodes of a season of their favourite television series that even forty-two years after its production they are unwilling to entertain any constructive aesthetic commentary thereupon. The episodes, "One Moment of Humanity" and "Brian the Brain", are receiving the intractable and relentless venom and wilful misinterpretation of premise and story (and denial of any suspension of disbelief, artistic licence, or "economy of detail") today. That and the ever-so-creative slights against Fred Freiberger and his work on the final seasons of a few television series, two of which were due to be cancelled whatever was done with them. Par for the course. And only people holding the same point of view are responsive in discussion "windows". Quislings that they are, fans of Season Two are saying nothing, them probably being in tacit accord with the "thrust" of the impaling swords of the legions of Freiberger haters. Or what few of them who are steadfast to their tastes and appreciations departed the group some time ago. It is such a horrible travesty that an imaginative television series of beauty and aesthetic calibre should be lumbered with a fandom such as this.
Somehow, my conflict in the past with the fans of Bob Clampett's cartoons does not seem to be very bothersome anymore. At least in cartoon fandom, outside of a circle of self-professed iconoclasts, there is a significant number of vocal appreciators of the works of Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng. I made some mistakes. Mistakes in how I responded to the Clampett pundits. And being self-aware and self-critical as I am, I was in a position of weakness in their company in the group whose discussion forum I helped to create. I conceded error and apologised to people totally lacking in self-awareness and self-criticism. And that is an invitation to be eaten for breakfast. One must never, ever mea culpa to such people.
Anyway. So much for my intended-to-be-short Weblog entry for today. But such is life in a world wherein asininity is confoundedly commonplace. One should not, one cannot, be brief in reacting to it. Not if one is to have integrity.
July 8, 2018.
I know that I said that I would desist from responding to the smugly rancorous garbage at the Space: 1999 Facebook groups. But I came upon this little gem, and I just could not resist the urge to write a response to it.
"Had to block the 'Damn Year 1 Snobs' guy to have any chance of enjoying this group. Damn, he's a pathetic whiner."
Oh, yes. Must not have anyone with an alternate point of view on Season-One-versus-Season-Two. Block him. The group must be a thoroughly sealed "echo chamber".
What is the matter? Is that person's statement about snobbery on the part of the Season One pundits hitting a bit too close to home? Striking a sensitive area, is it? Too close to the truth, perhaps?
And of course, their sensitivities must always be of the utmost consideration. Oh, they just perpetually call Season Two trash, excrement, fit only for children or for abjectly and wretchedly unsophisticated minds, and allege that anyone who fancies Season Two is stupid or mentally deficient. But oh, no. There is no snobbery in that. Or any effrontery. Of course not. Season Two has nothing in it that is the least bit laudable. And anyone who perceives otherwise must be delusional. Only stupid people could like it. Oh, but no offence. "Awww. What's the matter, Season Two lover, can't take a joke?" But oh, no. There is no snobbery at all in this. Oh, no, no, no, no.
"Fundamentalist" fans of Space: 1999- Season One are snobs. They are the epitome of snobbery. Of superciliousness. Of condescension. They mentally subsist on snobbery, on the sharing of it with each other and the expected garnering of hearty, "circle-jerking" approval. Anyone who does not stroke their group-associating egos is beneath their contempt.
I am quite sure that the "pathetic whiner" denunciation would be applied to me in the same brush stroke, for my deliberations on this Weblog about the group's attitude. Hm-m-m-m. I suddenly feel an urge to respond to such by singing, "It's my Weblog, and I'll whine if I want to. Whine if I want to. Whine if I want to."
But seriously. Ought not the assertion that somebody is a "pathetic whiner" be more aptly applied to people who for 42 years (and counting) closed-mindedly bemoan the changes for Season Two of Space: 1999? Day after day after day after day after day. Who for 42 years lament the appointment to producer role of Fred Freiberger. Who reiterate for the hundred-thousandth time that they missed Barry Morse in Season Two. Should not the pathetic whining be that of the fans who after four decades will not accept Space: 1999 for what it is and appreciate what both seasons have to offer? Might not this "pathetic whiner" tag be a case of psychological projection?
Still, perhaps I do have cause to pause. Oh, not for their sake. Their sake is damnable. Their not allowing a dead man to rest in peace and "making fun" of him is attestation to that. It is for my sake. Why waste my time writing entries for this Weblog on the subject of Space: 1999 and its fandom? I have no hope of changing anything. The rancour is just going to worsen. And more and more, these awful people are going to be given credence and authority on the subject of Space: 1999. Fewer and fewer people are going to be willing to look upon Season Two open-mindedly. Almost all that I ever read from people who did like Season Two when it first aired is that they have rejected it and are now "with" the Season One "camp". Or that they consider it a "guilty pleasure". Dean did say that what he called a conspiracy would not ever relent. That man has a frustrating tendency for being right.
I remarked this week on my own Facebook that fandom is one big cliche. Everything that it says is cliche. And I, too, have become a cliche in responding to the slurring of Season Two and of Fred Freiberger. What a tiresome bunch of moaners! And I suppose that this does include me. See? I have self-awareness. I can self-criticise. They utterly lack self-awareness and will never self-criticise. Anything that might give them pause has to be blocked. Stick fingers in ears and chant, "I can't hear you." So much for the enlightened ones.
This whole thing brings absurdity to a level that a quarter-century ago I would never have thought possible. But there is a whopping amount of absurdity in the world today. National politics is rife with it. Ah, but I am not going to go there. Not today.
No more pathetic whining from me today. I am going to enjoy the sun and the company of my little cat.
July 7, 2018.
I have updated my Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page to now have "Wild Over You" and not "Don't Axe Me" as the second cartoon of instalment three. I am not absolutely certain which of the two cartoons was in fact the third instalment's second cartoon, but I seem to be more confident now in saying that it was "Wild Over You" than I had been in favouring "Don't Axe Me" for that placement. I have been having flashes of memory of seeing the initial scenes of the cartoon (the ones in the Parisian Exposition of 1900) in our house in Douglastown in the 1970s. Of course, I do acknowledge that the memory can be inventive, especially after so long a time has elapsed since that which is seeming to be remembered. And I do not recall anything further of seeing that cartoon back then. But I do not remember seeing "Don't Axe Me" back then either.
Hence, I had better just follow what little memory I do have and go with "Wild Over You". I have also removed the title card for "Don't Axe Me" from the supplemental image gallery for The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour Page.
I never thought that the day would ever come when Dairy Queen stops selling hot dogs, chili dogs, etc.. But it has. At least in Fredericton. I went to the Prospect Street Dairy Queen and tried to order a chili cheese dog, to be told that hot dogs are no longer available there. I fear that this is also the case at the Dairy Queen in Newcastle. If it is, it is a humongous loss to me. And why? Why are companies making asinine decisions to constrict their range of offered items?
Earlier this year, Hamburger Helper removed all of the taste from every one of its varieties of hamburger meal. Varieties that had already shrunk in number over the past ten years. And now none of them have any taste to them. First that and now the demise of the Dairy Queen hot dog. Is 2018 not a monumentally excellent year so far?
I now have The Martian Chronicles on Blu-Ray, and am happy to report that the Kino Lorber curse has not touched it. An excellent release. The Blu-Ray disc's picture quality far surpasses that of the DVD release of 2004. And the audio is flawless.
July 4, 2018.
The second Blu-Ray disc of Pink Panther cartoons came unto me yesterday. I watched its cartoons and listened to some of the audio commentaries. So, what is my verdict?
First of all, "Pink Outs" still looks very worn. It has looked distinctly not pristine in all of its prior DVD releases. There are several black vertical lines indicative of film wear. Technology is now able to remove such lines (and it ought to be especially easy to do so with a cartoon like those of the Pink Panther). But apparently there is no budget for film restoration at either MGM or Kino Lorber.
The music in "Pink Panic" has a "hollowed-out" and narrow sound to it. A pity, as that is one of my favourite Pink Panther cartoons, and music is one of the key reasons as to why this is so. There is something distinctly "sour" or "off" about the music at the start of "Pinknic". And the audio to "Congratulations! It's Pink" sounds by times like it is being rendered in a cardboard tube. I do not know why it is so, but audio always seems to be a weak area for a Kino Lorber Blu-Ray release.
On a positive note, "Psychedelic Pink" is finally presented again without laugh track, for the first time in a home video release since the PINK PANTHER ANIMATION ARCHIVE laser videodisc. And it has had its title music restored to include the bongo music passages as the cartoon title appears and as credits are transitioned. Bravo for that. But it, alas, does not compensate for the loss of unique title music on two Inspector cartoons on the Blu-Ray release of those some two years ago.
The audio commentaries that I heard are appreciative of the work that went into the cartoons and do not verge into the "snarky" negativity that blights audio commentaries on the post-1948 Warner Brothers cartoons. And for this, I am grateful.
It feels so good to actually have some Blu-Rays to buy as it had been, for me, a mostly fallow year for that prior to late last month. Apart from some additional Kino Lorber Blu-Ray releases (of more Pink Panther cartoons, The Day After, and the two Kolchak television movies) and maybe some more Doctor Who, the remainder of 2018 is going to be "easy on my wallet". I think that a fact has to be faced, it being that little else of what I currently hold on DVD is going to be released on Blu-Ray.
And that is, I suppose, an agreeable arrangement as I am loathe to give any of my money to the major studios these days. Political reasons. The "culture war" of late that is being waged against my particular demographic. It seems that, for the political Leftist posturing of today, my demographic is the new bourgeoisie that must be subverted, de-platformed, disenfranchised, and (I pray that such is never permitted to happen) dispossessed and removed from existence.
I must have missed how I am so privileged, so high-status. So deserving of being knocked off of a pedestal. My parents worked under the yoke of other people for all of their working lives, and worked laboriously and stressfully for what they had. My mother in particular sacrificed a tremendous amount of time with me and my father, for her career. A career as a nurse. Someone who helps people, cares for people. My father was working class. Blue collar. He was an enlisted man in the military and then a bus custodian for Fredericton Transit. Their combined incomes and the fact that they had only one child enabled them and I to live comfortably in middle class. Back in the prosperous times that were the 1970s and 1980s. Just. I was an outcast at school. Definitely not a privileged or prestigious figure there. In my working life in adulthood, nothing was handed to me. I had to struggle for whatever advancements I achieved. I did janitorial work. I mowed grass. Over the course of ten years, I worked up a ladder from volunteer to freelance Production Assistant to Associate Producer to Producer. And with my promotion to Associate Producer, I was on the receiving end of flak and wilful uncooperativeness from colleagues. Friendship in adulthood has been difficult for me to find and to maintain. And of course, everyone who reads my Weblog knows how outcast I am in the communities of followers of my favourite entertainments. I bristle at any attempt to portray what I have achieved as unearned and a result of privilege. My parents if they were alive today would be even more nettled at a portrayal of the results of their labours as being somehow undeserved.
I am "holding firm" to my principles. I have bought nothing Star Wars since the Blu-Ray box set of the movies back in 2011. Nothing more of twenty-first century manufacture. Nothing first-hand. I have bought some second-hand books from the 1970s and early 1980s. But the money for those purchases does not go to the coffers of present-day Lucasfilm and Disney. I vowed never again to pay for movie tickets for the Star Trek "franchise" after seeing what J.J. Abrams was doing to it. I have not supported Space: 1999 fandom with any of my money since I quit Alpha League in 1995. At the very least, one ought to respect me for the steadfastness of my convictions in these regards.
I have rambled enough for today, I suppose.
July 3, 2018.
I am still waiting for the delivery of the second Pink Panther cartoons Blu-Ray disc and The Martian Chronicles Blu-Ray. The Doctor Who Season Twelve Blu-Ray set is now en route to me also, but reports of flaws with it are hampering my enthusiasm.
I am not aware as yet of any problems with the second Pink Panther cartoons Blu-Ray. Reviews of it have been curiously non-existent. But given Kino Lorber's "track record", it would be most premature to expect a faultless Blu-Ray disc.
The Trudeau Day (oops, I mean, Canada Day) holiday has slowed the national mail system somewhat. I would not expect to see any of the shipments coming my way for another couple of days at least.
Yes, Canada is fixated on the Trudeau family. I have no hope of ever being free of that family's hold on the reins of our country. Canada was never really happy in the years between 1984 and 2015 during which a Trudeau was not the Prime Minister of our country. All that it wants is for a charismatic (or so my fellow country-persons claim him to be) person with the Trudeau surname hailing from Quebec to be its "daddy" provider of unlimited "free" goodies. No malfeasance or abject far-political-Leftist-ideological goofiness that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commits ever seems to harm him in the eyes of the people of my country. Why not just rename the country Trudeau and be done with it?
I have to admit to feeling some satisfaction at the tribulations now besetting the Star Wars "franchise". The latest movie, Solo, has lost money, is not profitable. And The Last Jedi finally awoke a majority percentage of Star Wars fandom to the fact that all is not copacetic with the writers, directors, and producer of all things Disney Social Justice Star Wars. I am happy to report that I have not contributed a thin dime to the "franchise" as it currently exists. I have not paid to see any Star Wars movie from The Force Awakens onward. The hiring of J.J. Abrams to direct and to write was all that I needed to know as regards the wisdom, or lack thereof, fuelling the Disney iteration of the George Lucas opus.
Many a YouTube video exists that asks if Star Wars can be saved. I say, no. Not unless a Bobby Ewing in the shower sort of scenario can be concocted. And even then, why bother? Star Wars is a spent concept. It was a spent concept after The Empire Strikes Back. It has just been regurgitating the same old tropes ever since. Quick. We have to "blow up" the Death Star again. We need to find some missing item or rescue some captured person. We must defeat the evil Sith Lord in yet another sabre duel. We must try to keep someone in the family from succumbing to the Dark Side. Yawn. Lucasfilm should have quit when its ideas were still fresh. Or at least after Return of the Jedi. That was a logical place to end the saga, however perfunctory was the conception and execution of that third Star Wars movie.
All for today.
Brief Weblog entry for today, Sunday, June 24, 2018.
It is my friend Joey's birthday today. I will not say how old he is.
Joey, my best friend of my life's fourth era. He was more like a brother to me than anyone I have ever known.
This past week, I was seized with a sudden inspiration. I have at last reconciled the given date in "Dragon's Domain" of Space: 1999- Season One with the chronology of Space: 1999's Season Two, without the shaky contrivance of advancing the Alphan calendar to 887 days since leaving Earth orbit and reversing it back to before 342 days after leaving Earth orbit. In a way, "Dragon's Domain" does happen at 887 days after Moon departing Earth orbit and does occur while Alpha is in the midst of the 42-day-long space storm cited by Helena in "The Rules of Luton". How is this possible? Look at my chronology for Space: 1999 and the entry for "Stormy Passage". For John and Helena, "Dragon's Domain" happens twice. Once in actuality at 271 days since leaving Earth orbit, and once during disorientation in the climax of the Moon's passage through the space storm, in a kind of repetition. Koenig and Russell's most turbulent time in their developing relationship.
After "Dragon's Domain" happens originally, at 271 days after Moon leaving Earth orbit, Helena four days later says in her preamble to the typewritten Cellini story that it was 271 days since the Moon left Earth when Cellini began to believe that he was, "...closing for a second time with his mortal enemy." And Koenig states that it is years (an unspecified number of years) since the Ultra Probe and not five years. So, as events are shown in the episode as filmed, the viewer is experiencing "Dragon's Domain" from the relived version of it experienced by John and Helena during the space storm. And as a result of their disorientation, incorrect depictions of the Ultra Probeship in the spaceship graveyard and of Eagle docking with the Probeship, are explainable. As, too, is the incorrect date on the "Space News" report.
And one might envisage Koenig and Helena speculating on the possibility that there may have been an intelligence in the space storm. An intelligence that wanted to know about human relationships and the challenges to the continuance of them and that plucked the memory of John and Helena's quarrel over Tony Cellini out of their minds and had them relive it and the circumstances surrounding it. And they were prevented from realising that they were reliving the experiences so as for their reprise of them to be unimpaired by doubt on their part as to the reality of any of the reiterated circumstances and events.
So, "Dragon's Domain" is at 271 days after Moon leaves Earth and is reprised as an experience for John and Helena at 877 days since Moon went out of Earth orbit, whilst Alpha is going through a disorienting space storm. There it is.
Kino Lorber's second Blu-Ray of Pink Panther cartoons is expected to be released this week. I should have it within the next ten days. I certainly hope that Kino Lorber quality control has improved for this Blu-Ray release. Time will tell if this is the case.
It is Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
I have a kitten. A totally black one by the name of Nero (chosen by the people at the pet adoption agency or by the people supplying him thereto). Nero is the Italian word for black, which is rather apt as a name for a black cat. Nero was also the Roman Emperor who played the fiddle while Rome burned and who fed Christians to Colosseum lions, but I trust my little kitten does not share that nature with his namesake. He is a little terror, though. Very much so. He has attacked me several times and is slowly subjecting the household furniture and curtains to shredding by tooth and claw. He will not allow me to eat without his presence beside my plate, poised to grab at the food thereon. Sleep at nights can be problematical, too. He is particularly jealous of my attention and will not permit me to type anything at length. As things are, I am writing this Weblog entry while at work on a slow afternoon.
I expect that my Weblog entries will be few and far between for awhile. Because of the attention that I have to concentrate upon little Nero. And also because HostPapa has informed me that I have exceeded the Website limit for automatic back-up. Web space is starting to become a concern, and in response to that concern, I propose to reduce my ruminations and my responses to the attacks of other people upon my esteemed favourite works.
I do not wish to waste valuable Web space responding more to the incessant, repeated slurring of Season Two of Space: 1999. I have defended that quite adroitly and impressively, if I must say so myself, over the past few years. With what Web space that I have left in my current plan with HostPapa, I want to restore my Era 6 and Era 7 memoirs. And I promise that this coming summer (which is almost upon us) I will do precisely that. Image content will be sparse for those eras, as I do not retain much photography for them, outside of my 1995 trek across North America. And that is largely an odyssey that I would prefer not to remember. I certainly do not remember it fondly.
Before I "leave aside" my defences of Season Two of Space: 1999, one final hurrah, as I "deal with" some of the more recent remarks by the denizens of the Space: 1999 Facebook community.
Nothing major. Just the following.
"First season was excellent, second season was not."
Oh, how considered! Oh, how eloquent! Oh, how observant of every potential interpretation of subject matter! Where aesthetic appreciation of an imaginative work is concerned, a work that is the result of collaboration between so many talented people, nothing can be so absolutely judged. Not by someone with an iota of intellectual acuity. This is the breadth of intellectual discourse offered by the average Space: 1999 fan. At least there is no vulgar language. One can be grateful for that mercy.
"'Year 1' was nearly flawless. And the use of monsters was minimal - as it should be.
The ridiculous monsters of 'Year 2' makes one cringe and sadly made the show look really retarded."
Why should it be minimal? Where is the guidebook for science fiction/fantasy production wherein it is cited as absolute truth that monsters are "bad" science fiction/fantasy? They certainly are popular in Star Wars and in Doctor Who. Both highly acclaimed opuses.
I am not the person who usually argues in zealous favour of political correctness, but the word, retarded, is offencive to the intelligence of anyone to whom it is directed, by extension in this case anyone who happens to fancy what the commenter here brands as looking retarded. What is ridiculous about the monsters of "Year 2"? They are aliens with rubbery skin. So, what? Such aliens appear in other works. Works that are popular and acclaimed. How about specifying exactly what is ridiculous about them? And proving that they are any less effective than the Gorn of Star Trek or the Ice Warriors of Doctor Who or some of the Cantina creatures of Star Wars? And as I have said before, the monsters in the majority of Season Two episodes in which monsters appear, are not on screen for very long. A dozen or half-dozen seconds in a number of cases.
The discussion that I am citing here pertains to the usual fan refrain about "Dragon's Domain" being virtually perfect (it really is not) and a using of "Dragon's Domain" against Season Two much like Victor Bergman is routinely used to attack Season Two.
There are plenty of things wrong with "Dragon's Domain". It is a very effective opus of science fiction/horror with its monster scenes. But it can often be questionable in its storytelling logistics. Why is a "suppressed hysteric" like Cellini allowed to have axes and spears in his living quarters? Why does Cellini not wait for restored communications with Alpha to report contact with the spaceships and then request instructions? Why does he send all three of his crew members into the spaceship when it would be prudent to first send one, in case there are dangers not detected by sensors? Two poor command decisions there, rather validating Cellini's critics' assessment of him as an overconfident and deficient leader. I think the intention was to portray Cellini as a man unfairly maligned and to show Koenig as being incontrovertibly right to believe in Cellini's integrity of character and infallibility of leadership. If so, the script does not support it. Why are there not sufficient provisions for even one Ultra Probe crew member to make a return journey in the Ultra Probeship's command module without returning in a near-death state? A planned manned landing on Ultra with no wings, vertical thrusters, and landing gear on the Probeship's component sections? Really? Dixon and Bergman maintain that the contacts recorded on the Black Box were not specified as being spaceships, but Koenig says that the Black Box recorded a breathable atmosphere on an alien spaceship with an intact docking seal. Contradictory, no? Why no video cameras on the Probeship recording moving images of the alien spaceships for the Black Box as the Probeship approached them? Cellini overpowers Carter and dumps him in the passenger module and evades capture by Koenig and company way too easily. The "Space News" announcer gives the wrong date for his newscast. Helena ought to say that the Moon is between solar systems, not galaxies; Koenig says that there is nothing for billions of miles, which is a description of an interstellar void, not an intergalactic one. The Ultra Probeship is shown, shorn of its command module, already atop the monster's spaceship as the Ultra Probeship is approaching the monster's spaceship and Cellini and Darwin King are talking about the "graveyard". The nose cone of Cellini's Eagle has both a Stewardess Section and the Pilot Section. No. That is wrong. The same sort of mistake was made in Season One's "Missing Link". Koenig's Eagle in exterior view clearly is not shown docking with the Ultra Probeship at its port side, which is the way whereby Koenig and company enter the Probeship in the interior view. The Ultra Probeship multiple-exposes with the Space Dock as it launches. Jets are not coming out of the Eagle nozzles but from what looks like piping as Cellini does a lift-off of the Eagle minus its passenger module.
Yes, there is plenty wrong with it. Yet, the fans matter-of-factly proclaim its perfection. "Dragon's Domain" was my favourite episode for many years, and I am rather fond of it to this day. But it is not something to be used as a supreme brickbat against episodes of Season Two. Not by a rational person.
"What happened? a Serial Killer came on board, namely Fred Freiberger..."
Pah! That is all that this cliched and ignorant comment really warrants. Besides, I have answered it before, so very many times before.
"The second series chased the same thing current cinema is chasing which is lowest common denominator popularity with no real concern for substance."
Rubbish. Current cinema does have substance. It is just not the sort of substance that is to my liking. The substance is political Leftist messaging. Identity politics. Subverting, debasing, and "killing off" the traditional white male hero. Oh, there is substance, all right. Plenty of concern for it. The substance that could ultimately destroy all pride in Western civilisation and its myriad accomplishments.
And Season Two has substance, by the way. Whether there was concern for substance or not, it is there. It is just not along the lines of overt philosophical commentary. It is aesthetic. It is referential of Jungian psychology and archetypes thereof. It invokes literature like "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". It can appeal to the action-craving lowest common denominator mentality (though I hate the invoking of that terminology with regard to anything imaginative in the space science fiction/fantasy field of entertainment; a person watching a work of the imaginative space science fiction/fantasy genre is already not part of that lowest common denominator that is at home in the watching of something Earth-grounded and largely unimaginative like The Dukes of Hazzard) and be refined and thought-provoking in its motifs at the same time. Action and meaningful content are not mutually exclusive things.
"Haven't posted here before, but I remember watching episodes in the mid 70s here in Alberta, and being captivated by the Eagles and of course some of the toys that came out when I was a youngster. Just got through Season 1, and was pleasantly surprised how it held up. I might not be saying that much longer though.. on my 2nd episode of Season 2. Please tell me that it can't get any worse. I had read some things that a few characters were changed, but why such a dramatic shift in storyline, etc? Did whoever was making it just want it out of it's misery?"
It's. I laugh.
But it does distress me to see people in my own country, to whom the CBC served Space: 1999's second season in a way that really did it justice, be so pigheadedly dismissive about Season Two. As is very usual for the Season Two detractor, he does not qualify his statements about it "getting worse" upon having viewed, I presume, "The Metamorph" and "The Exiles". And the fact that after forty-two years someone has to ask the questions that he does just shows an unmitigated ignorance. And a decades-spanning laziness for doing research.
As to something "holding up", what does that mean, anyway? "Hold up" to what? To the ever so definitively absolute standards of today? As if today's standards are by necessity the ultimate in superiority. Standards of what? Imagination? Production value? Set design? Visual effects? Season One has computers that output paper read-outs and lack monitor screens. That "holds up"? Open-reel magnetic tape inside computers. That "holds up"? Cardboard Eagle "cut-outs". That "holds up"? Jump-cuts as spaceships explode, most especially in "Alpha Child". That "holds up"? Luke Ferro's camera. That "holds up"? Just prattling a vacuous and lame comment like this on the expectation that like-minded people will accept it as gospel, ought to be just a fatuous exercise and a waste of any rational person's time. It is, as far as I am concerned.
Par for the course for these people.
Back to my kitty.
Warner Brothers has yet again repackaged its first few DVD sets of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, those under the LOONEY TUNES SPOTLIGHT COLLECTION banner, and is selling them through retailers. Yes, those same old 2003, 2004, 2005 DVDs. The codec on them is very inferior to the codec of DVD today, and there are still those 2010 DVDs with cropped-to-widescreen cartoons that could be reissued with correct aspect ratio. But Warner Brothers is averse, evidently, to spending any money on new glass masters for any new DVD release. Yes, even if some cartoons are already remastered and require no further restoration work. Sad times. And I can see no end in sight to them.
Recently, among the daily assaults upon Season Two of Space: 1999 at the Facebook group for that television show, was a bemoaning of Fred Freiberger not watching all twenty-four first season episodes before commencing work on Season Two. The contention being that he ought to have watched all twenty-four episodes of Season One in order to craft second season episodes having an intricate continuity with what had transpired in first season.
To this I say (per what is printed in the late Tim Heald's book, The Making of Space: 1999) that it was recommended that Freiberger watch eight Season One episodes, and he did so. He probably was expected upon his appointment to producer to just "get on with it", to ring the changes that he and Gerry Anderson "pitched" to Lew Grade to persuade Grade to commission a Season Two. He probably was expected to not "dwell" very much on what had been done in Season One. The first season was regarded as having failed. Failed to achieve placement on an American television network, despite the sums of money spent on employing Landau and Bain by Grade. Failed to win favour with established fandom for televised science fiction/fantasy, such as Star Trek. ITC had spent some considerable money on advertising Space: 1999 to individual television stations, and "curiosity viewing" in the initial weeks of broadcast had abated by mid-autumn. "Year One" of Space: 1999 had been cancelled. Having Space: 1999 revived by Lew Grade for a renewed Season Two meant changes. Significant changes. If Gerry Anderson had been more "gung ho" about continuity with Season One, he could have been insistent upon it. Freiberger was working for him. He was the Executive Producer. But he was not insistent upon continuity with Season One. Not during conception of the Season Two style. Not during the writing of the scripts. Not during filming of the episodes. Episodes of first season were not referenced in those of Season Two. There were statements in "The Metamorph" to the effect that the Alphans had been betrayed in past history. Not much else was said beyond that. The intention was for viewers to be engaged in what was happening in Season Two, not to encumber scripts with past episode references. References to episodes of which viewers on a given week may have no knowledge. Space: 1999 was being made for the general viewing public. Not for fans. Oh, I know how difficult that it is for fans to accept this fact, but all feelings aside, it is a fact that has to be acknowledged by a rational mind.
The two seasons do still have many things in common (runaway Moon concept, the struggle for survival in space, Eagles, reconnaissances to alien planets, encounters with Greco-Roman-styled alien civilisations, planets with feminine coding and subtle references to Gaia, Koenig and Russell and their relationship, the heroism of Alan Carter), and imagination on the part of viewer can reconcile them to the same continuity. The date in "Dragon's Domain" excepted, there really is nothing in Season One that cannot be coopted into an overall Space: 1999 continuity, if one accepts that something may have happened to cause Alphan outlook to alter. There is no outright contradiction in situation or depicted empirical fact that makes reconciliation utterly impossible. Yes, Earth civilisation still exists in Season Two's "Journey to Where" but had perished on the Earth seen in Season One's "Another Time, Another Place", but it is not stated when "Another Time, Another Place" occurs in the epochs of the Earth. It could be far in the future or, as Bergman posits, far in the past. There is no irreconcilable difference.
Much as the fans refuse to accept it, Space: 1999 is one television series. It was distributed as such in syndication in North America. It was on DVD and is on Blu-Ray as such. It is one television series as Spiderman, with its different Grantray-Lawrence and Ralph Bakshi styles, is one television series. If after more than forty years fans are unwilling to accept this fact and appreciate what Space: 1999 as one television series had to offer aesthetically, philosophically, entertainingly, this is their problem. And their closed-mindedness and incessant maligning of Season Two is their pathology.
Freiberger watched those eight episodes and gave his assessment of what he had seen to Abe Mandell. Anderson could have talked to Freiberger about what Season One's strengths were and urged him, or ordered him, to watch more episodes. But that was not the case. I am not sure that Anderson even recognised those strengths, beyond the obvious technical production achievements. Anderson and Freiberger were embarking on a new season with new style, new characters, new adventures for the Alphan characters. To use the post-modern vernacular, they were "going forward".
All right. The latest deluge of anti-Season Two arsenic concentrates upon costuming. First posted comment in the Facebook "thread" says that the "overdressing" in Season Two is detestable. And out pour such ever so erudite statements as:
"Like everything else in Season 2, ott."
"The ID badges they wore in season 2 were just dumb."
"Amnesia was becoming a problem on Alpha. 300 people to keep track of were just too many after all that time."
The last of these is from someone whose only contributions to the group are venomous attacks on Season Two and "like clicking" of other people's anti-Season Two rants. Seriously.
"Over-the-top". Everything? Really? And nothing ever, ever was "over-the-top" in Season One? Not even Regina Kesslann's fit of hysteria? I had a friend who thought Jack Tanner in "Death's Other Dominion" to be laughably exaggerated in his mania at times. Not that I necessarily agree with that, mind. But an argument could be made, I suppose.
Look, since when is having a full range of human emotion an exaggeration? Wilful exaggeration or not. Nobody in Season Two twirls a moustache and laughs like the Joker in Batman. Indeed, there is an admirable amount of subtle acting in Season Two. There are some theatrical performances, to be sure. Gerry Sundquist as Malic in "The Dorcons", for instance. But it is still measured to the particular import of a scene and gives a Shakespearean quality to the dialogue delivery. How anybody can brand the conversation between Koenig and Maya on the Luton hilltop as laughably exaggerated is beyond me. Koenig and Maya are talking about their pasts and the pain experienced by loss of a loved one. News flash, people. It is natural to cry over the remembered loss of a beloved wife.
Sanderson is obsessed and irrational. Of course, he rants and raves. Carolyn Powell is losing her mental stability. So, of course she has fits of hysteria along with sullen and menacing contemplation. Koenig, having been incapacitated for some time, has suddenly discovered hideous aliens having infiltrated the Command Centre, and all of his people think that they are friends. That would be enough to send any normal person into an extremely agitated state. And this said, there is admirable subtlety in Landau's acting as John first walks into Command Centre with Helena and Vincent and sees for the first time what is therein. The viewer can discern that something is clearly wrong from Koenig's perspective, and wonders for some seconds what it is. Koenig's emotion builds as it becomes all too evident that he is the only person who sees what is really there in Command Centre and he becomes cognisant of the menace in the situation (clearly all of his people are being deceived in an elaborate and probably sinister scheme of aliens, the end to which not yet known). The refusal of his people to see what is really there or to at least give to him benefit of doubt is what makes him bellow and "lash out". And he may also have an idiosyncratic aversion to the look of the aliens.
But I am digressing. I was intending to address the attacks upon costumes. Specifically, the Alphan dress. The first season Alpha uniforms could, from another point of view, be said to be drab and unflattering to the physique of some actors. I have always liked the jackets of Season Two. That many of the characters have at least two jackets that they wear alternately episode to episode gives to each episode a look somewhat different and distinguishable from that of the others. What is wrong with wearing a jacket, or a blazer, to work? I do so much of the time. I am required to do so. The Alphan jackets have a sartorial purpose, in that they can conceal the degree to which an actor possesses a paunch. And they have pockets, which can be convenient if a person has objects (e.g. scanning equipment) that he or she needs to carry while at the same time he or she prefers to have free use of his or hands. With planetary reconnaissances, the jackets are practical in this sense, with small analysis gear needing to be carried. In addition to providing additional comfort in conditions lacking in climate control (not every planet that the Alphans reconnoitre is going to have a perfect twenty-degrees-Celsius temperature and little or no wind).
I like the fact that jackets change on some Alphans as Season Two progresses. Alan's jacket is red in early episodes and green in the later ones. The men wear jackets increasingly toward the end of the second season. And there is an aesthetic quality to the jackets also. In "Devil's Planet", every Alphan besides Koenig is wearing red. Red in jackets and in some cases red in tunic sleeve and collar. A curious correspondence to what Koenig will find on Entra, Elizia and her minions all dressed in red. Oh, of course we know that the fans despise the very idea that there could be anything aesthetically interesting about Season Two. So, naturally they are averse to the jackets and the possible aesthetic value of them.
The I.D. badges are not dumb. They have a purpose. Alpha receives visits from aliens. Is it not sensible for Alphans to wear badges of identification for aliens to know who they are and what their area of specialisation is? In case an alien wants to put a question to them? The I.D. badges as a concept may be said to hail from a pre-"Breakaway" Alpha on which new people were joining Alpha on a regular basis, and when it was practical for each Alphan to be identifiable to every other Alphan. See? Not dumb.
As to the jacket badges, they indicate the particular achievements and the expertise of individual Alphans, while also representing that Alphans wearing the same badges share a similar professional background. On a Moonbase that is trying to become less depersonalising and more congenial to long-term habitation by a psychologically balanced populace of individuals sharing some commonalities within a collective, opting for the wearing of badges has a certain sense to it.
And I will add that Koenig, Bergman, and Cellini in all have I.D. badges in Season One's "Dragon's Domain". And that the jackets that they wear (yes, jackets) have on them some of the badges seen in Season Two. So, the jackets and the badges had their beginning in "Year One".
Someone has also lambasted Season Two for it no longer portraying the commlock as granting limited access of Alphans to the sections of Moonbase, i.e. as restricting entry to certain sections to Alphans authorised to be in them. In Season Two, doors open to all Alphans at push of a button on a wall panel. And some open automatically. To this, I will say that post-"Breakaway", Alpha is a community with very little addition to its complement, and everyone on Alpha soon has a proven dedication to a common cause. Everyone on Alpha is working toward the same end. Survival. Naturally, Alpha would be "tighter-knit" as a community. With the sections of Alpha having to collaborate to a greater degree for the purpose of survival, would it not make more sense for Alphans to be able to come and go throughout Alpha with as little restriction as possible? To deliver equipment, reports, whatever, to one another. Of course, if there should arise a situation in which Koenig or Verdeschi may decide to restrict movement through the Moonbase or in one section of it, the coming and going of personnel could be limited, and Alphans would require commlocks again to gain entry to the sections to which they have particular access. So, the commlock would still have a purpose outside of its function as a communication device.
The damning of Season Two on these grounds is unfounded. It can be rationally argued that the jackets, the I.D. badges, and the changes to the applications of the commlock follow the ethos and the motivations of the Moonbase as it adjusts to changing circumstances.
All for today, June 7, 2018.
The usual garbage. This time with a difference. Someone actually writes an intelligent reply to it.
First, the garbage. It pertains to Maya. Maya of Space: 1999- Season Two.
"How could her mass shape shift in to a smaller mass, especially the cock roach that could crawl under airtight doors as she did in that one episode. Grrrrr, have I ever mentioned how much better and more believable season one was?!!
I know she might have been. 'Hot' for her day (I didn't think so), but Catherine Schell ruined/destroyed an otherwise awe inspiring and thought provoking show, at least for a ST fan teenager.
I would rather of had Victor Bergman back in S2 In drag if need be."
I am sure that my former friend, Tony, would have had no end of fun in ridiculing Victor for that. Anyway...
"Would rather of". Ah, yes. The requisite grammatical mistake.
Punctuation mistake in a lack of question mark at end of a question.
And a spelling error. Cockroach is one word.
Missing hyphens in awe-inspiring and thought-provoking.
And the usual factual error. Maya turned into a cockroach to move underneath a force field barrier in "One Moment of Humanity". Not a door. Airtight or otherwise.
I am as usual overwhelmed by the fans' precision in following the rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation and their ever so exacting knowledge of the proceedings of Season Two episodes as they attack Season Two for alleged faults.
So, Season Two cannot provoke thought or inspire awe? It does so for me on both counts. It did for a former associate of mine.
How in bloody hell does one "jobbing actress" doing an acting part and delivering a more than decent performance (even most of Season Two's most vitriolic critics tend to concede that much) in that part ruin or destroy a television show all by herself? She was doing a job, and doing it competently and professionally.
"At least for a ST fan teenager." What? Does this person mean to say, teenage fan of Star Trek? Why not just say so? Okay. In what way is being a teenage fan of Star Trek germane to having a sufficiently considered disdain for Catherine Schell as Maya? I do not know. This person makes no cogent effort to articulate the association between his fandom for Star Trek and his dislike of Season Two of Space: 1999 and its "resident alien" character.
Her mass can change because of the special life-force that Psychons have. It can store life energy and discharge life energy. For God's sake, people. Stop applying Earth standard to alien beings. These are aliens! Aliens that can teleport themselves or teleport Alphans. Aliens that can mutate a baby into an adult and change its clothes. Aliens that can give to the Moon atmosphere and Earth gravity.
Every time that anything photographic from Season Two is posted onto the Facebook Space: 1999 groups, the negativity, the hostility, the erroneously founded cavils, the use-Season-One-against-Season-Two tactic, and the imagination-stunted assaults are to be expected as a matter of course within the first couple of posted comments. Day in, day out. Day in, day out. Day in, day out. Day in, day out. Day in, day out.
But at last, someone responds to it with a balanced statement.
"Let's face it, even Season 1 was more science fantasy than science fiction. Just based on the number of explosions of nuclear material, they should all be dead from the radiation. You either have to accept the junk science and enjoy it, or watch something else more realistic.
I missed Space 1999 when it was first released. I was born in 1960 and lived in South Florida from 1965 to 2016. It is entertaining and has good if not superb acting. I notice some story similarities to Star Trek but I'm not sure if that's coincidence or who may have copied whom.
Shape shifting pretty much requires alteration at the subatomic level because the molecular composition of one creature is completely different from another. So, it isn't too far of a stretch to assume mass and energy can change, or perhaps transition between adjacent dimensions. Science is just a way to explain what we observe. When we observe new things we have to develop science to explain them.
I'm a computer programmer and I have to turn off my programmer brain whenever I watch any movie or video that has computers or AI. Just comparing the computers in Space 1999 to the real computers in 1999 is striking. Why do their computers spit out paper cards? What are all those damn lights for? And how come all equipment catches fire but never creates smoke?"
Bravo. I tip my hat. A coherent argument. And almost completely devoid of any mistakes. Spelling, grammar, observations. Almost impeccable. It ought to be clear who the smarter person is in this exchange of writings.
I nominate the responder to be my hero of the year for 2018. I need not say anything more. His comments are effective as a reasoned reply in its own right.
He wrote the response two days ago. The attacker upon Season Two, Maya, and Catherine Schell has said nothing further. Why does that not surprise me? Oh, he will simply "double-down" and return at a later date to the Facebook group's discussions to repeat his opinion with ever more acidity and absurd self-confidence. Probably after someone else "lets loose" with a barrage of slurs against some episode's concept and an avowed hatred of Freiberger, the late man's name ridiculed for the millionth time.
June 4, 2018.
Today on planet Facebook, Space: 1999's isle with the "echo chamber".
"Ok guys subject for discussion with all the prequels going around just now how's about 'Space 1988' or thereabouts. Stories of the base being built & all of the missions into space that happened (and subsequently failed as told in Space 1999 storyline?) the building of the space station & the Hawk squadron. Thoughts anyone?"
"I'd say, lose the year 2 stuff-- otherwise their has to be a world War III"
And I would say, not lose the "Year 2" "stuff". So, there. I say there as in there. I at least know the difference in meaning between the words, there and their.
Ever so intelligent, as always. Are they not? Again, these are the people whose assessments of and opinions on Space: 1999 are sacrosanct.
World War Three was obviously a limited war, as it did not make Earth uninhabitable and end humanity. Why would it be so difficult to include it in a Space: 1999 "prequel".
Oh, sure. There could be a "prequel" for Space: 1999. There could also be a fourth LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION volume to the specifications that I proposed yesterday. But there will not be. Actually, the chances of there being a fourth volume of THE LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION and of it precisely following my specifications, are better, I reckon, than there are of there being any new production of Space: 1999. But a "pipe dream" is what both of these things are.
Ah, but fans sure do love to imagine their beloved Space: 1999 being revived. Without anything to do with the universally despised (ah, yes) "Year 2", of course. To be very plain with them, I will say that if Season Two is "retconned" out of existence in the Space: 1999 universe, spitefully ignored, "de-canonised" to please the fans, I will not accept anything that is made to revive Space: 1999. Not that such has a snowball's chance in hell of happening, mind. And if saying this makes me look like I have succumbed to asininity, then all I can say is, asininity breeds asininity. The first people to be asinine in Space: 1999's following were not devotees of Season Two.
On "Brian the Brain".
"Disliked this whole episode. Brian had the same shtick 'robots' had in American malls at this time. Referring to Command Center scene. I could not take this one seriously."
"Robots" in malls? With shtick? I had to "Google" this to see what such things are. I went to malls in the 1970s. There were no "robots" there, shtick-proclaiming or otherwise. Just some sit-in toy vehicles for the children. Maybe a booth for viewing a short cartoon. And the occasional instant-photograph booth. And some coin-operated dispensers for jelly beans, gumballs, or peanuts. That is all that I remember. Not being an American, I guess that I "missed out" on some ostentatious items in shopping malls.
Brian is a robot of modular design, physically connectable to the Swift spacecraft drive system and believable within the modular technology schema of Space: 1999. He would not be believable if he were obviously beyond the technological development of twentieth century Earth. And the maker, the "father", Captain Michael, may have been somewhat eccentric in fashioning the robot's head and in programming its voice. How is that unbelievable?
So, this person disliked a whole episode because of one humorous scene in Command Centre. Brian was supposed to be funny in that scene. It was an amusing affectation not revealing of his sinister purpose and not indicative of his past lethal actions on Planet D. A robot of funny impression that has mass-murdered. Irony, people. A storytelling quality that is lost on these proudly posturing quasi-intellectuals.
"I seem to remember liking it as a kid, but now it is unwatchable."
Maybe this person had better taste as a child. And probably more imagination. Unwatchable. How? How is it unwatchable? Because of Bernard Cribbins' Brian voice? I think that it looks quite fetching in high definition on Blu-Ray. An "unwatchable" production on Blu-Ray. Really? If it were really so bad as to be unwatchable, it would never have been repeated on television, much less be mastered in high definition and released on Blu-Ray.
I continue to search for a kitten. Oh, Fredericton, ever the city of unavailing and ignorant people. Nobody in this place believes in answering Kijiji correspondence.
May 31, 2018.
As a lark today, I have imagined a fourth LOONEY TUNES PLATINUM COLLECTION Blu-Ray set per my own particular desires for availability in high definition of certain cartoons, and have listed the contents of that desired box set. Here is that list.
"Hot Cross Bunny"
"Water, Water Every Hare"
"My Bunny Lies Over the Sea"
"Wild and Woolly Hare"
"Hip Hip- Hurry!"
"The Fastest With the Mostest"
"Tweet and Sour"
"The Leghorn Blows at Midnight"
"Plop Goes the Weasel"
"Holiday For Drumsticks"
"A Kiddie's Kitty"
"Here Today, Gone Tamale"
The Complete Egghead Jr.
"Little Boy Boo"
Friz Freleng Jekyll-and-Hyde
"Dr. Jerkyl's Hide"
"Hyde and Hare"
"Hyde and Go Tweet"
The Complete Charlie Dog
"Little Orphan Airedale"
"The Awful Orphan"
"Often an Orphan"
"Dog Gone South"
"A Hound For Trouble"
The Complete Goofy Gophers
"The Goofy Gophers"
"Two Gophers From Texas"
"A Ham in a Role"
"A Bone For a Bone"
"I Gopher You"
"Pests For Guests"
"Tease For Two"
The Complete Bugs and Wile E. Coyote
"To Hare is Human"
BONUS CARTOONS: "The Case of the Stuttering Pig", "The Impatient Patient", "Porky's Pooch", "Gopher Goofy"
A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur's Court
Bugs Bunny Creature Features
Bugs Bunny Superstar
Last Daze: The Final Years of Looney Tunes
"Cats and Bruises"
"Run, Run, Sweet Road Runner"
"Chimp and Zee"
"Bugged By a Bee"
May 30, 2018.
May 29, 2018.
Continuing on the subject of Space: 1999 and the attitude of its fans.
I recently watched the Space: 1999 first season's episode, "Guardian of Piri". A quite beautiful episode in production design. But it has not been an engaging and enjoyable episode for people with whom I have associated. Horses for courses, I guess, as such people in my life have rarely been enamoured enough with Space: 1999 to be absorbed into the "goings-on" in all episodes. I do tend to find it to be rather distant and distancing, difficult to "warm to", un-absorbing, and slow, with long periods of time with no dialogue. And what dialogue there is, mostly concerns computers. Not my favourite subject. It is not a favourite episode of mine, even though Koenig is very much the hero of it.
Do the Season One pundits ever remark on how convienient and how facile is the resolution of the story of "Guardian of Piri"? On planet Piri, the Servant of the Guardian commands the Alphans to destroy Koenig, who, the Servant says, threatens their peace and happiness. And they do not attack him en masse. Mathias and Carter stalk him and Helena but are stunned unconscious by Koenig. If time is suspended, as is said to be the case on Piri, how do guns fire? Anyway...
Pete Irving motions to kill Koenig and is stunned from behind by Helena. The Alphans around Helena have not disarmed her. Why not? They can see that she is now in league with Koenig. Koenig fires his gun at the Servant of the Guardian, and the gun's stun beam (surely Koenig did not fire the kill ray; surely he would not "shoot to kill" because of the off-chance that the Servant is a living being) fries away the Servant's face and burns out of operation the electronics behind the face. And then the Guardian conveniently explodes. The Guardian, that super-computer that can suspend time, gain dominion over Alpha's computer, brainwash the Alpha population, and lock the Moon in orbit around Piri (if time on Piri is suspended, how is it that Piri rotates and through rotation has gravity?), can be destroyed just by the firing of an energy weapon at its Servant. Koenig has zero difficulty in convincing every Alphan on Piri that they had been under the Guardian's influence and had been seeing illusions of a livable existence on a planet with many forms of life. Then, it is a hurried evacuation of the full Alpha population from Piri and back to Alpha. Everyone returns in a rush to Alpha, no one left behind on Piri, ostensibly, in the scramble to embark the Eagles.
But what happened to Pete Irving? Helena stunned him seconds before Koenig destroyed the Servant of the Guardian and, seconds after that, the Guardian itself. Surely he did not recover from the stun effect that quickly. Helena stunned him at rather a close range. It is unlikely enough for Alan and Mathias to quickly recover from the full-body-stun effect upon them. If Irving did not recover within the time frame of the dash back to the Eagles, he must have been carried to an Eagle, or left behind. The viewer is not told what became of Pete Irving. Were Season Two to be so vague about the fate of a character, it would be called onto "the carpet" for it, for a most severe thrashing. Ah, but as "Guardian of Piri" is Season One, no problem.
Ultimately, one just has to suspend disbelief and just accept that things happen because they do. That the viewer is not privy to every detail. But to be consistent and fair, this procedure must also apply to the episodes of Season Two. Of course, one can choose not to be consistent and fair, but if that is the case, then surely he or she should not be given reasonable credence as objective judge of the quality of a production. And the final and definitive word on the merit of either season should not be his or hers.
On Victoria Day, I went to New Brunswick's Miramichi River region and spent a few hours there in the former town of Newcastle and the former village of Douglastown, the two Miramichi River area places wherein I resided in my life eras one and two. The past few years have seen a huge amount of, for me, unfavourable change there in my old habitats, and on my latest visit back to there, my eyes were assaulted by another change. The mobile home in which my parents and I lived in my pre-school years is now gone from the trailer park in Newcastle. It used to be at back of Reid Street, with train tracks behind it. It was the mobile home with which my parents and I moved from Rivers, Manitoba to the Miramichi region of New Brunswick when I was three years-old.
Until as recently as last year, it was dependably situated where it had been since we parked it in the trailer park back in 1970. I could look upon it and its surrounding territories and experience surges of memories of my pre-school life. Now, that avenue of pleasure has been removed from me. As already had been the ability to gaze upon my old elementary school in Douglastown and revisit memories of being in and around that. The home of a friend in Douglastown has been torn down, and another friend's house has been radically altered by its new owners. And my old Douglastown dwelling has been renovated extensively. And all of this has happened in the space of a few short years.
The mobile home in Newcastle now being gone, just about every trace of the McCorry presence in the region Miramichi in the 1970s has been wiped. In that trailer, I saw "Hyde and Hare" for the first time and experienced my first disturbing and fascinating impressions of it. Also therein, I saw "Hyde and Go Tweet" for the first time. And "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide". And The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour and its many distinctive characteristics. Along with several of its cartoons.
I had my first glimpses of Spiderman there in the trailer, and therein I also regularly watched Batman, Rocky and His Friends, Walt Disney, Adventures in Rainbow Country, and Sesame Street. I for the first time saw the "Sad Flower Song" of Sesame Street while in that mobile home with my mother one memorable weekday. And I saw the Dig television special made by John and Faith Hubley one Sunday evening in the trailer living room. My interest in recorded media had its origins inside that trailer. That trailer, the surroundings of it, and my sitter's place just outside the trailer court constituted my world prior to our move to the house in Douglastown in July, 1972. It and the entertainments that I saw. The sad day has come for me to report its disappearance. Either it was torn down, or it was moved to somewhere else. Perhaps some place in the western regions of my country. Whatever happened to it, I will never see it again in the niche of the world in which I lived in my life's earliest era.
Here are some photographs of it and of sections of the trailer court in which it was located. The photographs are from 2011 and 2012.
CBC Television in the late 1970s and very early 1980s produced a television series called Beyond Reason, which involved a panel of three occultists, each of them competing with one another to pinpoint the identity or the expertise of a guest hidden from them but visible to and identified for the audience. The three occultists usually consisted of an astrologer, a graphologist, and a clairvoyant. Sometimes, a palmist would replace the graphologist. It was a bizarre but always entertaining television programme. I now think that it was intuition and the collective unconscious that had the most to do with the panelists' sometimes accurate and occasionally precise determinations on the professions or identities of the guests. And less so the occult arts. Back in the day, I was more inclined than now to believe in supernatural forces, especially astrology. I have to credit Carl Sagan for planting doubt in my mind about what he called the pseudo-science of astrology. But when I watched Beyond Reason, I used to "root for" the astrologer, Geof Gray-Cobb, and I was annoyed at graphologist Marilyn as she was very fast and aggressive in her questioning of the guests and usually won "the rounds".
Such was the case when Stan Lee of Marvel Comics was a guest on Beyond Reason in 1980. I cannot recall whether I saw that particular episode or not. And really I should, because it was a most remarkable circumstance, for the television show's host/moderator at that time was Paul Soles, the voice of Spiderman in the 1967-70 Spiderman television series. So, the voice of Spiderman was host of a television programme episode in which Spidey's creator was guest. "Cool", no? All three panelists were convinced that Mr. Lee was a publisher or writer of some kind. Gray-Cobb thought that Lee was Hugh Heffner. Funnily enough, Gray-Cobb determined from his astrological charts that Mr. Lee was interested in what atomic science was doing to "us" at the moment. The best part of the Stan Lee Beyond Reason episode segment was when Mr. Lee reminded Mr. Soles of Mr. Soles' connection to the super-heroic web-spinner, and Mr. Soles reprised his Spidey voice.
And here is the entire Stan Lee guest appearance on CBC's Beyond Reason.
Some fun material to be savoured there. Not much fun to be had these days on the world political stage. There are things happening now that worry me deeply. I fear for the future of Western civilisation and Western liberal democracy more with every day that passes. Scary times.
My concentration in recent months upon the blinkered fans of Space: 1999 has kept me distracted somewhat from the worrisome trends and events in world politics. The world was closer to World War Three in April than it had ever before been in my lifetime (yes, even during the Cold War). Thank goodness that Putin "stood down" and thank the maker that Russian forces were not hit. Yes, I am referring to the crisis in Syria and Trump's decision to do a military strike against Syrian targets. The world may not be as fortunate the next time.
On the subject of Space: 1999, of course the daily sorties against Season Two continue with ever more smug airs of assurance. The big discussion of recent days has circled around the episode, "All That Glisters", and one oh, so intrepid fan's report that he has finally, after 40 years, "made it through" that oh, so abominable and devoid-of-any-quality episode. The glib and slick responses by other oh, so clever fans in their expected conceited closed-minded arrogance came gushing forth thereafter. Hey, brainy ones, I sat through "All That Glisters" with captivated wonder when I first saw it in French on December 11, 1976. It was an episode not yet shown in English, and I was fascinated with the look of it (the alien sands of a desert world; this was before Tatooine of Star Wars, people) and the central concept (a rock as an alien quantity, "the other", possessing the ability to seize control of the heroes' Eagle and impose its strange and initially mysterious will upon the heroes). And when I saw it in English on February 5, 1977, I loved every minute of it (apart from the two minutes or so that the CBC cut out of the episode for advertising time). The Alphans on a palpably alien world trying to understand and to overcome a very alien life-form. The pulsations of the rock and its many different colours were beautiful and compelling in the impressions that I was receiving from its role in development of the episode's story. Impressions that I had yet to fully comprehend.
Much as I respect Martin Landau as an actor, I think that he was wrong about "All That Glisters". His imagination evidently was not as broad in scope as it ought to have been for the pulp science fiction/fantasy material in which he was the starring leading man. Of course the fans do sling the late and much-missed Landau for use against "All That Glisters" in their sorties. The man was wrong. He did not see the merit in the concept. The Gaia principle. A sentient ecosystem, or a sentient component part of an ecosystem. One iteration thereof in the fantastic future and worlds beyond belief of Space: 1999. Lauding oneself for having contemptuously struggled one's way through "All That Glisters" is a fatuous, lame, cliched articulation of pride in being of closed mind toward a beautiful episode in one's purported favourite television series, and "playing to" a crowd of approving goats braying in unison.
The same fan pledges to venture forth oh, so valiantly with further previously eschewed Season Two episodes in a similar manner. And to this, I shout at my computer screen, "Why?!!!! You don't like it!! So, why are you watching it?!!!! And why must you keep reminding us of your dislike as you report on your struggles with every episode?!!" What valuable contribution to the enlightened knowledge of humanity can be made by this person's stated cliched disdain for the episodes of Season Two of Space: 1999? None. It is just a "venting" exercise in approval-seeking and confirmation bias. If I have already established that I do not like something on a conceptual level, so be it. I will watch something else. And why would I waste my time writing over and over and over and over again that I do not like it? I have an intense dislike of the movie, Strange Days. I hated it the first time that I saw it. I hated its concept and its concept's gratuitously smutty and violent dramatisation. But apart from now, only once in the past 23 years have I written my negativity toward the movie. Even if I were not to have better, more constructive things to do, I would rather count cracks in the ceiling than to reiterate ad nauseam my hatred for that movie and its dystopian ideas and depictions. And I promise that I have done so here for the last time.
All for today, May 28, 2018.
There is just no relenting of late in the barrages against Season Two of Space: 1999. On Facebook and elsewhere. The Roobarb's Forum is "at it" again now, too. Every so often, the Roobarb's Forum discussion "thread" on Network Distributing's Blu-Ray and DVD releases of Space: 1999 shows some activity, invariably pivoting toward slurring of the second season of said television programme, by the usual cluster of persons convinced in their "hive mind" of their individual cleverness and sophistication. Sophistry. That is what I would describe them as purveying. At best.
I had my last tussle with the Roobarbians on the subject of Space: 1999 in 2005. I was "wolf-packed", descended-upon by all of the Roobarb's Forum's foremost personalities and ridiculed and provoked to react and then ridiculed for my reaction. The usual behaviour of groups of schoolyard verbal bullies. One thing that was established was that my interview with Fred Freiberger was "fanboyish". And another was that I am a whimpering emotional moron rightly exiled from Space: 1999 fandom and deserving for all time of a bad reputation for being sensitive to the slights on Season Two and comparisons of it to foul bodily emissions. Nobody sided with me or even expressed any empathy for me. Of course not. That was in fact the last time I ever engaged in any exchange of communication with detractors of Season Two. Strange. I should have learnt my lesson in my most disagreeable series of encounters with the people on the Space: 1999 Mailing List in my first few years on the Internet, pre-2000.
I stay with the Roobarb's Forum because it can be a valuable source of information on DVD and Blu-Ray releases of science fiction/fantasy genre television- though outside of Doctor Who there is not much of interest to me lately on that subject. Members of the Doctor Who Restoration Team post comments routinely to the Roobarb Forum, and that is always of good value where I am concerned, collector of Doctor Who DVDs and Blu-Rays that I am. Yes, I do intend to buy whatever Doctor Who serials that the BBC chooses to release on Blu-Ray in the coming years. But the regularly communicative rank-and-file Roobarbians are a generally haughty cluster of sophistic people, smug and comfortable in their own quasi-intellectual community and their sense of belonging therein. They are for the most part a more intelligent, more grammatically proficient group than are the people populating the Space: 1999 Facebook communities. But this is not really saying much, as the Space: 1999 fans in the Facebook "echo chambers" do tend to be rather low on the scale of true intellectualism and writing ability. And maturity.
I am not going to quote people verbatim this time. The general "thrust" on the Roobarbian attacks of late upon Season Two of Space: 1999 has been focused on the differences between it and Season One (big yawn) and on the alien costume designs, the look of alien creatures, the general aesthetic of the second season's episodes. Okay. To begin, Season Two ought to be judged, first and foremost, on its own merits, and not solely or primarily on how much that it follows Season One in style and retention or no of certain characters. Those of us who saw Season Two first were not lumbered with prejudices against it for it not "carrying over" certain elements of the first season. We assessed it on what it had to offer in and of itself. And that is as unclouded and reasonable a judgement as one could desire. Distinct dissimilarity with Season One was a requisite of Lew Grade to resume producing the television series, and the decision was made to not throw at the viewers set-in-stone explanations for characters not being there, to leave such explanations to the option or the discretion of the viewer. Not unlike a decision made for production block two of Gerry Anderson's UFO. Where were Freeman, Ellis, Bradley, Ford, and Waterman? It was left to the imagination of the viewer to "fill in" those "blanks".
And as far as the look of the episodes and their aliens go, this is not an objective angle of attack. Appreciation or lack thereof of the look of the second season is ultimately a matter of personal taste. Such is what it "boils down to". And that, people, is sheer subjectivity. And the opinion of a majority is still subjective. And majorities can be wrong. The majority of the people pre-1492 thought the Earth to be flat. A majority of people used to believe the Earth to be the centre of the Solar System. So, throwing numbers of closed-minded people at me in defence of the anti-Season Two position, is not a victory. It is a presumption that numbers of people thinking a certain blinkered way equals fact. Poppycock. There is no written law of the universe that says that alien dress sense must follow a certain, specific track of design comparable to what is commonplace on present-day Earth. Aliens could evolve a culture wherein a set of garments like the shorts, boots, and cape worn by Vindrus of Sunim in "A Matter of Balance" is quite acceptable. Even a standard sartorial comportment. Besides, for credible functionality of story, Vindrus had to be garbed in a way as to be both alien and physically attractive to Shermeen. Shermeen's attraction to Vindrus would not be believable if Vindrus were garbed in flowing robes from neck to toe, his particular physical endowments obscured. The production design of Space: 1999 with regards to aliens and alien garments always was in the direction of the strange or the eccentric. This goes for both seasons. Aliens did not dress in blandly coloured military fatigues. Dione certainly did not dress that way in Season One's "The Last Enemy". I say eccentric in regards to experimenting with extrapolations of ancient, Classical civilisations and their styles of garment. Oftentimes melding such with 1970s clothing design, or some of the more unusual flourishes thereof. A traceable aesthetic from Space: 1999 (e.g. the cape, the boots, and the loin-covering shorts, in the case of Vindrus) through to what warriors of ancient times wore, may be said to exist and be worthy of aesthetic appreciation. There is also not a law that states that alien creatures must all look a certain way. That they must all evolve humanoid forms. That none should ever look like Thaed in "A Matter of Balance". The creatures of Season Two are outlandishly alien in their appearance. That was the intention, aptly following the worlds-beyond-belief tag-line to the television series. This said, I can concede that criticism of the use of the same monster head three times in episodes produced within the same three-week time period, does have a validity. It does betray a lack of time and/or money and a cutting of corners, made evident in a most ostentatious display in a costume design that already had a potential to "off-put" some segments of the audience. But one of those iterations of the monster head was the result of a delirious Maya's nightmare. In Maya's delirium, she might have assumed a hybridised form of the monster encountered in a previous episode. And the people of one world could have based their robot design of a seemingly alive creature on some of the physical characteristics of a creature on a neighbouring solar system's planet. It is not unbelievable. One might say that there is a certain logic to it. It certainly is not a thoroughly, for all of Season Two, damning act of repetition. There was also a degree of concerted effort to re-dress the head from episode to episode.
Concentrating on only the most superficial aspects of a work and using subjective slighting of such as a basis for despising the work as a whole and advocating suppression of it in the Zeitgeist and berating of persons having a different regard for it, is a shaky proposition at best for a real intellectual. And I do not brand these people as intellectuals. Much better though they may be at writing the Queen's English than are the denizens of Facebook's Space: 1999 communities.
On a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Roobarb's discussion "thread", someone says that, with regard to Season Two of Buck Rogers, he cannot think of another example of a television programme so comprehensively revamped in its second production block as to remove everything that had made it appealing. And oh, yes. Oh, yes! To this, inevitably somebody has to come along with a reply of Space: 1999. With a question mark. And accompanied with a big-smile emoticon, of course. Right. So, the only things appealing about Space: 1999 were Victor Bergman, Paul and Sandra, Kano, philosophising, horror in a few episodes, and metaphysical interventions by a mysterious force. Not the Eagles. Not reconnaissances to alien planets. Not Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. Not space battles. Not the stun guns and commlock communicators. Not the Greco-Roman motifs. Not the visual aesthetic of space and the aural aesthetic of alien cultures. Not the vivid imagination. Not anything of what Season Two did "carry over" from Season One. Just Victor, some supporting characters, overt philosophical commentary, some occasional horror, and a deux ex machina. That was all that Space: 1999 was about. Its only appealing components. Right. People, young people as we all were, did not care about the Eagles, the guns, the communicators, and so forth. Right.
And someone "trots out" the old Season Two of Space: 1999 being campy and silly refrain. Camp, people, is intentional satire, with sometimes homosexual undertones. Wilfully "making fun" or "sending up" of a genre. Camp is defined as such. Camp is Batman. Camp is Lost in Space. Camp is The Brady Bunch Movie (which "sends up" the television show, The Brady Bunch, and its tropes). Doctor Who sometimes dabbled in it in its Tom Baker years. Anyone who cannot see that Season Two of Space: 1999 was rendering its genre seriously with occasional nod to some non-satirical humour (humour largely stemming from characters and their foibles, heterosexual romance, or hobby), cannot rightly be said to have acuity of observation. Obviously the subtle "touches" of Season Two's episodes and its chronology are lost on them. Best they "stick" to being told what episode A and episode B are about by Victor and John in conversation. And silly is, again, a word for people lacking in imagination.
All right. This is my spiel for today, May 23, 2018.
May 20, 2018.
Kino Lorber has provided to its customers a listing of planned Blu-Ray titles for the remainder of this year. Volumes 3, 4, and 5 of the Pink Panther cartoons are in the list, but all clustered within the year's final four months. I believe that the plan is to release six volumes, and the sixth and final volume has evidently been pushed into 2019.
But with that final volume, all of the DePatie-Freleng theatrical cartoons will have been released on Blu-Ray. And that, I must say, is a most remarkable "sell-through video" breakthrough for cartoons. Especially for cartoons from so late in the history of hand-drawn cartoon animation. Much as I may quibble with Kino Lorber's quality control. It still vexes me that the original title music for two Inspector cartoons cannot be heard accompanying high-definition visuals and that audio for the Ant and Aardvark cartoon, "Technology, Phooey", is out of synchronisation with the video.
Still, nevertheless, my hat is off to the people at Kino Lorber for so comprehensive a release of cartoons on Blu-Ray. If only Warner Brothers would be willing to "licence out" the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons to Kino Lorber or to a similar company!
Okay. So, what are my favourite people, the high-minded populace of on-Facebook discussions Space: 1999, "up to" now?
Beneath a picture of Sandra (Zienia Merton) screaming at the sight of one of the "Bringers of Wonder" aliens (of the Season Two episode, "The Bringers of Wonder") is this delightful Facebook string of comments.
"I'm amazed she had time to scream before fainting. Didn't all the women on Moonbase Alpha faint every time something happened? Loved the show but hated the incredibly sexist fainting spells of the women."
"...and the men always have this strange death grip on the women. The photo of Martin with his arm across Barbra is crazy. I can never tell if he is protecting her or restraining her."
"Ziena Merton tells a very interesting tale of one of the directors on Season One saying just that and that these women would be intelligent scientists and not likely to pass out at the slightest thing! Sadly, this idea seamed to be reversed by 'Year 2'."
Zienia, not Ziena.
Anyway, here we go. What is being said by these ever so astute, ever so infallible Space: 1999 fans is that in Season One, women on Moonbase Alpha were intelligent scientists and did not faint. And that in Season Two, they did. Routinely.
Other than Annette Fraser in "The Metamorph", which healthy female Alphans in Season Two fainted? I cannot think of any.
Sandra fainted in Season One in "Black Sun". She did not faint in Season Two.
"ANOTHER S2 ALIEN MONSTER OF THE WEEK .... I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE ...... AGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH"
That again. I have already debunked that generalisation. Putting it all in capital letters does not make this person's remark any more persuasive.
Back to how women were portrayed in Space: 1999. I can put together a list of instances of women screaming, fainting, panicking, becoming hysterical. It is not difficult to do this. My late mother had an intolerance of hysterical, screeching, or screaming women (she hated Laverne and Shirley for this reason). She tended more, much more, to complain about hysterics and screaming on the part of women in Space: 1999's first season than in that television show's Season Two.
Onward I go.
"Black Sun". When Mike Ryan's Eagle is caught in the crushing gravitational forces of the black sun and explodes with Ryan inside of it, a grief-stricken Sandra (who had "a thing" for Ryan) faints onto the Main Mission floor.
"Another Time, Another Place". Regina Kesslann becomes hysterical after she embraces Alan only to realise that in her mind he is dead. Her hysterics are as melodramatic as melodrama can be imagined. Earth Sandra screams twice at the sight of Helena in the window of the Earth Alphans' settlement structure.
"Guardian of Piri". After the Guardian of Piri explodes and there is an urgent return by Alphans to Eagles to return to Moonbase Alpha, female Alphans are screeching and screaming in a panicky fluster.
"Alpha Child". Cynthia Crawford (or Sue Crawford, or whatever her name is) screams most loudly from the very bottom of her lungs three times as her infant Jackie grows explosively into a five-year-old.
"Collision Course". As the time for initiation of the shockwave is nearing, a woman in Main Mission becomes hysterical and needs to be comforted by Prof. Bergman.
"The Full Circle". Sandra stupidly opens the Eagle door. And a Stone Age man enters the spaceship and abducts her, as she shrieks, screams, and squeals ear-shatteringly. She later screams in the cave as caveman Koenig and cave-woman Helena both sit in front of her, looking at her. And again as Spearman tries to unclothe her. And she screams and screams as cave-woman Helena threatens to kill her.
"End of Eternity". Female operative screams after Balor touches her. Women in corridor are panicking and screaming and falling to floor at the sight of Balor. Woman in Main Mission faints and has to be pulled by Alan to standing as Balor struts into the Alpha control centre.
"War Games". Cornered against a cubicle by the two aliens, Helena screams at length from the bottom of her lungs.
"Space Brain". Flustered women need to be guided by level-headed men out of the foam in the corridors.
News-flash, people. These are all "Year One" episodes. Mind, I have not listed the death scream of Laura Adams in "The Troubled Spirit" and the screams of the certain victims of the monster in "Dragon's Domain", as screaming in those circumstances is the only reasonable thing that should be expected. And the men in the same mortal circumstances in those episodes scream, too. All told, though, women fare poorly in Season One with regard to being calm and composed in urgent or upsetting situations. And they fare poorly in not resorting to screaming.
Now, let us examine "Year Two". Does Alibe scream or faint? No. Does the much-maligned Yasko? No. Does Sandra? She screams only once. She screams when she suddenly discovers, to her shock, that what she thought for some time was her fiance, Peter, is a horrible, repulsive monster. And that Command Centre is replete with such monsters. I think that in that sudden instant, screaming is a natural reaction to the sight before one's eyes. It is the only time in Season Two when Sandra screams. Who else screams? Sally Martin does as she is dying in agony in "The Lambda Factor". But like the screams of Laura Adams and the monster's victims, it ought to be an admissible screaming under lethal circumstances. Does Eva in "The Seance Spectre" scream? No. Nor does Cranston in "Seed of Destruction". In "A Matter of Balance", Shermeen neither faints nor screams when Vindrus appears to her. She does not scream, nor does she faint, when she sees Thaed. She is understandably distraught when she is "taken down" by Vindrus' people and needs some comfort from Maya after she is brought back to the matter universe (with her helping Maya to operate the switches on the conversion machine). But does she scream? Does she faint? No.
Karen in "The Taybor" does scream (but not to the bottom of her lungs). She does so after she is hit by a blinding light ray. A natural reaction to sudden physical harm. Oh, yes, Zamara in "One Moment of Humanity" screams most loudly- but she is an alien android, not an Alphan, and she is screaming in death. Michelle Osgood has a serious heart condition. So, her fainting should be admissible. Carolyn Powell does become maniacal and is hysterical in one scene with Tony, but she is under the influence of the Lambda variant. Helena screams briefly at the abrupt, sudden death by disintegration of Lew Picard right in front of her in "The Metamorph". She then whimpers briefly before Koenig pulls her away from the death scene. I suppose that one may quibble with that. But it is scarcely comparable to Helena's protracted, all-out scream in "War Games". And to her defence, Helena maintains composure and reason as she is held captive by the rock in "All That Glisters". Maya screams when feverish, delirious, and nightmare-wracked in "Space Warp" and while she is being caused great pain, her brain being almost torn apart, by the Dorcon probe in "The Dorcons". At all other times, Maya does not scream. She is an emotionally strong woman. Even when she is trapped by the rock in "All That Glisters", she does not scream. Annette Fraser in "The Metamorph" is the only incontrovertible instance in Season Two of a hysterical, fainting woman. She faints when her husband's Eagle is enveloped in light, and she becomes hysterical when Tony orders her husband's death in the destruction of Psychon. Whether her behaviour is passable under the circumstances is for an individual to arbitrate, I suppose. But generally, women on Alpha in Season Two are portrayed as calm and collected. Helena commands Alpha on one occasion. Sahn runs Medical Centre after Helena is overcome by the sickness in "The Beta Cloud". Alibe is rational and assertive while meeting Elizia in "Devil's Planet". She cries understandably at believing that Koenig is dead. But her crying is restrained. Not melodramatic.
But leaving aside my defences of Season Two and concentrating on the numerous instances in Season One of women fainting, screaming, being hysterical, the fact that these fans so clearly fail to acknowledge the recurrent presence in their vaunted Season One of women acting in the way that they claim is ubiquitous in Season Two, is a further indictment of their tendency, deliberate or no, toward falsification, or at the very least intellectual dishonesty. Their attempt to mis-characterise Season Two as a damnable departure from Season One's perfect portrayals of professional females, falls flat with a thud. And yet I am the only articulating person to respond to it. They will contend Season One's superiority over Season Two on shaky footing, and do so with confounded degree of supreme confidence, slurring Season Two with daily derogatory comment. In their bid to prevent fair regard for Season Two and to perpetuate the cliches that keep Season Two mired in pejoratives and sweeping denunciations and its beleaguered pundits like myself derided, ostracised, forever lumbered with bad reputation. These people have been shown by me in this Weblog to be wrong about Season Two time and time and time again. Yet, their point of view is the only one that ever is acknowledged as definitive.
Now, having said all of this, it did not and does not concern me much how either Season One or Season Two portrayed female reactions to situations. Both seasons were products of the years in which they were made and should be assessed as such. I have no interest in deconstructing forty-year-old television series on the basis of gender studies, gender roles, gender stereotypes, and present-day sensibilities on those subjects. I am not on the political Left. Identity politics do not interest me. They never have. If women are portrayed as admirably strong in a production, I will laud it for such, with sincere appreciation. But I can have many reasons for venerating a production. And presentment of gender roles has never been of paramount consideration for me. I did not initially watch Space: 1999 or Star Trek or Doctor Who because I wanted to see strong female role models. I watched those television shows because I liked to see otherworldly phenomena and imagined encounters of our technological civilisation with such. Being a boy and not a girl, I naturally found identification as a male with the heroic men. And I chose to play them when friends and I played Space: 1999. I did, however, enjoy Catherine Schell as Maya. It was a bravura achievement in characterisation of an alien heroine. And to this, I would add that The Bionic Woman was one of my favourite television shows of my youth. The quality of the writing was excellent, I thought. And combined with that was Lindsay Wagner's compelling performance as Jaime Sommers. Wagner had more of a presence on screen, by my reckoning, than Lee Majors as Jaime's bionic counterpart, Steve Austin. And her emotional responses to difficulties in adjusting to and managing her bionic powers and in confronting opposing forces and daunting situations were believable as those of a woman. She had a gravitas because of that. And she prevailed against her antagonists in just about every episode. If a female leading character is compelling, I will watch the television show or movie with her in prominence in it. But a science fiction/fantasy opus like Space: 1999 has an imagination-based and aesthetic appeal to me that goes beyond considerations of strength of the women in it. And it does not hamper my enjoyment of it for a woman to scream or faint on occasion. Though I do still wince with my conditioned-over-the-years expectation that my mother will make some disapproving comment, and perhaps insist that I turn the audio volume down (to reduce the sound of the screaming).
Another ever so impressive undertaking by the good people at the Facebook groups for Space: 1999 is the capture of video frame of a character briefly shouting with their mouth wide open and their eyebrows highly raised, or of a Maya transformation of a few seconds into a monster, and putting the captured images together in a montage to attempt to portray all of Season Two as an undignified, non-beautiful, constant deluge of shouting, gurning, overwrought characters and rubber-suited monsters. And then, the fans "have at it" with more venomous denunciations of it and Mr. Freiberger (or some distortion of the proper spelling of his name). Anybody can try to capture the most extreme actor expressions possible in a selected scene and maybe some cheap-looking visualisation and patch together a "hit piece". It could be done for Season One. A video frame of Koenig shouting with his mouth wide-open. Another video frame of a cardboard Eagle. A video frame of a gurning Anton Zoref. And a screaming Cynthia Crawford. Cave-woman Helena screaming. Stone Age men looking befuddled. Kano grimacing as he is being connected to Computer. Etcetera. It could be done for just about anything. The question is, why do it?
No need for me to answer. Regular readers of my Weblog will anticipate the answer with precision.
May 18, 2018.
It has come to my attention that using Firefox as Internet browser and accessing through Google my Website using the www. prefix to the URL will result in images not being visible on the Web pages. The solutions to this are typing kevinmccorrytv.ca into the Website address space, using an Internet browser other than Firefox, or utilising something other than Google as search engine.
I have come upon on YouTube the first minutes (with advertisements) of some of the STARS OF SPACE JAM videocassettes of late 1996. An enjoyable trek down Memory Lane. Here is one of these YouTube videos.
I had all five of those videocassettes. Those were the days! When Warner Brothers would open the vaults, dependably those of post-1948, to commercially release newly remastered cartoons on a routine basis. Days long-gone now.
May 17, 2018.
Another day, more sorties against Season Two of Space: 1999 on that paragon of high-mindedness, the Facebook Space: 1999 group.
Here is a fan's commentary on the character, Tony Verdeschi.
"I did think Tony was a liability. Every time he was on screen the tension and mood seemed to drain out of a scene. He was such a sterotypical, cardboard character that he turned the series into a soap opera. The ill conceived effort to turn him into an action hero fell flat. He became security chief as well as second in command so he could run around and look dynamic. This was in contrast to Paul who rarely ventured out of main mission doomed to be an over the top melodramatic figure of fun rather than the low key but more rounded, credible and cerebral Paul."
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the typical attitude of the Space: 1999 fan. "I did think..." "I felt that..." Always clinging to their initial negative reactions, being unwilling to budge on them. And none of this tirade is supported with cogent examples to give to it even the slightest degree of credible objectivity. And everything said can be questioned and challenged from a rational viewpoint. How is the effort to make Tony an action hero ill-conceived? I had a friend who liked him. He was my friend's favourite character. My friend liked Tony because Tony was an appealingly assertive character. A man of action, sometimes. Sometimes, he was a barker of orders to others. Either way, he has to be what he is. He is in charge of Security. He has to respond to threats to the security of the Moonbase and its people. Wherever on Moonbase those threats may be. To defend the Moonbase most promptly and efficiently. He cannot just limit himself to a Command Centre desk, especially at a time when most Security guards are incapacitated, as in "The Beta Cloud". He has to be "on the move". And "hands-on". His men would not respect him if he were not so. And when in command of Alpha, he is authoritative and under some circumstances humane. He is effective in responding to Patrick Osgood's accusations about Koenig with a measured mix of disapproving indignation and humane sympathy for his friend Osgood's troubled and volatile state of mind. He is rightly angry at Sahala for Sahala's incapacitating of Maya and suspicious of her as a result, but is at the same time willing, with reluctance, to listen to Alan, his trusted associate, who is giving to Sahala benefit of the doubt.
The tension was sustained in the scene in "Catacombs of the Moon" between Tony and Osgood. It was not in any way drained. It built to the fight that happened when Tony tried to persuade Osgood to talk to Helena about his visions.
How is he stereotypical? How is he cardboard? A man of action who has a hobby. An alcoholic beverage hobby. And is not particularly adept at that hobby. How is this stereotypical? Stereotypical men of action are usually not shown to have hobbies, and those of them who are will tend to excel at the hobby, the perfect specimens of male heroes that they are. A Security Chief on a Moonbase falling in love with a resident alien. Not something that is seen in next to every opus of the space science fiction/fantasy genre. And therefore not a stereotype. And that scene in "The Beta Cloud" wherein he puts aside all pretenses of romantic indifference (which is common to we humans afraid to commit to someone for fear of being rebuffed or of appearing sentimental and vulnerable and weak) and confesses his love for Maya always has impressed me. Tony Anholt did a most effective job of enacting it. I like the Psychon-is-my-favourite-planet way that he chooses to segue into the love admission. Stereotypical? I have never seen another character in a science fiction/fantasy work pivot toward expressing love with that sort of comment. And then later when Tony attempts to "dial back" his expressed love for Maya and return to the old, reticent, playfully noncommittal modes of interaction with her with which he is more comfortable, he is believable, the invulnerable man of Security that he is, that he must be. Believable, too, is his private smile of pleasure at knowing that Maya is "really crazy" about him. What is cardboard about this? And just because some behaviour is believably common to we humans, does not mean that it is stereotypical. It is humanity, for crying out loud. How is humanity stereotypical? Humanity, the very thing that fans claim that they want to see. His reaction in "The Bringers of Wonder" to seeing his brother, Guido, on the video screen is a perfect mix of shock, incredulity, and surge of hope for relieved longing. It is not a stereotype for a person to act in a so believable, so human a way under fantastically far-fetched circumstances. A television show has to have believable character reactions to events. And Tony Verdeschi as played by Tony Anholt offered that. Which, given that Anholt did not like science fiction and was not enamoured with what he was doing in Space: 1999, is remarkable.
I think that Tony Anholt consistently delivered a competent performance as a man unaccustomed to tenderness and in charge of Security, a man needing the dis-inhibiting effect of beer to "unwind" from the mental stresses of his job. A Security man whose instincts about a person, like Carolyn Powell, are honed to precision. And yet believably doubts himself when he questions the mental competence of his seeming leader, an impostor of the man whom he trusts with his life. I almost always found Verdeschi to be believable, whether as a man who is desperate to find his friends lost in time or as a hobbyist who has to good-naturedly endure the slights of his peers with regard to his hobby. Or as a man not practised in gently and sensitively turning away the unrequited affection of an infatuated young woman (Shermeen). Or as a man furious at the prospect of alien Dorcons turning his beloved lady into a living husk and in their having the effrontery to want the Alphans to be a willing party to that obscenity. Anholt is particularly effective as the crazed Tony in "The Immunity Syndrome", very menacing indeed with his gun set to kill John, and later as the lucid, near-death Tony telling to John what happened with Lustig. Tony's fury with the actions of the mutinous Sanderson is believable. And also credible is his reluctant and strained and sad compliance with Koenig's order to destroy Psychon and everyone thereon in "The Metamorph".
The only quibble that I would have with Anholt's performance would be in "The Exiles". Tony's objections to Koenig's caution regarding Cantar's people joining Alpha. One would expect that Tony, being man of Security and having the instincts that he has about potential threats to security, would side with John. I do not find Tony to be credible in that instance. It is more due to writing than Anholt's acting, granted. But Anholt does not help the cause any with his very loud "Have you gone mad?!" proclaiming when Koenig stuns Cantar. It is rather "over-the-top". That may have been his first scene filmed with both Landau and Bain (it probably was), and he misjudged and overplayed his performance. It can happen.
On the other hand, Tony is credible in "One Moment of Humanity" when he and Helena discover they they are alone on what seems to be Alpha. His strained-to-be-controlled upset feeling is sympathetic. And he is naturally dubious of Helena's claim that they could wish their way back to planet Vega, but he is willing against his feelings of incredulity to try it. His anger at Taybor's deception in "The Taybor" is credible, too. Taybor is trying to abscond with the woman for whom Tony has affection. Tony's frustration in "Journey to Where" with Dr. Logan, demanding a thorough explanation for the gone-awry transference of John, Helena, and Alan, is competently conveyed. As is his suspicion of the lying Pasc in "The Mark of Archanon".
Really, fans do not like Tony Verdeschi because he was not in "Year One" and because he replaced a character that was in "Year One". A character for whom fans had a liking. That is the essential truth. Their attempt to buttress their dislike by portraying Tony Verdeschi and the actor, Tony Anholt, as a complete and utter misfire on the part of production, is not credible and is downright ludicrous.
How, exactly, is Paul "more rounded, credible, and cerebral"? He plays the guitar (Tony brews beer). He loves Sandra (Tony loves Maya). But though he loves Sandra, he is not demonstrably jealous when Alan suddenly has "a thing" for Sandra in "The Full Circle". He lost a parent, his father, to the Queller Drive, but how did that loss of a father figure impact his personality? No noticeable sign of any effect. I am not going to "diss" Prentis Hancock's performance. I have always liked the Paul character. But, really, Hancock was not given more to do with his character than Anholt was given with Tony Verdeschi. Both conveyed madness effectively in episodes wherein that was scripted. Both were effective leaders of Alpha on occasion, giving to the assigned job an authoritative presence. Paul may have known Bible passages that Tony did not. But is that knowledge necessarily being cerebral, or being intellectual, or just the result of a capacity for recitation by rote of something learnt in childhood.
I have given examples to support my position. The fan berating Tony Verdeschi gave none to support his.
Today is Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
Firstly for today, I will report further additions to my autobiography, to Era 3 specifically.
Secondly, I will share the good news that my Bugs Bunny and Mr. Hyde vinyl figures have arrived and have a position of prominence on one of my shelves.
Thirdly, my quest for a new kitten his met with a deep disappointment. The expectant mother was not as fertile as I had hoped that she was, and I was not first in the queue of hopeful adopters of feline. Hope. Hope was a comedian who lived to be one hundred years-old. That is all that hope really ought to be for me. When I entertain it as a vehicle of optimism, it is quashed. This has been true for my life for almost thirty years now. With very rare exceptions.
I await the release of the second Blu-Ray of Pink Panther cartoons. It plus The Martian Chronicles and first Tom Baker season of Doctor Who Blu-Rays. All of those Blu-Rays are being released within the same week in late June.
Recently, I purchased the German DVD release of The New Avengers and am disappointed with the variable quality of the episodes' film-to-video transfers. Many of the second season episodes have "washed-out" colours, with a colour timing tending toward a sickly yellow. The episode, "Trap", is blurry and almost unwatchable. Some of the episodes, "To Catch a Rat" most especially, suffer from film wear damage in the form of black, vertical lines. Resolution is still vastly superior to that of New Video Group's 2002 and 2003 DVD releases of The New Avengers, and there is an audio commentary for "The Eagle's Nest" (one of the better-looking episodes in the DVD box set) by Gareth Hunt and Brian Clemens. But alas, a top-quality release of The New Avengers on DVD or Blu-Ray remains elusive. From what I understand, the original film elements for The New Avengers cannot be found.
All right. The Space: 1999 Facebook groups have been mounting a barrage of increasingly populated attack "threads" of discussion upon the second season of Space: 1999, its episodes, its producer. One of them has trotted out an old article to which I have already responded, an article concerning changes between seasons of science fiction/fantasy television series. The others are just dumping heaping amounts of negativity, some of it vulgar, upon the beleaguered Space: 1999 season as pictured in photographs. It is assuredly becoming worse and worse with each passing day and with the addition of more and more quasi-intellectual, Johnny-come-lately, repeat-the-prevailing-prejudice people of stunted imagination and no reasonable consequence. People of no humility, no self-awareness. Just declaiming to the choir for said choir's hearty approval and upward-extended Facebook thumbs.
I am tired and cannot be bothered responding to most of the bile being flung in Season Two's direction of late. It is garble from people of limited imagination, blinkered mindset, an arrogant attitude founded on wilful ignorance, and the confirmation bias of an "echo chamber" that in growing in numbers of individuals is becoming more and more and more removed from fair and reasoned judgement and outlook.
That more people are joining the congregation and iterating the same hostile-to-Season Two contentions and sentiments in a "circle-jerking" unison, does not make their bearing any more persuasive as true intellectualism or as the definitive "word" on artistic quantity within the Space: 1999 oeuvre. Not to anyone with an open and considered mind, that is. It just makes them look all the more arrogant and insufferable in their confounded expanding group-think.
I will, however, respond to this criticism of "The Immunity Syndrome". It is articulated in a fairly rational way, without the usual bilious rancour of conceited closed-mindedness amongst an approving crowd.
"It was never explained how Tony survived when everyone else exposed to the creature died shortly after they became lucid. Did the creature somehow cure him or did he just need some routine medical attention on Alpha? I assumed the reason they couldn't stay was because they needed to get Tony back to Alpha in order to save him. It was never stated that way but it would answer both questions."
Yes, the articulation is rational in its wording, but it is indicative of an inability to "fill in blanks" with the most sensible inferences based on given information. Yes, Tony recovers. And it is implicit that the creature did intercede into Tony's terminal condition and somehow reverse it. For a creature that can alter the atmosphere composition and the chemical properties of vegetation of a planet, arresting and reversing a brain cell expansion in a human body ought not to be particularly difficult, after Koenig, following a reference to it having earlier caused deaths, asked it for its help and its reply to John was in the affirmative. It could not resurrect the dead. It could not bring Lustig and the other dead Alphans back to life. Or Zoran and his people. The creature's abilities only extend to being able to effect change to life and biosphere conditions in the present. As to why the Alphans cannot enact Operation Exodus, the person doing the criticising is either not paying attention to all dialogue or is not interpreting dialogue correctly. Fraser clearly states that there is not much time for the landing party and rescue party to return to Alpha, that the Moon is moving out of range. Ergo, there is no time for an Exodus.
And I will respond to this.
"In that the second season was already an obvious ripoff of Star Trek, but to give one of the episodes the same name as one of the better Original Trek episodes is just inexcusable."
Good God, people! The harsh and damning language just does not "let up", does it? Not even after more than four decades.
Is it really inexcusable? It is any less excusable than "War Games" bearing a title used previously for a Doctor Who serial? Or "This Side of Paradise" being reiterated in "Guardian of Piri"? It is excusable if it aptly pertains to what happens in the episode? A planet's immune system yielding a syndrome of sicknesses and deaths and deadly circumstances. Yes, if it has an artistic purpose in calling attention to the Gaia principle, it is excusable. Also, I am not really sure that "The Immunity Syndrome" was one of Star Trek's better episodes. I find it to be boring. And I do not find it to be obvious that Space: 1999's second season is a Star Trek "rip-off". "The Rules of Luton" is based on the same premise as "Arena" of Star Trek, yes. But that is one episode. And it has some its own flourishes that set it apart from "Arena". Maya is a "resident alien" like Spock but very different from him in personality and in her transformation powers. All in all, Season Two of Space: 1999 differs from Star Trek more than it resembles Star Trek. Most cogently, it differs in how the heroes approach the phenomena that they encounter. They have no Federation of Planets for "back-up" and must be concerned, ultimately, for their survival as they are reconnoitring worlds. And they are doing that for survival purposes, not mere fact-finding. The Alphans are not seeking to bring alien worlds into a Federation. Nor are they invested in upholding a non-interventionist ideal (Star Trek's vaunted Prime Directive). They will intercede in an alien society's politics if doing so is necessary for their survival. They are not going to planets on missions on orders from an agency. They are their own agency.
The beauty in Season Two is in its concepts, in their symbolisms, and in how the episodes and their subject matter are "patterned" within the given chronology as stated in Dr. Russell's Moonbase Alpha Status Reports. I am privy to such. It exists. The evidence for it, once presented comprehensibly to me, was- and still is- undeniable. And I extrapolated observations of my own and a symbological "thread" for one episode. As much as I wish that my former associate would just write his book outlining and elucidating the beauteous nature of Season Two, he has not done so and seems to be content to only share his findings with select individuals. Given the tendency of fandom to be the swine that slobbers and defecates all over one's pearls, I suppose that his chosen way of disseminating his work has some sense to it, though it is not helping Season Two's cause in the wider world, in which the asinine opinions of the fan collective are regarded, unjustly, as definitive.
It should go without saying that fans of Space: 1999 are among my least favourite inhabitants of this planet. I cannot abide the thought of ever again being in the same room with them. And every day, I am given further impetus to flinch fitfully at the notion of ever again having to endure their presence.
All for today. God, I miss my cat, Sammy! Below is a photograph of him a few weeks before his death.
"The one thing that drove me nuts was that Helena causes the one exile to age by basically scratching his protective layer. I was OK with that, but then Koenig asks, 'How did you know that would work,' and Helena replies, 'I'll tell you later,' and we heard nothing else on the subject. I was OK with the episode up to then but that was kinda pathectic"
What? I have seen "The Exiles" on several broadcasts, on laser videodisc, on DVD, and on Blu-Ray. I have never seen a scene wherein this dialogue occurs. So, are the fans now resorting to inventing scenes and dialogue to use as brickbats?
And spelling of the word, pathetic, is the latest to be incorrect. Something is pathetic, all right. But it is not "The Exiles".
And the response on the "thread" of discussion to this concocted scene and dialogue?
"Well I'm afraid that pretty well sums up Season 2. Many of the episodes were slap dash, cobbled together in a make shift manner. This one was fairly watchable though."
The only thing cobbled together in a makeshift (it is one word, not two) manner is the fans' justifications for belittling Season Two. And sure, go on contending that the newly conjured lines of dialogue are there in the episode as it has existed since 1976. Do not correct anybody on their blatant falsification. Just add to it.
As to the scene of Helena piercing Cantar's protective membrane. Helena detected the membrane when she first examined Cantar and said to John that part of the answer to the aliens' ability to suspend animation was in that membrane. It was an inference on her part that piercing the membrane might weaken or incapacitate Cantar. And she proceeded to act against Cantar by digging her fingernails into the membrane on his face. And shortly thereafter, she saw that Cantar was showing signs of ageing and then reasoned that the breaking of the membrane was going to cause him to go through three hundred years of decay of his body. And she started informing Cantar of that.
It makes sense to me. It did when I was ten years-old.
And as to how the protective membrane, combined with deep freezing, made suspended animation possible, and why the membrane must be permanently intact to preserve the suspended-animation subject's youth. That would fall under "economy of detail".
And then there is this delightful statement.
"Indeed 90% of series 2 episodes were utter shite, but this one is above average."
The fact that not a single person challenged it indicates how far gone the fan movement now is toward total, abject group-think blinkeredness. An association of people completely devoid of any capacity for enlightenment. Fan movement? To use the vernacular of it in its current state, it is akin to a bowel movement. Long, tedious, painful. And it stinks. It reeks. As rank as the foulest smell imaginable.
My disgust for these people is at an all-time high.
On some happier notes, I have added more images to my Web pages for The Littlest Hobo and Star Blazers, my Mr. Hyde and Bugs Bunny vinyl toy figures are a day or two away from my door, and I am hopeful of adopting a purebred Himalayan kitten sometime within the next three to four weeks.
All for today. May 9, 2018.
Windy Saturday, May 5, 2018.
On the subject of a chronology for Spiderman, here is what I have put together thus far. 1962 being the year in which Spidey first appeared in Marvel Comics' publications, it would be the most apt year to begin the web-swinger's crime-fighting tenure. And a newspaper article fantasised by Jameson in "Trick or Treachery" has a November 2, 1967 date. That episode coming rather late in Spiderman's battles against evil-doers. Peter begins his Spiderman experience while as a high school student (he refers to school a number of times in the early second season episodes) with a foothold in college, attending the occasional course there. He is totally enrolled in university in September, 1963 and is undeniably in a college setting in "The Evil Sorcerer", in which some foliage in background is autumnal. "Trouble With Snow" is the only Spidey television series entry clearly transpiring in the winter. As many first season episodes occur with ample green foliage on trees, they must occur between late May and October at the very latest.
I have "sprinkled in" origin episodes for some of the villains.
"To Cage a Spider" logically follows "The Menace of Mysterio" if one infers that Spidey's audiotape-recording of Mysterio's confession is ruled inadmissible, Jameson retracts nothing in his news coverage of Spidey, Mysterio is freed, and Spidey remains under suspicion as being the perpetrator of the crime committed by Mysterio in Spidey's guise. Spidey's attitude in "To Cage a Spider" and the hostility of the New York populace toward him in that episode, makes perfect sense in this context. From then onward, Spidey is wary of the police, whose top officers (other than Captain Stacy) are operating against Spidey's interests on Jameson's insistence. The mayors of New York, however, are content to believe in Spidey's innocence (he did, after all, defeat Blotto and prevent New York's destruction, which impressed the mayor of that time) and to seek his assistance on occasion. Specific amnesia following his fall in "To Cage a Spider" is the reason why Spidey does not remember the Conner family, how to spell the Conner name, and where that family lives when he visits the Conners again in "Conner's Reptiles". Dr. Vespasian dies from unexpected physical complications of his use of his invisibility serum. Which explains why Spidey later says that Dr. Noah Boddy is the only man who could enter a prison without being seen; Dr. Vespasian is dead by then. It is also reasonable to assume that the Robinson laboratories' invisibility serum referenced in "Criminals in the Clouds" meets with a similar snag in their development of a serum-based invisibility. Which would be why Jameson scoffs at Dr. Noah Boddy's theory of invisibility, as invisibility has been proved in government-sanctioned laboratories to be unworkable. The death of Dr. Vespasian attracts one of his evil colleagues, Calvin Zabo, alter-ego Mr. Hyde, and Hyde's associate, the Cobra, to New York City, in pursuit of some stolen fortune that Vespasian ensconced somewhere in Manhattan.
"The Origin of Spiderman" (September, 1962)
"King Pinned" (September, 1962)
"Swing City" (October, 1962)
"Criminals in the Clouds" (November, 1962)
"False Implication" (February, 1963) (Kingpin) (first time that Spidey is accused of being a criminal)
"Menace From the Bottom of the World" (March, 1963)
"Diamond Dust" (June, 1963)
"Wrath of the Vulture" (June, 1963) (Adrian Toomes/Vulture, and Kingpin) (Vulture's origin)
"Helium Heist" (July, 1963) (Dr. Dumpty)
"Multi-Armed and Dangerous" (August, 1963) (Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus) (Doctor Octopus' origin)
"Spiderman Battles the Molemen" (August, 1963)
"Phantom From the Depths of Time" (August, 1963)
"Origin of the Green Goblin" (September, 1963) (Norman Osborn/Green Goblin)
"The Evil Sorcerer" (September, 1963)
"Vine" (September, 1963)
"Pardo Presents" (September, 1963)
"Cloud City of Gold" (September-October, 1963)
"Neptune's Nose Cone" (October, 1963)
"Home" (October, 1963)
"Blotto" (October, 1963)
"Thunder Rumble" (October, 1963)
"Spiderman Meets Skyboy" (October, 1963)
"Revenge of the Green Goblin" (December, 1963) (Norman Osborn/Green Goblin)
"Cold Storage" (May, 1964)
"The Power of Doctor Octopus" (June, 1964)
"Sub-Zero For Spidey" (June, 1964)
"Where Crawls the Lizard" (June, 1964)
"Electro the Human Lightning Bolt" (June, 1964)
"The Menace of Mysterio" (July, 1964)
"To Cage a Spider" (August, 1964)
"A Strange Case of Amnesia" (September, 1964)
"Horn of the Rhino" (September, 1964)
"Kilowatt Kaper" (October, 1964)
"The Peril of Parafino" (October, 1964)
"The Winged Thing" (October, 1964)
"Conner’s Reptiles" (October, 1964)
"Trouble With Snow" (December, 1964)
"Spiderman Vs. Desperado" (April, 1965)
"Return of the Flying Dutchman" (May, 1965)
"Farewell Performance" (June, 1965)
"The Golden Rhino" (June, 1965)
"Blueprint For Crime" (June, 1965)
"Sky Harbour" (July, 1965)
"The Big Brainwasher" (July, 1965)
"The Vanishing Doctor Vespasian" (July, 1965)
"Scourge of the Scarf" (July, 1965)
"Super Swami" (July, 1965)
"The Birth of Micro Man" (August, 1965)
"Knight Must Fall" (August, 1965)
"The Devious Dr. Dumpty" (August, 1965)
"Up From Nowhere" (September, 1965)
"Rollarama" (September, 1965)
"Revolt in the Fifth Dimension" (September, 1965)
"Specialists and Slaves" (September, 1965)
"Down to Earth" (September, 1965)
"Trip to Tomorrow" (September, 1965)
"The Sky is Falling" (September, 1965)
"Captured By J. Jonah Jameson" (September, 1965)
"Never Step On a Scorpion" (October, 1965)
"Sands of Crime" (October, 1965)
"Diet of Destruction" (October, 1965)
"The Witching Hour" (October, 1965)
"The Spider and the Fly" (October, 1965)
"The Slippery Dr. Von Schlick" (November, 1965)
"The Death of Doctor Vespasian" (December, 1965)
"Hyde in Plain Sight" (January, 1966) (Calvin Zabo/Mr. Hyde, Cobra)
"Rhino" (April, 1966)
"The Madness of Mysterio" (May, 1966)
"The One-Eyed Idol" (June, 1966)
"Fifth Avenue Phantom" (June, 1966)
"Revenge of Dr. Magneto" (June, 1966)
"The Sinister Prime Minister" (July, 1966)
"The Night of the Villains" (August, 1967)
"Here Comes Trubble" (August, 1967)
"Spiderman Meets Dr. Noah Boddy" (August, 1967)
"The Fantastic Fakir" (August, 1967)
"The Vulture's Prey" (August, 1967)
"The Dark Terrors" (September, 1967)
"The Terrible Triumph of Doctor Octopus" (September, 1967)
"Magic Malice" (September, 1967)
"Sting of the Scorpion" (October, 1967)
"Trick or Treachery" (October-November, 1967)
"To Catch a Spider" (November, 1967)
"Double Identity" (May, 1968)
"Fountain of Terror" (May, 1968)
"Fiddler On the Loose" (June, 1968)
I need to do further viewings of the episodes before I can settle conclusively on this sequence. And I lack the desire right now to do more frame-grabbing work for images to go with the chronology's text.
It is something that I often sardonically say. The best way to insure that a Web page will go unvisited is to update it. All of the work that I did this past week to upgrade my Littlest Hobo Page's images, and what is the result? Daily traffic to it has utterly ceased. As if on cue. Update the Web page, and accessing of it reduces to zero.
How can I motivate myself to make improvements to Web pages when this most vexing phenomenon occurs?
Anyway, I will report that my Era 2 memoirs have had further text and image additions, and my interview with Simon Christopher Dew has also received an images upgrade.
I am also working on a chronology for Spiderman. That is a project that I have undertaken before, only to abandon it as my initiative dwindled in a low-morale situation. Time will tell if this time I will succeed in bringing a Spiderman chronology to a state of completion.
Fredericton is a major flood zone. The downtown area is beset with pools of dirty water, and places further down the Saint John River are thoroughly inundated. My home is outside of the floodplain, but the flooding in the city's major arteries of traffic has impacted routine daily movement. And I have noticed a slowing of mail delivery. My Mr. Hyde and Bugs Bunny vinyl figures set is en route to me, but it seems that I must expect delays. At least my house is safe from the flood water. My parents chose it wisely back in 1977. I remember one of the first houses for sale that we visited (on Wednesday, May 25, 1977 while I was thinking about the Space: 1999 episode, "Space Warp", that had aired for the first time on CBC Television the Saturday previous) was on Burpee Street, which is now very much underwater. Thank goodness we did not move into that house.
All for today, Friday, May 4, 2018. And no, I am not going to make a lame, pun-based reference to a certain line of dialogue in a 1977 movie whose name I will refrain from stating. Every year, I have to endure it on Facebook, and it has become quite a cliche. Where cliches go, it cannot hold candle to the refrains of the fandom of Space: 1999. Pavlov would have a "field day" analysing those. By the way, I was talking at a local mall's food court with a friend the other day, and he concurred with me that there is a pathology of some sort in the Space: 1999 fan attitude toward Space: 1999's second season. Mind, with regard to psychoanalysis, we are both lay people, but still such a hypothesis is a rational one for a lay person to consider, under the circumstances. The fans are vilifying the Season Two episode, "Seed of Destruction", today after having venomously assailed "Brian the Brain" in their latest systematic slurring of everything Season Two. In between the usual "shots" at Season Two for not having Main Mission and Victor Bergman in it. Cliche. Cliche. Cliche. Four-decades-old cliches.
And the same person in the Space: 1999 fan group on Facebook still cannot spell the word, chrysalis, or the word, damn.
Anyway, now this is all for today.
I am still pulling my chin off of the floor after I discovered this two evenings ago.
I have learned that this set of vinyl toy figures was manufactured last year in a very limited production run of 850 units for selling at the July, 2017 San Diego Comic-Con. I was not aware of it until two evenings ago because I have been "out of touch" with cartoon fandom for several years (besides, I doubt that the cartoon fans with whom I was associated would have noticed or remarked about the item). It was in doing a simple Google search for "Hyde and Hare" (I do those from time to time) that I came upon the above image of the Mr. Hyde and Bugs Bunny toy figure set.
And yes, there was no way that I could resist finding and purchasing a set. The prices that this item is fetching at eBay are exorbitant, and I am paying one of those prices. But I just have to possess the item. With my history with "Hyde and Hare", there can be no question of me foregoing the toy figures set. I do not buy much merchandise memorabilia anymore, but this is a special case. It is astonishing that a toy set based on "Hyde and Hare" would be made on an assembly line to be sold to buyers. In fact, I have to wonder if I am dreaming this. I mean, the Warner Brothers cartoons had never been as unpopular and unrecognised as they are these past couple of years, and "Hyde and Hare" was scarcely one of the most sung-of-praise efforts of the Warner Brothers cartoon studio.
Someone has a video on YouTube with a discussion of the Mr. Hyde and Bugs Bunny toy figures set and of the cartoon on which the toy figures set is based.
I cannot hope to satisfactorily express my gratification at the attention and acclaim that "Hyde and Hare" is currently receiving. A cartoon that merited no mention in Joe Adamson's Bugs Bunny book apart from the shortest possible synopsis toward the end of the book. A cartoon that has long been among the lowest rated of Bugs Bunny's films at the Internet Movie Database. A cartoon that the ever-so-expert denizens of the old Termite Terrace Trading Post routinely proclaimed to be one of the poorest cartoon shorts (if not the poorest cartoon short) for the rabbit. The cartoon of which a steadfastly held stance of detraction on the part of the most prolific and the most supercilious contributors to the discussions at the Termite Terrace Trading Post finally precipitated my acrimonious departure from that vaunted association of persons.
Yes, I am revelling in this unexpected change of fortune for "Hyde and Hare". And I will for the remainder of my life own a souvenir of that change of fortune in the collector's item that is now en route to me.
Now, how about a Blu-Ray release of "Hyde and Hare"? Either in a further Blu-Ray set of the Warner Brothers cartoons or as a bonus feature in a Blu-Ray release of the 1932 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde? Please? Pretty please?
The Littlest Hobo Page is now upgraded with improved images. It is the last of my Web pages to receive such an improvement. Unfortunately, with there not being a complete DVD release of that television series, image quality is still not optimal. But at least the digital blockiness and graininess of the old images is gone, finally.
May 2, 2018.