Mar. 25th, 2017

shadowkat: (Default)
1. What's happening in the US national news right now is ...well, as I told a project manager the other day, if we were reading about it twenty years from now, we'd find it hilarious. Actually, I find it funny now, much funnier than the book I'm reading. I think the actual news has trumped (no pun intended) Douglas Addams in the absurdist comedy department.

But I won't bore you with details. You can read about it yourself.

2. Saw the flick Doctor Strange courtesy of On Demand. I was hunting for Rogue One or Hidden Figures, but neither appear to be available at the moment. Also Supergirl, but early S2 episodes are currently only available for purchase. I'm trying to figure out how she got involved with the Daxxon, Mon-El, who is being played by the same actor that played Kyle on Vamp Diaries. I rather liked him on Vamp Diaries, thought he was an interesting actor.

Anywho...Doctor Strange surprised me. I'd gone in with low expectations. Watched it for the cast - Tilda Swinton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwelth...(name I can't spell but was in the movie The Martian). It was good. Loved the metaphor about shattering the ego and discovering the spirit within. Basically the ego driven Doctor Strange, who has gotten to the point that he only chooses cases based on how interesting or impossible they seem and not on necessity, and how much acclaim he can get, drives himself off a winding road while texting. He's all ego in the beginning. And wealth. He has the fast car, unlimited number of watches, top position at a swanky hospital, professional success, critical acclaim, prestige. He's asked to go on a speaking engagement, where he can basically tout his expertise. His friend and ex-girl-friend, who invites to go with him, turns him down, stating she'd rather not be part of the Stephen Strange show. That it is all about him. Always is. So, driving to this gig...on dark twisty coastal roads, he is texting at the same time, trying to determine his next impossible case...when oops, he ends up careening of the cliff and every nerve shatters. (He's a neurologist, so that's rather apropos). His ego shatters. He loses his ability to do surgery. His hands shake and won't be steady. Nothing works, he tries physical therapy, countless surgeries...nothing works. Until he finds out about a man who shattered his spine, went to a mystical retreat and now walks with no issues. So he hunts it down...and goes through a dark night of the soul, he lets go of his ego, reality as his mind conceives it, and surrenders to the mysticism.
There's more of course. A nifty rift on time/space magic and natural law that I appreciated.

It was quite enjoyable and I learned something from it. Also, I'm realizing I'd probably watch Benedict Cumberbatch read the phone book.

3. Also saw the first episode of S2 The Expanse - which was also surprisingly good and stuck close to the books. Closer than expected. We're nearing the end of the first book, Leviathan Wakes. Haven't read the others, which I think they may have blended parts of into the series. I've Caliban's War -- book two on the Kindle, so may or may not read that after Hitchhiker's, assuming of course I finish Hitchhiker's. Hitchhiker's also talks about ego and how it rules out human life, just as Leviathan Wakes does...or how science is a reflection of ego. I think science can be like that. We get caught up in thought and think that's who we are, that this reality. It's not until you stop thinking and let go of thought, that you discover self and spirit. And reality sort of melts into something new.

In Hitchhiker, two lab mice are in reality an advanced species from the 5th Dimension who have been using Earth (and all the life on it) as a huge computer program to conduct scientific experiments -- to determine the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. The mice want the answer because they want to be important, it's about their ego. They care about how others perceive them. How smart they are. If they can come up with the ultimate answer. They don't care who they hurt to get it.

On The Expanse...the scientists want to be important. Their work is important. It doesn't matter who they hurt to accomplish their aim. They are advancing life. They are protecting the planet.

My mother tells me the real thing to be worried about according to one of the speakers she'd listened "genetic engineering" or "the genom" research, because there's no rules, no ethics...and they could do horrible things. I'm like, yeah, I know, I've been reading science fiction. And I'm writing not one but two sci-fi novels about scientists who do that with horrific consequences.

Anyhow...I found the Expanse interesting and informative. Recommend starting from the beginning. It is a little slow to start though, and confusing. Takes patience to get into it.

4. Flash and Supergirl -- watched both this week, because I wanted to see what they did with the musical. The musical was better than expected. But still not quite up to Whedon's Once More With Feeling standard. No one has gotten close to that. Whedon wrote all his own songs for Once More With Feeling and managed to make fun of himself, musicals, and his series at the same time. It was basically a meta-narrative on musicals, horror series, and the television art form all at the same time. I've yet to see anyone come close to topping it. Although people have tried. Some have been more successful than helps, of course, if your format lends itself to a musical and if you have stars who can sing and dance. The Flash and Supergirl sort of did. They even borrowed Victor Garber from DC Legends of Tomorrow. And they wisely did not make the folks who can't sing, sing, having learned from those series that attempted that.

It only had four to five songs. One was written by the writers. Everything else borrowed from elsewhere. And the plot while cheesy, lent itself to it. (But to be fair all the plots on these series are cheesy and campy. That's the fun of them.

I'm not really watching either...too cheesy for me. I like the darker Marvel stuff. DC never really was my comic series. I was more of a Marvel fan.


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