I hate pretty much all adaptations but I reserve my special-loathing-place for comics and video games that get turned into movies and series. (which is next to the dusty tarp that covers my repressed childhood memories and stacked on top of my overwhelming fight-or-flight-response at the prospect of being hugged by a stranger)
Having said that, sometimes one has to grudgingly admit to an exception, quickly followed up with a crotchety suffix that the statement doesn’t necessarily invalidate the general rule and that most adaptations still suck.
Which is what I’ve had to do with HBO’s The Last of Us, of which I was super skeptical, but have up until now, been pleasantly surprised by.
When most people think of John Hannah they think of Four Weddings and Funeral. My go-to image is of him raping a slave girl up the bum in Spartacus (2010) while hot-tubbing it with Lucy Lawless… but I think my favorite iteration was his character in The Mummy (1999) which I loved (but am also weary about re-watching).
In any event. John Hannah in the opening scene of The Last of Us is brilliant. THIS scene is how to do ‘zombie’ apocalypse backstory without lazily defaulting to some eye-rolling-bullshit about an evil corporation (with a parasol logo) that’s cobbled together a virus (with an alphabet designation) in some weirdly labyrinthine basement laboratory.
Cordyceps are horror!
And a much more plausible plot hook. (well, imo) The fact that not more of us lie awake at night thinking about the millions of bacteria, archaea, viruses, mites and FUNGI that are using us as a mobile smorgasbord obviously needs to be addressed. Preferably in a Jaws-like epic that terrifies an entire generation into scrubbing themselves down with steel wool and bleach every night.
Even if zombie apocalypses aren’t your schtick I recommend the first ten minutes of episode one, just for pure motion picture luminosity.
Arcane is another game to series adaptation that turned out to be truly excellent. I often find myself recommending it to people (and then have them NOT watch it when they find out its based on League of Legends)
How come everyone is so thirsty over Vi & Caitlyn when Mel is clearly the most beautiful woman on the show?
A Reddit thread I stumbled on.
I hadn’t really thought about it up until this point, but found myself nodding in acquiescence. I mean insofar as one rates characters by their… state of illustration . Which for some reason makes me think of Jessica Rabbit and her ‘I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way’.
Still, I think I have to agree. Definitely ‘prettier’ than both Vi and Caitlyn. And probably a
better more complex character. Vi feels a little basic…. in a Hulk-smash kinda way, whereas Mel has more nuance and depth to her.
Having said that, its one of the prettiest, aesthetically pleasing adaptations out there and I like to trumpet it as something binge worthy where one is well compensated for ones investment of time and/or sleep.
This week I read…
… jokes is probably a bit of a misnomer. But I guess, ‘Understanding Philosophy Through silly Anecdotes’ is a little less punchy.
Here’s the entry on Stoicism. (of which I consider myself an adherent, albeit not a very good one)
The ethical question that concerned the Stoics in the fourth century BC was how to react to the prevailing sense of fatalism that came from living in a tightly controlled empire. They could not change much of anything in their daily lives, so they decided to change their attitude towards life itself. It was the only personal control they had left. What the Stoics came up with was a strategy of emotional disengagement from life. They called their attitude apathia (apathy) and for the Stoics apathy was a virtue, which made them a barrel of laughs at the local taverna. The Stoics were willing to sacrifice some kinds of happiness (sex, drugs, Dionysian hip-hop) in order to avoid the unhappiness brought on by their passions (STD’s hangovers, and bad rhymes). They acted only from reason, never from passion, and therefore considered themselves the only truly happy people – which is to say they were un-unhappy.
In the following story, Mr. Cooper demonstrates a modern form of Stoicism: Stoicism by proxy.
The Coopers were shown into the dentists office, where Mr. Cooper made it clear he was in a big hurry. “No fancy stuff, Doctor”, he ordered, “No gas, or needles or any of that stuff. Just pull the tooth and get it over with”. “I wish more of my patients were as stoic as you”, said the dentist admiringly. “Now which tooth is it?” Mr Cooper turned to his wife, “Open your mouth honey”.
G.K Chesterton once wrote, “The word ‘good’ has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his mother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.” Its the qualifier ‘necessarily’ that shows Chesterton possessed a truly philosophical mind.
[Jo] And that… is the entire philosophy from Zeno to Aurelius summed in 295 words. Of complete bullshit. If you know anything about Stoicism you’re likely mouthing the words ‘what-the-fuck-was-that’. To which, in answer I offer, ‘I have no idea’. But because I’m stoic I’m not gonna get super bent out of shape about it.
I also finished…
… which I’ve been picking away at (and savoring) since Christmas. It was awesome. I love (and miss) Terry Pratchett every single day. Along with Christopher Hitchens. (they both kicked off way too early)
Terry was also a big G. K Chesterton fan, and along with Neil Gaiman, dedicated their book, ‘Good Omens’ to him, as ‘A man that knew what was going on’. (basically the antithesis of me)
I have this (probably not completely unreasonable) fear that once Hollywood is done with games and comics they are going to turn their attention more seriously towards the Discworld. I mean they already sorta tried with ‘The Watch (2021) which was… if you are a disciple, pure anathema and completely unwatchable.
Highly recommend this book though, if you’re a fan.
When did you stop trusting legacy media? I couldn’t tell you an exact date. Or which one of the egregious falsehoods it was that finally pushed me over the edge…
… but maybe one day I will tell people it was this. I am obviously deeply concerned that this got through the editorial process at CNN as an object most resembling a UFO.
I’ve seen (and interacted with) a couple of these things up close and (for a while at least) considered myself a bit of an expert.
And sure they’ve all got their little geometric variances but I still feel confident that I could pick the right simile for this particular cloud formation.
And while we are on the topic of pudendum…
… this is my new go-to video about what it is that I do for a living.
Its more or less accurate.
Except I draw my penises without indicators. And sometimes I will take a stab at a short, droopy downward facing penis. Also my monologues are almost always internal. And I never print out anything… and I don’t trade crypto.
But other than that, basically day-trading 101.