commented on Why Did Stephen King's Shining Adaptation Suck So Much? And Why Did He Hate Kubrick's Shining So Much?
In King's book, Jack is a Jekyll-and-Hyde alcoholic whose inner demons, personified as the hotel, eventually overwhelm him -- but deep down good Jack is still good, he just loses the battle with bad Jack.
In Kubrick's movie, Jack is a a fundamentally abusive husband and parent whose mask of normalcy is ripped off by the hotel -- deep down he was never a good man, he just hadn't fully expressed his badness yet.
So I love both versions of the story, but I can see why King, if he feels the book story very personally and identifies with Jack, doesn't like seeing Jack portrayed as fundamentally a bad person. But Kubrick made absolutely the right choice for a movie -- in the book, Jack's personality deteriorates gradually over months, and there's no good way to show that on film.
I think Kubrick's movie irks him for another reason, though -- it's so iconic, it has displaced the book in popular culture. When I reread the book recently, after not reading it for years, I was shocked and a bit embarrassed to find out that the "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" scene wasn't in the book. I misremembered it as being there.
Kind of how I imagine Tolkien would feel about the Peter Jackson movies, actually.
commented on How to Ruin a Fine Woman
I think the final image is creepy in an uncanny valley sort of way. She has been altered without regard to the underlying structure of her anatomy. She's an Escher Girl, mixed with that girl on the cover of Beautiful Freak.
commented on What Are Your Norman Rockwell Feelings?
My Norman Rockwell feelings: he's always highly skilled, although I sometimes find his aggressive hokiness a bit grating, like when a Spielberg movie goes wrong. But when he's on target he can be fantastic, and some of his best work was really vivid depictions of homespun liberal progressivism... that unfortunately seems to go right over the heads of the conservatives who want to live in "Rockwell's America."
commented on Slog Bible Study: Psalm 82:1
I still remember sitting in church, when it first dawned on me that most of the old testament was written not with the assumption that no other gods in fact existed, but rather that those other gods were not as good and also incorrect for Jews to worship. The more Muslim idea that there is in fact no God but God obviously came around later, but when? And how do evangelicals account for the change?
(Hint: they don't, actually.)
commented on Man Moves Downtown, Gets Disgusted by Sight of Poor People, Proclaims Seattle "Broken"
I'm with @13. When I first started going to Seattle in the early 80s, it was much worse than now, and according to my husband and his brother, when they used to go to Mariner's games back in the 70s it was even worse than that.
We could and should be doing a lot more to deal with things like homelessness and drug addiction, but I don't buy for one minute a declensionist narrative for Seattle's downtown.
commented on When Silicon Valley Gets Tea Baggy
Yeah, I don't know why so many tech types have that libertarian streak, but they do. You run into 'em all the time at SF conventions. Sometimes they're fun to debate.
commented on Republicans Can't Govern
Something that did not, in fact, happen cannot be, in fact, true.
When 9/11 happened, people like you tried to tell me that it was a great thing Bush was president, because can you just imagine what Al Gore would have done in that situation?
I said, as long as we're playing the alternate universe game, I think if Al Gore was president, 9/11 wouldn't have happened at all -- because part of why it happened was that the Bush administration abandoned the anti-terrorism focus of the previous administration, which Gore was more likely to have kept up.
Who was right? Nobody. But I could at least point to an actual policy difference to explain my counterfactuals. The "good thing we've got Bush in office" people couldn't delineate any specifics about why Bush was such a great leader in the face of an unprecedented act of terrorism -- he just, you know, sorta was, even though the one thing we all knew for a fact was that he was the guy who let it happen.
President McCain would have died in office and President Palin would have led us into WWIII. President Romney would have already crashed us into a second great recession. Their hypothetical abilities to pass budgets would have been moot in the face of such monstrous incompetence.
commented on If Republicans Wanted to Hurt Obamacare, Well, Their Shutdown Is Having the Opposite Effect
“We’re not going to be disrespected [..] We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
I think that quote is the key to understanding what the teapartiers are trying to accomplish. In policy terms, nothing. What they want is to FEEL like they are important, like they matter, like they are being listened to -- so that's why showing their power to shut down government, even if they are a tiny minority out of step with most Americans, is such a big deal. It's about their own perception of status. They used to feel important just kind of, you know, existing -- because they felt like the world was built for them. It was their world.
The election of Obama made it seem like it wasn't their world anymore. His re-election proved that their world isn't coming back -- it will never be their world again.
So now they're like the guy who gets laid off from his job and comes back with a big rifle to hold all his former co-workers hostage. He doesn't have any coherent demands. He just wants respect. He just wants to feel respected. He wants to prove they can't do this to him. He's important, damn it.
Spree killers often have similar motivations. They feel like they've lost every other way of proving they matter to the world, so they are going to prove they matter by destroying a part of it.
Of course, with hostage-takers and spree killers, it usually ends in a hail of gunfire. I have no idea what's going to happen here.
commented on Irony Is a Survival Tactic
Oh no, I'm having flashbacks -- your sincere friend sounds so much like my mother. The Disney infatuation, high tolerance for really crappy light comedies combined with inability to enjoy entertainment that is in any way gritty or depressing, an oppressive insistence on Christmas and other holidays being perfect according to a pre-written script…
But in my mother's case, I can't trace it back to any particularly traumatic childhood experiences. She just seems to a bit narcissistic and unable to face reality.
I loved Disneyland as a kid, when we lived in SoCal and it was a regular feature in my life, hated coming back to it as a teenager (for pretty much all the reasons you cite) and then had a good time again when I went back as an adult with friends. The friends were really the key there -- they could enjoy Disneyland for what it offered, but still find many things about it absurd and hilarious.
Vegas with my family, however, was even worse than Disneyland with my family. I think that's because I genuinely enjoy rides and animation, but not gambling and shopping, which was what the Vegas experience with my family turned into