thelyamhound
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Mar 5 thelyamhound commented on Assassins at ACT Theatre Is Really Good—Especially These Two Performances.
@1 - Interesting. It's my favorite way both to perform and to watch theater. I wonder if it's a temperament indicator, like creamy vs. crunchy peanut butter, or which James Bond you prefer.
Jan 20 thelyamhound commented on "Begging for Acknowledgment, or Even Asking, Diminishes Dignity".
@31 - If you watch any of the featurettes on the shooting of that stunt, you'll be surprised to discover that very few of the objects flying towards the camera were CGI. The guitar was, of course, and I think that, plus the color blending made it appear animated when it was, in fact, nearly all practical. Still probably my least favorite of many, many stunts, but I think we've actually become so hypersensitized to CGI that we see it even when it's not (or barely) there.
Jan 20 thelyamhound commented on "Begging for Acknowledgment, or Even Asking, Diminishes Dignity".
There's no accounting for taste, obviously; I adored Mad Max: Fury Road and Creed, and can't quite find an "in" to the view that either was overrated. But regardless of personal views, which will always come down to some subjective reaction, it seems suspicious to me that not one of the films featuring non-white characters this year was deemed well written enough, well directed enough, well acted enough, or good enough in aggregate to receive some nod.

I can actually understand why someone would ignore Smith's I'm-doing-an-accent-for-a-nobly-intentioned-medical-drama-place-statue-here grandstand, but I loved the quiet simplicity of Michael B. Jordan's performance in Creed, which also benefited tremendously from Coogler's surprisingly savvy script and downright spellbinding facility in filming the boxing scenes in different styles that suited their placement in the story. Straight Outta Comptom isn't the type of thing that usually gets me out of the house (biopic, not exactly a visual feast, in either the art-punk sense or the blockbuster sense), but as a fairly acclaimed biopic, I'm a little surprised that it didn't get some acknowledgment.

I suppose we could say that Compton may have been ignored for the same reason that Smith was - that the Academy is trying to shake off its image as a champion of fuddy-duddy prestige films and embracing genre (the bracing period revenge pic The Revenant; acclaimed - rightly, to my eye, but YMMV - pulp fantasia Fury Road), but that would almost seem to favor genre pics like Creed. One could even make a populist argument for Compton; to argue against it would seem to be a blow in favor of Chi-Raq or Concussion.

As with last year, when my favorites were admittedly lily-white arthouse flicks made with studio money (Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman), I'm not sure I would be rooting for anyone but Coogler or Jordan among the would-be non-white nominees, and I will continue to wish that more non-white filmmakers dabbled in horror flicks, surreal art films, and other genres that pique my interest (the degree to which race and bias shape interest is an interesting topic - I've done some soul-searching on the question of why punk resonates with me and R&B doesn't, or why my favorite jazz musician was a French gypsy - but it's a conversation for another post, if not another thread). That doesn't mean I don't see the implicit, insitutional racism that allows an whole communities to be excluded from recognition for their work.

And no, artists shouldn't do it for the recognition, and refusing to bring your toys to the sandbox may not be a particularly effective way of registering dissent. And I can't help but think that Smith, in particular, and Lee to a lesser degree are in positions of enough power that they can actually open the gates to a more diverse set of minority voices (not just diverse in the sense of race & gender, but diverse in aesthetic, worldview, narrative style, genre, etc.). Wouldn't that work do more to address the problem than refusing to attend a very long and expensive party that most of us watch to get drunk while bitching about famous people's fashion choices?

Still, to insist that the problem they're complaining about doesn't exist is downright myopic.
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Jan 20 thelyamhound commented on Why Are Tribute Nights So Popular?.
I think it's strange that anyone would question the value of covers. Classically trained musicians are pretty much educated entirely in "covers"; as a stage actor, I've spent a lot of time "covering" Shakespeare. It seems to me that every band probably starts as a cover band, or at least each musician therein started by hammering out a riff by the Velvet Underground or Ritchie Valens or the Clash. Yes, true artists eventually find their own voices, but that voice surely exists in a context that includes the influence of other musicians.
Jan 6 thelyamhound commented on Authorities Want to Cut Power to Wildlife Refuge in the Hope of Freezing the Armed Outlaws.
@23 - I'm disinclined to rely on their good taste.
Jan 6 thelyamhound commented on Our New Health Care System: Still Evil. Less Evil. But Still Evil..
@17 - That became abundantly clear via @14. Thanks. A little subtle - more successful, as such, at capturing Raindrop, who isn't opposed to reason (just not very good at it). Too soft with the milk of human kindness for SB.
Jan 6 thelyamhound commented on Our New Health Care System: Still Evil. Less Evil. But Still Evil..
@4 - Could you elucidate that a little? I have never lived under a health care system that didn't dance on the backs of the bruised, and have little faith in the possibilities of any for-profit system, but a coherent (not just to an economist or people who read business magazines instead of having sex) explanation might give me something to chew on, at least.
Jan 5 thelyamhound commented on Seattle Police Officer Given Oral Reprimand for Using the Word "Fag" Online.
@35 - Anyone who has a stick, a gun, and any power whatsoever to detain me, question me, delay me, or lay a hand on me has power that no bigoted cracker who doesn't have the good sense to hide his bigoted crackerhood from the public sphere should ever enjoy. Period.

I'm really surprised that anyone would look on it as anything but an assurance of justice and survival tobinsist that those who have power over us should at least be held to a pretense of being equals.
Jan 5 thelyamhound commented on Seattle Police Officer Given Oral Reprimand for Using the Word "Fag" Online.
@30 should read " ... arrogant to BELIEVE that power be given ... "