Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


Leave a comment

Reelin’ in the Years – 1999

Sonny & Cher during a rehearsal break at ABC T...

Sonny & Cher during a rehearsal break at ABC Television’s Wembley studios on 26 May 1966. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s 1999 and I’m having the same problem I had with 1998. I don’t connect with most of the pop charts this year. But I respect Cher for coming back with “I believe.”

She was big in the 70s TV show Sonny and Cher. To resurface with the foresight of where pop would be going… dance, dance, dance… is impressive. But I’m not inspired by the song.

With David Bowie, I respect the artist and happen to like the song “Somebody Up There Likes Me” on the album Young Americans.

Young Americans? Isn’t that another 70s relic?

Well, yes but it was r-e-m-a-s-t-e-r-e-d-i-n-1-9-9-9. Sorry folks, I have to do this remastered trick because maybe I am getting old and just not digging the charts like I used to. 37 years old, moving back to Toronto this year. I bought Bowie’s 1999 CD Hours and was mildly disappointed. But this old hit remains a fav.

Come to think of it, I don’t think my not liking tunes released in ’99 was an age thing as much as an out-of-sync thing. I’ve enjoyed a lot of pop since the EDM explosion. So either I’ve changed, the times have changed or maybe both.

1970s UK Sci-Fi TV show depicting an imaginary 1999 where an explosion breaks the moon free of its orbit – Image http://projectswordtoys.blogspot.ca/2013/08/

Technology is marching forward in ’99. People are burning CD-R/RWs and checking out digital photography. I was a bit slow to shell out for these tech advances so was still pretty old skool in ’99. Film camera. Tapes, CDs and Vinyl.

Earthpages is getting search engine recognition and I’m learning what I’m still learning today. How to get out there and be noticed on the web. Transitioning from an academic to a popular writing style has not been easy. In ’99 I’m either coming off too serious or too glib.

Striking that balance when you’re primarily a religious person who goes to Mass several times a week is not as straightforward as one might think. Ironically, I find that going to Mass enhances rather than squashes my creativity.

I still receive the Eucharist several times a week, something I’ll probably talk about more in years not yet reeled in.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

 Billy Bragg’s Bratty Brother (ask.metafilter.com)

 Cher Concert Tickets for Lubbock, Austin, Corpus Christi, Bossier City… (prweb.com)

 Technology shaping the future of music but its soul remains the same (triblive.com)

 Dressing David Bowie As ‘Ziggy Stardust’ (thecut.com)

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Another great Trek episode… (slight spoiler alert)

Image – Wikipedia (Star Trek Franchise is pretty strict about sharing images, so it’s hard to find copyright free ones for blogging)

Caught season 1 episode 3 of the new Star Trek TV series last night. I felt this one would indicate if the show was heading somewhere or just going to fizzle, as did Star Trek Enterprise.

Pleasantly surprised again.

The best part, I thought, was how the quirky Captain of Discovery tells Michael Burnham that universal rules are for the rank and file. Kings appreciate the importance of context.

Of course, he could have said Queens appreciate context—that is, they bend Starfleet regulations. And given that the show is trying to be so forward thinking by giving the woman Michael a male name, I thought this was a small glitch.

But other than that… looking forward to the remainder of the season!

 6 ‘Star Trek’ Captains, Ranked from Worst to Best (space.com)

 Claire Foy auditioned for ‘The Crown’ wearing a tiara, gloves, and gown while she was 6 months pregnant (businessinsider.com)

 The man behind ‘Game of Thrones’ has several TV shows in the works – here’s everything you need to know about them (businessinsider.com)


2 Comments

Star Trek Discovery seems on track

Managed to catch the first two episodes without ads, thanks to our PVR. It took a little juggling because the show started late. Luckily I taped every instance on every channel..

So how was it?

Good. I was pleasantly surprised. I like female lead characters and Michael Burnham is stellar. “Michael” is a woman, btw. I thought that was an interesting twist, given all the transgender news and remaining biases around sex role stereotypes.

It’s also my name!

I’m just wondering if Discovery will continue strong or fizzle out like Star Trek Enterprise.

Another reviewer at Now Magazine thought the Klingon scenes were a bit hokey and overdone. I can see that. I never really liked the complex Klingon culture story line in Trek spinoffs.

But we’ll see. I enjoyed the first two episodes.

Now that I’ve finished the entire Vikings series, I’ve been feeling a lack of something to watch. Something engaging.

I need my sci-fi fix and when there’s no good sci-fi around, life gets dull.

Ahead… warp factor two!


Leave a comment

Is this where Arya Stark is trained by the faceless man?

Google Images pls contact me if subject to copyright


Leave a comment

Game of Thrones – Game of Greed?

With much delight I discovered Season 7 Episode 1 of Game of Thrones was available for free preview on HBO Canada. Otherwise, I’d have to wait for the DVD release and grab a library copy.

Searching for something good to watch over the past few weeks, I stumbled on another TV show called Vikings. Maybe it’s just the switch or a summertime appropriateness. But I am enjoying Vikings more than GOT. Sure the dialog and accents might be slightly less nuanced. GOT seems more realistic in this sense; various social ‘classes’ look and sound more true to form. Of course, GOT is fictional fantasy. But it succeeds partly because it conjures up echoes from our collective past.

Despite its sense of accent, Vikings is turning my crank right now. GOT, on the other hand, reminds me of when your favorite rock band tries to follow up after its peak LP. Just can’t do it. So for me, Season 7 Episode 1 was good, but not great. Sort of like Magical Mystery Tour after Sgt. Peppers (baby boomers will be able to relate…).

Other than, perhaps, The Hound, most of the GOT cast seemed bored and distracted. Older too. We can’t fault them for that. But when a show is so inherently visual, the actors’ appearance arguably does matter. Another factor just might be greed. That tends to kill creativity. How much does Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) get paid per episode? Look it up. You’ll be amazed.

In the old days… (sigh, yawn) cable was relatively cheap. 10 maybe 20 bucks per month. And everything was covered. You didn’t have to pay extra to subscribe to “specialty” channels. You just got everything. So watching landmark shows like Roots, Columbo and Star Trek didn’t cost an extra cent.

Alas, everything has changed and affordable TV probably won’t return for a long, long time.

Maybe the rich really do get richer and poor, poorer. I’m not sure. But GOT seems to be sinking under all the hype and greed. Well, if not sinking, definitely springing a few leaks.

They say art should imitate life. Well, in this case, it might be circular. As Oscar Wilde put it, life seems to be imitating art.

—MC

Related articles

 Prepare for ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 with a big Prime Day deal on Seasons 1-6 (mashable.com)

 16.1 million people watched last night’s Game of Thrones episode (technutty.co.uk)

 The best Game of Thrones merchandise every fan should own (telegraph.co.uk)

 Where would your favourite Game of Thrones character go skiing? (telegraph.co.uk)

 The ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 premiere had the highest ratings in the show’s history – here’s how the seasons compare (businessinsider.com)

 10 “Game of Thrones” Loose Ends We Need Answered In Season 7 (fastcompany.com)

 ‘Thrones’ causes porn dip (foxnews.com)

 The 5 most talked-about moments from the ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 premiere (businessinsider.com)

 Here’s the preview for the second episode of Game of Thrones S7 (technutty.co.uk)

 A hidden piece of the ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 premiere script reveals how the White Walkers could invade Westeros (businessinsider.com)


Leave a comment

Should I Feel Guilty? – Game of Thrones Finale

I guess I’m a little behind. I just finished watching Season 6 of Game of Thrones. Spolier alert! Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen the final episode.

So after finishing up the series, I wondered:

Should I feel guilty for enjoying it when Cersei blew the High Sparrow sky high?

I don’t know.

Some Christian blogger argued that we have it all wrong. We like the bad guys in the show and don’t like the good guys.

I thought that was a silly take because, if anything, Game of Thrones is about the grey areas (Grey Worm?) and doesn’t deal in absolutes.

Only the most childish of cartoons and comics do that. Adult fiction is about portraying life as it is. And because nobody is perfect, this seems more genuine than many whitewashed, Christian-approved media productions.

True, Cersei is quite evil. But at least she knows it. The High Sparrow and his violent crew reminded me of those religious phonies – we’ve all met them – who prance around pretending to be holier-than-thou when really they are just total creeps.

For the record, I didn’t enjoy it when Cersei insinuated that she planned to torment, possibly torture, the High Sparrow’s angry stooge, Septa Unella. And I didn’t like seeing Queen Margaery get trapped, the only one recognizing the imminent danger.

As I say, Cersei is evil.

But I did enjoy seeing the High Sparrow get his due. For me, religious phonies are the most odious type of all.

The High Sparrow (right) and a fanatical convert (left)


Leave a comment

She’s Got Dragons

Who me? Game of Thrones freak? Naah. That’s only part of the story.

I did like Khaleesi and thought that Jason Momoa nailed the ancient conqueror role. But they are only depicting things that, more or less, really happened. Alexander the Great. Cyrus the Great. Cleopatra.

Dragons may be fiction but we have a pretty heavy inheritance we have to face.