Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nine random line items:

1. Dear alternative radio playlist makers: please remove Soundgarden's "Spoonman" at your earliest convenience. Immediately replace it with "Pretty Noose." That is all.

2. So, it's been a couple of days since the Battlestar Galactica finale...I didn't hate it, no. But I didn't love it, either. (This isn't going to be very spoilery, just my impression, if you're waiting to see it.) More like, I can appreciate what the creators were trying to do, but; and this is probably due more to my personal taste and bias, but: even though my suspension of disbelief can cover the cheesiest of giant Kaiju monsters or the wobbliest of old cardboard sci-fi sets, whenever the hand of God is involved, I have a harder time accepting it. Which is ironic, since sci-fi (and comics) pulls out the deus ex machina rabbit-out-of-a-hat last minute save all the time. And as long as there's a hand's wave of an explanation, I'm fine with that. It might not be completely satisfying, but it sits better with me than, "God's will." That probably says as much about me as it does about Galactica, though. And it may say something that I'm still chewing it over now.

3. I guess the title "Nine Random Line Items" is a bit of a misnomer. They aren't completely random, just things I've been thinking about. If there was an item that was just, say, Pork noodle chowder thrower cannon...that would be closer, I guess.

4. Years ago, I used to work customer service at a Future Shop; before they went under. Think Circuit City, only gone sooner. Not a terrible job, really; since there were a lot of fun people there. But part of my job seemed to be keeping customers away from the computer techs. Now, the customers may very well have had legitimate questions about what was wrong with their computer; but it probably wasn't cost or time-effective to have the techs walk them through it when they should be just fixing it. That, and the techs were terrible with the customers. They were all cool otherwise, but after working on the same problems all day, the techs would be frustrated that any given customer couldn't understand it.

It's not a rational frustration, but I seem to be getting it myself lately. I explain the same things over and over and over some more; and damnit, I'm got it down, why don't you!? Because I haven't talked to you before, because you haven't done this a million times, because this isn't your field of expertise...there's a lot of possible reasons before we get to 'because you're a damn moron' or 'because annoying me is your only purpose on this earth.' And yet the mind goes there straightaway. I'm usually as patient as a zen monk, so I'm trying to write off recent crankiness as weather-related: it's still been too wet to ride in the morning. Soon.

And almost immediately: as I type this, it's snowing lightly. It won't last or stick, but...man.

5. I need a haircut. Badly.

6. It's probably a moot point after the relatively disappointing performance of the movie, but everyone seemed to be getting into those "After Watchmen, what's next?" lists. So, we'll hit that topic far past it's expiration date...now, I loved Preacher and Transmetropolitan (and Planetary, but I'll come back to that one) and would be thrilled to see more people reading those, sure. But I'd recommend for readers post-Watchmen the works of Kyle Baker, starting with Why I Hate Saturn or The Cowboy Wally Show. I realized recently I must've lent out my copy of I Die At Midnight and never got it back, so I reread You Are Here instead. All of Baker's work has great, stylish cartooning; and accessible, engaging characters. You don't need to have read comics for years to read Baker.

Ooh, I should be able to think of more off the top of my head. I think the Garth Ennis/Killian Plunkett Unknown Soldier from Vertigo a few years back would do well there. I think it's the most cinematic work I've seen from Ennis, and I love the art in it, and it's got the murky, ambiguous morality someone coming off Watchmen could be interested in. Howard Chaykin's American Century might pull a few readers as well, if presented right: predating Mad Men by a few years, it was a period piece set in the fifties with Chaykin's traditional eye on loose morals and self-serving heroism. Darn, I need to re-read that one now.

More behind the break!
7. On Planetary, I know there's been some rumblings on when the last issue is going to come out, which would, y'know, be nice. If I was better organized, I would have a specific box for orphaned, unfinished series, where books like Planetary and La Cosa Nostroid would languish with Daredevil: The Target and Sonic Disruptors. Scud, the Disposable Assassin was in such a state until it was finally completed, and then you get not only the conclusion, but it's like getting the old issues back. I loved that series, but knowing (at the time) that it may never be finished really undermined my enjoyment of it. So, I'm looking forward to the end of Planetary, so I can read the old issues again. That makes sense...right?

8. Even though we're quickly approaching some magical digital utopia where everything is available digitally (unless the financial dystopia hits first, and no one can afford houses to keep their computers in...) there's so much stuff that I've lost over the course of years that I'll never be able to replace. I was setting up a new minidisc full of music last night, and was dismayed at how much I don't have. Even though my archaic computer's so full of music it runs like crap, I still don't have every song I can remember having: I wanted the Breeders' "Do You Love Me Now?" and Iron Maiden's "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" and I didn't have either one. (Good lord, "Seventh Son" was a ten minute song?) Or Prince: I used to have a ton of old Prince stuff, and I think it got stolen years ago. Or the Talking Heads' "Slippery People," from the Stop Making Sense album I haven't seen in years.

My musical tastes are doubtless dated, since when I stopped working in a music store, I stopped being exposed to it on a regular basis. Gah, I think the last CD I bought (he still buys actual CD's! The man's a dinosaur!) was Portishead's last album. Still, although my computer and my minidisc and several boxes are full of music, my head seems to be filled with more. A common problem, I imagine.

Incidentally, am I the last person alive to still use regular headphones, with the hard band? I don't care for the little in-your-ear earbud things.

9. There is no ninth item.


Pete said...

I'm kind of shocked by the poor results Watchmen appears to be having, considering that the level of exposure it has is extremely impressive. I mean, I've been reading newspaper comic strips that are directly referencing the movie--and it usually takes a pretty big deal to draw that much attention.

Also, haircuts are overrated.

The problem with techs and customers is a simple one--the types of people who become technicians are generally problem-solvers by nature. We find problems, we fix them. Because of that, we're not really the type that should be handling customers; precisely because our direct point-a-to-point-b nature makes us really bad at coddling them. Or at least, that's my take.

SallyP said...

So...you need a haircut badly, or you need a bad haircut?

Haw! Sometimes really, I just kill me.

I kid you not, my word verification was "scrafro" which certainly does sound like a bad haircut.

Nick and Justin said...

You're not alone...I hate earbuds. They make my ears sore and I can never stop the left one from slipping out.