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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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31 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I am reading the Cornish trilogy by Robertson Davies. It is a satire of academic life but also contains very serious discussion on academic subjects in Canada that was written during the 1980s after Robertson Davies retired from academia.

    Some parts of the novel are rather antiquated like the way characters discuss homosexuality. A female graduate student asks an older male character/academic ne’er do well “Don’t tell me you are one of the Gays?” And the male character confirms he likes gay sex but insists that he does not want to be part of Gay Liberation because they were so bourgeois and middle class. In 1981 (when the novel was published), this conversation would probably not raise an eyebrow. Now there would be a lot of hackles about this particular conversation.

    Many other sections of the novel are in the more things change, the more they stay the same category. A science professor fumes about how his not yet practical research (he studies human shit) is often an easy target for politicians and during his mental rant, there is a swipe at politicians who talk about how students would be better off learning a trade. Keep in mind this novel is set in Canada in 1981 and this was long before the student loan crisis and great recession and in a country that probably has less of a student loan crisis than the US now.Report

    • Avatar aaron david in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      @saul-degraw if you haven’t read them yet, jump into the Deptford trilogy next. I think they will be right up your alley. Personally I always liked the Cunning Man best, but really enjoyed Dept.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Dwyer
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    says:

    Sin City: I really enjoyed the first one when it came out. I’ve only watched it once or twice since but still find it entertaining. Looking forward to A Dame to Kill For.

    As I mentioned in the Weekend post, I saw Planes: Fire and Rescue on Friday with my nephews. Since my kids are now both teens I don’t get to watch animated movies much anymore (haven’t seen Frozen and not going to jump on that bandwagon.) I’m glad I was ‘forced’ to watch this one.

    The story was predictable. Hero is more humble than the last movie, but still has some lessons to learn. Old, wise teacher initially thinks he’s not worth the time but then he proves himself. Hero and teacher save the day. Happy ending.

    What I loved about the movie was less about the story and more about all the little details. The creators did such a great job of including tons of items for the parents but not making it seem like a gimmic. There was the park ranger car who is one of those touring wagons they have at Yellowstone. There was the backstory about the wise teacher formerly being a star of a show that was like C.H.I.P.s. An old couple visiting the park on their 50th anniversary were a pair of RVs. The best part though is no one breaks into song at any point. I’m not a big fan of those moments in Disney movies. Brad Paisley did much of this soundtrack and it was perfect. All-in-all I really enjoyed it.

    Looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy. Early buzz is that it might be the best Marvel movie yet. I also need to tackle the last season of Clone Wars on Netflix.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Mike Dwyer
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      says:

      I’ve heard it said that the studio realizes that if Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t freaking amazing, that such will do damage to its books for other properties (namely “Marvel Cosmic”), it’ll mean that future movies might not make as much money (the Infinity Gauntlet, if done right, could bring in the biggest box office in history).

      If they’re having the long view on this thing… Hell, it might even make grown up movies better.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        The long game they have planned includes a few titles that are definitely not well-known outside comic fandom. X-Factor, Alpha Flight, etc. I think they’ve built a great deal of trust with the non-comic fan public in the last several years and it seems like Guardians is the first test of that. If the public embraces this one they should be able to keep bouncing back and forth between the major movies (Avengers in 2015, for example) and the less known ones (Ant Man, also 2015).

        The hardest part is going to be waiting for the trailers. I heard the Avengers trailer was pretty awesome, although the real buzz seems to be surrounding Mad Max.

        And I’m still rooting for DC, but man, they are so far behind.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Do you mean that if GotG fails horribly, studios might go back to making grown up movies?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Well, it’s more that I’m hoping that studios learn that there’s more money to be made with quality than with crap.

        There’s a tension between the perfectionist aesthetic of “for 50% more effort, you can get something 25% better!” and the slacker aesthetic of “eh, for half the effort, I can get something 75% as good”.

        Now when it comes to making movies for grown ups, my definitions might be a little bit off. We may need to hammer them out.

        For example, I think that Up was one of the most grown up movies I’ve seen in the last few decades… but others include Leaving Las Vegas and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

        Is it an issue with theme? Plots that are too simplistic?Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        I do think it’s neat that Marvel is actually going for the “cross-title continuity” thing with its movies, the way it did with its comics.

        Because, you know, we’ve all seen forty years of this flailing miserably, to the point that creators have gotten in the habit of destroying the universe every five or six years just to deal with the thickets of continuity and backstory.

        But to the average movie-goer, it’s probably totally cool that suddenly all these characters from different movies are showing up in the same movie and having adventures together.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Mike Dwyer
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      says:

      There was the park ranger car who is one of those touring wagons they have at Yellowstone

      My brother, as it happens, is driving one of those this summer.Report

  3. Avatar James Hanley
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    says:

    Went to see “Catch Me if You Can,” the musical last night. As much as the movie was a snoozefest, the stage production is fantastic. Be sure to catch it if it comes to your town.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to James Hanley
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      says:

      Wow… i loved the film. Do you think that means I will really love the musical or will hate?Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        Same story, but told in a completely different way, with songs, the Frank Abagnale, Jr. dancers (who play dancing nurses and stewardesses, as appropriate), and the Frank Abagnale, Jr. orchestra (in our local production, decked out in white dinner jackets with black bow ties–tres cool). They use the fact that Abagnale was always putting on a show as a conceit for…putting on a show. Part farce, part caper, part old fashioned musical, all fun.

        I thought the movie was just boring as watching paint dry, and I kept wondering how on earth they could make such an interesting story so dull. I guess taste really is a subjective thing, because it just didn’t work for me.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        I was really impressed by the acting and was more taken by the relationship between father-and-son (in all its literal and figurative forms) really well done.Report

  4. Avatar Maribou
    Ignored
    says:

    Reading a ton of books set in Las Vegas that I checked out before my last trip there. Last Call, Ruby Tuesday, Pete Hauptman’s All-In, etc. Now I am in the middle of a fantasy novel about a thief.

    I’ve been sucked into the documentary cyclone on Netflix :D.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Maribou
      Ignored
      says:

      If you enjoy Last Call, be aware that it’s the first book in a kind-of trilogy:

      Last Call
      Expiration Date, which is almost entirely unrelated
      Earthquake Weather, which is a sequel to both of them

      Though Last Call is by far the best.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Mike Schilling
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        says:

        Quite honestly I wouldn’t recommend the other two. It’s not as though there’s a lot of story continuity between the first two and the last one; it’s more like the characters and concept from those books make guest-star appearances in the third.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mike Schilling
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        says:

        Yes, I was aware. (We sold a lot of Tim Powers at the bookstore, back in the day.)Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Schilling
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        says:

        Cool.

        My experience with the others is a bit different from Jim’s. I read ED when it came out, and didn’t really care for it. Years later, I decided to read all three, and ED had definitely grown on me, but EW seemed a bit tiresome. (Powers protagonists are definitely a category, so putting more than one in the same books feels like having two of the same guy with slightly different tics.) I haven’t reread EW to see if it improves too.Report

  5. Avatar Kim
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    says:

    Crappy Thief knockoffs. Except they’re actually pretty awesome.
    And British.
    Seriously, Pagan in a Spacesuit!Report

  6. Avatar Will Truman
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    says:

    I’ve finally started Orphan Black. I still have a half-episode of Revolution to watch for when Clancy isn’t here.

    I’ve started Harry Turtledove’s Southern Victory series, having completed my “audiodrama’ing” Private Practice to its finale.Report

  7. Avatar Kim
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    says:

    Japan was the only place to actually call Germany winning the World cup.
    Oh, Japan, never change:
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/gallery/view/26/135831/2805.15Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kim
      Ignored
      says:

      I’d ask why some of them have tails and why the United States’ avatar looks like she’s a whole lot more overweight than the rest of them. The purpose of all the prominent cleavage is self-evident. And it’s no particular problem that Japan looked like she was the biggest badass of the bunch; the artist is allowed national pride. I’m not particularly sure why Germany’s ray-gun made her any more the obvious winner than, say, Algeria’s twin scimitars.

      But the image that the artist chose for Bosnia and Herzegovina made me more than a little bit sad.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        They have tails because it’s fun. (Seriously, Australia’s is a roo’s tail).
        America’s has power armor, that’s why she looks a bit more padded.

        It’s not the ray gun, it’s the character they’re using for Germany (Asuka from Evangelion).

        Why did the image for Bosnia make you sad?

        I thought the Iran one was a typical face-fault. (yes, veil — also, wearing something FAR more appropriate to Egypt).Report

  8. Avatar Burt Likko
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    says:

    I am re-reading The Baroque Cycle at night before sleeping. There is a certain pleasure in re-reading a favorite story, particularly in this case one so rich in detail and clever turns of phrase.

    I am watching, for the first time, Breaking Bad, about four episodes at a time, every Sunday. We just got up to the episode with the “Heisenberg and the Blowfish” pep talk, the same episode that began with the narcobandera band prophesying Walter’s death and ended with Danny Trejo’s character getting a special reptile ride and Jesse making a new friend.Report

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