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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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43 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph says:

    I only have a couple eps of Daredevil left, and an insight occurred to me belatedly. I’m sure it’s not news to anyone who actually paid attention before or at the time the show was released, but there are multiple BtVS writing staff alums involved with this thing (Drew Goddard, Steven DeKnight and Doug Petrie.)

    Generally speaking, that’s a fairly reliable indicator of genre TV quality.

    Well, except for Grimm; that thing looks ridiculous.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

      I saw the first episode of Grimm. I did not see the second or any other episodes of it.Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Glyph says:

      Loved Daredevil, but I didn’t realize that link. It’s a lot darker than Buffy, after all.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        I was all set to agree, but then I realized that, though Buffy was a far more emotionally-varied show, it certainly went to some very, very dark places over its run (even if it was never as graphically-violent as this is).

        BtVS was certainly one of the first shows where I started paying attention to the individual writers’ credits – for all that Whedon gets deserved notice for his own strengths, he also assembled a murderer’s row of talent in the writing room for that show. Whenever you see those writers’ names pop up elsewhere, it’s almost always a good sign.

        I don’t know why I hadn’t really been paying attention here, but I saw Petrie’s name and something clicked, so I went over to Wikipedia and said “Oh…yeah, THAT’S why this has been going so well”.

        In a weird way you could almost match characters here: Matt as Buffy, Foggy as Xander, Karen as Willow.

        I guess that makes the priest Giles, (and Stick, Ripper);-)Report

  2. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    I can’t figure out the spoil function, so I’m using ROT13. In any case, spoilers for Thrones, Rings, Narnia, and Harry Potter contained below:

    Gurer’f ab jnl gung guvat gung unccrarq va gur ynfg rcvfbqr vf ernyyl gehr, whfg sebz n cher fgbelgryyvat crefcrpgvir, naq V fnl guvf shyyl ernyvmvat gung Trbetr yvxrf gb ivbyngr abezf sbe fgbelgryyvat.

    1. Gurer’f ab jnl gur fubj jbhyq unir vagebqhprq Gubebf bs Zle gur jnl vg qvq hayrff vg jnf eryrinag gb fbzrguvat unccravat yngre, yvxr erfheerpgvba. Gur fubj unf nyernql unq gb phg n ybg bs guvatf gung unir orra harffragvny gb gur cybg. Jul jbhyq vg xrrc Gubebf bs Zle?

    2. Gurer’f ab jnl gur fubj jbhyq unir qbar gung jubyr Unequbzr onggyr fprar, juvpu jnfa’g va gur obbxf, hayrff vg jnf gb ercerfrag WF nf gur “naabvagrq bar”. Nygubhtu 2 urer vf n ovg zber grahbhf guna 1. Vg pbhyq unir orra whfg n pyhzfl nggrzcg gb nqq fbzr vebavp gentrql gb gur craqvat mbzovr ncbpnylcfr.

    V fgvyy qb guvax gung sebz n cher fgbelgryyvat crefcrpgvir, vg znxrf ab frafr sbe gung guvat gung unccrarq gb or gnxra ng snpr inyhr. Nygubhtu, nsgre fhpu zbzragbhf fhecevfrf nf Arq Fgnex, gur erq jrqqvat, gur checyr jrqqvat, V’z abg fher ubj gur raqvat gb vg nyy jvyy or nalguvat ohg n yrg-qbja, ohg n qvfnccbvagvat hygvzngr pyvznk jbhyq or va xrrcvat jvgu znwbe snagnfvrf guhf sne – V fgbccrq ernqvat unysjnl guebhtu Erghea bs gur Xvat naq qvqa’g plpyr onpx gb snagnfl hagvy Guebarf, naq V qvqa’g rira obgure gb frr gur penccl zbivr, ohg V urneq zntvp unccrarq bhg bs abjurer naq gur tbbq thlf jba. Fhecevfr fhecevfr! Gur Ynfg Onggyr vf tneontr pbzcnerq gb Iblntr bs gur Qnja Gernqre. Jub pnerf jung unccrarq ng gur raq bs Uneel Cbggre. Bapr Tnel Byqzna qvrq, V fgbccrq pnevat. V urneq Fancr qvq fbzrguvat pbby, juvpu vf pbby V thrff naq gung gurer znl be znl abg unir orra ybgf bs xnzr unzr unfReport

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      The Spoil function doesn’t work across paragraph breaks I think.

      So if you have spoilers in multiple paras, you have to use the Spoil function multiple times, on a per-paragraph basis.Report

      • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Glyph says:

        [redact-blocks]That is correct, as far as it goes: The spoil button produces an “inline” rather than multiple “block-level” format.

        As a matter of fact, however, you can produce multi-block level spoilation even in a comment by using the same shortcode that the multi-block spoiler in the WP visual editor produces. Begin your would-be multi-paragraph spoilation with the shortcode

        [redact-blocks]

        and end it with

        [/redact-blocks]

        [/redact-blocks]
        Report

    • (That last sentence might have been cut off?)

      In any case, I’m sure you don’t want to hear me repeat my story tying pro wrestling to Song of Ice and Fire again, I’ll just say that having expectations subverted is all well and good until one realizes that the most important expectation is that the story pays off… and if people start to suspect that the story will subvert the most important expectation of all, there’s going to be a fan backlash that will make Jar-Jar jokes look like love letters.Report

      • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Jaybird says:

        Didn’t get cut off. I just accidentally left out the period at the end!Report

      • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well, at this point there’s nobody I really even love to hate. There’re just a bunch of asshats left. Who cares what happens to the Night’s Watch or the Boltons or anyone in Essos or King’s Landing?

        The only thing I’m remotely interested in is what happened in that damn tower, so I guess I hope that that whole thing is to follow and that we get some more information that makes me care about what’s happening in “present-day” Westeros. Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

        I used to believe this… but the JJAbrams era of TV has disabused me of this revanchist literary philosophy.

        That said, I have near metaphysical certainty that John Snow is not dead, dead; just conventionally dead. Report

        • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Marchmaine says:

          My mind also turned immediately to JJA: Doesn’t seem to me that his career has suffered greatly for delivering a nil pay-off to one of the most payoffiest narratives ever submitted to a mass audience – to the contrary, he is our current King of the World speculative/fantastic fiction-wise.

          I think it is difficult or impossible to “pay off” a complex narrative without committing oneself morally. In a pluralistic culture, that will tend to mean choosing and standing on what will be a minority position, or settling for some lowest common denominator happily-ever-after banality or one of the normal types of non-ending ending.Report

          • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to CK MacLeod says:

            Do you think even JJ Abrams thought Lost sucked? He just had the guts to abandon it himself before the big letdown?Report

            • I’m not the one to ask. LOST was one of those shows whose mere existence annoyed me. Never even made it through an entire episode – but I did find it appropriate, and even kind of admired, the way that it stayed true to its anti-concept all the way to the end, leaving its fans and itself in the very condition to which its title refers.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Christopher Carr says:

              @christopher-carr @ck-macleod Both good points… I’m not sure what JJA thought about lost, but remember, he also gave us Alias and Fringe which both fiddled with SciFi and supra natural themes…ultimately without coherent resolution.

              CK’s notion about not wanting to commit to a moral anchor around which denoument could be built is, I think, very perceptive.

              I would only add that this form of storytelling seems to align with the rise of the internet (Alias is 2001-2006) and my suspicion at the time (2003+) was that the producers/writers were purposefully changing the story to confound not the critics, but the fans. This would lead, it seems to me, to an anti-story which cannot commit to an ending because the purpose is to string along the viewing audience precisely on the hope of an ending with a moral. The mystery is the ending, the moral itself… which is why it never delivers. Alias dabbled in this, Lost went whole hog. But, my take is not that JJA is a flawed storyteller… it is that he is the storyteller that we want.

              On Lost, I find it interesting that the early interpretation was that this was a modern retelling of a Purgatory myth – which was vigorously, vehemently and repeatedly denied. the denial, it could be argued, drove 5 years of plot twists in an attempt to obfuscate what we would learn 7-years later was a modern retelling of a Purgatory myth… without the moral commitment to Purgatory.

              Contrast this to the older model of serialized soaps – there, the moral is ever present… it is the story that is convoluted precisely because the moral(ality) is constant (though admittedly “soft” and evolving over time).

              So, meh, that’s my take on JJA and his promiscuous flirtation with morality tales.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

                I love everything about this whole entire thread.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Marchmaine says:

                There’s another explanation; and that is that JJA is simply the TV/movie equivalent of Stephen King – a guy with a crapload of ideas, many of them even good, but a very real difficulty writing satisfying conclusions.

                (That said, there’s definitely something to the idea that showrunners are constantly reading fan theories and responses online, and the obvious pitfall of course is that they may try to swerve their originally-planned endings, simply to avoid being seen as “predictable”. It is here that the “wisdom of crowds” causes them a creative problem – the smartest, best showrunners and writers are only a handful of people vs. the internet’s massed hordes; someone out there is always going to come up with the best “solution”. If that was the same as yours, you may feel the need to dodge it now, into something less-optimal; if it WASN’T yours, your solution suffers by comparison now anyway.

                My advice to any showrunner or show writer would be to completely swear off the internet, for the duration of your show).Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Glyph says:

                Or, imagine the endings to King’s novels if he serially published them and followed every last bit of instantaneous feedback.

                But yeah, good point about the near impossibility of driving a modern mystery arc in the era of the internet. There’s bound to be some savant who noticed that the cap to the Bayer aspirin bottle was left off – and deduce the entire 10-year plot.

                Compare King/Abrams, then, to Flannery O’Connor… Gothic, Macabre, and a morality tale that shoots you between the eyes, or sometimes thrice in the chest. Here, though, the horror isn’t the gunshot or the blood, its the Misfit’s theological conclusion.Report

              • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Don’t know if you watched either season of True Detective, but in both seasons PIzzolatto flirted hot and heavy with nihilism, but gave in to redemptionism. Season 1 ends with a dialogue on the victory of light over darkness, with the strong implication that the absolute nihilist Rust Cohle has confirmed that he is in fact and has always been a self-sacrificial moral exemplar. Season 2 flirts with the complete victory of the dark over the light, but leaves us with reason to trust the truth will out, after all, while supplying its fallen hero and his surviving woman with classic, or cliche, ultimate recompense: immortality in the form of an unborn son conceived on the eve of his sacrifice (added to redemption in the eyes of his other son).

                I still prefer both TD endings to the to my mind vastly overpraised Breaking Bad finale. That it was for the most part quite well-received says something about a kind of de-natured existentialism being available as one of those lowest common denominators – not “happily ever after,” but “shallowly self-satisfied.” Since we began somewhere in the vicinity of Game of Thrones: I’m not presuming that it will give us “happy ending” or “on balance happy ending,” although it has presented the possible escape by a couple or a few characters from its overarching nullity. I’m more curious about how the main content that its scenario represses will return on the level of plot and statement than I am about how this, that, or the other individual ends up (though they will be connected).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CK MacLeod says:

                Well, when “resolution” means everybody gets their just desserts, you have to ask the question: “what is Justice?”

                Like you say, you have to commit yourself morally to answer the question.

                Does the bad guy have a change of heart and then we have a wedding?
                Does the bad guy get killed and the good guy gets the girl and then we have a wedding?
                Does everybody die?

                When one realizes that an ending that most of the audience would recognize as being “justice” can be spun as being “lowest common denominator”, then it’s “edgy” to give them something that is Justice according to another philosophy (different but still recognizable) and even edgier to give a Just ending from a completely alien philosophy (or a diametrically opposed philosophy).

                But you can’t get away with that too often, lest society adopt a new philosophy.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

                Which would be very interesting indeed, if the commitment to the alien philosophy informed everything else leading to the conclusion.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to CK MacLeod says:

                Well, if my suspicions about GRRM are right, the nullity won’t be at the Character level, but the Divine.

                Martin isn’t after Anne McCaffrey and the Dragons of Perth, he’s after big game… Tolkien.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I saw Mistress America on Monday. I liked it a lot. My girlfriend did not.

    The movie is about an 18-year old girl who is having social troubles during her first semester at Barnard. She calls her physically older step-sister to be who is filled with fun and ideas but not much coherence and ability to follow-through. The step sister to be ends up driving to Greenwich, Connecticut with our 18 year old protagonist, her would be crush, and the crush’s insanely possessive girlfriend. The group ends up invading a book club with a lot of very pregnant ladies discussing Faulkner. At one point the book group is leaving and this discussion happens:

    18 year old boy: I want to say good bye to Marcy

    18 year old possessive girlfriend: So do you have a crush on Marcy now?

    18 year old boy: She’s like 7 months pregnant!!!

    18 year old girl: How can you tell???

    This cracked me up for some reason.

    I am reading Eleanor Canton’s the Luminaries. One thing that I dislike about driving to work instead of being able to take public transit is that I can’t read while commuting anymore.Report

  4. Avatar Will Truman says:

    Closing in on being current on Grey’s Anatomy. Which is good, because I am about Greyed out. Also, listening to videos is more headache-inducing than audiobooks, so I’m looking forward to audiobooks.

    Richard North Patterson’s “Degree of Guilt” is next.

    I am hoping to relaunch my viewing of Person of Interest soon.Report

  5. I just recently started a BBC series called A Young Doctor’s Notebook, starring Harry Potter as a young Doctor living through the Russian Revolution, and Don Draper as his older self. (And, while I couldn’t place his assistant at first, it turns out to be Elliott from Breaking Bad.) The first episode was very funny, though I think it gets more serious quickly. There’s only eight half-hour episodes so far, which is the world of BBC is two seasons.Report

  6. Avatar aarondavid says:

    Lets see, reading Weiland, or the Transformation, ’cause I picked it up cheap and it has always been on my to read list. Early American novels can be tricky and hard to read, but so far so good.

    Finished Watching Top of the Lake, good but not great. Champion takes a lot of silly/wrong turns to get where she wants with it, but I will say Elizabeth Moss is fantastic in it and there is a scene where my jaw literally dropped and one hand went into the air from shock.Report

  7. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    As a site with a large number of Babylon 5 fans, I think there might be a lot of interest in Sense8, a collaboration between JMS, and the Wachowskis. (They are credited simply as “the Wachowskis” on screen, which I find kind of charming.)

    I’ve seen three episodes and I’m already quite interested.Report