April 15th, 2008

Me 1

Bleepin' great language

An idea I had? Turned out someone other than me thought it was a good idea.

Monday's "8@8" song set on 94.7's Alternative Mornings had songs with words bleeped or scrambled for radio play:
Lou Reed, "Take a Walk on the Wild Side"
Radiohead, "Creep" (the radio edit)
Pearl Jam, "Jeremy"
Cake, "I Will Survive"
Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
Ben Folds Five, "Song for the Dumped"
Nirvana, "Verse Chorus Verse"
Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Suck My Kiss"
Thanks, Mr. Glover!

Evidence in this journal to the contrary, I actually like profanity. I have reasons for not using it much -- mainly, I don't think it use it well -- but it's an interesting tool. I've had skewed ideas about it, though. When I was in high school near D.C., I was a Top-40 listener (WAVA when it still had Don & Mike and before it became a Christian talk station) and never listened to prog-rock/alt-rock station WHFS (before or after it became a Latin tropical station). I remember someone telling me about WHFS band The Dead Milkmen, whose lyrics and at least one song title have profanity in them, and I thought Why? 'Cause then you can't play them on the radio! Silly me. It just takes radio-edits. (I wasn't too radio- or tech-savvy yet. That and word-scrambling techniques weren't as good as digital editing allows now.)

Eventually I became a student of profanity. Not enough to use it much still (though blubeagle, aoniedesade, rafaela and slipjig don't mind if I potty-mouth it up on the phone), but enough to think about it. Sometimes it's a language tool, sometimes it's a language seasoning. And sometimes it's the language equivalent of carpet bombing. Yes, profanity can be used by good and evil. And even amusement. (I wouldn't be a Kevin Smith fan if I didn't think so!)
Good Omens

Yet another bad thought

Shouldn't there be a film be called Blunt Trauma?

I can imagine one of the Billy Big Voices in Hollywood doing the trailer: "Blunt! Traumaaaa!" (Not Don LaFontaine; someone lower-rent than him... You're not gonna have an Oscar-bait film called Blunt Trauma...but I digress...)
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    Jack Johnson, "Higher Than Your Heart"
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Another world of animation: the John Carter of Mars that might've been

In the 1930s, at the same time that Walt Disney and his animators were anal-retentively trying to perfect every single frame of his first animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, animator Bob Clampett and Co. were preparing to make an animated version (with the author's enthusiastic permission) of Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars novels.

A sampling of what little was completed is available online. Watch the six-legged Thoat's run.

The project, sadly, fell through when Clampett and Warner Bros. couldn't see eye-to-eye on the tone of the project, which Clampett wanted to be big and epic and pretty serious, and which Warners wanted to be comedic, almost wacky.

It's an amazing what-if for animation fans: what if (ideally) two animated masterpieces had materialized from two different sources in short order? Just the fact of these two different approaches to telling stories via animation -- Disney with his fairy tales and fables, Clampett with his sword-wielding otherworldliness -- may have prevented American audiences from getting so used to the Disney formulas of storytelling, where many things are cute and family-friendly. (Yes, I and Brad Bird remain annoyed that many people consider animation a genre instead of a medium, able to tell all sorts of stories. Animation should be less ghettoized!) Conversely, would Warners' Looney Tunes have become the pop-cultural force they became if the studio had been making animated features? Much could've been different -- a different history of classics, good work, not-so-good work, and utter crap. History tends to work like that, even alternate history. Not all animation would've been brilliant, but not all animation is brilliant. But still: imagine. (I'm sure happyspector would have an especially good time imagining...)

The John Carter of Mars stories are too good and cinematic for filmmakers to resist adapting, and finally Pixar is making a go of it -- after recent attempts by Kerry Conran, Robert Rodriguez and Jon Favreau have fallen through -- with what Pixar hopes to be a trilogy. Just in time for the 100th anniversary of A Princess of Mars first appearing in print!

(Animation link pointed out by zarq) (Edit! Actually not by zarq -- I was thinking of something else from him -- but by Ain't It Cool News)