February 6th, 2010

Whale fluke

"Like a monster truck to your mind" (Road House at the Bagdad)

There is love for Patrick Swayze. Smartassed, hilarious love, but still: love.

Another month of gladdening turn-out for the Cort and Fatboy Midnight Movie, which this month was Swayze's Road House (and which next month will be The Blues Brothers, March 5th, Bagdad, for $3, which is a lot of entertainment for less than the price of the ticket to the Blues Brothers' big show at the end of The Blues Brothers, but I digress), and the hundreds in the theater loudly enjoyed the action madness of Swayze as Dalton, Philosophical Bouncer.

And it IS madness. Road House is the sort of film where the bad guy wants to ruin a car dealer in the small Missouri town where the film takes place, so he has one of his goons drive a monster truck through the dealership. It's a film where more of Missouri than you'd expect blows up. (Missouri is played by Valencia, CA, but still.) A key line is "A polar bear fell on me." It almost revels in making Swayze really, really beautiful, to the point where even the grizzled and bearded old farmer who rents a room to Dalton gets a little hot and bothered at Dalton do shirtless tai chi. It's a confused blend of homoeroticism and implied gay panic (who who can actually explain/justify the line "I used to fuck guys like you in prison"?) that's screaming for in-depth analysis that I don't feel capable of making right now. The movie is nuts. It is, as I said last night, "Like a monster truck to your mind."

And a few hundred people ATE. IT. UP. Oh, if only Road House fan Kevin Smith could've been there. (How big a fan is he? He did a commentary on the most recent Road House DVD.) Seriously, if you're in Portland and not attending these screenings, you're missing out on cheers, screams, hoots, and laughs. Cort and Fatboy's screenings get committed viewers. Viewers who are also, no surprise, committed to beer.

I'll admit to this bothering me: a guy near the front of the theater was especially loud and especially not-very-interesting in his loudness. He was call-out-random-references-and-see-what-sticks guy, and seemed very happy to be that person. I kept wanting to go to him and say "You can get away with that if you're funny. You aren't yet." But I'm non-confrontational most of the time and was more non-confrontational last night, and at least some people found him funny. I didn't. What surprised me was his first comment: when Dalton fires someone who then tells him "You're a dead man," the guy yelled "Literally." A lot of us booed and yelled "Too soon!" Maybe (I guess) his next comments not being actively offensive were why he didn't get more reactions like that.

Now to bullet points:

* Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts's clip show began with 1987's mullet-ed video for Swayze's "She's Like the Wind," a song I used to annoy my brother with by changing the line to "She's Breaking Wind." (I was 13 and in junior high at the time.) Also included were the trailers to Point Break, Red Dawn (with the footage of the Russian tanks rolling up to McDonald's that was only ever used in the trailer, I think), Ghost, To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar, Black Dog ("Patrick Swayze! Randy Travis! Meat Loaf!"), the final dance from Dirty Dancing, and of course the SNL sketch of Swayze and Chris Farley dancing for Chippendale's.

* I was wondering if the Dirty Dancing clip would be redubbed, so instead of "I've Had the Time of My Life" it'd be something like The Bloodhound Gang's "The Bad Touch" ("You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals / So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel") or something else screamingly wrong AND THUS HILARIOUS. But the clip was unadulterated, and yes, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I like Dirty Dancing unironically. So I enjoyed the clip. And how cute Jennifer Grey was back in the day, before the unfortunate plastic surgery that made her look -- this, I decided, is the best word -- generic.

* When Swayze and those dancers dance down the aisle in that Dirty Dancing clip, I turned to my neighbors and said "Holy shit, it's 'Love Is A Battlefield'!"

* I just stepped away from my desk for a moment to do that dance. You should, too.

* My crush on Kathleen Wilhoite continues. Hey, she's cute, funny and a singer...

* There is love for Sam Elliott. Before the film, Cort and Bobby asked for women to make noise for which Road House actor they found hotter, Swyaze or Elliott. Elliott's crowd yelled louder than Swayze's crowd.

* As I'd driven to the Bagdad and had drunk two cups of coffee before the film, I was plenty awake enough to drive downtown and have my first late-night partaking of a sandwich from Big-Ass Sandwiches. The three people who ordered before I did had come from the Bagdad screening, too. I got roast beef. I started it last night and finished it today for brunch. It was a big sandwich. And good.
Whale fluke

"Song of the Sea, a Cappella and Unanswered"

A whale has been tracked that sounds like no other identified whale on Earth:
...a solitary whale, species unknown, ...has been tracked since 1992 in the North Pacific...

...[I]t makes a distinctive stream of sounds at around that basso profundo frequency, just above the lowest note on a tuba.

Its sonic signature is clearly that of a whale, but nothing like the normal voice of the giant blue or the next biggest species, the fin, or any other whale for that matter, said Mary Ann Daher, a marine biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod.

...In the current edition of the journal Deep-Sea Research, members of this team report that all signs are that the sounds come from a single animal, whose movements "appeared to be unrelated to the presence or movement of other whale species."

Team members and other experts have proposed a host of explanations for the whale sounds, among them that the animal is malformed or, most likely, is a hybrid of a blue whale and another species.
Via the New York Times, via rm. Edited To Add: The journaler who brought it to rm's attention also linked to a Metafilter post with several links about the whale.