December 28th, 2011

Admiral Ackbar

"For someone so careful as Lucas, the special was an incomprehensible miscalculation."

Turns out that Vanity Fair did a comprehensive 2008 article on the jaw-dropping insanity that was November 1978's The Star Wars Holiday Special. Should I admit that I saw this the one and only time it aired? Never mind, I just did. I think I tried to convince myself that Art Carney wasn't Art Carney making bad jokes but was in fact the deeply dignified Alec Guiness, because honestly, I remember Obi-Wan being in it (damn you, lying memory!). An excerpt:

With [George Lucas]'s attention elsewhere during most of its production, The Star Wars Holiday Special metastasized into a monster. Two directors and much turmoil later, the finished special didn’t so much resemble its namesake as it did another science-fiction film: The Thing with Two Heads. Onto the body of Lucas’s sentimental and irony-free Wookiee plotline, the producers and writers grafted a campy 70s variety show that makes suspension of disbelief impossible. In between minutes-long stretches of guttural, untranslated Wookiee dialogue that could almost pass for avant-garde cinema, Maude’s Bea Arthur sings and dances with the aliens from the movie’s cantina scene; The Honeymooners’ Art Carney consoles Chewbacca’s family with such comedy chestnuts as “Why all the long, hairy faces?”; Harvey Korman mugs shamelessly as a multi-limbed intergalactic Julia Child cooking “Bantha Surprise”; the Jefferson Starship pops up to play a number about U.F.O.’s; and original Star Wars cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill walk around looking cosmically miserable.
NCC-1701 Nebula 1

Clones need blood, too

Well, well, well -- I'm eligible to donate blood, and this Saturday, Portland's Red Cross chapter is having its second annual this:

The 2nd Annual Stormtroopers vs. Klingons blood drive will take place during the day on New Year’s Eve (12/31/2011) at the Portland Donor Center, located at 3131 North Vancouver Avenue, and will run from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Mingle and take photos with members of Star Wars and Star Trek costuming organizations “The 501st Legion: Vader’s Fist” and “Starfleet International.” Watch the films, listen to the soundtracks and defend your galaxy’s honor!

All presenting donors will have the opportunity to cast their ballot for either the Stormtroopers or the Klingons, and the side which receives the most votes will walk away with the second annual Galaxy Drive trophy.

I was there last year. I voted for the Klingon Empire. I also saw a mom who'd donated finding out that she'd voted for the Galactic Empire when she'd meant to vote for the Klingons, but had read "Empire" and had thought "Klingon Empire." So my hunch is that the stormtroopers' win last year waaaaaaaaaasn't really earned. (Do NOT ask Worf's feelings on the subject.)

Should I do this again? would be the honorable thing to do...
Blow My Mind


I've been writing.

There's a great tradition of people writing when they've been fired, after all, and I can join that. It can be something else to focus on other than the job hunt. Another way to motivate myself when the I suck messages go through my head and threaten my motivation to find more paid work.

What follows is not a story -- there's no real plot to it, just an impossible situation I tried to visualize. The imagery is the point, this time. I owe it to not only myself, but to the people I know who tell stories professionally, to actually get good at this -- or, at least, to see if I can. I won't be sharing much: it takes a while to get good, if you have good in you. But I like the idea of sharing a starting point. Or a restarting point -- I've written little stories before. OK: here are 1,334 words' worth of practice. I'll get more aware as I go on about where I need improvement.

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