An interview about Frank's legacy and introducing him to new fans. Uploaded by digitalplantpot.
There's recent research indicating that people who know spoilers ahead of time actually enjoy them more than people who are surprised -- that anticipation increases satisfaction.
This was -- and here's where I start to get a little pretentious -- this was the view of the ancient Greeks at the very dawn of theater.
(Did I just spell "theater" with an "-er"? Guess I'm not being that pretentious.)
When I was a freshman in high school, we read Oedipus Rex in English class with my favorite teacher. He told us the twists upfront: that Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. Of course, the whole play is a mystery about Oedipus slowly piecing together the clues toward that ending.
One of my classmates indignantly asked the teacher why he told us the ending before we read it. The teacher responded, "Because the audience in those days would have already known too."
Sophocles, I think it's safe to say, understood storytelling. He understood suspense. And he understood that it's entirely possible to build suspense even if the audience knows what's going to happen.
And at this point I offer a Warning: The rest of this post is written around major spoilers for both Game of Thrones the TV series and Song of Ice and Fire the book series. Including bits that haven't been on the show yet.
Of course, if you believe what I've just said in the preceding paragraphs, you'll keep on reading anyway, spoilers or no.
I've spent the last week and a half or so catching up on Game of Thrones. But I already knew, with a couple of exceptions, what was going to happen, as I'm already all caught up on the books.
So I knew about the Red Wedding. I knew what was going to happen. I anticipated it.
And it was still affecting as hell.
Whether it was more enjoyable than the first time, more enjoyable than reading it -- well, that's an interesting question.
I will say that there was a lot less confusion in watching it as a foregone conclusion.
The big bits in the books, the shocking parts, the stabby parts -- I find that I wound up going back and rereading them, several times, to make sure I'd really read what I'd just read. Ned's death, the Red Wedding -- and here's the part where I get into stuff that hasn't happened on the show yet, so this is your final warning --, Joffrey's death, Jon's stabbing -- my reaction to those was, as much as anything, Wait, what? I had to go back, read it again. Particularly with Joffrey's death -- I had a feeling that the other three examples I've just given might happen; certainly there was plenty of foreshadowing that something bad was going to happen -- but Joffrey's death caught me completely by surprise. (Perhaps because it's also the only major twist in the series that gives readers something they want instead of hurting them.)
Watching it on TV, knowing what was going to happen -- it increased the air of foreboding, the grim knowledge that the outcome was inevitable. I clenched my teeth, clutched the arm of the couch, and caught every single little bit of foreshadowing as it built.
And speaking of Joffrey's assassination, every bit of foreshadowing lands harder knowing that it's coming. Margaery Tyrell and the Queen of Thorns feigning friendship to Sansa is that much more cruel, knowing that they're not merely pumping her for information but setting her up to take the fall for his murder.
Then again, I also paid special attention to every change, every surprise, every moment that wasn't in the books. Robb's wife being stabbed repeatedly right in the belly -- Jesus Christ, that may have even topped the book for gruesomeness. Grey Wind dying in a cage instead of putting up a fight. Catelyn killing Lord Frey's wife instead of a handicapped grandson. Roose Bolton being the one to kill Robb himself, rather than just sitting back and watching. Every alteration was that much stronger for being unexpected -- and I think the biggest question in my head right now is how Shae's story is going to turn out, since it clearly won't be the same way as in the book. (Though, on the other hand, it could simply be the obvious -- Tywin finds out about her and makes good on his threat. Which unfortunately would leave us without the last interesting little twist we learn about Tywin, but I think that ship's already sailed.)
It is, as you'd reasonably expect, hard to quantify something like enjoyment. But I think good stories are ones that don't rest entirely on twists and can still be enjoyed even if you know what's going to happen. Indeed, I'd sussed out who Jon Snow's real parents were by the end of the first book, but that hasn't decreased my anticipation for the big reveal when it comes.
NY, 1984. Uploaded by Steve Sparx.
A funny and unexpected rendition of Baby Love, followed by Petroushka, It Can't Happen Here, and You Didn't Try to Call Me. Uploaded by tomtiddler1.
Honey Don't You Want a Man Like Me, Rudy Wants to Buy Yez A Drink, Dinah Moe Humm. Uploaded by Steve Sparx.
Well, it's officially summer now. As opposed to three weeks ago when it wasn't summer, just a 113-degree spring.
Mostly indoors in the air conditioning lately, and catching up on TV and video games. Didn't realize I was so close to finishing Mario Galaxy when I quit playing it like 5 years ago.
Course, if it weren't for the backlog and money being a little tight at the moment, I'd be perusing the various Internet game sales on right now. GOG's got a big one, Steam has plenty of deals, the Humble Bundle has both a weekly bundle and an Android-themed bundle going right now, and Amazon has a bunch of stuff for cheap too. (That last one's an affiliate link; if you buy something through it I get a small kickback.)
I don't have the time to play the games I already have. But I picked up the free download of Torchlight and maybe I'll get to it one of these days. And I've had al little more time this past week, anyway.
Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy, Lonely Little Girl, Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, Whats The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?, Chunga's Revenge. Uploaded by Steve Sparx.
"Guess this is your lucky day, Pimparoo."
That would have been my one-sentence reaction to the returning Futurama, but then the third act happened. (I haven't watched Fry and Leela's Big Fling yet, just 2-D Blacktop.)
There are a lot of great Futurama episodes. The best have an emotional core to them -- Jurassic Bark, Luck of the Fry-rish, Godfellas. Other great episodes experiment with the format of the show -- any of the Anthology episodes, for example. (Well, I wouldn't describe the Holiday Spectacular as great, but all the rest.) Some are deftly-written time-travel stories, like Time Keeps On Slippin', Roswell that Ends Well, The Why of Fry, Bender's Big Score, and The Late Philip J Fry. Some are biting political satire, like any episode with Nixon in it. And some of them do clever things with the medium of animation -- like Reincarnation. And this one.
The Professor's hypercube was a nice touch. The Mobius strip played with the concept a little more. But the actual segment where they're caught in the Second Dimension is fucking ingenious. The writing -- the Professor explaining how everything works here -- is brilliant, and the design is even better.
This is an episode that did immensely fucking clever things with science fiction and with animation. I've never seen anything quite like it -- the closest thing I can think of is Homer3, which played on the same premise in the opposite direction.
The show's had its ups and downs. But as this just-started thirteen-episode run is the last we'll be seeing of it for awhile, it's great seeing it fire on all creative cylinders and do shit that I've never seen it or any other show do.
Also: the latest issue of the comic is legitimately great too. Zoidberg becomes unstuck in time and has to prevent a catastrophe from happening while still trying to piece together just what exactly is going on.
Cover by tribute band Z3, 2012. Uploaded by Soundoholics.
DEAR TO MY FRIEND THE MISTER PHILIP MORRIS
I AM WRITING ON BEHALF OF THE HON. MGUMBU D'CHINBE, DUKE OF LAGOS. AS YOU MAY WELL KNOW THE ROYAL FAMILY WAS DEPOSED IN THE GREAT COUP OF 2006. THE DUKE IT IS BARELY ESCAPED WITH THE CLOTHES OF HIS BACK AND SUBSISTS NOW IN POLITICAL EXILE.
PLEASE TO BE ADVISED THAT THE DUKE THROUGH LOYALISTS STILL IN THE CAPITOL HAS REASONED A DEVICE BY WHICH TO RESECURING HIS VAST FORTUNE AND WEALTHS BUT HE IS UNABLE TO PROVIDE THE FUNDINGS FOR THE DEPOSIT OF MONIES. WE NEED BUT A SMALL CASH ADVANCE OF TEN THOUSAND (1,0000) BRITISH POUNDS (LBS) AND WE WILL BE PROVIDE ALL THE DUKES MONIES ONCE MORE.
I BESEECH THAT YOU HELP US TO IN OUR TIME OF THE NEED AND PLEASE ASSURANCES THAT IN RETURN FOR YOUR GREATEST OF GENEROSITYS WE WILL REWARD YOU WITH THE DUKES 3 TONNES COLLECTION OF OLD FILM INCLUDING NINETY (90) LOST EPISODES OF DR WHO.
GOD BLESSING TO YOU
YOURS IN CHRIST
Originally posted at Bleeding Cool, last night.
And if you want to know just what the fuck that was all about, you should probably read some Bleeding Cool.