Happy Valentine’s Day! Just logging in for a quick scroll? Take your time.
You’re not on here as much as you used to be. Still, we’ll never forget you. In fact, we at Facebook love celebrating the moments and people you’ve worked really hard to forget. So now that you’re here, please enjoy this picture of you and your ex-boyfriend from five years ago.
You really loved that wine bar. Look at how happy you were. And is it just us or is your body snatched in this pic? Do you still own that blouse? Oh, right, it doesn’t fit anymore. Just like your ex, it’s gone now. […]
So, which is the most depressing vision of a social life in the 21st century: Facebook as a bitchy friend, or Ericsson’s vision1 of a social life where your domestic appliances are apparently your only company after a dinner date falls through?
- From just over a decade ago. Back when having a robot vacuum cleaner was a sign we were living in the future. ↩
Charlie Connelly1 on the author-turned terrorist who led the attack on the Nakatomi Plaza building…
Charismatic, cultured and hugely intelligent, Gruber was perfectly equipped to become a shining light in the reunified Germany that was only a matter of months away at his death. If the ambition, daring and meticulous planning employed in the Nakatomi heist could have been harnessed for good at an early age, who knows what he might have achieved after the new European dawn of the early 1990s.
Well, he was certainly cynical enough to have ended up going into politics. Imagine Hans Gruber, having spent the last couple of decades working his way to the top of the European Commission, facing off against the masterminds behind the Brexit negotiations. (Or don’t, please. So many smug bastards convinced of their own brilliance in one small room.)
[Via Happily Imperfect]
- NB: if you’re not a subscriber you might find it tough to see the whole piece behind the paywall. It’s worth digging out if you can. ↩
By the time Tim Burton came to making Mars Attacks he was (rightly) pretty darned famous, which explains the cast he could get at the height of his powers:
Between 1988 and 1993, Burton made a string of classics: Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Batman, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. So it was no surprise that some of the era’s biggest celebrities had lined up to make what is arguably the director’s weirdest and most divisive movie:****Mars Attacks!
“It was a strange and fun movie to make,” Burton tells Inverse.
_Mars Attacks!_stars Jack Nicholson and Glenn Close as the President and First Lady. The disaster-film pastiche also features Natalie Portman, Jack Black, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lukas Haas, Martin Short, Danny DeVito, and Tom Jones dancing in a desert with a bird of prey on his wrist.
Do not forget Tom Jones. None of us who watched it could. And the above list of successes omits Batman Returns, which may have been messy but it was the sort of mess that modern superhero films aren’t permitted to be. Also, it gave the world Michelle Pfeiffer’s take on Catwoman, which was vastly better than what Halle Berry brought us a decade or so later.
For my money the good bits in Mars Attacks! were well up to the mark – the dogs with human heads attached, apparently just because the invading Martians could do that; the ineptitude of Jack Black’s GI trying to respond to the Martians opening fire; the Martians carefully toying with major US landmarks before knocking them over – and even the jokes that didn’t quite come off were quickly overtaken by the next visual joke that did work. That was one very fun film, even if US audiences didn’t quite see the joke.
Even after his remake of Planet Of The Apes five years later – a woeful mismatch of director and material, for my money – we still see the odd flash of the old Tim Burton in projects like Big Fish and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Unfortunately, all we can rely on Tim Burton for nowadays is his unreliable touch when it comes to choosing projects. (That, and we can rely on Burton trying to employ Johnny Depp as an actor long after that was a good bet.)
It’d be great to have the old Tim Burton back again someday. We’ve missed him.
I wish I still had a working Mac so that I could festoon the screen with a Notchmeister.
Very silly, but then so is the very idea1 of the Notch.
[Via The Tao of Mac]
- Granted, it’s a stopgap until Apple are either satisfied that their implementation of behind-the-screen sensors and cameras can perform at a sufficient level, or can find a way to fit those sensors in the bezel of their devices. Give it a few years and the Notch will be a nostalgic memory, a bump in the road. ↩
John Holbo brings us The Ones Who Take the Train to Omelas:
A couple years back I made a post about Le Guin’s “Omelas”. I teach it, and it’s been rattling around up there in the attic. I had this idea for a visual gag. And that led to a story, which led back to rethinking my story thoughts. I wrote a little essay. […]
Nice illustrations and valuable thoughts on a justly famous story.
[Via Crooked Timber]
Caroline O’Donoghue on How I imagine an annual performance review with the dog would go:
Hello, dog. Please take a seat. I’m so glad we could find time for this little chat.
Are you… Ok, you’re still sitting down.
So to begin… Still sitting down. Right. Maybe the tight circular movements can wait until after our annual performance review, and you can just stand for the meantime.
I know you only do the little circle movements when you’re anxious. I also know why you are anxious. You have sensed, correctly I think, that there has been a certain level of disharmony among the senior members of staff (me and Gavin) and much of that unhappiness has stemmed from our disappointment in your most recent work. […]
Probably doesn’t end the way you’d expect…
[Via Memex 1.1]
I should have linked to this when it was originally posted, but never mind: I like it when Randy Milholland shares some parenting wisdom with his audience.
Mean, moody, magnificent. Roy Kent : He’s here, he’s there, he’s every f***ing where: