Open Thread for February 10, 2012

As I was reviewing the major pop culture developments of the week in preparation for this open thread, I was doing my best to ignore the ever-present gossip about Russell Brand and Katy Perry. But I couldn’t help notice this article—not for its pro-Brand slant, not for the last-minute appearance of TMZ as a source, not for its gloss on Yiddish—but for its provenance: The Hindustan Times. I suppose that news outlets in the country where the couple married can’t be faulted for taking an interest, but for goodness’ sake, the paper was “inaugurated by Mahatma Ghandi.”

OK. Though I’m sure most people will be lining up for the 3D re-release of Phantom Menace, I’ve been kind of looking forward to Safe House, which was on the 2010 Black List (a yearly compilation of favorite unsold screenplays). It’s getting decent notices: “a rollicking smash-and-crash chase movie that happens to be surprisingly well acted”, and, despite similarities to the wily black veteran/naive white rookie dynamic in Training Day, looks like it’s going to be pretty fun.

Over on the forums, we’re celebrating Trailer Overload and Belinkie wonders whether he should take his six-year-old to see Episode 1.

And we’ll be launching something very special early next week… of the video variety… so stay tuned.

How are you celebrating the impending V.D.? (That’s Valentine’s Day.) Sound off in the comments (yes, we still have them), for this is your… Open Thread.

13 Comments on “Open Thread for February 10, 2012”

  1. Matthew Wrather #

    Also: We pushed a bunch of tweaks and improvements to the new design live today. If you notice issues, please let us know in the support forum.

     
  2. Richard #

    Don’t care much for Valentine’s Day. It’s just another method for retail businesses to hit men with a guilt trip. It’s sexist, too. Seriously, have you ever seen an advertisement where a woman buys a gift for her man for Valentine’s Day?

    Anyway, I happened to watch “Galaxy Quest” recently, and I was left with a question in mind (which might be a useful starting point for some Overthinking): Who owns that command module? You know, the one that crashes into the convention center at the end of the movie… There’s got to be some seriously valuable alien tech in that thing…

    Does Jason Nesmith own it? He (or his character, Commander Taggert) was essentially given the entire ship as a gift…

    Does Laliari own it? Her people built it…

    What about the company that owns the rights and trademarks associated with the show? It was built along their designs…

    Can the Convention Center seize it as compensation for the damage it caused?

    Perhaps we’ll find out in the (probably unnecessary) sequel “Galaxy Quest 2″.

     
    • cat #

      I can’t think of very many commercials which actually feature women buying things for guys in the first place regardless of the holiday. Occasionally, women will be groceries…or clothing, because everyone knows men can’t dress themselves. I think it goes to the assumption that men are the providers/like the majority of creatures in the animal kingdom, they are the ones who should display the bright plumage and prove their suitability as mating partners as it is the women who must undergo long gestational periods. Also, it reinforces the idea that there is a collective female identity and way of thinking that mainly revolves around superficiality, jewelry, and other shiny things.

       
      • MrB #

        Richard – you should check out the “Law and the Multiverse” blog if things like that interest you. Its nothing to do with me, so this is a ‘pure’ plug if you will.

        http://lawandthemultiverse.com/

         
  3. Megan from Lombard #

    I find the whole idea of one special day devoted to celebrating the love you have for someone quite dumb. Shouldn’t you do that everyday? Or is V-Day the one day a year people can “make up” for all the dumb stuff they pull the rest of the year?

     
    • cat #

      In television and film, I feel like the purpose of Valentine’s Day isn’t to celebrate the love you have for a significant other, but to force conflict or transition to another stage of a relationship. Someone who has seen the canonical classic Valentine’s Day would probably be in a better position to make the call, but perhaps the purpose of the day is actually to assess the status of relationships. So really it should be less about celebrations and store promotions and more like filing your tax returns. There could even be relationship analysts to help people go through checklists of requirements for progressing to the next stage of a relationship. Is this too much overthinking? I’m going to stop now.

       
  4. cat #

    I’ve been putting off watching the last episode of the most recent series of Misfits knowing that two characters were going to be written off the show. I finally got around to it and now I have a question for all the time travel experts on the site. There’s a romantic story in plot so I suppose it ties into Valentine’s Day.

    To avoid spoilers, I’m going to keep this as vague as possible.

    Character A falls in love with a version of Character B from the future.
    Character B then dies in the present (what would be the past to Character B).
    Character A then tells Character B that he/she will become the version of Character B from the future.
    Character A dies.
    Character B in the present assembles the necessary skills to become the version of Character B from the future (now the present) and travels back in time to live out the events as described.

    Question: Does this create a time loop as the show suggests where these two characters have to keep reliving these events? I feel like it can’t because there are really only two main moments in time. The past and the present (which is the future to the people in the past). Therefore when time progresses past the present, these people will no longer be continuing to live out these events. The time in which they were alive will have already passed.

     
    • Megan from Lombard #

      I love Misfits and know which characters you’re talking about (I won’t give away names).

      I actually call BS on that whole plotline because the sub-plot in series 1 with the character who can control milk-based products shouldn’t have happened because it happened through out the episode and since Character C used his power to go back to the beginning of the episode that should have retconned the whole plot.

       
  5. Gab #

    Eh, Valentine’s Day is never all that interesting for me. I’m spending this year in class, so I guess I’ll have a nice, deep connection with the stuff I’ll be reading on policy theory for that night. It’ll be hot. Yay graduate school.

    I did see the movie of the same title, though. It wasn’t spectacular, but I will say your question is on the right track, Cat. The characters being focused on were all ones changing their relationships somehow because of the holiday. There were I think a few established couples in the background, but they were serving as inspiration or examples for the other couples to see. This is, at least, when talking about romantic couples being shown. My favorite wasn’t a romantic attachment, but I won’t give it away here.

    But, to play devil’s advocate for the holiday itself a bit, if you aren’t taking it too seriously but still have someone, “it’s a good excuse” to get a little more lovey-dovey than usual.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=840NbiFF1zM

     
  6. Matthew Wrather #

    Hey Android folks: Is the sidebar issue improved?

     
  7. Trevor #

    So, Whitney Houston died yesterday at forty-eight. This is one of those “tragic even though you saw it coming” stories, especially because I’m assuming most people saw it coming more when she was still with Bobby Brown. Reports as to why she passed are still in the dark, but one would think with her history of substance abuse that it has to play a role. I hope not, but I’m not holding my breath.

    To me, her loss is more tragic than MJ’s a few years ago, if only because the scandals around her never involved hurting other people (just herself). She stopped being a major recording figure right around the turn of the century, but she did make an impact with her voice (if not some of her song choices). As the AV Club obit makes clear, every singer who has come since is influenced by her vocal style, even though few come even close to matching it.

    It’s hard to believe that she is gone, even though she’s been “gone” in a sense for years. There was the new album back in ’09, but not much came of that. She will be missed.

     
    • Gab #

      I was out the night it happened, and while it may have been kind of cheesy, when someone shouted for everyone in the bar to stop talking and listen as “I Will Always Love You” played, the moment was actually quite touching. I wasn’t the only person watering up. And I’m with you, Trevor, I was more shaken when my mom texted me about her than when I saw a headline about MJ. There may not be as many Houston impersonators, but her influence will be just as deep, if not more so, than his.

      I heard on NPR that the Grammy Awards apparently incorporated a great deal of tribute stuff for her. I’m glad about that; her influence on pop music was far too great for anything less. But they did it while people were outside protesting the removal of a bunch of categories from the lists- one of them being gospel, the first category in which Whitney Houston received recognition. That just makes her passing even sadder for me.