Open Thread for July 22, 2011

Comic-Con, both kinds of football, Captain America and Justin Timberlake.

This Thread has the crisp clean taste of the original, but with zero calories! How is it possible? Poisons.

Big week this week! First, if you’re at Comic-Con on America’s left coast, say hi! We are not there. Not one of us. But we hear good things.

In sports news, Japan beat the U.S. in the Women’s World Cup, prompting a thousand bigoted Facebook status updates, and the NFL came within inches of ending its lockout (story developing).

Jay-Z and Kanye’s new album, Otis, dropped this week. OTI’s mascot, OTIS, says thanks.

And two hotly-buzzed movies open on screens this weekend: Captain America and Friends with Benefits. The former’s receiving some excellent critical buzz; the latter, some JT and Mila Kunis sex scenes. Which are what Captain America gave his life to defend, so it works.

Would a super-serum enable two hot young celebs to hook up without entering a relationship? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

22 Comments on “Open Thread for July 22, 2011”

  1. Mark #

    I finally saw ‘Battle Los Angeles’ this week. Something about it felt really familiar, until I realized I’d already seen it when I played the second level of ‘Halo 2’ six years ago. It’s nearly identical, complete with Warthog sequence. Although Staff Sergeant isn’t nearly as badass as Master Chief, and the final Boss isn’t as cool as the Scarab.

    I also saw a trailer for ‘Real Steel’. I told my friends, heh heh, I told ’em, “it looks like ‘Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots: the Movie’!” I bet I’m the first one to make that observation…*checks internet*…D’oh!

    The best part of being Euroverthinkers is that we always get first shot at the Open Thread. Wake up, sleepy heads!


    • Nick #

      Yeah, Go team GMT! Overthinking before you’ve even had your breakfast!

      And you missed the biggest news of the week: Rupert Murdoch gets a pie to the face*!
      An excellent example of the power of good old slapstick comedy influencing semi-anarchistic political activism. Maybe this will begin a new era of marches being disrupted by discarded banana skins and police hats being knocked off by swinging 2x4s.

      Or it will just inspire more self-described “comedians” to ruin important political public hearings by trying to draw attention to themselves.



  2. Trevor #

    Rupert Murdoch is innocent of any wrongdoing; I know this because Fox News told me so, and they’re never right…I mean, wrong.

    All this talk of the new Captain America led me to think about the old one, i.e., the enormously-bad-in-my-memory 1990 film of the same name with some slab of meat encased on the patriotic costume taking on some Italian stereotypes. I don’t think Fellini directed it. Anyway, kismet being what it is, last night the SyFy Channel answered my non-prayers by screening the old Cap film. I tuned in to see if maybe there was some redeeming MST3K-esque worthiness to it.

    There is not. It’s just as bad (if not worse) as I remember. I don’t even know if I’d recommend someone to watch it, unless you’re a glutton for punishment. The Star Wars Holiday Special is less painful, really. For some reason I thought that Jurgen Prochnow played the Red Skull, but that would’ve been too classy for this movie. Anyway, check it out at your own risk.


  3. Megan from Lombard #

    Another news worthy story this week is that Borders is closing for good. But they have no idea when (surprise surprise). It just shows how not keeping up with the current trends and competition can really hurt you in the long run as well as how the print medium in our digital world is continuing to suffer.


    • Gab #

      I’m going to miss Borders tremendously.


      • Megan from Lombard #

        As am I to an extent, I only really went to the store when they stocked Doctor Who and Torchwood books and their British History section was always good.


  4. Lee OTI Staff #

    Uh, huhhuh, huhhuh. Beavis and Butthead are coming back. Check out this clip:

    Forget 90’s nostalgia; this brings back a lot of bad memories of 6th grade for me, when every budding adolescent misanthrope started talking like Butthead while heaping verbal and physical abuse on nerds like me. Good times. And by “good times,” I mean “bad times.”


  5. Svan #

    Evil Dead is being remade with the guy who wrote Juno. I can only hope Diablo Cody can live up to vice-like tightness of the original’s highly focused narrative.


  6. Gab #

    Well, ACTUALLY, it’s not the whole album by Jay-Z and Kanye, but a song. I actually kind of freaked out when I saw ^that^ because I preordered a digital download of the whole thing and hadn’t received any notification. The album comes out December 31st.

    New OTI shirt should feature OTIS, with a line saying, “Got mah swagga back,” somewhere. Sunglasses on OTIS are optional. I’d buy it, no matter the cost.

    Is anyone watching the “summer programming?” I’m sort of watching Burn Notice and more sincerely watching Suits. Totally unlikely premise aside, the writing on Suits lives up to the quickness and quality of other USA shows, as does the acting. There is an OTI piece in there somewhere about bromance and rivalry between males for other males, but I’m too tired to hash it out.


    • Gab #

      I must well actually myself, here: Apparently the rest of the album will “drop” on 8/8, according to the email I got this morning about “OTIS.” I guess they moved it up…? My initial pre-order confirmation says December, but hey, I’m totally not complaining. Ahem.


    • Gab #

      I was wondering that, too. I haven’t seen either, but you know how movies always come in pairs (at least), right?


  7. Yenzo #

    Do you think the OTI community can help me out about an observation I made? I don’t know if any of you watch Falling Skies (and I won’t spoil anything), but I get the feeling the series has a strange relationship to guns. Three things I noticed:

    1) People in this series carry their guns EVERYWHERE. No matter if somebody’s eating or sleeping, their firearm seems to be right next to them. I can’t imagine a military system that would allow this. Sure, they may expect an attack at any time, but do you really want easily accessible guns around untrained civilians that are struggling with the biggest emotional crisis of all time? Suicides and psychotic breaks should occur on a daily basis. Also, having guns lying around at a time of stress will facilitate violent responses in interpersonal confrontations (

    2) The main character’s gun of choice is an AK, which is usually seen in the hands of resistance fighters or gangsters rather than official military (at least on the American continents). Virtually everyone else, including his kids, seem to be using US military rifles ( Although I might be wrong on this since I lack background knowledge here. But it seems odd, especially since he’s depicted as calm and relatively peaceful.

    3) The aliens are using mechs as their primary weapon system. Whenever the humans encounter these machines, they fire away with their rifles, with the bullets having absolutely no effect (other than, maybe, redirecting the mech’s attention). 6 months after the fall of civilization, the time that the series takes place, bullets should be more valuable than gold. Why this group (which is led by US military officers) would waste their resources like that is beyond me.

    I might be nitpicking, but I would expect more from a show which obviously tries to swim on The Walking Dead’s wave (TWD being very realistic in their depiction of psychology and equipment) and which is produced by Steven Spielberg (who has depicted very realistic battle scenes in Saving Private Ryan).

    So I figure there might be something else going on, other than realism or drama. Can you help me out on this? Are the guns supposed to relay information about the characters? There is obviously some symbolism going on in this show, with visual references to Kennedy, Lincoln and the fragility of Earth as a water balloon. But I can’t figure out whether they did all this gunplay on purpose or just because it looks cool.

    I would be glad to hear your thoughts on this.


    • Brian #

      1. The way I read the weapons effect article is that the more exposure and familiarity with weapons the more control you has over how they effect you psychologically, the less likely they are to make you feel aggressive. So if the resistance is carrying around a weapon all the time they’re very familiar with it and thus have more understanding and control of what it can do.
      2. Some of the resistance have uzi’s and machine guns which aren’t American either. May speak to democratization of resistance that they have guns from all over the world and nothing is standard issue from one source, and maybe to the democratization of power that guns have.

      3. Yeah bullets should be gold, but as far as I remember it doesn’t feel that way, there’s no “one shot left” vibe like in Mad Max, or blatant waste like in Starship Troopers. At least I didn’t notice it, but I like your reading of that, it makes sense because the main conflict of the show is “how to defeat the aliens?” A. Shoot randomly and hide. or B. Get close and inside the aliens to understand them. It shows getting close is ultimately the way to go, but you need to be able to distract in order to get close, need that spray of bullets sometimes, as long as it’s not an end in and of itself. So I feel the gunplay has a point. Not sure about the assassinated presidents motif, maybe something about how you can’t destroy ideas with a gun. But I really like the show, thanks for bringing it up. I stopped watching TWD after ep3 because it got too goofy, for me it lost the tension and eeriness of the first episode or other zombie movies, but I’ll give it another watch with that psychology and equipment thing in mind. Thanks.


    • Brian #

      The assassinated presidents name on schools could also show how we regard the collective and the individual, that one of the highest honors we have is naming a school after someone, and that lone gunmen will not be honored. This plays with the larger theme of the show where the only thing that keeps social order where everyone has a gun from spiraling into chaos is the family, it’s the characters who lost all family connection who make rash dangerous decisions. The guy that impulsively dashes into danger to save his kid, Pope, ect.


    • Ravi #

      I’ve never seen this show, but I was in the army. Trust me, keeping your weapon with you at all times is taught very early on. At the very least it’s an accountability thing–if it’s not on you then somebody else can get to it. There are things like arms rooms of course but when poop hits the fan there’s no time for everyone to line up and wait for their weapon, so you keep it within arm’s reach–even when you sleep and eat.

      As for inciting fear, I’ve never felt alarmed when soldiers around me handled weapons, even loaded, and I don’t remember civilians feeling uneasy either. It comes down to whether you trust someone’s ability to handle it. Do you feel nervous when you see the cop’s pistol in his holster at the donut shop? It sounds like this show features civilians with guns however–I’d imagine that in dire straits you’d become accustomed very quickly with gun safety (after witnessing a few mishaps maybe).

      And as for the AK: the AK is known for its reliability. Given a choice in what I’m guessing is a post-apocalyptic scenario(?) I’d take an AK if I could find rounds for it. It’s more likely to fire and keep firing and packs a whollop. Plus they probably just want to differentiate the character.

      And don’t give The Walking Dead too much credit. From what I remember their guns still make the *chk-chk* sound whenever they so much as aim them (like all the rifles on Lost). Guns only make that sound when you load a round into the chamber.

      Sorry if this is picking nits, but that’s kind of what this site is for, yeah?


      • Yenzo #

        Wow, thank you all for your great comments; I knew I could count on you! Each one of your answers gave me new and interesting insights.

        To both of you: I forgot mentioning that I was referring to the Walking Dead comics, not really the series. The comics deal very specifically with psychological issues such as desperation, suicide and disorganized behavior and I would recommend them for their realism. The TV show is great in some respects, but it includes the typical TV stuff, such as, I suppose, the gun sounds Ravi mentioned.

        Interestingly, I didn’t really think of assassinations when Kennedy and Lincoln were mentioned. To me, it raised ideas about protecting the US against external (Cold War) and internal (Civil War) threats, which both seem to be prominent in the series.

        @Brian: Based on your reading, I would be delighted if combat habits actually changed over the course of the series, with fewer firefights and more sneakiness as a sign of altered tactics. Let’s see what the show will bring.

        @Ravi: I don’t think it’s nitpicking at all; on the contrary, I’m always fascinated by the differences between real weapons and their pop culture counterparts. I was amazed when I found out that silenced guns are still loud as hell. I learned that from a friend in the film business, but I don’t even know if he would use this knowledge or if he would just use the totally silent silencer, just like any other movie.


  8. Marissa #

    Finally de-lurking, even though I’ve been listening to the podcast and reading the site for a little over a year. I couldn’t keep quiet any longer, however, once I found this:

    I don’t know if anyone here was previously aware of HerUniverse, but its creator, Ashley Eckstein, is the voice of Ahsoka in the Clone Wars (which she redeemed herself for through my Padme Nouveau t-shirt). She is creating a line of Star Wars and SyFy products designed specifically for women. And she is also doing a great job of raising awareness of women in science fiction fandoms, and helping to change the general boy’s club image of sci-fi.

    Thanks for putting the podcast out every week. It has gotten me through many an hour of drafting homework.

    Currently working my way through the back podcasts,
    Marissa @37.563315, -122.308985


    • Gab #

      Holy crap, thanks for that link! I’m totally going to get the Warehouse 13 shirt!

      Ignoring the fact that we know everyone inevitably dies in The Clone Wars, is it really that bad?


      • Marissa #

        You’re welcome! That Warehouse 13 shirt has been tempting me too.

        As for Clone Wars, I haven’t watched passed the first season, but the introductory movie was truly terrible. There were some good episodes in the first season, any episodes focusing on the clones, Yoda, or Obi-Wan, were at least passable. And the voice actor playing Obi-Wan got really good once he stopped trying too hard. But the whole Master Anakin/Padawan Ahsoka relationship was a little too contrived and annoying for my taste. I could see what they were going for by trying to give Anakin a mirror, in Ahsoka, through which he could be shown some of his own flaws (i.e. his hotheadedness), but it wasn’t as successful as it could have been. Plus, the constant use of the grating nicknames “Flyboy” and “Snips,” which they gave each other pretty much immediately, was just too much for me to take (Ahsoka also calls R2 “R-Tooie,” which drives me nuts). Maybe if I were still a nine year old, which is about where I would place the target audience, it wouldn’t bother me as much.


        • Timothy J Swann #

          Marissa, let me assure that Seasons 2 and 3 are much better, indeed, more grown up, than the 1st. They have a much greater balance of light and dark in them, and though it is well-known that I am pretty much of fan of anything Star Wars (though ask me about the last two novel series and hear my rage), I’d definitely recommend going back to it.


Add a Comment