Just a Little Common Sense

For a life based on reason, ethics, literature and art.

Archive for the ‘Unrelated’ Category

Alice’s Adventures in the House of 1000 Corpses

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This is going to be completely unrelated and of hardly any interest to anyone but movie nerds, but it’s been bugging me. It’s my blog after all, so I’ll post whatever I want. Now here is a post about movies.

You may be aware that there has been a recent remake of Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton, which hit the cinemas last year. I have only recently seen it. The design is incredible, but the kitschy ending somewhat ruined it for me. Anyhow, undoubtedly one of the most memorable parts of the movie is the role of the “Red Queen” aka “Queen of Hearts”. She’s the evil character of the Story, though in a very childlike, vulnerable way.

Now bear with me for a second.
Another movie which I’ve recently seen (again) is The House of 1000 Corpses, a horror flick shot in 2003 by Rob Zombie. It’s a movie about a bunch of teens who get slaughtered by an insane family of murderers and occultists. Here, the most remarkable character of the film is Captain Spaulding, a creepy deranged clown with rotten teeth, played by Sid Haig.
So: Two movies. One a 2010 kid’s movie, the other an R-rated, gory horror flick. Now I’d like you to take a look at the two character’s make-up:

Could it possibly be chance?

LEFT: The Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland, 2010. RIGHT: Captain Spaulding, The House of 1000 Corpses, 2003.

There’s really only two possible ways to explain this similarity. Either it’s coincidence, and Tim Burton was completely unaware that his wife has just been painted with the make-up of a very famous (albeit fictional) serial killer, or he shot a movie for kids that intentionally contained a reference to an extremely violent and brutal horror film. Both scenarios seem equally unlikely. On the one hand, I just cannot believe that Tim Burton is unaware of the existence of the two Rob Zombie movies for it to be purely coincidental. Plus, just look at it. I mean, it’s the exact same shade of blue, arching up from each eye, until confined by a single black line (same thickness!), while the rest of the face is completely white. Somce coincidence that would be. Did the make-up artist allow himself a joke and Tim Burton didn’t notice? Or is this really Tim Burton giving a nod to Rob Zombie in his version of freakin’ Alice ? That would actually make a lot more sense, except that this is something that might potentially set off the “protect the children!”-reflex of the conservative right, triggering protests, boycotts and attempts at censorship. Why risk that?

Of course I know the correct answer is who gives a fuck?, but for some reason, stuff like this really buggs me.

PS: Other people noticed the make-up, too. This one is also a very nice review of Alice: “this movie is a wonder to look at, but a chore to sit through.” Couldn’t have said it any better.

Written by Phil

January 19, 2011 at 20:55

Quick Update on Personal Stuff

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I finished this semester’s last exam today, and now finally have some spare time again which I will not spend learning. Also, all of february will be completely free.

I am sorry to have written pretty much nothing the past weeks – Whenever I had the time, I was too tired or unfocused to produce anything readable. The positive message is that this is not at all due to a lack of inspiration: I have tons of ideas, and now that I will finally get decent amounts of sleep again I’m looking forward to writing again.
February will be a very active time for just a little common sense.

Written by Phil

January 14, 2011 at 19:04

Posted in Unrelated

2010 Review And My Plans For The Future

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I wrote my very first post in May 2010. Since then, 74 other posts followed and attracted about 70 comments from readers, almost all of which I have answered (124 comments total). So far my blog has been viewed 16.000 times, averaging 63 views per day.

For seven months, that isn’t bad. For a blog that focuses on skepticism and Humanism, it isn’t bad at all. In any case, it certainly beats my expectations.

So, where will I go from here? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Phil

January 3, 2011 at 01:07

A Grandmaster of Sarcasm

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There is a new member in my top-ten humorous websites: 27bslash6. It consists mainly of David Thorne’s correspondence. Usually he receives a request, a bill or whatever else people mail to him, and he’ll respond with a mix of absolutely acid sarcasm and completely random made-up anecdotes that have nothing to do with whatever is being asked from him. He posts those exchanges on his website, and some of them are absolutely hilarious.
There is, for example, an exchange with his son’s school chaplain, asking to grant his son the permission to attend a bible-play outside the school grounds. On that permission slip is a picture of a little easter-bunny carrying a giant egg, beneath it is a drawing of Jesus carrying his cross. Handily, the “yes” box is already ticked.
Here is what Dave’s reply looks like:

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 10 March 2010 7.12pm
To: Darryl Robinson
Subject: Permission Slip

Dear Darryl,
I have received your permission slip featuring what I can only assume is a levitating rabbit about to drop an egg on Jesus.
Thank you for pre-ticking the permission box as this has saved me not only from having to make a choice, but also from having to make my own forty five degree downward stroke followed by a twenty percent longer forty five degree upward stroke. Without your guidance, I may have drawn a picture of a cactus wearing a hat by mistake.
As I trust my offspring’s ability to separate fact from fantasy, I am happy for him to participate in your indoctrination process on the proviso that all references to ‘Jesus’ are replaced with the term ‘Purportedly Magic Jew.’

Regards, David.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Phil

August 13, 2010 at 04:37

Six Wasted Hours

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I just spent six hours(!) sitting on my window-sill, watching the street for the arrival of a Telekom technician, who was supposed to fix my phone and internet today. (For now, I am still accessing the net via an unsecured wireless network from across the street, which gives me connection for some three minutes a time, before it breaks down and I have to re-connect to gain connection for another three minutes)
In case you’re wondering why I spent the time sitting at the window: That’s because my phone is not the only thing around here that’s broken – my doorbell is, too.
Brilliant as they are, the Telekom wouldn’t be more specific about the time of arrival than “between 8am and 4pm”. About 30 minutes ago, after six hours of waiting, I received a text-message telling me that “the appointment could not be realized today”. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Phil

August 11, 2010 at 15:11

Update on Stuff in General

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I just finished doing a short interview with Hemley Gonzales, founder of the Facebook-group STOP the Missionaries of Charity, and currently one of Mother Teresa’s loudest critics. As Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday is coming up on August 26th, I was planning to write an article in German about her, and try to get it published and circulated as far as I could.
The whole project has been greatly retarded by my dying computer. Originally I planned to have it finished sometime last week. Unfortunately, my computer keeps breaking down, shutting down without warning, and just generally misbehaving in various ways all of which are greatly annoying. Also my internet connection is broken, the technician is due to fix this on the 11th of this month, which was the earliest appointment they could offer me when I called them up almost three weeks ago. The appointment is now confirmed, and the technician will arive “between 8 am and 4 pm.” Oh, wow. I wonder if he’ll be on time.

Anyhow. The interview with Hemley is done, and while it sure as heck isn’t a masterpiece of journalism due to my advanced state of exhaustion, lack of experience and general incompetence, and was interrupted thrice by my connection breaking down, I have enough information to make a nice introduction for the article. I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going.

Written by Phil

August 5, 2010 at 01:51

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On Happiness

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The internet is brimming with new-agey blogs providing endless lists with how-to-become-happy-instructions, such as this one from the blog of an Australian counselling service called Reach For The Sky.
It’s a neat list, common wisdom, but some of it rings true. In the end, most people reading it will already agree to some extent, but a list like this is not likely to convince anybody who has not gained these insights for himself already; to a great many people this will sound like a bunch of simple platitudes and empty phrases. Anyhow, it makes a neat read for the new-age hippie clientél it is directed at, and that’s all that really matters on a blog that is essentially an advertisement for a small service-provider. I could have picked any such list, but this one is fairly representative of them all, so I’ll just have a go at this.

1. Happiness is accepting “what is” and getting on with life. Recriminations or regrets have no place in happiness.

I perfectly agree with this part. Accepting a mistake for what it is and learning from it is better than regretting not having made a different choice and dwelling on how things could have been. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Phil

July 20, 2010 at 12:44

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