Re: The MPDG Grows Up

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That was interesting. Didn't resonate personally at all -- all of my complex and yet dull problems relating to the opposite sex never included falling into the MPDG role, being neither manic or pixieish (there really wasn't a Dour Broadshouldered Dream Girl archetype). But as the experience of someone who did, interesting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 7:50 AM
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I had the raw materials: I'm five feet nothing, petite and small-featured with skin the color of something left on the bottom of a pond for too long and messy hair that's sometimes dyed a shocking shade of red or pink.

Skin that is a dark brown and green swirl? Ooh, quirky.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:00 AM
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My eight-year-old daughter saw the Brady Bunch for the first time yesterday. I was shocked at two things: How liberal the sentiments in it were (Mr. Brady conducted a discussion on due process in one episode) and how horribly antideluvian the discussion of the sexes was. The underlying theme of the whole show appears to be about how boys do this and girls do that. (This is obviously old news to the rest of you, but I never watched that show as a kid.)

She found the show laugh-out-loud great.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:02 AM
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being neither manic or pixieish

I dissent!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:22 AM
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2: skin the color of an old tire?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:29 AM
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petite and small-featured with skin the color of something left on the bottom of a pond for too long and messy hair

So Samara from The Ring is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? Who knew?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:44 AM
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God I love that movie. I love that the protagonist really tries to discover how the Samara must have been abused and was seeking revenge, and it turns out nope! just an intrinsically evil-fuck little girl, evil for no good reason!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:47 AM
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7: right. The fake-out worked so well because we're so conditioned to expect the "revenge for some terrible wrong" explanation.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:52 AM
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The most profoundly unsolvable mystery in the world is more-than-averagely pretty women.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:55 AM
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It's More Complicated in Japan and Tropes Are Not Bad

Currently watching Ghost Hound which has a tsundere miko and a hello nurse shes got legs

Tatami Galaxy had a Hard Drinking Party Girl and a kuudere (Cool girl, but not tsundere)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:05 AM
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Someone posted a clip from The Brady Bunch the other day which suggested to me (I watched the show but remember it sketchily) that it was sometimes quite bizarre. Peter is watching Bogart on tv and starts talking to Alice about what's for dinner, then goes around saying "pork chops and applesauce" in an exaggerated imitation of Bogart, and then everyone else starts doing it. It wasn't really funny, but it wasn't unfunny in the way most sitcoms that didn't age well are unfunny. There was more WTF in it, almost like "Mary Hartman! Mary Hartman!" levels of WTF.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:11 AM
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11 - On the one hand, the fact that I remember that episode makes me mourn the many hours of my life that I spent watching The Brady Bunch. Why did I watch it? I never especially liked it. I guess I watched it because it was on, and back when there weren't a million different TV channels we watched whatever was on.

On the other hand, if I hadn't spent those hours watching The Brady Bunch, I'd feel like the weird guy who has no connection to the culture I live in* (even more so than I do now.) So I guess the hours spent watching The Brady Bunch were the dues paid for basic cultural literacy.

*For example.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:28 AM
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I think the MPDG type is attractive to straight guys because she seems to be doing her own thing--she's not obviously doing it to please a man--but she just happens to do all this stuff that brings light and charms and smiles to her dude. The fantasy is not just having someone who cheers you up and gets you to dance in the rain or whatever; it's someone who does all that while seeming to have just happened to pounce upon you as someone who could, if you cheered up and loosened up, join her on Planet Sparkle.

The other type that really bothers me a lot more in movies is the type who also ends up supporting the deeply depressed, possibly violent, definitely mentally ill guy by just loving him really intensely and seriously and making him be honest about what he really wants and then, where treatment and medication have failed (or never been tried), her love makes him feel OK for the very first time.

Like, the Jennifer Lawrence character in Silver Linings Playbook--she's not a MPDG. She's depressed, volatile, etc. herself. But by pouring all of her energy into Bradley Cooper, who is an extremely violent person who refuses and evades treatment, she eventually wins a seat on his lap for the last 30 seconds of the movie. Actually, this one bothered me a lot less than many other similar plots (Punch-Drunk Love gave me flashback nightmares of domestic abuse for a month), because it's implied that he kind of is also putting a tiny bit of effort into the process, but usually it's just the woman somehow loving the guy out of putting his hand through windows, walls, faces, etc.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:32 AM
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"the pork chops and applesauce" episode was one of the most memorable, right up there with "Ow, my nose!"

On the OP, I a MPDG was wife #1. That was an interesting experience and for her sake I hope she grew out of it but it's unlikely.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:34 AM
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13: I gave Silver Linings about an hour, asked someone "is this going where it seems to be going?" and, upon confirmation, put it in its red enveloped back to mother ship Netflix. I had queue'd it up because I thought Jennifer Lawrence was really good in something else [THE HUNGER GAMES IF YOU MUST KNOW] but this one just seemed somehow really life-diminishing to watch.

I actually almost shoved it back in its sleeve right when he went to his therapist's office and the therapist was playing a song over the PA in the lobby (could I possibly have understood this right?) because he knew it was a song Bradley Cooper had traumatic associations with. Yes, Movies, therapists operate by playing creepy tricks on clients!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:38 AM
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Interesting, but frustrating article -- she seems to be very much in the process of sorting through the ideas. I have the feeling that if she were to go back and re-write the same article a year from now it would turn out very differently.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:39 AM
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"From MPDG and back again: How I discovered I was one, after all."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:41 AM
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15.2: Yeah, the therapist thing was very very weird. Mostly, I thought it's actually a pretty good movie about bipolar disorder, and Jennifer Lawrence's character is rather interesting, but the movie sets up the challenges of mental illness and emotionally abusive family so incredibly well that the denouement--we're all still crazy, but we've found love, so who cares?--made me very unnerved. I always think that plots like this end on the girl-in-the-lap scene or the girl-patting-his-head scene in its little fragile moment just before he punches her or someone else in the face.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:48 AM
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Also, the linked piece reminded me, in some way, of this article that CC linked to a while back.

I need to think about that association a little bit, perhaps it is that both articles see the step of becoming "an adult" as a serious one, and Molly Laich pauses on the other side of that while Laurie Penny finds it difficult but a positive transition.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:48 AM
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But she really IS cute and quirky! It totally wasn't an affectation! Plus, she's better now.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:49 AM
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I fear that this resonates only for me, but I find increasingly disturbing, culturally, politically, socially, etc., the rote statements, and other expressions, of the desire to be--or to appear--strong.

I suppose this discomfort comes in two slightly different flavors: first, the vacancy of the desire, its expressions and its object--what is this strength that everyone agrees on so unarticulatedly? Is it just declared or are there steps along the way, like a marksmanship badge at summer camp?

Second, women and other oppressed classes ought to know better than most that strength isn't all it's cracked up to be, entails no particular moral authority or distinction, more often is abused or wasted than serves any good at all, large or small.

/a tonic joke the foregoing has depressed me too much to make


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:55 AM
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Maybe they just mean strong as in high alcohol content.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:58 AM
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13.1 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:00 AM
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Gotta love the mandatory dumping on other women:

My Facebook feed is full of young male writers who I have encouraged to believe in themselves, set up with contacts, taken on adventures and talked into the night about the meaning of journalism with who are now in long-term relationships with people who are content to be That Girl.

I've always thought the whole political brouhaha about MPDGs was silly. The archetype seems like a fairly innocent way to present something that everyone (both genders) wants from romance -- to be transported away from the mundate into something a little sparkly and magical. In romance, other people (or, more accurately, our projections onto them) are the vehicle for that. That's a tricky but basic part of romance, and everyone (male and female) faces a transition where they have to assimilate the magical projections onto the romantic object with the mundane tasks of living a life with who both people really are. As true as that is, it's also true that romance can have some transformative power.

I only saw the first part of '500 days of summer', but one thing I liked about it is that it seemed extremely evident in the script how much projection was going on by the male character. The Zoey Deschannel character was magical for him in part because of all that projection, which she herself warns him about multiple times.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:01 AM
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I'm sick of your damned #slatepitches, Sifu!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:03 AM
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But she really IS cute and quirky! It totally wasn't an affectation! Plus, she's better now.

Apparently she spent many years dying her hair bright shades of red and pink without any intention of making people think she was cute and quirky, so who knows.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:07 AM
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I don't mind the fact that male protagonists are weak or troubled or having emotional problems; it's the expectation that, instead of making any effort of his own to seek help or maturity, he sits around moping or raging until a lady--through heroic emotional effort to escape the clutches of his depression/whatever--fixes him. It's not that different from the female protagonist problem, I guess. She's shy, insecure, hates herself, etc., but then a man comes around and woos her into glory.

Maybe the larger complaint is that protagonists of whatever gender are largely depicted as objects for someone else's fix-it efforts of love? It reminds me that when my poetics classes brought in pop song lyrics for us to analyze, we discovered that almost all club music has someone saying it would be acceptable for someone else to do something to them, if they wanted to, but very rarely does the singer say they have any desires of their own.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:08 AM
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I find increasingly disturbing, culturally, politically, socially, etc., the rote statements, and other expressions, of the desire to be--or to appear--strong.

Related:

[S]peaking as a daughter of a mechanical engineer and as someone who studied architecture, strength has always meant resilience to me. However, somewhere along the way, (in American culture at least) it appears to have sloughed off all definitions but one: imperviousness. . . .

So I find it interesting when people claim that my characters aren't strong because they do get damaged. To me, that's only realistic. Strength is getting hurt, getting back up again, limping forward, and reeling with the blows. Strength isn't about not getting hit in the first place. That's something else. That's luck, maybe even privilege. Strength is feeling and hurting and crying and continuing to do what needs doing anyway. Ask any mechanical engineer or architect about strength, and they'll tell you that any substance that can't react to outside forces is brittle and more likely to fail.

Also, 13.1 is an interesting observation, and one I would (mostly) agree with.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:09 AM
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Apparently she spent many years dying her hair bright shades of red and pink without any intention of making people think she was cute and quirky

She was just trying to compensate for the greenish, blotchy pallor that resulted from being left at the bottom of a pond for too long.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:09 AM
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Maybe the larger complaint is that protagonists of whatever gender are largely depicted as objects for someone else's fix-it efforts of love?

Odd considering the meaning of "protagonist". No agency in the world of love, at least.

For the female equivalent of this hapless protagonist, see Jennifer Lopez in "The Backup Plan".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:10 AM
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"No agency in the world of love" is a nice phrase. Thank you, Ned.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:11 AM
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Further to 30:

The male equivalent of "beautiful but not like in the showy way that looks like she's stuck-up", is "has a great high-paying job but not like a lawyer or a Wall Street guy or other douchebag". Generally this means an architect. The guy in "The Backup Plan" runs a cheese farm, of all fucking things. He dreams of the perfect cheese, aged in the most picturesque cave.

I think there was another romcom recently where the dreamboat guy runs a dog-walking agency.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:13 AM
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. . . almost all club music has someone saying it would be acceptable for someone else to do something to them, if they wanted to, but very rarely does the singer say they have any desires of their own.

I don't have a strong sense of "club music" as a genre, but I think of it as being more static, and less inclined towards narrative than other genres of pop music. If that's true, that would push it away from active expressions of desire.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:15 AM
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We are all disgruntled whistleblowers in the agency of love.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:16 AM
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"has a great high-paying job but not like a lawyer or a Wall Street guy or other douchebag"

Speaking of which, the linked article mentioned Ruby Sparks, I'm curious if anybody watched it after my (typo-laden) recommedation.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:17 AM
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35: I wanted to see it but didn't. I did go see Sarah Polley's documentary The Stories We Tell last week and was pretty sure it was the only movie I'd seen all year, but now I'm sure that Lee and I watched at least one and maybe two Netflix movies after bedtime. I am such a stereotype of why to never have kids.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:28 AM
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What kind of romance narrative would have no one being changed by the romance?

Well, she changed herself, he didn't change her. She has agency! Would she have changed exactly that way, to that degree, at that moment, if she hadn't met him? Umm...she has agency!

We came, we saw, we fucked like bunnies, but like ships in the night, these are the days of our lives, oh well...

The lone cowpoke rode into the dangerous desperate town, watered her horse, and rode out again. At least I think so, but we have mostly forgotten her.

The binary bullshit of the linked post...either MPDG or Can You See The Real Real Me, Can Ya?...just seems so Transcen-fucking-dentally Idealist American.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:29 AM
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35 - I've got it saved on the DVR, I think.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:32 AM
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like ships in the night

But some things have just got to be
So we passed very fast like ships in the night
Or cars in a contraflow system

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:34 AM
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The binary bullshit of the linked post...either MPDG or Can You See The Real Real Me, Can Ya?...just seems so Transcen-fucking-dentally Idealist American.

That's interesting, given that she's from Brighton and is a former columnist for the Morning Star.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:40 AM
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Can You See The Real Real Me, Can Ya?

Did Quadrophenia feature a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? I don't remember one, but it's been a long time.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:43 AM
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Assuming that someone who writes for The New Statesman, and includes multi-paragraph analyses of Doctor Who in the middle of articles about other things, is American just seems so Transcen-fucking-dentally Idealist American.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:56 AM
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How to Avoid MPDG Syndrome

I suppose...

"Write people, not humanoid solutions to narrative problems."

You're scaring me, dude. You think you are writing people?

If you don't think you are living a trope or playing a role, you need to watch more anime, especially reverse-harem high-school anime. And if your image of yourself is unclear or overcomplicated or undefined, then you are likely seeing a machinic ghost. Try making something up and faking it. But don't think you are original. Stealing's fine.

Yamato Nadeshiko (including reversed) or Meganekko?

Collect more data! Only a complete taxonomy can be inconsistent!

No more fun.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 10:59 AM
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41:Leslie Ash, although I think her role or trope is closer to Simone White in Wild Life or umm, Jessica Lange in All That Jazz


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 11:15 AM
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"Write people, not humanoid solutions to narrative problems."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 11:17 AM
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bob, being a honky anime otaku is not exactly superior to pining for one's very own MPDG in the great chain of being-a-nerd.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 11:31 AM
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being a honky anime otaku is not exactly superior to pining for one's very own MPDG in the great chain of being-a-nerd.

I believe this chart should clarify things:

http://brunching.com/images/geekchartbig.gif


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 11:36 AM
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Apparently she spent many years dying her hair bright shades of red and pink without any intention of making people think she was cute and quirky, so who knows.

Right, who could possibly imagine any other motivation for doing such a thing? (Also, she doesn't remotely claim that she never wanted to be thought cute and quirky. The whole article is about how she was seduced into the notion that she should want to be that person.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 11:38 AM
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Or, rather, that character.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 11:38 AM
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47: I reckon my Bat-Pikachu fanfiction leaves me without a less-geeky leg to stand on.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 11:39 AM
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Bat-Pikachu

When a girl Pokémon becomes responsible for her own actions under Nintendo law.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 11:44 AM
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Possibly relevent (possibly a bob-style free association).

In the video Nanci Griffith is performing with her ex-husband Eric Taylor and as she's introducing the song she starts talking about the following -- Eric is about to get re-married and, as she says, when somebody is about to get married they think everybody should get married, so he's been encouraging her to get re-married at some point. She doesn't want to get married again. Not that the marriage was terrible but, she says, when she got married it was the first time in her life that she had a room of her own and, "there was somebody else in it"

She laughs as she says it, but it mostly falls flat. The audience doesn't seem to have any idea what to make of it (or, perhaps, they're just being quiet because they know it's on TV, I don't actually know). But I find it a fascinating moment for the way in which it conflicts with the standard narratives of romance and marriage and, somehow, that relates back to this conversation and the article. We're used to the idea of people making choices that fit a story, it's trickier for somebody to say, "I don't want that -- and I don't have a different story to replace it with, but that one doesn't work for me." (particularly when they're on stage with their ex . . .).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 11:47 AM
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OT:

Are we far enough into this thread to complain about movies my kids drag me to? I'm completely willing to enjoy a Star Trek movie, and I'll watch Benedict Cumberbatch chewing scenery all day, but man, that was not a good movie. There's a certain minimal level of making any sense at all that I can't walk away from, as much as I'd like to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:07 PM
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For no reason, I'm going to yell somebody's name now, when it would be immensely more appropriate for me to yell it at some point during a subsequent chase scene.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SPOCK | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:09 PM
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Among many, many, many other things. (Admittedly, I wasn't expecting what would have made me really happy, which would have been for Nimoy-Spock to see either Cumberbatch or a picture thereof, and comment "Fascinating. In my timeline, Khan was Mexican.")


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:15 PM
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53, 55: But were there any Manic Pixie Dream Girls?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:23 PM
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Nimoy exists on a level superior to J.J. Abrams' ability to ruin things with his "You know what would be cool? Yet another scene where the protagonist and antagonist converse through a prison wall! And some vague references to militarism-is-bad in the middle of our militaristic spectacle!" rubbish.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:26 PM
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that was not a good movie. There's a certain minimal level of making any sense at all that I can't walk away from, as much as I'd like to.

The massive divergence between that movie's metacritic score and the hostility expressed by almost everyone I respect who's watched it is making me start to doubt my faith in metacritic.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:27 PM
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But were there any Manic Pixie Dream Girls?

The blonde girl stood around in her underwear and that, like everything else in the universe, angered the Internet, which hates beauty.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:28 PM
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Way OT: Oh fuck.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:29 PM
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I wanted to threadjack too - being totally nosy - friends' son has got into Stuy(vesant?) - where does that rank in New York high schools?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:36 PM
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61: None unambiguously better -- there are negative things to be said about it, but if you rule out the private schools where the advantage is that your kids are rubbing elbows with the excruciatingly wealthy, Stuy is academically top of the line. (The school I was being elliptical about Sally having been admitted to, Bronx Science, is arguably just as good, but anyone who was going to rank them as unequal would put Stuy first.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:45 PM
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59: That was oddly perfunctory -- like, there was absolutely no plot energy devoted to any romantic/sexy plot with the blonde, they just threw in a five-second shot of her in her underwear for no particular reason beyond "Titties, hooray!" I could see the hostility being driven by the perfunctoriness of it more than any unusually exploitative quality.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:50 PM
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I stopped watching the Star Trek movies after the one with the whales.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:51 PM
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63: I think it was supposed to be a comic bit about Kirk's befuddlement in the face of an attractive woman to whom he has to listen (n.b. no female senior officers or government officials at the big table, if memory serves), but Abrams and his hired hands did their usual clumsy job on that, if that's really what they intended.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:53 PM
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I stopped watching the Star Trek movies after the one with the whales.

I think the new alternate timeline Star Trek should make the whales the new major villains. They could be the alternate timeline equivalent of the Borg.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 12:58 PM
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58: It could easily have been a worse movie -- mostly, the bits where things were exploding weren't boring. But Lord, it wasn't good.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:02 PM
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How awesome would it have been if the whole Khan-not-Khan mislead around Benedict Cumberbatch had resolved in him being one of the whales from #4.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:10 PM
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I didn't even like the whales. I really only remember the line, "No, I'm from Iowa. I only work in space."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:13 PM
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Especially if the reveal was done with a latex mask. "While I may look like a pasty white guy to you, actually [tears off mask] I'm a humpback whale weighing 40 metric tonnes."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:14 PM
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I haven't seen the new one, but I enjoyed the first one largely for its pretty colors. It felt like a nice update on the aesthetics of the original two series, and an antidote to the battleship grey of all post-Star Wars scifi.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:24 PM
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"Fascinating. In my timeline, Khan was Mexican."

Mexican, Persian, Lur, whatever.

Of course, Trekkies know that the character was Indian.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:27 PM
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Or, anyone who knows where someone named 'Singh' is likely to be from, as opposed to hardcore Trekkies only. I suppose strictly Spock should say "In my timeline, he looked Mexican."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:32 PM
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Wikipedia is great on the details for somethings, possibly all huge-nerd things. "Khan" takes you to a disambiguation page but "Khaaan" takes you to Ricardo Montalbán's career-defining role. "Khaan" is apparently a dinosaur.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:33 PM
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As for the current movie, which I liked a lot, I've been describing it this way: "You know those old Star Trek episodes where Kirk and the gang would find themselves placed in situations that resembled, say, the Old West or Gangland Chicago? This is a movie about what would happen if you took the Star Trek crew and dropped them into a modern action movie."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:34 PM
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74: And Khan-with-four-through-six-a's have all been deleted to maintain as canon that Wikipedia mods have no sense of humor.

I'm surprised nobody's brought up their MPDK yet.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:42 PM
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While I'm bitching about the movie, I feel very prissy having this reaction. But it's a fantasy, where the director can do anything he wants. Did the climactic battle really have to kill 50-100K people? It puts a bit of a damper on the "Oh, look, we got a blood sample to save Kirk's life," bit. I mean, the actor's attractive, but I really wasn't fond enough of him to make saving his life all seem worth it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:44 PM
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Ricardo Montalbán's career-defining role

Klingons used fine Corinthian leather?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:45 PM
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MPDK

K car?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:47 PM
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And now the Internet tells me there's no such thing as Corinthian leather. As a thing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:49 PM
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Even before the Greek economy collapsed, everyone in Corinth had cloth seats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:53 PM
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It was always from Newark.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:54 PM
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Montalban has stated that when he first arrived in Hollywood, studios wanted to change his name to Ricky Martin

J.J. Abrams, why don't you imagine that alternate universe?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 1:59 PM
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82: Newark makes, the world re-brands.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:12 PM
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13.1 is great. Why isn't there a book collecting various AWB aphorisms?

I tried to read the article linked in the OP but TLDR syndrome struck.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:20 PM
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OT: One co-worker has asked another co-worker to measure his interpupillary distance. He's using a desk ruler. Maybe I'm just in the pay of Big Optician, but that doesn't seem right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:21 PM
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While I'm bitching about the movie, I feel very prissy having this reaction.

No, I really think it cuts to the heart of what was wrong with the movie throughout. In fact, I don't think I've seen a criticism in this thread that isn't valid.

I still liked it. I mean, not because it nicely paid homage to the old characters, making time amid the din to give them each their little character-driven moments. And certainly not because it was a well-executed action movie. I'm too sophisticated for that stuff. I'm not at all a Trekkie, you understand.

It just seems to me that criticizing Star Trek for not making sense is sort of missing the point. When did it ever?

I liked it because it was willing to explore soft-headed liberal themes at a time when such themes are absent from mass entertainment - as the original series did in its own easily-mocked way.

Yes, Flip is right in 57.last. But still, find me another post-9-11 mass entertainment that says, quite directly, that there's a downside to drones and the abridgement of due process - and that this downside is, specifically, that it makes us into villains.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:30 PM
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It just seems to me that criticizing Star Trek for not making sense is sort of missing the point. When did it ever?

I should think about this hard enough to come up with an answer, because I have a strong feeling that there are two things 'making sense' can mean, and of course Star Trek never 'made sense' in one way, but the 'making sense' that this movie failed to do was in a different category. And I have no problem at all with things that don't 'make sense'(1), but am instantly put off by things that don't 'make sense'(2).

But I'd need to come up with a principled distinction between the two. I mean, simple impossibility goes into sense (1), and I don't mind it at all: elves and fairies and dragons and warp drive and superheroes are fine, as are pseudo-realistic impossibilities like action-movie fight scenes. Sense(2) is for things like: your chief engineer thinks there's a risk the ship may blow up if you use the exciting new classified torpedoes, and there's no way to get around the classification to establish that they're safe, so you accept his resignation and go off merrily with no competent replacement for him? And that makes me lose the next ten minutes of the movie because I'm wrestling with my eyebrow muscles to get my forehead unknotted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:44 PM
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It was amusing that Abrams felt it necessary to dedicate the film to post-911 veterans. Like that's going to fool anyone, you commie bastard.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:45 PM
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88 - You're talking about the whole "willing suspension of disbelief" thing, and as best as I can reckon, it's entirely resistant to debate. These things either work for you or they don't.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:49 PM
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find me another post-9-11 mass entertainment that says, quite directly, that there's a downside to drones and the abridgement of due process - and that this downside is, specifically, that it makes us into villains.

Hmm, Zero Dark Thirty doesn't quite make the cut....


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:50 PM
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But still, find me another post-9-11 mass entertainment that says, quite directly, that there's a downside to drones and the abridgement of due process - and that this downside is, specifically, that it makes us into villains.

Although, it's hard to take this as a fullthroated defense of due process when (a) the consequence of the moral decision is the aforesaid 50K-100K deaths and (b) ultimately, no one actually gets any due process, Khan just gets thrown back in the freezer, with his 72 crewmates who, while they may have committed war-crimes in the past, don't seem to have been properly sentenced to refrigeration sine die.

I wouldn't really criticize it for having bad politics, because it didn't seem to me to be coherent enough to have politics in any meaningful sense. But I wouldn't say it had good politics.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:52 PM
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90: I think there are meaningful distinctions to be drawn around types of WSOD. While what you can tolerate yourself is a matter of taste, you can still break things down into types of things a movie is asking of you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 2:54 PM
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You're talking about the whole "willing suspension of disbelief" thing, and as best as I can reckon, it's entirely resistant to debate. These things either work for you or they don't.

Yeah, but is "these things" a category that includes both "technological impossibility" and "nonsensical character behavior"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 3:07 PM
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93: I absolutely agree. And if it would amuse you to see me develop an argument on those terms, I can give it a go.*

Your case 2 from 88 is no problem whatsoever. You've interpreted that scene uncharitably to the point of being actually inaccurate. Kirk did not, in fact, "go off merrily with no competent replacement." He was able to find a highly competent replacement who, when push came to shove, performed highly competently. From the internal evidence of the story, there's no reason to suppose that Chekov wasn't the second-best person in all of Star Fleet for that task.

*I really liked the movie and furthermore, I really like this kind of discussion of movies. I fully realize that this places me in the top 1% of annoying people and will drop the subject as soon as you get tired of it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 3:15 PM
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So long as you're enjoying yourself, I'll nitpick forever: (1) He blithely ignored Scotty's reasonable-sounding concern -- that is, he didn't have any good reason for thinking the ship wasn't going to blow up when he fired the torpedoes (as it happened, of course, he decided not to fire them and they were full of corpsicles rather than warheads, but that wasn't the plan). This seems incautious to the point of insanity. Chekov's competence is ambiguous, but there's a short conversation after Scotty has resigned where Kirk's telling him he's the chief engineer know that sounded to me like "Hey, Pavel, do you know how to keep this thing running?" "Pwobably, Keptin." Again, surprisingly incautious. (And I know it's supposed to be a character point that Kirk's a hothead, but there's hotheaded and then there's implausibly stupid.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 3:44 PM
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Also, when Scotty sneaks onto the Incredibly-Secret-Ship-With-The-Obviously-Evil-Paint-Job, flying an extra shuttlecraft in with the dozen or so authorized shuttlecraft counts as sneaking? Starfleet has trouble counting other than one, two, three, many?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 3:53 PM
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I haven't seen much of _Bunheads_, but it seems to be the MPDG growing up. Also, she grows up because of a MPDB (who then dies, in best MP no-strigns tradition). Passes the Bechdel Test going away.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 3:57 PM
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97: it's like you've never heard of the Sapir-Worf hypothesis.


Posted by: implied otter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 3:57 PM
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I thought Worf didn't show up until The Next Generation.

The bit where Kirk explains to Spock why he's going to follow the war-criminal superman over to the Obviously-Evil-Ship by quoting Stephen Colbert:

Did you know that you have more nerve endings in your stomach than in your head? Look it up. Now, somebody's gonna say "I did look that up and its wrong." Well, Mister, that's because you looked it up in a book. Next time, try looking it up in your gut. I did. And my gut tells me that's how our nervous system works.

Also threw me a bit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 4:01 PM
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I can't speak to nerve endings but you have a hundred million neurons in your stomach so it must be a lot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 4:14 PM
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Starfleet has trouble counting other than one, two, three, many?

One, two, three, four, hrair.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 4:17 PM
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OT: It is the very definition of "too good to check" (even if I could, which I doubt) whether one is FB friends with the real Steven Seagal, right?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 4:37 PM
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So I'm in Turkey now. Since the government has seemed to crush all of the protests, this leaves me time for the really important observation.

The new Star Trek move motherfucking sucks.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 4:39 PM
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Oh no, did it move to Turkey?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 4:48 PM
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This seems incautious to the point of insanity. Chekov's competence is ambiguous, but there's a short conversation after Scotty has resigned where Kirk's telling him he's the chief engineer know that sounded to me like "Hey, Pavel, do you know how to keep this thing running?" "Pwobably, Keptin." Again, surprisingly incautious.

Hmmm, I haven't seen the movie* but this reminds me of role-playing games. It's pretty common to talk around a plan for a while and get to a point of, "we have serious concerns about whether or not this is workable and it's possible that it will get us all killed, but we have no way to gather necessary information to improve on the plan so we might as well go for it anyway and just count on our ability to improve once things start going wrong."

Also, Chekov has clearly learned from Scotty.

* I was going to wait for it on DVD, but that's okay, I don't mind spoilers.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 4:53 PM
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Yanking 104/5 back on topic, this is a great movie about, among other things, a protagonist who realizes his Turkish-German manic pixie dreamgirl is, in fact, a real person with real issues.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 5:08 PM
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107: I haven't seen that, but Sibel is one of my favorite hot names that I think has crossover appeal but will never get picked up nonetheless. The Turkish vesion of my name is decidedly not in that category, but I still love having a name that translates as a name.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 5:24 PM
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It might get crossover appeal now that that actress is on Game of Thrones. Okay, maybe if she had a bigger role than "Tyrion's mistress, formerly a prostitute."


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 6:01 PM
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It's a pretty substantial role, considering! Also, she's both charming and gorgeous, which doesn't hurt.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 6:06 PM
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107:It's a good movie, but I would say it is a lot, a LOT more complicated than your description. I have watched it maybe three times. Both leads are terrific.

109:Damn I didn't recognize her. Somehow I thought she was shorter. Bad joke.

Another Fatih Akin movie, Edge of Heaven might be even better. Maybe not. Anyway, the search for commitment and forgiveness in the two interweaving stories...there is a sad love story between two women, although I can't remember how sexual it was. One woman is in turkish prison.

It's really good.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 6:17 PM
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And these are two more movies that contributed to my loathing of alcohol.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 6:19 PM
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LB, you're determined here to take a maximally uncharitable view - which, as we've already discussed, is something that's very hard to argue with substantively. The viewer's volition is at the core of what is, after all, the willing suspension of disbelief.

As you say, though, you can still break these things down. Let's do:

I don't get that Chekov is ever presented as incompetent. Rather, he's a bit of a movie cliche - the plucky kid, unsure of himself, given a chance to make good. And he does. To say that Chekov is a known incompetent is entirely unjustified, though he is untested. Certainly it's entirely within Kirk's character to trust a friend rather than collect Starfleet resumes.

As for Scotty's objections to the bombs, Scotty wasn't claiming that they'd destroy the ship - just that he found the risk unacceptable (and, if I recall correctly, a violation of protocol). Kirk's whole thing is taking chances and violating protocol, but this time he's chosen to follow the instructions he's given. The scene with neither of them willing to compromise was pretty great, I thought.

The business about drones and due process wasn't some kind of subtext - it was right up there on the screen - repeated with the Peter Weller character, in case the viewer missed it with Khan. When Kirk has Peter Weller at bay, he doesn't shoot the bastard, he essentially places him under arrest - as good guys do. This attitude is placed in stark contrast to that of Khan.

I mean, Kirk and Spock actually argued about this, and Spock won the argument. It couldn't have been clearer.

To rebut the clear intent of the movie, you say that Khan was ultimately denied due process - but if so, this was so heavily de-emphasized as to have actually taken place offscreen, and it's awfully hard to characterize something that's not in the actual movie. We don't know what process led to Khan's re-popsiclization. We do know, from what was actually onscreen, that Khan and his crew were frozen as a result of the crimes they committed in their time, and that the Weller character revived them prematurely. Did the authorities just send them back to the freezer to finish out their sentences? Seems like a reasonable interpretation, but I don't know because that was left offscreen.

And we can go on in this vein. Scotty sneaks into the bad-guy ship. Did we really need to do 10 minutes of that to explain how he got past 'em? Likewise, the bit about the Arab proverb was a joke. Lighten up!

It's hard not to suspect that your core issue with the movie is that you don't like the whole Star Trek thing, or the action movie thing. Which, god knows, is entirely understandable. But the problems with this movie were largely the problems of Star Trek and action/adventure.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 6:52 PM
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So I'm in Turkey now. Since the government has seemed to crush all of the protests, this leaves me time for the really important observation.

You're just behind the times, man. Egypt is now the new Turkey.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 7:12 PM
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114 - Most people brine Egypt and then put it in the oven, but a few pointless macho types like to deep-fry it.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 7:13 PM
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These things either work for you or they don't.

Someone I knew in college expressed disbelief at Tom Hank's little friend from the suburbs in Big having the money to come in to the city all the time. Definitely the least plausible thing in that movie.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 7:14 PM
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Of course, Trekkies know that the character was Indian.

You sure he wasn't Parsi?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:01 PM
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It's hard not to suspect that your core issue with the movie is that you don't like the whole Star Trek thing, or the action movie thing.

This is like talking about Harry Potter. I nitpick things in categories I'm invested in, not categories I don't care about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:07 PM
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Oh, now I see how to merge the subthreads: isn't it clear that Sherlock is all about Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes playing the MPDG role for Watson? Maybe it's even true of the original stories. Watson comes back from Afghanistan, he's mopey and out-of-sorts, and suddenly his life is transformed by this odd yet dashing young man who whisks him into a life of adventure and mystery.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:16 PM
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The Holmes/Watson relationship in the new series rings pretty true to the one in the books.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:19 PM
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Holmes doesn't exactly make Watson HAPPY.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:20 PM
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121: In either the book or the TV series.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:22 PM
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121: I don't think that's precisely a requirement of the genre, really, except maybe in a fleeting, temporary way.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:22 PM
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Still, Ned has a good point. I can't recall a MPDG who fakes her own death without notice and who reveals they are not dead in such a callous way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:25 PM
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I can't recall a MPDG who fakes her own death without notice and who reveals they are not dead in such a callous way.

Quick, pitch it to a studio exec!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:26 PM
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I don't know a study exec.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 8:33 PM
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I must admit I enjoyed the Star Trek movie. Not the best movie ever, but solidly above average popcorn movie.

That said, I liked it better when it was Alias Season 2.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:06 PM
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I have taken teo's advice and flown to Egypt, so that I am in the best possible position to make this statement. The new Star Trek movie motherfucking sucked.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 1-13 9:57 PM
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I'm going to live-blog the rest of my trip to Turkey.

Today I learned that Turkey is very sunny.

More updates to come.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 3:18 AM
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Turkey grows many olives. And in a big surprise for me, Turkey also grows many hazelnuts.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 3:55 AM
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Turkey is famous for its carpets, though they are very expensive.

No word on the Turkish view of the new Star Trek movie.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 4:00 AM
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107:It's a good movie, but I would say it is a lot, a LOT more complicated than your description. I have watched it maybe three times. Both leads are terrific.

Agreed: a great, complicated movie. The female lead is also in Akin's earlier Im Juli. I used to see the male lead at various known locales in Berlin generally being a hangabout drunkard. Tweety and I saw him one morning at a café while we were on our honeymoon; we were having breakfast and he was having a beer.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 4:53 AM
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It's possible you were both having breakfast in your own ways.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 5:43 AM
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Yes, Flip is right in 57.last. But still, find me another post-9-11 mass entertainment that says, quite directly, that there's a downside to drones and the abridgement of due process - and that this downside is, specifically, that it makes us into villains.

BSG. Not drones per se, but very directly the whole post 9/11 security state and dehumanisation of the enemy.



Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:01 AM
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It's possible you were both having breakfast in your own ways.

There's even a German word for the having of morning breakfast beer: Frühschoppen. I think that necessarily involves a social component though: Duden says it's a geselliger Trunk am Vormittag. If I recall correctly, the guy wasn't alone, but he was the only one drinking.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:16 AM
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Walt, are you in Istanbul? Beyoglu is a very nice neighborhood, good place for dinner and a drink.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:17 AM
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There's even a German word for the having of morning breakfast beer: Frühschoppen.

I was expecting a longer word.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:19 AM
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THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS THREAD.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:21 AM
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I fear my warning may have come too late.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:23 AM
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138 has thread spoilers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:31 AM
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Snape kills Dumbledore.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:34 AM
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140 - Thread is the attenuated remnants of an intelligent and malign species; eventually the Dragonriders develop a weapon to exterminate it and deploy it against the Red Star.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:37 AM
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108: something like Gül, right? I feel like I remember it being a Turkic borrowing in a Bulgarian song ("Jana was Planting Tobacco"...no, really) where she is compared to a little red flower (гюлче червенко). The prof mentioned, somehow in this context, that Turkish has an affix you put on the name of your last child, though I've never confirmed this. I remember thinking Whatever-Gül's name sorta translates to "End-of-the-line Sally."

No word on the Turkish view of the new Star Trek movie

"Delight" is a safe assumption, no?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:38 AM
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It occurred to me this morning that Amy Pond isn't really a MPDG, despite the cringe-inducing "The Girl Who Waited" title. (Also, what is it with British kids' fantasy and boring verbs? "The Boy Who Lived." Oh he lived, did he? Tell me more.) The Impossible Girl shit is definitely bullshit, however.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:44 AM
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143: My guess is that it originally comes from the Persian (same), though it's not as if I know anything about historical linguistic borrowings between Turkish and Bulgarian. As I said in the other place but which will of course be of general interest, apparently it's one of the Turkish words that's been borrowed back into Bosnian in place of the previous Serbo-Croatian standard.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:48 AM
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134: Although it wasn't specifically about drones, there is some similarity with the undercover Cylons--there were a few Cylon suicide missions, right? Since they can just redownload themselves back on their home planets, that ability to do an asymmetric, essentially risk-free strike against the enemy's civilian population is villainous in the same way that drones are.

I miss early BSG. The social commentary really took a dive when it became more about how Bob Dylan plagiarized God.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 7:17 AM
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Oh, while I'm remembering things that annoyed me about the movie's politics -- I can see circumstances where, as a character intended to be a hothead, you might punch someone in the face and then accept their surrender. Accepting their surrender first and then punching them in the face is entirely out of line. I don't think that scene was intended as a political statement about how it's permissible to treat prisoners, I think it was completely thoughtless, but wow did it clang.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 7:24 AM
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BSG: The first two or three seasons were great. The show needed a sense of humor, though.

Anyone watching Defiance on US TV? My kid is into it and I am finding it OK.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 7:35 AM
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||
Dear England-dwellers,
I'm going to be in London next week. I have a conference Wednesday-Saturday, but I could hang out Monday, Tuesday, or Sunday. (July 8, 9, 14). What are you guys doing?
|>


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 7:39 AM
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Season 1 was the only really great one but "how Bob Dylan plagiarized God" was, you know, not to bring up the leaping and the cartilaginous fish, but...a low point.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 8:28 AM
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I thought Bob Dylan turned out to be a Cylon.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 8:41 AM
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151: No, that was God.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 8:50 AM
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152: That makes more sense than the actual canon. Or maybe that is the actual canon. It got a little confusing by the end.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 8:55 AM
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147: I'm on board with that.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:03 AM
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Thanks for the recommendation, lw. I'll try to check it out if I get a chance.

I laughed at 152, and then realized that it was basically true.

I never thought legalization would affect me, but 144 means I have to gay marry Bave now.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:03 AM
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Accepting their surrender first and then punching them in the face is entirely out of line.

Again, I haven't seen the movie, but isn't this somewhat common in comic books -- reflecting a milieu in which punching someone in the face isn't a serious assault (because, everybody's tough), and so it's an acceptable way to express, "the law may satisfy your crimes against everybody else, but I'm punching you in the face as a symbolic way to express my frustrations at the way that you have pissed me off personally."

Incidentally, this was a surprisingly effective thread-jack, I'm surprised that there wasn't more to say about MPDGs.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:11 AM
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I didn't get to see all of the last season and I think I missed the entirety of the one where the humans were held prisoner by cylons or whatever, but I was pretty sure 152 was going to turn out to be true and I'm not sure whether or not it did but I was also just joking.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:12 AM
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156: MPDGs always punch you in the face after you surrender, so that you learn to appreciate the experience of life. They're quirky like that.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:19 AM
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156: Seriously, it's the order of operations. I'm not offended by having the hero punch the villain in the face (at that point, you just avoid action movies): I would have been entirely unfazed by "I surrender" [facepunch], and only then "On behalf of my friend Chris Pike, I accept your surrender." Once you have Kirk say "On behalf of my friend Chris Pike, I accept your surrender," and then start punching after that, you've got him accepting responsibility for treating Khan as a prisoner, and then immediately violating that responsibility.

I'm nitpicking, but it makes it look like either Kirk or the screenwriter simply has no idea what the norms are or why they should be abided by.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:22 AM
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I would have been entirely unfazed by "I surrender" [facepunch], and only then "On behalf of my friend Chris Pike, I accept your surrender."

Okay, yes, that does sound like the better way to handle it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:27 AM
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I haven't seen the new Star Treck movie. Am I correct in assuming that there is no "KHAAAAAAANN!!!" scene?

Because there's no way I'm seeing the movie if there isn't one.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:29 AM
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Oh, of course there is. Any line you remember from WoK, they rearrange so someone else says it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:34 AM
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Jesus. I need to go on a meditation retreat or something. I'm completely unfocused on work, not paying attention to the news, zoning out with family, and the longest connected train of thought I've managed in a while is all the things that are wrong with a Star Trek movie. Most of which I could probably have guessed without going to see it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:37 AM
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It's a good movie, but I would say it is a lot, a LOT more complicated than your description. I have watched it maybe three times. Both leads are terrific.
...
Agreed: a great, complicated movie.

Right, I didn't want to imply that "Head On" was just a MPDG rom-com or something. What I was trying to say is that it took a character who had a number of the outward characteristics of MPDG-dom--quirky, free-spirited, strangely willing to put up with a grumpy sourpuss--but treated her as, well, a real character, with her own problems and interiority. It was in some sense the anti-MPDG movie, especially because it doesn't have the usual "she saves him then conveniently disappears" ending.

I liked "Edge of Heaven," but it didn't resonate for me the same way that "Head On" did. I love that movie.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 9:59 AM
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I think MPDG is a completely bogus concept that exists because people are made anxious by the existence of romance movies where men are the protagonists looking for love.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 10:00 AM
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166

Head on, apply directly to the forehead?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 10:04 AM
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I'm nitpicking, but it makes it look like either Kirk or the screenwriter simply has no idea what the norms are or why they should be abided by.

See, I don't find this a nitpick at all. I'll only offer that this incident is mitigated a bit by the fact that Kirk already had a pretty good idea that Khan was superhuman and wasn't likely to be hurt. But I regard that as a nitpick.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 10:06 AM
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161: I don't want to spoil it for you.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 10:09 AM
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you've got him accepting responsibility for treating Khan as a prisoner, and then immediately violating that responsibility.

Their just trying slowly acclimate the audience to the way things work in this new version of the Federation.

In the next movie Kirk will be ordering mass executions of prisoners and Spock will have a goatee.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 10:25 AM
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When I saw the trailer for the new movie, I sort of thought the mirror-universe with the goatee was where they were headed. You're telling me they aren't all wearing agonizers?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 10:28 AM
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The field-gray dress uniforms with caps had me a bit concerned, stylistic linkages-wise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 10:35 AM
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171 - I think Abrams' militaristic approach to this movie was exculpated in two ways: His explicit acknowledgment that the alternate universe was more militaristic than it ought to be - "We're supposed to be explorers," Scottie says. And the fact that he ends the movie (SPOILER ALERT) by putting the franchise on track with the beginning of the series, and thus, presumably, places it back in a Roddenberrian setting.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 11:19 AM
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I've been chewing on 165 and I don't think it stands. The problem with the MPDG isn't that she's being sought by a man, it's that she's being sought as an unpaid tutor and he will find *true* love with someone else (possibly his Art). Which makes the MPDG kind of like lots of Travis McGee's girlfriends (conquests?), or possibly like the Tragic Mulatto, or a soubrette/vivandiere/shepherdess/second ballerina as represented in operetta.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 5:04 PM
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Oh god. Soubrette as MPDG. Now I have to think about this.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 5:21 PM
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I also think of the novel _The Murderee_, in which the heroine longs to be murdered, so the cracking-loose of the hero/reader can be really, you know, intense without guilt. And there was a movie, I think.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 6:18 PM
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Hey you know what's a good book? I'll tell you. Barley Patch by Gerald Murnane.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 7:00 PM
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175: Is is murder if you're literally asking for it?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 2-13 7:06 PM
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