Re: Guest Post - Toppest of Guns

1

I think Goose was married to Meg Ryan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 7:55 AM
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I've never seen it!

I'm just slightly surprised -- I think of you as being approximately the right age for it* and more plugged into pop culture than most of the commentariat.


* Are you just a couple years too young to have seen it in the theater? Honestly, I can't remember if I saw it in the theater or no.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 7:57 AM
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I think Goose was married to Meg Ryan.

I hadn't remembered that, but it's mentioned in the Vox essay:

There are only two women in this film: a bitch and a bimbo. Maybe I was supposed to see myself in the love interest Charlie, the no-nonsense Our Lady of Perpetual Shoulder Pads, or her character foil Carole, Meg Ryan's bubbly blonde airhead, but these characters didn't land for me. Their motivations seemed to pivot around their men. Carole appears as a device to ground Goose and double down on Maverick's grief when he sees a family torn apart by his antics.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 7:58 AM
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I guess this explains why Bananarma has been on the radio lately.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 7:58 AM
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Bizarrely, given its politics, it has Tim Robbins in it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 7:59 AM
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Certainly we can all agree that this demonstrates that air-to-air combat tactics have not changed in the last 30 years.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:00 AM
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It has that line about having the need for speed, right? I've never seen it either.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:01 AM
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Tim Robbins was in Top Gun? That is bizarre.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:01 AM
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They needed speed so much, they waxed their chests for aerodynamic purposes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:02 AM
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Also, the important bit of the movie that heebie missed was the sweaty, oiled-up volleyball scene.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:02 AM
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11

Any thinkpiece-y reflections on Top Gun were surely covered adequately by Quentin Tarantino's monologue in Sleep With Me and needn't be revisited ever again by anyone.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:03 AM
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I think of it as the cinematic equivalent of the invasion of Granada.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:04 AM
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I remember the life sized cardboard figure of Tom Cruise that was in the lobby of the movie theater I worked in when Top Gun came out. One of the girls who worked there took it home, I believe.

I'm not sure whether or not I should be surprised that the director of Top Gun also directed The Hunger. I suppose not.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:04 AM
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You could probably argue that Tony Scott is kind of a genius, in his own way.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:04 AM
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12: Spain had it coming.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:06 AM
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11: I never saw that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:06 AM
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I'm not sure whether or not I should be surprised that the director of Top Gun also directed The Hunger.

One of the lines that made me chuckle in the "Honest Trailer" is: "Directed by the guy who did Blade Runner and Aliens . . . brother."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:06 AM
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Seconding 11.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:07 AM
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I found it on the internet. 11 is probably right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:08 AM
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10 was what I immediately thought heebie needed to know about Top Gun.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:08 AM
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I've never seen the movie either and I'll bet people won't recommend weird greasy volleyball as a selling point. I've ridden the Top Gun roller coaster, though, so I think that counts as participation.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:11 AM
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12: SpainCoronation Street had it coming.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:13 AM
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In the 80s, the well-groomed gentleman carefully applied a coat of grease to himself before social events. Fortunately, in the 90s you only needed to let your hair get a bit greasy and you could call yourself presentable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:14 AM
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Tim Robbins was in Top Gun? That is bizarre.

IIRC he plays Tom Cruise's co-pilot, the one who takes over after Goose gets killed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:15 AM
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I remember the life sized cardboard figure of Tom Cruise that was in the lobby of the movie theater I worked in when Top Gun came out. One of the girls who worked there took it home

...in her handbag.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:17 AM
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12: Actually, they called it a "reconquista"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:17 AM
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I looked it up. He plays the Goose-equivalent to the pilot in the opening sequence who turns in his wings after the initial confrontation with the Russians.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:18 AM
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I used to regard Top Gun as delightfully diverting entertainment. Then I read a profile of Kelly McGillis about her experience of sexual assault (prior to the movie), and her tumultuous and wrenching attempts to come to terms with her sexuality (she's at peace now, but wasn't during Top Gun), and I couldn't suspend my disbelief in the same way. Grrr.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:19 AM
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27 to 24. And they aren't co-pilots but "Radar Intercept Officers".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:19 AM
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I'm surprised you haven't seen it! I was too young to see it in theaters but for some reason it was crazily popular in high school, almost a decade after it came out.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:21 AM
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For Kelly McGillis followers, she was good in 2011's The Innkeepers.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:21 AM
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You could probably argue that Tony Scott is kind of a genius, in his own way.

If you were Tony Scott and really high on coke, sure.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:22 AM
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But you repeat yourself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:22 AM
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27: same guy.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:24 AM
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35

Obligatory.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:25 AM
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36

Oh. I didn't read the whole plot summary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:25 AM
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I feel the need ... to quote Quentin Tarantino's speech about this movie.

"You can ride! My! Tail! Anytime!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:27 AM
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I think I was 8 when it came out, and then in middle school and high school I enjoyed barking "NEVER SAW IT!" more than I felt like actually seeing it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:27 AM
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The essay is interesting in admiring the bullshit machismo performance.

"To that end, Maverick is interesting because his confidence is a big fat lie."

American tough guys had to break down and cry after Paul Newman made it sexy in the late 50s. Mifune and Nakadai don't fucking cry.

Oh, how I hated Top Gun. Oh in that era how I hated the Cruise of Bartender or whatever and race cars. Still mostly hate Cruise.

The competition, the contrasting movie of that era is of course Officer and a Gentleman in which tough guy Gere breaks down and cries. And gets Debra Winger rather than Kelly whatshername. Gere and his movies are much more interesting and attractive.

Cruise is American sickness made flesh.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:29 AM
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Tom Cruise was great in Tropic Thunder, which does not actually argue against him being American sickness made flesh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:31 AM
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Goddammit you guys! If it hadn't been for those meddling kids and their stupid dog I would have gotten away with it too!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:31 AM
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42

Not as good as The Battle of Britain.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:33 AM
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43

I'm sort of tempted to watch this bizarre sounding Chinese propaganda film remake of Top Gun.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:34 AM
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44

American tough guys had to break down and cry after Paul Newman made it sexy in the late 50s. Mifune and Nakadai don't fucking cry.

bob, you ignorant slut.

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/203404/Seven-Samurai-The-Movie-Clip-Stop-Crying-.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:37 AM
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45

Tony Scott got a reassessment sometime after Man on Fire and is now considered a very good tough-guy-movie maker. I think as good as Ridley, who is overrated based on a couple fan favorites.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:37 AM
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46

Love Cruise, but not enough that I've bothered to see the movie.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:39 AM
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21: It's beautifully homoerotic. Really, it's amazing. Even if you don't want to ogle the six-packs.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:39 AM
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45 is true. Man on Fire and Deja Vu are really good.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:41 AM
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Mifune is not the tough guy in Seven Samurai, more the fool, the fucking Horst Buchholz part for fucksake. Disastrous miscasting totally ruined the movie.

Takashi Shimura doesn't fucking cry. Okay, maybe Ikiru.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:43 AM
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American tough guys had to break down and cry after Paul Newman made it sexy in the late 50s

I would have blamed James Dean (if I thought there was any blame attached). I remember watching Rebel Without a Cause with an audience of fellow college students in the 1980s and Dean's over-the-top emoting provoked quite a lot of laughter.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:45 AM
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Ah, nothing encapsulates the internet of 2016 more than a billion messy thinkpieces about a mediocre piece of pop culture that came out a generation ago. Navels, prepare for gazing.

11 nails it.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:47 AM
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The essay is interesting in admiring the bullshit machismo performance.

Glad you read it, it seems like the sort of thing you would like.

Oh, how I hated Top Gun.

I don't remember having strong feelings about Top Gun per se. It didn't make that much of an impression on me. But at some point I began to reflexively think of it as terrible -- as a exemplar of a certain sort of brainless pop-culture hegemony.

What was interesting to me about the various links was that they made clear that it may be that, but it's also weird in its own (homoerotic) ways. It's kind of interesting to see that even something which seems to only exist* for the sake of a stupidly iconic image, still has enough substance to it to be able to mock it, make fun of it, or take it seriously.

*

Everything about Top Gun's color-by-numbers patriotism was purposeful. In fact, as Tom Shone details in his film history book Blockbuster, the idea for the movie was born when producer Jerry Bruckheimer glanced at California magazine and saw a photograph of a hotshot pilot.

That was it. There was no story beyond "guy looks great in his sweet fighter jet." The accompanying article was about the Navy's training school in Miramar, and Bruckheimer thought it looked something like "Star Wars on Earth"; that piece was called "Top Guns," and lo, an iconic action movie was born.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:49 AM
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53

In 5 years do we have to be subjected to a hundred dissections of Hot Shots, too?

This has been brought to you by My Lawn, Get Off of It


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:49 AM
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54

Hot Shots was a great movie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:50 AM
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13.1 is hilarious to me.

43 "I am playing the game of air cobras"!

My father was a Grummanite and worked on the F-14 so this movie was a pretty big deal in my parts but I could never stand it. It was like jocks and everything I hated except F-14s which are cool. So a bit conflicted. Thank god for punk rock and Repo Man and which prevented Top Gun becoming the film of my generation.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:51 AM
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Wasn't it Top Gun that introduced (popularized?) the phrase "bodacious ta-tas"?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:52 AM
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American tough guys had to break down and cry after Paul Newman made it sexy in the late 50s.

And then Tom Cruise appeared with Newman in The Color of Money.

Coincidence?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:53 AM
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It's just struck me that there were only 15 years between "The Battle of Britain" and "Top Gun". Cinema moved fast in the 1970s.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:55 AM
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56: How about "wingman" in the bro-sense? Or is that obvious?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:56 AM
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Top Gun is one of the many movies from that period I saw on VHS, never in a theater. I'd read think pieces on the old video rental market.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:56 AM
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Ack re my 57: It was "Officer and a Gentleman."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:56 AM
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62

56 even.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:57 AM
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Mifune is not the tough guy in Seven Samurai, more the fool, the fucking Horst Buchholz part for fucksake. Disastrous miscasting totally ruined the movie.

Nevertheless, you said "Mifune doesn't cry" and then it took me literally ten seconds to find a clip of him doing it, in what is arguably the most famous film he ever made. This is "Miyazaki never made a film set outside Japan" all over again, isn't it?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:58 AM
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My father was a Grummanite...

It really is great the way America has managed to accommodate so many religious minorities.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:59 AM
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65

I think when people who haven't seen it hear that Top Gun is homoerotic they tend to think that means it's a bunch of men who are really obsessed with being masculine and a lot of homosociality and so on. And when I actually watched it (not that long ago!) it is (constantly, overwhelmingly) that. But also practically every interaction between Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise looks about like this. I think Val Kilmer may have just gotten bored on set and decided to how far he could push it before Tom Cruise noticed.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:00 AM
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52 reminds me of something I read, I think maybe on TVTropes. At first, the naval aviators who came in to advise of Top Gun were patiently explaining that aerial combat didn't work even remotely like what the filmmakers had in mind. And the response from Bruckheimer and Scott was something like "Look, do you want the Navy to look cool or not?" The advisors were convinced.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:07 AM
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I'm not sure Kilmer was pushing anything. The 80s were a different time. Lots of movies seem, in retrospect, obviously homoerotic when they seemed more or less normal at the time. Like Lost Boys.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:07 AM
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"Like Lost Boys"

Not to mention Fright Night.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:09 AM
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I'm not convinced that the '80s were long enough ago for the 'they're probably not boning despite what he did there' rules for watching movies from the '40s to apply.

The dialogue in the movie probably is only sort of accidentally homoerotic, sure, but seriously look at the way Kilmer delivers those lines. That's not remotely "oh people acted differently easily within the lifespan of almost everyone reading this" level stuff.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:16 AM
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70

The MTV commercial where Sigmund Freud analyzed the "Cherry Pie" video was the point at which self-awareness started to come in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:17 AM
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71

What. The. Fuck. My wife hasn't seen Top Gun. My marriage might be a sham.


Posted by: Jammies | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:18 AM
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72

Also a lot of the 'times were different back then' arguments for movies turn out later to have just meant 'people who weren't in the know didn't see how homoerotic that was but boy did the people who were and it was definitely meant that way'.

A lot of the stuff that people point to about it (the volleyball scene with the song about how great it is to play with the boys) are homoerotic but mostly in the 'male gaze for men of any persuasion' sense. If Iceman had been played by a woman people would have instantly assumed that the two of them were about to start boning.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:19 AM
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65: I'm just happy to see "notorious" used correctly in a mainstream entertainment.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:19 AM
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74

My marriage might be a sham.

Good news, guys, we don't have to tell him. He figured it out on his own.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:20 AM
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75

seriously look at the way Kilmer delivers those lines

It reminds me of Vidal's story about Ben Hur in The Celluloid Closet:

"You talk to Boyd. Don't say _anything_ to Heston."

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:23 AM
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I just saw that. Maybe if Heston had waxed his chest, he wouldn't have been enslaved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:24 AM
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The film relations unit of the Navy is pretty amazing, according to what I've heard. You want to do something in Hollywood that promotes the Navy? Those guys are ON IT, will fly you to aircraft carriers, give you uniforms, tips, pointers, props, ideas, uniforms, whatever you need. It's a propaganda unit but they've now got what, 75 years experience and are really good at it.

As for Top Gun I saw it in the theater as a kid and remember thinking it was OK but too over the top with things like the motorcycle/Danger Zone ride. Also confusing because how were these guys not starting WWIII? But now its OTT 80s-ishness is the only reason anyone remembers it, if it were just a good action movie about guys in planes no one would think about it at all.

Firefox where Clint Eastwood steals the Soviet super-plane was a presecessor, and who remembers that movie.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:25 AM
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I do. Eastwood had to control the plane by thinking in Russian because the plane was both fly-by-thought and Russian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:28 AM
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Nit pickin semi-humorous hyperbole...god what an asshole.

Am I really your purpose for living, ajay? Do you consider tour contribution to humanity? You are honestly one of the most pathetic characters I have ever met.

Do you really think your contributions to this thread are more interesting than mine? Does everybody admire your corrections? Fuck it.

FWIW, I have been revisiting the 80s version of Man on Fire with Scott Glenn and Jade Malle in the leads. Tony Scott's epic grandiosity is part of his charm, but the original, with actual marine Glenn and 12-yr-old Malle, although less competent, has a lot more intimate charm and personal violence.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:29 AM
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And I don't think the homoeroticism was invisible at the time exactly, more sort of willfully ignored as part of the fun. Like the UFC today.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:29 AM
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WWF was way more homoerotic than UFC could possibly be.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:32 AM
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Am I really your purpose for living, ajay?

We just had a thread on that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:32 AM
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83

No homoeroticism in 80s movies subthread would be complete without a mention of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. Long known among fans of the series as "the gay one".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:33 AM
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I think we've discussed this before, in the context of the Olivia Newton-John Physical video: when homosexuality was more underground, mainstream entertainment could be way more gay without being read as gay, because gay didn't officially exist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:34 AM
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Am I really your purpose for living, ajay?

Mouseover!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:35 AM
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65: Uhh, that's only part Kilmer, a lot of that is Scott filming the over Cruise's shoulder shots of Kilmer really fucking close compared to the other shots. And making Kilmer look big compared to Cruise.

One of the many movies that helped me think Cruise was gay. Also DeMornay and Lea Thompson sneering at Cruise during their sex scenes.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:37 AM
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75 is great.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:39 AM
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88

Also, the firm that recruited me for my job seems to have completely neglected to coordinate with the place I'll actually be working, so I showed up to work yesterday and no one was expecting me. So I'm sitting at home getting paid this week and actually working next week.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:40 AM
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And Monday is a holiday.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:44 AM
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90

In other words, plenty of time to wax your chest before you start work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:44 AM
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75 is indeed great.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:47 AM
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92

I just noticed the e-mail address that Jammies used in 71 . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 9:50 AM
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Nice catch.

88: Relevant Seinfeld


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 10:25 AM
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92: No, Jammies, no! It would be too much trauma for us. The stress is already taking its toll -- see how bob and ajay are fighting.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 10:29 AM
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And making Kilmer look big compared to Cruise.

Val Kilmer is nearly half a foot taller than Cruise, who in real life is a very small man. The movie actually uses a lot of trickery and camera angles to disguise that, and in a couple cases just has him standing on something out of the shot to make him look around the same height as other people in the movie.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:05 AM
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I would agree, though, that in that clip, either the director wasn't working hard to make them look the same size, or if he was trying it didn't work. (And given that it's all close shots, it should have been easy to cheat.) Kilmer is really looming over Cruise there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:08 AM
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Yeah, but five inches worth of looming?

In real life 6' Val Kilmer standing right up against 5'6" Cruise and staring straight ahead would be making lingering, seductive looks at his hair. Cruise comes off as shorter, bu the camera still looks to me like it's working to keep their faces mostly even.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:13 AM
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Yeah, but five inches worth of looming?

That's about average, isn't it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:15 AM
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The movie actually uses a lot of trickery and camera angles to disguise that, and in a couple cases just has him standing on something out of the shot to make him look around the same height as other people in the movie.

The first link in the OP has some fun with that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:19 AM
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It's the cuts back and forth between the eyes that make that look like a romantic scene -- it's basically how every meet cute scene is shot, with Cruise clearly in the woman's role. Distance between the two is shortened and it's cut to look like they are staring into each others' eyes. The script clearly wanted this to be a conventional Iceman/school bully intimidates Maverick/protagonist-scrappy hero, and my guess is that this is how both actors thought they were were playing it. But Tony Scott shoots it just like a romance scene.

nb, the foregoing could be total bullshit, but it feels right.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:28 AM
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There's probably not as much difference as one might like in movies between heterosexual romance and intimidation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:31 AM
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100: We should probably just go ahead and cut+paste Tarantino's rant:

Sid: You want subversion on a massive level. You know what one of the greatest fucking scripts ever written in the history of Hollywood is? Top Gun.

Duane: Oh, come on.

Sid: Top Gun is fucking great. What is Top Gun? You think it's a story about a bunch of fighter pilots.

Duane: It's about a bunch of guys waving their dicks around.

Sid: It is a story about a man's struggle with his own homosexuality. It is! That is what Top Gun is about, man. You've got Maverick, all right? He's on the edge, man. He's right on the fucking line, all right? And you've got Iceman, and all his crew. They're gay, they represent the gay man, all right? And they're saying, go, go the gay way, go the gay way. He could go both ways.

Duane: What about Kelly McGillis?

Sid: Kelly McGillis, she's heterosexuality. She's saying: no, no, no, no, no, no, go the normal way, play by the rules, go the normal way. They're saying no, go the gay way, be the gay way, go for the gay way, all right? That is what's going on throughout that whole movie... He goes to her house, all right? It looks like they're going to have sex, you know, they're just kind of sitting back, he's takin' a shower and everything. They don't have sex. He gets on the motorcycle, drives away. She's like, "What the fuck, what the fuck is going on here?" Next scene, next scene you see her, she's in the elevator, she is dressed like a guy. She's got the cap on, she's got the aviator glasses, she's wearing the same jacket that the Iceman wears. She is, okay, this is how I gotta get this guy, this guy's going towards the gay way, I gotta bring him back, I gotta bring him back from the gay way, so I'll do that through subterfuge, I'm gonna dress like a man. All right? That is how she approaches it. Okay, now let me just ask you - I'm gonna digress for two seconds here. I met this girl Amy here, she's like floating around here and everything. Now, she just got divorced, right? All right, but the REAL ending of the movie is when they fight the MIGs at the end, all right? Because he has passed over into the gay way. They are this gay fighting fucking force, all right? And they're beating the Russians, the gays are beating the Russians. And it's over, and they fucking land, and Iceman's been trying to get Maverick the entire time, and finally, he's got him, all right? And what is the last fucking line that they have together? They're all hugging and kissing and happy with each other, and Ice comes up to Maverick, and he says, "Man, you can ride my tail, anytime!" And what does Maverick say? "You can ride mine!" Swordfight! Swordfight! Fuckin' A, man!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:35 AM
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If Iceman had been played by a woman people would have instantly assumed that the two of them were about to start boning.

101 to this and 100.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:35 AM
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That was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:35 AM
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I don't for a second believe that heebie has never seen Top Gun.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:45 AM
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I haven't either.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:46 AM
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That's less surprising.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:47 AM
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105: Is it your belief that she forgot she saw it or that she's lying?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:47 AM
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I've believed for many seconds that heebie has never seen Top Gun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:47 AM
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I haven't ever sat down and watched it with attention -- my main memory of it was someone in college using it to test their speaker setup, and I was wandering in and out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:47 AM
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108: "lying" is a strong word. Let's call it "joking."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:49 AM
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110: you are not the same age as heebie, and you grew up in Manhattan. She grew up in Florida.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:50 AM
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Firefox where Clint Eastwood steals the Soviet super-plane was a presecessor, and who remembers that movie.

More people than remember Iron Eagle and its 3 sequels.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:52 AM
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111: So, is your theory that heebie posted 71?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:52 AM
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Wait, is Top Gun a Florida thing?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:53 AM
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115: No, it's an American thing.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:54 AM
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And Manhattan isn't really America.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:55 AM
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117: Who's Captain Obvious now?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:56 AM
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Moby?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:56 AM
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Fine, but it will irk LB.


Posted by: Captain Obvious | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 11:57 AM
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I'm mostly pre-irked these days.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 12:01 PM
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Then I'm good.


Posted by: Captain Obvious | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 12:02 PM
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Are we still guessing who?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 12:06 PM
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Yes.


Posted by: Captain Obvious | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 12:06 PM
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I think I'm the same age as heebie, AND I grew up not that far from where Top Gun is set, and I've never seen it. But I saw almost no movies before like the mid 90s or so. I kind of feel like it might be one of those films where if I tried to watch it now it would be too late for me to enjoy (see e.g., Star Wars, Pretty Woman, Gremlins).


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 12:08 PM
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It's gotta be you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 12:08 PM
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And jms is also married to Jammies. Or maybe that's what jms stands for.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 12:09 PM
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Should I point out who 126 is directed at?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 12:09 PM
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I've never seen Top Gun. I'm about 5 years younger than Heebie, FWIW. Although after reading this thread I kind of want to. And I'm going to try a lot harder than usual to follow the links here, particularly in 11. (I do a lot of my Unfogged reading at work, and can't go to YouTube here.) I had no idea a work of that name existed, but the fact that it does, and features a monologue by Tarantino, sounds awesome.

I have seen Hot Shots, along with several other ZAZ movies (which now that I look it up is a broader, looser body of work than I thought), and have fond memories of several of them. Shame they've become wingnuts, though.

Other than that, I'm more familiar with Top Gun's music. In addition to the very famous "Take My Breath Away," "Danger Zone" got me through a flying minigame in a MMORPG one time.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:16 PM
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I've never seen Gremlins. Or Tremors.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:28 PM
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What kind of a monster are you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:29 PM
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Has anyone here seen The Beastmaster?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:31 PM
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I've actually seen Tremors. It's 100% a great movie, you should watch it.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:32 PM
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Gremlins wasn't bad or anything, but not in the same league as Tremors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:37 PM
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132: One of the greatest movies of all time. The man was literally infested with rats.

I watched that one evening in high school with my father, and we were both literally weeping with laughter for most of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:38 PM
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re: 32

I think it takes a certain kind of talent to make that kind of big dumb movie. It's not the kind of movie I think is actually good, but a lot of people try and fail.

Not that I'd got to the mat trying to defend Tony Scott. Like that famous* quote about Ringo Starr, he's not even the best director in the Scott family.

* but in the case of Starr, not correct.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:38 PM
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135.1: I think those were ferrets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:39 PM
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136.1 reminds me of Pearl Harbor. I don't understand how somebody took something that eventful and made that bad of a movie about it. Even with Ben Affleck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:41 PM
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I really liked the creepy guys who hugged you in their bat wings and left nothing but a pile of bones.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:43 PM
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Beastmaster was indeed awesome.

Fantasy movies in the 80s had issues. Although Conan The Barbarian was pretty good.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:45 PM
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137: When they're living in your loincloth, they're rats.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:49 PM
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136.1 is true. Even Michael Bay* is obviously good at what he does.**
*Who tried to join the Navy after seeing Top Gun. Make of that what you will.
**Idly watched Pain and Gain without knowing anything about it, and was stunned to see Bay in the credits. It's actually pretty good. Totally OTT, but so is the source material.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 1:50 PM
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141: After I publish Moby's guide to parenting, I'm going to publish LB's guide to animal identification.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:01 PM
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If your loins are big enough to hide ferrets, flaunt it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:07 PM
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1) Smaller than a breadbox, with a fluffy tail: squirrel.
2) Smaller than a breadbox, with wings: pigeon.
3) Smaller than a breadbox, other: rat.
4) Larger than a breadbox, with collar: dog.
5) Larger than a breadbox, without collar: what the hell is that, and what is it doing in Manhattan?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:11 PM
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It's a t-shirt.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:13 PM
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'It's happened' I panted 'There's a Lion in my living room'
'I'm afraid any discussion would have no value' he hung up



Posted by: Opinionated Allen Ginsberg | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:17 PM
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Tremors was indeed awesome. I saw part of Tremors 2 and it didn't live up. But they keep making them--5 just came out last year. Anybody seen any of the sequels?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:28 PM
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I never had the impression that Top Gun was an action movie, or a movie for boys. Val Kilmer? Pretty boy. Tom Cruise? Pretty boy. "Take My Breath Away"? Song for girls. Kenny Loggins? Music for people born in the 60s.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:45 PM
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No Pain No Gain is kind of infuriating because it makes clear that if he wanted to Michael Bay could make movies that are actually fun and not painful*, but he chooses not to.

For a long time his action-y movies - especially Transformers but also a bunch of the other ones - might as well have been commissioned by the US armed forces. For one of the Transformers movies they literally scheduled some mission so they'd be in the right place when he was filming some scene. That's why they seem so aggressively propagandist about it (to the point where I suspect they're counterproductive because eventually the leaving-a-plane-on-a-military-base-in-slow-motion stuff goes on for so long that you start resenting it). I think now he's started pandering to China hard enough that he's had to cut down on some of that.


*I guess also that "Aaron Burr" milk ad from the '90s.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:48 PM
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2) Smaller than a breadbox, with wings: pigeon.

You might want to try bigger bread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:56 PM
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148: I've seen 2 and 3. They weren't bad, but 4 was not something I could finish with my post-child attention span. I haven't seen 5.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:56 PM
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I saw Top Gun, but my main association with it was the family friend who called me "Maverick", because the first time he came to our house he saw me playing some flight simulator game where I was trying to land a plane on a carrier.

Fortunately, I don't resent the comparison with Tom Cruise that much.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:58 PM
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Honestly, Kevin Bacon is probably worth the money.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 2:59 PM
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145

Where do we fit in? What is it about you folks? Size-ism, stripe-ism? Racism?

Gonna eat all your plants, you oppressors.

By the way, fill the damn bird feeder.


Posted by: OPINIONATED CHIPMUNK | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 3:15 PM
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Plants?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 4:46 PM
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Wasn't Top Gun the source of "Take my Breath Away"? I have such vivid memories of awkward, unhappy slow dances in a middle school cafeteria to that song, and that's about my only association. VALUE SUBTRACTED.

I did just watch the first 20 minutes of Ishtar because some article somewhere tugged on my sleeve and insisted it's an overlooked masterpiece or anyway an unfairly maligned reasonably funny movie. The first 20 minutes are slightly funny but nothing to write home about, much as I love Elaine May.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 5:27 PM
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All your bulbs and roots are belong to us!


Posted by: OPINIONATED CHIPMUNK | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 5:48 PM
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You will pay for this slight, mortal.

Ooh, sunbeam.


Posted by: Felis catus | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 6:05 PM
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When they're living in your loincloth, they're rats.

Weasels, surely.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 7:46 PM
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"Well we're movin' on up, to the east leg.
To a deluxe compartment by the thigh."


Posted by: Opinionated George the Weasel | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:06 PM
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Nice. WEAZY!


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 8:31 PM
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I did see Top Gun, no idea when or why. My main association with it is the Alexander Cockburn piece in this book, the text of which may be partially readable if you search for "Top Gun." Can the weapons designer he spoke to really have said all this?

Back in Washington, D.C., I had a long talk with a weapons designer. 'One thing the public isn't going to learn from Top Gun,' he remarked finally, 'is that the F-14 is sluggish and poor performing. So what you have here is a $50 milion fighter defending a $5 billion carrier, which is already being defended by $10-$15 billions' worth of escort ships, and so the carrier's main mission in life is to defend itself. It has only got thirty planes on board which can harm the enemy, and all that these attack planes -- A-6s and F-18s -- can do is drop bombs, that is, attack villages and cities, stiffen the enemy's will to resist and lengthen any war. It's true enough that the guys at Top Gun are pretty skillful, but even so, on the one hand, they've gone back to the long-range Phoenix radar missile, and on the other, a gross overemphasis on head-on encounters, which is not the way combat happens. So the pilots are being taught to fly a total turkey of a fighter and being given totally inadequate equipment. And they're flying from a floating fortress that's as obsolete as cavalry, and which will be at the bottom of the sea in the first three days of any war.'
But the 80s were a different time, it is true. That's when Petraeus wrote his doctoral dissertation at Princeton.
Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 10:06 PM
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22 - very funny. I'm still grinning.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-24-16 10:56 PM
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It has only got thirty planes on board which can harm the enemy, and all that these attack planes -- A-6s and F-18s -- can do is drop bombs, that is, attack villages and cities, stiffen the enemy's will to resist and lengthen any war

I am pretty sure that Cockburn made that up. If he's saying that fighters are no good because all they can do is defend themselves and their carrier, and ground-attack is no good because all it can do is drop bombs, which are useless or even counterproductive, he is basically saying "planes? what good are they?" which would be an extremely heterodox opinion for someone in the weapons business.

The "sluggish" thing sounds like Boyd; the F-14 was a big missile truck with a big radar and long-range missiles, rather than a small dogfighter. But that's a good thing to be: 80% or more of air combat victories are scored by the person who sees his opponent first and shoots first, and him being able to turn at 9G or whatever doesn't really matter because missiles can turn at 20G or 30G.

By the time Cockburn wrote that, by the way, it was perfectly obvious to anyone in the business that the F-14 wasn't a turkey, because the Iranians had been flying them in combat for the previous five years against Iraq, with stunning success - a combat exchange ratio of better than 20 to 1. So Cockburn and his weapons designer (if he existed) were completely full of shit.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:51 AM
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136.1 is true. Even Michael Bay* is obviously good at what he does.**

He's good at making money for his bosses (and presumably himself). But he's a pretty terrible action director, or at least he has been since, say Bad Boys 2. His action sequences are impossible to follow, even putting aside all his other failings as an artist and a human being.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 2:34 AM
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Wasn't Top Gun the source of "Take my Breath Away"? I have such vivid memories of awkward, unhappy slow dances in a middle school cafeteria to that song, and that's about my only association.

It was also in some car ad that was on TV all the time in my childhood. Probably because of Top Gun, though.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 2:40 AM
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re: 166

Yeah. I think 'The Rock' is a genuine classic of its kind, but after that, no. The common factor in his better films is Simpson/Bruckheimer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 2:41 AM
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I like The Rock, but I also blame it for Nic Cage turning from interesting character actor (even if that character was himself) in a bunch of cool movies into not very interesting action star in a bunch of terrible movies. But, to be fair, maybe his craziness and need for cash to burn is as much to blame.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 2:44 AM
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"The Rock" has a special place in my heart, not least because it's basically the last-ever Sean Connery James Bond film. Plus I have managed to get through remarkably unpleasant experiences by remarking, at the psychologically crucial moment, "Well, this is certainly turning out to be more interesting than my average day".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 2:48 AM
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165 and previous.

A lot of people in the defense industry will tell you that "planes" are mostly useless, and especially fighters (the F35 comes in for a ton of criticism). They've said that for years.

However they are starting to change their tune a bit now that the Russians and Chinese are developing new top-of-the-line aircraft. On the other hand, the tune isn't about new manned fighters and such, but about remotely guided drones.

Cockburn is famous for his confidential quoted sources saying exactly what Cockburn himself believes. The idea that bombing doesn't work, for example, has unfortunately been refuted multiple times, most recently almost every day in Syria.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 3:44 AM
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A lot of people in the defense industry will tell you that "planes" are mostly useless, and especially fighters (the F35 comes in for a ton of criticism). They've said that for years.

They'll certainly tell you that specific individual planes are useless. I'm not sure too many of them will tell you that the entire concept of air-superiority fighters is useless, unless they mean useless in specific circumstances - not much need for fighters in Afghanistan, for example. "The manned fighter is obsolete, in place of it we will use missiles" was silly in 1957 when Duncan Sandys said it and it's still silly today. Even when there are good air-combat UAVs they'll still be fighters (and still, albeit remotely, manned).

But Cockburn is quoting someone saying that the whole idea of military use of airspace is useless (except, to be generous, possibly for transport and ISTAR); that there's no point in being able to drop bombs from the air on to ground targets, and therefore, by extension, no point in achieving air superiority if the only thing you're going to do with it is drop bombs.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 3:54 AM
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Planes can't defend air craft carriers against ballistic missiles, which is why they will be at the bottom of the sea in the event of an actual war against a strong, state-level adversary. On the other hand, for the mission of force projection against far-away enemies with unsophisticated weaponry, aircraft carriers and planes are reasonably effective. Not "ground-invasion" level effective, but less messy.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:02 AM
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173: Planes also can't defend carriers against submarine-launched torpedoes or missiles.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:11 AM
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Come to that, planes can't defend fixed land airfields (or indeed any land target) against ballistic missiles either. One wonders why anyone bothers with them.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:13 AM
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My uncle used to bomb submarines to protect all kinds of ships. But, not recently.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:18 AM
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Planes can't defend SHIELD against psionic warfare.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:21 AM
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177: the exception being the Elemental Plane of Lightning, I believe.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:23 AM
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173,174: And while we're on this subject, planes are pretty useless for defending carriers against a virus that turns everyone on board into a flesh eating zombie.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:27 AM
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171. Judging aircraft in general by the F-35 is very unrealistic: it has been shown to be a turkey in a number of well documented tests.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:30 AM
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And could planes defend a carrier against Chuck Norris? I think not.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:32 AM
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Or kaiju. Frankly, Ajay, your position is looking untenable.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:11 AM
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Cockburn does sound like an idiot, but the broad concept of carriers being grotesquely expensive and useless for major wars is sound and worth repeating.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:18 AM
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There hasn't been a major war started since naval powers started centering their fleets on carriers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:27 AM
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Well, not "useless" so much as "too vulnerable". There's a difference.

And I'm not sure about "grotesquely expensive" either. A King George V class battleship cost £7.5 million, which was 0.13% of GDP. A Queen Elizabeth class carrier costs £3.2 billion which is 0.19% of GDP. HMS Victory cost £63,000 which was about 0.1% of GDP. Capital ships are just expensive things, at whatever time in history.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:39 AM
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The War Nerd is good on this.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:40 AM
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Carriers are also rather useful in minor wars, which we fight a lot more of.

(The Falklands wasn't a major war? How much more major could it have got? It's not like either side was holding back, particularly. And it had carriers, on both sides.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:42 AM
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186: the War Nerd doesn't know what he is talking about, as a general rule.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:42 AM
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I still go by the definition of major war I learned in graduate school. You have to have a major power on each side.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:46 AM
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The Falklands War seems to be another illustration of the main function of the carrier in the Post-WWII era, to allow a major power to project force in order to fight somebody who is weaker but who, except for the existence of carriers, would have had the advantage locally.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:49 AM
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185.2: True, but I'm thinking more of the fraction of the budget that's politically available for the navy. How far can USN adapt and restructure while its budget is tied up maintaining 9(?) carrier groups?
187.1: True, and carriers are worth having for that reason.
187.2: The Falklands was a long time ago, and AFAICR Argentina used its aircraft and navy quite stupidly. The US can't count on that kind of luck.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:53 AM
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Ah, fair enough in that case.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:53 AM
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190: AIUI Argentina did in fact have the advantage locally despite carriers, but used their forces so conservatively they lost anyway; and even so the British were actually right at the limit of their supplies when Argentina quit.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:57 AM
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But without carriers, the British couldn't have even fought that war. I guess they could have gotten local allies, but other than that, I don't see how.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 5:59 AM
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True, but I'm thinking more of the fraction of the budget that's politically available for the navy. How far can USN adapt and restructure while its budget is tied up maintaining 9(?) carrier groups?

That's a confusing thing to say: if the Navy is spending all its money on maintaining the Navy, how will it spend money on restructuring? Well, yes. But if the decision is taken, politically, to restructure, then that will imply that the decision has been taken not to maintain nine carrier groups, and/or to increase the Navy's budget.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:00 AM
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195: I guess I did put that badly.
if the decision is taken, politically, to restructure
Exactly. That decision should be taken, which is why I said it was sound to repeat the limitations of carriers.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:18 AM
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194: Ah, I see what you mean. I don't know what post-carrier wars will look like. Lots of drones? Lots of cruise missiles? Drones flying from itty-bitty expendable carriers? (And is the USN seriously pursuing anything?) Or maybe you'll just need local bases.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:25 AM
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I don't know what post-carrier wars will look like.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed battle plans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:33 AM
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197: thing is that the War Nerd's (erroneous) arguments about carriers also apply to all other types of large ship. He drivels on about small patrol boats being the only worthwhile naval vessels (because he's never tried going to sea in a patrol boat in Sea State 4 or above, I would think) but there are some functions that simply require scale. Sea control allows you to move troops and cargo at will, and to prevent the enemy from doing the same thing. Well, you can't move troops and cargo in swarms of patrol boats. You need a certain minimum deck size to launch and recover drones, and to store them and their supplies and maintenance facilities. The bigger the drone, the bigger the deck - and big drones will carry more ordnance and fuel and generate more power for radars and other sensors and emitters (including DEW).

So there will still be carriers of some kind; there won't be a "post-carrier" war.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:35 AM
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Wait, no one's mentioned ekranoplans? Who are you people?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:39 AM
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The thread has moved on but what ajay said in 165. Phoenix FTW.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:48 AM
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200 Or atlatls.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:48 AM
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Overwhelmingly, the difference in future wars will be malware.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:50 AM
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"And so began a chain of events which would turn the tide of the war. The Thorn class arrived in the nick of time; the age of the ekranoplan had begun."


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:52 AM
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200: actually, ekranoplans might be the answer. Big ones. You could certainly use them for troop transport and missile launch, and probably for drone launch/recovery. And because they move ten times as fast as a warship, they would be far more difficult to hit with anti-ship ballistic missiles.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:52 AM
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Forget capital ships. No one will dare stand against us once construction of the Death Star is completed.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:53 AM
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They seem like they would be slower than jets, so why not just shoot anti-aircraft missiles at them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:54 AM
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"Though robust from the beginning, it was with the addition of the AShM 56 'Atlatl' that the Thorn class became the war-winning platform remembered today."


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 6:57 AM
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They seem like they would be slower than jets, so why not just shoot anti-aircraft missiles at them.

I'm not saying they're invulnerable, just that they don't have the same vulnerability to ballistic missiles. Plus they fly very low, so not easy to detect at long range.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:01 AM
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199 et seq.: modern missiles are so lethal that I wonder whether symmetrical wars will actually be possible in anything like the ways they have been previously.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:04 AM
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Ships are lower than ekranoplans. Hopefully not by very much, but still lower.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:04 AM
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210: But as missiles get more lethal, wouldn't anti-missiles get more useful also? That is, I'm assuming the lethalality of a missile is largely a function of its accuracy and that as accuracy improves, so also will improve the ability of one missile to hit another missile.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:07 AM
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204 and 208 are great.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:10 AM
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Yes, but missiles move much faster than their targets, so anti-missile missiles have to work much harder and be more expensive. So in theory your anti-missiles can always be swamped by larger numbers of cheaper missile-missiles.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:14 AM
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Not always.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:17 AM
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The bite is what I remember from Top Gun.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:22 AM
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Also, I don't see why the anti-missiles missiles would be more expensive. They would need a much shorter range and a smaller explosive payload. The anti-missile missiles would need more sophisticated targeting systems, but that would mostly be a fixed cost, not an incremental cost with each additional missile.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:23 AM
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216: That was Lost Boys.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:24 AM
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Missile defense systems in general have a pretty dismal history, don't they? There's the SDI boondoggle, and then in Gulf War I, the initial claims for the outstanding success rate of the patriot missiles was subsequently revised downward to a success rate of somewhere between 10% and 0%.*

*According to wikipedia, there are now a number of wildly contradictory studies regarding the success rate of the patriot missile in the first gulf war.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:24 AM
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I have no specific idea, but Gulf War I was over 25 years ago.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:26 AM
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219: Israel's Iron Dome system seems to work well. It's also worth noting that the Patriot missiles used during the first Gulf War were never intended to shoot down Scud missiles. They were anti-aircraft missiles with a software upgrade.

Missile defense is a bit of a hobby horse of mine. The history of attempts to do it is riven with political interference and contractor mendacity and general shittiness, but there's no fundamental reason you can't hit a ballistic missile with another missile. It's difficult, but it's been done, and a decent program of R&D could almost certainly produce a robust system.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:31 AM
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157
Wasn't Top Gun the source of "Take my Breath Away"? I have such vivid memories of awkward, unhappy slow dances in a middle school cafeteria to that song, and that's about my only association. VALUE SUBTRACTED.

Since the OP began with the Top Gun honest trailer, I'll point out that the literal video of "Take My Breath Away" is memorable.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:32 AM
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221: And cruise missile defence?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:36 AM
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No one will dare stand against us once construction of the Death Star is completed.

Death Stars were blown up in 3 of the 4 Star Wars movies. If that isn't a lesson in the dangers of concentrating your offensive capacity into a single, large, vulnerable platform, I don't know what is.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:39 AM
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Just because they sucked doesn't mean you can wish the prequels away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:40 AM
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223: Cruise missiles are a whole 'nother kettle of fish and are much harder to deal with.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:40 AM
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Or, if it does, let me know how you did it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 7:40 AM
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I maintain that prequel#3 is the best film in the franchise, and the only one that grownups can even try to take seriously.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:01 AM
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Slate pitch?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:04 AM
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219: Israel's Iron Dome system seems to work well.

Isn't it basically only ever used on unguided ordnance? Which presumably is a lot easier to track and predict.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:05 AM
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To be clear, prequels#1 and 2 are garbage. I'm not deranged or anything.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:07 AM
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#1 and #2 were bad enough that I never saw #3.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:07 AM
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230: Yes. Also, insanely more expensive than the incoming shells.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:08 AM
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I saw #3 before 1 and 2, which gave me the opposite problem.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:09 AM
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I saw #3 before 1 and 2, which gave me the opposite problem.

Seeing half as many of the prequels seems like not a problem.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:11 AM
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233: I mean, maybe not insane for Israel, they can probably afford it as long as they're facing handfuls of terrorists with mortars and home-made rockets.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:11 AM
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Of the prequels I only saw #3. I didn't think it was completely horrible.

If you're interested in being all grownup and serious then you're completely missing the point of the Star Wars movies.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:11 AM
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The opposite problem being that the quality of #3 led me to watch 1&2, on the theory they couldn't possibly be as bad as everyone said. I was wrong.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:14 AM
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The history of attempts to do it is riven with political interference and contractor mendacity and general shittiness, but there's no fundamental reason you can't hit a ballistic missile with another missile.

I have a category of topics where I don't have enough knowledge to analyze anything rigorously, but I have enough background of people making wildly false claims that I am systematically almost irrebuttably skeptical about anything anyone says in the area. Missile defense is one of them -- I don't see why it should be impossible, but based on everything I've seen on the topic since the eighties, I'm not going to believe in any actually working system until it's got a long track record of success.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:14 AM
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Nobody wants to start a long war just to prove something to you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:17 AM
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Except me, but I'm a people pleaser.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:18 AM
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237.2 is true, but seemingly is a point lost on most of the fanbase. And I can enjoy dumb movies! I just think SW is too dumb for an adult to enjoy.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:18 AM
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239: The bit that makes me skeptical to the point of dismissive about missile defense systems is that every time someone makes an argument about how they would work it's hard not to notice how easy and cheap it would be for any genuine military power* to stick a countermeasure on any of the missiles they cared about that would defeat the thing. (Usually things like "what if we made the missile a bit wobbly" or "what if we fired off three of them which would still cost half of what one of those interceptors does" or even just "what if we fired off a couple incredibly inexpensive decoys along with it".)


*As opposed to "guys in caves who might as well be lobbing sticks of dynamite at you for all the sophistication of what they're using"


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:42 AM
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but there's no fundamental reason you can't hit a ballistic missile with another missile.

There is no fundamental reason you can't hit a 90 mph fastball with a stick of wood, but the best hitters only manage to do it 30% of the time. And they get three tries.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:52 AM
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But if the guy with the stick of wood was allowed to chase the guy throwing the balls, I'd put my money on him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:56 AM
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Robin Ventura tried that against Nolan Ryan. Didn't work.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 8:58 AM
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If he'd have kept the bat it would have.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:00 AM
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Even if Ryan hit him with another bean ball, Ventura still would have had overwhelming second-strike capabilities if he hadn't thrown his advantage away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:03 AM
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Ventura got hit in the arm. I you get hit with a Nolan Ryan bean ball, I don't think attempting a second strike is an option.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:08 AM
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In this banned analogy, the severe sanctions threatened by MLB for charging the mound with your bat are playing the role of international arms limitation treaties.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:09 AM
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249: He just needs one of those helmets like the kids in little league wear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:10 AM
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the severe sanctions threatened by MLB for charging the mound with your bat are playing the role of international arms limitation treaties.

Specifically, the ABM Treaty.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:13 AM
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243 is true, but those arguments are at their most cutting when you're talking about nuclear missiles, because your tolerance for failure is so much lower. If you can knock down half the ICBMs heading for your cities, it doesn't make much difference because you're still going to have a lot of incinerated cities, and even one incinerated city is an unacceptable failure.

But if you're using them with conventional warheads in a tactical situation, it's a different story. Being able to halve pK is a great thing, because the way the maths work with high-quality attacks is that you then have to launch four times as many missiles to get back to your original overall pK. (http://www.cnas.org/sites/default/files/publications-pdf/CNAS_TheComingSwarm_Scharre.pdf page 23)

And anti-ship ballistic missiles are not at all cheap, and they're not stealthy; there's no way to conceal a missile launch and they're visible from space. I don't think your assumption that they are far cheaper than interceptors is valid. These things are huge, and highly sophisticated.

And you only get one shot at using them; they're a first-strike weapon. As soon as it all kicks off, then your targeting satellites (also expensive, and in short supply) have a life expectancy of hours because the US is going to knock them all down. And without targeting satellites , the missiles are completely useless.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:13 AM
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The destruction of the entire global satellite infrastructure in the first days of a major power war is going to have some interesting affects on the rest of the game.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:28 AM
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That's why I carry a compass in addition to the GPS.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:29 AM
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254: not the entire satellite infrastructure: the four or five SAR and optical imaging satellites which China uses for ASBM targeting.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:32 AM
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Its why I'm always feeling around for the mossy side of trees. Gotta keep up the practice.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:33 AM
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256: resulting debris may destroy the rest. And the Chinese will be shooting stuff down, too.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:34 AM
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the best hitters only manage to do it 30% of the time

That's how often they reach base. They hit the ball way more often than that. Someone google BABIP, do the math, and get back to us with a good average for balls put in play.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:35 AM
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Some of us carry the mossy side around with us.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:35 AM
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253 is interesting and also if you think about it a good strategic explanation of why America's hyper sized military and Navy, for all of the things it can't do or does badly, helps prevent major wars in the Moby sense.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:37 AM
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Except China isn't exactly shy about shooting down satellites either. Those sabers have been rattled before.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:37 AM
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The destruction of the entire global satellite infrastructure in the first days of a major power war is going to have some interesting affects on the rest of the game.

We will bring the enemy to their knees by denying them the ability to watch reruns of The Jeffersons via satellite TV!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:40 AM
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The opposite problem being that the quality of #3 led me to watch 1&2, on the theory they couldn't possibly be as bad as everyone said. I was wrong.

I can't even imagine this response to 3. It's the most actively bad of them all. 1 is annoying and 2 is deeply boring, but 3 is just wrong in so many ways.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:45 AM
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264: It's the creepiness factor of the ridiculously forced Anakin-Amidala romance that puts 2 over top for me.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:48 AM
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263.2 We're movin' on up!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 9:50 AM
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264 last bewilders me. It's the only movie where a war has actual casualties, where resources and organization win, where we see what would actually happen if random teenagers were given superpowers and military commands. The only one that isn't an 8-year old's daydream, in short. Granted the dialogue and acting are crap, but that's true of the whole series.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:02 AM
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3 just kind of cements what a horrible character Anakin Skywalker is, converting to the Dark Side as the result of chronic dumb-assery. And Queen Amidala, the strongest character in 1 & 2, gets knocked up and suddenly becomes a helpless wallflower who's only role in the movie is to react to Anakin's increasing nuttiness.

Also, the entire Jedi Council - Yoda in particular - deserved what they had coming to them for the simple reason that - if the single greatest hope for future of your kind is at risk of going Dark because he is concerned about his mother, maybe go send a couple guys to free the woman from slavery and put her up in a nice place on Coruscant, where she can see her son from time to time?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:04 AM
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Total Skywalker genocide is the only sensible policy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:07 AM
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Granted the dialogue and acting are crap, but that's true of the whole series.

Not of the whole series. The writing in Empire was brilliant, and the acting was serviceable.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:09 AM
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OT: I just got spam for a service alleging that it would improve my articles. The most interesting part is that they are suggesting that I should pay them to see if my own articles are plagiarized.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:09 AM
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I guess that's the problem I have with it. It's not like I enjoy the others, but I could at least watch them with the mindset that it's an 8-year old's daydream. Daydreams are fun and silly! Whereas 3 purports to be a real movie, and not just any real movie, but the immediate predecessor to 4. And it's full of the same old plot holes, terrible characterisation, cliches, and science nonsense as the ostensibly kiddie movies. It has a literal lava level, for God's sake. And it has Anakin at his most obnoxious and stupid, which is saying something.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:10 AM
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268: Exactly: idiocy has consequences, the smartest guy in the room wins. In the other movies idiocy prevails and gets showered with praise.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:15 AM
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268: Exactly: idiocy has consequences, the smartest guy in the room wins. In the other movies idiocy prevails and gets showered with praise.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:15 AM
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Just because they sucked doesn't mean you can wish the prequels away.... Or, if it does, let me know how you did it.

Disney kicked the entire extended universe out of the Star Wars cannon. That's precedent: it means the prequels are fair game.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:15 AM
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How can you all even remember what happened in Episode III? I just remember it as stupid dudes with confusing names running around.


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:32 AM
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Carbohydrates assist in memory-formation.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:33 AM
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I think you've confused it with Crime and Punishment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:33 AM
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How can you all even remember what happened in Episode III?

A certain 9 year old has recently forced me to re-watch them all.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 10:36 AM
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268.2: This is the funniest bit of the prequels, for me, and the only thing about them that's even remotely interesting*. I don't know if there's any reason to think it's intentional on the part of Lucas, but they really are colossal bozos. Not only do they have a massively powerful person hanging around on the verge of going bad and don't take the really obvious steps to lessen the likelihood that he will, or even keep close tabs on what he's up to, but they also somehow fail to see the problem with "he will bring balance to the force" prophesies where the most obvious imbalance is that there are way more of them than the other, bad people who use the force.

This is why you don't snatch people up at like age 3, raise them on a strict education of meditation, piloting, and sword fighting and then expect them to do a good job at analyzing things and figuring out what's going on around them or what to do in non-meditation-piloting-sword-fighting contexts.

*Maybe there's the Jar-Jar Binks of the Phantom Menace theory, which actually would have been kind of great though it's not obvious how they would have pulled that one off. But I also prefer to believe that Obi Wan was just bluffing when he said that Vader striking him down would make him more powerful, and that the first thing his ghost thought was "Shit. I totally thought that would work."


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 11:29 AM
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280.2: So, Jedi Montessori is what you're saying they need.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 11:34 AM
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224

Almost 60 posts since that, and no one has pointed out that strategic/tactical lessons from kids' movies are likely to be somewhat questionable?

In any case it has been widely pointed out that for some reason the Empire (and the bad guys in Ep7) seem to design their awesome planet killers with less skill than the average Minecraft player.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 11:46 AM
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This is why you don't snatch people up at like age 3, raise them on a strict education of meditation, piloting, and sword fighting and then expect them to do a good job at analyzing things and figuring out what's going on around them or what to do in non-meditation-piloting-sword-fighting contexts.

Its true; Aniken really suffered for lack of a proper liberal arts education. They should have sent him to Bowdoin or something.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 11:47 AM
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That's how often they reach base. They hit the ball way more often than that. Someone google BABIP, do the math, and get back to us with a good average for balls put in play.

Since when does ogged care about baseball?

Last year 20.4% of plate appearances ended in a strikeout, 7.7% ended in a walk, and 0.8% ended in a hit by pitch. That leaves you with almost exactly 72% of plate appearances ending with a ball in play, which turns into a hit at a 30% rate. Almost 79% of swings result in contact, but that includes fouls.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 11:51 AM
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Right?

And without any real education he still snagged an internship with a senior legislator. Nepotism is a bitch.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 11:52 AM
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Also fowls, if you count the guy that killed a bird.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 11:52 AM
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They're picking on me because I'm the fat kid is certainly an interesting legal defense.

So much about this is amazing.

O'Brien also has sought permission to use "four copies of a hardback Dr. Seuss publication" during his defense, according to a court filing last week. The reason is unclear.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 11:57 AM
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It's kind of great that the Top Gun thread has turned into a Star Wars prequels thread.

Maverick vs Anakin: who would win in a fight?

My theory: Anakin responds to loss (his mother, the threatened death of Amidala) by succumbing to the Dark Side. Maverick responds to the loss of his best friend by moping around for a few days and then coming back and kicking ass and saving Val Kilmer. Ergo Maverick > Anakin.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 11:57 AM
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the prequels' biggest problem was in direction and editing. On the plus side they had something resembling politicking.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:00 PM
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On the anti-plus side, that politicking was either counterproductive or remarkably anti-democratic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:03 PM
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"Only the Sith deal in absolutes."

"Is 'you should always unenslave the mother of the guy you've been working with every day since he was eight' an absolute?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:08 PM
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That plus the clone army makes it pretty clear that the Jedi were, on the whole, pretty ok with the idea of slavery.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:09 PM
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Is it really slavery if the clones were genetically designed to want to obey you?

Probably, but that was before bioethics was invented.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:11 PM
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There's also the sentient robot thing, now that I'm thinking about it. There's really something morally disturbing about that whole fictional universe. After a while I start to wonder if Alderaan didn't deserve it.

Or maybe the droids aren't supposed to actually be sentient? But having them pleading for their lives or screaming in pain would be a very strange software decision. If the next Siri update caused her to sob in terror and desperately beg you not to turn off the phone or let the battery go down too low that would be pretty amazing, but I have to think it would be an unpopular choice in general.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:18 PM
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292: AIUI Star Wars is essentially Dune fanfic which profoundly missed the point of Dune. While I don't think Lucas ever did get Dune, the prequels kinda do: the warrior-mystic-aristocrats are incompetent assholes living on the backs of slaves, the teenage messiah fucks up and destroys the universe.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:19 PM
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If she starts telling people the button is her clitoris, that means I've succeeded as a hacker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:20 PM
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I didn't realize Dune had a point. Maybe I should have stopped reading the sequels sooner.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:22 PM
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Hey that reminds me, can one of you tell me what happened to the clones? Like weren't they a robot army in the pre-quels and then somehow the Stormtroopers in the Star Wars classic movies were also supposed to be clones (but somehow descended from Boba Fett?*). But then in the most recent movie black guy protagonist is a stormtrooper but not a robot, he's a fully human black dude, right? So what happened.

Also it would be great if one of the movies ended with Luke Skywalker throwing R2D2 in a trash can, going to a store, and buying a new, identical R2D2.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:23 PM
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Also fowls, if you count the guy that killed a bird.

If you are talking about Randy Johnson, that happened on a pitch.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:24 PM
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That * was supposed to be an indication that the only great thing about the Star Wars movies were the bounty hunters.


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:25 PM
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299: That was what I was thinking of. My mistake.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:25 PM
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298: The Stormtroopers were clones of Boba Fett, but after the destruction of the Empire, they needed different troops so they started recruiting regular humans, some of whom are black.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:27 PM
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Everybody should see the video in 299. That guy had an arm. Killing a bird with a ball is hard enough, but he makes it look like he's popping a balloon full of feathers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:28 PM
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can one of you tell me what happened to the clones?

"Over time the clones' skills deteriorated with the accelerated speed of their aging process, leading the Empire to prefer human recruits and conscripts over cloned soldiers.[20] By and large, clones were removed from combat duty and instead given the task of managing various Imperial projects. "

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Grand_Army_of_the_Republic


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:29 PM
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I assumed they all just sort of died off. I mean, nothing in the chronology of Star Wars is even trying to make sense, but if they aged the way Kenobi* did then they'd all be pretty old by the time Star Wars starts, let alone the recent movie.

*Who, someone pointed out to me just a few months ago: (1) carefully hid Luke from his powerful father by giving him to be raised by his father's brother (and only living relative); (2) on his father's home planet; (3) using his father's last name; (4) while hiding nearby using his own full name; (5) and dressing in, given what we see in the prequels, what was literally his military uniform the whole time. Jedi intelligence!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:32 PM
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The Stormtroopers were clones of Boba Fett

Jenga Fett. Boba Fett was also a clone of Jenga Fett. Also, the troopers in the prequels were Clonetroopers, not Stormtroopers, because they were clones. But then they got used up in the Clone Wars, and there ended up being Stormtroopers, who wear somewhat different outfits. </poindexter>


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:32 PM
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I never understood Dune. The fremen were trying to terraform the planet in such a way so as to completely change their traditional way of life? I only read the first two.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:34 PM
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305: Kurt Waldheim hid in a more ridiculous way and got away with it for decades.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:34 PM
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I thought the stormtroopers in Episode 7 were raised by whatever the sequel to The Empire is (The New Order? Can that be right?). Doesn't Finn say something about not remembering his parents, etc.?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:42 PM
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Nobody in Stars Wars who isn't evil remembers their actual parents.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:44 PM
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306: Jenga Fett, the bounty hunter who stood too tall and was mercilessly cut down.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 12:46 PM
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IIRC, Boda Fett didn't exactly end in a happy place.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:02 PM
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294.1: There's a Rey line in TFA that seems to be trying to get across that droids are morally recognized as people but not necessarily treated as such in horrible places like knockoff-Tatooine. But then later she uncritically uses the word "master" for one of them, so who knows.

309: Yeah, they moved to pressganging children at some point, was the implication. Possibly a desperation measure after ROTJ?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:03 PM
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305: well, it worked, didn't it?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:07 PM
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312: Kenya, apparently.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:07 PM
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uh, 'd' s/b 'b'.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:10 PM
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307: In fairness, the point is easy to miss (I did until it was pointed out to me), and is only played out by the end of the third book. Basically, depending on exceptional individuals leads to disaster. From O'Reilly's book, available here:

The question remains, however: If Paul were intended to demonstrate the error of faith in messiahs and superheroes, why was he rendered SO effective as both? The full answer to that question must wait for a discussion of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. The message is incomplete. Much overt criticism remains to be delivered in the sequels. In Dune the analysis is implicit. Because Herbert had Paul himself voice the critical perspective, it is discounted by the reader.
And on Star Wars and Dune, this.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:16 PM
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317: That's not really very convincing. "You shouldn't be like this guy who conquered the universe or his son who turned into "God Emperor".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:20 PM
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317.2 is very convincing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:22 PM
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while hiding nearby using his own full name;

Ben Kenobi is nothing like Obi Wan Kenobi!


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:25 PM
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314: Sure but, you know, on another Jedi. They probably could have just signed Luke up as a stormtrooper* on the death star under the name "Hey Darth Vader It's Luke Your Son You Thought Was Dead Skywalker" and his reaction would have been "man, that's a really long name - we'll just call you "HeyDar"."

*I know. Go ahead and say it.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:26 PM
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"Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:27 PM
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That should have been from me.


Posted by: Captain Obvious | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:28 PM
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318: The next reading group can be Dune, to show Moby the error of his ways.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:28 PM
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I read all the sequels, I think. I got up past the one with the Space Jews.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:29 PM
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It really goes downhill after 3.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:30 PM
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That's what all the Jedi say.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:31 PM
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Moby wins the thread.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:31 PM
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I read the sequels, but not the pre-whatever-quells his son did.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:33 PM
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321: so he knew his audience.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:37 PM
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Wait, how did the short for a stormtrooper thing work. Didn't he kill a stormtrooper and then put on his uniform? But if the stormtrooper was a robot/whatever a "clone" is that makes no sense. And even if the stormtrooper was a person if Luke was shorter than the stormtrooper then the stormtrooper's uniform wouldn't fit, right?


Posted by: RT | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:40 PM
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312: Rumor has it that Boba Fett survived the Sarlacc and will be showing up in a future movie.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:40 PM
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311 was clearly a far too subtle joke. The character's name is "Jango Fett".

331: Clones are people. But I believe that point in the canon they're not supposed to be clones anymore; set what Spike said above. Either way, presumably Luke's outfit didn't fit well and that's in line with Leia's comment.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:44 PM
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332: starring in Star Wars IX: Boba Fett Repeatedly Dies Like A Chump.

Also, here is a picture of Julia Child holding a chicken up to a cat.

http://i.usatoday.net/life/books/01Gallery/080612_juliachild/01pg-vertical.jpg


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:46 PM
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333.1: I missed it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:53 PM
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325 "Space Jews"

I thought I had (alas) read all the actual Frank Herbert-written Dune sequels, but apparently not. Was it co-authored by Mel Brooks?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 1:57 PM
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I believe the Space Jews showed up in Chapterhouse Dune. Not, you know, thinly disguised Jewish stereotypes given some other name, but actual Jewy Jews.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 2:06 PM
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I had entirely forgotten the Space Jews until Moby mentioned them. Those last two sequels really do suck.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 2:17 PM
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How about the endless reiterations of Duncan Idaho?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 2:20 PM
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That paid off when "Duncan Idaho, Sexual Mullah" happened.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 2:40 PM
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"We've secretly trained our re-animated clone ghoula to be sexual crack for the ladies. What happens when he meets and is seduced by a witch-trained sexual sorceress? Let's watch and learn."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 3:14 PM
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337

I remember way back when an SF author pseuded as "William Tenn" (real life name: Philip Klass, no not the UFO one) wrote a story called "The Men in the Walls," in which a few human survivors of an alien invasion effectively filled the ecological niches of rats and mice in our dwellings. At one point in the story the protagonist tribe met another group called the "Aaron People" who were clearly Future Jews.

340,341

I didn't read that one either and I want to! Maybe you can write it for us? Minor quibble, wouldn't that be "Sexual Kwisatz Haderach"?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 3:37 PM
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I'm telling you,, he already wrote it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 3:46 PM
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342: I just missed an opportunity to meet him, having been vaguely associated with the local sci fi group here a few years before he died. Seemed like an interesting character.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 3:52 PM
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He also wrote a story called "On Venus, Have We Got a Rabbi!"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:07 PM
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William Tenn wrote some weird stuff.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:28 PM
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345

Tenn was great but not a patch on Avram Davidson. Still...

That was an awesome story! I remember the part where the narrator is talking to some reporter who is clearly a moron, and mutters "goyisch kopf!" The reporter asks, "What does that mean?" and the narrator responds, "It means: some people understand Torah, some people don't..." Also, the multi-tentacled*, green Jewish aliens who proudly assert that they are direct descendants of some specific guy from New Jersey, who was a supermarket manager in Teaneck.

* They circumsize by snipping a little bit off of one of their tentacles.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 05-25-16 4:54 PM
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