I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Prince on Lopez Tonight, Part Two

A very thoughtful interview with Prince. You can watch Part One here.

Why did Prince choose George Lopez? Does George Lopez's show represent "all people," ie. people of various races, religions, genders, sexuality, classes, etc., better than other late night shows?

Prince doesn't say artichoke. Prince says funk.

Is Ticketmaster (slavery reference noted) responsible for high concert prices? Does the blame rest squarely on the shoulder of Ticketmaster? Why wouldn't everyone charge $25 for a concert ticket?

Is Prince part Latino?

Does the internet only help the peolpe who sell the music? Do we value music less when we get it for free?

Does covering mean that your version (the original) no longer exists? What is the Compulsory License Law and how does it work? Who benefits? Should we get rid of this law and how can we do it? Should there only be one version of each song?

No, Prince. There are several versions of Law and Order. Bad example.

Prince does not want to take credit for our texting language. Texting language is officially our own artichoke fault.

Arnold 365, Day 120 (Commando)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rubber (2011)

Put simply, Rubber can be described as the story of a self-aware and animate tire with psychokinetic powers who develops an appetite for destruction. But there's more to Rubber. The beginning monologue hilariously describes Rubber as an homage to things in film that simply don't make sense, suggesting, in a very postmodern fashion, that the audience is part of the film. The cinematography is fantastic and, barring a re-watch of Paul (it was St. Patrick's day when I saw Paul, so as you can imagine I had a little too much fun to actually pay attention to the movie), Rubber may be the first great movie of 2011.

Prince on Lopez Tonight

"The Beautiful Ones"


"You're the One For Me"

If these remain available for any extended amount of time, then I think we should count ourselves lucky. In the past, Prince-related videos on the internet have been known to disappear quickly and permanently. If any of these embedded videos die, please drop me a line. Thanks!

All-Star Superman

My friend Chad once described the strength of Grant Morrison (and also Geoff Johns, but he's not the subject of this post) as the fact that he's able to advance a character in innovative and mind-changing ways while also paying homage to the character's long history. All-Star Superman is intended to sum up everything important about Superman from his inception in 1932 to his first appearance in 1938 to now, resulting sometimes in camp ("The last thing I wanted on your birthday was a reptile invasion from the Earth's core.") but always in a heartfelt and true drama. The overarching story of this series is that Superman essentially has Kryptonian cancer - he's absorbed too much solar radiation - and has only a couple weeks to live. Grant Morrison challenges Superman to conclude his story by bidding farewell to those people he cares for and making plans for a world without Superman. It is one of the most touching DC stories I've ever read, and I highly recommend All-Star Superman.

Arnold 365, Day 118 (Commando)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Arnold 365, Day 117 (Commando)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Cabin in the Woods Release Date?

While we're excited that Avengers has begun filming, there are plenty of Whedon-related cancellations and postponements to be frustrated about. Here is just one of them.

This was originally posted on The Cabin in the Woods twitter Enter the Cabin. View the post here.

Arnold 365, Day 116 (Commando)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Serious Sci Fi: The One

In the 2001 film The One, actor Jet Li plays a couple different versions of Gabe Law. Our protagonist is a version of Gabe Law who is satisfied with his life until another Gabe Law from another dimension comes to kill him. The antagonist (Gabe-Law-killer) is motivated by the fact that when one Gabe Law is killed, his strength and power is distributed to all of the rest. His goal is to kill all other versions of himself and become the one with all of the power. The only thing standing in his way is the fact that our protagonist has gained just as much power as our antagonist and he doesn't want to die.

Modern audiences have very little problem with some version of multiverse theory, which teaches that there are a variety of different universes where the world has changed because someone somewhere made a different decision. Sometimes this is the result of time travel and past intervention (Star Trek) and sometimes the different decision merely creates a tangent universe that cannot be sustained for long (Donnie Darko), but sometimes the universes have presumably always existed (Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy) and the multiverse is either infinite (Sliders) or finite (the DC multiverse is comprised of 52 universes). My point is that your ordinary, everyday citizen of the USA is likely to seriously consider that we live in a universe that is part of a multiverse. Maybe this same citizen believes that there is a nexus of all universes, a place that connects one universe to the next (The Dark Tower series, Captain Britain). As a result, audiences might even take the premise of The One seriously.

I think there are some serious problems in taking a movie like The One seriously. We can probably all agree that if there are multiple universes then corresponding individuals will either experience important life moments (birth, death, etc.) at the same time or at different times. As my buddy David Baggett pointed out to me, multiverse theory has no room for the former, for people to be born and killed at the same time across universes. Certainly, this could occasionally happen in one or two universes, especially if there are infinite universes (the multiverse of The One, however, would have to be finite if antagonist Gabe Law is ever to become the one), but if every decision can change the world then it must be able to change not only when one is born and when one dies, but also whether one is born at all.

This leaves us with a universe where everyone is born and dies at different times. For the sake of simplicity, however, let us line up every birth on a number line; let us assume, for this argument, that every version of an individual is actually born at the same time. According to a bell curve, a few will die far too early, and their power will, almost immediately, disperse to the others, and then much later they will start dying out more consistently. Even if we let each individual die naturally, which is a stretch, there will necessarily be one who dies last. Retirement homes would be packed with superhumans, and if the elderly wished to leave they could easily overpower their captors. Armies wouldn't employ the young anymore. After all, one seventy-year-old could potentially overpower an entire platoon of eighteen-year-olds. The oldest individuals would rule the world, not because of respect or experience, but because nobody could defeat them. Because we do not witness these things, the science behind The One seems to be lacking.

The only way I can think of to mend the multiverse of The One is to suggest that it is much more like Highlander than is superficially evident. The immortals of Highlander can only be killed by the sword of another Highlander, resulting in the quickening, a process where the killer absorbs the victim's powers. For The One to work, only murder by an other-dimensional variant could bring about the power-up. There would have to be different energies assigned to beings of different universes (Fringe, Crisis on Infinite Earths), and that energy itself would have to be the catalyst that distributes the power that once belonged to the victim before death. Unfortunately, the "there can be only one" science (magic?)of Highlander is much harder to swallow than multiverse theory itself.

Even putting aside the difficulties of travel between universes in the multiverse, The One simply seems a little too far-fetched to be considered serious science fiction. Of course, that doesn't make the film any less interesting. As you can probably tell, I found Jet Li's The One incredibly interesting. The One is at least interesting enough to give rise to the preceding essay, and that's more than I can say for a lot of movies!

Batman Begins Synopsis by Chinese Dollar Store

Special thanks to my friend Chad who found the article "Spiderman Stroke All Criminal Activates" on Bleeding Cool, which is actually a re-post of "A Rather Loose Interpretation of the Batman Origin" found on A Pocketful of Geek! In order to further complicate things, I am re-posting it here.

Radiohead The King of Limbs (2011: Self-released)

1. "Bloom" - 5:15
2. "Morning Mr. Magpie" - 4:41
3. "Little by Little" - 4:27
4. "Feral" - 3:13
5. "Lotus Flower" - 5:00
6. "Codex" - 4:47
7. "Give Up the Ghost" - 4:50
8. "Separator" - 5:20

You're probably heard that The King of Limbs is a let down, that it is criminally short, that the songs themselves are weak. If this is what you've heard, then you've heard wrong.

If you've heard the album then you know that on your first listen the album just seems too different. But what Radiohead album hasn't been "too different" from the one before? And since when is difference, in and of itself, a problem?

The strength of the last two tracks, "Give Up the Ghost" and "Separator" demands that you give the album a second listen, and on your second listen you begin to realize the genius of The King of Limbs. You know that this album is on par with every other album they've put out, perhaps even above par.

And you know that if Radiohead makes an album that people think is really short, then short albums are going to be an industry standard within a couple short years.

Arnold 365, Day 108 (Commando)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Disturbing Scenes From the Brick Testament

The Brick Testament claims to be, "the world's largest, most comprehensive illustrated Bible." What this description fails to say is that all of the illustrations are done with Legos. A recent article from 22 Words titled "10 disturbingly violent biblical stories depicted with Legos," selects only the most violent illustrations from The Brick Testament. Here they are:

Cain Kills Abel

The Flood

Job's Suffering

Caananite Kings Executed

Ehud Kills Eglon

Jephthah Kills His Daughter

The Levite Dismembers His Murdered Concubine

David Collects and Delivers Philistine Foreskins

Judas Kills Himself



Why You Couldn't Be Batman, Part Two: Those Wonderful Toys

Where does he get those wonderful toys?
-The Joker, Batman (1989)

Part One: Introduction can be viewed here.

When one thinks of Batman one is likely to think of the technology that Batman utilizes in fighting crime. First to come to my mind are Batman's utility belt with its myriad compartments and, of course, the Batmobile. Before many of us had personal computers Batman: The Animated Series showed Bruce Wayne sitting in front of a super-computer in the Batcave. In the film Batman Begins we see that the costume itself, the cape and the cowl, are the height of technology. In the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham Island opens up for exploration as you acquire more tools, eight in total: Batarang, Explosive Gel, Batclaw, Cryptographic Sequencer, Line Launcher, Multi-Batarang, Remote Control Batarang, and Sonic Batarang. DC Universe Online holds batman as an archetype or mentor for heroes. His "power" type is listed as "gadgets."

Batman certainly could not have all of these gadgets without the Wayne fortune and Waynetech, but he also could not have them without a degree of brilliance. It could be argued that Bruce Wayne simply says to Lucius Fox, "I want you to manufacture nasal inserts that can filter toxins," and Fox does all of the work, but Bruce Wayne is usually depicted as being much more active not only in designing his technology but in concealing its intended application in order to protect his identity. Bruce Wayne's process of developing technology involves foreseeing possible battle disadvantages, determining methods of avoiding or combating these disadvantages, designing technology that can carry out these methods, brainstorming other applications of the technology in order to get Waynetech to produce the technology without revealing Batman's secret identity, and finally using the technology in a variety of situations and determining its practical efficacy. Batman's "gadgets" speak much more to the brain of the Bat than to the budget. Were the money absent, Batman would surely improvise gadgets from junk, MacGyver style.

Though Batman is known for his gadgets, he is first and foremost a detective. In Frank Miller's All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, Batman presents young, orphaned Dick Grayson, the first Robin, with the choice of being either a detective or an avenger, the reader understanding from the beginning that becoming an avenger is clearly the wrong choice. And how can anyone forget that Batman's first appearance happened in Detective Comics #27. When the film Sherlock Holmes came out in 2009, many agreed that Robert Downey Jr.'s Holmes was the best portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective. I looked at Downey Jr.'s Holmes and could see in this character Bob Kane's Batman. Bruce Wayne/Batman is probably the most highly respected detective not only of DC comics, but of comics in general. (What detective does Marvel have that could compete with the Batman?)

In the midst of the superhero discussion there have emerged groups of individuals who believe that Bruce Wayne/Batman is so smart that he does have a super power: super-intelligence. I believe it has been determined that Lex Luthor is the smartest non-powered human being in the DC Universe, but Bruce Wayne isn't very far behind. As a matter of fact, Batman's intellect has defeated Superman's brawn on at least two occasions that come to mind, in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and in Jeph Loeb's Hush. Though interesting, I think super-intelligence robs Batman of much of his significance. Like the New Mutants proved in the 1980s with the inclusion of Doug Ramsey, an extra-ordinary but completely human member on an all mutant team, Batman's importance in the DC Universe proves that human beings can be as important as anyone with supernatural powers, that superheroism is not exclusive to superhumanity.

Batman is incredibly intelligent as witnessed by the ingenuity needed to create and use all of those gadgets, but more importantly he is a fantastic detective, possibly the best. If you have the money, can you be Batman? No. You have to be smarter than anyone you know. Perhaps smarter than you can imagine.

And here's the twist that I hope will give you the desire to patiently wait until I write Part Three: You can be as wealthy as Batman and you can be as smart as Batman, but it is still not enough.

Part Three: Of Fists and Feet can be viewed here.
Part Four: Crime Alley can be viewed here.

Arnold 365, Day 107 (Commando)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Adventureland (2009)

I'm sure Adventureland will never be compared with The Godfather and Citizen Kane and Clerks, but the fact of the matter is that the film, through fantastic acting (Jesse Eisenberg, Ryan Reynolds, and heck, even Kristen Stewart was good), a great soundtrack (Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over"), and the perfect set-up from a 1980's film (a summer job at an amusement park), made me remember how different it was to fall in love and really feel hurt by someone you love as a youth. After watching this film, I remember searching all over for another recent movie that could sustain the feeling of falling in love - at this point in my life I often found myself living vicariously through film and TV - and I think I even flipped out at my good friend Adam Friedli because he couldn't think of any. It is true that the following summer, after I watched Adventureland I had a summer romance myself that has lasted me over a year now and that will hopefully last until I die. My love is better, but I couldn't have known that I'd upstage this fantastic film when I watched it. It remains a personal favorite.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Toni Braxton "Un-Break My Heart"

Toni Braxton, "Un-Break My Heart" from Secrets (1996: LaFace)

Marvel Television

As a follow up to his post titled "DC TV," Josh Toulouse at Fat Train wrote a post titled "Marvel TV" which describes his hopes and dreams for the future of television programs based on Marvel comics characters and stories. In his post, Josh describes his support for Marvel Universe, Spider-man, and his personal favorite idea, Heroes for Hire. I'm behind all of these ideas, and I'd like to raise Josh seven more ideas.


Since True Blood already deals with all of the important issues of civil rights and oppression that the original Uncanny X-Men covered so brilliantly, the point of making an X-Men live action television program has been made moot. The Age of Apocalypse, a storyline from the 1990s in which Legion creates an alternate universe by traveling into the past and accidentally killing Charles Xavier, might still work. As a matter of fact, the cartoon Wolverine and the X-Men would have covered this storyline in its second season if it weren't prematurely canceled. You'd get that post-apocalyptic vibe that Dollhouse was aiming for, potentially some really great flashbacks from the displaced Bishop, and an X-Men storyline that hasn't been done to death.


Alpha Flight is a quirky group of individuals with powers resulting from a variety of sources, science, magic, mutation, etc., and here's the kicker: They're not even American. They're Canadian. This is exactly the kind of group that fits into the modus operandi of Joss Whedon. If you think he's a good fit for Avengers, then you should know that he's an even better fit for Alpha Flight, a much odder group of individuals with values that might be different from ours and, heaven forbid, free health care.


My reasoning for Excalibur is almost exactly the same as my reasoning for Alpha Flight, with a couple of exceptions: 1. Excalibur takes place in Great Britain, 2. Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer was partially inspired by Kitty Pryde, one of the original members of Excalibur, and it could probably be argued that the Buffy's Scooby crew is, in many ways, based on Excalibur, and 3. the benefit of doing Excalibur is that we would be incredibly close to Dr. Moira McTaggert's Muir Island institute which is used for studying and rehabilitating mutants and other super-powered individuals. If I had to choose one of the two, I would choose Excalibur. It involves a couple of the most interesting X-Men and could possibly incorporate some of the brilliant stories from Captain Britain's past (including, possibly, a reference to Alan Moore's groundbreaking Captain Britain story).


Not to be confused with Swamp Thing, Man-Thing is the man! ...thing. Maybe his name would have to change a little bit, but I think a lot of people could get behind the idea of this monster/hero who guards the Nexus of All Realities (located in the Florida Everglades) from those who would use it for evil purposes. He once was a man, but now much of that humanity is lost. I imagine a Man-Thing series would probably have to be from another individual's perspective in order to make it work, a child perhaps, in a Amblin Entertainment sort of tale of wonder and friendship. With shows like Fringe and movies like Source Code gaining a great deal of support from audiences, the other-world implications of Man-Thing fit into what audiences already find appealing.


At times the Marvel Zombies comics got a little bit dry, but I don't think there's any reason that a Marvel Zombies television program couldn't work. People love zombies. People love superheroes. People love the heroic fight of zombies against superheroes. People love zombie complications like fast zombies (28 Days Later), and smart zombies (Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead). How about superhero zombies? Whereas the comic book series skipped over most of the first few days of the Marvel Zombies invasion, I think we would do well to spend a lot of time in the early days. I really think this could sell, and I really think it could be cool with the right team behind it.


One thing that the Marvel Universe is kind of missing compared to the DC Universe is an army of lesser-known solo characters who could be built up for the sake of a television program. This is why a lot of my ideas are just straight up X-Men spin-offs. Josh's idea for Heroes for Hire with Luke Cage just about spent the really great Marvel solo characters. But there are a couple left, and one of them is Moon Knight. Moon Knight is a messed-up hero with multiple personality disorder who is undermining his heroism almost as much as he is making good on it. Like my suggestion for the Harvey DC television program, I think Moon Knight casts an interesting light on lunacy (luna = moon). Unlike Harvey Dent/Two Face, however, Moon Knight is understood to be a hero. An insane hero.


I hope you weren't tired of X-Men spin-offs with a rag tag crew of characters that would be awesome in the hands of Joss Whedon because - check it out - I thought of another one. I actually heard a rumor about a Starjammers TV series a little while back and I thought it would be fantastic. While the Starjammers are, without argument, based on the characters of popular science fiction like Star Wars and Star Trek, they have developed into their own over the years and could make for a really fun and entertaining series.


This final piece is where I want to place all of my chips. I'm not talking World War Hulk. I'm talking Marvel's perspective on World War II. While Chad suggested that a similar television program regarding DC's World War II might be interesting, I kind of think that it could be better accomplished in something like a Starman television program, which I think our friend Chad would agree about. But in light of the upcoming film Captain America: The First Avenger, I think that seeing the Marvel Universe during the World War II era could be a really cool television program. Other than Captain America, we could work in Wolverine, a young Magneto, Hydra, and the Red Skull. In Ultimate Comics: Thor, we see Loki besieging Asgard with frost giants wearing Nazi uniforms in the 1940s, so we could certainly see Thor here. Furthermore, in the Ultimate universe, Nick Fury is a predecessor to Captain America because the U.S.A. wanted to test the dangerous super soldier serum on African Americans first before endangering the lives of whites like Steve Rogers. And these are just the Marvel characters we know of now. What about Namor, the original Human Torch, and all of the other pre-X-Men/Fantastic Four/Avengers/Spider-man Marvel characters? I sure as heck would want to see this TV program, and the way I see it, it would be a hard TV show to screw up.

Arnold 365, Day 106 (Commando)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pop Deconstruction: "Cecilia"

1Cecilia, you're breaking my heart
2You're shaking my confidence daily
3Oh, Cecilia, I'm down on my knees
4I'm begging you please to come home
5Cecilia, you're breaking my heart
6You're shaking my confidence daily
7Oh, Cecilia, I'm down on my knees
8I'm begging you please to come home
9Come on home
10Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia
11Up in my bedroom
12I got up to wash my face
13When I come back to bed
14Someone's taken my place
15Cecilia, you're breaking my heart
16You're shaking my confidence daily
17Oh, Cecilia, I'm down on my knees
18I'm begging you please to come home
19Come on home
20Jubilation, she loves me again,
21I fall on the floor and I'm laughing,
22Jubilation, she loves me again,
23I fall on the floor and I'm laughing
The refrain of the Simon & Garfunkel song "Cecilia" (vv. 1-4; with slight variation in vv. 5-9,15-19) is the lamentation, presumably, of a male (but not necessarily so - the song is sung by male singer Paul Simon, but the perspective could be feminine or made feminine through interpretation) regarding a female named Cecilia (while "Cecilia" is traditionally a female name, necessity does not dictate that it must be one a female name - one could imagine a "Cecilia" who is not female) with whom the protagonist was once in an intimate and physical (v.10), loving (vv. 20, 22) relationship, but is no longer. This is followed by the verse section (vv. 10-14) which describes a particular event in the past in which Cecilia betrays the unnamed protagonist with an unnamed and ungendered "someone" (not the avoidance of the gender commitment by the use of a neutered pronoun; see Chasing Amy, 1997). The listener is led to believe that this incident in some way leads to the broken heart, the shaken confidence and the abandonment of the protagonist described in the refrain. Finally, an alternate refrain (vv. 20-23) celebrates with "jubilation" (vv. 20, 22) Cecilia's assumed return (this section does not actually describe such a return, but it can be inferred by the protagonist's ecstatic response).

Verses 10-14 form the first arc, chronologically, of the story of the unnamed protagonist and Cecilia. Of the setting, we know only that it takes place in the protagonist's bedroom (v. 11), but what we don't know is whether or not this is only the protagonist's bedroom. If we skip forward chronologically to the refrain (vv. 4, 8-9, 18-19), we hear the protagonist beg Cecilia to come home. He does not say, "Come to my home" or "Come to your home," and even though he also does not say, "Come to our home," it would not be a great stretch of logic to infer that an "our," a sense of belonging which includes both the protagonist and Cecilia, might be assumed in the supplication to Cecilia to "come home." The problem of whether or not this bedroom was shared by the protagonist and Cecilia gives rise to other questions: If not Cecilia, does the protagonist perhaps share a bedroom (bunk beds, dormatory situation, intimate bed sharing) with another individual? Is this bedroom in a house, apartment, condominium, or dormatory? Is the domicile as a whole shared by multiple individuals, perhaps family members, perhaps roommates? While these questions may seem moot at the moment, each possibility paints a different picture of the betrayal that takes place in this bedroom.

Normally I would follow our discussion of setting with a discussion of characterization, but this is difficult considering the fact that the characters are without description. The only adjective used throughout the song is the possessive pronoun "my," modifying the nouns "heart," "confidence," "knees," "bedroom," "face," and "place." Characters in "Cecilia" are known only according to their actions, according to the verbs of which they are the subject. The protagonist is the one who is down, who gets up, who begs, who makes love, who washes, who falls, who laughs, who comes back, a fairly well-rounded character. Cecilia, the subject of the song, acts much less than the protagonist; all she does is break, shake, make love, and love. (Cecilia is described on Wikipedia as "a capricious lover, causing both anguish and jubilation to the singer.") Interestingly, "someone" is only described as doing one thing; he is only described as taking.

With the information provided, it is difficult to understand the exact nature of the act of betrayal carried out by Cecilia and "someone" against the unsuspecting protagonist. The first event of the narrative is the lovemaking of Cecilia and the protagonist which takes place in the protagonist's bedroom (vv. 10-11; only the protagonist's bedroom? a bedroom as a part of what kind of home? a home shared by others?). The protagonist then proceeds to wash his face (v. 12), very probably in another room, possibly a bathroom that is down a hall or in another portion of the home. I suggest this idea of distance because it makes more sense of the substitution that occurs while the protagonist is away. As the protagonist returns to his bedroom and to his bed, he witnesses Cecilia in the bed with another individual. Since "someone" is described as taking the protagonist's place and the verb used for the action between the protagonist and Cecilia is "making love," it is not ridiculous to believe that Cecilia and "someone" are caught making love in the protagonist's bed.

What we have no access to in the song "Cecilia," mainly because the story is told from the perspective of the protagonist, is the actions of Cecilia and "someone" both after the protagonist leaves the room and prior to he and Cecilia's lovemaking. This is where the question of place and occupation becomes more important. If Cecilia and/or "someone" reside at the same residence as the protagonist, the events that are described seem much more believable. Either way, and assuming that the events of "Cecilia" are not the result of a random series of accidents, there are a few things that would have to take place between Cecilia and "someone" in order to enact such a quick replacement. One presumes that Cecilia and "someone" discussed the details ahead of time and that "someone" was lying in wait for Cecilia to signal him to enter the room. The first presumption casts the betrayal as a pre-meditated action, an act of infidelity that was meant to be witnessed by the one who is being cheated on, and thus all the more cruel. The second presumption paints of a picture of this "someone" as being somewhere close by, perhaps even inside the protagonist's home, close enough to quickly receive and respond to a signal from Cecilia and thus close enough to witness, with some combination of his senses, the sacred act of lovemaking between the protagonist and Cecilia. It is difficult to properly capture just how disturbing the actions of verses 10 through 14, and even more so to an audience that has never felt such a betrayal.

After what could be described as a heinous example of pre-meditated betrayal through adultery, we are lead to believe that Cecilia leaves the protagonist, possibly even with this unnamed "someone." Does the protagonist endure a period of anger at this betrayal? There is no evidence to support such a claim. He merely describes his pains (vv. 1-2, 5-6, 15-16), the foremost of which is that his beloved Cecilia is gone, and proceeds to beg Cecilia, the one who did him such great harm, to come home. If this does not speak to the weakness of the protagonist, then his jubilation at the return of his betrayer certainly ought to. It is Cecilia's shame that she responded to the protagonist's welcome with an act so terrible, but it is the protagonist's shame that he desires above all else to have this individual back in his life. The protagonist drops to the floor and laughs where he ought to pack up his things and get as far away from Cecilia as possible. "Cecilia" presents itself as a simple song of love and loss and, finally, of return, but in fact it is a song of abuse and dependence. It is a very different "Cecilia" from the "Cecilia" of my childhood memories.

Simon & Garfunkel, "Cecilia" from Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970: Columbia)

Arnold 365, Day 104 (Commando)

Banner by Adam Friedli.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Portal 2: Lab Rat

After the surprisingly interesting Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice comic, I was gung ho to read Portal 2: Lab Rat, a comic book available on the Portal 2 web site that links the action of Portal with its forthcoming sequel. The comic captures the interesting and comedic jargon that, combined with fantastic game play, made Portal such a catchy video game. It even has an interesting take on Schrodinger's cat. I would definitely check out Portal 2: Lab Rat. It is a great way to pass the time until the game is released.

Portal 2: Lab Rat is available via the Portal 2 web site here. The comic can also be downloaded in PDF form here.