Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hey there, kids. Last night I went over to Steans Manor and had a lovely dinner (thanks, Jamie!) of parmesan chicken, rice, green beans, and corn. My body almost went into shock with all of the nutrition, and everything tasted great, too.
After dinner Ryan and I watched The Howling on FEARnet. FEARnet is an on-demand cable service with a library of free horror movies. There were two or three commercials- one before the movie started, and one or two during the movie itself- but you could fast forward through them if you chose to do so, just the same way you could if you had recorded a program on your DVR. I think that FEARnet and other, similar on-demand cable channels just might be the way of the future for a lot of TV programming, although I wouldn't be surprised to see more commercials in the future (I'm not sure that the small amount of advertising on the FEARnet programming is going to be enough to allow a network like that to survive).
Anyway, I thought I had seen The Howling before, but having watched it last night, I'm not sure. At any rate, it's a movie from 1981 about a television reporter who gets attacked while investigating a serial killer. In order to psychologically recover from the attack, she and her husband attend a sort of retreat out in the countryside, in the woods. Instead of providing a relaxing good time, however, wouldn't ya know that their woodland getaway is infested with werewolves? Bummer.
The movie was pretty good, although it had a few of the idiosyncrasies common to 70's and 80's movies (the pacing was odd at times, and there was occasionally some questionable acting). The screenplay was by John Sayles, though, and the underlying story was pretty interesting. The special effects were pretty cool, even if they seem a little rough compared to the CG imagery we get today. Anyway, it was a fun movie, and it was good for getting into the Halloween spirit!
What else?
The City of Austin is establishing a Live Music Task Force to address issues ranging from noise ordinance enforcement to parking costs for musicians to dwindling audience sizes at some of the more popular venues around town. I think this task force is a good idea and long overdue. For a city that describes and sells itself as "the live music capital of the world", Austin can be sort of a rough town for musicians. The cost of living in this town isn't cheap, and clubs don't pay musicians very much (in their defense, a lot of them can't afford to- aside from big events like SXSW and ACL Fest, audiences for live music in Austin have been shrinking over the last few years and overhead costs keep increasing). Plus, with all of the residential development downtown, it's probably a good idea to have someone advocating for the musicians (when all of these people in their million dollar condos start crying about the sounds of live music downtown, we need someone to remind them that this city was all about live music long before yuppies started moving into the high rises). Anyway, to be honest, I think that the city is much more worried about tourist dollars and SXSW as opposed to the plight of the average local musician, but the city is also smart enough to realize that if Austin doesn't maintain a viable, year-round music scene, then the clubs that provide venues for SXSW aren't going to be around when it comes time for the city to take in its yearly multimillion dollar music tourist windfall every spring.
Anyway, I'm all for any action by the city that might make things easier for musicians and club owners.
And.... India is getting more involved in space exploration, launching an unmanned lunar orbiter today which is meant to study geographic and geological features of the moon. I think this is really cool. I wish the U.S. would put a greater focus back on our space program. It could help create jobs, help facilitate technological advancement, and we might even make some useful discoveries in terms of discovering resources in space.
And its been a rough week for McCain, with Colin Powell coming out to endorse Obama and defending his leadership credentials, but despite lagging behind in the recent poll data, McCain did manage to pick up at least one critical endorsement this week. An Al Qaeda web site posted a column this week which asked its readers to do what they could to support McCain. The password protected site, which has been monitored by SITE Intelligence Group out of Maryland, posted a message this week telling members that in order to exhaust the United States both militarily and economically, it would be better to have the "impetuous" Republican Senator John McCain in the White House, because he would continue the wars in Iraq and Afganistan and continue the "failing march of his predecessor, Bush." The web site went so far as to encourage members to carry out "a big operation against American interests" in order to encourage Americans to elect McCain so that he could "take revenge for them against Al Qaeda", which would in turn allow Al Qaeda to "succeed in exhausting America".
So there you have it- a key endorsement for McCain.
I really don't know what to say when our enemies are begging us to keep fighting because they understand that we lose just by continuing to wage the war, but the meanwhile the warhawks within our own ranks wrap themselves in the flag and refuse to understand.
Up is down. Black is white.

Well, that's it for now. Hope you guys are enjoying yourselves.


Anonymous said...

bsrWas The Howling better than American Werewolf in London??

Lately, Hollywood seems to favor zombie-ism over vampirism, and both over lycanthropy. Which is a crying shame. Every werewolf shall have its day!

Kevin Palka, Lycanthropy Party '08

J.S. said...

We actually discussed that when the movie was over. The Howling came out a little bit before American Werewolf, and it seems like it may have informed AWIL to some degree (Ryan said he thought that some of the werewolf effects in Howling were even better than in AWIL). I'm really not sure you can beat the comedic value of having your undead friends following you around and telling you that you need to kill yourself because you've become a werewolf a**hole, though. That's just good stuff.

The League said...

I think I said I thought American Werewolf was better.. citing that Rick Baker worked on both. Who knows... I was so full of Candy Corn by the end of the movie, I could have said anything.

According to IMDB, Baker actually left The Howling in production to go work on American Werewolf in London.

I may have said I preferred the bi-pedal Werewolves of Howling to the final product of AWiL, and that the make-up was actually pretty good for its day. Both of which I do believe, but the fx in AWiL are probably "better" if you want to talk transformations, etc...

Man, now I really want to watch AMiL to compare, side-by-side.