Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger

TAL: ‘Long Shot’

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I thought This American Life was especially good this week even by its usual high standards, featuring the losingest high school football team in Utah, the longest shot ever to win the Kentucky Derby, and a murderer sentenced to life in California who suddenly receives parole after twenty-seven years in San Quentin—subject to Schwarzenegger’s veto. The last of the pieces, by perennial Canavan favorite Wells Tower, doesn’t seem to have all that much to do with long shots, but it hit home for me anyway; I have more than one Close Associate who uses entropy as a maintenance scheme and everything Tower had to say I wish I’d written.

Other Links

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Other links.

* Inevitable endpoint of historical trends: Administrators in the Undergraduate Studies (US) office [at UC Davis] have asked if freshmen seminar instructors would voluntarily opt out of their quarterly stipend for teaching the one-to-two-unit courses for freshmen.

* The Italian magazine Wired has your map of the future.

* Bootleg DVD covers.

* Dick Armey: “The largest empirical problem we have in health care today is too many people are too overinsured.” Of course! That’s the problem.

* Someone really didn’t think this one through.

* How American politics works, part 1: [The Boxer] bill will be a dead letter. Already there’s an undercurrent of anxiety in Washington that a bill can never pass as long as it’s associated with an unpopular lady senator who runs one of the body’s most liberal committees. The Senate isn’t like the House. There is no party discipline among Democrats; in fact, Democratic senators are fond of explicitly disclaiming party discipline. It’s a chamber full of large, jostling egos and not a little old-boy sexism. They’re not about to let a combative liberal woman run the show.

* How American politics works, part 2: What not to spend your empire’s money on.

* Who is running for president in 2012? Only the new mayor of Manchester, N.H., knows for sure. Matt Yglesias has your chart showing no Republican can win in 2012, while Hendrik Hertzberg has something you can’t get in your fancy East Coast universities: his gut.

* And Pandagon considers Betty Draper.

All Class

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Gov. Schwarzenegger: All class.

In fairness, I love this.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm

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Sci-Fi Links for a Thursday without Joy

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Sci-Fi links for a Thursday without joy.

* AskMetaFilter on slammin’ science fiction-themed hip-hop.

* Where I Write: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors in Their Creative Spaces.

* Just Another Post-Apocalypse Story.

* Fox is promising not to ruin Dollhouse this time around.

* Terry Gilliam is hoping to adapt a Philip K. Dick novel, The World Jones Made. Will it be the first PKD movie since Blade Runner to be actually good? (Sorry Arnold.)

* And Warren Ellis says the future is small.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 6, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Terminated

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Terminated: Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone out of his way to slash needed social spending in California.

The cuts include slashing $25 million from health clinics; $52 million from AIDS prevention, education and treatment programs; $16 million from domestic violence programs; $50 million from Healthy Families, which provides health insurance for poor children; and $37.6 million from In-Home Supportive Services.

That $16 million represents all state funding for domestic violence shelters.

Hard to believe the celebrity governor thing didn’t work out.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 2, 2009 at 2:22 am

DFW on T2

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“T2” is thus also the first and best instance of a paradoxical law that appears to hold true for the entire F/X Porn genre. It is called the Inverse Cost and Quality Law, and it states very simply that the larger a movie’s budget is, the shittier that movie is going to be. The case of “T2” shows that much of the ICQL’s force derives from simple financial logic. A film that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make is going to get financial backing if and only if its investors can be maximally — _maximally_ — sure that at the very least they will get their hundreds of millions of dollars back [11] — i.e. a megabudget movie must not fail (and “failure” here means anything less than a runaway box-office hit) and must thus adhere to certain reliable formulae that have been shown by precedent to maximally ensure a runaway hit. One of the most reliable of these formulae involves casting a superstar who is “bankable” (i.e. whose recent track record of films shows a high ROI). The studio backing for “T2”’s wildly sophisticated and digital F/X therefore depends on Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger agreeing to reprise his Terminator role. Now the ironies start to stack, though, because it turns out that Schwarzenegger — or perhaps more accurately “Schwarzenegger, Inc.,” or “Ahnodyne” — has decided that playing any more malevolent cyborgs would compromise the Leading Man image his elite and bankable record of ROI entails. He will do the film only if “T2″‘s script is somehow engineered to make the Terminator the Good Guy. Not only is this vain and stupid and shockingly ungrateful [12], it is also common popular knowledge, duly reported in both the trade and the popular entertainment media before “T2” even goes into production. There’s consequently a weird postmodern tension to the way we watch the film; we’re aware of what the bankable star’s demands were, and we’re also aware of how much the movie cost and how important bankable stars are to a big-budget movie; and so one of the few things that keeps us on the edge of our seats during the movie is our suspense about whether James Cameron can possibly weave a plausible, non-cheesy narrative that meets Schwarzenegger’s career needs without betraying “T1″‘s precedent.

The Great David Foster Wallace on Terminator 2. (Via Candleblog.) I’ve said before: T2 can only be understood as a parody of the Terminator franchise as a whole.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 31, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Terminator

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Wow, so Terminator Salvation is pretty terrible. There are about forty-five seconds of compelling footage when You Know Who is on-screen; the rest is barely even a movie.

Here are my thoughts.

* Was that badass-but-nameless woman supposed to be Sarah Connor, who last we heard was absent from her empty grave? If not, she really should have been.
* Skynet needs to study both military tactics and military strategy.
* In particular, it should consider how effective two or more Terminators could be in situations where one Terminator might potentially be vulnerable, if only to dumb luck.
* Skynet also needs to consider its ultimate goal or goals, which, if I may offer one criticism, appear to make no sense.
* Where was Derek? Where was Derek?

Written by gerrycanavan

May 22, 2009 at 2:58 am

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