Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A People's Military History of The Video Wars of Ought-Six, Chapter One

So the Editors has published his history of the Great Video Wars to great acclaim. Well, I'm here counter that very conventional, very one-sided, very biased work by presenting an example of the hidden history of the Great War.

That's right. The Editors, court historian that he is, leaves out a crucial battle of that war, and in the process cheats youtubeitary history students of an example of magisterial tactical acumen.

I refer of course to the feint known as Retardo's Gambit. General Retardo, in charge of Sadly, No!'s reserves, faced fierce rear-guard action from the forces of Word Press, a mercenary legion in the pay of Atrios. Yet as a diversion, he attacked anyway, posting an entry in which the videos did not appear! This tactic so discombobulated the victims (the combined forces of The Editors, Atrios, and Andrew Sullivan), that Sadly No!'s main forces controlled by Generals Brad R. and Gavin M. reformed their lines, and cut through the enemy to decisively defeat the Axis of Annoying, forcing the settlement known as the Treaty of Wank.

Now I shall present that part of the war The Editors does not want you to see, though, unfortunately, I cannot recreate Retardo's Gambit in a completely truthful way: the manuever is so complex that it's impossible to show it in its original, video-less, glory. However, I give you the next best thing:

I'm Back, And I'm 'Bout To Glock You Bitchez Real Good

So Atrios and Teh Editorz think they all that, huh? Well I got my homies' backs, so I'm gonna fuck some shit up good, yo.

They got Star Wars shit and garden variety New Wave fashion atrocities? Hair metal? I got that shit met.

First, how 'bout some fat ubermullet Meat Loaf-lookin' screamation meh'ul:

I laugh at your Warrant and present the emetic, castrato strains of Steelheart, whose vocalist is the only dude ever who can make Jeff Goldstein's voice sound masculine in comparison:

Star Wars? Oh, well allow me to present the Altered States via Tron sci-fi wizardy of Aldo Motherfucking Nova:

Mr Roboto? It is to laugh, fools! I present the Gay Robot Harlequin Man, Klaus Nomi:

Oh yes, that's right. Die, bitchez, die.

And I mock your A Flock of Seagulls vids. Hah! Look, if it's a war of New Wave fashion atrocities you want, then you have just met your Hiroshima, cobagz! I have the New Wave WMD right here: Spandau Ballet in motherfuckin kilts:

Yeah, since I'm kickin you when you down now; how 'bout that 'Road Warrior' look so fashionable in 1983:

And, because they were artistes and so had to heavily infuse the Road Warrior post-apocalyptic look with classic German cinema, there's this, easily the worst hit they ever had:

You go back home to yo' mommas, fools.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Always The Sun

Finally saw Oliver Stone's Alexander. Not as bad as I'd anticipated (though I've only seen the Director's Cut version on DVD) but still a failure, I think, of cinema mostly because Colin Farrell was a terrible casting choice.

But then, curiously, as the movie wore on, I began to appreciate his attempt. His acting was a failure not because of an idicosyncratic approach, but because he just didnt have the chops. On the other hand, I admit I can't think of anyone who could have pulled it off to my liking.

In some ways it's a brave film -- heavy on the bisexuality, which means it's true to its subject. Bagoas was a nice touch; a nod to Mary Renault, for which Stone should be praised.

As for the story, I'm sorta peeved that one of my favorite Alexander anecdotes was ignored. I should stress that the following is from memory:

When Alexander was still a prince, he and his friends from school encountered in town a strange, unkempt man lying in a tub out in the street, sunning himself. Alexander's group walked up to him and addressed him. The man simply replied in asking them to stop blocking the sunlight he was enjoying. This, of course, was unspeakably rude, and considering to whom the insult was addressed, dangerously so. Alexander's friends took offence for the prince. But Alexander himself was amused -- more to the point, he was touched. The rude man was a philosopher, Diogenes the Cynic. Alexander moved so that his shadow no longer blocked the sun, and did something kind (whether it was an apology or a gift of coin, I don't remember). As the Prince and his party left, he told his astonished friends: "Were I not Alexander, I should like to be Diogenes."


That story reminds me of another anecdote concerning Cynics. A Roman Emperor (I think it was Diocletian) profiled in Suetonius's gossipy book had a certain drollery about him. When his litter would pass by men he knew to be Cynics, he'd push back the curtains, stick his head out, and bark at them loudly. ("Cynic" is Greek for "dog".)


More about Alexander here.