June 24, 2010

This is the Limit

Category: Life — Cranky @

So I was driving down the street… I wonder why we use “up” and “down” when referring to a street. Sure, we might drive up or down a hill, but otherwise, you’re driving “on” a street. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there… wait… what’s up with “neither here nor there”? There are lots of alternatives to here and there. There’s also over there.

Anyway… so I was driving on the street yesterday. I looked around and checked my speed. 65 km/h. That was fine. Nobody tickets under 10 km/h over, and this was a 60 zone. Wait… I looked around a bit more. Four lanes, no parking on the streets… lots of distance and visibility… can’t remember ever seeing an accident on this stretch… Feels like a 60 zone. Should be a 60 zone.

Then I noticed that there were no signs designating it as such. I might have missed them after the last intersection. Then I got to thinking. This is exactly the kind of road that our city would leave a 50 zone and monitor with photo radar.

You see, the police position photo radar in our city at positions that maximize profits. If they placed the vans to maximize the preservation of life, they would pick high collision locations and put up signs warning motorists that radar was present – then people would slow down. Sure you might see them perodically in construction zones, but the majority of vans aren’t anywhere useful. Instead, they put radar on spots where you wouldn’t expect them to be – like roads with inappropriately low limits.

So as I looked around, I thought to myself, “This feels like a radar zone, because our officials are twits.” I took my foot off the gas and started to brake.

Flash.

“You MOTHERF…”. I’ll spare you the remainder of my colourful soliloquy. Asinine sons of questionable women… I hope the person who deployed this van stubs their toe tonight, develops gangrene, and loses a foot.

Cranky

June 14, 2010

The Death of the Vampire

Category: Entertainment — Cranky @

When I was growing up, my favorite monster was always the vampire. Dracula was always the perfect blend of evil and presence. He is simultaneously an elegant figure, and one utterly enslaved to his base needs. Stoker’s novel captured my imagination, and the 1931 Bela Lugosi film strained to bring that vision to the screen. Later I would watch what is really the first Dracula movie – a brilliant 1922 movie called “Nosferatu”. I would not have enjoyed it when I was in my teens, but I love it today.

For me, the best casting of Dracula will always be Gary Oldman. While 1992’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” is very flawed (Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker? Really?), Oldman’s portrayal of the tortured creature was amazing. Throw in some through-the-fabric silhouetted Winona Ryder side-boob, and you’ve got a show I can watch over and over.

Sadly, the Vampire is now dead. Pop culture has killed it.

In the last two decades, the vampire has been drained of every last shred of creativity. We’ve had young vampires, and old ones. We’ve had mindless killing machines and stuck up, conceited snobs. We’ve had young, good looking vampires with typical teenage lives and problems. We’ve had hordes of vampires in skin-tight leather, for some ridiculous reason. We’ve had stylish vampires. Sex and the undead are now inextricably linked.

We’ve had vampires who were the leaders of vast corporate networks, and vampires who lived out of vans. We’ve had oodles of vampires with martial arts training. We’ve even had vampires that hunted other vampires. We’ve even had vampires in space.

We’ve had every banal premise imagineable. I swear you can take the most brain-dead, mediocre piece of writing, stick a vampire in it, and some studio, somewhere, will make the film. There’s a built-in audience for it, too. There are people who will consume anything with vampires in it, regardless of whether or not the product has any artistic merit or quality.

Enough already. Let the rotting corpse of the vampire be buried. We can’t restore it’s respectability – that ship has sailed – but maybe we can stop painting it up and whoring it out to any idiot with a pen and ten percent of a screenplay.

Do your part. There is absolutely nothing left to say about vampires that hasn’t already been said. If your pinheaded “writer” friend has this “new idea” for a new movie about vampires, he’s wrong. There are NO new ideas left. If he persists, just put a bullet in him. No one would blame you.

Cranky