(via the Atlantic)
Anyone else remember why British humorist Alan Coren published a collection titled Golfing for Cats with a swastika on the cover?
NYMag‘s Vulture blog has an anniversary interview with Chris Carter:
On September 10, 1993, a strange series called The X-Files infiltrated Friday nights on Fox, with brooding story lines involving government conspiracies, sewer-dwelling man-monsters, and little green men. No one knew quite what to make of it at first — including the Fox executives who took a gamble on the project. But series creator and first-time showrunner Chris Carter, a former editor of Surfing magazine, continued to carry out his obsessive vision of recapturing the hair-raising urgency and weirdness of Kolchak: The Night Stalker and other quirky programs he’d watched growing up. His efforts paid off, to say the least, and twenty years down the line, it’s hard to overestimate the show’s cultural reach: Besides notching Fox a first-ever Emmy nomination for Most Outstanding Drama in 1995, and making television safe for the countless shows with a skeptic-believer framework and scare-your-pants-off quality that followed, The X-Files also acted as a proving ground for an impressive number of writing phenoms — most notably Breaking Bad‘s Vince Gilligan, and Homeland‘s Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon — who are churning out some of the best stuff on TV today.
After 202 episodes and a pair of feature films, The X-Files’ deeply suspicious worldview feels as relevant as ever. Now, following a much-deserved break and plenty of television binge-watching, Carter’s ginning up a return to the genre with a sci-fi drama for Amazon Studios and a paranoia-fueled AMC project that can only be classified as Top Secret; he’s also helping to plot a tenth season of The X-Files (simmer down, it’s in comic book form). In order to celebrate the show’s big two-oh, Carter dialed in — from a blocked number, of course — to comment on the possibility of a third film, Mulder and Scully’s most virtuous traits, the pressures of following up such a massive success, and how The X-Files’ very, very long tail is even shaking up NBC’s fall schedule…
Also on Vulture, “Every One of This Summer’s Star Wars: Episode VII Rumors and Reports“:
June 11: Schmoes Know leaks a plot description that says the story line for Episode VII will revolve around two 17-year-old twins, one male and one female, who are “trained by their uncle Luke to be the greatest Jedis in the galaxy. Problems arise when the male twin turns to the dark side.”
June 19: Bleeding Cool leaks a casting breakdown for Episode VII that includes descriptions of seven lead characters, including two “late-teen” females and five males ranging from a “young twenty-something” to a “seventy-something male with strong opinions.”
June 26: The Sun reports that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher “will be supplied with a top nutritionist and fitness trainer” to get into shape for Episode VII…
July 24: Latino Review reports that Leonardo DiCaprio passed on a role in Episode VII in favor of Tobey Maguire’s Robotech movie. Also, it states that Disney is considering Zac Efron for an unknown role and Ryan Gosling for Luke Skywalker’s son…
Wasn’t there supposed to be a third X-Files movie, one that went back to the Alien Invasion arc instead of the monster-of-the-week thing they did in the second film? I remember hearing rumors about that. Did it get canned?
If I tried that with my fat cat, I’d be a bloody mess.
Best X-Files is the one where Peter Boyle could tell by looking at you how you were going to die.
The Star Wars rumors are hilarious, but only if they’re not true.
Robotech ought to be interesting. Maybe for the third move they can show the motorcycles that become body armor.
RIP, Big Josh:
“This series would eventually evolve into Daily Kos.”
That’s also the only one that won an Emmy for writing. There are a ton of Buster Keaton jokes in the episode, starting with the title (“Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose.”) All of the minor characters are named after Keaton’s writers and the episode’s climax happens at the Damfino Hotel, which refers back to this short.
That same writer, Darin Morgan, did several other classic episodes, including “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” which revived Charles Nelson Reilly’s career.
I don’t see the point of the aquatic treadmill. For a cat.
Cats get fat when they eat grains. As obligate carnivores, they don’t have the enzymes to digest them properly. They get dumped into the blood as sugar, their pancreas can’t keep up, and the body pushes the sugar into fat cells to get rid of it.
@MattF: Yeah, it’s a big shock. One of my favorite moments there was seeing Johnny Clegg admiring his ear spools.
Watching The Wedding Singer my favorite Adam Sandler movie. Has anyone ever been to a wedding where eithet thr groom or bridr didnt show up?
Why can’t they just feed the cat less food? They only eat what you give them.
@lamh36: I went to a wedding once that everyone agreed was a bad idea. At one point, the groom asked everyone in the room to stand up to show their support. Everyone stayed seated.
RIP Frederik Pohl
@different-church-lady: “This series would eventually evolve into Daily Kos.”
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
Didn’t know him, never heard of him, but….He reminds me of a few different big fellas I knew fairly well back in my drinking days. Imposingly large, shaved heads, tattoos, scary-looking, but sweethearts (and smart guys, to boot) with a really fucking tough job. RIP, Big Josh.
@jeffreyw: One of the authors of The Space Merchants.
Which was, sadly, waaaaay too prescient.
What a good writer.
I’m interested in the Jack Ryan movie that is supposedly coming out at Christmas, based on an original story having nothing to do with any of the Tom Clancy books.
Chris Pine gets the lead, and supposedly Kenneth Branagh plays the villain, a Russian oligarch. Keira Knightley plays the World’s Hottest Ophthalmic Surgeon (Cathy Ryan).
And what cute furry thing for the kiddies will be appearing this time?
Wow, I didn’t know that. I loved the episode anyway, despite missing all that!
That’s why what saves Mulder is that he slips on a cream pie. :-)
After the debacle of episodes I to III for Star Wars I wonder who is interested in a sequel.
Well, we went to see The Butler. Well acted and a great story but it’s a little hard to learn that many key dramatic elements are made up.
Hey anyone here up on the history of inheritance law here in the US? I was just reading about a (real-life) woman in late 1800s/early 1900s, whose husband died without making a will, so most of the estate passed to the deceased’s sister and nephew. I had thought if someone died intestate that the estate would go to the surviving spouse. So I’m just wondering how this worked. A will written prior to marriage that the husband forgot to update? Shenanigans by the family/lawyer? Or was the law on this just not as settled as I imagine it was, given the widow had no children and the sister had a son. I mean this was in New York, not England, so it’s not like the deceased’s paltry estate was entailed! Anyone have any ideas?
I not only remember the ‘why’ of the Coren book/cover, I have it on my bookshelf opposite me now. Since it predates the internet by about 15 years, I think it shows that what everyone pays attention to doesn’t change that much – 2 of the big web obsessions (would ‘Porn for Cats’ with a cat with lipstick and wearing a PVC swastika have worked?)
@cathyx: One of mine is quite large, when I restrict his food he restricts his activity to match.
And speaking of cats, look! here’s a Tunchette:
I had a copy of that! It was the result of his publisher having told him that the three most popular nonfiction book subjects at the time (late ’70s?) were pets, sports and the Nazi era. Surefire bestseller!
ETA: Haven’t read the thread yet, so not cheating.
Some of the best writing is a result of trying to solve a problem. [*] [**]
My recollection is that the whole big conspiracy arc started in Season 2 as a way to deal with Gillian Anderson’s pregnancy and maternity leave. Before that, Season 1 was just a bunch of separate creepy episodes. And for me as probably with most fans, that big ridiculous conspiracy was what made the show. It was just so wonderfully deep-reaching and ludicrous.
[*] As Stephen King explored in Misery, when Annie Wilkes insists that Paul Sheldon bring Misery back from the dead in a plausible way, and he ends up writing the best book of his career.
[**] Yeah, I’m geeky enough to sometimes footnote my comments.
Just had a very nice dinner of Applewood Smoked Turkey Tenderloin, au gratin potatoes, roasted potatoes and carrots. Yum.
I miss the early X-files. I have them all on video so I still watch them periodically. It used to be that if DH and I went away for the weekend we HAD to be home by 9pm Sunday. My favorite episode of all time is Post Modern Prometheus.
That is correct. In fact, one of the stops on the fall ghost tours I conduct involves just such a story, and how the widow got the Kentucky courts to grant her rights in the estate.
Not sure about the history but here in NC right now if a husband dies intestate his widow is entitled to one third of the estate (in addition to a 10K annual allowance) and then she is entitled to her percentage of the remaining two thirds along with any surviving children. In one particular case the widow received her one third and then one sixth of the remaining two thirds with the husband’s children from a prior marriage sharing the two thirds at one sixth a piece. Hope that makes sense.
I need to read more of Pohl’s works than I have. I feel pretty guilty about that.
@Botsplainer: Thanks for the info! That just seems utterly whackadoodle. Your husband of umpteen years dies, you’re reeling from that, plus you get kicked out of your house so your sister-in-law can move in. Anyway – thanks for the confirmation!
@raven: I was OK with that. The father and son are speaking for entire archetypes of the Civil Rights era. I wondered if the entirely-fictional Louis was based in part on John Lewis.
Also, one of the most satisfying moments of the movie, that he survived to cast a vote for Obama and see Obama win, was taken from reality.
We loved that movie. Until we went to see it, I had no idea it was supposed to be a “black” movie. It just sounded like a great story, as I’d thought since I read the original WaPo article, and the casting of Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey was all I needed to hear to be completely sold.
The two of us constituted 1/2 of the non-black audience at the 4 pm matinee, and that house was PACKED, which you never see at a matinee.
This is such a great movie and such a wonderful cast, I hope it’s not just being marketed as a “black” movie to African American audiences.
The fact that wingnuttia has tied itself in knots over the casting of Jane Fonda is just an extra special treat on top of an already-great film.
Is she self-certified?
I was, am, a huge X-Phile. I got into the show during the second episode which guest-starred Seth Green. I wasn’t enthused to figure out from the big movie that there really WASN’T an established myth arc and that Carter & Co. were making it up as they went along (changing the alien MO for one thing).
Still, I wrote a sh-tload of fanfic for the show. Ever visit the Gossamer site? It’s still up and running. http://fluky.gossamer.org/
Tough boss is tough. I can has a Union?
@Litlebritdifrnt: Yeah, that makes sense in terms of sharing between wife and children. It’s the skipping over the wife to hand the money to the guy’s sister and family that I thought was strange. Thanks for the info!
It can’t be worse than the dreck Clancy’s been turning out since… oh, I’ll say the late nineties.
There actually is a lot of good stuff in his early books. But 1) they’ve already done most of them, and 2) at this point it’d be like making a period piece anyway.
Philly Federation of Teachers meeting occurring now. Follow on twitter via https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PhillyEducation&src=tyah
Randy Weingarten pledges support of aft, uft and afl cio. Declares philly ground zero of fake reform mvmnt.#phillyeducation
The audience also did not know what to make of Brisco County, Jr, which premiered the same time and was the lead in for X-Files. And that first year, I thought that Brisco was the much better show.
@Walker: Still adore that show. Have the DVD set.
It’s the coming thing!
He wrote one “aw shucks, gee whiz” fun book (Patriot Games), one fairly tight technothriller (Hunt for Red October) and one super tight Cold War masterpiece (Cardinal of the Kremlin). The rest were shit.
Aha, I found the nationalparalegal.edu site, which looks interesting. So evidently the NYS intestate laws were still operating under common law rules. Doesn’t say when it changed, prob because it varies among states. Thanks folks!
@jenn: Could the husband possibly have held the property in a life estate? That seems to be technically different from entail and bypass the usual widow’s claim.
It seems sad to make Carrie Fisher jump back into that role again. She is such a mess. I feel so bad for her. Sometimes I wonder if that role and the fame that resulted from it is what fucked her up so bad.
Then again, maybe she needs the money from this movie. But then I’d still feel sad for her, just in a different way.
@PaulW: The freakiest thing about X-Files is how much slash pr0n it inspired. I swear, it seemed like every bit of erotica on the internet in the 90s was about all kinds of kinky things Mulder and Scully were doing to each other, and everyone around them.
@efgoldman: Mmm… Apple Wood Smoked* Pizza!
* I Kid!
Why not just recast the roles? Fisher, Hammill and Ford are too damn old. The twins are Han and Leia.
Oops. Han and Leia’s kids.
Dunno, I only use the Applewood Smoked turkey so I am not familiar with anything else.
@jenn: Is it possible that it was a common-law marriage that wasn’t recognized as such legally? The only reason that I can think of for skipping over the guy’s wife to go to his sister is if the wife wasn’t legally recognized as a wife, officially leaving the sister as next-of-kin.
Fruitwoods give a much more subtle flavor than hickory. They are ideal for pork, while hickory works well for beef. I am not sure it matters for turkey.
@Steeplejack: Yes, I remember that too. There was a joke that took off from that (or maybe predated it) that the most popular topics for American publishers were dogs, medicine, and Abraham Lincoln, so someone published a book titled Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog.
The Canadian version was hockey, humo(u)r and handicrafts, giving birth to Wayne Gretzky’s Favorite Macramé Jokes
Ted & Hellen
I have a feeling that Zac Efron is going to be a big star as an adult actor in adult roles.
@Botsplainer: Agreed, though I’ll give him props for “Sum of All Fears,” the anthropological treatise on a Native American connecting with the PFLP, and how to build a nuclear weapon. That was pretty cool.
The movie sucked.
I’ll throw in Red Storm Rising (though it’s not Ryanverse). That, Red October, and Cardinal, I really like a lot.
They get progressively worse after that. You’d think President Jack Ryan was the ultimate shark jump, but he managed to surpass himself in the next book by unironically lifting a terrorist plot straight from Roger Moore era James Bond.
After the first JJ Abrams Star Wars is released, the acclaim for George Lucas’ genius and directorial acumen will become universal.
And his scripting chops.
@Sir Laffs-a-lot: Thankfully the retards who scripted the filmed abortion known as Star Trek : Into Darkness won’t be anywhere near Pinewood Studios. Prepare for two and a half hours of lightsaber lens flare.
For about the same reason crash diets don’t work well for humans. A big part of the problem is that the ratio of calories to micronutrients is off, so the cats have to eat too many calories to be well nourished. The right solution to that is a combination of switching to a more nutritionally dense food and increased exercise to burn off the excess calories, including all the stored calories from however long of getting too many.
@gogol’s wife: I wasn’t a huge x men fan but I remember that one. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
@Libby’s person: No, they were actually married. It looks like the law has changed so that now widows are top benificieries (I think I spelled that wrong) along with kids (in some states), but back then they were dealing with common law, where the widow gets her “widow’s portion” and the bulk of the estate goes to the deceased’s blood relations. Seems really strange. And really cruel. I can only imagine my thoughts if my husband dies, I get kicked out of my house so my sister-in-law’s family can move in. I can’t imagine that scenario allowing for good relations between them thereafter, so basically she would have lost her in-laws as family at the same time as she lost her husband.
It makes more sense if you think of the property as a family asset. If the marriage had produced children, the money presumably would have gone to them. Since it didn’t, the money stays in the family by going to the sister and nephew.
There wasn’t a single one of the rumors posted above that weren’t designed to have Star Wars fans organize into violent terrorist cells. It’s the agent as Internet troll concept.
@efgoldman: Interesting, thanks!
Marianne Faithfull – “Working Class Hero” (live)
X-Files was one of few series that I watched from the very first episode, and was hooked. Watching Gillian Anderson’s character evolve, trying to mesh scientific knowledge with first-hand knowledge and experience, was a fun journey. And there was a goofy, humorous undercurrent that ran through the entirety, from Mulder’s apartment number (42) to the flashbacks of the Lone Gunmen, and Mulder’s pursuit of online porn. While ‘Outer Space’ was definitely entertaining, I though the best single ep outside of the alien conspiracy arc was The Field Where I Died.
I’ll be a heretic and say I actually enjoyed the MotW episodes more than the story arc.
He also wrote a fairly good WWIII novel in Red Storm Rising, though it obviously isn’t part of the Jack Ryan universe.
@jenn: Roger is right. Women had their own property, or could, that was secured to them in other ways–in Regency novels this is always described as a “settlement” and sometimes your dowry could come back to you in the event of the death of your husband. But, basically, if you married into a family and didn’t produce children (and in some cases didn’t produce a son) you might be out of luck when it came to being cared for by the family property.
@Walker: The smoke is an undertone of flavour, but it should not overpower the taste of the meat. Having said that, applewood smoking is just the latest dumb trend that comes around. Ten years ago everything was smoked with mesquite. Now you pretty much have to smoke it yourself to get it.
If it makes you feel any better, it was probably the alcoholism/drug use combined with her bipolar disorder that caused most of her problems. The fact that she started performing with her mother at about age 12 probably didn’t help much.
The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising were his best works.
ETA: i see others agree on Red Storm and were earlier, too.
@Roger Moore: Yeah, but I still think it sucks! Glad the laws here have changed. It would be fairer if there had been any indication that the sister’s family had done anything whatsoever toward the improvement of the property, but there wasn’t. So the widow went back to cram herself into her aged parents home along with her unmarried sister(s).
Highly recommend Lee Camp’s take on avoiding war in Syria
Funny and to the point.
apple, used for grilling/smoking foods, is a lighter, sweeter smoke flavor than say hickory or oak is.
of course, if one drowns the dish in salty/spicy condiments, the effort to use the lighter smoke is wasted.
And from, oh, whole *days* ago, I wanna confess that I was pretty disgruntled to be painted as a “slut-shamer” just bc I give a darn about Ms. Cyrus, while I don’t know or care much of anything about Mr. Thicke.
If that response is all about my aversion to women being open and edgy with their sexuality, I am puzzled, given the Nina Hagen Tori Amos Toni Childs Bjork etc etc etc albums prominently displayed in my living room.
@lamh36: No, but I’ve been to an internment where the deceased was two hours late. He was being buried in Staten Island and to arrive from the funeral home in Connecticut.
@aimai: Yes, the joys of the entail. This isn’t quite the same, though – if the husband had only thought to make a will, she could have inherited the house and property. It was because he hadn’t, that she got screwed.
In principle, at least, her male relatives were supposed to have to take her in and look after her, at least until they could marry her off again. I still think community property is a better law, and I’m pissed off that it’s possible to nullify it with a prenuptial agreement.
Hell of a way to treat a cat. Want it to lose weight? It would be kinder to put her on a leash and drive slowly. And feed her on beef kidneys and a vitamin supplement.
Only if she could still have children. Otherwise the expectation was that she would assist in the running of the household and basically stay out of the patriarch’s way.
Out of curiosity and since it’s an open thread; anyone else who’s into these kinds of books, what else do you recommend? I’ve tried Dale Brown and Stephen Coonts, both feel like a shittier version of Clancy (with the exception of Coonts’ Final Flight, which I actually loved). Tried LeCarre, and can’t get into his writing style. Ian Fleming, of course, read most of those. And finally Frederick Forsyth, who’s easily my favorite in the entire genre.
Any other authors in the same vein that’re worth checking out?
@Roger Moore: OK, hold on – are you saying you prefer a system where a widow who’s lived 30 years in a house gets kicked out of it on the death of her husband, losing all of the improvements SHE made to the property, only because he had failed to make a will? And therefore she has to spend the rest of her life crammed into one room of a crowded house? Or have you segued to a different but related topic!?
I think you misread him — “community property” is the system where the widow/er automatically inherits his/her spouse’s property.
@PaulW: Wow. Thank you for that link. It’s not that I’ve visited, though the name is familiar, but I recognize some of those stories from my usenet days.
Brown is unreadable. WEB Griffin is fun in his Brotherhood of War and Semper Fi series.
For a plain assed fun read, pick up Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham. They take a multinational fleet from 2021 and dump it into the day prior to Midway, and everybody in 1942 has to adjust to new realities on race and sex and professional competence.
@Mnemosyne: Thanks! I was having difficulty reconciling that with him :)
if you refer to long, intricate and detailed novels, try James Clavell’s books. “Tai-pan” & “Shogun” are recommended.
I probably should have said that community property is one of the systems where the spouse inherits. I was trying to clarify Roger’s comment for jenn more than anything else since someone unfamiliar with the term might assume it means “birth family inherits, not the spouse.”
In other news, 5 Texas fertilizer plants using the same chemical as the plant in West, Texas have refused state fire marshal inspections. Which is perfectly legal because IT’S FUCKING TEXAS:
And this is the part I love:
Riiight. Nothing to see here, move along …. Looks like the Democrats in Texas are as stupid as the Republicans. Some of them, at least.
I would love to see Zac Efron cast as the father of the teenaged twins. Just to watch millennial heads explode as they realize how short their time as new and interesting will be.
Actually I’m probably at least a big confused, because I was thinking of property regimes for divorce rather than for inheritance. In either case, community property is better for the homemaker wife of a working husband, since she is considered to have contributed to all the wealth the family accumulates during the marriage even if she didn’t bring in the money directly. It’s not necessarily better for the wife of a man who gets his money from rent on property or interest on capital, since anything he owned before the marriage remains his sole property.
@Belafon: How do you save the world from aliens? Saccharine pop music! God I love Robotech.
It would be more interesting if they went back to the original source material rather than the mangled version that wound up on American TV. It’s surprising how much they were able to gut the original in the translation while keeping the visuals essentially intact. Honestly, though, if they’re going to do a live-action mecha anime, they ought to go strait for Evangelion instead of messing around.
Mike in NC
X-Files was an OK sci-fi show that was eventually ruined by the wingnuts who thought it was a documentary.
@Roger Moore: If there ain’t Zentran and Meltran I’m out.
May I assume that tomorrow AM there will be blogging about the rather incredible developments this weekend on the Syria front? I’m talking about the Secretary of State’s mind-boggling statements which make McCain and Graham look like doves in comparison. I’m trying to remember the last time we had a President who was all, “don’t worry be happy” at the same time the SofS was all, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
@Heliopause: Kerry is an embarassment. He’s not even coming close to filling Clinton’s shoes. He’s a cringe-factory.
I remember trying to get Kerry elected in 2004, the fool, and not by my choice, and cringing just as often. I remember watching the 2004 debates, and a friend just walking by and shaking her head and saying “two warmongering bastards, what a waste…” and walking away. Yeah, that’s what that election was.
You mean in addition to the multiple posts that were done about it this weekend, including at least one post that’s still visible on the front page?
@schrodinger’s cat: I am! And I thought the prequels were great!
Things going through that cat’s mind: “You’re dead. You. Are. F***ing. Dead. So dead. (Looks around room) And so are you. And you. And you. Oh, definitely you, mate. Dead. Dead. Dead. You too. Dead. And you…”
@Heliopause: Good thing I actually took the time to listen to Obama’s statement and read Kerry’s so I’d know what they actually said.
@Randy P: JUST WORDS!!!
@Mike in NC:
That is selling The X-Files waaay short.
From what I can see, neither does the cat.
I have never understood what problem needed to be solved by having Scully give little William Mulder up for adoption.
@Lyrebird: Ever hear of Tanita Takiram?
@Chris: Robert Ludlum, Ken Follett, perhaps. Clancy had a knack for making the technical interesting, without dragging it down too far. Not too many that can pull that off.
ETA: Stephen Hunter, too. His ‘Pale Horse’ was pretty good.
The Smoking Man was great, and what might be even greater is the Barenaked Ladies lyric “I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one”, because it’s so true. Every episode featuring the bastard was a treat (until the end).
I rather liked the rather off-beat episodes that were written and/or directed by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. He wrote and directed two comedies, The Unnatural about a baseball-playing alien, and Hollywood AD, about a movie based on one of Mulder and Scully’s cases. He also directed William, whose title character is Mulder and Scully’s son. Anderson, of course did all things, which is about Scully and spirituality but tends to be famous for the opening scene where Scully leaves Mulder sleeping naked in his bedroom.
Griffin’s earlier Badge of Honor books were pretty good as well.
Though over the last ten years or so it just seems he’s phoning it in on all of his series.
Kind of like Harry Turtledove jumping the shark several years ago with his various series, though some of his standalone works (In The Presence of Mine Enemies, Ruled Britannia, and The Two Georges) are pretty good.
Jay in Oregon
What makes you say that? It’s been reported before that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are confirmed to be in Episode 7, and Luke Skywalker does train his niece and nephew as Jedi in the novels.
@JMG: The first one is actually a (much simplified) version of what actually happens in the Expanded Universe, so I’m not sure how that’s supposed to be designed to agitate fans.
ETA: Ha…should have read the whole thread first…
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Jay in Oregon:
The dark of the Sith a whiny teenager -oh how Darth Vader must weep! Disney, what have you done?