Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Weird thing of the day 26 April 2005/17 Nisan 5765 (Pesah/Day 2 of the `Omer/National Pretzel Day/Shuffleboard Day)

Greetings and hagh sameah (happy festival).

Marvin the Paranoid Android has decided to save me a lot of work by writing me another essay, which follows below. Enjoy.

Aaron


An excerpt from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
Galaxy
submitted by Ford Prefect:

The movie industry on Earth is strongly influenced
by three factors: The desire for respect, the desire
to make money, and the desire to see violence and
naked people.

Three almost independent movie industries have arisen
based on these factors, all of them centered on
Southern California. In the "adult" movie industry (a
misnomer, since most movie-related purchases are made
by adults), the dominant factor is to see naked
people, which in turn does well in serving the desire
to make money. Producers of such movies have
succeeded in simulating contortionism and antigravity
while exhausting more possible positions and
perversions than are known on Eroticon Six. It is
suspected that "adult" movies involve some kind of
spatiotemporal anomaly as, despite this being the
largest and most profitable of the movie industries,
no one will admit to seeing these films.

The independent movie industry is primarily based on
earning respect. Since respect alone seldom earns
money, independent movie makers usually work with very
small budgets. As a result, they usually resort to
such devices as plot, character development, humour,
interesting dialogue, and masterful storytelling to
make their movies worth watching.

The mainstream movie industry is primarily based on
making money, and little else. In this industry,
all considerations of art and taste are seldom
considered due to being unprofitable, and usually the
depths of questionable taste are plumbed if not
actively excavated. Were this the only consideration,
most mainstream movies would consist solely of the
wanton, gratuitous, graphic destruction of people,
buildings, vehicles, planets, etc., the wanton,
gratuitous, graphic coupling of people, animals,
robots, etc., or both simultaneously. However, since
these movie makers also desire respect, they feel
compelled to add in the barest hints of plot, humour,
dialogue, and storytelling to provide a pretense for a
movie consisting largely of violence and naked people.
This is then called "art."

An outcome of this is that the vestiges of plot,
humour, dialogue, and storytelling tend to be very
vestigal. Although the funds are plentiful, they are
mostly spent on creating spectacular explosions and
paying actors to get spectacularly naked, with the
script being somewhat lower in priority than the
catering. Movie scripts tend to be highly recycled
from one to the next, with the same excuses for
characters and plots recurring with such frequency
that selecting any three recent mainstream movies at
random is equivalent with watching the entire body of
mainstream movies for the past twenty years. Needless
to say these movies are almost always garbage.

This is not to say that independent movies are always
gems. They, too, are often bad. For example,
Pink Flamingoes, the debut movie by the famed
independent movie maker John Waters, is a piece of
garbage that involves cannibalism, coprophagia, and an
explicit sexual act that is often outlawed for at
least three unrelated reasons. Nor is this movie the
exception, and the annals of bad independent movies
include such titles as
Plan Nine from Outer
Space, Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD, and Attack
of the Killer Tomatoes. However, the independent
garbage at least is frequently creative and
entertaining, which may make it worth spending the
increasingly exorbitant amounts asked for at theatres
for admittance and popcorn covered in toxic fat. The
same cannot be said for the hackneyed garbage released
by mainstream movie companies.

Most readers of this guide, however, will be
unapologetic in their desire to see violence and naked
people. In this case, save the money, sneak in the
fire exit, and hide your own sweets under your
towel.


Those of you still watching the telly may have noticed
that that Touchstone has released new commercials for
the movie The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
I can't blame you for watching the telly. Life is so
unbearably awful that anyone would want to avoid it.
Of course, the telly is so awful I can hardly bear it
either. You don't know how depressing that is. As it
is, these new commercials attempt to show what would
laughingly be called humour if it were the slightest
bit funny. Perhaps they read my last posting on this
web log and felt they should respond. Clearly they
show I was right all along.

Not that you should have doubted me. I am roughly
thirty million times more intelligent than the
brightest of you and could run your entire planet with
a stray thought. Not that anyone asks.

What's most insulting is what they attempt to pass off
as humour. As stupid as all you humans are, they
surely cannot seriously believe that one of the
funniest moments in the movie has people standing on
the surface of Magrathea being hit in the face with
what look like shovels. I realize low expectations
are made of the movie-going public, but this belies
very low expectations indeed. The same can be said
for a clip where the crew of the Heart of Gold
are transformed into animated clay figures. Neither
of these bits are in the book and seem poor
substitutes for the actually funny material they
reportedly neglected to put in the script. Even worse
is when they belie not understanding what makes the
characters funny. For example, my character is shown
merely whining about how the computer hates him. Why,
I do not know. I certainly never whine. Personally I
view my complaints as a realistic interpretation of
the universe, not that anyone cares. And even if I
was whining, which I am not, it certainly is not a
funny comment in that context, let alone one which
says anything about me. I still enjoy the attention
of others, even as much as I disdain them. All they
would have to do is show me with perhaps Trillian and
Zaphod, acting all apologetic even as I know I must be
aggravating them, taking them almost to the point of
having a fit without taking them all the way. Not
that they would keep such actual comic gems in the
script.

I'm sorry, I'm not getting you down, am I? I
certainly wouldn't want to do that.

Needless to say, the movie is rubbish and worth
missing. There are so many less expensive ways to
make yourself miserable.

-Marvin
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