The problem with waking up in the middle of the night and watching television is the complete inability to avoid Kevin Trudeau, who you might not know by name but you certainly do by face. A quick Google search turned up something interesting — he’s not supposed to be doing informercials at all, anymore.
Hah. Sorry to get your hopes up Zenchick — I’m sober, but that monsterous Oktoberfest glass of Sam Adams I started the evening with* fucked me up something quick. But I had four and a half hours of food, coke, and water to clear my system.
This was probably the best turnout since my first Blogger Happy Hour back in March. Tons of people! Even a few stalkers – I mean, no, no stalkers. Frank, non-blogger (soon to be?) but Baltimore Blogger Reader showed up and said many kind things about my blog which made my face turn bright red because praise makes me blush. Thank you, sir – and while you can’t bookmark his blog yet, you can visit his son’s.
Also a shout out to Eric, and to the short girl who I thought went to Towson.
Also: Rachel, Russell, … okay, blanking on names here, you know who you are, I took a photo of you and Russell!!! DAMN MY BRAIN!!!!
Anyway, back to the start of the happy hour …
After my medical terminology class (19 out of 20 on the test, I need to score a 5 on the final to pass) I headed down past MICA to pick up Broadsheet. My class is up past Pimlico, and I’d offered to swing by her work to give her a ride, but she said she’d get out early. Hah. I was there for like thirty minutes before she arrived, but it was a beautiful day and she has lawn furniture and I had a well-worn copy of the funniest book ever written.
Made good time getting down to the bar … I’m going to call it “Slate” because I can’t be bothered to look up the correct spelling. Took a seat in front of the donation bucket and dropped in some green. We were early but people started drifting in, the total as best as I can remember it list of attendees (including non-bloggers above):
LiveinLove! (Speaking of LiL, you can find the start of the phrase “Sexy Drunk!” here).
Common Wombat! Well, no, but his wife S., honorary blogger? I say … yes!
With a Side of Gravy and his lovely wife.
Epiphany in Baltimore.
Later, Anonymous Coworker was talking with someone when K-Mart gently ran his hands through ACW’s lucious golden locks. K-Mart leaned in close and breathed gently on ACW’s neck. ACW, mistaking K-Mart for ACWF (standing next to me and trying not to laugh), said, “Darnit ACWF, stop! I’m getting a hard on!”
Also present were ACW blog-stars Mokiejovis & Mail Order Bride. Also present was a friend of either M.O.B. or ACWF named R. Somehow I wound up in the middle of a conversation between M.O.B. and/or ACWF and R. They were situated far enough away they couldn’t hear the other(s) calling for their attention, so I would wind up tapping one or the other on the shoulder so they would know they were wanted.
Neckbone and Ice-Queenie’s babysitting arrangements fell through and they thought they were going to have to skip the happy hour. Then they decided the Boy was old enough to start drinking. By the way, Queenie, you left your cigarettes on the bar … I started passing them out and scoring generousity points from drunk smokers. Seriously … they’re gone.
Seadragon also had a beer in the monsterous Oktoberfest mug. Seriously, the thing was half her size. (Hey, can I post that photo?) Methinks Seadragon also drunk-dialed the absent JWER with both my cell phone and encouragement. More surprising than any of this? That she actually came to a happy hour.
The list of course wouldn’t be complete without mentioning A Fool’s Fate, who did discuss her moving plans to Seattle. We’ll miss her, but I think we’d all feel silly if we didn’t mention what happened the last time people tried to move to the West Coast during winter.
On a completely honest note, on at least two occasions after going to the bathroom, my belt decided not to fasten properly. Perhaps I need a new belt. In any case, if you noticed me suddenly tugging my shirt down, its because I was standing having a conversation with someone (generally a woman someone) when I realized my belt was undone. Relax: fly was up, buttons were buttoned. Just one of those things. I need a new belt.
Someone (Jennetic?) mentioned early on that I was being very quiet. I replied that I’m usually very quiet. She said something along the lines of, “No … you ain’t.” Not on a blog, sure, but in real life my mouth just don’t like to work.
Anyway, if you missed this one, shame on you, you, you, … ok, stopping now, but you know who you are. But! Prepare yourself for the next, and dude? I’m talking to you when I say take off from work now.
FYI – I have spoken permission from the two beauties in this photo to post this photo:
I’m going to caption it, “Sexy Drunk!”
*Lie. I started with a Bass.
(PS – I didn’t mean to forget you, y’know, if I did).
Seadragon & The Beer That Was Half Her Size:
Universal isn’t fucking around — looks like they’re not going to wait for Battlestar Galactica to finish its second season run before releasing DVDs … the first half of the season, all ten episodes, will hit digital disc on December 20th!
The price on this seems a bit high, though, seems it should be closer to $20, in keeping line with the pricing on the first season box-set. Also: are they going to release one big entire season set after the second half of the season concludes? Probably best to wait for that one …
It’s hard to avoid torture in the news these days. Lynndie England has gotten off light with a jail sentence of only three years. Army Captain Ian Fishback is under sanction after taking his allegations of abuse public, and the government tries to cover everything up.
The first really striking sci-fi related rape I can remember doesn’t actually involve a rape. It was an episode of the short lived Joss Whedon television series Firefly titled Objects in Space. A bounty hunter sneaks onto Serenity looking for River, but first begins taking the crew out of action. He ties up Kaylee in the engineering room and threatens her if she makes so much as a noise — he doesn’t assault her, he doesn’t rape her, his voice is very conversational, but the threat is so real its impossible not to feel so absolutely helpless, an inability to do anything to help her, at your home, on your couch, knowing perfectly well you are watching scripted television.
So when I read on this blog that a fan-site for the original Battlestar Galactica, Colonial Fleets, was up in arms over the last episode of the new series, entitled “Pegasus“, I was a little shocked. Not so much, perhaps, that they were using this episode as an excuse to shut down their forums for the new show (their bias against Ron Moore’s BSG isn’t much of a secret), but rather that they are so ignorant of current events. Their open letter can be read here in its entirety, and I’ve excerpted a few parts here:
Since then, we have been educated to the mindset of the author that the offerings on this show, called Battlestar Galactica (2003), were to be a reflection of society and we were challenged to â€œthink about itâ€; that there would be parallels to real-life events such as the Sept 11 attacks and told, by the author, to â€œmake your own judgments as to what they say to youâ€; and that this new show would completely â€œre-inventâ€ the sci-fi genre.
â€œThroughout the many years of human existence, there has always been a line. A line that represented on one side, the best of human decency and morality, and on the other, the pure animalistic and monstrous evil that humans can be. This line has moved back and forth throughout those same years, and depending on individual experiences, it has always been in different places.â€
â€œSociety in general has appeared to become more tolerant of rude and disrespectful behavior, to the point where it is celebrated when someone is deviant or rebellious. Itâ€™s rather disheartening and disturbing at the same time. But our society more and more rewards liars, killers and celebrity deviants, who in some cases are only in the news because of the crap they do, and not for any talent they may possess.â€
We share those same concerns about society and can see, for ourselves, the truth in the remarks. In addition, we agree that the â€œlineâ€ has been shifting back and forth with a decided tilt toward the less than desirable aspect of human society. We also realize that the entertainment industry has â€œpushed the envelope as far as they couldâ€, only because we have allowed them to do so.
We have allowed the entertainment industry to tell us that it was “ok” to have a baby’s neck snapped (the script originally called for Number Six to drive her finger through the baby’s skull); it was “ok” to draw a parallel of sympathy toward the terrorists who carried out the Sept 11 attacks – in other words, we got what we deserved; but, the straw that snapped the proverbial camel’s back was the use of rape as a military torture tool in the “Pegasus” episode.
We will NOT allow the entertainment industry to tell us that it is “ok”, at any time, for a rape to occur. It does not “advance the story”, it glorifies a horrible aggression upon another human being. After nearly 2 years of this â€œeducational experienceâ€, we have reached the conclusion that the movement of the line must cease. While we absolutely hold no ill will toward our Fleets family members who are attracted to the show, we can no longer willingly sanction discussion about a show which goes against so many of our innermost values.
Okay, before I actually dig into this … the show is premised on the genocide of the human race. Twelve colonized worlds are nuked into nothingness — what’s that, twenty, thirty — fifty?! — billion people getting fried? with about 50,000 survivors hunted by a vastly superior force? That’s okay, though. Genocide is cool. What gets these guys up in arms is rape. Back to this in a moment.
To clarify: scenes of “Pegasus” imply that a copy of the Cylon “Number Six” was gang-raped by members of Pegasus‘ crew. Later in the episode, a Pegasus officer is killed when Galactica crew members intervene in the attempted rape of Sharon “Boomer” Valerii, herself a Cylon. There is a scene where several Galactica crew members become disgusted by the bragging of Pegasus crew members over the gang-rape of Number Six.
Now, to be a bit more specific:
We have allowed the entertainment industry to tell us that it was “ok” to have a baby’s neck snapped
Well, sure, Number Six snapped a baby’s neck. She’s evil. The Evil Ron Moore didn’t write the script for this to happen so people would say, “Gosh, I’d like to go out and snap a baby’s neck.” He wrote it so the audience would understand, “Wow, she’s evil.” And yet it’s impossible not feel sympathetic for the copy of Six found on Pegagsus‘ brig: beaten, bruised and catatonic.
We will NOT allow the entertainment industry to tell us that it is “ok”, at any time, for a rape to occur. It does not “advance the story”
Likewise, I find it hard to support the conclusion that the entertainment industry is saying it is “okay” for a rape to occur. Nowhere in this show is rape glorified — rather the reverse. They are correct, however, in that the attempted rape of Boomer does advance the story — in the same way that sexual assaults on Law and Order: SVU advance the stories of that television show (can’t really have a fictional drama about fictional cops trying to arrest a fictional rapist if a fictional rape never occured, now can you?).
And this is the line that just proves they’re not watching the show:
…it glorifies a horrible aggression upon another human being.
Tricia Helfer and Grace Park are, indeed, human beings. However, on the show Battlestar Galactica, they play GENOCIDAL ROBOTS BENT ON THE DESTRUCTION OF ALL MANKIND. I mean, did they even bother watching the show, because believe it or not but Helfer and Park being GENOCIDAL ROBOTS BENT ON THE DESTRUCTION OF ALL MANKIND is, actually, a rather important plot piece, particularly since they’re accusing the show of glorifying the rapes of actual people. On the other hand, the characters of Six and Boomer LOOK like people, so I guess they ARE people. Maybe?
I compared the rapes in L&O: SVU to the rapes in BSG, but it occurs to me that these aren’t the same things. I mean, when you follow a tv show for awhile, people tend to develop an affection for the main characters that generally doesn’t translate to the guest star who is only in one episode. If Guest Star #4 gets raped, I hate to say it, but it isn’t as big a deal as Det. Olivia Benson getting raped. In this episode of BSG, one main character is (sort of) the victim of a multiple gang-rape, and another is almost. These are, yes, bad guys (like you don’t think Darth Vader, genocidal bastard that he is, is freakin’ cool), but at the same time, we know them, we’ve even developed a television form of Stockholm Syndrome for ’em.
(I say “sort of” because its actually a copy of the main character, not the main character herself).
So back to where we were when I said “Genocide is cool. What gets these guys up in arms is rape.”
And I suppose that’s fair – rape is a hideous crime. Then again, so is genocide.
Television isn’t real life. Television can imitate real life, but it’ll never be real life, particularly when it takes place on a futuristic space carrier capable of traveling faster than light. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it strikes me that the folks at Colonial Fleets have made the judgement that shows which reflect the nastiness of real life aren’t their cup of tea. Fine. But where they decided that the depiction of genocide is cool, but rape isn’t, I just don’t get. Maybe it’s because the genocide is reflected in balls of fire in the distance, where Boomer is actually being restrained by Colonial Marines while a Pegasus officer rips her trousers down (its very graphic). But in the end, it’s still one character (a robot, I might add) being raped, as opposed to billions of off-screen never-seen folks getting the “well done, extra crispy” treatment. The Colonial Fleet fellows also talk about all the skin they’re forced to watch in many of the more intimate Baltar/Six scenes. Yeah, like they don’t masturbate to mental images of a naked Helfer.
One of the big points made in the episode is the context in which events happen. I imagine that the audience should feel some sympathy for the crew of the Pegasus — their homes annihilated, on the run, the Number Six copy is discovered and kills many of their crewmembers before being restrained. But Number Six doesn’t look like a Cylon, and there is no sense of regret in the braggings of the Pegasus crew retelling the Great Gang Bang to the shocked Galactica deckhands. They sound like frat boys after their first threesome, and it is very disturbing because you come to the conclusion that it wouldn’t take much for them to accept rape as an crucial part of an interrogation of a female — Cylon or human. Indeed, the attempted rape of Boomer barely features an interrogation at all. Guards grab her and hold her down so their officer can get himself off. It resonates a bit more with Boomer, I think, for the reasons mentioned above — we see it starting to happen, and of course, Boomer is a much more sympathetic character then the generally nasty Six.
Long story short — rape on television is very often a powerful plot piece. How many tv movies on Lifetime about high school girls being date raped? And of course, Law and Order SVU. But apparently it’s one of those things thats verbotten from televised sci-fi.
In the sci-fi genre, you’re not supposed to do two things — you’re not supposed to show your heroes as anything but do-gooders from birth who live and die by a code of honor and the virtues of a lifetime serving the public good, and no sex. Ever. (Oh, plus, laser battles).
There are no real heroes in Battlestar Galactica, not of the kind we expect when we think of sci-fi. We think of Luke Skywalker, the Boy Who Can Do No Evil, who has in fact never so much as crushed a spider under his boot (targeting womp rats: different story). In BSG, we’ve got a starfighter pilot named Lee Adama who twice commits mutiny. In sci-fi we tend very much to think in classical terms of good and evil for our characters. Jean-Luc Picard kills thousands of people, but its okay because it wasn’t really him, it was the Borg. (In fairness, however, Ben Sisko helps assassinate the Romulan ambassador so the Romulans will enter the war against the Dominion. In part reason why Deep Space Nine = Best Star Trek Series Ever because the characters weren’t all Johnny Do-Gooder).
No sex. Ever. But it’s perfectly okay to strip Carrie Fisher naked and put her in a harem girl outfit. What, you don’t think Jabba was pimping her out the back of his palace to the Tusken Sand People? It’s perfectly okay for Marine Sirtis to prance around the Enterprise in a costume that enhances her chest. Mostly naked green girls with assorted prosthetics? Totally cool. Heroines stroking Ferengi earlobes (made clear to be sexually stimulating to the species) to gain vital information? Awesome, because Gates McFadden is hot and now geeks everywhere can imagine her stroking their own earlobes!
Uh-oh, Tricia Helfer atop James Callie? Oh my god her spine is glowing! How morally corrupt! What a level of complete hipocracy. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Terry Ferrel wanders through the scene in a bikini, I’m droolin’, but the television and movie sci-fi genre has a long and distinguished history of objectifying women as sex objects.
No wonder hard-core tv sci-fi geeks are up in arms over the new Battlestar Galactica. People act like people really do — assholes. They’re not looking for quality television when they watch sci-fi, they want something light and fluffy. They want Kirk pulling on his boot in his quarters while an alien female watches (because implied sex is better than actual sex, good thing they don’t watch Rome). They want a spineless drama like JAG where everything is always AWESOME!
Somehow this started about “real rape = bad, tv rape = bad for characters, good for story” but turned into “introducing realism into sci-fi tv.” Meh. I ramble.
Battlestar Galactica isn’t just a great science-fiction dramatic series, it’s a great dramatic series, period. It’s right up there with NYPD Blue — they’ve got a lot in common, actually. They don’t pull punches, they try to reflect the real world in all of its harshness and cruelty, characters aren’t do-gooders, there are no easy answers, people cuss, naked body parts, good guys aren’t good guys: here’s a good example, The Shield: the hero cop is a cop killer! Anti-heroes are the thing today, and in truth, the past as well. The Founding Fathers liberated white men while proclaiming “freedom and liberty for all”, yet kept white women and black people as unfree as they could. Franklin Roosevelt led the US in a war to free Europe from the evils of Nazism and oppression while allowing segregation to continue, and indeed, actively moving to oppress citizens of Japanese descent. Don’t even get me started on Bush.
I am so going to see this movie.
Your total was $17.84.
You wrote the check for your kids to give to me for $18.50.
What, that extra thirty-four cents going to break your budget?
(Nice Humvee, by the way).
I’m taking a break from studying. My brain is overflowing.
Generally, Wednesday nights are good shifts — steady, decent tips. Tonight its up in the air – its our first “school night” of the year. A percentage of the night’s sales are donated back to the local school (we’ve got two in our area, we alternate nights between them). Business is on par with a Friday — we’ve got a full slate of insiders, a bit short handed on drivers, which should be good — at the very least, it’ll mean everyone gets more runs. The only question is how well people tip — these nights bring out the folks who generally don’t order delivery, which usually means they don’t know how to tip.
It’s also my first night working with Steve since last week. I had a heart attack when I came in on Sunday and found he’d ripped all of the box-topper advertising “that special” off the boxes I’d topped my previous shift. Greg interrogated me about them on Monday, figuring I hadn’t done what he’d asked, and this just opened up a whole new can of worms. In any case, fate is about to smack Steve down — the national promotion, starting next month, is “that special.”
Speaking of American Pie, I remember when that movie came out, how dissapointed I was that Don McLean’s American Pie wasn’t used in the movie.
My heart pounds! She’s a beauty, ain’t she?
The full “found on Brickshelf” gallery, here.
I have a ton of flashcards. The radio is on softly. I’m lying on my bed, with the window cracked enough for the crisp air to infiltrate my stuffy apartment. The cats are standing at the threshold of the room — they both want up on the ledge, they’re wondering if I’ll let ’em up there without trying to grab one or the other.
It’s a beautiful day.
I love Sunday day shifts during football season — particularly if the Ravens are winning. Business is steady, tips are up, and there’s nothing like a crisp fall day to energize you. Last Sunday officially kicked off the season at the store — it was the best I could hope for, a combined tip & mileage average of just over $5 had me out the door a bit later than usual, but $110 in my wallet, and only one stiff over the course of the day. Huzzah!
Compare that to Monday: eleven deliveries, thirty bucks in tips and mileage. Impressive? Not by any means, but especially not when you consider that my second to last delivery tipped me $10 and my last delivery tipped me $5. Factor in a dollar in mileage reimbursement, and the first nine cheap asses I delivered to tipped me an average of a … oh, I don’t even want to think about it.
Here’s to more Sundays.
A “new” (read: repackaged) edition of the Star Wars Trilogy is coming to DVD shelves. Retro covers – neat! But no fourth bonus disc as the last set had? Bogus!
Maybe if it was the pre-Special Super Edition … maybe.