Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What I got for Christmas

The Quiet Earth is an old New Zealand scifi fillum. The plot is (spoiler, Spoiler, SPOILER!), naked guy wakes up, last man on Earth, those damn Americans screwed up the broadcast energy experiment, universal constants are changing values, oscillations getting worse, so alone, so alone, breaks into more expensive houses, misses women, wears women's clothing, cardboard cutouts of world figures including Hitler, gives a speech to nobody, feels important, whistling in the dark, pulls himself together, finds a place in the country, woman intruder points a gun at him, hey fun a woman, hey fun a guy, let's not have sex yet, search for others, finds an armed and dangerous male, aha a TRIANGLE, she prefers the testosterone job to the transvestite for some reason, flashbacks reveal everyone died violently just before the world changed, got to blow up the bigdish radio antenna those damn Merkins were using, white girl black guy play tag with the scientist who can save them, oops truck penetrates a hole in the research center, the gelignite explodes, the sun sparkles, hero dies again and the world changes again only this time the Earth is a moon around Saturn and all the clouds in the sky dump rain in narrow vertical oddly suggestively cigar-shaped columns and holy hannah this time the world is really, really strange, but I really, really think nobody under 40 can watch this without nodding off if they stay polite. Very quiet movie, pre-Peter Jackson. (That looking-down-a-laser-beam sparkle effect was also used in Ursula Leguin's Lathe of Heaven PBS television special in 1980 or so. Effective, if you've never seen it at the disco.)

Also got Hogfather, the Terry Pratchett film, and Tin Man, the postmodern sequel. My tastes seem to run toward lethargic revisionings of favorite novels, but they were all on my list. √ √ (Twice.) Thanks, Santa!

Speaking of the non-abiding Earth, Yellowstone, the supervolcano in Wyoming, has erupted three times in 2 million years, the last time about 640,000 years ago. Which means we're due. Yesterday, we had a swarm of 250 small earthquakes, fairly unusual. If this thing blows, it's bigger than Krakatoa and will probably jump start the next glacial cycle in the current Ice Age. If it really goes up, squids inherit the Earth. Enjoy.



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