Thursday, 30 March 2006

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A Xenobiological Romance, Part II Tuesday night the Little Womedievalist and I celebrated the end of Winter Quarter by rewatching War of the Worlds . Of course it's not the best film out there, but it enabled us to mock thetans mercilessly. (Let me tell you: we need the enabling.) The film, we thought, would be exactly the sort of thing we needed to establish a sound boundary between the Winter quarter which ended on Monday and the Spring quarter which begins on . . . Monday. Can you smell the panic in the air? Because I'm emenating it as I once "emenated" sweat at baseball clinics held on astroturf in humid Louisiana summers. (By "humid" I mean "precipitationish days in which the periwinkle sky contained nary a puff of cloud yet made one feel end-of-a-marathon wet the moment one stepped from air conditioned bliss.") Check below the fold for my initial reaction to the film. (Far fewer of you read me then. I was but a babe.) While lacking historicist oomph of my typical diatribe, it still bears some relation to yesterday's objections. (I remember wanting to edit some grammatical infelicity from it earlier. Only I can't find it now. First person to point it out wins Recognition For Being the First Person to Point It Out . . . and a yellow ribbon.) The usual caveat attached to things I wrote before yesterday applies here: If I say anything stupid it's only because I wasn't that bright and haven't read widely enough yet. All of which is only to say that my new theories about the film and novel will be expounded upon in the comments tomorrow. I can't see to put two sentences which aren't about S.W. Mitchell together tonight. It's a personal failing. I understand. _____________________ 18 July 2005 A chunk of narration near the end of Wells' War of the Worlds has always bothered me. That same chunk of narration in Spielberg's War of the Worlds bothers me even more. I haven't read Wells in years, but as I started working the influence of evolutionary theory ca. 1890-1910, I realized I'd have to account for War of the Worlds. After all, it's one of the few novels in which evolution qua evolution wins. Pure and simple: the best laid plans of man and alien fall before the unremitting logic of Darwinian adaptation. That's why the inclusion of this passage--in the form of a voice-over by Morgan Freeman--seems so, dare I say, conciliatory: And scattered about it, some in their overturned war-machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were the Martians--dead!--slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain; slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth. Spielberg, founding member of the Actual Jewish Media Conspiracy (a.k.a. Dreamworks), kowtows to an increasingly Christian...
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News of Absolutely No Interest to Academics Who Read or Write Blogs; or, Really, When I Say "Uninteresting" I Mean It Deep in the heart of Irvine an index finger hovers over the "Submit" button on the MLA's online Special Session proposal page. He owes it to her and him and him to press it. But he can't. Scott: Must . . . press . . . submit. Scott's Nagging Fears: Don't do it! It's not perfect yet. Scott's Beleaguered Practical Side: The deadline's tomorrow! Scott's Nagging Fears: Press that button and it's over. No more revision. There's always tomorrow. Scott's Beleaguered Practical Side: There certainly is. But Scott should spend it finishing his chapter, not agonizing over the parallelism of a clause in his proposal. Scott's Nagging Fears: But they will hate him for his faulty parallelism! They will laugh unto tears and without cessation for months until they die painful dehydrated deaths! Scott's Beleaguered Practical Side: No, they won't. Scott's Nagging Fears: Yes, they will. Scott's Beleaguered Practical Side: No. They won't! Scott's Nagging Fears: Yes. They will! Scott's Beleaguered Practical Side: NO THEY WON'T! Scott's Nagging Fears: YES THEY WILL! Scott: Will you two zip it already? I'm going to hit send. Scott's Nagging Fears: No, you won't. Scott: Yes, I will. Scott's Nagging Fears: No. You won't! Scott: Yes. I will! Scott's Nagging Fears: NO YOU WON'T! Scott: YES I WILL! (presses "Submit") Ha! Scott's Nagging Fears: You're gonna regret that. Scott: Maybe . . . but wait until word gets out about this panel. It will be the talk of the blogosphere for hours. Scott's Beleaguered Practical Side: You tell 'em! Scott: No one will have anything else to talk about. They'll all wish they could be in Philadelphia next December! They'll go out of their way to make sure they're there for THE GREATEST EVENT IN BLOGOSPHERIC HISTORY. Scott's Beleaguered Practical Side: Yeah! Scott: Yeah! Scott's Nagging Fears: Like this changes anything. They all still hate you . . .

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