Diary 2018-12-01

By Max Woerner Chase

Today, I was exposed to a bunch of media that didn't seem interested in respecting people's time.

One was, via MST3K, The Day Time Ended, which is all concepts and no stakes. People interact with stop-motion aliens and vigorously drawn-on special effects, and the consequences of anything are pretty much opaque until they happen. Things, that are notionally part of the threadbare thing this movie has instead of a plot, come to a state resembling resolution, without having the decency to involve the process of filming in the transition. What it comes down to is, they didn't have to try to squeeze all of those ideas in one movie.

I also downloaded The Gallery of Pigeons and Other Poems, by Theo Marzials, a man put up for consideration to be part of the canon of terrible poetry, because apparently I have thresholds where ease of acquisition overpowers taste. Anyway, perhaps the quality varies enough that, if I were to read it over again, I might come to a more favorable opinion of the title poem than I did at first, but as I was reading about rods of Jupiter and threads of gold and words that I believe are supposed to represent the coos of pigeons, I just wanted to shout at this dead man, "Please! Have a point to the words that you write!"

On a lighter note, we watched Hellraiser: Inferno yesterday. As some of the critics say, it's good, but it doesn't really seem much like previous movies in the series, even given that the series ended up kind of all over the place starting with 3. On the other hand, the fact that it doesn't tie itself to the previous movies is a point in its favor; the previous four movies are all kind of their own thing, trying to claim to be consistent with each other. (The rules set out in 2 are somewhat questionable in their application to 1, the motivations are weird in 3 and 4, and I cannot reconcile the implied character relationships in 4 with anything previous to that movie.) (The previous parenthetical is giving me dark thoughts, wondering how much of the appeal of sequels is the opportunity to do exactly that kind of nitpicking. Like, if people are arguing about what your character was doing in 1862 or whatever, offscreen, does that drive Positive Brand Engagement Metrics? I don't think I'd be surprised if that's the case.)

Anyway, I need something that makes me feel better about myself, like sleep.