Thursday, February 28, 2008
Last night, I purchased Justice League: The New Frontier, a DC animated film based on the award winning graphic novel by Darwyn Cooke, one of my favorite working comic writers/artists working today. The film takes place in the late fifties, which in comic chronology makes it The Silver Age of comics. The Silver Age was the time when heroes started to take the forms and incarnations that fans know and love today. This is when the final designs for Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, and The Flash all became evident. It was during the watching of this fantastic film, I came to realize something….comics are one of the few true Pop Culture loves that I have, and will always have.
Now, mind you, I have plenty of loves in Pop Culture; I love many diverse kinds of music, films, art, and books, but comics where my first and most intense loves as an adolescent. I can even tell you my first foray into comics, The X-Men, the very first issue of the now classic last story arc by Chris Claremont. I was given two large stacks of comics by my mother, who had picked them up at a garage sale. I was nine years old. I had been familiar with heroes such as Batman, the X-Men, and Spider-Man through the sorely missed Fox Kids cartoon series (Interesting Side Note, to this day many hardcore comic fans, myself included, maintain that these cartoons were the single truest incarnation of the comics ever on TV or in films, but Hollywood is starting to come round now). I had never before tried the comics that these were based on, but when I did…there was no going back. After that, I was a child possessed; I bought up and devoured any issue of any main hero, albeit Marvel or DC, I could find. Hell, I even had issues of Spider-Man: The Clone Saga! That’s how devoted I was to this medium. Interests in video games and other fads came and waned, but comics remained, up until this very day.
The real turning point in my love of comics though came in 1999, when I discovered that comics were not necessarily confined to the standard superpowered men in tights. This is when I discovered the likes of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, Mike Allred’s Madman, Stray Bullets, the genius of Frank Miller and the two books that forever changed my life as a comic fan: The Watchmen by Alan Moore and The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I was still living in Seymour with my mother and still buying up so many Marvels and DCs, I could have had fucking stock in them, when I was introduced to a friend of my mother’s who lived by us in the projects (yep, I used the live there). I didn’t know this, but he was a HUGE comic fan, had been since he was my age, but in was introduced to the heavier comic scene through Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, a book I took in and was blown away with later that summer. I was sat down, after a long conversation about heroes and the story arcs that were taking place at that time, and was given the trade paperbacks of The Watchmen and Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes. Think back to the first time you saw Casablanca or the first time you ever listened to your favorite band of all time…now multiply that by a thousand. The pages, the art, the story, and the dialogue seemed to jump into life as I read it. It was beautiful and sad and angry and everything I never knew that I would love.
Since then, there has been no going back. I have loved and will love comics until the end of my days. To be totally honest, I can’t tell you what it really is about them; I think it might be the fact that it our culture’s form of literary gods or perhaps maybe they show me a world with hope and larger than life protectors that will stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves…but I really think it just might be my one and only link to childhood and I can’t lose that.
In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night,
-J. PARTRIDGE, THE ENEMY.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Wait a second…
Wait just a goddamned second!
Ya know what? I’m not sorry! This is MY blog! This is MY Century! And I’ll update any time I damn well please!
Okay. That’s better.
I got a lot to cover, ladies and gentlemen, so strap yourself in to your seats and prepare to spend some time with J. Dudley, Earl of Studley.
First, Mr. Partridge and I have decided to finally move forward with the creation of an improvisational/sketch comedy group here in Wichita Falls. This is an idea we’ve tossed around for well over a year and we came to the conclusion two weeks ago that we have no more excuses left to put it off further. I’ll go into detail later once we hash some things out, but if you live in the area and would like to contribute in ANY way (we’re looking for performers, writers, and… well, anyone who knows what they’re doing… because we most certainly don’t), call me, email me, or Myspace me.
On December 11th, on THIS blog, I wrote the following:
I think Obama is going to win Iowa. It'll be close, but he's going to take the prize. In doing so, Hillary's air of inevitability will evaporate completely and the win will push the esteemed Senator from Illinois into the driver’s seat of the front-runner stockcar. From there, Hillary wins New Hampshire but by a razor-thin margin. She’ll claim a huge victory but anyone with a real instinct for the political game will sense that it is only a token win. Obama cleans up in South Carolina in a blowout that no one could have predicted two months ago and it’s smooth sailing from there as he the voters scream “FINISH HER!” and Barack “Kano” Obama punches Foreward, Down, Foreward, B, A, B, Foreward, Start into his Super Nintendo control pad and rips Hill’s still-beating heart out.
Well, Obama won Iowa (though I was wrong in predicting it would be close… because he DESTROYED her worthless ass), Hillary won a very “razor thin” victory in New Hampshire, and His Audaciousness most certainly had the truest definition of a “blow out” in South Carolina on Saturday… so please, feel free at any time to begin worshipping me. I’ll take gifts of gold, frankincense, and Mir as well as celestial virgins and cherry cheesecake.
Now, I realize that it may not be “smooth sailing” considering no one at this point knows how Super Tuesday is going to turn out next week, but I’m predicting now that my main-man WILL be the Democratic nominee sooner than we think and that in January of 2009, we’re going to be treated to an epic, Kennedy-esque inaugural that may quite possibly make grown men weep with tears of pride.
This entire process has been an amazing civic roller coaster ride, hasn’t it? I’m particularly sentimental because unlike a majority of the primary voters in my party, I’ve been a loyal fan of Senator Obama since his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Infact, on July 27, 2004, I wrote this prophetic piece on my old blog…
Okay... have you ever watched some rookie nobody kid... in anything be it sports, movies, television... anything, where you KNOW that this person is delivering a performance that is going to not only make him a star, but will propel him to greatness?? Barrack Obama literally just went from someone no average person knows about, to a future president… the future African American president... I'm not over exaggerating... his speech was THAT good. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand and had him CHANTING his name during the speech... something they didn’t do for Clinton, Gore, Hillary, or Carter. I wasn’t the only person with my mouth open... everyone there could feel that this guy is a star. Tomorrow, everyone is going to be talking about this guy... and his name will be on a lot of peoples lips... though no doubt mispronouncing it. - I'm saying it here... This man will be president one day. Write that down.
We’ll see, my friends. We’ll see.
Aside from that, I also find it odd that up until 6 months ago, I had an amazing amount of respect for Bill Clinton. I can safely say now that that respect had dwindled to practically nothing. I of course still think he was a fairly good President (especially compared to the jerkoff known as Dubya), but his actions lately are inexcusable and downright pathetic. Obama's opposition of the war a “fairytale”? Really, Bill? Perhaps my dad has been right. Perhaps… Perhaps… Perhaps… Slick Willy really IS an unscrupulous piece of shit? If so, then perhaps he and his wife really are a perfect couple. Power-hungry, unethical, spineless ambassadors of the Washington establishment.
Check out this great article written by Philip Gailey of the St. Petersburg Times for more on the Clintons and their Nixon-ian tactics.
Special shout out goes to my pal Sara whom I met at Toby's a few weekends ago. She's cute... AND it feels like she's my twin. But as cool as she is, I WILL destroy her at Monopoly. Count on it.
And that's it for now, my babies. I promise I'll write more soon. Afterall, I can't let MY Century be overrun by the likes of Justin "Dances* with Fat Chicks" Partridge, now can I?
* - "dances" = codeword for something else entirely. muwahaha.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Heath Ledger, 28 years old, was found dead in a New York apartment on Tuesday. All signs, as of the writing of this, are pointing to an accidental overdose on sleeping pills. The news has sent shockwaves throughout the Hollywood community.
Upon hearing the news of Heath Ledger’s death, my first reaction of complete and udder disbelief, I didn’t see how this could happen. My second reaction, I am sad to say, was a sneaking suspicion that this was some crazy, over the top viral marketing technique to promote The Dark Knight, but that impulse was quickly silenced. This was a guy who, though popular and a critical darling, was poised to become the next great young superstar. He was charming, good-looking, and easy going. His recent roles included a character based on Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There and, of course, The Joker in The Dark Knight. I had never really paid that much attention to Ledger, until just recently because of TDK, but whenever I would see him on screen, I would find myself always watching him. He had a natural charisma that echoed into all of his roles. It is sad to see someone this young, this talented, and this dedicated to the profession of acting be taken away so young.
It’s River Phoenix all over again.
Heath Ledger will be sorely missed in Hollywood and I regret to think on everything that we will be missing with him gone.
-J. Partridge, The Enemy.
Cloverfield is more of an experience than a film. It is something that just screams to be seen in theaters. The entire concept (found footage and giant monster attacks a city), though tired and tried, is given a tense and emotional reboot by Reeves and Goddard. Drew Goddard is a name you need to get used to hearing, based on this script; I would not be surprised if he becomes Hollywood’s new, hot writer. Big props also to Reeves, his taut visual style and Spielberg-like (that’s right, I said it) slow reveals just might have written his ticket to the big projects. Also, another crew shout out to creature designer, Neville Page, for creating something that really no one has even seen before. It truly is something that is equal parts terrifying and unnamable.
The story, though slow starting, packs a real weight. It is a simple point A to point B thing, but the way in which the characters interact and think is what makes to buy into the concept of this being an actual event that has occurred. Rob is heading away to Japan for a new job, his brother and his brother’s fiancée are throwing him a party, and his best friend, Hud, had been put in charge of filming testimonials of the people at the party. Halfway through the party, Rob’s long unrequited love, Beth, shows up in the arms of another man. They fight. She leaves…then its monster time. This initial sequence plays like a Nine Eleven-esque, firsthand account of what is going down. Explosions are happening, debris is falling, people are screaming and running down stairs, and, most importantly, no one knows what in the ever loving fuck is going on. One extra is even heard saying, “It’s another attack!”…the entire movie plays on the fear that gripped us that day, though instead of terrorists, it’s a big fuckin’ thing. They turn on the news to find that they know just about as much as they do. A roar pierces the commotion and something tears its way down the street, eating and wrecking everything in its path. Panic sets in as the evacuation starts, but Rob gets a garbled call on his cell phone. Beth is hurt, she is bleeding, and she can’t move. Rob decides to go back into the heart of the city, ground zero of the monster’s wake, and rescue her. Friends in tow, he starts to make his way into Midtown and this is where the movie starts to take leaps and bounds. The rest of the ninety minutes play like an intense documentary. Characters die and something happens that hasn’t happened to me in a long time of movie going…I care. These people are real to me and that is the real beauty of Cloverfield, it puts a human face on an extraordinary situation and makes it very visceral.
My only real gripe about the movie and it’s really only because I am such a geek for this sort of thing, is the lack of explanation of the monster. I know there is, most likely, a shit load of clues hidden throughout the movie (which I am told there is) that explains it, but I am kinda lazy and I like to know where shit comes from. Also, the start before the first attack drags a bit and some cutting could have tightened that up. Aside from those minor things, Cloverfield is the kind of movie that comes around every once and awhile that completely changes a genre and a highly, HIGHLY recommend that you partake in this.
Trying not to go that way, because there is horrific shit that way,
-J.Partridge, The Enemy.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I'm pretty sure that I would probably go back in time and kinda kick my ass and the asses of others for the crazy shit that happens.
I wish that I could save the world.
As a little kid, I was like any other, rendered uttlery useless by the powers of tv, Captain Planet! was the culprit. Let's save the world kids! Yay! And then at the end of the show I was like...Holy Shit I wanna be a superhero.
So I wish I were a superhero.
I wish the world really was flat. I blame Christopher Columbus. Prick.
I wish there were less days in a month and more hours in a day.
I wish I could get smarter without getting older.
I wish I had telepathy.
Sometimes I wish life was a cartoon and we could just be funny.
I wish that all of the time in the day could be like the time right between sunrise and the beginning of a new day. That would be great. That would make a great movie...Jack Black in The day without a day..dun dun dun..its a comedy, thriller, drama, tearjerker, documentary about a guy who wakes up one day and finds out thats all there is...just a day that has no day whatsoever. Does he find the day, hell no. Does he just sleep all of the time...mmmm, no. Will his life change once the day comes back...what the hell are you talking about? Its just a day without a day. You wake up thats all there is. End scene. Millions.
I wish that I could fly.
I wish I could invent something. The guy that made Breathrite nose strips had a friggen paperclip up his nose when he came up with that crap. A paperclip. And now a bandaid that you put on your nose to help you breathe better. Millions.
I wish I could invent something like Ron Popeil. Just set it and forget it.Millions.
I wish I could be invsible at random times during the day...not all the time just sometimes.
I wish I had a billion Myspace friends, so that I could possibly be the most popular gperson in the world. Mwuhahaha. I don't even know why that would impress me, but I think it would impress anyone.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Remember the last twenty minutes of The Departed? Billy Costigan had finally caught the rat inside the State Troopers in the form of Frank Costello’s lapdog, Colin Sullivan. Costigan is inside an elevator to bring Sullivan to justice at long last. There is a moment in which he breaks down and pleads with Billy to just kill him, in which Costigan replies, “I am killing you”. The ride ends, the door opens, a shot rings out, and the brains of Billy Costigan are now painting the back wall of the elevator. The bullet that crushed the hearts of thousands of love-struck Leo-lovers (including me, I’m not ashamed to say) came from the gun of another Massachusetts state trooper. Immediately following, the chubby black guy whom Costigan attended the police academy with comes running down the steps, met with the gruesome visual. A beat is followed by another gunshot resulting in the death of the token “fucked” black guy in Boston. It’s then shockingly discovered that this no-named, red-shirted* trooper was yet another mole put into the department by Costello. And Sullivan, being the dirty, no good motherfucker that he is, splatters THAT guy’s brains as well in a wonderful orgy of gratuitous, cerebrum smashing that only our Lord Scorsese can deliver. Of course, Sullivan gets away and lies his way through the funerals and gets his life back on track. Cut to his apartment, who is standing there with gun in hand? Marky-fucking-Mark Whalberg, who takes one shot and one shot only. Long story short, everybody gets a bullet save for Marky.
This is in a nutshell, how my day went on January 15th, 2008. Single handedly, the worst single day of my life, for now. What follows is a short hand account of the day’s events from the time I wake up to the time I rested my weary head. Enjoy my pain.
I wake up and get ready and attend my first class. All in all, the day didn’t seem that bad from the start, everything just seemed kind of stagnant and that was totally ok with me. So, I noticed that I was not on the role for my first two classes…this concerned me, so I walk over to the Office of the Registrars to inquire about what in the blue fuck is going on. I talk to them and I am told that I am unenrolled from every single one of my classes and that I was sent a letter telling me that I would have to update my schedule, according to what they need me to do. I am the only one around my household that checks the mail and I never received such letter, when I relay this to the wonderful woman behind the counter (at this point, I didn’t want to kill everything), I am told nothing…the only answer to this was a shrug of the shoulders. Fuck.
I am also told that I have to totally redo my class schedule. So, I walk out of the Hardin Building, with head still held high, to redo it. Oh, did I mention that my advisor wasn’t fucking there, at school? Yeah, so after about a wait of thirty minutes (it is now about 11:30), my advisor rolls in, we do the damn thing, and I am off to the Academic Advisement thingy that I have to go to on campus. I sign in, sit for a bit, and think quietly to myself, “Buck up, Kiddo! There is no way that things can get any worse!” I forget that these are words that are said before every real disaster in history. The people who work there are going to lunch and will not be back until about 2:30, I have to pick up my sisters in Iowa Park by three. Good Lord. So, I talk her into a meeting at two, which should give me ample time for the kid fetching.
Cut to two, after a brief nap and lunch for myself. I am back at the AA building and sitting in the waiting room. I am called back. I start to explain my situation and the advisor appointed to me nods and starts to work it all out with me. She gets me all signed up and enrolled. For the first time, during the day, I am happy and things seem to be looking up, but then I take a look at my classes. Every other class is wrong. I am just waiting for a bus. I interrupt a meeting and tell her what has happened. It seems that my actual major’s advisor has written down the wrong call numbers for my majors classes. It is during the correction of this mistake that I come to realize that Midwestern State University is the Wichita Falls equal to the Bush Administration. No one knows what the hell is going on with the students, the staff is in shambles, and MSU has absolutely no exit strategy.
I leave the red tape covered institute of learning, enrolled and wanting to get some things right today. I pick the girls up with no incident, but I realize I need gas. I get money and proceed to the North Texas Rehab Center. It is at this lull in the narrative, that I will introduce a sub-plot that will come to play later, tonight is the starting auditions for the show this semester: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. I leave the girls with my mom and start toward a gas station, only to promptly run out on an access road. I curse my family’s name and start making phone calls to be rescued. Remember that sub-plot? Here is comes, I had been on the fence about auditions anyway and had finally decided to do it, so I called my mom to break the news, with the school of thought that if you are a theatre major, you need to do shows. I had called the director, who had assured me that the rehearsals would not be as time-consuming as my first show, The Importance of Being Earnest. I call my mother, who does not take the news well. She is still under the impression that I am still, at best, a high school sophomore, and plays are still a thing that is second…it’s not like I can make a career of it or fucking anything. It really boils down to me not being able to work as much and the complete disgust my parents have for helping me out from time to time with money issues. At some point in my family’s history, one of our women fucked a Jew and so began the line.
So, I, feeling cornered, start to lash out and the conversation is ended and I am saved by Dearest Stephanie Burris and Cutesy Daisy. I have to go BACK to the NTRC and buy my dad a fucking hat…I can’t make something like that up. I walk into my mom’s office and my dad is there. He asks me if I have gotten an estimate for the fender bender I got into the previous weekend. I reply no and start to explain my day. Now, one thing you have to understand about my mom is that her method of making a point is that she really just belittles you until you crack, which is immediately what happened. She is trying to hammer home the point that I was lazy last semester, failed a class, and have to repeat. She did this over and over and over until…
“I AM NOT GOING TO BE IN THE FUCKING SHOW!”
Yeah…I was going to tell her I wasn’t going to anyway…but yeah…
So, my mom kicks me out of her office and I get a stern taking to by my dad, which I really thought was going to end in a public flogging. Then I attend a Majors and Minors meeting and have to tell everyone that I can’t audition and have to endure all of the shit that came with that.
Good Night and Good Luck,
-J.Partridge, The Enemy
* It would be safe to assume that many of you do not know what the term “red-shirted” means. It would also be safe to assume that many of you are clueless motherfuckers who only care about pop-culture history starting in the year of our lord 1999. Well, my hapless friends, to be red-shirted means to be killed… Star Trek style. In the original series, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy would usually be accompanied on away missions to ‘strange new worlds’ by two or three security guys dressed in red Star Fleet uniforms. And 9 out of 10 times, these guys would be phasered to death, crushed by falling boulders, left on the planet to freeze to death, or poisoned by strange alien flowers spraying hazy death pollen… likely a form of 23rd century “insta-AIDS”.
So there ya go. Enjoy your random irrelevant 60’s pop culture reference of the day. You’re welcome. Hang on, If you haven’t seen The Departed and do not get the red shirt thing, you really don’t need to be reading this blog…or breathing…ever…
Monday, January 14, 2008
Well… the first day of a new semester is now officially coming to a close.
All last week, I was really excited about getting back to my super-fun friends up in bustling Oklahoma City. But when I got up here, I realized that I wasn’t looking forward to being with these people (who are actually pretty boring and the city is just as lame as Wichita Falls)… I was anticipating getting away from my damn sister. Those of you who know Courtney will sympathize.
Now, at the end of Day 1, I am still trapped with Courtney, I’m away from my WF buddies, AND I’m not making 18 bucks an hour anymore. This is not an inspiring beginning to a new year.
A little about my two most noteworthy classes-
My math teacher has embraced his senility with open arms. He babbled aimlessly for the first 10 minutes of the class then a giant gorilla walked in the door. The gorilla very kindly introduced himself as Winston and proceeded to tell the teacher to sit down, shut up, and that he would be teaching this class from now on. As Winston the Gorilla launched into a lecture about the politics of building contractors-vs-Tarzan, the girl next to me woke me up and told me that class was over. I departed that building and headed over to my wellness class.
The teacher over there had each of us think of a word that describes us that starts with the same letter as the first letter of our name. For instance (and these are actual examples people used): Jolly Julia, Laughing Leslie, Enigmatic Eric, Silly Scott. After the teacher yapped about her two sons, Matthew and Mark, I decided that Wise-Ass Whitney probably wouldn’t go over well. She even asked Eric to define enigmatic. Ladies and gents, she was serious. Most of the people in the class laughed a bit, but when she just kept staring at him, he finally said, “You know… like an enigma? *silence* A puzzle?”
It is going to be a long semester.