I finally got around to watching Shazam! this week. Despite having been a fan of Captain Marvel since his revival in 1973, and despite liking Zachary Levi in most of the things I’ve seen him in, I wasn’t really eager to see the film version. This is mostly because DC has had no clue how to handle the character for decades. My worst fears about the film were realized.
It’s been my gift (and curse) that I seem to remember hundreds of terrible TV shows that only aired for half a season and dropped into the abyss half a century ago. I can’t tell you what my bride asked me to pick up after work tonight, but I sure as hell can tell you who starred in ‘A Year at the Top’ 42 years ago, because that’s how the blob of electric jello in my skull works. If I have to know this crap, so do you.
If I were capable of feeling shame, this might be my guilty pleasure, but there’s no guilt involved. I like musicals. It’s just a damn shame that I can’t sing or dance, because I’d love to be in musical theater. I often listen to musicals at work, sometimes old classics like Camelot or Chicago, sometimes more obscure works like Threepenny Opera, or recent shows like Something Rotten, and every so often I go looking for stuff I didn’t know existed. Some of it is on the odd side.
Somehow, we were all convinced to abandon the idea of Utopia, to give up on the notion that the future would be better than today. The reason Disneyland’s Tomorrowland was allowed to become quaint and kitsch and eventually retro-cool is that it couldn’t be updated, because we’ve had no vision for the future since the mid-1970s. Or at least not for a future that’s nicer than our present.
Recently “Le Messor” had a post here about “Things Geeks Aren’t Supposed to Think,” which included comments on Watchmen; in the comments section, somebody remarked, “I think people really took the wrong lesson from Watchmen.” That got my brain going in a bit of a different direction from what they intended, and the comment I began to draft in response quickly revealed that it wanted to be a post. So here we are. Following in the wake of Greg Hatcher’s dissection of points missed in media, I find myself adding to his list.
There’s been this trend of late, blaming this generation or that for all the world’s problems — “Boomers destroyed the economy!””Millennials are killing [everything]!” “Gen Xers all want participation trophies!” — and that’s not what this post is about. What it is about is recognizing and appreciating the influences and factors that contribute to some of the trends and attitudes associated with certain generations, and pointing out why some of those generational groupings may be too broad and/or inaccurate.
After reading Hatcher’s “Non-Existent Gift Guide” I got to thinking about all the movies and stuff I’ve searched in vain for over the years, thinking I’d add to his list with a list of my own. Then I thought I should check one more time just to be sure on a few items. Turns out Patton Oswalt was right. He called it ETEWAF: Everything That Ever Was–Available Forever. And it seems like almost everything is available now.