Amoeblog

Tres De Mayo-Pt.1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 4, 2008 08:57pm | Post a Comment
On Saturday I woke up to sounds of Mariachi music and Aztec drumming. Turns out there was a Cinco De Mayo parade on my street. There was little notice other than a few no parking signs on Cypress Ave. the night before.

Danza Azteca on Cypress & Roseview

The Grand Marshal was an Elvis Impersonator

Bike Riders: The new people in the barrio wanted to be a part of the parade and to push their agenda
about getting people not to drive their cars and ride their bikes instead. They asked the people watching the parade to join them in a bike ride. Nobody did except the neighborhood loco who rides his bike all day cause he's got nothing better to do. Everyone in the neighborhood knows this guy is crazy, but nobody told them. We all just snickered.

Tamborazos in the back of a truck. A horse follows them.

Vaqueros (Cowboys)

I'm not too big on parades. I usually avoid them at all costs, but since it was right outside my door, I figured I'd check it out. The parade seemed a bit unorganized and thrown together last minute. However, it was cool to hang with my neighbors and scream out a few "Que Viva Mexico!"s. Once the Victory Outreach float came by, I figured it was time to go home. Born-again Christians with megaphones wasn't really my idea of a Cinco De Mayo celebration. Besides, I was doing laundry.


Hegemonic Fantasies Make Me Feel Like an American, Part II: Iron Man

Posted by Charles Reece, May 4, 2008 08:48pm | Post a Comment
Just look at all that merchandising and sequel potential!

I have a special relation to the Iron Man comic; it was my first.  Due to Uncle Skeeter giving me issue 52 as a Christmas present, I developed a lifelong obsession with the graphic narrative form (i.e., it made me a comics nerd, but never this nerdy).  Despite the ablative effects of my high school years, in which I temporarily replaced my adolescent recreational addiction with one of a more illicit kind, I still remember that comic, due to a picture of me clutching it by a Christmas tree.  So, I guess it's a combination of nostalgia, the (more often than not) sobriety of adulthood and the promise of no Ben Affleck that keeps me going back to shitty Hollywood adaptations of superhero comics I rarely read these days.  Thankfully, Iron Man the movie is pretty good.

Even without narcotics, the Iron Man comic is pretty forgettable.  I only remember a few of his villains: The Mandarin, a Fu Manchu ripoff who wore a specially powered ring on each of his fingers; the Unicorn, a technological foe who shot repulsor beams from his forehead; the Viet Cong, dreaded communists who envied his capitalist knowhow and freedom (aka surplus leisure time); and the bottle, which took something like a 120 issues before it became a problem.  Mainstream entertainment isn't allowed to mock other nationalities anymore -- at least not explicitly -- so the Mandarin was out as a villain for the movie.  However, fearing foreign ideologies is still in fashion.  Only problem is that communists make better capitalists than classic liberals do these days, so Red-baiting wouldn't hold much cachet.  Ang Lee's The Hulk demonstrated that most people don't go to see superhero films for an analysis of domestic problems, so alcoholism will have to wait for a subplot in the turgid third installment.  And a guy who shoots beams from his forehead would probably look pretty stupid on the big screen, giving the screenwriters and production designers migraines trying to come up with some phony explanation for why his head doesn't snap back when he fires. 

Continue reading...

Some Kind Of Wonderful

Posted by phil blankenship, May 4, 2008 03:30pm | Post a Comment
 



Happy Birthday Maynard!!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, May 4, 2008 10:50am | Post a Comment
Today would have been the big 8-0 for the high flying trumpet man Maynard Ferguson...RIP







Hegemonic Fantasies Make Me Feel Like an American, Part I: The Animated Evolution of Iron Man

Posted by Charles Reece, May 3, 2008 08:39pm | Post a Comment
This is a multimedia accompaniment to my ruminations on the film.

Iron Man's cartoons were originally slightly animated cutouts from the comic book. Here he fights a Russian version of himself in a battle that looks like an inspiration for the final one in the movie (with Tony Stark's voice sounding suspiciously like Leslie Nielson's):



To a period when hipness was connoted in cartoons and comics by a mullet (even Superman had one). Stark looks more like a Bollywood hero than Sir Richard Branson:



To the interactive age (which provides the illusion that you're controlling the fantasy):

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