June 28th, 2008

Tom Lehrer is Smug

SHTAY A WHILE AND LISHEN

Well, Blizzard has gone and announced Diablo 3.

The release date has not been set. This is very kind, as they're allowing you time enough to make a stab at finishing all your important plans, settling your existing affairs, telling pets and those close to you that you love them and you'll miss them, you know, that kind of thing.

But until then, you can content yourself with ALL THE CRAZED FRENETIC SPECULATION YOU CAN COME UP WITH. OMG WITCH DOCTORS AND ZOMBIES AND MAYBE THERE'LL BE A GIANT LIGHTNING BOLT IN THE GAME OR SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW I BET YOU GET TO FIGHT DEMONS IN HELL OR MAYBE JUST A DUNGEON.
1939 World's Fair

SING-A-LONG TIME

Turns out Windows XP can run After Dark 4.0 with a tweak or two to the Display Settings applet. (The older modules, unfortunately, won't run in their 16-bit state, so no Sartori, You Bet Your Head or Mowin' Man for me.) Anyway, now that there are toasters once more flying across a monitor near us, we'd like you to please stand now, remove your caps, set your preferred toast settings and face front as we sing the beloved anthem of a generation:
Flying out of the sun
The smell of toast is in the air
When there's a job to be done
The Flying Toasters will be there.

And it's flap! Flap! Flap!
Now help is on the way.
This vic'try song they sing:
We pop up to save the day
On mighty Toaster Wings!

In brightest day or After Dark
When times of trouble are at hand
The Flying Toasters set a spark
And hope is blazing 'cross the land!

And it's flap! Flap! Flap!
Salvation from above
A precious gift they bring:
Gleaming Angels of Love
On mi-ghty Toa-ster Wings!
As you were, citizens.
Barth Gimble facepalms

Doctor Who and the LOOK AT THE SKY

(oh, don't worry. I ain't spoiling shit.)

SCENE 1
EXT. LONDON - NIGHT
(CHARACTER 1 and CHARACTER 2 are standing around outside. There has been a DISTBURBANCE somewhat resembling an EARTHQUAKE, or at least a TECHNICIAN SHAKING THE CAMERA.)

CHARACTER 1
What was that?

CHARACTER 2
(gazing up in awe and terror)
Look! Look at the sky!

CHARACTER 1
That was like nothing I've ever been through. What happened?!

CHARACTER 2
(continuing to look up in awe and terror)
Character 1, look at the sky!

CHARACTER 1
I'm so scared! What has happened?

CHARACTER 2
(trembling mit der fear)
Look at the sky!

CUT TO:

SCENE 2
INT. ANOTHER PART OF LONDON - NIGHT
(CHARACTER 3 and CHARACTER 4 are experiencing the same CAMERA SHAKING.)

CHARACTER 3
(walking over to the window)
That was so weird!

CHARACTER 4
I hope everyone is all right. What's it like outside?

CHARACTER 3
(gazing out in fear and awe)
Oh my. Character 4. Come see. Come look at the sky.

CHARACTER 4
What is it?

CHARACTER 3
(completely improvising at this point because her portion of the script had mustard stains on it)
My god. Look at the sky.

CHARACTER 4
What? Are we okay? What's going on?

CHARACTER 3
(having received the thumbs-up from Russell T. Davies, continues to improvise)
Look. At. The. Sky.

CHARACTER 4
What's happening?! Tell me!

CUT TO:

SCENE 3
INT. SOMERVILLE, MA - NIGHT

SPATCH
(surprised at finding himself hollering at the TV screen)
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT'S HOLY, JUST DO WHAT SHE SAYS AND LOOK AT THE FUCKING SKY.

CUT TO:

[SCENES 4 and 5 OMITTED - SAME AS THE FIRST TWO, ONLY WITH DIFFERENT CHARACTERS]

CUT TO:

SCENE 6
(Here we have a MONTAGE of the previous EIGHT CHARACTERS all gazing up in AWE and FEAR and WONDER and holy crap I'm gonna WET MYSELF it's so scary. What are they looking at? WHAT DO THEY SEE? OH MY GOD, WHAT DO THEY SEE? The CAMERA slowly PANS UP to reveal the source of their fear... THE COVER OF A BOSTON ALBUM.)

I have to hand it to Russell T. Davies. He's an incredibly talented and sage writer. He has this incredible knack of recognizing formulaic, repetitive situations -- such as, oh, I don't know, people gazing upwards in fear -- and then writing an episode of Doctor Who which features almost nothing but that, for the sole purpose of parodying the formulaic. Where before he would have been happy with just one shot of people out in the street staring up in terror, he now puts in four scenes, chuckling all the livelong day. Where before he'd have just one character comforting another in a moment of uncertainty and impending doom, now he's got no less than three characters comforting three others, often one shot right after the other, right down to the "put right arm around, kiss on forehead" action. One lucky fellow gets to comfort two people at the same time, which would've been surprising except I am rather certain the concept of a threesome is not alien to him.

At any rate, it is perfectly clear to me that Rusty is taking the piss out of his own writing, and going out with a laugh rather than with a rolling of the eyes.

At least, that's what I choose to believe, so don't try and convince me otherwise. I am in heavy denial here.