Segarini – Bring Out Your Dead or Solo No Mo
Facebook was a beautiful verdant meadow when I first signed up 8 or so years ago. A place where you could look for and find lost friends, renew relationships, reconnect with your old home town, meet new people, and be exposed to music and movies you either didn’t know about or had forgotten. I could hardly wait to go online and see what wonders awaited me…
…now, I go online with trepidation, because the meadow has become full of landmines and snipers. The tall green grass has turned an arid brown, and the chirping birds and babbling brook have been replaced by chirping complainers, and babbling Republicans and Conservatives, and people who use their religion as a jumping off point to preach intolerance, hate and accusations, and spread more bullshit than the entire population of actual bulls…with diarrhea…after eating curry…and undercooked pork.
Facebook has become the Obituary section of our Global News Source, for both people and things, and I am reminded of my mother who, in her later years, always turned to the Obits when she opened the paper.
“Why do you always read the obituaries first, mom?”, I asked her one day.
“Because I want to see if any of my friends died”, she replied.
…and now, 40 years later, I understand why she read the obituaries first…and what we’re afraid we will see as we scroll through our newsfeeds…if we have lost yet another loved one.
The older you get, the more interesting the obituaries become. In actual fact, you are really looking to make sure yours isn’t one of them. When those we love, for whatever reason, shuffle off to a metaphorical Buffalo, we are gut-punched, even if we never met them.
And Now for Something Completely Different….
Bring Out Your Dead
It is bad enough losing real, flesh and blood people we care about…it is another to kill off a fictional character we care about.
Years ago, before people like Christopher Nolan and David Fincher decided that entertainment should reflect real life and be dark, gritty, and bereft of joy, most fictional characters (in pop culture movies and comics and TV shows) were guaranteed a long, fairly happy, life.
With the exception of a comic strip called Gasoline Alley, most comic strip characters didn’t even age, let alone die. If they did, Marge would have been widowed years ago, and Bart would be in his late 30s and probably doing time.
Gasoline Alley is still being published…and it started in 1918… and Walt was a young man. Today, he is well over 100, his wife has died in the strip, some of his friends, and the baby Skeezix, left on his doorstep when he was a young man, is now well into his 50s.
The Sunday Strip
Skeezix and Nina
The Wallet Family Tree
The Gasoline Alley comics stand out on so many different levels. Whimsical, yet couched in real life, a mood that conjures up Life With Father as well as Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon in his A Prairie Home Companion….only not as coma-inducing.
Don’t bother watching this unless you are a grandparent or from the Midwest…to me, it reeks of Marmaduke and Family Circus.
If you really want to see some beloved fictional characters bite the bullet, may I recommend an absolutely wonderful DC Comics series called Injustice.
Many of you will be surprised at how much their deaths will affect you, even though they are just ink and paper at the mercy of storytellers. Some of the characters are over 75 years old, and are a part of most of our childhoods. That these well known characters are from an alternate reality and not quite the characters we know and love, the pain of seeing them like this isn’t as devastating as it could have been.
To those of you who do not hold fictional characters as close as I do, you may consider me nuts and a bit nostalgic. …and if you can’t quite understand what the pain is like, it is similar to losing a pet…there is no way to communicate your love to them, nor thank them for years of companionship and joy.
If you were (and are) an only child, you will get this easily…books and movies and television, like the family pet, were our closest friends when we were growing up.
So when a fictional character gets thrown under the bus, it better be for a good reason, and it better count for something…which brings me to….
Why Star Wars: The Force Awakens Depressed the Fuck Out of Me
I love what JJ Abrams did for the Star Trek franchise. He basically brought it up to the 21st Century, kept Rodenberry’s optimism and belief in humanity, and added a much needed reboot that looks better, sounds better, and rejuvenated not only the trademark, but the characters as well. The purists and fanboys can whine all they like, but JJ didn’t touch a hair on their Original Series’ head…in fact, he guaranteed its continued existence. I am looking forward to where it goes from here, the third film is out soon, helmed by the director of at least one Fast and Furious film, so what I love about space operas will be magnified and taken up a notch, which is just fine with me because I care what happens to the characters.
That said…I was looking forward to his re-launch of Star Wars and expected to be blown away.
Instead, I felt like a monkey with deja vu…and I had the horrible, creepy feeling that I was being played…and after over a month of watching and re-watching this indulging piece of propaganda (don’t ask how), I think I know why.
Whatever the original script and concept was, it turned out to be a grandly executed attempt at the worst kind of pandering any art can be guilty of.
It wanted to please everyone.
I Smell a Rat…and Its Name is Mickey Mouse
I am willing to bet that one of the first meetings JJ had with the studio had a focus that, on the surface, could have been a good idea. JJ must have known this going in…that regardless of the script he had presented to them, the studio would want the original characters to be the heart of the film. Han, Luke, Leia, Stan, and Ollie…and is there any way we can get Darth Vader in there too?
Well, Mr. Vader was seriously at least as dead as Uncle Owen and Aunt Veru, and about as likely to show up with a non-eye-rolling reason for having survived dying and then being torched and burnt to a fine ash while a bunch of teddy bears danced, set off fireworks and drank teddy bear beer, as Jar Jar had of showing up to save the day during the new film talking like John Wayne and wielding a ray gun like Flash Gordon, and besides, wouldn’t he have rotted away in Space Prison by now for going along with the Emperor Palpatine in Chapter III and convincing the Senate to make some bad choices which led to the decimation of the Jedi?
Party on Bob. Party on Darth.
So with Darth (may I call him Darth?) off the table, can we have someone who has a space ship like his with the cute, but sinister looking little upturned wings, and a black ensemble and matching goalie mask with shiny chrome racing stripes, and an oooooo* scary Transformer/Bane/Batman/ voice that sounds like he is talking through a garden hose. Then complete the look with a signature Darkside Lightsabre equipped with two little extra kill-y things that look cool, but would burn the fuck out of your hand every time you turned the damn thing on? Can we, huh, pleeeeeze?
*This is pronounced “ooooo”…like “who” without the ‘wh’ also like mooooooooose without the ‘m’ or ‘se’. Otherwise, it would sound like “Ohhhhh!” like teddy bears dancing in the moonlight.
Like actors who want to be rock stars and comedians who want to be serious actors, businessmen, lawyers, bean counters, and marketing folk, not satisfied with being creative at what they do and successful at squeezing Every. Single. Nickel. out of the public pocket, dream of having ‘input’ in the movies they creatively turn into money trees, at the artistic level.
Say hello to The Fantastic Four, Green Lantern, and Dumb and Dumnerer or whatever the hell it was called.
JJ, who is not doing Episode VIII – Star Wars: A New Action Figure probably took a pass after the experience he had on this Episode because, like drugs, after he acquiesced to these first politely put demands. was probably looked upon as a weak willed rabbit and the Wolfs of Walt Street probably pounced on him like Mother Boo Boo on a wedding cake.
They could smell the money….
Now…I could be wrong. and if I am, it would be because JJ, a verrry smart film maker and a gracious, savvy, player in the Big Leagues, may have tilted the movie to the nostalgia side as a preventative measure to ward off the Artisans of Commerce from taking him to endless expensive dinners so they could smilingly and gently, suggest over several 1200 dollar bottles of wine and a ribsteak, that having a cute alien race of tiny (but powerful) fuzzy pink miniature ponies help FN (pronounced ‘Finn’) and Rey and the soccer ball with an overturned soup bowl for a head, take down the petulant, bipolar angry 12 year old boy villain of the piece, even though he isn’t the REAL villain or the problem. He’s just a very stupid shithead emotard that someone should have spanked, taken away his Playstation, and sent him to his room, instead of having him trained to be a petulant, bipolar angry 12 year old boy villain, with an avalanche of fucking nasty powers and the attitude of an entitled pop star like last year’s Bieber or this year’s Kanye…or any WWF wrestler who draws the ‘Bad Guy’ card at a match.
Seriously, this ass-puppet is the dumbest, most childish scenery-chewing Hollywood Bad Guy since Yosemite Sam.
Monday! Part Two of Bring Out Your Dead or Solo No Mo – Oh Look, It’s A New Hope and Bits and Pieces of Empire Strikes Back with Gender Switching and Featuring a Yellow-Orange Lady Yoda!
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Segarini’s column appears whenever there is a great disturbance in the Force
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Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record