…and I feel fine.

Hello! It’s Sunday. And Sundays, well, Sundays are boring, right? Right.

John Cusack goes out for a little jog in the middle of the apocalypse.

Went and saw 2012 yesterday, as promised. It was, well… Hmm.

the end of the world just got a whole lot more end of the world-ier.

My first reaction to it: Ehhhh. Not horrible, but not great. It’s exactly what’s advertised on the tin, I’ll put it this way. You’ve got a lot of real actors doing some cartoon shit while the world goes to hell all around them. The cast, when you think about it, is actually quite impressive. Also, Woody Harrelson’s in the mix too.

We can see you.

My second reaction to it: Why the fuck didn’t this come out in the middle of the summer?

It was literally this or ID4ever, right?

Third reaction: Comedy of the year, hands down.

Especially in a year when, if you think about it, the big comedy was… what? The Hangover? Right? Get serious. I never saw the movie, I won’t lie, but for a lot of reasons. Primarily, things like the trailer. Did you see it? It looks like it was made for retarded boys. But, you know what’s even worse than the trailer? Listening to people who actually liked the movie. They sound like retarded boys, don’t they? Anyway.

There is virtually no situation in which I will not find Thandie Newton excruciatingly gorgeous, except for maybe 2012.

But I really feel like 2012 deserves a good proper Counterforce review. It really does. It’s really our kind of movie, and I mean that in the best and worst possible ways. I don’t know that I’m the man for that job. Benjamin Light, I’m looking at you. Are you the man for that job?

Can you believe me actually made this ridiculous movie?

Anyway, I went and saw the film yesterday with Conrad Noir and walking out of the theater, still buzzing from all that ridiculousness, we saw this:

You are killing me with this ridiculous shit, Dwayne. You really are.

And we thought, “Dear God, who gave that man wings.” Much less Wings Of Desire and much more Red Bull: The Movie.

But then we got into a little conversation, talking about this and that and action heroes of the 80s, mostly cause we’ve been watching a lot of that horrendous/wonderful action movie fare from that decade, and we were talking about how action stars back then were so… foreign seeming. And maybe that contributed a lot to their allure. Maybe it also made some of the ridiculousness easier to stand, too?

For example there, Benjamin Light and were discussing a week or so ago what a remake of The Terminator would look like – since the franchise is up for sale, and should be sold to Joss Whedon, of course, cause why not? – And I brought up the question, “Does the killer robot from the future have to be Austrian?” Commander Light emphatically assured he that it indeed had to be. I’m taking his word for it.

This just looks magical.

Anyway, so Conrad and I, discussing action stars today, talking about guys like Dwayne Johnson, and how, in our minds, he’s not really latched on with America. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the idea of a “non-conventional” action star quite a bit, i.e. a non white guy running around screaming at people, doing high kicks, and blowing copious amounts of shit up. So why hasn’t “The Rock” caught on with us? I posit two possibilities:

1. In a grab for “credibility” or attempting to “not being as big a joke as he is,” he ditched his silly little wrestling moniker, “The Rock,” and went with his real name: Dwayne Johnson. Except, we can’t root for a guy named Dwayne.

2. Not foreign enough? Perhaps? I suggest investigating this has merit. Especially since it seems American action-loving fans get a bigger hard on from a ponce like Jason Statham than Dwayne Johnson.

How Statham picks up a girl.

Then, walking out of the theater, Conrad and I were looking at the various posters on display, the coming soons and the current releases. Part of me still wants to see This Is It. I’m a Michael Jackson fan, I won’t hide it.  But I’m also a huge Richard Matheson fan, and while I have serious reservations about the movie, I also kind of want to see The Box.

Cameron Diaz is trapped inside her own box.

But I don’t know that I trust Richard Kelly anymore. Donnie Darko was okay when it first came out, before you put it through any real tests of serious thought or logic and saw through it’s masturbatory philophosizing. It’s a glorified remake of Last Temptation Of Christ that doesn’t fully pan out. But Kelly also went on to make – speaking of Dwayne Johnson – the gloriously bad Southland Tales.

Dwayne Johnson Fever Dot Net.

Look, I’m not going to talk about the Philip K. Dick pastiche that was Southland Tales here. I’m just… not. I’m not going to do it. All I’ll say is I went into that movie wanting to like it. And I sit here now feeling like I’m a veteran of that war. It’s like Richard Kelly is George W. Bush and I was some dumb kid who supported the Iraq war until I went into the fucker and got my bits and pieces all cut off. Now I’m shell shocked.

But, yeah, there’s The Box, directed by Richard Kelly, starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden, based on the Richard Matheson story, “Button, Button,” and was previously adapted into an episode of The Twilight Zone. We’ll see if I ever see it.

And again, here we are. It’s Sunday. Tomorrow’s the start of the “work week.” I’d love to Weeks In Review here at Counterforce, but lately it’s just me rambling and I’d feel bad directing the two and a half readers of this site back to more of me rambling. Poor fuckers. Oh yeah, the season finale of Mad Men was last Sunday. And we had a Friday the 13th happen this past week as well. There you go. Oh, and: Young women having sex with sea creatures. Now there you really go.

The Doctor hates funny robots.

But again, here we are. It’s Sunday. Let’s see, let’s see, let’s see… Oh! Tonight was the airing of the latest Doctor Who special over in the UK, “The Waters Of Mars,” the start of the end of David Tennant’s run as #10. You can catch it online if you’re good, if you’re very good, and it’s dark. And a bit sad. And leaves you kind of sweaty and breathless too.

Water Monsters! On Mars!

Also tonight is AMC’s remake of the classic 60s show, The Prisoner. I’d watch it, but I’m not sure I want to see my childhood get raped so thoroughly and with such production values. Ian McKellen is a good choice for just about anything, but Jim Caviezel? I think I hate you for that, AMC. Honestly, Jim Caviezel makes Keanu Reeves look like Marlon Brando to me.

You deserve so much better than this, Gandalf.

Oh well, here we are. The weekend’s almost over. I went to the movies to watch the end of the world as we know it and…

What?

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Between the covers.

So about two months ago, Marco had this great idea to do some posts on Counterforce about summer. Summer traveling, summer adventures, flings, weird things to be done to the world and to yourself during the course of summer, and of course, summer reading.

Not a hard subject for us to tackle. Quite the opposite, in fact. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re all voracious readers and also, frankly, scary brilliant. But we got a little wrapped up in the business of having a summer, which we’ll leave undefinable for now, and before you knew it, the grass started getting a little less greener, the wind started getting colder, those chirping annoying kids finally went back to school, and the season of summer flings quietly faded away.

So let’s talk about what’s on our nightstands as we head into the autumn months, okay?

Occam Razor:
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What that Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt.

Because you assholes don’t know how to behave on the road and your idiotic fucking tendencies just lead to me being in traffic. I read most of this on my lunch breaks while eating sushi. Now, I’m not saying you have to read this at lunch while eating sushi, but you probably should to get the same exact experience I did. California Rolls will not be accepted. Unless its the ones with the fried shrimp in the middle, I don’t know why but I can’t get enough of those. Damn, I could go for some right now. If I only had a book about the traffic culture of Mumbai to read.
Lollipop Gomez:

Youth In Revolt is one of my favorite books. I read it 10 years ago and then I re-read it when I was recovering from surgery in 2005. It is a treasure. I’m very worried of what they will do to it.

If there aren’t any donuts in the first 20 minutes of this movie, which is a major detail in that they go get donuts all the time in the book, I will be very upset. I remember sending my ex up the hill to get me Maple bars because they kept mentioning them. So, if there’s no donuts in the movie then I will torch Michael Cera’s house. And I don’t know how I feel about this fake Amanda Seyfried as Sheeni. I don’t know if I imagined her being so faux-sexy. Ugh, Hollywood.

Marco Sparks: Cera’s starring in the upcoming movie version, right? When reading the book originally, can you say that you ever would’ve thought to see Michael Cera playing the lead? I totally want some donuts now, by the way.

LG: No, Michael Cera is not Nick. But he’s the awkward man of the moment and I think he’s producer, so we can thank his dollars.

Marco: Hello, Nick and Norah!

Conrad Noir:
Why this book? Because why the fuck not, motherfucker? This book is like experiencing what it’s like when a mentally ill person has an orgasm during a car wreck. It’s fucking wonderful. Here’s an excerpt:
“Soon after this episode there was a birthday party for me. Prince came, he was sitting at a table with some people not drinking. I walked up to him, grabbed him by the back of the hair and poured cognac down his throat. He spit it out like a little bitch and I laughed and walked away. I loved fucking with him like that.”
Occam Razor:
Lush Life: A Novel by Richard Price.

Because of several reasons. A) Richard Price wrote some of the best episodes of The Wire. 2) For the first 350 pages or so it’s an entertaining read. Nevermind the end, though. and C) For all intents and purposes the subtitle A Novel is actually a part of the title of the book. It’s not Lush Life, a novel by Richard Price, it’s Lush Life: A Novel! Why can’t more titles be that informative like this, imagine Bruno: A Terrible Film Where This Guy Sexually Harasses Rednecks Until They Finally Snap.
Conrad:
This one isn’t as easy to enthusiastically recommend. Honestly, I haven’t read it yet, but I certainly intend to. Especially now that I know they’re making it into a movie.
Marco:
I’m honestly too indecisive to pick just one, or just a few books here. I apologize. So, speaking of the post Lollipop and I did yesterday, I’m going to suggest…
What a fun and fascinating read this book was (for me, anyway). On one hand, you could take it as some very factually based interesting guesses into what tomorrow holds for us, but in a lot of ways, due to it’s style and subject matter, I think you could almost take it in as a very experimental novel. Especially if the futurist angle just isn’t for you. In fact, be warned, because I think I may have more to say about this one in a few days…
Occam Razor:
Why Your World is Going to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization by Jeff Rubin

Because I’m too fucking lazy to properly prepare you for Peak Oil.
And you’ll have plenty of time to read after the end of the world

If you liked it, you should’ve put a ring on it.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” –T.S. Eliot.

Did I like 2008? Yeah, sure, I guess. Not a great year, but not a total wasteland, and I didn’t get shot or stabbed or ran down by any husbands who had walked in on me with their wives this year, so that’s always good. Same thing weird diseases. Or being sold into sex slavery. And I didn’t get poor enough that I had to dance for money, not yet, in the past year. All very good things.

But it’s a new year! Time for reinvention and letting go of old baggage and guilt and what have you, right? I mean, that’s the theory, at least. But it’s a good one. Time for everyone to be something new.

Unless you’re just incredibly fucking amazing. If that’s the case, then why screw with a winning formula? I mean, shit, that’s what I always say. Not out loud, mind you. You know, just to the mirror and what have you.

As I was wandering about the night on New Year’s Eve, I noticed that Sci Fi channel was playing a marathon of the The Twilight Zone. Beautiful. I hadn’t seen an episode in years so I lingered a bit.

Of course all the classics were aired like “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet” with William Shatner and “Time Enough At Last” with Burgess Meredith and “Eye Of The Beholder” (which was also known as “The Private World Of Darkness”). And kudos to them for even playing the very first episode, “Where Is Everybody?” which contains no sci fi elements at all, just quality writing. I have no idea if this was one of those countdown to the best episodes things or not since I didn’t stick around that long, but I can guarantee that if it was, then the best episode was probably one of the first three I mentioned.

Anyways, that was then and this is now. New year, new words, language, and voice. Let’s all start talking dirty to each other.

The Walkmen “In The New Year” (mp3)

Times New Viking “Another Day” (mp3)

Camera Obscura “Happy New Year” (mp3)

Teenage Fanclub “Alcoholiday” (mp3)

Kadman “New Year’s Day” (mp3)

Fuck Buttons “Bright Tomorrow” (mp3)

Audrye Sessions “New Year’s Day” (mp3)

The Eels “Old Shit/New Shit” (mp3)