In space, no one can hear you fail the Bechdel Test

I watched Outland yesterday, which was good in some ways, weak in others. I had watched Alien just a week or two ago, and the visuals and tone are very similar. Blade Runner seems visually similar to the other two (well, duh, directed by the same guy who did Alien). Lots of shadows and smoke, and lots of fluorescent lights.

It occurred to me that all three of these have something else in common: mining planets or asteroids. The Alien crew is towing a cargo of ore back to Earth, Outland is set in a mining outpost on one of the moons of Jupiter. Blade Runner deals with the post-traumatic stress of miners who can't integrate into Earth society when they come back. Or robots or whatever, close enough.

Another thing no one can do in space is stop prostitution, apparently. Alien has a little bit of what we'd call sexual harassment between crew members. Outland and Blade Runner explicitly talk about prostitutes and "basic pleasure model" skin jobs for the miners.

I'm poking around Amazon to find similar movies from this era, "Customers Who Viewed This Also Viewed..." Does The Thing (1982) fit with these other fluorescent noir films? It's not as moody as something by Ridley Scott, but you have shots of a camera moving down empty hallways in The Thing, similar to the opening shots of Alien. None of them have conventionally happy endings. Outland shows the hero solve some lower-level crimes, but doesn't address whether he stops the systematic corporate corruption.

The Thing doesn't have horny miners in space, but they're far away from home in a hostile environment. And the cast is all male. They might all fail the Bechdel Test. If Alien passes the Bechedel Test, it's probably a scene where Ripley and Lambert discuss the alien threat (or I might be thinking of a deleted scene).

Other possible candidates for Fluorescent Noir:
Silent Running (1972)
THX 1138 (1971)


Granular Churn

(Sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things")

Cascading paradigms, grow the stakeholders
Implement core strengths within all subfolders
Deliverables, priorities, metrics we've earned
Collaborative points unlock granular churn

When the outcomes!
Miss the benchmarks!
When I can't find the tab
I simply remember the Granular Churn,


Improvised Explosive Delights

Start with one Reese's Mini Peanut Butter cup. Unwrap it. Turn it upside down, with the narrow end of the cylinder up.

Take one Rolo unit from a bag or roll of them. The wide end of this cylinder matches up almost perfectly with the narrow end of the Reese's, making a tall ziggurat of chocolate, peanut butter and caramel.

The last item requires precise timing. If you're not careful, you might begin to eat it too soon, or gnaw off your fingertips before the delight is activated. Take one Hershey's kiss. I use chocolate, but whatever kind you prefer will work.

Turn the point of the kiss down into the top of the Rolo. Push down. At this point, it doesn't matter if you arm only the Rolo, or send it down all the way to pierce the pocket of peanut butter at the bottom. Just get it in your belly, by way of your mouth.

As Shore Leave / Holy Diver from Venture Brothers is wont to say: "Boom! Yummy."


Little Misnomer on the TV Series

I picked up a vhs copy of the pilot "premiere movie" of Little House on the Prairie, which for some reason is not included in the Season One dvd set. The irony is that they cover and exhaust the events of that book in the pilot movie. The tv episodes that most people are familiar with from years of reruns in syndication are set in the later book On the Banks of Plum Creek and a few other books. Out of ten years of the tv show, only 96 minutes of it are based on Little House on the Prairie. Most of it is based on the later books. It's like if the whole series Star Trek: The Next Generation had been named "Encounter at Farpoint".

There were a few details left out, a few details changed, but it was surprisingly true to the source material. They don't hold back Ma's fear or hatred of Indians. Ma seems strict and snobbish in the movie, and both parents tend to snap at the children more due to their stress. The books talk a lot about church, but the tv version has more thanking the Lord for surviving the latest calamity. The tv version inserted a miracle that was totally unnecessary: in the book, Charles and Caroline take actions that prevent a prairie fire from destroying their house. In the tv show, a sudden rainstorm puts out the fire that they seem unable to control. If you want to convince people that God is great, your stories shouldn't have such obvious Deus Ex Machina. Especially when you're contradicting the source material.