Reading too deeply into these things since 1981
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Subterreanean Homesick Bookshelf
Content has been a little slow around here lately. I feel like I apologize for this every week, but doing some research proves that I only apologize every week and a half.

But I come bearing tidings of great joy. Unless you don’t like my writing. In that case, it’s terrible news, and I really hope you discover that other webpages exist on the internet.

This is going to be a very, very busy month in terms of posting. So much so that I had to make a content plan…something I haven’t had to do since 2012(!) when I did the 12 Days of Christmas feature.

This month is special for a few ways. Firstly, and maybe most obviously, there’s the launch of Arts in Entertainment. That Kickstarter will go live next week, barring tragedy, and it’s going to be a lot of work on my end. You’ll see features about that of course, but most of the work will be a bit below the surface.

Regardless, I’d appreciate (sincerely) your help and support in getting the word out, and pre-ordering the books if you have interest. It would mean a lot to me, but mainly what you’re doing is ensuring that the series happens for all those great people out there who would enjoy the books and don’t know that it’s even happening. You guys have been nothing but supportive in the past, and I appreciate it more than I can say. I hope you’ll help me make this a huge success.

Then there’s that show I’m reviewing every week. I forget which. China Beach or something. Regardless, that will continue. As will Fiction into Film (which I swear I’m going to keep on a predictable schedule!) and a few other surprises I think you will like.

Additionally, there’s a new feature I’d like to introduce this month, as Halloween is coming. Part of me would love to delay it until next year since there’s already so much stuff going on, but it’ll be pretty exciting to have an active blog again, and I think it’s worth the effort to make it happen now.

On top of all of this, I have a trip planned for the end of October into early November. I’ll have my content locked and loaded beforehand, but that carves a few more days out of an already busy month.

November will be pretty busy, too. You can expect new posts every couple of days through then, and sometimes every day. And with the Kickstarter closing then — bringing great news with it, we hope! — that will continue to be a focus of mine.

Which is kind of what I’m getting at: lots of stuff to come in the next 30 days or so. You might be in the habit of checking this blog every couple of days. Maybe it’s every couple of weeks or every month. I couldn’t blame you, really.

But you should probably get in the habit of checking more regularly, starting this coming week. Because it’s going to be like old times. Lots of great stuff coming in fast.

It feels good to be writing so much again. Thanks for being beautiful, and I hope you enjoy what’s in store.

Blade Runner

Fiction into Film has already gained some pretty awesome traction, due in large part to the official Vladimir Nabokov social profiles sharing my Lolita piece, and John Carpenter himself sharing my writeup on They Live. If you wonder why those have a few thousand likes and shares on Facebook while everything else I write maxes out at about four, there you go.

So I’m feeling pretty good about the series, and I have a nice long list of things to cover on what I hope continues to be a monthly basis.

But there’s one stubborn holdout: Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s 1982 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

This is why I’m asking, openly, if anyone out there would like to cover it.

Blade Runner is an important film in general, and I believe firmly that a piece discussing the process of adaptation would make for a great read. It’s something I’d like to have. In fact, the series would feel incomplete without it; it’s a film that people keep suggesting that I cover, and for good reason.

But here’s my hesitation: I don’t know enough about the film’s multiple cuts and tortured editing history. In most cases I’d just need to watch a film and read a book, then whack out a brilliant essay about what I learned. (I AM SIMPLIFYING)

In this case, the question of which version of the film to watch, what to consider (or disregard) from the various incarnations and edits, what actually happens and how those events are presented in order to guide our understanding of them as viewers…well, it’s just a bit too much.

It’s something I certainly don’t trust myself to handle authoritatively, and I think it’s wiser for me to step aside and let somebody else take the reins.

Are you interested in covering Blade Runner? I won’t pay you because WHO THE FUCK PAYS ME, but it may get some pretty cool attention and put your name out there. And I can promise you that though these take a hell of a lot of time to write, they’re also a lot of fun, and you’ll find yourself noticing things you hadn’t before, just by virtue of trying to put your thoughts into words.

I’m not requiring that all edits are covered…it’s just that I’m not well-versed enough in Blade Runner to know what should be discussed and what — by and large — we’ve decided not to.

I’d definitely be interested in hearing from you if you think you’re up to the task. If you want to be the gal or guy to cover Blade Runner for Fiction into Film, get in touch. I’d love to have you.

Shh. (Also, Speak Up!)

August 12th, 2015 | Posted by Philip J Reed in Meta - (13 Comments)

Bjork, "It's Oh So Quiet"
This is a fairly-late notification that I’ll be taking the week off from posting. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise; I do this all the time for no reason at all. But this time I have SEVERAL REASONS AT ALL

I spent too much time on Fiction into Film. This past weekend I set aside a lot of time to write, and instead of just making notes for the next installment of Fiction into Film, I wrote the whole damned thing. It won’t post until later this month, and it still needs at least one more good edit, but once I started writing it I couldn’t stop. I can honestly say that Fiction into Film is already my favorite series that I’ve done here, and I sincerely hope you’re enjoying it. Please let me know your feedback, and any suggestions for films to cover. So far I’ve done Lolita and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In a couple of weeks they’ll be joined by They Live, and I already know some interesting adaptations I’ll be covering after that. I’m hoping that you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.

This week’s ALF deserves it. Remember way back in season two when I took an extra week to write about “Night Train”? Well, shocking the hell out of me, the next episode of ALF deserves the same consideration. It’s…an interesting one, and I hope you’ll understand that the delay is in aid of giving it its fairest due.

It’s been a year since Robin Williams took his life. …and I keep seeing reminders of that fact pop up. It brings back a wealth of emotions, which is probably a good thing, as his death opened a dialogue that I believe strongly needs to stay open. It does, however, prevent me from wanting to write the kinds of silly things I usually post here. I will, however, gladly link you to two pieces that I posted that week: Reflections on Robin Williams’ Passing, and the The Voices of Depression. I wrote the first one, and readers here wrote the second. If I had to single out the most important thing that’s ever been on this site, it’d be that one.

Something big is brewing. Stay tuned for some major news…news that will explain where much of my effort has been going lately. While it’s still too early to say much, I feel obligated to spill at least a few beans. I will be launching a new book series very soon…and it’s something you can all be involved in. It’s a series of physical(!), professional texts that combine art criticism, philosophy, and memoir…and it’s going to be authored by a very select group of incredible writers. More information to come, but if you’ve ever wanted to learn why films, novels, songs, and other works of art affect us they way they do, I can promise you’ll find no better (and no more profound) reading material on the subject. Stay tuned. You’ll be as much a part of this as I will.

Not a reason, but come on. So I wanted to embed the music video for Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet,” which I haven’t seen since it was new, but even her official youtube account only has it in garbage quality. I mean, look at that crap…it looks like somebody fed it through a dog. What a shame; it’s one of the most gorgeous music videos I’ve ever seen. Does there really exist no version better than what was used to line somebody’s birdcage? It seems almost disrespectful to host it in this shape.

Anyway, thanks for understanding. Let me know in the comments below if you have any thoughts on the above. Seriously; I love you guys, and I love reading what you have to say about the nonsense I get up to here.

Also, let me know what your favorite cookie is. If I ever bake something in my life, it’ll be for you.

Old Muggins Here

July 25th, 2015 | Posted by Philip J Reed in Meta - (6 Comments)

Noiseless Chatter Incredimug

Have you ever wished you could support this site?

Of course not. But haven’t you wished for a way to consume hot liquids without drinking straight from the coffee maker?

Now I’ve got your attention.

For a small (and by no means expected or mandatory) contribution to the site, you’ll get an official Noiseless Chatter Incredimug as a way of saying thanks. And these things are…kinda awesome. Seriously; they’re pretty rockin’ quality.

They’re very sturdy, and I’ve been using mine for a few weeks. It’s a great little vessel, and if you’re ever feeling lonely the glorious golden visage of Mr. Fabiola (THAT IS THE NAME OF THE ROBOT) will be more than happy to listen to your problems.

It also features the URL of the site, in case you forget it or want to start some awkward conversations at work.

The cost is $18, and I apologize for that. It’s a solid, weighty mug, which I like…but it means that more than half of that cost is shipping. Speaking of which, that only applies to addresses within the continental U.S. If you live in another country (or those two states we don’t talk about) you might be out of luck for now. Sorry. If you really, really want one, and don’t mind paying way too much to ship a coffee mug to your house, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.

For now, though? If you ever wanted to show your appreciation in a way that supports the site and nets you one fuck of a coffee mug (wine fits in it, too), you really can’t go wrong.

Honestly, thanks for reading. The fact that I have such a stellar audience means more to me than selling a mug ever could. But the more money this site brings in, the less time I have to spend freelancing, which means I can post here more often, so there’s that.

One thing’s for sure: you’ll never meet anyone else who has one. If you do, though, smash it so they have to buy another.

THE OFFICIAL NOISELESS CHATTER INCREDIMUG: $18 (includes shipping, continental US only
To buy click this thing below. All major credit cards accepted, I think. Ships within 2-3 days.





The Simpsons, "The PTA Disbands"

In my spare time (I HAVE SO MUCH OF IT) I am preparing a study regarding The Simpsons. I’ll share it here when it’s done, but, for now, I need your help with a little background data.

I’ve prepared a very quick 10-question survey that I’d like you to answer if you’ve ever seen The Simpsons.

Seriously; it should be damned quick. If it’s going slowly, it’s because you’re driving yourself insane trying to be comprehensive…so don’t do that. Say what comes to mind, give it a little bit of thought at most, and submit.

http://goo.gl/forms/1qNLH3OOxl

Again, just to be clear, this is not the study itself. This is information that I’ll need before I can actually begin. Share away on social media, and direct your Simpsons fan friends here to help.

I will be taking responses until August 1.

Get your answers in! The more you can tell me the better, but all responses are helpful. Do not, however, submit multiple responses yourself.

Please take a few minutes to help out and share your opinion. Thank you!

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