Midnight Ramblings XVIII

Chaos in Print

NOTE: Yeesh! Ramble, ramble, ramble! Remember when this guy used to write stories about his life, virginity, and angst? Now, we get all these pop culture ramblings. Bring back the angst-ridden lifeless virgin!

Hey Neelix!

I HATE NAPSTER!! Ever since they got their little copyright filters, I can’t find anything anymore! I’m trying to find this song I heard on MuchMusic a few weeks ago. It’s the best crazy/weird song I’ve heard in ages. It’s called “Doin’ Dishes” by Melanie Melody and the Pop Machine. Let me sing the chorus for you:

I love to do the dishes

I love to mop the floor

I have my coffee and some Prozac

And then I do some more

And the whole song plays out over some sort of sampled 50’s do-whap song. It was just crazy, man. But, thanks to greedy recording artists, I can’t find this indie artist’s song on Napster. My geek friends recommend a similar program called “Gnutella.” I guess I’m going to have to look into that. But, in the meantime, I’ve got my DVD player.

Actually, I’m thrilled with DVD. Disney just made a big announcement telling the public about their DVD strategy. See, Disney’s finally getting behind DVD 100%, and their going to be releasing all their DVD’s in four lines:

The Vista Editions – These are the 2-disc, special editions of their live-action blockbusters. The first one under this label, Unbreakable, comes out in the weeks ahead. This summer’s hit Pearl Harbor will probably be a “Vista Edition” in time for Christmas.

The Gold Editions – These are the DVD’s of their contemporary animated films. They’re already on the market. They tend to be full screen, and bonuses generally tend to include similarly-themed animated shorts.

<No Name> – Of course, they will continue producing bare-bones, movie-only discs under no fancy label whatsoever.

But the one that’s thrilled me is the Platinum Editions. These are the 2-disc, super special editions of their classic animated films. Now, Disney has done something truly unique with these. See, Disney, being the all-encompassing conglomerate that they are, did their market research, and they came up with something interesting. The average DVD owner wants all the bonus materials, but doesn’t watch them. I know we watch them, but remember, we’re not average. So, Disney’s question was how can they get the average DVD owner to watch this stuff? The solution. Disney’s hired a whole bunch of celebrities to be “tour guides” on these DVDs, walking you through all the bonus material. And of course, for the above-average users like ourselves, we can turn off this “tour guide” and just do it the old fashioned way. I don’t like how Disney’s releasing these, though. There’s only 10 DVDs in the collection, and they’re releasing one a year over the next 10 years! The first one, Show White and the Seven Dwarves, comes out this November. Then, between now and 2011, they’ll be releasing (in an order to yet be decided), Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Bambi, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, Lady and the Tramp and 101 Dalmatians. As previously hoped, Disney’s big prototype for this was the Fantasia boxed set, which is still one of my favorites.

But let us move now from Disney to Pokémon. I’ve just discovered that there is yet another edition of Pokémon coming out for the Game Boy! We’ve had the red, blue, yellow, gold and silver editions, but make way for the crystal edition! Like how yellow edition was just a “special edition” of red and blue, crystal is a “special edition” of gold and silver. But what’s new in the crystal edition? Well, Nintendo, like Disney, does their market research. Nintendo discovered that only 11% of pokémon players are female. The question: how can they get more girls and young women playing Pokémon? The solution: Crystal Edition is the first edition where you can choose a female character instead of Ash to play! All the online review sites I found didn’t have an American translation for her name, yet. Actually, all the online review sites I found had better get moving. All the ones I found said that they were doubtful the Crystal Edition would be coming to North America. Well, I first found out about it in a CompuSmart flyer! They’re taking pre-orders for its North American release next month!

And from the future, into the past. One of my guilty pleasure is watching reruns of Petticoat Junction. You ever see this show? It was from Paul Henning, the same guy behind The Beverly Hillbillies. This one centered on the Shady Rest Hotel in the town of Hooterville. The Shady Rest was a family affair, run by Kate Bradley and her three daughters: Billie Jo, the singer and blond, Bobbie Jo, the intellectual and brunette, and Betty Jo, the tomboy and redhead. Also helping out at the Shady Rest is Kate’s old Uncle Joe, who’s got a scheme for every season. (Man, was that Henning guy stuck on the name “Joe” or what? But I digress.) Anyway, the run of the show I’m watching right now involves a guy named Steve. He’s a crop duster pilot whose plane crashed in Hooterville and he just never left. After a while, he settled down there and married Betty Jo. Now this is where I find it odd. As I said, Betty Jo was the tomboy. She played on the local baseball team and even honed her skills as a mechanic. But then, she got married. Suddenly, she’s wearing her hair longer. Gone are the baseball uniforms, only to be replaced with simple, wifely house-dresses. No longer a strong, independent woman, now she’s a “good wife.” In fact, Steve even referred to her like that. “Just be a good wife.” This just makes me do a double-take.

I have to ask, what the hell happened to you, Betty Jo? You completely sold out your value systems and who you were just so you could be a “good wife.” But, how good a wife is she being? I mean, she and Steve seem to fighting in every episode. It also doesn’t help that the actor and actress portraying these two seemed to have zero chemistry together. I don’t know. I just get the impression that Betty Jo and Steve would have ended in divorce. Betty Jo was the youngest of Kate’s daughters, perhaps this marriage was just one of those young, impulsive things. But still, I find it weird. That transformation Betty Jo made from independent to kept. I guess I mainly find it weird because most of the women I know would bitch-slap their boyfriends if they ever called them a “good wife” or some such nonsense. Yup, Petticoat Junction is OK, for the most part, but it’s truly a relic of its time.

Not like Star Trek: Voyager. There’s a show that looks into the future! I’m still reeling from that finale episode, “Endgame.” It just wasn’t the grand, epic finale I wanted it to be. It just came across as a really good episode. I remember reading one complaint about Return of the Jedi. This critic asked, “That’s the best George Lucas could come up with? Another Death Star?” My complaint about “Endgame” is similar. That’s the best the writers could come up with to get them home? Another mysterious array? Sure, this one was run by the Borg instead of the Caretaker, but it was still an array. But, there were some cool elements. Having the array be run by the Borg gave us one final appearance of the Borg Queen. But this time, she was played by Alice Krige, who originated the role in Star Trek: First Contact. And there were some cool effects, like Voyager’s Borg armor. Remember the Batmobile’s armored cocoon in the Batman movie? Just like, only on Voyager. I guess I was just expecting more.

Now, all my hopes lie on Enterprise, the next Star Trek series coming this fall. It’s set in the 22nd Century, 100 years before Kirk and Spock. We follow the adventures of Captain Jonathan Archer, the first commander of the first starship to bear the name “Enterprise.” All I can say is the show is in good hands when the only previous work of one of the actresses is a Maxim pictorial she did a few months ago.

And that’s all for now. I’m all rambled out.


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