Category Archives: Rant

The Sandman (poster)

One of the main posters for the Netflix adaptation of the Neil Gaiman graphic novel The Sandman seems to encapsulate and illustrate an approach by Hollywood that many, myself included, find problematic. This post continues a series of posts pondering the issue of actor swapping in film and TV roles.

I spent two posts (one and two) on The Sandman adaptation because of its examples of actor swapping in key roles. These stand out because they apply to especially well-defined characters. Similar, say, to the characters on Futurama.

I hadn’t intended a third post, but the poster caught my eye. It’s the one in the lede of the two posts (and this one). Its layout out intrigues me.

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The Sandman (notes)

The last post expressed some key disappointments (and a few things I liked) about the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman (1989-1996), a widely respected, much loved, graphic novel series from writer Neil Gaiman (and numerous artists). Once I started writing that post, 2000 words came easy, but I never got to most of the notes I had.

I have three pages of said notes, so I figured I needed a follow-up post. I’m not bothering with any plot synopsis, so if you aren’t already familiar with the story and the adaptation, neither of these posts — especially this one — will make much sense.

Suffice to say, the show has its fans, but I’m not among them.

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The Sandman

This past week I watched the eleven episodes of the first (and possibly only) season of the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman (2022), which is based on the famous Neil Gaiman comic series, The Sandman (1989-1996), considered by many to be one of the greatest graphic novels ever.

I think live-action adaptations of comics and animated shows are very hard to get right. And Netflix seems to have a bad history when it comes to adaptations, even of live shows (they’ve had a number of notable fails along those lines). On the other hand, Gaiman was attached to, and involved in, the production, which seemed hopeful.

But to say I was disappointed by the series is putting it mildly.

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Friday Notes (Jun 10, 2022)

I’m really enjoying summer so far. Temperatures have mostly been moderate and the nights deliciously cool (“great sleeping weather” as they say). After a long winter, it’s wonderful to have open windows again and the ability to just walk out the door without gearing up in winter gear.

But my least favorite day of the year approaches. Summer Solstice — the death of the light. Thermal inertia makes July and August uncomfortably warm, but, alas, the days get shorter and shorter.

Meanwhile, here in June, it’s time for another edition of Friday Notes.

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The WordPress Reader

Not too long ago I wrote about an apparent issue between posts written in the Classic Editor and how the WordPress Reader sometimes displays them with no paragraph breaks. The post looks fine on the blog’s website, but the WP Reader isn’t recognizing its paragraphs. (This problem still hasn’t been fixed, and I continue to notice posts where it obviously happened.)

That post went longer than I expected because I had to explain the HTML aspects of why the problem seems to happen and how to go about trying to correct it. I meant to get into other foibles of the Reader but ran out of room.

This post adds an extra room just for the WP Reader.

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WP: Classic Editor vs Reader

The post’s title has more the sense of Ali vs Foreman than of Coke vs Pepsi. True, both are contests, but the the latter is a selection — the former is a fight. This post is about a major problem some posts created using the Classic Editor have when displayed in the WordPress Reader.

Specifically, breaks between paragraphs are lost. In some cases an entire post becomes one long paragraph. The only breaks come from the various HTML block elements that force paragraph breaks. (Things like horizontal rules, large images, or tables.)

Here I’ll explain what’s going on and how to get your paragraphs back.

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A Big Crapfest

Holy Hercules! I have a new standard for awful storytelling. My memory is mercifully short, but last night I suffered through the worst adaptation of a good novel that I can remember. As a story, it was utter trash, but as an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel, The ABC Murders, I need stronger words than “appalling abomination” or “total travesty” (“grim perversion” is a good start). It was breathtaking in how it managed to corrupt every single aspect of the novel.

From start to finish, it was the diametric opposite of the original and a revolting cruel mockery of Christie’s beloved Hercule Poirot. The writing, the directing, the cinematography, the casting, the sets — each hawked a giant loogy in the face of source material.

Even casting John Malkovich as Poirot was a misstep.

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World of Lies

I’ve been thinking about an aspect of modern life that bothers me at least as much — if not more — than the anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-thought, bias of our culture.

It’s bad when emotions are elevated above rational thinking, that what matters most is how one feels. It undermines our future when that is not guided by understanding and thoughtfulness. And all too often those feelings don’t involve compassion and acceptance, but fear, hate, and rage.

What’s worse, what makes we wonder if we’ll ever find a decent path again, is that we’ve become a culture of lies.

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Chilling Sabrina

I watched the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix) with mixed reactions. It had just enough to keep me watching, but I didn’t think much of the writing. It has the same problem as a lot of modern fantasy — random, irrational, downright dumb (and in this case very unoriginal) world building.

The latter season tipped the scales entirely to an Ugh! rating for me. Television shows are rarely known for their intelligence, but this one has given me a new standard of worst-ever.

To be clear here, ‘I come, not to praise Sabrina, but to bury it.’

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What About 2021?

It’s a New Year, so it’s time for that Janus backward and forward State of the Blog Post. (I did plenty looking back in the previous post, so today I’m looking mostly in the other direction.)

As I’ve mentioned, I framed 2020 as a year for changes. Many of them got sidelined (or outright derailed) but the year did result in some decisions that matter here. I find I’ve gone beyond my rope when it comes to what I’m going to begin always referring to as “fantasy bullshit” (FBS).

That’s not to say fantasy bullshit is all bad (some is fun; some might even be necessary), but I am going to start calling it what it is.

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