Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 18:56 on 24-12-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Mr. Plinkett has returned from...wherever it is he dwells to discuss Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. A bit shorter and not quite as vicious as the Star Wars ones, but well-argued nonetheless. Made some excellent points on how Indiana Jones is more enjoyable as an idealized archetype than as an actual character, and how sanding the edges off the film to make it more family-friendly did hurt it.

Oh, and I only speak as a layman, but I'm relatively sure that one thing is physiologically impossible. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but you'll know it when you see it.
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at 18:25 on 24-12-2011, Wardog
Errr... Hunger Games NAILPOLISH?

Is that deliberately ironic tie-in marketing?
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at 18:00 on 24-12-2011, Robinson L
Cammalot: I'd heard about The Yellow Face, which I think is a very sweet tale. I actually plan to read it for myself -- I'm surprised that it's an *earlier* story, though. What happened there!?

Coming in late to the discussion, and more to confuse than to clarify, I fear. As it happens, my family recently began reading the Memoirs of Sherlock Homes again (beginning, coincidentally enough, with "The Yellow Face"). Our book comes with a short introduction by Kyle Freeman, who says that Conan Doyle had what sounds like a life-changing encounter with Henry Highland Garnet, whom Freeman describes as "a black antislavery leader" in 1882. Freeman asserts "Conan Doyle remained deeply committed to racial justice for the rest of his life." If so, then what the feck happened with "The Adventure of the Three Gables"?
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at 00:05 on 23-12-2011, Ibmiller
Mark Strong is awesome - but his character was so moronic in Holmes (well, truthfully, everyone's character was mornonic). Plus, he's not in the sequel, so there's that against it too. Sorry, Jared whatisface doesn't compare in charisma or coolness.
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at 20:54 on 22-12-2011, Jamie Johnston
Sorry to come to it late, but I couldn't let the 'what is there to like about the Sherlock Holmes film' conversation come to an end without saying:

Mark Strong!

I mean...

Mark Strong!!!!1!!

(I like Mark Strong. I'm not entirely sure whether he's a good actor but I just like him.) (Although his name does get a bit silly after you type it a few times.)
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at 15:19 on 22-12-2011, Arthur B
How did you find this site, Arthur?

Christmas with the B family involves lots of fake goats and electrocution.
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at 19:15 on 21-12-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
"Back in the day we made our own fun." No you didn't Grandpa, you bought really weird paraphernalia to jazz up your secret society/heavily sublimated fetish club meetings.

I like the fact that the catalogue includes pages and pages of different varieties of fake goats and fake goat attachments.

How did you find this site, Arthur?

The thing that surprises me the most is just how much this stuff costs, even by late 1920s standards. Then again, if you look at Mason lodges as the gilded-age equivalent of D&D groups, it seems a lot less outrageous.

Oh, and this is even funnier in 2011 for reasons other than those intended by its creators.
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at 18:30 on 21-12-2011, Robinson L
Andy: Hobbit trailer!

I know we're not all Tolkien fans, and those of us who are aren't all movie fans, but I for one am super-excited. And infinitely amused that Gandalf is recruiting Dr. Watson from Sherlock to burgle treasure from Sherlock Holmes. (No, seriously, check the cast list.)
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at 13:20 on 21-12-2011, Arthur B
"Back in the day we made our own fun." No you didn't Grandpa, you bought really weird paraphernalia to jazz up your secret society/heavily sublimated fetish club meetings.

I like the fact that the catalogue includes pages and pages of different varieties of fake goats and fake goat attachments.
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at 11:10 on 21-12-2011, Andy G permalink
at 14:06 on 20-12-2011, Ibmiller
My guess as to Doyle's devolution would be that he got stodgy and afraid in his old age (also, spiritualism rots your brain). Plus it's possible he got flak for Yellow Face (which I think is stupid).
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at 09:50 on 20-12-2011, Cammalot
@Ibmiller, yes, that's the one. I didn't finish it after the bit that was basically a long "Wow, your lips are fucking huge" bit from Holmes. It was one of the earlier pieces in the book I had. But I didn't toss the book in high dudgeon or anything. I just...don't love Doyle in the way I do Twain and some others. I went on to read Hound of the Baskervilles, etc.

I'd heard about The Yellow Face, which I think is a very sweet tale. I actually plan to read it for myself -- I'm surprised that it's an *earlier* story, though. What happened there!?
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at 05:24 on 20-12-2011, Michal
Have a happy Cold War Christmas everyone.

Bwahahahaha. Because people totally didn't celebrate Christmas in E. Europe under communist rule. Or maybe Americans just didn't recognize our truly terrifying version of St. Nicholas?

What a shame it is, then, that he didn't stumble across my review of The Steel Remains.

Odd, that. I kept on stumbling across him during the "grimdark debates" earlier this year. The dude was everywhere.
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at 03:02 on 20-12-2011, Ibmiller
@Cammalot - I am curious - as a huge fan of the source material (probably my first fandom, when I was ten) - which story are you thinking of with the insults to the black man? Was it "The Three Gables?" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventure_of_the_Three_Gables)? That one is particularly bad, but some of the earlier stories (particularly "The Yellow Face") are really fantastic in contrast (also the brilliant adaptations by Bert Coules and co for the BBC radio in the 90s).
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at 01:02 on 20-12-2011, Cammalot
(That was supposed to say "@valse" but I suppose it's clear from context...)
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at 23:35 on 19-12-2011, Cammalot
@I sense a great culling of my To Be Read pile in the near future. I have lots of nice KJ Parker waiting for me. I can focus on that. (Of course, this would likely be interpreted by the parties in question as some sort of sad attempt to "punish" as opposed to a very basic and logical perception that I am not going to do things with my fun entertainment time that I would not find fun or entertaining. So, yeah.)

Of course, I pick today to watch "The Lovely Bones." Oy.

Oh yeah -- I liked the first Sherlock film because I've had a crush on Robert Downey Jr since forever, on Jude Law since more recently, enjoyed seeing them emote at one another, and have very little attachment to the source material. (I tried to work my way through the complete works as an undergrad, but lost my drive after the short story in which Holmes spends a lot of time insulting the lips and complexion of a black man he didn't like very much. I've been told Doyle sort of redeems that with later characters; maybe I'll check it out.) Also, I liked most of the treatment of Irene Adler, although if I remember correctly, she did become a bit of a distress damsel at the end. I liked how they made the effort to address a little throwaway bit in canon, a bit where Watson observes that Holmes was this amazing boxer but never practiced; Watson couldn't see how that worked, but let it go. The film explanation was hilarious, to me. I think the actual mystery was lacking in execution and explanation, but overall the humor worked for me. Oh yeah, and my movie ticket was free after a disastrous viewing of "Avatar," as in blue space people -- basically, I got a refund and used it on Sherlock, so the association is pleasant.
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at 22:27 on 19-12-2011, Ibmiller
@Robinson L - I shall look forward to it! Or, whatever it is when you want to help purge your mind of something egregiously bad. :-)
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at 20:11 on 19-12-2011, valse de la lune
What a shame it is, then, that he didn't stumble across my review of The Steel Remains. Mark Lawrence also showed up in that thread--the one who wrote that book--to whinge, but he deleted his post.

Grimdark authors seem to coalesce around the Westeros forums to defend their work.


Oh you know, feathers and flocking.
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at 19:45 on 19-12-2011, Michal
The minute I saw the poster's name was "Richard" I had an inkling it might be Richard K. Morgan. Grimdark authors seem to coalesce around the Westeros forums to defend their work. Actually, Richard just tends to pop up everywhere to defend his work.
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at 18:37 on 19-12-2011, valse de la lune
Cammalot: I discovered the poster who left that charming "you must be twelve" bit is... Richard Morgan.

Suddenly everything makes sense.
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at 18:00 on 19-12-2011, Robinson L
@Ibmiller: I'll be happy to talk with you about Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows around this time next week, after my family and I have seen it.
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at 10:13 on 19-12-2011, Arthur B
Have a happy Cold War Christmas everyone.

It's amazing how much current Islamophobic/homophobic rhetoric is cribbed from stuff like this.
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at 08:23 on 19-12-2011, Axiomatic
Neat.

Morrowind was my favorite Elder Scrolls game - Oblivion was just so genericly...generic, whereas Morrowind was interesting. Haven't played Skyrim yet because I doubt it will run on this rig.
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at 08:05 on 19-12-2011, Arthur B
I have't played it yet, but I hear that Skyrim has destroyed the most interesting part of Tamriel, Morrowind. Is this true?

Dredging up this because I realise I never gave Axiomatic a full answer.

The Red Mountain did erupt and the Dunmer did evacuate most of Morrowind. But that happened 200 years ago and they (for the most part) went back afterwards; at least one character on the run from the Tharol says that they're going to go to Morrowind because the Dunmer don't get on too well with the Dominion.
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