Help Me Decorate!

An odd request, sure, but I’m trying to figure out which of these Mondo posters I’ve purchased might look good in my office at work. The semester is about to begin, and my forest of Mondo poster tubes needs weeding. I think I’ve narrowed it down to one of the following six (I know, I know), currently unframed posters, which I’ve paired up below:

First, the Hammers. Curse of Frankenstein as well as Dracula, Prince of Darkness.

Next up, the science fiction. The new Dune and a 2001: A Space Odyssey poster.

Finally, posters that will cause me headaches if I put them up, but I love both of them so much. Someone will likely be offended by the implied gore of the Crimson Peak poster. Next, people will ask me irritating questions about In the Earth, a movie I didn’t actually enjoy very much (I love the poster design, though, and bought it before I’d seen the movie).

So, which of these do I frame? I can probably manage at most two of them.

Bye, Twitter

Welp, looks like the apartheid emerald heir is going to buy Twitter. I’ve barely been on it in the past few years and ever since I stopped tweeting positive things about the “games for education” movement, I’ve lost a lot of followers on my personal account. Quitting it for good will be easy for me.

But, what’s next? Mastodon? Going back to blogging all the time here — on a site no one visits? Diving into the (also dying) Zuckverse with more aplomb? Segmenting ourselves off into small Mastodon instances, private Discords/Slacks? Making IRC a thing again? Ooh, reviving USENET maybe?

I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m fairly eager to find out. I have been so bored with social media for so long, and yet I miss the glory days of the proto-social media of two decades ago. I want a Friendster-like site back. I want to blog again, and have a usable RSS reader (RIP Google Reader, many years on). Musk buying Twitter is a net bad in every possible way, but personally I hope it’s finally the push that gets me to give up Twitter for good.

I’m old, and as such, I yearn for those powerful internet experiences of my youth. My internet experiences from 1985-2005 were qualitatively different from the experiences after that, and while it’s certainly naïve to say it quite like this: I wish we could get back to simpler times.

You Must Remember This…

Hey, I still have a blog! Time flies, and it’s been a year since I last posted here. As the semester winds down, perhaps I’ll have more time to write something/anything for this blog. For now, I think I’ll try to revive the old-style blogging practice I had twenty years ago — just some small notes on things I’ve been watching, playing, listening to, or reading.

I’ll start with something I’ve been listening to. Lately, I’ve been walking in from the parking garage to my office on Grounds, to get a little more exercise and because I’m still avoiding crowded public spaces like busses. I’ve taken to listening to podcasts again after a long time of ignoring them, and have been catching up on many years’ worth of Karina Longworth’s You Must Remember This podcast.

You Must Remember This is a lot of fun — it’s a loose and sometimes trashy history of “Hollywood’s first century,” and her approach has been eclectic and fun. The current series is about sex in 1960s-1990s cinema, I’ve listened to some of her series on Polly Platt, and some of her series on Dean Martin/Sammy Davis, Jr. In the past week, I listened to all of the episodes about Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff from back in 2017, and liked it quite a bit.

Horror History: Watch Vintage Doc Chronicling Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff  Rivalry - Bloody Disgusting

A few irritating elements aside — beyond Longworth’s stilted and overly-precious delivery (which I’m getting used to), we get some celebrity impressions (Taran Killam, Patton Oswalt, Longworth’s husband Rian Johnson) — I found this a fascinating and compelling listen. It covers everything from Lugosi’s early career in Hungarian silent cinema to his love affair with Clara Bow (!? I had no idea); covering Karloff’s early support and organization for the Screen Actor’s Guild through his final works (my favorites) from the 1960s, including The Raven, Black Sabbath, and Targets. It’s a sympathetic portrayal of both of these actors throughout, and was enlightening — the scope of this series covered the 1920s-early 1970s, and as such, Longworth give us a nice summary of some major industrial trends (the rise of Universal Horror, RKO horror, but also the genesis of production companies like American International Pictures).

So, if you haven’t listened to this podcast before, give it a shot. If you’re an old-time listener of her podcast, let me know which other series you like! Alternately, let me know what other Hollywood history podcasts are out there that I should listen to!

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