Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rango vs. Aquaman vs. Dick Van Dyke vs. the Higgs Boson

I can’t be certain which hero movies this year (from this month’s Atlas Shrugged to November’s Immortals) will be good, but one courageous reptilian gunslinger has already brought me joy: Rango, the computer-animated chameleon learning to be a classic-Western cowboy in a town of talking animals.

I’m pleased, too, that it was reason for my second stop at the Alamo Drafthouse (South Lamar) during my recent Austin, TX visit (any movie theatre that serves alcohol at your seat during the movie can’t be all bad).  A cool place – in a big, dry, hot state, a fitting site to watch a funny movie about water rights. 


My main reason for being down in Austin, of course, was to attend the wedding of L.B. Deyo and Ellie Hanlon – and in the process I got to see L.B. perform in no less than three bands (the rapping Brothers Cup, the melancholy alt-country Catfish Hunters, and the, uh, punk-metal-something Chachi Face).  I was also pleasantly surprised to get an earful from Ellie’s awesome dad about why Edmund Burke might have objected to my anarcho-capitalist Dionysium speech at the same Drafthouse earlier in the trip.  But I sympathize with him – and with his lovely, left-anarchist-inclined daughter Claire, to boot.  A fine family all around.

I will not soon forget Texas.  I have returned armed not only with a dollar-sign belt buckle to wear to the Atlas Shrugged movie this weekend but with the welcome news that my conservative pal Hannah Meyers is performing a comedy-musical “Gigo Grande” (as she happens to put it) tomorrow at 8 at Banjo Jim’s, right here in Manhattan – and Janet Harvey, now normally found in Austin, is in town mere days after I saw her in Austin.  She wrote a Batgirl story, you know (before designing videogames).  And on Drudge, I see Texas is considering raising its speed limit to 85 mph.  Ah, Texas.

I am also reminded, by Jacob Levy, that the hellfire clubs that helped inspire Austin’s Dionysium events were not only a real historical phenomenon but, as noted in a caption in the (boring) slideshow accompanying this (interesting) article, were succeeded in more staid Victorian times by, yes, the Athenaeum, which is indeed what the Dionysium’s sister salon here in NYC was called until succeeded by the (now-ended) Debates at Lolita Bar.  It’s all connected.


In moister heroic news, Aquaman is apparently poised to return to his own ongoing comic book after the ensemble series Brightest Day ends in two weeks.  In the latter series (BIG SPOILERS AHEAD),
he is one of several ancient-“element”-themed heroes (water, fire, yadda, yadda) who aid in the resurrection of the famed earth/plant/misc.-elemental Swamp Thing (no doubt fun for long-time fans and confusing for anyone who was reading Brightest Day twice monthly for the past year without ever having heard of  Swamp Thing). 

I only wish they had somehow worked in the TRUE FACT that aged TV star Dick Van Dyke was rescued by dolphins off the coast of California last year after nearly drowning.  Had it been Aquaman who came to the rescue, of course, he might have telepathically summoned a school of moray eels

Speaking of parties and basic elements of the universe, though, I am amused to read that some think the Higgs Boson should be referred to as the “champagne bottle boson” rather than “the God particle,” per a jury of physicists who were no doubt anticipating a big party at the Large Hadron Collider once they confirm the thing.  (And speaking of Colliders, another note about the science-themed events here in NYC called Story Collider, next week.  But tomorrow: the Fantastic Four!)

P.S. Note for the hipper geeks: Peter Murphy used to look a little like Deadman.  Note for the just plain geeky: They should have Captain Boomerang say, “You want to know why I was resurrected even though I don’t have any superpowers like the other resurrectees, mate?  Because a Boomerang always comes back!”  Free of charge if you’re reading, Geoff Johns.  

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