Wednesday, January 2, 2013

All Supermarionettes Must Die

A new year is a good time for a fresh start but also a look back at those we lost, including Jack Klugman, Charles Durning, Norman Schwarzkopf, and Peter Parker (after all, All Superheroes Must Die, to quote the title of an intriguing satire that I hope will show in at least a theatre or two here in Manhattan this weekend).

But closer to my heart than any of these (though every such loss is regrettable) is: Gerry Anderson (the Jack Kirby of marionettes, if you will), creator of two of my favorite TV shows from childhood, Thunderbirds and Space: 1999 (linked are the fantastic opening sequences of each, since I’ve only linked them about a hundred times before). 

Thunderbirds’ heroic marionettes undoubtedly shaped my character at an early age, and seeing an episode of the show decades later at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX – before a showing of Team America, which it inspired – was a wonderful experience that makes me pleased a branch of the Drafthouse is opening in NYC.

(The Dionysium is also part of the Drafthouse extended family, as the Austin branch of the events take place at the Austin branch of the theatre franchise; this month, if all goes as planned, we’ll debate about judicial activism – legal experts, please contact me to volunteer! – and I’ll blog on related books as part of a “Month of Law.”)

You'll notice next year marks FIFTY YEARS since that awesome Thunderbirds intro was created, losers.  WHAT HAVE WE REALLY DONE SINCE THAT'S A HALF-CENTURY WORTH OF COOLER THAN THAT??  By now, we shouldn't be remembering that intro – we should be living it.

Meanwhile, Shirley Temple is very much alive, by the way – and her DVD collection is even being advertised during Adult Swim for some strange reason.  (I can’t imagine the fanbases overlap much, but then again, the young have helped make quasi-celebrities out of those two teenage girls who made a fan video for the song “Sail” in which they fight with a garden hose.)

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