There's been a lot of talk about Donald Trump during this bizarre, hallucinogenic GOP primary race, and I understand it. Trump is a molten gorgon, a sweaty buffoon of awfulness, but it's hard to deny his gross, sticky magnetism. To my mind, though, he's not the worst of the bunch. For me, at least, that dishonor goes to Ted Cruz, who looks like he's waiting for a sniper to start taking shots at him so he can grab a baby and hold it up in front of himself as a human shield. I'm not sure why I have this visceral dislike of the guy. I mean, yeah, his policies are loathsome, but that hardly makes him unique among Republicans. There's something about him; in a fundamental way, he simply doesn't seem
Fri, Jan 29 - Shivers There's been a lot of talk about Donald Trump during this bizarre, hallucinogenic GOP primary race, and I understand that. Trump is a molton gorgon, a sweaty buffoon of awfulness, but it's hard to deny his gross, sticky magnetism. But he's not the worst of the bunch. For me, at least, that dishonor goes to Ted Cruz, who looks like he's just waiting for a sniper to start taking shots at him so he can grab a baby and hold it up in front of himself as a human shield. I'm not sure why I have this visceral dislike of the guy. I mean, yeah, his policies are loathsome, but that hardly makes him unique among Republicans. There's something about him; in a fundamental way, he's just doesn't seem
Fri, Jan 22 - Full On
After having pooped out a pile of anti-new-StarWars bibble last week, I'm gonna take a breather, by which I mean a nap, by which I mean an affirmation against doing any more work other than to share this week's cartoon-strip about a book and a TV show that evidently nobody gives a shit or load about, a book and TV show called Childhood'S End even as my lame commentary title for the strip is thus named
Fri, Jan 15 - What Matters Lordy, this sure has been a rough week for anybody who doesn't enjoy beloved public figures dying on us. I drew this cartoon last week before the death-glut, so it really has nothing to do with any of it. It's simplyBack from the Stars War I begged off last week in sharing my thoughts on the new film, saying that I hadn't really assembled a full and proper thesis to expound. I still haven't, but I'll do a bit of rambling on the subject, anyway. A friend of mine had a great metaphor for this movie, so great I'm gonna steal it. He described it as a beautifully wrapped present, but when you unwrap it, it's an empty box. That's how I felt about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. On the surface it seems appealing, but it's completely hollow. Visually, logically, thematically... there's just nothing there. Before I start rambling about all the things I found to be disappointing, I'll get out front about what I liked. Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega... they were good. I'm not terribly thrilled with how their characters were conceived and developed, but all these young actors were game and delivered what they were given. Kylo Ren stopping the blaster bolt was cool. Seeing the Millennium Flacon scrape clumsily along the ground was kinda fun. I liked the bit, early in the film, where Rey slides down the sand dune towards her speeder; it's the one part of the film that seemed to have an identity of its own. And... that's pretty much it for stuff I liked. My first complaint, and one that's been made by many people many times in the weeks since the film's release, is that it's just so grindingly, relentlessly unoriginal and unimaginative. It's pure nostalgia product, and more specifically, it's nostaliga product drawn from the original trilogy and designed to repudiate the prequels. You want Original Trilogy Han and Leia and the Millennium Falcon and a Death Star and X-Wings shooting at TIE Fighters? Then that is what you shall receive. Say what you like about the prequels, but George Lucas made sure that each one had vistas and planets and monsters and robots and aliens you had never seen before. Were they all successful? Hell, no. But Lucas let his imagination out to play with its new CGI toys. This film simply didn't. Visually, it polished up the safe and familiar and fed it back to us. But it's not just unoriginal and unimaginative, it's also insubstantial. It feels exactly like every other J. J. Abrams joint, an endless string of contrivances and coincidences and goddamned flashbacks created to get in and out of scenes and nothing more. Take Finn. The notion of a stormtrooper who balks at participating in a mass murder? Cool! How is that going to be developed, how is the story going to explore what that would be like, the kinds of struggles this guy must be having? Oh, it won't be? It's not going to? Finn's going to just pop out of his armor and start cracking wise and running around whooping and hollering like a Star Wars fanboy off the street? Huh. And how about Han? The story drops him in and he's exactly like we remembered him, making jokes and scoundrelling around and delivering callbacks to the original trilogy like the last 30 years never happened -- and these are 30 years in which he and Leia had a son who turned into Darth frickin' Vader! That's a huge story, one far more compelling and dramatic that anything we get here, and it's introduced and backfilled with a few lines of dialogue. It seems to me like there are two stories here. There's Rey and her search for Luke Skywalker, and there's Han & Leia and their catastrophe of a son. Neither of these stories seem to have much to do with each other, and both of them feel like they're assembled on the fly. Rey has no reason to give a shit about the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker until she has her lightsaber flashback halfway through the film. I know, I know; there are all kinds of revelations about her past and her parentage that will come in the next film and the film after that. But that doesn't change the fact that, in film, she picks up her motivation and character objective like she's grabbing a bag of chips at the gas station on her trip to Calgary. And as for the Han/Leia/Kylo story... okay, sure, I'll grant that certain things were outside of Abrams' control. He couldn't go back in time 15 years and tell the compelling story between Force Awakens and Return of the Jedi when it would have made sense to do it. And he pretty much had to have some kind of passing of the torch between the heroes of the older stories and the new heroes of these new films. So maybe this was the only way that story could go, and he did the best he could. But man, Han and Leia just felt to me like caricatures of their characters from the original trilogy, not actual people who had aged and been immeasurably changed by all that had happened to them in the interim. Maybe it's me, but I simply didn't feel it. It was pretty much exactly how, in Abrams' Star Trek: Into Darkness, the film expects us to buy into a scary Khan and an emotional death scene between Kirk and Spock, not because the film has done anything to earn it, but because it can just rely on our memories of older, better stories. Feh. I could go on and on, and if any of you are interested, here's a podcast I did with MF Galaxy podcaster Minister Faust in which we did exactly that. Suffice it to say, I got what I expected from this movie: a new appreciation for George Lucas and the his Star Wars films. this
Fri, Jan 8 - Newy New Yep, it's 2016 on this here Earth of ours, and that means it's time to wrap up, for once and for good, this silly, silly story that's been going on here at angryflower.com. May I present to y'allStar Wars? Yeah, I saw the new movie. I haven't yet fully built out a whole thesis on it, so I don't have one to present. I mostly just have a lot of small observations that I'm busy shaping into a coherent picture. But I will mention that I basically fell asleep the first time I watched it. I was more alert during subsequent viewings, but yeah... I think it's safe to say I wasn't super banger thrilled. The Hateful Eight was waaaaaaaaaaay more entertaining, for me at least. And that's all I'll say for now. Happy New Year, folks!
Fri, Dec 18 - But Suddenly... Hi, folks! This is the last angryflower.com update this year! If I was smart I'd have a whole PHP web system designed to deliver content over several weeks according to how it's supposed to play out. However, as I'm sure you all suspect or frankly know, I'm not smart. So instead we're gonna lay stuff out like this: Here's this week's continuation of the astonishing tale we've been experiencing over the last 3 weeks. I guarantee it's a major twist! And then, given that exciting turnaraound, all you angryflower.com readers should expect another week before the next exciting instalment! But because you're such loyal angryflower.com readers, you get this next instalment right now! Even though it's specifically timed to be read a day before Christmas 2015, you can read it right this second here (though in truth, you should wait a week to read it): And it contnues! You loyal angryflower.com readers get one last sneaky preview before 2016, and it's this: And what of after that? Wellll... we're all gonna have to wait, I'm thinking. Have yourselves a lovely holiday and a burgeoning New Year!
Fri, Dec 4 - Oho! Well, well, well... what's all this, then? Is this some kind of cartoon about well-known 1940s industrialist Herman Polenta, of whoem we saw mention in last week's strip? But what on earth more could there to be to say about this august figure? What additional mysteries could be in store? Let's find out... together!