Sunday, July 26, 2009

Build Me an Army Worthy of Mordor...


"Uniformed" or "uninformed," which one?

Due to inflation and the current state of the economy, a stitch, in time, now saves thirteen. Just thought I'd update you all.

OMG, I just geeked out. That little squee of school-boy glee you thought you heard was, in fact, me, learning the latest casting news for HBO's series they will soon be filming of George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire (or is it "Fire and Ice"? I always get that mixed up)... they cast my man Boromir (Sean Bean) as Lord Eddard Stark in the series. Awww, yeah! My man Boromir! I know, I know... for some reason, Boromir isn't anyone's favorite LOTR character but mine, I get it... still, he's my fave, and that he was cast as Eddard is way too cool. And, keeping with his experience as Boromir, he gets to die first in Song as well, lol!

They've also cast the role of Tyrion - Peter Dinklage, who played the midget in Will Ferrel's only funny film Elf, the one that beat up Ferrel's character at that meeting. He'll be awesome, I'm sure. Filming is supposed to begin in October. Vye told me once that he checked out a website that listed all of the characters in the Song of Fire and Ice (or is it "Ice and Fire"?) books and that there were about 1,100 entries. Dang. That means, plenty of roles to cast! They either have an astronomical budget, or everyone is working for free, or they are radically trimming down the scope of the tale... all three, likely. If only I could audition... I'd love a shot to play the role of Bronn. That guy was awesome. I don't know how to swordfight, though... that's one of the best scenes in the series, when Bronn fights on behalf of Tyrion at the Eryie.

Dangit, I'm going to have to read the series again soon. All this geeking out is making me hungry for direwolf again...

Cue harsh segue and..... action!

I watched an awesome documentary on Watch Instantly this afternoon. I'm going to (briefly) tell you what it was, but I acknowledge up front that it will not sound remotely interesting to (m)any of you... and honestly, in retrospect, I'm not sure why I found it so captivating myself... this is a story you will tell your grandchildren, and mightily bored they'll be! It was called The Ritchie Boys, and it was a documentary about 10 Jewish men who were refugees during WW2, came to America, enlisted in the armed services to try and help the war effort, were trained in intelligence/interrogation techniques and sent back to Europe, attached to front lines troops. See, I told you it doesn't sound interesting! Maybe it's my limitless fascination for all things World War 2. Maybe it's my intense admiration for warriors in general. There's just something about seeing these old men talking about their experiences during the war, watching their faces, their eyes, as they speak... listening to what they are saying, listening to what they are saying without words, marveling at the way they explain a time that, both individually and globally, is so hard to put into words.

Terrific, funny, intense stories, awesome archival video and photos, the emotional highs and lows... I think the serious parts of the narrative were made more powerful by the presence of the truly humorous and awe-inspiring parts. It's hard to explain; I was just thoroughly captivated by the stories and by the men themselves. There was one guy in particular who would get so into his storytelling that he would seamlessly speak back and forth from German to English, often transitioning in mid sentence, requiring subtitles at alternating intervals... here's this old dude, just lighting up the screen. There was another guy that was this old, seemingly-broken down old artist, who is talking as he is working on a new canvas, telling the stories of working in intelligence gathering on the front lines, and how it all culminated for him when he went to the liberated Buchenwald concentration camp (keep in mind, these guys are all Jewish), after which he simply checked himself out of the war. While he's talking, they keep panning around his studio, with endless racks of paintings and big charcoal drawings, all seemingly reflecting the same sort of musselman vibe, very dark, almost tormented and nightmarish... here he is, 60 years later, and he is still deeply affected and haunted by the war.

Anyway, I loved every minute of the doc, yet I know that if you were all to watch it, it would likely not impact many (or any) of you in the same way. That's not a slight on you in any way, just an admission that we are all different, and we all click on different topics. World War 2 just happens to be one of the subjects I fire on all cylinders about. I was thinking about buying Band of Brothers on DVD for my birthday this year. That series had a similar impact on me, as did Ken Burns' exhaustive series on World War 2. I cannot get enough, for some reason.

I'm sure that's part of the source of my intense admiration for the military, though I never joined the service myself. Dave-O, in spite of his issues, and whether he wants it or not, will always have my deepest respect and admiration. I'd do anything for that man. Hey Dave-O... need a kidney by chance? Exceptional people get exceptional treatment! Some folks say you're no good, 'ceptin' for fighting and hell-raising... but I say... the pure warrior... a magnificent anachronism.

I know war is not something to romanticize... I know it is a strange blend of hell, boredom and chaos, and at its worst is saturated with the stench of death. I'd end all war and all reasons for war forever if I could. But there's something about the setting of World War 2... it seemed so cut and dry, so black and white. The bad guys were evil, the good guys were truly, epically heroic. It was perhaps the greatest need, requiring the greatest commitment and sacrifice, presented to the greatest number of countries/peoples ever to present itself to any generation of mankind. Something about watching the old black and white newsreel footage of the war, any of the fronts, that just glues me to the set, and takes me back in time, and makes me hope that somewhere inside me resides the same level of guts and fortitude that moved the Allied men to action back then. I'd like to think I had it in me to stand shoulder to shoulder with such men. Nobody asks to be a hero, it just sometimes turns out that way...

Dang, I'm off in Tangentville again... sorry... lemme change the subject, but before I do, if you don't belong to NetFlix, why the heck not? It isn't expensive, and you can watch thousands of movies, documentaries and TV shows from your computer, streamed anytime you want! I watched a doc two nights ago on the Forbidden City in Beijing, for crying out loud! How awesome is that?

OK, no more Netflix commercial.

Cue another harsh segue and.... Action!

OMG, I so wish I had the nad to do this...



Can you imagine doing that?

Joseph! This is your third mention in a week! That must be a record of some sort! And I have no reason for mentioning you, except to say Hi! So... hi. Did you go to Comicon this year? If so, did you tell Wolverine/Patrick Rothfuss/Captain Kirk I said hello? Did you dress up as an anime character? If not, I understand completely. If you did, can I post a pic up here? I'd ask Rebekah to let me post that pic of her dressed as that anime character, but something tells me she'd say no...

Man, kinda light on the movie quotes again tonight, sorry. It's not like you guys can't easily spot them anyway... you're all so good at it now, I'll never sneak one by you again, I'm sure... may have to come up with a new contest for August...

Anyway, that's that for today. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap. Tune in tomorrow for more nonsense. Until then, remember, on the most exalted throne in the world, we are seated on nothing but our own arse.

15 comments:

Avari said...

Title LOTR!!!! Thanx Dave. My favorite quote!

Avari said...

Some folks say you're no good, 'ceptin' for fighting and hell-raising = Sergeant York

Avari said...

but I say... the pure warrior... a magnificent anachronism.= paton

Avari said...

Excuse me, that's Patton. Did you have a good day today Dave? You weren't at church tonight were you?
Vye showed me that vid a while ago. I think his landing is sweet. DUDE! Post a pic of Rebekah! She was an awesome Misa! I love Deathnote!! AHHHH!

David Wagner said...

15 war points for Shannon, w00t!

Yeah, a good day today. Had a raging Sunday Headache this afternoon, so I stayed home and napped it away. Then I watched that doc I went on and on about...

I don't have that pic of Rebekah... I'd have to get it from her and get permission to post it... it was quite cool... maybe I can post Vye's instead/as well...

havah said...

So I was just about to take a bite of toast when I saw those three guys simply fall off the end of the world and fly. It was a very unladylike moment. Wow. I can't imagine the kind of...faith?...it must take to do that. I'm a little speechless.

You know what I like about your blog, Dave -- about you, I guess? It's the way you move between the serious and the sublime and the silly with such perfect ease. Great post.

havah said...

"This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap" is from Patton

"on the most exalted throne in the world, we are seated on nothing but our own arse." is from In Harm's Way.

"Exceptional people get exceptional treatment" is from Tora! Tora! Tora!

Paula Titus said...

I've watched the movies/documentaries you mentioned with my daughter, who is immensely fascinated by WW2 also - and has sparked in me a new appreciation for all that it was. I shudder when I hear a sports personality or some such being called a "hero." Heroes are people who are willing to sacrifice all for the sake of another.

I don't belong to Netflix but have been considering it for a long time. I know I should, especially with the price of renting movies skyrocketing around here. Thanks for another great post! :)

havah said...

I don't rent movies...I go to the library and get them for free! :D

Vye said...

Sorry I don't care for the picture of myself so I don't think I'll give it out. As for Rebekah's photo I doubt she will but who knows...

Krista said...

So A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin one you'd recommend then?

WW2 is also my favorite war to learn about and read up on. I think that it's interesting and intriguing to hear the stories of the survivors (I've read several books of WW2 Survivors) and there amazing ability to stay alive at that time. What spirit they had to have!

David Wagner said...

15 points for Havah... as if you need them! Still, good work.

Ah, nothing like a nice piece of toast... I'm with ya there...

Paula, glad to hear the importance of and fascination with WW2 is carrying on to a new generation. So much to read, so much to learn...

Vye, I guess you'll have to dress up as a character again, now that you have the killer hair for it, and then we can post a pic of you... although I think my drawing of you in the comic slaying Illidan does you justice...

Krista, welcome to the blog! Always nice when someone new pops in. Hope you find enough of interest here to keep you checking in... and yes, GRRM's series is worth reading... of course, there's plenty of material in it that I would have edited out had I been given the red pen, but hey, sometimes you gotta take the good with the bad, eh?

Abbie said...

Dave, I love Sean Bean!! and Boromir was totally awesome... I always cry when he dies :(
I was bummed though that you didn't have a camp slideshow for us!! How is that going, anyways?

David Wagner said...

I was told to have the camp slide show ready for the August youth meeting, so I put it on the back burner. Don't be too bummed! Just think of Boromir and all will be well! For Gondor!!!!!

Abbie said...

haha, okay! thanks for the encouragement :D