mellicious: pink manicure (cat - yuck)
So the song representing 1974 ended up being the Doobie Brothers:


I was thinking of "Sweet Home Alabama" just because I remember it so vividly from that year, but the whole Neil Young business sticks in my craw and I couldn't bear to use it. (Wikipedia has a whole page on the song including a section on the controversy in case you don't know what I'm talking about.) The members of Lynyrd Skynyrd have apparently claimed at various times that they didn't mean to say they supported George Wallace, but if that's true they should've made that clearer. I do buy that they may well have meant the lyrics generally as a sort of "not all Southerners" thing, in a way, but still, it's not much of an excuse. So as a general representative of that kind of music, I give you the Doobie Brothers instead. They're a California band, as I understand it, but it's about the South, at least! And I loved this song at the time, although I'm not sure I really knew who sang it back when I was 14. The Doobie Brothers were not as famous then as they'd become later on.

(Plus if I was still waffling about SHA, there's the Confederate flag on the cover of the single. Ugh.)

This was also the year of "Hooked on a Feeling" - people went around going "oohga-oohga-oohga-chaka" all the time - but that's gotten so much airplay from Guardians of the Galaxy that I didn't feel like that would be that interesting a choice. (I do still love that song, though.) (Incidentally, I watched GotG the other night on iTunes - it's still awesome. I don't know why I love it so much, but I do. Also the HD picture AND the sound were surprisingly awesome on my 20" computer screen and dinky little Dell speakers.)

Wikipedia lists the #1 song of the year as "Kung Fu Fighting" which I find a bit surprising, though I do know that when people weren't going "oohga-chaka" they were doing fake kung fu chops, that year. (But actually kung fu & karate had been sort of a craze for several years, as I remember it.)

Of course this was also the year that Nixon resigned. I remember that the Watergate hearings were on the TV endlessly in the summer, and we were mad because by then we were in the habit of watching soap operas when we were home, and they weren't on, most of the time, because they were pre-empted by the news. ("All My Children" was the one we especially watched, at that time.)

Added: One thing about Guardians of the Galaxy that I apparently failed to take in the two times I saw it in the theater, and I'm sure many or most of you are ahead of me on this - I didn't really snap to the big gap between the time Peter Quill was abducted by aliens (1988, the movie says) and the time the songs on the Awesome Mix were from, in the 70s. In other words, they were not the songs that he would have chosen at the time, they were the songs his mother liked when she was his age, maybe. Meaning that his mother was probably somewhere in my general age range, maybe a little younger, if anything. (I was 28 in 1988, plenty old to have a kid.) I only figured this out because I was looking up the songs of 1973 the same night I was watching the movie - although actually I think it was the date of his abduction that I was a bit unclear on.
mellicious: pink manicure (fall tree)
We were off on Veteran's Day (because we had just gotten back from Ohio on Monday, and Tuesday was our "rest day" before we went back to work on Wednesday), so we went to see Big Hero 6. Rob wasn't enthusiastic about going, for whatever reason, but he ended up liking it, and so did I. A lot. Mainly that was because of Baymax, the first-aid robot yanked by circumstances into the superhero business. He is adorable. The rest of the gang is pretty good, too, but Baymax is the thing that makes it way above average. (If you go, BE SURE you hang in there through the end credits. The payoff is totally worth it. We didn't know if there was anything at the end or not, but anybody who goes to Marvel movies has been conditioned to stay, and this felt enough like one of those that we stayed without even saying anything about it. (There was a pretty fair crowd there, and only six of us stayed through the credits. You can tell who the geeks are.)

Big Hero 6 was my choice of movie, and so Sunday I had to go with Rob to see his choice, which was Interstellar. And it was pretty good, too - better than I expected. I wouldn't go see Gravity last year, but I gather Interstellar was sort of part Gravity and part 2001, with a bit of a dollop of that Mel Gibson movie Signs, in the cornfield location and the family stuff. I'm sure you could come up with other influences, but those were the ones that occurred to me. I really especially had flashbacks of being taken to see 2001 when it came out (in '68, I believe it was? I was eight, and very confused towards the end - like most everybody else was, of whatever age.) Parts of Interstellar really deliberately(I think) evoke those later scenes of 2001. At least it has a more well-defined ending, although it's left rather open. (For a sequel? probably.)

The cast is full of people I'm not tremendously fond of, for the most part - McConaghey, Hathaway, Chastain, even Michael Caine is not really among my very favorite actors. (Caine doesn't really have a lot to do, anyway.) But, I don't know, somehow it hangs together pretty well. I actually predicted correctly what Murph's ghost was going to turn out to be, although I can't say I predicted much else that happened. The mathematics and the orbital dynamics and that kind of thing are mostly pretty beyond me, but I couldn't really see any huge blinding errors in the math & science pieces of the thing. I did like the message about how humans just don't give up, and that often the big breakthroughs are because we're forced by adversity to improvise. I liked the hopeful message of the ending- although I did wonder how much of humanity they had managed to get onto that space station.

(I'm falling asleep. My pardons if this is getting a bit confused toward the end here.)
mellicious: pink manicure (spring flowers)
I don't really know how much I have to say about this but I'm pretty sure it's more than will fit on twitter.

I liked it. I liked it a lot. I'm sure it has problems but they didn't bother me and so I'm trying to just enjoy having seen it for now and not think about whatever issues it has. Maybe later I'll get analytical about it, but not yet.

I did say this part on Twitter but I'll repeat it here: Chris Pratt's character is sort of a, well, prat, there's no denying that. But it seemed to me that he was mostly stuck in time as the 10-year-old kid he was when he left Earth. And he does appear to mature, during the events of the movie, so I can deal with that. "Man-boy" as a character is only tolerable to me if they make some progress towards getting out of that as a steady state. Your mileage may vary.

It was written (at least primarily) by a woman, so that probably helped, from my point of view. (From what I read, she wrote the original script; she got co-writing credit with the director and we don't really know how many other people may have made changes to it, but still, she's the first woman to get a writing credit at all in one of the Marvel movies, so hey, progress.) There were what, three main female characters, two of whom - Glenn Close and Karen Gillan, that is - didn't really have that much to do. But Zoe kind of made up for that, to me.

We came in late and had to sit in front (well, 3 rows back), which is what we usually do anyway. The theater wasn't completely full, late on Sunday afternoon, but it was pretty full. And they were into it. I noticed right at the end that you could hear a pin drop, at one point. And there were a lot of kids there, so I'm always impressed when the kids are quiet. I looked back in the middle of the end credits and it didn't look to me like a soul had left. Marvel's got people trained, there. (I said outright on Twitter last night who the "surprise guest" was at the end - I don't know if I pissed anybody off but I will refrain from doing it here, anyway. SLIGHTLY SPOILERY COMMENTS ON THAT: I know some people are much more fond of that character than I am - and in fact, I had forgotten that he was a Marvel character at all. As long as they don't give him another movie, his presence there as a one-off thing was alright, if very random.)

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