Ghost in the Shell is a huge let-down

Posted on 31 March 2017 | No responses

I haven’t been this disappointed since Episode 1. Thankfully there’s no Jar-Jar but the live-action version of “Ghost in the Shell” misses all of the philosophy and depth of the original. And the whitewashing…good God. I won’t give any spoilers but they seem to have taken bits from the 1995 original, tossed in a bit of Innocence, shaken and stirred with some of the Stand Alone Complex characters (mixing Project 2501 — renamed to Project 2571, for some reason — with Kuze from SAC: 2nd Gig). I don’t understand why they didn’t just go with the original idea of Project 2501 being an American AI program that gained sentience and is now seeking asylum in a robot/cyborg body. And the original Kuze was trying to get refugees to leave their corporeal bodies behind to join their souls/minds in cyberspace. There was so much wasted opportunity; you can almost hear the dropped plotlines thud as they hit the cutting-room floor.

They never explored Togusa’s lack of cybernetic enhancement and why the Major wants a human on the team.

Saito gets a brief nod but no backstory.

They did get the actor choices right for Batou, Togusa, and Chief Aramaki, though. And Batou has a basset hound (a nod to “Innocence” and Momoru Oshii’s need to insert basset hounds in nearly all of his films).

I was already setting my expectations low knowing that a lot of the scenes from the original GitS film were copied (almost verbatim) in The Matrix and any copycat sci-fi film made since 1995. But they didn’t quite do justice to the original source material, either. “The entire film takes a dump on every cool, intriguing, and subtle concept in the 1995 film.

So yeah…

Great Expectations, Low Hopes

Posted on 19 November 2016 | No responses

Sorry Rogue One but my true excitement lies with Motoko Kusanagi. Sure, the intro to the latest trailer features interview questions with Momoru Oshii, but it’s also easy to find interviews with Stephen King about Kubrick’s version of “The Shining”. I lived through Episode 1 but Clone Wars and Rebels have really renewed my faith in Star Wars. There’s a real chance to do this with “Ghost in the Shell”. Don’t Hollywood things up any more than you already have. Keep the Michael Bay splodey-bits to a minimum. The Wachowskis only make cheap imitations.

All I’m asking is that you please not (royally) fuck up one of – if not the – greatest and most influential pieces of animation since “Snow White”.

9/12 – The Day After

Posted on 12 September 2016 | No responses

Just ran a few numbers to put things in perspective:

There were around 9000 casualties (dead and wounded) from the attacks on 09/11/2001.

There have been around 60,000 (American) service men and women killed or injured as a result of the “War on Terror”. That does not count any Iraqi, Pakistani, or Afghan civilians. Nor does that count the number of Americans who suffer PTSD or committed suicide as a result of serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Never forget: freedom isn’t free but at what price, America?

Happy New Year 2015

Posted on 5 January 2015 | No responses

Thank you everyone for returning to Anthurian. So far my viewership is up 2,500% from the previous week with a high of 78 (!) views. Oh, I can smell the IPO and book deal now.

I guess I can’t go back now though; the haggis is in the fire.

Why I Am Leaving Facebook

Posted on 31 December 2014 | No responses

I originally posted this to Facebook on November 29, 2014 but re-posting here as a way to re-start Anthurian.com. I do not know what this site will turn into or how often I post but the bigger experiment is how long I can away from social media, Facebook especially. Here’s to 2015 and new starts…

After nearly a decade of sharing my life on Facebook, on January 1, 2015 I plan to step away. I will not close my account but it is time to make a change and leave the conversation. An early adopter, I came to Facebook using my gatech.edu account and was astounded at the connections I could make; amazed by the friendships rekindled. Far and wide, around the world, we’ve met, re-met, and kept in touch through the powers of the Internet.

All the while turning ourselves into data points. Commodifying human interaction and turning our relationships into single drops of water among the massive sea of Big Data. Spending our time with Likes and Pokes and forgetting that it’s the face-to-face and true companionship that makes friends, ties bonds strongly, and creates shared memories.

Instead, Facebook has turned into a world that splits and sequesters us into ever more polarized demographics. Like our country, we gravitate towards the feedback loop that seems most comfortable. Exchanging memes and eCards like a burning pestilence, political thought, religious views, and family events intermingle in Zuckerberg’s hot zone waiting to bleed out – both good and bad — until we go through de-friending purges and isolate ourselves further and further.

I am Generation X. We grew-up and made our lives with the Internet. We were the Dotcom Boom and its bust. We are the ones who’ve brought preceeding and successive generations together on the Web. But, thousands of years from now, each bit and byte will be worthless without context. Facebook provides no context. Facebook is not life. Despite the countless hours spent updating my timeline and sharing life’s events, it is still a simulacra.

I hope that this sparks me to return to writing on Anthurian.com. I am not a Luddite. I understand the advance of technology but ask all my friends to please stay in touch with me via other means.

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