David Thompson


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October 21, 2011



The Avengers? Where Steed? Where's Peel?


Fly Geyser, Hualapai Valley, Nevada.

If that was in a dodgy sci-fi film it would still look over the top.


“If that was in a dodgy sci-fi film it would still look over the top.”

Oh I don’t know. If anyone is sufficiently deranged to remake Mike Hodges’ Flash Gordon, it’ll be ideal.


There's Scarlett Johansson in the same pose as in the Iron Man 2 trailer...and the same outfit...I note the trailer - with it's interleaved pompous monologue and frantic action out-takes - doesn't come over as stunningly original:

"In the end..."

[portentous shots of soldiers creeping down dimly lit passageways]

"..it will be every man for himself.."

[creepy eyes then domino-effect exploding cars and NYPD uniforms running for their lives. Quickly cut to a military HQ at sunset]

"What do we do?"

[shot of towering badass tough guy with a black cape]

"We get ready!"

Still it didn't have the line about "and one man..". Mainly because it was the team-of-extraordinary-individuals-fighting storyline again...rather than one-man-with-a-destiny-against-the-world

The catsuit in the latest Batman looks better, think I'll see that instead



It’s not the giddy-making trailer I was hoping for and it seems a little hasty and premature. We never see what everyone is looking up and shooting at, which suggests there’s a heap of effects work to do. Though I hear there could be Skrulls. And I’ve always been partial to Skrulls.


Re your earlier post about the Occupy Oakland protest. I made the following comment on that thread: "The woman giving the speech at 7 mins in the video is holding a conch. That doesn't bode well." (Here's a screengrab of conch woman.)

Well, guess what? 'Occupy Oakland Devolves into “Lord of the Flies”'.

From The Oakland Tribune: "One Oakland police officer, who asked to remain anonymous for reasons of police protocol, described the scene in tent city as akin to a scene from "Lord of the Flies." And, indeed, the on-the-fly rule-making can often veer into an oppressive, anarchic mood."





After which, you’ll probably want need a glass of this.

A bottle at least, David.

btw it's good to see wine tips have been added to the mix.


“…it’s good to see wine tips have been added to the mix.”

Hey, I’m just classing the place up a notch. I mean, the ephemera can’t always be about collections of navel fluff and exploding toilets.

But if you liked the Bush Vine Grenache, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy The Scribbler too.

Elephants Gerald

I have tried several of the Yalumba labels and have yet to be anything other than delighted.

The Scribbler is my second favourite after the 2008 Bushvine Grenache - which is now unfortunately very hard to to find.


This is probably more Elsewhere than Ephemera, but I think you'll like it all the same. From a BBC interview with Steven Pinker.

"A big predictor of violence is a sense of narcissistic entitlement. If you believe you're brilliant, super achiever, more moral than anyone else, based solely on that belief, then it's very easily punctured by reality. Therefore you think of the person who exposes your weaknesses as a mortal enemy who has to be suppressed by force."

From here: [25:00]


He goes onto say that it's well established that boosting self-esteem is a waste of time,and there's no data behind the self esteem movement in the first place.



“Therefore you think of the person who exposes your weaknesses as a mortal enemy who has to be suppressed by force.”

There’s something to that general dynamic, at least in my experience. I can think of several personal examples in which noting the mismatch between how a person wished to seem – altruistic, egalitarian, whatever – and how they actually were provoked some remarkably vindictive behaviour. I mean, inventively vindictive. (See also the clips and comments here.) In terms of radicalism, protests and “occupations,” I’d say the greater the level of self-flattering role-play and bad faith, the greater the likelihood of passive-aggressive (or overtly aggressive) reactions. Few people like having their motives questioned, especially people whose motives aren’t quite what they seem.



that self-esteem argument from Pinker is EXTREMELY tenuous on the face of it.

His thesis comes across as sophistry where he tries to make all of life fit a single scenario - which everyone can certainly relate to from both sides - where someone's confidence is shaken (possibly by exposure to reality, though not necessarily, I think).

In this case their self-esteem (especially with regard to their social standing and other people's view of us) will in fact take a swift downturn. I would argue that it is this sudden lowering of status and therefore self-esteem that might lead to any violence.

This is exactly the kind of situation he is talking about, but he somehow construes it as being simply the fault of "mistaken" self-esteem being there in the first place. Not true. Reputation is fickle, and whereas the sense of genuine achievement is strong, social forces might well be stronger, and self-doubt can always set in (ask Sir Paul McCartney, who has always had the guts to say so).

I think it's just a part of real life that our self-image can be punctured in some way whoever we are (some people turn it into an art form), and by no means simple enough to reduce to a problem with someone's mental model and reality (noone's mental model exactly equates to reality. Cognitive Psychologists sometimes talk like this...unfortunately)

And after all it's only one particular scenario where violence occurs. I'd need to hear a really good argument as to how it relates to crimes passionelles, drunken violence, etc. As if hormones and brain chemicals were less important than misguided self-confidence...

Ted S., Catskills, NY

I would have suggested this wine:



So, I think I'm hopping in the Way Back Machine to see Mrs. Peel, and there's...there's...that!? A movie trailer? And no black patent leather adorning the luscious hips of Mrs. P?



BackwardsBoy & rabbit,

Scroll down for several hours of Mrs Peel in cat-suited, crime-busting Avengers mode.

I’m too good to you people, I really am.


Scroll down for several hours of Mrs Peel in cat-suited, crime-busting Avengers mode.

That's the business. Thanks, David.


Lenticulur clouds are common where I live (Calgary) during chinooks.

Jason Bontrager

Did anyone else see the Koala and think "don't you know you're not supposed to feed them after midnight?"?

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