Playoffs – Western Conference Preview

NHL_2013_StanleyCupPlayoffs

It’s spring and that means two things for me: spastic allergic reactions to pollen and the arrival of the NHL playoffs. The latter came a little late this year, but at least they’re here, which is good considering that the lockout came very close to washing out the whole season.

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to know who exactly will play whom in the East, but the West is all ready to go, so I’ll start with them.

Continue reading

Things That Piss Me Off #1/#2

  1. Assholes moving my scooter. Nothing sends me into a murderous rage quite like going outside to find that someone has messed with my ride. Seriously, it makes me want to kill someone. It happened for the dozenth time the other day. And this time, not only did they move it, but they also damaged the side panel by pinning it up against a wall made of cinder blocks, scraping the shit out of it in the process. So, basically, unless you want something bad to happen to you, stop touching my fuckin’ bike. Here, I’ll let Leighton Meester further explain the concept to you:
    http://vimeo.com/33742179
  2. Outdoor speaker systems. Why in-the-hell would city authorities think it’s a good idea to set up speakers in parks and along every bike or running path in the city? Does a lack of noise make you uncomfortable? Tired of silence, calm, and serenity? Don’t they know that forcing music on people is used as a form of torture in some places? When I’m sitting in a park or walking along the river I sure as shit don’t want to have to listen to some crappy K-pop song, some random classical piece, an old Elvis song or Somewhere Over-the goddamn-Rainbow; I want to hear nothing besides the melody that nature provides. If other people want to listen to music, they can bring along a friggin’ mp3 player.

    speakers

Game of Thrones: Follow Up

Game-of-Thrones

I did it. I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones and, sadly, I shan’t be watching anymore.

Thanks for the effort, HBO, but watching your show didn’t give me the same amount of enjoyment as reading the books did. Everything just felt wrong to me; the characters, the settings and the dialogue all seemed out of sync somehow. As with other books that are adapted for the big or small screens, internal dialogue is a huge part of George Martin’s books and the context which that dialogue provides cannot easily be expressed visually.

Maybe the show gets better as it goes along. I don’t know, but I’d rather just wait for the next novel to come out.

Fact

Fact: North Korea is not a threat to anyone, let alone the U.S.

Every year the U.S. and South Korea hold war exercises, the North makes all sorts ofNorth Korea Teaching Hate crazy threats, the international media spreads these threats and like the seasons coming around again every year, people who don’t live in this part of the world fail to remember this same series of events happened 12 months earlier (hell, even people living here in Korea forget) and react with fright at how the North might launch nuclear weapons at them. This nuclear fear is laughable for many reasons and gives us a perfect example of how the media sensationalizes stories in order to make more money.

Continue reading

Books vs Moving Pictures

At one point last Friday night, while at a bar downtown, a friend of mine turned to me and said, “Have you seen Game of Thrones?” His question had a lot of enthusiasm behind it, and I laughed inwardly because I was immediately reminded of something I had seen earlier that day, which was this:

Now, I of course didn’t yell at my friend like the bearded fellow in the video. I just explained to him that I had read the books long before the tv show came out and I didn’t want to ruin, by watching a filmed version, my self-imagined images of the characters and settings in the book.

A couple days later I found myself thinking about that idea again. Does watching a dramatized version of one of your favorite books really kill the images you’ve created in your head? When I tried to pull up images of the characters from the book series I discovered that I don’t really have any clear images of any of them. Instead, what I have, are vague notions and blank faces. I can picture the places quite well but the characters remain illusive and ghost-like; lacking detail and shadow. Take for example the character of Jon Snow. He is a major character in the books and yet all I could say of him appearance-wise is that he’s a fair-haired, somewhat handsome teenager who looks older than his actual age. Very generic. Even a character with a very distinct look like the dwarf Tyrion, who is described with a lot of detail by Mr Martin, does not hold a strong image for me. The best I can come up with is a very cartoonish-looking short man with straw for hair and a pot belly; and even that image is influenced by a childhood memory of some old cartoon movie the title of which has long since departed my mind. Unable to escape the promos for HBO’s Game of Thrones, I have seen the live-action Tyrion and although I think he is a little too good looking a dwarf to be playing the disgustingly ugly Tyrion I have to admit that he was probably very well cast.

What, then, is the problem? Why am I so reluctant to watch the tv series? I have no reason to think that watching the show will impact my life in a negative way. I mean, why would it?

Back when I was in university, the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings came out. Previous to them coming out, I had read the three-book novel 3 times. It was and still is probably my favorite book. I remember at that time that I felt exactly how I feel now. I very much wanted to watch the films but was afraid they would disappoint me and ruin the images I had gleaned from Tolkien’s words. And then a friend of mine scored tickets to the midnight opening of the first film and gave me one. I thought to hell with it and gladly went to the theater. I liked the movie. I wasn’t impressed with the portrayal of the main characters and various casting choices but the masterfully done CGI and the amazing natural scenery of New Zealand, which matches the landscapes of the book so well, trumped the negatives. Those movies were obviously made by people who cared A LOT about the novel and didn’t want to mess things up. Turned out that watching the movies didn’t kill my perception of the books after all, nor did seeing the characters on the big screen replace my own mind-made images of the characters and the settings.

So, why this hesitation again? If the television series is good enough for the author of the books, then surely it should be good enough for me. He actually works on the show for chrissakes. I suppose I’m just being a book snob. But, I think that by writing this post, I have convinced myself to give the tv version a go.

Imagination, be damned.