Thursday, December 1, 2011

World Famous Art Dirt Cheap


This is unexpected.  Carhenge is up for sale.

For only three hundred thousand dollars.  Which means you only have to be mildly rich to buy a world-famous work of art.  And a universally-recognized symbol of America.  And the cultural hotpoint where landscape art meets tacky roadside attraction.

You can read the article here.

There's a brief history of Carhenge here.

And the website for Carhenge is here.

And while I'm blogging old-school . . .

Remember when blogs were nothing but lists of interesting links?  Sometime back in the Sixties that was, I think.  Anyway, here's a link to a National Geographic article (with the usual caveat that the Nat is far from infallible when it comes to paleontology) that suggests that Neanderthals were loved to death!

The coarser among us might choose to use a more Anglo-Saxon verb.

Click here.

And also . . .

A time traveler was arrested at the Large Hadron Collider.  He was trying to prevent a hellish future with "limitless energy, the elimination of poverty, and Kit Kats for everybody."  Apparently the folks in the future have forgotten exactly how bad things can get.

CERN physicist Professor Brian Cox had the most insightful comment on the matter.

Click here.

And just one more . . .

I just now saw the trailer for John Carter, which raises so many questions:  Is this really a Disney movie?  Why?  And why did they drop of Mars from the title when even the most cursory glance at its contents will reveal that's it's Way Old TImey Science Fiction?  But what really struck me about it is the fact that its aesthetic is emphatically derived from video games.  This is almost ironic.

It's almost ironic because video games ripped off all the old swords-and-planet SF with both hands and no acknowledgments.  Now, when games are big as big but all the biggest games have already been CGI'd and slapped onto the silver screen, Hollywood reaches into the past for the sources to give us a game-like experience.

This would actually be ironic, if it weren't for the fact that this is the way that all literary art works.

Anyway, here's the trailer.  This movie would have been so unspeakably cool if it had been made thirty-five years ago, before the first Star Wars film.  I would have wept tears of joy.



Ken Houghton said...

If you're going Old School, Robots of the 1930s is your ticket to concluding that they're calling it "John Carter" so people think it's an ER continuance.

Michael Swanwick said...

I remember in the Fifties and early Sixties there being a corresponding fear of automation. (There was an education campaign with the slogan WHEN A CIRCUIT LEARNS YOUR JOB, WHAT WILL YOU DO? To which somebody scrawled a response on a poster reading, BECOME A CIRCUIT BREAKER.) Today, this appears not to concern us at all, though we only have to go to a gas station or a supermarket to see machines doing jobs that once belonged to people.

I have no conclusions here. But it's an interesting phenomenon.

David Stone said...

Disney apparently did come quite close to making some awesome John Carter animated shorts, but it was in the late 1930s, not the 1970s!

Have a looksee:

David Stone said...

D'oh, turns out it was not Disney that was behind that. Apparently it was basically just Bob Clampett working on his own... still, it would have been pretty sweet.

Matt Keeley said...

The title change explained:

Quoth the director: "Here’s the real truth of it. I’d already changed it from A Princess Of Mars to John Carter Of Mars. I don’t like to get fixated on it, but I changed Princess Of Mars… because not a single boy would go.

And then the other truth is, no girl would go to see John Carter Of Mars. So I said, “I don’t won’t to do anything out of fear, I hate doing things out of fear, but I can’t ignore that truth.”

Michael Swanwick said...

Oh dear, oh dear. What an incredible batch of sissies we movie-goers all are.