Category Archives: Crossposted

Finding Dory

I put off watching this movie because I remember how deeply affected I was by Finding Nemo. I needed to pick a good mental-health day in which I could come home with time and head-space to process. You know, just in case.

FindingDoryWithout saying much more, let me say this: it’s a good thing I planned ahead, and I’m really glad I saw the movie. It spoke to me on multiple levels, and it said things that I believe really need to be said to a wider group than just me.

Early in the film Dory, who knows she suffers from short-term memory loss, is desperately trying to recapture an important thought. She says to herself, while pounding fin against her head, “Dory, stop being so Dory.”

It was poignant, and beautiful, and ugly, and true. Her name is the epithet she uses to describe what she hates about herself, and in that awful moment she’s not actually wrong. Broken, but not wrong.

It’s that thing many of us say to ourselves all the time.

For me, the film was operating on a much deeper level than I think it will for the kids. Like the best art, it has lots of levels, and rather than “having something for everybody,” like a grab-bag of directorial indecision, the many somethings operate simultaneously, in parallel. If you miss a layer because you’re wrapped up in a different layer, you’ll still enjoy the film. Also, you get to watch it again, and maybe get to see a completely different movie.

Finding Dory enters my list at #3, clearing the Threshold of Awesome.

By the way, the short that aired before it, “Piper,” is delightful, and is one of my favorite Pixar short films. No dialog, but plenty of story.


Force Multiplication is in The House

Sandra and Keliana ushered a couple of pallets of books into the Hypernode Warehouse late last week. This is the first time we’ve taken delivery of books when I haven’t been there to crack open the first box and huff the concentrated scent of new books.

Keliana Tayler, with stacks of boxes full of thousands of books
Keliana Tayler, with stacks of boxes full of thousands of books

The warehouse isn’t particularly exciting, and is downright deficient in terms of how photogenic it is. These aren’t the reasons why I do book sketching at home, but they certainly add weight to the argument.

On Friday, Sandra and Keliana hauled a big stack of boxes into our front room (which is now a bit larger with the absence of a 117-year-old piano¹) and set up my signing and sketching station.

Our front room, classed up with a raggedy folding table and stacks of boxes.
Our front room, classed up with a raggedy folding table and stacks of boxes. And a popcorn bucket.

I haven’t gotten started on that part of the project yet. I’ve got about three months of outline to nail down, and then three weeks of comics to script, and then I’m allowed to start work on signing and sketching.

That probably means Tuesday².

We’ve said that your pre-orders for Force Multiplication will ship by July 25th. The odds are pretty good that we’ll beat that date. I like having the wiggle room, though. It lets me pace myself, and my hand, which seems to wear out faster with every book release. Slow and steady may not actually win the race, aphorism notwithstanding, but it does ensure a healthy finish, and I’m quite happy to settle for that.

¹I should blog about that. It’s a poignant story, and worth more than a footnote.

²Most of the work on the outline is already done, furiously hand-written in my sketch book. I need to transfer it to a nice CTRL-C/CTRL-V medium so I can make sure all the bits are in the right order.


Independence Day: Resurgence

On its own merits, Independence Day: Resurgence suffers from a little bit of sequelitis, a lot of “bigger=better,” and felt longer than it really was despite so many cool things happening on screen. I liked it, but did not love it.IDResurgence

The thing it did right, it did almost perfectly. The events of the first film, set in 1996, are treated as if they happened 20 years ago. It’s now 2016, and the actors who appear in both films played their characters as having aged twenty years. Which the actors actually have. Sequels almost never get to do that to this extent, and I liked it a lot.

And that’s it for the “review” part of this review. If you’re just here for the movie, stop reading now.

Had it not been for the disastrous results of the Brexit referendum, and the “Leave” campaign’s abuse of the word “independence¹,” I might have given this film nothing more than an ordinary review. One of the connections is far too strong for that, however.

See, the thing Independence Day: Resurgence did perfectly is one of many things which the Brexit referendum underscored as a terrible failing.

The film tells a story in which the old people champion a future that the young people have chosen. The older generation in Independence Day: Resurgence has spent twenty years in a world united, and is fighting to preserve it for the next generation.

I don’t know what the UK’s older generation, the ones who voted “Leave,” have spent twenty years thinking, but the younger generation has spent those years looking forward with hope, not backward with fear. With Brexit, the older generation voted against the future that the youth of the UK overwhelmingly desired.

At 48 I guess I’m technically an old person², at least in the eyes of the 18-24yo voters who so overwhelmingly favored remaining in the EU. I’m an old person who has changed his mind numerous times, and who looks back and is appalled at some of what I used to think³. If I’m wise, it’s not because I’m constant, unless you count “constantly learning.” Young me probably would have been won over by words like “sovereignty” and “independence.” Old me sees how connected we all are, and how every single act of ignorant distrust tears at the fabric of the future we want to build.

Fellow old people: Look around.  Listen and learn. That thing you’ve believed for decades may not be true anymore. It might not even have been true then. Inertia is not wisdom, and those who praise common sense are often calling for you to remain ignorant.

Young people: Old people aren’t all jingoistic relics of the isolationism that has been useless since before most of them were born. Some of us want to hand you a world that is better than the one we were handed, better even than the “good old days” that we, in our more honest moments, will admit never actually existed.


¹Along with a many other words.

²There are at least two generations of people who are older than me, and who look at the number 48 and furrow their brows, scowling at me for co-opting their adjective. Sorry. I’m camping on your lawn now, but in ten years I’ll be moving into the house.

³I still hold to the “faith of my fathers,” but I am quite happy to not conflate it with the cultural baggage that so often accompanies it.