Thursday, September 03, 2009

Marvel meets mouse

On August 31, the Walt Disney company announced that it was going to buy Marvel for about $4 billion. Is it a good thing? (The deal that is, not the $4 billion) I think the deal is a good thing - as long as Disney treats Marvel with at least as much “reverence” as it has its other major buyouts. The Disney buyout of the muppets did not really hurt the muppets - that’s a matter of debate, I know, but we’re speaking generally here. Aside from some issues, the relationship between the two companies is friendly. Likewise the relationship between Disney and Lucasfilm has not really hurt any of the Lucasfilm properties (Star Wars, Indy). I think that if Disney treats Marvel the same way, we can still enjoy Marvel without feeling like they’ve “sold their souls” to Disney. So I think things will work out as long as both Disney and Marvel can remember that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Or has someone already said that? Probably.

That Spidey image comes from an MTV news report on what the buyout may mean for fans:

It’s clear that Disney wants a “piece of the pie” of many already successful enterprises. It’s like a larger company buying up a smaller one to reap the benefits. The only real downfall that’s clear is that it’s not really a good idea for one company to control every form of entertainment, and sometimes that seems like what Disney is trying to do. But again, as long as Marvel remains “Marvel,” the fans should be content.


CODE BARF: A recent post on the “Mouseplanet” message boards along with my recent foray into the world of Facebook has given me the inspiration for a rather disgusting survey question. Before we get to the list, take a look at this posting from poster twindaddy involving a rather disgusting incident at Disneyland:

We were on main street, on the porch that I think used to be known as the "Bra Shop" letting my girls conk out in the stroller while we stake out good parade viewing spots. All of a sudden we see a mom with a toddler in her arms running past us to get to the bathroom next to Carnation Cafe. He is barfing all the way along.

So there is this huge pile of barf right in front of us, right in the middle of the sidewalk. I don’t want anyone to step in it, so I grab a trashcan that is about 5 feet from the pile and put it over it. No sooner is the can out of my hand, about 30 seconds after the barf hit the ground, then a nicely dressed guy who would EASILY blend into any crowd is behind me directing people. I wonder "who is this guy?" He asks me why I moved the trashcan, and then I explain and he says "good idea!" He then realizes I am looking at him funny until he flips his collar to show his CM (cast member) name tag and a see his radio ear piece (ala secret service).

He radios the code barf (they had a code for it) into control, about two minutes later two uniformed security guys show up, and about six minutes after the chunks hit the ground a janitorial CM is there going through an elaborate bio hazard process to clean it up. A short while later the mom shows back up apologizing, and we explain it has already been handled.

Code barf. I love it. Well, I love the idea of it. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. The story gave me a disgustingly fun survey question that I would like you to consider: Name the most memorable places you have thrown up. For me, the list is a great summary of my life in general. Embarrassing and messy and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

1. While coming in for landing on a friend’s airplane. I think they’re still my friends.
2. While walking home with a friend. Thankfully, I missed her. She never really hung out with me after that. . .
3. While driving home on New Year’s Eve. . .and it was the afternoon and I hadn’t drunk a thing!!

All these joyful memories almost prompt me to send out one of those Facebook things. “Name the three favorite times you vomited!” I only hesitate because I know my friends have put up with me for so many other ridiculous things. I don’t want to push my luck. But dear reader, I ask thou to consider well the times you have created a mess in this way, and be thankful, as I am, that you were there to make the mess.


WHERE TO SEND THE MONEY: Okay, now that the recession is over (yeah, right), we have a little bit more money to spend (yeah, right). So what worthy causes can we contribute to? Here’s one that interests me: Benjamin Wagner has been working on his documentary on Mister Rogers for the past few years. Based on his behind-the-scenes info documented on his blog, this looks like a very entertaining and professional production. Ben’s now almost done and he needs - yes, contributors to make the film a reality. For a $25 donation, you can get your name briefly in the credits of the movie. For bigger donations, there are bigger perks. Read all about it here:

I support this project, but I feel a bit small because I can’t contribute nearly as much as I’d like (I want that autographed DVD, darn it!). I feel like I’m watching a PBS special and I want the big present that they give you for donating a lot of money. But I don’t have the money, which makes me feel that my small contribution won’t amount to much. But every bit helps, and based on the numbers, it looks like they’re nearly there. I wish them luck and I look forward to seeing this production someday.


WHERE NOT TO SEND THE MONEY: There is apparently going to be a new compilation of Cds by Morrissey, and Morrissey doesn’t want you to buy them. Here’s a brief clip from an article that was also posted on “The Vinyl Villain”:

“Lyricist and sardonic crooner Morrissey has urged loyal fans to steer clear when the big music labels re-release his old tunes. Mozzer has asked fans not to buy either a planned boxed set of his solo work or a re-released set of CDs and vinyl from his days with the legendary Smiths. The EMI, HMV and Parlophone record labels in November plan a boxed set of Morrissey singles and B-sides from his post-Smiths years spanning 1985 to 1999. But Morrissey told the True to You site: "Morrissey does not approve such releases and would ask people not to bother buying them. Morrissey receives no royalty payments from EMI for any back catalogue, and has not received a royalty from EMI since 1992."

As the “Vinyl Villain” himself hinted, any die-hard fan who really wanted to get that material shouldn’t feel bad about buying it. I’m a fan and I wish no ill will toward Morrissey, but please don’t make us feel bad about buying your own stuff! It’s kind of a compliment when you think about it. His fame is greater than he’s able to write a check for. Incidentally, I had no idea his name was “Steven!” I knew we had a few things in common, but wow!


I’M LOUVIN IT: In my quest for old-fashioned Christian music, I have come upon an interesting duo which seem to create a problem. It’s actually kind of an image problem. The Louvin Brothers seem to personify everything that is unintentionally corny about old Christian music. You need only look at the cover of their “Satan is Real” album to see what I mean. It features the two brothers dressed in white suits smiling merrily as they dance around the flames in Hell in front of a cheap cutout of Satan. (The cover has made a few “worst album cover” lists.) Sadly, the corniness wasn’t their only fault- they weren’t always perfect Christians. Upon meeting Elvis Presley, one of them called him a name that is a curse word as far as I’m concerned. It’s the word in “Huckleberry Finn.” Yep, that one. But based on the sample track that I’ve heard, they seem to have a talent for harmony. And their song “The Christian Life” has a lyric that I think every Christian can take to heart:

“I won’t lose a friend by heeding God’s call,
For what is a friend who’d want you to fall?”

I’ve had a few “friends” who not only wanted me to fall, but tripped me. Literally. I think I’d rather sit around listening to the corny Louvin Brothers than spending time with those “friends.” Wouldn’t mind throwing up on them.

Special thanks to “Any Major Dude” for his summary of the Louvin Brothers:

For more old-fashioned Christian music, I’d recommend checking out “Old Fashioned Christian Radio” or “Music you (possibly) won’t hear anyplace else”. Both are in the links section to the right.