So the Boy went off to suffer his OA Ordeal this weekend, which is amazing. For those who aren’t in the Scouting World, the Order of the Arrow is BSA’s honor society. He was nominated for inclusion when he became First Class in the beforetimes and, more than a year later, just took part in the Ordeal

The Ordeal is the initiation into OA and it is full of mystery and cultural appropriation, which had cause to inject some low grade anticipatory anxiety into the works. He really enjoyed it, but then took Sunday to just goof off, which was fine until he realized he had a ton of homework. Then Sunday night became an Ordeal for us all.

Media Consumed: Wayne’s World

There is nothing terrible about Wayne’s World, but I can say I was shocked about how insubstantial the flick is. The Bohemian Rhapsody bit, which I assure you was amazing and groundbreaking in the 90s, falls kind of flat. It happens far too soon into the movie. Other notes:

  • Garth doing his Foxy Lady dance isn’t really funny
  • The No Stairway joke needed more build up–honestly, maybe I’m not a big enough Led Zeppelin fan, but Wayne barely gets out a note before being denied.
  • Wayne’s fall and redemption happen far too quickly and too easily
  • The Girl, who had recently binge-watched all of Modern Family, was amazed to see a young, thin Ed O’Neil. As we all are.
  • Weird that this was such a cultural phenomena. I worry for the planned Austin Powers re-watch.

Media Consumed: Spaced & Peep Show (Revisited)

After Wayne’s World ended, the Girl wanted a little bit more. Aly and I hadn’t watched Spaced in a while, which the Girl found intermittently funny. The series is super referential, which is mostly lost on her. After seeing Nick Frost in more recent movies, we were shocked at seeing his younger self. No notes to share. Just that when the Girl went to bed, Aly and I watched a few episodes of The Peep Show, which we haven’t seen in the better part of 5 years.

I’d forgotten how raw and cringey that first season was. Fantastic stuff.

Media Consumed: Midsommar

OK kids, spoilers, in brief: They found a way to re-make the original The Wicker Man, but slower and gorier. There. But it isn’t the destination, it is the journey that counts.

I enjoyed Midsommar. I’m a huge fan of stories involving quaint European villages full of pagans who want to murder you. I can see why people have praised the film and why it was such a daring move to make a this sort slow-burn 70s horror flick and give it such a wide release. I can praise that, as well.

That said, I have put off watching this movie for almost 18 months now because I knew there would be no surprises. I knew who would live and who would die within the first half or so (with a little editing, it would have been 5 minutes). And for that reason the slow burn was just excruciating.

What succeeds:

  • Atmosphere. The never-ending summer sun becomes its own weird and oppressive force within the film.
  • The Villagers. These people want to murder you, yes, but they hold no grudge (well, except that one guy’s grudge against the Character-You-Knew-Would-Die-After-Doing-Something-Disrespectful). These guys love their drugs, and I loved trying to piece together how this commune works as a society. Like evil pagan Amish–or is that just for show (like, the kids were watching Austin Powers!)? The selective use of subtitles was also effective in keeping us, the viewers, off guard.
  • Florence Pugh. Oh, I really enjoyed her performance as Dani.
  • The weird touches that surround Dani’s transformation. The subtle and not-so-subtle appearances of her family were creepy and effective.
  • Christian’s fate.

What failed:

  • Christian. I get Christian’s reluctance to ditch Dani in the midst of her tragedy, but it created a really flimsy premise. Also, of all the blatant foreshadowing, his I’ll-steal-your-thesis-idea was the dumbest.
  • Foreshadowing. It is one thing to hint at what’s to come, but it is quite another to LITERALLY WRITE WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN ON THE WALLS/BANNERS AND LINGER OVER IT FOR…..EEEEEVEEEEEER
  • The other victims. Seriously, I was going to kill them if the villagers weren’t going to get around to it. I’m assuming that the couple from the other friend group were in some way awful, otherwise I don’t get their inclusion.
  • The gore. Smashing in faces with a cartoon mallet isn’t going to be pretty, I get that, but maybe a little less rubbery?
  • Reminder, if you’re going to jump off a cliff at age 72 for the good of the village, go headfirst.

Random thoughts:

  • How did they keep this cultural knowledge going? I take it that they select a new May Queen each year (because of all the photos), but what about the every 90 years part? (I know they wanted to keep the 9 symbolism going.
  • Also, I think the rune-shaped table where they all gathered is the same shape as the rune-shaped stage (warning, hyperbolic lunatic take) at CPAC 2021 people were calling racist on Twitter and elsewhere.

The First Snake of Spring

Normalizing Stupid

So, I got in the habit of looking at Woot back when it was one-deal-a day. Now it is yet another arm of Amazon, and I don’t know why I look at it. Today’s too-clever poll is another reason I might want to get away.

Freemasons are, yes, a secret society, but it is pretty much the Lion’s Club with symbology that kids felt were edgy in the 18th c. The Illuminati are all the rage again with kids, because secret societies are creepy (seriously, when the Boy was in 5th grade, all the kids were talking about it). Other than the Illuminatus Trilogy, which is worth a read, it is pretty much a club that’s been defunct forever…or is it?

The Knights Templar were a historical group, but they’ve been gone for a long time. Those guys in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade don’t exist.

The Flat Earthers do exist and they’re not a secret. They’re a bunch of delusional yahoos that somewhat prove this internet experiment has gone very, very wrong. It is a remarkable thing, really. The Flat Earth Society was something of a cultural in-joke for a long time. There were ads in the back of magazines to join them, but I’m always assumed it was a gag. Now, Flat Eartherism is a gateway drug for a world of stupid. Oy.

Either way, apparently the guy who created Woot now runs Meh, which is like what Woot used to be, only he never sells anything interesting.