Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some Amusements

Happy New Year, y'all!
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I recently picked up a copy of John Carpenter's Halloween on DVD, not because I particularly like it but because, as one of the most influential horror films ever made (although, sadly, not in a positive sense), it's worth having in my collection. For fans of correct English, though, the horror begins on the box itself, as the blurb on the back opens with: "Fifteen years ago, Michael Myers brutally massacred his sister." 
Massacred? Massacred?[A Doubtful Egg's voice rises to a shrill, outraged scream. He takes a deep breath and mutters "calm blue ocean calm blue ocean calm blue ocean" until the red mist subsides.]
Obviously, you can no more "massacre" an individual person than you can "murder" a crowd (although you can murder several individuals within a crowd or commit mass murder). A massacre has a very specific meaning: to kill many people, usually in a fairly indiscriminate and bloody fashion (you can "murder" or "massacre" a song as well, of course!). The copywriter obviously wanted to make the blurb as sensational as possible, and plain ol' "killed" (or even "murdered") just didn't seem strong enough. Will the next edition try to outdo this one by saying that Michael Myers brutally genocided his sister? Puh-leeeze!
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There's nothing more amusing than watching a Fianna Fail TD (in this case, our Great Leader, Brian Cowen) coming out with a statement so blatantly untrue that you begin to question your own sanity when you hear it. Forget fridges and double-decker buses; the Moon's circumference is over 10,000 kilometres, and it would be easier to swallow that in one mouthful than to swallow Cowen's story about his contacts with former Anglo chief Sean FitzPatrick at this point. To call his attitude towards the people of Ireland "contempt" is far too understated, I think. 
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A quote from Michael Innes' novel, Stop Press (1939):
"Timmy's voice and the rattle of the train's subterraneous plunge were alike drowned in awful and bewildering clamour. A pandemonium of sound, latrant, mugient, reboatory, and beyond all words, reverberated between the walls of the tunnel." 
If you know what latrant, mugient, and reboatory mean without referring to a massive dictionary or the internet, my hat goes off to you (because I certainly didn't!).
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Ice on the river on Xmas Day, seen from the bridge just outside New Ross (on the Enniscorthy road).
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And to finish my ramblings, here's a song that I find myself humming every now and again:

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I woke up this morning, stumbled out sans coffee, and checked my messages, only to discover that the title I'd thrown on this this post last night (in a state of exhaustion, and with my mind focused on watching Mario Bava's dreamlike Gothic Operazione Paura (known in English by the the rather silly and inappropriate title Kill, Baby, Kill!) was both illogical and contained a blatant misspelling. Boy, is my face red! Feel free to pour thick, steaming ladles of abuse upon me...

6 comments:

jams o donnell said...

There sems to be a lot of hyperbole about at the moment what with Sarah Palin and her blood libel rubbish.

But I digress. Is it really possible that BIFFO can say or do anything to make Fianna Failure's position worse? Not even been caught in flagrante with a rubber clad goat is going to make his defeat any worse... or so it seems

Last poll I saw had FF on the verge of being beaten into 4th place by Sinn Fein.

A Doubtful Egg said...

Any more clandestine meetings in 2008 with Sean FitzPatrick, one of the most despised people in Ireland, would be hard to overcome. His tenacity in holding on to power is probably increased by the fact that nobody wants his position!

stancarey said...

I sympathise with your outrage, but there is something apt about a horror film massacring the English language (well, okay: injuring it slightly). Sometimes "kill" just isn't lurid or extreme enough.

Lovely scene in the photo. (Roughly) what time of day was it taken?

A Doubtful Egg said...

I know it's slightly distasteful to casually discuss words for murdering people, but it's part and parcel of the horror world! But in this instance, would 'butchered' or 'slaughtered' not have been sufficiently 'hard'? I wouldn't mind so much if it was another film, but Halloween is quite good (if overrated), and doesn't need such hysterical text to sell it.
It doesn't, however, match the randomly punctuated text on the back of the Dead of Night DVD of Lucio Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters (which is kinda apt, really):
"There is something sinister about, the sailing-boat drifting slowly in Hudson Bay, upon boarding the boat the coast-guard police, are confronted with a terrifying sight appearing out of the hatchway-a man covered in blood, walks towards them menacingly, only after being shot repeatedly, does he fall overboard and disappear amid the waves." And so forth...
Meanwhile, the same company's DVD of Zombie Holocaust (Man, I do like to watch crap! Well, there's only so much Kieslowski one can handle...) invites us to read the "Actor's Filmograohy". Quality stuff...
The photograph was taken at sunset, and it was bloody freezing!

stancarey said...

Yes, it was a careless choice of word. Halloween is very overrated, and Carpenter has made much better films. Zombie Flesh Eaters is, well, it's Fulci. Not for everyone. But for patient gore hounds who appreciate the finer points of zombie-shark wrestling, it's a must-see.

A Doubtful Egg said...

It's certainly hard to forget! I recommend reading the following article for an interesting take on Zombie Flesh Eaters (http://www.aycyas.com/zombie.htm)