Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt
swashbuckler332

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Back To School

My first class of the semester will begin in about ten minutes or so.

I read Al Franken's book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. It is always good to see people vent. Interestingly, Franken's book is a much drier read than most of this sort, as it picks apart, piece by piece, the nonsense behind the Radical Right's stranglehold over the country. Franken concentrates on the press, which is interesting because I have long been concerned with a growing trend, which is that entertainers are being painted as "crazy fucked-up liberals" whilst news reporters are gradually leaning righter and righter.

I am glad somebody else has noticed that the tagline for FNC (Fox News Channel, or Facist News Channel, or something like that) is "We Report. You Decide." That has to be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever seen on a billboard. Right up there with "Why are they putting seatbelts in theaters this summer," for Star Trek V (to keep the audience from leaving, apparently).

Speaking of Star Trek, today is the 37th anniversary of the first broadcast of Star Trek, which was the rather non-representative episode "The Man Trap."

Just thought I'd mention that. Last night I started watching Tim's DVD of Star Trek: First Contact, which I had borrowed from him. This is essentially an anamorphic version of the laserdisc, but I have to say that the sound is nice, expansive and powerful. I hope the eventual 2-disc set of this film will have a DTS track (since Paramount is doing those now). I still own all of the original series on VHS because my grandparents ordered them from CBS Fox many years ago.

Speaking of my grandparents, they are out of town, having gotten word of a relative on his deathbed. They will return on Thursday, apparently. They have given me leave to use their car. It feels kind of ghoulish to be enjoying increased mobility (at least until Thursday) under such circumstances, but I can't deny that having the car will make my life much easier for the next few days.

Speaking of cars, the engine for my own has arrived over at the Toyota shop at Weymouth, and it should be installed and ready to be picked up by the end of the week. Hopefully I'll be picking it up next Tuesday.
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The real problem with a book like Franken's, or Michael Moore's, for that matter, is that they are basically preaching to the converted. Just as the books that it refutes are. What needs to happen are things like this year's Oscar ceremony, where works like this are brought to the public's attention.

The other problem is that much of what Franken is refuting are things that occur on television and radio media. Not to put too fine a point on it, but what I mentioned in a previous post still remains true... many people do not read. Broadcast media allows persons of questionable literacy to think that they are informed.
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I never went out to the movies last night (I may tonight, as I can see a later show), but I did work on the first two discs of another set called "Science Fiction Cinema," once again taking the symphonic suite route.
Disc One (81:35)
01-06 Alan Silvestri: The Abyss (8:51)
07-12 Elliot Goldenthal: Final Fantasy- The Spirits Within (18:04)
13-18 John Williams: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (19:53)
19-28 Jerry Goldsmith: Total Recall (19:46)
29-33 James Horner: Brainstorm (14:57)

Disc Two (81:05)
01-07 Maurice Jarre: Enemy Mine (16:51)
08-18 Basil Poledouris: Starship Troopers (28:25)
19-22 Jerry Goldsmith: Planet of the Apes (17:54)
23-31 David Arnold: Stargate (17:51)
I'm having a real fun time compiling these. Of course, part of the fun is incorporating music that is a little hard to come by into the suites (Starship Troopers, X-Men X2, Hook and Conan the Barbarian all feature music not previously released, giving these suites an opportunity to allow for a more well-rounded representation of these scores, and the suites for Heavy Metal and Excalibur wouldn't exist at all), but also in working out interesting ways to get the cues to flow seamlessly into one another (I am very proud of how The Abyss, CE3K and Stargate came out, of this batch).

Once again, compiling these CDs made me more aware of the requirements of the genre. The more I work on these, the more it becomes apparent how the genre of the film dictates the needs of the score. This would seem axiomatic, but it is not necessarily something that is dealt with as often as it might be by the film music community (which is odd, considering how many posters to the Film Score Monthly and the MovieMusic.Com messageboards will tend to champion scores of a particular genre (or era).
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I just finished Heartfire, which was the most recent (though probably not last) book in Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series. I really like Card's writing. He always comes up with very interesting characters and situations. His Ender books may be his crowning achievement, but I also loved the Call of Earth cycle as well.

I have to say that his horror books are ruthless, however. I like them, but they are always emotionally wrenching to read. Treasure Box, which I read just before the Alvin Maker books, was dark and horrifying, with a shocking twist halfway through the story that would be destroyed, Sixth Sense style, were it made into a movie.

Just before this whole Skitty mess started, I had just finished Lost Boys, another horror book by him that left me similarly exhausted.

Interestingly, while in the bookstore today, I found that there was next to none of Phillip Jose Farmer's books. Only two of the Riverworld series, The Dark Design and The Magic Labyrinth. Since he was one of my stepfather's favorite authors, I read quite a bit of his works (including the bloodthirsty and perverted A Feast Unknown, one of the few times I was made sick by a book I couldn't put down) and would liked to have read other works by him. I guess I'll try Amazon.com.
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I guess I should get back to my class. Actually, there are only two students that have shown up as of yet, out of an expected ten, I think. So class is not yet in session...
Tags: film music, my mixes
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