Pomme de terre

I’m impressed with the anonymous sources that the New Zealand Herald uses to spice up its news stories.

A few weeks ago, in an article about a guy who was badly burned during the filming of a reality TV show, a source was quoted as saying that the fellow was “a really unhappy customer”. That’s really masterful understatement. I like it when anonymous sources cop an attitude.

Then in today’s Herald, in an article about Jonah Lomu’s secret wedding, a source was quoted as saying, “I guess it was a nice wedding but I’m not the wedding type.”

Wow, the anonymous source is not the wedding type. I would like to see such snippets of personality come through in future articles. For example:

A source close to the MP said that late night drinking was often common. “After a late night in the debating chamber the vodka would come out. I am lactose intolerant, enjoy the films of Akira Kurosawa and I am an unfulfilled submissive.”

It’s about time that anonymous sources get the recognition that they deserve.

My favourite daily half hour of TV at the moment is Batman, which is on Monday to Friday at 6 pm on Prime. Today’s villain was The Minstral and while Batman was at police HQ discussing the fiendish antics of his latest nemesis, Commissioner Gordon commented that the crook was, “A minstral who is also an electronic genius. What a strange combination!” Like, OMG, doesn’t that just describe makers of electronica. (No, not really, but it’s a good quote.)

It’s funny watching the old Batman. I reckon it’s about halfway through the run. The fresh early excitement is gone. The dialogue is starting to get a little bit self-referential and sarcastic, all of the villains have a sexy woman in their crew of goons, but it’s not quite at the dire final season where Batgirl (almost the Scrappy-Do of the series) was introduced.

“Space” have a weekly feature called “New Zealand Pride”. They pick out little moments from overseas movies, TV shows, etc where New Zealand is mentioned. Months ago I submitted an idea for it and tonight it was used. There’s a scene in the David Mamet film “Heist” where Gene Hackman’s character has acquired two false New Zealand passports. If you look really closely you can see that the city of issue is “New Castle” which is not in New Zealand. See, if I was a customs official Gene Hackman wouldn’t be going anywhere.

I saw “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” today. I’d seen it before in gay Paris, so it was novel seeing it without French subtitles. I also wasn’t sick, so I didn’t cough all the way through it. There were a bunch of giggly girls who girlishly giggled whenever Sam Rockwell’s barenaked buttocks were shown. It’s good film. It’s beautifully photographed (cinematographed?) and I am easily won over by the kind of tricky love that Chuck and Penny have. And it has the infamous “in the ass” segment of “The Newlywed Game”.

Batman, world peace

I’ve been watching the 1966 “Batman” movie on DVD. I’d seen it a few times before, but I’d forgotten how funny it was. I think there was a period where I would have been like “urgh, “Batman” is so cheesy” (this probably coincided with Tim Burton’s gothic “Batman” movie in 1989), but that’s the whole point: it was meant to be cheesy.

The “Batman” movie is so funny. The dialogue especially is full of zappy lines. I would try to attempt to convey the humour when sexually frustrated Bruce Wayne goes on the date with the seductive Kitka (Catwoman in disguise), but words alone don’t convey the humour. Instead, here is Batman and Robin solving some riddles:

Batman: Robin, listen to these riddles. Tell me if you interpret them as I do. One, what has yellow skin and writes?
Robin: A ballpoint banana!
Batman: Right! Two, what people are always in a hurry?
Robin: Rushing people? Russians!
Batman: Right again. Now what would you say they mean?
Robin: Banana… Russian… I’ve got it! Someone Russian is going on slip on a banana peel and break their neck!
Batman: Precisely, Robin! The only possible meaning!

The basic plot involves The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler and Catwoman teaming up to form the United Underworld. Their plan is to dehydrate the members of the United World Security Council. The UWSC members are so busy arguing that they don’t notice the four super villains show up and dehydrate them into small piles of coloured dust.

Eventually good wins over and Batman gets the dust back, but sadly it gets all mixed up, so it’s off to the Batcave for it to be resorted. Finally the dust is ready to be rehydrated. Small metal stands on each chair hold a test tube with the dust for each member. Water is added and, zoing, the security council members are back.

I’m not sure what happened to the metal stands, but as none of the members say “hey, how’d this metal rod get up my arse!”, I assume the stands somehow disappear. Though it is possible that again the members are too busy arguing to notice a test tube up the bum.

But it is soon discovered that there’s a bit of a mix up. The security council members minds are in different bodies. Holy Freaky Friday! Batman observes this and comments, “Who knows, Robin. This strange mixing of minds may be the greatest single service ever performed for humanity.”

So, as the world is a little bit crazy at the moment, perhaps it’s time for someone to get Commodore Schmidlapp’s dehydration device, gather up the world leaders and mix things up for greater understanding and goodwill.