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In the course of my recent readings, the name of Walker Percy has surfaced more than once with much praise, leading me to think I really ought to check him out.  Well, I think this quote put up by Terry Teachout pretty much seals the deal:

“There’s Hawkeye and Trapper John back in Korea. I never did like those guys. They fancied themselves super-decent and super-tolerant, but actually had no use for anyone who was not exactly like them. What they were was super-pleased with themselves. In truth, they were the real bigots, and phony at that. I always preferred Frank Burns, the stuffy, unpopular doc, a sincere bigot.”

– Walker Percy, The Thanatos Syndrome

To the Amazon author’s page!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

The other day, on a whim, ol’ Robbo tossed the movie Cowboys and Aliens into the Netflix queue.  (For those of you unfamiliar with it, the movie is about, well, space aliens invading an Old West town.)

It seemed to me that with such a preposterous premise, such a movie ought to be a lot of fun in a campy way.  You know, playing all the cliches with tongue planted solidly in cheek.

Well, it wasn’t more than fifteen or twenty minutes in before I found myself quoting John Cleese’s Gestapo officer interrogating the English P.O.W. about the world’s funniest joke:

DOT’S NOT VUNNY!!

Honest to Goad, the whole thing was abysmally dreary.  Not so much as a whiff of a smattering of light-heartedness anywhere.  (Even the riff on the face-to-face encounter with the monster in Alien came out looking tired and forced.)  Incredibly, I think the writers and directors were actually trying to take themselves seriously.

As for the leads – Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford – you’d think the aliens had shot them ahead of time with some kind of ray that turns people to wood.

Sheesh.

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