We didn’t have electricity for almost 24 hours. Those of us in the family who’ve become dependent on the many machines that play big parts in our lives found ourselves somewhat crippled as darkness fell yesterday. Typhoon Milenyo didn’t last a day, but it did its damnedest to leave its mark. Its winds toppled trees, billboards, and road signs. It partially tore our garage roof from its foundations. But nevertheless, we felt safe at home, even when we’ve been cut off from technology and electronic communication until early today. The storm actually did worse in other parts of the country.
Wanted to watch a movie at a nearby mall earlier, but it didn’t have electricity yet and was running on generators. It was stuffy in there, enough to make me a little queasy, so I left after I ate my late lunch and bought things I needed (some snacks, candles, and a flashlight). Back home, the cellphone signal died again. But at least the electricity’s on. There’s no cable yet, but we’ll manage. I’m also glad that my friends are well, even after being incommunicado for a long time. I guess nobody really expected the power failure to last so long, and cell batteries, including mine, eventually died down and couldn’t be recharged. I suppose I can whine about how boring and unproductive yesterday was, but I’d rather not.
Ah, screw it. The terrible weather and all the disruptions it brings majorly suck.
Last year’s Serenity makes much more sense now that I’ve seen 15 episodes of Firefly. It took some time for me to like the series, but once I got the feel for the characters and the “space western” conceit, I was hooked. Unlike Whedon’s Buffy and Angel, it had no supernatural elements and metaphors, or even stock SF alien creatures, but it was still about different people (nine of them!), whose exploits bring them from one seedy part of the galaxy to another.
Humans inhabit different planets and are grouped into disparate communities in this particular future, and the ship Serenity’s crew is a reflection of that diversity: Mal Reynolds (the ex-soldier turned smuggler), Zoe (his second-in-command), Wash (Zoe’s pilot husband), Jayne (the thuggish merc), Kaylee (the resident mechanic), Inara (the prestigious courtesan), Book (the mysterious preacher), Simon (the fugitive doctor) and River (the idiot savant-like teenager).
My favorite episodes are, in no particular order, Out of Gas, War Stories, Our Mrs. Reynolds, Trash, Objects in Space, and Ariel. The rest were also good, but those were the ones that really made me cheer. The rescue mission, where almost everyone took a weapon and staged a raid to free Mal from the clutches of a torture-happy crimelord, was a huge defining point. So was the revelation that River was more than just a confused mess; her importance in Serenity is hinted at after all. The oft-uneasy inter-team dynamics and the unrequited affections also made the characters fun to watch.
Casualties of War
Civil War # 4 is finally out. Spoiler warning for those who’ve yet to read it. Was expecting the Human Torch to bite the dust, but they offed Goliath (Bill Foster) instead. Just as big a casualty is Reed and Sue Richards’s marriage (no surprise, there). Together with pro-registration science-types Iiron Man and Hank Pym, Reed created a clone of Asgardian thunder god Thor, who strays from his programming and blasts a hole through Goliath’s chest. Guilt-ridden, Sue abandons her husband and children, and convinces her brother Johnny (off-panel) to join Cap’s rogue Secret Avengers.
Plenty of powerful moments here: Goliath’s shrouded body being craned down to his grave, Sue’s letter to her husband, the defections in both opposing ranks, and Falcon thanking Sue for the save before teleporting away. I liked the issue, except for some parts that don’t make sense: Since the Thor clone overrode his programming somehow, how will the nanite-controlled super-villains (Venom, Lady Deathstrike, Taskmaster, Bullseye, etc.), who’re tasked to hunt down the fugitive superheroes, be an improvement? Also, isn’t it a bit harsh to put the rogue heroes in a Negative Zone prison, when super-villains are confined to Earth jails like the Raft and the Vault? And why is Capt.
I wish they’d shown Reed’s reaction to Sue’s letter, too. But I’m still enjoying the series, and looking forward to the real Thor, who’s very likely to side with Cap’s team, as well as Sue and Namor’s eventual rendezvous (romantic or otherwise). It’s nice to see that Living Lightning, Triathlon, Debrii, Firebird, Monica Rambeau and Machine Man are among the anti-registration group (although NextWave doesn’t really care, according to that hilarious CW “tie-in” cover).
Drive Another Nail In
I'm listening to Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes CD while typing this. Weather’s getting awful again, and I’m getting a little anxious. Sometimes, when I’m in a mood, I pop in her old, cathartic debut album. It gives words to some negative emotions, and magically exorcises them.
I’ve been an on-and-off Tori-phile through the years (I have her first four albums on cassette tape); she’s done great arty stuff that I don’t get, sometimes. But she still sounds angelic whatever it is she sings about. Still, the songs that continue to resonate with me are her older, angrier ones, like “Crucify” and “Precious Things” (“I wanna smash the faces of those beautiful boys…”).