Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cyriak / Run The Jewels: Meowpurrdy (music video 2016)

New Cyriak video, this one for Meowpurrdy by Run The Jewels from their Meow The Jewels album.

It's quite restrained...for Cyriak.

X-Files: My Struggle (TV, web, 2016)

I suppose if anything was going to tempt me back to write in an 'old' form of media like my blog, it would be a reboot of an 'old' form of paranoia like the X-Files.

Watch here.

With My Struggle, the X-Files re-debuted on January 24th, 2016 after an hiatus since May 19th, 2002.  That's almost a whole generation. Times have changed, which the new program artfully reflects. Someone mentions Uber; someone gives a tiny cellphone their number from their own tiny cellphone without anyone having to write it on a phone booth hood, or memorize it; someone watches the cable news on their laptop at their workdesk.  Times have changed for paranoia as well. Before the X-Files, difficult as this may be for youngsters to believe, most American, broadly speaking, believed their government was committed to telling the truth to citizens. When I came here in 1989 it was difficult to understand how 300 million people could all be so non-cynical.

That all started to change during the X-Files' first run, and pretty much completely overturned on September 11th, 2001. After that, large numbers of people started questioning the government, along with all other forms of authority. Evolution? Pull the other one. Climate Change? Pfff obviously the work of...Big Trees or something. Maybe the X-Files did it, or maybe 9/11, or maybe the interwebs or all of those things. But it was a significant change.

Spoiler alert:
Chris Carter, the X-Files' creator, seems to have weathered the change with little difficulty. A certain amount of the program was given over to Generation Jones Fan Service and I felt I was being patted on the back simply for being the age I am and Knowing Stuff - for example when Tuskegee and Henrietta Lacks were tossed into the script like cranberries into a salad at one point - but the showrunner seems happy to shift the pacing of an episode up to Millennial/Generation Z standards. I think "The Truth" was overturned two or three times in just this one episode. We have two or three of Mulder's fast-gabbled infodumps about The Truth (how does Duchovny learn all these lines?) then we learn the Real Truth, then we learn the Really Real Truth. Then all, and I mean all, of the evidence for one of those layers of truth get blown away. Mulder and Scully are left without any evidence apart from a DNA gel from the lab and their own wits. Oh, except that Skinner is on the case, so the X-Files are being reopened.

Overall, a very satisfying new episode.
End spoiler.

Don't they look old? I mean, I'm older too, but I don't catch myself in reruns of Teliko in the middle of the night over the years and learn to assume I'm always going to be from the mid-nineties.
Loved the idea of having a (slight) telepath in the show so she could do as-you-know-Bob infodumps from the characters' brains, teaching us what's changed with them and what's the same without them having to express it clumsily in conversation.
Aren't screen bugs small compared with the old days? I suppose that's because you can't really see them on a cellphone screen so they've lost their usefulness and become vestigial.
Loved the character of O'Malley and the internet-ranting school of fame and conspiracy.
"My Struggle"? i.e. Mein Kampf? Why this title?
One quibble: The X-Files preferred method of depicting a conversation is to have an establishing shot of two people talking (like the picture above) and then to shoot one person talking over the other person's shoulder, then change to the other person speaking over the first person's shoulder. This is a creaky old way of doing it and given the length of some of Duchovny's lines, and the lack of care in matching expression to recent speech when we cut to the other person beginning to listen, it really doesn't work. Let's have a new convention.

Verdict: would watch again, except I don't have cable. I watched this one, as you can also, on the web at Fox.


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