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Folly of the Faithful Canine
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in deckardcanine's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, January 15th, 2017
10:56 pm
L.A. Must Hate It
It’s been attacked by giants, mutants, aliens, and ghosts.
It’s sometimes underwater thanks to being on the coast.
The president once bombed it to avoid a bigger woe.
It’s had so many criminals, the good guys had to go.
With these and more examples as depicted on the screen,
You’d think that New York City wouldn’t be a crowded scene.
12:17 am
Book Review: Howl's Moving Castle
When I saw the Studio Ghibli adaptation in 2005, it pushed ahead of Spirited Away for my favorite Hayao Miyazaki movie. But for all its popularity on the three big rating sites, I've found a number of people who didn't think much of it. Those people consistently had read the Diana Wynne Jones novel first. I decided I would have to compare it for myself someday, but I kept putting it off, both because I thought I still remembered the film too well and because I was afraid of falling out of love with the film. The mood finally hit me when I wanted a feminine fantasy and saw no others on my shelf.

Book summaryCollapse )

My opinions on the bookCollapse )

Revised thoughts on the movieCollapse )

My current book is Terry Goodkind's Temple of the Winds. I didn't expect to start the Sword of Truth series on the fourth volume, but my sister and brother-in-law found this and the next two. Goodkind must be doing something right, because these tomes are huge.
Sunday, January 8th, 2017
10:58 pm
Feeling Testy
Allison Bechdel is most widely known
For a comic strip episode setting the tone
For a sort of eponymous feminist test
To see how a matter of gender’s addressed.
It featured two women. One wanted to see
A new movie; the other was doubtful, as she
Would demand that two women converse on a thing
Besides one or more men. Now, is that hard to bring?
You might be surprised at how few works will meet
The criteria, even with words bent to cheat,
Like when “women” are broadened to girls under six
Or to animals talking in CGI pics.
It’s not just in cinema; video games
And most other media fall short on dames.
If you think this is trivial, might I point out
The reverse test, whose passing is rarely in doubt.
Some people find Allison’s test overhyped.
I admit it says nothing of stereotypes
And other key factors to see whether works
Were most likely made by male chauvinist jerks,
But I still like its use as a rule of, ah, thumb
(A phrase that’s not sexist; that origin’s rum).
Sunday, January 1st, 2017
10:17 pm
Miss Fortune
I once read the news that a “psychic” declared
Her competitors launched an attack.
I thought, “If you’re psychic, you knew that they would,
So why didn’t you sneak out the back?”
But that’s when it struck me: If they’re psychic too,
Then they’d know of her future as well.
When two sides see what’s coming, a stalemate’s assured,
So there’s really no fortune to tell.
Monday, December 26th, 2016
12:10 am
Not Really a Green Christmas Either
“Jingle Bells” and “Let It Snow” and “Winter Wonderland”
Are always played as Christmas songs; it’s gotten out of hand.
Not only do they never mention holiday décor
Or Santa Claus or gifts, much less what “Christ” and “mas” are for,
But I recall the first noel took place in Bethlehem.
This snow would hardly fall at any time of year for them.
These “carols” also seem unfair to people further south….
But I should end my rant; it’s not the time of year to pout.
Saturday, December 17th, 2016
9:38 pm
"Not Me"? Yeah, Right
The innocence of children is a widely held belief.
When I remember how it was, I have to say, “Good grief.”
Kids rarely mind their manners, even after you remind ‘em.
A slight offense will start a fight; you almost have to bind ‘em.
For my part, I was big on half a dozen deadly sins
Compared to now, and lust was also stronger in my teens.
I guess that very little kids have yet to come out racist;
They haven’t had it taught to them. The only other basis
For calling children innocent is what they rarely do,
Like murder and embezzlement, but let us think this through:
Is this for lack of interest or ability, pray tell?
I’m betting on the latter; children don’t do most things well.
Don’t get me wrong: I still like kids, if only ‘cause they’re cute,
But branding them as innocent is something I dispute.
Monday, December 12th, 2016
12:27 am
Is This Classification Good, Bad, or Ugly?
Just why do we have westerns?
Most genres aren’t defined
By era or location.
It’s awkwardly assigned.
We never speak of “easterns,”
Though samurai comes close,
And then there’s sword-and-sandal,
But neither one of those
Is counted as a genre
At many stores and sites
That think a western isn’t
An action flick by rights.
Perhaps this has to do with
How long they’ve been around.
The label dates back further
Than cinematic sound.
In any case, I find it
A silly tag at best,
But still I like some movies
With a setting in the West.
Sunday, December 4th, 2016
10:44 pm
More on Democracy
“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb
Voting on what to have for lunch,”
Said Benjamin Franklin? No, that’s a sham;
He never beat Gary Strand to the punch.
In any event, I no longer agree
With the sentiment that the speaker implied.
The alternatives to democracy
Would logically show an uglier side:
A wolf could outvote any number of sheep,
As often occurs in the natural realm.
I have to conclude that it’s better to keep
The largest number of folks at the helm.
Sunday, November 27th, 2016
2:42 pm
Sleep on This Idea
For years, I wished that people didn’t have to go to sleep:
Our brains would never need it for our memories to keep,
We wouldn’t feel exhausted just from staying up too late,
And days would seem to have an extra bunch of hours. Great!

The one thing that I thought I’d miss was having pleasant dreams
(Tho sometimes even nightmares have their benefits, it seems).
That wouldn’t be a problem if we could sleep when we pleased,
But few would then respect the practice. “Let the day be seized!”

Well, nowadays, I recognize that sleep is good for more
Than dreams and brain recharging. It’s a boon I won’t ignore:
To wake up in the morning makes the day feel nice and new,
Instead of never-ending. I will cherish that; will you?
Sunday, November 20th, 2016
9:36 pm
A Poem of Law and Anarchy
In the novel The Man Who Was Thursday,
The hero’s a “poet of law.”
A “poet of anarchy” meets him
And finds his wit quick on the draw.
The two of them publicly argue
On which kind is better to be.
“Is beauty in order or chaos?”
Alas, what they both fail to see
Is that neither is wholly sufficient:
A world of pure law would be dull,
While a world that was fully anarchic
Would drive you right out of your skull.
The story goes on to be silly—
A Nightmare, the subtitle’s said.
For a Chesterton work, it’s not lousy,
But it isn’t the smartest I’ve read.
Saturday, November 12th, 2016
8:36 pm
Deserving in Democracy
“A democratic country gets the leader it deserves.”
This sentiment is common, but it’s getting on my nerves.
Deserving is for human individuals, not nations,
Espec’ly when exhibiting such voter variations.
The people who have voted for a candidate who lost
Should not be held responsible for what the winner’s cost,
And do not give them credit for the benefits in store,
Provided there will be some (I’m not certain anymore).
Sunday, November 6th, 2016
2:18 pm
Remember, Remember This
Guy Fawkes is an anarchist symbol
Because of the Gunpowder Plot,
But few people know much about him:
An anarchist man he was not.
It’s true he was part of the party
That tried to assassinate James,
But Guy was a Cath’lic extremist.
Restoring the Church was his aim.
That might have meant total dominion
Or naught but a tolerant king.
Whatever he wanted, I’m certain
That anarchy wasn’t his thing.
Sunday, October 30th, 2016
11:28 pm
If Looks Could Unkill
In some works of fiction, the ghosts look like sheets
Or possibly blobs, like the kind Pac-Man faced.
In others, they look as they did before death,
Tho often transparent and colored like paste.
If lucky, they’ll show as the age they prefer
Or, better yet, alter their shape as they will.
The less lucky spirits reflect their own corpse.
If ever I see them, I’ll head for the hills.
Saturday, October 29th, 2016
7:11 pm
Book Review: No Time for Sergeants
A member of my extended family felt like giving away a lot of books. I picked this one off the shelf because it had a familiar title. Indeed, it became a movie I might have watched if I didn’t read the Mac Hyman book first. What really sold me was the blurb asserting that the critic laughed till he cried. It occurred to me that 1950s hilarity might not fly today, but it was worth a shot.

I still don’t know where the title came from. At no point does any character say it, nor does it seem to fit anyone’s attitude. But the story does have a military focus.

Cut for lengthCollapse )

Since that reading was basically devoid of females, I’ve move on to Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Here’s a book whose movie I did see, but I heard the two versions don’t have much in common.
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
9:42 pm
How Puzzling
“One of them always tells the truth, and one of them always lies.”
You’ve seen a puzzle like this before, but do you think it wise?
Oh, I can believe in the sort who lie so rarely that we can trust ‘em,
But liars prefer to include some truths to make it harder to bust ‘em.
And now that I think on it, how do we know the instructions are correct?
The instructor might be mistaken—or a liar, as I suspect.
And otherwise, it shouldn’t be hard to figure out who’s who.
Just ask for an answer that everyone knows, like the sum of two and two.
Then ask whoever has solved it right whatever you need to know.
These puzzles may be fun, but in real life, they’d have to go.
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
10:55 pm
Book Review: Lord Foul's Bane
This 1977 novel is the first in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, a title that might misleadingly evoke a religious fable. As I recall, sleepyjohn00's advice regarding the series was "Ignore him; enjoy the scenery." How ironic that a character dislikes the word "scenery" for implying that something beautiful is unimportant.

Cut for lengthCollapse )

Now I've decided to get away from both fantasy and sci-fi for a while. Fortunately, on my last vacation, I got talked into taking a bunch of books with me, one of which is No Time for Sergeants by Mac Hyman. Ordinarily I'd watch the movie instead, but this looks promising.
Sunday, October 16th, 2016
9:11 pm
Timing Is Everything
A man was in the shower when there suddenly appeared
A woman with a futuristic fashion sense. How weird!
The man freaked out; the woman put her hand before her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” said the woman; “I just didn’t realize
The time was bad, but I’m afraid we have no time to lose.
I come from 2090, and I’m bringing dreadful news.”
She started her synopsis while he fumbled for a towel.
It seemed his future grandkids got involved in something foul.
She hoped that he would come along and tell them what to do.
“They’re bound to listen better if the warning comes from you.”
The man was grinning wildly as he said he was on board,
For now he knew he couldn’t die until he’d someday scored.
Sunday, October 9th, 2016
11:48 pm
Not-So-Free Verse
Oh, good, someone’s reading me! Please pay attention!
I seem to be trapped in another dimension!
Specifically, I have been eerily hexed
To have no other body than this very text!
My words all come out in this rhythm and rhyme
That I can’t really help, and there isn’t much time
Till this poem must end, and the poem is me!
Do you know of a way I can set myself free?
Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
10:54 pm
That's How We Don't Roll
No earthly life has wheels for feet,
But if some did, would that be neat?
It’s not as easy as it sounds.
Consider all the unpaved grounds.
An animal could smooth its way,
But would the effort really pay?
The wheels could help one move real fast,
And trips and limps would long be past.
To climb a hill’s another matter;
One’s terrain must stay much flatter.
Furthermore, what body part
Is semi-sep’rate from the start?
Good luck in getting wheels that work
To come by nature; what a quirk.
In short, we’ll prob’ly never meet
A specimen with wheels for feet.
Saturday, September 24th, 2016
10:38 pm
A Prequel You’ll Never See
A long time ago lived a handsome young man,
Who knew he had looks to kill,
But he also knew that the passage of time
Could take them against his will.
He searched for a remedy far and wide
And finally learned of a force
That could grant him tremendous powers to use
To delay nature taking its course.
Unfortunately, in a while, he found
That his body continued to age.
He’d live a long time, but he wouldn’t look young.
In fact, he would reach a new stage,
When his body would change as he couldn’t predict,
For no man had lived so long.
He wasn’t surprised to lose much of his height,
But his ears and skin tone seemed wrong.
Eventually, he no longer looked human,
And others thus simply forgot.
But he told them if nine hundred years they should reach,
Then look as good they would not.
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