When I was growing up, the letter column was always my
favorite part of a comic book – I would often skip right to the end to
read what the creators had to say for themselves. Now it’s my turn. Of course those columns would appear monthly, while who even remembers the last time I did one of these?
What’s been interesting in the last few months has been the lack of hate mail. I still get some, but not with the same kind of vehemence and spite that the haters used to spew. What happened to all my good haters? Have I lost my edge? Are you just used to me? Have you gone off to IESB?
I’m not complaining – it’s pretty good to get nice letter where people say they like you. I have a whole file of e-mails I need to respond to but haven’t, so if you’ve written me a nice note, I have read it and appreciate it and I swear to God I was really going to write you back. I still might! I notice sometimes when I write people back they never respond. Like they were never there in the first place…
In the meantime, feel free to drop love, hate, complaints, thoughts, questions, naked pictures of your sister, etc into my email box: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now on with the shouting.
In which I get taken to task for using the ‘n’ word. The other ‘n’ word
JD shouts: hey Devin
I just wanted to throw ya a line and say I’m a huge fan of the site…and definetly your writing. I’ve been coming to the site for the last couple of years and always enjoy your columns.
But something I read today on your site kinda got me offended, I don’t know why…but it did. Your article on the Karate Kid was great……but then you (in my opinion) had to taint it with you using the "negro" word.
Why did ya do that?…… well I know I why ya did….it was for shock value…but why did ya have to shock people?
I know you say this a LOT….. that:
"you probably have more people that dislike you on your site.. than actually like you".
I’m not one of them. I think you’re hilarious and a great writer. But why would ya use a word in your column that (I almost know for a fact) you wouldn’t use if you were…..say a guest (again) on Attack of the show?. Which again you were pretty good on, those 2 times. If ya did say it…….I doubt you’d ever be invited back for a 3rd visit.
It’s like you want to alienate people…why would ya want to do that?
lol and no….I don’t think you’re a racist/jerk or anything….but maybe you like to come across as one? (I have no clue)
I don’t want this to become a hate letter….it’s FAR from that. But I wanted to give your my thoughts on it….at least from a reader/supporter of your site
anyways…..hope ya have a great weekend
and keep doing what ya do (besides the racial stuff)…..cuz I enjoy reading it
Devin replies: ‘The "negro" word?’ Thanks for the compliments, JD, but I am mystified by this ‘the "negro" word’ bit. Did I miss a memo where negro became a slur? It’s an old-fashioned word, but that was sort of the joke of using it. I certainly didn’t mean to shock – if I wanted to shock, I just would have said nigger – so hopefully none is taken. I do have to admit to being slightly annoyed the shifting sands of what is and what isn’t offensive in language. This isn’t some kind of an anti-PC rant – being anti-PC means you either want to be racist or rude – but just an observation that certain words only get offensive because we decide they are.
PS, I’ve been on Attack of the Show three times now.
In which I don’t get nostalgic for nostalgia
Matt shouts: I’ve been a regular reader of your site for a couple of years now, my name is Matt by the way, and only on a couple of occasions have I had huge problems with the things you have said. Your nostalgia piece, and your piece today, about the V action figure. While I do tend to agree that purchasing of toys as an adult is a mostly shameful experience, I think it is unfair to criticize people who happen to have nostalgic feelings for certain things. I’m currently too lazy and tired to re-read your nostalgia article, but I seem to remember you saying something along the lines of The Goonies being a bad movie. While I do agree that it is not a great movie, whoever said that something has to be good to be liked. Aren’t tastes supposed to be different for everyone? Being born in 1982, a lot of those movies from those days still hold a special place in my heart. I look back on The Goonies, and the Ninja Turtles movies, cartoons and toys as fond memories in a mostly happy childhood. And being 25 now, I feel like I have a fairly happy life now. But I don’t associate those happy feelings with my nostaligic feelings for certain things. To this day, if someone throws on The Goonies, or Willow, or Secret of the Ooze, I’ll happily sit there and watch those movies, knowing damn well that they aren’t good, but also allowing it to transport me back to a time when I was just a silly little kid with much simpler tastes. Although with all that said, I for some reason can’t get enough of Saved by the Bell. I really can’t explain that one. Oh well.
P.S. While watching Eastern Promises yesterday, there were previews for The Assassination of Jesse James, and The Darjeeling Limited which gave me hope that I would soon see those movies. I don’t know if this is a fact, but I assume that if a trailer is shown at a theater, that theater is going to be showing that movie. I could be wrong though. I live in Eugene, OR and while we do get a fair amount of smaller movies, there are still some things that pass us by. But I find it hard to believe that a Wes Anderson movie, AND a movie starring Brad Pitt would be considered small movies. But I guess that Wes Anderson movies have always been hard sells to mainstream America, and I have the assumption that Jesse James is a less than action packed Western, which would also be a hard sell, even with Brad Pitt.
Devin replies: Sadly, having a trailer shown in your theater is no guarantee you’ll get the movie there.
As for nostalgia: sure, people can have different tastes, but the problem with nostalgia as taste is that it can’t be defended. It’s like religion. And I do have to say that I think it’s weird that anyone would want to be transported back to a time when they were a silly kid – what is it about your life today that you want to be transported away from? I couldn’t wait to grow up when I was a kid, and the fact that I can have cereal for dinner now proves I was right.
In which I get a compliment
Andrew shouts: Hey Devin,
I’m a relatively new reader to CHUD. I just had to say your closing line to the Duchovny article was hilarious and made me laugh out loud.
Devin replies: Thanks! Positive feedback like that is what keeps me going. Even if it means you don’t believe I’m getting lots of pussy.
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL!
In which I hate on Justin Lin
Fabfunk shouts: So last night I was at an event for Justin Lin and friends to promote their new film "Finishing The Game"- which looks really great, by the way. Anyway, I felt the need to ask him about the long-in-development remake of "Oldboy" he was working on, and why he left the project. He gave some pretty understandable (and understandably vague) reasons, pretty much stating he was going to fight the studio too much and he didn’t want to do the movie unless he could nail it, which he was uncertain of.
However, he did say something very interesting- apparently he signed some sort of option to direct it, and it is set to expire soon. He said that when it expired, it would likely fall into the hands of the one guy who wanted it- MARTIN SCORSESE. Apparently he has some sort of first refusal deal when the Lin contract expires.
I don’t know what this means- Scorsese might only produce, or maybe this will happen after the "strike". But he hasn’t moved on "Silence" or "The Long Play" or his Teddy Roosevelt biopic, and he recently jumped off "The Winter Of Frankie Machine", so he’s got to be interested in something pretty meaty.
Maybe Lin doesn’t know what he’s talking about but I figured you guys could poke around at Universal and test the validity of this belief, but from what I could tell, Lin seemed certain Marty was the guy who could "nail it better than [him]".
Devin replies: We tried to get this rumor confirmed or denied through regular channels and couldn’t. It seems to me that it’s plausible that Scorsese was, at one point, eyeing Old Boy, since he’s something of a project collector. That said, I can’t believe that he would even consider doing an Asian remake after doing The Departed.
The best part of the letter, by the way, is the idea that the unbearably untalented Justin Lin thinks the only guy who could nail a movie better than him is Scorsese. Uwe Boll could do a better job than you could, Lin. The corpse of Ed Wood would be a better choice.
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL
In which I confirm there may be aliens involved in Indiana Jones IV
A reader shouts: That quicksand bit was definitely a spoiler. I’m assuming that you’re sitting on loads of spoilers. So could you once and for all settle this and tell us if this Indy flick will have aliens or be have some type of alien connection?
Devin replies: Way back in May I told you guys that the new Indiana Jones film would have Shia LaBeouf as Indy’s son and that the film’s plot would involve crystal skulls. I was right, of course. I also told you guys that the film would take elements from Chariots of the Gods – do some research on that book and you’ll have your answer.
In which I discuss Bronx street gangs
Dave shouts: In your article on the remake of Pelham One Two Three, I noticed you felt the gangs in The Warriors were cartoonish. Obviously, they’re constructed to the needs of the film, but I thought you might be interested in this 1979 (so pre-crack) documentary on South Bronx gangs, 80 Blocks From Tiffany’s. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend it as an admirer of The Warriors.
Devin replies: Dave, I’ve known about that film, but have never seen it. Sadly, I still haven’t, as it’s been taken off YouTube. If someone else has a link, I’d love to check it out. I do know that some of the Bronx gangs in the 70s were… flamboyant, but none were on the level of the gangs in The Warriors. Walter Hill was actually going for a cartoonish, heightened reality, which is why his director’s cut has comic book panel transitions. I think he’s hitting the nail too squarely on the head with those, of course, but it does show his full intentions.
In which I get Ireland advice I could not take
Gary shouts: Devin,
I’ve been a long time reader of CHUD and a life long Irishman. I’m delighted to read that you are making a trip to our wet little island. I thought I’d offer you a little advice. I’m sure that you have researched your trip well but there are a few things I should like to share with you. Firstly, you may wish to check out Whelan’s pub on Wexford st. 5mins from the city centre. This is the drinking spot of Glen Hansard and a real hub for the Dublin singer/songwriter music scene. The Book of Kells in Trinity College (where I am proud to say I’ve just recieved a BA in Film making me part of the first class to receive a Film degree in the Rep. of Ireland)is interesting, but not as interesting as the library long room over which the college actually tried to sue George Lucas for its uncanny similarity to the Jedi Library in the star wars prequels.*
Most Irish people would consider the Pale (i.e. Co. Dublin and its immediate surroundings) to be the least Gaeilic part of the Republic. The reason for this is that is was simply the area of the island over which the English crown had control for the longest period. As such to witness any authentic Irish savagery you may wish to travel west, you’re best bet at seeing ‘The Quiet Man’s’ Ireland is somewhere like the Aran islands off the coast of Galway. Places like these islands and other areas, known as Gaeltachts, where Irish is still spoken are definitely worth the effort to find. (Galway is about 4 hours from Dublin)
Newgrange (or Bru na Boinne)is interesting and easy to get to from Dublin (about an hour’s drive). It’s (apparently) the oldest roofed building ever found by being 500years older than the Egyptian pyramids at Giza (making it approx 5000years old). It is a neolithic passage tomb that fascinatingly was engineered precisely to allow the morning sunlight of the winter solstice enter the chamber (more impressive than it sounds).
Skellig michael is also a fascinating visit (an ancient christian monastary literally built on a rock off the cost of kerry) check this out: http://www.skelligexperience.com/skellig_michael.html and is close to some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Ireland at killarney and the Ring of Kerry. Oh and dont miss the Cliffs of Moher http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/
I won’t go on, I’m sure you have enough planned.
But I really hope you enjoy your visit here
What I’m really loving about Ireland today however is that Tarantino is premiering Death Proof tomorrow and i just got tickets for that and the Q&A!!!
Devin replies: The Trinity Long Room was amazing, and the first thing that Kelvin from Latino Review thought of when he saw it was the Jedi library! They should have had him on the witness stand.
Sadly, I went to just about none of the places that you mention, but your email serves as an itinerary for my next trip. And there will be a next trip: I love your country. I’ll tell you this much – everyone in Dublin told me to get the fuck out of Dublin and see the real Ireland.
In which I get some Ireland advice I actually used
Adrian shouts: Devin,
Long time reader, first time emailer.
The Phil Lynot statue is on Harry Street just off Grafton Street outside a pub called Bruxelles which Lynot used to frequent. There is a great cinema called the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar. Also, John Carney who wrote and directed “Once” is currently shooting his next picture while you are gonna be here called “Zonad”. If you log onto www.iftn.ie you’ll be able to find all the details you need about this and every other Irish film being produced at the moment. Enjoy your stay and make sure to listen to Phantom FM 105.2, a really brilliant radio station based in Dublin with lots of really good film shows and content. Hope the info helps. I worked on Tim Robbins movie “Cradle Will Rock” in 1998 while living in New York. He spends lots of time here for some reason.
Safe journey, enjoy and keep up the good work.
Devin replies: I made it to the Lynott statue (look for a picture in the next Devin Go Bragh photo update) and I dran at Bruxelles, where a madly drunken Irishwoman tried to mug me for 20 Euro, yelled at me in gaelic and then jumped up on me and wrapped her legs around my waste. An interesting people, the Irish.
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL!
dIn which many of my points and thoughts about Ireland get responded to and rebutted
Tony shouts: Devin,
***Some of the Irish love Che. I saw shirts with his face that said: ‘Shea. Alive and well in Eire.’ ***
They love Che, as most Europeans do, for the socialist rhetoric etc. but also because the famous image of che as seen on t-shirts and posters the world over was originally created by Jim Fitzpatrick who painted "Thin Lizzys" celtic album covers.
***I found out that while the English call these guys chavs, in Belfast they’re spides (a moment of brogue-related hilarity: Barry says, ‘I don’t know why they’re called spides.’ ***
They’re called spides because they can frequently be seen sporting tattoos of spiders or webs on their neck, head or other parts.
For Americans with an attachment to Ireland and travel over here with a need to connect, they must be disabused of any romantic political views of the "Struggle" concerning both sides. As someone who was born and has grown up in Dublin and who comes from a traditionally working class Republican family -my father’s uncle was a founding member of Fianna Fáil, the Republican Party- no decent person I know in the south, a very large majority, supports the actions of the "provisional" IRA. They are not the original Republican Army who fought for freedom against the British Empire, they are a splinter group formed in 1969. There are relatively few in backwater towns and main cities who ignorantly support the provisional IRA, the provo IRA were never really in favour nationally and caused more problems while solving none.
The IRA of the 70’s is not the official IRA of struggle against opression but a genuine terrorist organisation who are also criminals to boot, who benefit from terror and fuel the fires of Unionist paramilitary terror groups and the continued needless killing of innocents of both sides.
The IRA now is mostly made up of small splnter groups with nowhere to go and individuals with guilty consciences, As many have attested.
The conflict between both communities in the north has led to far too much bloodshed, mainly because of paramilitary groups, so we on this island know this more than most. When foreigners come across the sea with ideas attributed to one side or the other, we frankly find it patronising, ignorant and silly.
When Americans, I say Americans because generally they are the main culprits, come over with naive notions of fighting for freedom, it’s a bit like us supporting the confederates or militias in hicksville. It’s also makes Americans sound like George W. Bush, who is someone many Americans would rather not be associated with, I believe.
The communities on both sides in the North have a lot to deal with in terms of reconcilliation, no right-mided people in the North or South think in terms of territory any longer. Nationalism is dead when it comes to killing for the sake of killing, we know this from history.
All these issues are too complicated to just spout any kind of simplistic rhetoric, just as a sidenote: the IRA were Nazi collaborators and sought arms from them during WWII, just that small aside can change or colour the way you feel about any political group, not completely doubt their conviction but make you think of what sacrifice is, it’s consequences and what you will do for Nationalism. Nothing is black and white, just infinte colors and shades.
Freedom is a much bastardised word now, use it wisely.
What need you being come to sense,
But fumble in a greasy till,
And add the halfpence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer, until
You have dried the marrow from the bone?
For men were born to pray and save:
Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,
It’s with O’Leary in the grave.
Yet they were of a different kind,
The names that stilled your childish play,
They have gone about the world like wind,
But little time had they to pray
For whom the hangman’s rope was spun,
And what, God help us, could they save?
Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,
It’s with O’Leary in the grave.
Was it for this the wild geese spread
They grey wing upon every tide;
For this that all the blood was shed,
For this Edward Fitzgerald died,
And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone,
All that delirium of the brave?
Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone,
It’s with O’Leary in the grave.
Yet could we turn the years again,
And call those exiles as they were
In all their loneliness and pain,
You’d cry, "Some woman’s yellow hair
Has maddened every mother’s son":
They weighed so lightly what they gave
But let them be they’re dead and gone,
They’re with O’Leary in the grave.
Sorry for ranting.
By the way, I love your film articles and the site in general.
Devin replies: Tony, great and informative email. I’m still struggling with writing the second part of my travelogue – the part where I visit Troubles spots in Belfast – because of the overwhelming amount of information Irish readers have sent to me about the IRA and the civil war in the North.