My latest bit of silliness cooked up at 3am upon hearing that Gordon has been upgraded to a tropical storm. Batten down the hatches, there’s a storm coming!
Well, I was going to post a teaser for a new video project I’m working on, but YouTube doesn’t like the music I used, so I’m left without anything interesting to show for my next ambitious endeavour. If you’ve been to Disney’s ElecTRONica dance party either at California Adventure or Hollywood Studios, you might be familiar with the Power Surge stage show before the official opening of the party. I’m at present working on recreating a version of the show to enjoy at home. More details as they come, but for now, please enjoy my other offerings at my YouTube channel!
Okay, so being a fan of both the Star Wars franchise and Disneyland, it was really only a matter of time before I made a little write-up about the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction at Disneyland (and Walt Disney World).
Apart from griping about the fact that some permutations of the ride experience involve elements from the godforsaken prequel films, Star Tours is just as campy and silly as the original ride. Disney Imagineers did a fantastic job of updating the entire experience for a new generation of fans. The queueing area feels more like a “legitimate” spaceport and less like some Quonset hut in a backwater rim world–this I’m not sure how I feel about. The original Star Tours had the same kind of feel as the original trilogy films: low-tech, analog, hastily constructed, and ad hoc. Now, the whole scene seems more elegant: Solari boards are replaced with high-resolution LCD displays, maintenance droids are replaced with security officer droids (albeit with similar whimsical attitudes about their jobs), and there’s no more People Mover running through the station.
Whether or not I appreciate the “upgrades,” I love the attention to detail and subtle nods to the original attraction. Oh, and the fact that Patrick Warburton voices one of the afore-mentioned security droids. In all, it’s definitely worth the trip to the park if you haven’t ridden it yet.
After a little searching, I happened to find a copy of the original video feed from the ride. Rex (the original pilot droid, voiced by the incomparable Paul Rubens) does not appear in the footage as it is the actual screen projection (probably recorded on VHS considering the tracking issue), but all the music, sound effects, and voices remain. The part that I enjoy the most is fact that it was filmed completely with models–not the CGI bullshitery that permeates Hollywood now (and ST:TAC is unfortunately no exception to this rule)–something about it just makes it look that much more real.
“Everything that happens before Death is what counts.”
–Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes
Earlier this week, one of the greatest writers of our time (or any time) was taken from us. I freely admit that I might have lifted a copy of Fahrenheit 451 from my school library, and it became one of those books that just changes your perspective forever. Like The Power of Myth, 1984, and Anthem, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit spoke to me in a way that few books ever can. In addition, as an avid fan of The Twilight Zone, Bradbury holds a special place for having written several episodes of the series. So, to memorialize Mr. Bradbury, I just wanted to mark the end of the week with a post about him and top it off with a fitting tribute piece from a fellow DA Deviant, Gabriel Rodriguez.
I’m a Treasure Hunter. I guess that explains a lot.
Another bit written by Chris, posted for posterity.
Born unto Bavarian aristocracy, Armand Lestat Clovis grew up privelidged, but lonely. He hated the constant aloofness and arrogance his position demanded. A constant, building resentment of stereotypes and mass popular society started at a very early age. His parents were always the life of every party they hosted, which was almost a daily event. Armand hated this. He despised the shallow, champagne-sipping, conformist persons his parents were involved with. He was the complete opposite of his parents. They, the rich aristocracy, and always willing to rub that fact in. Armand, an intellectual realist and philosopher, who would rather be poor and happy. To his parents dismay and anger, he would spend their parties alone reading or writing. Always the quiet loner, he relished playing tricks on his parents’ guests. After an incident involving crossed wiring and a few other gizmos he rigged together under the punchbowl, Armand’s parents decided they had been subjected to enough misbehaviour and sent him to boarding school in England.
Ecstatic to be so far removed from his parents, Armand turned out to be quite the bright pupil, thus was allowed a leave of absence on the weekends. Of course, Armand never quite made it back to the family castle–he spent his time around Picadilly Square in nearby London, in the arcades, or in the used bookstores. He also fell in with the underground movements and styles, and this soon melded his eccentric, more romantic realist than anything else, personal styles and ways. He was soon an ecclectic mix of punk, goth, and Thoreau-styled philosopher/intellectual. This soon led way to an educational but illiegal habit with some friends, stealing books. This small band was soon known as only the 451ers, after Ray Bradbery’s book, Fahrenheit 451.
During a stint in one of these old hang-outs, Armand happened upon the manager who was about to dispose of an odd-looking game machine. Armand asked the manager if he could look at the machine. Thus, Armand had his first real practical application of electronics: he restored an original Space Invaders cabinet to perfect working order. It was about this time that Armand also met an interseting individual–a sort of Zen Pinball Master. A combination of Confucius and The Who’s “Tommy.” He taught Armand much about life and devulged all of his wisdom to the teenager. Around this time Clovis “aquired” a used copy of J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”, and soon aquired the nickname of Holden from the many similarities between the main character, Holden Caulfield, and himself.
After going on Holiday in the spring, Armand and his roommate, James, the remiss son of the CEO of the British Broadcasting Corporation, pooled their combined intelligences and built a small radio station able to be received throughout the campus and surrounding hamlet. This illiegal station, and the busting of the 451ers, soon got Armand arrested. He was allowed to keep his rather large liberary due to lack of evidence, and his portion of the equipment of the station. Consequently, Armand was returned to Germany, but disowned by his socialite parents.
Having nowhere else to go, Armand, now eighteen, sold the station parts to James, and a few books, and bought a bus fare to the recruiter’s office. He quickly enlisted into the newly-formed U.N. Spacy where he went through basic training, then to radio school, and finally to pilot school. Around this time, Clovis had a short but monumetal relationship with a blind date, Moira, set up by an old friend from basic training. Upon recieving his wings,
Corporal Clovis was assigned to the 12th Veritech Tactical Attack Squadron, Galaga Squadron, on board the SDF-1. Soon after assignment, Moira ended the relationship and Clovis seemed to lose his mind in the following weeks. Proving to be an excellent pilot despite his glasses, he rose through the ranks quickly and was soon a staff seargent. He was then assigned corporal Kellen Rand as wingman. Soon the team was known for their bravery and ferocity. Rand was quickly promoted to lieutenant and reassigned to the 42nd VTAS, Angst Squadron. Earth Defense high command soon transferred Clovis as well, fearing repercussions from splitting up the infamous team.
Okay, Chris actually wrote this, I’m just posting it for posterity.
7 Okt. 2014
There’s just some days I wonder why we go on. There’s nothing in this portion of space. Our patrols have been uneventful for weeks, but I doubt the Zentraedi have abandoned this sector. They logically couldn’t have, it being a major space armada attack force route. They may be massing somewhere for a large scale attack, and this has make some of the squadron more nervous than usual. Or more drunk than usual, whichever the case may be….. Our last major combat gave us all a strategy. But its been so long since then, and we’ve had enough time to refine this strategy, but it may be at the point of refining that the strategy as been refined almost to the point of corruption by over-refining. This situation is quite similar to a situation we had back in Galaga squadron. Our CO had refined his and our strategies so precisely that they worked too well, thus resulting in in five dead Spacy pilots. Lt. Cmdr. J. Peters, our CO, was among that count. These deaths were not in vein, however. Since it was of the first deep space skirmishes, the intel we managed to bring back, along with our internal gun camera footage, aided the U.N.S. in formulation and teaching of advanced combat techniques that exploited the Zentraedi weaknesses. It was after this battle I was promoted, and assigned Rand as wingman. Thus, a premonition of things to come, being Angst. But is it also a premonition of history repeating itself, and imminent disaster approaching? Time will only tell. But the constant ‘what ifs’ that really punctuate the slowness of time passing.