Monthly Archives: October 2014

Film Score

About a fortnight ago, I was really in the swing of things. Post’s every couple of days, visitors steadily climbing.

Dog reading paper

I figured that perhaps I was getting into the right mindset. I finally plucked up the courage to apply for the student paper; asking if I could write some film reviews, of which the Ripple seemed to lack.

The culture editor got back to me in no time and asked to see some samples of work, so of course, I directed him to my biggest source: here.

Now I wasn’t sure that was the best idea, but I figured if I gave him a heads up to my reviews of Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (sort of), then perhaps he would see some potential, and try me out.

I’m not really sure how long ago that was. But I’ve yet to hear anything. My friend Nick tells me that the culture editor is a busy man, and I understand that. But I can’t shake the feeling that my reviews aren’t very good (and that some of my last posts were long drawn out rambles about comic book movies, which I’m doubting people want to read about). I mean, each of them got a significant amount of views for the site, but the fact of the matter is that I really do need much more practice.

But with absolutely no money and not many films that I’d like to pay what I don’t have to see out at this moment, I figure the best thing to do is to look to my back catalogue of DVDs. The other day I found and bought Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Moon and The Ghost Writer for a fiver. So I guess I’ll start on those.

Unfortunately, the saddest part of this story is that I would have a new review for you in the form of Gone Girl. Me and Nick set up a little outing to go see it, but I was forced to pull out due to my duties to a help-line I volunteer for. But on the upside, I just helped train a load of new volunteers, so I can put ‘teaching experience’ on my C.V., if not ‘contributing writer’.

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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Film & TV, Life


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I wanted to be an artist, but that was shot down.
I decided to become a chef, until I was warned against it.
I toyed with being a comic book writer, but self-doubt steered me away.
I concluded that journalism was the way forward, but I never really read the news.
I figured a love of film would take me to screen-writing. I laughed that idea right out of my head.
I settled on film production, but really, there’s no chance.
I considered saving lives as a fireman; that one’s still on the table.
I debated travel writing and film critiquing. Let’s see what happens next.

Society tries to dictate that you decide what you want to do from a young age. My sister is only sixteen, and it’s been more than a year since she had to start taking the first steps towards the rest of her life. I’m almost five years older, and I still don’t know whether I’ve made the right decisions.

But when I was younger, I remember my parents would play a certain cassette tape. You probably know it. It went something like this:

“Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.”

So I’ll just keep moving on, and hopefully things will work out.

Here’s to trying.

 – Stéphane Emrys Moungabio

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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Life


The Justice League Movie Slate, Part Two: Overkill

So here we are again; I briefly talked about Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in part one.
In part two, I’ll talk a bit about the other eight DC films coming to the silver screen, before capping off with my thoughts on what this means for superhero movies in general.

2017 follows through with Wonder Woman and Justice League, Part One.


Now Wonder Woman, I’m not so sure about. It’s a must, that’s for sure. Wonder Woman is part of DC’s trinity; she’s easily as important as Superman and Batman; she just hasn’t had her time to shine. This movie needs to be made, and bringing it out before Justice League is important, I think. I also think it’s smart that DC have preempted that Wonder Woman doesn’t have as strong a following as Batman or Superman, and so have decided to introduce her in their joint flick. It gives the audience a chance to know what they are getting themselves into. And I think painting her as a child of Zeus is pretty cool too; it gives her a greater air of importance and highlights that she’s pretty powerful in her own right. She’s not just Superwoman with a golden lasso. Unfortunately, the only thing I’ve so far seen Gal Gadot in was Fast and Furious 6, and whilst I enjoyed it, the acting wasn’t exactly something I was wowed by, so this one remains a ‘wait-and-see’.


Justice League however, I am much more excited about. I remember when Avengers Assemble came out, and for the first time, the world was treated to a superhero team-up film that had brought together separate characters who could all carry their own pictures. Essentially, what is happening now is that we’re doing that again, except this time Batman and Superman are in it. Don’t get me wrong, as I said before, I much prefer Marvel, but even I can acknowledge that Batman and Superman are infinitely more important in popular culture than Captain America and Iron Man. It’s a shame. But it’s true. They’re awesome. Even if it completely flunks, it’s still going to be the biggest, most iconic comic book movie, like, ever.

2018 gives us a break from Justice League-y stuff (sort of) by presenting Aquaman and The Flash.


Out of the two, Aquaman is the one I would say I’m the most curious about. I don’t know too much about either character, but I remember finding the hooked, bearded Aquaman in the old Justice League cartoon to be particularly interesting. Or I probably just thought he was badass, because I was a kid, and that’s how I measured things back then; badass-ness. And to be fair, I think going in the direction the DCCU seems to be, that’s what Warner Bros. are aiming for. Not a prance-y orange Aquaman that everyone seems to think the character is, but an awesome, hulking brute who does whatever he wants, because he’s the King of the majority of the planet. And who better to portray that than Jason Momoa. He doesn’t look anything like Aquaman. And that’s important. It’s a shame people can’t seem to realise that Aquaman isn’t just a joke, despite his weird name, costume, and most obvious powers, but if Warner Bros. are going to change public opinion, Jason Momoa is the way to do it. He was Conan, for chrissakes.


I don’t really have much to say about The Flash if I’m honest. I didn’t think Ezra Miller really looked the part, but as I just detailed previously, that’s not especially important. One thing I’ve always thought when thinking about the Flash is that he’s the youthful member of the League, whether that actually be the case or not, and Miller definitely shows that. I’m going to try to figure out more of an opinion later though; might watch The Flash TV pilot after this is all done.

Getting near to the end, 2019 returns to Justice League-dom with Justice League, Part Two and Shazam.

And reading those two, my anticipation for 2019 sky-rockets.


I don’t know whether it was a mistake on behalf of CBR, but I feel like that ‘Part Two’ is the most important part of the whole announcement, as it obviously indicates that the Justice League is a two parter, rather than a film and its sequel. In my opinion, that in itself shows that this whole Justice League plan isn’t going to be as rushed as everyone thinks it is, because it means that essentially, DC are taking three films to tell the story of the Justice League’s formation, rather than just one. Dawn of Justice see’s the League beginning to unite, Part One brings up the threat that unites them, and Part Two rounds them out as the World’s Greatest Heroes. Or so I assume. Either way, it’s one to watch.


And then there’s Shazam! with Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam. Again, Shazam isn’t a character I know too much about, but from what I do know, he could be one of my favourite DC characters. More importantly, however, this film will most probably be the biggest detour from the dark, gloomy route that DC is taking with their other films, seeing as Shazam/Captain Marvel is a kid/teenager. You’re not going to have a superhero film starring a child end with a villain having his neck snapped. It just wont happen. It’s just bizarre that Shazam is so late in the game, seeing as Johnson has already been cast…

Finally comes 2020, which is where the slate starts to lose me somewhat, finishing off the decade with a rebooted Green Lantern and Cyborg.

I don’t have too much to say about either of these, really, except that I wish they came earlier on, so DC could save the best until last, which definitely isn’t the case here.


Green Lantern will be interesting purely because it, hopefully, will be a big sci-fi epic, rather than your standard super-hero film, which was one of my favourite things about Man of Steel. It was the sci-fi film that I had been waiting for all of 2013, and the one that Star Trek Into Darkness turned out not to be.


Cyborg, however, is the biggest disappointment in my eyes. It’s a good move because it means DC is giving a black super-hero a film before anyone else (not counting Hancock here), but that’s about it. I know Cyborg has been a founding member of the Justice League for three years now, but his inclusion means a lack of Martian Manhunter, one of the true founders of the Justice League, way back in nineteen-whenever. Martian Manhunter is one of the Leaguers that near everyone grew up with. The only way he isn’t is if you only got into comics in the last three years, and read exclusively new material, which is a shame. I’m not saying Martian Manhunter could carry a film better than Cyborg, I just think neither of them could do better than someone else, say Hawkman. There are other films I’d much rather see, especially seeing as how in my mind, these two are the Black Widow or Hawkeye of the Justice League. They should be in the League only, without a solo film. Better yet, take a few steps back and put Cyborg back in the Teen Titans where he belongs.

If DC want diversity, they can just use John Stewart for Green Lantern rather than Hal Jordan. After all, it’s not a new universe.

The biggest problem with all of this however is that there’s no way that comic-book movies won’t outstay their welcome so much quicker now.

Marvel and DC both have at least two films a year scheduled to 2020 and 2028 respectively, and then on top of that you have one or two films from Fox and Sony. And then there’s the unannounced Batman and Superman sequels. Oy, it’s just too much.

“This is the [Film Schedule the world] deserves, but not the one it needs right now”

God, how awesome was The Dark Knight trilogy. I miss that.

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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Comic Books, Film & TV


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The Justice League Movie Slate, Part One: Entitlement


Breaking News

So two days ago, something big happened the world of comic book movies; you probably heard about it.

DC announced their movie schedule up until 2020, not including the next Batman and Superman films. Mostly new film ideas, intertwining stories, and two films with a large enough scale to rival The Avengers.

A Comic Fan’s Sense of Entitlement

Now ever since Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was announced, despite my preference to Marvel comics, I was always slightly more excited to see how DoJ would turn out than I was about whatever films Marvel was coming out with.

It doesn’t matter that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was one of my favourite superhero films ever, or that Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to be out of this world. What matters to me was that this was something new. I watch the Marvel films because I’ve read the source material, and I’m interested to see what the adaptations will be like. However, whilst at this stage I have read a fair few DC comics, for the most part, it is still relatively unknown to me, and as such the movies come across fresher; I’m just interested to see what the story will be, what will happen, and how DC are going to fight back against Marvel’s constant kicking of their arse’s.

So I was listening to an iFanboy podcast the other week, in which one of the speakers pointed out that the worst thing about comic book fans is their sense of entitlement. As fans, we have enjoyed these characters far longer than everyone else. We were reading about them at a time when people didn’t even know who they were. I remember back in 2007, I, being the weird little nerd that I am, updated my Hotmail (how times have changed, eh?) status to ‘R.I.P. Captain America’. I quickly deleted that, because I was inundated with questions asking who Captain America was. It’s only been seven years, but now everyone knows who Captain America is. EVERYONE. But I digress.

My point is, that I could tell you excruciatingly unimportant details about the Marvel Universe, and from my perspective, I have a certain informed viewpoint about how the characters should be. As such, I’m not that up for debating a lot of these topics, because the majority of the time, (I think) I will know the definitive answers and reasoning’s to the discussion from a comic point of view. Discussing it doesn’t interest me that much, because unless I’m talking to someone who is just as nerdy as I am, then really I’m just having to feign lack of knowledge so that my conversee (?) can try to make whatever point they’re trying to make without me shooting them down because (I think) I know they are misinformed. It’s unfortunate and a bit arrogant, but for most comic fan’s, it’s the truth. And even when it isn’t, that exact sense of entitlement that comic fans have mean that I wouldn’t admit it when I was wrong because I and others like me are so sure of our comic knowledge that we wouldn’t claim to be wrong unless we were just doing it to make someone feel better. That and the fact that most people I know aren’t that interested in comic book news like I am. And yes, there can be some joy found in educating someone in a subject, but sometimes there’s just too much ground to cover, and it becomes a bit much. Especially when the other party doesn’t actually care all that much

Again, I’ve gone off topic a bit. I think what I’m trying to say is that with DC, I don’t have that overconfidence about what I do and do not know. On a basic level, I get downgraded from ‘know it all’ to a bit more than a ‘casual observer’. I can have my opinions, and I can engage in a more interesting discussion about it, because I know enough to maintain a conversation, but I don’t know enough where said conversation will be one-sided.

Ten Movies, Five Years

So with that in mind, here are my thoughts on each film announcement; what I understand about it; what I expect to see; and what I would like to see.

2016 brings us Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.


I’ll try to keep my thoughts on BvS:DoJ brief, because frankly, we’ve all known about that one for a while now. After listening to various things and reading various sources, I have come to realise that doing what Marvel is doing, but backwards, is in fact the right way to go about things for DC. Although to some extent they are copying Marvel’s business model somewhat, if they were to copy it in the exact same way as Marvel actually do it, it would seem like far too much of a rip-off. DC needs to get their products out fast, but don’t have the luxury of testing the waters in the way that Marvel did, because if they tried and failed on any level, everyone would just dismiss them entirely. Establishing that Superman was not the first part of the DC Universe is important, because it means you can just jump straight in. Not everyone needs an origin story, and the majority of Justice League characters are fairly well-known anyway.


Suicide Squad, I think is also an interesting and smart move, especially considering that they’re looking to pull some big names to round out its roster. After the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, weirder properties have proven that they do have their place in the world of comic book film. More importantly, however, this would help hammer down the point that DC Universe didn’t start with Superman. To have a film about super-villain redemption, the super-villains need to have been around for some time in order for them to be captured and redeemed. This means, by extension, that unless all super-crime was dealt with by the authorities before Superman’s arrival, other heroes like Batman need to have also been around for quite some time. It reiterates that there is more going on than we’ve seen, and I feel like for DC’s approach to retain some level of uniqueness, that much is important.

But with that in mind, I’ll have to save the rest for part two, in which years 20172020 will follow.

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Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Comic Books, Film & TV


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12th Impressions: Doctor Who, Series 8

Looking at my page stats, this week has been one of the best weeks I’ve had for visitors since I typed my first post back on March 1st.

So thank you for that. Either my dissertation, Doctor Who, Dudeism or my drunken exploits are getting people interested.

I’m not entirely certain which topic it is, although I have my suspicions.

But for now, I’ve got more to say on Doctor Who, so here we go:



I’ve been wondering if I was a bit harsh about Doctor Who series eight yesterday. To recap, I described Capaldi’s portrayal of the Doctor as “sublime”, but claimed that the series as a whole was “mediocre” to down-right “shit”.

Here’s why:

I love Doctor Who. It has, and most likely always will be, my favourite television series. I was always partial to the Jon Pertwee videos in my aunts possession, and by the time the show was revived in 2005, I was already seeking out older episodes from the Hartnell era to watch from LoveFilm or whatever it was we used back in the day. Or back in my day. I’m only twenty.

But since it’s revival, Doctor Who has had its ups and downs.

The first series was fun, new and exciting. Sometimes, being a pre-teen, I even found it to be a little scary. But I was also a bit of a wimp at that age, so that’s probably why.

Series two was also enjoyable; Tennant breathed new life into the franchise that it unknowingly needed, injecting the show with the neccessary speed and romance that people look for in television. At first, I wasn’t a fan of how Doctor 10 kept getting off with his companions, but I’ll get to that later.

Series three; more of the same, but not quite as good. However, the introduction of John Simms The Master was a thing of beauty. He bounced off of Tennant’s Doctor with untold enthusiasm, and nearly made the Doctor’s weird Christ-like power-up at the very end ignorable.

Series four; my personal favourite of the Tennant era. Although on re-watch, I’ve found that he does still continue necking his companions, for the most part, he found a friend in Catherine Tate, and the penultimate episode’s finale left me more on edge than anything I can remember watching. Ever.

The Specials continued to be a riveting experience. Even if they weren’t showing the show at it’s best, Tennant continued to wow us, as he proudly marched towards his swan-song.

Series five only got better. Sure, the episodes weren’t all fantastic, but some of my favourites showed up here, and like my new History of Art and Film lecturer, I fell in love with Matt Smith. Although probably not in quite the same way…

Series six was the calm before the storm, as it were. But not in a bad (storm) way. We finally found out who River was to the Doctor, but for the most part, the episode’s were a bit crappy.

Which, in my opinion, was not the case in series seven! A new format with blockbuster episodes made the Weeping Angel’s interesting again, and killed off not one, but two companions. Well, sort of three, actually. Or four, depending on how you look at it…

Then there was the Day of the Doctor, which quickly became one of my favourite Who episodes ever. Not because the story was particularly good, because it wasn’t about the story, at all. It was about the in-jokes, the references, and the history. It was pure fan-service. It was amazing.

And then came the Time of the Doctor, and I begun to realise what I had started to worry since series 6 was, in fact, the case. Moffat was losing his touch.

Don’t get me wrong; Moffat is still a fantastic writer. I had held off on watching Sherlock until this past summer. And when I finally did, I watched pretty much all three seasons in one sitting. They’re frickin’ amazing. Have you seen them? Of course you have.

But there are only nine episodes total of Sherlock, and Moffat didn’t write them all. He (hopefully) hasn’t hit his peak yet, not like with Doctor Who. Not like with Day of the Doctor.

It could be that seeing the Day of the Doctor, and holding it to such a high standard, anything that followed would be a disappointment. But I really don’t think that that is the case. What I think, is that the show needs a new pair of eyes to look things over. Steven Moffat always worked best when he could dedicate his time to writing the best episodes of the series, whilst Russell T. Davies coordinated it’s direction, whilst providing an overarching storyline worth investing in.

But Moffatt has made it clear that’s not how he wants it. Gone, for the most part, are two parters. And whilst overarching stories do still exist, it is on a very different level than they used to be.

When he first took over the show, it retained all of this stuff, but we’ve seen it slowly fizzle out over the years, and I think we are worse off for it.

I personally think this overarching storyline has faltered primarily because it’s far more interesting watching sub-plots like Clara questioning Doctor 12’s new actions and behaviour; whereas I lost interest in the ‘Nethersphere’ storyline after episode one. It’s obviously important, but why should we care? It’s not like ‘Bad Wolf’, when it was subtle enough that we weren’t forced to focus on it, or the exploding Tardis when why the hell would you not want to know what’s going on. We just follow along because we have to. We’re not given a choice, as the ‘Nethersphere’ scene’s are awkwardly stuffed into episodes, as we watch random, unimportant character’s deal with being in ‘Heaven’.


Futhermore, Moffat’s episode’s, in my opinion, are no longer the best of the series. Of the episode’s I liked the most, Moffat has only written one of them, and he didn’t even write it all by himself (The Caretaker). In fact, I feel like I mostly enjoyed it because it didn’t feel like he wrote it. The other was last night’s Mummy on the Orient Express. It was good, old-fashioned fun; a creepy monster; an interesting story; a bit of meaningful drama. I loved it.


But those are the only two I loved.


Robot of Sherwood was fun, but a bit too silly at times.


Into the Dalek was a tad bland, and dragged at the end.


On the flip-side, Time Heist and Listen seemed like they were going somewhere, but then felt like they rushed their conclusion.


Kill the Moon was interesting, if only because the Doctor was being a dick. Otherwise, ‘the moon’s an egg’. What?


And on first viewing, I thought Deep Breath was so bad that it made me question whether Doctor Who was still my favourite show. The scene’s with Capaldi and Coleman were great. The scene’s with the Paternoster gang were not. And that was most of the episode. And I feel like I can say this despite the good reviews it has been given. Do you know why? Because if you read those reviews, their basic point is always ‘It was a good episode because Capaldi has proven himself a good Doctor’. Not the story. Not the other characters. Capaldi. Such is the case for the whole series. Coleman and Anderson have their moment’s too.


Now, upon second viewings, some of these episodes are, admittedly, a little more enjoyable. But frankly, I said the same thing about series 6. I can enjoy them both when I watch them again, but at the same time, I still realise that both of them are leave me wanting. After all, I enjoyed G.I.Joe: Retaliation. Doesn’t mean it’s a good film (and, truthfully, I actually enjoyed G.I.Joe more than most of these episodes, which is worrying).

Again, it’s not that I don’t like Moffat. I think he’s fantastic. But I also think he can do better. And that, for me, is the (main, but at this stage, I’ve rambled on for 1402 words, so I’ll come back to the other reasons) problem with series 8. It’s proven it can be great. But most of the time, it just doesn’t seem to bother trying.

Shame, really.

(On a more postitive note, those Radio Times posters are pretty cool, right?)

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Posted by on October 12, 2014 in Film & TV


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Oh, well, ‘F you’ iTunes: Capaldi’s Overpriced Doctor Who


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m a pretty big fan of Doctor Who.

It’s safe to say it’s my favourite show; I’ve loved it since its conception (or at least, since I was shown its conception); the only reason I cant lay claim to being a die-hard Whovian as of yet is because I’ve not yet watched any Colin Baker Who.

But that notwithstanding, I am very much a die-hard Whovian.

As such, I’ve spent the last few years collecting every Doctor Who episode via iTunes. And by every episode, I unfortunately mean modern Who, because iTunes hasn’t got the whole library of classic Who at it’s disposal.

No one does, in fact, because in the sixties and seventies, the BBC thought it would be a good idea to delete half of Patrick Troughton’s episodes to save space.

Good work guys.

But that’s not what this is about.

What this is about, is my ongoing quest to collect every Who episode. But not in a boring way, like, *nerdy nasal voice* Oh, I love Doctor Who, it’s an outstanding and somewhat ground-breaking piece of television; I particularly like Pyramids of Mars for Tom Baker’s thoroughly riveting portrayal of the Doctor, and the rather innovative story-line! *nerdy voice ends* (because I’ve never actually watched Pyramids of Mars, despite my previous claim of being a die-hard Whovian) I do have a more sincere point.

Unfortunately, I realise now that I am beating around the bush slightly.

My basic point is that the last few series of Doctor Who rose from £9.99 to £14.99. This price was pushing the boundaries ever so slightly, but was still somewhat acceptable.

Around this same time, series one and two of modern Who rose to the ridiculous price of £20.99. Christopher Eccleston was a fine Doctor, but watching his series now, it’s very much clear that Doctor Who was in it’s early days.

The stories were fine. The visual effects were not.

So when I logged on to perhaps buy a season pass for season eight, and saw that it is now £24.99, I felt like someone was pulling my leg.

Sure, Peter Capaldi’s a good Doctor, like Christopher Eccleston, but that doesn’t mean the show is still at the same standard as it was when, say, David Tennant was the Doctor.

Frankly, there have only been one or two episodes this season when I’ve watched the show and thought “Huh, that was a pretty good episode”, because frankly, so far, season eight has been a bit shit.
(Stephen Moffat, I’m looking at you, but that’s another post for another time).

Bar Capaldi, of course; his portrayal of the Doctor has been sublime.

So when I see a ‘£24.99’ price tag on the season eight series pass (that’s Standard Definition), I only have one thing to say:

Fuck off, Apple, and stop being such a C–t…


Doesn’t look right…

But frankly, I’d rather not type that word on my blog. I feel like despite the fact that my house-mates influence my vocabulary ever so slightly, I still have a measure of restraint.

But you know what I’m trying to say.

£24.99 for a currently mediocre series is outlandish. I don’t think I’ve ever used the term ‘daylight robbery’ more accurately, but that is what this is.

The sad thing is that I’m that much of a nerd that I won’t be happy until my collection is complete, so I’ll have to pay it at some point.

But I won’t be happy about it.

So fuck off, Apple. Fuck off.

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Posted by on October 11, 2014 in Film & TV


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The Dude’s Prayer


There are times *cough*yesterday*cough* when I tend to be “very un-Dude”.

By that, I mean I stress out; I worry; I complain.

Everyone does; I’m allowed.

Half of the time this happens, I roll with it. I don’t get worked up. Everything works itself out.

The other half *cough*yesterday*cough* I don’t roll with it. I get worked up. And everything works itself out anyway.

As detailed in my previous post, I got drunker than I would have liked, spent more money would have liked, and woke up yesterday regretting it more than I would have liked.

I struggled on. I went rock-climbing. I had a great time.

Today, I got informed that despite past e-mails, I would still be able to take my chosen Screen-writing module, and my course was realigned with its optimum route. Then I had a class in which I watched Breaking Bad. It was “far out man. Far fuckin’ out.”

And then, as if to round out this rather Dude-ly day, the Dudeism page posted first a link for Ordained Priest I.D. cards , followed by a video of the Dudely Lama performing the Dude’s Prayer five years back at Lebowski-fest.

So here it is; the perfect way to round out my rather chill day.

“Our Dude, who art in Los Angeles,
Hallowed be thy handle.
Thy rug will come,
Thy chill be done,
All over Earth, as it is in your bungalow.

Give us this our daily caucasian,
And forgive us our stresspasses,
As we forgive those who stresspass against us,
And lead us not into Simi Valley,
But deliver us from real reactionaries and human paraquat.
For thine is the lane, the ball, and the what-have-you,
Down through the ages, across the sands of time,
Lodged against the abutment.

Fuckin’-A, man.”


Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Film & TV, Life


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