"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

8 October 2014

Birthdays
Bella Thorne b. 1997 (Amityville: The Awakening, Wizards of Waverly Place)
Molly C. Quinn b. 1993 (A Christmas Carol [2009])
Barbara Palvin b. 1993 (Hercules [2014])
Michael Obiora b. 1986 (Doctor Who)
Kristanna Loken b. 1979 (Painkiller Jane, BloodRayne, Terminator 3:The Rise of the Machines, Mortal Kombat: Conquest, Sliders, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark, Aliens in the Family)
Martin Henderson b. 1974 (The Ring)
Matt Damon b. 1970 (Interstellar, The Zero Theorem, Elysium, Contagion, The Adjustment Bureau, The Brothers Grimm, Dogma)
Jeremy Davies b. 1969 (Constantine, Lost, Solaris, Teknolust)
Dylan Neal b. 1969 (Arrow, Haven, Smallville, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Stargate: Atlantis, Vampire Bats, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Relic Hunter, Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Maniac Mansion, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, War of the Worlds [1989 TV])
Emily Proctor b. 1968 (Lois & Clark)
Karyn Parsons b. 1966 (Gulliver’s Travels)
Peter Greene b. 1965 (Earthling, The Mask)
Ardal O’Hanlon b. 1965 (Doctor Who, My Hero)
Igor Jijikine b. 1965 (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
Burr Steers b. 1965 (director, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
Ian Hart b. 1964 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)
Simon Burke b. 1961 (Pitch Black)
Nancy Anne Sakovich b. 1981 (Category 6: Day of Destruction, Relic Hunter, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, The Hidden Room, Beyond Reality)
Brad Greenquist b. 1959 (Heroes, Star Trek: Enterprise, Stargate SG-1, Charmed, Deep Space Nine, Conan [1997 TV], Star Trek: Voyager, Pet Sematary, Mutants in Paradise)
Steven Katz b. 1959 (writer, Shadow of the Vampire)
Darrell Hammond b. 1955 (Netherbeast Incorporated, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Michael Dudikoff b. 1954 (Zombie Break Room, Cyberjack, TRON [1982])
Terry Hayes b. 1951 (writer, From Hell, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior)
Sigourney Weaver b. 1949 (The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes, A Monster Calls, Vamps, The Cabin in the Woods, Avatar, The Village, Galaxy Quest, Snow White: A Tale of Terror, Ghostbusters, Alien)
James Harper b. 1948 (Armageddon, The Burning Zone, Deep Space Nine, Quantum Leap, Beauty and the Beast [1989 TV], Freddy’s Nightmares)
William Broyles b. 1944 (writer, The Polar Express, Planet of the Apes (reboot), Apollo 13)
R.L. Stine b. 1943 (writer, Goosebumps)
Chevy Chase b. 1943 (Hot Tub Time Machine, Jack and the Beanstalk [2010], Zoom, Last Action Hero, Memoirs of an Invisible Man)
Sue Randall b. 1935 died 26 October 1984 (My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone)
James Olson b. 1930 (Amityville II: The Possession, Project U.F.O., Battlestar Galactica [1978], The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Strange New World, The Andromeda Strain, Moon Zero Two)
Frank Herbert b. 1920 died 11 February 1986 (won 1966 Nebula for Dune)
Kirk Alyn b. 1910 died 14 March 1999 (Battlestar Galactica, Superman [1978 and 1948], Beginning of the End, When Worlds Collide)
Rouben Mamoulian b. 1897 died 4 December 1987 (director, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [1931])

Last year, the Picture Slot went to Dune, still one of my favorite sci-fi books from my teenage years. This year, it's Sigourney Weaver, who has the triple threat of being an A List movie star with plenty of iconic roles in genre and of course a fabulous babe. Next year's choice is wide open. Matt Damon is to my mind the other major A List star here, but for iconic, I might pick Kristianna Loken from Terminator 3, Ian Hart from the first Harry Potter, James Olson from the original version of The Andromeda Strain or Kirk Alyn from Superman.

Fun trivia from this morning research: Sue Randall is best known as Miss Landers from Leave It To Beaver.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories. 

Movies released
Demolition Man released, 1993  
Predictor: Anonymous writer in the New York World, writing in March 1911 about the first of February, 2011

Prediction: The great co-operative societies absorbed the small factories and shops long ago. Each has a tower in which all branches of its industry are conducted. It is upon the terrace of one of these that John Smith's aerotaxi sets him don. It is called The Shoe House, for the elegant John Smith is a shoemaker in the morning. The extreme division of fortunes and labor abolished all idlers in this society, where every one takes his share of moderate work that is never tiring and even manual labor is no longer considered degrading.

The workshop is vast. His wall has fifty tiers of cells lighted from the outside - like the cells of a giant dove-cote a thousand feet high. Each cell contains one man or several men, but machinery does everything and the workman is only the intelligence that directs. .

On arriving, Mr. Smith registers his presence and goes to his own compartment, where he sits comfortably  in an arm chair at a table covered with instruments. Mirrors enable him to watch in the space occupied by the machines, which fill the center of the skyscraper from the cellar to the roof. From time to time he touches a spring, interrupts or opens a circuit or sends a message over the telephone, holding in his plump hand (as soft as that of a bureaucrat) the little lever which regulates the movement of a wheel one hundred feet in diameter that automatically performs the work formerly done by a hundred men.

Mr. Smith's every movement is registered by a dynamometer. Another machine registers the number of hours he is at work. These records are transmitted to a central machine which automatically calculates his salary.

When his attention is not immediately necessary he chats with distant persons, listens attentively though the microphone to the lectures of some professor at Columbia or Harvard is giving to his pupils.

The clocks of the city chime noon. The workman's day is over. A few hours have sufficed for a world of workers to produce whatever mankind needs in food, clothes, paper, light, heat, etc. for a day. A slot above his desk opens and John Smith's daily salary falls out. He is free for the rest of the day.
 

Reality: This is a strange mixture of the easy life in the future of The Jetsons with the creepy overtones of constant surveillance found in 1984 or Brazil. The idea that no work is degrading is an echo of Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward, the very influential view of the future published in the late 1880s. The "listening to lectures" part is real enough now with YouTube, but most workplaces frown on such multitasking during business hours.

And of course, there's the three to four hour work day.  Hmm... not so much. And then there's the aerotaxi. Regular readers know my feelings about flying cars.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Keeping score on ESPN's baseball expert predictions so far. (Spoiler alert: not good.)

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

10 comments:

  1. "Mr. Smith's every movement is registered by a dynamometer. Another machine registers the number of hours he is at work. These records are transmitted to a central machine which automatically calculates his salary."

    So, humans are supposedly the intelligence controlling the machine but THINKING (which requires no movement) is not rewarded, only hours in a chair and movements measured by a machine.

    And as for "even manual labor is no longer considered degrading," I'd find it easier to believe if the prime example given in these super-futures was of sewer workers and septic tank repairmen rather than the usual office drones, or if everyone was required to do that work, kinda like jury duty.

    Looks like Dylan Neal is another "Hey, it's a Canadian!" which would explain why he has been in so many genre projects.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I recall, the most degrading work Bellamy could think of was being a domestic servant.

      And of course, you have spotted the Canadian correctly.

      Delete
  2. This whole description makes me think of the world of Metropolis. Including the invisible drudge-workers...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sigourney Weaver, niece of Doodles, he of Spike Jones and then some fame. Great pick for top spot. I noticed that you didn't mention the Dune movie in your accolades. That is such a polarizing flick, I certainly enjoyed it but not many people did. Yes, the book was splendid, and even though the movie was not faithful to it I still found it a treat.
    As always, your blog is a great read, keep up the good work. BTW, I'm doing a tribute to the immortal, 86 years old!, Tom Lehrer on the show and the blog this week. You two have a lot in common. I'll bet you sing a mean Masochism Tango!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do love Tom Lehrer. One of the first newsgroups I belonged to back in the 1990s was alt.obituaries. The rules of the group said you weren't supposed to talk about the still living unless there was some healthwatch on them. The two exceptions about discussing the dead were 1) baseball and 2) Tom Lehrer. The reason for the Prof. Lehrer exception was how often newbies would show up and ask "Is Tom Lehrer still alive?" the answer of course still being YES, bless him.

      Delete
  4. Just noting that Emily Proctor should count as a Fabulous Babe. (Same likely true of Olivia Sequin, but as she's just now 21, deference from Dirty Old Man status is the better part of redheads.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many are the Fabulous Babes, the iconic roles not so much. As for Dirty Old Manhood, the publicity stills of Bella Thorne are way too Come Hither for a 17 year old, in the never humble opinion of a guy old enough to be her grandfather.

      Delete
  5. "Hey, it's a Canadian!"

    Which makes me feel like I need to encourage you to consider the members of Rush as birthday boys, since they have had much genre work, and I will point out that their connection to Ayn Rand is muchly overblown...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Hey, Canadian!" would be a good label as long as I don't have to back date it.

      Delete
    2. Maybe we can call it "Hey, Canuckistani!"

      Delete

Traveler! Have you news... FROM THE FUTURE?