Archive | October 25, 2007

Recycled Disinfo

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

I just saw Lynne Cheney interviewed on the Daily Show, and she made the same argument as the one that Lindsey Graham made in January – that the lack of progress in Iraq is no big deal, since it also took the United States a fair while after the revolution to get a constitution.

What I said then still applies:

Sorry, no. The United States’ first constitution was adopted provisionally in 1777, and formally ratified in 1781. What is conventionally called “the” U.S. Constitution was the second one. … And if [Cheney] is suggesting that the level of civil chaos in Iraq today is comparable to that of the United States in the 1780s, I think the historians among us might venture a dissent.

No Cliffhangers Here

One of the reasons given for not filming Atlas Shrugged as a trilogy, Lord of the Rings style, is that, by contrast with Lord of the Rings, the middle book of Atlas ends with a cliffhanger (as Dagny’s plane, its engine failing, hurtles downward toward the crags of the Colorado Rockies).

That’s so true; there’s no way you could make a trilogy of movies out of a work whose middle part ends with a cliffhanger. Thank goodness, then, that the middle book of Lord of the Rings doesn’t end like this:

Samwise in Mordor The great doors slammed to. Boom. The bars of iron fell into place inside. Clang. The gate was shut. Sam hurled himself against the bolted brazen plates and fell senseless to the ground. He was out in the darkness. Frodo was alive but taken by the Enemy.

And ditto for the upcoming Barsoom saga, likewise being filmed as a trilogy – which they’d never be able to do if the second book had ended like this:

fun on Barsoom And as she finished speaking I saw her raise a dagger on high, and then I saw another figure. It was Thuvia’s. As the dagger fell toward the unprotected breast of my love, Thuvia was almost between them. A blinding gust of smoke blotted out the tragedy within that fearsome cell – a shriek rang out, a single shriek, as the dagger fell.

The smoke cleared away, but we stood gazing upon a blank wall. The last crevice had closed, and for a long year that hideous chamber would retain its secret from the eyes of men. …

Ah! If I could but know one thing, what a burden of suspense would be lifted from my shoulders! But whether the assassin’s dagger reached one fair bosom or another, only time will divulge.

The story also mentions the Matrix and Star Wars trilogies. The second acts of those trilogies certainly didn’t end on cliffhangers either, did they?

Tarkas Is Willing

Not only is Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars series finally headed toward the big screen after spending nearly eight decades in development hell, but it looks like they’re planning a trilogy – presumably of the first three books (Princess, Gods, and Warlord), which form a natural unit in the series. Story here.

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