Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Saskatoon is in the room

Wherein Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago

In a Tuesday Morning Quarterback, filled with more than the usual amount of whiny moralization and finger-wagging, Gregg Easterbrook complains:
Sequel in Development: Mothra vs. Cloverfield: New York City gets destroyed in "Cloverfield," the silly-sounding monster movie that opens Friday. New York was destroyed in "Independence Day," in "Escape from New York," in "I Am Legend," in "The Day After Tomorrow," in "Planet of the Apes," in "A.I.," in "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," in the 1998 "Godzilla" remake, in all three King Kong movies, in the Tom Cruise movie version of "War of the Worlds," in the radio version of "War of the Worlds" and now in the Godzilla-esque "Cloverfield." How about a disaster movie that destroys Wichita or Saskatoon?

Other than the fact that New York is used for its iconic value because no one knows (or cares) what the heck fuck Wichita and Saskatoon looks like...how about it? I think the redundantly lettered flag football coach takes a few liberties with his movie facts.
  • Independence Day. No direct indication that aliens destroyed Wichita and Saskatoon, but millions world-wide were murdered. McConnell Air Force Base is in Wichita, so quite likely received reprisals after the first failed attack on the alien ships. I'll say 50% chance Wichita was severely damaged, if not outright destroyed. -1 for Easterbrook. And another -1 for ignoring the destruction of Los Angeles.
  • Escape from New York. I won't even let my kindergartener daughter get away this sort of misrepresentation. New York wasn't destroyed, it was walled off and turned into a prison. It's a functioning city suffering from neglect of upkeep. Maybe in the Canadian remake it'll be "Escape from Saskatoon"; until then: does not apply. -2 for Easterbrook.
  • I Am Legend. Some sort of virus kills off most of the humans, leaving a few survivors and some zombie mutants. Again, New York is not destroyed, it is just shown in a state of extreme neglect because that's what would happen if everyone died. Since this was a global pandemic, we can assume that Wichita and Saskatoon suffered the same fate. -2 for Easterbrook
  • The Day After Tomorrow. Buried with snow, not destroyed. Couple of snowblowers and some rock salt everything is good as new. Anyway, if New York was destroyed by a superstorm ice age, I don't think there's much hope for Saskatoon. No one is wasting a helicopter trip looking for survivors there. According to the wiki description, "Survivors are forced to flee to the Southern and Southwestern United States and Mexico." Kansas is not in the South on or Southwest. Reading Geology of the Kansas City Vicinity: "The modern landscape of the region was shaped largely during the Pleistocene Epoch (Ice Age) when continental ice sheets advanced into northeastern Kansas and northern Missouri." Maybe not completely buried by a giant mountain of snow, but tens of thousands dead sounds likely. -2 for Easterbrook
  • Planet of the Apes. Once again, this movie does not destroy New York. What we see is 2,000 years in the future, after a nuclear war and talking monkeys flinging their talking monkey feces everywhere. Even without a nuclear war, two millenium would do a decent job of destroying everything. -2 for Easterbrook
  • A.I.. Haven't seen it, so relying on wiki: "Global warming has led to an ecological disaster resulting in a drastic reduction of the human population and rising sea levels. Cities like New York City and Venice lie in ruins. Mankind’s efforts to maintain civilization lead to the creation of android artificial intelligence." Do we see it destroyed or just the aftermath that wiped out many other cities around the globe? I'll call this one a push.
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I'm pretty sure I saw this and I don't recall New York being destroyed. There's a robot attack and substantial damage. No points either way.
  • 1998 Godzilla and all the King Kongs. Lots of damage, no destroyed city, and no evidence that maybe more than a couple hundred people were killed. In fact, I think just a cursory glance at the movies will show that the military did more damage than the monsters. No one is filming King Kong in Wichita or Saskatoon because there aren't any buildings to climb. -8 for Easterbrook
  • War of the World. New York and half the world. Whatever, here's two points, don't spend them all in one place.

For accuracy, Gregg Easterbrook scores a -16. Not too good. Stick to whining about football. Speaking of which, here's Gregg performing a Vulcan mind-meld on Tony Romo and judging his soul to be as black as coal (emphasis added):
Jersey/A seemed to sense that Romo was not properly prepared for the game and would wilt under pressure, which is what happened. Romo kept trying to throw deep, rather than throwing slants, which are the standard counter to the big blitz. You sensed Romo wanted to hit a deep pass so everyone would credit him for winning the game.

Oh what a selfish bastard he was. And then this:
At the end, it was the second consecutive season the Cowboys lost in the playoffs after their glam-boy quarterback spent late December and early January boasting to the media and mingling with celebrities instead of focusing on football.

I know nothing about media boasts but in the one vacation photo I saw it looked like Tony Romo was ignoring the bikini'd babes and was intently reading a large notebook folder that I seemed to sense was related to football. I have a lifelong hatred of the Dallas Cowboys (don't ask me why, I don't know why, I just do), so if you end up making me defend them you've massively screwed up several things.


Blogger Pastor_Jeff said...

Carl Reiner destroys Terre Haute in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (having already destroyed a small Peruvian island). So there's another -4 for ignoring just one movie where two nowheresville locations bit it.

1/15/2008 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger reader_iam said...

That Bill: As unconfused by non-facts as always. How annoying! (Not.)

Example XX of why I'll read your blog as long as you write it (even though--yes, I can be a slack-assed bastard--it's often in feed; but I'm trying to stop that).

Nicely done post.

1/16/2008 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

Worked out this morning to Soul Coughing's "Ruby Vroom" and will spend the rest of the day with "Saskatoon is in the room" bouncing around inside my skull. Gaaaahhhhh.

1/16/2008 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger XWL said...

How about a disaster movie that destroys Wichita or Saskatoon?

Depends on your definition of "destroys" first of all. When a horror/disaster movie is set in a small town/rural area, generally the terrors are aimed directly at people, the deaths gory, and the monsters a variant of zombies or vampires.

It's generally a personal sort of horror out in the suburbs/exurbs.

When attacks are in a city, it's lots of CGI porn of buildings crumbling, but a lot less of the up close and personal stuff.

Besides, Los Angeles definitely holds its own in that category, and if you did a property damage based evaluation of on screen destruction (and not just aftermath, but actual on screen building destruction porn), I bet LA has the lead in the disaster city of the 21st century sweepstakes. Off the top of my head, Transformers destroys a big chunk of downtown LA (but I think it's just anonymous citified area of unspecified designation), Live Free Die Hard destroys the 105 freeway near LAX (though I think it's supposed to be DC adjacent in the picture), the aforementioned Day After Tomorrow unleashes hellish tornadoes across Hollywood (all NYC has to deal with is a little bit of snow, boo effin hoo), and dipping back to the 20th century, you have Volcano, Towering Inferno, and Earthquake set in LA. Plus we had mad roving white men (Falling Down), mad roving black gangs (Colors, Boys In Da Hood, etc), pawn shops with B&D torture chambers (Pulp Fiction), and even the Bratz (any worse disaster than having the Bratz set in your area?).

I'd have to give Easterbrook a big heaping dose of fail.

(though if you count Doctor Who, London comes close, its major landmarks get toasted every Christmas)

1/16/2008 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Callimachus said...

See also this, including comments.

1/16/2008 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Thanks! Much more entertaining and comprehensive than Easterbrook.

1/17/2008 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger XWL said...

Not to beat a dead horse, but how could I have forgotten to add this movie to the LA list?

1/17/2008 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger barth said...

"Saskatoon is in the room" is not only a pretty good verse line (hence the 'hook'), it's also the perfect baseline for this place . Yes sirree, ages after the history of humankind has come a to grinding halt, the libraries will provide ample information for all sufficiently evolved lifeforms after us to learn from our mistakes - and successes. And if not, at the very least the books will come in handy as food or fuel.

5/08/2008 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Outis said...

I won't even let my kindergartener daughter get away this sort of misrepresentation.

And well you shouldn't! After all, she should be learning these kinds of things at her age. You don't want her to grow up to be a dumbass like Easterbrook.

9/02/2008 10:41:00 PM  

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