What the Boss Likes – Dieselpunk, Max Raabe and his excellent songs

If you are new to this blog, you may not know that Vel likes the world between 1920 and about 1950.  It’s often termed “dieselpunk”, taking a riff off the concept of “steampunk” which is about alternate history for the Victorian Era.   You of course can see I like the Art Deco style from the title logo.

Very fun 20s-30s versions of modern songs, as well as the usual American songbook songs.

We Will Rock You  – yes, it’s Queen

and yes, Oops I did it again

It reminds me of Riff Raff singing it.

and on Sesam Strasse – in German.  I haven’t a clue what he’s singing, but I love Sesame Street.

What the Boss Likes – Mob City, and a few movies

In the last month or so, I’ve had a chance to watch a few things that I have found worth the time.

The sequel to the first Thor movie, Thor: The Dark World was a lot of fun.  The plot was simple but it gave a lot of chance for interpersonal interactions.  Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the man was born to play the part.  I’ve read Marvel comics from the mid 70s until the mid 90s and was first introduced to them by a comic, Spider-man and Nightcrawler vs. Jigsaw, that my aunts got my brother (who never read it) and then the Marvel compilations in my school library.  I picked up the “Art of” book for the movie since I do love the Asgardian costuming in it.

A man with his own code, a woman dangerous and in danger, plus those willing to prey and profit on every weakness of mankind.   Yep, it’s noir and TNT’s new limited series “Mob City” (website launches video of first episode, and sound automatically, annoying but it does play an awesome torch song) delivers the goods.  Set in 1947 Los Angeles, this is a lovely period piece full of details. There are gorgeous suits, hats, dresses and cars. We get to see two clubs, the Clover Club for the upper crust and Bunny’s Jungle Club for everyone else, including our protagonist, Joe Teague.  Teague is a cop, a good cop, but one who’s halo has more than a few dents, not to mention the tarnish.  Bugsy Siegel is the high-level gangster du jour and Mickey Cohen is the gangster that runs LA.   Simon Pegg (yes, the fellow from Shaun of the Dead and Paul) plays an amazingly well done American comedian.

Please do watch it if you like dieselpunk and a good story of a black and white man in a gray world.

Another movie with noir in its DNA is Dark City, a very stylish and odd movie.  It did “this world isn’t real” before the Matrix did in 1999, beating it by a year.  It has Rufus Sewell as the hero, and he also made a great villain in one of my very favorite movies, A Knight’s Tale with Heath Ledger.

Last movie to be reviewed is Rango, an animated movie with Johnny Depp as a chameleon who becomes a western hero.  I have no idea what the audience for this movie is other than….my husband and I.  You have to know a lot about westerns, some about Hunter S. Thompson, and enjoy wonderful animation to really get this movie.  It’s really great and really strange.

That’s all.  Back soon!

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “expectations” of evidence or how presupposition can really screw you up

amazing what you can "expect" when you think you "know" something
amazing what you can “expect” when you think you “know” something

The following is my response to Ben’s comment on the Part 2 part of my interactions with him.  This was the one about the evidence that Christians apologists think they have for their god.  We got a bit off topic in the comments but it’s worth a post on its own.  My response has gotten rather long, so I’ll split it into two parts.   This one deals with “expectations” of evidence or how presupposition can really screw you up.

I agree with Ben in that critically examining human expectations for gods is crucial.  It allows us to understand humans better and that’s always a good thing.   The results from that examination will help us understand the world around us.  However, when Ben says that our expectation determines whether evidence supports or doesn’t support a hypothesis, he fails badly.   As the quote goes “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” (attributed to various sources).

Expectations are expectations.  Apologists only add “justified expectations” when they want to claim that their version of their religion is the only true religion ever.  Every religion thinks that their expectations of their god/gods are justified because they are *sure* their god exists, aka a presupposition that forms all of their claims. Ben may expect a god, but unless he can show it exists, it’s like expecting to see Sekhmet striding 100 meters tall leading the tanks in the modern Egyptian army.

Now, the scientific method does not and cannot work like this, and neither do my expectations about some supernatural force.  For example, Ben has tried to claim that this world is what one should expect if there is a god.  I don’t agree, and every bit of evidence points against the supposed existence and actions of a god in this world.

Ben believes that there is evidence for his god, and by this one would assume that he thinks he knows that there is no evidence for any other god or he would be worshipping those gods too.  He doesn’t expect those gods to be real though.  And here is where expectations of gods gets interesting.

How our expectations of gods formed?  Since there is no evidence of the supernatural, despite the always vague and secret claims of theists of their supposed experiences, we are left with stories told to us by people we trust.   We think that this trust can be applied to all situations with these people who we have deemed trustworthy, so we think that this trust justifies our belief, e.g. proves the belief,  in what they tell us.  However, it proves nothing, except that we have had reason to trust people in the past.   If those people who have told us a questionable claim have no evidence, no facts, then we have no reason to believe their claim. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “expectations” of evidence or how presupposition can really screw you up”

What the Boss Likes – Some time killers for a Friday

While I’m sitting here listening to the soundtrack of Rocky Horror Picture Show (my husband introduced me to this when we first were dating), let me show you some cool links.

Awesome photos of the tunnel projects in New York City: http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-nyctunnels/?cid=hero_media

Planetary romance webcomic of the same genre as “A Princess of Mars: http://www.perilsonplanetx.com/archives/comic/coming-soon

Hard-boiled noir webcomic: http://www.gravediggercomic.com/?comic=welcome-to-gravedigger

Steamfantasy webcomic: http://www.ineffableaether.com/2011/07/11/ch01s01-2/

Crowd sourced research: https://www.zooniverse.org/  (alas my computer at work is too old to do this anymore)

How to drink like a gentleman – H.L. Mencken

And as a reminder, always lovely pictures here.




What the Boss Likes – Random things

Stuff I think more people should know about…..

Reproductions of historical house bits that aren’t mind-numbingly expensive (I just left it on the Art Deco since that’s my favorite): http://www.houseofantiquehardware.com/Art-Deco  

Articles on how to be “manly” but works for men or women, basically how to be an expert human being. Hot Cocoa for everyone: http://artofmanliness.com/2012/12/17/the-surprisingly-manly-history-of-hot-cocoa/  

Awesome steampunk/dieselpunk/fantasy webcomic: http://www.ineffableaether.com/

A bazillion atheist-themed graphics: http://www.atheistmemebase.com/  and a few of my favorites:







Lovely historical costuming blog: http://mantuadiary.blogspot.com/  

Excellent perfumes and scents: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab   Just got a few of the RPG line ones in the imp ear size.  Favorite so far is a blend of Ranger (foresty) and Orc (leathery).  I find the descriptions very accurate.  The Bow and Crown of Conquest  in the Sin and Salvation line is also good, especially for a man. (you’ll have to scroll down a bit).

George Takei reading “50 Shades of Gray” – oh so definitely not safe for work but damn funny.  

Bits of weirdness:

Lamed Vav


Catatumbo Lightning

And educational but weird: XKCD’s What if?: Answering your hypothetical questions with physics, every Tuesday

What the Boss Likes – All the Queen’s Men

Getting up early-ish on a Saturday sometimes has its rewards.  I caught the movie All the Queen’s Men, a comedy about World War 2. Those are always rather dicey to watch, but often are very good, e.g. To Be or Not To Be either with Jack Benny or Mel Brooks, combining enough deadly serious reality, sadness and bitter irony with the humor. 

First off, don’t pay attentions to movie ratings.  This is good, who cares what some self-dubbed “film critic” says. It’s not Hamlet, (my favorite version and yes I like the tenth Doctor and the ninth and fourth aren’t so bad either) but there’s only so many times I want to watch lunatic familes killing each other. 

There are spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned. Continue reading “What the Boss Likes – All the Queen’s Men”

What the Boss Likes – Hard Magic by Larry Correia, and some political caveats about the writer

Hard Magic. Not the best cover I’ve seen but it shows two characters, Jake and Faye.

First off, I’ve just finished “Hard Magic” by Larry Correia. It’s very good, excellent dieselpunk with magic.  I kinda wish it wasn’t. (BTW, I’ve tried to make sure that there are no spoilers about the book  in this post. But as always, read at your own risk.)

Why does it seem that so many people who like guns are hyper-conservative theocrats who glom onto any conspiracy theory out there?    

I like guns and am a decent shot. Paint cans should be fearful. I also rather like violence in my fiction, preferably when the bad guys get their come-uppance Michael Bay style. Blame that bloodthirsty streak on me being a child of the 1980s and watching too much A-Team.  Anyone can see that this isn’t the usual things to like from the generally liberal feminist atheist perspective I’ve written from on this blog, though you might have gotten a hint from the “rough men” post.  A dear departed friend of mine, who had this crazy beautiful gun collection and sons who shot in competition (and in the military) was one of the rare gun enthusiasts who was close to liberal as me (social liberal, fiscal conservative). Another question is why do so many people who like guns and who idolize the military manage never to have served at all?  And medical reasons don’t have much impact with me since I know someone who got in the Army, in an actual crawl-though-the-mud MOS, with at least three major medical things that would have got him an easy excuse to not serve at all.

As I said above I’ve recently read “Hard Magic” by Larry Corriea and absolutely loved it.  It’s dieselpunk through and through, with a good tight world, a coherent magic system (most of the magic reads more like superhero powers but there is some classic thamaturgy) excellent fight scenes and characters you can really like. So, I went out to see what Google could tell me about this man, who has quite a few books out.  And I really should have known what I’d find.  Alas, Mr. Correia, is a conservative Mormon who is sure that President Obama is going to take his guns.  Sad really, when someone who writes such a well-thought out story has to make some hilarious and baseless assumptions to go along with the claims that Mr. Obama has waited until maybe or maybe not getting a second term to do anything about guns at all.  Yep, that mean ol’ Obama was such a mastermind about getting the UN to take over, and to eliminate the 2nd Amendment, that he didn’t do a damn thing about taking away anyone’s guns and is in a very very close election that he very well might not win.  It takes a certain amount of pure stupidity to think that this is some actual plan.  I mean, really, Mr. Correia, you write better masterminds yourself.  Happily, nothing of his personal views seems to get in the way of a good story.  Continue reading “What the Boss Likes – Hard Magic by Larry Correia, and some political caveats about the writer”

What the Boss likes – Iron Sky

Dieselpunk is one of the many ‘punks out there. Back in the 80’s and 90’s it was cyberpunk, the dystopian future where corporations owned everything and computers were large and no one seemed to have a cell phone. I played Shadowrun, knew about Cyberpunk, read William Gibson and others, etc. Rather funny to now look back on what technology was supposed to be, but hey, maybe we’ll have a real quick change after December 21 this year when things are supposed to go wacky.  

Lately it’s been all gears and steampunk, aka gaslight fantasy, etc, Jules Vernian science fiction and bustle dresses with none of the inconvenient racism, sexism, etc. (I did this too, gathered people together down at a DragonCon for the first time one year).  I do love them both but dieselpunk has raised its head and I think its is my favorite and will remain so.  I’m a WWII junkie and love the pulps from the 20s-50s. Once I get my sewing room back, I’m going to be fiddling with some costuming from that era.  This seems to be the pre-eminent forum for Dieselpunk: http://www.dieselpunks.org/   

Dieselpunk is generally split into Ottensian and Piecraftian. More on this here: http://www.ottens.co.uk/gatehouse/2008/05/the-two-flavors-of-dieselpunk/  I’m an Ottensian but I do want my Nazis to punch.  Yep, I did read Captain American comics.  The movie was fantastic but unfortunately, Marvel has screwed the pooch in the comic version. No, Cap would *not* walk out of the room so someone could be tortured.  Here’s a good blog about that perversion: http://4thletter.net/2012/01/america-is-now-blood-and-tears-instead-of-milk-and-honey-secret-avengers-21/  

What prompted this post is that Iron Sky is finally finished. What is that?  Just four words: Nazis on the Moon!  It looks fantastic and I hope some theatre near me gets it. If, not, it’ll be the DVD route for me. The other reason this will be awesome is that it makes fun of Sarah Palin.  Always a bonus!  

Here’s the theatrical trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py_IndUbcxc&feature=player_embedded   

Official website: http://www.ironsky.net/site/