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Dinosaurs, Robots, and Movies: What to Expect From This Ear

March 31, 2017

I love all reptiles, especially dinosaurs and lizards, and I will warn you that I will be talking about them a lot on this Ear. There will be a proportional relationship between obscurity/hard-to-pronounciness of a given animal and the amount of inkblood we’ll spill in her honor. So we are likely to discuss pachycephalosaurus at length, and we are more likely to discuss the loathsome and beautiful quetzalcoatlus than her smaller, famouser cousin, pterodactyl.

 

But let me also be clear that I’m no champagne-sipping beltway dinoelitist. I embrace dinopopulism. I love Jurassic Park, both book and movie, and if you multiplied the number of times I’ve read the book by the number of times I’ve watched the movie, it is probably pretty close to 65 million.

 

Here is a scene from Jurassic Park (featuring Swedish subtitles!):

 

 

One question you may have is, will dinosaurs be pretty much all you talk about on this Ear? Well I’m so glad you’ve asked. The answer is By No Means! In fact, the above clip lays out some other potential Ear themes in tidy little chunks:

 

God. Well, loosely. Sorta. Here’s the thing: Dr Ian Malcolm doesn’t really believe in God, and neither do I. The way Malcolm means it here, ‘God’ is more like ‘The Natural Order’ or maybe even just  ‘Some Force We Would Have Been A Lot Better Off Not Messing With.’ If you’ve read much Michael Crichton, or even if you’ve just watched Westworld, you know this noodling-with-forces-we-cannot-possibly-comprehend thing is something we should be very concerned with, I said VERY CONCERNED WITH. Some notable Incomprehensible Forces include Artificial Intelligence, The Climate, Genetic Engineering of Plants/Persons, and the presidency of DJ Trump. All of these matters will be discussed at some point on this Ear.

 

Dinosaurs. As discussed. But just to clarify, we’ll be talking about all sorts of creatures here, for instance the giant prehistoric bear megatherium

 

 

and extant wonders like this beautiful desert denizen (also starring on our home page!):

 

 

Women & Men. I just love Dr. Ellie Sattler, she cuts Malcolm right down to size. 

 

Gender is a concept I thoroughly do not understand and like to think about. Also politics more generally.

 

We’ve only all got a couple of minutes on this earth. Do you want to help make things better? Then help me think about this!

 

Sometimes this Ear might post short interviews about gender, race, and the politics around them.

 

Movies. I love movies, and who the hell don’t? The clip above is pure moviemaking magic, and I just love everything about it. But especially:

 

  • The way the camera pans up a little to capture the blinking light on the fence and the audio blends with the screaming birds and insects to juxtapose the lushness of the natural world against the foolhardy hubris of man.
     

  • The way Dr. Ian Malcolm is cool and dumb at the same time. I love his chaos theory bullshit! Just think about how much better Westworld woulda been if Malcolm was around to make fun of everybody.
     

  • The way Dr. Sattler sees through Malcolm’s bullshit and casually busts him up.
     

  • The way the camera frames Malcolm, and then moves in to match Dr. Sattler’s intent at the end of the shot. The camera is creepily interested in this human drama in the same way she’s creepily interested in the dinosaur drama. NOW THAT’S MOVIEMAKING MAGIC!


Sometimes I work on movies and sometimes I like to just think about them. Look out for short reviews and slightly-less-short essays on some of my favorites.

 

Cool Baby co-founder Annie will probably post sometimes, too, and who even knows what she’ll be writing about??

 

So basically, this blog is about everything. We’ll have a new post up every week. Sign up in the Footer if you want to keep up with the Ear.

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