Obvious things about a creative work you realize after the millionth time (OPEN SPOILERS POSSIBLE)

This seems about as close as can get w/o starting a new thread, so here goes:

Still reeling over the realization that all those dog stories, where the dog returns to the train station daily to meet his (long dead) master, are not examples of dog empathy but are merely the result of:

1. Dogs like routine
2. The dog kept getting fed at the train station or along the way

Ergo, the dog kept returning merely because it became part of his foraging routine, not because he was expecting someone to disembark and was broken hearted every time his master didn’t appear.

When Emperor Caligula was assassinated, there were a lot of people who wanted him dead for a lot of reasons, but the guy who actually did it was a member of the Praetorian Guard, Cassius Chaerea, who hated Caligula for personal reasons. Chaerea has an unusually high pitched voice, which Caligula found outrageously funny, and would mock the Praetorian by making him say phrases the struck Caligula as particularly amusing, and by setting the password to be admitted to him to things like “boobs” and “penis” because he thought it was funny to hear Chaerea say them in his high voice.

I’m pretty sure this situation (with the roles reversed) was the direct inspiration for the “Biggus Dickus” scene.

Not SEX, love. They are different things.

Back in 1973 I joined the Columbia Record Club, and among my twelve LPs for a penny, I selected Parsley, Sage, Rosemary &Thyme by Simon and Garfunkel. The other day, while relaxing with my girlfriend, we decided to listen to the album on her Echo (which she calls “Echo” because she hates the name Alexa. But I digress). When we were finishing up The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine, I took note of the line are you worried ‘cause your girlfriend’s just a little late?, and it suddenly occurred to me that the schlemiel* being addressed isn’t standing around waiting for her to show up for their date, he’s (putatively) afraid that she’s pregnant.

The spur-of-the-moment observation blew both of our minds.

*(He might be a shmendrick. A Yiddish language expert I’m not.)

Well, as it turns out, part of the back story of the Jack Ryan character I mentioned five posts up includes a back injury that cut short his military career. So, what I thought was a weird shot of him washing his butt is probably just him bending forward to get his back under the hot water. Back story, indeed.

Similarly those stories of dolphins helping a shipwreck survivor get back to land. Ever notice that you never see the stories about the other dolphins, who led survivors further out to sea?

‘We thought we were gonna get this thing to beach himself, get some chuckles. Then the mfer just starts walking! We were completely punk’d!’

This scene from Tombstone and I realized two things during the same rewatching.

  1. Historically faro had been open to blatant cheating. I always wondered why Wyatt moved Curley’s money. Then it hit me. He knew the next card was a king and made Curley win. And Curley knows this and backs down a bit with grudging respect which plays into the next one.

  2. Johnny Ringo pulls his gun on Doc Holliday and Doc doesn’t even flinch. Yeah Doc is a honey-badger, everyone knows that and that’s not what I just realized. When Curley says, “Watch it Johnny, I hear he’s real fast.” I know Doc has his right hand free but Ringo (no slouch with a gun) has a cocked revolver pointed to Doc’s face and Doc is clearly feeling poorly and Curley is still afraid of Doc.

I’m beginning to think that with all of the subtlety from all the characters and just the absolute brilliant acting, this might be one of the best scenes in all of movie making.

Is that Johnny Tyler (played by Billy Bob Thorton) asking for an autograph? The guy he showed out of the saloon a few scenes earlier?

Curley wins $500 on that. Seems like an incredible amount of money for the time, doesn’t it?
It’s close to $14,000 in today’s dollars.

And Wyatt is all about the money in Tombstone. With his10% of the take he gave away $50 in Earp money.

Discworld has A’Tuin. This resembles the Polynesian word atua. Coincidence?


A’Tuin is the turtle upon whose shell Discworld rests. It’s a clear reference to the infamous (and possibly apocryphal) “It’s turtles all the way down!” cosmology.

“Atua”, on the other hand, is a word that means, roughly, “strength” or “power”, and is used to refer to Polynesian divinities and spirits.

So far as I know, the idea of a World Turtle has no equivalent in Polynesian beliefs, and so far as I know, the people of Discworld don’t think of A’Tuin as a god or spirit. It’s possible, of course, that Terry Pratchett came across the Polynesian word, thought it sounded cool, and derived A’Tuin’s name from it, but there’s no real connection that I can see.

Some indigenous North American people have stories of the world being supported on a turtle’s back. Nothing infamous about it.

The “infamous” cosmology I was referring to is an oft-told story about a prominent astronomer giving a talk, and afterwards being approached by a little old lady who told him his talk was very nice, but the fact was the world was flat and rested on the back of a turtle. The astronomer asked the lady what the turtle was standing on. The lady responded, “Very clever, young man, but it’s turtles all the way down!”.

The little old lady of the story, if she actually existed, may have been referencing Algonquin mythology, but Pratchett, with his Discworld resting on the backs of four giant elephants standing on the back of a Giant Star Turtle (Chelys galactica) swimming through the cosmos, is referencing the “It’s turtles all the way down!” of the little old lady. At least I’m pretty sure. I don’t think he was intentionally mocking authentic Algonquin beliefs.

If my mother was the Little Old Lady, it would be macadamia turtles all the way down.

that was another another thing that’s explained better in the book …he was described as a “self made man” type (my paraphrasing of 3 pages of background) and grew up in NYC so he knew about the mafia but he didn’t get into the movies until he was older and didn’t get “class” until years later supposedly he was based on harry cohn boss of columbia pictures …

actually grandma had one in the box … bought by grandpa to cel;ebrate a promotion he received … they were more expensive than a real tree (which ironically is more expensive than most artificial trees these days)they used it for a few years but grandma said it was “fugly” and the kids wanted a real again after a while

wasn’t the bleeding due to his ear getting messed up in the first place ? So if he wasn’t drunk and hit the “good” ear which didn’t bleed no one would of probably thought anything about it

Heres something I just realized after 40 years :

In the alien/SciFi series V the big secret of the lizard based “visitors” is there using humans as food ,But there’s usually a couple of scenes where there’s a human standing in underwear as there getting examined by one of the visitors 10 year old me figured they were just looking over dinner, but in one scene one chides the other for “playing with their food”

I just realized the meaning of that line …

I have no idea how many times I have seen West Side Story. Tonight I noticed that, in the “Officer Krupke” number just before the war council, all of the Jets are wearing the same shoes

Blue suede?
They’re wearing chuck taylors for most of the movie, but they’d just been to the dance prior to Krupke, so they’re dressed up!