Saturday, May 1, 2010

Whole Lotta Snakin’ Goin’ On

100% recycled headline alert! I originally used this for an article on rattlesnake roundups, but is it stealing if you take something from yourself? I guess you could undermine your confidence or get high on your own supply, but headlines….Hmmm…. I’d say yes since it’s hard to really own a word. (Oh wait, that’s what trademarks are all about. D’oh!)

Anyway, this post was originally inspired by a recent viewing of Snakes on a Plane. The movie was confusing to me because I couldn’t figure out if we were expected to suspend our belief and be all scared, or laugh because the snakes were really funny. Yes, they were computer-generated but they had charisma! I read on Wikipedia that “the film gained a considerable amount of attention before its release, forming large fan bases…In response to the Internet fan base, New Line Cinema incorporated feedback from online users into its production, and added five days of reshooting.” So…someone made a calculated decision to present it as you see it now, presumably to give the people what they wanted. Which makes me even more confused, because why would they want that? I wish I understood the Snakes on a Plane-likers better.

Snakes can’t do user surveys and focus groups, and it’s just as well. Once a snake starts to strike, that’s it. He smells potential prey, which elicits a feeding response. He follows it through, he takes it as it comes, there’s no turning back, there’s no stopping to rewrite the ending. I think it’s like there’s a bunch of sequential actions that get triggered and it’s like a house of cards…(if that’s not the case, I apologize for simplifying science and stuff.)

How the heck did we get from snakes to user surveys? Marketing! We’re being manipulated! I know it’s all calculated! If I could only find solace and safety in that, I’d find total satisfaction just being a consumer…as in, tell me what I need and I’ll buy it…Don’t get me wrong, I like finding tacky Siamese cat-patterned pants on eBay just as much (more!) as the next person…I just get confused by all the varieties of M&Ms, ya know?

And snakes, well, they don’t even like chocolate.

Music to help you find your own truth (and booty)
Lost in the Supermarket, The Clash
- I quoted this song in an essay I wrote for Marxist Philosophy. Bless you, Professor Despalatovic, for not kicking my pretentious a**.

Baby Got Back, Sir Mix-A-Lot
- We used to dance to this in class all the time, until someone actually listened to the lyrics and complained. My anaconda don’t want none…


  1. Pune, I am one of the SNAKES ON A PLANE lovers. It is one of the rare movies that tells you exactly what to expect as you go into the theater, and while there, it exceeds your expectations. I knew there would be snakes, knew there would be a plane, but had no idea so many reptiles and so much havoc would ensue! Plus, how could you not sit back and enjoy Samuel Jackson, the baddest badass of all time, spouting off the most inane and over-the-top dialogue? It is a thing of beauty.
    Jackson's dialogue is so obscenity riddled, it is problematic to dub for TV viewing. One of his most infamous lines (quoted near the conclusion) has been recut for TV to say: "I am sick of these monkey-lovin' snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane." Huh?
    Brilliant bit of exploitation B-grade moviemaking. Almost as good as (or perhaps as good as) "Anaconda," with John Voight? Remember that?!

  2. Stephanie, did we see "Anaconda" together at the $5 movie theater?! We (if it was you) were screaming with laughter! Thank you for your brilliant insight. I need to see this movie again with you as my tour guide.

  3. Yes, we went to the Worldwide Cinema to see that "classic." I think it was you, Kate, me, and Mari Rich. Maybe Bessie as well, but I'm not sure. It was just us, plus five or six other patrons, and a huge family of a mom, dad, and their dozen children. They had brought their dinner to the theater, and were having a grand time. The audience was universally loud, and people were screaming at the screen. It was hilarious!

  4. I never put together that line in Baby Got Back. Dirty! Dirty! I mean I obviously knew what the song was about, but my anaconda? I've got the vapors.