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Showing posts by: Sara Eileen Hames click to see Sara Eileen Hames's profile
Tue
Oct 23 2012 4:00pm

Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is Beautiful

The rich detail that went into crafting the weirdness of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion

The most remarkable thing about the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland has nothing to do with the ghosts. When I say “Haunted Mansion” in this post, I am referring specifically to the attraction at Disneyland in California, and not to the attraction’s other locations or to the (apparently dreadful) 2003 film.

When I visited Disneyland for the first time this spring, I looked askance at the Haunted Mansion. I assumed it would be either a sanitized, childlike fantasy or a gothic, Burton-esque nightmare. It would be overly branded with Disney characters, and it would either bore me or scare me, and I dislike being scared almost as much as I dislike being bored.

As it turns out, I overlooked something very critical, and I was not bored in the least. Because the Haunted Mansion is beautiful.

[Read more about the history and experience of the Haunted Mansion...]

Mon
Aug 27 2012 3:00pm

Janeway Doesn’t Deserve This Shit

Janeway Doesn’t Deserve This Shit

Star Trek: Voyager is my favorite Star Trek series. Prompted in part by my own recent rewatch of the series and in part by this great piece on Princess Leia, I’d like to take a moment to talk about Captain Kathryn Janeway.

Janeway is my favorite Star Trek captain. And while I would typically content myself with liking what I like quietly and leaving each to their own, in this particular case I feel the opinion needs defending. I think fandom should give Janeway a break. 

[Why Janeway is radical, rare, and way more awesome than she’s given credit for...]

Wed
Aug 8 2012 4:00pm

Idea Porn? A Review of Neal Stephenson’s Some Remarks

A review of Some Remarks by Neal StephensonI expected to love Some Remarks, Neal Stephenson’s newest collection of essays and other writing, as a continuation of my love for his fiction. As it turns out, I did not. Some Remarks is typical of Stephenson’s writing within a non-fiction lens, and I found, to my surprise, that this isn’t precisely a good thing.

If you’re read a great deal of Stephenson, you’re probably familiar with a peculiar quirk of his literary style. Stephenson writes incredibly dense speculative fiction with a heavy emphasis on world-building through meticulous, subtle detail. He tends toward discovery-driven plots that cast off and recapture little threads of narrative, typically leading to a grand crescendo in which characters, ideas and technologies crash together. 

But inevitably, as the story is hurtling along down its various channels, Stephenson will put the narrative on pause at some point so that he can explain something to you. 

[Does that sound familiar? Read more...]

Sun
Jun 17 2012 1:00pm

Cars: Don’t You Ever Just Go For A Drive?

Oh, Cars.

Right up front in this review, I should say: I love Cars. And I recognize that this is not a popular opinion.

A Doc-Hollywood-meets-NASCAR mashup in a world populated by anthropomorphic automobiles, Cars tells the story of a hotshot rookie racecar who gets arrested in a small town off the now defunct Route 66, and is forced to do community service when he should be out courting his dream of fame and fortune as the winner of the Piston Cup. Inevitably, he meets a beautiful girl—er, Porsche—, befriends a tow truck, discovers a missing racing legend, and learns the secret of living a happy life just in time to be rushed to his big race, where we see that he has become a much better racecar while learning humility and gratitude along the way.

[For your consideration: three reasons Cars gets a bad rap, and three reasons to love it]