Jennifer Parker's pants, revisited

I hereby eat my words from the previous post, regarding Back to the Future, in which I claim Jennifer Parker v.2 (Elizabeth Shue) wears a lame reproduction of her original pants, as today I received my copy of Back To The Future: The Ultimate Visual History, and was able to pore over photos of Elizabeth wearing pants in BTTF 2, from which one can only conclude she was wearing the same pants after all, or if not the very ones, a close enough facsimile that they did not and do not deserve my mocking.  See for yourself (pic 1: Claudia Wells; pics 2 & 3: Elizabeth Shue)

Also, I attended the last day of We're Going Back 2015 and watched BTTF in the parking lot of Puente Hills Mall, timed so the clock tower lightning strike happened at 10:04 (or within a minute or so) and with a live Delorean chase by a van full of Libyan terrorists.  So many fan-driven Deloreans were in attendance, I kept losing count – at least 15, maybe half of which were time machines.

People were handing out "Save the Clock Tower" flyers, and the mayor of City of Industry announced they would be keeping the Twin Pines Mall sign forever.

I love Los Angeles, my weird home.


The Future Is Now

Back to the Future turned 30 years old this year. And October 21, 2015 is the future date Marty, Doc, and Jennifer travel to at the beginning of BTTF 2 (although Doc probably travels to 10/26/15 first). So right now the world is exploding with BTTF celebrations.

This is one of my favorite movies – I think it had perfect pacing, perfect casting, a perfect script. And Crispin Glover. And a Delorean ... which is a time machine.  Someone deserves a prize for thinking that one up. 

This, the week of the Back to the Futureverse 1985 future, is only happening once. So I only briefly tore my hair out with indecision before rearranging my finances to find $200 for a ticket to Back to the Future Film School, the last day of the We’re Going Back event.  I wish I could be rich and unemployed this week (I'm working on a show about time traveling teens!) so I could go to the whole thing, but I’m happy with what I was able to get – Sunday should be the best day for me: a full day of panels on the car design, editing, cinematography and so on, and then a screening of the original film at Puente Hills (aka Twin Pines / Lone Pine Mall) with some “surprises” (which I can only hope is code for a Delorean accelerating to 88 mph in the mall parking lot and then vanishing in a trail of fire).

Much has been written about the cast members who for various reasons were replaced with other actors during the filming of the trilogy.  First, pretty boy Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty McFly, and they were well into shooting the film before he was deemed a little too serious for the role and replaced with Michael J. Fox, necessitating reshoots of all of his scenes. And neither Claudia Wells (Jennifer Parker) nor Crispin Glover (George McFly) agreed to appear in BTTF 2 or 3, so George McFly was cobbled together with existing footage and an actor wearing prosthetics (for which Crispin Glover later sued), and Claudia was replaced with Elizabeth Shue. The last scene of BTTF was reprised for BTTF 2 as its sole purpose in the first place was to set the audience up for a sequel (that I’m going to propose no one had written yet at the time that scene was penned, since most of BTTF 2 has nothing to do with Jennifer & Marty’s kids and the story plays out kind of like “oh crap, we have to do something with the kids before we get into it, since we said so in the last movie”); said sequel segues from the first film with an overlap of that scene. In other words, the scene at the end of BTTF with Claudia Wells playing JP was repeated at the start of BTTF 2 with Elizabeth Shue as JP. They weren’t trying to fool anybody. But they did mimic the scene shot by shot, like Weird Al Yankovic’s “Eat It” and James Franco / Seth Rogen’s parody of that awful Kanye West video with Kim Kardashian on the motorcycle.

Ok, I’ll include it.

Anyway, the thing that fascinates me most about all this role swapping in Back the the Future is that the costumers were unable to find another pair of Jennifer Parker’s pants for the repeated scene.

At best, that's the acid wash variant. Maybe just pink pants with some plants drawn on.

Also they’ve done something terrible with Elizabeth Shue’s hair, but to be fair it was the ‘80s and there was nearly nothing un-terrible done to anybody’s hair.

‘80s hair:

This was a thing to behold. Bangs curling out and then downward and also another set of bangs going upwards. I remember girls coming to school with their bangs blowdried and hairsprayed in both directions but the rest of their (permed) hair still wet because what happened to it was irrelevant. My friend Scott used to refer to this as the "tree branch" hairdo. It was really a very exciting version of a girl mullet. No one wore hats in the winter. The hair was the main event.

Elizabeth Shue doesn't look that bad by comparison.


Wag the Dog - the end of U.S. political news reporting as we know it

There are two times in my life when I have been utterly chilled to the bone observing the shape our democracy is in.  (EDIT: I was born after the murders of JFK and Bobby K, MLK Jr and Malcolm X.) The first was when all the Occupy Wall Street encampments were being dismantled by S.W.A.T. teams. The second was after last night's democratic presidential debate as the viewer polls showed an absolute landslide favoring Bernie Sanders but it was evident that reporters were in a haste to declare Hillary Clinton as the clear winner.  They probably had the articles written ahead of time and just plugged in a few quotes afterward before hitting send.

Perhaps I've been living under a rock, but until last night's presidential debate, I was still under the impression that political reporting was at least in part about following voter trends.  In theory anyway, we voters are still the ones who actually determine who wins an election, right?

Well, not if the media has anything to say about it. As I predicted late last night, today the news is gushing over Hillary (who is a seasoned debater and comes across strong on stage, but has not managed to win popular support) and ignoring viewer polls that show Bernie claiming anywhere from 60-80% of the "vote." Also still present in the media commentary following the debate was the desperate desire to pull Joe Biden into the race .. you know, incase the public means it, incase we're really not going to vote for her; maybe we'll vote for him instead. It's clear whose support Hillary has; what's less clear is why we don't have a country full of dissenters who are taking to the streets protesting our whitewashed media (unless you count Bernie Sanders supporters attending rallies, who are overflowing arenas where the rallies are being held). We've duped most of the country so thoroughly they have no idea what they're witnessing is propaganda.

I never thought I'd suggest this but at the moment, make a habit of reading the comments.  That's where the news is. As previously, the comment section below articles hailing Clinton are full of "WTF?? Sanders!" comments. Nearly every comment. Like "Guys, are you listening??? Guys, hello??"

No one's listening, guys.

It's over.

Go home.

Bernie Sanders for the win.

Hey all one or two of my reader(s).

So I had a swell time drinking coffee and eating tiny spanakopita tarts at the Casbah Cafe dem debate viewing party, one of billions organized by Bernie Sanders supporters.  Bernie is running a campaign that is about drumming up participation in our (maybe not hopelessly rigged, if most people were to vote) political system MORE THAN IT IS ABOUT GETTING ELECTED. There is no arguing with this. Sanders is the real deal. Whether you know it or not, you are witnessing history made here. No one has had the balls to challenge the status quo like this and run it all the way to a White House bid, at least not in my lifetime. Pay attention.

Anyone who has ever been in the same room with me knows I am a steadfast political progressive and should be completely unsurprised to hear of my enthusiastic support of the famous filibustering unkempt anti-corporate union-supporting Vermonter Bernie Sanders. You should also be relatively unsurprised to hear that if Hillary wins the democratic primary I will (slightly grudgingly) vote for her (and be happy that a woman has finally made it to the White House, but will not mistake that for an end to the almost comical American glass ceiling). And if a teletubby won the nomination, I would vote for it rather than whoever ends up on the GOP ticket. If only one person could be coerced into running for president, and as a republican, I would WRITE IN A TELETUBBY rather than vote for a republican.

Not so sure about this Jim Webb character .... but anyhow.

Also it would be pretty funny to see the Onion article entitled "Woman given nation's worst domestic job" or whatever, if Hillary won.

The point obviously, guys, is to win. Everyone debating tonight was on board with this. Let's not let a republican into the White House.  Enough old rich white jerks legislating on women's reproductive rights and voting (invariably!) against equal pay for women. Enough trickle-down economics tall tales. Enough ignoring science, consumer safety, and our nation's poor and legislating for the best interests of Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Oil and the prison industrial complex.  Enough of the Koch Brothers and all their tendrils (ALEC, Americans for Prosperity, & whatever they are "rebranding" themselves these days) - the richest Americans writing legislation that keeps them rich and then handing it to legislators whose campaigns they funded ...  although the only candidate who will actually challenge these conventions (instead of just suggesting that he will and then, once elected, pander to lobbyists and campaign financiers and maybe try in vain to "reach across the aisle" to the cold clammy hand that the GOP will yank away in response) is Bernie. There is no other. It is all about this man.

While I hope everyone will engage with this election, the point of this post is to express a gigantic disconnect I have noticed in campaign reporting.

You know how the media has been doing a great job of more or less ignoring Bernie, painting him as a fringe candidate, in some cases omitting him completely from articles and so on? And then basically gaslighting - or completely ignoring feedback - when people point this out? I have read articles on the democratic race in which ALL OF the reader comments are irritated remarks about how Bernie Sanders is not being represented in the article. ALL. 100% of the comments.  Yet: the best representation of Bernie that you will usually see in a major media article is that he's a nice (if frumpy) whimsical addition to the race because he is going to pull (the not especially progressive) Hillary Clinton a little further to the left.

I have begun to suspect I am not imaging this, that mainstream media is almost conspiring to actually suppress enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders. (Why aren't they doing this with that nutjob Trump? I have heard him referred to without comment as the GOP frontrunner.)

Back to last night's debate. (It will be around 1 a.m. on Wednesday when I post this.) Who won the debate? Funny you should ask. When I typed this query into google, I got Hillary Hillary Hillary Hillary Hillary (followed by a positive critique of her stage poise, basically - it wasn't unlike flipping through a post-awards show best / worst red carpet outfits blog). When I typed in: "who won the democratic debate poll" I got something else entirely.

Here are the screenshots of ALL the polls I could find:

For posterity.

Now watch all the morning papers proclaim Hillary as the clear winner. Really, she won ... the mani cam.

Don't forget to vote.

love, Kate