Dear Mudge, Ray Harryhausen



Dear Mudge,

I recently got “written up” at work. It seems that when I speak my mind, I get in trouble. I’d gotten into dust-ups prior to this one (it’s only been a year), but this latest had happened with a person closely attached to the boss’ boss and so resulted in HR action. I did reach out and ameliorate the rift—a walk to the local coffee shop, but the incident brand my mind with the implications of termination. Just. Keep. Your. Damn. Mouth. Shut, has become my new mantra. Needless to say, recent weeks have seen me exhibiting a lassitude seldom witnessed. Speaking my mind here however, is never an issue.


We’ve managed to gather up a bevy of interesting topics thus far. I’m sure others will join the fray. Returning to one…

You’re right, Occam’s razor should have been our first go-to solution per our shared, seemingly hypocritical adoption of societal conformity. There’s a reason downstream is more attractive than upstream/cross-stream. Adolescent salmon would have a thing or two to tell us. I suppose though, rebellion comes as a spectrum. I, for one, will never truly fit in anywhere except for the recessed niches of my mind. But outwardly, I appear as if molded by society’s template; I wear shoes and pants, smile at strangers, hold doors for old ladies, and rarely piss behind alleyway dumpsters.

Indulgences (and indigestion) aside, the Epicureans may have something yet to teach us. I’ll dig through my (google) notes and try and derive some useful suggestions. Stewie the Stoic, though pithy, provided little in the way of true guidance in this time of Absurd Universe contemplation. (On first pass, Epicurus has much to say about friendship.)

In the mean time, perhaps we could play to your recently acquired pastime (obsession?). I’d suggest that in your examination of television shows you profess a hidden pedantic inclination to be a student of society. This, I believe, you originally offered in our opening salvos of correspondence. Well then, let’s dial this in, shall we. (Christ! Ignore my plebeian attempts at humor, I’m such an adolescent when it comes to clever word-play.)

Ahem. So, what of Special Effects.

How the hell did anyone accept the visual papier-mâché that pre-2000’s special effects offered in movies and television? Today, one can barely (if at all) tell CG imagery from real life. Coming away from any movie these days, you’d be forgiven for the impression that what you witnessed wasn’t a documentary.

But FX of yester-year? Talk about major suckage. How could we have been taken in by such poor attempts at sur-reality? Were we that gullible, that blind to the clay-mation over our eyes?

I suppose the question is, were we actually duped? And regardless, did it matter?

Your friend,

18 thoughts on “Dear Mudge, Ray Harryhausen

  1. Mole, you’re how old and you haven’t learned to. Keep. Your. Mouth. Shut. At work? Come on man, work is not a democracy, and you can only speak your mind if you’re high enough in the food chain that people both ask your opinion, and care about it. If not, join the ranks of the plebeians and swallow hard. Thusly, enter WordPress! No one knows who you are, how much you get paid, or what your salary is…say what you will, if it’s written well, people will read, care, give a shit and possibly change their lives! So keep blogging. Someone is listening. I. Am. Listening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, so it appears I can respond to Mole but not Mudge. Another comment vanished from the last post. Check that spam box, Mole!

      And check the settings, too.

      Unless, of course, Paul is just blocking me on purpose. In that case, I’ll just write longer responses for his spam box. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That may be the thing, though I’m barely versed in this multi-author on a blog thing, I believe he has control over comments on his own posts. If this is the case, he’ll no doubt discover this and ban you for life (grin).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Harryhausen was a pioneer, you heretic! Lol. As kids, we didn’t know any better of course, but his effects were jawdropping at the time. I still remember being terrified by the skeleton army in Jason and the Argonauts, and I used to teach a unit on him in my media course. Sorry you got written up by HR–people just can’t stand hearing the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ray was a dynamation master and ahead of his time. And this is the juxtaposition of interpretations I’m wondering about. Back then, was our analysis faulty? Or just immature? If asked to truly dissect an historic special effect, would we have been able to deduce its artifice?
      This is a large corporation (15k people) and I’ve never had the displeasure of working for one before. Little choice at this point in my life/career, I’m afraid.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t think it was either faulty or immature–it just lacked the context of anything more advanced! Even Lucas looked back on his own early F/X for Star Wars and updated some of them when CGI technology improved because they seemed pretty cheesy in comparison. A 15k corporation? Poor you! Are they all in the same building, like one of those futuristic complexes where everyone eats, breathes and sleeps the corporate brand?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. In 50 years will our current context be viewed as primitive? Anyone in that future world would consider film today to be simplistic and easily identified as fabrication?

          It’s a global corp, spread all over the world. This local office is corp HQ. It contains about 500 staff, mostly IT, finance and corp officers.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Back at the home office in fucking Pennsylvania – There was this girl. Woman. Anyway, she was shagging the boss. The big boss. Her title was, not surprisingly, Personal ASSistant to the president. She was short, buxom, and full of herself. One day she walked into the room full of us corporate musicians seeking compliments for her hair in French twist. Everyone kissed her ass. She finally got to me. I said “In Texas we call that the armadillo’s ass.” I was being written up before HR invited me for a chat. I said, further, fuck y’all uptight yankee motherfuckers and moved to Austin. My problem was not only my mouth, but always having a fully loaded and cocked middle finger for such occasions. Ah, well. Chaos, right? Does it really matter?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The world’s PC doctrine has come to bite us in the ass. If you slight, or appear to slight anyone for any reason, SLAP! Down comes the gavel; guilty of being insensitive. And this sensitivity breach was about logic. Or rather, the failure of the other person’s inability to defend a logically indefensible proposition. I guess I shouldn’t have been so hard on them. But, hell, I don’t rule the Universe, so I have to play nice.

      Liked by 2 people

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