No, we're not pregnant. I didn't realize the subtext of this illustration until I'd fnished the weekly site design. His idle apple-eating art-mag perusing days are about to end, it seems.

When faith in the Easter Bunny goes, it takes Santa with it. I think they might believe in Santa longer if they weren’t asked to believe that a large rabbit enters the house and hides eggs. (G)Nat has been thinking on these matters, and has concluded that I hid the eggs – and that’s okay. Her friend said she saw her Mom and Dad putting presents under the tree last year. She seems okay with all this; there’s almost a sense of relief, I think. It’s the uncertainly of belief that troubles you, not the side on which you land. Frankly, I was surprised she still entertained any faith in the Easter Bunny. I never encouraged it, and she’s a pretty rational kid. I think they believe a year longer than they want to; it’s a comfort, an old toy, a link back to things that already start to seem gauzy and pale.

Doesn’t mean I won’t put out eggs every year, because I will. What kid would ever want to wake and find that Mom and Dad just didn’t bother?


So I’m standing in line at Best Buy, just trying to buy a video without a great deal of human interaction, and I have the luck to stand next to Mr. Chatty. “That’s a good movie,” he says. “Did you see the original?”

Well, that’s someone else’s blog entry, but it’s not mine. Here’s mine:

So I’m standing in line at Best Buy in a good chipper mood, waiting to buy a battery, and the guy ahead of me has “I Am Legend,” which I’d seen the night before. “That’s a good movie,” I said. “Did you see the original?”

He gives me a curious look. “There’s an original?”

“Omega Man, with Charlton Heston,”  I said.


“Charlton Heston.”

“I already seen this one anyway. Now I’m going to go pop it in the player and see it in Hiiigh Def.”

I looked at the version he was buying: standard def. Well, let him have his illusions. When it was my turn I asked the clerk if he’d seen the original, and he said he hadn’t even seen the new one, but everyone was buying it today. I looked to the fellow behind me: bleary-eyed guy with two day’s worth of grey beard. He was buying “I Am Legend.” He also looked old enough to remember the original, so I asked him if he’d seen “The Omega Man.” He looked confused and shook his head.

When I left the store I thought “Shutup, you,” and I wish I’d meant it, but no, I had to tell the clerk at Borders that his strange earpiece made him look like a Borg. He asked if I had a members reward card. One of these days I’m going to say “yes” and refuse to give it to him, or just ignore everything else he says. Oh, you mean a members reward for this store? I have one for the cheese counter at the grocery store. They have free tastings on Sundays. Do you have free tastings?

I did watch “I Am Legend,” and found it an interesting companion to the ur-70s post-plague precedessor, “The Omega Man.”

The original:

Chuck Heston driving around LA shooting at zombies: that ought to be a recipe for fun, especially when the zombies are post-religious anti-technology photosensitive chancrous albinos:

The fellow on the left is Anthony Zerbe, of course; the fellow on the right has not entirely abandoned the old ways, because he refers to Charlton Heston’s fortified redoubt as a “Honky Paradise.” 

It certainly is well-stocked: half his lair consists of glassware and liquor.

For entertainment, he dresses up in a ruffled shirt and a crushed-velvet jacket and plays chess with a bust og some dead roman fellow borrowed from a museum.

If you're wondering why I think it's the original version, that's because it is: both "Omega Man" and "I Am Legend were based on the same book, and the character's name is the same: Robert Neville. Aside from that, they're quite different movies. The plague survivors in "Omega" are dedicated to expunging all knowledge from civilization, and the survivors in "Legend" are fast-zombies a la "24 Days Later." There are a few nods to the original, though: "Omega" features a scene where Chuck meets some well-preserved mannikens:

In "Legend," Neville has set them up himself in a video store he frequents; it's a way to pretend he's still part of a vanished civilization. It's the least convincing part of the story, but if you know the original, you expect one of them to move.

HIs digs are less swank, and he has companionship: a dog. (One of the great dog characters of recent cinema, incidentally.)

I have no problem giving away the last shot of "Omega Man" - you've had your entire life to watch the movie, friend. Like most Serious Important Movies of the 70s, the hero dies. In fact he dies in a crucifixion posture, having literally shed his blood for the world:

The vial of his vaccine is entrusted with an "Easy Rider"-type countercultural rebel, man, who takes The Children into the wilds of nature to start again. I won't give away the ending to "Legend" - but this Neville is active, not passive, and the difference between the two speaks a bit to the difference between the 70s, and now. It's a heartening sign. Religion, incidentally, was absent in "Omega," but it's present in "Legend" - not in a heavy-handed way, some of the speeches aside. The last shot says enough on the matter. All in all, a much better film - it's just remarkable how they made New York City look deserted. The Flatiron Building:

Times Square. This is a first, I think: they inserted an ad for a movie geeks have been buzzing about for a while, a Batman vs. Superman film:

And then there's this:


The sign for the Hotel Wellington tells you where it is. The "Ray's PIzza" sign is real. Must have given Ray a kick. Or a particular sense of dread.


New Matchbook, of course. See you at!