Monday Musings: Cheerful Strong Opinions

Here's a cheerful-yet-strong opinion: Clue is the funniest movie ever made. I have believed this since childhood.

Your turn.

Monday Musings are meant to open the week with chatty fun, and hopefully continue throughout the week until the next one. Please feel free to talk about whatever you like, and do share any links you've written or have read and found interesting and worthy of note. If this is your first time at Monday Musings, you really should say 'hi' so that we can give you lurker cookies! Thank you.


Xtina Schelin said...

More to the point, Madeline Kahn is funny as all funny things. Regardez-vous:

My partner and I cracked ALL the way up, and rewatched that like 15 times while making that YT clip. Oh dear lord.


John Magnum said...

Rendezvous with Rama is an unbelievably superlative work of science fiction.

JarredH said...

I just watched Clue again last week. Talk about serendipity!

On the topic of childhood nostalgia, I absolutely adore the Muppet Gonzo. I'll watch any show or movie just waiting for him to get screen time.

Come to think of it, my favorite X-Man happens to be Nightcrawler. Maybe I just had a thing for blue men growing up?

Will Wildman said...

Cheerful Strong Opinion: The samosa is the greatest of all humanity's culinary achievements.

I finally posted on my blog again after a three-month unintended hiatus. It's a thing about what love means versus the way 'love' is lazily treated as a shallow MacGuffin in fiction, and was sparked entirely because of that remark in the Friends post here about how one character had been 'secretly in love' with another for ten years. I took issue with the fundamental concepts of this scenario.

Unrelated question: what shade/hue do people envision if something is described as 'clay-coloured'?

Asha said...

Babylon 5 rocks. Because Ivanova is God. And Marcus

Two Steps From Hell makes AWESOME MUSIC. Same with X-Ray Dog.

chris the cynic said...

I was going to recommend Will's new post, but he beat me to it.


Looks like I've written less than usual, and I really need to get back to .hack and Deus Ex (need to install Deus Ex since fixing my computer involved replacing the hard drive. Files are all backed up, but programs need to be reinstalled.)

I wrote about the fact that if one looks only at the presidential election (in the US) the choice is between agonizingly slow improvement and catastrophe, which doesn't seem fair, but if one expands their scope to include the House and Senate then there may be hope for something better after all.

I wrote two bits of Edith and Ben, both containing Ben and Jackie. In the first they're in the kitchen, in the second the attempt to move things from the kitchen to the living room is complicated by Ben's falling.

I wrote a Skewed Slightly to the Left thing in which Cameron, Verna, Alice, and Loretta try to get the word out as the bombs are on their way, ending in the bomb dropping on Chicago.

And I shaved.

And that's it.

chris the cynic said...

Oh, right, strong opinions.

Clue probably is the funniest movie.

Deus Ex is the best game.

Firefly is the best series.

Zathurus (from Babylon 5) is Awesome. Marcus too.

depizan said...


I think of clay colored as a light tan, possibly grayish, possibly yellowish, depending on context. Devoid of context, I think of it as a very pale terracotta... I think.


I just got Deus Ex and will somehow find the time to play it. Somehow.

Cheerful strong opinions? Space adventure is the best genre ever and I love it oh so very much. There is also a (not very wise) part of me that still longs to live in the Star Wars universe, despite the fact that it actually wouldn't be that great for the average person.

Pqw said...

@Will, to me, 'clay-coloured' would mean some shade of red-brown or maybe orange-brown. So, anywhere from terracotta through mahogany could be 'clay-like'.

I live in an area where our dirt is reddish-brown to light-brown, and sandy not clayey. Even when I lived in Illinois and Indiana, where our dirt was dark brown, and somewhat clayey, I still thought of 'clay coloured' as being red-brown to orange-brown. (Now that I think about it, the ceramics classes I took in Indianapolis used raw clay that was a dull gray. But I would never describe that color as 'clay coloured'. Odd.)

I can picture the shades I think of as 'clay coloured' easily, but I find that describing colors/colours to guys (no offense intended) is tricky because guys often only really understand maybe 8-11 colour names: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, grey/gray, pink, white. Mentioning distinctions like 'undertones' of blue or yellow or pink-- or using complex color names like 'champagne' or 'mulberry'--tend to be met with incomprehension.

Will Wildman said...

Thanks, depizan and Pqw. I've been trying to figure out how best to describe the lead character's skin tone in my intended 2012 NaNovel, and while I don't mind if it's a bit vague, I want it to be vague in the right direction. If 'clay' conjures up either pale or red, that's not going to work at all. Back to the thesaurus and the hex charts.

Brenda said...

Well, for childhood nostalgia it's The New Adventures of WInnie the Pooh, all the way. That was my Saturday morning for years - that and Garfield & Friends.

"Clay-colored" seems entirely too vague, unless it's something like "His skin was the same yellow as the clay in the riverbank".

Thomas Keyton said...

@Will Wildman: clay to me is grey by default, whether or not that helps (Clayface in Batman: The Animated Series always confused me a bit as a child).

The Sixth Doctor is, if not the best Doctor, a strong contender for the spot, and I will say it thrice with increasing volume to anyone who disagrees with me.

Tazendra is one of the best characters ever.

Falafel is surprisingly tasty.

Susan Beckhardt said...

In defiance of Pqw, I'd say that "clay-colored" is just the sort of light gray of the unfired clay I used in my high school ceramics classes. Of course, I had the occasional opportunity to work with red clay for that gorgeous terracotta color (as well as other colored clays), but the color I instantly think of when I read "clay" is a light gray, edging ever so slightly in the direction of a warm gray or beige rather than a blueish tint.


Here's a random question: does anybody else use the two spellings of "grey/gray" the way I do? To me, the word "gray" makes me think of a warm gray, while "grey" makes me think of a cool grey. For a long time I did this without realizing it, but ever since I figured out what I was doing I've made use of the two different spellings intentionally.

I have grapheme-color synaesthesia, so I associate each letter of the alphabet with a specific color. For me, the letter 'a' is a bright red, while 'e' is a dark grey with hints of purple. Although most words take on the color of their first letter (blended a bit with the other colors), I do associate most basic color words with the color they represent. (For example, the word "green" looks green to me, even though the letter 'g' is actually a sort of mauve.) But with "gray/grey", it's like my brain takes advantage of the opportunity to distinguish the two colors, and gives me a warm-tinted gray for "gray" (because of the letter 'a') and a cooler tint for "grey" (because of the letter 'e').

Does anyone else have a similar effect?

Timothy (TRiG) said...

Will, you might get some inspiration from xkcd's colour survey. (The next post is about colour blindness, chromosomes, and the distinction between sex and gender, and is rather awesome. Key quote: "The role of gender in society is the most complicated thing I’ve ever spent a lot of time learning about, and I’ve spent a lot of time learning about quantum mechanics.")

In other news, does anyone have a use for a website called "Who Asked Men?"?


Pqw said...

I have synesthesia, and much of it is related to colors, but it is NOT grapheme-color synaesthesia. Instead of experiencing letters or numbers as being particular colors, my moods are particular color combinations. When I see dissonant/discordant color combinations (like in art or advertising), they jangle my moods, and often make me feel physically ill.

Words do somehow 'look like' what they are to me. (Not sure if that's synesthesia, or not.)

I use two separate words to mean two different colors. Gray, to me, is always opaque--dull and flat and ponderous and dreary. Grey, to me, is translucent, almost silvery, ethereal, and/or sort of ineffable. Part of my surname evokes the colors of green, blue-green, and grey, and it IS always 'grey', never 'gray'.

Lurker no longer said...

'Clue' is indeed a very funny movie, although my perceptions of it were skewed by seeing it for the first time (dorm VCR in college) immediately after getting back from my first viewing of 'the Rocky Horror Picture Show' (midnight theater, props, the whole works). Definitely an interesting double feature.

I know the funniest move I ever saw with my grandfather was 'The Gods Must Be Crazy' - he almost choked on his popcorn he was laughing so hard.

Rakka said...

Clay colored is grey to me, too. Either a brownish or blueish, with a slight sheen.

Am giggling at "A couple dozen people embedded SQL ‘drop table’ statements in the color names. Nice try, kids." in the XKCD link.

graylor said...

Discworld novels are good, cats are good, and rainy days are good.

Also, caffeine. It's not merely good, it's nirvana.

More seriously, I have more thoughts than I realized about using variegated yarn in crochet and knitting projects. It was supposed to be a brief, picture-heavy blurb, but it just kept growing. It's still pretty picture heavy, though.

I've also come to the conclusion, as I begin culling my paperback collection, that life's too short to read books that a. start with rape scenes, b. have head-desking gender dynamics, c. have over-powered, magically speaking, main characters, or d. have assholes for romantic leads. Unless, of course, they are so awful they're good, such as the Blending Series, which, nevertheless, don't start (or include, I can't remember) rape scenes.

Dominique said...

I believe that cheesecake is an excellent breakfast food. Also, that stuffed animals and striped toe socks are delightful, regardless of age.

Susan Beckhardt said...

Graylor, my cheerfully strong opinion is that you are right to have many thoughts about using variegated yarn in fiber arts, and also that you are right about what thoughts you have. My condensed conclusion is that I am just too lazy to figure out how to get a nice pattern out of a strongly variegated yarn. I stick with solids (or heathered yarns, which count), yarns with long gradients, or kettle-dyed yarns where the variegation is very subtle. Then that all goes out the window when it comes to socks.

Dav said...

Approximately hex A2111F. Or .
Then I remember clay comes in white and gray and tan and yellow and dun, but that's my first mental image.

Pqw said...

Yes, that's it exactly!

redcrow said...

This colour thing always confuses me and makes me suspect that it might have something to do with socialisation. Or Crayola. But boys have Crayola too, right? So probably socialisation. Because, um, female-assigned-at-birth, and *it can't be* that just because I don't identify as one, it somehow influences my perception of colours and shades. There *are* names for some shades in my vocabulary. Lilac, salad green, raspberry, crimson, aforementioned magenta... Pretty much everything else? "A darker/lighter shade of [a colour]". No one will ever convince me there's a noticeable difference between, say, magenta and shocking pink. *I don't see it*. Yet other people do.
So I suspect that it might be a cultural thing. I was brought up differently, in a different country. With different fashion industry. (Also, our crayons didn't have ridiculous names each). So, somewhat different expectations. Maybe that's why.

redcrow said...

(Sorry, magenta used to be "aforementioned", then I swapped paragraphs around and didn't notice it became subsequent.)

Dav said...

I prefer eating lengua tacos to cow tongue tacos. Juliet was full of it.

Tom Baker may or may not be the best Doctor, but he has the best smile.

It should be trivial to find t-shirts in my size in a billion colors in a half-dozen styles (scoop-neck, crew-neck, tunic, three sleeve lengths). Instead, it is nigh impossible at any price point (but especially impossible at mine).

It should be trivial to find slip-on shoes that cover my entire foot that I can wear all day long without developing hideous calf cramps.

Science writers should know the first thing about science before writing about it.

Quince is an excellent fruit, and should be grown much more extensively.

Pqw said...

I just finished reading a book about 'color theorists' and the influence they had--somewhat startlingly, to my mind--on American schoolchildren's knowledge of color names. Crayons at school? Coloring at school? Apparently happened so that Americans would grow up to be ... better consumers. (And a lot of the color theorists hated that so-called low class Americans liked bright colors, instead of 'classy' pastels and muted shades. So those color theorists were trying to train people, from a very young age, to learn to like 'classy' colors and combinations. All so they could sell them more stuff. Ugh.)

The book was way more Pro-Capitalism than I thought a book on color ought to be. It was kind of icky.

Anyway, I've read elsewhere that apparently some people have more cones in their eyes than other people, and/or those cones perceive greater color complexity than the cones other people have. Like, most people have 3 kinds of cones, but apparently there is a 4th kind of cone, and some people also have those.

I've noticed for myself that Spouse calls 'green' (no qualifiers) any shade from mallard and teal (to me, blue-green) to emerald (green, with blue undertones) to lighter shades of 'true' green or yellow-green. Whatever undertones I perceive, he clearly does not.

I also have a girl cousin (American, same as me) the same way--she doesn't see undertones.

Pqw said...

Now that I think about it, Dav, my very first exposure to actual clay, like dirt that is clayey, was in New Mexico. I have family out there, that I visited as a very young child. I never made that connection before.

graylor said...

I've had good results with heathered yarn, for hats and things. It's so much more user-friendly than the usual variegated stuff you can find.

Socks should be cheerful and unique. If nothing else, they are small, so new and exciting color combinations are less mind-blowing in socks than, say, bedspreads. Which is probably why patterns for weird yarn tends towards potholders and washcloths--there's only so far off the mark you can go with tiny projects.

I've been wondering how the number of skeins of variegated yarn sold matches up with the number of variegated skeins actually used. I'm betting a lot of them are gathering dust in craft bins after being bought as impulse buys or as gifts given by non-knitters/crocheters.

graylor said...

Huh. 'Clay' color for me is gray, the same color we used in art class and that you can dredge out of creek banks around here. However, this is also an area with fairly thin topsoil over red clay, which is what I had more experience with as a kid. But when I read a description of someone having clay colored skin, I assume gray, not orange. Maybe I spent too much time reading and too little time jumping in mud puddles as a kid?

Mime_Paradox said...

The film Speed Racer rules, no matter what 90% of critics said at the time.

(Content Note: Rape in fiction)

This week I wrote "Sword of Sorcery" and Derailing, detailing why I thought wanting stories that don't involve rape is perfectly valid, even if those stories that do involve it are good ones. Also, I wrote a post wherein I judged the first two episodes of Nickelodeon's new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon titled Wherein I Judge the First Two Episodes of Nick's TMNT.

As for stuff I didn't write but people should really read anyway ( :P ) Culturally Disoriented has a post on Batman: The Dark Knight Rises' problematic lack of women titled "Batman and the Case of the Missing Women"--even if the thesis is familiar, the animated gifs make it utterly and completely worth it.

redcrow said...

Forgot to leave a Cheerful Strong Opinion. Surprisingly, I do have one.
Some people are awesome.

Loquat said...

Go to the XKCD color survey Timothy posted. Scroll down to the bottom of the post, the "Miscellaneous" section. See that one color called "we are a collaborative icecream cone!!!"? That's my clay.

Mary Kaye said...

My cheerful opinion is that biology is the most cool thing ever. I had occasion to post details about the coolness of biology on a few different blog threads just before starting to teach my Fall college class (Evolutionary Genetics) and I think going in with that attitude actually makes me teach better.

I have a friend who is probably a tetrachromat (four kinds of color receptors), as is one of her daughters, but not the other two daughters or her husband. She says it leads to interesting arguments about clothes and house-painting. The genetics imply that the new color should be a split of green, and indeed that's her experience--the things people call "green" are not the same color to her. (Mixing blue and yellow makes one color, but grass is a different color.)

Here's a cool thing: Deep-water fish don't see red, because there's no red light down there. Except, someone hauled up a dead deep-sea fish and sequenced its color-vision genes, and it had a functional-looking red receptor. Why? Genes don't stay functional long if they are useless (cf blind cave fish).

Finally they caught one alive. It has a red light on its head! No one else down there sees that color, so it's doing exactly what humans do when they use red lights to hunt deer.

Pqw said...

I love biology! Wow, red lights in deep water -- how cool is that?!?

Ice said...

My cheerful strong opinion is that science is amazing, and this bit about the fish with its own red light just makes my day!

bekabot said...

Robert Browning is the only English poet I know of who was capable of cracking an extended joke in verse. (Sarcasm, as in Byron, does not count.)

Browning was a strong and cheerful person with cheerful strong opinions. Read his stuff if you need proof.

depizan said...

You have all my sympathies on character description. It's one of the (many) things I struggle with as a writer. And one of the things I mean to practice in my fanficing. So far, however, I am at my usual level of barely working in anything and being hopelessly vague when I do.

We can cry into our writerly beers together. *sigh*

Nathaniel said...

I have said it before, and I will say it again. DS9 is awesome. One of the best sci fi shows in existence.

Avatar the Last Airbender is pretty dang cool too.

On that note, here is Azula reading Fifty Shades of Gray. Non-Triggery I think.

JVB said...

I clicked through to the DKR post... and I can't stop watching the cookie gif. seriously. O_O

Isator Levi said...

People who dislike cheese of any kind hate life.

People who dislike cheese of every kind need to be sent back to the Moon, where they belong.

Detroit does not exist.

chris the cynic said...

This is the best insult ever.

From here.

redcrow said...

Some of them might be lactose intolerant, though.
Why would you send those who dislike cheese somewhere that's *made* of cheese, anyway?

Lonespark said...

OMG science is great!

And DS9, and AtLA.

And this decaf pumpkin pie latte.

Red Tails was fun to watch and all the actors involved in it should go do a bunch of other awesome stuff I can see. (Unfortunately watching it made me angry and bitter and disappointed all over again re: Terrence Howard and the Iron Man franchise.)

Sisko is a superlative commanding officer. (He was a captain, but he wasn't just a captain...)

Scott Brown's campaign is superlative in being a pack of jackwagons.

And soccer is the best thing ever.

Silver Adept said...

Yay, shared opinions!

Here's mine: Teachers and Librarians are the most undervalued progression in the United States.

Rory Williams is the best companion for The Doctor.

Plots that result in Stockholm Syndrome for their leads can be subjected to a perpetual game of Paranoia.

Rakka said...

Jennifer Armintrout's 50 Shades reconstructions rock. And this is the best image used therein this far:

Will Wildman said...

The National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) website has just refreshed for the 2012 event, meaning forums and novel info are scrubbed blank and everyone starts over again. Which is cool, but irritating, because I felt like I had given some people some good advice yesterday morning and now I don't even know if they got to see it, let alone if it proved useful.

Related cheerful strong opinions: while I could go on for a while about things I didn't care for in the Tales of the Otori series (trilogy plus prequel plus finale), they had some of the best titles ever. 'Across the Nightingale Floor', 'Grass For His Pillow', 'Brilliance of the Moon', 'Heaven's Net is Wide', and 'The Harsh Cry of the Heron'. These are everything I want in a title: substantial, evocative, and impossible to confuse with any other book. What titles or types thereof are other peoples' favourites?

Isator Levi said...

Addendum: People who dislike cheese, excepting those who possess a biological or cultural/ideological imperative to not eat it, hate life.

As for the moon thing, there's a kind of multi-layered ironic poetry thing to it.

They are, per storybook logic, being sent to something made of what they hate, while actually being sent to a place of coldness and death, thereby -freeing- them of something they hate.

Rikalous said...

I was just reading some archived 4chan threads full of kindness and warmth, so I currently have a cheerful strong opinion that humanity in general is wonderful and essentially good.

Unrelated to that, Brandon Sanderson makes cool magic systems, Andrew Hussie is excellent at character voice, and China Mieville creates delightfully weird urban fantasy worlds.

@Isator: Does liking melted cheese count?

Matthew Dunne2 said...

It counts for the not being sent to the Moon clause. :p

Rakka said...

Colourshift is a superior time-waster as online games go. The ability to select the variables by which the puzzle grid is generated instead of exponential growth in the difficulty curve? Gimme!

Asha said...

Thank you for reminding me of them. I went out and got some for lunch the other day, and it was awesome. ^_^

Ana Mardoll said...

Open Thread Question:

Does anyone know any good fairy tale re-writes (preferably on Kindle) that feature pro-lesbian / bisexual themes suitable for a YA audience?

I have "Ash" by Lo on my list, but I'm trying to Christmas shop for my niece and not finding much atm. Thank you.

chris the cynic said...

So I have to finish the princess story in time for you to buy it for your niece for Christmas?

Wouldn't exactly count on it.


Which is another way to say, "I don't know of any, sorry."

Ana Mardoll said...

I've been looking up lists all morning and nearly fell out of my chair when I saw there was a book on a QUILTBAG YA reading list that was about a boy who liked mermaids.


But it wasn't your story; it was "A deft portrayal of a pre-teen boy trying to keep secret his love of dolls, mermaids, and dressing in girl's clothes because of his father's stern wish for him to be "manly."" So not the same thing. But it re-confirmed to me that the world needs your story. :)

But no worries. Someone did mention at Shakesville that Hines' Stepsister novels has a lesbian-or-bisexual protagonist, so I added it to the list.

Rakka said...

Colourshift is a superior time-waster as online games go. The ability to select the variables by which the puzzle grid is generated instead of exponential growth in the difficulty curve? Gimme!

V said...

I forget how suitable _Kissing the Witch_ is for a YA audience, but I'd recommend it otherwise.

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