368 thoughts on “Jack Mangan’s Deadpan #120: Watchmania, part 1

  1. I have to shovel the walk again, sometime this morning. I’m hoping it will warm up a little before I do, but I have my doubts. -34 with the wind chill means frozen fingers again.

  2. I completely agree about the opening. I listened to the first 10 minutes before going to bed last night and I said, “Dan, did you hear that opening? That was so awesome! Jack rules!”

    I said it and Dan agreed. 🙂

  3. The opening took as long to edit as the rest of the episode. I’m glad you guys liked it. 🙂

    For some reason, EssBee’s comments earlier were stuck in mod purgatory. But she’s free and presumably fully-bathed now.

  4. Yes Ed it is dangerous… very dangerous and I am usually late in the understanding…

    Alright as for the episode. This conversation is engaging and enjoyable. It is fun to listen to – I speak as someone that has not read the book (spoilers do not bother me) I need to go find me a copy now…

  5. It really is great. I enjoyed listening back this morning. I feel like I got even more out of it listening back since I could just sit back and listen. What a great group of intelligent and insightful people!

  6. I find it strange, the comments that the current gen wouldn’t understand it, as they didn’t have the Cold War fear.

    Thing is, to me, the current gen has worse fear than we ever did then. Sure, we weren’t sure we’d grow up, that somebody would get snarky and everyone would get nuked. But now, there’s an atmosphere of fear where everyone is your enemy. Where it doesn’t take a whole state going rogue, just one angry guy to kill us all. I’m not sure it makes Watchmen relevant, but the atmosphere is still plenty hostile and freedoms are more crushed than ever.

  7. MD: I complain about that too, but definitely not to the extent you would. I’m guessing we’ll hear that in part 2. Still, I’d like to hear what you think. Maybe you can send Jack your thoughts. Or just post them here.

    CP: Bombs Away — The Police

  8. re: fear

    I just don’t think the fears are parallel.
    A dog that comes running at you snarling as you walk down the street, certainly instills you with fear … but not in the same way as seeing a tractor trailer truck burst into flames and cross the centerline of a narrow two lane road – headed straight for you.

    Maybe that is a better way to look at it – terrorist might bring fear … but they don’t bring a sense of complete doom and horror.

  9. It’s certainly true that women don’t fair well in Watchmen. My wife has slowly been reading through it and I “censored” the section where Rorshach recalls the incident with the kidnapped girl and the dogs. She really gets disturbed by depictions of violence against children.

    But, it didn’t click with me ahead of time to warn about the Comedian’s “parting shot” on his way out of Vietnam. She wasn’t too happy about that one, either.

    I wouldn’t disagree that the treatment of women and children in this story tends toward the excessive.

  10. The kidnapped girl and the dogs was the most horrifying part for me. I actually lost sleep over that. I’d almost say that I’d wished someone censored that for me, but it really helped me understand why Rorschach was so messed up.

  11. Roxking the Bruce Dickinson hair, Cj! Awesome.

    Speaking of the 80s….. will someone please put the chard back into the Dark Crystal now? Skeksis suck.
    Yes, you have to appreciate Skeksis these days – – but they still drain your essence.

  12. It is weighty material, Nomad. MD, your recorded thoughts would be more than welcome. I don’t think we touched enough on the gender issues.

    At 6:27, it sounds like I called J0e “Jill”.

  13. Morning Pan, judging from the comments, I’m beginning to feel like Data without the emotion chip.

    For me the graphical representation of the violence deadens my emotional reaction to it. So it was interesting to see what created Rorschach but no sleepless nights caused.

  14. CJ – you were definitely an 80’s girl.

    *Ponders if I’m manly enough to break out the scanner to see what’s hidden away in my 80’s box*

  15. Ed, very true. It also appears on The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac compilation. It’s a live 1997 version w/ the entire band, and pretty damn sweet. One of my favorite songs.

  16. I need to say this: I’m not a Whedonite. I never have been. I couldn’t stand Rosanne. I did not like Buffy. I hated “Alien: Resurection”. I’ve read a number of his comics, but really the only things he did that I liked were Firefly/Serenity, and Dr. Horrible.

    I need to state this clearly: I am not watching Dollhouse out of some misguided sense of loyalty to Whedon. I am giving it a chance like I do most other shows. If it fails to appeal after 3 episodes, I will stop watching it. So far, as I think I’ve clearly stated previously, I am not caring for the show.

    MD: I know you hate the show. I respect that. I hope you realize that we all aren’t mindless zealots.

  17. Re: Dollhouse

    I watched Ep2 out of loyalty and I’m glad I did as it was infinitely better then Ep1.
    If we see that sort of quality increases with Ep3 then it will be a kick but show.

    There are many “Buffy” loyals who look back at that shows entire first season and wonder how it ever made it.

  18. “There are many “Buffy” loyals who look back at that shows entire first season and wonder how it ever made it.”

    You could say the same thing about ST:TNG.

  19. I watched the second episode of “Dollhouse” last night and I found it a lot better than the first. There is definately a misogynistic theme going on, but it is being put under the microscope. Take the character of Tofer, for example. He is the guy that does the main programming of the people. You can tell he enjoys having power over their minds and you can sense his psychopathy. He is a nerdy, unbalenced character with a meager physical stature, stereotypically the type of man who would have difficulty with relationships. I’m still having some issues with the acting and if the premise is too contrived. But there is some underlying mystery and psychology being unveiled that has me interested. We’ll see if things keep improving or not. LOL

  20. Whoa, ditto. I didn’t suggest you were a zealot. I was reminded of deadpan simply because it was one of the many topics that provoked interesting and diverse discussion.

    But I have noticed some people aren’t separating academic critique from personal attack. It’s crazy depressing to see people insult each other over a tv show…

  21. MD: Horrible 3 weeks. My post came off stronger than intended. I guess I should have said that I hoped that you weren’t frustrated with us for being mindless zombies. Which we aren’t. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Mmmmmmmm. Brains.

  22. Evening, fellow mindless zealots. Holy crap, I’m a little burnt out. And the Skeksis have me tomorrow morning. . . Yes, it’s like a crossover between Dark Crystal and Office Space now.

    I hope everyone here has had a good week.

  23. I have never wanted to fall into my bed and be asleep more than I do right now, but first.

    Thank you, Jack, for the rescue.

    Stupid broken light rail = FAIL

    Extra time with Jack = WIN (making fail not so bad)


  24. Did not watch Dollhouse last night, but did spend some quality time at the Jonathan Coulton/Paul and Storm show in Saint Paul. Paul and Storm had both Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy from MST3K join onstage for a bit.

    JoCo was a lot of fun too, he’s been changing up his set so I heard a few things that I haven’t seen before.

    Oh, and he was helped along in “Creepy Doll.” The house was fully lit for all the show, and it just wasn’t creepy enough, in JoCo’s opinion.

    So he called out for someone in the audience to creepily read the second verse. That someone was Neil Frickin’ Gaiman.

    I was helping out at the merch table so I hung with the artists for a while after the show. Neil stayed in seclusion backstage, perfectly understandbly.

    It was a great time…

  25. It would appear that about the only Fleetwood Mac album that the Amazon MP3 store doesn’t have is the one EssBee mentions with the full band version of Go Insane. Suxorz. Guess I’ll have to make do with the original until they do.

  26. What’s all this about Fleetwood Mac appearing on BSG as a Skeksis that lived in a creepy Dollhouse?

    Hmmm. Maybe I should get some coffee and try to read the previous posts again when I am more awake.

  27. J0e: Me too. I feel well-rested and ready to work hard at today’s service project (painting the interior of a thrift store).

    I just discovered something cool: Four people (or, possibly, only one person) are (is) tweeting the characters’ lines from the Watchmen graphic novel.
    Twitter usernames are:


  28. Oh, I want to go to the midnight movie premiere, but babysitter options for something so cool would be limited.

    On a happy note, my kids did NOT wake me up this morning. I slept until 7:30 – it was absolute heaven!

  29. WNDR Wolf is awesome. Check out his latest episode of Wander Radio for a his usual high level of goodness. Including! A brand-new song of mine called “Stress Fracture”, never heard anywhere else – – not even on Deadpan.

    And! There’s also a podcast review from our own Deadpan Ambassador, Amy Bowen!



  30. So, new WNDR radio featuring Jack Skellington’s salute to Goldfrapp??

    Joe, you’re right, one really needs to wake up before reading comments.

  31. Morning Pan! Beware the eyes of March, mine are blood shot. I have the waffle iron out of storage, wish me luck with my waffles.

  32. Rhett – I want waffles. Do you deliver?

    TEB – It is month end for me too. I have 3 spreadsheets to populate today and one of them is 12 pages of little bitty numbers. Wanna be my cube buddy?

    Jack – I may have a slight headache.

    I hear my coffee dinging at me. Yay coffee.

  33. I think we just got a comment from Rhettro’s son in praise of dad’s waffles? 🙂
    In addition to a funny video of Ed’s son finding a new way to enjoy that boring old inflatable slide.

    Nobody make a Son Day pun. . . . doh!

  34. You guys won’t think less of me if I sing along to the “Buffy: Once More with Feeling” album while I clean the kitchen, will you?

    Maybe Joss is going to have to bring the musical episode of Dollhouse along soon to get the vibe back.

  35. Funny, the cuts that the article mention are pretty much in line with what I predicted. Really, once the endgame “event” is changed, it requires several things to change along with it.

    While I won’t be making any midnight showings, I do plan to catch it near lunchtime on Friday as I work half days. I’m hoping the nearby IMAX will be running it.

  36. I found one part of Jack’s posted article particularly interesting:

    “the collected edition has remained in print constantly since its first release – a fact that upsets Moore, whose contract with DC asserts that the rights to the series will revert back to he and Gibbons should the book fall out of print for a specified amount of time”

  37. Actually, I had another question on Watchmen… Why did Rorschach carry around a doomsday sign on his “off hours”?

  38. While carrying the sign, most people probably don’t pay a whole lot of attention to him. This allows him to observe what’s going on in all parts of the city while out of costume and remain unnoticed. After all, as Hollis Mason said in his memoir, “Vanishing is no big problem when you’re a costumed hero – you just take your costume off.”

  39. Yeah, I just could think of a lot better ways to blend in and observe the world without carrying around a sign about the end of the world.

  40. All the servers are down in my Ontario office. Can’t access any of my files. Makes doing month end… interesting. By which I mean not fun.

  41. Well, since I can’t seem to do any work work, I think I’ll change kitty litter and take out the garbage (almost as much fun).

  42. TEB – Perhaps they can FedEx you some clay tablets and a chisel. 😉

    It’s an ironic thing that with so much information so widely available to each of us now – with huge heaps of data being personally carried around by individuals … a hundred thousand years from now, all that visiting archaeologist will have as a record of us – is the primitive cave paintings of our ancestors.

  43. Thanks Jack for the nice comments and thanks for the track “Stress Fracture” I think my wife has now fallen in love with you…

    Just what I need competition…. sigh…

    I can not compete with the Deadpan…Deadpan is the way.

  44. [earbud]

    I have pleasantly surprised by how much I like the new Morrissey album
    I was always a Smiths fan in the 80s, but was worried that Morrissey wouldn’t be relevant today. I am actually really enjoying his new album.


  45. I think you will like it ditto 🙂

    May I suggest another band you might like?

    We saw these guys play here Saturday night. They were quite awesome like

    A punky (very slightly Ska-ish) band out of LA.

    The Airborne Toxic Event

    I would put a link to their website but I don’t trust fucktardbot. Its just theairbornetoxicevent dot com

  46. Re: The Stock Market

    In the interest of full discloser – while I AM losing money this morning … I am also fighting back the only way I know how, by “dollar cost averaging” .
    I picked up some Mcdonalds (the only place people can afford to eat out)
    Conoco Phillips (Yes, we are still addicted to oil.)
    General Mills (breakfast cereals are a comfort food that people eat more of when they stay in and hide from the world)
    and Unilever (unlike Rorschach, if we are to be foreclosed on, most of us would prefer to be well bathed and in clean cloths before we are evicted.)

    This has been your Deadpan stock market update.

  47. Cool. Glad you like them, ditto 🙂

    I could never forget my Hugh/Huge 🙂 He is beyond the obsession list, he is above the obsession list. He is everything.

    Hugh sez: awww…well shucks ma’am

    j0e- thats the way to handle this shit. Think about whats happening don’t freak out. Too many people freak out and its mostly because of their limited scope. The banks are failing, its all over!! People are still spending money. As you pointed out they are spending money on different things.

  48. hugh sez: another stock idea is toys. Toys have proven to be the only industry making siginificant money right now. Specifically American made and traditional toys like lego for instance.

    dre sez: and there was a story on NPR about salons and spas. People can’t go on vacation so they are paying for more spa treatments to “get away”

  49. My parting thought for the day:

    Giada DeLaurentis seriously makes me reconsider being heterosexual. Seriously.

    Hugh sez: *swoooooon* Hey wait, what about me?

    No worries. We’ll be lesbians together 🙂

    I just tried adding her as a friend on Facebook. I am sure she will deny me, but who knows 🙂

  50. I heard Jack on Farpoint Recap and Wander Radio and it seems like somewhere else, but can’t recall.

    LLAP will happily play bumpers from any Deadpan friends 🙂

  51. So my cable modem just died on me…no broadband for 5 working days.

    Anybody with electrician experience explain why it keeps blowing the fuse on the power lead? It’s not the power socket as everything else works fine with the same socket.

    I maybe forced to actually finish some books on the partially read book pile.

  52. Re: Grandma
    I his defense, Grandma had her daughter when she was 18 and there are some that say HER daughter had Red Ridinghood when she was under-age … so Grandma wasn’t really that old to begin with, and was frequently featured on the “Deep Dark Wood’s”, GILF website.

  53. I was going to make a joke about lesbian subtext and Wolf’s last comment, but will let it go by.

    This week is the end of a huge project – submissions due to the state of California by Thursday – and I am experiencing once again the phenomena of being the last to touch a project and seeing 1) how much is done sloppily by others who know I’ll fix it, and 2) how unconcerned other people are with the deadline since I’m the last to touch this bad boy. In the words of Van, GRRRR.

  54. One of the funniest things I ever heard on Wingin’ It, and really ever, was Eliza saying, while talking about the last Harry Potter book, “if you rearrange the letters in ‘subtext’ you get ‘buttsex’.”

  55. I used to listen to a, IMO, good podcast that was ruined by the hosts constantly saying “I’m just sayin'” after every comment. I picked up the latest episode over weekend because I had kind of forgotten why I gave it up, and bingo! I’m just sayin’.

  56. Just watched Ep3 Dollhouse.

    I’m hooked. Much more with the “no-one or nothing is as it seems” cleverness!

    Still seems to be some sort of creative struggle between the clever intrigue writers on this show and the corporate pop/bubblegum writers but the clever is starting to show through!

    This show is soooo not about being some sort of “adult” fantasy island.

    Goodnight Deadpan. Oh … can someone tuck in the mush?

  57. EssBee – I ran into almost the same thing recently. The guest host said “I feel you” after almost every single sentence that the main host said. That was really annoying. I’m just saying’.

  58. Morning Pan!

    Had to work late last night to make up for the computers crashing. Boo

    So last night the DeadPan was dead…man, so couldn’t take out my misery then.

  59. March/April marks the 50th anniversary of Kind of Blue by Mile Davis. An important pioneer in the music industry.

  60. Decisions, Decisions:

    I finish early enough on Friday to go and see the Watchmen movie.

    Or I can wait and see the movie on Saturday when it’s my day off.

    Not sure if I can wait a day longer.

    Oh and Watchmen is showing at the local arty farty cinema…a few years ago that would have indicated a film that was held in high regard by the cultural snobs..but since they did show the latest Indy flick..things may sliden downwards…

  61. I have a feeling we won’t be able to see Watchmen until April (unless I go on my own with the hubby).

    Report cards due this weekend.
    He’s in Orlando the next weekend for a teacher’s conference.
    Then we’re in Mexico.

    March is a busy month for my hubby.

  62. Nomad Scry: IMHO, catching up on the Deadpan archives would be well worth the journey. The serialized versions of “16 Pieces at a Time” and “Really Big Things” alone are worth it. Plus, you’ll get to know all of us a lot better, and you’ll understand why some things are the way they are in the most recent episodes. (The evolution of the introductory sound effects for the Greasy Spoon Comments segment is particularly interesting.)

  63. Keep in mind that “Cranular Explosion” IS a possibility.

    You may wish to consult a physician before undertaking this event … and know the name of a reputable Exorcist for afterwards.

    ‘I’m just saying’

  64. NS, I’ve gone back and listened to quite a few of the original episodes and I have to agree with Amy; totally worth your time. My only regret is that I wasn’t there all along.

  65. The beauty of Deadpan is that it constantly evolves. Yes, there are inside jokes like there were for Wingin’ It, but they aren’t so entrenched that they discourage new people from getting involved.

    Plus, I think we’ve always been extremely welcoming to any and all. That’s what the ropes and handcuffs are for. What? Is that too much information? 😉

  66. So we are in the middle of one of the most bizarre weather patterns I’ve ever seen. It can’t decide if it wants to snow or rain. Everything is covered in a thick layer of slush that, when you try to shovel, you discover is on top of a layer of water. Several people were out trying to shovel, myself included. All the sidewalks on my street are flooded.

    I’ve never seen anything like it.

  67. Re: “Yes, there are inside jokes like there were for Wingin’ It, but they aren’t so entrenched that they discourage new people from getting involved.”

    Isn’t it.

  68. Drive by post!

    Wolf: Great Wander episode. It was nice to hear some deadpanites on there.

    Jack: Have you been texting me? I’ve gotten a couple of “Hello” type texts to my phone, but it’s from a number I don’t recognize.

    I bought “The Dark Knight Returns” last Sunday. I’m enjoying it so far.


  69. +++++
    … the Oct. 23, 2001, memo suggested the president could even suspend press freedoms if he concluded it was necessary to wage the war on terror. “First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully,”
    This claim was viewed as so extreme that it was essentially (and secretly) revoked—but not until October of last year, seven years after the memo was written and with barely three and a half months left in the Bush administration.

    Hmmm. Looks they revoked the SUPER Presidential privledges that they had granted themselves, about the time that it was becoming most likely that Obama would be the next guy to get to use those powers.


  70. Does anyone know a link to one of those news thingies, where you enter a subject and it automatically keeps a look out for any news or posts on the topic and updates you?

  71. CP: B-52’s via my phone in speaker mode because the person that called me 25 minutes ago apparently doesn’t fully grasp how to hang-up their bluetooth enabled hand-held thingy.

    So I’m just jamming along in compressed mono.

  72. Jack, that was brilliant.

    As I sit with my copy of Watchmen on my computer desk, I wonder if I should take it with me to the movie on Friday and flip through as the movie progresses.

    Maybe I’ll save that for DVD time.

  73. Kurtz has his moments. I’ve met him a couple of times at comic con. I have an original sketch he did for me of Cole as “Tron Suit Guy.” LOL

  74. So Jonathan Ross (a big Watchmen fan) claims in his review of the Watchmen movie that at times it’s too faithful to the comic..and what works in the comic doesn’t work on screen.

    Morning Pan, feeling rough this morning..meh !

  75. Morning, Vanamonde! That possibility had occurred to me too. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out.

    And – going way back – thanks, Nomad! Did you read “Sixteen Pieces at a Time”, or listen to the excellent Wander Radio audio drama?
    Thanks also for listening to the old episodes. There are lots of moments throughout Deadpan’s entire history that make me really happy.

  76. So the grand tour of Starship Deadpan started with yesterday’s JM_D001. I am -not- going to be reading the comments though. As I was paging back to the start of time, I saw quite a few posts with over two thousand comments. Wow. I thought it was amusing and quaint that Mr. Mangan was setting such high comment goals. Now I know better.

  77. Hey Jack, I read the “Sixteen Pieces at a Time” on … wassit SFReader? I didn’t realize Wolf had it in audio format. Is the Turk a character you’ve used elsewhere? He feels… too rich to have been used in just one story.

    I have to find the most recent Wander Radio. It is somewhere on my player, but I can’t seem to find it.

  78. Oh. Ha. I found Wander Radio 37. And Wolf mentions the audio version of “Sixteen Pieces at a Time.”

    I ran into the text version because I was randomly struck with curiousity about how many pages jackmangan.com had. (I think it was 27 or 28 as of yesterday.)

    I am cheating and checking now… “About this thing of ours” appears to be the original post from March 30, 2006 on (currently) page 28. The songs go back to “candlelight” posted on October 18th, 1903 …


  79. Today’s fittingthenationalstereotype moment:

    Two French woman on the bus, chattering away in French when one of them comes out with ‘Oooh la la’.

  80. I too envy Nomad’s impending new adventure.

    Nomad – me hopes you will post your thoughts on each Ep as you finish them … so we can relive the discovery vicariously!

  81. Sorry if that last was a little “tweety.”

    I’m not sure if podjam describes my situation, I’ve had so much life stuff and time off work (my primary location for listening) that I do have a big backlog.


  82. That’s freaky. Yesterday I changed my incoming txt message sound from Transformers to “Message for you, sir”.

    Deadpan is in sync with my phone.

  83. Yeah, sorry ditto. Didn’t mean to make light of your situation… well, okay actually I was making light of things but not to be a jerk … well, actually that was a reference from “The Jerk” but well … frak.

  84. I imagine most of the Work Horror story voicemails would just be 2 minutes of weeping on the phone, but feel free to contribute, if you got em.

    Or – send Wok Horror stories, about trauma in Chinese food restaurants.

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