Bits Of Fun

     Christmas is a week away. What point is there in writing about politics and current events at a time this joyous? Shut ‘em out with me, at least for today, and see if we can amuse one another.

     (Amuse, not abuse! Get your mind out of the gutter.)


     I saw this at AoSHQ and have been straining to decode it ever since:

     I’m reminded of technical manuals I’ve seen that were:

  1. Originally written in English;
  2. Then translated – usually by a program – into Japanese?
  3. Then retranslated into English by another program.

     This is not a formula for legibility. However, the above graphic suggests something even stranger: after the third step above, some Japanese-speaking person pulled out a Roget’s Thesaurus and tried to “sex up” the translation with a few “synonyms.”

     Truly, words fail me…though perhaps not quite as badly as they failed the “synonymizer” above.


     How many of the following do you remember – not from reading or having been told about them, but from personal experience?

     Yes, I remember them all – and all the “We’re all going to die!!” hype that accompanied them. But then, I also remember getting up in the wee hours to watch “Modern Farmer” on my family’s 13 inch black and white TV. And don’t ask about how far I had to walk to school, uphill in three feet of snow!


     We pause here for a few words of sound advice – normally not to be expected coming from an entertainment celebrity:

     I think I’ll print that out and paste it to the wall behind my monitor…after I get a working printer, that is.


     Now, it’s Double-Take Time!

     In case you don’t recognize her – for which you can be forgiven, as she’s still quite young and not yet, ah, over-exposed – the young lady on the right is Chloe Grace Moretz, the co-star of the delightful movie Kick-Ass and a key Supporting Cast member of Denzel Washington’s movie The Equalizer. I do hope she learns not to be so, ah, forthcoming in the future…and to keep better company, of course. (For the…person on the left, there’s no hope at all.)


     Finally, a movie-related question. Yesterday evening, the CSO and I watched Night Hunter, a mystery / procedural on Amazon Prime that was apparently released in 2019. I’d never heard of it before yesterday, but the CSO thought it deserved a look, principally because Oscar winner Ben Kingsley is in it. It proved to be so-so: a not particularly memorable time-killer.

     However, in the process of locating the movie among Amazon Prime’s offerings, I stumbled across this “gem:”

     In the Eighteenth Century, Rayne is the half-human half-vampire Dhampir and the lead attraction in a carnival’s freak-show in Romania. When she escapes, she meets a fortuneteller that tells that her mother was raped by the king of the vampires Kagan and she decides to destroy her father. In her journey for revenge, she meets Vladimir and Sebastian, the leaders of the fortress of vampire hunters Brimstone, and she joins their society. She seeks for powerful talismans to defeat Kagan, while the skilled warriors Vladimir and Sebastian train her to face the forces of Kagan and her human side falls in love with Sebastian.

     I remember renting that movie from Blockbuster – say, remember Blockbuster? — and having the checkout clerk warn us that “this movie is really bad.”

     If you haven’t seen it, Ben Kingsley is in it.

     This sent me and the CSO into a new hunt: really bad movies starring first-echelon stars. Eventually we turned it around: we asked What first-echelon stars have appeared in really bad movies? Which, in the sweet rushing fullness of time, became What first-echelon stars haven’t appeared in at least one really bad movie?

     Give us your citations in the comments.


     That’s all for the moment, Gentle Readers. The CSO is about to leave for yoga and I’m heading back to fiction…assuming Joy the Newf will permit:

     Lately, she hasn’t – and at 130 pounds and still growing, Joy has some influence. Enjoy your last pre-Christmas Saturday.


Skip to comment form

    • Alex Lund on December 18, 2021 at 9:35 AM

    Just look up all the movies made by Uwe Boll. Michael Pare, Ralf Moeller, Kristinna Loken.
    Then we have Beerfest with Jurgen Prochnow, Moeller, Donald Sutherland and Willie Nelson.
    Eragon with Jeremy Irons.

  1. Regarding the label, I do hope the emperor is cool with that.

    • Daniel K Day on December 18, 2021 at 2:34 PM

    It’s Chinese, not Japanese. I think you know you can take my word on that.

    • SteveF on December 18, 2021 at 6:04 PM

    As DKD suggests, the label in the first item is Chinese. Maybe twenty years ago my wife and I had fun going through really bad Chinese menus (PRC Chinese menus, not What-passes-for-Chinese-restaurants-in-the-US Chinese menus), laughing at the calamitously bad English names for the dishes, and then going through symbol by symbol and figuring out where the mistranslations came in. (To be clear, she was doing the latter, what with being Chinese. I can sorta-kinda carry on a conversation and sorta-kinda read simplified Chinese but that’s not good enough for this.)
    The reason “fuck” appears in so many wildly inappropriate places is because “zuo”, “to make” or “to do”, is a common word. And what English word is the the real meaning of the colloquial English word “do”, as in “do someone”? Yep. Well done, people.
    “Cowboy” was often used for “veal”. Young cow. Boy cow. Cowboy!
    Going word by word, we could see how a perfectly good name turned into “Cowboy salt fuck noodels” (though the misspelling was gratuitous). The errors are not justfiable but they are understandable.
    Regarding appalling movies by top-tier stars, check out The Name of the Rose, headlined by Sean Connery. Opinion differs on whether he was a good actor but there’s no denying that he was top-tier.
    Actually, no, I can’t do that to you. Don’t check out The Name of the Rose.
    Then there was The Untouchables, also with Sean Connery. That one had Keven Costner, though, so it was pretty well guaranteed to be awful regardless of other stars or the greatest drector since Alfred Hitchcock.

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