Karl has officially lost his job.  He has also been on the run from the police, has suffered from a general lack of structure, and has putting together a To-Do List for getting his life back together (including “Gonna do some ‘shups. At least 13.”)

But the more interesting developments are in the territory of a) articles about Karl and b) possible fan fiction about Karl and c) a book probably by Karl Welzein.

In the articles department, the folks over at The AV Club huff-and-posted out an article about Karl in which they basically just explain who Karl is to their readers and then explain that Karl responded to The New York Times about Guy Fieri.  It might be redundant, but it’s a good introduction to Karl (not that any readers of this web-log need to be introduced.)

But the really good stuff out there is in the department of things that make you say “is this fan fiction or canon or what the hell is this?”  We have at least one excellent example of this, in the twitter account of Ann O’Brien-Welzein,  Karl’s estranged spouse.  It’s unclear whether or not this is being written by the same author, or if it’s just written by an overly-enthusiastic fan of Karl.  Either way, it’s mildly entertaining without ever reaching the same scale or magnificence as Karl’s adventures.   Regardless of its author, Ann’s narrative has begun to spin into other corners of the internet.  While Karl has an obsession with Craigslist (useful for branching out with his narrative), Ann has taken to reddit, going to /r/books and starting “Let’s Read It (Together!) The Ann O’Brien-Welzein Book Club For Single Mothers With Rabies”.  

Finally, there is something that is either pending fan fiction or an incredible new venue for Karl.  That’s right, I’m talking about Power Moves: Livin’ the American Dream, USA Style, a forthcoming e-book that may or may not be actually written by Karl.  The question is, what is it?  It has not been mentioned, or alluded to, in his twitter feed.  Is it a collection of his tweets, in book form?  A spin-off narrative?  A prequel?  Or just more fan fiction?  All I know is that the title sounds very Karlesque.

As I believe in giving credit where credit is due, I should explain that my discovery of this resulted from checking what other websites are leading to this one. After a cursory amount of research, I learned that this indeed looks to be likely, as a guy named @TheCaptainLou has been tweeting everything he can find related to it, including page 26 of this and then this.

According to @TheCaptainLou, this is the possible cover for the book.

So yeah, Karl is writing a book.  Whether or not it’s going to end up being addressed in the Karl feed or if this is going to be some separate universe from the twitter feed is still unknown.  Obviously, this will be blowing up on the Karl subreddit (which, if you didn’t know it, not only exists but has an entire 107 subscribers.)

And finally, I don’t know who made this, but it’s pretty great:

ImageOf course, all of this is just the inevitable lead-up to the eventual Karl Welzein television show, starring Christian Bale.

Interested in more Karl?  Check out Bold Flavors: Why Bale Should Portray Karl Welzein and Recommended Reading: Installment #1

If you find yourself reading this blog with any regularity, you probably realize that the updates are few and far between.  A large part of this is that this blog’s author likes to put enough effort into each post to warrant the post’s existence.  The other reason is that, well, hypothetical Christian Bale films can be a tiring subject if overdone.

Which is why we present to you a new experiment that could become a regular installment or could disappear after this post: Recommended Reading, for fans of What Should Bale Do.  A series of other blog posts, forums, and essays around the internet that relate to some of the same themes as previous posts on What Should Bale Do:

1. Tyler Durden and Jay Gatsby

Perhaps it’s obvious, but until recently I had never heard anyone point out the obvious similarities between the structure and premise of Fight Club and The Great Gatsby.  But you can see in this essay (published in The F. Scott Fitzgerald Reader, Vol. 6 2007-2008) that not only are there connections, but someone has taken the time to write about those connections for 27 scholarly pages.  It’s worth a perusal, if you have the time.

Read More

Warning: Fight Club Spoilers Within

We all know that Fight Club is the story of two men who turn out to really be just one man.  The story of a nameless insomniac, referred to by fans as either “Jack” or “The Narrator,” and his friend Tyler Durden.  Everyone knows that, in the film’s final act, we learn that “Jack” never really had a friend named Tyler.  That Tyler Durden was the Narrator all along.  That they are the same person.

What this theory suggests is simple: what if they weren’t the same person?  What if Tyler Durden was a real, distinct, flesh-and-blood person?

Tyler and The Narrator. Two different people. Not a guy and his imaginary friend.

When you watch Fight Club now, you notice all the small details.  That the phone in the phone booth says “No Incoming Calls.”  That when “Jack” asks “Could you wake up as a different person?” we see Tyler Durden for the first time, at the airport.  That Tyler Durden lives on Paper Street, a supposedly non-existent road.  That Tyler warned the Narrator never to talk to anyone about him.  That Tyler and the Narrator have the same life story, a story of paternal abandonment, the inability to find happiness with a college degree and a job and no wife or family.  And so on and so on.

No incoming calls. Taken from http://www.11points.com/movies/11_hidden_secrets_in_fight_club (It’s a good website, check it out.)

Instead, consider this: The Narrator was a desperately lonely man at the beginning of Fight Club, as we already know.  He went to support groups for diseases he did not have, he traveled extensively for business doing a job that drove him to misery, and he had no true friends.  One day, he met a man who embodied everything he wanted to be.  Handsome, confident, charming, and truly clever, Tyler Durden presented himself in The Narrator’s life and, in their brief interaction on the plane, The Narrator saw an opportunity for someone to be more than a single-serving friend.  He lived in the same city as this other man, and could see himself becoming this man’s friend.

Read More

Warning: Spoilers for all the Batman films, as well as a few Batman comics, abound in the following:

The most troubling element of the Dark Knight Trilogy (as it is now known) is that the entirety of Gotham City does not realize that Batman is Bruce Wayne.  Interestingly enough, a variety of characters figure it out throughout the film not because he tells them, but through deduction alone.

Consider that, by the end of the series, the following characters (approximately chronologically) know that Bruce Wayne and Batman are indeed the same person:

  • Ra’s Al Ghul
  • Alfred Pennyworth
  • Lucius Fox
  • Rachel Dawes
  • Coleman Reese (the accountant guy who tries to blackmail them)
  • John Blake
  • Selina Kyle
  • Bane
  • The entire League of Shadows
  • Commissioner James Gordon

These people fall into three categories: those who naturally know that Bruce is Batman because they watched him become Batman (i.e. Alfred, R’as, and Lucius), those who know he is Batman because he disclosed his identity (Rachel, Selina, and Gordon), and those who deduced it (Blake and Reese.)  Bane and the League of Shadows fall into the first category, as they know Bruce is Batman because he used to be one of them.

Read More

So the internet is having a complete meltdown because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will no longer be teenage nor mutant.  They will be aliens, they will not be teenagers, and there will be no garbage-truck-radioactive-chemicals origin story.    Redditors have been panicking with each new development,  the guy who did the voice of Michelangelo in the first movie is also panicking about it, and someone even started the biggest waste-of-time petition in history.

Michael Bay has been spending all of his time reassuring everyone that they are being complete babies about this, but alas, I feel the problem is actually the oppostite of what the fans are saying.  The problem is that Michael Bay might not be rebooting the Ninja Turtles as much as necessary.  The series is tired and needs new life.  Rebootds are allowed to make major changes.  If James Bond could lose his gadgets and Q and Moneypenny for Casino Royale and if Star Trek could swap Spock with Kirk for Uhura’s love interest, then surely a few changes can be made in order to liven up the origins of the Ninja Turtles (especially considering their origins are heavily plagiaristic of those of another superhero.)  And the answer to how Bay can thoroughly reboot TMNT is simple: Christian Bale as Casey Jones.

Casey Jones, the ally of the Turtles. Not to be confused with the railroad engineer or Grateful Dead song.

The biggest problem with the original TMNT film trilogy is that there is no protagonist in any of the films.  The first film gives us a number of potential main characters to follow, each with their own depth and story arch.  Unfortunately, with a running time of 93 minutes, this cast of characters is not able to develop beyond “They learn a couple things about the value of family and friendship,” which is an important message but fails to connect with all the things going on at once. Read More

Add The Hunger Games to the endless list of films that everyone knows are about something, but no one can agree on what.  Unfortunately, The Hunger Games  only has one clear message: there are good people, there are evil people, and it’s okay for good people to kill bad people.

[Yes, this entire post is nothing but spoilers for The Hunger Games.]

The Hunger Games has many opportunities to ask many fundamental questions about what makes us human, about the nature of good vs. evil, about desperation and survival, friendship and betrayal.  And while it is cleverly ambiguous in terms of what political stance it’s taking, there is no question that Katniss is doing the right thing every time she kills a person.  Not only does she kill a number of people without showing any remorse or conflict, but every person she kills is not regarded as being a peer, another cog in the machine, or another pawn hopelessly being played.  No, she kills every one of them as if they are an instrument of evil… and the audience is meant to feel the same way.

We know from the very beginning that Katniss is who we are rooting for.  It’s hard to say why, other than that she is on the screen the most.  She’s anti-social, rude, condescending, self-righteous, and she breathes through her mouth, Twilight-style.  We are told that she is one of the few good people in The Hunger Games.  The rest are “career” tributes, expendable extras, or nice people who she wants to protect.

Can anyone explain to me why no one in these teen movies knows how to breathe through their nose?

The Career tributes are the most troubling.  They are a group of other teens who a) are all good looking and athletic, b) hang out with one another and for some reason do not kill one another, and c) are absolutely terrible at the competition.  At one point, four of them go to sleep at the bottom of a tree, with zero plan to protect themselves or even post someone to watch for the night.  So… Career Tributes are not only really evil, but they’re also really stupid.

Read More

A 26 year old impoverished Slovakian man named Zoltan Kohari lives in an abandoned building, wearing a Batman costume he made himself.  He hopes to help the police and recently was the subject of series of photos published by Reuters.

Police in Brazil have officially hired a 50 year old Batman impersonator to fight crime  and to serve as a figure of hope and justice, particularly for children in poor neighborhoods.

A street performer in Toronto walks around in a full Batman costume, shouting “WHERE ARE THEY?” at startled passersby.

Perhaps this is most reminiscent of the moment when Bruce Wayne told Alfred, “That’s not exactly what I had in mind when I said I wanted to inspire people” about the gun-carrying Batman copycats roaming Gotham in The Dark Knight.  Or maybe it closer parallels the efforts made by Bruce Wayne to franchise the Batman name and logo in the Batman Incorporated comics series.

Batman doesn’t use guns.

The question is, who can be Batman?  Is it only the wealthiest, the strongest, the smartest?  If those were the qualities required, surely it would not be any of the three men currently dressing as Batman.  Zoltan Kohari does not have the money, resources, or skills of the Wayne heir.  Andre Luiz Pinheiro does not have the youth (bringing up the obvious comparison to Frank Miller’s depiction of an aging Wayne) and, unlike Batman, he has the cooperation of the police. The Toronto Batman does not have any real drive beyond a sense of humor. Read More


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