Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cavalock and The Vintage Revisitation

It's the crazy house that keeps on giving! Nah, it's not as creepy as it sounds but just when I thought there's aren't any vintage stuff left to uncover in the old family home, I found more last month. Some of them have already found new homes with friends, others are still looking. The six old unused glass whiskey or cognac bottles below were snapped up within a day after I posted them on my Facebook!

Now these are some dining table cloth mats that I have no idea where they were from. Found neatly folded up in a drawer and like most of the stuff, never been used. I'm guessing they are at least 40 years old or more. The design looks kinda middle-easten but as far as I know no one in my family has ever been to that part of the world. Maybe they were a gift? Anyway, if anyone is interested in them, just name a price and we'll see. ;)

Here's another piece of vintage oddity I found. Well, it's not the first time I came across these. I actually discovered about five or six of these old flour sacks earlier last year. Now these aren't dirty old sacks, they are incredibly clean, dried and neatly folded away for decades. I swear they look and feel brand new! I asked my 92-year-old aunt last year about them, and she told me how she washed and sunned them out to dry. Friends and neighbours would ask her for them, it just sounds so strange! The first batch I found, I passed them all to a friend who said she wanted to make cushions outta them. I'm thinking this new five sacks would look pretty cool hanging on the wall of some hipster joint.

While going through the old place, I found a hard cardboard cylinder tucked in a corner of my late uncle's bedroom. Opened the top, and out rolled these old retro posters from the 1960s. You got Chicago's Old Town, Washington and San Francisco. My late uncle spent most of the 60s and 70s working in the US so these meant a lot to him. They look alright, a little yellow around the edges cos they are after all almost 50 years old. I don't think they were ever pasted on any walls so if you want any of them, l'm giving them for free.

Time to turn on the ‘geek rant font’ so turn back if you aren’t a geek. I’m probably one of the very few Star Wars fan out there who greeted the news that the Expanded Universe won’t be part of the official Star Wars Universe with a huge sigh of relief. For the record, I HATE the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

I have many reasons to hate the Expanded Universe and here’s one of the main causes. When one of the early Expanded Universe novels Heir to The Empire appeared on the shelves, I devoured it earnestly. I thought it was all right even though there were bits in the story and characterizations that I found bumpy. The main uneasy part being the lead villain wasn’t exactly human. Now there is a reason why the evil Galactic Empire, as seen in Episodes 4 to 6, consisted mostly of white males. Lucas has mentioned in past interviews that he fashioned the Empire after the fascist and racist Nazi regime of WWII. Just about everything from the slick black uniforms to the name “stormtroppers” are reminiscent of Hitler’s SS and the German army. Then you have the good guys in the Rebellion that consists of male and female humans as well as aliens. The heroes practice diversity while the villains don’t, that’s a pretty simple point to follow.

I thought casting a non-human in the role of an Empire officer in that novel was a one-off fluke. But then I noticed aliens and even female officers popping up in other Expanded Universe materials like comics and video games. In subsequent novels, they were almost as diversified as the Rebellion! Well, if they wanna crap all over the Lucas’ original vision, then count me out.

It’s like an upstart movie director who wants to make a WWII movie but decides to cast all Asians, blacks or women as Nazi officers just for the sake of diversity. You can’t portray an evil chauvinistic, fascist Empire by doing that. Well, maybe for a small art house movie you can but that’s not the point.

Well, another reason why I don’t like the Expanded Universe stories is how emo most of them were or are. No one was emo in Episodes 4 to 6. There was only one love story and that was kept direct and to the point. In the Expanded Universe, I remember relationship discussions between Luke and Mara Jade taking waaaay too many pages. Then when the Han and Leia had kids, geez, kid-parent relationship topics reared its ugly pimpled-riddled head. Why am I suddenly reading about groups of rebellious teens, angry parents and love-triangles in a Star Wars adventure?!? To me, the original Star Wars is about action and adventure in space, not all that emo shenanigans!

Yah, there are other reasons why I hate the Expanded Universe but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate all the work and effort that went into it, hey, I did enjoy playing the old Dark Forces shooter game immensely. To me, the whole Expanded Universe is more like a giant corporate fanfic machine with no single creative direction. It's not the real Star Wars universe. Come on, if it's that good why didn't Lucas annex it? 

Ok, rant over for now! Live long and prosper! :P

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