Wilford My Brimley

by Timothy N. Tanner 

In a strange and troubling nightmare I had the other night, I was put down for the count by my enemy in the dream, Wilford Brimley. I couldn’t move. Despite flexing every muscle in my body, I was frozen to the ground. Wilford Brimley smiled through his super-mustached lip and leaned in close, super close. He was so close to my face I could feel his warm breath. As if it were possible, he got even closer, moving to my ear. At this point I could feel his mythical mustache brushing against my ear.

Oh god! The humanity! He was breathing his heavy diabetic breath in my ear as if he had a message for me, or he wanted to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. I braced myself, not ready to hear what he had to say.

Suddenly he meows. It’s very loud. So loud in fact I am awakened from sleep to realize that my overweight, pure black cat, Tuna, is rubbing his face on my face and had meowed in my ear. He was hungry. He’s always hungry!

“Brimley? Oh wait….it’s just Tuna.” © Tim Tanner, 2014
“Brimley? Oh, wait… It’s just Tuna.” © Tim Tanner, 2014

For the remainder of the day I thought of Wilford Brimley. It is also disturbing to note that for whatever reason my brain associated Wilford Brimley with my cat Tuna. As if I need to get any creepier, my mind associated Wilford Brimley with my cat wanting to almost whisper a possibly sexy secret in my ear. Did I have an almost homoerotic dream about Wilford Brimley? Have those words EVER been written before? I’d dare to say probably, but not many.

Thinking of the Brimley, one iconic memory of him sticks out in my head the most: The Thing. I know, I know, what about the “die-a-beat-us”? This also stuck in my mind, but I like to think of him in better times, possible before he had type-2 beetus. He played an amazing part in The Thing, even destroying a man’s face by putting his fingers through the man’s face skin. Yeah, that’s how I remember the Brimley most. Don’t forget about Hard Target you say? How could I?! Ole Wilford played the hell out of his old Cajun role, an older man who was like a father to the almost forgettable JCVD. Directed by John Woo and bad guyed by Lance Henriksen, it can never fade from my memory. Seeing Wilford Brimley expertly wield a bow and arrow is the stuff of beloved cinema history.

Knowing these things, I still let my mind wander on about the Brimley. Liberty Medical supplies must be really benefiting from his spokesmanship, right? I did some investigating to find out that my suddenly beloved Brimley is nowhere on their website. I even checked the IMDb and he hasn’t done any movies since 2012. That saddened me.

What happened to you, Wilford? Where have you gone? Why do I care? Why do you haunt me so? Could you get Guttenburg to use his star power to make a Cocoon 3? Could you forget I suggested Cocoon 3?

Wilford Brimley, because of you my life is in shambles.

Thoughts – 7-31-14

For some reason, I’m thinking about 80s movies as I write this. I like quite a few 80s films. Let’s face it; it was a great decade for movies. It gave us Terminator, Ghostbusters, two-thirds of the Star Wars trilogy, the Indiana Jones movies, E.T., Tron, and more than a few horror classics as well. The lists can go on and on and on. For today’s simple thought, I wanted to recommend two of my favorite 80s films: Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins and The Last Starfighter. Both have just the right amount of cheesiness and corniness, so enjoy! Let me know some of your favorite 80s movies in the comments below.

What if Batman were a Marvel Character?

Here’s the followup to my most successful post ever over at Sourcerer. Give it a read if you haven’t.


Happy new book day, everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Welcome to the beginning of the second six months of this Batman column. Awhile back I asked a popular question: is Batman a Marvel character trapped in the DC Universe? The Internet reacted favorably. This seems to be a popular line of thought, being as even Joss Whedon has joked about it during press conferences. Today, I wish to propose a few thought experiments to determine what Batman might actually be like if he were a Marvel character.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Imagine... Courtesy of DC Comics. Art by the late, great Joe Kubert. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Imagine… Courtesy of DC Comics. Art by the late, great Joe Kubert.

To begin, this doesn’t seem like a very new question in Nerd Culture. Back in 2001, DC actually thumbed its nose at Marvel by putting out a series of stories where they allowed Stan Lee to reimagine most of their major characters as he would have…

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Silverback Gorilla Hand

The texture in this photo amazes me. This is an actual silverback gorilla hand. It was confiscated in Burundi, preserved by a taxidermist, and used as evidence in an international poaching trial. Once the trial was over, it was donated to an NGO for scientific and educational purposes. It found its way somehow to a zoo in Hattiesburg, MS. It is now part of a display which explains that it is a real ill-gotten gorilla hand and was evidence in a poaching trial.

© Gene’O, 2014.

Poor gorilla, is all I could think as I snapped this photo. Weeks later, I look at the image and it’s like some strange wizard’s artifact from another universe. If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I would not believe it’s real.

I once studied with a professor who worked for the AP for years in Africa before he took up teaching. He told me a story about an encounter he once had with a silverback gorilla. The professor, his wife (who also worked for the AP), and their guide (who was armed) came upon a group of gorillas somewhere in the African wild. One of the gorillas charged. The guide did not raise his rifle. He cautioned everyone to stand still and not make eye contact. The gorilla stopped short at the last minute, checked them out for a bit, then went back to his gorilla life.

I have no idea whether that guide was wise or foolish, but it sure is a cool story, and I’m glad it involves neither a person getting mauled nor a gorilla getting shot. 🙂

Thoughts – 7-30-14

Writing about the DC Comics multiverse for Sourcerer really has me thinking about all the possibilities that might be out there. I know I’m guilty of thinking of endless what-ifs, of separate realities where my and my family’s major decisions were different and therefore provided different outcomes. I wonder who I am in those other worlds, if they do indeed exist. Who else thinks about these things a lot? I know I can’t be alone. Let’s converse.

Thoughts – 7-25-14

Attack on Titan promotional image from http://www.imdb.com/media/rm198104320/tt2560140?ref_=tt_ov_i
Attack on Titan promotional image from http://www.imdb.com/media/rm198104320/tt2560140?ref_=tt_ov_i

Continuing from yesterday’s thoughts on East Asian entertainment available on Netflix, I thought I’d also throw together a few recommendations for high quality anime available there.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

2. Trigun and Trigun: Badlands Rumble

3. Attack on Titan (see my post on Mikasa at Part Time Monster)

4. Knights of Sidonia (review forthcoming)

5. Samurai Champloo

6. Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne (caution: this one is most definitely not for kids, though none of these truly are)

Samurai Champloo image from http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2164563200/tt0423731?ref_=ttmd_md_pv
Samurai Champloo image from http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2164563200/tt0423731?ref_=ttmd_md_pv

I hope those of you who check these out enjoy them. And those of you who have already experienced these anime should feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Thoughts – 7-24-14

Oldboy movie poster taken from http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1299029248/tt0364569?ref_=tt_ov_i
Oldboy movie poster taken from http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1299029248/tt0364569?ref_=tt_ov_i

I’m a big fan of South Korean revenge films. I’m not sure exactly how I discovered them, though it may have been that showing of Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy I attended in college. Either way, I’m slightly obsessed with them. They show off a brutal side of being human that many people shy away from. Rather than hiding from the darkness, these films wholeheartedly embrace it. Netflix has helped me immensely in this fascination, and there are always a few options available for instant viewing. Aside from Oldboy, I also recommend The Man from Nowhere and I Saw the Devil. If you have any of your own recommendations, please feel free to share them in the comments below.