The Incredibles was airing on the flight from Boston to San Francisco on Tuesday. I’d seen it before, in the theaters when it came out, but I liked it so much I watched it again on the tiny monitor four rows in front of me. And it’s just as good the second time.
What’s fascinating about the movie is that it’s based on this powerfully undemocratic, unegalitarian message.
In the conversation below Helen is the (superhero-in-hiding) mother and Dash is her son.
DASH You always say, ”Do your best.” But you don’t really mean it. Why can’t I do the best that I can do? HELEN Right now, honey, the world just wants us to fit in, and to fit in, we just gotta be like everybody else. DASH Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of. Our powers made us special. HELEN Everyone’s special, Dash. DASH Which is another way of saying no one is.
The protagonists (Mr Incredible and his family) have super powers. The villain (Syndrome) doesn’t have any powers, but he’s really smart and so he invents weapons and jet-boots and other things so that he can act like a super hero. His vile scheme is to give his inventions away to everyone so that being super won’t matter anymore.
He must be stopped.
There are a few choice bits of dialog in the plot (Bob is Mr Incredible, and Helen is his wife):
BOB Reliving the glory days is better than acting like they didn’t happen! HELEN Yes! They happened! But this, our family, is what’s happening now, Bob. And you are missing this! I can’t believe you don’t want to go to your own son’s graduation. BOB It’s not a graduation. He’s moving from the fourth grade to the fifth grade. HELEN It’s a ceremony! BOB It’s psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity but if someone is genuinely exceptional…
A great movie.
The Mozilla TAG meeting was pretty great yesterday; maybe I’ll post some thoughts here later. I’m in Utah today, and going back to Boston tomorrow.
Got into Boston from Europe Saturday night. It was a strange 7-hour flight back. The person sitting next to me didn’t do anything the entire flight. He didn’t watch a movie, didn’t read a book or magazine or newspaper, didn’t play video games on the seat-back monitor, and he didn’t sleep. He did eat the in-flight food. But mainly he just sat there, staring straight ahead. Creepy.
The weather was superb this weekend and I got to eat dinner on my porch Sunday night with the de Icazas and the LeSages. Robert and I went to New York yesterday to meet with one of our customers. Due to some mainly inscrutable logistical reason, all the shuttle flights back to Boston were canceled, so we ended up renting a car and driving back. Bored on the car ride, we made videos with my new phone and SMS’d them to Miguel. He in turn recorded himself sitting in his office and sent replies to us.
(You can view these videos with Real player)
It was cool, sitting there in the car watching Miguel sitting there in his office.
Joe: There’s a golf course on your right. Us: Cool. Joe: Huh, what’s that strange building coming up on your left? Us: It’s a Marriott. Joe: Oh. Cool.
My new phone is pretty awesome. It can take 1280×1024 stills, videos, it has a voice recorder, it plays MP3s, AACs, and MPEG4 movies, you can put 1GB of MMC memory in it, it has a radio, web browser, IM client, IMAP client, POP client, walky-talky feature, word-by-word translator for six different languages, and of course bluetooth with GPRS so I can dial up from my laptop with it.
[nat@booyakasha ~]$ hcitool scan
00:13:70:A8:8A:62 Nat 00:13:70:A8:86:EC love machine
It took about five minutes to setup Bluetooth with SUSE 9.3; I just enabled the service in Yast, set a PIN, and then configured a PPP connection to dial-up via the bluetooth device.
Oh yeah, it can also place and receive phone calls.
GUADEC should be six days. Three days is not enough time to talk to everyone or to accomplish much. It’s just enough time to remind us that we like working together, but not enough time to actually forge or strengthen working relationships. Conversations just get started; they do not get finished.
A six-day GUADEC would also allow us to have a dedicated two-day hackfest, with a set of “what we accomplished” lightning talks at the end.
Jon Trowbridge and I went up to Sacré-Coeur on Thursday night to sit on the steps, drink some wine and enjoy the view. There was the playing of guitars, the singing of young voices, and the swigging directly from the bottle of cheap vodka (not just an American activity, it turns out).
It was a nice moment. Until some dirty hooligans stole my camera from its resting place next to my knee. I knew as soon as they’d lifted it and sprang up to give chase, but they had a motorcycle waiting and so there was no hope.
I just wanted to look them in the eye, you know?
So you won’t be getting any photos from Paris.
The sad thing is, this was my second Canon 20D; the first one I left in a taxi a few months ago, and had to replace. The day I replaced it, I remember, I left the replacement in a taxi as well, and had to run down the street after it. “Stop!” I yelled. “You have my camera!”
On this trip I also lost four badmitton rackets, two books, a frisbee and four airline upgrade certificates.
Mom was right. I really wasn’t meant to have nice things.
On the positive side, I had some delicious breakfasts at Le Pain Quotidien, did a lot of nice walking around Paris, Miguel and I ran into Jon Trowbridge in Les Tuileries, and it was nice to meet Jean-Baptiste, the author of Cecil.
I am going to be in New York on Monday for a customer visit and I’m supposed to go to San Francisco on Wednesday for the Mozilla TAG meeting but my level of enthusiasm for time spent in airplanes is pretty low right now.
After my post about DreamWorks using GNOME to produce Madagascar, several Pixar employees mailed to remind me that Pixar produced both The Incredibles and Finding Nemo primarily using Linux and GNOME.
These posters are in French in recognition of the fact that I am headed to Paris tonight. I’d love to meet up with any hackers in the area who are free for dinner tonight or tomorrow. Mail me!