INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 71: Animal planet.


INDIGNITY VOL. 3, NO. 71: Animal planet.
Bradley Cooper is a raccoon who will make you cry. Photo by Marvel Studios/Courtesy Marvel Studios - © 2023 MARVEL.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Directed by James Gunn

THIS PAST WEEKEND, seven horses died at the racetrack where the Kentucky Derby was held. Two of them died—or more accurately, were euthanized—in preliminary races on Derby Day itself. I got a bet down on the Derby Saturday, and I lost a few bucks.

Sunday, I went to see the latest Marvel comic-book movie! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. In the tradition of many great Disney products such as Bambi and Dumbo (I know, I know, it’s a Marvel comic-book movie, but they are owned by Disney now, they have been assimilated, all is Disney), young animals are [SPOILER ALERT] traumatized and killed by callous humans seeking to further their own selfish aims. The bad guys!

This might be it for me and betting on horses. It wasn’t the news of the horses meeting their end at the racetrack, it was this goddamn sad comic-book movie! At least in the movie, No Animals Were Harmed, it was all computer stuff! Also, this film, rated “PG-13,” has the F-word in it. I am kinda puzzled on how it didn’t get an ‘R,” maybe because it was “fleeting,” I think, is the argument for this type of employment of the F-word? Anyway, it was funny when they said it.

Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff in space. Photo by Marvel Studios/Courtesy of Marvel Studios - © 2023 MARVEL.

Also, this mostly enjoyable comic-book movie has some ultra-violence and gore that would be a bridge too far for the wee ones, I think, so if you have small children, think real hard about letting them see this flick, which was a highly entertaining with funny parts bang-pow-zap comic-book movie with great special effects and a fun soundtrack. But also: sad. If you can afford to spring for tickets to a 3-D screening, consider going for it; there’s one wild fight sequence that could make it worthwhile, and while I didn’t screen it in 3-D, I was sitting with a friend of mine who is a film professional, and they said, with a little regret in their voice, they could tell that part was totally geared for a 3-D experience. Many parts of this Major Motion Picture were filmed on location, in Space (kidding, but hey, that Tom Cruise movie is coming up if you’re into that literal-realism thing), and they are the Guardians of the Galaxy and stuff, so they go out into the galaxy and it’s all crazy and super-trippy and colorful, and I’d even say sit a row or two up closer than usual, if you have a usual non-front-row spot you like to sit in for a movie in a theater, which, if you want the full effect bang/buckwise, is where you should sit, in a theater, a big auditorium with a big screen.

Will Poulter and Elizabeth Debicki. I forgot to mention this golden goofball and mom. Annoying character, will probably be in more Marvel Universe movies. Photo by Jessica Miglio/Jessica Miglio - © MARVEL 2023.

Also, I thought they mighta broken the record or at least the Personal Best of famous Hater of comic-book movies Martin Scorsese, for music cues, which, if you are not familiar, is the term—not to be confused with music cues in musical composition or performance or on stage—for music that gets in a scene. It can be argued that in the case of a lesser movie, such as Casino, some music cues, from songs already recorded—as opposed to a composer’s “score” [OFFICIAL SCORE SPOILER HERE] which used to do all the work, are employed in quantity to give more power and resonance to scenes, and as a way to patch over jarring cuts and to string otherwise uncoördinated sequences together, li’l bit.

Chukwudi Iwuji. Photo by Marvel Studios/Courtesy of Marvel Studios - © 2023 MARVEL.

Yeesh, sorry to get all into the weeds on this. Feel free to correct me. Also there are, of course, other opinions!

Filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995) is structured around a compiled score of almost sixty popular music recordings. Scorsese himself, working with editor Thelma Schoonmaker and using digital editing tools for the first time, assembled and arranged a diverse body of pre-existing music into a unified score that plays for more than two of the film’s three hours. This article offers a close analysis of Scorsese acting as composer—crafting Casino’s compiled score in the manner of a DJ—and, in reciprocal fashion, editing film images and narrative to recorded music. Casino demonstrates highly varied, multivalent relationships between musical form and film form. Indeed, musical form proves a constituent element of Casino’s construction at multiple levels of magnification. The large-scale form of the score as a whole articulates the larger arc of Casino’s dual narrative. The strategic deployment of musical styles (from jazz to rock to pop) and the targeted use of lyrics as voiceover (often subtly deploying aspects of racial performance in popular styles) serve to differentiate narrative strands and fill out otherwise unspoken characterization. Scorsese builds several sequences in Casino on a direct, often audible relationship between song forms and narrative unfolding, creating song scenes in which compiled tracks heard as musical wholes grant a musical shape to discrete narrative units. Casino’s complex use of music does not, however, penetrate the inner lives of the film’s three primary characters, who seem unaware of the musical flow Scorsese employs to set their story dancing. The analysis draws upon the filmmaker’s own words about his creative process and offers select comparisons to other Scorsese films with compiled scores. —The Filmmaker as DJ: Martin Scorsese’s Compiled Score for Casino (1995), by Todd Decker

So, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 only has, to the best of my memory, 15 or 16 music cues from “popular music recordings” [MUSIC SPOILER INFORMATION HERE], but still, wow, they musta had a great budget to pay for music in this flick. There was even an oddball choice that played during the closing credits, which I will not SPOILER, but extra-also, there are two little pieces of extra Marvel business during the credits.

More space. © cedricdumler ©️MarvelStudios

There are wonderful actors and also Sylvester Stallone in this comic-book movie, and it’s a lot sometimes, I think, for them to work through all the gear and makeup and special effects. Karen Gillan, as the partial robot Nebula (another sad story), uses her voice really well to help define her character’s personality, but I bet she’s glad these Guardians movies are over, I mean, she’s already successful and stuff and probably made a nice paycheck, but I dunno, if I was paying careful attention to my career, and to people recognizing me as a celebrity or whatever, to help my profile, this is a tough look, buried in robot makeup, you know?

Zoe Saldana. Photo by Marvel Studios/Courtesy of Marvel Studios - © 2023 MARVEL.

Chukwudi Iwuji plays the High Evolutionary, a scary-bad person, and he’s got that classy/creepy/psycho thing going real good, very top-notch Evil, with the classy English accent. Dave Bautista gets a lotta laughs as the dense, violent Drax, and his character also has a super-sad backstory, and wow, what a surprise, Drax’s excellent comedic foil, Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff, another buried-in-makeup actor, also has a sad and lonely history, jeez. Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, the head Guardian, is fine, and gets some depth, as does Zoe Saldana as space-assassin Gamora, and they are part of a sad romantic relationship and both also have sad backstories, I am tired of this. The voice of the adult space-raccoon, Rocket, is from Bradley Cooper, and it’s a wonderful (sad) character and it ties the whole movie together, and one more time, I’m not kidding about the animal stuff, there are some dark, dark scenes with talking animals, and friendship, and family, and I got a little teared up, I’m not gonna lie. Would see again! In 3-D!


New York City, May 7, 2023

★★★★ The strength of the early daylight inspired the cat to be insufferable while people were still trying to sleep. Motes of dust floated in a bedroom sunbeam. Music and chatter came in the open windows. The older boy stumbled over a heavy hydrant cap detached and left on the sidewalk. On Central Park West, Mexican flags caught the sun and the breeze, muscle cars revved their engines, and a huge speaker stack played out the raised rear gate of a minivan. The lawn inside the Park, down toward the Pool, was thick with unmown plantain leaves. Honeysuckle blossoms lined the branches. Two turtles sunned themselves on a rock with one end white with guano. The air was warm and a little heavy to breathe. A chipmunk clung sideways to a tree where sun met shadow, chirping, its russet rump aglow in chiaroscuro. Oval samaras came drifting over the path as lightly as the morning dust motes had, and landed with a patter like rain. Dogs were out on picnic blankets; men had shed the shirts from their pale torsos. There was a cool, earthy smell in the shade and a warm, grassy smell in the sun. A contrail broken into segments passed through the center of a wisp of cloud, looking like a spinal x-ray. Smooth, undulating clouds spread over the cooking hour, and at storytime the rain was audibly coming down.


Indignity Morning Podcast No. 62: All out of ideas.

Tom Scocca • May 8, 2023

Listen now (2 min) | The Indignity Morning Podcast is also available via the Apple and Spotify platforms.

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The Indignity Morning Podcast is also available via the Apple and Spotify platforms.


WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of sandwiches from More Recipes for Fifty, by Frances Lowe Smith, published in 1921, found in the public domain and available at for the delectation of all.

Chop cucumber and onion until very fine ; moisten with highly seasoned French Dressing. Spread slices of bread with some of the dressing. Put together with crisp, shredded lettuce and cucumber mixture. Chopped celery or green pepper may be added.

1 pound butter substitute
3 cups chopped ham
3 cups chopped chicken
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salad dressing

Rub butter till creamy; add finely chopped ham and chicken; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread slices of bread with Mayonnaise or Boiled Salad Dressing. Put together with chicken and ham mixture.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, kindly send a picture to us at

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