Flashbacks: Ang Lee on the Hulk’s indestructible pants, on the job with a bounty hunter, and Yoko Ono’s nation of women

5 Years Ago
June 13, 2003 | Peter Keough wondered why Bruce Banner’s pants stay on when he undergoes transformation into the Hulk.
“To his credit, director Ang Lee broaches this question on his own. ‘People always ask, including myself, how come the pants always stay on? I wanted my Hulk to be naked. When he fights the dogs [these are mutant Hulk dogs, sicced on his girlfriend Betty (Jennifer Connelly) by his father (Nick Nolte)], he gets the pants torn off. He should be naked, we should see . . .’

“His, uh, Hulkness? Right. But we don’t. It’s dark. There are tree limbs. There are mutant dogs the size of taxi cabs. But no Little Hulk. After that, Lee gave up about the pants. ‘It’s too much trouble, trying to hide him. It got to the point that I felt like I was making Austin Powers.’ As Josh Lucas — who plays Talbot, Bruce Banner’s rival — puts it, ‘The Hulk’s pants stay on because they want a PG-13 rating.’

“Still, the questions persist. What material are those pants made of? Are they a metaphor for our own repression of the rage the Hulk embodies for us? Are they a dark hint of Oedipal castration?” Read Full Article

10 Years Ago
June 12, 1998 | Ellen Barry reported the details you didn’t want to know about mosquitoes’ sex lives.

“Mosquitoes are addled by sex, driven past all reason. Male mosquitoes will copulate for hours after their heads have been removed. If they weren’t born with their genitalia sticking out of their backs, they’d begin having sex the moment they hatched. But their abdomens begin rotating soon after they are born, and by the age of one day, they’re postpubescent and ready to cruise.

“This is important because whether or not you want to admit it, you, Reader, will be a party to the mosquito sex act many thousands of times during your life.”

20 Years Ago
June 10, 1988 | Ric Kahn recalled how New Hampshire bounty hunter Lance Wilkinson had nabbed a criminal.

“Lance Wilkinson...was fresh on the trail of Ronnie Baby, a reputed thief and certified bail skipper who was on the lam in Lowell...First thing he did was reach for the phone. With his trigger finger he punched in the number on Ronnie Baby’s bail application. It was RB’s grandmother...

‘How do you do, I’m Reverend Alan,’ he lied to granny. ‘How is Ronnie doing?’
‘Oh, fine, Reverend,’ granny said.
‘I know Ronnie from jail. I like to check on my boys once in a while. I’m passing through Lowell and thought I’d say hi.’
‘Ronnie’s doing well, he’s working,’ granny said.
‘Oh, where is he living...?’
“Granny gave up the address...

“Wilkinson drove over to the address, knocked on the door. RB’s girlfriend answered. Wilkinson saw Ronnie Baby sitting there in the kitchen...

“As Wilkinson reached for his handcuffs, the bugger ran out the kitchen door and up a side street... Wilkinson flung his Willie Wacker, a club shaped like a beaver tail. Old Willie buzzed right by RB’s head, convincing the young man that now was a good time to stop running. With Wilkinson moving in on the arrest, Ronnie Baby responded with the desperate act of a hard-ass fugitive. He started to cry. ‘Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me.’ Once again, Wilkinson had gotten his man. Later, at the jailhouse, they had to hose that rascal RB down. Poor Ronnie Baby had shit his pants.”

35 Years Ago
June 12, 1973 | Gill Gane quoted the always fun Yoko Ono at the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) International Feminist Planning Conference in Cambridge.
"It was Yoko who seemed to have the best last words:

“ ‘I started off thinking NOW,’ she announced, ‘but I ended up thinking WOW. All women are stateless — I see you have me down on the delegate list as being from England, I suppose that's because my husband is from there; well, I don't represent England, and I don't represent Japan either — all women are stateless, but we're getting together to form a new nation.’
“She suggested that in this new nation the policy towards men should be that undesirable aliens would of course be excluded, while desirable aliens could be admitted, but would have no vote.” ...

“ ‘I don’t like the the word ‘equality,’ ’ she declared, ‘I think it’s degrading. Men have had power for the past 2000 years; women should take it for the next 2000.’ ”

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