Archive for October, 2007

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I’m adding my voice to Medved’s

October 29, 2007

Ron Paul is trying to raise $10,000,000 on one day for his campaign.  Very nice – I’ll donate from the cheap seats – if, and only if Paul responds to the issues in this open letter to him from Michael Medved… (link courtesy of little Green Footballs)

 http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=27713_An_Open_Letter_to_Rep._Ron_Paul&only

Want my money? Answer the question…

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Review – Uwe Boll & Seed

October 28, 2007

I went to the It Came From Lake Michigan Film Festival yesterday…

 http://www.itcamefromlakemichigan.com/2007/index.php

and heard Uwe Boll speak for about an hour & a half.  He gets a lot of shit for the quality of his movies, but after hearing him speak, I’ve got much more respect for the man.  He’s like the German Lloyd Kaufman – he bitched about trying to find financing for his films, was free with his advice for filmmakers (one of the best being don’t pitch a movie for 200,000 to 800,000 dollars, as neither the Big Timers not the small investors think you can pull off a movie of quality for those amounts). As he talked, I could easily see how he could become the next Michael Bay (and I remember how much shit Bay took at the beginning, and now he gets to be a guilty pleasure).

He also screened a DVD of his movie Seed (he showed Postal earlier in the morning, too, but that was a little too early for me).  I’d like to say that it was a great movie, but all I can say is it’s OK .  Basic plot of the movie (and cut me a little slack on the review as things might change in post or to get it a rating from the MPAA) is it’s a serial-killer origin story set in the 70s.  Max Seed (Will Sanderson) is the worst serial killer in history (666 victims) and is scheduled to be killed in the electric chair for his crime.

The film gives us a lot of reasons to dislike Seed, opening with a montage of animal cruelty (and Boll said that it was real footage at the very beginning, not faked.  Something I can attest to – it looked too good to have been faked) Seed is watching.  Seed also likes to send the police time-lapse footage of people he’s allowed to die locked up in a room decomposing (this was staged footage – and a good thing too, as Seed kills a baby and a dog in this way). A detective, Bishop (Michael Pare) eventually captures Seed, after Seed murders the rest of the police team sent to capture him.

There’s a law in Moviestate, USA (the opening tells us) that if a criminal survives 3 attempts at execution he must be set free, however brain-damaged or mangled he may be.  Seed gets sent off to the Chair by Warden Wright (Ralf Moeller) and, with the preternatural strength all movie serial killers have, manages to survive 2 jolts from the chair. Warden Wright lies to the onlookers, tells them Seed is dead, and with the collusion of Bishop & the doctor monitoring the execution (Andrew Jackson) bury Seed’s still twitching body alive. Naturally, Seed claws his way out of the grave and does what he does best on other people in the film.

Boll talked about this being a subtle statement on capital punishment, and I can see that, and he got some good performances out of the actors, but I think the main fault of the film is its’ pandering to the audience.  In the middle of the film, there’s a show-stopping scene (INVISO-TEXT)

where Seed, in one unbroken take, murders a woman tied to a chair.  Not a short take, either.  I believe (I didn’t time it) it was five minutes of unblinking cruelty, watching Seed whack a woman’s head with a roofing hammer, with CGI blood and enhanced mutilation of the head. If anything cheapens the film, it was this scene.

The film never recovers after that. I do have to hand it to Boll that there was character development and some Seven-like cinematography, but the decision to do the gore for the fanboy doesn’t help his intentions to be seen more seriously.

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Words about “An Excruciating Truth”

October 27, 2007

I’m going to do my best – it’s going to sound like a fisking, because I might not be talented enough to make it into a coherent essay…

http://geekwitha45.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html#3067857684043450484

Did you read it?  All right…

So, here’s the Excruciating Truth: Whether America remains free and prosperous will be determined by whoever controls The Lightning; which is some critical portion of war suitable energy resources.And it damned well better be us.At first blush, this sounds awfully like the charges of “Blood for Oil” were true.  Is he not arguing that we need to do anything in order to keep the flow of oil going? And to use his Go analogy: with the state of things now, is it not now possible to trade for the “lightning” we need?

And further, when he discusses the propping up of regimes, why then, did we remove Saddam?  Did he stop suddenly being  a “credible existing power”? And if so, why – since the US supported him in the Iran-Iraq war?

 

Not that I jump to defend Saddam.  His removal was an absolute good, if half what was said about his regime was true. But, with the absence of WMDs (for good or ill, they were never found – not that I believe that they were never there) we must pull out.  Our economy can’t take the strain quoted here…

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071024/pl_nm/iraq_usa_funding_dc 

 

we need our brave men & women of the National Guard to return to do their jobs here.

 

At what point does “a moral, principled man” say enough? At what point wiil he say “I’ve done my part”? Is the answer to that question “never”?

 

Are we to beileve that there is no point far enough down the line to say we are done with this particular job? No price too steep to pay?

 

I agree with L. Neil Smith and Aaron Zelman when they wrote, “‘The perfect is the enemy of the good’, you say? I say that if nobody ever insisted on the perfect, there’d never be any good.” And that’s why I’m supporting Paul. It’s been the same ol-same ol for too long, and the “moral, principled” argument has, in my opinion, landed all of us in this mess to start with. And as to Paul’s un-electablilty – someone in Texas has elected him to 10 terms in Congress.

 

I hope I have made some sort of coherent point in this (especially since the version I worked on all morning has disappeared with the push of a wrong button in WordPress). Now off to read some LOLcats.


 

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McCullagh’s Law

October 24, 2007

As the certainty that legislation violates the U.S. Constitution increases, so does the probability of predictions that severe harm or death will come to Americans if the proposal is not swiftly enacted.

This is a great essay – via Bruce Schneier…

http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9795316-38.html

Have you noticed how much this sort of invective gets used lately? For me, here’s the money quote:

This threat is perpetual, meaning it may last the duration of the targeted politicians’ career. Adversarial television advertisements may appear during the targeted politician’s next campaign for re-election. They may display images of corpses if available, or stock photography if they’re not, and blame the target for their deaths.


Never mind that such corpses rarely appear – the targeted “lawmaker” will have it hung about their neck like a scarlet letter should they vote against it.

(Not that I’m rooting for “lawmakers”, you know…)

mccullaughs-law.png

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Archive – Police Harassment of anti-gun control advocates: again

October 21, 2007

Via The Claire Files… (well, now the Mental Militia)

https://tcftalk.com/clairefiles/index.php?topic=14466.0

I’d like to follow this one along in a month or so…

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There Ain’t No Future/In England’s Dreaming Pt. 9

October 21, 2007

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article2698062.ece

It’s for attendance! Attendance, do you hear!

Interesting that it doesn’t say what part of the “clothing” the chip is in – my guess is that it’s on some sort of medallion or easily removable tag, so it’s harder to lose.

I’d like to hear if, in the future, at this same school, the tag doesn’t become a) mandatory and b) visible to instructors at all times?

times-chipping-students.png

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It’s not right to laugh at this…

October 18, 2007

dont-taze-me.jpg

but I did anyway.

(via http://thatsmyskull.blogspot.com/)