Brock Yates is still reveling in his 15 minutes of fame. But it was a great moment. "At no time did we exceed 175 mph." Hopefully they'll figure some way of pulling off a 2007 version of the race...
I think the first of these that I saw were from Chechnya. Squads would video their ambushes and then the videos would appear on the web eventually. There were some of the attacks into the neighboring republics as well. I think there might have been some older Afghan-Russian ones as well.
Anyway, the NYT has an article about the proliferation of these videos onto youtube and other video sites. The most famous of the sniper videos (right hand photo on the NYT article) has a related story in the Army Times. The medic who was hit in the video (unharmed due to body armor) treats the wounded sniper a little while later.
Don't like history? In this case, want to put all of the blame for 9/11 on Clinton? Make a movie and have Disney and ABC show it for you. "Not a documentary," but how many of the viewers are fooled? Maybe the same ones that thought there was a connection between Iraq and bin Laden?
You know, they can be almost like, well, watching a car crash...
BBC news interview in Iraq. Oddly enough, I had just been asking this question about subtitles a few days ago.
Okay, truth be told, he's had several presidential moments and we all know that's a few more than the current occupier of the oval office. Still, what to say about An Inconvenient Truth? I saw the movie over the weekend and came away with a string of opinions and a fear that someone would note that I had driven to the movie theater rather than walked...
Hmmm...a glorified powerpoint movie? Still, it's one of the classic cases of the fight between style and substance. Will review it when I see it myself.
Geek fight club. Bet you thought I was going to mention the Da Vinci Code instead.
Probably not a wise choice. One reviewer commented, "not convincingly virginal." Thanks Leni!
The Sesame Street characters meet V for Vendetta. What if the government restricts our freedom to cookies?
Wild Chicago! With the original host even. Good stuff. Hmmm...a Minneapolis equivalent?
It's a real-life curse of the were-rabbit! Grower Jeff Smith, 63, said: "This is no ordinary rabbit. We are dealing with a monster." The BBC thoughfully links to older rabbit stories and to Wallace and Gromit.
I personally like the water pistol idea near the bottom of the article. Though of course the physicist in me is more interested in paints that absorb efficiently in the cell bands.
The Donald Rumsfeld that is. Plastic has an excellent resume of web links from his halcyon days in the Nixon and Ford administrations to leading two failed wars (see what sort of freedom and democracy has brought to Afghanistan?) for Dubya.
Read his own words, justifying what has been accomplished in the past three years in Iraq. Believe any of it? Like Rummy's $50 billion dollar and 5 week estimates of the war costs and length? And what's up with his comparisons of very and sundries with Hitler? Do we really fear that a 1000 year Venezualan Reich is right around the corner? Or is he projecting a bit?
Going back to the resume, we have to reflect on his successful running of the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon and his back-room efforts to help get the US out of the Vietnam War. For that he was shuffled off to be NATO ambassador. Then triumph as chief of staff and defense secretary under Ford, fighting against the whole nastiness of detante. Off to the private sector until Dubya decides to bring the Nixon crowd all back to the White House. The epic Shinseki-Rumsfeld fight seems now to be a footnote in the story, but certainly marked part of the White House team's decent into unreality.
Okay, so it's hard to imagine how any film could be more apropos today in the US than a film version of Alan Moore's warning about fascism. On the other hand, there's the movie business making disposible imitations of movies. the net result, well, I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds moderately good or at least worth a watch. Now on to the real task of nipping the jack-booted republicans before they install the ovens.
Well, I cared about the biathalon and the cross-country skiing, though not really skeleton (scary as it looks). Otherwise I think the Nation did a good job highlighting the horror that was the television coverage of the games and the bizarre spectacles that have eclipses even the curling competition. Who indeed came up with the Bode Miller concept? Fired, I trust.
Yup. The first rule of Fight Club: Sing and dance.
Type in asshole and click "I feel lucky." It should direct you to Film Strip International. If it didn't, well, too many people prolly complained. Did I mention that the links are not especially work safe?
Raised, most interestingly, at Sundance. I haven't read anything more useful coming out of the festival this year than the asking of this question. Not really answered I suppose.
And I suppose, thinking about Star Wars brings us to an important ethical dilemma.
So, I was walking home from school, we had had exams that day and I was finished for the day. When I got home my mother had heard it on the radio. I remember the next day watching the footage again and again in school and noticing when someone decided to add the explosion sound to the tape. It wasn't delayed at all. You saw the explosion and heard the bang. I remember that faking of the news video almost as much as the whole tragedy at NASA sort of thing. Columbia bothered me a lot more---probably by being closer to NASA and the space program at that later date, and also understanding it as the end of the era. (Or maybe of the error of the shuttle.)
Both are federal crimes in the States. Any guesses as to who financed the passage of a bill in Congress for the latter?
Our best local independent cinema is in serious financial trouble. There have been a lot of rumors over the troubles there, but this is the first time I've seen it all spelled out. Repetory theaters must be having a tough time with the much easier availability of foreign and rare movies purchasable or rentable online.
Great videos. And why doesn't the US have either good car magazines or video magazines like the Brits? Check out Evo, Car, or Top Gear and compare them to the waste of paper that is the US auto magazine industry.
Real ones that are coming soon:
And some others that we can only hope for:
I have to admit my own ambivalence. I read the Chronicles of Narnia a little late, so the religious aspects were hitting me over the head, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have otherwise.
It appears that not only did they anti-CD-copying software attempt to prevent copyright-infringement, but it was itself a violation of the GNU Public License and a violation of copyright. So, to "protect" a copyright, Sony violated a copyright, infected thousands of computers with malware (heck, a virus essentially) and then made "ammends" by withdrawing the CDs from the market. These are the folks who claim $500,000 in damages for each copied song on your computer. What do they owe those whose computers are infected then? Nothing?
You mean you haven't seen it? Run, do not walk, to the video store and rent the DVDs. See here for the "official" website. Granted, it's not as funny finding a dead turtle in your coffee but it is quality entertainment.
Someone goes off to try, in full seriousness (see the middle of the second link), to patent fiction. Perhaps in a stunning turn of events to obvious ridiculousness of this application will cause the Patent Office to also overturn software and genetic patents, and summarily reject trivial "practices" patents as well.
And Groklaw's analysis. "They have at last invented a way to destroy all cultural development forevermore. That's an achievement of a sort."
Corpse Bride review from the City Pages. Is there a reference in the movie to Kill Bill? There really should be I think.
Okay, those conservatives (including Michael Medved) who are using March of the penguins as a stirring celebration of monogamy (and intelligent design!) need to remember that those penguins are monogamous for one season. Next year, next Mr. and Mrs. Penguin. See this NYT mention of the crazed right-wing lunies, though no mention of serial monogamy.
Added 9/22...there's a plastic.com discussion of this.
"Survival Kit Check...
- one .45 caliber automatic
- two boxes of ammunition
- four days concentrated emergency rations
- one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills
- one miniature combination Russian (pronounced 'Rooshan') phrase book and Bible
- one hundred dollars in rubles
- one hundred dollars in gold
- nine packs of chewing gum
- one issue of prophylactics
- three lipsticks
- three pair of nylon stockings
.... Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Reno with all that stuff."
[from: Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb]
Spacecraft sizes. Small, medium, large, ridiculously large, and larger still.
Travel for lack of a better suggested category.
Bombay, Bollywood, Monsoon season. It was quite an experience seeing the city shortly after the huge, killer floods. Garbage, sewage, and water all over the streets. But not over all of the streets. And no longer waist or neck deep.
- saw about 1/2 hour of a Bollywood flick at a little shack/street vendor...ate samosas there and watched the film...looked like he was stealing electricity for the TV with a bunch of tangled wires running down from a building...I am going to get the plague I fear, but the food was good!
- speaking of food...Indian food...yup, it's one of the luxuries of the US I think...we get good food of most every type (okay, I know, we also have some really crappy food, but we have good stuff of most types available)...so the good Indian food I've had here is not too different from good Indian food in the US...Udupi in Minneapolis for example
- my hotel in Bombay (or Mumbai, we can talk about those politics some other time) also tried to do "English breakfast" with limited success...they had potatoes with "paprika" but the paprika was some truly hot pepper...tasty, but not exactly what was planned I think...and it's hard to picture some older Brit biting into a four alarm breakfast
- Garlic Naan, yay!
- Politics also...what to say? It definitely feels evil to stay in a nice hotel, drink bottled water, type on a laptop, while outside people slop around in sewage, live on the sidewalks, scrounge for a basic existence. Of course that's true whether I'm here visiting or not. Whether I'm in my first world home in the States or my substitute first world hotel home in India. But what to do about it?
- The meeting looks a bit muddled at this point. There's no posted schedule. In theory there will be transportation tomorrow AM to the meeting leaving from the hotel. No one seems to know about that.
You can learn quite a bit from this little animation. Well done little bit of data processing.
Other Iraq links for today:
Op-ed, NYT, "Dangerous Incompetence"
Report on the ground in Iraq. Fight for an area and then leave it to the insurgents. Sound familar?
"Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad." - Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
Bad Wolf! Since it's being compared to Pynchon, this is looking like more than a show for old Dr. Who fans.
And a great Clive James quote: "Good schlock is always better than bad art."
Documentary footage of some of the atrocities. Leading pretty much directly to the current active manhunt for Mladic.
Read all about it in the BBC News. John Cleese will write the next feature film, a tale of the French and the English which explores the origin of the English Channel! But before that, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit!
The urban legend of the "jelly bracelets." AKA the sex bracelets.
Sci-Fi channel...Stargate and a remake of Battlestar Galactic? With former Playboy bunnies as Cylons? VH1...reviewing the nineties, including David Duke and Public Enemy. Nostalgia already? "Turn it up. Bring the noise."
David Byrne / Brian Eno / Hugo Ball
GADJI BERI BIMBA CLANDRIDI
LAULI LONNI CADORI GADJAM
A BIM BERI GLASSALA GLANDRIDE
E GLASSALA TUFFM I ZIMBRA
BIM BLASSA GALASSASA ZIMBRABIM
BLASSA GLALLASSASA ZIMBRABIM
A BIM BERI GLASSALA GRANDRID
E GLASSALA TUFFM I ZIMBRA
GADJI BERI BIMBA GLANDRIDI
LAULI LONNI CADORA GADJAM
A BIM BERI GLASSASA GLANDRID
E GLASSALA TUFFM I ZIMBRA
For some reason, tonight after waking up, tossing and turning, with bad dreams and with general unhappiness at myself, I sat at this computer sending email (in an apology of sorts) and thinking about the Talking Heads song I Zimbra. From Fear of Music. Always liked it and Life During Wartime off of that album. Life During Wartime is also a fantastically good novel by Lucius Shepard. Sort of science fiction, sort of an attempt to exorcise the ghosts of Vietnam with a magical realist Central America and the next war of "liberation." Seems all the stronger with the current events. (Oddly enough, there's a Life During Wartime blog which seems to be mostly bitching about the economy, the election, and bad jobs.) Anyway, back to I Zimbra. Hugo Ball doesn't get many liner note references. Now, during the 1980s, or even back in the day of the Cabaret Voltaire and Dada over Zurich.
Glossolalia of a sort, wasn't it? The Dadaists certainly made that connection to the Pentecost but I'm not too sure that David Byrne intended anything along those lines. Nor is it Sumerian eliminating a non-casual link to Stephenson. African rhythms and the "nonsense" words of Hugo Ball. (You didn't expect this posting to lead anywhere, did you?) The first time I heard the song I assumed that the words were in a language, prolly some African language. Glancing at the liner notes, I caught the vaguely familiar H. Ball and had to look it up. Was England's Dreaming already written at that point? No, it couldn't be, Jon Savage was still working on the official biography of the Kinks at that point. (Look it up!)
So, I Zimbra got me to look up who the heck these dadaist were. A few years later, in my college library I discovered a copy of the Futurist Cookbook by Marinetti and that led to a whole 'nother world of weird books for me. The line from the Talking Heads to the Situationist Internation to the Temporary Autonomous Zone is far from straight (perhaps like the roads in Boston, paving over old cow paths) but the connections are there. Which brings us to Fight Club (see A., I'd have to bring it up in the blog eventually) where the connections between fascism (a la Marinetti and, well, a bunch of blue collar folks unifying with two shirts, black, one pair boots, black...) and the Temporary Autonomous Zone (if a fight club isn't one, then the Code Duello meant nothing).
So, is that in some way a positive fascism? A friendly fascism? Certainly George Bush and company are more sinister than any Project Mayhem. Where we were supposed to be revolted, we cheered for the waiters and projectionists and testicular cancer survivors. And we hated ourselves for it. The Futurists wanted impressive architecture, and we got ovens, we wanted Pax Americana and got Iraqis in black hoods, like Hugo reciting his poem Karavane in the photo to the left.
"Our cabaret is a gesture. Every word that is spoken and sung here says at least one thing: that this humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect. What could be respectable and impressive about it? Its cannons? Our big Drum drowns them. Its idealism?That has long been a laughingstock, in its popular and its academic edition. The grandiose slaughters and cannibalistic exploits? Our spontaneous foolishness and our enthusiasm for illusion will destroy them.” - Hugo Ball
I think we've all followed the careers of the former A-Team actors with great interest, but Mr. B. A. Barachus has dropped out of sight for the most part. Well, here he is acting in paranoid Christian flicks. Pity the man.
A winner for the worst campaign journalist? How did this sneak in here?
Of Godzilla? Possibly.
Of the MPAA? Only in your dreams.
The Last Place on Earth. A great read. The definitive Antarctic exploration book of the Scott-Amundsen race for 90 South.
Do you know that that might be made illegal? It's one aspect of the new legislation governing intellectual property in front of the Congress. Upset? Well certainly anyone who reads that would vote against it, right? Mmmmm...but no one read the Patriot Act, whether they voted for or against it.
Though fast forwarding through objectionable scenes in a movie would be okay.
[Brian is writing graffiti on the palace wall. The Centurion catches him in the act]
Centurion: What's this, then? "Romanes eunt domus"? People called Romanes, they go, the house?
Brian: It says, "Romans go home. "
Centurion: No it doesn't ! What's the latin for "Roman"? Come on, come on !
Brian: Er, "Romanus" !
Centurion: Vocative plural of "Romanus" is?
Brian: Er, er, "Romani" !
Centurion: [Writes "Romani" over Brian's graffiti] "Eunt"? What is "eunt"? Conjugate the verb, "to go" !
Brian: Er, "Ire". Er, "eo", "is", "it", "imus", "itis", "eunt".
Centurion: So, "eunt" is... ?
Brian: Third person plural present indicative, "they go".
Centurion: But, "Romans, go home" is an order. So you must use... ?
[He twists Brian's ear]
Brian: Aaagh ! The imperative !
Centurion: Which is... ?
Brian: Aaaagh ! Er, er, "i" !
Centurion: How many Romans?
Brian: Aaaaagh ! Plural, plural, er, "ite" !
Centurion: [Writes "ite"] "Domus"? Nominative? "Go home" is motion towards, isn't it?
Brian: Dative !
[the Centurion holds a sword to his throat]
Brian: Aaagh ! Not the dative, not the dative ! Er, er, accusative, "Domum" !
Centurion: But "Domus" takes the locative, which is... ?
Brian: Er, "Domum" !
Centurion: [Writes "Domum"] Understand? Now, write it out a hundred times.
Brian: Yes sir. Thank you, sir. Hail Caesar, sir.
Centurion: Hail Caesar ! And if it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.
Since the radio stations you listen to run on tube RF power amps, the microwave ovens do as well, and you might even be looking at this on a CRT, the age of the tube (or valve for our Brits) isn't quite over. Now, if someone knows a good source of new-old stock RCA 6L6GC matched pairs at a good cost...
Featuring a jumbo jet headed for the World Trade Center
Crazed fascists in the government
A FOX TV show
Spun-off from the X-Files
But a happy ending
"All things turn to junk. Do our images also turn to junk?" - Wim Wenders
Had loaned this film to a friend of mine and I was trying to explain why it is my favorite movie and realized that it's not the easiest thing/process to describe. As a fan of road movies (Highway 61 anyone?), this score high, perhaps it's the ultimate road movie as we cross four continents with impressive cinematography and a vaguely noir aesthetic.
1999 was the year the Indian Nuclear Satellite went out of control. No one knew where it might land. It soared above the ozone layer like a lethal bird of prey. The whole world was alarmed... Claire couldn't care less. At the time, she was living her own nightmare. The same dream arrived each night. She was gliding over an unknown land, pleasantly at first, but then the gliding would turn into falling, the falling into panic, and then she'd wake up.
The videotape version is about 2.5 hours, about half of Wender's planned length. DVD releases have been delayed repeatedly. There are rumors now of some sort of Italian release DVD. Anyway, another way of looking at this film, starting from the science-fiction aspects (which are relatively few) is as a fully-realized P. K. Dick novel on the big screen. Dreams, love, nightmares, the tyranny of images.
I said: Thank you, girl; thank you, girl I'll love you till the end of the world with your eyes black as coal and your long, dark curls and with the horses prancing through the fields, with my knife in my jeans and the rain on the shield; I sang a song for the glory of the beauty of you waiting for me in your dress of blue. - Nick Cave
If you have patience with it, this movie rewards you. The epic scale looms over small characters existing in the shadows of right and wrong. Family loyalty and addiction. Hey, it's a good film that seems to either click or not (see the Amazon reviews for the range of opinions).