Archive for April, 2005

2005.04.29

Casshern

Casshern DVD Cover
Casshern
Over a year ago on OOKEE.com I linked to the trailer for a Japanese movie called Casshern (official movie website here). A few weekends ago I was at Amoeba in the Haight and saw it on DVD and picked it up. My typical worry of reality not meeting up to expectation went into effect, but I have to say that even if only the effects were good I’d probably enjoy the film.

My initial impression was that the visuals were completely amazing and the story was merely OK. Now that I’ve slept on it, though, I think the story was pretty good, just perhaps a bit too subtle for my generally American sensibilities. I’ll have to watch it a second time to appreciate what I am now piecing together. WARNING: the rest contains some spoilers which might still be useful for understanding what is going on if you watch the film.

Read the rest of this entry…

2 Comments | Catergorized: movies

2005.04.27

Serenity Trailer Now Online

Serenity Trailer
View Serenity Trailer
If you’re a fan of scifi and haven’t heard of the short-lived and short-changed series Firefly then you are, in my humble opinion, living in a hole.

That being said, the trailer for the upcoming movie Serenity, based on the series, is out. It looks amazing. There is definitely more action happening as some sort of war is being played out, and River is being hunted by an assassin. The payoff seems to be River absolutely kicking some butt. Hopefully Jayne and Wash gets some more lines… for that matter hopefully everyone gets more lines. Anyone know why Sheppard isn’t in the trailer?

September 30th won’t come too soon as far as I’m concerned. This is one of the few movies I’m actually looking forward to seeing!

2 Comments | Catergorized: movies

2005.04.27

Burkah on the Bus

Not too long ago there was some issue about pharmacologists pharmacists being allowed to deny prescriptions because what they were dispensing went against their personal moral code. Essentially this was allowed so that Pro-Life medication dispensers could deny folks getting The Pill.

This is setting an interesting trend. What if the guy behind the counter at McDonald’s says, “Sorry, it’s against my judgment to serve you. You’re too fat.” What if the guy at the theater says, “Sorry, it’s against my religion to allow babies into the theater.” What if the guy at the unemployment desk says, “Sorry, it is my conviction that people need to stand on their own feet. You are denied.” What if the guy teaching kids says, “Sorry kids, my moral convictions impel me to not teach you because Christ is coming any day now.” What if the local bus driver refuses to allow a woman on, “Because it’s against my conscience to allow women not completely covered in a burkah on the bus.”

It sounds ridiculous, but then again so is allowing a service technician who is fulfilling a doctor’s order to deny someone their legal prescription. These people serve that one single role as far as the customer is concerned. Not to pass judgment, not to contradict the doctor, and certainly not to deny service. If you don’t like it then get a new career.

UPDATE 2005.04.27. NHK pointed out that I probably meant a pharmacist and not a pharmacologist. He is correct, and I’ve struck out the bad use of terminology above. Thanks, NHK!

7 Comments | Catergorized: thoughts

2005.04.25

1969 and The Gap

Currently The Gap, a San Francisco based clothing store, is using it’s 1969 advertising campaign to sell sell sell clothing. This is partly because they were, apparently, founded in 1969 and partly because in the 60s the phrase “generation gap” became popular. The clothes are supposed to be retro.

My observation is that no one who buys the clothes was even born then, and if they were very few could actually fit in those clothes. I think they should be required to check ID and if the person was born in 1969 they should get a severe discount. Also they should have at least one person born in the 60s. Just a thought.

4 Comments | Catergorized: fashion  thoughts

2005.04.23

What Happened to My Economy?

While everyone is distracted by:

Something has been completely ignored. What happened to my economy?

Strangely it’s something I’ve been thinking about much more lately as I keep hearing about the trade deficit, the national debt, lukewarm stock markets, the declining dollar, Greenspan’s pessimism, the staggering cost of war, rising inflation and more. TR at The Podium often mentions “personal responsibility” waning in America, too, and I tend to agree. Consumer debt is larger than ever, consumer savings are low, and other factors like the cost of gasoline are going to squeeze budgets tighter than they already are. People aren’t getting raises, and in fact many of us aren’t even getting cost of living adjustments.

What happened to my economy?

I hate to point fingers, but I’m going to anyways. Look at who’s been in power almost across the board at the Federal level for the past 4+ years in the Whitehouse and for something like a decade in Congress. Republicans. Look at that list at the top. They are all distractions preventing discussion of the economy. Who do you hear talking about those the most (aside from the DeLay issue)? Republicans. C’mon, people. Start talking about the economy. We are a capitalist society, yes, and if the economy tanks then who suffers? Me. I am curious how a government, elected by the people, is not looking after the economic security of those people.

Enough ranting. Someone simply explain to me why my economy sucks more and more every year instead of getting better and better. Thanks.

3 Comments | Catergorized: grrr  political

2005.04.21

Fscking Stupid Roundtable

Roundtable Pizza. What a pack of idiots. We ordered pizza around 8:30PM so we could eat while watching a movie while celebrating Mookee’s birthday.

9:30PM. Hello, where’s the pizza? Pizza? What pizza? Oh, that pizza! It’s on it’s way and it’s free.

10:20PM. Hello, where’s the pizza? Pizza? Are you attacking us for something? We’re not responsible for your misfortunes.

11:30PM. No pizza from Roundtable. Idiots.

Happy birthday, Mookee. Roundtable hates you.

UPDATE. We ordered from Mr. Pizzaman at about 10:30PM when we realized Roundtable was screwing us. They have done their duty and defaulted on us. This is completely messed up. NHK has taken off hungry. The Defiant One has gone to bed hungry. Now Mookee and I are watching The Running Man. Hungry.

Freaking ridiculous. Next year we go out to a restaurant.

4 Comments | Catergorized: food-drink  grrr  life

2005.04.21

Site Reformatting

I’ve been reworking the site, recoding the HTML and CSS. I like how it’s turning out, but naturally it’s not working so well in Internet Exploder. There have been other anomolies, but I’ve been sorting them out as I notice them.

The big changes are throwing the calendar up on the sidebar and reorganizing the order there. I’ve been toying with adding some Google Adsense, but I don’t figure folks would appreciate that too much. Here’s the old site for comparison Like I said, not too much difference, but it’s the little things that make a difference.

What do you think?

3 Comments | Catergorized: site

2005.04.20

What Is Freedom?

It is one of the most important questions we as Americans can ask ourselves. It is a sibling of Liberty, it is part of our distinct American Individualism, yet most do not really have any serious idea of what it means. William A. Galston has written a really excellent article called Taking Liberty that addresses this question.

“Freedom of” and “freedom from” have distinctly different structures and implications. “Freedom of” points toward spheres of action in which individuals make choices, for example, which faith to embrace, or whether to embrace any faith at all. The task of government is to secure those spheres against interference by individuals, groups, or government itself. By contrast, “freedom from” points toward circumstances that (it is presumed) all wish to avoid. In such instances, the task of government is, so far as possible, to immunize individuals against undesired circumstances. Here government acts to protect not individual agency and choice, but rather individual’s life-circumstances against outcomes that no one would choose, or willingly endure. We do not suppose, for instance, that slavery is a matter of individual choice; rather, after much struggle, we have come to a collective decision that no one in his right mind would prefer slavery to freedom, and we have ordered our laws and institutions accordingly. Similarly, during the New Deal, we made a collective decision that no senior would willingly live in penury and shouldn’t have to.

He notes with some consternation that Conservatives have usurped the idea of Freedom and Liberals need to take it back. I agree wholeheartedly. When I hear about our soldiers fighting for freedom I sometimes wonder how happy they are to let soldiers do all the sacrificing while we at home aren’t sacrificing anything. Nothing. In fact the Republicans in Congress and the Whitehouse are cutting our taxes and taking away crucial services for the sick, the young, and those at a distinct disadvantage. What about their freedom?

I pay into Social Security so when I am old I don’t have to rely on my children and grandchildren (if I’m ever so lucky) to support me. I want my bloody freedom when I’m a crotchety old man and I’m sure they will appreciate that I am not weighing them down with the burden of my doterage. Social Security insures that I will have some freedom to still be my own grumpy old man. I sacrifice some of my income for my own cause of freedom when I’m old, and hey! I get to help some others attain their freedom at the same time. “Conservatives have a tendency to focus on these costs [taxes, for example] without factoring in the benefits, and thus they often do not see or acknowledge that the net result is an increase in freedom.”

Mr. Galston has some excellent descriptions of freedom, its limitations, our failures towards it, and a few specific examples of how liberals, progressives, and libertarians can promote Freedom once again.

Comments Off on What Is Freedom? | Catergorized: political

2005.04.17

The Prophecy Kicks Butt

The Prophecy
The Prophecy
I love this movie. The Prophecy obviously didn’t have a huge budget, but they more than made up for that with a spot on script, excellent actors, and high production values. The story revolves around a second war in heaven, and how Gabrielle is leading his own revolution against the Will of God. You see, God gave humanity souls and elevated them from being mere intelligent monkeys to a place that some angels perceived was higher in status than themselves. The war reached a stalemate, and the action revolves around a plan by Gabrielle to end it once and for all.

Gregory Widen, the writer/director, did an excellent job with the dialog and isn’t afraid to let you decide for yourself what some of the scenes mean. Christopher Walken did a wonderful job playing the otherworldly Gabrielle and Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer… Wow.

If you haven’t seen this definitely take some time to rent it. More likely, at $13, you’ll want to own it. At some point I’ll want to see the sequels, but I’m nervous that they will, like the Highlander sequels, suck. Strangely Gregory Widen wrote the Highlander movie and its sequels as well as the Prophecy sequels, so I’m very confused. Has anyone seen them? Any opinions?

3 Comments | Catergorized: movies

2005.04.15

The Problem with Religious Conservatives in America

One of the biggest problems I see with the seemingly dominant form of religious conservatism in America today is they do not follow the teachings of Christ. The New Testament is a their rhetorical slave and the Old Testament is their whip. The wrathful Old God who drowned the world in a righteous rage is who they are worshipping, not the gentle and tolerant Christ. These people aren’t Christians. They are worshippers of Yahweh the wrathful, vengeful, angry, jealous God of the Old Testament who killed, punished and taunted his enemies and followers.

If Christ appeared before them today they would stone him for harboring the poor (The War on Poverty), comforting a prostitute (showing actual compassion), throwing out the money lenders (Corporate Responsibility), healing the sick (Health Care), and speaking his mind (First Amendment). I am not against true Christians, for they are my natural allies. I am against those who use his name in vain and who worship the Old Testament God. Except the Jews.

7 Comments | Catergorized: political
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