Archive for April, 2005
WatchmenI decided to reread Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s classic graphic novel Watchmen after reading various reports on The Movie Blog that a movie version might actually be progressing. I loved the book then and I love it now, and reading it over again brings out subtle details I’ve not noticed before.
For those of you not in the know, Watchmen revolves around a group of ex-superheroes who are being killed one by one. A few of them band together to figure out who is doing it and why. While the plot isn’t terribly complex, the beauty of the story is the rich detail and characters. In fact if it weren’t for the graceful storytelling the book would be rather boring and the almost sublime, morally challenging payoff at the end would have little meaning.
My only complaint about the book is the pirate story told in the background. I know it has a purpose and is, by itself, an interesting story and an important plot device but this time around I skipped reading it. Otherwise the story has been a great read and I’m glad I went into it again. I think I might reread several more of my old graphic novels now…3 Comments | Catergorized: manga
Who’s Afraid of the Dominionists?
[I]t is a sick and sad joke that we have a Constitution here.Well, I am.
- Michael Schwartz.
1 Comment | Catergorized: grrr political
Meet the Dominionists — biblical literalists who believe God has called them to take over the U.S. government. As the far-right wing of the evangelical movement, Dominionists are pressing an agenda that makes Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America look like the Communist Manifesto.
Too often there is no follow through on blogs about what is happening with things they don’t like happening in the world. Not the case here.
Chris Nolan is reporting that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has two bits of legislation that they are working on. The first is the one I previously mentioned which is broken and rather despicable. The second one is far better and designed to supercede the first by exempting certain forms of communication such as those on blogs. This is nothing but good news so long as it goes forward.Comments Off | Catergorized: political rights san francisco
This is getting slightly out of control and I’m rather sick of hearing Tom Delay R-TX complain about the Judiciary.
“The judiciary branch of our government has overstepped its authority on countless occasions, overturning and in some cases just ignoring the legitimate will of the people,” DeLay said.
“Our judiciary has banned prayer in schools and evicted Christmas displays from town halls,” DeLay said. He complained that judges were ignoring legislatures and “following the dictates of foreign opinion,” a reference to a recent Supreme Court decision on the death penalty.
“These are not the examples of a mature society, but of a judiciary run amok,” DeLay said.
Ominously, [Edwin] Vieira continued by saying his “bottom line” for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. “He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: ‘no man, no problem,’ ” Vieira said.
The full Stalin quote, for those who don’t recognize it, is “Death solves all problems: no man, no problem.” Presumably, Vieira had in mind something less extreme than Stalin did and was not actually advocating violence. But then, these are scary times for the judiciary.
This following the killing of a judge in Atlanta and the murder of a judge’s family in Chicago. Does anyone besides me feel like some of the “conservative” pundits are tacitly endorsing violence against the judiciary?
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) mused about how a perception that judges are making political decisions could lead people to “engage in violence.”
No shit, Sherlock. Let me reveal something to you: judges sit in a seat that is political by nature because the law is politics. You may not agree with what they have to say but they all, liberal and conservative and others, have to make judgements based on the law and their interpretation of that law.
“The Constitution is not what the Supreme Court says it is,” [Phyllis] Schlafly asserted.
I’m sorry, Mrs. Schlafly, but that is exactly the purpose of the Supreme Court. Let me quote a little thing you might not have heard of during your education here in America. It’s called the Constitution. Specifically Article III, Section 2, Clause 1.
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;
Are you afraid of what is going on out there in the mindset of some conservatives out there? Be afraid. To summarize certain people in positions of power are calling on curbing the judiciary. They seem to be saying that if they can’t do it “legally” then it should be done “illegally”. Welcome to the (wannabe) Conservative States of America.4 Comments | Catergorized: grrr political
A Few Sin City Movie PostersI went and saw the movie version of Sin City last night. Amazing. It was remarkably true to the excellent graphic novels by Frank Miller. If you’re a fan of his stylistic noir stories and original imagery then you will love this adaption. It’s been a long time since I’ve read all the novels but it looks like they created vignettes of several stories and put them all into the movie. The casting was brilliant, too, and really no one deserves top billing or the most credit as an actor because everyone did a great job. I have to say, though, that Elijah Wood was the biggest surprise for me playing the angelic cannibal Kevin. Brrr… creepy.
If you are not familiar with the graphic novels I must warn you that this movie is not for everyone. It can be gritty, has scenes with extreme violence, and has more thongs than I could count. The girls in Old Town are often topless or wearing see through tops. Not, of course, that I minded! Keep in mind that this is a genre movie, and if you don’t know the particular elements of film noir, pulp detective novels, and anti-hero stories this is probably not the movie for you.
All of that aside, I loved the movie. I am really looking forward to when it comes out on DVD and watching all of the extras because you can tell tons of work and effort went into translating this revered graphic novel to the screen as faithfully as possible, down to scenes being rendered shot for shot and pose for pose. Meanwhile I’ll have to go back to the books themselves sometime and reread them; there’s so much I’ve forgotten and it’s been at least ten years since I last read them.Comments Off | Catergorized: manga movies
Uphill Both Ways on Ice!Friday night a group of us took off to see Uphill Both Ways (UBW), a comedy sketch troupe, perform at the The Dark Room Theater. The space was a bit small and the chairs a bit cramped, but once the show started that ceased to matter. Though I felt the show started off a bit slow and I was worried the guys would be a bit burned out after their run of shows, they quickly found their footing and did some great new sketches.
Some of the best were Colin Benoit’s Stomach Talk and The Secret of Netflix, both were very physical and included new (first usage?) audio effects and voice over. I think one of the strengths of UBW is they are local and they really commit to the roles on stage. Being local comedy they addressed the outlandish housing costs in San Francisco in What is Wrong With My Roommate, and the insanity of MUNIin MUNI Patrol and J-Church (Hallelujah!).
If you haven’t seen UBW and like live comedy, it doesn’t get much better than these guys. They have a new show coming up in May called Free Donuts! (though you’ll have to provide donuts yourself). Hope to see you there!Comments Off | Catergorized: life san francisco
SF Regulating Bloggers UPDATE
Before reading this it might be pertinent to read my prior entry.
I was perhaps a bit hasty and extremely harsh in my last post. Yes, there is the potential for regulating bloggers based on the pending legislations, but now that I’ve let my emotions cool down I’ve done some more reading and have a slightly different opinion.1 Comment | Catergorized: political rights san francisco
San Francisco Wants to Regulate Blogging
Well this is a stupid idea.
Just when you thought the Federal Election Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a notch and announced yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate.
Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney.
Welcome to the Dark Ages. Yes, that’s a bit of an extreme POV, but San Francisco is supposedly a center for free speech and technology in America. “Supposedly” yet they are proving once again that politicians just don’t get the web, technology in general, and apparently Free Speech. What, are they afraid I might say something bad about them? Well here’s something bad…1 Comment | Catergorized: political rights san francisco
I have a confession to make. It’s something that not even people who know me would realize. I am an evangelical Christian.
I am announcing this so I can start my work towards converting all my friends away from the devil and sin and towards the light. My straight friends who are living in sin with their girlfriends are in for a surprise when I start beating them with sticks to separate them. My gay friends are literally in for a shock as I recently bought a electro-therapy machine. I’ll just turn up the juice until they either give up their sinful ways or they can be served up with mashed potatoes at the next church potluck.
This announcement comes much easier than I thought. My guilt for hiding my beliefs for so long have caused me no small amount of torment. Now that I’m free of those chains I can start misquoting the Bible whenever I like in any convenient way I wish. I can shut you up when I don’t like what you’re saying just by saying, “You’re wrong, the Bible tells me so.” I expect my stress levels will diminish remarkably because of this; I won’t have to think anymore! Hallelujah!
I realize that some of you will be intimidated by my new found certainty and open views. Don’t be. Just join me as I pray. Everyday. Many times.
I promise you will join me.6 Comments | Catergorized: life
Just as Mookee and I are discussing buying property in San Francisco as a tenancy in common (TIC), our city leaders are debating making it even harder. Currently there is legislation under review to make it so that a building that is wholly owned and occupied by a TIC can be easily converted into condo units so the risk (someone might default) is removed. I’m very disappointed that my District Supervisor, Jake McGoldrick, is against this.
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick suggested Tuesday that he would not support the proposal. He is concerned it would provide economic incentives for people to convert rental units into TICs and displace working-class tenants from rent- controlled apartments. Once an apartment is turned into a condominium, rent control is lifted if it is rented out again.
Even though the legislation is a one-time offer for TIC owners, McGoldrick speculates it would just be the beginning.
“It opens up the floodgates,” he said. “The bottom line is, if they do it once, they’ll do it again and again.”
See the link above to read the full article quoted here and below.
As if the Bay Area weren’t expensive enough, they want to make it harder. As it is I’ve heard that two thirds of the people in San Francisco rent. In other words most of the property is not owned by the people living here. To me that is fscked up. I’m sorry, but in my world people should ideally own the places they live, and the market should allow people the opportunity to buy. I know this is a wrong conclusion, but the impression I have is that not owning, or not even having the opportunity to own, is something like keeping your population as serfs.
I do feel sorry for the extremely small number of people who would be affected because a less moral TIC gives them the boot but it is an expensive place to live. Yet if I have the opportunity to buy into a TIC, to then convert my unit into a condo so I’m not shackled (and not shackling) to the possibility of another defaulting on a mortgage, then I want to take it.
The legislation is opposed by the Tenants Unit, which posted a fact sheet on its Web site that described the plan as an effort to change “the demographics of San Francisco to make it a city of wealthy and conservative homeowners.”
I’m sorry, I just don’t see this city going the way of conservative homeowners. I don’t even see it going conservative socially or politically although a little bit might be healthy for the local dialog. As for the city being a place for the wealthy, get real; even the poorest among us who is not on welfare is, relative to the rest of the country, rather rich. If I can afford to pay the rent I pay (which would buy me a mansion in other states) then I am, relatively speaking, wealthy.
C’mon, San Francisco! Wake up! Take back your land and your rights! Stop complaining about the landlords and become a homeowner! I’m planning on it myself, so as the old motto goes: Don’t Tread On Me.4 Comments | Catergorized: life political rights san francisco