Archive for August, 2005

2005.08.31

Panty Fetishist

I’ve always been a big fan of Colin Wilson. Zapski introduced me to The Outsider back in college and it really gave me a fresh perspective. It was a nice alternative to the bleak and pessimistic existentialism I learned from the French guys Camus and Sartre, not to mention Heidegger. Since that first introduction I’ve read a number of his other books covering religion, crime, the occult, history and biography. All of them have a similar theme and all of them are well written.

So today gTodd pings me and asks if I’ve heard the news about Mr. Wilson. My first thought was that maybe he had died. The truth is he recently release an autobiography and it is getting panned by the MSM critics. Either they can’t understand anything deeper than a pool or who are mad at Colin Wilson who is not of the establishment (meaning a University degree in anything; how dare he pursue scholarly things without one!) and has actually managed to pull together a new and positive philosophy out of the carcass of Existentialism. In fact I have to laugh because one of the only things they are picking on Mr. Wilson for is because apparently he likes women’s panties. Not on his head; just in general.

I don’t see anything wrong with that; I like women’s panties, too. Especially on women! Mmmm… Anyways, I’m looking forward to picking up the book and reviewing it here someday in the not too distant future. Meanwhile you can read this very good article which does make reference to the panties. Enjoy reading about one of my favorite writers and panty fetishist!

Comments Off on Panty Fetishist | Catergorized: books

2005.08.30

The Suck of Statistics in News

Everyone should know by now that I hate marketers. Part of marketing is finding out how to sell whatever point you want to make. More and more those points are made using statistics, whether real or completely made up. “Nine out of ten anal transplant patients agree… Tiger lip balm is great stuff!” My ass. Actually, I take that back.

So it is not surprise that more and more of the main stream media (MSM), especially news outlets, are using statistics to spice up their own presentations to make them more appealing to the market. It’s sad to use the words “news outlets” because they are really turning into outlets, as in retail outlets or outlet malls; supposedly high quality merchandise on the cheap.

Normally I just gloss over this sort of thing. Yet sometimes something jumps out at me and pisses me off again. Today it was reading this article. OK, fine, almost half of Ohioans thing Governor Taft should resign. Less of half of me thinks I should run around naked in the streets, too. Should I do it? Umm, don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical.

Almost half. That’s not news. “Little Bunny Foofoo today drank almost half a glass of milk. News at 10.” Dear MSM, please do shut up already. This isn’t news. If 3/4ths of Ohioans thought Taft should resign, that would be news. Maybe not for Little Bunny Foofoo and drinking 3/4ths a glass of milk, but definitely for Taft. How many people voted against him last election? At a guess I would say it was 44%, just like the statistic you quote. Figure it out, MSM, it’s not rocket science.

I want Taft to resign, too. Not because of his politics or because of his scandals or certainly not because of the news. I want him to resign because I don’t like the idea of dynasties in American politics. At least not until I get my own family positioned to take over the world. Regardless, stop with the meaningless statistics unless they are overwhelming. Just. Stop.

2 Comments | Catergorized: thoughts

2005.08.29

One Heraklean Act on the Garage

This weekend Mookee finally had enough of the garage. After years of talking about it he finally decided to act and clean out the garage. I helped. It had accumulated years and years worth of junk from us and the landlord, some of which had been there for probably ten years. So a U-Haul was rented and hands got dirty and after a load and a half (the first leaving literally no room in the back) taken to the dump it was done. I wish I’d thought to take before and after pictures. I can say that while before it was sometimes a tight squeeze to fit two cars in the garage, we are now thinking we might be able to fit three in there.

It only took Herakles only one day to clean the Augean Stables but I figure with two days we did well enough. Now if only I could do the same to my rooms…

2 Comments | Catergorized: life

2005.08.27

Immortal

Immortel
Immortal
Quite a while back I came across a reference to a French science fiction movie being produced called Immortel (imdb). It looked really good and I posted it to OOKEE.com. That was a long time ago and while the film had been released in Europe it didn’t look like it was ever going to be seen here. Time went on and I forgot all about it.

Then a few weeks ago Jon E. asked me about it. I don’t know what got him thinking about it, but I looked it up and sure enough, it was available on DVD. Excellent! I ordered it post haste and waited for an appropriate Geek Night to show it. As the DVD title is officially called Immortal and not Immortel I’ll use the English spelling. Weirdly, though the film is French the language used is English for almost all dialogue.

Immortal and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow both have something in common; they both claim to be the first films in which every background and interior -and in the case of Immortal many people and props- are completely computer generated while the actors are real. Very ambitious and very difficult to pull off. Immortal did a fairly good job creating interesting and moody environments but most of it felt too artificial. They used real actors in motion capture suits to create CGI characters. The movement of some of these characters was very natural, but the faces still felt plastic. This is a problem with any CGI and which WETA worked so hard on for the character of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings.

The interest, success and failure of the technical aspects of the film can be forgiven, however, if the movie has a good story to tell. This is where Immortal has its Achilles Heel. Perhaps a better analogy would be to say this is where it has its hemorrhaging wound from being shot repeatedly at close range by a shotgun. Horus (yes, the god) is condemned by his fellows to death, but before that happens they allow him to come to Earth. Why? We don’t know. Horus decides he wants to procreate and this is only possible for him with a very special and rare type of creature. Earth happens to have one. This I understand; I think I wouldn’t mind having a romp one last time before death.

Then things get confusing. Horus is a god, right? So why does he go around searching for a human host? Possibly because he has no corporeal form, but he does. It’s odd. Why did they choose the previous leader of a rebellion for Horus to possess? No idea, and almost unimportant since the rebellion and his place in it bears almost no impact on the story line.

There is more I could say, but I won’t because I don’t want to give up spoilers. I just found much of what happened confusing. Characters seemed to be introduced with no purpose and their individual story lines are never completed. To me the story was terribly hacked together and sloppy. I can see where a potentially great story lies hidden within. I wish they’d worked more on it.

My biggest gripe, though, is that there was no humor in the whole film. There was some ironic smiling at times by the characters, but there was no laughter. It’s almost like they were trying to be too cool for something as basic as humor. It was very missed. I won’t say the movie is not watchable because I sat through the whole thing, but unless you are very interested in special effects, enjoy difficult to discern plots, can’t wait to see Linda Hardy naked or are a hard core science fiction fan you might want to pass on this one.

3 Comments | Catergorized: movies

2005.08.27

The Anti-Magic Fantasy Story

It would be interesting to read a story about someone who wants to abolish magic on their world. Usually magic is such a prevalent fixture in the fantasy genre. I’m not widely aware of what already exists in the field so this might have been done already.

The trick would be to have a good reason for the need to abolish magic, and to somehow make the protagonist sympathetic to the reader. I can imagine all sorts of ways you could make an unsympathetic person want to get rid of magic, but nothing immediately springs to mind for someone likable.

I will delve into the possibilities of this elsewhere…

1 Comment | Catergorized: writing

2005.08.24

My Encounter with the TSA

Yesterday I flew home from New York through Newark. I’d forgotten I had a Zippo lighter in my bag. It had been there for a very long time; easy not to think about. So the TSA guy says he wants to search through my bag. No problem, whatever, I’m sort of behind schedule so just do what you think you need to do to make the world secure.

“This lighter is illegal. I’m going to have to confiscate it.”

“Excuse me, what are you talking about? It’s illegal?”

“As of April all lighters are not allowed on airplanes. I’m going to have to take this.”

Goddam what a fscked up thing American paranoia has become. This lighter was a gift from Mookee when I first moved out to San Francisco. Despite pushing the time limit for getting on my plane I wanted to at least keep the shell. “Look, it’s a Zippo, right? So the insides where the fuel and flint are come out. Take that out and let me keep the shell at least.”

“I’m sorry but I have to keep the whole thing.”

No way. “Is there someone I can talk to?”

At this point the agent, if you can call him anything, told me I could talk to the Inspector but that he would tell me the same thing. So as quickly as possible keeping in mind my plane left in 20 minute and would be finishing boarding soon I tied up my boots, stuffed crap in my pockets and went over the the Inspector to plead my case.

To his credit but probably not the book he was supposed to follow, the Inspector heard me out, kind of rolled his eyes, and asked where the lighter was now. Then he brought it back, asked me if it was indeed mine, pulled out the core and handed me the shell after turning his back on the agents at the gate. I thanked him and I hope he knew I really appreciated it.

This is the stupidest thing our government is doing. If I carried a full bottle of wine on the plane I could do more damage than any lighter could. I could break the bottle and cut people more effectively than any knife. I could have the bottle filled with gasoline and carry a flint and stick of metal to light a molotov cocktail. There are many things anyone with any creativity could do. It’s ridiculous for the TSA to think they can prevent someone determined from hijacking a plane or worse. This is well documented. All they are doing is pissing off us, the People.

Dear Congress, please pull your collective heads out of your asses and do something right for a change. Quit promoting a culture of fear and stupidity. We would greatly appreciate it!

4 Comments | Catergorized: life  political  rights

2005.08.20

West Berkeley Blogs

If you live in West Berkeley or anywhere near Pacific Steel Casting (PSC) you might be interested in checking out the West Berkeley Alliance, a group looking to mitigate PSC’s noxious and potentially carcinogenic odors. You might also be interested in checking out the Camelia Street Blog which also covers these topics and the area generally.

Comments Off on West Berkeley Blogs | Catergorized: geek

2005.08.20

Out of Town Till Tuesday

Just so you know (for the three of you or so that come here!) I’ll be in NYC this weekend and coming back late late Monday. I’m taking Tuesday off to recover, but should be able to post something then, so look for it!

This also affects the OOKEE.com front page!

Comments Off on Out of Town Till Tuesday | Catergorized: life

2005.08.19

Quite a Good Show

It’s the day after and I have to say Not Bill did very well last night. Sometimes we’ve gone in to play these open mic nights and they have a full schedule and we only get in a few songs. We were planning for this, but instead we ended up playing eight or nine songs. Scott came up and sang along. Actually he got one of the biggest compliments; someone said he had a really distinctive voice. I tend to agree. Dave did quite well, too, considering he couldn’t see what I was doing and probably couldn’t hear any better than me; the sound system at Ireland’s 32 is adequate, but certainly not great!

As usual, one of the things that makes me happiest about these things is playing our music and getting the crowd involved. Chopping Up Robert turned in to this event. There’s nothing like getting a small crowd of people joyfully singing about using an axe on a guy named Robert.

For anyone who missed out we will probably do at least one more show before the end of the year. You know I’ll post it here!

Comments Off on Quite a Good Show | Catergorized: music

2005.08.17

Not Bill Playing August 17th!

Not Bill, the band that never seems to get its act together, will be playing on Wednesday (August 17th) regardless of the fact that they have not gotten their act together. Yes, meet us at Ireland’s 32 for a pint (or three) and hear Not Bill perform all their usual songs until they tell us to stop. Or we run out.

Not Bill is Dave Becker on bass guitar, Douglas Nerad on guitar and pretending to sing, and Scott Biezad who will probably be drinking. Since this is an open mic night and not a “gig”, we’re planning on showing up at Ireland’s 32 somewhere around 8:30PM to sign up and hang out until and after we play.

No need to RSVP; just show up! Bring friends!

Comments Off on Not Bill Playing August 17th! | Catergorized: audio  friends
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