October 2010


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Why did this only get a 4.9/10 on IMDB? It was much funnier than that!

HAIKU REVIEW: Comatose virgin.
Your girlfriend’s in playboy now!
Better go find her!

PEOPLE: The writer/directors/stars, relative nobodies Zach Cregger and Trever Moore, went on to do The Whitest Kids U Know. Maybe I should check that out? Also starring relative nobodies Raquel Alessi and Molly Stanton. Carolyn thinks that Tucker (Trever Moore) should have been played by Jim Carrey. I agree, but he would be too old for a role played by someone at ages 18 and 22. She also thinks that Zach Cregger reminded her of Ben Affleck, which I disagree with.

There are also a few somebodies in this movie: Hugh Heffner and Craig Robinson (Daryl [the black guy] from The Office, Knocked Up, Walk Hard:The Dewey Cox Story, Fanboys, Pineapple Express, Zack & Miri Make A Porno, Prop 8:The Musical) as a rapper named Horsedick.MPEG. Yes, you must say “dot em-peg” every time you address him!

Melissa Ordway was also in 17 Again, but played such a minor part that this really is more of a coincidence than anything.

QUIRKS: Comas, sex, virginity, abstinence, road trips, crazy firemen, Playboy centerfolds, the Playboy mansion, epilepsy, muscle atrophy, lesbians.

Basically, dudeface is about to lose his virginity and has a coma-inducing accident. Four years later, he wakes up to find his virgin girlfriend is now a Playboy centerfold. Still dealing with muscle atrophy, his DUMBASS friend kidnaps him for a road trip to the Playboy mansion. Hilarity ensues. (Actually, it had already ensued…)

VISUALS: Well, there is a party at the Playboy Mansion, and you can guess what that looks like!

MORALS: I think the main “moral” of this movie is that not having sex with someone you love — because you’re saving your virginity — can actually be a waste of your life.

CONCLUSION: This was best comedy we’ve seen since Fanboys and Sex Drive. Really, those 3 comedies have been my favorite out of the 41 comedies I have watched so far in 2009. (NOTE: This review was written July 30th, 2009.)

RATINGS: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10. A good comedy that keeps us laughing up ’til the end leaves little to be criticized. But at the same time, I sort of think straight-comedies (i.e. no significant dramatic elements) are almost incapable of ever attaining a 10/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If road-trip sex-fueled capers involving idiot friends appeals to you, you’re gonna like it. Honestly, we were both impressed that we were literally kept laughing up to the last second. I find it implausible that anyone who’s cool would not like this… But I’m sure people must hate it given its low ratings.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Sex Drive. Fanboys. Dumb & Dumber.

MOVIE QUOTE: Tucker Cleigh: “Well the country is like, what, 10 states wide? And each state is roughly 100 miles across. So that’s like 1000 miles. We’re going about 60 miles an hour, so we should be there in like 600 minutes.”

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: None, but this was a box office flop that only received 3.2/5 stars on Netflix. (3.5/5 stars for people who rate like me and 4.9/10 on IMDB.))))))))))))))) I guess some people don’t like having fun! (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link (S1) S2/Kai s3/5 OVAs each have separate IMDB pages] [Netflix link (6 S1 discs only, S2-S3 may not yet be available)] [live action movie that we haven’t seen] Found this series by cruising the adult animation tag on IMDB for the highest rated *series* [not movie or short] I had not yet seen. Of course this meant going past the first 20 entries…

PLOT SUMMARY: Oh man, where do I begin? The story happens over and over, but different each time. Some members of town are proponents of a dam that would destroy the town. A cotton drifting festival is held every year, and someone gets killed each year. It’s not even the same killer each time. And yet, everything, by episode 52, makes perfect sense. And you won’t see it coming. Any of it.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Retcon, retcon, retcon, retcon, retcon, retcon, retcon, retcon, retcon, retcon, retcon, [highlight for spoilers] everybody dies.

QUIRKS: Survival thriller anime masked by cuteness — You think it’s some cutesey schoolkid anime show. By episode 3 or 4, you’re totally creeped out. Even scared. Then the violence begins. Then it gets REAL confusing. In fact, you have to watch the 26 episode first season just to know all of the questions — you don’t get all the answers until the NEXT 26 episode season (“Kai”).

It’s like this, in great part due to the fact that it is based on a doujin (fan created) sound novel game. The “game” has no real interaction, players simply read. The original “game” had 8 chapters: 4 question chapters and 4 answer chapters. The alternate-worlds in the series are a result of transforming this from a “game” to an anime.

VISUALS: Standard anime appearance.

SOUNDTRACK: Standard anime j-pop.

MORALS: Friendship is so important — that it can help you get through the problems of multiple worlds.

POLITICS: As usual, don’t expect the government to look out for you. As usual, small towns are not always the best place for outsiders to be.

GOOD STUFF: The plot and story. Just…wow. Although they aren’t alike, the experience is similar to that of watching Twin Peaks: You’re addicted, the story is always changing, you’re not sure where you came from or where you’re going, questions get answered slowly, and answers beg more questions. The story itself is not surreal like Twin Peaks, but it does have small town demonic elements. You could say that Oyashiro’s curse is analogous to the curse of “Bob” from Twin Peaks. Really, though, I pulled the Twin Peaks comparison out of my ass. It’s just my way of saying DAMN this is a good series. We actually kept notes [which I’ve included below] as we watched the series, as my pre-watching research indicated that this was going to be complicated.

BAD STUFF: The main characters being school students. But then, this is anime, and that’s how anime typically rolls. And the very nature of the medium of this series is that a lot of things are going to be retconned. You’re going to find out who the killer is in one arc, then in another arc they won’t be the killer, then in another arc things might be completely different. And yet, everything is still amazingly consistent. Even with Hanyuu appearing out of thin air for the 2nd series.

CONCLUSION: This very well may be the favorite anime series out of all the anime series I’ve ever seen.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
This is top grade anime.

The native public rating for this series is: IMDB: 8.6/10 (S1), 8.3/10 (S2), S3 OVAs: 7.9/10, 8.0/10, 7.8/10, 7.1/10, 7.7/10.
The native public rating for this series (Season 1 only) on Netflix is: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.6/5 stars–WRONG!).

The 1st series is rated VERY high on IMDB – 52% rating 10/10, 72.5% rating 9-10/10, only 8% rating less than 7.
Yes, the 2nd series is rated VERY high on IMDB – 45% rating 10/10, 65% rating 9-10/10, only 9% rating less than 7.

RECOMMENDATION: OMG! One of my favorite animes ever! Watch it on Hulu or something. But for Kai and Rei, you’re going to have to look on bittorrent. IT’S WORTH IT. Even if you hate anime, the story here is excellent. Excellent!

SIMILAR MOVIES: When The Seagulls Cry aka Umineko No Naku Koro Ni — is considered a “season 3” or “series 3” to this, although none of the events or characters have anything to do with the 57 episodes of When They Cry / Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni / Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai / Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Rei.

COINCIDENCES: (Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni #13, Escaflowne manga vision#2) After a [highlight for spoilers] volcano killing a whole village in an anime, Clint went to bed, and read some manga with a [highlight for spoilers] volcano that killed everyone. Them Japanese sure hate volcanoes!
+(real life, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai #9) They talked about Satako missing school for 3 days and never showing up to the clinic, much like Clint who was in his 3rd day of what was quite likely swine flu, and he, too, hadn’t gone to the doctor.

PLOT SUMMARIES OF EACH EPISODE, TO KEEP THE STORY STRAIGHT: (STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS)

S1:
Spirited Away By The Demon: 1=Rena is creepy (wielding axe), 2=murders introduced,Rena is MORE creepy (eavesdropping on call with cop), 3=OMG more creepy girls,needle in cake+van murder attempts, 4=Rena+Mion did it,Keeichi beats them both to death,leaves note behind clock,claws throat out,piece of note was missing,
The Cotton Drifting[not as creepy as Spirited Away By The Demon]: 5=Reset!?!? Mion/Shion(greenhair) is twins?!, 6=going into shrine they aren’t supposed to,cotton drifting festival deaths are different this time:2, 7=Mion(but really Shion,see#19,but they hint at it) did it. “Too many walking corpses in this case”
Curse Killing: 9=Reset! Pedo-guy wants Satoko(blonde little girl),Rena was cursed once, 10=Satoko’s abuse,pedo-guy’s good,cop’s bad,vomit in the classroom, 11=Keiichi kills Satoko’s uncle (her older bro Satoshi previously killed the aunt), 12=No he didn’t, 13=He killed everyone (whole village). Keiichi did it.
Time Wasting: 14=Reset! About cops now,national safety Akasaka(“Tamitake #2”),town elders revealed, 15=whole village already died,way past 1983;flashbacks,Rika knew it all. Major note with future spoilers: Rika is actually the main character, which is not revealed until the second series.
Eye Opening: 16=Reset! 1981 instead of 1983. Shion has to pretend to be Mion to stay alive,Satoshi introduced(saves Shion from bikers),Shion(Mion?) curses Satoshi+aunt, 17=Shion’s fingernails ripped out to save 3 lives;Satoshi disappears anyway, 18=Shion strangles then forgives Mion,time passes,going into shrine they aren’t supposed to,cotton drifting festival, 19=Shion switches places with Mion[relates to #7],puts Mion in dungeon w/granny(died),abducts grandad, 20=Shion interrogates grandad,Rika fails to kill Shion,killed, 21=basically #7 again,Sonozaki(Mion) family *didn’t* do it all,Shion goes splat,
Atonement: 22=Reset! Rena’s parents explained,her father’s in the process of being duped by a blackmailing whore, 23=Rena kills whore+pimp, 24=they’re after Rena,the curse is simply a virus!,redefining everything, 25=Rena’s infected,Keeichi was a serial child shooter,Keeichi remembers the Spirited Away By The Demon plot above and recognizes Rena is going through the same thing,Rika is mature and understands,Mion’s family not involved but willing to provide lawyer for Rena if they find her, 26=Rena takes schoolkids hostage

S2 (Kai):
Intro: 1=30yrs later(i.e. “now”,2008),still in Atonement chronology,Tokyo detective Asaka[i.e. ‘Tamatake #2’ in S1E14{Time Wasting}],Rena survived,alien theory probably bunk,the 3 families researched an old virus,f’ed up,accidentally killed everybody,creepy Rika is looking for the next Hinimazawa
Disaster Awakening: 2=cutesey,Mion/Shion both present simultaneously always,Rika is still the same Rika aware of multi-worlds [and is actually the main character, soon-to-be-revealed], 3=Rika wallowing in her misery,basically,She tells Satoko she’s gonna be killed but then denies it, 4=Dr. Irie/Tamitake died,Satoko wants to protect Rika,Rika’s noticing new differences in events,creepy men following her,cop killed, 5=Satoko’s parents killed,Rika killed,Satoko chased,falls in river,disaster happens again,Satoko survives instead of Keiichi,but can’t speak,Rena survived too,Satoko killed(by nurse?)once she could speak,Rena chased by “army” men who killed others,
Massacre: 6=Rika quite aware she’s been repeating things for 100 yrs,ghost/demon horn girl(Hanyuu)shows up and it’s like she’s always been here,Satoko has some weird terminal disease, 7=everyone is remembering alternate lives,Rika must save Tamitake+Takano to save herself,Akasaka thanks Rika for saving his wife[he didn’t listen to her in S1:Time Wasting],Rika gets bodyguards that save her from the bikers, 8=must save Satako from abuse,Rika says fuck it to life,Shion wants to kill abusing uncle but Keiichi stops her,they appeal to child services,Keiichi then says fuck it but Rika dis-disenheartens him, 9=increasing #s of ppl appeal to child services for Satako,Sonozaki family now aware of this(Satoko’s of the Houjou/dam-proponent/cursed family),Rika must convince Satako to confess the abuse, 10=granny convinced to help and now likes Keiichi,protest at main office,they finally give in but Satoko’s already bleeding, 11=Satoko saved,back to saving Tamitake+Takano,holy shit Takano has been working with the ones who killed the whole village every frickin’ time!,24 hour ‘walking corpse’ from S1E7 explained, 12=Irie being framed,Rika brings everyone in w/best explanation of everything that’s happened yet,Oishi killed, 13=”Tokyo” trying to kill Rika[+Satako],everyone saves her at first,but then they all get killed,team up for the next world,Takano kills all the villagers,the volcano was just some zyclon-b type shit,wow,
Festival Accompanying: 14=Reset! Takano nightmareish childhood orphanage mass escape(then she’s begging to die in the woods),establishment of Tokyo organization, 15=Worst. Orphanage. Ever. Takano recaptured,Hifumi Takano[her dad’s sensei]saves her,has his research rejected,she grows up wanting revenge,now it’s Takano vs. Hanyuu, 16=flashing back between the Dam War[’78ish] and when Satoshi was around[’82ish?]and Satako’s abuse had already started,Takano is gonna examine live brain for parasite,Rika finally back in epilogue, 17=Rika gets examined,Satoko dying,govt-sponsored killing of town set up by Takano,Takano kills Rika’s parents,revealed that Satoko killed her own parents,research project now shut down with 3 yrs left,mysterious woman, 18=Satoshi affected,getting job,quit baseball,Rena no longer Reina,tried to suicide when mom left,origin of gaming club,granny set stage for Keiichi to move in, 19=Hanyuu’s real,joins club,everyone’s brought in again but only thinking it’s manga,govt involved, 20=now they’re brought in for real,decide to fake Rika’s death,Oishi+Akasaka in, 21=Operation 48 hrs commences:Takano freaking out that 48hrs of passed since Rika’s “death”,evil ones starting to come out of the woodwork,Oishi+Sonozaki cockblock Tokyo exec trying to identify Rika’s body for Takano, 22=things falling apart,Tamitake captured,Irie hurt,Sonozaki safe house,going down to the well,defeat,Akasaka saves the day, 23=attack in the mountains,raid to save Satoshi from clinic but oh hey he’s vegetative,enemy starting to realize they’re losing, 24=Takano defeated,told to kill self but runs away,arrested,treated for the syndrome,cotton drifting festival finally happens without incident! …. A better explanation of the end can be found here.

S3/OVA (Rei):
1=comedy:magic underwear WTF!!!!!!!!!!,
Dice Killing: 2=Rika dies,Reset!,everything the most different ever,no dam war/Tokyo/H-Syndrome/Keiichi/Takano/Irie, 3=Rika must kill mother to return, 4=Rika chooses old world,returns,now appreciates life,Hanyuu made her have the dream out of spite, haha,
Day Crushing: 5=comedy:Demon love charms

Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kira (2011 OVAs):
1=Love Penalty Chapter: Bliss=Irie(pedo-doc)/Tamitake(photographer)/Oishi(cop)/Keichii have a pedophile brainstorming party, ultimate 10-year-anniversary fan-service fetish scenes, but oh shit, things take a turn for the dark, call the cops, it was all a dream, no it wasn’t, new Hinamizawa syndrome – use your power of delusions, Keichii!
2=Specter Battling Chapter: Effort: Parallel world, Tokyo Magica four generals, fog making people homicidal.
3=Intertwined Destiny Chapter: Love: Mion crushing on Keichii, then Shion, then Rena…But he has to take the grandma for a girlfriend instead.
4=Daydreaming Chapter: Ease: Rika from past ends up in future, Hanyuu helps her, others join, Keiichi finds out how to return Rika, Hanyuu now accepted as one of them. For real real.

Alas, these last 4 were not intertwined. Specter Battling in particular seemed to be a huge loose end. I think I’d only give these 2011 OVAs 3/5 stars on Netflix (3.4 from Carolyn), 7/10 on IMDB.

(more…)

Comparative religion class sucks. But for some reason, I ended up enrolling in class and taking some comparative religion class.

The teacher was Indian, I believe, and a real douchebag. For instance, I was sitting near the wall at a rectangular table that seats 4 or 6 people. I was writing on a piece of paper. He grabbed it, and moved it to the aisle side of the table. Basically, forcing me to sit 5 feet closer to him just because he wanted everyone gathered around him. Really kind of an egocentric guy.

It was also quite clear that he was a very religious man himself, which I thought made him a really bad candidate for objectively teaching a comparative religion class. To top it off, I had no idea what any of the concepts he was explaining were about. I don’t remember what they were, but basically, you had to be a believer to understand the lecture.

Things got worse. After class, a few girls sitting near me told me that I should drop the class. They hadn’t even talked to me; they just made this judgment by the way I reacted to the lecture. (Hmm, at one point I might have had my whole body, except for my head, buried by a blanket, with my head laying on the table. That was probably me sleeping in real life.)

So after the class, I did end up thinking, “Maybe I should drop this shit, since the teacher AND other students are such douchebags”. I also had no clue what, when, or where my next class is. This is a common theme in myback to school dreams — Me forgetting my class schedule, and not having memorized it yet because it’s the first day of classes. This happens in my dreams ALL THE TIME.

''Dreams... They're the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.'' --Xavier:Renegade Angel

“Dreams… They’re the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.”
Xavier:Renegade Angel
(more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] “Sex, Drugs, and Matzoh Ball Soup.”

HAIKU REVIEW: A kosher seder
is quite an accomplishment.
Add some LSD?

PEOPLE: A new director, and a family-sized cast. Ben Feldman was also in Friday The 13th 12 (the reboot) and Cloverfield. Mili Avital was in Stargate. Meredith Scott Lynn was in Legally Blonde. Jack Klugman has been around for quite some time; the last surviving juror from 12 Angry Men (1957)… This was his 3rd movie in 30 years. Lesley Ann Warren was in Secretary. And patriarch Michael Lerner was in National Lampoon’s Senior Trip (2 movies in 2 nights with someone who was in that movie!)

QUIRKS: Judaism. “Dysfunctional” families. Drugs (ecstasy and LSD). Passover. Social awkwardness. Lesbians. Kissing cousins. Sex therapists. Weird guys with an eyepatch. Angry dads.

A Jewish family decides to have their first kosher seder — which is a BIG PAIN to do. The problem son then doses dad’s soup with ecstacy and LSD.

Hilarity ensues.

VISUALS: While not a visual movie, there are a few points where they actually have some pretty good “on drugs” type visuals.

MORALS: Sometimes dosing someone with drugs can help them. What a great moral! haha

BAD STUFF: At the very ending, where they “revealed” [highlight for spoilers] that the pill was actually a sugar pill… That just didn’t make any sense at all. [highlight for spoilers] Explain the visuals? He did NOT just have those visuals because he was told that he’d been dosed. You don’t trip spontaneously becuase you were told to. Methinks the dealer was wrong, and he simply got a bonus pill, getting 2 for the price of 1. They should have cut that scene out.

The only other bad thing is pulling on our emotional strings near the end of the movie. Trying to make us cry. But then they joke about that, too, having the guy with an eyepatch [highlight for spoilers] wipe away a tear, even though he has no business being there in the first place..

CONCLUSION: A great comedy of Jewish high-maintenance family awkwardness mixed with drugs — brought down only by the comedy stopping about 90% through, and the religious stuff (which really wasn’t that bad). If not for the drama at the end, and the religion, this would be a 5-star comedy.

RATINGS: IMDB: 8/10. Netflix: 4/5 stars.

RECOMMENDATION: A great comedy. Check it out!

SIMILAR MOVIES: My Big Fat Greek Wedding is similar too this — “ethnic family religion ritual comedy”. This could have just as easily been called “My Big Fat Jewish Seder”, except nobody would know what a seder is. In fact, after writing that last sentence, I just found out that is the DVD Subtitle!

This also reminded me of the familial awkwardness of Death At A Funeral, and the dysfunction/uniqueness level of the family from the FOX sitcom Arrested Development.

COINCIDENCES: (Watchmen, When Do We Eat?) 2 movies in 2 nights starring people who were also in National Lampoon’s Senior Trip. (more…)

Dreamed that Carolyn & I were playing in side some virtual reality video game where we were pretty damn “God-sized”. We hung out just outside the solar system, looking inward, seeing everything in space. It had a nice interface. For example, you could put your fingers near a moon orbiting a planet, and a text display would pop up, telling the name of the moon and displaying some of its stats.

Space Stage - A Nearby Solar System

kinda like this, but you were *IN* it

You could also pull a moon out of its orbit and hold it in your hand. This took a bit of effort– breaking the gravitational pull of a celestial body is no small feat. The “game” was pretty kick-ass. I then decided that, rather than pull moons out and hold them in my hand, I would take Pluto and throw it at Carolyn. It was pretty fun. It was amazing getting to feel the experience of pulling a celestial body out of its orbit; feeling the gravitational waves versus the effort of your muscles.

20091206 - hit a deer - 0 - front left - possible deer poop, deer smear - Disney edit - GEDC0921

not THAT Pluto, silly!

The other strange part was that Pluto had three moons… I woke up thinking that it was weird that Pluto had 2 extra moons. I’ve always known it to have one. So anyway, weeks after having this dream, I looked up Pluto on Wikipedia–and guess what?!?! Pluto really has three moons! The other two (besides Charon) are Nix and Hydra. I really didn’t think that I knew this–but maybe I had read and forgotten this fact, and this dream was my brain’s way of trying to make myself aware of that again.

...or is it...?

...or is it...?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ae/Pluto_system_2006.jpg

In my dream, this looked more game-like and less astronomy-like. The moons were all about the same size, too -- with much closer orbits.

So anyway, back in dreamworld, we emerged from the virtual reality game and were in some kind of spaceship. I did NOT expect us to be in a spaceship! I expected us to “wake up” in the same place I had entered the virtual reality “game”. So here I am, apparently having been kidnapped while my brain was in virtual reality. I wasn’t sure who else was on the ship, and I certainly didn’t trust them.

There were some survival items in the ship — a table that had some knives, pens (?), and some tiny saxophones that were like 8 inches long.

20100704 1949 - X-Day - campsite - Hazel - Soprano saxophone - 014

WAYYY smaller than this (soprano) saxophone.

Somehow, it became apparent to me that this ship was some kind of “ark” to take mankind away from earth after some huge planet-altering tragedy. (Why had I not heard about this aforementioned tragedy?!) What I remember the most is picking up one of those 8-inch saxophones, thinking that if I was going to be stuck on a spaceship leaving a dying earth for what may be years or decades, that I may as well take up playing whatever musical instruments are available to me. I’m pretty sure I grabbed some knives in case I had to stab these unknown spaceship people who had apparently kidnapped me in my virtual reality sleep.

20090124 - Clint's 35th Birthday Party - cake - Tabbitha's Kenny cake - Clint - knife, about to stab cake, Brent, Radha, Sammy, Angel - (by Christian) - 3227255588_abe69c1933_o

Get back! I'll cut you!

Then some crew member came in, and I was going to stab him. He talked about how the Earth was dying, and I sarcastically said, “Oh, let me get the world’s smallest saxophone out,” in the same manner that people quip, “Oh, your problems are so bad, let me get the world’s smallest violin out.” Except this time, I really DID have the world’s smallest saxophone, so it was pretty funny. I remember mentally patting myself on the back for having such a quick wit at the time.

Suffice to say, the spaceship was a very paranoid place. Think of the movie pilot for Virtuality — it was a bit like that.

Eric Axilbund's 4th Of July 2004 Cambridge party - Clint & Carolyn passed out - 101-0108_IMG

waking up is never good

But somehow, we woke up from the spaceship part, and it turned out this was simply another level of the virtual reality game we were playing before (with the planets). The game had tricked me into thinking I’d left the game, even though I was still really in it. Total eXistenz stuff going on!

So in the real world, there were problems too. I remember being on a bridge over a rocky river, and having to fight people. This “3rd level” of the dream, I don’t quite remember so well. It was very odd to have a dream within a dream within a dream!

20080409 - Oranjello - 153-5395 - Invisible foot bridge LOLcat

This happy, invisible bridge, with a friendly kitten on it, is the opposite of the sad, visibile bridge in my dream, with unfriendly people on it.

“Dreams… They’re the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.”
Xavier:Renegade Angel

postcard - Dream St., car (b&w)
(more…)

Well, maybe not right now, but at 8PM EST, this link should be live:

Go here to watch it: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/fedcoms-presents.

http://www.ustream.tv/flash/live/1/5896830?v3=1 (more…)

Some weird dream that I was some sort of drug dealer. Not small-time shit, this more closely mirrored the movie Blow.

Eventually I was being busted and arrested, but I was also kind of friends with the agent who was investigating me — sort of like in the movie Catch Me If You Can. There was also a lot of water involved. Like, my house was on a river that connected to another river.

At one point, I almost escaped in the river. But he got me. But then he got some board games from my house and explained that he would take them to jail for me, and play them with me, so I wouldn’t be so bored. Uhh, thanks?

''Dreams... They're the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.'' --Xavier:Renegade Angel

“Dreams… They’re the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.”
Xavier:Renegade Angel
(more…)

This is just a draft; I very well may flesh this out more in the future. But anyway:

THE SOCIAL CONTRACT DOES NOT EXIST

The social contract is an abstract invention of people who want to praise authority. (There are many invalid and valid reasons to praise authority.)

But it is treated like a god. It doesn’t actually exist. People repeat their claims that it exists, but, much like god, saying something over and over doesn’t make it true. Nor does it matter if it comes out of the mouth of Moses, Thomas Hobbes, Jesus, John Locke, God, or Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It doesn’t matter who talks about something — what matters is if that something is true.

And the social contract is not true. At the very least, it is a poor abstract political concept that represents a poor way of making a point.

A contract requires consent between 2 parties.

Nobody chooses to be born, or chooses which country, community, or society they are part of. Nor are people old enough to consent to things until they are 18. This is the basis of statutory rape, among other laws. Nor do people enter into contracts as groups, where one is an unwilling participant simply because you are part of a group. Even in class action lawsuits, you have to agree to have money awarded to you. (I always thought that was funny: WHo doesn’t want free money?) It’s simply not a contract in any way, shape, or form.

I mentioned this to someone I know — and his laughable response was: “No one chooses to be born, but you are still bound by the rules of law you’re born into, whether here or anywhere else in the world. We don’t choose our parents or siblings, but that’s kind of tough shit, isn’t it?”

Wow. Way to completely dodge the issue. “Tough shit.” Here’s the funny part about this person’s logic… I tell them to think about how that is applied to black slaves in the 1800s, to people under Sharia law, to people who are victims of the law today (gays who can’t marry, many other examles). His laughable response? “Neither of those things represent the rule of law…. You are using “law” in two different senses of the word. Pick one. I know you’re not so stupid as to fail to understand the difference between law based on the legal tradition of the Magna Carta vs. Sharia.”

Wow. I can either agree with what he said, or acknowledge that I am stupid. Hah! Apparently, “law” in America means something different than “law” in an Islamic country. (Which is very funny, because the dictionary definition for Sharia includes the word…[drumroll]… LAW!)

Law is, succinctly, that which rules us. Very few people are actually subject to a law that they personally voted on or crafted. For the most part, nobody has any consent into which laws directly affect them.

Here’s the hilarious part: This person’s response to me was: “The word “Islamic” is a modifier on “law,” changing the meaning. You know they are not the same thing. I know you know the difference.”

So here we have it. By the logic of someone trying to justify the social contract to me, “Islamic law” is not “law”, despite having the word on it. Wow. He knows I know the difference, and yet I’m positive there is no difference. Use another word if you’re trying to talk about something else.

They also said: “The phrase “law” = “that which rules us” is a tautology and meaningless without specification.”

Wow. Meaningless. Of course I could have cited the dictionary definition, before this person cut me off. Which is: “a binding custom or practice of a community”. That most certainly applies to all law, before or after the Magna Carta, including Sharia, and everything else under the sun.

Definition 1B: “the control brought about by the existence or enforcement of such law”. OMG! That is a tautology and is meaningless with specification! Except for the fact that Merriam-Webster carries a great deal of weight in the “meaning” department. It’s a dictionary, after all. Anyway, 1B applies to Sharia, Slavery America, and everything else under the sun.

1C: “A rule or order that it is advisable or obligatory to observe.” Applies to all forms of government, including Sharia.

Definition 2 is religious. But it’s the same thing as 1. Religion, when it becomes a set of rules to be followed, becomes government. That’s why Sharia law is law. I don’t know why this is a hard concept. That’s why it’s the same word in the diciontary!

Anyway, the whole “definition of law” thing was a tangent that detracts from my original point: THE SOCIAL CONTRACT DOES NOT EXIST. Saying it does makes it exist no more than a congregation saying god exists makes Him exist. The next time somebody says the social contract justifies something, I’m going to tell them that imaginary concepts don’t justify anything. COME UP WITH A REAL REASON, AND LEARN A BETTER WAY TO MAKE YOUR POINT. The social contract is just an item of faith for people who like to worship.

And oh, if the person who cut off my discussion wants to comment here, it will marked as spam. Quid pro quo. Tit for tat. You cut me off, I cut you off. You had your chance to make a valid point, and you blew it. But if someone else wants to — email-verifiable comments only — then feel free to tell me why I’m wrong. You probably won’t be happy with the debate that ensues, though, as I am not going to budge. But I would relish the opportunity to tell yet another person why they are wrong :) (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] [Wikipedia link – helpful plot summary]

PEOPLE: From the director of the overdone and disappointing movie 300….

Mmmm, Malin Akerman (The Brothers Solomon, Harold & Kumar 1) as The Silk Specter. Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian (Rick from the movie Live!, and the late Judah Botwin, during his few appearances in Weeds). Oh, and the hot lesbian who did the V-J day kiss was Apollonia Vanova. She was in an ep of The L Word, too. :) Also: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom:20 Minutes Into The Future, Gargoyles, Weirdsville, National Lampoon’s Senior Trip).

QUIRKS: Based on comic books that I have never read… Or heard of, until the movie hype started. LOOOONG. Over 3 hours.

VISUALS: Excellent visuals. Great action. Great special effects.

SOUNDTRACK: They managed to license songs (some as covers) that were referenced in the original graphic novel, which is a good call. And 99 Luftballoons!

WILHELM SCREAM: We noticed it this time :)

BAD STUFF: I can see why Terry Gilliam, my favorite director ever, refused to direct this, calling it “unfilmable”. He said he would have been willing to do this as a *5* hour mini-series. They should have compromised and filmed 2 or 3 movies…but instead they got the 300 director (Zack Snyder)… Pretty much constituting an incredible loss of talent. Especially considering better directors had previously been attached to the project, like Requiem For A Dream and Pi director Darren Aronofsky (who wanted to muck with it too much), and Bourne Ultimatum / Bourne Trilogy director Paul Greengrass.

But Gilliam was right. This barely, barely worked as a film. There was just too much material to cram in. It was probably perfectly acceptable to those who had read the comic, but in this case, I was not one of them.

I *like* and *prefer* long, 2+ hour movies, even 3 hour movies. But this was rushed, even when it was over 3 hours long! There was no time for anything to sink in. Character development was rushed — there were TONS of characters, and not enough time to characterize them.

And just to make things harder, the movie flashed forward and back in ways that made it so confusing that I didn’t always know if it was “now” or not. I enjoy non-linear movies greatly — but with so many characters, so many sub-plots, so much material to cover, it did not help the storytelling in this particular instance; I feel it hampered it.

Watching the movie, I was simply confused as to who the main character was, who the main bad guy was, was there even a bad guy, do these plots relate, and what are we trying to avoid, besides nuclear war? I didn’t really even know that the movie was ending when it did, because it was never clear to me what the main obstacle we were trying to surmount was.

I think this would probably be much better the 2nd time around — but what are the odds of me sitting through a 3-hour movie a 2nd time, when I didn’t LOVE it the first time?

Also, it seemed like Rorschach’s voice was way overdone… Reminded me of Jack Bauer on 24, but even more “purposefully and unrealistically grunty”. He was a kick-ass character, though.

CONCLUSION: I’m being very critical here, but this was kind of a disappointment. Maybe when the Ultimate Edition comes out, we’ll give it another try and end up upgrading our rating. But for now, we were both a bit confused and disappointed. It’s not that we didn’t like it — it’s that with all the hype, we were expecting a 5/5 star movie. And this was not that.

RATINGS: IMDB: 7/10. Netflix: 3/5. Probably really 3.5/5.

RECOMMENDATION: Fans of the original graphic novel have probably already watched it. People who hate superhero movies and have mainstream tastes should steer clear of this; it’s long and confusing. Not in either of those groups? You should check it out. It is most certainly EPIC.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Who watches the Watchmen?”

COINCIDENCES: (Watchmen, Squidbillies #47:Atone Deaf) In the same night as watching Watchmen, Squidbillies said “who watches the watchmen?”, which is pretty much what they said in the Watchmen movie.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Despite being, for me, one of the most hyped up movies of the year… Not a single person has rated it on Netflix as of the writing of this review (7/27/2009). (more…)

This was a very weird dream; most definitely influenced by the movie Splice (2010) that we watched that night.

Somehow, me & Carolyn came into possession of a small dixie cup full of water THAT WAS POSSESSED. It was really weird. We slept in this hotel-like room, on a mattress on the floor. The cup was next to us. It started doing spooky ghost-type stuff, totally freaking us out. Like, sparking ghost dust in the air. Weird, trippy, scary shit.

But, over time, we realized that we loved this ghost-cup. We grew to love it, and address it. I think at one point, I put the cup in bed next to us. No clue how the water never spilled.

Eventually, after days, weeks, or months, we woke up to find out that the ghost had left. We were really sad, and yelled out to it that we loved it. Poor cup of water is all on its own now!

''Dreams... They're the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.'' --Xavier:Renegade Angel

“Dreams… They’re the hurricanes that wash the soulfilth from the superdome of our nightminds.”
Xavier:Renegade Angel
(more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »