Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Stumbled across this show 'ctrl'. The easiest way to find it is to search Amazon downloadable video for it, although it is on hulu as well. The theme song is by an artist named Cat Jahnke and is available to purchase in full form on her website. The song is called 'Apple' and is one of the more impressive aural works I've encountered in some time. Oh, and yes, the show 'ctrl' is also very good.
Speaking of hulu, I think the network execs ought to get with the program and let them have every show ever made, because it is so nice to sit down and go through, say, 'Sliders' one show at a time starting from the very beginning. I've now seen every episode ever made of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', 'Alf' and 'Arrested Development'. I can sit here at my desktop and program on one screen while watching tv on the other and call it 'working', although convincing the wife that I'm working has been hard going lately, especially when the other screen is clearly running freeciv.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Watching 'Chandni Chowk to China' again and remain amazed that these heroes never seem to think about using the appropriate weapon to end a strongman's life, the sniper rifle. You can take a motivated person such as Sidhu, the erstwhile hero of the piece, and teach him everything he needs to know to hit with some accuracy in a few weeks, followed by some trail work to teach him how to sneak up into position.
Perhaps, six months, and you've got a weapon that can be used with relatively little effort to end this strongman's life. This is one reason that men who control their little empires in this manner are pretty rare these days.
It is a good reason to never allow the full disarming of a populace. The old adage 'an armed society is a polite society' applies. This is just an extreme instance, that a leader simply cannot afford to make too many enemies with 'nothing to lose' or one will get through security and shoot him.
Much of security in this world is for show. Look at the secret service and the armies of police and military that swarm the POTUS (President Of The United States, the 'correct' acronym given the tendency of early America to be different (tm), meaning putting every word in an acronym). With all that, we've had presidents shot.
One of the risks, however, of the situation that has attained as a result is the lack of the 'common touch'. George W Bush was pretty much completely insulated from his populace. A president truly becomes a 'man in a bubble', without any idea what is happening anywhere except where he is allowed to go, with his guards and controllers severely limiting access for 'security' reasons, creating the sort of insular and aloof leadership we have had since Reagan got shot.
Prior to Kennedy being shot, the president commonly rode around in an open car, essentially a four-door convertible. It is said that at the height of the civilwar Lincoln walked around DC with impunity. The Pope used to ride around in an elevated seat on an open car.
These ramblings have a point. Particularly with GW and the Pope, both avowed Christians, their death would lead to their immediate arrival in heaven as per their religion. Or, did they mean to insinuate their persons were so important the world would not survive without them?
People insist the world has changed, that there are more crazies in the world, a greater risk, and that the president or the pope is worth protecting. Well, the simple fact is that the crazies in this world are largely artificially made. I am no conspiracy nut, but most of the attempts on a president's life were actually comitted by the pointy stick of a conspiracy, the guy I alluded to above, motivated to kill but without training or support, provided by the conspiracy who then remove themselves somehow from the view of history. In some cases, they did not do so well.
Easily the most common known instance of this is the actual conspiracy that surrounded Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. During the civil war, as most of us were not taught in history class, the north was just as divided as the country as a whole. There were plenty of people who felt that Lincoln had done irrevocable harm to the nascent country, pitting brother against brother for nothing more than holding the union together, or, even worse, merely to defend profits of eastern manufacturing concerns. It was out of this miasma of political hatred that Booth was fashioned, either as a weapon by those who fashioned him or inadvertently as a result of the venom being plyed by those who fashioned him.
Whether intentional or inadvertent, Booth still shot Lincoln. After shooting Lincoln, Booth tried to rely on the friends who, he thought, had talked him into it. They, of course would have nothing to do with him, the deed being done.
This is a classic example of what I'm saying, which is that no leader in an armed society can afford to be overly evil or, sooner or later, someone will get close enough to kill him. Even in a crowded restaurant, with security and armed guards everywhere, the second Kennedy was shot presumably by Sirhan Sirhan, although how he arrived there with a weapon, why he would shoot Kennedy and a lot of other questions remain unresolved.
I will say this in defense of conspiracy theorists: we have histories of naval battles were we know down to the minute what each of some two hundred combatants were doing. We have histories that have been painstakingly reconstructed of a lot of things, such as the Challenger disaster, where we know exactly what happened and when. Appropriate investigation and forensics, especially given the attention paid the incident, should certainly have provided a plausible timeline for both Kennedy assasinations, but it is precisely plausibility that is lacked. Also, instead of certainty with multiple attestations, we are fed the 'high likelihood' line, which impresses nobody.
My biggest gripe at the end of the day with recent events, starting with the Kennedies and working through September 11th, is that we have to have the discussion in the first place. Such is the secrecy and incompetence at the highest level in our society that what the average person hears is almost never correct.
This is my private log; the bureau publishes analysis that is gleaned from the flow of the internet. All I will say at this moment is that if you carefully follow what has happened, you can determine what has happened. For instance, several of the bureau's analysts have worked out a plausible scenario for both the collapse of the Oklahoma City Federal Building and the Twin Trade Towers that do not require complicity by government entities, but in both cases there certainly was a coverup because the publicly released data do not match known engineering principles. It is simply a matter of people in power who have made serious mistakes not wanting to let anyone know that the mistakes were made.
And now we come full circle. An armed populace has lots less trouble with tyrants. A populace that is both armed with appropriate weapons and armed with knowledge is far harder to trifle with. We the people should demand more truth from our leaders, and excoriate those caught in any sort of falsehood. I don't advocate the use of violence; I advocate the use of the pen and the mind. We should remember that these leaders are not treasures to be protected, but dangerous people to be watched very carefully and cheerfully stomped on at the first sign of impropriety. This is especially so in light of the brain trusts we have been subjected to recently. I implore the American public to put a president in the whitehouse with a triple digit IQ before one of these morons achieves armageddon.
I finally found that song that has been under my skin for so long, 'Tu No Eres Para Mi', by Fanny Lu. It is a fascinating song. One of those breakup songs where the guy is a standard mark one jerk, the kind that always got way more action than I, not that I was all that concerned he was running up the score. I think it is one of those few works of art where the whole thing kind of hangs together. The artist truly believes in the song, the backup dancers are simply having a ball, jumping around in what appears genuine joy to a very simple choreography that seems to match the music perfectly.
Such a genuine piece of art, nearly perfect in every way, cannot possibly make it into mainstream, attached as it is to genuine silliness, with a sort of bubbling brook melody underlining a smackdown delivered to some guy. The words to the song have a percussive pattern that acts as a sort of drum line on top of divine accordion. There's also something about hot older women trying to sing songs as if still twenty-something or younger, a la 'Hollaback Girl', another song that captured a sort of a moment.
In the vast sea of bubblegum pop, tortured rockers and gratuitous over done music, occasionally we find a song and video that seem to address the essential ego of our existence, affirming the positive freedom we all want. Or maybe I just liked it.