MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
Visit me at my new blog, MsGeek.Org v3.0

Heard the Word of Blog?

Saturday, July 31, 2004

One last blog entry, also regarding Slashdot. Is it my imagination or has a new breed of Freeper trolls infested the mighty /.? I posted this post to an article about "Guerilla Drive-Ins" (Take one DVD player or laptop, add an SVGA projector, and presto, instant drive-in theatre) and got downmodded something fierce.

OK, I've learned my lesson. Post my political diatribes either here or on Plastic, post my geeky thoughts here or on Slashdot. This is the only place the twain shall meet from now on. :P

The Dreamcast has risen from the untimely grave Sega consigned it to, and now it's spelled with a T. No, I'm not being cryptic. There is a Hong Kong based manufacturer who has started marketing "Treamcast" portable game consoles. Imagine a Dreamcast with an LCD screen mated to it and you get the idea. It also has video out as well.

Why would someone go to all this trouble to revive the Dreamcast? Well, the machine is still going strong in Asia, and there are games coming out for it even to this day for the Asian market. The Treamcast comes with a boot disk that allows it to play VCDs and MP3 CDs, too, which is not entirely new as boot disks for those kinds of material have been out for years.

The Dreamcast is the only console I currently have. I love mine to pieces. I am happy that there are people still writing new games for it, and that there is a very vibrant DC homebrew community which is cranking out games like Feet of Fury for the platform. Heck, it even boots Linux and NetBSD!

This is what I wrote about it for Slashdot. It has some eminently followable links. If this damn thing didn't cost as much as a brand new PS2 I might even consider snagging one. However, I can think of more worthy things to spend $200 (at least once you factor in shipping from HK plus duty) on, and that's considering if I even have $200 to spend on frivolous stuff like this.

Still, kudos to the DC hackers. Sega might be bummed about this, but hey, they brought it on themselves by killing a perfectly good platform before its time.

The ugliness at Abu Ghraib is getting uglier and uglier with every new revelation. The absolutely abominable behavior on the part of American soldiers and American and Iraqi mercenaries, if this new report holds up under scrutiny, has pushed all the way into Salo: The 120 Days Of Sodom territory.

Good to see Rolling Stone get back into the "real" journalism game it abandoned somewhere in the late 1970s.

Friday, July 30, 2004

And now for something completely different...I would like to mention two people who died recently, and honor them in my own klutzy way. First, the death of Star Trek, The Omen and Total Recall (among a jillion film scores) composer Jerry Goldsmith. It was actually pretty touching to see just how many people who went to Comic-Con said good things about him...many panels actually acknowledged his passing with a moment of silence. He was certainly not as well known as the John Williams-es, Randy Newmans and Danny Elfmans of the world, but his prodigious output of film scores going back to the Golden Age of Television and extending to the movie Picasso At The Lapin Agile which is still in post-production. If Goldsmith had only given us the stirring Star Trek: The Next Generation theme music, originally written for the first Star Trek movie, it would have been enough.

Next is an unlikely person to be honored on this blog, but somehow or another it's fitting. Irwin Yeaworth, Jr. was not a well known filmmaker, and liked to keep it that way. He was deeply religious, and most of his output fell under the category of Christian religious propaganda. However, he did make at least one secular film, one that has been a guilty pleasure of many, many people. Yeaworth was the man who directed the cheesy 1958 movie The Blob. Sure, the movie was just a couple of notches better than an Ed Wood opus, but it was fun and good-natured and gave diverse film personages like Steve McQueen (the hero) and Burt Bacharach (composer of the curiously catchy theme song) their starts. It also spawned a genuinely frightening 1988 sequel.

After making The Blob and a couple of other similarly cheesy monster movies, Yeaworth went back to making religious movies and TV shows, and was helping the Jordanian government design a theme park ride when he collapsed behind the wheel and died instantly.

In a weird way, both of these recently deceased made an impact on my life. I just want to honor them both here.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

One last thought for the evening: Let them eat Prozac(R).

California now has a budget. It's nothing to cheer about...I said a lot about it yesterday so no need to ride that hobby horse again. However, it is good that it's actually a done deal and it frees up monies at the LA Community College District so that they can disburse financial aid on time. Whether I get any of it is still up in the air, but things look good on that score.

I'm not especially lucid today so I think I'll end this post here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

So it looks like there's going to be more qualified students going directly to the University of California if the budget is approved. (sorry about the link that requires mind-sucking registration to see)This new budget, which was reached yesterday and has yet to be formally approved in the Assembly and the State Senate, will use borrowing rather than new taxes, fees and/or levies to bring it into balance this fiscal year. Sound familiar? It should, it's awfully similar to what the hated Gray Davis did last year.

How does this all affect me? Considering that I am not going to the University of California?

For one thing, not having all those students crowding into Community Colleges for their first two years of school means that LA Valley College is no longer under as much financial pressure as it was when it was expecting a flood of Guaranteed Transfer Option students who in spite of qualifying for University of California or California State University freshman admissions were shunted into the Community College system for their first two years of school. This means that they are less pressed to find "edge cases" like mine to kick off the Financial Aid rolls.

This new budget is a triumph of shadow and artifice over substance. What the State of California needs is new sources of revenue, not more debt to service. Restoring the two upper state tax brackets that were eliminated by Governor Pete Wilson, then reestablished by the same Governor during a similar downturn, would go a long way to balancing the budget and not still leave us $20 Billion in the hole in postponed, not retired debt. The ultimate solution to our budget woes is the legalization and taxation of the most lucrative cash crop in California, but of course, that is a solution that dare not speak its name.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Time to get the plans together for a Grad party next June. It looks like not only the financial aid and the transfer to Woodbury is going to come through, but I will also have enough credits, and moreover the right credits, to get my Associate of Arts degree after successfully completing all 23 of the credits I will be taking in the next two semesters.

My first intimation that this was a possibility was when Dr. Ghassemi, my guidance counselor through Disabled Services told me "Don't tell Financial Aid but I took a look at your transcript and it sure looks like you will have enough credits for your AA after all." Then I checked with the counselling department and did some crunching of numbers, and sure enough, it will just about be a done deal when I finish in June. I have been advised to apply for graduation sometime during the Fall semester.

I am actually quite happy that I will get my sheepskin from Valley. I have a great deal of emotional connection to the place, and having this measure of closure will feel really, really good.

Monday, July 26, 2004

How to sum up Comic-Con 2004. Oh, where shall I begin.

First, even though the fanboys are bellyaching about the lousy name for the new SW prequel, I saw it with my own eyes: the fanboys were lining up in droves to get anything and everything Star Wars. The biggest bottleneck on the display floor was that damn Star Wars Pavilion.

I think that they should have borrowed a title from a Batman illustrated novel and called the last of the prequels "Knightfall." Because this episode, if they follow all the stuff marks both nightfall for the Republic and the fall of Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight. Then again, this is the trilogy that reduced "The Force is strong with this one" to "oh my, look at the Midichlorian count in that boy's blood." This is the trilogy that allowed the Jedi to fool around all they want, just don't get "attached." (Great, the Jedi Code, reduced to the Playboy Philosophy.) This is the trilogy that unleashed the creeping horror that is Jar Jar Binks on the public.

It seems that even though the consensus is that Episode 1 and Episode 2 sucked and that Episode 3 is going to be like Catwoman's litterbox if she forgot to scoop after a while, the fanboys still eat up the whole Star Wars thing with ketchup. The SW Pavilion was mobbed, I saw tons of people walking around with very expensive replica (not a toy, toys cost much less than replicas) light sabers, and there was a lot of SW-related cosplay going on.

The best thing people were giving away at the con was this duffle bag with a "Highlander" logo on it...I missed out on them, alas. However, the funniest was a "Manhwa" (Korean for "Manga") sampler that was apparently translated by the same folks who translated the videogame Zero Wing. Here's an example of the prose you can find within:

This baby is from the Devil World to kill all family...

We have to kill the baby! We have to!

Oh my God, they are twins!

Shintak got wrong everything!

Don't be so suspicious with holy Shintak!

Evil stone! We can sure who is really from the Devil World with this stone.

Pretty good, huh? There's more where that came from. I might just post from the Manhwa book when I have a spare moment and no ideas to post anything else to my blog.

Highlights: catching up with Jim Smith, Spumco big shot and all-around good guy; catching up with Megatokyo creator Fred aka Piro and Sara aka Seraphim; seeing Bill Plympton's new feature Hair High; finally meeting MTV Downtown and now Megas XLR creator Chris Prynoski; and best of all, the June Foray panel discussion where America's premier voice actress got some mad props and participated in recreations of two Jay Ward classic cartoons: a Fractured Fairy Tales and a Rocky & Bullwinkle.

Lowlights: the two-hour wait to get our badges; the fact that Comic-Con is starting to outgrow its space at the San Diego Convention Center even though it's one of the biggest freakin' facilities of its type in the US; the depressingly high price for food and kewlstuff (twas ever thus) at the con; the fact that we had to choose between panels, sometimes between more than two panels, at a time; and the fact that our hotel required taking not one, but two trolleys and almost an hour of travel time to get to the Con.

I don't know whether I will be looking forward to the next one or dreading it. Probably a bit of both. But I will return.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Here I am in the Little Italy section of San Diego after a long day of fun on the first full day of San Diego Comic-Con. There is a FREE wireless hotspot here, and I am happily using the bandwidth.

San Diego Comic-Con is *insane*. That is the first and last thing you have to bear in mind when you go. Basically most conventions are dwarfed by the hulking mass that is the San Diego Convention Center. SDCC is so huge, so well-attended, that it feels as if you are shoehorned in. And it only gets more claustrophobic as the weekend approaches.

I have been carrying this laptop around like a papoose all day. I did this with the PowerBook last year and it was actually worse...this ThinkPad weighs half the amount the PB did. However, it is still a considerable weight.

I saw Fred aka Piro and Sarah from Megatokyo last night at Preview Night. Tomorrow's their panel and supposedly they will be in a bigger room than last year when they were literally besieged by Megatokyo otakus, packed standing-room-only in a little room. They remembered Tom Reed and me and were very friendly. I brought my Iron Cat edition of MT book 1 and my copy of MT book 2 and bought a Dark Horse copy of MT book 1 that they happily signed. They're good folks. I wish them the absolute best.

Today I saw a couple of cool panels: first with Stan Sakai, the creator of Usagi Yojimbo. It is amazing that his comic book has been going strong for 20 years now. The second one was for Comedy Central's new animated series "Drawn Together." It's Rough Draft's show...both their Glendale and Korean facilities were involved in the production, like what they did with "Futurama" and "The Maxx." It looks like a genuinely funny show...animation cliche characters like a Disney Princess, (they don't say she's a Disney Princess but it's clear where they got their inspiration from) a scatological Web Cartoon character, and a kawaii little Pikachu-alike character who is secretly scheming to take over the world all live under the same roof, "The Real World" style. It's coming in October and hopefully I'll be able to do a piece on it for Toon Magazine and have it available on the Toon Mag site by the time it airs.

Tomorrow will be extremely hectic. I can't promise a blog entry but I will try my level best. Gotta love this free bandwidth and this workhorse of a laptop. I am a happy geek tonight. I'm going to wind this up because this cafe I'm sitting at doesn't serve anything but coffee and dessert this time of the day. Ciao, bella...

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

OK, here's good news and bad news. Let's get the bad news out of the way first. The Five Families of the Music Business will now be cut down to four, as Sony Music and BMG music merge. The European Community, thought to be the toughest hurdle for the merger, has given their approval. It is expected that the much more lenient US Federal Trade Commission will wave the merger through. This now means that there are four major record labels in the entire world: Sony/BMG, Universal Music, Warner/Elektra/Atlantic, and EMI. Just another symptom of the disease of media consolidation going around nowadays.

Good news now: It looks like Ruby, the African elephant shipped out of the LA Zoo and away from her longtime companion Gita, an Asian elephant, will be returned to the LA Zoo. There is no timetable for the reunion of the two, but one hopes it would be soon.

Monday, July 19, 2004

And now, the Ugly News.

Ugly incident 1: First the Dixie Chicks, then Whoopi, now Linda Ronstadt. Apparently Linda got sent packing by the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas after she had the audacity to suggest that people should see Fahrenheit 9/11. The reaction was brutal: booing, drinks launched at her, people running around the casino tearing down posters for the show. Ooh yeah, we're so glad we're living in the USA, man...

Ugly incident 2: Recall Ah-nold. Now. Please.
In a new low for the yearly California budget crisis, The Governator stooped to calling California legislators Girlie-men and advising California voters to "Terminate them" come November 2nd. (That's Regime Change Day in the US, folks, don't forget...) I wish the muscle bound schweinhundt was up for recall that day too, so we can be rid of him. He's done absolutely nothing to fix the systemic problems in California's government, the budget is still drowning in red ink, good friends of mine who are on MediCal (Medicaid) might be shoved off of it, and my college financial aid still hangs in the balance due to Ah-nold's harebrained schemes to balance the budget on the backs of the UC, CSU and Community College systems.

Ugly incident 3: George W. Bush and the "Anyone but the Saudis" blame game.
Now that the link between bad ole Saddam and 9/11 has been thoroughly discredited, the administration of Bush The Younger has started tapdancing to a new tune. What? We said Iraq? Oh, no, we actually meant Iran, isn't that right? Uh, where's that book with that neat little story about a goat?

Friday, July 16, 2004

Holy moly, look at this brand new posting interface! Well, I guess you can't see it, but it's pretty amazing from my end. Very slick. Blogger rocks.

Anyway, it's time for another Geekback.

The reason I haven't blogged much recently is because I have been rather busy. I am getting ready for San Diego Comic-Con, which entails getting all my equipment and clothing together. It also entails sending emails out to people I hope to see there. The program for the panel discussions alone runs something like 68 pages. There are going to be panel discussions that Toon Magazine is going to want to cover that conflict with each other. This wouldn't be a problem if they were only 2-way conflicts. But when it's just going to be you and one other person actively covering events (Richie isn't a staff writer at this point) and there are three or four events going on at the same time, you are going to miss stuff.

I have also been busy with math work. I have been doing more intensive work on math now than I have ever done since childhood. I have four tutors now counting my husband Richie. One is Jimmy who was assigned to me by Woodbury University. One is Karmia, one of my net friends I met through Plastic.Com. And I was just informed by LAVC that I can have some one-on-one tutoring time through the learning center. Interesting...I was told there was nothing of the sort available during Summer session. OK, the more the merrier. I will take the Chapter 4 test on July 29th. Good luck to me...last time I took the test, I flunked miserably. Of course, there were extenuating circumstances (car trouble, taking the bus to the College, etc.) but I also got a bit too cocky and didn't spend enough time with the material.

In related matters, I will be meeting with some people about my Financial Aid situation on the 27th. Hopefully everything will be resolved by then. Good luck to me...^_^;;

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

OK, everything seems to be coming to a head again regarding LAVC Financial Aid. Basically, the Committee that makes the "fund or no fund" decisions has told both my counsellor and Frank from Woodbury that they will only fund the courses that are absolutely required for me to transfer to Woodbury. And they have made it abundantly clear they want me to transfer ASAP.

I should know what's what in the very near future, hopefully before I have to leave for Comic-Con.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Oh shit. Tom Ridge is talking about contingency plans to postpone the 2004 election. Am I the only one who thinks this is scary news? We didn't delay the vote in 1814, when we were under attack by the British. We didn't delay the vote due to the Civil War. The vote went on during World War II. This is total bullshit, and makes me afraid that this is precisely what George W. Bush will ask Ridge to do if it looks like the polls are going against him. George W. Bush, President For Life? People had better wake the hell up. Things might get very, very messy very quickly.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Damn...I had this whole big article ready to go and what happened was that I had a rare DSL outage. That was a few hours ago. Now I cannot reconstruct the thing. Oh well, the article that inspired it, about how Americans are no longer reading like they used to, is getting a lot of play several places. One good discussion of this is at Plastic.Com.

Another thing I did today was I sold my Wallstreet PowerBook. I didn't want to do it, but we're struggling and I'm going to need some cash in San Diego for Comic-Con. I'm not necessarily going to be going there for pleasure...I'm going to be going there as a representative of Toon Magazine. If all goes well this will bear some fruit in the future...when Toon was last a going concern I actually made some money from it. But right now it's not going to be making any money for me. Oh well.

Tomorrow, I am going to spend some time with one of my "math army" members. It's Karmia, who I met through Plastic.Com. She and I will be meeting at UCLA. Between her and my other allies, I should either finally grasp this math stuff or my head will explode. Hopefully the former rather than the latter will happen.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Wow. I now have a literal army of math tutors who've got my back. Not only will I be helped by the tutor assigned to me by Woodbury University, and will continue to be helped by my wonderful hubby, I will have the help of one of my netfriends beginning on Saturday. Add to that some of the other people who have said that I can email or call them for help, and the son of a good friend who's also said he'd be willing to tutor me, and I think I might just make it with this math stuff.

OK, update time again. Some stuff that was up in the air is looking a bit more settled now.

First and foremost: the financial aid situation. I finally met the lady who is the head of LAVC's Financial Aid Department, and she was very kind and very understanding. She said that the Financial Aid Committee did not take into consideration certain things they should have, and said that I had a fighting chance on second appeal.

Secondly, I got to talk to Frank Gonzales from Woodbury University this morning and we came to the conclusion that if I took care of my "critical thinking" course on top of the courses I am taking in Fall that I would in all probability be good to go for transfer to Woodbury in Spring 2005. So I have added Philosophy 6, "Logic In Practice," to my course load. That brings me all the way up to 13 units this Fall. It's another course with "Book TBA" fact, the teacher is To Be Arranged as well. Oh well, if I survived History 86 with Prof. Maddox, I can survive whatever teacher they throw at me. Frank also arranged a tutor for me for math...I touched bases with him this afternoon and tomorrow he'll call so we can make a schedule.

Thirdly, the plans for Comic-Con are coming together beautifully. We have the hotel, we have transpo plans (lots of use of the San Diego Trolley to get around) and we've made a few RSVPs to some people we'll be visiting there.

I'm feeling a bit better now. Whew.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

From the "bits and pieces" department:

James Doohan, better known to Star Trek: The Original Series fans as "Scotty," has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 84. This is not the first health challenge for Doohan...he has battled Parkinson's Disease, Diabetes and Lung Fibrosis acquired from chemical exposure during World War II prior to this diagnosis. Doohan will be honored at the Hollywood Walk of Fame next month. This might be the last chance we get to say goodbye. [sigh]

In better news, I think that John Kerry made perhaps the best choice he could by bringing John Edwards on board as his Vice Presidential candidate. Edwards had some really good ideas he talked about during the Primary season, and he's also got a Southern accent, which matters to some swing states. True to form, the GOP already have the attack ads starting up, harping on Edwards' background as a trial lawyer and talking about his relative inexperience in government. Well, I have some very brilliant relatives who went to Law School. Most of them decided not to practice law...the one who did is unfortunately not among the living. (R.I.P. Uncle Richard) My mom dated a really nice guy who was a lawyer. And there's also my husband Richie's childhood friend Erica, who practices primarily public-interest law. Lawyers get a bad rap. I mean, lawyers are the scum of the earth to most...until you need one.

Anyway, I'm finally feeling like myself again after that all-nighter at AX. I will point you to some photos on my friend Don's website when they get online. Haven't heard from the Anime-LA folks yet, but hopefully I'll hear from them soon.

Oh yeah, tomorrow I meet with a counselor at LAVC about the financial aid mess. Fun. Not.

Monday, July 05, 2004

One more reason to like Michael Moore:

He seems to have no problem with filesharers spreading 'Fahrenheit 9/11' around. "I don't have a problem with people so long as they aren't trying to make a profit off of my labor." says he. He's not the first person who's taken such an attitude about filesharing, but one of the most high-profile yet.

I'm still on the mend after the all-nighter at AX. Thought processes pretty slow even now. Never again. If I do AX for more than one night, I'm going to get a room.

Recovering from AX2004:

I finally got a full 8 hours sleep last night. I still feel vaguely hung-over, but that was not due to any alcoholic beverages consumed during last night or the night before. It had everything to do with basically staying up from Saturday Morning all the way to 10AM Sunday Morning when I was finally home from the con after taking a very early Greyhound back.

What have I learned from this experience?

1.) Don't skimp on transpo by opting for Greyhound over Amtrak. Yes, the train is somewhat more expensive than the bus, but it's more civilized and relaxing and most importantly freeway traffic doesn't affect it. The trip to AX was delayed by freeway traffic, and my LA Backseat Driver instincts made me cringe every time a driver did something stupid in front of the bus. No, I didn't scream obscenities or anything like that...I realized that could get me in very horrible trouble nowadays so I bit my tongue and just thought the insults.

2.) I might want to invest in a pair of handcuffs to handcuff my mobile phone to my wrist. Poor LelioW from Plastic got his mobile phone stolen, so that was the reason why I had a real hard time getting in touch with him when I got to AX. It took me going into the Exhibit Floor with an official to find him and get my badge. Next time I might consider the volunteer route. Chad seemed to have fun with his stint of volunteerage. I'll also investigate the cost of the cheap-ass motels that coexist with the big hotels near the convention center. There is no way to see this con in one day, you have to go for more than one to get anything out of it.

3.)Yes, Virginia, there will be an Anime con nearer than Anaheim next year! Anime LA is just starting up this next year, and it will be held very close to home, at the Van Nuys Airtel Hotel at the Van Nuys Airport. I intend to get very active with them before February 4th-6th when the show happens. I want to also forge alliances between Anime LA and SFVLUG, Anime LA and Toon Magazine, and see if I can convince DSL Extreme to donate Internet bandwidth to the show. A cybercafe running Linux machines so that people can get their webmail and blog from the Con would be a brilliant idea, for example.

I would write more, but as I said, I am still feeling the effects of pulling that all-nighter. I am not sure whether I hallucinated some of the super-new anime series I saw yesterday morning, they were so bizarre. I'll write more when I'm in better shape.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Hi all you happy people...

Yes, I am posting from behind the Orange Curtain. Anime Expo is
overwhelming as usual, with altogether too much to do in a day.
Production IG is going to do a panel discussion at 6pm tonight (it's
4:46 currently) and since I saw (and liked ) GITS2: Innocence, I am
looking forward to it.

Costumes, as usual, are spectacular. Weird...I didn't do much for
"costuming" but two people complimented me, for some reason. I'm just
wearing a black beret, a black t-shirt with "" on it, a pair of
black jeans, black sneakers and a blue camo (sky camo) Ranger vest. I
have a little Menchi plushy in one of the many pockets...ADV finally
got smart and put Menchi plushies out. They have two
roughly 8" long and one more closely approximating Menchi size. There
is also a slightly twisted "Menchi-skin" which is basically about the
size of the small one but not stuffed. It's perfect to adapt as Excel
Excel-style headgear.

The whole idea of putting on a Japanese carnival in the Marriott
parking lot was a good one, but in praxis it didn't entirely work. For
one thing, having a goldfish toss game at an anime convention is just
asking for mass goldfish carnage. I can't see those little critters
surviving one day in those little plastic bags with water in them.
It's different when you're close to home and you can get them safely
in a goldfish bowl.

One last observation before I put this down for a bit: a Christian
evangelical group is also meeting in the Anaheim Convention Center
today. One wonders what they make of us geeky types. I suspect they
were thinking either that we are ripe for conversion or that we are
irreparably lost. I was just thinking that they didn't seem to be
having a great deal of fun there. Oh well.

Signing off for now...

Friday, July 02, 2004

Don't go back to using IE on Windows yet, but Microsoft is finally getting emergency Quick Fixes out to fix the vulnerability exploited by the zero-day exploit that bedeviled Windows users during this past week. According to The Register, the new patch only half fixes the problem and Microsoft is swearing up and down that a more comprehensive fix to the problem is on the way. Windows users: this patch is better than nothing. However, until a more complete fix comes, keep using Mozilla or Opera instead.

OK George, you can stop gloating, because your vaunted "recovery" has gone back into the shitter.

Here's the proof.

The jobs simply aren't there. Summer jobs, permanent jobs, if you just look a little it will become obvious to you what's really going on. And also, since people stop being counted as unemployed if they have exhausted their unemployment benefits, the count of the people who are actually unemployed is actually deceptively low.

There was a Reagan-era bumper sticker that read, "If you think the system is working, ask someone who isn't." The system isn't working. November 2nd is Regime Change Day. Do it.

RIP Marlon Brando.

He will indeed be missed. Yeah, he had a weird private life but his work spoke for itself. The Wild One, Streetcar, The Godfather parts 1 and 2, Mutiny On The Bounty... the list goes on and on.

Think of him while you watch the Fireworks on Sunday.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

One last thing to add: F 9/11 needs to be released con titulos en Espanol. I live in a predominantly Latino neighborhood, and a Spanish subtitled print would be very helpful in getting the message of the movie out in this area. It seems like the combination of strong evangelization of Catholic Latinos by Charismatic Evangelical Protestant denominations and the big push by the George W. Bush campaign in reaching out to Latino voters has begun to skew many Latino voters conservative. I suppose memories of Governor Pete Wilson serve as a counterweight in California but those memories are fading. Latinos need to be reminded that Presidente George W. Bush no es su amigo.

(note: this was also posted to IMDB)

Fahrenheit 9/11: A love letter to America.

Firstly, to all the crapflooders from the "Free Republic" (major misnomer) who have been crapflooding this review database...bite me.

Second: this is a very important movie. I knew everything that was in the movie, there were no factual surprises, but what hit me the hardest was seeing the soldier writhing around on the ground with the very large wound in his leg. Realizing that what I was watching was real, not special effects or makeup or anything like that, hit me like a gut punch. Like the Bowie song goes, "It's No Game."

I will say this here and now: this should have been rated PG-13. The biggest obscenities of this movie have nothing to do with the MF word, and besides, by the time I was in 4th grade we talked dirtier than that anyway. No, the biggest obscenities are the actions of a small cabal of people who have hijacked the country I love.

The jerk with his movie "Michael Moore Hates America" is totally, completely wrong. Michael Moore LOVES America. And ultimately F 9/11 is his love letter to his country and mine. If you love your country, you will go see this movie with an open mind, without prejudice. And you will take your children too. By children I mean Middle School or High Schoolers, not Elementary School children. Elementary School-age kids are a bit too young for this. But the thing is that military recruiters are cruising Middle Schools in barrio and ghetto neighborhoods all over the US looking for children. You can "jine up" as early as Middle School's called "Delayed Recruitment." I have a neighbor whose daughter will be going into the Navy after she graduates High School. I wish I could take her to see this movie. But I suppose we should be glad that this movie IS being seen here in America now, considering the current chilly climate for individual rights and liberties.

Addendum for my blog: as a result of seeing this movie, I will no longer play First Person Shooter videogames. For most of the movie, whenever I saw battle footage, it didn't register how horrifying what I was actually seeing was. Then I saw the shot of the guy with the leg wound. Suddenly, the horror of what I was seeing actually registered. It was like my initial reaction to watching CNN during September 11th, 2001. I thought that maybe I was watching a Jerry Bruckheimer action movie or something. It took a little bit for the truth to actually register and the immensity of what I was seeing finally take hold. I think that games like Unreal Tournament, Quake and Doom have kind of desensitized me somewhat. No more of these games, no more of the insane video subsystem arms race either. No, I won't buy HalfLife II or Doom III. I don't think such games should be banned. But they are not for me anymore. It's like when Dom from Megatokyo.Com gave up on Hentai videogames for Lent. Only in my case, it's for good.

I leave you with a paraphrase of Lao-Tzu. "A shiny sword has its beauty, but understand that even the most beautiful sword is accursed." -- Dao Deh Jing, Chapter 31

Finally, I am going to see Fahrenheit 9/11 today. My local movieplex, the Mann Plant 16, didn't get the movie in the first week, but saw the error of its ways and picked it up yesterday. It's within walking distance from home, at least walking distance as far as I'm concerned. Some folks might think it a bit far away to walk to, but I think it's fine. Especially when you consider I'm walking to indulge in a sedentary activity...watching a movie.

I'll blog what I thought about it later.