August 21st, 2006
I went to see Snakes on a Plane Friday. It was exactly what I expected — total awesomeness. There are two groups of people I would recommend this movie to:
(1) People who squealed in delight when they first heard that Samuel L. Jackson was going to be in a movie called Snakes on a Plane, and
(2) Fans of old-school disaster flicks, like Towering Inferno, Airport, or Earthquake.
If you aren’t in one of those groups, you should probably take a pass on SoaP — although you will be missing a lot of awesomeness.
August 17th, 2006
I’ve been reading a bit about the U.S. District court decision declaring warentless wire taps unconstitutional, and there’s one detail that I don’t understand about the case. It’s this:
The government argued that the program is well within the president’s authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets.
I don’t understand how proving a constitutional right requires revealing state secrets — this kind of argument should not rely on concrete examples and evidence, it should rely on abstract principles, laws and the constitution. Am I wrong in this understanding? I can only assume that the administration is keeping its powder dry for an appeal, where they can anticipate a friendlier court.
August 9th, 2006
This Dallas Observer article about boots on the ground millitary blogging provides an overview of millitary bloggers. It’s got all the usual problems that haunt news stories about blogs — but it demonstrates that even in the millitary, there is a diversity of opinion about the war in Iraq. I need to be reminded of that from time to time.
August 8th, 2006
I’ve posted before on the terrible misinformation that so-called “crisis-pregnancy centers” (CPCs) provide — these organizations are really another front on the war against abortion, designed to prevent young, scared, pregnant women from getting the complete information they need to make informed desicions.
But the Austin Chronicle reports that the situation may be even worse — some CPCs may be nothing more than scam operations, wasting tax-payer money without “serving” any clients at all. The money for these programs in Texas is being diverted from programs for women’s health care and family planning services.
This is just a joke. Instead of getting health care, counseling or support — Texas women are getting nothing at all.
August 7th, 2006
Can the US Horror Film be Saved? While recent horror flicks have delivered big box office revenues, the compelling horror flicks of the last 10 or so years have all been made overseas. American horror has lost its edge, mostly by abandoning social commentary and subversive politics for gore. To see this, all you have to do is compare the original Dawn of the Dead with the remake — the anti-consumerist thrust of the original was entirely lost from the remake. And movies like Saw and Hostel offer nothing but a slick, cheap, dirty scare that serves only to reinforce the conservative ethos of our times.
Is there no hope? Writing for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Johnny Ray Huston sees some good among all the carnage. I haven’t seen the movies he points to as having potential — like the remake of The Hills Have Eyes–so I can’t comment one way or the other, but the article is worth reading, if only for his analysis of The Descent (written and directed by an Englishman, shot in England, but set in Appalachia) which has two endings — one that has been shown internationally, and one that was made specifically for the US market.
One finale places the film within a tradition that examines a fractured female psyche (� la Mulholland Drive  or Aja’s more recent Haute Tension ). The other gives some sense, however deranged, of hope — if one can escape a country of the blind and its mindset. Interesting that audiences in essentially “the rest of the world” have seen one conclusion, while US audiences get another one. In fact, that might be something worth dwelling on.
August 7th, 2006
In the Seattle Weekly, I found this column about marriage by Knute Berger. It really gets to the heart of the problem with attempts to limit marriage to male/female couples only: marriage is increasingly an irrational institution, so attempts to rationalize it are in and of themselves irrational. It’s a compelling read — check it out.
August 5th, 2006
Tee Tasha Twinkle
runs through the house.
Upstairs and downstairs
chasing a mouse.
Peering in the corners,
staring in the air.
“Are there any mousings hiding?
Because I think I see one there.”
August 3rd, 2006
The Smithsonian website has this postcard history of the Smithsonian — it’s a peek at what the Smithsonian used to look like, and how it has evolved over time, through postcards. You can look at postcards of various Smithsonian museums, or you can peruse this page dedicated to the mall.
August 2nd, 2006
I love postcards — I love sending them, I love buying them, I love having them, I love getting them. I love everything about them. I’m not at all sure why — it could be the sense of elsewhere they carry, or the fact that someone thought of me when they sent it, or the limited space for writing, or something entirely. I just love them.
Which is why you can be that I signed up for Postcrossing the moment I heard of it. Which was about 3 minutes ago!