Implied Dissent

Friday, August 29, 2003

When I started this piece it seemed like a pretty simplistic history of the USA. But as I read further it became apparent that it is much more than that. Good stuff.
I'm not much of an Alan Greenspan fan. But back in the day the man was wicked smaht about Gold and Economic Freedom.
Well, I think I'm backing away from my brief period of contemplating supporting Howard Dean. On to the Reverend Al Sharpton! (yeah right)
Maybe this Act is coming to your area soon. Go, John, go (away). Please?

Thursday, August 28, 2003

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the Nazis were evil. I know, controversial stuff. But for some reason they've become our common reference point for evil rather than Communists, who have killed many more people. Balko suggests a memorial to communism similar to the Holocaust Memorial Museum (ignore some of his math, ideas are his strength). I think it's an excellent idea and I hope it comes to fruition.
Ok, while I tend to stay away from them, sometimes I indulge in some conspiracy theories. This one seems a bit...exotic we'll say. But I think there may be something there, at least peripherally. I've always said the Iraq 'war' happened for a number of reasons, and this could be one of them.
This is a fun interview with a young Ahnuld. I don't think it's particularly relevant to the governor's race, but it is entertaining nonetheless. Thank you Smoking Gun.

I'd like to take a moment to talk about one of the best artists in American music, Mr. Johnny Cash.

Often referred to as "The Man in Black" Johnny Cash has been writing and recording his unique music for decades. Among his most famous songs are "I Walk The Line," "Folsom Prison Blues," and "A Boy Named Sue."

Johnny's latest album features his re-interpretation of the Nine Inch Nails Song "Hurt." His rendition is so powerful that I have cried listening to it. The only thing more emotional is the music video, directed by Mark Romanek who is also the genius responsible for, among others, Janet and Michael Jackson's "Scream" video. The video is simple and beautifully photographed, depicting Johnny at home, singing and playing "Hurt" while he wife of 35 years (and an amazing musician in her own right) June Carter Cash looks on. The scene is made more poignant by the knowledge that she passed away a few months after filming. Interspersed with this heart-wrenching image are images from Johnny's long career, showing the Man in Black before the onset of the nervous system disease autonomic neuropathy that cripples him now.

I am a fan of pop culture, but do not take it overly seriously, so it will not come as a surprise that I have, up until now, ignored this year's MTV Video Music Awards. I discovered this morning, however, that "Hurt" has been nominated six times, including a nomination for Best Video of the Year. The video is dark and serious and features an artist in his 70s - not typical MTV fare. I congratulate the VMAs for appreciating such a fantastic work of art. I'll be rootin' for you, Johnny!

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

I don't want my blog to degenerate into this kind of insipid back-and-forth, so I'll just say nope.

RE: Flippant

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1996) defines flippant:

1. Of smooth, fluent, and rapid speech; speaking with ease and rapidity; having a voluble tongue; talkative.

2. Speaking fluently and confidently, without knowledge or consideration; empty; trifling; inconsiderate; pert; petulant.

Accurate in my opinion.

Re: 28 Days Later
I don't think I like being called flippant! Wry, tongue-in-cheek, brief, all of these might be applicable, but I'm pretty sure I'm not "marked by disrespectful levity or casualness." Levity, yes. Casualness, arguably. Disrespect, not in this case (though certainly in others).
Anyway, I agree the ending wasn't great, though it wasn't bad either. I did see the alternate ending, and it blew. It might have worked if they added a minute or two more to it, but as is it was bad. So the only change I would make to my original post would be to say the ending kept it from being a great movie, but didn't ruin it by any means.

My new favorite TV show is nip/tuck on the FX channel. I caught a re-broadcast of the premiere on Monday night at 10:00 and was almost instantly addicted.

The show centers around two plastic surgeons in Miami: Christian and Sean. Each is going through his own mid-life crisis and their internal self-doubt is externalized and explored in their interactions with patients. Each consultation with a new patient begins with: "so, tell me what you don't like about yourself." This leads to various responses from the seemingly mundane, "my nose" to the shock-value "my dick." Last night's episode included a pair of twins who wanted plastic surgery so they could look different from each other - a choice that was wholeheartedly supported by their psychologist to allow them to see themselves as two whole persons instead of halves of one - a perception that had led them to lose their virginity at sixteen to the same 40 year old twin fetishist.

In addition to the character exploration and emotional analysis the show offers gorgeous photography, beautiful sets and costumes, and sexy actors. The combination is intoxicating and smart.

Oh. And if you have ever considered plastic surgery, the graphic scenes of liposuctions and nose jobs will probably deter you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

So - I 'd like to respond to Bob's comments re: 28 Days Later (below). While I appreciate Bob's flippant sense of humor and resulting summary of the movie's themes, I would like to follow up with a few serious thoughts on this film, as I think it deserves.

First of all, if you are at all sensitive to gore or violence, this is not the movie for you. I am a long-time fan of horror, action and sci-fi, and thought myself well-steeled to whatever this film could dish out. The first time I saw it I ended up in the third row (thanks Jeff) and some of the scenes were a little hard to take. Also, there is a lot of fast camera-work and editing and it was hard to appreciate the visuals at that close range.

This movie deals with the question of how far a person will go to survive. It focuses on a variety of personalities and shows a range of believable reactions. It left me wondering if I would be able to hold on to my morals under similar circumstances. There is a brutal lack of sentimentality, which in my opinion is its greatest strength. Characters you like or identify with will die. Characters will show their worst side.

If I can point out one flaw - it is the Hollywood-style ending. I have yet to see the "alternate ending" though, and I have high hopes.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

I'd like to welcome to the site a new blogger who will be posting from time to time. Penny will write primarily on movies, but there may be some other topics she hits on as well.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

I've heard a lot about Adventure Capitalist, all of it good. I guess I can't recommend it since it's still on my reading list, but I'm confident it'll be a good read for anyone.
I really liked this mini-bio on Warren Buffett's dad. If Warren emulates Howard in his role as Arnold's advisor, California will do well.
If this piece on Dubya is accurate, damn. Wtf?

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Every so often someone mentions the 'fact' that America doesn't make stuff anymore. Unfortunately for those people, but fortunately for America, it's just not true, as Bruce Bartlett demonstrates. In 1800 90% of Americans were farmers, and they had a merely adequate amount of food. Today only about 3% (I might be off a little bit on that number, but the point is still valid) of us farm, we have so much food that the government pays people not to farm, and farming is one of our biggest exports. It is a similar situation with manufacturing. There are some weak spots certainly and we import a lot of certain goods, but US manufacturing is strong. Also, much of the drop in manufacturing employment is a statistical phenomenom of how different workers are classified, not a real decline. Don't let the would-be Cassandras fool you.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

California, meet your next governor.
I decided to give this socialist article a chance. I really did. There was a little bit of good stuff in there, not much though. Most of what I found in it was triviality, tautologies, and stupidity. Oh well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Ok, new blog is up and ready to go. Sweet.
Saw 28 Days Later. I'm still deciding if I think it was really good or great. It did have some lessons in it like all great movies should. 1, don't be a hippie. 2, don't be a rapist. 3, don't trust the government. If you like scary movies, you'll like this movie.
While this article doesn't directly say it, I think it supports me when I say the Fed needs to start raising interest rates. Unless you think the single man Greenspan is smarter than the combined intelligence of every US investor.