Yes, so, as some of you know, my main passion is filmmaking, and apart from some music videos, I haven’t blogged much about my work. But tomorrow (Friday, July 20), we will be premiering Revenge of the Falcon, my short comedy, which although didn’t take too long to do, actually has been brewing in one form or another since October 2005. In fact, we had to remake the film from scratch because…well, just because, all right? Some of you know what I’m talking about.
British journalist Johaan Hari went undercover on a sea cruise for readers of the National Review. It’s a trip into the Heart of Darkness of rich, mostly white, fascist America. Oh for a torpedo!
Ship of Fools: Setting Sail With ‘The National Review’
I am traveling on a bright white cruise ship with two restaurants, five bars, a casino – and 500 readers of the National Review. Here, the Iraq war has been “an amazing success”. Global warming is not happening. The solitary black person claims, “If the Ku Klux Klan supports equal rights, then God bless them.” And I have nowhere to run.
The statement isn’t new or surprising. What is surprising is where it comes from: John S. Koppel, who currently works at the very Department of Justice on which he lays down the smack. This is serious business:
The Denver Post – Bush justice is a national disgrace
The sweeping, judicially unchecked powers granted under the Patriot Act should neither have been created in the first place nor permanently renewed thereafter, and the Act – which also contributed to the ongoing contretemps regarding the replacement of U.S. attorneys, by changing the appointment process to invite political abuse – should be substantially modified, if not scrapped outright. And real, rather than symbolic, responsibility should be assigned for the manifold abuses. The public trust has been flagrantly violated, and meaningful accountability is long overdue. Officials who have brought into disrepute both the Department of Justice and the administration of justice as a whole should finally have to answer for it – and the misdeeds at issue involve not merely garden-variety misconduct, but multiple “high crimes and misdemeanors,” including war crimes and crimes against humanity.
I realize that this constitutionally protected statement subjects me to a substantial risk of unlawful reprisal from extremely ruthless people who have repeatedly taken such action in the past. But I am confident that I am speaking on behalf of countless thousands of honorable public servants, at Justice and elsewhere, who take their responsibilities seriously and share these views. And some things must be said, whatever the risk.
The Dark Overlord is surely planning some bloody revenge as we speak. Bravo to Koppel, who must be a very, very brave man.
Some stizooopid stuff happened with the server this weekend (mostly involving a corrupted mt.cgi file which made me think for a second that I had lost four years of blogging), so I’ve spent way too much time fixing things. On the other hand I also used the opportunity to tweak a few things on the blog. You may or may not have seen them.
1) Comments now work, but require authentication. I was getting spammed the hell out by doofi unknown and I think this shut down comments for a while. As long as you have an email address and go through TypePad, you can comment now!
2) I added a favicon. It’s my bleedin’ face! I was tempted to write “OBEY” underneath it. If you don’t know what a favicon is, do a Google search.
3) Rotating banners and new pimped out logo. I added that last weekend, but you may have not noticed it. I will start adding more banners soon, at the moment it’s just ten photos.
4) Added links to myspace, facebook, amazon, and last.fm on the right. Go on and add me, be my friend and experience the discomfiting silence of social networking. I have nearly 200 friends!! And I spent most of the weekend at home!!!
5) I have added the photo of the Virgin Mary cheese sandwich apropos of nuttin’. Actually, it looks more like Marlene Deitrich than Ms. Magdalene, but still she was delicious!
From the always awesome Strange Maps blog:
Mr Kirkland’s website “is a bit of a grassroots movement, dedicated to breaking the US into smaller, more functional nations”. It provides some extra information on each of the new, smaller American nations, “and a fresh map so that anyone can submit a new proposal.”
For myself, I like the idea of a country called “The Boundary Waters” but I think they would soon go to war with The People’s Republic of the Plains to claim Chicago. It would be bloody.
ONSTAGE: Smooth sailing from here – ‘Rough Crossing’ closes season with a farce on the high seas
Ted Mills, NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT
July 6, 2007 8:02 AM
In his rehearsals, director Rick Mokler is having a Tom Stoppard, life-imitating-art moment. The second half of “Rough Crossing,” Stoppard’s farce set onboard a transatlantic cruise ship, plunges the action into stormy seas, a moment when all the technical stage wizardry afforded by the Garvin Theatre will come into play. And midway through rehearsals is exactly when things get tough: The actors go off-book and Mokler starts to run through the technical aspects of the show.
“The challenges are all about precision,” he says about the production, which previews Wednesday, and will cap SBCC’s season. “We have incredible speeches, and it’s all about the timing. Coupled with that, we have six primary actors and eight dancers, and they all have to move in the same direction.”
That is, Mokler says, when the ship hits rough waters. It will look a bit, one imagines, like the moments in “Star Trek” when the bridge is under fire, but much, much better.
“We have a horizon line that goes up and down outside the window, wall sconces tipping one way and then the other and a tray on top of a piano that keeps moving,” he says.
Audience members might want to pop a Dramamine before the show.
MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Transformers’: less meets the eye – Transforms money into wasted time
BY TED MILLS NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT
July 6, 2007 8:19 AM
Good morning class. Welcome to Day 2 of the Michael Bay Film Academy. I’m glad all of you could attend the screening of “Transformers” last night. Weren’t we all pumped! I certainly could feel the energy in the room as professor Bay unfurled his latest masterpiece. But you might have some questions regarding how to make films. I will address these questions.
I know some of you, when you were kids, played with the Hasbro toys. For those who were reading books — OK, everyone, calm down, let me talk — Transformers were cars, trucks, planes and the like that turned into robots. Some were good — they turned into GMC trucks and Camaros — and were led by Optimus Prime. Some were bad, were called Decepticons and were headed by Megatron.
What’s that, Smith? You think the movie should have consisted of robots fighting? That’s what the fans want, you say? Well, you obviously don’t know the first thing about Michael Bay filmmaking.
I was listening to NPR’s blathershow, To The Point, and Warren Olney had on Andrew Keen to promote his worrywort book The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing Our Culture. The man is the sort who lumps in some anonymous post on a BBS board somewhere with Daily Kos and then whinges that we’re not listening to the mainstream media and those bastions of journalistic ethics, Tim Russert and Judith MIller. (He doesn’t mention them, per se, but that’s who I think of.)
Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin came on and called Keen the Ann Coulter of Web 2.0 and then after that I had lunch and stopped paying attention. There is so much wrong in Keen’s arguments (too much anonymity, not enough authotarianism, I mean credentials) I don’t know where to start. Actually, I do know: Lawrence Lessig, who tears Keen a new’un in defending himself against Keen’s charges:
But what is puzzling about this book is that it purports to be a book attacking the sloppiness, error and ignorance of the Internet, yet it itself is shot through with sloppiness, error and ignorance. It tells us that without institutions, and standards, to signal what we can trust (like the institution (Doubleday) that decided to print his book), we won’t know what’s true and what’s false. But the book itself is riddled with falsity — from simple errors of fact, to gross misreadings of arguments, to the most basic errors of economics.
So many books come out of mainstream publishing houses that are loose with facts and that suffer from basic bad grammar that the existence of the book itself refutes Keen’s point.