Sunday, July 31, 2005

Not All That Bad

I worked on a pretty damn shitty production this weekend...inept director, bad material, so-so crew. But all that being said, it wasn't THAT bad. I still enjoyed myself for the most part, did a decent job, got paid a little. I guess I kinda like film production.
Booze in the Afternoon

It looks like Kevin's been drinking...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp

That's right. Just watched Hustle and Flow. A lot fun. A lot of cheese and lame plot devices, but enjoyable nonetheless. I'm still singing, "it's hard out here for pimp...when he's trying to get the money for the rent...because the Cadillac and gas money spent..."

I like how this guy shoots one on one conversations - some uber tight CU at "off" angles. Badass.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Bathroom Thoughts

When given the option, I always go for the handicap stall.

I don't like to use the urinal next to another guy because I'm not gay.

But I don't like to go more than three urinals away because it's kinda pussy.
Begging Me

I should be writing a script about this stuff, it's up my alley. I feel like no one will like it, however, because my sense of humor tends to be coastal, but my positions on the war and the like tend to be more middle America. I doubt mid-America would like my irreverence and crassness, whereas I doubt coast-America would like my ideology. Rats.

Writing group last night was one could fathom my character being sincere when he talked about his rationale for joining the Marines. Is it me or is it them?

Irony is an elusive beast, once it becomes identified, the natural swing will be back to the's supposed to keep people on their toes.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Just In Case

If nothing comes together in the next decade or so...praise allah for the internet.
Best First Date Bars

Of the places on the list I've been to, I dislike --> hate all of them.
Cool New Feature or Something I Never Noticed Before

At IMDB. Me gusta.
A Better Iraq Strategy

A link to testimony by Ken Pollack on a better counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq.

It's a long, 12 page, article, but a fairly simple premise. Our current strategy involves rooting out and killing insurgents. This is the same type of strategy used in Vietnam and it traditionally fails (one could argue this the type of strategy used by Israel against Hamas and the PA). The reason it fails is that it alienates potential allies (by using brutal methods with poor intelligence) and it allows the insurgeny to determine their own level of engagement because they can always go back into hiding. The elusive "big battle" that the coalition forces wish for (to eradicate large number of insurgents) either never happens or happens to little long term effect (Fallujah).

Instead, a better, and proven counter insurgency strategy is known as the "speading ink blot" strategy. Instead of "rooting out" insurgents, the idea is to create a coalition stronghold where security is established, the economy can function, utilities, etc. This provides trust within a certain area and a model for how the rest of the country could operate without the insurgency. Once proven, the hearts and minds will be won as they see tangible benefits to their own lives. It also allows a safe haven for training police forces and other long-term security needs.

As we secure the initial area, operations spread into a wider and wider swath, until the country is rid of insurgents. It is a self-perpetuating strategy because the more successful it is in the local arena, the more appealing it becomes for the country as a whole.

The "spreading ink blot" is consistent with the overall strategy against autocrats and Fascists in the Middle East in general, for which Iraq was provide the counter example. That is, if Iraq can turn into a functional, friendly country, it will encourage the same in neighboring countries, ie Syria and Iran and even years down the line, Saudi Arabia.

Les do it!

Check out this site. Hot chicks, a sense of humor, and a strong anti-communist ideology - let's be honest, what else is there?

This one is my favorite for those of you thinking of buying me a present.
The Dude Abides

Lebowksi - where is the money, Lewbowski!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Before They Do A Re-Make

I'd like to see this movie...

Nearly everything Artie says on Stern each morning is funny and right on. This morning he was making cracks about this girl who came onto the show who had dated their guest, "Dead Air Dave." He was making fun of her and her new boyfriend, in typical Artie fashion, when she quips about her boyfriend, "Well, he used to bang Artie's sister."


I groaned out loud in the car. Howard and Robin start laughing and asking questions. Robin says, "Artie is fuming."

The next 10 minutes or so feature the guy coming into the show, saying nice things about Artie's sister. Artie does not crack one joke, and is trying super hard to play cool, but is absolutely insane with anger.

Howard keeps pestering away asking questions and details. He looks over to Artie and says, "You look crazy, murderous. What's wrong we you? Why are you pissed at me? I'm just asking questions."

Artie is quiet, "I'm not mad."

Robin busts up laughing - "he's going to kill someone."

Of all the funny things Artie says, this morning was the funniest...he was absolutely livid...over something he obviously shouldn't be livid over - the fact that his sister is out in the world dating - the same world Artie mocks and crudely remarks about all the time....Man, it was so human, so funny, so touching. Yes, I said touching.

I'm buying Sirius.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Bin Laden's Coke Plan

He's a trouble-maker, this guy.
Maybe It's Not Reason Alone to Invade...

But liberals who are so against American arrogance for imposing "democracy" and "freedom" really ought to think about the alternative.

Chris Hitchens is right - what liberals value most about society are precisely what the Islamicists stand against - rights of minorities, women, and homosexuals, separation of church and state. I guess the question for liberals is - are these things worth fighting for? The answer, indicated by liberal positions, is NO - these rights are not worth fighting for, but only worth wishing for...

Aside: I notice in the picture the executioners are wearing masks. Pussies. I'm in favor of a foreign policy of assassinating those who carry out these crimes against humanity (hate crimes) - I'm for assassinating those who order and those who carry out. Those are freaking kids trying to figure out their sexuality for Chrissake.
Iago, Shakespeare, War on Terror

One of my biggest regrets in college is not taking more English classes, most importantly, the Shakespeare class which was a big favorite of my English major friends in college. Anyhow, he has something to offer on how to win the war on terror. It always comes back to that with me, doesn't it?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Hollywood Death Spiral

The title sounds so good, but it's really just about DVDs coming out at the same time as movies - which Soderbergh has already committed to doing. In the context of our graduate school projects it begs the question: why the hell would anyone do a film print?
From the Horse's Mouth

Norm Hollyn speaks to Jordanian's in Amman about Bush's policy in Iraq and they seem to think it is working. Huh? Fancy that. I never read that in our newspapers.

This is, of course, home to Zarqawi, the number two most wanted terrorist in the world...

He talks about the cab driver who considers himself Palestinian and is still angry over Israel and that Jordan and Palestine were once all together and they considered themselves countrymen. I wonder if the driver knows that the Jordanian government refused to take in Palestinian refugees after the 1948 war. Some countrymen.

FYI - per Powerline of last week - Zarqawi is always reported in the press as being Jordanian, but in the middle east he calls himself and is known as a Palestinian. And he ain't fighting Israel.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Only Funny In Hindsight

4100 bar is known for being loud - too loud. So it was only appropriate that the girls across the table wanted me to repeat my badass breaking the ice line "So, what are you guys up to this evening?" so that they could "read my lips."

I repeat. Several confused, slightly annoyed, looks.

"I can't hear you, I'm deaf."

I laugh. Okay. She reaches for a piece of paper and a pen and passes it to me.

I write "So what are you guys up to this evening."

She writes, "We went to a sucky party and then came here."

Snooze. I sit back, unable to think of anything remotely worth talking about.

I slowly sip my beer, wondering where the fellas went. I watch the girls as they signing and gesturing to one another...

Shit. I pick up the pen. "I apologize, I thought you were joking about being deaf."

Furrowed brow. She responds, "who would joke about something like that?"

I write, "I thought you were being facetious because it's so loud in here."

We have reached a new low. Only the time when I made fun of epileptics at summer camp (and it turned this kid was an epileptic) did I feel more stupid.

Phil returns to the table. I lean in - "these girls are deaf."

"Yeah, right, they're fucking with us. Just like something we would do."

They keep going and going with the sign language.

"They're taking this awfully far."

She picks up the paper "Cig break."

They go outside. Phil predicts that if he goes outside, they will be talking regular. I challenge him to do so. He refuses.

They come back and sit at our table again signing away. They are, I am sure, deaf, and beyond that, utterly loathe me. Phil isn't helping.

I'm so uncomfortable, I have to leave the table and want to leave the bar. I'm sitting by the bar and I see Phil talking to them. He comes up to me.

"What did you ask them?"

"I asked them to see if they wanted to come to your place to hang out."

"Are you kidding? They hate us."

"Yeah, well, they declined."

The last time I was at 4100, Chuck D and I encountered racist, homophobic embalmers - this time, bitchy deaf chicks. These type of things never happened to me in SF.
Days of Heaven

Goddamn you Terrence Malick. Sometimes a young filmmaker sees a great movie and thinks to him or herself, "I could make a movie that good." Other times, the young filmmaker watches a great movie and thinks, "I could never make a movie that good."

This is the way I feel about Terrence Malick. I will never be able to make movies like his - they are too beautiful, meditative, simple. Each frame is like a painting. I think he must've shot one shot a day during Days of Heaven just to get magic hour light for the whole goddamn movie.

The plot is so simple - rag-tag depression wanderers need money and jobs. Man and woman in love pretend to be brother and sister. Rich, dying farmer falls for woman. A scheme is hatched. Love triangle ensues. Tragedy.

This is a great film. Not quite as great as Badlands, which for me, is top five all time...

Lynn Ramsey borrows from Malick a lot, whether she knows it or not...I saw an interview with her because she uses the music from Badlands in Ratcatcher and she said that when she first heard the music she didn't know the music was from Badlands. But when I see the shots of wheat and the searchlight shots in Days of Heaven, I know she's seen and directly borrowed shots from Malick. Maybe it's subconscience, or maybe great minds think alike, or maybe...well who frigging knows. He's worth ripping off, that's for sure.
Fun Read

A fun article on Won Kar-Wai...

If people give you $80 million to make a film, you'd better be careful," he says. "I always give this advice to young filmmakers: You will have some success and you will be given a lot of money. If you make a film for $80 million, you have to cater to a huge audience. Will you be able to do that?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Tourism and Hedonism

It's an old post, but bears repeating in response to the Egyptian bombings. Yes, Al Queda doesn't believe in vacations. Bastards.

If we really wanted to torture these fuckers, we ought to do what John Lithgow does to Denzel Washington in Ricochet. If that doesn't entice you to see the movie, I don't know what to say...
What He Said

Kristof on North Korea - it's disgusting.
News and Terror

Reynolds talks about why Muslim anti-terror protests aren't getting press coverage.

He doesn't go far enough - the press literally has incentive for terror acts to occur - it sells more newspapers and makes people watch the news and gives the MSM a greater audience. Now the real question is: does the same thing apply to bloggers?
One Question

Was he playing no limit hold 'em?

'Cause I could imagine that scene, sadly.
Tyranny of the Audition

This is an article from a couple weeks ago, but it's a great piece on the problem with the audition. I am reminded of this now only because I'm making all these annoying phone calls to schedule an audition for a project and all I can think of is getting through to the people and getting them a copy of the sides and I could literally give a shit about whether they would fit for the project. Beyond that, I'm so damn cynical about actors and their interest - are they faking it just to get the part? Are they good auditioners and poor actors? How can I possibly weed through all this shit?

Clint never auditions - he just watches tape. I would love that. Auditions are useless and beyond that, a huge waste of time, if you ask me. But how else can we cast at our level?

Man shot on London subway turns out not to be connected to London bombings.
The Problem With the News

Interesting commentary here by Richard Posner about how the left and right can both claim mainstream media bias - and both be right. And of course, blogs come up. Yew haw!

Friday, July 22, 2005


A particularly harsh look at what's happening in Gaza. Hamas is taking over.
If I Want to Get Upset

All I really need to do is go to the Huffington post and read what's going on. Uber liberal, Arianna Huffington blogs to us from Palermo, on vacation, re-reading about the Peloponnesian War. She offers great insight as to how our current situation in Iraq sounds so frightfully similar to the Athenians of yesteryear.

Althoug my gay-dar is no good, my douche-bag-dar is quite perceptive. And it's going crazy right now.
Book Recommendations

Alice has some interesting sounding books on her commentary. Yum.

And for the record - I lick the cheese from Handi Snacks and I'm not a fat little kid.
I Was Right, Sort Of

The Brits would have some articulate and smart points to make regarding Al Queda.

John Howard, PM of Australia responds to the question about whether the London bombings were a response to Iraq.

What he said.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Useful Film Guide

Can be found here on different shooting formats.

"Neoconservatism" is a naughty word for people who don't really know what it means. Here is a great WSJ article on Neoconservatism, and how it compares with other foreign policy ideologies, ie Realism and Liberal Internationalism.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Talking about a theory by the Chinese military to attack the US via "unrestricted warfare."

Basically, it sounds like China adopts Al Queda-esque techniques with a billion times the resources. This sounds horrible to me - an operation designed to bring the most misery possible to the enemy, in order to win "dishonorable" peace terms.

Maybe this is the end logic of war itself...

Whew. That was a long blogging break - I was ADing a friend's thesis project. Liked it more than I thought I would. The blogging hiatus is over and here is a super article about "Apologists Amongst Us," which outlines well what it means to be a terrorist apologist and how it differs from other ways of examining the London bombings. I imagine, that the British will have a lot of smart thoughts about of Al Queda and Islamic Fascism post the London bombings - perhaps even a more hearty and thoughtful discussion than after 9/11 in the US. Part of the reason for that, I imagine, is that London wasn't shocking in the way 9/11 was, and it was something we all had come to expect and now that it's happened, we already have a set of pre-programmed responses, some of which hold up under the event itself and others that feel extra hollow after the event.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I Agree with Van Sant

He would like to do movies without make up or caterers. Sounds good to me.

Another neat point - a movie will be different if you decide to shoot on a Wednesday versus a Tuesday. True that.
Why the Iraqi Resistance Is More About Al Queda than Baathists

Not a single attempt has been made - as far as I know - to free Saddam or to threaten his trial or boycott or deam illegitimate, etc. They don't care about Saddam, and I must say, I agree with them on that level.
You Know You're Tired When...

Pulp Fiction is on TV and you pass out watching it. After five days of production, last night was half hibernation, half coma. Three more days...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Another Convert

The United States
- the school ground bully or embattled teacher? An exerpt he quotes from Chris Hitchens, which I think every true liberal ought to consider:

But the bombers of Manhattan represent fascism with an Islamic face, and there’s no point in any euphemism about it. What they abominate about “the West,” to put it in a phrase, is not what Western liberals don’t like and can’t defend about their own system, but what they do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state.
Who Is This John Sheridan?

Well, I took the Sci-Fi personality test hoping to match up with Luke Skywalker or something, but I ended being John Sheridan. John Sheridan, you ask? Why he is the captain on Babylon 5, of course? This is the second thing I've read about Babylon 5 recently. Does this mean I need to watch it?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Saddam and Al Queda

I buy into the murky world theory - that yeah, we can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt Saddam was involved with 9/11, but we aren't in a courtroom trying to prove someone guilty. We are in the murky world of foreign affairs and war, where an enormous number of lives are at stake based upon hazy, unsubstantiateable (is this a word?) evidence. That being said, I've read about the connections between Saddam and Al Queda and my problem isn't that I dispute they exist, but rather, that there are connections between everything (ask Kevin Bacon). I'm sure CIA officials have come across Bin Laden as well, it doesn't mean they are culpuble for 9/11. This is a point that BOTH the right and left miss - the left thinks there is no connection and the right thinks that because there is a connection, that somehow makes any anti-Saddam actions justifiable.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Getting Off on Mutilation

Yipers - read about this guy who was arrested for the Theo Van Gogh murder. It lends credence to Islamic terrorists as serial killers theory...saving and looking at pictures and video of mutilations, etc. Gross.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Good question.
Like Any Good American...

I keep my eyes and ears open to see what the communists are up to, so as to not allow them to spread their wretched ideology to otherwise innocent, God fearing, red blooded Americans. Therefore, I am on their email list. Admittedly, it goes straight to my junk pile in hotmail. But once in awhile, when I'm bored and desperate to feel loved, I check my junk mail folder just to see if, by some off chance, an old love attempted to contact me.

Well instead, tonight, it was an old nemesis - the red nemesis, to be exact. I'm on their list and hope I will never be asked to a Senate subcommittee hearing to name names - because I, like Elia Kazan, would rat out commies, and ex-commies quicker than horny 19 year old nut on a conjugal visit.

Anyhow, here is a sample of the disease, known as the far left, I believe it speaks for itself:

While the people of London and worldwide were grieving for
those who were slain and injured, and as the International
Action Center extends heartfelt sympathy and condolences
to all who have lost loved ones in today's bombings in
London, the Bush Administration has wasted no time in
taking advantage of tragedy to once again advance its own
agenda of endless war and colonial occupation.

The news is not that bombs killed more than 40 people
today; it is that those people live in London rather than
Basra. The U.S. and British occupation of Iraq causes the
death of an average of 20 people a day, every day. Bush
and Blair do not stop their meetings to grieve over these
deaths, nor do the news channels stop everything to give
round the clock updates on these casualties because the
victims of these crimes are Iraqi civilians and their
deaths are considered unimportant by the corporate-owned
media and politicians.

In his response to the events in London today, Bush
declared,"the war on terror goes on," signalling that he
will cynically use this tragedy to justify the continued
occupation of Iraq, an occupation that brings death,
destruction, and torture to the people of Iraq on a daily

Bush and Blair claim to be fighting terror, but everything
they have said so far has been a lie. The truth is that
their illegal war and the ongoing occupations of Iraq,
Palestine, Haiti, and Afghanistan are themselves acts of

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I'll Keep My Eyes Open

Al Queda recruiting at British unversities.
What A Bunch of Pussies

The academy is filled with pussies. Guess that leaves me no chance at an academic career.

"I'm sure the 100 people dead in London would argue that this theory isn't quite as fabulous as you seem to think it is."

It is absurd to think that Al Queda's attack on London is a "response" to Iraq. Al Queda declared war on America and our allies in 1996, a long time before Iraq.

UPDATE: Someone on the Huffington Post agrees with me - how's that for street cred with the left.

The preachers will express condolences for the victims and condemnations of the criminals. Then they'll add, "But Britain should have never invited this kind of response by joining America in the invasion of Iraq."

The trouble with this line of reasoning is that terrorists have never needed an Iraq debacle to justify their violent jihads. What exactly was the Iraq of 1993, when Islamic radicals tried to blow up the World Trade Center? Or of 2000, when the USS Cole was attacked? Hell, that assault took place after U.S. military intervention saved thousands of Muslims in Bosnia.

If staying out of Iraq protected anyone from terrorism, then why did "insurgents" last year kidnap two journalists from France -- the most anti-war, anti-Bush nation in the West? Even overt solidarity with the people of Iraq, demonstrated by CARE's top relief worker in the area, Margaret Hassan, didn't shield her from assassination.
Flypaper Strategy

From Donald Sensing:

I wrote again not long ago that Iraq was a compelled battleground for al Qaeda, but repeated a criticism I made long ago, that this outcome was actually not very well foreseen by the administration.

Our failure to foresee the insurgency was real, but not fatal to achieving our objectives. On the other hand, the United States has magnitudes greater staying power than either the Baathist or Islamist insurgents. Simply put, we can outfight them, outthink them, out-resource them and out-maneuver them politically as well as militarily.

Our fear should be not that the Islamist insurgency is continuing, but that it might end too soon.

If al Qaeda wakes up and discerns that Iraq is their graveyard, they may wisely abandon the battle there before they are lethally wounded. We do not want al Qaeda to vacate Iraq substantially intact in order to regroup, reorganize, retrain and re-equip to attack us elsewhere and elsewhen. [Note; al Qaeda’s Iraq commander, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, recently admitted that his ideological advisors had told him to abandon Iraq - DS.]

I certainly do not wish for the insurgency to continue for its own sake - this picture is worth a thousand words why. … Iraq is proving to be al Qaeda’s abbattoir - even some native-Iraqi Baathist terrorists are fighting against them now. There’s no denying that the victory being won over al Qaeda in Iraq is tragically costing many Iraqi lives and the lives and blood of and American troops. Yet for al Qaeda to see the light and give up the fight there would almost certainly ultimately prove more costly to free peoples than for al Qaeda to continue fighting there.

In fact, the London bombings neither confirm nor disprove the efficacy of the “flypaper strategy” concept. The administration didn’t intend such a strategy in the first place and only adopted it late in the game after it became evident that Iraq was indeed proving a magnet for al Qaeda. But no administration member has ever claimed that fighting al Qaeda in Iraq would ironclad guarantee there would be no al Qaeda terrorism in Europe or America. Such a criticism is nought but a straw man Bush’s opponents set up and knock down to serve their own purposes. They have confused outsider analysis by people such as Warren, Bay, Andrew Sullivan and many others including me as enunciations of official administration policy. But it has never been the intentional policy of the administration until very recently, if indeed it it now is at all.

Fascinating ideas here....I think Donald may be on to something. How do you deal with a fighter who will never stop fighting and never give up. What is his/her weakness? You can't negotiate or appease, because there is no appeasing or negotiating - they will continue and continue to fight no matter what. This is a tough situation - this is the Al Queda problem.

But step back and think. At least we KNOW that they will never stop fighting and that negotiation will not work. How can we make that play into our favor....initiate a fight they CANNOT resist - for the same exact same reasons that we fear them - they will never stop fighting. They are designed to fight, fight, fight, so they are unable to miss an opportunity to kill. So we engage a battlefield, arm our soldiers against theirs, where we know we have fighting and technological supremacy and massacre the whole lot of them. Is that the idea? Forgive me for saying it, but it might be goddamn brilliant.
Paper on Radical Islam

29 pages, pretty good stuff, not much that I haven't read before. But it's a good brief history of Arab Muslim terrorism.
Email of the Week

One of my friends/colleagues emails me in regards to an ornery actor: "If you need me to start talking with him for you, please just let me know. These types are often nicer to producers because they don't realize, out of their sheer lack of understanding about the world, that we are all equals."


Friday, July 08, 2005


Wow. How in the world does one get the balls to say this to a stranger? I love it.
The Muslim World

Tom Friedman writes a Muslim problem requires a Muslim solution. Instapundit has some good commentary on this...

Friedman gets a major point right - the West will not allow itself to be terrorized. We will be the targets of attacks, probably many more attacks, in the future - but we will never live in a society that accepts or apologizes for the terrorists or a society that doesn't fight back. Either the Muslim world can reign in the terrorists, or the West will do it for them. And IF we have do the reigning in, it will be cruel, unfair, and at times, brutal.

But in the end of the day, it is simple - we won't live in fear of Islamic extremists. If that means honest folks from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not welcomed into our society with open arms and even if they are systematically discrimated against - so be it. It will suck and be unfair and "un-American," but I'm frigging sorry, why would we put ourselves in needless danger? We would restrict immigration before allowing ourselves to be consistently terrorized.

And his Salmon Rushdie point is too smart - condemned to death for writing a book by Iran...and no Islamic or Muslim or Arab country has issued a similar fatwa against OBL. That's not cultural difference - that's a misguided and backwards set of priorities.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


What are the terrorists counting on? Are they counting on us overreacting and rallying more to their cause? Are they counting on being scared and leaving them alone? Do they just want to freak us out?

I'm pretty sure, and I remember thinking this after 9/11, that they don't really have any true political goals. They pretend to have goals, US out of Arabia, Israel, blah, blah, blah...but those are sort of like Anton Scalia's supreme court opinions - they pretend to have all this legal mumbo jumbo to support his strict ideologically conservative political positions.

The violence is expressionistic - like that of a serial killer, violence for violence sake. John Demme said while doing Silence of the Lambs and studying serial killers that in the US we were breeding serial killers - our social systems, etc...It sounds like a bunch of liberal hyperbole to me now, but perhaps he has a point. I mean, a lot of those crazies come from Ohio.

And I think, seriously, that the people that do these acts are akin to serial killers, enjoying the blood bath, the attention, the idea that they are freaking people out. They couch it in religion, but get an orgasmic feeling in the act of killing. The Arab world, moreso than Ohio, is breeding serial killers en masse.

I don't know how to stop it other than to kill them first.

What is there to say? In our world we have to come to expect this type of thing. Welcome to the 21st century.

London's mayor is playing an interesting part in this. The buzz of the blogosphere is that his speech is one of the best anti-terror speeches EVER. But he is also known as an apologist for radical Islam and basically being a commie bastard. One link that breaks it down and gives part of the speech, which is quite moving.

One note on the news...I first heard of the attacks on NPR this morning and I was quite confused about what had happened. I get to SPO and the TV is on, again, I knew there was an attack, but didn't get a sense of the size or exactly what had been attacked. Then I turn to the blogosphere and within in a few minutes I've read theories about who, why, exactly what happened and so forth...then the TV news started giving some decent specific coverage about the location and type of attacks.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


And you thought I was a heartless bastard.
Tranformative Technology

As cool as search engines, cell phones, PDA, Itunes, DVD players, plasma tv, blogs, and all this crazy ass new technologies money for the best technology invented in our lifetime is Email. Email is so freaking easy, cheap, and awesome. I love you email.
Al Queda Hates other Muslims

Wow, no shit. People act like this is a big deal, Al Queda attacking diplomats from Arab countries. Do we get excited about this because we desperately want Arabs to fight their own fanatics? This is a just a logical step for Al Queda - something they've done before, in attempts to assissinate Egyptian and Saudi leaders. Why do we act like this is a new tactic?

Arabs have been aware of the Islamist problem for a long ass time - like since it started in the 1920s. The problem is that they've never been able to eliminate or completely isolate the Islamicists. In the past they've been too harsh and it served to legitimate the Islamicists. In recent times, they've been too soft, acting like big time pussies when Al Queda ever threatened to do anything.

Most Arab governments are incompetent, impotent, pathetic autocracies and their incompetence empowers Islamicists. Islamicists promote a retarded message, us versus them/rejection of modern values/a completely miserable world view, and hence, have never been able to capture the popular imagination.

For years this has made the Middle East a cesspool of clumsy, stupid, governments chasing around insane, but determined fanatics, allowing each side to claim misguided "victories." We were perfectly okay allowing this state of affairs (what business of this is ours?), so long as the oil flowed from Saudi Arabia to allow the world economy to function.

9/11, of course, changed the status quo, and yes, we need to get rid of the fanatics, but we also need to get rid of the conditions which encourage and allow for fanticism to thrive. Hence, Iraq.

The other option, of course, is to cite the recent Kelo case and seize Saudi Arabia by eminant domain, claiming the world's oil for the public good and....jesus, this idea doesn't sound all that bad. We could take the oil refineries, leave Mecca and Medina to the crazies, pay them some money to chill out. Oh, if it were only so easy.
That's My Congresswoman

From up in the gay bay, V Postrel gives her an ass whooping.

I spoke with my father, who happens to be a lawyer, about the Kelo case and emminent domain. He didn't seem to think it was a big deal at all - cities have been doing it for years, thuggishly. His friend was forced to sell a business because the city wanted to build an auto row (lots of sales tax revenue). He didn't know whether it was right or wrong, but didn't think Kelo was a big decision, just emblematic of what is already common practice.
Movies, Movies, Movies

A quick synopsis of recent films....

War of the Worlds. Fairly lame. I expected some good entertainment, but this movie didn't work on many levels. 1) Not of one second did I ever buy into these aliens coming to earth. Independence Day was on TV this weekend and I got caught up in the movie - because you sort of buy into the whole thing that the aliens are attacking and blowing everyone up...not so with War of the Worlds. 2) The aliens were really ineffiencent. That had to shoot every single person? If they're so smart, why not use gas or bombs or something? 3) The resolution? What a cop out...

His Girl Friday - Best romantic comedy I've ever seen. Awesome.

Network - Smarter than any movie in the past 3 years. A movie about big, political issues...they don't make 'em like this anymore.

Morvern Callar - badass, arty film. Not totally entertaining, but something awesome about Lynne Ramsay.
Read It In Spy Novels

Powerline reports Europe is poor and getting poorer. In the recent spy novels I've read, there is usually an allusion to the British spy services as being proficient, yet sadly poor - so poor, they require the CIA to make any moves of substance.

I noticed in a film I watched last night as well, Morvern Callar, a great film, and super low-budget. Even the characters were poorer than their American equivalents. It took place in Scotland. Something to think about when talking political systems...
Films Update - of Films I've Watched Recently


1. Sideways
2. Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens
3. McCabe and Mrs. Miller
4. Collateral
5. The Incredibles
6. Taxidermy Documentary
7. The Office DVDs
8. The Lodger
9. The Great Escstacy of Woodcarver Steiner
10. Rio Bravo
11. 3:10 To Yuma
12. Straw Dogs
13. Hiroshima Mon'Amour
14. The Ice Storm
15. Walkabout
16. Aguirre, Wrath of God
17. Ratcatcher
18. Before Sunset
19. Film, Film, Film
20. The Fireman's Ball
21. Masculine and Feminine
22. Palm Beach Story
23. His Girl Friday
24. United 93

Very Worthwhile:

1. Shaun of the Dead
2. Eternal Sunshine
3. Million Dollar Baby
4. Closer
5. Blood Simple
6. Life's Aquatic
7. Spiderman 2
8. Friday Night Lights
9. About Schmidt
10. Sid and Nancy
11. Before Surise
12. The Great Silence
13. A Place in the Sun
14. Blackboard Jungle
15. The Counterfeit Traitor
16. Home from the Hill
17. Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid
18. Salesman
19. George Washington
20. Master and Commander
21. Nashville
22. California Split
23. PillowBook
24. To Live and Die in L.A.
25. Lost Highway
26. Manhunter
27. The Insider
28. La Jetee (for the 4th time)
29. Run Lola Run
30. Cutter and Bone
31. Sherman's March
32. Lawrence of Arabia
33. Broadway Danny Rose
34. Morvern Caller
35. The Lady Eve
36. Network
37. Hustle and Flow
38. Harold and Maude (modified)
39. Shampoo (modified)
40. Batman Begins (modified)
41. Finding Neverland
42. Grizzly Man
43. Constant Gardener
44. Misery

Decent Films:

1. Ulzana's Raid
2. The Aviator
3. Team America and more here.
4. Passion of the Christ
5. Bourne Supremacy
6. Fahrenheit 9/11
7. Tetsuo The Iron Man
8. The African Queen
9. Ace in the Hole
10. Kill Bill II
11. Escape from New York
12. Red Dawn
13. I Heart Huckabees
14. In Good Company - actually, this is almost a bad film.
15. Hotel Rwanda - only because of the subject matter is this decent.
16. The Gambler
17. Born into Brothels
18. Junior Bonner
19. Lonesome Dove (TV mini series - great book, great actoring, bad directing)
20. The Jericho Mile (TV movie)
21. Gunner Palace and more comments here.
22. Blow Out
23. Unleashed
24. They All Laughed
25. Sorcerer
26. A Band Apart
27. Seven Brides and Seven Brothers
28. Point Blank
29. Syriana
30. Brokeback Mountain
31. Good Night, Good Luck
32. Inside Man

Bad Films:

1. Bridget Jones 2
2. Ocean's 12 more comments here.
3. Tadpole
4. Resident Evil: Apocalypse
5. Alfie
6. The Grudge
7. Garden State
8. Scarecrow
9. A Sense of Freedom
10. Hero
11. Playtime
12. Love Actually
13. Teknolust
14. Girls from Ipanena (horrible doc from Tiburon Film Festival)
15. Love Actually
16. Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith
17. War of the Worlds
18. The Pornographers
19. Alexander
20. Palindromes

Films I Should Have Liked More

1. Faster, Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill
2. Toute une nuit

Monday, July 04, 2005


Ouch, but this time it's me. Mrs. Escola has deleted my comments that disagreed with her other comments. By her logic, I should remove her entire link and she mine, but then again, I'm not 6 years old.

The ironic thing is she left the initial comment up there at all, the most biting of them all...

The SF chronicle today has an article about the whole comic book character fiasco, and it sort of comes off as defending the Mexican artist. Of course, if it were a white artist, I'm sure the Chronicle would have been much less sympathetic. But, I guess that's a small price to pay for being the perpetrator of all evil throughout the world for the past 400 years or so.

Ouch. Donald Sensing destroys Atrios comments about chickenhawks - explaining why not only those whose sons and daughters serve in the military can legitimately support the war.

I must admit that after reading Atrios' comments, a part of me thought - Jesus, perhaps I should join the military if I support the war. I don't think this is what Atrios was going for. I think his idea was more along the lines of - if you aren't serving, they can't be in favor of the war...which is of course, an absurd point as Sensing shows.
Not A Bad Way to Look At Things

4th of July thoughts...more appropriate for L.A. than anywhere, I suppose.

Friday, July 01, 2005


While reading the SF Chronicle this morning it struck me that the war in Iraq might be the most brilliant idea of our generation (narrowly beating out Pulp Fiction).

9/11 was so bold, we could only react with something more bold. In poker, it's known as a re-raise. Iraq is the re-raise.

Here is a link to Donald Sensing article about the Civil War and what was being fought over. The North was initially fighting to preserve the union and the South was fighting to presevre honor. He connects it to the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When the union was losing and the the popularity of the war low, the north figured out that preserving the union didn't stir the north into battle. Instead, what would keep support for the war going was the idea that we were fighting for freedom - the freedom of slaves in the South. This changed the mindset of the north and led US to victory...and because we believed it to be true, it became true. It WAS a fight for FREEDOM. Orsen Welles would be proud.
Back in the S.F.B.A

Coming home - or going anywhere other than LA for that matter gives me juicy ideas about life and stuff...something under discussed in travel magazines and other tourist notions of travel - that it does something for the mind and soul. Granted, in this case, it's just coming home, but the whole shaking up the routine...

I hung with friends last night (and sister, which was a little odd, my little sister at a bar, but hey - that's growing up), and one of my friend's brother had just spent two tours in Iraq. The Marine wasn't there, but I heard some stories second hand. He didn't see much action - shot at a vehicle that wouldn't stop, but, he has Marine buddies who fought in Falluja. Apparently, the underreported news right now is that the Marines are kicking some major ass, killing loads of insurgents in the Sunni Triangle area.

Also heard a little tid bit about Somalia, the site of the Black Hawk Down story, that the Somali's were instructed not to attack the soldiers with white sleeves (which is what the Marine's wear under their uniforms, but can be seen when they roll up their sleeves in the massive heat). They were instructed to attack only the beige sleeves - Army dudes.

The Marine's are feared throughout the world by fighters. Marine's are the ones who did the awful fighting the Pacific Islands against the Japanese - Iwo Jima was a 35 day battle. If a Marine is attacked, the Marine's are trained to come back and massively retaliate with brutal and lethal force. "No one fucks with a Marine!"