I should have known. When a lady down in the front of my full theater pulled out her cell phone during the pre-show warning to turn off your cell phone in order to scroll through an email full of pictures with her husband, zooming in on each one and discussing it, and continued doing this into Eye in the Sky’s opening credits until I yelled for her to put her phone away, I should have known things were going to go badly. We’ve all had movies ruined by rude audience members, people who won’t put away their cell phones (or don’t know how to put them on silent), never stop talking, eat loud or foul-smelling food, kick your seat, etc. But far more rare is an experience where a movie is ruined because of the audience’s reaction to it, either because they simply did not get the movie’s intentions or because you had a very different emotional response than the people surrounding you in the dark. I endured just such an event while seeing Eye in the Sky, and it not only made it impossible to fully enjoy the film from that moment on but it also destroyed a good bit of my faith in humanity. I was disgusted.
I can’t remember the first time I watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I don’t know exactly at which point it became an obsession. I couldn’t tell you when I stopped watching it on a regular basis, or why. And I can’t exactly articulate my feelings now that Jon Stewart is leaving the show. But I can’t let this day pass without saying something about a man who had such an impact on me in some of the most important years of my life.
I think I was extremely blessed by the timing with which Jon Stewart took over The Daily Show. I’m 31 years old now, but when Jon aired his first episode I was 15, and just starting to look at the world around me. Continue reading
The 2016 US Presidential race has already devolved into something of a circus, and while I generally stay out of politics on this blog a recent article about one of the potential candidates caught my eye. Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a conservative, recently did an interview with New York Times magazine where he talked about his preference for Han Solo and Spider-man, but what really stood out was what he had to say about Star Trek. Cruz has mentioned being a Star Trek fan before, and it wasn’t a surprise to hear him say he prefers Kirk to Picard, but he went on to make some very incorrect claims about Star Trek that came to the attention of none other than Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. But before we get to Shatner’s response, here’s what Cruz had to say:
You’re also a fan of ‘‘Star Trek.’’ Do you prefer Captain Kirk or Captain Picard? Absolutely James Tiberius Kirk.
Well, that goes with being a Kirk person. It does indeed. Let me do a little psychoanalysis. If you look at ‘‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’’ it basically split James T. Kirk into two people. Picard was Kirk’s rational side, and William Riker was his passionate side. I prefer a complete captain. To be effective, you need both heart and mind.
I thought your critique might go in a different direction, because ‘‘Next Generation’’ is more touchy-feely in its politics than the original. No doubt. The original ‘‘Star Trek’’ was grittier. Kirk is working class; Picard is an aristocrat. Kirk is a passionate fighter for justice; Picard is a cerebral philosopher. The original ‘‘Star Trek’’ pressed for racial equality, which was one of its best characteristics, but it did so without sermonizing.
Do you have a suspicion about whether Kirk would be a Democrat or a Republican? I think it is quite likely that Kirk is a Republican and Picard is a Democrat.
Although Cruz is certainly welcome to prefer Kirk to Picard, there are several things very wrong with his assessment of Star Trek. Continue reading
The discussion about Ender’s Game has reached a head in the last several days, with new statements from Orson Scott Card, Lionsgate and now with the film appearing at Comic-con, so I thought I’d give my two cents worth. For those of you who don’t know, Ender’s Game is a science fiction book from 1985 written by Card, which has a movie adaptation of it coming out on November 1st. I remember reading the book repeatedly in middle school; at the time it was one of my favorites, though I never read any of its sequels. It wasn’t until later that I learned the truth about Orson Scott Card.
You see, Card is the worst sort of homophobe. Continue reading
Welcome to “Friday Favorites” which highlight some of my favorite movie-related things.
After the big news (on my birthday) that the Supreme Court had struck down DOMA and Prop 8, I knew I wanted to feature something related to the topic for my Friday Favorite. There were many choices. I could have used Lynn Redgrave’s amazing scene in Kinsey, or anything from Philadelphia or Rent, but I kept coming back to Valerie’s letter from V for Vendetta. I know it seems like an odd scene given the happy news from this week, but I think it’s important to realize both how important this news is and how far we still have to go.
V for Vendetta is an interesting movie, given that I’ve heard positive things about it both from liberals and conservatives. Continue reading
The Croods live in a cave. That should be too surprising, considering that they are cave people. But beyond just living in the cave, they define their entire lives by it. The last surviving family of Neanderthals in the valley, the Croods spend almost all of their time in the cave, emerging only to hunt for food. The cave has kept them safe, as have the rules implemented by Grug (Nicolas Cage), the father of the family. Inside the cave live Grug and his wife, Grug’s mother-in-law and the three kids. Eep (Emma Stone), the oldest child, hates the rules, the cave, and her family, and longs to explore new things, in contradiction to her father’s mantra, “New is always bad. Never not be afraid.” Continue reading
WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE AND IS AN ANGRY RANT ABOUT THE STATE OF THINGS FROM MY POINT OF VIEW. I COMPLETELY RESPECT PEOPLE FOR HAVING DIFFERENT OPINIONS THAN I, AND I HOPE NO ONE WHO READS THIS IS OFFENDED. IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE AN ATTACK ON ANYONE BASED ON THEIR OPINIONS, NOR IS IT AN ATTEMPT TO SHOW PEOPLE THAT THEY ARE WRONG. IT IS ONLY MEANT TO HELP ME VOICE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT I FEEL SO STRONGLY. THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW ME KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT YOU, AND THAT I WOULD NEVER ATTACK YOU. IF YOU WILL BE OFFENDED BY FOUL LANGUAGE OR AN ANGRY LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS, THEN PLEASE DON’T READ THIS. I WOULD RATHER NO ONE READ THIS THAN HAVE SOMEONE GET OFFENDED.
“Made my bed and I sleep like a baby, with no regrets and I don’t mind saying,
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world can the words that I said send somebody so over the edge that they’d write me a letter saying that I better shut up and sing or my life will be over?”
Just thinking of those lyrics, and some of the things I’ve heard on the radio, read on the web, seen in the papers, and heard come out of my coworkers’ mouths makes me angry. If you don’t like what they say, or don’t agree with them, then don’t listen to them or buy their albums. Don’t attack them for having opinions different than yours, and having the courage to voice them. Toby Kieth doesn’t get attacked for stating his positive opinions of our current administration or the Iraq war. You can’t have it both ways, either no one should be allowed to state their opinion in public, or everyone should, not just people who agree with you. Is it that hard to respect someone with a different opinion than you? I don’t think so, because most of the people I respect the most totally disagree with me on most issues. So why can’t the rest of the country? It makes me so fucking mad how people who do not support the president or the war or whatever get attacked when they speak out, but no one ever attacks people for speaking out for the war or for the president. Or if they do get attacked then it gets no press time. It’s just not fucking fair.
So the Chicks have a documentary coming out in a few weeks about the “incident”. People are complaining about the press they’re getting because of it and so on. The big issue is that there is a scene where Natalie Maines calls President Bush a “dumb fuck” twice. I have called him that before too. If you do not want to hear her call Bush a dumb fuck, then don’t go see the fucking movie. It’s that simple. If you don’t want them to state their opinion, then stop all public figures from giving their opinion. Otherwise, leave them the fuck alone.
People have told me that I should respect Bush because he’s our president, and he is our leader, and we should respect him because of that. I’ll respect him when he earns some fucking respect. I’m not going to respect someone just because they are a leader, or were elected to an office. I’m not going to support them just because they have power over me. On the contrary, I’m going to subject them to more scrutiny because of the responsibility they have. I refuse to follow anyone blindly. I respect people based on their individual merits and their actions, not based on what their title is. And Bush has not earned my respect. What he has earned is my anger and resentment and frustration. I find that I don’t have the words to truly express how I feel about the war, or the administration (don’t even get me starting on this fucking torture bill). I think the best way I can put it is “Enough is enough. I have had it with these motherfucking snakes in our motherfucking government” (put that on your facebook).
I am so fucking sick of all the hatred in our country (and in the world). I know how easy it is to hate someone for being different, or having a different opinion. I have done it before in the past too, and it took me a lot of work to get over it. But damn it, we’re better than this. If all of the people I’m friends with can accept people for who they are, not based on whether they agree with you, then so can the rest of the world. So someone is different, who the fuck cares? Stop judging people.
A couple disconnected things that piss me off, while I’m ranting. On Sirius Radio, the liberal station is called Sirius Left and the conservative station is called Sirius Patriot. People have been blasting Hollywood for making Death of a President (which features, in documentary style, a fictitious scene where Bush is assassinated), when it was made by two British guys.
I’m sure people think I’m un-American for saying these things, for not supporting the war or the pres (I do completely support the troops, and I pray that they will all return safely and will act bravely to save lives and to protect the weak). That’s total bullshit. Peace is more patriotic than war. Just because we go to war doesn’t mean we have to support them. This isn’t a football game, where you have to root for the Hokies, and if you don’t it means you like the other team better, or that you don’t support the Hokies. This is a war, started on lies, and started against the will of most of the rest of the planet.
Ok, I need to calm down. Writing like this makes me feel so shitty about myself, but today I just needed to, even if I don’t leave this up. I might delete this post tomorrow, I don’t know. Once again, I hope I haven’t hurt anyone’s feelings, or made anyone think badly of me, or offended anyone. I love you all, and my friends and my family are the most important things in my life. I kinda want to close this with something random and more positive. There is a song called “Only in America” by Brooks and Dunn, which I had the pleasure of seeing performed live by the duo, which I think is one of the greatest examples of what rocks about this country (it was also the biggest tear producing moment in the movie “World Trade Center”, for me). I’ve changed a bit of the lyrics to show why I like it so much. I also want to say that I also like the first verse and a half of “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” by Toby Keith, up until he gets into the parts about 9/11 and how the American way involves putting a boot up people’s asses (the most horribly offensive thing I have ever heard in a song, making us out to be bullies, it’s insulting).
“Sun going down on an Richmond freeway
Newlyweds in the back of a limousine
A lawyer’s son and a farmer’s daughter
All they want is everything
Only in America
Where we dream in red, white and blue
Only in America
Where we dream as big as we want to
We all get a chance
Everybody gets to dance
Only in America”