Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes: Breakaway

I love Calvin and Hobbes, the humour and wit always astounded me. But unlike a lot of thoughtful comics, it was also riotously funny. It made you think whilst you laugh, and believe me, that takes work. Some genius decided to put the song breakaway to the comic, and somehow, it works, it gives Calvin a nobility he may not always deserve, but should get anyway. Heres to Calvin and Hobbes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Language, gift of the gods.

I love languages, all languages. I love all the varied ways of saying the same thing, yet subtly different. I just love listening to people speak languages I don't understand, the voices twirling and contorting in ways that are universally beautiful. As long as one has a nice voice, PERIOD, any language is beautiful. I was at the local community centre just coming out after a play, and there was this family speaking this language. I had NO idea what it was, but it was enchanting. The tones just rolled over me. I had no idea where one word began and another ended, and really I didn't care too much. Foreign languages written down in Latin text tend to distort the feeling. German, spoken is a lovely language, written it looks like a last bout of the consumption. Japanese looks statico, but all words are lovely when spoken in love. I love foreign languages films not just for the subject matter, but for the language. I ALWAYS watch these movies in subtitles, even animation. Its just a wonderful experience, hearing emotions, which are nearly universal, reflected in the infinitely varied ways of speaking our thoughts. There are many myths about the birth of fire as a gift from the gods, but few about language. It is too bad, for it is most certainly divine.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Book Review: "The Cat Who Saw Stars" by Lilian Jackson Braun (2000)

I admit I am not the biggest mystery reader, but I do like them. They are something to savor, the tantalizing clues,the plot twists, the cunning resolution at the end. But alas, this book is dumber then me the day after Mardi Gras. Its a royal hangover of a book. I can't even in good faith recommend it to the fans of this series. Now admittedly I have only elsewhere encountered this series in the Readers Digest condensed novels. And if I remember rightly on the whole they were enjoyable. Unfortunately, half way through I had this feeling that it wasn't a mystery at all, at least not one you could read. I guess after writing 22 books, Lilian Jackson Braun went crazy and they had to put her down.
Basicly there is murder and we never know who did that one. There is another murder, and we find out in a turgid infodump near the end who it was, plus a bunch of weirdness that basicly feels stupid. I like to keep in an open mind about things, but this was stupid.
I won't spoil it for you, but when and if you are foolish enough to pick up this book, you will know what I mean. If you do still want to read it, go to the library, and by Jove don't turn it in even a day late. Otherwise its a huge waste of money. Of course its also a waste of your time. but, its your life, If you want to feel your brain been pulled out of your nose by a crotchet hook, that's your business. But if I stop even one reader from picking of this prison gang bang of a book from reaching even one reader, stopping it from turning one reader off the written word forever, then I can rest happy.
1/2 star out 100
Pro: The spelling was better then mine.
Cons: Everything else

Hating My WP But Not Hating Woman

This is to explain to anyone who had trouble with the last post, for one thing my word processor does recognize the word "antisemitism" as a word. I should have just looked it up on google, but alas, I felt assured it would recognize this vile word. You see, I am not so goods at the spellings, (and not so good at the grammar either) As a favor to you, my loyal fans. I write this on a word processor program, a free one by the name of "Jarte". Now as far as a free program goes, this is really good. But alas it still has its failings. That's why if you stumbled across this page and wondered what "anti-scientism" was. Now I have been doing some research and it turns out this "scum Manifesto" has been used as an excuse for some rather nasty (understatement your name is Earthling) Antifeminist diatribes as en "example" of the "evil" of feminism. ( Man, my quote fingers are getting sore, two of which are my typing fingers, OH NO!)
Now I was born in 1986. The main thrust of the feminist revolution was over. So I grew up considering thinking misogyny was a great evil. This is the world I grew up in. If I have offended any feminists with my words, then I am sorry, but it was my gut reaction, and I stand on it, (My gut that is, seriously I was nearly blowing chunks after reading the Manifesto) I do think people who hold positions close to what she had to say are wrong. But I still hope we can talk like grownups. Because, I still somehow, cherish in my heart the hope that I can talk to anyone about anything, and not get angry be objective and all that. This woman, dead in her grave, is someone you can't talk to. But I hope I can with others.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Scum Mainfesto:A diatribe of hate and evil, and it felt familiar

I have just read about a quarter of the Scum Manifesto. And already I have figured out a few things. One being that you can't argue with people like that. And this is rather watershed moment for me, because one of my most fondly held lies is just that. That one can talk sainly and objectively about something to anyone. That it is possible to disagree with anyone, without getting your knickers in a twist. Well I have to say my knickers are severely twisted. My teeth clenched as read the vile and pus ridden spew, of a person whose sole aim in life was the eradication of my sex. I was mentally stammering as I tried to think of something ,anything, that could convince a person of such hatred they were wrong. And I couldn't think of anything. It was an overwhelming wave of raw fury filled bile that I couldn't even begin to say what I wanted to say. It was nauseating to say the least, the English language doesn't cover the most. Another thing was I recognised parts of it. Now admittedly I hope no one holds all these beliefs, but there was one or two I recognised. The one that stood out was the pervading myth that men are just crippled woman, that our emotional reactions are not different but rather less then a womans. Well they are not, men have emotions too. Admittedly we show them differently, and they have different concentrations and buttons, but they are still there, different, and unique. Admittedly there is a continuum, some men are emotionally more like woman , and some woman more like men. But just because its a gradient, doesn't mean there isn't any difference. This scum Manifesto, is unmitigated sexist evil. But like antisemitism, we must not only watch for the big Mien "Kempf's, but also, the little jokes the little dehumanising acts. That is also a gradient. And it can be equally sinister.

Star Wars: Don't Fear the Reefer Man

I have not seen all the original star wars movies, though I have seen phantom menace ( and liked jar jar binks) and I have seen the second prequil in theatres I did see the of the first one. Now I am a trekkie, so my hopes weren't the highest. My biggest hope was hearing James earl Jones as good ol' darth vader. I saw that actor in "Red October" and I thought "Man, with the right echo, that guys voice could chill the flesh off my bones." I had read the novel, so I had a basic idea what the whole mish-mash was about. And I was like," Ya, Vaders going to be uber scary!" and so I waited, huddled in my seat, waiting for the first seprical words from the evil masked dark lord of the sith.
And promptly burst out laughing. Maybe it required a decade or two more to add that layer of deep menace to that already deep voice. But instead of some big scary shit vibe, all I got was a big Jamaican stoner vibe. I am serious, that how I felt. I half expected him to take off his helmet and have these big dreds pop out. maybe put on a tie died tshirt and some torn khaki shorts or something. Whatever it was it wasn't scary. And after that I just couldn't take it seriously. Now I praise them for some great set design, some inventive aliens and droids, plus a feeling of history that was visually quite compelling. But Vador was no scary mon, Vader no scary.

Satire: keeping the naked tyrent at bay.

Satire these days is two guys in suits screaming about GW Bush. And they are quite good. But we need more. Much more. Satire can be an instrument of social change. It can expose the petty little and not so little evils of the powers that be. It can dethrone kings, and bring about revolutions. We don't see enough of it. We need a wall of laughter, good sweet laughter, to challenge those who would oppress in the name of security. We need to have the courage to look at ourselves and our leaders and relize we may be the free the brave, but we are also a bunch of silly selfish, bloated bunch of ducks. We need to expose the emperor as the nudist he really is.
Now there is an old trick to make yourself laugh. Say haha over and over again. It'll happen soon or later. You'll experience that orgasm of the soul, that music of pain and joy, the most wonderful sound in the world...Laughter.

Christian Agnosticism

I have been pondering my own existence lately and I have come to the conclusion I am a Christian Agnostic. That is, I believe in God, but I realize there is no way of proving one way or other His/Her/Its existence, scientifically. Whenever a proof pops up, another turns up as well disproving the existence of God. And I am fine with that, An all-powerful being could erase His own evidence quite handily. And some feel that is deceitful and in a way it is, but I think it shows how much this being ( If they exist )cares for us. Lets say we had absolute incontrovertible evidence that God exists. Like a street address "Second Star to the Right, and striate on till morning." The only plus side I can think of is that it would put the worlds space program in hyperspeed. But other then that we would be always wining and bitching, asking God to do stuff. Okay we do that anyway, But suppose He/Her It DID those things? How would we learn anything? It would be the worst case of breaking the Prime Directive EVER. Yes I realize there is so much suffering in the world and breaks my heart, but these were brought on by our mistakes it is we who must learn how to fix them. I think God works in both small extraordinary ways ,but mostly very ordinary HUMAN ways. To quote Futuramas God/Spaceprobe, "If you do things right, people won't know you've done anything at all."
In conclusion, I have faith God exists, but as an act of trust to a poor screwed up wonderful humanity, he has made sure we must find things out for ourselves. As well I am sure that I am unsure scientifically. Otherwise how could it be called faith?Just like I have faith that mankind will work many of its problems out, even though I have seen unfortunately little evidence. In my doubts I find strength, and the conviction to carry on.
" I don't know anything, I never did know anything, But now I know I don't know anything" Wise words Scrooge.

Braveheart: A brave statement about war. even if I don't agree

Mel Gibson has gotten a lot of flack lately and rightfully so। Anti-Scemitisem is one of the most disgusting beliefs on the planet, and I hope to dies and never returns. But one of the first movies he made (produced, directed, wrote?) "Braveheart" really speaks on the issue of the just war. Can there even be such a creature? Now there have been many movies made about war, some against and a few for. Now when you have an anti war movie its usually portrayed as ugly and horrible, while those for usually have the knights in shining armor going into battle and winning handedly, while still looking nice pert and pretty by the end of it. Now Braveheart is a tad different. Its bloody gory and frankly quite disgusting. But I think that is the point. War IS ugly and bloody and gory and MORE then disgusting. But what Mel is saying is, "Freedom is worth killing and DIENG for" Now I am not sure I agree with that, but the thing is that in most countries people have died so you have the right to go to a mosque instead of a church or even a different kind of church. Freedom COSTS. Is it worth it? And Mel doesn't just show his noble warriors doing battle, they get bloody and dirty and die. Families go and collect as many pieces as they can find to bury, to morn., people get there heads cut off, guts ripped open, just so they don't have to have a foreign overlord. The die slow death of gangrene or a quicker death of an arrow in the eye. Is freedom worth it? Do we really appreciate what many of our ancestors did for something as tenuous as freedom? I don't know, part of me says it was worth it, and part of me says no. But that is the beauty of "Braveheart" it forces you to ask. A sick twisted bitterly powerful movie. I may not completely agree with it, but I am glad it asks the questions the does.