Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The New Definition of Treason

It's time to start calling it what it is.  It's not extortion, blackmail, an attempt to force negotiations, or a power grab.  It's an attempt to subvert the constitution, a coup, it's treason.

Yes, the Repugs are at it again.  There's a way to get rid of a law that 's not to one's  liking.  It's called repeal.  But what to do when that's not possible.  Why, subvert the constitution. Shut down the government, destroy the credit of the United States.  When small, far right (Or left.) parties try something like that in a third world country, we sniff, hold our noses and call it treason.  For the life of me, I can't understand why Ted Cruz and his followers aren't guilty of the same crime.

Of course, the Repugs have been pulling this stuff for awhile now.  Let's see, there's that whole voter suppression thing.  Five conservative thugs on the Supreme Court overturning an election.  And let's not forget the impeachment of Bill Clinton over a sexual indiscretion.  Bad taste, for sure, but a basis for removing a President from office?  I think not.

There's an important constitutional issue here.  If the Repugs can threaten the destruction of the country, if they don't get their way, then the country ceases to exist.  I hope President Obama fights this one to the end. Let's also hope that the Republicans are going the way of the Whigs.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's Torture

It's no secret that there are homeless people in Hollywood.  I just saw an interesting story on the late news.  A charity has been running a food truck for the homeless. (And the housed hungry)  Okay, I get it.  Some of the local home owners are unhappy that the poor are getting fed, near where they live.  But sometimes, you just see a guy who is such a jackass that it requires comment.  There he was, the local resident saying that he was literally being tortured by the presence of the homeless.  I guess he's a bit unsure of the whole torture thing.  I can't imagine that  hungry people being fed a couple of blocks from his home is the equivalent of water boarding.  I have no sympathy for those who demonize the poor for entering their precious personal space.  He suggested that they should head downtown where the homeless belong.  Hmmm, if he doesn't want the destitute in his neighborhood, isn't that also true of housed people in a poor, downscale neighborhood?  Those poor people, they just don't know their place.  Like I said, a jackass.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Crazy In L.A. An Update

On June 17 of this year, I wrote a brief piece about a homeless woman in my neighborhood.  I wondered if she had started off sane but was going crazy from being separated from the greater community.  Yesterday, she was arrested by the LAPD.  I don't know why.  Yes, she had become a bit of a shouter, but from what I've seen of her behavior, she wasn't dangerous, just irritating.  Yet another example of dealing with social problems with a term in jail?  Probably.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The End of Government

I am not cynical about the Tea Party.  I don't think they care about their political future.  I don't think they worry about donor opinion, the well being of their constituents, or the idea of compromise.  They are driven by an extreme ideology, and care about nothing else.  To them, the sequester was a victory.  Shutting down the government is an honorable aim, and causing a default just another day at the office.

I am cynical about the main stream Republicans.  I think they'll cave to the extremist wing of the party out of fear that they'll be primaryed and lose their office.  In the end, the public may blame the Tea Party, but historians will blame John Boehner's cowardly refusal to stand for principal over political expediency.  That's a hell of a thing to be remembered for.

Someone should remind Mr. Boehner that the Speakership is a constitutional office and not a political one.  It's his duty to be a statesman rather than a party hack.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Dumps

Christopher Dorner was in the navy, was dismissed, and went on a murder spree.  Aaron Alexis was in the navy, was dismissed, and went on a murder spree.  Is the military dumping, rather than treating it's mentally ill members?  If so, I wish they'd be a little more responsible and think about the consequences of their actions.  And by the way, it's not just the possibility of a man with a gun, and the training to use it effectively.  It's also about the homeless veteran, domestic violence, and self medication that results in alcoholism and drug addiction.

Speaking of bat shit crazy, NRA nutter Wayne LaPierre is at it again.  The mantra of the gun crowd is that bad guys with guns are stopped by good guys with guns.  The Washington Navy Yard was crawling with armed good guys,  two of whom were shot by Mr. Alexis, their guns added to his collection.  So what was crazy Wayne's response?  Not enough good guys with guns.  I can't believe that people actually take that guy seriously.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crazy In Los Angeles

We all know that mental illness can cause homelessness,  but can homelessness cause mental illness?  There is a woman who wanders the streets of my neighborhood.  I first saw her about a year ago.  She was well dressed, clean and dragging around one of those wheeled suit cases.  A few days latter, I saw her again.  This time she was getting thrown out of a store.  She was yelling that it wasn't her fault that her boyfriend had thrown her out and she had no place to go.

As the year has passed, she's gotten dirtier,  shabbier, and crazier.   This afternoon, I saw her at her usual spot, yelling at no one in particular, in what sounded like Italian.   As a homeless person, she is isolated.  She may see hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people every day, but she has little or no contact with any of them.  She just sits there, alone, surrounded by people.  I've read that prisoners held in isolation for long periods of time go slowly, irreversibly nuts.  I doubt this woman has had a real conversation with another person for the year she's been wandering around the streets.  For all I know, even though things seemed normal, she had emotional problems when her boyfriend gave her the boot.  But there's no doubt, that things have gotten far worse in the last twelve months.  At what point will her descent into madness be irreversible?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Modern Museums

I love museums.  I love science museums, history museums, art museums.  I even love those one room county museums that seem to be addicted to displaying old beer bottles.

If the leadership of LACMA, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has it's way, the core buildings of the museum will be torn down and a brand new gallery will replace them.  I won't comment on the design.  The photo of the model that I've seen isn't really good enough to have even a vague opinion.  Nevertheless, I think it's a bad idea.

From what I've been able to find out, (And this information is all rather preliminary, and may be inaccurate.) the new core building, designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, will have approximately the same display space as the buildings it will replace.  It makes me wonder, exactly,  what  is LACMA's mission?  It's a county museum, that attempts to show an over view of world art.  It's not a museum that's dedicated to a single artist, artistic movement, or a particular regional art.  Too, Los Angeles is a city with many wealthy arts patrons who can be tapped for both money and donations of art work.   But without increased space, LACMA is stalled in what it can show the public.

Go to the LACMA website and click collections.  The museum has a large photography collection that isn't being displayed.  The Robert Gore Rifken collection of German expressionistic art is good sized, but only a small fraction of it can be seen at one time because of space restrictions.  And why would a wealthy, Los Angeles art collector donate  his or her collection when there is no space to display it?

It seems to me,  rather then spending an estimated $650 million on a new building at the mid-Wilshire museum location, it would make more sense to build a new gallery at another location.  Had LACMA's attempt to take over the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown L.A. gone through, the county museum would have been operating two buildings a t a remote location.  So why not save the space that's already at the main campus and build somewhere else?

In the same issue of the Los Angeles Times that published the photograph of Zumthor's model, there was a story about an abandoned building in Compton.  It was a church designed by modernist architect,  Rudolph Schindler. It's boarded up and covered in graffiti.  LACMA administration should reject the notion that museums should be built in upscale neighborhoods with chic shops, restaurants, and an abundance of hip, young, urbanites.  Land would be cheap in Compton, and a new art museum that also preserves a Schindler building...well, why not?  Why not build next to the Watts Towers or in an industrial space along the L.A. River?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It Didn't Take Long

Well, it didn't take long for Westboro Baptist to fix blame for the Oklahoma tornado.  Yes, folks, it's the fault of Jason Collins, the first openly gay basketball player in the NBA.  I do hope Jason catches on with another team next season just to piss of WB.  Of course, Westboro may not get the chance to stew over the career of Jason Collins.  Sad fact, Jason Collins is nearing the end of his playing days.  He spent this season sitting on the bench, and at his age, that usually means  unemployment is on the horizon.  Of course, it's only a matter of time until there is an openly gay, 25 year old starter with a good decade of  playing time in his future.

Meanwhile, CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer did the whole, don't you just thank god you've survived this terrible cataclysm thing with a woman he was interviewing.  "Actually, I'm an atheist." she replied.  Get used to it folks.  Latest polling is that 20% of us do not believe in a deity,  and among those under thirty, it's more like 30% with no religious affiliation.  Of course, that may mean they're free thinkers.  For those unfamiliar with the term, free thinker refers to a nineteenth century movement of atheists, agnostics, and those who believed, but rejected the idea of organised religion.  Abraham Lincoln, as an example, was a believer who never joined a church.  And let's not forget the openly atheistic, Robert Ingersoll.

Which brings me to all those survivors of the tornado who thank god for sparing their lives.  I've always wondered why such people don't make the obvious connection.  If god chose to spare their lives, doesn't that mean he chose to kill others.  Just asking.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tom the Oakie

Well, I've got to hand it to Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn.  In past natural disasters, he has insisted that any aid be tied to offseting budget cuts.  Needless to say, people in states like Florida, New York, and New Jersey, all of which have seen some pretty severe hurricanes in the past few years were not happy to have disaster aid challenged by Oklahoma Tom.  But, he is consistent.  Good old Tom is making the same demand now that his own state has been hit hard.  I'm amazed that Oklahoma doesn't require tornado shelters at their public schools.

Monday, May 20, 2013


At the risk of being seen as insensitive, I've got to ask a couple of obvious questions about today's mega tornado in Oklahoma.

1.  Conservatives are constantly going on about how human caused climate change is a hoax.  There are a lot of very conservative people in Oklahoma.  What are they saying now?  Climate scientists have been warning about more, large, super storms on the great plains, and those predictions are coming true.

2.  Many conservative, evangelical Christians have made a connection between Hurricane Sandy and gays in New York.  Their strange reasoning is that God  let loose his wrath on the sinful metropolis.  There are a lot of conservative, evangelical Christians in Oklahoma.  Do they think that God is punishing Oklahoma, and if so, why?

3.  And speaking of Hurricane Sandy, Oklahoma senators James Inhofe and Tom Coburn worked to slash disaster relief to New York and New Jersey.  When FEMA was running out of money, both senators opposed adding more money to the FEMA budget.  Will they oppose disaster relief for Moore, Oklahoma?

I'm just asking.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Our Friend the Bankster

Is Maya Angeleou broke?  Why else would she be doing those terrible commercials for Union Bank.  When someone talks about how banks work to do the right thing, it's just a reminder that banks don't do the right thing.

Friday, May 3, 2013


How many times do I have to make this point?  The Santa Monica Mountains burn.  There are major fires in the mountains every few years, and Los Angeles and Ventura counties have to spend millions of dollars defending the homes of the wealthy.  It does not make any sense to allow development in the Santa Monicas.  It's time to preserve them as open space, preferably as California's tenth national park.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Love Those Texans

Gotta love those Texans.  In the Tex mindset, there's nothing like the freedom of a business to do anything it wants without interference from that evil, old government.  So, all you businessmen out there, come to Texas.  Do what you want, pay no taxes, and don't worry about regulation.  And when a fertilizer factory blows up, and a whole bunch of Texans get killed.  Well, damn it, freedom's worth it, isn't it?

 So, all you businessmen out there, come to Texas.  Wanna cut a few corners and kill a few people, well why not?  Texas is about freedom.  Why hell, you businessmen can even wipe out a whole town..  Don't worry  about it.  It's Texas!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Patriots Day

I may be proved wrong, but I think today's bombing at the Boston Marathon is the work of domestic, far right terrorists.  Patriots day is their holiday.  It allows them to rave on about their bizarre, unjustifiable, beliefs about the proper way to be an American.  Throw in that it'a almost the anniversary of the Waco siege (April 19), tax day, and it's every right wing militiaman's wet dream.  And just for the cherry on top, Congress is considering gun control legislation. Take my word for it: The face of terror in the United States is white, Christian, and far right.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Roger Ebert

Film critics like to think of themselves as arbiters of taste.  Roger Ebert, who died yesterday at the age of 70, was one of the few who could legitimately make that claim.  As an admirer of good writing, I wish I could say that it was because of his newspaper columns, but that would be a lie.  It was the television show that he hosted, first with the late Gene Siskel, then others, that made him America's most respected critic.  Fortunately, unlike many other film critics on the airwaves, Ebert really knew film; what made a good movie, and what made a bad one.  After I heard about his death, I went on line, and found the one thing that's practically a job requirement for all critics, the top 10 list.

His top ten, in alphabetical order, 1. Casablanca, 2. Citizen Kane, 3. Floating Weeds, 4. Gates of Heaven, 5. La Dolce Vita, 6. Notorious, 7. Raging Bull, 8. The Third Man, 9. 28 Up, 10.  2001: A Space Odyssey.

Any  top ten list is, by it's very nature, highly idiosyncratic.  Looking over Ebert's choices, I'd question Gates of Heaven, a documentary about pet cemeteries, and Raging Bull.  I've always felt Martin Scorsese to be over rated.   (That doesn't mean I think Raging Bull is a bad movie, it just wouldn't be on my list.)  And just to come clean, I can't comment on 28 Up, the only film on the list I haven't seen.  I was also happy to Casablanca on his list, a movie that gets too little respect, I suspect, because it's so loved, by so many people.  Still, while admitting the impossibility of coming up with a top ten that isn't open to challenge, here's mine, in no particular order.

1. The Searchers, 2. Sunrise, a Story of Two Humans, 3. Pandora's Box, 4. Notorious, 5. A Corner In Wheat, 6. The Apu Trilogy (Actually three films, Pather Panchali, Aparajito, and The World of Apu) 7. The Battle of Algiers, 8. Grand Illusion, 9. Tittiticutt Follies 10. Barry Lyndon.  And of course, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that two hours from now, that list would be completely different.

A few years ago, a couple of film fanatic friends of mine and I agreed to start a blog of films we loved.  Nothing fancy, just a list of films, main credits and plot synopsis.  We all gave up on it after awhile.  I keep thinking I should go back and update things, but, so far, I haven't done so.  It can be found at

Monday, March 25, 2013

Worrying About Rand

I worry about Rand Paul becoming President.  The Ayn Rand namesake has a broad appeal among those sadly pathetic losers who get political only when the promise of legalized drugs are an issue.  And that's a lot of voters.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Super Size That

Poor Michael Bloomberg, health activist and Mayor of New York City.  A judge has struck down his attempt to ban non-diet, sugary soft drink sales at NYC eateries.  Bad idea right from the start.  He would have been better off with a sin tax approach.  Bloomy was willing to exempt diet sodas,  which was another bad idea.  Let's say 25 cents on any soft drink 16 oz. or under, and 50 cents over that.

I've always wondered; If we got rid of every government funded medical program, took all the money we spend on them, add all the tobacco tax money, alcohol taxes, add a soda tax, and a surcharge on all restaurant meals, would we have enough cash to pay for single payer?  I wish I had the resources to do that math, because I bet we'd be close.

One of the great political feats of the right has been their successful campaign to get people thinking of taxes as this separate thing in their lives.  The reality is, increased taxes to pay for a true, federal health care program, would actually mean less out-of-pocket money, over the course of an average life, than we now spend as individuals.  I don't know about anyone else.  But, if my lifetime health costs went down, I wouldn't care that I was paying the government rather than an HMO.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Elizabeth Warren For President

Hey, I know everyone wants Hillary to be the first woman Prez, but come on, it's time to ask an important question.  Is Hillary a New Democrat?.  For those unfamiliar with the concept, the New Democrat Movement was the brain child of Bill and aide Terry McCaullife.  (I'm too lazy to look up the correct spelling, so don't complain.)  The whole idea was to turn the Democratic Party into a Wall Street friendly organization without that whole crazy Repug, send the Hispanics back to Mexico, the blacks to jail, and the gays to hell thing.  Hey, it would be possible to protect those shady, creative, financial products without having to have Pat Robertson over to the lower Manhattan loft apartment.  Yuck.  I'll bet he doesn't understand the whole concept of a canape.  How uncouth!

Elizabeth Warren may not be the shining female star of the party, though she may be getting there, but at least she won't give the treasury to Goldman Sachs.  The only question...Is she electable?  I may prefer Warren to Hillary, but I'll take Hillary over Marco Rubio in a second.

Just wondering.  If Elizabeth Warren ever does become President, will the Repugs drum the guys out of the party that blocked her nomination to the new Consumer Protection Agency?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hurricane Hugo

Some day, perhaps not in my lifetime, the age of oil will end.  Future historians will look back on our world and wonder why, so many developing nations, awash in the most prized substance on earth, didn't use that wealth to build for the future.

Hugo Chavez is dead.  It's true, unlike many leaders of oil rich nations, he spent much of his country's wealth on benefits for the poor.  What he didn't do was use that wealth to build democratic institutions that could continue to help the Venezuelan people after his death.  He didn't expand and diversify his country's economy.  He may have been 100 times better than the oil dictators in Nigeria or Sudan, but he'll still go down in history as a failure.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Boycott NBC

As long as NBC provides a home for racist, jackass billionaire, Donald Trump, I won't watch the network.  Join me and boycott NBC!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Have Seen the Future....

............and it involves long lines.  I went to the post office this morning.  All I needed was a couple of stamps and I had to stand in line for half an hour to get them.  The budget cuts that will soon sweep the country have already come to the post office.  I won't go into all the reasons why the post office is wanting for money.  I'll just write that there are issues that go beyond email, reasons that include long-standing Republican policy that has been putting up roadblocks to an efficient, government run institution that benefits us all.

Oh those Repugs, they're at it again.  The tuskers argue that the mail should be run like a private business, that it should have week unions, or better yet none at all, and it should make a profit.  And so we get down to the fundamental argument of governance.  For those who agree with the Republican theory of things, the post office shouldn't even exist.  If an American citizen chooses to live somewhere it's not profitable for a private carrier to serve, or if that citizen can't afford the higher costs of a FedEx or UPS, so be it.  In the world of free wheeling, anything for a buck, market capitalism, that's just the way things are.  For those of us who think that it is the job of government is to provide needed services at a reasonable price, and that those services should be subsidized so that they can be used by all.....well, if we had our way, lines at the post office would be a lot shorter and Saturday service wouldn't be on the chopping block.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Riding the Bike

 As I've noted before, I love my bikes.  I was out riding today (Across the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles if anyone cares.)  when I was passed by a whole bunch of guys on fixies.  Most of them were on the standard, metal frame conversion jobs, but one guy was riding a converted Cervelo.  Now, it might be possible to find a Cervelo frame, on sale,  under $2,000, but not a full bike.  Too, the guy riding it was taller than me but he was on a smaller bike.  He was also wearing those basketball type shorts and an old ratty tee shirt.

Maybe this was a guy with far more money than sense, but the average cyclist, willing to put down all that money for a top of the line bike isn't going to convert it to a fixed gear, he's not going to buy a frame that's way too small for him, and he's probably going to wear the whole Lycra thing.  That bike was almost certainly stolen.  I've got to say, I see converted fixies that may not have been stolen by the person riding it, but were clearly taken by someone, often enough to wonder why Lo-jack doesn't make some more profit with a bike tracker.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Last Minute Oscar Predictions

I admit it, I should have put this up a week ago.  The fact is, I've been very lazy with the whole political/cultural blogging thing.  It's not that I haven't had anything to rant about, it's that I've become some deadened by what's going on, that I'm kind of just rolling over and letting the numb pass.  Problem is, it's not passing.  Still, I'm a huge movie buff and even though I find the Oscars exasperating and the actual show to be a major bore....well, movie buffs love the Oscars.  So here goes, my annual Oscar prediction post.

Like last year, I'll be listing three names or titles.  The first will be my prediction of who will actually win.  The second, who I would award from among the nominees.  And finally, who I would chose from all the movies I've seen.  As noted in the past, I work in the film industry, and as I've also noted,  most of  us who work in film don't make enough money to see manymovies.  This year hasn't been too bad.  I've seen all the best picture nominees except Life of Pi, all the directors except Ang Li, and all the acting nods except Helen Hunt in The Sessions.  So here goes.

Best Supporting Actress.  1. Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables.  2. Amy Adams for The Master.  3. Amy Adams for The Master.  Hey, I might have meant the Clint Eastwood movie she was in, but then I didn't see that one.  Nothing against Hathaway,but the nice voice, weight loss and and the filmed head shave doesn't alter the fact that she was only on screen for about four minutes.  Adams as the hard as steel, manipulative wife of cult founder Lancaster Dodd in The Master really stood out for me.  I was also impressed by Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook.  It's hard to play the less flashy roll and still hold a moral center in a complex film.

Best Supporting Actor.  1. Robert De Nero in Silver Linings Playbook.  2. Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master.  3. Samuel. L. Jackson in Django Unchained.   This is the one category that doesn't have a real, clear cut favorite.  De Nero will win because he hasn't won an Oscar in thirty years.  I know that's a silly reason, but I've seen some of the ads aimed at voters and it's the same approach used last year for Meryl Streep and The Iron Lady. ( A dreadful movie.)  I was hard pressed to find a preference from among the nominees.  Hoffman and Waltz could just as easily been nominated as leads, which gives them a bit of a leg up.  In the end, I chose Hoffman because I loved The Master more than Django.  Which brings us to the actor I would have given the Oscar to if he had been nominated.  Samuel L. Jackson's turn as Stephan, the house slave, who lives by manipulating those around him, by playing one side against the other in a fight for survival in a harsh and brutal situation, created  an incredibly complex character that a lesser actor couldn't have accomplished.  Jackson's best, and that's saying a lot.  Why hasn't Sam won one of these things before?

Best Actress.  1. Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook.  2. Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook.  3. Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook.  I hope no one out there thought I meant Hunger Games, though after seeing SLP, I wouldn't mind seeing her in, well anything.  There is only one person in this category that I would nix and that's Naomi Watts in The Impossible.  Other than that, I wouldn't be unhappy with any winner.  This is also a category that could have the big upset.  If it happens it will be Emmanuelle Riva for Amour.  Great movie. Depressing, but a great movie nevertheless.

Best Actor.  1. Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln.  2. Joaquin Phoenix for The Master.  3. Joaquin Phoenix for The Master.  Yes, I know.....Day-Lewis, English actor, aren't they all wonderful, yada, yada, yada.  Hey, no knock on the man, but it's Phoenix in a land slide for me.  His performance as a man desperate for any real human connection and his complete inability to make that connection just blew me away.  I don't often say this about a performance because it's kind of on the pretentious side, but we're moving into one for the ages, Shakespearean, and all those other, over the top superlatives that actors like to use.  Watch his body as well as listening to his words.  Always stiff and posed in odd angles.  Just great.  As far as Day-Lewis goes, quite frankly, I thought it a bit wooden.   Or more aptly, marble like, as in more statue than human being.

Best Director.  1.Steven Spielberg for Lincoln.  2. Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild.  3. Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master.  I've always had mixed feelings about Spielberg.  Quite frankly I think he's at his best when making slight movies.  Jaws was a great horror film and the much derided War of the Worlds was pretty good science fiction.  It's the serious Spielberg that's less interesting.  In ads for the film, Spielberg let's us know that he didn't want to make a movie about the great man but about the human.  He didn't succeed.  As far as Zeitlin, the only reason I chose him over David O. Russell for SLP or Michael Haneke is because he made a wonderful movie with a whole lot less resources, including an amateur cast.  And again I go to The Master.  Let's put it this way, I don't think anyone's going to be surprised about the next category.

Best Picture.  1. Argo  2. Django Unchained.  3. The Master.  Argo will win because the directors branch of the Academy snubbed Ben Afleck and the actors branch is offended.  It's a really good movie, but for me the three films that stood out, among the nominees, were Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook.  Throw in Amour, and there are five really good choices this year.  As already noted I didn't see Life of Pi, so no recommendation there, and as far as the others go, Zero Dark Thirty could have been trimmed to Zero Dark Twenty, Lincoln, as I've already noted was too reverential, and Les's not a great musical, it's a bad opera.  It's The Master that was the great film of the year.  Writer, director Paul Thomas Anderson came up with a film about the universal human need for acceptance as seen through the eyes of one of the great misfits of film history.  In the end, Anderson had the courage to cast Freddie adrift, a man forever alone.

The democracy of time list.  The American writer Edward Abbey, near the end of his life, gave an interview in which he was asked for his assessment of where he stood in American literature.  Abbey confessed that he viewed himself as a major writer.  When reminded that the critics disagreed, he said that the critics didn't make that decision.  It was the democracy of time that sorted out the great from the also ran.  Here is my list of films I saw last year that will, in my opinion, do well with the democracy of time.  The Master, Looper, Skyfall, Amour, Argo, Django Unchained, Haywire, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook, Flight and Moonrise Kingdom.  I'm sure there are others, but like I said, I work in the movies, that means I can't afford to go to the movies.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Guns and the Ordinary

President Obama and VP Joe Biden have begun to offer up some proposals for new gun legislation and the right, predictably, is fretting that we're going too fast.  Meanwhile, James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado theater shooter has made his first court appearances, and the NRA is once again pointing out that it's not guns, it's mental illness.

On quick question for the gun lobby.  Does that mean that they support a not guilty by reason of insanity finding  for Holmes?  If so, I congratulate them and add my support for that position.  Of course, that's highly unlikely.  Knowing the far right, I suspect that they'll try and have it both ways.  The insanity of the shooter means that the easy access to guns is not relevant to what happened at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, and Sandy Hook Elementary, but by god, we'll take that nut out and hang his ass by the neck until dead.  (Or shove in the needle as the case may be.)  I have to say, though, the gun nuts may be right.  The crazies will out.  But, are the anomalous mass shootings, tragic though they may be, the real gun problem?  I think not.  The real gun problem is.....

Husband shoots wife, wife kills husband, six year old finds family gun and shoots four year old sibling,  fender bender and one guy pulls his nine mil from under the front seat, drunk gets asked to leave party and  returns with his shot gun, drug deal gone bad, drive-by, man looses job and he decides to kill himself, wife and kids,  stupid young man feels disrespected, scared neighborhood watch member shoots young black man wearing a hoodie, and it goes on and on and on and on.  Start dealing with the ordinary, day by day gun violence, and I'll be impressed.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Time To Face the Real World

It's time for New Jersey governor Chris Christie to accept reality.  He believes in the necessity of big government.  The man's a Democrat trying to be a Republican.  In the end, his own party will turn on him.