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