Monday, November 17, 2008

Am I the last person to see this?

Recorded shortly before the epic fail that was The Phantom Menace. Just watch it. If you haven't seen it, you'll be glad you did. If you have seen it, you could stand to see it again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blade Dumber

I watched Blade Runner again tonight for the first time in a long time and something occurred to me.

*SPOILERS*

Okay, so it's a cheap, juvenile joke. But bear with me. For all Deckard is supposed to be the best at what he does, he sure has a tough time in the movie. The replicant designed as a sort of robotic prostitute (instead of being a soldier like the rest) nearly does him in and he has a tough time chasing her down to retire her. He gets bailed out by Rachel when Leon jumps him. Pris had the drop on him and should have killed him, but she has to get a gymnastic for some reason and allows him time to get back to his gun. Roy takes pity on him and dies his natural death after saving Deckard from what probably would have been a fatal fall. Deckard does hardly anything on his own, though he does take the breaking of his fingers pretty stoically.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Much ado about sadness

One of my favourite scenes in Much Ado About Nothing is when Don Pedro and Beatrice have a small conversation after Claudio first gains the hand of Hero.

Beatrice: Good Lord for alliance! Thus goes everyone to the world but I, and I am sunburnt; I may sit in a corner and cry 'heigh-ho!' for a husband.
Don Pedro: Lady Beatrice, I will get you one.
Beatrice: I would rather have one of your father's getting. Hath your grace not a brother like you? Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.
Don Pedro: Will you have me, lady?
Beatrice: [pauses] No, my lord, unless I might have another for working-days. Your Grace is too costly to wear everyday. But I beseech your Grace to pardon me; for I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.
Don Pedro: Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.

I find this poignant, especially played the way that Denzel Washington and Emma Thompson do. The impression conveyed is that Don Pedro suddenly moves from banter to seriousness and catches her off-guard. She is surprised and tries to let him down easy, and he is hurt, but doesn't press the point. It works well, I think, because Don Pedro spends the play working to bring others together and ends up without a wife himself.

Moving day!

Yet another WoW themed post. I have taken advantage of an offer from Blizzard to move my characters for free from the server on which they reside to another server. The advantage is similar to that of moving from a congested, urban environment to a small, pioneer town on the edge of civilisation. That is to say, when I logged on tonight I was waiting in a queue of over 1,500 people for my turn to play and it took about an hour and a half to get to the game. So I moved somewhere, and this is the nub, where the theory is that I will not have to wait like I'm at Disneyland in July in order to play the game when I choose. Because, 1,500 people? That is for the birds, neighbor.

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Now playing: Project 86 - Twenty-Three
via FoxyTunes

Previous post PS

Previous post put me in mind of this.

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Now playing: Plankeye - He
via FoxyTunes

What kind of haircut do they have?

Remember when you could tell what kind of music a band played just by looking at their haircuts? If they had coloured mohawks, they were a punk band. If they had a ton of hairspray, make-up and really tight purple pants they were hair-metal. If they all had backwards baseball caps, they were a rap group. If it looked like they hadn't washed their long, stringy hair since Reagan was president, it was, the aptly named, grunge.

Now it doesn't work. Everybody has emo hair whether or not you're an emo band. (And if you like emo bands, Shakespeare disapproves.) You can't tell from looking at a band member whether he raps, is in a Swedish death metal band, part of a generic every-rock band, punk, industrial or whether he's some famous DJ who is known for his trance mixes. When did this happen?

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Now playing: Plankeye - Struck by the Chord
via FoxyTunes

Unpronounceable acronyms

WotLK (Wrath of the Lich King) opened yesterday, and like any good nerd, I had my copy early and was ready to dive in right away. First impressions are favourable. Parts of it are quite beautiful, there is quite a bit of new content, lots of fun things to do. The new class, Death Knights, seems to be a bit overpowered, but I'm sure there will be numerous tweaks to the release in the next month or two as Blizzard gets info from the release they couldn't get from their beta.

My only real complaint? After having the ability to fly wherever I wanted to go, having to go back to ground travel for the next 7 levels (well, 6 now) is grating. It's so slow, you have to find ways around cliffs and large bodies of water (unless you're a shaman, like my character, then you can just cast Water Walking and ride straight across) and there are all these annoying monsters that attack when you're just trying to get from point A to point B. Ah, well. Into each life, some rain must fall, neh?

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Now playing: Plankeye - Whisper to Me
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's a little obvous

But subtlety in the pursuit of a point is not always a virtue.

Nolo episcopari

Another good article from First Things about the inevitability of power corrupting those who wield it too long.
Washington: the only President who was ever offered a lifelong throne and turned it down for a temporary desk in a bureaucrat’s office. Almost to a man, his successors have been offered that same desk and have mistaken it for a throne. The current occupant, however sincere, is no exception (nor does it matter what month this is published or what year you read it). Roosevelt II–as H.L. Mencken aptly called FDR–actually tried to get a throne for himself, or the next best thing in a democracy, a permanent presidency. He came frighteningly close to succeeding before death intervened. The Onion’s book Our Dumb Century contains a headline I contributed to sum up this absurdity: “Roosevelt’s Remains To Run For Fifth Term.”

"Why this Election is About the Freedom of Religion"

By RJ Neuhaus of First Things, it was written before the election, but it's still worth reading. He argues that while he doesn't doubt the sincerity of Obama's piety, he does question whether Obama understands how his positions on several issues will contribute to the stifling of religion.
We have in this last half century drifted far from the constituting vision of this novus ordo seclorum. The free exercise of religion is the irreplaceable cornerstone of that order. In his famed Memorial and Remonstrance, James Madison wrote: “It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.” The last line bears repeating: This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. That is the truth that the Religion Clause is intended to protect from the overweening ambitions of the modern state.

He neglected to add...

unfortunately.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

An historic night

So the country swings to the Democrats in a big way and the first black president of the US is elected. Personally, I was hoping that milestone would have been achieved by someone else; Condolezza Rice perhaps? Thomas Sowell would have been ideal were it not for the fact that he, quite sensibly, would never want such a misfortune as the presidency to befall him.

Anyway, I do agree with John Derbyshire (for a change!) that Obama is a sort of Jimmy Carter-lite. Welcome to the 70's, Part II! Time to dig in and try to hold the line as best we can for the next four years while America gets what it asked for. Here's hoping there wasn't too much voter fraud in Penn. and Ohio. It's bad enough to lose on the merits without having to worry about the Chicago Democrat machine rigging the bloody election.

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Now playing: Project 86 - Your Heroes Are Dead
via FoxyTunes

Desperate by Lecrae

Woke up this morning too depressed and shamed to leave my bed
Can't stand to see my own reflection so I hang my head
Feel like a disappointment, like the scum of the earth
I'm so hurt I know you see I can't cover my dirt
My soul's dying, heart's weak and I can't even cry
I'm supposed to run to You, but why? I'm such an evil guy
The sun's shining, but for me it's the darkest of days
Try to pretend it never happened, but the guilt remains
I leave the house, it feels like everybody knows I did it
Feel like they're reading my mind and know the sin I committed
Through Your blood I'm acquitted, but my heart doesn't get it
Oh! God, I'm desperate for help 'cause I'm grieving your Spirit
I couldn't sing in the Sunday service, Lord, I felt fake
And when they started communion I just made an escape
I'm in need of Your grace, feels like You hid Your face
Lord, lead me back to cross and show me my sin's erased

...

My sin is ever before me, I turned my back on You
Oh! Father break and restore me to bring me back to You
My sin is ever before me, I turned my back on You
God break and restore me to bring me back to You


...

Have mercy on me God according to Your steady love
Wipe away my transgressions and wash me in Your blood
Create in me a clean heart, renew a right spirit
Don't hide your face from me, God; Your Presence: keep me near it


...

My sin weighed on me heavy, but I am no longer bound
As sure as Christ wears the crown, I know that grace will abound
And even when I feel lost, I know in You I am found