Archive for the Review Category

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK – A peek into the past

Posted in amusant, And now the snorting starts, おかしなふるまいの, अजीब, buffo, dada, Dogs, gülen yüz, greannmhar, IN MEMORIAM, 재미, kluchtig, lächerlich, neşeli, скарлетт йоханссон scarlett johansson, photograph, Photography, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Pycho-Social Trauma, Review, Small Town America, USA! USA! USA!, مضحك, مضحکہ خیز, Website of the Week, 滑稽, טילים, خنده دار, سكارليت جوهانسون scarlett johansson on January 16, 2012 by paulboylan

We live in a amazing place in time and space.  Never before in the history of the world has so much esoteric information been literally at our fingertips.  For most humans there is little value in an instant – almost godlike – ability to access information.  But for people like me – who see the entire purpose of existence as a desperate devotion, an inevitably futile lifelong quest to intellectually and emotionally grasp the absurd – living in the Information Age provides a spiritual high every time we go online.

Which brings me to my new favorite website, List of the Day.  Check out great-olan-mills-photos.html  for a taste of what is offered.  On this one page someone went through the significant trouble of collecting together stock photos from some of the photography studios that proliferated in the United States during the 1970′s.  Here is a small sample of what is offered:

.

.

.

.

These photos were displayed as advertisement for a photo studio’s photographic services.  My, my, my, how times have changed.

.

BEYOND THE GRAVE – Interview with Ned Kelly

Posted in Australia, おかしなふるまいの, Celebrity, Cinema, Cowboys and Aliens, Crime and Punishment, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, пицца, good guys and bad guys, greannmhar, IN MEMORIAM, 재미, kluchtig, lächerlich, скарлетт йоханссон scarlett johansson, Review, snaaks, The Great State of Montana!, Uncategorized, مضحك, مضحکہ خیز, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, 滑稽, מצחיק, خنده دار on January 14, 2012 by paulboylan

Famed “Bush Ranger” Ned Kelly returns from the dead to participate in a frankly fictitious interview where he reveals the issues he cares about most.

PEOPLE OF EARTH: Mr. Kelly –

NED KELLY:  Call me Ned, cobber.

POE: Okay. Ned. It is a true pleasure and a real thrill to be speaking with you today.  I don’t mind saying that you are one of my all time biggest heroes.

KELLY: (Laughs, phlegm rattling in his bronchia, followed by a small cough) Hero? You don’t know anything about me, do you?

POE:  Actually, I know quite a lot about your life.

KELLY: Don’t come the raw prawn with me. You ain’t even Australian.

POE:  True, but I’ve spent time drinking heavily with Australians.

.

.

KELLY: Oh, okay, that explains it, then.

POE:   Ned, on 28 June 1880, in Glenrowan –

KELLY:  I don’t want to talk about that.

POE:  What? What else is there to talk about?  That’s when –

KELLY:  I know what happened. I don’t want to talk about it.

POE: But the shoot out, the armour you made and wore, it is legendary.

POE: It was possibly the most important moment of your –

KELLY:  Yeah, yeah. I’m sick and tired of hearing about it and I don’t want to discuss it.

POE:  Well, then what do you want to talk about?

KELLY:  I want to talk about the film.

POE:  What film?

KELLY: The one with Mick Jagger.

Mick Jager

POE: Ah… eh… what?

KELLY: I want to talk about that awful film where Mick Jagger played me.

POE:  What about it?

KELLY:  Awful film. Jagger was terrible.

POE:  Yeah, okay, so?

KELLY:  Jagger was nothing like me.

KELLY:  Know what I want? I want that movie made again, with a different cast.

POE:  Do you have anyone in mind?

KELLY:  As a matter of fact, I do. I want Daniel Craig to play the role of Ned Kelly.

POE:  Daniel Craig?

KELLY:  Or Johnny Depp.

POE:  Johnny Depp?

KELLY:  Yeah. Did you see him in Ed Wood?  Incredible performance.  Me and my mates were shocked he wasn’t nominated for the Academy Award. Fucking tour de force.

POE:  Mr. Kelly –

KELLY: Or a Golden Globe, although, between you and me, I suspect that show isn’t really on the up and up.  I think the fix is in, if you know what I mean.

POE:  Thank you so much for –

KELLY:  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Ricky Gervais.  That munter is comedy gold, he is.

POE:  I thank Ned Kelly for spending quality time with us.

KELLY:  That was quality time?

POE:  Next time, my guest will be Mary Watson, and I will finally get to ask her what animal she would be if she could be any animal at all.

New Feature – FORGOTTEN MEDIA …………… First up – THE CORE

Posted in Astronomy, Cinema, End of the World Knock-Knock Jokes, Fire and Ice, Isnt nature wonderful?, photograph, Photography, Pop Culture, Review, Science, Science Fiction, The Wrath of God, سياسة on January 7, 2012 by paulboylan

.

.

Let’s face it: most of what is created to tempt us into wasting time and spending money, with the hope of being entertained, is crap.

.

.

.

.

It wastes our money. It insults our intelligence. Books, movies and television are engendered more often than not with the foundational assumption that the consuming public is composed of people with very low Intelligence Quotients and very, very low standards.

.

When media executives think of us, this is what they see.

.

And so much of it is fraudulent.  How many times have you seen a movie preview, grown excited by the prospect of a new movie, only to discover that the preview previewed a movie that doesn’t exist, like emphasizing characters and plot points that are incidental in the actual movie?  It happens all the time.

.

.

I often encounter media, the excellence of which surprises me.  I’ll watch a television show, read a book, listen to a radio play, watch a movie and ask myself “why didn’t I hear about this sooner?”

When I look into it, I often find out that virtually no one has seen or heard of what  just surprised me.

I call it Forgotten Media – popular entertainment that wasn’t popular enough to make it into the popular conscience.  And there is a lot of it.  I was thinking that my legion of blog visitors might be interested in knowing more.

Today, quite by accident,  I saw a movie entitled The Core.

.

The Core is a science fiction adventure film, and one of the best I’ve ever seen.  The plot is based on the simple question “what would happen if the earth’s core stopped rotating?”

If that question doesn’t create both interest and terror, then you probably don’t know how important the question is.  Simply put, all life on earth is possible only because our planet has a molten iron core that spins in the opposite to the earth’s rotation.  So if the earth rotates from right to left (east to west) the earth’s molten iron core spins left to right (west to east).  

Not all planets do this.  Mars doesn’t do it, which is why it will never be possible for humans to live on Mars.

.

Never gonna happen.

.

Here is how it works:  the earth’s molten core, spinning in the opposite direction to the earth’s rotation, generates a huge magnetic field that surrounds the earth like a force field.

.

.

This force field prevents solar radiation from hitting the earth and killing every single living thing on the planet.

.

.

So, if the earth’s liquid iron core stops rotating, it would cause the earth’s magnetic field to collapse, allowing solar radiation to hit the earth. And if that happens, everything from the smallest microbe to the largest blue whale dies.

.

.

Very early in The Core, the main characters learn the earth’s core is slowing down, and the rest of the movie is a race against time to save the planet.

The cast – put together by the best casting director in the business, Tricia Wood – includes Aaron Eckhart, Hillary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Stanley Tucci and Alfre Woodard, with a stand out performance by D.J. Quails as a computer hacker whom the US government  asks to “hack the planet” to keep the whole thing secret to avoid worldwide panic. 

The Core is directed by Jon Amiel, who also directed another of my favorite forgotten movies, Tune in Tomorrow.
.

.

So what you have here is a well-written, well-acted, well-directed adventure film that nobody but me has seen (and maybe a few of you) and, if you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you do.

.

.

MY WIFE’S REVIEW OF Cowboys and Aliens

Posted in Common Enemy, Cowboys and Aliens, good guys and bad guys, Review, Science Fiction, Space on August 6, 2011 by paulboylan

My wife and I just saw the new movie Cowboys and Aliens. We went despite the fact that it has received poor reviews.

Afterwards, I asked her what she thought of the film, and she said:

“Cowboys. Aliens. Indians. Handsome men. Pretty women. A kid and a dog. Good guys and bad guys teaming up to fight a common enemy. What’s not to like?”

I very much agree.  It isn’t the best film ever made, but it was not a waste of time and/or money.  A lot of fun. My wife and I recommend it.

Website of the Week

Posted in Art, dada, Droit Moral, Internet Fun!, Pop Culture, Review, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, satire, Uncategorized, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on April 24, 2011 by paulboylan

If you’re feeling blue, a little down, check out  

http://www.wrongcards.com/

where you will find fake greeting cards like:

and

and

.

You can read them or even send them to someone, and all for free.

What’s not to like?

,

Website of the Week -meghanbowen.com

Posted in Getting it Right, Internet Fun!, Paying Attention, Review, Travel, Website of the Week with tags , on April 17, 2011 by paulboylan

This is Meghan Bowen.

Meghan is a yoga instructor.

My wife says that Meghan is the best yoga instructor she has ever had.

I trust my wife’s judgment when it comes to such things.

Meghan’s website is:

http://www.meghanbowen.com/Meghan_Bowen/Home.html

If you are in Northern California and are in need of yoga instruction, Meghan is the instructor for you.

.

Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions – and Ray Gun Girls

Posted in 3D, Antique surgical instruments, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, dada, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, космическая девушка, космическая девушка space girl, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Fire and Ice, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, Nichola Tesla, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Review, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stoats, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, TV, Uncategorized, USA! USA! USA!, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on March 11, 2011 by paulboylan


.

By now you know I kind of dig Space Chicks.

.

In addition to writing substantively on the historical, sociological and geopolitical aspects of Space Chicks, my purely scholarly passion led me to become the worlds leading authority on subject.

Professor Boylan presenting a paper on Space Chicks at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2006

When I first determined the importance of Space Chicks as a pop culture phenomenon,  I soon observed that there is an important Space Chick subset that is best described as “Ray Gun Girls.”  Simply put, a Ray Gun Girl is a girl often, but not always, wearing a space suit in close proximity to a ray gun, often, but not always holding the ray gun.

Like Space Chicks in general, Ray Gun Girls first appeared on the cover of pulp magazines.

And when Space Chicks migrated from pulp novel covers to film and television, Ray Gun Girls began showing up there, too.

In all honesty, most Ray Gun Girl images are fetish driven manifestations of arrested male adolescent wish fulfillment, amounting to little more than soft core pornography.

However, as the years went by science fiction matured, and Space Chick images began to include strong, capable women who were fully realized heroic figures as complex and detailed as any male hero. As this happened, the images of Ray Gun Girls also evolved into something more serious and less sexist.


To me, the entire phenomenon is really quite fascinating. I don’t have the time or inclination to explore in this blog why there is such a driving interest to depict women holding ray guns.  The psycho-sexual implications alone would fill more space than I have to work with here. However, it is worth noting that the Ray Gun Girl concept is distancing itself from sex object utility and is increasingly being seen as a sign of feminist empowerment.


I’m taking the time here to provide you with the opportunity to judge for yourself.  Below is a gallery of Ray Gun Girl drawings and photos representing only what I was able to download in a few minutes before I gave up and went on to more serious business.  Nevertheless, this incomplete sample is the most comprehensive collection of Ray Gun Girl pics anywhere on or off the internet.

I present them in the order my computer imposed due to file title.

[If you don't see any gallery below, then you need to go back up to the top and click on the link entitled something like "The Ultimate Ray Gun Girl Gallery."

I take no responsibility for any offense that may result from anyone accessing and scrutinizing any of the photos in that gallery.]

DID I MENTION I DIG SPACE CHICKS?

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, космическая девушка, космическая девушка space girl, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Getting it Right, Hapax Legomenon, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Nichola Tesla, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Review, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel, TV, Uncategorized on July 4, 2010 by paulboylan

.

Of course I have. Over and over again. Since I came to this place I have freely expressed my appreciation for space chicks.  I have written scholarly critiques of new media, expressing dissatisfaction with this television program or that new film because the program or film didn’t have enough space chicks. Conversely, I have expressed my approval when a program or film featured the proper quantity of quality Space Chicks.

.

.

But what, academically speaking, is a Space Chick?  Is it merely a woman in space?

.

.

The first woman in space.

.

Clearly not. The media has depicted many women in space, not all of whom can be properly classified as Space Chicks.  And, where life has imitated art, only one female astronaut can be properly considered a Space Chick.

Allow me to elaborate, elucidate, pontificate and fabricate (but just a little):

As I’ve discussed earlier in this blog, pulp magazines acted as the vehicle through which science fiction entered popular culture.  These pulp magazines – published from the 1920’s through the 1950’s – embodied the motto “sex sells” and so habitually featured women on their covers.  For example:

.

1919

.

1929

.

1933

.

1936

.

1942

.

1949

.

1950

.

With this marketing heritage it was only natural that pulp science fiction magazines would feature, as often as possible, images of women, often scantily clad.

.

.

.

.

.

A Space Chick who apparently likes lollipops.

.

These were the original Space Chicks – objects of amorphous adolescent male fantasy.  And, as objects of early 20th Century amorphous adolescent male fantasy, these space chicks often needed rescuing from monsters.

.

.


.

.


.


.


.

.

Film, and eventually television, adopted the pulp magazine formula and expanded upon it. In the same way that producers began insisting that any science fiction project include aliens, they also insisted that Space Chicks be part of whatever awful film or television show they were going to finance.

.

.

.

.

.


.

.

.

.

.

But something happened that differentiated Space Chicks from their non science fiction counterparts. Space chicks were often depicted doing more than simply needing rescue and being more than merely sexy.  The Women of Tomorrow were shown to be, not just desirable, but also fast, strong, smart, capable and brave as any man.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Cinema and television imitated the pulp formula and began depicting Space Chicks that were not just sex objects, but also intelligent, confident and professionally accomplished -little realizing that they were part of a social and political revolution.

.


.


.

.

.

.


.


.

.


.

.

.

When humans actually began poking a tentative finger into outer space, life imitated art.  The Russians were the first to put a woman into space.  Long before they did, they tried to let their people, and the world, know what to expect.

.

.

Make no mistake: this is a Space Chick.  We can’t see the rest of her, and her space suit is undoubtedly too bulky to determine the attractiveness of her physical charms, but her mascara, eye shadow, false eyelashes and lipstick tells us that she is ready for action.

Reality did not meet this expectation.  The actual first woman in space looked like this.

.

.

There is a rumor that persists to this day that she was really a man in a wig.

.


.

In any event, she was no space chick.  The United States did better, but none of the women NASA put into space can be characterized as Space Chicks. Even zero gravity – which one would think, like beer, would make women more attractive – tends to make things worse.

.

Lesbians seem to adore this photo. I have no idea why.

.

There is one exception – Mae Jemison:

.

.

She is more than pretty.  She is a medical doctor. She is strong, smart, capable and brave enough to ride in the space shuttle – a crapshoot against disaster every time its engines ignite. But even more important for the purposes of this essay, her cuteness survives zero gravity. Click on the following link to see what I am talking about.

.

Mae Jemison

.

That isn’t just a picture. It is a pose. But that isn’t what makes Dr. Jemison a Space Chick.  What makes her a bona fide Space Chick is that, after actually going into space, she appeared as a minor characer on Star Trek!!!

.


Dr. Mae Jemision is the only women who is a media space chick AND a real world Space Chick!

How cool is that?

.

OKAY, SO I WAS WRONG ABOUT STARGATE UNIVERSE

Posted in Art, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, космическая девушка, Fiction, Getting it Right, Joseph Bleckman, Op Ed, Pop Culture, Review, Stargate Universe, Television, TV, Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 by paulboylan

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

I just watched the latest episode of Stargate Universe, entitled “Sabotage.” If you haven’t seen it, you must. It was one of the finest pieces of science fiction I’ve ever seen.

My personal relationship with art is centered in recognizing balance.  In my view, all art embodies at least two kinds of balance: the first is the balance of the genre it is part of; the second is the balance unique to the particular work itself.

In general, the evolution of science fiction as an art form has been a struggle to achieve artistic balance.  The early science fiction of Jules Vern and H.G. Wells was beautifully balanced, partly because Vern and Wells were not science fiction writers. They were authors who used science fiction as a story-telling delivery mechanism.  It was the story that was important to these writers; science fiction provided the structure to tell those stories.

These early science fiction stories also benefited from the fact that so few people could read and write. Those who could were automatically better educated and cultured than those who could not and, consequently, Vern, Wells and those like them were part of a “high art” literary tradition.

Such status was short-lived. Industrial societies depended on mass education that included reading and writing, which became common even among the uneducated and uncultured.  And it was these great unwashed masses that began both writing and reading science fiction.  Through pulp magazines, Sci Fi moved from high culture to popular culture.

And what a load of crap gushed forth – garbage written by amateur hacks with no story sense and poor vocabularies, using science fiction as a means of adolescent male masturbatory  wish fulfillment that really couldn’t get very far past rocketing off to a place they might encounter space chicks needing rescue from bug eyed monsters.

.


.

In other words, this pulp rubbish lacked artistic balance and focus.  If “ray guns are cool” is the reason a story is written, and if the writer lacks the talent, skill and educational foundation to reach beyond their fingertips, then the story is going to suck.

I believe that has changed.  Kim Stanley Robinson and John Birmingham are proof that SF has changed for the better.

.

.

.

Robinson and Birmingham are serious artists who, like Vern and Wells, use science fiction frameworks to tell stories that resonate beyond mere fantasy escapist wish fulfillment. Their work is artistically balanced in the same way any good novel worth reading and remembering achieves artistic balance.

Science Fiction cinema followed the same progression from early greatness  - e.g., Fritz Lang’s early silent work -

.

From Metropolis


to adlolescent escapism – e.g., the Flash Gordon serials -

.

.

to artistically balanced, nuanced good works that are cinema first and science fiction second – e.g., 2001, Alien and 12 Monkeys.

.


.

The same is true for science fiction television – from high art of the Twilight Zone –

.


to the idiocy of the Adventures of Buck Rodgers -

.


to the retooled, reimagined excellence of Battlestar Galactica.

.


This new video excellence was only possible because the popular audience is older and smarter, and cable television makes it possible to reach a smaller, smarter audience and still be profitable.  Battlestar Galactica was not just an artistic success – it was a commercial success.

And nothing succeeds like success. All commercial successes spawn imitations. Those behind Stargate Universe want to repeat, if not exceed, the BSG‘s commercial success and they concluded the way to do it is to imitate BSG‘s artistic success – i.e., focusing on story, plot and character and complex themes that resonate emotionally and intellectually.

Which created a different balance problem: too much focus on story, plot, character and complex themes is just as bad as too little.

Stargate Universe‘s first season suffered from this imbalance, resulting in slow, ponderous, boring television.  For me this imbalance was so annoying that I actually watched the show only because I was hoping to witness some of the more boring characters die and the slowest, most ponderous story lines end.

Which is why this last episode so delighted me. It is a demonstration of perfect balance between plot, character, theme, special effects and action. It isn’t boring in the slightest and when it was over I wanted more and cannot wait to see the next episode.

I so hope this isn’t an aberration. I so hope this is a sign the series as finally found its voice.

.


REMEMBERING THE 2000 COMMERCIAL ACTORS STRIKE, PART 2

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV on December 27, 2009 by paulboylan

In Part One of this series, we encountered “Hello, Meteor!” – a commercial the Discovery Channel  (TDS) made during the 2000 commercial actors strike.  “Hello, Meteor!” garnered critical and commercial acclaim.  This success encouraged TDS on to assign more of their non-actor office to star in other commercials, including the now classic “Hello, Mosquito!” shown below.

.

.

REMEMBERING THE 2000 SAG COMMERCIAL ACTORS STRIKE

Posted in 3D, American Decline, Art, Artists Rights, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Berne Convention, Brave New World, Cinema, dada, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Evil Smiley Face, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Hubris, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Moral Rights, morbid obesity, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Our animal friends, pandemic, Parody, Paying Attention, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Rotwang, satire, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, South Korea, Space, Sports, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stoats, Stupid People, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, TRIPs, TV, Uncategorized, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, West Korea, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on December 23, 2009 by paulboylan

If you are anything like me, then every so often – when the winter wind blows clean and fresh from the north – you are overcome by nolstagia for the halcyon days of the 2000 Screen Actors Guild Commercial Actors Strike.

Ah, those halcyon days! – when men selling things on television had to do without actors because actors who acted in television commercials wanted more money for their labor, but the major studios wouldn’t give them more money.  And so they went on strike.


Commercials got made and were broadcast without professional acting, and sometimes the results were simply wonderful.



The Discovery Channel used accounting and technical employees to act in a series of commercials that have since become legend, the first of which I feature below.

.

.

.

AHHH!!!   THE ATMOSPHERE!!!!  AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

.



WHAT AMERICANS SOUND LIKE

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV on December 21, 2009 by paulboylan

As I’ve often mentioned (purely as a matter of pretense), I often lecture to non American audiences. With minor exception I lecture in English.

The noted internet social analysis and general media maven, Joseph Bleckman, sent me this link that shows what non English speakers hear when they hear Americans speaking.  It isn’t a very loving or kind parody, but it is pretty funny.


RESTAURANT REVIEW

Posted in Art, Avatar, おかしなふるまいの, अजीब, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, buffo, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, greannmhar, 재미, αστείος, ανόητο άτομα, lächerlich, Life, Mad Men, News, neşeli, скарлетт йоханссон, смешной, Op Ed, Photography, Pop Culture, Review, Small Town America, Smiley Face, snaaks, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Television, The Matrix, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, مقاطع‏ ‏سكس‏ ‏مصارعه, مضحك, مضحکہ خیز, 滑稽, מצחיק, خنده دار, سكارليت جوهانسون on December 17, 2009 by paulboylan

Last Saturday my wife and I ate at Ming Tu’s – a restaurant located at 1158 “L” Street in Downtown Sacramento.  Ming Tu’s serves Asian” inspired” food in a casual setting.

Not affiliated with Ming Tu in any way whatsoever.

Many people have eaten at Ming Tu’s.  Some of them have written reviews that can be found at http://www.yelp.com/biz/ming-tus-asian-diner-sacramento.  For example, Karina of Elk Grove writes:

“I’ve been here twice – with coworkers and with friends.  The food is definitely an Americanized version of Chinese food, but far better than Panda Express. Love their Mongolian beef over brown rice.”



Moo N of Sacramento writes:

“I work a couple of blocks from here so I have had opportunity to eat here often.  Each time I have eaten here, I have been quite happy.  The teriyaki chicken with rice is my fave and I love the fried rice too!  I love rice so if you do too you should definitely partake :-)”



My dining experience was a little different from Katrina’s and Moo’s. My meal was not as good as theirs. So this is going to be a negative restaurant review.



Over the years I’ve written plenty of restaurant reviews, may of them negative, and when I write a negative review I spend a lot of time describing what I ate and how it was served. Then I complain a lot.


I feel this is a special case. The usual descriptions of the food and service and the usual complaining just wouldn’t be enough to properly express how I feel about this dining experience. So I’m not going to describe the food or the service. I’m not going to make fun of the owner’s funny accent. I am not going to mock the handicapped busboy.  Instead, I will simply describe what I did after I left Ming Tu’s.



After I paid the bill and my wife and I left the restaurant, I immediately walked to a nearby church and prayed that God would reach down with His mighty hand and, with a fist of divine fury, smite Ming Tu’s, crushing it down to the bedrock, destroying it utterly.



I know what you are thinking. You think I over reacted.  You are thinking: “Aw, come on, Paul. The meal couldn’t have been so bad that you would call upon the Creator of the Universe to smite those responsible. “



If you are thinking this, you are wrong.  You weren’t there. You didn’t pay good money for really bad Chinese food. It was so bad that I felt, and still feel, within my rights as a God fearing Christian to call upon the power of Almighty God to send down destruction upon Ming Tu’s and punish all those responsible for my mediocre dining experience.



Now you are thinking: “Okay, Paul, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the meal you were served wasn’t very good.  Is that sufficient reason for calling for divine retribution? Isn’t being served a bad meal at a restaurant a trivial reason for calling upon the divine power of God Almighty to smite those who displeased you?”



Not at all.  And if you think that, then you probably are not a Christian.


Or you might be a Socialist.


A Socialist Atheist, that’s what you are, if you think there is anything wrong with me asking God to smite anyone I don’t like or destroy any business that has provided less than acceptable service.



Every day, ordinary people from all walks of life call upon the power of the Lord to avenge them – often for seemingly trivial reasons. My own Aunt reads the Bible every day and goes to church every Sunday – and every single day she prays to Baby Jesus that her neighbor die of a heart attack.

Her neighbor is a liberal who plays that jazz music much too loud. And he voted for Obama. Who is a secret Muslim.


But I digress.  My point is that it is perfectly okay to call upon the power of God to right any wrong, no matter how trivial the wrong may appear. The Bible shows us that God responds in dramatic ways to correct what seem to be trivial wrongs.


For example, in 2 Kings 23-25, the prophet Elisha, who had a bald head, cast a “curse unto God” at a bunch of young boys who were making fun of Elisha’s bald head.  Now, you non-Christian, socialist liberal secret Muslims will say that what those kids did was no big deal.  Well, God didn’t think so.  In response to Elisha’s curse, God sent two female bears to kill forty-two of those boys.



So Elisha called upon the divine power of the Creator of the Universe to punish a bunch of boys who made fun of him. I am calling upon that same power to smite a restaurant that served me a lousy meal.  I honestly don’t see the difference. I fully expect to see a big hole in the ground where Ming Tu’s used to be when I next drive or walk by that place.



I’ll let you know if it happens.


INSULTS FROM THE LAND DOWN UNDER

Posted in Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Fiction, Globalization, Mad Men, music, News, Photography, Pop Culture, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Matrix, Travel, TV, Uncategorized on December 10, 2009 by paulboylan

I have been flamed (but not defamed, as you will see).  Over at the the Blunt Instrument, one of my favorite blogs, a gentleman who goes by the name of Greybeard said:

Mr Boylan: you Sir, are a vulgarian and a snob.

 

Now, isn’t that the nicest way of calling someone a jerk you have ever seen?  It is beyond cool. The gentility and elegance of that insult lifts it beyond cool to the rarely achieved level of cugat (as in “that is soooo cugat, dude!”).

SNEAK PEEK: JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR

Posted in Astronomy, Avatar, Cinema, космическая девушка, Pop Culture, Review, Rotwang, Science Fiction, טילים on December 5, 2009 by paulboylan

PEOPLE OF EARTH has been granted a preview of James Cameron’s new film Avatar, the first block buster, high budget studio film shot in 3D.

James Cameron

Cameron’s prior films –  including Terminator, Aliens, the Abyss and True Lies – have been some of the biggest money making movies in cinematic history.  His prior film, Titanic, remains the largest grossing film of all time, earning a mind-boggling $2.8 billion.

Made a lot of money.

POE was offered a sneak preview of Avatar on the condition that no “spoilers” were provided to POE’s readers.  So I won’t be describing the film’s plot or revealing the surprise Hollywood dance routine ending, so I will restrict my review to one subject:

.

Space Chicks, man!  This movie is all about Space Chicks!

Alien Space Chicks with tails!

So, go for the 3D.  Stay for the Space Chicks.

And for you ladies out there who, perhaps, are not as interested in Space Chicks, this film – like so many of Cameron’s prior films – is all about relationships – which makes it a chick flick.

A chick flick with Space Chicks!  What on earth could be better?


I CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT STARGATE UNIVERSE

Posted in Antique surgical instruments, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, Hapax Legomenon, Joseph Bleckman, Pop Culture, Review, Rotwang, Science Fiction, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Television, The Matrix, Travel, TV, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on November 7, 2009 by paulboylan

I know I’ve been fairly critical of Stargate Universe.

I’ve complained about how it is too much soap opera



and not enough space opera.


but…

I am watching the latest episode of SG-U and I just got to the part where that guy from the spaceship switched bodies with the Lou Diamond Philips character and went back to his wife and she took him back and they were getting busy and then the body transfer reversed for a moment and that guy from the spaceship was back on board the spaceship and the Lou Diamond Philips guy was under the other guys wife and then the body transfer kicked back in and the first guy was under his wife again – and his wife was acting like she never got it that way before – which has to make her husband (the guy from the spaceship) fell a bit awkward – and the Lou Diamond Philips guy was back on on earth and asks “what the hell just happened?”

The Lou Diamond Philips character.

It was great!  I love this show now!


And there is even a chance fat nerd may score with the Senator’s drunk daughter!

The dead Senator's daughter.

The fat guy and an asian chick.

It’s back on. Gotta run-

MISSING BABY FOUND

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, Website of the Week on November 5, 2009 by paulboylan

.

Little Shannon Dedrick’s disappearance caught the world’s attention.

.

7 month old Shannon Dedrick

.

The world breathed a collective sigh of relief when, today, Shannon was found in a box under the bed of her baby sitter – who had apparently abducted the infant.

.

.

I am glad the ordeal is over for Shannon’s parents, but someone has to point out that their child is an alien.

.

resized_Shannon_Dedrick

That isn't drool.

.

Little Shannon is clearly a human/alien hybrid.  I am the last person on this or any world to so much as imply that there is anything wrong with that.  At one time some stygma might have attached to parents who gave birth to an alien baby, but recent high profile celebrity adoptions have removed much of that stygma.

.

>
As a consequence, caring for an alien baby has become quite fashionable.

,

<

Shannon’s parents must realize that raising a human/alien hybrid is a challenging, but ultimately rewarding endeavor.

.


Every child is a special gift from God.

.

For example, Shannon’s remarkably large head indicates that she will be telepathic.

.

resized_Shannon_Dedrick

Knows what you are thinking.

.

Telepathic children are unusually challenging because they know when daddy says “no” that he really means “yes” and when mommy says “just wait until your father gets home!” mommy really doesn’t mean it.

.

Nothing but trouble

.

As an alien/human hybrid, little Shannon is likely to develop the skill to levitate.

.

Extra care is required.

.

Like telepathy, the ability to levitate will be a job skill that employers will appreciate, but in the beginning, the parent of an alien/human hybrid must exercise extra care, such as making sure windows are closed at all times.

.

Not good.

So, we are all glad baby Shannon is back, but her parents need to pay attention to her special qualities.

.

DISAPPOINTED IN OBAMA’S NOBEL PRIZE

Posted in Getting it Right, Globalization, Life, Mad Men, Op Ed, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Review, The Matrix, Travel on October 9, 2009 by paulboylan

I’m a little ticked-off it wasn’t awarded to me.

“YOU LIE!”

Posted in 3D, American Decline, And now the snorting starts, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Bigotry in America, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, GOP, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Great State of Montana!, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, USA! USA! USA!, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 29, 2009 by paulboylan

JOE WILSON AND THE AMERICAN WAY

I want to talk to you about Joe Wilson, the guy who heckled Barak Obama by yelling “you lie!” when the president was addressing a joint session of congress.

.

He looks retarded, but he is more than that.

He looks retarded, but he is more than that.

.

The liberal media has expressed extreme outrage over this incident, accusing Wilson of being everything from a boorish idiot to a racist.

.

Victim of the liberal media

Victim of the liberal media

Don’t let that outrage fool you. What Wilson did is no big deal – especially when viewed through the lens of American history.  A congressman yelling “you lie!” at the president during a presentation to congress is not only a trivial event, the event itself fits well within the American traditions of political free speech.

The American Way

The American Way

To begin with, allow me to remind you what it means to be an American.  More than anything else, being an American means having the constitutional right to speak your mind.  Many Americans take this important freedom for granted.  But those outside our great nation know how special and precious it is. During the great wave of immigration that took place near the beginning of the 20th Century – the time my Greek ancestors came to this country – immigrants wrote home saying that the streets of American cities were “paved with gold.”


In a literal sense this wasn’t true.  But to people escaping tyranny, oppression and poverty, the freedoms and opportunities that came with merely walking on American soil were priceless.  Where they came from, no matter how hard they worked they could never hope for a better life for their children.  In America, men and women who are willing to work hard can shape their own futures.  In their homelands, these immigrants could be arrested and imprisoned for saying the wrong thing.  But in America they could argue in the streets and express their opinions freely.


.

.

.

What the liberal media wants us to forget is that the right of free speech includes the right to get angry.  When Joe Wilson interrupted the President of the United States by shouting “you lie!” Citizen Joe was merely exercising his rights as an American and was taking part in a tradition that spans our nation’s noble history.

The American Founding Fathers were notoriously cranky, rude, angry men who openly hated each other.  Benjamin Franklin hated Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine hated George Washington. George Washington hated all French intellectuals – who, in a very real sense, gave birth to the American Revolution.


Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr hated each other so much they fought a duel – and Burr killed Hamilton with a bullet that pierced Hamilton’s liver.  Thomas Jefferson – the man given credit with drafting the American Declaration of Independence – made loud, unmistakable noises simulating flatulence – often using his hand and armpit – every time he encountered his political rival John Adams.  Adams never hesitated to accuse Jefferson of “preferring the company of young boys” and of stealing the design for the swivel chair from Nathaniel Swivel, a Boston furniture maker and brewer.

Nathanial Swivel

Nathaniel Swivel

As our republic grew and matured, so did the salty nature of American political discourse.  Martin Van Buren – our 8th president – and the first American president born in the United States – won the 1832 election in a landslide.  But the Whig Party (now defunct) despised Van Buren and refused to recognize his legitimacy.  They spread rumors that he was born in Holland and that he was secretly a Quaker.

Quaker

Quaker

In conjunction with this rumor campaign, the Whigs engaged in a rhetorical attack utilizing misleading vocabulary. For example, Winfield Scott – a Whig Party organizer – gave a speech in Buffalo, New York accusing Van Buren of vague charges that no one understood but everyone believed.  Scott is quoted as saying:

“In addition to the many crimes Martin Van Buren has committed against the American people as a whole – nay humanity – perhaps most disturbing, if not revolting, is the indisputable fact that Van Buren is a notorious masticator.   Reliable sources close to Van Buren – if that is his real name – confirm that he masticates at least three times a day, often in the presence of his wife. As monstrous as this may seem, Van Buren has also been known to vacillate on numerous occasions.  I put it to you that, not only is Van Buren a vacillator AND a masticator, he vacillates WHILE he masticates! The man has practiced vacillation and chronic mastication ever since he was a small child in Holland!”

These Whig tactics worked: the public turned against Van Buren, with many refusing to shake his hand for fear of where it may have been.  Whig congressmen and senators began pelting Van Buren with rotten vegetables whenever he spoke publically. The threat of violence became so pronounced that Van Buren would carry two loaded pistols whenever he addressed congress.

Packing heat

More recently, Republicans unhappy with Franklin Delano Roosevelt – a polio victim confined to a wheel chair – accused Roosevelt of being born in Norway and of secretly being a Free Mason. They would yell “cripple!” and “gimp!” during Roosevelt’s State of the Union addresses, pretending that they were sneezing.

He killed and ate this child.

He killed and ate this child.

.

So, when seen through the lens of history, Joe Wilson’s yelling, “you lie!” at Obama during the the President’s State of the Union Address, or Arizona Governor Jan Brewer jabbing her finger into the President’s face while yelling at him, or even a reporter heckling Obama during a press conference, it really isn’t very important.

.

Maybe it was tourettes.

This never happened when a white president was giving a speech.

.

This would never happen to a white president, and never has.

.

Perhaps they feel free to disrespect him because he isn’t white, so he can’t really be the president, so they don’t owe him any respect.

.

 It is just part of the American way.

.

.

.

.

.

HEADLINE – Ugandan gorillas join Facebook

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 27, 2009 by paulboylan

Endangered Ugandan gorillas join Facebook, MySpace

By Rhappi Khanasta, Ass. Press Writer – Sat Sep 26, 10:53 am ET

KAMPALA, Uganda – Around 340 mountain gorillas — nearly half of the 740 remaining worldwide — have joined Facebook, Myspace and Twitter in an attempt to live it up before the end.

“I figured, what the hell?” explains M’bitah, a male silverback weighing 400 pounds (180 kilograms) who lives in Uganda’s lush Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. “Maybe I can hook up with a willing female and have a little fun before I am shot, killed and eaten,” M’bitah said.

Despite their size — a male silverback can reach over 7 feet (2.1 meters) — the gorillas are threatened by poachers who kill them for meat, farmers and charcoal-burners who encroach on their habitat, and the indiscriminate bullets of rebels on the run.

“We Mountain Gorillas will probably be eaten into extinction within a year or two,” said Kampanga, a female adult mountain gorilla. “But I just got friended by five people on Facebook and 28 people responded to my tweet about scratching my stomach,” she said. “How cool is that?”

“We support efforts to include gorillas within internet based social networks,” said N’kita “Ernie” Ruzigandekwa, President and former Treasurer for the Ugandan Bush Meat Advisory Board, a nonprofit, corporate sponsored interest group that promotes eating gorillas. “The Ugandan mountain gorilla is an elusive creature that is much, much easier to sneak up on when concentrating on updating their Facebook profile,” Ruzigandekwa said.

.

.

MY FAVORITE HOMOSEXUALS

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 16, 2009 by paulboylan


Today I couldn’t help but notice homosexuals all over the place.

.

.

I noticed three homosexuals while I watched television as I made coffee for my wife. I saw half a dozen more as I drove my son to school. I saw another two or three in the supermarket where I stopped to buy milk on my way back home. And, when I parked outside my house, I waved to Ted, my gay neighbor, as he was leaving his house to go to work.

.

My gay neighbor, Ted.
My gay neighbor, Ted.

We chatted a bit and both agreed that the weather was fabulous for this time of year.

It wasn’t always this way.  At one time, not so long ago, I could go for months without encountering a homosexual or even noticing one on the street. Other than Richard Simmons, you almost never saw one on TV.

.

Richard Simmons. Very gay.
Richard Simmons. Very gay.

.

But things have changed.  The media today seems jam-packed with homosexuals – both real and imaginary. For example, on the television show Will and Grace, Eric McCormack – a fine, upstanding heterosexual actor – plays the part of a homosexual lawyer.

.

Eric McCormack: not gay.

.

While on the television show How I Met Your Mother Neil Patrick Harris, who is gay, plays the part of Barney, who isn’t.

.

Neil Patrick Harris: totally gay.
Neil Patrick Harris: totally gay.

.

(Harris also played the part of Doogie Howser, which disturbs me.  Somehow I cannot accept that Doogie is gay.)

.

What the hell?

What the hell?

.

It wasn’t always this way.  In the old days, you could go your whole life without noticing a homosexual.  You could be in the middle of a crowd without realizing you were surrounded by them. Your best friends could have been gay – and probably were – but you would never have known it because they did everything they could to look, sound, dress and live like heterosexuals.  And they were pretty good at it.  Some – like Senator Larry Craig – got married and even had kids just to avoid anyone knowing they were gay. You gotta admire that kind of effort.

.

Republican Senator Larry Craig.   Gay - with children.

Republican Senator Larry Craig.   Imagine the effort.

.

But now it seems that more and more homosexuals go out of their way to appear “gay” by embodying gay stereotypes.  I see lesbians every day with short hair, often wearing bandanas on their heads, dressed in flannel shirts, wearing extra-long baggy cargo/plaid/khaki shorts and walking in Doc Martins or Birkenstocks.

.

.

(If you are a woman and I just described what you look like, and you are not gay, I’m sorry, but it isn’t my fault: you look like a lesbian).

Every day I see effeminate, lisping, mincing, fastidious, fashion-forward, musical theater loving guys who “simply adore” Betty Davis, and who go out of their way to demonstrate that they throw like a girl. (“Here! Catch!  Don’t I throw like a girl?”)


But I am not one to judge.  I mean that in a literal sense.  I tried it, and I was a terrible judge.  I couldn’t really accept the whole “innocent until proven guilty” slogan.  I mean, if the accused might be innocent, then why were they in jail?  They must have done something wrong, right?  When I found out judges are supposed to be “impartial” I realized I am not one to judge.

Not as easy as it looks.

Not as easy as it looks.

.

Neither am I here to debate the issue.  I am not here to say whether the advent of open homosexuality is good or bad.  The last thing I want to do is get involved in a argument over whether homosexuality is a naturally occurring condition – like red hair and freckles – or a mental disease like acute schizophrenia that can be treated with intensive psychotherapy or drugs or even institutionalization.

.

.

As far as I am concerned, both positions have merit, but I don’t want to get involved.

In all honesty, there is a limit to my ability to embrace this brave new world.  I feel I speak for many heterosexuals when I say that there is a certain “ick” factor associated with the concept, if not the practice, of homosexuality.

.

.

We heterosexuals are trying to keep open minds, but we are wired this way and cannot help finding the picture below sort of unsettling on a visceral level.

.

.

And let’s not forget the problems inherent in the persistent argument that the gay lifestyle is an abomination in the eyes of God.  I mean, Leviticus 18:23 really complicates the whole discussion, doesn’t it?

.

Repressed homosexuals

Repressed homosexual (the one holding the signs).

.

But I digress.  The point I am trying to make is that there are lots of homosexuals out there and I might as well point out the ones I like.  Here is a quick list of the homosexuals I approve of:

.

Ellen DeGeneres:


Ellen is American’s Gay Sweetheart.

.

.

She is smart.  She is funny.   She replaced Paula Abdul on American Idol.

When you see Ellen it is easy to overlook that she prefers to have sex with women.


.

Karl Rove:

.

Karl is one of my favorite homosexuals because he defeats the gay stereotype that male homosexuals are fastidious, well groomed and fashionable.  He does this by being fat and sloppy.  Snap! You go, Karl!

.

.

And, to give balance to this column, my least favorite homosexuals are….

.

Elton John:

.

Elton hasn’t had a hit for years and that thing on his head is clearly a toupee.  Come on, Elton: spend the money.

.

Rosie O’Donnell:

.

I detest Rosie O’Donnell.  She is a loud-mouthed, annoying, pompous, self-important, corpulent idiot.  She discredits all homosexuals – especially the fat, ugly ones.


Well, that’s it for my thoughts on homosexuality.  I think I’ll have a beer and watch High School Musical. That show is totally gay.

.



.

Film Review: DISTRICT 9

Posted in Cinema, Review on August 15, 2009 by paulboylan

DSC00679

I haven’t been around here for a while, but something just happened that compels me to update this blog: I saw District 9.

I cannot say anything about it other than “go see it.”  You will be glad you did.  I will pay money to see it again, and that hasn’t happened for a while.

If you don’t usually like science fiction, go see it anyway.  This isn’t your typical science fiction movie any more than Citizen Kane is merely a movie about an old rich guy who died.

I predict it will be the surprise run-away hit of the summer – not because it is a great movie, but because it is an utterly unexpected pleasure.

Hes not a hero. Hes not the savior. Forget what you know. Hes just a man whos circumstances went beyond his control.

He's not a hero. He's not the savior. Forget what you know. He's just a man who's circumstances went beyond his control.

.

MOST OF THE RUMORS ARE FALSE

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, Website of the Week on July 14, 2009 by paulboylan

Coming soon.

One of my regular readers – who goes only by the name “Penelope” – recently wrote:

“I bet your getting a good laff  writing about me in the valley smear laff it up jew boy I heard that the departement of justise is gonna file charges against you for getting fired for lying to elected officials! ha! they are on there way to arrest you right now I heard that you are cheating on your wife with oriental illegal aliens who dont speak english we should send them back where they come from along with all the other illegal aliens who wont speak English and welfare cheats and homisexual liberals I hope your afraid because of the stuff I heard about you from reliable sorses like my neighbors and other reliable sorses like my other neighbors and other people who know things about you that they heard from reliable sorses”

Penelope’s comment highlights a growing problem: what do you do when you hear rumors, especially when you hear them from people you trust, who probably heard them from people they trust, and so on, and so on?

.

.

.

.

As Penelope’s email shows, there isn’t much you can do when confronted by a rumor other than spread the rumor and, if you spend most of your day on the internet, it is pretty easy to spread a rumor farther than ever possible before.  But what is an average individual supposed to do?

.

.

.

.

An ordinary person really can’t do much to verify or disprove a rumor – especially the kind that is either started or spread by anonymous people on the Internet.  I, on the other hand, am not an ordinary person.  In addition to having webbed toes, I am fortunate to be an attorney with the skills and the connections needed to round up answers and get to the bottom of things – which means I can verify rumors.

.

.

dr_strangelove

.

.

So, as a service to a community that has been very good to me, I investigated some of the more prevalent and persistent rumors currently floating around and have determined whether they are true or not. I want to start with something personal, and then go on to rumors of a more general interest.

Rumor No. 1:  I am Jewish.

.

Superficial similarities.

Superficial similarities.

.

.

This rumor is false.  I really have no idea how it got started or why it continues to spread. People keep sending me emails arguing that the Holocaust was a “Jew plot” to discredit the Nazis. People call me to complain about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Complete strangers walk up to me on the street to ask me when the next Barbara Streisand movie is coming out.

.

.

We all know each other.

We all know each other.

.

.

To set the record straight, I am not Jewish: I am Greek Orthodox, a faith that prides itself on being the oldest continuous version of Christianity.  Despite some similarities – e.g., Greeks have big noses, are notoriously cheap, are smarter than goyum (i.e., non-Greeks) and control the media – Judaism and Greek Orthodoxy have very little in common.  And then there are the goat sacrifices – which I would rather not get into right now.

.

.

Hilarious at parties.

Hilarious at parties.

.

.

Rumor No. 2:  The words “Butte County” mean something obscene in Latin.

Knows what it means.

Knows what it means.

.

.

This rumor is false.  “Butte County” has no Latin meaning whatsoever.  The word “butte” is French, meaning “a small hill or mound of earth detached from any mountain range”  Coincidentally, “Butte County” mean “socially embarrassed potato” in Swahili.

The persistent rumor that “Butte County” is a foreign obscenity can be traced to a printing accident that took place shortly after Butte County was founded in 1850.  Butte County’s first Clerk,  the legendary Earnest H. Sockmender, ordered stationery that mistakenly read “Butt County.”  The mistake wasn’t discovered until 1853 when famed actress and exotic dancer Lola Montez was performing at the Yellow Foot Saloon in Biggs.

.

.

Lola Montez

Lola Montez

.

.

Rumor No. 3  Glenn County was founded by an insane polygamist wheat farmer who used a private militia to force the Colusa County Council, at gunpoint, to “let go of” the land that eventually became Glenn County.

.

The Battle for Glenn County.

The Battle for Glenn County.

.

\.

This rumor is false.  Dr. Hugh J. Glenn – the prominent California wheat farmer and amateur dentist that Glenn County is named after – was not insane.

.

.

Rumor No. 4:  Glenn County Superintendent of Schools, Arturo Barrera, is really a woman.

.

.

Arturo Barrera

Arturo Barrera

.

.

Despite my very best research and investigative efforts, I can neither confirm nor deny this allegation.  Barrera’s bodyguards – who seem to be with him 24 hours a day – make it impossible to get close enough to perform the examination necessary to either confirm or disprove the rumor. However, I’ve eaten with Arturo, and I can tell you from first hand experience that no woman can devour a bucket of fried chicken that fast or that vigorously.

.

.

.

.

The next few rumors are relatively recent, and seem to be part of an attempt to explain why the Glenn County Superior Court decided to remodel a courtroom scheduled to be closed, and then spent more money in attorney’s fees than the remodeling cost trying to keep the remodeling details secret.

.

Rumor No. 5:  Retired Glenn County Judge St. Evans killed a guy and hid his body in a “man-sized safe” for a time period longer than the one recommended by the Judicial Counsel. The “remodeling” was a cover story created to explain efforts to remove the evidence.

.

Dont go in their closets.

Chambers of Mystery.

.

.

This rumor is false and, frankly, it offends me that anyone would repeat it.  It is simply unbelievable that any judge would kill anyone (except for those two judges in Los Angeles) and violate the Judicial Council’s standards for body storage/disposal (again, except for those same two judges in Los Angeles).   Also, hiding evidence of judicial misconduct doesn’t explain the decision to install high-tech infrared remote controlled automatic window shades.

.

.

Rumor 6: The Orland judge’s chambers remodeling project cost so much money because they are building a trans-dimensional portal that will be used by evil insectoid aliens to invade the earth and use people for food.

.

It would look a lot like this.

.

This rumor is seductive, lulling the listener into believe it because it explains so much.  People wonder why such a large amount of money was spent to remodel a room so tiny, but a trans-dimensional portal could easily fit in that tiny space with room to spare.  The large amounts of money spent trying to keep the project details secret is also explained by the need to prevent humans from finding out about the plan before it is too late to stop it.  Even the high tech electronic automatic window shades are explainable because it is well known that insectoid alien monsters – hungry for human flesh – are notoriously light sensitive.

.

.

Dislikes direct sunlight.

Dislikes direct sunlight.

.

.

However, no matter how tempting it is to believe this rumor, I cannot confirm it, and it is my firm opinion that it is probably untrue.

In closing,  I want to say that I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords and would like to take this opportunity to remind them that, as an attorney and lobbyist, I can be helpful in rounding up others to serve as a food source during their stay on our world – and I am willing to do it at a very low hourly rate.

.

.

Such a deal, eh?

Such a deal, eh?

.

.

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF INTERNET “NEWS”

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week with tags on May 20, 2009 by paulboylan


The author (front) and his brother, Dave (back).

The author (front) and his brother, Dave (back).

y Paul Nicholas Boylan,
Columnis

People of Earth, I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that very soon virtually everyone on earth will be able to easily and cheaply access the Internet.

Even really, really poor people.

It is happening so fast no one can keep up or predict where or how it will end.  Computers and telephones with wireless connections to the World Wide Web are spreading even through the poorest parts of Africa – even though there is no electrical infrastructure there. The people who live in those retched places are using solar energy to power their small, inexpensive internet devices.  And that means people from Port-au-Prince to Benghazi can watch television reruns on Hulu, watch weird videos on YouTube and look down upon their huts and refugee camps using the satellite images from Google Earth.

.

.

Now for the bad news. Even though we are entering a brave new world promising incredible access to information, a lot of the information available is absolute junk.  This true especially for the news.

.

IH071413

.

The problem is found in the system itself.  Every major newspaper and every major Internet service provider offers a news page where anyone can browse the headlines for free.  Google has a news page.  Yahoo has a news page.  Microsoft has a news page.

.

.

But there just isn’t enough news to fill those pages.  Our opportunities to find news on the Internet are growing faster than the news itself.  There just isn’t enough happening that is newsworthy to post on the Internet for you and me to read.

In the past, during the golden age of journalism, great newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times and the Weekly World News pledged to report “all of the news that is fit to print.”  Please read that promise carefully:  all of the news that is fit to print.  That implies that not all news is suitable to be put in a newspaper.  Some stories are just too trivial or too stupid to make it past an editor.  Traditionally, only the most interesting, most helpful and/or most topical stories made it into print.  In other words, quality mattered.

.

.

It isn’t that way any more.  In this new age of fast information access, quality has lost its meaning and importance. Now quantity is king.  Electronic space, millions of times larger than all of the newspapers that have ever been printed, needs to be filled with something.

.

Think about it.

The results are simply bizarre, and – truth be told – a little frightening.  When the quality of information loses its importance, the quality of thought and reason suffers.

For example, just yesterday I read the following headline on the Google News website:

“NAVAJOS LARGELY UNSCATHED BY RECESSION”

I want you to think about this headline.  It basically reports that the group of Native Americans more commonly called Navajos – who are perhaps one of the poorest people in the United States, suffering from lack of education, lack of health care and double digit unemployment – are not really being affected by the recent economic down turn.  And why? Because they are already dirt poor, that’s why.

 

The news article quoted some idiot who explained why the Great Recession isn’t really being noticed on Navajo reservations:

“Most Navajos own their own homes, tend not to invest in the stock market and have long had difficulties borrowing money, distinguishing them from millions of other Americans who’ve suffered from rising mortgage payments, sinking 401(k) retirement accounts and stricter terms from lenders.”

If you are not totally amazed at the abject stupidity of this “news” then perhaps I can help you understand by suggesting a headline that would be equally stupid for exactly the same reasons:

“RECENT STUDY SHOWS DEAD PEOPLE HAVE FEWER HEALTH PROBLEMS”

Navajos are not affected by the Great Recession for the exact same reason why dead people don’t get sick: because they are already in such bad shape that it just doesn’t matter.  Swine flu isn’t a problem for people who have died for the same reason unemployment isn’t a problem for people who already don’t have a job.  

You know what else impoverished Navajos aren’t affected by? The increase in swimming pool maintenance fees and the rising price of caviar.

.

Lucky Navajos!

.

The fact that our banks won’t lend any money doesn’t matter to people who could never get a loan anyway. Reporting this kind of stuff as “news” is like reporting thathpigs are born small but grow big.lIt isn’t news. It is an observation dressed up and presented to look like news.

.

.

It gets worse.  Not only are stupid things reported, but also stupid people are actually allowed to make the news itself.  For example, yesterday I also read the following headline:

“STEELERS LINEBACKER HARRISON WON’T VISIT WHITE HOUSE

Here is what happened: President Obama invited Super Bowl champions Pittsburgh Steelers to the White House.  Linebacker James Harrison refused to go because Obama “would probably have invited Arizona if they had won.”

.

Harrison is the one in the air.

Harrison is the one in the air.

.

Excuse me? Is he kidding? No, he is not kidding, and that is exactly what is wrong with this “news” article.  He is one serious intellectually challenged American style football player. I mean, what the f**k.  Seriously, what the f**k? Is there anything inside his cranium at all?

Mr. Harrison – if I may address you personally – please try to understand that being angry with the President because Obama would have invited the other team if they had won is just as stupid as a man divorcing his wife because, if she had not agreed to marry him, she would probably have married someone else.

Oh hell. I sincerely hope Harrison doesn’t read this, because if he does, he is going to agree and divorce his wife. I do not want to be responsible for that or anything like it.  I am sure they are a happy couple. I mean, I bet Harrison’s wife takes advantage of his lack of mental acuity to do just about anything she wants.

“Hey, honey, who is that in our bed making love to you?”

“No one, sweety. You are dreaming.

“I am?”

“Yes, you are.”

“Okay!”

.

Harrison thinking.

Harrison thinking.

.

But I digress.  The point I originally wanted to make is that his stupid reason for not visiting the White House is just a stupid reason. It isn’t newsworthy.  Yet it has engulfed enormous space on the internet.

Navajos that are “lucky” because they are condemned to hopeless poverty and stupid football players aren’t newsworthy.  At best that is information devoid of usefulness or meaningful content.

Welcome to the Information Age.

.

********************

ZippyT.Pinhead writes:

” ‘Welcome to the Information Age?’ That is a terribly weak last line for an essay that is marginal at best.”

Zippy, I am forced by self-honesty to agree with your opinion that I ended the essay poorly. However, as for your assessment that the essay itself was somehow not up to scratch, I offer the following in rebuttal:

.

.

>

hailey young

HEADLINE – POLICE APPREHEND BIGGEST SERIAL KILLER

Posted in 3D, American Decline, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, dada, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Droit de Suite, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, music, News, Op Ed, Our animal friends, pandemic, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Website of the Week, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on May 1, 2009 by paulboylan


By Rhappi Kanasta, Ass. Press Writer – Thu Apr 30, 9:59 pm ET

LOS ANGELES – Police believe a 72-year-old insurance claims adjuster arrested earlier this month is the biggest serial killer in the city’s history.

“This guy is huge,” Capt. Denis Cremins said. “When we say we caught him laying around the house, we mean “around” the house.”

The suspect weighs over a metric ton and is so large that his arrest required two specially trained SWAT units just to put him in improvised handcuffs originally used to restrain emotionally unstable, bipolar hippos at the Los Angeles Zoo.

“We trained in Iraq, so my men are familiar with morbidly obese perpetrators,” Denis said. “But this is way beyond my experience.  How could he let that happen to him? He should be ashamed of himself.”

Serial killers often over-eat, said FBI profiler, David Carr. “It really is a big problem and it can lead to clinical depression. Without counseling and medical intervention, a serial killer’s uncontrollable appetite for fast food eventually interferes with their predatory activities, and when that happens suicidal thoughts are not uncommon” Carr explained.

.

Source for headline:  http://largest-ever-serial-killer-captured.html

THERE IS IRONY HERE, IF YOU LOOK DEEP ENOUGH

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something? with tags on April 11, 2009 by paulboylan

wipenose

Let’s talk about funny.

I won’t bore you describing the tiny tragedies of my beginnings.  We’ve all suffered, and, when viewed in proper perspective, all suffering is trivial.  When the self-indulgent drama is brushed aside, I best remember laughter.  Through it all, the darkness was split and punctuated by laughter.

Samuel Clemens is famously misquoted as saying “man is the only animal that laughs, or needs to.”  The first time I heard that quote I understood it thoroughly.  Humanity was born the moment a cold, hungry, shivering animal looked around at the noise, waste and horror – and laughed – because there was nothing else to do about it but laugh.

I vaguely remember pain and dread.  Then something happened, something I still struggle to understand.  I concluded it was good and right to encourage others to laugh.

At first it was my immediate family, in particular my mother.  Her laughter was special.  But so was my older brother and younger sister’s.  It was a simple thing that cost nothing, but made so much difference for those brief moments in time.  Light in the darkness.  Trembling, tentative order forced out of chaos by the simple act of willing it to be so.  For a brief moment, the Power of Creation, the shadow of what it must feel like to be a god.

Funnier than thou

Funnier than thou

.

And so it continued, it was and it has always been.  When all is said and done, the truest, strongest, most meaningful bond I share with my wife is laughter.  Slowly, time robs us of everything that brought us together, but shared laughter holds us close.

.

And our son – our only child.   I am a proud father.  My son is shaping up to be a good man – a better man than his father.  I am proud that his mind is sharp. I am grateful that, unlike his old man, he is truly kind and caring. But I am most proud of his fine and complex sense of humor.  It is the one gift I hoped to give him, valued above intellect and heart because the mind and the spirit are subsumed by it.   One cannot be truly funny unless one is smart and sensitive.

.

God doesn’t laugh.  I’m not kidding: look it up.  God laughs exactly twice in the Old Testament and not at all in the New – and both times in the Old He laughs “in derision.”

.

.

Humans laugh.  Only we humans.  And that is absolute proof that God loves us.  Animals are too busy living from moment to moment to laugh.  Angels are too perfect to so much as crack a smile.  But we beautifully flawed humans not only laugh, we are inspired to make – to help – to encourage – others to laugh too.  It is a kindness only we know.  It is a blessing only we can bestow.  It is a light only we can spark.

I love to make people laugh.  It is my connection to the infinite.   It is the absurdity that makes total sense.

And that is enough.

That and money.  Lots of money.  And sex.  Kinky sex – not the “man on top, get it over with quick” kind of sex.  And champagne – the good French stuff, not cheap California swill. And double-jointed women – two, whenever possible.

Fiat lux, oh my brothers and sisters.

.

green_lantern_10

6a00e552e19fa3883300e554ca89968834-800wi

cute-bunny-2

robmonster

113890

rotwang

stlouisshag-jpeg1

cheerleader

1youngfrankenstein

dr_strangelove

wolf-359

FILM REVIEWS: MONSTERS V. ALIENS and WATCHMEN

Posted in 3D, Cinema, Getting it Right, Hapax Legomenon, It's not what you think, Nichola Tesla, Paying Attention, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on March 28, 2009 by paulboylan

Monsters v. Aliens:

 

Tell me why a giant cute girl with Reese Witherspoon's voice is a monster?

I didn’t like this movie. Let me tell you why.

When I spend hard cash – that is more and more difficult to come by these days – to buy a ticket so that I can sit in the dark with a bunch of strangers, in order for the investment to be worthwhile I need to be able to suspend my disbelief enough to forget for those few moments that I am sitting in a theater watching a movie.

That’s why I don’t see movies starring Sean Penn. Granted, he is a great actor, but he is so good that I spend the entire movie saying to myself “wow, that Sean Penn is such a terrific actor!” Penn is the kind of actor that never lets you forget you are watching a film. And I want to forget I am watching a film.

I go to see movies that I hope will have sufficient story with characters I can care about enough played by capable actors to allow me the opportunity to forget I’m sitting and watching a movie. If I cannot suspend my disbelief enough to do that, then I feel I’ve wasted my money.

Monsters v. Aliens was a fun movie, but the very structure of the film – its very conceit – has nothing to do with providing a story sufficient to allow the audience to forget where they are. The purpose of the film is to showcase 3-D animation technology. The whole thing is designed to provide opportunities for the filmmakers to throw things at the audience.

Granted, the technology works great. I actually ducked a few times as stuff came at me out of the screen. But I don’t go to the movies to have things thrown at me. If I want that, I can stay home and experience the same thing for a whole lot less money and trouble. All I have to do is tell my wife that her cooking stinks, and I assure you that in a nanosecond a plate will be in the air with a trajectory terminating at my head, followed by glassware and cutlery.

.

.

So, to sum up, Monsters v. Aliens gets a thumbs down from Professor Boylan.

 

Watchmen:

 

The Comedian: the joke is that there is no joke.

The Comedian: the joke is that there is no joke.

 

I loved this movie. Let me tell you why.

First, I hated the comic book.  “Graphic novel” my ass.  It was a bunch of comic books bundled together and then sold as a novel.  The Watchmen graphic novel is the literary equivalent of what banks did with subprime mortgages when they bundled them up and sold them as securities.

The comic book is bloated and silly, with an end stolen from an old Outer Limits episode entitled “The Architects of Fear.”  The buzz behind the “graphic novel” is hype, and the fan boys are fools.

When I saw the previews on Youtube, I was optimistic, but the film’s reviews overwhelmingly claimed that the film’s fatal flaw was that it was too true to the original comic book.  My son’s mediocre review significantly diminished my expectations.  I waited for the hype to die down.

So I bought my ticket, sat with around twenty other people (most of them sitting alone), watched the previews (which enjoyed – I cannot wait to see the next Terminator movie) and expected to sit through a long and ponderous exercise in lost opportunities. I went in expecting to spend almost three hours cringing at clumsy cinemagraphic moments. Instead, I very quickly lost myself in the story and the characters.

Then I thought about it afterwards and conclude the film is brilliant.  I realized that I just witnessed something I’ve never seen before, expertly crafted to communicate the message that inspired the original comic book, but that got lost in the padding and nonsense that even graphic novels cannot resist.

The primary message of the Watchmen is that anyone who wants to put on a mask and fight crime is probably deeply disturbed.  And I mean deeply. The secondary but no less important message is that, if there really was a Superman, both he and Lois Lane would be tragic figures – and just the existence of a superman would be detrimental to the world as a whole.

Watchmen isn’t satire or parody – it is an anti-comic book. Comic books are all about adolescent fantasy, and the Watchmen comic book/graphic novel is no exception.  The film, however, is about brutal realities.

The visuals are faithful to the original – which is great: if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.  But the story is significantly different in ways that improves the original.  And the performances provided nuance and depth that only cinema can achieve.  The characters of Dr. Manhattan, the Comedian and Rorschach will haunt me for some time.

And that is the most anyone can really hope for from a film.

I highly recommend this marvelous film.

 

A DREAM DEFERRED

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, good guys and bad guys, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, 스타게이트유니버스, ανόητο άτομα, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Money and Power, music, News, Nichola Tesla, ученые, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, rimshot wav download, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Great State of Montana!, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, Vegemite, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, טילים, سياسة on March 17, 2009 by paulboylan

.

My house was recently remodeled, and I am disappointed. To make matters worse, my disappointment is causing me to question my goals and dreams.

.

Me, standing in the wreckage of my dreams...

Me, standing in the wreckage of my dreams...

.

My disappointment has nothing to do with the work that was done.  The construction company that did the work – North State Residential Development – did a great job.

.

.

renovation3-0771

renovation4andlesmis-021

Rob - God of Electricity and other stuff

Rob - God of Electricity and other stuff

.

The work was performed on time and on budget.  North State more or less built me a new home in five months.  No one in my neighborhood believed it was possible.  But these guys worked on weekends, in the dark and even in the rain to get the job done.

.

.

renovation4andlesmis-083

renovation4andlesmis-087

The men responsible for my bitter disappointment.

The men responsible for my bitter disappointment.

.

But every time I look at my new home I cannot put behind me the hopes I had when I originally decided to remodel my home. You see, I am an evil genius, and that means I have always wanted a secret lair. Allow me to explain.

There are lots of evil geniuses in the world – but they are not all created equal.Sure, there are high profile evil geniuses sitting around in big chairs, stroking persian cats and using their genius to plan and execute diabolical plans to threaten the world with the goal of getting rich.

.

My role model - Ernst Stavro Blofeld

My role model - Ernst Stavro Blofeld

.

Despite these few “stars” most evil geniuses live very humble lives. We have families. We go to church on Sundays.


Secretly evil.

Secretly evil.

.

But we live secret lives where we dream of threatening humanity with extinction in order to become enormously wealthy.

.

evil-smiley-face

.

I am that kind of evil genius.  My extreme evil and my uncanny genius are well established.  How else do you explain my otherwise unexplainable success?  I’ve spent my life crafting a respectable persona that hides my secret evil identity – Professor Iniquitous.  Over the years I have hatched countless ingenious plans for taking over the world – none of which I have been able to execute.

.

.

blueprint

.

There is one primary reason why I haven’t taken over the world yet.  It isn’t the lack of sufficient evil.  If the editors over at Merriam Webster knew about me,  the word “evil” in their dictionary would have my picture next to it.  And I do not lack for genius.  I am always the smartest guy in the room and I know all of the answers to questions asked on television quiz shows.  Nevertheless, I lack the one thing that all successful evil geniuses possess:  membership in the Amalgamation of Evil Geniuses (AEG).

.

.

incorporated

.

The AEG is an international labor union that more or less controls all evil genius activity on this planet.  You can’t really be an evil genius without belonging to AEG.  And to join AEG you must have a secret lair – a private place to conduct your evil experiments and hatch your evil plans.

.

.

steampunk-office4

.

So when my wife and I talked about remodeling our home, I was very excited about the possibilities of including a secret lair in the project.With a secret lair, I finally had a chance of joining AEG – and after that happened, it was only a matter of time before the world would be mine.

.

.

ist2_751755-businessman-s-hands-holding-globe

.

.

The contractor at North State loved the idea.I talked to their architect, who drew up the plans and even made a 3D computer simulation of what my secret lair would look like after it was built.I sat there in the architect’s office as he showed me my underground secret lair – my future laboratory, my control room, my nuclear missile silo, my shark tank and the kitchen where my evil minions could microwave hot pocket snacks.It was a dream come true.

.

.

lost-wall-748621

.

Then I saw the price.  Underground lairs are very, very expensive.  So we began to reduce the project. The shark tank was the first thing to go.  I really didn’t need a shark tank.I could use other means to dispose of the secret agents sent to stop me.

.

pv05

.

Then I gave up the missile silo.Nuclear weapons were old fashioned. I could eventually replace the nuclear missile with a much less expensive death ray.

.

.

death_ray_1

.

Even with these sacrifices, the costs associated with a secret lair were just too high to afford. More and more of what I wanted was cut away until eventually I was left with what amounts to a secret closet in the garage.

.

.

291873758rmcvbj_ph

Don’t get me wrong:the closet is very secret.  Unless you knew what to look for you wouldn’t really notice it.  But it is still a closet.  I can stand in it, but that’s about it.  I really cannot use it to menace the world.

And that is exactly what AEG told me when I sent them a picture of my secret closet attached to my membership application.They wrote and told me

The AEG New Member Selection Committee has decided to hold onto your application until such time that you improve upon your secret lair to meet or exceed AEG’s secret lair standards as described in the AEG publication “So You Think You Have a Secret Lair…” a copy of which is enclosed for your convenience.

.

.

doctor-no-lair-design

.

So I guess my plans for world domination are going to have to wait.  Maybe I should reconsider this whole evil genius thing.In the meantime, I am using my secret closet to store some gardening supplies…

Wait! That gives me an idea – a beautifully evil idea!  I can infect seemingly ordinary gardening supplies to spread bacteria genetically engineered to transform people from home gardeners into an army of zombie slaves!  Mooohahahahah!!

.

.

madscientist_21

.

I am back, baby!

.

REVIEW – WATCHMEN – WHAT MY SON THOUGHT

Posted in Review with tags on March 7, 2009 by paulboylan

 

My nare-do-well liberal son has a knack for summarizing complex systems into simple language. In Hollywood, we call that “high concept.”  Late last night he saw Watchmen. This morning I asked him what he thought of the film and he said:

“There were too many good things about it to be disappointed but too many bad things about it to be happy with the result.”

Fair enough. I am no longer in any hurry to see Watchmen, but do look forward to seeing it eventually.

DISAPPOINTED WITH OBAMA

Posted in Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV with tags on February 24, 2009 by paulboylan


day

People of Earth, we have a new President of the United States, the honeymoon is over, and I miss George Bush.

You may think that the “honeymoon” I speak of is the bipartisan cooperation that traditionally follows a presidential election. During this “honeymoon period,” a newly elected president – either in their first term or re-elected for their second term – can make big changes without much debate. George Washington himself used his “honeymoon period” to support legislation prohibiting discrimination against short people – or, in the parlance of the times “persons of diminutive stature.” Many experts consider this the beginning of what was to become the American Civil Rights Movement.

 

 

Other American Presidents failed to take advantage of their honeymoon period to shape our nation through new legislation. For example, Martin Van Buren hosted nude swimming parties in a pond outside of the White House.

 

Martin Van Buren - party animal.

Martin Van Buren - party animal.

 

Millard Filmore conducted eldritch surgical experiments involving humans and animals.

 

 

Chester A. Arthur required all members of his cabinet to wear masks that looked exactly like him and insisted that, whenever they met, everyone refer to one another only as “Luigi.”

 

 

Such presidential frivolities ended when their respective honeymoons were over.

George W. Bush took full advantage of his honeymoon to enact a tax break for rich people, which not only pissed away a $128 billion budget surplus, but also is one of the primary causes for the $3 trillion deficit Bush left us with – as well as the first domino that fell in the chain of events that created what is shaping up to be a world-wide economic depression.

 


"You want your prosperity back? I got your prosperity right here..."

But the kind of honeymoon that allowed George Washington and George W. Bush to cement their places in history isn’t the “honeymoon” I am talking about. And I am not talking about Obama’s “honeymoon” being over. He didn’t have one. The honeymoon I am talking about is the one between Obama and the American people. All honeymoons end when the mystery vanishes, and there is no mystery about what the Obama administration is going to do.

The next four years are going to be boring – incredibly, mind-numbingly boring.

 

Modern Americans may pick their president with the hopes that they will lead wisely, but we value our presidents, not for their wisdom, but for their entertainment value. It started with John Kennedy. We picked him because he looked good on television. The drama of his presidency – from the Cuban missile crisis to his horrifically tragic assassination – riveted our attention.

 

 

Lyndon Johnson turned out to be entertainingly crazy.

 

 

 

You can’t beat Richard Nixon for entertainment value.

 

 

Gerald Ford is remembered more for falling down a lot than for any of his policy achievements.

 

 

Jimmy Carter continues to entertain us by simply refusing to go away.

 

 

Ronald Reagan, for all his faults and strengths, was fun to listen to and watch.

 

 

George Bush Senior endlessly delighted us by not knowing what a supermarket price scanner was and by having horse manure thrown at him in Brazil.

 

 

Bill Clinton’s rise and fall reminded us of a Greek drama where the hero is a great leader, brought down by a fatal flaw – i.e., an uncontrollable passion for chubby interns.

 

 

Bill Clintons drug of choice.

Bill Clinton's drug of choice.

And America didn’t vote for George Bush as much as we voted against Al Gore because Gore was painfully dull.

 

 

 

 

After only a few weeks in office, it is abysmally clear that we are not going to be entertained by the Obama administration. We made the mistake of choosing a president who is a good family man and thinks through virtually everything he does or says. There will be no improvisation in the Obama administration.

 

 

Which is why I miss George W. Bush. Sure, he was an utter disaster, leaving everything he touched or even considered worse off than it was before it captured his attention. Sure, he made a lot of his rich friends even richer, but the way he did it wrecked the ship we all live on, and – rich or poor – we are all going down as it sinks. As my good for nothing liberal son points out, and I cannot argue against, no single person in the history of the world has left more people around the world worse off for his passing than has George W. Bush.

 

 

But I digress. The point is that, for all his faults – or maybe because of them – George W. Bush was incredibly entertaining. Every time he opened his mouth, something amazing might come out.

 

 

I especially enjoyed watching and listening to Bush mangle the English language as if he were a developmentally disabled eight year old. For example, he referred to himself as “the decider.” He made up his own words, like “subliminable” and “misunderestimate.” You had to laugh when you heard him say things like “I know how hard it is to put food on your family.”

 

foodfight

 

Well, none of that is going to happen in an Obama administration. He is just going to plod along, thinking things through, making sense, grappling with problems no one can solve – and just being no fun to watch or listen to at all.

 

 

Unless I am misunderestimating him.

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers