6-30-04 (02:47)
  • updated movies list.
  • also made some changes to the best of movies page. added best soundtracks/scores and best film characters. also added an index of best films by year for easier/quicker navigating.
  • my arm didn't hurt much today until about 7pm. right now it hurts, but not as badly as it did 24 hours ago. don't know what's wrong.
  • two days of work and then a few days off.

  • 6-29-04 (00:44)

  • so fahrenheit 9/11 did almost as much in a weekend (21 million) as bowling for columbine did in its entire run (22 million). this is impressive for several reasons...it's a documentary so that's huge for a documentary, it's the first time a documentary opened at as the number one movie, and it's rated R. films with an R rating don't generally do as well as the PG and PG-13 movies. in fact a lot of films edit the content down to get a pg-13 rating. so congratulations to michael moore and his new movie. i have to be honest though, i have mixed feelings in seeing his movie blow up the way it has. it's like seeing an indie band you really like put out an album that becomes huge. maybe green day fans felt this way when "dookie" came out. i'm sure there are better comparisons, but that's the first independent band with a huge breakout album that i thought of.
  • i have tomorrow off.
  • "Just FYI, according to Moore (speaking to the USA Today) the film will be available on DVD by September and will include new footage and commentary not in the theatrical release. "Among scenes being considered: additional footage of U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and man-in-the-street interviews Moore commissioned in 30 countries in which participants are asked what they love - and hate - about the USA.""
  • that's even quicker than i anticipated. good stuff.
  • for some reason my left arm hurts quite a bit when i raise it in front of me. if i reach to grab something i feel a sharp pain from my elbow to my shoulder. it feels like a nerve problem rather than a muscle issue. i don't know what's wrong with my body.
  • "Market research leading up to the weekend had shown that the documentary would rank second or third at the box office after the two mainstream comedies. But "White Chicks" took in $19.6 million for the weekend on 2,726 screens, while "DodgeBall" took in $18.5 million on 3,020. "Fahrenheit 9/11," rated R, was released on 868 screens."
  • i'm trying to think of great landmarks in documentary history. nanook of the north is certainly the biggest because it's generally considered the first and it was a big success at the time. triumph of the will for obvious reasons. gimme shelter/don't look back are big ones. and now bowling for columbine, which is the film that made movies like "supersize me" and "fahrenheit 9/11" possible. there are probably a couple others i'm forgetting. those aren't necessarily the best, i'm just thinking of landmark documentaries in terms of what they did for the form.
  • ah yeah!

  • 6-28-04 (01:05)

  • updated movies list.
  • tracking democracies.
  • why do we continue to redesign our currency as often as we do? they say it's because counterfeiting is easier now because of readily available technology like scanners and high quality printers. but if i was a counterfeiter i wouldn't try to counterfeit new currency, i'd just counterfeit the old stuff. everyone honors the old currency and there enough of it out there that it doesn't raise any eyebrows. if someone tried to pass me a bill from 1910 then i'd be suspicious, but people don't generally think anything when they see a bill that's 20 years old, and those are relatively easy to counterfeit. i suppose it's a long-term strategy, but if that's the case then trying to stay ahead of the curve is impossible. people who want to counterfeit bills will figure out ways within a year and you can't pull old bills off the market anywhere near that quickly. it just seems like they're doing it to say they're doing something. though admittedly it's an uphill battle so i'm not knocking the treasury for the actions they've taken, it's just that there seems to be a notion that new bills equals better protection from counterfeits and that's not the case at all.

  • 6-27-04 (20:34)

  • heard a story on the radio about a study that found that 43% of the people polled felt they had "common sense." there were a bunch of other figures separated by geography, gender, etc. the study found that when given a test, only 7% of the people actually had common sense. there are so many things wrong with this i don't know where to start. first, if it's common sense and it's not common (only 7% of people have it) then it's a paradox. secondly, it's common sense that common sense is relative. for example, somebody from the hood knows it's common sense to bring some heat when going out to acquire drugs from a new source. for some rich guy it's common sense to have a tax-sheltered offshore account in case he divorces his wife... how does one measure "common sense"? i think what they really mean by it is logic, which of course could be deconstructed as well, but i'd have to use logic and that would, again, be a paradox. how can you defeat the validity of logic by using logic? the ability of logic to defeat itself would be testament to its power which would then revalidate itself. at least that's my thinking.
  • i like the word "pedantic." it's the only word i can think of off the top of my head that makes a person it just by using it. that is, in using the word you become it. i suppose that's a matter of opinion because some might consider the word common place...at any rate, it's a good word.

  • 6-27-04 (02:29)

  • updated movies list.
  • this month has gone by pretty quickly.
  • i have two days of work, then a day off, then two days of work then three days off.
  • today i didn't do much of anything. i cleaned up a bit and did some laundry, but i slept more than i should have and watched three movies.

  • 6-26-04 (03:47)

  • updated movies list.
  • i don't know why i'm still awake.
  • if i'm michael moore i'm gunning for october 19th as a dvd release date for fahrenheit 9/11.

  • 6-25-04 (01:28)

  • fahrenheit 9/11 has 2,203 votes on imdb.com (6.4 rating) and it hasn't been released yet. i don't think i can wait to watch it so i'm planning on waking up early tomorrow and catching the first show of the day before i have work. i wouldn't doubt a 10 million dollar opening week for 9/11. relative to spiderman or something similar $10 million is pretty weak, but for a documentary it's great.
  • "the big one" is the film that is most strictly a documentary, the other films are more along the line of film essays. the big one is also the least popular of his films.
  • bowling for columbine had a price reduction lately, it's now only 14.99 so pick it up if you haven't already.
  • updated movies list.
  • this is fucking hilarious.

  • 6-24-04 (01:04)

  • updated movies list.
  • Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
  • the last few days have been pretty nice. on sunday luke stopped by and we had lunch and a nice chat. on monday jon stopped by work and gave me a bomb ass birthday present. on tuesday i got a free subway sandwich for filling out some credit card applications (i faked all my information so i don't have to worry about actually getting them). and today i got free pizza at work and found out that i got my birthday off. i also got eight free dvds in the mail from one of the product representatives who comes by work on occasion. i'm looking forward to checking them out.
  • found a book on amazon called "one stop shopping: the west's love affair with laziness." seems like a good idea for a book. it details who obsessed with a one-stop lifestyle we westerners are...from religion to walmart to vegas style weddings (where you get a tux, a cake, and a certificate all in one neat package).
  • actually i just made that book up, but it seems like a viable enough topic on which to write a book.
  • i saw a commercial on tv yesterday (not kidding this time) that had some prison worker talking about getting beaten by out of control (black) prisoners because (this was her reasoning) our budget for state prisons is too low. more prison guards means fewer riot-like outbreaks, so the logic goes. my first thought was: why don't we start treating drug users and other non-violent offenders like human beings? fewer people of this ilk being caged like animals means less strain on the prison system. that's the short term solution. the long term solution is spending more money on education so people have a greater range of options later in life. i fucking hate stupid people.
  • "as governor, bush came to oversee, in molly ivins' words, "the largest prison system on the planet earth." according to a study published in august 2000 by the justice policy institute in washington d.c., texas - population 20 million - has over 163,000 of its citizens in jail, with well over 700,000 under some form of juridical control. with one out of every twenty of the state's adults in prison, on parole, or on probation, texas can account for one fifth of all the people jailed throughout the nation in the 1990s. for every 100,000 of its citizens, texas has 700 behind bars - 248 more than the national average. if texas were a separate country, the jpi concluded, 'it would have a higher incarceration rate than russia, china, the u.s. , and the rest of the industrialized and nonindustrialized world.' such are the results, in texas, of the nation's 'drug war' - which is in fact a race war waged by legal means. although 72 percent of all illicit drug users are white and only 15 percent black, african-americans account for 36.8 of those arrested on drug charges, constituting 42 percent of those held in federal prisons for narcotics and nearly 60 percent of those held in state jails." pages 228-9, bush dyslexicon.
  • the hot topic in sacramento these days is the proposed downtown arena. arco arena (where the kings and monarchs play) is outdated and in disrepair so the team owners, and plenty others, want a new arena. the problem becomes one of funding. who is going to pay and what kind of plan are they going to adopt. the plans range from 200 -500 million bucks depending on how big the facility and surrounding areas are. the better plans seem to incorporate more rebuilding of the downtown area in general, with the new arena being its center. use fees (raising ticket prices) make sense, but won't fund the entire project and would make for a lame crowd (just look at the lakers games). i personally have never been a fan of raising ticket prices above, say, 15 bucks for the cheap seats (right now they're about 12, i think). i just think that sports teams should be accessible to all community members. these days there is much more emphasis on raising money from corporate interests (3com park, target center, pac bell park, arco arena etc.) which is unfortunate, but necessary. in the best cases the owners pay about 25% of the cost and the maloofs have consistently said they would pay whatever the going rate is. i hope that it becomes part of a greater revitalization effort in downtown and gets funding from corporate interests, the maloofs, the public, use fees and various taxes (i've heard suggestions like hotel taxes and other tourism-related activities).
  • Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
  • i like the sound of japanese and persian.
  • "The U.S. EPA reports that the volume of toxic pollutants released into the atmosphere increased by 5 percent in 2002 -- only the second increase since 1988, when the EPA started keeping track, and the largest -- but according to enviro groups, even that grim figure is a gross underestimation.  Immediately preceding the release of the EPA's annual Toxic Release Inventory, two groups, the Environmental Integrity Project and the Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention, released a report alleging that last year's TRI (covering 2001) underestimated the amount of 10 toxic pollutants by some 330 million pounds.  The groups criticized the EPA for allowing industrial plants to estimate emissions, using what the report calls outmoded formulas, rather than actually measuring them.  "The bottom line here," said Kelly Haragan of the EIP, "is that the public is being exposed to far more toxic air pollution than the EPA acknowledges.""

  • 6-22-04 (03:06)

  • updated movies list.
  • jon came by tower today on his way back from tahoe. he dropped off a birthday present from him and monique - a copy of "project hollywood" which looks like a pretty great book.
  • i need to finally get around to finishing the bush dyslexicon so i can get started on project hollywood.
  • updated wish list and recommendations.

  • 6-21-04 (00:25)

  • seven of the last eleven films i've seen have been foreign features.
  • need to watch more movies in the theater. 25 so far this year which is pretty good in absolute terms, but as a percentage of the total films i've seen this year (251), it's not that hot. i enjoy going to the theater, especially independent theaters...not because the movies are necessarily better, rather it's because the low budget chairs and theaters bring back good memories. plus, the trailers are for films that don't generally get press so they're almost always new to me.
  • updated movies list.
  • luke and i had lunch today. after work he came by to pick up a dvd. we talked about film and other things. it was a good time. i can't remember the last time i had a friend over, which makes me pretty lame.
  • at work we have these plastic cages around cds so that people can't open the cd case and steal the cd; we call them "keepers," which isn't a very thoughtful title. at any rate, one of the keepers was behind the counter with a post-it note on it that said "broke." under that, in a different color ink, someone else had written "as a joke." under that, again with a different pen and different handwriting, someone wrote "so throw it away!" i thought that was funny, and pathetic. i threw it away.
  • it seems a contradiction that american society is supposed to be so much about the individual and doing things for yourself, yet businesses, which are thought to be great american institutions (by republicans at least), emphasize a dedication to the company above all. perhaps i'm misreading things, but it seems that they would have us be great individuals who, at the same time, sacrifice everything for the benefit of the company. it seems like a form of communism, without the "everyone gets an equal slice" part. i'm simplifying things a bit for the sake of brevity. i think that the whole "rugged individualism" thing only goes up to the point where you get a job, after that you should become useful for the company. in theory the company has to spread the wealth based upon merits in order to keep the good employees, or as a further carrot in front of the mule. but, in my experience anyway, most of the people in america work more to not get fired than they do to try to attain a raise or a bonus. also, i think the job market is such that companies don't worry too much about losing the vast majority of their employees. a few reasons for that 1) jobs have shifted more and more toward the service sector and are thus low skill jobs. 2) tasks are more specialized (especially in manufacturing) so replacing a worker is far easier. 3) again, the job market is such that there is always a fresh supply of labor. this last point is what makes unions so weak. the most powerful tool a union has is a strike, but what good is a strike when there are plenty of scabs willing to cross the lines for fewer benefits or lower wages?
  • bill moyers was on radio parallax the other day. he had a couple good quotes. one was actually him quoting someone else whose answer to the question "what is good news?" was: "good news is what information we need to keep our freedoms." the other quote from moyers himself was "news is what they don't want us to know...everything else is publicity." which makes me think of the documentary "control room." reporters are more likely repeaters than anything else.

  • 6-20-04 (02:02)

  • updated movies list.
  • back to work in seven hours. weekends go by too quickly.

  • 06-17-04 (03:31)

  • updated movies list.

  • 6-17-04 (02:15)

  • updated movies list.
  • i heard that the democratic national convention is five million dollars over budget and part of the problem is that labor costs more in boston than in la (which is where it was held last time) and that some of the unions are going to strike. in the spirit of objectivity i mentioned how funny that liberal guilt commercial was, so i gotta point out the obvious stereotype here as well...if i were a republican i would love this news. what, democrats overbudget? never! what, labor a pain in the ass? never! i don't think the story is all that significant (relative to the 9/11 commission and such), but a story like this is still a PR nightmare for the democrats. they just can't seem to lose the image as overspenders and union sympathizers.
  • i'm going to mention this for hopefully the last time...regarding celebrities and politics...people like john mccain and others say stuff like "i don't try to make movies so why are you (speaking of barbra streisand, alec baldwin and others) trying to tell me what to do in politics?" this argument is made all the time by various ignoramuses. you may find it annoying that streisand and others have differing opinions, but it is their right and their duty to inform politicians, and anyone who will listen, what their political views are. this is integral to a democratic society. part of being a politician is listening to your constituents and the american people in general. it's our job to tell politicians what we think they should do. you can criticize the media for giving her opinions more than their due attention, but that's a different issue. so hopefully you don't misdirect your anger the next time you hear some celebrity's uninformed opinion.
  • saw a broken egg in my patio today. it was on the edge of the planting box which is right up against the fence so the only way someone could have thrown it there was if they threw it at an 80 degree angle or something. it also seemed like a small egg, as evidenced by the small amount of shell that was present. i quickly figured out that it must have been a bird's egg that had fallen from the branches above the patio. it made me sad. this coming from a guy who had this remedy to our overpopulation/energy problems.
  • updated my wish list.

  • 6-16-04 (02:03)

  • updated movies list.
  • watched letterman tonight and saw the beastie boys' performance. they started out in the street and made their way into the studio. it was pretty cool. bought their cd today. watched the video and wasn't too blown away. it was pretty similar to their shake your rump (i think) video...the one from paul's boutique where there are three cameras on a rooftop and they take turns doing their thing in front of the various cameras.
  • saw a trailer for fahrenheit 911 tonight, also on the letterman show. obviously looking forward to that.
  • getting pretty fucking hot lately. it's impairing my ability to think right now.
  • the biggest news today was actually the pistons win. i heard some people (kobe and phil jackson among them) making excuses for the lakers because malone and grant were injured or fisher was playing hurt. when the kings lost chris webber in the mavs series two years ago and we pushed it to seven games, with the seventh game being a close loss, then we had plenty of reason to make excuses. webber was our number one scorer, passer and rebounder (yes he led the team in all three categories) so there was a valid excuse. but when a team like the lakers lose a couple of secondary players and get outplayed in 90% of the minutes played in the series there just aren't any excuses. if i were a lakers fan i'd be really fucking embarrassed by bryant and jackson and the other excuse-makers out there.
  • let me also make it clear that it wasn't that the lakers lost, it's that the pistons won. it's not that the lakers didn't show up or try, it's that the pistons took them out of their game in almost every conceivable way. i've never seen a defense (in the nba) that was as consistently tenacious as theirs was in this series. on most of the possessions they used at least a 3/4 press to challenged the ballhandler up the court which ate up time on the shot clock which made it tough for the lakers to run their offense. people kept asking why they weren't getting the ball into shaq more frequently - they just didn't have the time to get the ball up the court, dump it into shaq, create a weak side play and pass the ball around. occasionally the lakers were able to exploit weaknesses in the pistons defense, but they only had one significant run in the entire series. the pistons defense was relentless, methodical and consistent.
  • billups deserved the mvp, but i, like doc rivers (who i really have come to like by the way), think that everything on the defensive end starts with ben wallace. he sets the tone, he grabs important defensive rebounds, and interior defense is almost as important as pressuring the ball. wallace had more offensive rebounds (10) than shaq had total rebounds (8). shaq is four inches taller and 100 pounds heavier than ben wallace and yet wallace grabbed 22 rebounds while shaq grabbed only 8. shaq also went 6-16 from the free throw line. shaq has long maintained that he would make his free throws when it mattered. i'd like to point out that this was an elimination game, he missed ten free points and they lost by 13...in other words, if he had made his free throws then the lakers would have been only one possession behind. i'll grant you that in trash time the lead dwindled a bit, but i just wanted to rub it in his face a bit. al michaels asked the question "when was the last time there was a player who had a sense of where the rebound was going to go like ben wallace?" doc rivers, rightly, pointed out that dennis rodman had this same ability. the first time i watched wallace play i made this same comparison. he has a similar rebounding style. there are just some players who dedicate themselves to rebounding the ball and, in my lifetime, rodman and wallace have been the best in that category. and no one in the last fifteen years, in my memory, comes all that close to either of them. al michaels is a decent announcer, but i like bob costas more for basketball. i also like bob costas and joe morgan as a team for baseball.
  • if we had ben wallace on the kings then we'd win the title. no doubt. he brings exactly what we lack - interior defense, interior athleticism, and solid rebounding. i wish we used the press more, it can be very effective. i think adelman is hesitant to use it because it makes it harder to settle into a set defense in the half court, and i suppose he knows his team better than i, but i still think we should employ it more often.
  • detroit literally schooled the rest of the nba during these last five games. i think everyone in the nba who watched that game learned a few things - 1) teamwork is more important than individual play (something the last few nba champs [bulls had jordan, lakers had kobe/shaq, spurs had duncan] haven't shown), 2) defense not only wins championships, but embarrasses your opponents and 3) the lakers are beatable (not that it matters anymore because the lakers will be a completely different team next year).
  • if i was phil jackson i would have started derek fisher the last couple games. payton is a whiner and hasn't gotten shit done. fisher runs the triangle better and, at this point in their careers, fisher's defense is just as good.
  • politics are just great.

  • 6-15-04 (01:42)

  • "Radical enviros are turning their attention from forests and wilderness areas to the nation's sprawling suburbs, prompting growing concern among law-enforcement agencies and the developers and homeowners whose money is invested in said sprawl.  The Earth Liberation Front has claimed responsibility for more than a dozen acts of sabotage and vandalism in the past year, with damage totaling more than $60 million; most of the damage was done to houses and SUVs in areas where forests were cleared or wetlands filled to make room for suburban development.  Despite hundreds of thousands of dollars of reward money and intensified efforts by the FBI to infiltrate the group, few arrests have been made and fewer convictions secured.  The ELF is comprised of loosely affiliated cells and has no top-down hierarchy of the sort that enabled law-enforcement agents to penetrate and take down traditional criminal enterprises like the mafia.  The ELF website strongly discourages any harm to people or animals."
  • updated movies list.
  • there's this great stereotypical left wing commercial that i hear a lot on air america radio. it has this really light, fluffy harp (or something similar) music and it's a woman narrating the actions of a person's dog. "she wags her tale at you with her tongue out and you rub her belly...blah blah blah" the first part of the commercial goes like that and then it comes to the part where the narrator says "she runs to the door and barks hoping you'll run after her and play outside." then the music stops and turns really heavy "but you can't because you're a paraplegic. you didn't know that most car accidents occur close to home so you didn't buckle up that one time, and now you can't play with your dog anymore." it's pretty funny. they have a whole slew of commercials like that on air america. stuff that preys on the fears of not being prepared or "not doing your part." other than that i like the station.
  • the "under god" case was thrown out today because the father apparently didn't have the right sue because of custody issues. pretty lame. i don't see the purpose of a pledge at all. forget the "under god" part of the pledge....secularism is its own form of religion so i think we should just get rid of the pledge of allegiance altogether. the same way i think we should just get rid of the benefits we bestow upon people who get married.
  • on the majority report they had a guest who is the founder of some gay parenting magazine and she was talking about the level of hate mail she got. she said that "two percent of the e-mails i get are hate e-mails." i was astonished at how low that number is. she seemed upset by it (somewhat understandably), but i think that if only two percent of the people out there hate what you're doing then you're doing pretty well. a lot more than two percent of my e-mails are negative.
  • got rejected from the last job i applied for.

  • 6-14-04 (00:06)

  • i'm absolutely stunned by the outcome of today's game. i've known for some time now that the pistons are a great team, and i picked them to come out of the east, but i didn't really feel that any team in the east had a shot against the big three in the west...not in a seven game series. i'm pleased that i was wrong. the lakers certainly were flat and didn't make the timely shots that they are used to making. instead it was detroit making timely shots and protecting the ball well down the stretch. the lakers have still only made one notable run in the entire series, and that's the 11-0 (something like that) run that won them the second game. i'm very impressed by the mental toughness of detroit, and that's coming from a guy who knew this was a tough team. that said, the series isn't over. i was very pleased to see that, in the waning moments (and aftermath) of the game, none of the detroit players were smiling. this is a good sign because it shows me that they're not pleased with a commanding 3-1 lead. since no team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the finals there might be an inclination to think that you have the series finished up. detroit knows this is not the case.
  • heard the new beastie boys album today. it's their worst album to date, but i knew that was going to be the case. that said, i thought it was pretty decent. hip-hop isn't a genre that is kind to the elderly, and that's what the b-boys are now. the album is different from most of their other stuff and that's good. i'm just happy it doesn't suck.
  • updated movies list.

  • 6-13-04 (02:10)

  • updated movies list.
  • eight movies this weekend. i should write my reviews right after i've seen the movie because writing them all at once is tiring.
  • got a good amount of stuff done this weekend.
  • johnny's birthday was today. my grandfather turns 75 tomorrow.

  • 6-11-04 (02:07)

  • updated movies list.
  • got to see most of the game tonight and was pleased. if you told me that rasheed wallace was going to score only three points and the pistons were going to win by 20 i'd tell you that you were crazy. tonight was the best er, worst, drubbing of the lakers i've ever seen. the only game that came close to this one was the last kings/lakers game of the season when the kings won by about 17 and dominated kobe and the lakers the entire game. this game was even better though because the lakers were completely shut down. two players barely in double-digits, no one with double digit rebounds, they couldn't shoot threes, they didn't get to the line, their defense was piss poor, everything about the lakers looked bad. there's really no way you can explain away a loss like this - you can't say it was because malone was (sorta) injured or shaq's big toe was hurting or anything - they just got beat and they got beat badly.
  • the lakers need to win the next game because if they don't they'll be down 3-1 and that's a very difficult spot to be in. tonight it was clear that detroit wanted to win more than the lakers, but that's not going to be true on sunday so that game will be the most interesting game of the series. will detroit be able to take the best the lakers have to offer, or will the lakers make it a three game series, with two of the three being in LA? every bit of knowledge i have says that the lakers will win the next game and, again, if i were a betting man i'd bet my speakers that they'll win on sunday. but detroit has proven to me that they're a tough team and the lakers have only had one significant run in the three games they've played so far....detroit's defense has been that good. so, in other words, anything could happen.
  • losing a game like this is humiliating and that's one reason why i think the lakers will have plenty of reason to come out on sunday and give detroit their best shot.
  • last night some detroit fans were outside the hotel in which the lakers were staying causing all sorts of noise - yelling, honking horns, etc. in an attempt to keep the players awake. i heard some guy on the radio the night of the second game telling fellow detroit fans to do this sort of thing...i guess it worked. i think it's great when a city gets behind its team on and off the court like that. the celtics used to turn up the heat in the opposing team's locker room. i'm sure there are all sorts of examples like this.
  • kobe bryant isn't as good as michael jordan and i'd fight anyone who says otherwise. rip hamilton, who played with jordan the last year or two of his career, had 31 points tonight and his team won. kobe had 11. then again kobe has three championships. then again kobe has shaq and phil jackson. then again....debating sports is fun.
  • in the long view the bigger news of the day was the passing of a real hero - ray charles. unlike ronald reagan, the guy was good at what he did and had a positive impact on the world.
  • if anyone ever finds a copy of "aka don bonus" on vhs (it's not made on dvd) please let me know. i want to buy it.
  • today was my friday so that's good.
  • i've heard rumors2 about a remake of the graduate. i'd watch it, but only out of morbid curiosity.
  • an interesting chart. my favorite is number 75 which shows that overall between 1989-2004 world com. contributed fairly equally to dems and republicans, but in 03/04 they contributed overwhelmingly to republicans.

  • 6-10-04 (02:05)

  • updated movies list.
  • realized today that my birthday is less than a month away. time has gone by quickly lately.

  • 6-9-04 (01:30)

  • i really like the part in the second installment of the matrix films where the "creator" talks about the most human of emotions - "hope." hope, in the case of neo, is precipitated by love and causes him to feel as though he can beat the matrix despite being told that all his predecessors have failed. i mention this because my hope has consistently led me to bouts of depression in regards to the lakers. i watched part of the game tonight and with two minutes left detroit was up by six. i had hope that the lakers would finally lose a critical game. i had hope that i would be wrong when i said that "i'd bet my speakers that the lakers are going to win the next game." but i wasn't. and it was like watching a movie whose outcome i know because i've seen it a dozen times before, but still hoped that things would turn out differently. i had this same hope when they were down 2-0 against the spurs. i had the same hope when, with a couple seconds left, the divac tapped a rebound out of the lane to a waiting robert horry whose shot meant the difference between the lakers being down 3-1 and being tied 2-2. i had the same hope when the blazers had the lakers against the wall four (or so) years ago when they entered the fourth quarter up by 15 points. i've seen this before several times and every time i am inextricably drawn to hope that things will go my team's way, but they never do. rationality should win out eventually. eventually i will realize that hope is a futile enterprise and become a soulless person. when that happens i will have only the lakers to thank.
  • most writers who don't have a vested interest in the series will say "hey the pistons lost, but they still got a split on the road and that's what they wanted." anyone who writes that should cease to write sports columns because they haven't yet (and probably never will) picked up on the subtleties of the game. losing a game like that in a situation like that is almost a series-ender. it happened to the kings in the second game when they were up by ten with four minutes left and it happened today with the pistons. you can't look at it as a split on the road, you have to look at as "they were this close to going up 2-0 on the road." because that's the truth. and every time the pistons let the lakers get a little run in they're going to start thinking "uh-oh here it comes again." and that's what comes with being champions. and that's what happens when you are playing against the best clutch shooter in the game today. at this point it looks almost certain that the lakers will win the series (probably in six games). the only x-factor for me is larry brown's post game interview. he said "we're crushed" but he said it in this very subtly sarcastic way as if to hint that his team is stronger than anyone thinks. so, for now, that post game interview is the hope that i am once again foolishly holding onto.
  • updated movies list.
  • i was thinking today about the fact that i've never been stung by a bee or a wasp and how strange that is considering how often i used to fuck with bees. i used to be pretty mean to bees. at any rate, i was thinking about the fact that bees die once they sting something and how strange of a defense mechanism that is. it's like me ripping out my heart and hitting you over the head with it...or something. it hurts the victim a bit, but kills me...that doesn't seem very darwinian at first. then i came to the conclusion that, for would-be attackers, it becomes about the threat of being stung. even though a few bees will die as a result of their defense mechanism, most bees won't be harmed because predators know not to fuck with bees. so nature has built in this idea that the betterment of the whole is more important than the individual. it even goes to the extent of killing off the defender to prove this point. the fact that bees as a species (actually probably genus) have survived using this defense mechanism (not to mention their social structure) is testament to the power of the group (and the threat of pain as a deterrence). of course it's also possible that they don't have very many predators or that they breed so quickly that they out populate their predators. that would make their defense mechanism less integral...in that case it would just be(e) about breeding faster than they are killed. it's also possible that i've been misinformed my entire life and that bees don't actually die after losing their stinger. in which case my whole treatise on bee defense mechanisms, and their greater implications, would be for naught.
  • reality check.
  • i have ten cents in my checking account right now. get paid friday.
  • updated recommendations.

  • 6-8-04 (02:16)

  • updated movies list.
  • tampa bay won the stanley cup. i predicted that, but not because i know much about either team. with hockey i always go with the goalie. the goalie is like a pitcher in baseball or a quarterback in football - one person who can, in special circumstances, be all the team needs to stay in the game. obviously a goalie can't score, and, in the AL, a pitcher can't score either, but those positions are such that they can single-handedly take over a game. so i went with khabibulin since i know he's pretty great. wish i could have seen the game.
  • i did get to see the lakers game yesterday. it was fun seeing them lose. detroit just came out and did what they wanted. i'd bet my speakers that the lakers are going to win the next game. i hope they don't, but in hating them all these years i've come to know them as well as many of their fans and i know they'll show up tomorrow. i think detroit really had to win one of the first two because of the 2-3-2 schedule, but i mentioned that already. doc rivers mentioned the same thing on the broadcast - it's very difficult for the road team (by definition the team with a worse record) to win three in a row at this point in the year. so assuming they lose one of those middle three they'll still need to win another game in LA if they want to win the series. very difficult.
  • noam chomsky made an(other) interesting point on the majority report last week. he didn't phrase it in this way because there was a larger context, but i'll simplify it here...what would people think of germany if they had missiles called "jews" or "faggot" helicopters, or something similar? naming missiles after the very people you tried to eliminate from the earth is a pretty fucked up and arrogant thing to do. punchline here and here.
  • greg palast on reagan. ouch.
  • impressive thesis charting various rationale for going to war. check out page 19, 160-170, and 175-178.

  • 6-06-04 (02:20)

  • updated movies list.
  • neighbors have apparently moved out so now i can play music loud even at this hour. not so loud that it bounces off the opposite wall, which annoy the other neighbors, but loud enough to feel the bass.
  • i was really depressed last night and then early this morning. went to sleep last night at 5pm after watching part of american history x on tv. they showed the anal rape scene in the prison shower, but they bleeped out "shit" and "fuck," doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. woke up around noon today and still felt bad. didn't know what i wanted to do with my day. nothing seemed to excite me so i just laid around. eventually resolved to watch a movie so i turned on the tv and found out that ronald reagan had finally died. last night i was looking at my chart of presidents which i have above my computer. i wondered who lived the longest and three names were in the running - reagan, hoover and adams I. reagan was the oldest. so that was a weird coincidence. at any rate, i was happy after hearing about his death so the rest of the day went well.
  • i don't think he was completely evil, few people are, but i never liked the guy. i don't think he was very intelligent, i think he got away with too much stuff because of his charm, his economic policies were a joke and he waged a sly and insidious war on the poor and non-white of this country that we still haven't recovered from. but he told a good joke or two once in a while so it's okay.
  • in other important news, j. lo is married again.
  • watched the nhl stanley cup finals game today. it was a good one. ended within the first minute of the second OT. game seven should be fun. i have work.

  • 6-04-04 (02:17)

  • agree with the goal, but not the organization.
  • if the nba finals go seven games i'll get to watch three of them. i don't like the 2-3-2 format, i think it gives the team with home advantage even more of an advantage. in the playoffs it's very difficult to win three in a row so, in the case of detroit, it's very unlikely they will win all three home games in a row. that would mean that they'd need to win two games on the road in order to win the series. i don't know why they switch from H(ome)-H-R(oad)-R-H-R-H to the H-H-R-R-R-H-H format in the final round of the playoffs. i heard today that the pistons averaged 98 points against the lakers during the regular season.
  • i like this q&a session with coach adelman. i like it because it shows adelman as a balanced thinker. he seems like a good guy.
  • ever since i lost my high school track coach i've missed having that sort of mentor presence in my life. i'd like to learn a trade from someone like that.
  • so tenet is the first of hopefully many dominoes to fall in the administration. at first i thought bush would use this as an opportunity to say the problem is gone, but instead "Bush said at the White House. "I told him I'm sorry he's leaving. He's done a superb job."" one second bush blames failures on intelligence, the next he says the director of the central intelligence agency "has done a superb job." hmmm.
  • "Tenet also has faced tough questioning from Congress about the CIA's prewar claims that Iraq possessed large caches of chemical and biological weapons. At a meeting Dec. 21, 2002, Tenet told Bush there was a "slam-dunk" case that Iraq had doomsday weapons, according to author Bob Woodward. But no weapons have yet to be discovered by U.S.-led forces more than a year after the invasion ended."
  • tenet isn't actually one of the close bushies since he was cia director under clinton as well, but it may be a sign that other dominoes will fall (rumsfeld would be the next logical person to "resign").

  • 6-03-04 (03:09)

  • updated movies list.
  • updated recommendations list so it includes quick links to my reviews for the individual films.
  • i'm excited about the lakers/pistons series. i've liked the pistons ever since they got rasheed wallace because i felt that was the missing piece, and a really good fit, for them. i also think they have a better chance against the lakers than anyone else in the east. it should go six or seven games. hopefully prince and r. wallace will be aggressive offensively. i'd love to see larry brown take phil jackson down a peg.
  • tomorrow is my friday.
  • called regarding a driving position today and they said that i needed to show two years of on the job driving experience as required by their insurance company. i don't understand what the difference is between driving on the job for two years and driving for myself for seven years. it doesn't make sense to exclude me just because i wasn't driving a company car the whole time.
  • i seem to get one good job lead a month. one that is good for me (money, location and schedule-wise) and one that i think i could reasonably do well in.

  • 6-02-04 (01:16)

  • "Rounding out today's news is MGM Home Entertainment's September slate of catalog announcements, which will focus on some of Hollywood's most acclaimed classics. Streeting on September 7th are: Judgment at Nuremberg, Blithe Spirit, Brief Encounter, the 1946 version of Great Expectations, In Which We Serve, Madeleine, 1948's Oliver Twist, The Passionate Friends and This Happy Breed."
  • that news may mean that the criterion releases of great expectations and oliver twist will go out of print. fyi.
  • i was listening to autechre's "incunabula" again and got to thinking...that album, as i've said before, is transcendent, but what i didn't realize, or put into words, is that the album actually has the feel of an alternate nature. sometimes when i listen to it i get the sense that what booth and brown did with "incunabula" was to create something with all the power and sense of rightness of nature. by rightness i mean that the album seems like it belongs in the world. it feels as though it was meant to be. it's like nature because, to me, it seems to create its own language, texts, rules...its own world. that said, the album is not perfect (the b side of abbey road is the only continuous musical moment that approaches perfection), but it does belong. i'm also not saying that it's the only thing, before or since, to sound the way it does, but somehow "incunabula" stands out as a unique vision of an alternate nature with autechre as its God.
  • no, i didn't smoke anything tonight.
  • been listening to a lot of air america while at work lately. pretty good stuff. it's clearly leftist reporting, but we can't rush limbaugh (and his ilk) be the only force on am radio. my only potential problem with it is that it feeds the fire of division that seems to be growing every week. that is, more and more there seems to be those for bush and those against bush (his fault since he put it in those terms) and the radio is now one more arena that is divided. i suppose that's just the way things work.
  • no movie today.
  • it's hot again.
  • good idea, but it needs more flexibility.

  • 6-01-04 (02:29)

  • updated movies list.
  • lakers won tonight which wasn't at all surprising. i was a little surprised to see the series go six games, and to minnesota's credit they did a good job without cassell, but they're just not that great a team. it hurts to see minnesota lose to the lakers because it really should have been the kings taking down the lakers in a western conference finals rematch.
  • today was uneventful. memorial day so most people had the day off. i got paid time and a half which is nice.
  • the majority report was a rerun today, but they i hadn't heard any of it before. in one segment they talked to a representative for diebold and an activist who is trying to get rid of electronic voting machines, or at least make a paper trail mandatory. it was informative. they also talked about the differences between our campaign cycles and those of the british. ours seem to start earlier every cycle...this time major coverage began about a year and a half before the actual election. granted, most of that was for the primary, but since then election coverage has gotten considerable coverage. of course along with that comes campaigning by both sides - for money and for votes. in england candidates can't buy broadcast ads - they can buy ads in newspapers and magazines or on billboards and the like, but they can't buy tv ads like we do here. for at least the last couple months bush has been buying ads in key states that attack kerry. so we're talking an active campaigning of at least six months. in the uk it's apparently more like six weeks. over there they also allot a certain amount of free television time for each party. one problem with our system is that so much money is required to run a campaign in large part because of the broadcast fees. of course now that the flood gates are open it wouldn't really matter if we prohibited broadcasting of political ads because that money would just get spent elsewhere. in the uk they have limits on the amount of money that can be spent on non-federal campaigns so that's one way they deal with the problem. i'm not sure what other limits they have on federal campaigns, but it seems that money is less of a factor in their system.
  • it seems to me that there are lot of changes that need to happen in our system and you can't just choose one or two reforms. if, for example, we were to prohibit the broadcast of political ads, but not place a cap on the amount of money a campaign could spend then the big money would still be raised and it would still get spent elsewhere. i think a lot of these problems of ours stem from our ideology that people should be able to spend their money in the marketplace as freely as possible. most people seem to think that there isn't much of a problem with this ideology spilling into the political realm.
  • i'm tired.
  • today i reached my maximum queue size on netflix. apparently you can't have more than 500 films in your queue at a time.
  • so recently i've been thinking about two of the world's major problems (energy and over-population) and potential remedies. i've come up with two ideas: 1) round up all the kids under five years old, throw them in a furnace, and use them as fuel in power plants. 2) round up all the kids under seven years old and put them on bikes hooked up to generators. the kids who can survive the 12 hour days are freed after 12 months of service. being proactive is essential.