Friday, February 28, 2003

Some free-floating hostility for you:
  • My keyboard died last night, and I had to go get a new one, but now it appears that it may be something in the computer fouling up, because the same things are happening with the new keyboard.
  • Bogart themed furniture? I saw an add for Humphrey Bogart furniture on E!. That'll teach me to watch E! now won't it. But how else will I keep up to date on the Robert Blake case, none of the other networks are covering it.
  • The Dream Team Jon Edward has alot to atone for, first that other show that takes his formula with the creepy looking guy, and now this crap. How many of the dreams that the 'experts' are analyzing are actually real and how many are just bollocks? I'm guessing not many are the former.
  • Brooks and Dunn, why?
  • This isn't hostility, actually quite the opposite, What's Going On by Marvin Gaye, great album. nuff said.
    That's enough for now I think.
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2003

    Look, booty.
    I find it interesting when people ask me why I read the books that I read. The immediate response that comes to mind is, why don't other people read the books that I read? I know that some people read some of the books that I read, but I would tend to think that very few read all of the books that I do. Statistically the number would be very small indeed.

    One of the things that I'm trying to do by keeping track of the order that I read and finish books on my booklist is to track the chain of what I read and how they relate to one another, if there is any relation.

    I think that most people get too attached to one particular reality tunnel, as Robert Anton Wilson would call it. Thier world-view becomes comfortable and anything else is dangerous and if not outright obscene it is disturbing. So much do they think that they will be disturbed they refuse to look or even to consider the possibility of an outside view. They become xenophobic and place artificial walls around themselves.

    I just finished reading Disinformation: the Interviews by Richard Metzger, and one person, flipping through the book and seeing a painting Secret Babylon the Great: The Mega by Norbert H. Kox, which incoporates the "traditional" version of Jesus as the Statue of Liberty holding aloft the Holy Grail which appears to be sprouting some form of tentacles, she called the picture "very blasphemous." The Jesus/Liberty is surrounded by occultic symbols such as the eye and is being struck at its foot by a beam of light which also penetrates what appears to be a bible and is destroying the foot of the statue. The Grail, Jesus and the book that Liberty holds all sport pricetags as well.

    I can understand why she would feel that it was at a casual glance, and Kox's work is often called that, but if anyone cares to investigate further, or, I don't know, actually thinks about what is being depicted in the image, it is apparant that Kox is making a statement about the current state of religion as he does in all of his paintings. With the pricetags he is saying that the image of Jesus is bought and sold today as a business, and the church has become mired in occultism and is being destroyed from the base by a misunderstanding of the word of God in the Bible.

    He says as much in the interview, though that particular painting is not really discussed.

    On the surface this would appear to be blasphemy, but he is actually trying to make a point with his imagery.

    But back to the question of why I read what I read...I want to understand people and why they think what they think. I don't know of any better way to understand a person and their position than to listen to them, and through their writings, that is what I am trying to do. Be it Bob Larson and his everything is a portal to devil-worship and Satanism, or Aleister Crowley (who according to Larson I shouldn't be reading, because he is a portal to Satansim, go figure. I guess Bob is the only one who should read him and then just let us know how evil and deceptive he was, save us the trouble and the temptation). I also read alot of fiction and I hope to read some of the Left Behind books soon, because I want to know what those books are telling people, lots of people are buying and reading them.

    At the core I think it's important to follow the advice that Robert Anton Wilson gives in one of his books to remember not to believe to take your own Belief System (B.S.) to seriously, and not to take others B.S. too seriously either. Leave youself some room to evaluate and then decide.

    Because how do you know?

    Why is the most important question in the English language and if someone starts barking back the answer, "just because," or "because so-and-so said so," press the issue.

    And if someone shows up and tells you to stop asking those questions ask them even more vociferously, because you're on to something then.

    Friday, February 21, 2003

    It's official, I now have hosting for my own domain at, but the domain isn't cleared or whatever, so the site isn't working yet. When it finally gets up and running, I'll let everyone know, and I'll do my best to get my web-presence all centrally located there.

    Movie Corner

    Daredevil is not the terrible piece of schlock filmaking I expected, but it isn't exactly a terrificly good movie either. On the whole in the genre of superhero films I rate it above Blade but below Blade II, above The Punisher but below Spiderman. I think one of the major problems I had with the film was in how it attempted at many times to be like Spiderman.

    The wire-fu used in the film was nowhere near as bad as I expected, but it was still overused somewhat, and I think a more stripped down fighting style from 'ol hornhead would have worked better. Batman's fight scenes worked so well because there was nothing unreal about what Michael Keaton was doing. I believe Michael Keaton can punch and kick, but I do not believe Ben Affleck can flip and dive off buildings in such a way, even if I see it on screen.

    From the acting department all of the leads were fine and didn't do anything horribly out of character, except for the little extra non-word exclamations they would give after an important line such as after Elektra gives her name or any time that Bulleseye would talk. They kept reminding me of when Spawn says "Damn" after being hit hard or anytime Shack would speak in Steel. It's not as if they had terrific dialogue to work with anyway. Most of the lines in the film are bland and forgettable. Only Favreau's Foggy Nelson (Who is never referred to by name in the film as far as I could tell) has any memorable dialogue.

    Which reminds me of another way the film was apeing Spiderman...The unnecessary narrative dialogue from the titular character. Let the film tell the story. Bladerunner is better without it, and this film would be to. If action on the screen can't tell the story clearly without having to explain it, then the action on the screen should be worked on. This is not a noir film. There is no nead for the hero to tell us what is going on.

    The direction was adequate in the film, I don't have any major gripes with the pacing or the camera placements, only that some of the effects work was underdone and could have been better. I am tired of seeing night scenes that were obviously filmed in the daytime and have had a nightime sky added in. Film it at night if it is supposed to be at night.

    Now for the bitchy stuff.

    What is up with the terrible score in this film? Why do we need lukewarm, generic rock songs to flesh out the soundtrack? One or two terrible songs is fine, but this movie over does it.

    In the court case what is Matt Murdock doing on the prosecutorial side? He is a defense attorney. The staging of the trial makes no sense if you think of it that way. Is is a civil case? Then why does it seem to be a rape trial? I don't expect perfect law representation, but a little better authenticity would be in order. If he was taking part in a divorce case maybe, or if he was defending the woman for assaulting the man after a rape, also maybe, but the case doesn't make any sense.

    A leather suit? Wouldn't that make alot of noise and be hard to move in? What about all that rain, wouldn't it stink?

    In the end though I did like this movie. I think if they would have approached it from the angle of an action film instead of a superhero film it would have been better though.

    I think Daredevil would make a good television show. Do it similarly to Smallville where the emphasis isn't on the super-powers, but on the characters and work most of the show around Matt Murdock attorney at law in Hell's Kitchen. Only bust out the costume once and awhile. Similarly to how Bendis writes the comic, make it about Matt's quest to work inside the law and the dilemmas when he is forced to work outside of it.

    Thursday, February 20, 2003

    I posted the wrong file for my first attempt at flash-type animation, but I think I've fixed it. Try it here. I don't think the sound is working, but I'll work on that.
    Wow, my new job is re-posting links to things that Warren Ellis already posted, like this Kikoman Soy Sauce Man Flash Animation.

    Wednesday, February 19, 2003

    Hey look, flashery goodness. (So I suck at Flash, it's a start) Let me know if it works or not. Call this experiment #1.

    If my flash isn't good enough, go play poo-warrior.
    More Bob Larsony goodness for you, of his admittedly non-all-encompasing list of nine telltale signs of youthful involvement in Satanism (Though I don't know if I count as youthful), I seem to suffer from all of them, thusly proving that I am, in fact, bad news. The nine are as follows:
  • An unhealthy preoccupation with fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons (D&D)--I really don't know what unhealthy would count as, but have played the games off and on for ten years or so, though I've only played D&D maybe once in the last three years. I mostly concentrate on the more evil White Wolf games now days.
  • An interest in Ouija boards and other occult games.--Admittedly I don't really believe in the Ouija board, but I do have that unhealthy Bloody Mary fascination.
  • A preoccupation with psychic phenomena like telepathy, astral projection, Tarot cards, I Ching, and parapsychology.--Oh no I have a deck of Tarot cards, own the I Ching and am interested in astral projection and other psychic phenomena.
  • An addiction to horror movies like the "Friday the 13th" and "Nightmare on Elm Street" series, whose main characters kill and maim.--I sure do like the horror films where the characters kill and maim. Especially Romero and Argento films.
  • An obsession with heavy metal music, particularly black metal bands like Slayer, Venom, Ozzy, Metallica, Megadeth, King Diamond, and other groups that evoke satanic symbolism.--If I was GWAR, I'd be pissed that I wasn't on this list. I don't much care for Megadeth, King Diamond, Slayer and Venom, but I do like Ozzy and Metallica. Though I think Metallica aren't really overtly satanic, and Ozzy mostly just writes and sings really sappy love songs like Kiss.
  • An affinity for satanic paraphernalia, including posters of black metal bands, skulls, knives, chalices, black candles, and robes.--Looking around my room I wonder does a Hellboy calendar count as a black metal poster? I do have a foam skull wearing a tophat and sunglasses on my CD player. I also have a Hellraiser puzzle box and Spooky the Thing What Squeeks, oh and all those knives and whatnot, also two Skeletors.
  • An inclination to write poems or letters about Satanism or sketch designs of upside down crosses, pentagrams, the number 666, names of the devil, or skulls and other symbols of death.--I don't much care for drawing those things, but I do like drawing Unicursal Hexagrams.
  • An attraction to satanic literature and such books as The Satanic Bible, the Necronomicon, the writings of Aleister Crowley, or keeping a private journal such as a Book of Shadows (a self designed secret chronicle of satanic activities and ideas).--It's like Larson can see into my very room...Damn him.
  • An involvement with friends who dress in black, greet each other with the satanic salute (index and pinkie finger extended, with palm facing inward), speak and write backwards, or organize secret meetings.--In high school those people were called forensics students, but I do have alot of evil friends, none so evil as myself, but evil nonetheless.
    I'm glad I was able to ace this list, the last book I only made something like eight of ten of the signs. It feels good to accomplish something like this you know, I'll have to tell eveyone in my coven about this on the third thursday of the month, which apparantly is our holy day according to Larson. I have learned so much that I should have already known from him.
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2003

    So I'm reading this Bob Larson book Satanism: The Seduction of America's Youth which ties into my earlier reading of 14 Things Witches Hope Parents Never Find Out, and I have to say that at least Bob Larson presents his arguments a little more compellingly. I don't think they're any less BS and misguided, but at least he doesn't sound quite so crazy and manic as David Benoit.

    Also I've discovered that I have apparantly been playing D&D wrong for about ten years. I was unaware of the fact that I am supposed to be memorizing spells and sacrificing virgins and whatnot. Also we have to use a imaginary or crude map and sit around in a circle and play against one another. Here all these years I thought the point of the game was to have fun and work together to create a good story...but then I guess I have been going about it wrong and Bob Larson is there to set me right. Thank you Bob Larson, Thank you.

    I am off to gather my ritual implements so as to play the D&D properly now.

    Sunday, February 16, 2003

    Sorry about the long time between updates lately (I know it really bothers Gunny), and the fact that the last few posts have been quotes from a book, but I've been sick (I know, poor little wussy me) and there has been some female companionship in my life as late and as such web-page and reading time have suffered.

    But, maybe since the sickness of the last three weeks is abating I can get back to my rantings here.

    In web-related news, I'm going to be buying hosting for my pages pretty soon and a spankin new domain name. I'm working on a new layout to incorporate all of my various pages and I hope I can have something ready for launch by the end of the month. Gunny, Joey, Tommy and I are working on a project that I also hope to have up and running before to long. I'm scouting some software and deciding what form the colaboration will take right now, but the domain name is already registered, we just need the content and the hosting.

    Soon, it will be soon.

    Tommy wrote about Daredevil over on his site, and I agree with his comments on the character, I think the problem most writers run into is that they either try to make him too much of a lawyer (the horrible storyline between Bendis's two runs on the book) or they make him too little of a lawyer. It is a fine line writing the book that I think Brian Bendis does well. He treats it as a crime book with people and some superheroing. It is a good companion book with his edgier Alias in the MAX line. The movie looks like it is going to be more superhero oriented than lawyerly. Though i've only read good reviews so far from the people that I tend to trust like Harry and Moriarty at I think it was in Maxim that they were making fun of the origin of the character and saying that comics need new ideas..This character was created 30 years ago by Stan Lee, there are plenty of newer ideas out there. But that's for another rant.

    By the way Jacko really is crazy. I found myself watching the "controversial" documentary on VH1, and I can see why he wouldn't like it, though I think it is probably very balanced and fair. I think he just got seriously whacked up in his super-strange life, and he truly believes in the B.S. (belief system) that he's set up for himself over all these years. He's really not that different from anyone else, only with more resources and a bad childhood.

    I'm not wearing any pants as I write this...Just thought you should know.

    I also took the Simpson's quiz Tommy suggested everyone take and I scored a 13, though it would have helped if the answers weren't right after the questions. It makes it hard not to see any of the answer, I think I could have done better if I was allowed to think. It's like having a question and answer game where the reader shouts the answer at you right after the question and you have to but you way in to get one right.

    Clint Eastwood's Fire-Fox is a movie that I remember as being pretty good the last time I saw it some 10 years ago, but watching it on television today the special effects really haven't held up. It looks like something off of an episode of Knight Rider or one of the less technically advanced Power Rangers shows.

    No pants at all.

    Sunday, February 09, 2003

    More Samurai Wisdom, and quite possibly the single best bit of advice I have ever encountered:

    Human Life is truly a short affair. It is better to live doing the things that you like. It is foolish to live within this dream of a world seeing unpleasantness and doing only things that you do not like. But it is important never to tell this to young people as it is something that would be harmful if incorrectly understood.

    Personally, I like to sleep. And I intend to appropriately confine myself more and more to my living quarters and pass my life away sleeping.

    --Yamamoto Tsunetomo, from Hagakure trans. b William Scott Wilson

    Incredible wisdom. So sayeth I.

    Friday, February 07, 2003

    Hey go to The Elder Dan's site. Entertainment for the masses. I especially like the Scorched Earth Party and think an office here would be a good idea. My only wonder is whether a sledgehammer would be acceptable to them as a lead pipe?

    Now is the time on Sprockets when we do laundry.

    Movie Corner

    I can't reccomend Mike Nichols Catch 22 enough. It is an excellent film, and one that until now I had not seen. There is a similar structure at work in this film as there is in Memento where the entire film is working itself back towards the beginning and you are not sure what is going on all of the time. Many, many great performances in this film in cameo roles, such as Orson Wells as Brig General Dreedle.

    Good comedy, good sentimentality, good film.

    I also watched Asia Argento's Scarlet Diva, which was not as good. That's all I'll say about it.

    Next on the list is The Duel a crazy kung-fu special effects epic comedy starring Ekin Chang. I'll let you know what I think.

    Wednesday, February 05, 2003

    Right now I'm learning to be a good Samurai, hence the quote from the Hagakure in the last post. I don't know if I'll make as good a Samurai as Forrest Whittaker, but I'm going to try. I think I can do all this honor thy master and be the perfect retainer who lives only in each moment and makes each decision within the space of seven breaths.

    But then I also want to be a neuro-surgeon, and a rock star. Being a physicist would be nice as well. Perhaps I could lead an impressive group of rag-tag misfits who fight crime and play music from a futuristic headquarters and have zany misadventures across the world.

    Oh, wait, that's Buckaroo Banzai. I so often get confused and start thinking I'm a character from a movie. Last week I was convinced that I was Elwood Dowd, and I kept wondering where the heck my big house was...I could see the rabbit just fine though.

    Todays Samurai wisdom:

    People with intelligence will use it to fasion things both true and false and will try to push through whatever they want with their clever reasoning. This is injury from intelligence.
    Nothing you do will have effect if you do not use truth.

    Monday, February 03, 2003

    From the Hagakure: the Book of the Samurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

    At the time when there was a council concerning the promotion of a certain man, the council members were at the point of deciding the promotion was useless because of the fact that the man had previously been involved in a drunken brawl. But someone said, "If we were to cast aside every man who had made a mistake once, useful men could probably not come by. A man who makes a mistake once will be considerably more prudent and useful becaus of his repentance. I feel that he shlould be promoted."
    Someone else then asked, "Will you guarantee him?"
    The man replied, "Of course I will."
    The others asked, "By what will you guarantee him?"
    And he replied, "I can guarantee him by the fact that he has erred once. A man who has never erred once is dangerous." This said, the man was promoted.
    --Translated by William Scott Wilson

    Communication is only possible between equals.

    Thank you and goodnight.

    Sunday, February 02, 2003

    From Warren Ellis's Bad Signal mailing list:
    (go to his site with the link above to sign up if you like, and yes Gunny I do worship this guy)

    I imagine most of you spent yesterday
    much the same way I did. Watching
    the news whenever you could. I
    doubt I have to explain to many
    of you my fascination with spaceflight.

    Poring over the footage. The bright
    light is wrong -- Shuttle's descent
    is unpowered. Watching the flaring
    streams head in the same direction
    with matched velocity, which
    indicates a break-up, not an
    explosive catalyst event.

    A pulse of thickened smoke in the
    trail -- fuel lighting off.

    The cascade of sensor failures
    from the edge of the left wing. The
    initial response from America was
    burn-through, from damage taken
    to the heat shield tiles at launch,
    when External Tank insulation broke
    off and struck the wing at launch.
    NASA explaining that even if tile
    damage had been confirmed, there
    is no procedure for repairing them
    in orbit -- that, in fact, EVAs are
    restricted to the payload bay.
    Silence in the press room as
    reporters digest that Shuttle is as
    low-impact as crewed spaceflight

    The Russian analysis of the footage
    pointed to structural compromise,
    early in the day, while NASA was
    still fielding questions about terrorism.

    By the end of the day, secondary
    speculation was centering on burn-
    through leading to structural
    break-up, reinforced by the discovery
    of human remains. This isn't
    Challenger. The crew weren't
    vaporised. Their boat fell apart
    around them.

    ISS has a Soyuz boat attached. The
    three crew aboard may well end up
    using that to get home. After
    Challenger, the Shuttle fleet was
    grounded for two and a half years.
    If the US economic downturn
    continues, it can't afford ISS in any
    case. It may become an empty
    house, perhaps occasionally pumped
    back into its orbit by a Russian

    Today, the Observer is reporting
    the thing no-one will want to hear
    -- that a veteran NASA engineer
    has been trying to warn NASA
    and the White House for the last
    couple of years about the likelihood
    of catastrophic failure due to
    mismanagement. The Shuttles are
    old boats, built by low-bidders on
    the old boy network. Boeing, who
    last week posted a year-on-year
    loss of half a billion dollars.

    I didn't think about ORBITER until
    about an hour after loss of signal,
    when I got an email from DC PR
    Patty Jeres, asking if Colleen and I
    were okay. All day, whenever the
    book occurred to me, I found myself
    cursing myself for a prick.
    --Orbiter is a book that Warren is working on for DC comics and Colleen Doran is the artist. The story involves spaceflight--E.H.
    Right now, I have no doubt that the
    book will come good. It's about
    aspiration, reclaiming spaceflight,
    getting things back and becoming
    great through adversity.

    Despite Bush's snivelling Bible class
    dressed as a press statement, I
    don't have the same confidence
    about American crewed spaceflight
    today. There are no Shuttle replacements --
    they were all allowed to die off. And
    the fleet now comprises three
    ageing boats that have been
    seriously patched back together over
    the last few years.

    America held all of the world's hopes
    for spaceflight. if America turns
    away from crewed spaceflight,
    all that's left is the occasional
    Soyuz and the Chinese taikonaut
    program, both of which are spam-in-
    a-can, 1960's spaceflight.

    From my perspective today, that
    may be all that's left.

    -- W

    I think I agree with Warren here, if the Shuttle fleet is grounded, and it probably should be at this point if they are really falling apart, as they apparantly are. With us in a downward facing economy I don't really see any alternatives being produced anytime soon, and commercial spaceflight is still not really feasible yet.

    This isn't terrorism, it's just shoddy old workmanship like the Watts Barr Nuclear Power Plant that never really fully opened around my hometown that my parents still live within the evacuation perimiter of. The shuttles are old, this was the oldest. These things are much more complicated than the average automobile, and in this day and age, I wouldn't trust most cars on a trip from Chattanooga to Atlanta, much less to outer space and back. I think NASA is going to be doing unmanned probes for awhile now, and there isn't really going to be a US presence on the ISS anymore for awhile.

    Mothball the shuttles and bring those flying saucers that they talk about on Art Bell that the government has out of the shadows. I'd trust a flying saucer to get me to at least the moon and back.

    Today's code word is Swipt, 1/30's code word was Blort (sorry I forgot then)
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