Saturday, November 29, 2008

My new favorite documentary is... 'A Man Named Pearl'

Do your soul a favor and feed it this gem of a film. The story of Pearl Fryar of Bishopville South Carolina is uplifting, inspiring and a well crafted bit of documentary filmmaking by Scott Galloway and Brent Pierson. This self-taught artist and son of a sharecropper makes the most amazing creations out of plants, bushes and trees. The Garden Conservancy is helping assure future generations can enjoy his work. The DVD is now available.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Marcie Carlson?

I noticed the Bloomberg reporter Margaret Carlson looks like Marcie from Peanuts... that's it. Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Nick Fury!

I was over at a friend's place watching the film 'Iron Man'. He has a Blu-Ray player, a Sony widescreen LCD TV and surround sound. There were several moments in the film that required us to replay and enjoy a second and sometimes a third time. I've been a fan of Marvel Comics since I was a kid and enjoy the many interesting stories and cosmologies. When the government agent mentioned they had changed their long agency name to the acronym S.H.I.E.L.D., I looked at my host (who had seen the movie before) and said in my best David Hasselhof voice, "Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." and he about fell off the chair. He told me to wait until the end of the movie and I did. When Robert Downey said, "I'm Iron Man" when he was supposed to be reading a cover story off of an index card at a press conference - I laughed out loud. Then we were forced to watch the closing credits and despite my best protestations that I didn't need to see them, I'm glad I did, since this was the 'Easter Egg' after the last credits rolled...


Friday, November 21, 2008

Eat The Rich!

"Eat the rich, eat the rich
Don't you know life is a bitch
Eat the rich, eat the rich
Out of the palace and into the ditch."
- Krokus

I was in a waiting room recently and got to see the latest issue of Town And Country magaaine... I know there is a lot of anger at stupid rich greedy people due to the economy being in the crapper, so I paged through the glossy upscale mag with an eye towards the truly egregious examples of waste and frivolity and was not disappointed!
One page 219 of the December issue were photos of some of the wares of Bottega Veneta... including a folding camp stool for, get this... $4,300!
I can't imagine why poor people hate the rich...


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Take it out back and burn it!

There is something very satisfying about getting rid of old things, a purge of the gross and stained stuff that makes you want to vomit... one of the best ways is to "Take it out back and burn it!"
I remember hearing this for the first time several years ago in relation to a small artifact of a previous life my friend lived. He was in one of those alcohol fueled moods and any time there is the opportunity to set something on fire, he'd take it!
On another occasion was the demise of an old couch. It had served it's purpose and had fallen into decrepitude. Not worth the cost of reupholstering, it was decided to set it aflame one warm night as we again sipped beverages on the back porch.
Now and again when I can work it into the conversation as a general negative comment on something I will say outloud with comic effect, "Take it out back and burn it!"


Thursday, November 13, 2008

If you really want 'Socialism'...

Then nationalize some of our poorly performing industries, like automakers, oil companies and most importantly - the airlines. We need deserve better than to be held hostage by the whim of some greedy and stupid Capitalists who are not Americans first. Israel has one properly managed airline that has the best security, El Al, unlike our own that is sketchy at best - even with the TSA taking over from the $8 an hour high school drop-outs that let 9-11 happen. Why do we trust greedy people to do what is right for our country? Force of habit perhaps? Or, an acknowledgement that the alternative is potentially worse than we can ever imagine?
Maybe we could have one well run national automobile company that made a wide selection of cars for all needs, small cheap ones for the poor folk and roomier ones for those who can afford them, but they'd all be 'green' and super-fuel-efficient.
And the one well run national airline, they'd be able to plan things, schedules, hiring of pilots and buying jet fuel from the government, because instead of duplication of efforts and wasting of resources, we'd be able to preserve pension plans and avoid layoffs.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Al Qaeda in Canada or ELF?

Last month a couple of pipeline blasts in Canada near the town of Dawson Creek in the province of British Columbia caused little stir as the news media barely reported the act of terrorism.
It could be the work of the Earth Liberation Front, or their arch-nemesis and headline stealers the world famous - Al Qaeda.
Again, the lack of coverage of this story underlines the lack of facts and further undermines confidence in complex systems unable to defend themselves, including energy.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

"It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows..."

In support of be being a friend to Bill Ayres-

All things, people, ideas and actions are only truly known "in context". If we were to go back in a time machine to the late 1960s and take a look around, we'd see very strange things. We'd see a divided America, one hopelessly clinging to the past in a reactionary way, one that saw the domino-like spread of Communism in southeast Asia and had to act against it. Act against it despite the costs in blood and treasure. That plain vanilla America listened to Lawrence Welk and wouldn't think twice about going down the American Legion hall for a beer and to listen to tall tales of fishing and hunting trips and worse. Then there was that 'other' America, they grew their hair long because they wanted to, had freedom to, and it pissed off the 'squares' that they felt were repressing them. They avoided the draft and the war and the trappings of a stagnant soulless middle class existence with a Cadillac, a good stable job and 2.5 children. The Days of Rage and the Summer of Love and Woodstock Nation and all the cliches and bromides live on and the evidence is in all the freedom we have personally, kids with mohawk haircuts, tattoos and piercings... the Sixties happened and that genie will never be put back into the bottle of history. The invasion of Cambodia and the Kent State Massacre and the Hard Hat Riots in NYC were all real. Leftist underground groups did make explosives and shout "Off the pigs!" Dissent was patriotic and so was supporting the ground soldiers in the struggle. The very language of revolution assumes a sophisticated mind and an enlightened soul as it makes little sense to the simple-minded and the brain-washed. The war crimes we committed as a nation 'over there' have been well documented, what was less well documented were the war crimes committed here against our own people. When Black Panthers were shot dead in their homes by police in Detroit, when protestors were clubbed in Chicago in `68, when Peter Fonda as Captain America was killed in 'Easy Rider', when blacks were bitten by police dogs because they wanted to be treated like human beings, when... OK, the war was here too and there were political prisoners and real dead victims. People like Bill Ayres have become a cartoon character during this election season. The Culture War rages on and a new generation is being influenced by the rhetoric and emotional arguments for their hearts and minds... some of us have the courage and moral compass to know Right from Wrong and the rest play video games where there is a skewed sense of justice and who the 'hero' is. (to be continued)