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Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Band's Visit

Great date movie. Not that I'd know what a date is.
I was expecting something silly or corny. But it wasn't like that at all. It felt true and honest.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Teacher Threatens Linux Advocate

Ignorant public school teacher threatens to call the cops on FOSS advocate for handing out Linux DVDs.

Linux Is Corrupting Our Youth!

Teachers are supposed to be well informed and open to new ideas.

Being aware of FOSS should not be considered some kind of esoteric knowledge. It should be akin to knowing that your diesel truck can burn biodiesel as well as petrochemical diesel. Then again I'm sure there are plenty of people in this country who know what biodiesel is but would never use it even if it was half the price of petro diesel. We the sheeple.

This reminds me of the jackass legislator in OK who threatened to call the FBI on CentOS when he discovered the default CentOS Apache "it worked!" page running on a server where he expected to see something else. He knew immediately that the server had been hacked and lurched into action.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Let The Right One In

Låt den rätte komma in (2008) Sweden

This is a truly original vampire film. The vampire is a 12 year old girl who has been a 12 year old girl vampire for a long time. She and her middle-aged male accomplice have just moved into a small block of flats in a Swedish suburb. Her accomplice sets about mugging humans for their blood which he drains into a container to bring home to the vampire.

He's not terribly stealthy and narrowly avoids being caught a the crime scene. Because he has failed to bring home the blood, she is forced to hunt. By then she is so hungry she doesn't bother to leave the housing development and grabs the first guy who comes along, and her attack is witnessed. Soon all the neighbors are alarmed because people are going missing and their bodies are discovered. A woman is bitten and survives to become a vampire herself but later commits suicide by exposing herself to sunlight.

The most interesting part of this film is the relationship that develops between the vampire girl and a 12 year old boy she befriends. He's being bullied by some local thugs and she encourages him to fight back. Meanwhile, one of the locals suspects the new tenants of being the serial killers and invades the vampire's apartment. The vampire girl is nearly incinerated by sunlight but her young friend is there to save her.

I don't want to spoil it so that's all. Rent it. Enjoy it. It's a soulful vampire movie with a great musical score.


anti-Obama bumper stickers

This photo was snapped on Dec 5, 2008 which is well before Obama took office. I'm sure these people think they're pretty smart. In their minds, the gigantic heap of shit left by G.W. Bush is the Democrat congress' fault. Or something. Then as soon as Obama gets sworn in, it will be Obama's fault. Or sooner!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Boarding Gate

This movie is really unusual. It's one of those movies where you occasionally feel a twinge of guilt for having eavesdropped on so many intimate moments between people. And I'm not talking about secks here.

It's a completely unvarnished story of a woman at the center of a conspiricy to murder someone she once loved, ostensibly for money. There's hardly any sountrack. The characters in this film keep busy smuggling heroin and betraying each other. The line between gangster and businessman has been rubbed-out here. Pun intended. Do lots of people involved in international trade also smuggle dope as a sideline? I imagine so.

Eight stars for originality and for making us figure stuff out for ourselves.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gnome Menu Issue FIXED

For months when I clicked on Places--> Home Folder the panel would launch gqview instead of Nautilus. So annoying.

When your Gnome menus get screwed up just

cd ~/.local/share/applications ; rm *

You can do this while logged into Gnome. Don't worry; all those .desktop files will be regenerated automatically by whatever deamon monitors .local/share/applications for changes. You will have the factory defaults reset immediately. No need to logout/login again.

I must have looked at a dozen files in .gnome2, .gnome2_private, .gtkrc-1.2-gnome2, etcetera. Why does Gnome need so fucking many config dirs and files? Why can't they all be in a single tree?
In the end I gave up and searched the forums on That's where I found the answer after about ten minutes combing through the search results.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

revisionist categorizing

I'm sick of how today's yout' has been relabeling our bands and musical movements.

We were not concerened with labels. If pressed by an outsider to categorize a band we would use "new music", "post punk" or "art rock" to describe them. We resisted answering the question, "what kind of musinc is this?"

I saw Fugazi listed as a "emo" band today and I wanted to puke. Also, The Cure is not a "goth" band. I dunno what a goth band is but I think Marilyn Manson might be one. And Green Day was not and never will be a punk band. Same goes for nofx.

You clueless pimple-faces can fuck off.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Certainly not a great film but definitely a great cast and score. It was cool to see Dennis Hopper in a role where he wasn't playing a whacko. I think there ought to have been more electricity beteen Cruz and Kingsley. Both characters were a little too composed all the time. People in such relationships aren't quite so self possessed.

Some things were left unresolved, such as Kinglesy's relationship with his age-appropriate, log-term fucking girl.

Seven of ten stars.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Vera Drake

I read a raving review about this one years ago and never got to see it in a theatre. You need to see this film. Nuf said.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Harold and Kumar Escape Guantanamo

Completely awful compared to the (extremely funny) White Castle film. These guys need to stick to comedy and leave the soap box to Michael Moore. This was a big let-down for me. The only good scenes involve Neil Patrick Harris playing himself as a lunatic.

Poor Choice of Shirt

This poor fellow is going to end up in a "detention camp" for who knows how long. Hint to insurgents: don't wear shirts that proclaim your belligerent intent.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fun with recruiters

Lately I have been allowing the recruiters a single chance to not screw up. It's the "one strike and you're out" rule. Usually they blow it by lying to me. Know how I can tell they're lying? Their lips move.

And I always assumed they send the same "job opportunity" email to 99 other addresses. Here is one example.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An American Crime

I was not prepared for such a wrenching horror story. This film is vastly more disturbing than anything Clive Barker or the video game industry could dream up.

My HS social studies teacher told us the story of Kitty Genoves's murder in NYC. In the popular imagination Genoves' murder marked a (low) point in American history where one could argue that our American civic culture was dead. Or at least dead in Queens, New York. The story of her murder was grossly distorted by the press but it's also true nobody made sure the police came. None of the witnesses could have been sure what they saw but none of them bothered to investigate the situation.

What happened under Gertude Baniszewski's roof goes way beyond the "bystander effect." Be advised this is a deeply disturbing film.

This Is England

Great film about nineteen-eighties British kids. Worth a rent.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Random Harvest

Great old black and white film. This may have been the original amnesia romance film.

You Kill Me

Skip it. Wasted effort for all involved. A story like this is better told with unknown actors. I don't think any of these stars really felt invested in their roles.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Close Brush with Whitetail Deer at Fresh Pond

Noice day for a jog at Fresh Pond. Surely.

I started out at the Smith Place entrance and managed to maintain a snail's pace as I reached the section of road where the golf clubhouse and playing fields are. There's a steep, forested hill rising up from the pond which keeps the road in deep shade this time of day.

To my right I heard a crash and what do I see bounding down the hill but a full-grown, whitetail deer. She flies across the road maybe 15 feet in front of me and runs full tilt into the eight foot tall, chainlink fence at the water's edge. She bounces off the fence and falls to the ground, mouth agape; eyes wild with terror. She stumbles to her feet, wheels around and deliberately runs into the chainlink again, desperate to escape into the pond. She bounces off again and this time bolts back up the hill.

About 1/16 mile down the road I happen upon a park ranger. I stop and try to catch my breath and say, "I almost got tackled by a deer!"
She says, "a deer?"
I say, "A full grown deer. A female, I think. She ran right into the fence, bounced off it then ran into it again then ran back up the hill."
"Where did this happen," asks the ranger.
I tell her, "about a quarter mile back, downhill from the playing fields."

Ms Ranger waddles down the road the way I came. I notice her ass is the size of a beachball. Maybe two beachballs. You don't expect to see fat park rangers, even in the city.

If I had been another 10 steps further down the road this beastie may have collided with me. I would certainly have been injured. I guess it pays to go slow sometimes.

I came within a tenth of a mile of completing the loop around Fresh Pond. Cramps got me.
While exiting the park on the same path I used to enter, I look up at this massive sycamore tree
with an unusual T shaped crown. Sitting at the center of the T is a racoon the size of a spaniel. It took me a few seconds to be sure what it was. All I could see was this big gray lump but it was moving so I shouted, "HEY RICKEY!" He looked down at me and I laughed.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Trailer Park Boys

This show is every bit as funny as The Office UK, Curb Your Enthusiasm or anything else you'd care to compare it to. I have finished season five and I'm still hooked. Season four, episode two had me laughing so hard the tears were rolling down my face. Absolute genius.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

cell death

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Classic Interwub Post

I like The Inquirer. It's good for LuLs. "Rediculous" is my all-time fave Interwub misspelling.

Subject: Journalism

I used to enjoy this site, but the journalism on here is terrible, stop being so anti microsoft, they are the ones which brought about the development of computing and technology, and you take whatever oppotinity to snub them. For once be a fair and unbias journalists and stop this rediculous flaming. If you hate microsoft so much, then make a blog, your supposed to broadcast the news not fabricate and manupulate.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Michael Clayton

Woot this is a good film. I think it takes some guts to make such a film. Prolly George Cluny's best work ev4r!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

There Will Be Blood

I had wanted to see this film for a month or more. I finally went and saw it. Got there a few minutes late of course. Sat next to this suburban cow with frosted hair who didn't stfu the whole film. Actually I felt worse for her husband than I did for me. Here I was sitting in a 5:30 PM Sunday screening in West Newton and the place is PACKED. WTF!?

The final scene involves the anti-hero Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day Lewis, hurling bowling balls at his former nemesis the preacher Eli Sunday in the bowling alley built into the basement of his mansion. When I started laughing and the cow with the frosted hair says, "why are you laughing?" These are the times when you wish you could share something like the influenza with your fellow man or cow, as the case may be. This is why I rarely go to see films in theatres. All it takes is one jackass who can't shutup to ruin the experience and no matter where you sit, there she/he is.

Good movie though. Solid seven of ten. The soundtrack almost 100% No Commercial Potential material. Jonny Greenwood done it. He's a Radiohead dude. But Radiohead doesn't sound like NCP so hmm. Study that up?
I'll watch this one again on DVD and enjoy it more sitting alone in my room.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Darjeeling Limited

Horrible piece of crap. Should be called, "The Caliphoneya Express." I actually thought it might be about India. NOT. It's about three brothers bonding while being typical, dickhead tourists. Sure the director found a few picturesque locations but hardly ever do they say where they are. I'd rather watch a Michael Palin travel show. For most of the movie the characters act like rich, spoiled teenagers. When I'm traveling in a foreign country I try to be on my best behavior, especially if I can't speak the local language. Except when I'm in Georgia, (US) where I let it all hang out.

The three brothers rescue some Indian kids from drowning in a river. One of the kids drowns so they carry his body back to the village. Eventually they are invited to attend the funeral of the drowned boy. It's every liberal's wet dream (PUN INTENDED); going to an exotic country and not being a regular tourist but "giving back," having "cultural exchanges" (not just bodily fluids) with the natives. Hell, these guys are budding colonials, rescuing the natives who can't take care of themselves. The movie depicts no beggars, corpses or filth; India has been sanitized for our viewing pleasure. Thank you very little for this pile of vacuous drivel!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, The

It was neat to see Sondra Locke in this role. She never got a role this good again. She ended up in movies co-starring Clint Eastwood and his pet orangutan.
Alan Arkin plays the deaf guy brilliantly. Stacy Keach plays a down-and-out war veteran who lives for drinking beer. Percy Rodrigues is great as the black doctor who eventually comes to trust Arkin's character despite his being white. Cicely Tyson works well as a black power firebrand. Quite a touching story. The final scene is shot in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery, a place I once knew well.

Third Man, The

You need to watch this move or maybe you just need to hear it. The soundtrack alone should earn it nine or ten stars. No wonder this one is a classic. I never knew a zither could sound so good. Whoever did the sound editing on this film needs to have a 100 ft tall marble statue carved in their likeness installed somewhere in Burbank or Hollywood just to remind the industry how it can be done.

The movie is filmed in post-war Europe where huge rubble heaps are still standing. I'm glad the director Carol Reed chose to film on location. I can still hear the peculiar squeaking sound the bricks made when the actors climb over a piles of them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Night Moves (not Bob Seger's song)

Pretty darn good. Want to see how gorgeous Melanie Griffith was when she was about 18 years old? Want to see her nekkid? Rent Night Moves.
A young James Woods appears in a small role as a squirrely hoodlum type and does a good job. One character says of another, "he'd fuck a woodpile on the chance there might be a snake in it." Heh.

Even without Melanie's physical charms on display this would be a good film. Six and a half stars. Maybe seven.

Down in the Valley

Pretty good stuff. Recommended. Edward Norton as a seemingly harmless nut case falling obsessively for the lovely, much younger Evan Rachel Wood.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

King of California

Good film. Michael Douglas in an unusual (for him) role. He plays a burned-out jazz musician, pot-head and general fuck-up who has just been let out of the nuthouse. His daughter played by Evan Rachel Wood has been holding down the fort all alone while he's been getting therapy for the past two years. He comes home with a plan to find some burried Spanish treasure in the hills beyond the sprawl. I guess this film is about being able to trust and having faith in loved ones who don't seem to deserve any faith or trust. Anyway it has some sweet moments. Both of the main characters are easy to like and there are several good laughs mixed in. I think it's an sincere movie.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Black Book, The (contains spoilers)

Excellent film. Without any sentimentality this film depicts the crushing brutality of life in the occupied Netherlands late in the Second World War. The plot involves a conspiricy between a pair of Dutch men and a German officer to target the wealthiest Jewish people still living (underground) in the Netherlands. The Dutch men convince the Jews that for a price they will transport them to liberated Belgium. The Jews, carrying all their valuables, (cash, gold and jewelry) are led onto a barge that is supposed to ferry them to safety across the border. But there is a German partol boat waiting downstream for them and they are slaughtered on the deck of the barge. The Germans loot the bodies but our heroine escapes by diving into the canal.

The director does so many things right. The pace is perfect and someone did a great job at editing. Violent events pile up against one another as a terrible momentum builds. There is only a handful of moments when any of the characters has time to reflect on their situation before some new, unanticipated disaster crashes in.

This film has a twisty, complex, yet readily followed plot. It shows how compicated occupying a foreign nation is. It shows how easily the most committed, dedicated partisan could be framed as a traitor. You would expect life in the resistance to be dangerous, but you would not expect this kind of treachery from your own comrades. If you were a resistance fighter you would never expect to find a loyal ally in the German army yet I'm sure these events transpired in a fashion similar to this dramatization. You never feel the filmakers have embelished.

I give this pic nine solid gold stars. This story could not have been told this well by anyone in Hollywood.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Hunting Party

Wow. This movie is truly terrible. I have nothing good to say about it. If you're on a long flight and you can't fall asleep and The Hunting Party is playing, read and then re-read the airline's crappy magazine rather than waste 104 minutes of your life watching this dreck. Run away! Run away!