Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Tale of Two Numbers...

...and a definition.

The first number: $6 Billion, that is $6,000,000,000. The amount of money the CRP estimates was spent on the 2012 election campaigns.

The second number: 50 Million, that is 50,000,000. The number of goats that my favorite international charity, Heifer, could have provided to impoverished families with that amount of money.

Why goats? Well, because goats are useful. They provide milk and manure while alive and meat and hide when dead. And they reproduce more goats which provide more milk, manure, meat, and hide.

Time for an emotionally charged picture.

So for the price of 50 million goats for people who simply need food and milk, we have nearly the same government today as yesterday.

Now a definition.

1: not guided or controlled by conscience : unscrupulous (Lacking moral principles.)
   b : shockingly unfair or unjust
This excess of campaign spending is unconscionable in every sense.


To Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney,

You should both be ashamed of yourselves for allowing and participating in this excess.

To My Fellow Citizens,

Don't allow this to continue. In the future, when you see or hear a political ad, turn off the tv, turn off the radio, put down the newspaper. Just walk away. If the ads don't reach people, they will stop paying for them, and just maybe that money will go to someone deserving. And when you go to open your wallet and donate to a politician's campaign, please take a second to consider the goat instead.


S.J. Forester

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On the Revivification of Star Wars...

To expand on yesterday's post, I want to explore the possibilities of disaster that Disney could visit upon Star Wars.

So let's figure out what makes Star Wars so iconic and how Disney could screw it up.

Story: Hmmmm. Not particularly iconic. Really, it's just the standard mono-myth wrapped up in some special effects. Orphan leaves home, encounters wise old man who teaches him magic, rescues the princess, defeats the evil sorcerer, and saves the kingdom. Ya know... I think Disney has that story down.

Music: Pretty damn iconic. It redefined music in film. As far as I know though, John Williams is still composing, and Disney has a pretty solid track record of music in films.

Setting: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Pretty good opening words. In fact, most of Star Wars' 'science fantasy' setting is iconic. Swords and sorcery, floating cities, forest moons, and strange inhuman creatures. Hmmm... I think Disney has all that pretty well covered too.

What else...

Oh! Characters! This is a big one. Star Wars has many of the most iconic characters in all of cinema. Emperor Palpatine, Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, R2D2, C3PO, Chewbacca, and Han Solo. That's quite a list. But here's the thing. Most of them are dead! In fact, they are largely iconic characters because they are dead. They lived, they were awesome, they served their purpose, and then they died. They didn't keep playing the game even after they'd become obsolete.

You may have noted a few omissions in the list. Well, let's face it, Luke and Leia are not iconic. The characters are straight from the Greek mono-myth and the acting and dialogue were average at best. Sorry, Mark and Carrie, but it's true.

In any case, Disney can't ruin the dead characters, because they're dead. As for the living ones... R2D2 and C3PO were jokes to begin with, stolen directly from Akira Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress, so it would be pretty hard to damage those characters any more than the prequels did. And Chewbacca is a costume that growls unintelligibly, so that's hard to screw up.

Which leaves Han Solo. Hmmm. Ok, that could be tough. Harrison Ford isn't exactly spry anymore... So it looks like we found the small thermal exhaust port after all.

To summarize:

Dear Disney,
Don't fuck with Han.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's all over...

The Dark Mouse of the Sith has arrived. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you just aren't nerd enough.) And now someone is going to take our beloved icon, perhaps the single most influential movie of the past half-century, and add annoyingly stupid animated characters, child protagonists, terrible directing, and worse writing.

Oh, wait... I guess that's already happened...

Hmmm... In that case...

Could this turn of events be even worse? Well, that just seems unlikely if not impossible.

Could this possibly be a good thing? Well, let's see how it turned out for Pixar and Marvel since their respective acquisitions.

Since they were acquired in 2006, Pixar has produced: Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, and Brave. There's some really good movies in that list.

As for Marvel, they have so far only distributed Marvel's The Avengers under the new umbrella. But it seems that one did ok...

So... While some of you might ought to go hide under your beds until the fallout is over, methinks there could be a promising future waiting when you peek out again...