22 December 2009

Read Maria Bustillos' review of Avatar. She, maybe, will be able to dissuade you from spending your money on this. I especially second this:

The impression of complete hypocrisy was in no way lessened by the glossy war-porn recruitment commercial for the National Guard, produced in exactly the same style and character, that played before the movie (though with no aliens, I guess, and not, thankfully, in 3D).

Someday I will write an essay explaining why this commercial is disgusting, fascistic, and makes me want to move to Canada NOW. But I am tired.

21 December 2009

If Roger Ebert says regarding the film Avatar: "It is an Event, one of those films you feel you must see to keep up with the conversation," then I shall endeavor to go see it tomorrow.

11 December 2009

A reader of Andrew Sullivan's blog opines:

The photo of the Iranian men wearing green hijabs to honor Majid Tavakoli made me think of the great Middle English epic Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
During his quest, Gawain broke his promise to share everything he acquired in Sir Bertilak's castle in order to conceal and keep a lady's green girdle, which he was told had the magical power to save his life. For that very human and understandable lapse in chivalry, the Green Knight nicked Gawain's neck slightly with his axe, when he would otherwise have spared him entirely. Ashamed of his partial failure, Gawain wore the girdle as a baldric and told the whole court at Camelot of his shame. Impressed by his bravery and humility, all the Knights of the Round Table decided from that day forth to wear green baldrics in fellowship with Gawain, to honor him.
They are very different stories from very different times and cultures, but the parallels -- a hunted man wearing a woman's garment to escape mortal danger, that fact being held up as a mark of shame, and his peers wearing similar garments (green, even) to turn them into a badge of honor -- are fascinating to me. I wonder if the Gawain story once had some basis in fact, and if the heroes of the Green Revolution will one day be the subject of Persian epic poetry.

I hope so. Maybe the story of Rostam and Sohrab will be bundled with Majid and his Green Companions and sold cheaply whereever Iranians live.

10 December 2009

The average December precipitation for Madison is 1.32 inches. We just got 16 inches of snow (and today's high was around 8 degrees F).

09 December 2009

My advice to the supporters of marriage equality in New Jersey:

All the phone calls in the world won't sway a legislator who is taking money or favors from the Catholic Church. Speak out in public places instead, and throw tomatoes or other soft fruit at those who vote NO.

02 December 2009

The heavy hand of bigotry fell upon the New York State Senate today, as a bill to legalize same-sex marriage was voted down 38-24.

I applaud Senators Adams and Parker for their fervent arguments in favor of the bill. The spirit of Martin Luther King was on them today.

As for Ruben Diaz (the only senator who attempted to explain his 'no' vote), since you love your g--damn Bible so much, let me quote Matthew's gospel (18:19-20).

Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
I have a mixed reaction to Obama's Afghanistan speech. One thing I am very glad he said was this:

"...these men belonged to al Qaeda, a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world's great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents."

So long have we waited to hear someone in power tell us that suicide bombers are no more representative of Islam than Timothy McVeigh is of Christianity. In the aftermath of the Fort Hood murders, it would have been very easy to avoid this subject. I tremble to think what John McCain would have told the cadets--how many times he would have used the word 'crusade,' for instance--poisoning the chance of any operation's success before it even began.