Saturday, December 27, 2008

Torture ambivalence masquerading as moral and intellectual superiority - Glenn Greenwald
...As the above-excerpted clip demonstrates, those who view American Torture as a fascinating moral dilemma over which Serious People publicly agonize -- as Drezner put it: "if you're a national security person, you don't care about the legal niceties . . . it is a complicated question; it's not cut and dried" -- have actually convinced themselves that their refusal to make clear, definitive judgments is a hallmark not only of their moral superiority, but of their intellectual superiority as well. Only shrill ideologues and simpletons on either side believe that the torture question is "cut and dried." They actually believe that their indecisive open-mindedness on such clear moral questions is a sign of their rich and deep complexity, even though it's nothing more than an adolescent inability to assess the world through any prism other than their own immediate reflexive desires and self-interest...

Friday, December 26, 2008

this just in: on TCM at 11 PST--Blood Freak!

you've ever wanted to know what would
happen if you combined a little
Manos: The Hands of Fate with Tammy Faye Baker's former religious
(and eye make-up), sprinkled in a little
Herschel Gordon Lewis inspired gore, the
plot-logic and Shakespearean sincerity of Robot
and every anti-drug scare film you've ever seen, you'd probably agree that such a combination
would have some noxious -- if not totally lethal results. Then
imagine that whole concept was scripted by Ed Wood and directed by Coleman Francis, and you might get an inkling as to
exactly what kind of brain-bending movie
watching experience
Blood Freak truly is.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Local trees

Jean Shepherd, the man who told A Christmas Story - By Donald Fagen
Listening to Shep, I learned about social observation and human types: how to parse modern rituals (like dating and sports); the omnipresence of hierarchy; joy in struggle; "slobism"; "creeping meatballism"; 19th-century panoramic painting; the primitive, violent nature of man; Nelson Algren, Brecht, Beckett, the fables of George Ade; the nature of the soul; the codes inherent in "trivia," bliss in art; fishing for crappies; and the transience of desire. He told you what to expect from life (loss and betrayal) and made you feel that you were not alone.

sing along with Christina Rosetti & Gustav Holst's In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,

In the bleak midwinter, long ago...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008