Cynical Basterd

Whenever I discuss my sociopolitcaleconmic blah blah blah views with anyone I get two reactions. 1) Quizzical looks and 2) Accusation that I am being far too cynical. Well, perhaps I can explain both here. To start with the latter, I am cynical for a reason: history. If the history of civilization after civilization has taught us anything is that all governments are comprised of lying cocksuckers, as Bill Hicks would say, some worse than others, of course. So, I do not think mine or anyone else’s cynicism is off base or uncalled for by any standards. Cynicism should never be confused with pessimism. In fact, quite the contrary. We, cynical basterds see through the hallow walls of government indoctrination and try to push forward to new and better ways of thinking and living. I would say that’s an optimistic way to think. In brief, cynicism is not a bad thing if you have reason and hope on your side. When discussing such topics I’m reminded of the classic Noam Chomsky/Mr. Lang quote, “If you’re not cynical, you’re not paying attention.”

Chris

My Top Five Favorite Sequels


Shot of young Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) gaining his first taste with murder as he is about to shoot public enemy Don Fanucci in the Godfather Part II

1) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991)- Perhaps the greatest action flick of all time and certainly a milestone for special effects. An overall fun time by all!

2) The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)- One of the greatest (summer) blockbusters of modern times. You couldn’t turn your head without hearing a patron poorly imitating the Joker’s, “why so serious?” Action was entertaining, characters were well developed, dialogue was memorable, and the story closely followed the original comics. All in all, far more enjoyable than it’s predecessor. RIP Heath Ledger

3) Clerks II (Kevin Smith, 2006)- Quite frankly, I was shocked this film was so marvelous! Being a huge fan of the original Clerks (1994) (# 3 on my list of all time favorites), I honestly did not anticipate Smith’s sequel to the live up to the first film’s greatness, but I was dead wrong. The unlikely duo of Dante (Brian O’ Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) are just as funny and pathetic (perhaps more pathetic!) in their 30s as they were in their 20s. Smith maintains the witty raunchiness we love in our View Askew joints and simultaneous creates a heartfelt masterpiece.

4) The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)- How do you top The Godfather (1972) arguably the greatest film in cinematic history? Well, you can’t! On the other hand, audiences fell in love with this sequel and many fans favor it over numero uno. In fact, it was awarded Best Picture at the Academy Awards, I believe the only sequel to do such a thing. Anyway, this picture continues the disturbing story of Michael Corleone and follows him into his darkest hour. By the end of the film, Michael is truly all alone with his sinister self.

5) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kirshner, 1980)- The darkest and for many the greatest of the original Star Wars Trilogy. There are no victories, no happy endings and no cuddily ewoks. This time the good guys don’t win, but it leaves we, the viewers lingering for more, like any good story should. With the introduction of the incredibly small, but sagacious Jedi Master, Yoda, the shocking revelation that Darth Vader is actually Luke Skywalker’s papa, and the badassness of Boba Fett, Empire is Fantasy Drama at it’s finest.

Note: Technically, Kill Bill Volume 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2004) should be number one, but I do not think of it as a sequel, rather I view both Volume 1 and 2 as an entire, epic masterpiece.

Chris

Quote of the Day

“A drug person can learn to cope with things like seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth. But no one should be asked to handle this trip,” Raoul Duke/Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas

Chris

OBOMA!

Nonpartisan budget and security monitors report in Government Executive that the “administration’s request for $538 billion for the Defense Department in fiscal 2010 and its stated intention to maintain a high level of funding in the coming years put the president on track to spend more on defense, in real dollars, than any other president has in one term of office since World War II. And that’s not counting the additional $130 billion the administration is requesting to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan next year, with even more war spending slated for future years.”

– Noam Chomsky on Barack Obama, “War, Peace, and Obama’s Nobel”

Full article here http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20091105.htm

Chris

Quote of the Day

The....who???

In response to a Best of 2009 album list that included mostly obscure artists (most of which I’ve never heard of, except a few like Strange Boys, Ganglians, and Thee Oh Sees, in addition to Animal Collective):

I mean really. Nice of you to throw in Animal Collective so that no one thought you were getting too crazy. But who has the capacity, let alone the time and desire to seek out this many completely unknown bands/artists and rank them accordingly on a message board. WHO THE $#@! ARE THESE PEOPLE? How do you find them? How did you find the time in your year to obtain and listen to all of these with a critical mind/eye? Do you only seek out artistic works that are completely removed from anything even resembling the main stream? I know that things that are popular are not necessarily good and vice versa, but how many people own the albums of all these artists combined? Are these really “good” albums, or are you just listing the most obscure $#@! you can find based on some internet search?

AND DID YOU KNOW THAT VIRTUALLY NONE OF THESE MOTHER $#@! BESIDES ANIMAL COLLECTIVE HAS A WIKIPEDIA PAGE? YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT NEITHER YOU NOR ANY OF THE OTHER UNDERGROUND HAND JOBS THAT LISTEN TO THESE BANDS IN DARK CLUBS AND COFFEE SHOPS FOUND TIME TO WASH THE HAND STAMP OFF AND COBBLE TOGETHER A SIMPLE WIKI ENTRY? CHRIST!!

Quote of the Day

Comes from Bloodshot Bill:

“”Most people who see me on the street see my pompadour and just call me Elvis. I don’t think I look anything like Elvis but that’s all they know. Most people don’t know anything about rockabilly, let alone psychobilly. When people see me play, they wonder how I invented this type of music – it’s crazy how little people know about music outside of Limp Bizkit or some shit. Psychobilly is just good-time music that uses traditonal rockabilly and can get really crazy. If it’s not fun and really crazy, then it just isn’t psychobilly.”