Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sing Along With JFK!

Ask not (ask not!) about this song from one of Basic Hip Digital Oddio's pages of oddities.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Something To Take My Mind Off The Return To Uni

Marcy Playground performing The Ballad of Aslan...

(Via woz22)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Help Leukaemia Research

Please spread the word about composer Patrick Doyle's "Music from the Movies: An All-Star Celebration" to benefit blood cancer research. You can try to attend if you are in London in late October, or you can contribute simply by making a donation (in British pounds).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The "New" John Williams

America's greatest living composer is probably John Williams. Since his music has been around for about 50 years, there is a temptation to engage in chronological snobbery (new/old music is better because it is newer/older). The Maestro changes a bit with the times, so while many had Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark as their first Williams soundtrack, I had Jurassic Park. Younger people have Harry Potter. Those of the Star Wars generation may listen to War of the Worlds with disappointment; the Harry Potter child may embrace War of the Worlds with dark fascination. There may be value in both reactions.

I respect the analytical seriousness in Williams' work. It has always been there, but emerges more often as he gets older. Though written with exceptional skill, his epic fanfares and soaring love themes nevertheless tackle emotions he usually explores in far subtler ways, or not at all, when left to his own devices. Like Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein before him, he went through a phase where his music could touch almost everyone, learned from it, and moved on. John Williams' film music is sounding more like John Williams, and I admire this "new" sound.

Final "Blade Runner" Cut

Some previews are here, and there is more about this as well as a possible (though, to my mind, highly unlikely) sequel: "It probably keys off with Edward James Olmos’ line when he says, 'It's a pity she won't live. But then who does.'" Better bring back Edward James Olmos, then.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

They Must Have Hated The Enlightenment

I largely agree with the new "seven wonders." Easter Island and Stonehenge each seem more wondrous than the Statue of Christ Redeemer, but, hey, all of the finalists were marvels.

Today's Associated Press coverage did make me chuckle in reference to another famous erection:

Many jeered when the Statue of Liberty was announced as one of the candidates. Portugal was widely opposed to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

I never knew Lady Liberty was involved in the Iraq intervention.

Booing an inanimate object because it resides in the United States has more to do with prejudices than policies, and that anti-Americanism is complete merde when the target is a French statue. D'oh!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Call of the Champions

Here is something to help cool those of us in warm (read: sweltering) climes, with John Williams, orchestra, and chorus modeling garden gnome winter fashions:

(Via MeridiusReborn)

Iran, Through Iraq?

The recent WSJ editorial that outlined how a U.S. withdraw from Iraq could broaden the Middle East conflict prompted me to wonder whether that was part of the plan all along, particularly with regard to Iran. If Iraq becomes a lasting success story (as is still possible), then that significantly marginalizes Iran, and war with the burgeoning nuclear power is less likely. If one of the few countries in the region that is [proto-]democratic and not overwhelmingly anti-American falters, the resulting boost for Iranian influence would also boost U.S. grounds for a war against Iran. With Iraq effectively neutralized by war and American troops freed for a new conflict, war with Iran would become highly probable. So Iraq presents a win-win opportunity over Iran: Succeed with one, gain diplomatic advantage against the other; fail with one, gain militaristic advantage against the other. Success is ideal, but there are a growing number of Pontius Pilates in D.C. who would rather do what is popular than do what is just. So barring a restored interest in saving Iraq, I suspect that bombs will drop on Iran a few months after America abandons the Iraqis. (Count this as another reason why I oppose abandoning the Iraqis...)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Thinking Of Spew

Sunday was the sickest day in my memory. It was probably food poisoning, but I am not clear on when or where I started hosting Viral and the Gastroenteritises. I do know that I woke up on Sunday morning, ran to the bathroom to vomit, drank some water, slept an hour, woke up, ran to the bathroom to vomit, drank some water, slept an hour, woke up, etc., for about 20 hours, with Gatorade, a bedside bucket, and a late-night addition of the runs being the only key variations. Of the graphic details I will quickly observe that leaning over the bathroom sink while sitting on the toilet is bad, having the dry heaves is worse, and blowing chunks through one's nose is worst of all ("I just sneezed corn?!").

Apart from the blur of bed, bath, and bucket, I experienced an overwhelming feeling that I was lost, despite being aware and responsive. Essentially, I was disassociating myself from my body. I have had others disassociate themselves from my body, but this was a first. The good thing is that I am happy to be reacquainted.

I rarely remember my dreams, so I should probably note the two I recall from Sunday night. In the first, I decided to go for an eventful walk while visiting friends in California. By eventful, I mean getting lost in the woods, surrounded by vicious ghosts, and rescued at the last minute by the claw of an alien spacecraft. In the second, I tried to help my brother track down an international hitman based at the University of Memphis.

All I consumed on Sunday was water, Gatorade, and a couple of aspirin. Honest.

Give Carter Credit

Any man who accepts a Nobel Peace Prize awarded out of spite rather than merit, manages to lose 14 partners at one go, and paints Hamas terrorists as misunderstood victims must be blissfully free from reality's burdens.

Next: Mars plan condemned after making a foreign official "very angry! Very angry indeed!"

Sunday, June 10, 2007

No-Go For The Logo

My initial reaction to the 2012 Olympic "brand" was apparently the same exclamation of "What the [expletive deleted] is that?!" uttered by almost everyone not involved with the ghastly thing. Lileks of course summed it up as only he can, yet I hoped to be the first to note that it looks like... well, suppose the "0" represents a head and the final "2" is the rest of the body, with an arm reaching out for that protruding bit of the first "2." But no, someone had to say it outright: "It looks like Lisa Simpson giving a blowjob."

The Varèse Sarabande logo could not be reached for comment.