Saturday, July 29, 2006

Observations and Other Delusions

I'm very fond of self-depricating humour.
The trouble is that I don't do it very well.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


It’s not often that a film will come along that is so bad not even I will like it. BloodRayne is one such film.
The plot is derivative, as is most of this movie. Kristianna Loken stars as Rayne, a Damphir, part human-part vampire. She is being pursued by a vampire overlord (played by Ben Kingsley, who must be paying off a lost bet by being in this), and some human vampire hunters led by Michael Madsen. Along the way, she learns secrets about her past, gains special powers, confronts her father blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.
This film looks like it had a budget equivalent my allowance when I was eleven. The vampire make-up looks like Buffy leftovers. This film is filled with bloody violence that is about as realistic and comical as the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Oh, wait – BloodRayne isn’t a comedy!
Madsen is horribly miscast in this, but so is everyone else, too. Loken has some screen presence, but nothing can save her in this mess, and no-one else brings anything to their parts. Except for Meatloaf, who, in his only brief scene, deliriously chews on the scenery and swallows it whole. (He clearly is the only person who realizes what a piece of frommage he’s in – he’s billed in this film as “Meatloaf Aday.”)
Avoid this film at all costs.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Blame the Victim

So far, Israeli shelling in Lebanon has killed eight Canadian citizens, including one UN peacekeeper.
And what does our Prime Minister have to say? Not much, other than he's sure it was an accident and that everyone's really really sorry.
Hurling ordnance into cities is never an accident.
Talk about blaming the victims....

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I Don't Get It

William Kristol says it again here, and it's a statement that deserves some scrutiny.
(Kristol also says that all the problems in the world are the fault of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, sorting of glossing over that the reason for the Islamists' popularity was the American-backed coup of the democratically-elected Iranian government of the early 1950s and the installation and American support of the Shah's 25 years of brutal dictitorial repression. When Bush rambles on about how a democratic Arab nation will change the Middle East, remember that there was one 50 years ago until the West overthrew it. But I digress.)
While talking about the current war in Lebanon, Kristol says, "Better to say that what's under attack is liberal democratic civilization, whose leading representative right now happens to be the United States."
I don't get it. How do you quantify the statement that the US is the leading representative of democracy? They're sure doing a good job -- Be Nice To America or They'll Bring Democracy to Your Country!
What about that other chestnut that America is the "freest nation on earth." Again, how is this determined? Does Time publish some sort of "freedom index"? Is it determined by a straw poll of Fox News correspondents? Don Rumsfeld's tea leaves? Or by reading the pattern of buckshot left in Dick Cheney's hunting victims, er, partners?
It is a strikingly American perception that somehow the USA is rightfully the leader of the democratic world. Only in the US is the President often referred to as "The Leader of the Free World," and it is done as if it was the obvious natural order of things.
I don't recall when this was decided. Did I miss a meeting? Was I on vacation that week? If we're in the free world, and the free world has a leader, shouldn't there be a vote or something like that on who leads us?
I know I didn't vote for him.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Linus Health Update #10

Linus's BP seems to have stabilized, so the vet seems pleased at the moment. So we will continue with the current course of meds. Linus doesn't have to return to the vet for three months.
(Yeah, I know. It's a pretty flimsy update. Actually, it's really nothing more than an excuse to run another picture of Linus.)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Linus Health Update 9

Linus's new blood pressure medicine seems to be working well. His BP is in the 150-160 range, which is still high, but lower than the 220 it was hanging around in earlier.
Linus even had that rarest of treats, a housecall. We've discovered that he really doesn't like visiting the vet and his BP becomes quite elevated during his visits. So last week a tech came by the house to check his BP and catch it (and him) in a relaxed state.
Can't wait to get that bill!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Crazy Diamond Shining On

It's hard to figure why the death of Syd Barrett has knocked me down a peg or two today. I must admit that I am not a big fan of Pink Floyd's brief Barrett-led period. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn has never been part of my music collection, although Ummagumma did provide some musical reference to the Barrett years.
The story of Syd is what compels, the musician boy-genius who walked the fine edge between genius and insanity and finally fell right over it. Maybe I'm feeling sad now that the story has ended.
Or maybe it's the continued reminder that my childhood idols are becoming old. Becoming mortal. Running over the same old ground.
What have we found? The same old fears....