Archive

Archive for the ‘media’ Category

WordPress, but not WordPress…

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Special thanks to the developers at Links Alpha for such a great plug in. Also at Dallas Pro Web Designers for their plug in/ widget. Both made it really easy to move this blog off the Wp servers and keep some of the functionality.

Told ya… I was gonna do it. And it’s done.

I have a couple other blogs to move under my main domain umbrella and I’m done, at least publicly, with WordPress. After initially looking at the glamorous and glitzy Tumblr sites, I was impressed, but I couldn’t find comparable themes and templates. Mind you, they have some nice ones, but the really nice ones are about 20-60% more costly than those you would pay for in Wp format, and even if I did swallow that small pill, I would be losing the familiarity with which I’ve grown into, aesthetically, on my blogs.

Initially I was dismayed at the thought of eating my words and coming back, tail between my legs and continuing my begrudging relationship with the ever-silent racist sympathizer WordPress has become in my eyes, but no. Despite my keep-sh*t-simple life-motto, I knew that I wanted out from under and this was it, this was the time.

I could part with a layout I thought, if the layout is pleasing to the eye, as I feel mine are now- and I loved the fact I could apply the actual domain name without the subdomain (.wordpress.com) suffix to my blogs (something WordPress would reach into your pocket for!) at Tumblr… Then there were some functionality issues… Wp format is just more control-freak friendly, which I am. I needed a bit more control than is offered over there at Tum-Tum, as I’ve come to know affectionately refer to it. So what did I do? I took myself out of my comfort zone and got into the code a bit, installed the WordPress Application into my GoDaddy hosting account, and moved everything over. Some re-formatting glitches after familiarizing myself with the new operating procedures and log-ins, and here we are.

There are some tweaks on each site (two so far) that I have to come back to- but for the most part- the work is done.

I figure once in a while, I may repost an entry in the old (.wordpress.com) blog to attract some hits from the internal mechanism they have, freshly pressed and whatnot- but for the most part- we are free (and you can be too).

And we are under our own flags as well.

When you type in www.theoccasionalopinion.com you are led to the main domain The Occasional Opinion, then redirected to the subdomain under Damian Dezign. Looks the same as this one, so will you know the difference? Sans the stink of a background support staff that says nothing to you when you complain of racial epithets espoused upon you by other users of the free service- nahhhh, no difference at all.

This will be the last post here for a while, so if you don’t hit the link, and rss link or feed or do whatever it is you do to keep up at the new site, you will not receive an update when I comment on the absurdities of our world.

I’ve got some pent up thoughts on Lindsey and Hale, racism, white male model on black baby crimes, as if we need more daddy issues in this country… and more, waiting to come out…

All of which will not be posted here.

See you on the other side folks!

bye bye you mother f%&*($#s =P

I have 74 Tivo Season Passes… Too much?

January 31, 2011 Leave a comment

A friend recently said, “you watch all those shows, I was gonna ask you about this one” and it got me thinking. As if it takes much to get me thinking anyway. When I say it got me thinking I only mean it got me thinking more.

And yeah, I guess I do “watch all those shows” and it is as horrible as it sounds. But considering that via my little productivity tracking system, I’m increasingly productive (the numbers don’t lie) in the last couple of months, I can’t feel too guilty about pressing play on a favorite show if I’ve earned it. And usually that’s done with this laptop on my lap anyway- so even if I have earned the right to do nothing for a couple of hours, I rarely take myself up on it without wrestling with the guilt of doing nothing for a while beforehand. Welcome to my world.

Besides, this friend tends to be a downer too- and they like to criticize a lot but I wonder, if they’re unemployed (unlike myself) and pretty much in the same place in life that I’m in, what do they do all day, and not watch any shows they would later ask about and probably enjoy?

It may be helpful to know many of my friends are artists in their own right and/ or involved in or ardent admirers of the arts, media, drama, etc. Hence the love of media, and the irresistible urge to take it in when possible.

In any case, if you don’t have RCN in New York then you don’t mess with Tivo unless you go out of your way to. Yeah you can go out and buy a Tivo and subscribe to the service, but who needs another bill, is my motto. The consolidation of services is the name of the game if you ask me. Companies who invest in this effort are the companies that will last. But that’s food for another blog. here and now i’m going to break down my Season Pass Content to get a little snapshot of my personality in entertainment choices.

By the way I like the Tivo, it’s simplified enough, has a large enough capacity and offers a spill over option by making it possible to transfer your shows to yourPC via their software- because when you have 74 Season Passes (sorry, a Season Pass, if you don’t know, is a Tivo DVR menu item that automatically records all the episodes of a show for you as they come up for viewing) you might not actually watch the shows as they’re recorded and run out of space on the DVR. For me, that’s the poker shows that I enjoy once in a while, and can only watch back to back when I do. They pile up and sometimes a whole season will go by and I haven’t pressed play. It’s good to be able to take those shows and move them to my PC or laptop for viewing otherwise, or if I buy the upgrade to the software I can convert their code to play on my iPod or whatever. THAT is handy for sure- because I can definitely justify a season of the World Series of Poker on a flight or an episode or two of Poker After Dark on the commute (when I’m not listening to a language podcast that is- currently, Japanese. Learning is a productivity point).

Here we go… these are listed in no real order other, as I don’t really understand the way Tivo handles priority. Does it prioritize in escalating order (74 to 1) or in number order (1-74)? I’ve gone in there and moved a show up or down if it gets cut off early and I’m robbed of a climactic ending, but not knowing the order I usually park the show next to something that’s off season so it doesn’t happen again. In my defense I haven’t needed to hunt down an ending of a show more than once, and I felt the appropriate shame afterwards.

Lights Out FXHD

A former heavy weight champ, the actor that started the “his name is Robert Paulsen” chant in the movie Fight Club, deals with the aftermath of his controversial last fight before retirement and life’s pressures as they lead him back to the ring in direct opposition to his wife’s demands and his children’s concerns for his health. Form the first episode it had me hooked. This is drama for the lover of tough guy underdog roles. Count me in.

The Ricky Gervais Show HBOHD

No explanation needed, simply hilarious.

Episodes SHOWHD

Matt Leblanc returns to television but this time, respectably. It’s actually a very funny show, to my surprise, and any show with eye candy like Tamsin Greig, I’m in.

Californication

If you don’t know, get in the friggin know, good show.

The Walking Dead

Ditto.

In Treatment

Your first glimpse at the contrast in my taste, and/ or personality. This is a show that appeals purely to the intellect. If it’s not listed as an “Intellectual Drama”, it should be. Though the second season did less for me as far as providing interesting psychological analysis because they seemingly wanted to take the spotlight away from the patients and put more of it on the main character played by Gabriel Byrne , it still entertained, because that character seems to be pretty screwed up.

Eastbound & Down

Yeah I won’t be watching these two back to back, but I wouldn’t do without the hilarity that comes through my TV via this show.

Dexter

Again, if you don’t know, now you know.

Stargate Universe

Yes, I am a nerd, and this spin-off of the original show, that stemmed rather brilliantly from the movie, is miles above the rest. This show is what modern Sci-Fi should be. Put it right up there with BSG.

Off the Map

The pilot was available on iTunes for free, and desperate to un-bore my commute, I downloaded it (pre-Japanese classes)… to my surprise, I liked it, and so I got the Season Pass. there is no shortage of sensitive drama here, and I can be either in or out of the mood for that- You can only do the “oh I’m a sensitive doctor trying to redeem myself somehow” so much, but there’s also mucho eye candy here, more for the men than the women, so I’m in. Also, as much as I detest being cliché in any way, I can’t help but like to hear some well spoken Spanish and a sexy Spanish accent coming out of the tube.

Thats the first ten on the list. As much as I want to get into as much detail with the remaining sixty four shows- wow that’s really striking me as a lot now- I do have some other stuff to do today so let me just run down the rest of the list real quick…

Hawaii Five-0

Blue Bloods

Boardwalk empire

Fringe

CBS Evening News with Katie Couric

Men of a Certain Age

The Mentalist

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena

The Event

True Blood

House

Lie to Me

The League

Dark Blue

Outlaw

Chase

Rubicon

Southland

Community

Flipping Out (yeah, what?)

Rescue Me

Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory

The Real L Word

Sons of Anarchy

Louie

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

White Collar (reluctantly. I hope he finds his girlfriend, she’s hot)

Eureka (eh, ok)

Covert Affairs (Piper Perabo)

Poker After Dark

Haven (it’s X-files-ish)

Tosh.0 (in actuality I hate this guy)

Law & Order Los Angeles (giving it a chance)

The Defenders (kitschy)

LA Ink: Fresh Ink (I’m a sucker for a tattoo’d girl, and the art is sometimes amazing)

Ugly Americans (I don’t cry when this gets pre-empted)

Rules of Engagement (deserves the attention Two and a Half Men gets, a show which is ultimate shit if you ask me)

Russel Simmons Presents Stand Up at the El-Ray (to date, not one episode of this show has recorded? Perhaps the Tivo is empathic as well, and notes my negative feelings towards played out black-comedy)

The Penguins of Madagascar (my inner child)

Fanboy and Chum-Chum (I dare you to watch one episode and tell me you do not want to see Chummy again)

Strikeforce Challenger Series (i’ts good to remember the importance of self defense)

Robot Chicken (hilarious)

Shameless (giving it a chance, seems kitschy)

Machines (nerd)

Human Target (I was interested, but episodes don’t record, so whatevz I say)

30 Rock (indispensable, but see what I mean about the priority?)

Skins (I pretend they’re older… or do I?)

The Late late Show with Craig Ferguson* (funny man)

Perfect Couples (the one correspondent from the Daily Show, my god. Otherwise seems to be written by the same characters who wrote for the male lead’s previous show- and I dropped that show two eps into it- so we’ll see)

Conan* (the best)

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart* (it’s how I make sense of the news- a daily staple*)

The Colbert Report* (can’t do one without the other)

63 Comedy Central Presents (I toy with the idea of stand up)

Nova Science Now (brain)

NOVA (there’s a difference?)

Rizzoli & Isles (yes, a low point, but they’re hot and well, they’re hot)

Scrappers (sad, and occasionally funny)

American Pickers (don’t see what the fuss is about, but the office girl is tattoo’d hotness)

An Idiot Abroad (brilliantly funny)

Being Human (curious, but it’s not recording?)

Stand Up Showdown 2011 (see #63)

Wonders of the Solar System (great show)

Mutant Planet (also)

CBS Sunday Morning (am I getting old?)

So what have we learned…

We have learned that if I want to have to turn my head towards the TV and up from my laptop or away from the paintbrush or pen and paper- that I want to see a beautiful woman- for the most part. Otherwise, it seems I want something either really funny, dramatically or intellectually stimulating. It seems I want to be informed, but obviously, by the daily get-home after work run down; CBS Eve News, Daily Show, Colbert- by default- I don’t want to take any of it seriously.

Or I am so angry about it I refuse to.

I think when summer eventually rolls around- the Tivo DVR is going to explode cause I’m not gonna be home enough to keep up with any of this.

Blog Entry, One Productivity Point.

Quickly…

January 11, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m consumed by Graffitti Park, but very quickly, my heart goes out to those suffering due to the shooting of the Congresswoman in Arizona.

The right to bear arms should definitely go hand in hand with the public’s right to be safe- and stricter guidelines on who can exercise their right to bear arms need to be enacted.

Criminal Records as well as mental health evaluations should be required to own a weapon. I have no problem sitting with a therapist for an hour to get approved- and if you do- then you shouldn’t have a gun.

Also, restrictions on the manufacture and distribution of ballistics. Without bullets a psycho can’t do much but throw the gun like a rock. They can limit the amount of bullets one person can buy, make them account for their use (i.e. range shooting or hunting), require leftovers be turned in for refund and require a license for those who make their own.

The thinking of course is that even if a sick person gets their hands on a gun, they will have great trouble in arming it.

Other ideas include requiring any gun for home protection to hold a total of 5 or 6 bullets. No 16 clip magazine sitting in a law abiding citizens home should be expected to gun down 16 officers of the law should they ever need to disarm the occupant. The citizen also should not expect to have to protect their home against 16 thieves or assailants. If the gun is stolen, this limits how many rounds are on the street. If the gun is misused, this limits how many can be harmed with it. The number 5 or 6 only comes from the numbers many revolvers and some shotguns can hold (up to 10). I certainly am ok with less. Shotguns, more commonly bought for home protection for the sound they make when cocking providing an audible deterrent, can not easily be concealed, and therefore may remain exempt. The real danger as we can see, is the handgun and automatic assault rifle.

Then of course we have alternative ballistics- such as plastic, rubber, and incendiary or blank rounds.

I for one would be just fine loading my home protection handgun with a staggered clip, such as one blank, one incendiary (flash), and one real bullet.

Thinking here is that if in protecting my home, if I have to fire three rounds, it should be expected that the third round be a stopper, after the two first rounds are let off to deter.

Again, less rounds on the street, less people get hurt.

Enough.

Praise for the hero’s of the day and prayer for the survivors.

Categories: Anarchy, Death, education, media

It snowed in New York?

December 29, 2010 Leave a comment

The city dropped the ball- people in Brooklyn in particular and Staten Island (Staten Island shouldn’t complain- after Jersey Shore they should be glad we didn’t use the island as a snow dump) are in distress.

As you may or may not know I have access to some information about the city’s mood because of my job, and well, those boroughs are well, not happy. Can’t blame them, for whatever reason the response was much less effective than previous times. Of course I suck because I always evaluate all angles, I don’t go across the board and say one thing is right or wrong- and so being big on personal responsibility I do consider the fact that it’s just freaking snow, it can be shoveled, and it does melt- but then you have to be sympathetic to the elderly who depend not only on city services to control the effects of inclement weather- but also the highly ineffective and opportunistic MTA who makes money off of New Yorkers providing transportation as a private company, but seemingly invests absolutely no money of their ever inadequate budget on actual contingency- like having a snow plow or even a budget to hire private contractors if needed- to clear their own routes- god forbid. No, they put the onus on the city, along with charging city employees nearly the entire amount of their fare fees (millions of dollars in revenue). but before I go off on a rant- you have to be sympathetic to the elderly and the infirmed. Their main concern is getting to their health care appointments that sometimes are life dependent, and of course- emergency services being able to reach them. They are in effect, trapped in their homes. In a catastrophe, these are members of the population that are inevitable losses. People who get left behind. They cannot travel, much less, can they run for their lives. Now, this shouldn’t have been a catastrophic event, and this is everyone’s point, because for many people, the conditions were nearly as such.

The Mayor has owned up to the fact that the response was less than effective, and here is where the Mayor, which I support, personally lacks a bit of what New York needs right now.

People want blood. He speaks about accountability, and his business sense though admirable and fiscally effective- is not the Human Resources Politically Correct kind of language people want and need to hear right now. They need to hear “Heads are going to roll”. They need, and want to hear, that the man in charge shares their outrage and that the suffering of the people, is as the suffering of his own children, and that people who are in charge of certain things, will soon feel his wrath on the people’s behalf.

I know, it sounds arcane, but what can I tell you, its the pulse of the people, and although the minority of new Yorkers make the majority of the money and buy the New York Times, most people read the Post and the Daily News, which is dumbed down to a 3rd grade reading level. Needless to say most of them, won’t be reading this blog.

You cannot be a leader of the people, and expect the people to behave as you expect them or want them to- and if you ignore how they behave and pretend it does not exist- you lose public confidence (the equivalent of being overthrown in ancient times). As a leader of the people you have to do what you think is best, but you must speak the language of the people. I’m not running for Prime Minister in Japan without gettin’ my karaoke on.

Anyway…

It’s gray slush time here in New York.

Predictions;

If the weather improves, the snow will melt, if it melts too fast, though no one is saying anything right now, the sewers will overflow- the infrastructure, as the operation structure obviously, is lacking. There will be flooding. Transit will be delayed and cancelled. Elderly and infirmed will be stuck again. The media will swarm, as usual, helping nothing, and creating a public uproar that does no more than waste effort and time.

I… will say, I told you so.

Happy New Year everyone.

~ on a side note, expectations are being surpassed on Graffitti Park’s Facebook Page. Visit and add your support. It’s an idea that would benefit urban youth, the world of Art, urban communities and commerce.

http://www.graffittipark.wordpress.com or the link to the Facebook Page provided.

Thank You!

My thoughts on the Wikileak…

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

In a word… Guantanamo.

How does a private citizen come by documents vital to national security and have the balls to do anything more than to privately read them and say “what if?”

Then the New York Times has the balls to approach the White House and “offer” then the opportunity to redact??? As Gawker suggests, yes, they should be held liable too. They should be fined heavily, and demand the resignation of the managing head who thought the publication of illegally obtained documents were something they could publish openly.

I’ll tell you what should have been redacted, Mr. Julian Assange, once the documents were seized by the NSA from all entities within their reach. The moment he threatened national security as well as the stability of political relationships throughout the world Assange should have been bagged and held for questioning under the patriot act! Once he revealed his source and handed over all copies of those documents he could have been released with a smack on the ass, banned from entry to the United States ever again and the press release would have read “ESPIONAGE AND TERRORIST THREAT UNDER GUISE OF JOURNALISM AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT THWARTED BY (AGENCY NAME)”

Now, if Assange did not think his actions were of any illegal sort, akin to terrorism or espionage- then why did he flee to Switzerland the first time around?

It’s infuriating to see the ball dropped by this White House Administration yet another time. Why, if you have the power, do you not use it, when justified?! Even if you end up being wrong- what’s so bad about saying “the white house apologizes to Mr. Assange and thanks him for his understanding of the fact that our actions were in the name of protecting the people of the United States of America”?

But we wouldn’t have been wrong.

If this was an American, publishing secret documents obtained illegally, as Assange obtained these, that other country would have no problem making said American disappear. Now this is America and well, maybe in this situation we can’t do this (not that that kind of thing hasn’t happened) for whatever reason- but there are still strong measures that can be taken. Freedom of the press is bla bla bla and etc etc- sure. But just like freedom of speech- that freedom stops at yelling fire in a crowded theatre.

The reason those freedoms stop there is because of the safety of the majority. This Assange-hole has if nothing else, embarrassed our country (which if anyone had balls enough to deal with this appropriately it could have been avoided), and at most, damaged the relationships that diplomats have with our country, instilled a lack of trust in our country and boosted the moral of this country’s enemies.

Who knows the what the repercussions may end up being now that this supposed journalist or whatever he calls himself has blatantly and selfishly disregarded the national security and safety of a nation’s people, all for his own zeal. If the supposed terrorist threat is real, are they now more confident in defying our country? Are our embassies worldwide now hard targets for infiltration now that this jack-ass has shown how it can be done? Are the families of military personnel worldwide now in danger because entities who would like the same type of information realize, they can get some lowly private first class to steal documents, if not with a bribe, then with a gun to his wife and child’s head?

And it occurs to me… if he does consider himself a journalist- why not lock up the documents and actually WRITE a story about their contents. What ever happened to protecting your source? In which case this blog entry may be in defense of the honorable reporter of truths, instead of the entry it is, written with a snarling disgust at the level of irresponsibility of some human beings.

So, when you imagine a shit world situation and ask yourself- how in the world could it ever get worse- you can now give that thought a name. Julian Assange. The guy who  figured out how the f*cked world security and diplomatic situation could be worse.

The C*nt

 

Quick thoughts on: Security Pat Downs, Black Fridays, Death…

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Quickly; (I know I can sure write way too much but seriously, )

Security Pat Downs:

WTF? Seriously? So much money and time and media B.S. wasted on this subject- hey! Anyone remember Drug Mules? If I were a terrorista, and I wanted to smuggle something explosivo on an identified flying object- factor in I’m on the ride of my life of course- why am I bothering with anything less than complete concealment- yeahhhh that’s right people, I’m going there. In the ASS!

Cavity Search!

Now, if I haven’t been identified while standing on the line already (which I would expect from an intelligence budget in excess of $80.1 Billion… yeah, that’s frakkin right I said BILLION), and thus, already singled out for the cavity search that will end up dropping the package- then what makes you think you’re going tot stop me from popping the plane mid flight anyway. Ain’t no pat-down gonna do a damn thing.

And if you really – I mean really-really think that’s actually any kind of line of defense… then justify the 80.1 billion that DOESN’T isolate true credible threats before they even get to the airport- or on the line to get on the plane!

Black Fridays:

Hmm, you ever wonder how the general public would go about it’s business if the news media didn’t reveal itself to be a tool of the capitalist machine, securing by advertising and influence, higher margins of sale for major corporations? It occurs to me, maybe people might buy less, sure, and this would effect the overall economy, sure, but there would also be less waste, and maybe, just maybe, people would teach their kids, and each other- that you don’t actually have to have everything you see advertised on television, you don’t actually have to equate your personal validation or level of acceptance, much less the love of significant others by measuring it against how much material, or the monetary value of material items obtained for you on these commercial holidays.

Read that twice, because I said a lot.

My heart goes out the most to the shmoes who fall for the jewelry ads, and the women who sigh in recognition of how right those ads are… because the guys are suckers, and the women are saying it’s OK to buy their love.

The couple holds the child, he asks “I wonder if he’ll remember his first Christmas?…” (an absurd thing to wonder when the child looks like the umbilical has yet to dry up and fall off) and she says “I know I will” as she puts the ringed hand in view, annnd scene.

And we can rest assured, this ad represents our culture.

If I had the money I would recreate this ad for the holiday season. In my version the woman would say “I know I will, because when he grows up and we struggle to provide for his higher education, we can think back to how you spent our hard earned money on this useless shiny stone and metal bauble in some feeble minded follower mentality effort to buy my love and appreciation. It’s bad enough we have to succumb to the keep-up-with-the-Jones’es social pressure and waste money on lights and trees, but what were you thinking? What if there’s a flood, have we paid the insurance? What if there’s another financial collapse- are we doing so well we can be frivolous with our money? Are you so insecure as a man you think you have to buy your alpha-ness? what if he gets sick, god forbid, how is this ring going to pay for his healthcare? Even if we achieve financial comfort in the years to come, do you really think it responsible use of a financial note when in this very country, probably in our own neighborhood, people are likely hungry? What kind of father are you going to be? Will you teach this kind of lack of social consciousness to our son? Return this ring as soon as you can and put the money into a secure investment for our son’s future!”

In my search for a random picture to post with this little blog entry (you know you’ll never get on Freshly Pressed without one) I found this hilarious video that expresses a similar sentiment- and from a woman no less- muy admirable. You might have to watch that phallic-ally gratuitous commercial from Blackberry but don’t worry, the feeling that you want (Moby) Dick on your face fades quickly. Sarah Haskins in Target Women: Jewelry

Otherwise, since it’s not a Google or YouTube video I can’t actually add or embed any more than a link thanks to corporate partnerships and such, as Jon Stewart would say- here’s your moment of Zen…

yes, that's a "bachelorette shot glass ring"

 

and Death:

Today we heard of Leslie Nielsen and some guy who wrote the score for Star Wars- was it? Dying… I can understand the posts saying R.I.P., but others come off sounding foolish with comments like “you will be missed” as if you corresponded with Mr. Neilsen or the other guy, and yes, you will miss them because they were ever present in your life. Or even the “what a loss” comment- now, really? What a loss? Mr. Neilsen was 85? He wasn’t going to make any more movies i don’t think, and the other guy, who knows, I only thought of him today, because he died, and sure, great score, historic work, but as far as a loss, I’m sorry sir, with exception to your family, your loss is like the loss of that elusive other sock after the laundry to me- and even then perhaps the sock is more of a loss I think. You, I did not know. No loss.

Of course I turn it on myself a bit before I let others and before I open my mouth- and when Greg Giraldo died not long ago I was effected. But this was because of the proximity in a way, I had seen him perform live and was proud a Hispanic was succeeding in comedy, and that he wasn’t the equivalent of a black-face sell out to do it. When I said his death was a loss, I meant it, it is a loss. And when I said he would be missed, it wasn’t just in reference to some outdated movies that I could reminisce  over, it was in reference to his current persona and sans-death, future work that will never come.

I just think it’s ridiculous how some people are so random in their expressions, and it shows how lonely they are as people sometimes, where they choose to say certain things.

Is it a shame they died? Sure. But as far as I know, both were of natural causes too- so they came to their ends respectively, and that’s that. We all die. No one overdosed tragically, or blew their caps off with a shotgun or were murdered. They passed away. May they rest in peace and their families find the same.

 

 

Weekend Movie Reviews

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

127 Hours

Well I’d rather cut my arm off rather than tell anyone where I’m going. If you see this movie, you’ll see, you’ll probably have to.

The spin is- Appreciate your life and your loved ones and bla bla bla. The undeniable moral of the story is (if you don’t get sucked into the media “think as we tell you to think” marketing campaign), if you’re a dick, you’ll find your way to punishing yourself for it. Psychologically (my favorite thing about humanity), this is true for everyone. They want you to come away from this with such admiration for the guy’s resolve and dedication to staying alive- but I say unto you, isn’t it obvious that he wouldn’t be in that situation had he not been a dick?

So, come away with it having the knowledge that if you want to be a dick, at least be careful about it because you may end up stuck in a crevice and have to cut your own arm off to survive. A cell phone, a GPS or Satellite phone, something many outdoorsmen carry in their packs, shit, a senior citizens health alert or just letting your Onstar know that you’ll be hiking in the outback and if you don’t report back in such and such time- bingo, no self amputations necessary.

“A Triumphant true Story”… of a dick, and his having to cut his own arm off to have to realize it.

Otherwise, as a movie it’s a good piece of work.

The Messenger

By contrast, these men are not dicks. They, the subjects, are heroes. Did this movie win awards? I don’t know. I think it did and it should have. I remember wanting to see it when it was in theatres, but like so many movies, for so many reasons, I didn’t. Well it came to cable this week and I made it a point to catch it. It’s powerful and it brings into the experience of our troops in both a unique and universal way.

As someone who missed many an opportunity to serve in the armed forces, some by choice others by negligence, and the first time, by strong physical influence of a friend who put me up against a wall, lifted me off the ground by my shirt and said he’d kill me if I followed in his footsteps, just after he came back from Paris Island-  I will always live with the regret and underlying feeling that I not only want to do something… as well as that primal urge to kill something we all have (don’t lie), and of course, an unwavering respect for those who take up the call to duty whether by choice or necessity. 

Thats me. I am a pig. And I acknowledge that I owe my right and privilege to be a pig in this country to those men and women who put their lives on the line, and lets be clear, the line they put their lives on is the first line, the line on the edge of what is, and makes possible, everything that we call life and society that can exist behind that line they stand on. Without them standing there, going where they are unjustifiably sent, surviving it the best way they can and dieing… we cannot have what we have, because we would be overrun and slaughtered like the fat, lazy, uneducated and unconscionable Americans we have settled into being. Again, that’s me and how I feel. You may be more or less by margins I can only imagine- and I feel I owe so much more, but at least, I owe those brave soldiers the respect of sitting down and taking in a work like this so to better understand their experience. In the end it’s just about all they want, and all they can have of us, the people behind the lines who enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice.

You, whoever you are, however good you have it or however hard, should at least, sit down and try to understand  too. At least.

It’s a deeply compelling movie and the acting is captivating. The actors themselves are among the very best in their craft and a complete pleasure to watch.