Prometheus is the heartfelt and charming story of a sexy android, played with compelling wit and an assured twinkle by Jude Law and his best friend and sidekick, a plastic surgery pod played with intelligence and grace by Michael Fassbender's excellent posture, as they traverse a future America in which Ethan Hawke is played by Charlize Theron and Uma Thurman is played by the Norse god Heimdallr, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Idris Elba. The Android, named David, is obsessed with Italian cycling, but his father just doesn't understand. Eventually, they find the fifth symbol and open the Stargate, but what they find on the other side is not the answers, but the police. David asks the surgery pod if they should just keep going and guns the engine. Charlize Theron sprints after them, but it is too late. Mark Ruffalo's butt. How many times have I told them to put locking mechanisms on the vehicle doors? In the end, the Octogator impregnates the Sharktopus. I happen to know that a little Lebowski is on the way.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
If you stare long enough at a liberal, the squiggly lines often resolve into a picture of a newborn kitty cat. Vide infra. It's a crackpot teleology that inevitably ends up as a martial technocracy--Starfleet as the natural end state of a very boring social metamorphosis. We must all join forces to solve insert pressing issue. Isn't it neat that joining forces is itself a phrase with a martial origin? David Atkins, the dimmest light at Digby's Discount Bulb Emporium:
It's how tribes grew into villages, how villages grew into city-states, city-states became kingdoms, and kingdoms became empires. It's how empires fell of their own weight, how dark ages grew into feudalism, feudalism centralized into nation-states, and how nation-states gradually adopted democratic reforms through fits, starts and revolutions.The "it" of the "is" here is "the story of the power of civilization and complexification to mitigate the worst tendencies of human nature while expanding universal rights and unlocking the secrets of the universe." Oh dear. Of course, the universalism of tribes growing into villages (oh is that how it happened?) pretty swiftly resolves itself into a bad history of the European peninsula. Did the Western Roman Empire "fall of its own weight"? What would that mean, actually? The dark ages "grew" into feudalism, fortunately without the intervention of a single Carolingian, less yet Vikings! Magyars! Al-Andalus! Feudalism, whatever that was, "centralized into nation-states," nevermind Germany, Italy, or the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Then everyone became a democracy, through fits and starts. Is this passage meant to be illustrative but not literal? I find it hard to read as a metaphor. My favorite Jewish homosexual, Michael Weiner-Savage, says that liberalism is a mental disease. A charming thesis, but, I think, wrong on the particulars. It seems to me that liberalism is a learning disability.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Obviously my interest in politics is somewhat exhausted of late. Well, there's the garden to tend to, dinners to prepare, a stubbornly unfinished piece of fiction that I have determined to complete before year's end, and the incipient, inchoate sense that maybe this year I will actually train for and ride in the Dirty Dozen rather than just talking about it. Ceci dit, everyonceinawhile, a piece of election-year thanksralphery appears that is so numbingly holy, so dripping with a humorless martial piety gone off to war with the purportedly greater piety of its imagine fundamentalist enemies, that it's worth setting down the tea and Madeleines for a little chuckle at its expense.
Item: Garry Wills. Wills is a conservative by disposition, which is to say, a liberal. Since the predominant institutions of our society--from the Social Security Office to the Department of Ahem Defense--were crafted by liberalism in the last century, the principal commitment of contemporary liberals is to the preservation thereof, and what is conservativism but a dedication to social and political traditions? I suppose that he'd want to be called a progressive these days, brand management being the outmoded B-school coinage of the current Democratic realm: an aspirant junta as laughably committed to renaming their little Burma as, well.
Generally, anyone who points out that the Democratic Party is run by a cabal of megalomaniacal war-loving psychopaths stands accused of sententious holiness on matters of grave, uh, compromise. Usually the accusers are themselves deacons in the church, who perceive in the dissenters an untoward fundamentalism, like Romenys gazing regretfully in the direction of a polygamist compound. They think that the dissenters and dislikers and malcontents and hippies and commies and anarchists and libertarians and minarchists and stoners and survivalists and queer liberationists and reactionaries and crackpots and so on are all too bathed in the fresh blood of the lamb to sully themselves with the dirt of two-party electoral politics. What they can't appreciate because they are themselves so hopelessly wedded to their faith is that people aren't troubled by hard choices or bad choices. We're all obliged to make bad choices all the time, between worse and worst, and to live with them. What people reject is false choice, choice that isn't choice, heads I win tails you lose choice, life flattened into politics and politics turned into a prisoners dilemma.
Some people do vote for third parties or start Occupy movements or, like the poor perfesser whose dull YouTube occasioned Wills' Jesuitical snarl, give a quiet voice to principled abstention. Well, how about unprincipled abstention? How about the value of not giving a shit? What about indifference? What if the prerequisite to killing the gods isn't casting down the idols, but simply ceasing to pray?
Yesterday, one of the greatest athletes of our time was convicted of 51 counts ranging from rape to the corruption of minors. Roger Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young award winner with one of the longest and most storied careers of any pitcher in the hundred-year history of major league baseball, was accused of using his position and influence to groom young boys for eventual sexual predation. His crimes outraged the nation, and public sentiment ran hotly in favor of a swift trial and a harsh punishment. There is no more pressing issue for our nation than the safety of our children, and I, for one, want to thank God that the Department of Justice, the Obama administration, first responders everywhere, and our fallen heroes were able to rise to the occasion and, through hard work and perseverance, bring this monster to justice.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Today, the NPR guy said, On this day in history, the War of 1812 began. The war brought the burning of Washington, but it also gave us the Star Spangled Banner.
If only the former, rather than the latter, had stuck.