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Wednesday, March 31, 2004
All we have to see is that I don't belong to you, and you don't belong to me (yeah yeah), Freedom!

Let's talk about movies.

Have you seen the previews for "Troy"? Wolfgang "Das Boot" Peterson is bringing the story of Paris and Helen of Troy to the big screen. Despite the fact that Greek mythology and stories such as this one have always been fascinating to me, the previews I've seen have so far failed to impress. The movie seems to focus so much of it's marketing on things that I've already seen before. I found the grandiose, computer driven, battle scenes in Lord of the Rings to be totally exciting. But similar looking sequences in Troy look bland and uninspired. Plus I still think that the wide shot, showing what looks like 100,00 war ships sailing on the Mediterranean, to be ridiculous looking. Just because you can do something doesn't mean it will work in the context of the film. I'm not sure there were enough people alive back in ancient Greece to build all those boats, fill em with sailors, and load em with warriors and archerers.

My point is basically that selling a movie by showing me huge epic battle scenes is becoming less and less effective. A quick post-script though: The web site focuses much more than just the "thousand ships" and pretty-boy actors flinging swords around. It actually looks a little intriguing.

I have a similar gripe with Jerry Bruckhiemer's upcoming King Arthur flick. Again...It just looks like Braveheart and Gladiator all over again. It does have the delicious Kiera Knightly in it...which might be enough to make me see it. However I'm confused on something. The movie advertises itself as the "true story behind the legend". Now I'm no historian, but I was always under the impression that the "King Arthur" behind the legend was one of the early horse-mounted warriors, before any such warriors wore armor.

Yet the preview shows your standard armor-clad Arthur rollin around. "Quibbling" you say? "Fuck-off" I say


On top of that I know that there is a "Merlin" in there somewhere. It will be interesting to see how his "true story" is told. Knightly, by the way plays Guinevere: a kick-ass, bow-wielding warrior (apparently all that "Pirates" time with legolas has rubbed off on her). I would also suspect that ass-kicking, arrow-flinging warrior hotties were probably not to prevalent back then. More likely it's a way to make that "stodgy old king Arthur tale" hip and contemporary. A true, hip, and contemporary story.

Of course I wouldn't care about that last interpretation if it weren't for the fact that it's brazenly touted as a true story...and I don't think it's in the funny, ironic, "Fargo" way. I would in fact think it to be pretty cool.

I guess I can't really talk though...being such a big fan of "JFK". But there's something so annoyingly "hollywood" about this thing.

Anyhow. I'm not saying the adverts are completely full of shit. But I'd be interested in hearing a medival history proffesor's responce to the movie.

A movie I am really excited about is "Coffee and Cigarettes" By Jim Jarmush. The cast alone is awesome. I feel as if there is another "me" running around moonlighting as a casting director.



Monday, March 29, 2004
Cutie cutie, make sure you move ya booty

One of the cool things about being an atheist is that you don't get attached to all the self-righteous bullshit that those religious types always get tangled up in. You know prayer in schools, creationism in biology, more god here and more god there.

But I suppose it's human nature for people to identify with a group and once identified...try to take over the world.

Even atheists aren't immune to that as seen by the recent supreme court hearing regarding the "Pledge of allegiance" and the phrase, "Under God".

I'll go on record as saying I have never liked that phrase. Even as a child (before I even realized that I was an atheist) I never liked that divine cameo.

However it's all about choosing your battles. To me it's not really worth getting all those religious folks pissed off.

The pledge itself is a social institution worth examining. At one point in the recent supreme court proceedings one of the justices (I believe it was O'Conner) said that the pledge didn't sound anything like a prayer to her. But when I look at the pledge that's exactly what I see, and it has nothing to do with the aforementioned "Phrase".

I grew up saying the pledge of allegiance almost every day at school. I never really thought about what I was saying. In fact I think I was more concerned with the sing-song cadence that went with saying the words. I suppose the pledge is meant to strengthen my sense of nationalism, but it isn't a dialogue that examines the nature of democracy. It isn't part of any intelligent or rational discourse meant to sway opinion by means of an appeal to common sense or logic.

The pledge is really more an expression of faith in one's country. In that sense it is very much like a prayer to me.

I don't think God belongs there, but I can see how it might feel at home in the pledge. So for now I'm willing to just deal with my slight discomfort on this issue and let the G-word slide in that context....just stop trying to teach "creation science" in public schools for fuck-sake.

In other news: I will be heading out to Lake Havasu next weekend. Seeing as how it will be prime-time for spring break vacationers, I'm thinking of preparing myself appropriately by purchasing one of these.




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