Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Discovery Is Looking Pretty Old

Well it’s getting to be that time in history when we switch from one form of space travel to another. And I for one am glad. At least as far as astronaut safety is concerned these old shuttles are getting up there in age. Even the highest quality car only has a life expectance of 8-15 years. And the shuttles are way more complex and thus more difficult to maintain. Granted (for the most part) NASA’s done a bang up job. I think they rarely get the praise they deserve these days. But after 30 years of flights, orbits, re-entries, etc. these old girls have taken more than their share of hits, injuries, and repairs. It’s time. Or almost time... the Discovery is being rolled out now for reassembly and if this is not its final journey than it’s at least one of its final “golden year” journeys.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the shuttle was a very cool way to travel. And I have some issues with the Ares (ie. why not make a bigger shuttle that can release a pod down to a planet’s surface? Is it a money issue?). 

But I also believe the people of NASA really know what they’re doing, and if the Ares is what we get, well I’m willing to give it a chance. I honestly believe space travel is far more important than most people seem to think now a days. And I sometimes feel a little disheartened that people don’t share my vision of the future. 

See, I’m a dreamer. And I still wholeheartedly expect a version of that future we were all promised by pop culture sci-fi movies. I want a private spaceship with a warp drive and an awesome talking computer. I hope to explore distant planets and perhaps the advanced life forms that exist their. And I pray that I’ll one day get to at least feel what it’s like to be truly weightless... not simulated. 
Anyways, I’ve rambled long enough... but it seems like the end of an era to me. I grew up with the shuttles always being there, and a part of me never expected them to be placed in a museum somewhere, collecting dust, never to make another trip into the Cosmos. It’s a bittersweet thought. But the year is now 2010... and before you know it, it’ll be 2011. Oh man, where does the time go?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Favorite Films: M

1931 was a year of exploration. As sound became a hotter and hotter commodity in film Directors played with the format like it was a big ball of clay that could be anything... anything at all. Fritz Lang picked up his camera and made a movie that would shape the nature of film for years to come. 
M:  by Fritz Lang
The sensation of M is how it still means something today, and perhaps more than it meant way back in 1931 (though that remains to be seen). It is nearly a silent flick at times though that doesn’t stop the action from feeling thoroughly impressive. 
Consider, a man tormented by the demon inside, must release his illness on young children, must scar the landscape. And consider, you are the parent of one of these young children praying for justice. And consider still, you are another criminal being hunted twice as hard because some schmuck is out there doing something far worse than you, and you want revenge. And finally, you are a man of the law trying to bring justice to the people no matter what. But... how can justice be served? How can one elder death be fair punishment for the lives that were stripped away before they ever had a chance to understand the world around them? In the end, who can really win in such a situation? Much less, what does winning even mean?

The List So Far:
1927 - Metropolis - Fritz Lang
1928 - Steamboat Willie - Ub Iwerks
1931 - M - Fritz Lang

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Is Love Is Love

Several interesting stories on the “origins of love” exist. Actually probably more like thousands or millions. Um, light years of stories exist on the “origins of love.” Yeah. So I thought I’d share a couple of my favorites with you right now.
The first is an interesting idea, and the one I personally like to think is truth:
In the beginning there was nothing. But a density of unformed ingredients in need of a spark to set them off, separate them and make them all unique and remarkable entities. Not the big hunk of limitless potential that they were. Then in one moment (that perhaps lasted a millennia) a single grain of fire hit the mass of eternity and blasted it into forever. Suddenly shapes began to form, colors, the spectrum of this universe we try every day to understand (and forever fail). This flame, this spark, became a part of everything, even the air around us. Even the molecules between the air around us. Everything. And it is inside of us and it connects us while allowing us to remain individual. But it is still our life force. And it is us... and as I come to the end of this I contemplate the meaning of this statement: Love was that spark. And if perhaps it was a chemical or something smaller (something on the electron plane) perhaps in some way the thing that causes us to feel this emotion is the same thing that created all of existence.
(Listening to What Is The Light? by The Flaming Lips)
The second is quite different. But just as interesting:

When the earth was still flat,
And the clouds made of fire,
And mountains stretched up to the sky,
Sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth
Like big rolling kegs.
They had two sets of arms.
They had two sets of legs.
They had two faces peering
Out of one giant head
So they could watch all around them
As they talked; while they read.
And they never knew nothing of love.
It was before the origin of love.

The origin of love

And there were three sexes then,
One that looked like two men
Glued up back to back,
Called the children of the sun.
And similar in shape and girth
Were the children of the earth.
They looked like two girls
Rolled up in one.
And the children of the moon
Were like a fork shoved on a spoon.
They were part sun, part earth
Part daughter, part son.

The origin of love

Now the gods grew quite scared
Of our strength and defiance
And Thor said,
"I'm gonna kill them all
With my hammer,
Like I killed the giants."
And Zeus said, "No,
You better let me
Use my lightening, like scissors,
Like I cut the legs off the whales
And dinosaurs into lizards."
Then he grabbed up some bolts
And he let out a laugh,
Said, "I'll split them right down the middle.
Gonna cut them right up in half."
And then storm clouds gathered above
Into great balls of fire

And then fire shot down
From the sky in bolts
Like shining blades
Of a knife.
And it ripped
Right through the flesh
Of the children of the sun
And the moon
And the earth.
And some Indian god
Sewed the wound up into a hole,
Pulled it round to our belly
To remind us of the price we pay.
And Osiris and the gods of the Nile
Gathered up a big storm
To blow a hurricane,
To scatter us away,
In a flood of wind and rain,
And a sea of tidal waves,
To wash us all away,
And if we don't behave
They'll cut us down again
And we'll be hopping round on one foot
And looking through one eye.

Last time I saw you
We had just split in two.
You were looking at me.
I was looking at you.
You had a way so familiar,
But I could not recognize,
Cause you had blood on your face;
I had blood in my eyes.
But I could swear by your expression
That the pain down in your soul
Was the same as the one down in mine.
That's the pain,
Cuts a straight line
Down through the heart;
We called it love.
So we wrapped our arms around each other,
Trying to shove ourselves back together.
We were making love,
Making love.
It was a cold dark evening,
Such a long time ago,
When by the mighty hand of Jove,
It was the sad story
How we became
Lonely two-legged creatures,
It's the story of
The origin of love.
That's the origin of love.

Happy Love Day everyone.

Friday, February 12, 2010

At The Edge

The only bit of writing found on this page is “Or Worse.”
This image comes from my least favorite book... though looking back on it my mind was more focused here than I previously thought. Maybe my opinion will change in time.
Anyways, what d’y’all think?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nearing A Head

Sometimes things just happen in life. We lack control over the world around us and oft nature simply takes us by the ankles and grapples with us until we are suddenly no longer where we thought we were. We sit in the nest of the world staring through a small hole and realizing everything we thought we knew is wrong... and that realization is (confusingly) a symbol of growth and maturity?
As I fend through emotions that may or may not relate to this idea of growth I at least recognize that I am coming to something new and interesting. It would seem I am indeed Nearing A Head:
1. Can’t Go Back To Jersey - G. Love
2. Rousseau - Pinback
3. Major Tom (Coming Home) - Shiny Toy Guns
4. Losing Keys (Katalyst Remix) - Jack Johnson
5. Where Do I Begin - The Chemical Brothers
6. One Last Time - The Kooks
7. Mutant Genius (New Genius) - Gorillaz vs. Spacemonkeyz
8. Me, My Yoke, And I - Damien Rice
9. Everything Is Everything - Phoenix
10. Unnecessary Trouble - Hard-Fi
11. Not For Sale - CocoRosie
12. Time Bomb - Dave Matthews Band
13. Honey Come Home - John Alagia
14. Have You Ever Seen The Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival
15. Shoot The Works - Fox Bat Strategy
16. The Cold Part - Modest Mouse
17. Just A Thought - Gnarls Barkley
18. Broken Drum - Beck

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Silver Screener And The March King Talk Oscar Noms

My friend The Silver Screener responds to this Tweet:
March King-Man, Oscar always ignores my favorite movies, ie. Moon.
Silver Screener-Moon, unfortunately, didn't even have a shot. A small indie with a small release whose own studio didn't believe in its chances. Ridiculous. 
(Sony Pictures Classics wouldn’t even send out screeners for the multi-award winning film.)
MK-True. Sad fact. But the massive push in hollywood for a (Sam) Rockwell nomination I hoped would at least equal something.
SS-Especially disappointing since (Morgan) Freeman's yawn-inducing performance in the dull as dirt Invictus made it. Of course, Helen Mirren called the Oscars "the creme-de-la-creme of bullshit."
MK-haha True. Whatever. As long as LOST is good tonight life'll be alright. The (500) Days (Of Summer) thing is annoying as well and no love for (Where The) Wild Things (Are)?
SS-I can't even figure that one out. The (500) Days thing, I mean. I can understand the (Where The) Wild Things (Are) snub because it was such an atypically bleak family film. I liked it, of course, but I can understand people who wouldn't. But (500) Days.... man, that was bullshit.
MK-For sure. I like how the academy whole heartedly ignored every other awards gathering.
SS-I do like that.
SS-I hate it when they just echo every other guild.
MK-Happens sometimes.
SS-And then we get surprise noms like Maggie Gyllenhaal!
MK-But... True true. But... If a film or actor is truly the best it seems (in a sensible world) it would appear in all of the shows just because it truly deserves it. Politics seem to stop that from happening though. I know I'm reaching for long shots... but enough people knew about/liked them in the community for films like Moon and (500) Days to get recognized
SS-Not enough people saw Moon, I thought. It's still a cult film, first and foremost.
MK-In the community... The tweets at least (lol) seemed to say otherwise, even if box office numbers didn't show that. The number of (Duncan) Jones related tweets from higher ups was surprising to me ie. led to my ultimate disappointment when I actually thought Moon had a shot. But yeah. I guess I was wrong. Nominees ain't bad. But every year they find a way to disappoint me.
SS-It's hard to please everyone. Maybe if they stopped voting in mediocrities, though...
MK-That'd be nice.
SS-Like In-f@*&ing-victus. Though that didn't get a Best Pic nod, so happy day! But the Blind Side did, so, you know, whatever.
MK-haha Yeah. Somebody's laughing right now... I don't think it's Sandra (Bullock)... but somebody big is laughing pretty hard about that... I bet it wins.
SS-Actress? Yeah, probably.
MK-No. Picture haha. They need another Crash.
(In 2006, Crash [Haggis] won Best Picture to everyone’s surprise, despite the fact that it was released in 2004 a year too early for consideration. The films it beat: Munich [Spielberg], Brokeback Mountain [Lee], Good Night and Good Luck [Clooney], Capote [Miller]. My friends and I often joke about Crash because it is the only film we felt did not even deserve to be in the category.)
MK-lol Sorry.
SS-Heart....stopping. Lungs...closing....
MK-I'm just saying. Look at the trends. It's about that time. But it'll probably be Avatar... though I dunno if I like that.
SS-I would LOVE that.
MK-I liked the movie alright. Just... I dunno. It's still like, I’m hoping Up In The Air wins. I want an Avenue Q v. Wicked situation. That'd be more interesting for me. Especially considering I would prefer Up In The Air to Avatar any day. I did like (Avatar), but Up In The Air is better... Hard to compare lol.
(In 2004, Avenue Q won Best Musical at the Tony Awards. This was an upset as everyone expected Wicked to sweep the ceremony. I personally agree that Avenue Q is superior.)
SS-I mean, you know I adore and love and respect Up In The Air, but Avatar was the best blowjob I've ever had.
MK-haha Dirty. I actually would prefer A Single Man to both of those. But it's too small.
SS-I still think The Hurt Locker will win it, though.
MK-Yeah? I should see that.
SS-Oh, A Single Man. Ignored for Best Original Score.
SS-Um, yes. Yes you should. On BluRay!
MK-AHHH!!! lol I will try. Plenty of time before the event.
SS-Four weeks, yeah.
You can see the nominees at Oscar.go.com.