forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
"The Virgin Spring" at its base is the tale of a young woman named Karin in medieval Scandinavia who, on her way to church to deliver candles, is raped and murdered by three herdsman with whom she decides to share her meal with. When the herdsmen seek shelter for the night at the house of Karin's father, Tore, he discovers the murder when the herdsmen try to sell him Karin's clothes. After revenging himself on the herdsmen by killing them, he and his family find the body of the Karin. After vowing to build a church on the ground where Karin lay in atonement of his murders, Tore lifts the head of his daughter from the ground and a spring gushes forth, the "virgin spring" by which the film is named.

This film is one of Ingmar Bergman's best, dealing with the theme of duality on many levels. As an example, Tore is possessed of two daughters, Karin being blond, pure of heart, and virginal. Contrasted with this is his older daughter Ingeri, dark-haired, angry, and pregnant with an unknown man's child. The interaction between the daughters serves as a discussion of which is truly good. While Ingeri is bitter and often verbally abusive, in many ways she comports herself better than the 'pure' daughter Karin, who seems flighty and overly concerned with appearance. The juxtaposition brings to light many questions as to who is truly good, the worldly or unworldly, and how the answer changes depending on situation.

In speaking of light, it is often used in the "The Virgin Spring" to emphasize innocence and depravity. Ingeri and the herdsmen are often in shadow, not able to be seen clearly, while the pious, like Karin and Tore's wife Mareta, are often haloed. Scenes of pastoral beauty are left sun-lit until evil appears in the form of the herdsmen, to be replaced with seeming cloud-cover and the dimming of the day. Shadows and darkness abound when evil deeds are performed, such as the rape and murder of Karin and the murder of the herdsmen themselves.

Typical of Bergman, there are no characters in the film that are not flawed and indeed, the seven deadly sins of the medieval world can be found in abundance. The herdsmen display lust in the rape of Karin, gluttony in their consumption of dinner at Tore's table, and greed when trying to sell Karin's clothes to Tore. Tore and the herdsmen both give into wrath with their murders. Mareta is a victim of sloth, failing to correct either daughter and preferring to indulge them. Ingeri is consumed with envy of Karin. All of the characters are victims of pride, pride in themselves, pride in their actions, and pride in their status in life.

At the base of this display of sin is the question of whether people are justified in their actions and the perils that can occur if one strays off the proper paths of righteousness and virtue. The herdsmen are not the type that would repent of their sins, but Tore and his family do in the end. And thus we have the symbolism of the virgin spring, water that comes from repentance of actions that should not have been taken, as the family washes themselves clean of the past.

While the film itself may seem to be dour and tinged with regret and sadness, it is truly a passion play that ends with the repentance of the characters left of their sins and flaws. This conveys a sense of hope for the future, symbolized by the spring itself. As a film vividly portraying the varying dualities of good and evil, of innocence and sin, it provides a unique study that should be watched quite carefully.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
This film is a remarkably cogent homage to the classic haunted house/ghost story that was prevalent during the 1950/60s. In "Insidious", James Wan has taken what would have been a film of the classic horror era and updated it with special effects, but has retained all of the visual techniques and impact of the earlier style. This creates a sense of immersion and deliberate creeping horror that I have found to be absent from the majority of current horror films.

The narrative of the film follows the travails of a family that has recently moved into a rather striking house. The Lamberts are a working couple with three young children, two sons of similar age and an infant daughter. At first, the house seems merely like any other house that has been lived in previously, full of creaks and groans. But as expected, events in the house start to turn sinister, first with the eldest son, Dalton, falling into a coma that cannot be explained. With the medical establishment at a loss and Dalton returned home for constant care, creepy events begin to occur with voices, visions, and felt presences that cannot be explained.

A wash of blue tones permeates the entire movie, muting light and creating shadows and darkness, conveying a sense of uneasiness that cannot be readily ignored. There are no bright and vibrant colors, just dark tones and oppressive shading, with even white walls appearing to be somewhat dimmed and gray even in full sunlight. The lighting could be best described as that which appears in a particularly bright thunderstorm, with the yellow of the sun filtered out by cloud cover. Combined with this is a truly classic soundtrack, composed primarily of soft violins that jar into a harsh screech at the appropriate moments. The effect is truly classic, as if a black and white film of the late 1950s has been suddenly colorized into horrific reality.

The truly outstanding elements of the film, though, are seen in Wan's adherence to classic horror cinematography. The camera is held at claustrophobic angles, so that you are never looking straight at a character but always from below or above. There is an omnipresent sense of limited vantage point, with sounds and sights always seeming to occur just out of frame. Even in the later part of the movie, with a venture into the astral world that is called "the Further", an omnipresent mist obscuring sight creates both a sense of empty drear space with a hugely claustrophobic and enclosed sense. Of special note are the opening credits, which show mostly-normal looking backdrops that you will see later on...but always with an element out of place, something that is not right that when noticed creates a chill.

Avoiding the usual overabundance of gore and shocking violence that tends to characterize current horror, we have in "Insidious" a return to the classic haunted house film that uses psychology and terror to make its point. It is a distinct pleasure to see, as films such as these are sadly absent from the screen today.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
There is no end to the amount of praise that I can give for Akira Kurosawa's "Yojimbo", a film whose cinematography and acting are almost without peer. While on the face of the film, it is merely a samurai epic piece, it embodies Kurosawa's reinterpretation of the film noir of the West, stripped of the hard streets of the dark city and transplanted into the late Tokugawa Shogunate, at the start of the Meiji Era. In doing so, Akira Kurosawa created a masterpiece of a film, in which every element is carefully placed and yet looks totally natural, the use of mise-en-scene being one of the most elaborate ever done.

The main protagonist of our darkly humorous piece is one unnamed wandering ronin, played by the actor Toshiro Mifune. Swaggering through the film, twitching and scratching as if afflicted by fleas, he encounters a town full of characters almost unrealistically exaggerated, socially riven by a gang war between the leading "gamblers" or yakuza of the area. The few townspeople not involved are universally portrayed as helpless and weak, while those townspeople who have sided with the gangs are almost comically venal and servile. The villains themselves are a collection of thugs and plug-uglies, almost universally hideous and repulsive in their presentation. While normally such an array of grotesquerie would be uncomfortable, a black ironic streak running throughout the film instead renders the ensemble as ultimately appropriate for the subject matter at hand.

Arriving in town on a whim, our unnamed ronin is an anti-hero, looking to be paid and paid well, hiring himself out as a bodyguard, or yojimbo, to whoever will pay him best. Gruff, possessed of bad manners, and seemingly uncaring of morals and ethics, his only redeeming quality seems to be his skill with a sword. Yet he also exhibits a quixotic nature, as he promises the innkeeper in the town that he will clean it up and drum up some business, seemingly for his own entertainment if nothing else. Our yojimbo then proceeds to turn the two competing yakuza gangs against each other, a not terribly difficult ploy as our villains in this movie seem to have intellectual capacity that is proportionally lower based on the hideousness of their moral and physical appearance. Between our antihero and the antagonists, it is difficult to find anyone to empathize with - at least, until it is revealed that the yojimbo just might have a heart of gold underneath his hardened and gruff shell as he saves a peasant family in the middle of the film.

Aside from the masterful presentation of narrative in the film, the cinematography used is also to be lauded. There is a considerable use of deep focus and depth of field in order to highlight significant moments in the film, such as the showdown between the rival gangs as the yojimbo watches from on high in a bell tower or the scene wherein the yojimbo intervenes to save the innkeeper who has been beaten and strung up by the yakuza. In the latter scene, the innkeeper is almost looking directly of the camera, his expression one of deep resignation and sheer disdain for the troubles the yakuza have embroiled the town in.

In and of itself, the film is a perfect example of the transplantation of film noir to the latter Tokugawa Shogunate. It is a very faithful retelling of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest, a hard-boiled novel featuring a small mining town that is currently experiencing the exact same situation as our poor Japanese village. The re-characterization of the novel by Akira Kurosawa creates a spectacle that is somehow a fitting paean to the corrupt times that existed previous to the arising of the Meiji restoration, showing an almost tongue-in-cheek similarity of how genre can be assimilated across vast periods of time and culture.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
The entire Mediterranean is on fire. More than that, it's not just the surrounding countries of the Mediterranean. It also spreads up here. You have U.K. and Ireland already with riot in the street. You have Russia with a bombing.Well, now, let's see -- let's play this through. What do you think happens? These two collide. They quite honestly, they could make us collapse financially. Just these two colliding. Let alone, if this is on fire as well, our forces there? What do we do? This is colliding. We're pouring all of our money into here and here and trying to keep things stable. China pushes this direction. Here's China pushes this direction, just says knock it off, guys. These guys are pushing this direction. This is all pushing up into the middle, into the Mediterranean, into Spain. This becomes a caliphate. This becomes China dominant. This becomes Muslim caliphate. If they think Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Libya, possibly Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, are now some sort of a Muslim caliphate. If anyone begins to think that is a chance, what happens to the overwhelming radical population of the U.K., of radical Islamists? What happens? Do they just sit around on their hand or do they see an opportunity? When you take the Marxist and you combine them with the radical from Islam, when you combine those forces, which is exactly -- we'll show you this week -- what is happening here, the whole world starts to implode. Does Russia push across this way? And what do we do? This is not just happenstance. This is not just poor people mad at rich people. This is coordinated. Tunisia was the beginning. I think there is a chance that Tunisia is our Archduke Ferdinand moment that I've been telling you about, warning that it would start in some place that wouldn't look like anything, and most of us wouldn't understand it. He was the guy assassinated in Sarajevo, June 1914. A month later, Austria and Hungary declared war against Serbia and the rest is called World War I. I believe a snowball is being formed, and it is starting to roll.

Just because you in Washington and you who are so out of touch with life in the media, just because you don't believe in anything doesn't mean nobody else does. We do. You know why you're confused by this show? It's because I believe in something. You don't. Tea parties believe in small government. We believe in returning to the principles of our Founding Fathers. We respect them. We revere them. Shoot me in the head before I stop talking about the Founders. Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government. I will stand against you and so will millions of others. We believe in something. You in the media and most in Washington don't. The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep's clothing — change the pose. You will get the ends. You've been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You're going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you. They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind. And if they feel you have lied to them — they're revolutionaries. Nancy Pelosi, those are the people you should be worried about.

Hang on, let me just tell you what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out -- is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus -- band -- Do, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, "Yeah, I'd kill Michael Moore," and then I'd see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I'd realize, "Oh, you wouldn't kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn't choke him to death." And you know, well, I'm not sure.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
[Vince is a follower of Harold Camping, who preaches that the world will end on May 21st. Or possibly five months later.]

So who's with me? I need a discussion about where I can bequeath all of my worldly possessions for the time after 5-21-11. I already told my bank that they can start to prepare to foreclose on my house on 5-22-11. Because even if I'm not raptured (though I really do think I'll be included with the other true believers), I'm sure the bank managers and especially the mortgage department personel won't be. And if I'm not raptured I intend to live out the next 5 months squatting in the homes of those that were raptured.

But that still leaves me with almost $160,000 to use up or give away.

Any suggestions?

==================

"I feel"

As opposed to "I rationally and objectively think"

Ever since I read about this "I feel" thing I've noticed many many girls say it. And I have never once herd a man say it, ever.

Men don't feel. We analyze data and observe then come to a logical conclusion. Women make statements backed up by nothing and men are expected to shut up and deal with it, or give them an intellectual pass because deep down we know they have the minds of children.

==================

(Manhattan to be hit by a dirty bomb in April 2011)

We now calculate that Manhattan in the US will be hit by fire from the heavens resulting from a bomb which produces a mushroom cloud rising from the sea on 2010VeAdar28-29=2011Nisan4-5 (2011April7-9)

Here are the first verses of 1 Kings 17 and 1 Kings 18...

1 And Elijah [Gordon], the Tishbite from the inhabitants of Gilead proceeded to say to Ahab: As Jehovah the God of Israel before whom I do stand is living, there will occur during these years neither dew [water baptism from the earth] nor rain [spirit baptism from the heavens], except at the order of my word! (1 Kings 17).

The account runs from 1 Kings 17:1 to 1 Kings 18:46. It is the story of who can bring fire to the bull and actually rain to the land. Is it the prophets of Baal with their wonderful fire then rain dance? or is it Elijah and his God? Therefore the drought must start on 2001Tishri30 (or 7 days later). This was the day that Paul Gillies, the UK Watchtower press officer wrote to the UK Guardian newspaper confirming that the Watchtower was unrepentant for their UN NGO idolatry.

The greater meaning of this contest is who can predict terrorism and who can water baptise, Elijah or the prophets of Baal? In fact the one who can predict terrorism, is the one who can water baptise. The one who can bring fire can bring rain. To the Phoenicians and the Philistines and idolaters in Israel, Baal was the God of fertility (human and agricultural) and therefore he could bring rain clouds which caused agricultural fertility. So this was a contest designed to show up Baal as a false God. The prophets of Baal are Christians who are more interested in congregation fertility than scriptural truth. They are the bean counters, the bureaucrats, the target setters, the pharisees of the church.

==================

Bluntly, Planned Parenthood lures your kids into sex outside of marriage without your knowledge or consent. And then, they get to kill your unborn grandchildren without notifying you.

==================

Far too many women are fascists at heart. You can see this at work in almost every female-dominant organization and in the way that women's organizations constantly attempt to force change on everyone, men and women, who don't want it. Some people think the Founding Fathers had never even considered the thought of allowing women to vote, that it was just a historical oversight on the part of some unconsciously sexist men. I suspect that they knew perfectly well what they were doing, given the obvious connection between the female franchise and the West's continental drift into socialism.

There is a reason why a fascist demagogue like Benito Mussolini made suffragism the very first point in the Fascist Manifesto, after all.

=================

It shows from a few of these comments from Latinos that they do NOT have a real personal living relationship with Jesus Christ! This report is on the MAJORITY, not those Latinos YOU know. Most Latinos are catholic, and they know NOTHING about true Christianity! I have met Latinos who SUPPORT Israel, but most Latinos would turn in a Jew and have them arrested if a socialist leader told them to. This is a FACT! Now, I am a TRUE CHRISTIAN who studies God's Word, unlike millions of Latino catholics who are taught to not study the Bible for themselves, because if they do it without a priest leading them that they will fall into evil beliefs.</>A

=================

First, there is no such thing as marital rape. Once consent is formally given in public ceremony, it cannot be revoked; the form in which marital consent is revoked is well-established. It is called divorce. This isn't a religious issue, although many on both sides will attempt to view it that way, it's a simple matter of when consent is revocable and the specific form that revocation must take. I invite those who believe that consent may always be granted and revoked at will to consent to join the U.S. Army, then attempt to withdraw their consent. That should serve to clarify the matter for them; one hopes they will enjoy their extended holiday in Afghanistan. The attempt to create a legal concept of "marital rape" is no less than an attempt to destroy the basic concept of marriage. If the husband or the wife has no more claim to the spouse's body than anyone else, then the marital vows are meaningless and the marriage is a charade. Once consent is withdrawn, the marriage has ended.

================

since evolution does not exist we will not be allowing any discussion about that false theory in this forum or website.

that does not mean that science cannot be discussed but it does mean that any mentioning of evolution is out. when scientists see reactions in their experiemnts, they are NOT seeing evolution in action but the result of God's creative work under the influence of the sin and corruption that entered the world at adam's sin.

that also means that there is no such thing as evolutionary biology, there is simply biology and this idea applies to all fields related to science.

do not bring evolutionary ideas into the forum, bring the truth and evolution, the process, the thinking is NOT the truth.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
It seems that IKEA views us the way American companies view the Philippines and Mexico. To quote: Laborers in Swedwood plants in Sweden produce bookcases and tables similar to those manufactured in Danville. The big difference is that the Europeans enjoy a minimum wage of about $19 an hour and a government-mandated five weeks of paid vacation. Full-time employees in Danville start at $8 an hour with 12 vacation days — eight of them on dates determined by the company.

What's more, as many as one-third of the workers at the Danville plant have been drawn from local temporary-staffing agencies. These workers receive even lower wages and no benefits, employees said.

Swedwood's Steen said the company is reducing the number of temps, but she acknowledged the pay gap between factories in Europe and the U.S. "That is related to the standard of living and general conditions in the different countries," Steen said.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes. These things should really be common knowledge, but it's surprising as to how many people aren't aware of the information.

Furthermore, Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs? To quote the article: "In the coming months, when you watch Republican congressional stooges play out the desperate comedy of solving America's deficit problems by making fewer photocopies of proposed bills, or by taking an ax to budgetary shrubberies like NPR or the SEC, remember Christy Mack and her fancy new carriage house. There is no belt-tightening on the other side of the tracks. Just a free lunch that never ends."
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
The death of capitalism?

From the article: Is the free market the best economic system in the world?

That's the question Toronto-based public opinion firm Globescan began asking people in 2002. The company's annual survey now stretches across 23 countries. Back then, the answer for most Americans was: "Why, of course it is." In fact, a world-leading 80 percent of those Americans polled by Globescan in 2002 said that capitalism and the free market was the best economic system to bring prosperity to the world.

But what happens when ten years passes, income inequality continues to rise, scandals repeatedly sweep through big corporations and across Wall Street, unemployment jumps to above 10 percent, and the U.S. economy stumbles to its darkest period since the Great Depression?

Support for free markets goes down, of course. Way down.

According to Globescan's latest survey released today, only 59 percent of Americans said they they "strongly" or "somewhat" agree that the free market is the best economic system for planet earth's future. That's now below popular opinion in the surging economies of China (67 percent) and Brazil (also 67 percent).


And really, the first comment says it all:

Is this what happens when you repeatedly call things "socialism" that are not? After a while people begin to think that if "capitalism" is the way things are now, that maybe "socialism" might not be so bad?

Well, fucking duh.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
So apparently, Melvin thinks I'm a looney cunt for not thinking that George Soros is an Illuminati master-mind out to create the New World Order. But as usual, he gets the facts wrong, so let's dissect it, eh?

And notice the contempt for the "whackos", who she apparently knows are whackos because... ... they say something about Soros, who she knows nothing about.

First off, I know a great deal about George Soros, the Hungarian-American billionaire who's famous for his currency speculations. I'm familiar with his short sale of the British pound, which netted him a cool $1.1 billion dollars. (Sucks for the UK government, but that's their own fault pushing the pound into the ERM at too high a rate.) I'm familiar with how the ASEAN blamed him for the Asian financial crisis originally. I'm familiar with his inside trading conviction in France. I know exactly what causes he donates to and why.

But the people who think he's some sort of super political mastermind ARE whackos, and it's pretty plain to see. The conspiracy theory they all bleat is the following:

The entire left wing movement as it exists today is run by Moveon.Org and the DailyKos, and is funded by George Soros.

Most people who follow this conspiracy theory also like to add on that George Soros is responsible for the Zionist Occupied Government and will create a New World Order after a racial holy war to eliminate the white race. Like I said: WHACKOS. Capital W, lower-case hack, and add a big O at the end for emphasis.

For Melvie's further information, here are a bunch of other conspiracy theories I DON'T believe:

- The Republicans used legal chicanery and fraud to win the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election. (And the 2004 one. And they tried but failed in in 2008.)
- That a group of "community organizers" called ACORN stuffed the ballot boxes for Obama in 2008.
- Former U.S. Vice President Richard B. "Dick" Cheney ordered Scooter Libby to expose Valerie Plame as an undercover CIA officer.
- John Hinckley, Jr. had been brainwashed into trying to assassinate Ronald Reagan, at the behest of George Herbert Walker Bush. This attempt to kill Reagan and let Bush step in failed, though by a very small margin. Alternately, it was to bolster Reagan's popularity (although he was already), and set Bush up to succeed him possibly.
- Bush deliberately lied to get the US to invade Iraq. (As opposed to being simply incompetent.)
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Allen Dulles and Chief Justice Earl Warren were all Communist agents. [1]
- The Reagan campaign made a deal with the Iranian government not to release the hostages until after Reagan was elected President.
- Bush et al. knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance. and let them happen.
- Bill and Hillary Clinton had 50 people murdered, and got off scot-free
- FEMA is on the brink of dissolving the US government and shipping all of the country's undesireables to concentration camps for slaughter or deprogramming.
- A vast number of American institutions are working together to "turn America into an amoral, humanist country, ripe for merger into a one-world socialist state".

The idea that George Soros is the secret puppet master of liberals everywhere, beaming mind control instructions into our brains, ranks right up there with the ones I just mentioned. Conspiracy woo. Bullshit. Fantasy.

That leads us to this sentence:

Murdoch runs a business. The Koch Brothers compared to the amount of money Soros puts into his activism is like a shot glass versus an oil tanker.

Ah, let's lift the veil on this simplistic crap, why don't we?

Murdoch runs a business, yes. So does Soros; he's got his own finance group.

Soros gives money to his pet political interests. So does Murdoch, who in recent years has hosted fundraisers for Hilary Clinton, ordered the New York Post to endorse Obama in the Democratic primaries, and has given millions to groups like the Republican Governor's Association and the US Chamber of Commerce. He's also managed to meet and influence more Presidents than Soros ever has, including Obama. And that's just here in the USA, not mentioning his actions in Canada, the UK, and Australia.

The Koch brothers too run a business. While they prefer to donate less, they exercise their political influence more directly: They create political groups, fund them entirely, and tell them exactly what to say. The list of groups include:
- Americans for Prosperity Foundation
- the Cato Institute
- the Mercatus Center
- the Institute for Humane Studies
- Citizens for a Sound Economy
- the Institute for Justice
- the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
- the Institute for Energy Research
- the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment
- Heritage Foundation
- the Manhattan Institute
- the George C. Marshall Institute
- the Reason Foundation
- the American Enterprise Institute

*sings* AND MANY MORE!!!! In fact, I'd say the Koch brothers are smarter than Soros because they realize you get more bang for your buck funding your own think tanks than just donating to a cause. Much more political influence that way.

The point of all this? Simple. None of these guys - Soros, Murdoch, the Kochs - are masterminds behind a sinister (or even blatant) political agenda. Not. A. One. They are all just rich businessmen using their money to influence politics to go the way they want things to go, so that they can continue to earn more and more money. I don't know why Melvin would have a problem with ANYONE doing that, since that's just capitalism at work.

But that brings us to this explicit question, presumably directed towards me:

Hey fuckhead. Have the Koch Brothers destroyed the British pound recently? For, in their own words, "fun"? No.

Well, let's have a correction here. He didn't do it for fun. He did it for a $1.1 billion profit.
Let's repeat that with emphasis:

$1.1 billion profit

That's a damn good reason to "destroy the British pound". You can bet that if the Koch brothers had thought of it, they would have done it in a heartbeat. So would Murdoch. And Gates. And Warren Buffett. Shit, ANY good businessman would have. If you wouldn't, Melvin, then you don't have any business sense whatsoever.

So no, the Koch brothers haven't done so lately, but I'm sure if the opportunity arose, they'd be on that shit like white on rice. After all, $1.1 billion happens to be some good tunes, no matter how you sliced it.

Ah, well, Melvie. Sorry I don't drink the conspiracy Kool-Aid to your satisfaction, but I'm not interested in going into Alex Jones territory with you. It's a sign of encroaching senility.

[1] This one is very popular with Bachmann!
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
So now's the point where I sit down and review how my life has become so clusterfucked.

It's not really clusterfucked as there are no deleterious catastrophes going on in my life. But my brain, being idiosyncratic as all fuck, has this definition of clusterfucked as "everything is not proceeding exactly as how -I- want it to go" and so things are clusterfucked. Primary issues of concern:
- I am not treating my classes as seriously as I ought.
- I am allowing social things to decay precipitously. Not good.
- General wallowing in despair, apathy, and the rest.
- Not keeping up with email.

And so on and so forth. Combine this with the fact that AT&T is about to impose bandwidth caps and I find that my big schema for a permanently streaming media server is more or less kaput. Obviously, it is time to retrench, realign, and move forward. Time is growing short anyway.

So, to work. First thing of concern: I have three papers due for film class on three separate movies of my choice. Fun times. What am I going to be watching? Checking the list criteria...
+ Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo
+ Robert Altman's Gosford Park
+ Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder

Then there's the email. God knows I've neglected my email. But I'll get to that in a bit; first, time to watch a movie.

A Primer

Mar. 4th, 2011 05:29 am
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
This is BAD industrial music. There are no Rivet Gangstas.



This is GOOD industrial music. It contains ironic political commentary:



This is also GOOD industrial music.



Please be aware of the difference.
*grumbles*
I'm growing too damn crusty about music as I get older. There's little that I've liked especially much since 2001 or thereabouts.

Good.

Feb. 26th, 2011 02:30 am
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
This makes me happy. HIPAA Bares Its Teeth: $4.3m Fine For Privacy Violation

It's very simple. These are the rules. Obey them.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
This was my response to this:

I've always preferred New Model Army's "Vengeance":



Top-dog fascist gets the boys in the corner
Plants poison where there was just confusion
Walks away scot-free and laughing
Rides on the tide as the cancer grows


Oh hey, it's Glenn Beck! and his theocratic fascism!

And the business man on corruption charges
With millions of dollars in dirty money
Gets a thousand pound fine after months in court
While the lawyers get fat and the law gets bought


Oh look, modern American business!

But don't worry, there's the refrain:

I believe in justice!
I believe in vengeance!
I believe in getting the bastard!
Getting the bastard!
Getting the bastard!
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
So I'm the owner of a new creative Zen MX, having stepped on my old Creative Zen and smashing the screen to bits while being my usual clumsy self. (Go me!) I like the Creative Zen because it's generally a tough piece of hardware (all feet aside), does everything I want it to, and doesn't add on all these frilly bits and extensions and wow-look-at-this-totally-cool-useless-'feature' that I hate. So, so far, so good.

Now to the downside. As you can guess, it comes with its own special iTunes-like software called Creative Centrale. Centrale is the buggiest piece of crap ever to grace an LCD, hogs more memory than iTunes ever will, and absolutely bites at recognizing whatever is in your music library. Unlike the iBorg, it the Creative Zen MX will interface with just about every music management software on the planet. Knowing this from the get-go, I finally settled on using J River Media Jukebox, a handy dandy music library program that does not have many bells and whistles and isn't a memory hog.

Are we getting that I hate bells and whistles? Good.

So after syncing and whatnot, I created a small playlist and transferred it over to the Zen MX. Sync, no problem. Unplug, bring up playlist...no tracks found. Wah? The tracks are there, the playlist is there, the playlist is in order and pointing to the correct locations, but the tracks still are not found. Totally confused at this point.

Some Google-Fu and varied research later, I discover a crucial flaw. When M3U playlists are ported to the Zen MX (and the Zen MX alone, mind you, not other Creative MP3 Player products), it requires that the playlist file paths and names be in DOS 8.3 10-character limit format.

What?

For those who are unaware, DOS 8.3 file naming formats are Stone Age. We're talking Windows 98 here. We are talking about a format that is reserved only for the oldest and balkiest crap and totally unsuitable for this day of working Plug n' Play, USB connections, and large hard drives. SCREW the DOS 8.3 format. And I'll be danged if I manually go through every playlist I create and rewrite to fit.

Yea, there is a solution though. An upgrade of the firmware to the current version will fix the problem. This confuses me; I just bought it, how old could the existing firmware be?

Silly me. A check reveals I'm working on 1.00.09 and the firmware upgrade is to 1.04.01. Translation: Yeah, the firmware is way out of date. So I update....rebuild...check and the firmware is updated....and still no joy. Change some of the formatting of the M3U file. Still no joy. OK, time for more research and experimentation.

The default format of my M3U files are:

..\Music\[artist]\[album]\[track]

Experimentation shows that removing the .. does not work either. On a hunch from a throw-away comments mentioned in the Creative forums, I removed all spaces from a single track and directory listing and matched in the M3U. Still no joy. At this point I'm becoming a tad concerned. This is a very big flaw. Relying on DOS 8.3 format simply Will Not Do in this day and age. And it seems Creative Support doesn't think it's a problem since it doesn't occur if you use their buggy Creative Centrale software.

My frown deepens, becomes permanent. I'm afraid this will be the last Zen I will ever buy. This simply Will Not Do.
Luckily there is a small app called WZ Playlist Converter that will translate a standard M3U into on the Zen into it's DOS 8.3 format companion. Testing shows this works without issue. I'm annoyed that I'll have to use a 3rd-party to translate M3U files into appropriate format, but it's an acceptable enough solution for something that I use only for playing music.

Further HA!

Feb. 3rd, 2011 09:49 pm
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
Report: GOP to back off redefining rape in abortion bill. This one isn't much of a shocker either. Did they really think this would go over well?

HA!

Feb. 3rd, 2011 08:57 pm
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
Court Sides With Father: Vaccination In Best Interests Of Child

What I like is when people don't believe me when I say parental rights are trumped by the best interests of the child.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
There's this guy on LJ that I frankly despise. He calls himself a conservative, but he really isn't; he's just a nativist and one of the many who feel 'cheated' by the way life turned out for him. He's a white lower-to-middle class male, probably Protestant but not terribly devout. He feels he is constantly picked on by liberals and Democrats and centrists and they are "out to destroy America". He has frankly commented on how liberals should be dragged out in the street and shot for treason. And don't get him started on Obama.

But if anything, his invective and ire is currently even more focused on Republicans and conservatives in general. When the Tea Party came to the fore, he denied being a Partier but in the same breath relentlessly advocated for them. When the election came, he was gravely disappointed and is now angrier than before. And who is he angry at?

He's angry at establishment Republicans. Y'know, the majority of the party. He gets angrier and angrier every day on the subject, to where he now refers to them solely as "ruling class Republican neo-monarchists"

Why does this make me laugh my ass off?
Because, really, other conservatives (like myself) have been telling this guy for years, "You are not the establishment. You are not someone who Republican leaders will pay attention to. Yes, there IS a ruling class and It Ain't You."

The American Spectator put this guy's anger (We'll call him M.) very succinctly back in July:

Never has there been so little diversity within America's upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America's upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and "bureaucrat" was a dirty word for all. So was "social engineering." Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday's upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.

Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the "in" language -- serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America's ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.


Well, no shit, Sherlock. In the first place, American aristocracy has pretty much been mostly based on wealth of some type, with few exceptions. In the beginning, it WAS diverse and unconnected. What M (and the American Spectator) seem to have never figured out is that if you have an aristocracy of any type, be it noble, wealth, or talent, the suckers will eventually intermarry and form a singular aristocracy. There won't be any more divisions between Boston Brahmins and California land barons, between Southern gentry and Midwest politicians. It's all the same thing. It takes some generations to do so, but by this time, by the 21st century, all that shit is complete.

And people like M and others dissatisfied with their lot in life have been left out. Tossed. By the wayside. Even though they resemble the ruling class in looks and form, even in technology, they're not part of it. They're not super-rich. They're not groomed at private schools. They don't have "ins" and connections to plum corporations and government agencies. This pisses them off; this makes them angry. They think it should be their birthright or even available to them and they're p.o.ed that all the doors are closed.

What they fail to understand is that this ALWAYS happens when you finally have an established and stable nation-society. And aristocracy, literal or virtual, always establishes itself. It is humanity's nature to form hierarchies. It is the nature of those who rule to make sure they continue to rule. M doesn't understand this or refuses to accept this; the result is the same.

Even worse for him and his ilk, it truly doesn't matter if his Tea Party wins or not. Even if the Tea Partiers won and returned things "back to a Constitutional government", they would just be making sure they sat in the ruling seat in the future. Oh, sure, a few ideologues would adhere to their principles - but it wouldn't be enough. Within 3-4 generations, it would be the Tea Partiers' descendants going "Oh, these plebeian American citizens, they just don't have the capacity to understand our superior political thinking. Pass the caviar and arrange for us to be conveyed to our winter home in Florida." Today's O'Donnells and Palins would be tomorrow's Bushes and Rockefellers. See the Soviet Union for a modern-day example of that.

Now some would say, "Well, Jefferson was right, then! The tree of liberty needs to be regularly refreshed with the blood of patriots!" Some would advocate that, to prevent such an aristocracy from forming, that we would need a revolution of some sort every generation or so.

Sorry, it's been tried too. See Mao for a modern-day example. His ongoing revolution left him and his ideas to be totally shit-canned after his death and to go straight back to developing an imperial system. China is communist now in name only; they run more like Imperial China during an interregnum than anything else. Also, revolutions are BLOODY. Very few outside the fanatics and ideologues want to get their hands dirty.

So I laugh at M and on some level I feel sorry for him. It used to be that people like him would pick up and go to the frontier, but there's no frontier on Earth anymore and no existing other frontiers that can be managed. So instead he will rot and stew, impotent in his own anger.

But it still makes me laugh. That's schadenfreude for you.
forbidding_archivist: The Terrible Trivium (Default)
Things I have done today:

# Cleared out the old LJ after putting it to PDF via LJBook. By clear, I mean DELETE DELETE DELETE. Very Cyberman. I'm done with that identity; I wish to create new things. I can't do that with the old snark and political comm baggage.

# I'm alone at work tonight. MY usual co-worker for my shift (now dubbed CW1) called in. The person from the other 3rd shift who works on Wednesday (now dubbed OCW1) is on vacation. Thus, it is me, myself, and I. Cleared out the current registrations for new machines. Updated all the niggling little maintenance tasks I have to do here. Got done with the usual work stuff at about 0200.

# OK, 5BX exercises. The aim is Chart 03, Level B, which is appropriate for my age group. I'm starting at Chart 01, Level D-. Following are exercise number, amount of exercise required, time limit given, and my actual time.
Exercise 01 / 2 / 2 min / 21 sec
Exercise 02 / 3 / 1 min / 41 sec
Exercise 03 / 4 / 1 min / 29 sec
Exercise 04 / 2 / 1 min / 17 sec
Exercise 05 / 100 / 6 min / 3 min, 4 sec

I perform the first four exercises again as a cool-down. Follow that with a full glass of water. Follow that with a full cup of broth.

# My news break-down and commentary

Murkowski becomes 1st write-in senator since '54: I really think this is a blow to the Tea Party. Joe Miller had the backing of Sarah Palin in her home state...and the Alaskans refused to go for the crazy. I don't think the shady use of militia members as bodyguards helped Miller very much.

Despite a deluge of complaints over intrusive pat-downs and revealing airport scans, the government is betting Americans would rather fly safe than untouched. "I'm not going to change those policies," the TSA chief John Pistole declared Wednesday. Well, that pretty much says it all. Unfortunately for our TSA chairman, it looks like federal legislators want to get in on the act.

The GA PSC is corrupt. In other news, water is wet.

A judge refused Wednesday to stop construction of a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, TN that was opposed by some local residents who tried to argue that there was a conspiracy by Muslims to impose extremist law on the United States. Clearly, the judge is in league with the Taliban. Seriously, did they think this would get past the courts? This is as stupid as the arguments of pro-Prop 8 people.

Palin tells ABC she can beat Obama in 2012. Good luck with that. I give Gringrich a better chance than the Mama Grizzly.

Tea Party candidate elected to the House from Maryland is pissed he doesn't get instant free health care and has to wait 30 days for it to kick in. Better yet? This guy is a bonafide physician. He's pissed because he has to wait 30 DAYS? C'mon on. Clearly he's not familiar with corporate America, where the usual run is 30-90.
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