Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cliff from oneutah.org posted a comment below chastizing me for hoping that Christian Burridge loses so I can run against Chris Cannon. This is not the case. I'm not saying I want Burridge to lose.

Far from it.

I've got a Burridge lawn sign up and have been telling everyone to vote for the guy. I've even met up with Darci from his campaign to get my sign and took a few more to deliver personally. I know it's not much, but it's what I've had time to do.

I want to face facts though, Cannon is popular. And I phrased that as an "if" not a "when."

I think Burridge can do it and I want him to. Believe me, I care too much about this Country and the State of Utah to want Christian Burridge to lose.

But if Christian Burridge isn't able to unseat Cannon, I think I'd like to give it a try. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. In fact, people should get the vote out for Burridge specifically to prevent that from happening.

I apologize if anyone got the idea that I didn't want Burridge to win because I wanted to run. If anyone from the campaign wants to contact me to see if there's anything I can do to help his campaign from my modest platform, feel free to send me an email.

Happy Halloween

This is the scariest jack o'lantern I've ever seen.

I just want to take this moment to ask everybody to do a couple of things:

1) When you're out trick-or-treating with your kids, take them to people's houses in your neighborhood that you're friendly enough with to chide them to vote next week. Not just to vote, but to vote for progressive candidates (Particularly Pete Ashdown and Christian Burridge). Don't be a jackass and start fights with your neighbors, but just remind them who best represents the values of your neighborhood. I can guarantee that unless you live in a neighborhood full of mansions and corporate headquarters, Republicans don't represent the values of your neighborhood.

2) Take the time for this holiday to treat yourself and go see a movie. And if you're fortunate enough to be in an area playing "Death of a President" go see that. If not, I can't recommend "The Departed" and "The Prestige" enough.

That is all.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Take The Money And Run

Based on Duckie's recommendation, I went out and bought Woody Allen's first directorial effort.

As soon as I watch it, I'll let you all know what I think.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Death of a President

Last night I went to see the controversial “Death of a President.”

I have to say it was very interesting and very well executed. I was also surprised by how middle of the road the film was, despite the caveat the film permeates.

From what I’ve read about the film, people seem to be missing what I think the point of it is. The narrative of the story is this: Bush is killed, Cheney is installed as President, Patriot Act III goes into effect, the wrong man is caught and convicted, but because he’s Syrian Cheney’s Administration really doesn’t do anything about it because of his ulterior motives.

The point of the film, as I gleaned it, is that this group of hawks will take any tragedy and bend it to fit their will. This is science fiction at it’s best. The assassination of Bush could be seen as allegory for September 11th, and the surrounding rigmarole about finding the wrong man but putting him up on trial and finding him guilty regardless could be seen as allegory for the invasion of Iraq. But this film was crafted in a very interesting, very subtle way.

Some of the “experts” they spoke with were Bush supporters, some interviewees were moved to tears by the events of that night.

The film plays out exactly like a History Channel or TLC documentary would if this had really happened, only without the commercials.

Yes, there were a few spots where the special effects were bad (specifically during Cheney’s eulogy of Bush) and you some of the transitions between impersonated voices and the real thing weren’t smooth. Maybe they would seem smooth if you weren’t terribly familiar with the actual players, but it was an amazing experiment in film, regardless.

The one thing I was really surprised by was the fact that the film made me realize how affected I’d really be if Bush were killed. I actually felt a pang of anger to see him die. Not because I was sorry to see him go, but because I really don’t like to see people die, no matter how much bad they’ve done. And then the reality that Cheney would take over hit and that was even scarier.

I don’t know.

I didn’t find anything terribly offensive about the film. I can understand why it would cause a knee-jerk reaction, but after that it should simmer down. And I think this movie would be viewable by anyone over the age of 10.

It was really, really interesting.

That’s about all I have to say about it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"This Divided State" Screenings

There's been a spate of screenings of "This Divided State" around the country. I want people to contact me if they're having a screening so I can publicize it here.

The Prestige

Still in Boston.

Still busy.

We saw The Prestige and it was really, really good. I saw it again.

It's actually better and more emotional the second time around. The first time I saw it, I felt it was very 8 out of 10. The second time, I was thinking more like 9 or 10 out of 10.

Go see it.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers

It was good, and then it was "meh." It was like a 6 out of 10. The last reel and a half were utterly horrible. Paul Haggis is the laziest, sloppiest screenwriter I've viewed work from lately. I saw Million Dollar Baby a couple of weeks ago and it was mediocre at best.

I'll elaborate if I have time, but I'm in Boston, so I'm busy, busy, busy.


We're in Boston. Having a grand time.

In case you didn't know.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm in Trouble

I, uh... I did something kind of bad, but for something good. But I just couldn't hold it any longer. You see, I'm a sucker for public radio. I listen to it any time I'm in the car. I use public radio. I need NPR. I need KUER.

Right now, it's their fall fund drive.

I even listen to that.

The urge to pledge was so compelling I talked to my wife about it last night. "I understand how you feel, but it's too bad we can't right now. We don't have the money to spare."

But nevertheless, the call was great.

I called the number to pledge a couple of times today, but I lost my courage and hung up. Three times. Once during Radio West with Doug Fabrizio, once during Talk of the Nation and once during Fresh Air.

During the last half of All Things Considered, all I could think about was wanting to pledge. I've been a devoted NPR listener for a five or six years now and I've never been in a position able enough to afford a pledge. I'm not in much of a position now to afford it.... but....


So I called again.

I hung up as soon as a voluneteer answered.

Then I called right back. It took some doing, I don't have a credit card or a checking account, but I was able to get them to bill me $10 a month for a year, which, spread out like that, isn't that much.

But now, I have to tell my wife...

It would be easier if she read the blog, but she doesn't....

While I think of a way to break it to her, why don't you make a pledge as well. That way, I won't feel so alone. But if you can, give to the Pete Ashdown campaign first. Which I'm going to do tomorrow. (I got permission to give $25 to the campaign, I just need to find time to swing it by the headquarters.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Utah Politics

There are two items here that I would like to bring everyone's attention to:

Pete Ashdown. Right now, the numbers his campaign is polling are pegged directly to people who have heard of him. He's polling a slightly higher percentage than that of those who know who he is, meaning that there are voters out there who don't care who he is, as long as he's not Orrin Hatch.

Well, his campaign has been running at a guerilla grassroots level because no one on a national level seems to think he can compete with Orrin Hatch's $3 million war chest of special interest funds. Well, what I'm saying to you is that his campaign is being run like campaigns should, on blood, sweat and tears and a minimum of cash.

So, in order to spread the word about Pete Ashdown, I want everyone who reads this to do two thing.
A) Donate to the Ashdown campaign right now. Even a few bucks will help.

B) Get a yard sign and a bumper sticker. Hell, get five and give them to your friends and tell everyone you know about Pete and why he's a better option than Orrin Hatch. Show people the video from the first debate. Do anything you can to get the better man elected.

And the second thing I wanted to bring up was this:

Christian Burridge is running against Chris Cannon.

He needs help, too. Sign up for a yard sign and when you talk to people about Pete, remind them that Chris Cannon is up for re-election as well.

But, if God-forbid, Christian Burridge is unable to unseat Cannon during this election cycle, I'm going to try to make a bid for that congressional seat in the next election. I don't know how to do that yet, but there's very little I care about more than politics and my State. So.

If anyone has any information for me about how I can go about getting ready for Democratic primaries and campaigning reaaaaaally early, let me know. I think I'm serious about it. I've been putting a lot of thought into it and figured, "Why not?"

Monday, October 16, 2006

North Korea

Is it just me, or do all of George Bush's fictitious reasons for going to war with Iraq seem to be coming true in North Korea?

When Bush initially announced that he was planning on going to war with Iraq, anyone with half a brain that followed any news other than Fox was fairly sure that Iraq didn't have any WMD and that sanctions were working to prevent him from getting them. Everyone was scratching their heads wondering why he was doing it. I myself asked why we weren't going into North Korea who, seemed to me at the time, to pose an actual threat.

I think I got my own answer. North Korea could bite back and Bush knew Iraq couldn't. Not in the short term anyway.

I mean, go down the list of Bush's reasons for Iraq and ask yourself he truly believed any of them why we aren't in the Second Korean War?

1) They have Weapons of Mass Destruction and are actively pursuing nuke-ya-ler technology.


2) They are led by a crazy and brutal dictator at the expense of their peoples suffering.


3) They could sell weapons and technology to other enemy states and non-state entities.


4) The leaders of the country no longer in power will keep America safer.

Well, probably.

5) We need to get them before they get us.

I don't agree with this, but let's be honest, North Korea has a better chance and capability to attack us than Saddam did.

And don't even get me started about our negligent inaction in Darfur.

So why the change in tune for George? Why isn't the medicine for Iraq good for North Korea, or even Iran for that matter?

Because they see as plainly as everyone else that IT DIDN'T WORK!

Them not racing into Korea to be greeted as liberators is proof positive that even they know how bad they screwed up. They just aren't willing to admit it in so blatant a way as saying so.

Top 100 best reviewed of 2005

So, I've been really interested in overall critical response of movies lately. It's interesting to see movies rated side by side by groups of the same critics and Rotten Tomatoes does a really good job of cataloguing everything.

So, I was curious about what sort of movie get's a 100% and I found this list.

It's got a lot of good movies on there.

Then I discovered that they had top 100 lists divided by year. I was working my way backwards and discovered that "This Divided State" is number 97 on Rotten Tomatoes' best reviewed films of 2005 list.

We rank right above "Serenity" (which I loved), "Oldboy" and "Inside Deep Throat."

I just found that horribly interesting.

Also, on a side note, I have to say that I'm learning so much about film by watching Woody Allen movies. My brother and I went to a used DVD store and picked up 11 of them and we're working our way through them and so far, I haven't seen a Woody Allen movie I didn't like.

What I'm saying is, go get a hold of some Woody Allen movies. My favorites so far? "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Manhattan," "Husbands and Wives," and "Match Point."

Go check them out.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

God is Getting Involved in Politics

I read and watched this today and it's really too preposterous to be believed.

It seems as though Colorado has an ammendment on the ballot for November that increases the State minimum wage to $6.85 and then pegs the minimum wage on an annual basis to that rate at the current rate of inflation. Sounds like a really good idea.

Well, according to opponents of the legislation, God is really pissed off about this.

You really just have to click here to watch the ad.



(This is from Think Progress)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Republicans Anti-Gay?

I read this little note in the Daily Herald Morning Briefing:
US House leaders may have delayed taking action against former Florida Republican Rep. Mark Foley because they were afraid of appearing anti-gay, according to Sen. Orrin Hatch.

You think if they were worried about appearing anti-gay they’d quit it with all of the anti-marriage bills they keep forcing down the throat of liberty. And Hatch is the messenger here? I mean really, do people forget that Orrin Hatch has said that the two most important issues in America right now are gays getting married and flag burning? I don’t think he needs to worry about appearing anti-gay because it’s very clear that he is.

It seems to me like nothing more than political maneuvering.

I’ve remained quiet on the “Foley” situation on the blog because I really just felt like it was too easy a target, but man. This is just too much hypocrisy to ignore. This, for me, was the straw that broke the camels back.


Maybe they should worry all the time about appearing anti-gay.

In other news, Vote for Pete Ashdown. It seems as though in the polls, Ashdown is polling as many points as the percentage of people who know who he is. So, having said that, spread the word about him and his campaign.

Get some yard signs and bumper stickers, donate to the campaign, knock on doors, do whatever you can.

Friday the 13th

Neal over at leftwich mentioned that a Friday the 13th in October was a rare treat and he was going to offer up five horror films to cap off the day.

Well, I'm going to post my five horror film recommendations.

Now, bear in mind, I generally hate horror films. All of them that have come out lately, I think, blow. Like Dark Water and The Grudge and Saw. I think they are all horrible. Now, I know a lot of people who have the opposite opinion, but I think it's because they're able to turn their brains off.

So, without further ado, here's a list of five movies that actually scare me.

1) Alien. Ridley Scott's kickstart to the Alien franchise is certainly the best of the lot. There are moments in the film that are truly terrifying and the filmmaking and acting are top notch. Sometimes, I think Ridley Scott peaked with Alien.

2) John Carpenters "The Thing." This movie is essentially a cabin fever story with an alien, just like Alien, but it's still really goddamn cool.

3) The Shining. I guess I just like movies with Cabin fever themes. But I don't need to tell anyone how creepy this movie is. This is Kubrick at the top of his game and the kid who plays Danny Torrance is just...creepy....

4) Psycho. Very few movies keep me on the edge of my seat like this one does. I like horror movies where the monsters are people. This is an amazing example of it.

5) 28 Days Later. This is the second best zombie movie ever. (It runs a close second to Shaun of the Dead.)

And the honorable mention goes to Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn. That movie used to scare the bejesus out of me.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

New Short Story


Go here to read it.

And in case you haven't, here's a link to the complete list of short stories I've posted over there.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


The number may be disputed, but it's still a better picture than we've seen before. It seems as though more between 350,000 and 950,000 Iraqi civilians have lost their lives since the beginning of the US Invasion and through the subsequent occupation.

Bush and his people are ignoring it because they've never seen a number previously higher than 50,000. That statement is almost Orwellian. Especially since there's evidence here from exactly 2 years ago pegging the estimate at 100,000.

That report was also disputed for a time, but those who disputed it later changed their opinion when they realized how thorough the study was.

And how are we supposed to trust the official government numbers? Didn't they literally order their people to stop counting back in '03? Yeah. Yeah they did. (In that same article, the US and British military claimed they don't count civilian casualties.)

They way they conducted this survey to reach this number is how we base all of the health numbers in America. Why is it good enough for us here, but not there?

Long story, short: Bush has the blood of between 350,000 and 950,000 civilians on his hands.

I remember a quote from Dr. Strangelove, where the president says, "I will not go down in history as the greatest mass murderer since Adolf Hitler."

Well, Bush just took one big step close to that.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Six-Word Story

Neal over at The Leftwich Committee for the Proliferation of Thought and Opinion posted this story about Ernest Hemingway's six word story.

The story was this:
"For Sale: baby shoes, never used." (this was according to this site. Wikipedia had a different version: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.")
Neal didn't actually ask anyone to write their own, but I was so fascinated by the idea that I did. Here it is:
He had it coming. Didn't he?
Neal offered this gem:
One day, I swear we'll go.
And he posted them all up here and invited everyone to participate. So, I'm calling on all of you to head over there and post a six-word story. Personally, the approach I took was one that would raise as many questions as possible to lead to the statement. I don't think I could raise as many questions as Hemingway's but I put a lot of thought into mine anyhow.

So, those of you who go over there to participate, post your six-word story's here. I would very much like to see them.

Also, about the latter half of Neal's post (this one) about his story "The Watchmaker." It was very good. I can personally attest to its quality.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving by reminding them to do two things.

1) Regardless of your party affiliation, register to vote today. Democracy works better when more people participate. It's important. Apathy only gets us in trouble. If you're dissatisfied with the current leadership, then it's your job to do something about it, even if that thing is something as innocuous as voting. I've never missed a voting day since I've turned 18 and I don't plan to miss one.


2) Go see "The Departed."

I saw it again and it is, indeed, a perfect 10. There's just no two ways about it. It's a masterpiece.

It's a genuine masterpiece.

In fact, I'm going to see it again tonight or tomorrow.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Departed

I saw “The Departed” last night.

I’m writing this review under the assumption that this is my impressions based on my first viewing. I plan on seeing it again tonight, just so I know that I’m not missing something.

I want to give this movie a ten, but I’m reserving a 9 for it until such time as I see it again and confirm my suspicions of it’s greatness.

Now, as a disclaimer, I love Martin Scorsese pictures. I think Aviator should have beaten the pants off of Million Dollar Baby in the awards races. I think Gangs of New York was just as excellent. Both films are easily tens for me. I approached The Departed with a sense of eager trepidation. This is Scorsese’s first dip into gangster territory in a while, what if he’d lost something? Boy, was I wrong. I hate this sense that filmmakers only get worse with age, that they lose something. Scorsese gets a lot of flack in that department (although not as much as George Lucas) but I think in both cases the theory is completely unfounded.

Guys from that generation are like wine that gets better and better with age. (I can’t wait to see Coppola’s “Youth Without Youth”)

So, with this cautious excitement I sat down and proceeded to love every minute of this film. I recall nothing about this film that rubbed me the wrong way or put me off. As gangster pictures goes, it ranks up there with Goodfellas and Casino. It’s certainly of the same pedigree and the acting in the picture is no less stunning that in Scorsese’s previous efforts.

The cast of the film is so good separately, I had worries that they wouldn’t all match the film. I was concerned that a cast of that many all-stars (Nicholson, DiCaprio, Damon, Wahlberg, Sheen, Baldwin) would weigh the film down but they were all amazing.

As far as I’m concerned, this is Baldwin’s best performance since Glenngarry Glenn Ross.

I just can’t describe how good the movie was.

It was tense, suspenseful and thrilling. It was violent, bloody and shocking. It was deep, emotional and heart-rending. It was everything a story about real people needed to be.

And did I mention that the violence in this film perpetrated by Leonardo DiCaprio is on par with Joe Pesci in other Scorsese pictures?

Jesus H. Christ.

I found myself laughing giddily at every cool moment and outburst of violence and tensed up with the suspense of not know what was coming next.

I mean, there’s nothing I can say about a film like this that won’t sound pretentious. But Scorsese’s absolute use of cinema is nothing short of mind-blowing. Few directors in this day and age are able to use cinema for artistic storytelling as well as Scorsese and few even care.

What I’m saying is this: Go see this movie. If you don’t, there’s probably something wrong with you.

At this point I’ve liked the film so much that this review was a rambling piece of incoherent shit.
I will write another, more in depth review of the film as soon as I’ve seen it another couple of times.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A Shitty Day

We came back from DC today.

I left my DVD's at John's house, where we were staying. The book of DVD's had all my Star Wars movies in it. I think I might cry.

But it gets worse.

I found I'd accidentally taken one of John's movies in my portable DVD player.

And to top it all off, I left my wallet on a plane in Phoenix.

I'm not doing too well today.

I'll be back after I get a nap in and see "The Departed."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Washington D.C. part 2

We're still in D.C.

The interviews are going well.