Archive for December 7, 2011

Golly!  I had no idea.  Frank Miller has either begun to suffer from extreme right wing senility, or age has brought on a crystallization of a malignancy that has afflicted him for his entire life.  …I’m sorry, I don’t want to resort to just name calling, especially when that seems to be a tactic that Miller has pretty well wrapped up for himself.  Take a look for yourself.

Here’s a sample regarding the Occupy Wall Street Movement:

Everybody’s been too damn polite about this nonsense:

The “Occupy” movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment. “Occupy” is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.

“Occupy” is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the “movement” – HAH! Some “movement”, except if the word “bowel” is attached – is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.

To quote the words of one of the comments following the article, “Frank, you used to be one of my favorite comic book artists and writers, but now you are dead to me.”   Frank Miller penned a lot of the best Marvel comics back in the 80s.  Lately he’s been doing things with Sin City and 300.  I always thought that the macho thing was a form of artistic expression, but it seems that it is more pathological.  The whole collection of articles is so extreme and devoid of reason that, at first, I thought it was some kind of parody.

What is more amazing is the comments that follow it.  It is clear when reading them that they are neatly divided into those who would die for Frank and those who want to lynch him.  Roughly, right vs left.  I can’t say that I’d like to meet any of the “rights” in a dark alley and most of them could benefit from a good anger management course.

I see this kind of partisan polarity every day on the news.  Take for example the recent story about Romney ripping out and selling off the hard drives from his old office when he had to vacate it.  The left insists that it shows he has something to hide, while the right says that he was just trying to keep left wing zealots from hunting through his personal e-mails.  They probably both contain elements of truth, but it is humorous to see that each side has adopted an extreme interpretation of the facts.  Each side believes that the other can absolutely never, ever do any good.  No matter what move one party takes the other is compelled to condemn it.  Had it been a Democrat who tore out hard drives, the statements would have been the exact reverse.

Frank Miller’s blog and the comment thread that follows it is a microcosm of what is wrong with politics today.  It’s not about ideas or solutions, but rather about one upsmanship and the perception of  who’s right or wrong.  Politics has sunk to the absolute lowest common denominator in order to win votes, because political parties find that to be the easiest rout.

As far as I can tell, this is on the level.  It comes courtesy of John Scalzi and is found on his blog under the heading of  “The Ten Least Successful Holiday Specials”.  As you know, Ayn Rand holds a special place in my heart reserved for stunted rationalists.  I laughed at this more than I have since Michelle Bachman’s last interview.

Ayn Rand’s A Selfish Christmas (1951)

In this hour-long radio drama, Santa struggles with the increasing demands of providing gifts for millions of spoiled, ungrateful brats across the world, until a single elf, in the engineering department of his workshop, convinces Santa to go on strike. The special ends with the entropic collapse of the civilization of takers and the spectacle of children trudging across the bitterly cold, dark tundra to offer Santa cash for his services, acknowledging at last that his genius makes the gifts — and therefore Christmas — possible. Prior to broadcast, Mutual Broadcast System executives raised objections to the radio play, noting that 56 minutes of the hour-long broadcast went to a philosophical manifesto by the elf and of the four remaining minutes, three went to a love scene between Santa and the cold, practical Mrs. Claus that was rendered into radio through the use of grunts and the shattering of several dozen whiskey tumblers. In later letters, Rand sneeringly described these executives as “anti-life.”

 

Do yourself a favour and check out the other nine.

Hugo, the movie

Posted: December 7, 2011 in Reviews

The problem with cute, positive, family oriented films is that there is not a lot to say about them.  In enjoyed Hugo.  It was cute and positive, with good acting and great special effects.  The one thing worth noting about it is that it really works as a 3D movie, especially because of the clockwork sets.  The story is engaging, though a little slow off the mark (I think because they are showing off the 3D production).  I had never heard of the book it is based on, so I can’t really compare.  Scorsese indulges his interest in the history of cinema, but it works in the context of the movie.

Not much depth, but entertaining and a visual pleasure.  I would give this film an A-.