Saturday, August 21, 2010

it's about time

seriously, the recent admissions on the parts of the vancouver police and rcmp are not really news to anyone who has been following the picton case in any way at all.

those missing women didn't have to be missing at all, maybe some of them would still be alive today if the police hadn't treated them, the people who were missing them, and the people who knew about (and reported) picton like garbage.

i agree that there needs to be a public inquiry, because what that inquiry says about how the police acted in this case (and how is was a gross and egregious abuse of their position as "police") will have a lot to say about Canadian society as a whole and how most people didn't give a shit about those women until this became a huge "Serial Killer" case.

also, maybe a public inquiry will light a fire under the police's ass to try to find out what happened to all of the other missing women they've been ignoring for years.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

why marijuana should be decriminalized

if marijuana were decriminalized or maybe even made legal, people wouldn't be able to do this: use BEARS to guard their pot plots.

for real.

Monday, August 16, 2010

letting a boatload of refugees stay in canada? why wouldn't we?

since when do the "majority of canadians" not want to allow refugees into the country?

harsha walia reminds readers that "there is more reason to be mistrustful of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews than of the migrants."

Their regime has advanced an agenda of corporate bailouts and economic austerity; ballooning military, police and prison budgets; unmitigated resource extraction and environmental destruction; and an immigration policy that is moving toward the repressive Australia and Arizona models of accepting fewer refugees and jailing more asylum seekers and undocumented migrants.

These politicians sell us strange paradoxes - military occupation as liberation, refugees as terrorists."

it always blows my mind when people bang their drum for canada occupying afghanistan but then say that refugees and immigrants shouldn't be allowed into the country. but then, of course they do that. occupations like those in afghanistan reaffirm the military might and colonial status of canada, the "this is for the women and children" bullshit is just a more convenient banner to carry.

remember refugees?? remember what that means?? refugees don't just go "hey, you know what family? canada looks nice, let's pack up and move there."

no, usually they don't pack and usually it isn't a decision. these people have to leave their country of origin because they can't remain there any longer safely.

sri lanka, for instance, is a country whose government is under investigation for war crimes against tamils. it is a well known fact that tamils are persecuted in sri lanka and atrocities have been documented widely. according to walia's article, canada has accepted more than 90 % of refugee claimants from sri lanka in the past two years.

you know what, canada? we've had a lot of shitty things happen the past few years in this country. mainly because we were stupid enough to allow a conservative government to happen.

let's just calm down and think for a second about the kind of country we really want to be. do we WANT to be australia??? the united states? maybe the people who do want regressive policies like australia and the united states should move to those countries because the rest of us think that turning away a boat of refugees is just gross.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ah, having an opinion makes me uptight and a geek.. how original.

today on facebook someone said that my inception article made me a " geek with a major sci-fi hookup - and a stick stuck up their ass."

they also said that they agree with me about nolan's conception of the human mind being "far too rational/logical"

then they went on to say that i missed the fact that " Ellen Page noticed Di Caprio's emotional issues soon after meeting him, while all his long-time buddies seemed completely oblivious - that one struck me for sure."

actually, reader, i found if sexist that ellen page automatically noticed those issues, considering women are often thrown into taking care of men's (and everyone's) emotional needs.

i think it's sexist that ellen page was supposed to be this brilliant architect, but they made her a caretake of leonardo dicaprio above all.

i just didn't put it in the article because i thought i had griped enough.

said reader wrote: "I just think that it's incredibly easy for someone to critique a movie and make it sound terrible, because it wasn't what they wanted. There are a million different ways and focuses to choose in a movie, and you could conceivably critique every one ever made for some failing or another.

I don't think Inception was bad enough to make such a terrible hoopla over"

true. but then what's the point of even being alive or watching movies? so we can all just silently keep our opinions to ourselves?? what's the fun in that? why make a "hoopla" over anything then? was inception worth making a hoopla over in a hype way?? why not comment on that?

sorry i said i didn't like a movie that you didn't like, but you're entitled to your opinion and i'm entitled to mine. that's the whole point of the internets.

having an argument/debate with someone about something doesn't always have to be seen as insulting. it isn't always trying to cause something bigger. maybe if once in awhile we opened our minds to having more debates, we'd actually learn something?

let's not critique anything from now on.

my new hero

this dude, quit his job in a way that most of us only dream of!

"He got on the intercom, let loose a string of invective, pulled the lever that activates the emergency-evacuation chute and slid down, making a dramatic exit not only from the plane but, one imagines, also his airline career.

On his way out the door, he paused to grab a beer from the beverage cart. Then he ran to the employee parking lot and drove off, the authorities said."

Monday, August 9, 2010

how long did 'inception' feel? oh "about 50 years" long.

the other night, due to my sweet new 'scene' card, i got to see a movie for free. movies in the theatre are a pretty big rip off, and most movies in the theatre suck right now anyway, so i probably wouldn't have gone had it not been for the free ride.

but the free movie was available so we thought we'd go see Inception. i mean, it didn't look great but how bad could it really be? certainly it couldn't be as bad as Hot Tub Time Machine? Or Grown Ups(two of, truly, the worst movies i have ever seen)?

it stars leonardo dicaprio and the guy from 28 days later! ellen page! it's an action movie with an indie star twist! it's directed by christopher nolan(who i suspect owes most of his success to his more literary brother), but i could overlook that. it was supposed to be sci-fi, i like sci-fi. and you can't really go wrong with action, right?

wrong. wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

we found inception so intolerable that we walked out of the movie at the two hour mark, forgetting to take the peanut m&m's with us.

a plot so banal that they needed to use the characters to actually tell the audience what was going on(ex-po-sition), to make it seem more complicated than it was, a scary similarity to the tensions in shutter island(dead wife, guilt, dealing with the trauma in one's subconscious) , no real sci-fi component, a complete lack of character development, boring effects, and two hours of mind numbing NOTHING made inception one of the worst movies i've seen all year.

for real, i didn't even walk out of the re-make of friday the 13th.

so, i don't know, where should i start?

let's start at ellen page. unlike most people, i don't love ellen page. her semi-lesbian-but straight girl thing does nothing for me because i'm not a closeted 15 year old girl(or just a regular 15 year old girl, since being bisexual is now totally cool).

i feel like ellen page's cool, 'kind of feminist' thing is used in films to sneak actual conservative ideas into the movie without people really noticing, and i don't like that. for example: juno. the girl juno is smart and has biting wit! she wears pants under her skirts! she likes MUSIC.

but really, juno the movie just used a cool smart girl to mask what the movie was all about--being pro-life.

did anyone else feel a strange shiver when juno decides to reject abortion because the crazy anti-abortion protester tells her that her baby has fingernails? something not based in fact, at all? something used by anti-abortionists to scare women and girls in real life by forcing them to think of that shit growing in their uterus as a person, a real live grown baby?

OR the movie whip it. whip it really pissed me off. mainly because it used all these tough, cool chicks to sell a movie that sucked. that really, really sucked. the only ellen page movie i really liked was hard candy, for the obvious reasons.

so, ellen page is annoying. also she looks the same in every single movie. i'm pretty sure they used her juno wardrobe in inception. does she have something in her contract stating that she can only wear dark reds and burnt oranges? that she has to wear a triangle scarf in every scene? and that her hair can never change?

so ellen page didn't fit into inception, at all. she doesn't translate into the action genre--which is what inception was. it wasn't sci-fi. it was action/thriller.

for a movie to really be sci-fi it has to do what regular movies don't --satisfy your inner geek. your inner geek is sitting on the edge of it's seat, clapping it's hands at the end of a good sci-fi. your inner geek is stimulated and thinking, and making connections with the rest of the sci-fi world.

during inception my inner geek was pushing its glasses up its nose, frowning at the screen, arms crossed yelling "where is the science!!! where is the philosophy!!!" my inner geek, spoiled once by the matrix, was mad at me for taking it to inception.

so on to the the matrix comparison.

half the people who have seen inception say that they didn't hear it was like the matrix and so they didn't expect anything of the movie. the other half say they heard it was the 'new' matrix, and had some expectations.

i am of the latter group, and so i was a bit dubious about the movie to begin with. i love the matrix. i love the matrix so much that i took a class on it once. a CLASS.

the matrix was a rare film in that it satisfied pretty much everyone's geek. the matrix drew on so much philosophy and science that it kept you thinking throughout the entire movie and beyond. hyperreality, simulacra, simulation, humanism, post humanism, anti-capitalism, revolution. baudrillard, derrida, marx, jameson, gibson . all of the ideas could be traced right back to their real world origin which made the matrix more than just a summer blockbuster. the matrix had solid footing in the culture that it was representing. the same can't be said about inception.

whether or not it's fair to compare any movie to the matrix, in this case the matrix comparison is important in highlighting the thing i disliked most of all about inception: it is a total slave to capitalism, in every way shape and form.

even in most mainstream movies there is a suspicion or a distaste for the corporate. corporations are usually run by the most corrupt and are usually brought down in the most spectacular ways. honestly, i don't even really remember the last time i saw a movie that didn't question how the corporation functioned in its plot.

the group of extractors works for corporations, and while they might explain in one line that this isn't always what extractors did, otherwise there are no moral qualms about being beholden to corporate power.

look at the ellen page character. what is her motivation for giving up her mind to corporate espionage? to ruining someone's life? well a) they don't motivate her in any way nor do they reveal her motivation to the audience in any way, and b) we're not meant to question doing things for the corporation any more.

in the matrix, "our use of the new technologies is not the indoctrination necessary to creating the consumers of late capitalism, whose consumption of commodified information fuels the global economy. rather, our utilization of the technologies is our pathway to freedom."

in inception, there is no liberation or freedom--there isn't even really a struggle for it. there is only self-interest and the feeling that the only way of getting anything done anymore is through the corporation. this is how life is now, even in "sci-fi."

in the new york times review, A.O Scott wrote that while "there is a lot to see in inception, there is nothing that counts as genuine vision. Mr. Nolan's idea of the mind is too literal, too logical, too rule-bound to allow the full measure of madness."

Scott also comments on how the majority of debate about the greatness vs no greatness of inception happened before the movie even screened.

ultimately, this is the problem with inception and movies in general right now.
based on hype people fork out lots of money to sit in a theatre with the expectation that what they're seeing has some kind of value. unfortunately, because people have to justify spending their money and time on a film i think we become more and more likely to try to find things that we liked about it even if there was nothing worth our time or money.

david edelstein wrote that "the movie is a metaphor for the power of delusional hype—a metaphor for itself" and i think he's right. if we really think about it, what is left in the mainstream film industry but hype?

the whole point of seeing movies is to talk about them. who liked what, why they liked it, why they hated it. if you aren't arguing about a movie after you see it then maybe it wasn't worth seeing. so at least inception gave me something to talk about the past few days and i at least didn't have to pay to see it. but at the same time, should big directors like nolan be able to hype their movies up, release utter garbage, and get by on the merits of debate??

all i know is that peanut M&Ms are my favorite movie treat, and when i left inception at the two hour mark there was at least half a bag of those delicious little things left... and that's enough reason for me to shake my fist at the film.

Friday, August 6, 2010

swimming with sharks, on bikes. sharks on bikes.

how the hell are people voting for rob ford??

in this video, he talks about why he can't support bike lanes because cars are like sharks and people swimming with sharks deserve to die.

for real. he said that. here's the proof:

rob ford is not only spouting misinformation about bike lanes, but he's also doing a grave injustice to the sharks of the world.

"i compare it to swimming with the sharks, eventually you're going to get bit."

not so, ford, not so. haven't you ever seen sharkwater?? sharks are hugely misunderstood and vilified creature--they aren't just vicious man hunters and some people swim in the ocean their entire lives and never get a shark bite. why? because sharks aren't just out for a bite of human leg, they don't like human flesh so much and when a shark "attack" does occur it's often because humans resemble seals from below. big, juicy seals.

the same can't be said for cyclists in toronto. cars aren't sharks, and cyclists don't resemble their main source of food.

also, sharks share the ocean with countless other sea creatures. sharks regularly swim in close proximity to fish and other marine life without eating them--in fact, sharks have relationships with other creatures, because they all depend upon one another to help sustain the diversity that keeps the oceans thriving.

there are rules in the oceans, and sharks follow them. rules like "don't eat the fish that nibbles the parasites from your skin, because then your parasites will get worse" or "follow that current, because that's where your food is".

there are also rules of the road and in, you know, society. rules like "stop at that red light" or "don't roll through that stop sign". these rules are in place because cars are big and heavy, and human error(or mechanical errors) can lead to loss of life, and chaos.

rob ford says he feels really bad when cyclists get killed or hurt, but really it's their own fault for swimming with the sharks. what rob ford seems to be forgetting is that accidents involving cars and cyclists are (some of the time) caused by drivers of cars, or the shark.

so when i got hit, on my bike, by a hummer it was my own fault? my own fault that the hummer dude rolled through a stop out of a parking lot? didn't watch where he was going? well that's just stupid. what about pedestrians getting hit by cars? is it their fault too? for not driving?

people rode bikes before they rode cars, didn't then? so if we were going to follow the shark logic(which is shaky logic at best) the bike is really the shark, because the shark came before the person...

i don't know, but making a generalized statement about deserving death seems a little bit weird to me, and crazy. i've had my fair share of crazy these days, so i want to be as far away from rob ford when he's driving as possible.

rob ford for mayor?? if that happens i'm hopping on my bike and all my safety gear and driving my ass out of the creepy city.

hold on a second.

i'm sorry, but how is a president allowed to state their personal position on a polarizing issue and then think that it doesn't influence public opinion or legal battles?

white house advisor david axelrod told MSNBC that "The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples, and benefits and other issues, and that has been effectuated in federal agencies under his control."

axelrod went on to say that president obama has always opposed prop 8 because "he felt it was divisive, he felt that it was mean spirited."

um, it isn't "mean spirited" to decide to take away someone's basic human right to a social institution... it's evil. as the president of the united states, doesn't obama have some kind of (at least) surface level responsibility to ensure that the "majority" of people don't decide to take away other people's rights? or, in this case, that right wing fundamentalists don't hijack a referendum?

and how does obama support "equality" for gays and lesbians while simultaneously opposing the right to marry the person they love? it just doesn't make sense, at all.

i've always had a problem with obama, and there's always something new to add to the pile. you can't just pretend to be progressive to get voted in. you can't just wave "yes we can" in people's faces and then be like "naaaaaaah" afterwards.

you can't put a motherfucking PRIDE RAINBOW on your official campaign buttons and not support gay marriage. you just can't. it just ain't right.

supporting same sex marriage shouldn't be something that you aren't into. if you want to discuss the ideology of marriage or all of the nuances of gay rights and marriage that's cool, but same sex marriage is a RIGHT and the president of the united states of american should not be opposed to basic human rights.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

now, we party.

how exciting is this? how much does this renew your faith in humanity a little bit?

california judge REJECTS same sex marriage ban

the judge, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, rule that the ban was unconstitutional despite being decided by voters.

i bet judge walker is all smiles today, he's a hero!!!!
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