Saturday, November 12, 2016

Check out the upcoming Luc Besson film

Luc Besson is back in the director's chair and is also one of the writers, so you know I'm not going to miss Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets when it appears next summer.  Check it out.

If Besson can deliver anything near the quality of The Fifth Element, I will be psyched!

Friday, November 11, 2016

On this Veterans' Day

take a moment and thank someone who served in our armed forces.  Maybe think also about the system of government we enjoy and what protecting that system has cost many vets.

Then take a deep breath and remind yourself that the system is strong and robust, stronger and more robust than any one person.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Leonard Cohen, R.I.P.

Well, this week delivered another fine blow:  Leonard Cohen is dead.  He was 82, so he had a reasonably long life, but I have to tell you that from where I stand right now, that's just not enough years--not for him, not for me, not for anyone.

At the risk of repeating everyone else, I'm putting here a relatively recent performance of his brilliant song, "Hallelujah."

Damn, another legend passes.  2016 has been brutal for musicians.

Their work stands, though they are gone.

This song will always touch me.

We will not see Leonard Cohen's like again soon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's going to take me some time

to get over my embarrassment and outrage at being a member of the group--white men--that more than any other went for Trump in this election.  I don't care if you are dissatisfied with business as usual, or you want more opportunities, or you dislike the current administration; there's simply no acceptable excuse for voting for a racist, sexist candidate.

I did not vote for Trump, and I am sad and pissed that I am a member of a group that overwhelmingly did.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The greatest lesson I learned from this election

I'm writing this a bit after eleven p.m. here in Portland, Oregon, so it's after two a.m. back home.  As of this moment, though no news agency (to my knowledge) has yet called the election, it looks extremely likely that Trump will be the next President of the United States.

I am beyond sad and angry at that thought.

I am also amazed.  This election has taught me that a great many of my fellow Americans, apparently the majority of them, think so differently from the way I do that I do not understand them at all.  I suppose I would be wise to remember this fact going forward.

That lesson will be true even if Clinton squeaks out a victory.

For now, I'm going to work a bit more, check the election news once more, and then crash.

Should the trend continue and Trump win, I hope I will be able to be as gracious a loser as I would have asked Trump's supporters to be.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Two bits of (almost entirely non-partisan) election-day advice

You're probably tired of me writing about the election, but it's mighty damn important, so I'm going to do one last pre-election post.  I want to share two thoughts.

First, vote.  Yes, I'm clearly arguing for and voted for Hillary Clinton (that was the end of the partisan bit), but no matter whom you choose, I want you to vote.  And not just for President, either; no, I want you to vote for all the offices up for election.  Do a little research--voting guides of all persuasions are readily available online--and then vote.  I'd like this--and every--election to represent the will of the people.

Next, consider picking up a little safety cake.  The idea behind safety cake, a concept my family has embraced for some time now (and just possibly invented), is that when you're worried about a momentous event, you pick up (or bake) some delicious cake.  If the event goes the way you want, you celebrate with...cake!  If the event goes against your wishes, you console yourself with...cake!  Either way, you have cake.

With any luck at all, in 30 hours or less we will know the election results--and we'll all be celebrating or consoling ourselves with delicious safety cake.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Doctor Strange

Let's start with the bottom line:  I very much enjoyed this movie, and I definitely recommend it.  It provides everything you hope for in a Marvel superhero movie, including more humor than I had expected.  Benedict Cumberbatch turns in as strong a performance as you would hope, never breaking character and always burning with his usual intensity.  All of the other leads--Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Rachel MacAdams, and Tilda Swinton--also deliver good performances.

I never looked away, I was never bored, and I had a good time.  You can't ask for much more than that.

Having said that, the film has one big structural flaw:  it rushes to its ending and in the process skips what should have been a significant amount of improvement in the powers and character of Stephen Strange.  I don't want to spoil any of the plot, so I'll say only that from the first encounter between Strange and the antagonist, the film moves too swiftly and skips parts I would very much like to have seen.  It feels almost as if the first cut ran two and a half hours, so someone said, "Hey, this is a minor character, so trim back to two hours."  If that longer version exists, I'd really like to see it.

If you're a fan of the Marvel superhero films, or if you just want a fun movie with a lot of action and special effects, go see Doctor Strange.


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