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Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

The answer is sadly: not much. I think having a cat makes me more of a homebody. Danton seems to be so excited when we come home and so upset when we leave that we seem to be staying in a lot more. On the other hand, it’s really nice to get a proper weekend break from work. Work has been very exciting and very busy. I’m really enjoying programming full time.

Some random thoughts on recent news pieces.

10 Americans Arrested in Haiti for Child Abduction

This story fascinates me probably because I used to be a member of the Southern Baptist church and my dad still is. If you’ve been following the story, a group of Christians with no experience in child adoption, and most remarkably with no agency or legal mechanism to handle adoption — a process that is known to be fraught with difficulty, well, this group went to Haiti and tried to take 33 children out of the country with no papers.

I guess what fascinates me is how stupid this was. Did they really think that they could get away with it? I guess it shows what experience they had with the world at large.

If your religion encourages you to trust in God and not to worry about worldly complications like passports and adoption papers, then all of this seems to make sense.

It makes me think back to a great This American Life episode about a Baptist Minister who raised a baby who was switched at birth. Even though his wife alerted him to the switch, he said nothing until 20 years later. When he was talking to the biological mother of the girl he raised, he told her that this was a test that God gave them and to not question it. The woman who happened to be Methodist told him no. It may have been a test that God put you in that position to make the choice to do right or wrong, but it was not part of God’s plan that you said nothing.

Well anyway if you’re going to be religious for heaven’s sake have a little common sense. I suppose if you believe that thought then there isn’t really any point in having faith.

The “Retard” Debate

When I took a cross-cultural communications class years ago, we were advised to not say things that were known to be offensive people. Whether or not your intentions are good, you shouldn’t be saying something that another person will find hurtful. Basically, even if Quentin Tarantino doesn’t mean the n-word in a bad way, and even if he is surrounded by black people who don’t seem to mind, he should still know that to a lot of people the n-word means terrible things and he therefore shouldn’t say it.

So about the word retarded. Upon reflection, whenever I use that word I’m never actually referring to people who have a disability. Does that mean I should be able to continue to say it since I’m really referring to people I think are dumb and not to people who have a problem? According to my class, no.

Furries

Saw the below picture on Fail Blog.

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

I thought it was funny without even knowing what a furry was, but some co-workers tipped me off. Read about the fascinating cultural phenomenom that is furries. I noticed a Superbowl advert with furries by the way.

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Nine to Five

This is a really fabulous trailer. Piques your interest but doesn’t give too much away.

Happily, my job is nothing like this and I have been super busy of late hence the spotty posts. I’m doing a lot of web programming and learning javascript. All my web programming in the past has involved posting back to the server to get to the code, so this is new to me.

While times have definitely improved for women workers since Nine to Five came out, I’m always bemused by the fact that administrative assistants don’t work 9 to 5 anymore. They don’t get paid for their lunch hour, so they work 8 to 5. So I supposes admins can in some way look back to the fond days where they got an extra hour’s sleep.

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My review of Avatar

Don’t see it. Sorry, I hated it and I probably should have never gone. It’s extremely depressing in a colonial sort of way, and the feel-good ending doesn’t really change that. I would include details but I don’t want to depress anyone who liked the film. If you care to comment though, I will respond.

Now on to what I really liked. Michelle Rodriquez kicked ass. Now don’t get me wrong it’s a stupid part. All she does is look sexy, deliver cheesy Cameron one-liners, and do the action star thing, but she does it so well. In fact, she does it like a man. She is every bit of the action start that Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwartzenagger, and Bruce Willis are. I’d love to see her in a James Bond style movie where she toys with men. I think with Rodriquez we actually would enjoy that very similar to Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction. Or maybe a Rambo0-type movie. One thing about the eighties action stars is that they talked very little. You didn’t see too many heart-wrenching scenes. There wasn’t a lot going on upstairs and it didn’t matter. They did their thing. I think someone needs to give Michelle Rodriquez the chance to do it.

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I have only now finished season 3 of Mad Men. I don’t have cable and a friend gave me his recordings a couple of weeks ago. I was very intrigued by the episode where Pete is left alone for a week by his wife who is vacationing with her family. Spoilers after the jump.

(more…)

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Quote for the day

I’m often interrogated about being vegetarian (e.g., “What if you find out that carrots feel pain, too? Then what’ll you eat?”).

I’ve also been afraid to feel as if I know better than someone else — a historically dangerous stance (I’m often reminded that “Hitler was a vegetarian, too, you know”). But this book reminded me that some things are just wrong.

Natalie Portman’s column on the HuffingtonPost.

It’s a guilty pleasure reading the celebrity columns on HuffingtonPost. I usually don’t find fault with the ideas just the execution. Some of them are so unbelievably badly written. Not a fan of Jamie Lee Curtis or Alec Baldwin, but I like Steven Weber. Sometimes the celebrity you least think of as a good writer surprises you, as was the case with this column by Rob Thomas.

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What movie stars Mae West, Timothy Dalton, Dom DeLuise, Tony Curtis, Ringo Starr, George Hamilton, Alice Cooper, Regis Philbin and George Raft? There’s no movie that could possibly have all those people in it? Well, yes there is. I’ll be posting videos this week until they run out.

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The Implied Observer apologizes for being offline for so many days. I was moving this weekend and then unpacking. Just about the only thing I managed to do that was fun was see the new Star Trek movie. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, then please do not read on. There will be spoilers a plenty.

Overall the movie was a fun two hours plus. I should add the disclaimer that I am not a huge fan of the original series, though I do like The Next Generation. So I should be in no way beholden to the original series like my friend Tom. And yet…..

Spock is not supposed to have emotions, and presumably the fact that he does not makes him a fun character. That’s why everyone loves Spock. And that’s why everyone loved Data in the TNG. So why would you take that one great part of the character and compromise it? Spock has a girlfriend? The girlfriend is Uhura? Again, not beholden to the original but this seems pretty out there and I don’t think it added anything to the film.

There was an utter lack of science fiction in this film. This is an adventure film pure and simple. All of our current technologies are replaced with newer technologies, but somehow those newer technologies don’t seem to change any aspect of human nature or cause people to reflect differently on how things are done. This is futuristic but it is not science fiction.

I think Leonard Nimoy was completely wasted and it was kind of embarrassing to watch.
One thing that was fun was that they appeared to make a conscious effort to cast actors that looked like the original actors. I especially enjoyed the guys they got to play Dr. MacCoy, Chekhov and Scottie. Sadly Sulu was the weakest link. Whether that be because they gave the actor nothing to work with or all his stuff ended up on the cutting room floor, I won’t try to guess. As for Bruce Greenwood as Captain Pike? Fun, but minimal.

So have you seen the new Star Trek? Any thoughts?

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