I love steampunk. Science fiction without flash and flare, but grunge and grease. Films that sweat through some incredible stories and leave you fantasizing about living in that world. One of those films is the excellent, if extremely offbeat, Russian sci-fi classics, Кин-Дза-Дза (Kin Dza Dza). The film starts here… You’ll have to see it in segments, and I strongly recommend downloading them with Tubesucker, which I use to save up YouTube clips, especially ones I really enjoy. You never know when a video’s gonna get yanked or an account suspended, so save what you can when you can.
If you liked the Jawas in Star Wars and wished the rest of the movie was more like that, this is the film for you. What I find fascinating is that hardly any of the sets were fabricated for the film. Rather, they were found among the ruins of abandoned installations in Soviet Central Asia. The characters from Earth are totally earthly in their aspects. The aliens are truly inhuman in their culture, without any Star Wars or Trek makeup to tell you they’re alien. They accomplish their otherworldliness through a dash of wardrobe, but even more so through their dialogue and actions. Of course, in their alien nature, they serve to reflect back on humanity something of what it means to be human. The ending is completely justified and satisfying. I love this film, even though I know it’s an odd beast not everyone will appreciate.
“I’ve got one rule of thumb: If the president of a country denies the Holocaust, you should believe the worst, not the best, about what they’re doing.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC
I don’t care if you’re Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, or None of the Above: the above is a correct statement.
It also points to imminent war with Iran. Attitudes are hardening and the hawks are spreading their wings. Love war or hate it, it is coming soon, I feel.
Some statements move from ending with a question mark to a period to an exclamation point. We used to say, “War with Iran?” Now it’s time to say “War with Iran.” The exclamation point will come into usage once the actual attacks begin.
Iran has no allies that aren’t using it as a bargaining chip. If the USA makes the right concessions, Iran can be diplomatically isolated. Therefore, a war can happen. I’m not going to get in too deep about what the US would have to do to get Russia and China to step away from Iran, but the US would do what it takes to make that happen.
Let’s face it. The United States is on the ropes, economically speaking. Our demand is way off and the collapse of the dollar, while only a remote possibility, is nevertheless a possibility. The recent health care debates have been ferocious, but I never thought I’d see the day our nation got so desperate that we would seriously entertain the notion of repealing the 13th Amendment and re-introducing slavery.
I’ve learned that, in exchange for support of Obama’s health care plan, the Republican congressional delegation has mooted the notion of repealing the 13th amendment in order to drop labor costs by bringing slavery back. It’s happening anyway, what with illegal immigrants getting stuffed away into sweatshops and working farms and construction sites all over the nation. They’re treated terribly and paid worse. But rather than fight it, it seems as though we’re going with the legalization route – which makes me wonder which direction the War on Drugs is going to take in the near future.
The proposed language for what has a strong chance of becoming the 28th Amendment goes like this:
Need to test and see if I can get stuff I’ve got posted at Facebook to show up here. Of course, if you’re where Facebook is blocked, you won’t see it here…
1970 Number 1
Once again, thanks to Shelby for getting me to look for her old picture, as it led me to these. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.
As an artist, I sometimes have to face the fact that the conditions under which I executed a work change drastically at times. I can’t let those changed conditions take away from what I’ve done, even if it means I feel much differently about them. The work itself stands outside of time and the fact it has a changing interpretation only makes it more important in my life, in my view. My wife is in this picture, and no matter what, these are her friends.
This one’s a Bollywood actress and I can’t even remember which one. Nice picture, though…
Wind and Smiles
I had forgotten I’d done these works until Shelby reminded me yesterday. Thanks to that reminder, I found a bunch of other “previously unreleased” materials. Thanks, Shelby!
Also in the stash of previously unreleased works…
The boys that make the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, are cooking the books. We use the CPI to keep track of inflation, which is a measure of how prices are going up. If inflation’s negative, then it means prices overall are going down. Simple enough… so how do they cook the books if all they do is look at prices?
Well, they take $4500 off the price of every car in the USA because the “Cash for Clunkers” program was in effect. That’s a fudge of biblical proportions: now all the inflation-indexed payments will be slashed because if inflation goes negative, everything tied to inflation for monthly adjustments also take a walk on the negative side.
While I think deflation is on its way, this is just a way of the USG dodging its financial commitments. It has the power to do it and get away with it. It wouldn’t matter who runs the Congress or presidency: this is a bureaucratic thing, for which the only cure is stronger leadership.
They’re just flat-out awesome. Great harmonies, soulful sounds, strong lyrics… they know how to do it right. If you’re alive, you can always enjoy an O’Jays song one more time. Go get you some O’Jays if you don’t have any on you right now.