Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Frankenstein on the Ice

Frankenstein on the Ice

Frankenstein on the Ice (2000)

How can I move thee? Will no entreaties cause thee to turn a favourable eye upon thy creature, who implores thy goodness and compassion? Believe me, Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity: but am I not alone, miserably alone? You, my creator, abhor me; what hope can I gather from your fellow-creatures, who owe me nothing? they spurn and hate me. The desert mountains and dreary glaciers are my refuge. I have wandered here many days; the caves of ice, which I only do not fear, are a dwelling to me, and the only one which man does not grudge. These bleak skies I had, for they are kinder to me than your fellow-beings. If the multitude of mankind knew of my existence, they would do as you do, and arm themselves for my destruction. Shall I not then hate them who abhor me? I will keep no terms with my enemies. I am miserable, and they shall share my wretchedness. Yet it is in your power to recompense me, and deliver them from an evil which it only remains for you to make so great that not only you and your family, but thousands of others, shall be swallowed up in the whirlwinds of its rage. Let your compassion be moved, and do not disdain me. Listen to my tale: when you have heard that, abandon or commiserate me, as you shall judge that I deserve. But hear me. The guilty are allowed, by human laws, bloody as they are, to speak in their own defence before they are condemned. Listen to me, Frankenstein. You accuse me of murder; and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man! Yet I ask you not to spare me: listen to me; and then, if you can, and if you will, destroy the work of your hands.
--Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Monday, October 30, 2006

Fractal Trick or Treat?

The Familiar

The Familiar (1999)

I've always been more interested in using fractals to push ideas rather than to serve as decorations

Still Life with Dracula

Still Life with Dracula (2002)

and this approach has sometimes proven very handy at Halloween to illustrate horror themes

Back to the Blair Witch

Back to the Blair Witch (2000)

because although fractals can treat by assuming forms that are strikingly beautiful and infinitely lovely

Ghost Rhetoric

Ghost Rhetoric (2003)

they also occasionally trick by mutating into forms that are awful and terrible and horrible and icky

Dandy Werewolf

Dandy Werewolf (2004)

but, of course, and by an artistic process combining both treat and trick, only in a frightfully fun way.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Horror Movie Hallway

Horror Movie Hallway

Horror Movie Hallway (2006)

From DVD Verdict Review -- examining the pros and (mostly) cons of Return to Horror High (1987) :

The rest of the time we're left to watch some bland actors do bland things that are normally always done in horror movies ("Oh look, a dark hallway! I wonder what's over th…AAAAGGGHHHH!").

The curiosity trope kills another black cat B(ad) movie actor...

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Bends

The Bends

The Bends (2002)

It's going up up up
It's going up

--Echo and the Bunnymen, "Going Up"

From At Least We Aren't Wikipedia AskYahoo:

The bends were first recorded in 1841, when early deep-sea divers began experiencing strange symptoms when resurfacing: blotchy rashes, coughing spasms, dizziness, unconsciousness, and a bizarre inability to bend joints (hence, the phrase the bends). Slower ascents were found to help the problem, but the cause of these symptoms wasn't understood until much later.

Decompression sickness is a very serious, potentially lethal condition. When people move from a high-pressure environment to one of low pressure, bubbles can form in their bloodstream as gases in pressurized, liquid form quickly revert to their natural state. This, as anyone familiar with intravenous injections can tell you, is a very bad thing.

Divers breathe pressurized air, which is mostly nitrogen. In high pressure environments (i.e., under the ocean), nitrogen is absorbed by the body's fatty tissues rather than being expelled through breathing. This is generally fine, but if a diver's ascent is too quick and the pressure drops rapidly, the liquid nitrogen turns into bubbles.

Strange. I have a similar reaction whenever I accidentally stumble upon clips of Bush while channel surfing...

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Closed Mind

Closed Mind

Closed Mind (1999)

From the Liar Liar Pants on Fire files. Yesterday, on ABC's This Week, The Decider asserted he never used the concept of stay the course to describe his Iraq strategy. Think Progress has the video and catches Shrub with his voice in the cookie jar. Here's a transcript excerpt from yesterday [emphasis mine]:

STEPHANOPOULOS: James Baker says that he’s looking for something between “cut and run” and “stay the course.”

BUSH: Well, hey, listen, we’ve never been “stay the course,” George. We have been -- we will complete the mission, we will do our job, and help achieve the goal, but we’re constantly adjusting to tactics. Constantly.

And here's a stroll down memory lane [emphases mine]:

BUSH: We will stay the course. [8/30/06]

BUSH: We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq. [8/4/05]

BUSH: We will stay the course until the job is done, Steve. And the temptation is to try to get the President or somebody to put a timetable on the definition of getting the job done. We’re just going to stay the course. [12/15/03]

BUSH: And my message today to those in Iraq is: We’ll stay the course. [4/13/04]

BUSH: And that’s why we’re going to stay the course in Iraq. And that’s why when we say something in Iraq, we’re going to do it. [4/16/04]

BUSH: And so we’ve got tough action in Iraq. But we will stay the course. [4/5/04]

But you -- the American voter -- are apparently too dim-witted to remember what's been said in the past. Move along. O'Reilly will be on soon. Who's on Monday Night Football tonight? Nothing more to see here...

Bush is an archetype for closed mind thinking -- and selective memory. And let's not forget this juicy revelation from Bob Woodward seen on a recent 60 Minutes (recorded on The Huffington Post):

MIKE WALLACE : And Woodward says that no matter what's occurred in Iraq, Mr. Bush does not welcome any pessimistic assessments from his aides, because he is sure that his war has Iraq and America on the right path.

BOB WOODWARD : Late last year, he had key Republicans up to the White House to talk about the war, and said "I will not withdraw even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me." Barney is his dog."

Oh yeah. Bring it on...

This dog won't hunt.  Catch your own frisbee of choice...

"I ain't gonna work on Maggie's Georgie's farm no more..."

[Cartoon by Mike Luckovich]

You will soon come to the garden of forking paths come Election Day. Keep your mind open. You can slog along the Stay the Course Path. Or you can forge ahead and select the Had Enough Path.

As Robert Frost noted, one will have been less traveled in recent years -- but, in November, that one will certainly make "all the difference..."

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UPDATE:

Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof...
--Shakespeare, Othello (Act III, Scene III)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Jar Jar Agonistes

Jar Jar Agonistes

Jar Jar Agonistes (2006)

Gollum is way better.
I evoke birthday blight and snakes
to haul home. I stoke vitriol
and hollow men to guess the price

of my money pit. Sad to be
pitied more than Lieberman or
other juggling carpetbaggers. I seem
a nasty senator, a recycling

smattering of acting and idiot
clowning. Executable. Embedded
face down in a chemical treatment plant
to erase all screentime tribulation.

Decline the first glass coffin.
Meesa never asked to be born
or a racist Barney. I'm a rubber schema
and uncomfortable comic relief.

I must be expunged from all prints.
Even my death will annoy you.

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This is a "Google poem" -- a found text compiled by bits of search phrase strings from Google searches of agonistes and jar jar.

Wikipedia explains the term:

The word Agonistes, found as an epithet following a person's name, means "the struggler" or "the combatant." It is most often an allusion to John Milton's 1671 verse tragedy Samson Agonistes, which recounts the end of Samson's life, when he is a blind captive of the Philistines (famous line: "Eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves"). The struggle that "Samson Agonistes" centers upon is the effort of Samson to renew his faith in God's support.

Probably the most famous post-Miltonic use of Agonistes is by T.S. Eliot, who titled one of his dramas Sweeney Agonistes, where Sweeney, who appeared in several of Eliot's poems, represents the materialistic and shallow modern man. Another well-known example is Garry Wills' 1969 political book Nixon Agonistes, discussing embattled president Richard Nixon.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Bloodletting

Bloodletting

Bloodletting (2000)

Last Tuesday, Keith Olberman, host of MSNBC's Countdown, talked with Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, about the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which The Decider recently signed into law.

Olberman summarizes the bill as follows:

First thing this morning, the president signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which does away with habeas corpus, the right of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned, provided the president does not think it should apply to you and declares you an enemy combatant.

Further, the bill allows the CIA to continue using interrogation techniques so long as they do not cause what is deemed, quote, “serious physical or mental pain.” And it lets the president to ostensibly pick and choose which parts of the Geneva Convention to obey, though to hear him describe this, this repudiation of the freedoms for which all our soldiers have died is a good thing.

And here's a few discussion snips, mostly from Professor Turley:

OLBERMANN: Does this mean that under this law, ultimately the only thing keeping you, I, or the viewer out of Gitmo is the sanity and honesty of the president of the United States?

TURLEY: It does. And it’s a huge sea change for our democracy. The framers created a system where we did not have to rely on the good graces or good mood of the president. In fact, Madison said that he created a system essentially to be run by devils, where they could not do harm, because we didn’t rely on their good motivations.

Now we must. And people have no idea how significant this is. What, really, a time of shame this is for the American system. What the Congress did and what the president signed today essentially revokes over 200 years of American principles and values.

It couldn’t be more significant. And the strange thing is, we’ve become sort of constitutional couch potatoes. I mean, the Congress just gave the president despotic powers, and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to, you know, Dancing with the Stars. I mean, it’s otherworldly.

[...]

And so we may have, in this country, some type of uber-president, some absolute ruler, and it’ll be up to him who gets put away as an enemy combatant, held without trial.

It’s something that no one though t-- certainly I didn’t think -- was possible in the United States. And I am not too sure how we got to this point. But people clearly don’t realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us. And I’m not too sure we’re going to change back anytime soon.

[...]

Well, this is going to go down in history as one of our greatest self-inflicted wounds. And I think you can feel the judgment of history. It won’t be kind to President Bush.

But frankly, I don’t think that it will be kind to the rest of us. I think that history will ask: Where were you? What did you do when this thing was signed into law? There were people that protested the Japanese concentration camps. There were people that protested these other acts. But we are strangely silent in this national yawn as our rights evaporate.

Now Playing: In our name: all the trappings of the worst repressive regimes. No longer the land of liberty. The land of torture -- of detention without charge -- of gulags -- of flaunting humane treatment of prisoners -- of warrantless surveillance -- of granting our president the powers of a despot. The ideals of the United States have been drained away by a charlatan. The patient -- our national identity -- is near death.

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch: When's American Idol and O'Reilly on?

Hey, neighbor. Once you finish Cultural Warrior, you might want to pick up Dante's Inferno. It's the Iraq story you won't hear on Fox or from the lips of your new emperor.

But the bloodletting won't be on Law and Order. It will committed in your name by people representing you and acting cruelly because of the tacit approval of your silence.

Sleep well -- dreaming of visions of good tax cuts and bad gay marriage -- and be grateful you aren't an enemy combatant...

...yet...

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Olberman is more eloquent on this matter than I:

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Big Kahuna

The Big Kahuna

The Big Kahuna (2003)

You know if you the man...

From are we hacks or just hacked Wikepedia:

"Big kahuna" is a common slang term for the person in charge of something. It comes from the Hawaiian word kahuna, meaning shaman or wizard.

In Pulp Fiction, the character known as Brett tells Jules that his burger came from Big Kahuna Burger, referred to as "that Hawaiian burger joint."

Uuummmm, this is a tasty burger.

Oh. I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration? You know what they call a torturer in America?

[Photo seen on this Pulp Fiction site]

This cow has yet to experience organ failure...

Not the man...

[Photo seen on Think Progress]

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wish You Were Nuclear

Ground Burst Near Orlando

Ground Burst Near Orlando (1998)


Air Burst Over Palm Springs

Air Burst Over Palm Springs (1998)


Underwater Test Off Key West

Underwater Test Off Key West (1998)


Underground Test at Destin

Underground Test at Destin (1998)

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
Ellen Ripley, Aliens

Good advice. Considering the aliens among us -- like Foley and Harris -- Florida becoming a radioactive residue looks pretty good. An added plus: all the sandy beaches transform into glass.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Banishment of Garfield

Banishment of Garfield

Banishment of Garfield (2006)

Something new. It might be a long time between lasagnas...

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Blue Fly

Blue Fly

Blue Fly (2001)

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.
--Shakespeare, King Lear

What's the buzz? Well, the sad insect in today's image won't be lonely...

From ABC News:

The U.S. Army has plans to keep the current level of soldiers in Iraq through 2010, the top Army officer said Wednesday, a later date than Bush administration or Pentagon officials have mentioned thus far.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Woodchipper

Woodchipper

Woodchipper (2004)

Cannon fodder...

From The Independent:

The human cost of the war in Iraq could be far higher than previously thought. A new survey says more than 650,000 Iraqis have lost their lives as a consequence of the invasion by the United States and Britain, with an estimated 200,000 violent deaths directly attributable to Allied forces.

The new figure is much larger than all previous estimates -- more than 20 times higher than President George Bush claimed 11 months ago -- and will add considerable weight to the calls of those seeking a withdrawal of troops.

The 654,965 deaths estimated to have resulted from the invasion represent about 2.5 per cent of the Iraqi population. It means people have been dying at a rate of about 560 a day, equivalent to one death every three minutes, or less.

For what?

For what?

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Monday, October 09, 2006

No Lifeguard

No Lifeguard

No Lifeguard (2000)

Why should I care about North Korea?
--George W. Bush, quoted in Bob Woodward's State of Denial

Till human voices wake us and we drown.
T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

As the Foley scandal continues to expand like the Big Bang, let us not forget that the pervasive BushCo incompetance continues treading at full throttle.

North Korea may have tested a nuclear weapon. The bomb may have been a bomb -- but the real fizzle blows up right in the face of another failed BushCo policy. From AmericaBlog:

Let’s call North Korea what it is: a part of President Bush's Axis of Failure. Since he bizarrely linked North Korea, Iran, and Iraq nearly a half-decade ago, North Korea has acquired nuclear capabilities, Iran has become more militant and more powerful, and we've turned Iraq into a terrorist-producing failed state. Axis of Failure. North Korea is the product of miserably failed policy, and now we’re seeing the results of the incoherent and ineffective Bush doctrine.

The National Security Network agrees:

President Bush claimed he would not tolerate a nuclear North Korea, but he has done worse than that: he ignored the threat of North Korea as it expanded its nuclear arsenal.

And perhaps The Decider should have listened more to Poppy than that other whispering "Higher Father." Shrub might have been thrown a life raft from Donald Gregg, his Dad's former National Security Advisor and past ambassador to South Korea who recently said the following (seen in the Washington Post):

Why won't the Bush administration talk bilaterally and substantively with NK, as the Brits (and eventually the US) did with Libya? Because the Bush administration sees diplomacy as something to be engaged in with another country as a reward for that country's good behavior. They seem not to see diplomacy as a tool to be used with antagonistic countries or parties, that might bring about an improvement in the behaviour of such entities, and a resolution to the issues that trouble us. Thus we do not talk to Iran, Syria, Hizballah or North Korea. We only talk to our friends -- a huge mistake.

Everything is sinking under the waterline of the Iraq quagmire and the GOP congressional protect-our-power cesspool. Our government -- and international image -- desperately need artificial respiration...and the only unbribed, uncorrupted lifeguards on call to rescue democracy are the voters.

How long can we dogpaddle and listen to human voices Rovian spin that it's someone else's fault if we drown?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Scorpion of Light

Scorpion of Light

Scorpion of Light (2006)

Light stings when vermin crawl out from under the hypocrisies trash.

Ellen Goodman says:

If I had my druthers, this election would have turned on the war in Iraq. I hoped that when the voters finally got it, "it" would have been the disaster that's turned this war zone into a recruiting ground for terrorists.

Instead we have the self-described party of family values caught enabling or at least ignoring a sick puppy of a congressman, Mark Foley, who was sex-talking electronically to teenage pages. Instead we have Speaker Dennis Hastert dismissing such an exchange as merely "over-friendly" and White House press secretary Tony Snow describing the messages as "naughty." We even have right-wing Webmaster Matt Drudge blaming the teenagers themselves as "16- and 17-year-old beasts."

This scandal is what has registered on the political Richter scale. This is what voters are asking their representatives about. Well, I wouldn't have chosen to play on this field, but I will take it.

[...]

The Republicans have been all-too-successful in getting a hold on the language and politics of values. There isn't a parent in this country who doesn't wince at and worry about the sexualization of children all over the culture from the clothing racks to the Internet. But the right has grabbed onto the free-floating anxiety and attached it to everything on their agenda from abstinence-only education to the dismissal of a Texas teacher for taking her kids to a museum that had nude statues.

Now we are beginning to get "it." The self-proclaimed party of moral values can't keep its own House in order. The Republicans in charge of too much for too long have one value they now hold above all others: staying in power. Got it? Well, that's a start.

Yeah, sex sells -- even if torture and war and lies and a Constitution reduced to cinders and countless other Republican atrocities won't wake a Big Brotherized, Rovian fear-mongered electorate.

Whatever it takes. If you can't put Capone away for murder and racketeering -- then tax evasion will accomplish the same end.

It doesn't much matter how and where you're stung...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On the Rocks

On the Rocks

On the Rocks (2002)

Let's review, class.

In just the last week, it's now clear to even former BushCo cheerleaders like Bob Woodward that Shrub and the Deciderettes lie us into offensive wars, gut the Geneva Convention, abolish habeas corpus, openly advocate torture, set up gulags, spy on anyone anytime, can declare anyone anywhere an "enemy combatant," and use the Constitution for toilet paper...

...yet a sex scandal might bring about a power shift in Congress to finally reanimate the corpse of American checks and balances to reign in the reign of our king dictator czar poobah sheik judgejuryandexecutioner omnipotentbeing president.

I'm down with that.

Whatever it takes.

Somewhere, Bill Clinton must be laughing so hard he really is unable to inhale.

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Something happened yesterday that I never dreamed in my worst Dante's Inferno scenario would occur.

I actually agreed with Bay Buchanan.

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Belly laugh of the week courtesy of Newt G. explaining why the on-the-rocks GOP brass did not make Mark Foley's pedophile proclivities more widely known:

Well, you could have second thoughts about it, but I think had they overly aggressively reacted to the initial round, they would have also been accused of gay bashing. I mean, the original notes had no sexual innuendo and the parents did not want any action taken.

Oh, of course. Those family-valued, sensitivity-trained Republicans. They'd never place children at the mercy of a sexual stalker by covering up obvious abuses in order to cravenly maintain their own political power. Gosh, no -- as Rummy would say. They would do anything -- anything -- rather than have to resort to the unjust unseemliness of gay bashing. So, by golly, you betcha they'd certainly never ever ever turn a blind eye to anything as tawdry as this

Hastert: Don't ask because we won't tell...

[Image seen on Crooks and Liars]

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Big Beet

Big Beet

Big Beet (2000)

Eat your E. coli laced veggies...

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I know I haven't been blogging much. I've been both too busy and too depressed. Work has been kicking my butt...and I've been trying squeeze out time for some writing and for making new images. And the recent Congressional vote to give The Decider the green light to torture and deny habeas corpus to anyone he decides to declare an "enemy combatant" has put me in a blue funk. I will actively work against my DINO senator, Mark Pryor, who voted for this bring-on-the-fascism legislation. No quarter and no excuses on this vote. Like Morpheus in The Matrix Reloaded, I had a dream (of America), but now my dream is gone.

But the blues will pass once my workload eases, and the resolve for the good fight will reboot. In the meantime, I'll at least try to put up some images for you to enjoy.

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