juxtaposition

A blog: Blackfive which includes a link to Sgt. Hook’s after-action-review of the first MilBlog Conference.
A broadcast: Unitarian Universalist sermon on Evolution: The Issue Behind The Issue, which Steve Edington claims (quite contemporarily) is the importance of story.
A film: Thank You for Smoking, which presents argument as the essence of story.
All that’s left is to make sense of “the story,” the telling of the story, and the story behind the story.

horror

VPP and I had a lengthy discussion about the rash of vicious and hateful posters to the blog of the white man, Kevin Ray Underwood, who brutally murdered and violated a ten year old girl last week in Oklahoma (reported by CNN).
It led us into a conversation of the concept of valence, which is an element in group relations theory.
What launched us was the apparent data from the guy’s blog that he was surrounded in his life by the kind of people now posting vitriolic comments to his blog. Perhaps, he acted on a surplus of the hatred around him that somehow built up in him beyond the point of his ability to suppress?

A History of Violence

My peers are more critical than me. I thought it was pretty good, but they lamented it’s predictability and (hello?) the amount of violence.
I was intrigued by the relationship between a man who has reinvented himself and a woman who has to reconcile her attraction to this man with a past she abhors.
Otherwise, it was predictable. There were also several loose ends not pursued and/or left untied. “Half-assed,” was the assessment of the clerk at Captain Video. Then they (my friends?!!) tried to blame me :-0 only because Munich was out, there would have been too much thinking involved with Good Night, And Good Luck, and Jarhead didn’t grab their interest. Maybe they regret passing up the opportunity to watch Jesus Christ Superstar?

Mark Crispin Miller on The Daily Show

Hilarious! Thanks Viveca, for sending the link.
Looks like C-SPAN2 will air his keynote address at UMass’ Communication in Crisis conference this Sunday at 1 pm EST on the program Book TV, and again at 11 pm EST.

it’s worse than most of us think

Mark Crispin Miller gave an impassioned, persuasive, and deeply unsettling keynote address at the Communication in Crisis conference held at UMass-Amherst today.
He focused on the findings contained in his new book, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too. I followed some of the controversy as it was covered by Tom Atlee of The Co-Intelligence Institute. Miller presents a compelling array of “copious evidence” that touchscreen voting is a major culprit of vote fraud, and discusses the fear and denial driving major political figures and the media in general to avoid this most crucial fact of our times.

Continue reading “it’s worse than most of us think”

“hidden” in plain view?

Anuj parachuted in just in time to wave at Don before the movie began. (I received the clandestine codes: spongecell and backpack. shhh)
“There’s something hidden in the long, static closing shot of Cache&emdash;a clue, an answer, a red herring, an epiphany. It’s embedded deep, somewhere back in the shadows&emdash;or, perhaps, it’s right up front, hiding in plain sight. It vastly alters everything that preceded it, demanding a total reevaluation of the film&emdash;or it just further complicates this already profoundly inscrutable mystery. It is a conclusion both languidly drawn out and violently abrupt, stunning in its simplicity, infuriating in its opacity.”
It kept me tense, that’s for sure. Was the entire movie made for one scene? And who made the videos? Why does it matter who made the videos? Majid is dead. Is he dead because of the videos or for another reason? Why now? Re-traumatization after he obviously had managed to make a life for himself? or is the point what hell wreaks itself upon a guilty conscience? Is it better to whet one’s soul on the sharp edge of guilt or pass let it pass disinterested into the maw of forgotten memory?
What was hidden, besides a guilty conscience? A possibly illicit attraction? A nation’s neglect of an immigrant population?
I wondered about the boy whose house Pierrot winds up at overnight, unannounced. I thought it was him (Francois?) engaged in animated conversation with Pierrot on the school steps in the final scene but apparently it was Majid’s son: “The last shot in the film is of his son and the son of Moroccan man who once lived with the protagonist as a child.” Did they plot together? A younger generation in cross-ethnic alliance against the deeply-buried sins of their parents?
To cap the undecidable weirdness of the evening, as we walked to the car afterwards, a young man with wild hair and clothing strikingly akin to Pierrot’s strolled by in the cool spring-ish night air. We had just been talking about ghosts . . .