Friday, December 31, 2004

So What Did We Learn in 2004?

As long as people are in the majority they don't have to care about those in the minority. This may not come as a shock to most, but - my mistake - I thought we lived in a far more civilized society.

White trash is white trash is white trash, regardless of the tax bracket.

American politicians can not be regarded as trustworthy. Religious American politicians, since they only answer to their God and not to mere mortals, are far less trustworthy.

Its apparently ok to dispose of one theological dictatorship in another part of the world while setting up your own in your own backyard.

God is an Atheist.

Shaking hands spreads more germs than kissing.

Monday, December 27, 2004

ZMG's review of Ocean's Twelve

Have you ever had the feeling when you are watching a movie and then you get that nagging sensation that you've seen the movie before?

Have you ever played with one of those kids who was playing by the rules until they started losing and then said something to the effect "well I have a time machine and I went back in time and did all this before you did." or "well I can do what you do only I'm stronger."?

Have you ever wondered how a movie studio could spend $110,000,000 without coming up with a single original idea?

Even if you answered yes to these questions I would still recommend seeing Ocean's Twelve.

Ocean's Twelve is very much like its predecessor Ocean's Eleven. There is a lot going on that you see and a lot more that you don't see. There's a beautiful ex-love interest attached to one of the main thieves who eventually finds herself with that thief again. Everyone has their roles in the "big crime" and few extra that wont come out until the end. There are always one or two people out and about who no one knows about but are still working with Ocean and his crew. Every obstacle is planned for and planned out well ahead of time and every antagonist is thoroughly screwed before they even know it.

About the only plot twist in the whole movie is that the one person who was working with the police was in fact working with the police the whole time... up until the end.

The characters would be completely forgettable if it wasn't for the first movie. If you hadn't seen the first movie, you wouldn't have known the main character's names.. which is ok if you haven't because you never really know who they are after the movie either. If it wasn't for the fact that some of these characters have very unusual personality quirks and that not all of them are white, you wouldn't be able remember any of them at all.

This is probably the most elegant popcorn movie I have ever seen though.

Final Grade: B

Seriously though, someone really needs to check the books on this film. What the hell did they spend $110 million on anyways?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

This is Just Too Funny Not To Share

For the last couple days I've been involved in an online game called NationStates which is based upon a book named Jennifer Government. In this game people come in and make their own country, design their own flag and set their rules as according to new issues that come up.

My country is the The United Socialist States of Raust and my current UN category is labelled as Democratic Socialists. In creating your own country, you are also able to select your currency and your national animal. For money I chose the Stone (a reference to my larping days) and for my animal, I did something novel and went the common sense appraoch and chose the human as my nation's animal.. which currently frolics freely in the nation's many lush forests. As the days go on I vote on the issues as they come up and my decisions effect the outcome of Raust as a whole.

For example, yesterday I had to decide on whether to send more money into the military of my country. One side said the military needed more money for more weapons and the other side said "make love, not war". After considering a possible economic boost while counting the large bribe I took from the corporate contractors and considering the lack of planning in the safe and environmentally friendly manner of disarming and removing current and older weapons while bending the peaceful hippie-chick lobbyist over my desk and having my way with her.. I decided both sides were lacking in credibility and therefore dismissed the issue entirely.

Its good to be the king.

Ok. So, this morning, I get up and I look at my new issues to decide upon as lord high master and I come across this title: Humans on the Dinner Table?

I did a double take. Cannibalism? So soon? Wow, looks like my people are a tad more liberal than most.

So I click open the page and read the three opinions concering the outcome of our beloved national animal:
  1. "The fact is, the human population is out of control," says Beef-Based Agriculture spokesperson Abraham Dodinas. "We have to do something about them anyway, so why not market them as tasty snacks? We could have human kebabs, human pies, human-on-a-sticks--the possibilities are endless! Let's not pass up this golden opportunity to provide a feast, if you will, for our economy."
  2. "I agree that something needs to be done about human over-population," says random passer-by Beth Rubin, "but eating them? That's kind of gross. Let's just shoot the ones we have to and shovel their bodies into ditches like normal."
  3. "I am shocked and appalled!" declared SPCA President Lars Clinton. "If anyone needs to be culled, it's us humans. The humans were here first, remember? We need to take this as a sign to get our industry--agriculture in particular--to back off. The human is part of what makes Raust a great nation!"

After laughing my ass off for about 5 minutes I realized I just had to share to share this with the rest of you. My loyal readers. All two of you.

Regardless, I'm not sure how I'm going to vote on this issue. This requires serious thought... and the occasional fit of laughter.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

La-Hoo Za-Her

I watch The Biggest Loser on television every week. I think this is one of the few reality tv shows I can stomach because it stars people that normally wouldn't look model-ish enough to make it onto any other reality television show. The same was true for Sci-fi's Mad Mad House.

Just like Mad Mad House, The Biggest Loser is an attempt to help people and make them better and healthier people overall. While Mad Mad House went the intellectual route, Biggest Loser goes the physical route. However, since these shows apparently can't be anything other than Survivor clones, they can't help but vote someone "off the island" every week. I think this is a really stupid idea. Its as if these shows are saying "This is the best possible place for you to evolve and grow as an individual and become and overall healthier person, so we're sending you away from this place because we couldn't possibly be intellectually secure enough try something original and actually keep people here."

Instead of shoving these people who need help off the show every week and, in the Biggest Loser's case, train people who have probably been treated like garbage for what they look like to treat others like garbage over some silly competition, they should instead just move players in and out of contention for the final prize and let people progress as they will. To me, this seems like it would be a better idea, because it keeps the people who are "voted off" around the other players so they can continue to be an influence and a constant reminder of any backstabbing that may have occured to place that individual out of the main contest.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the time or easy access to the video equipment neccesary to put my own video tape together as an application for the next season of The Biggest Loser. I would have liked to get on there and shed a few dozen pounds myself.

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