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Current Topic: Arts

Fiction: Start the Clock, by Benjamin Rosenbaum
Topic: Arts 1:38 pm EST, Jan 21, 2005

] In the stairway, I said, "You couldn't just watch a porn
] channel?"
] "It's not the same," she said. "That's all packaged and
] commercial. I wanted to interview them before and after.
] I have to know -- what it's like."
] "Why?"
] She paused on the stairs, and I stopped too. The
] muscleboys, muttering, went out onto the street, and we
] were alone in the flashing green and red light.
] "Suze, I'm going to start the clock."
] Like she'd poured a bucket of ice water down my spine.
] "You're what?"
] "I'm going to take the treatments." She spoke quickly, as
] if afraid I'd interrupt her. "They've gotten much better
] in the past couple of years, there are basically no side
] effects. They're even making headway with infants. In
] five years, it looks like most babies won't have any
] arrestation effects at all, and -- "
] Tears had sprung to my eyes. "What are you talking
] about?" I cried. "Why are you talking like them? Why are
] you talking like being like us is something to be cured?"
] I punched the wall, which hurt my hand. I sat down on the
] step and cried.
] "Suze," Abby said. She sat down next to me and put her
] hand on my shoulder. "I love being like us -- but I want
] --"
] "That?" I shouted, pointing up to the top of the stairs,
] where they were grunting again. "That's what you want?
] You'd rather have that than us?"
] "I want everything, Suze. I want every stage of life --"
] "Oh, every stupid stage, as designed by stupid God, who
] also gave us death and cancer, and --"
] She grabbed my shoulders. "Suze, listen. I want to know
] what that up there is like. Maybe I won't like it, and
] then I won't do it. But Suze, I want to have babies."

A neat new short story of Sci-Fi released under the Creative Commons license.

Fiction: Start the Clock, by Benjamin Rosenbaum

Activists Dominate Content Complaints
Topic: Arts 12:08 pm EST, Dec  7, 2004

] Through early October, 99.9 percent of indecency
] complaints --- aside from those concerning the Janet
] Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super
] Bowl halftime show broadcast on CBS --- were brought by
] the PTC, according to the FCC analysis dated Oct. 1. (The
] agency last week estimated it had received 1,068,767
] complaints about broadcast indecency so far this year;
] the Super Bowl broadcast accounted for over 540,000,
] according to commissioners%u2019 statements.)
] The prominent role played by the PTC has raised concerns
] among critics of the FCC's crackdown on indecency.
] %u201CIt means that really a tiny minority with a very
] focused political agenda is trying to censor American
] television and radio,%u201D said Jonathan Rintels,
] president and executive director of the Center for
] Creative Voices in Media, an artists' advocacy
] group.
] PTC officials disagree.
] "I wish we had that much power," said Lara
] Mahaney

Activists Dominate Content Complaints

RE: Fahrenheit 9/11 in 4 Sentences
Topic: Arts 5:48 pm EDT, Jun 26, 2004

Rattle wrote:
] The election was bullshit. The Bush family has many financial
] ties to the Saudis. The Bush family makes money from war.
] The troops are the real victims, support the troops. Eat the
] rich.

The first thing about this movie is that it didn't piss me off as much as I thought it would. Thats mostly because Moore's cheap shots didn't overpower his footage.

Footage of soldiers in Iraq. Their attitudes. What life is like over there. Amputees. Innocent bystanders with their faces burned up. Mothers on both sides screaming at the camera over their lost children. People crying in fear. All of the horror of what is going on juxtaposed with the insolence of business development types who are salivating at the opportunities presented by an open Iraq. Juxtaposed with our stupid media coverage.

You should see it because it is the raw war footage thats been missing from the television. If there is any point that Moore makes that I absolutely agree with, its that the giddy, sports fan coverage that the U.S. media gave of the invasion of Iraq was absolutely disgusting, absolutely disgusting, when held against the horrific reality of what was going on. It was death as a spectator event. Like the roman coliseum. When you see the reality of it held next to our news coverage, our attitudes, you will not think us such an advanced culture.

The movie is worth seeing for that reason.

Does Moore lie? Yes, he certainly does. He says most of the people in Congress haven't read the Patriot act. He says Iraq never murdered Americans. He says that most of Al'Q and the Taliban have escaped. He raises numerous conspiracy theories about Florida, including the implication that Fox News had something to do with it, without providing any proof. He makes the unqualified statement that people who died on 9/11 died "as the result of our actions." The insane leftist attitude that Al'Q are like children who can't be held responsible for the things they do.

The movie, on the whole, presented, in a propagandistic way, the view that wealthy people are bad people and that poor people are good people. The audience blindly applauded on many occasions through the film upon being told, by Moore, what to think. Like sheep. It was even more disgusting to me that they had emotionally recovered from some of the footage enough to be excited about a statement and applaud it. The movie certainly did not leave me in any mood for applause.

Is Moore wrong about everything? Most certainly not. Could you have sat in that room for 15 minutes, staring at the wall in fear, after being told that the United States was under attack? Is the business relationship between leaders of the US, England, and Saudi Arabia a good thing, in that it ensures a strong working relationship, or a bad thing, in that it is more important to those involved then the interests they've been elected to defend? Moore makes a compelling case that this relationship may be a significant conflict of interest.

I do think its important people see this film.

RE: Fahrenheit 9/11 in 4 Sentences

Topic: Arts 10:58 pm EDT, May  9, 2004

] Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock hit the road and interviewed
] experts in 20 U.S. cities, including Houston, the
] "Fattest City" in America. From Surgeon Generals to gym
] teachers, cooks to kids, lawmakers to legislators, these
] authorities shared their research, opinions and "gut
] feelings" on our ever-expanding girth.
] During the journey, Spurlock also put his own body on the
] line, living on nothing but McDonald's for an entire
] month with three simple rules:
] 1) No options: he could only eat what was available over
] the counter (water included!)
] 2) No supersizing unless offered
] 3) No excuses: he had to eat every item on the menu at
] least once

Opens in Nashville on 5/28 at the Green Hills 16.
Opens in Atlanta on 5/21 at the LAND Midtown Art Cinema.


Crash Different
Topic: Arts 7:59 pm EST, Feb 29, 2004

Painfully funny. Do not drink anything while viewing.

Crash Different

Master and Commander doesn't suck
Topic: Arts 8:17 pm EST, Nov 28, 2003

I think this movie will be underseen domestically, as it covers a geeky subject, isn't violent enough, offers no love interest, and doesn't involve Americans. However, I enjoyed it alot. Escapism? Maybe. Its a Star Trek episode set in the 1700s. You get an impression of the life of the olde Navy, back when sailing the South Seas was to push the edges of human experience.

Master and Commander doesn't suck

The enchanter
Topic: Arts 12:13 pm EDT, Sep 28, 2003

] Gaiman sees himself as part of the age-old profession of
] storytellers, but unlike a lot of the tiresome people who
] go around referring to themselves that way, he's right.
] His fiction, in its various media (he also writes screen-
] and radio plays), induces that blissful, semi-hypnotic
] state most of us first experienced as children, when the
] power of a book seemed to erase the world around us, and
] when reading felt almost like a drug. Gaiman is
] interested in all the traditional forms of storytelling
] -- legends, folk and fairy tales, myth -- and not just in
] the stories themselves, but the ways they get told. Not
] surprisingly, the hero of the Sandman epic is Morpheus,
] the King of Dreams, who also presides over stories.
] Gaiman certainly wasn't the first comics writer to draw
] on ancient myths, but he could be the first to really
] understand how myths work, not just as motifs but as
] nodes of meaning that gain new layers as we attach new
] experiences to old stories. For example, the Egyptian god
] Osiris, the Norse god Balder, Jesus and John F. Kennedy
] are all very different figures and yet -- in some
] fundamental way having to do with how we understand them
] -- also the same. As the British writer C.S. Lewis (a
] major influence on Gaiman) pointed out, a myth is a story
] that can be told and retold in very different ways and
] yet remain essentially intact. There is no original or
] correct version of the Orpheus myth, just countless ways
] of revealing it, and even people who haven't heard the
] traditional Greek version recognize it as something
] powerful when they meet it in another form.

Anything dealing with Neil Gaiman is worth reading. Salon takes a crack at trying to explain the mass appeal of Neil, despite the fact that he continues to go back to the medium of comic books. I have been an avid fan of his since 1988 when The Sandman began and am constantly trying to introduce his works to more and more people.

The enchanter

B-Movie Hall of Fame
Topic: Arts 3:11 pm EDT, Sep  7, 2003

Dolemite makes the B movie hall of fame!

B-Movie Hall of Fame

Evil Dead - The Musical
Topic: Arts 12:48 pm EDT, Aug 21, 2003

"All hell breaks loose in the deliciously brainy "Evil Dead 1&2:The Musical," adapted from Sam Raimi's seminal Evil Dead films. The musical, directed by Christopher Bond, written by George Reinblatt, and blessed by Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell himself, cranks the camp factor of the movies all the way up to "666."


"The show must go on - particularly if it's opening night. Evil Dead 1 & 2: The Musical triumphed over the blackout gremlins Thursday night by moving the whole show outside and performing outside the Tranzac Club on Brunswick Ave. Lighting was by hand-held flashlights and as the sun finally went down, the headlights of a car. The zombies - and the audience - loved it."


"Toronto Globe and Mail - August 16th - Where were you when the lights went out? "We saw a musical, Evil Dead, spill out of a theatre and right out on the street," Chris says. "It was really cool."

C'mon... you knew this HAD to happen!

Evil Dead - The Musical

BILLBOARD: Artists opposed to online music stores
Topic: Arts 11:59 am EDT, Jun 24, 2003

] "The fear among artists is that the work of art they put
] together, the album, will become a thing of the past,"
] says attorney Fred Goldring, whose firm represents Will
] Smith and Alanis Morissette.

Of course it is. In this age of ADD, 30 second commercials that scream at you for 12 min. out of every half-hour program, and more-better-faster-now, who has the time or patience to listen to a whole album? They should have seen this coming.

BILLBOARD: Artists opposed to online music stores

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