Monthly Archives: February 2014

Angelina & The Little Caesars Seek Your Admiration For Self-Validation

Everybody wants to be more than just a material existence and this strikes even the rich & the famous; this is why it is important to not be blinded by the talk & the bling of these vapid fleshdunces who live to appear on the silver screen and then the next day on the talk shows and tabloids as world saviors.

What is most important to pay attention to when these morons come out is the way that they flaunt their do-gooding. Folks like Madonna & Angelina take pride in adopting babies from third world nations and pick them out like normal people select puppies, then parade them before the paparazzi in a state of ecstatic rejoicing. How great is Caesar! They have, after all, swept down from their pleasure palaces wearing safari hats to the mud hut third world shit holes and liberated some poor creature from such a fate:

They become honorary citizens of Cambodia and UN ambassadors between major film productions; they show their asses in major Hollywood movies because they just can’t help but seek the attention of the masses, even the pimpled teens who will abuse themselves in the wee hours of the night to the mentally saved image.

They are quick to criticize any institution and stand up for peace, equality and a thousand other Holy Cows worshiped as idols by idiots of similar low IQs.

More than anything: they need you to buy the magazines for the stories of their greatness. For the story of them being more than flesh. Their whole career has been built on mimicry, on acting out the roles of fictional entities concocted and funded by producers, cleverly written and filled in by a few talented hacks, all thrown together for the sole purpose getting your money and shaping your worldview. This whole process is so disgusting, even to those involved, it creates an existential crisis…

What to do when you have a million screaming fans because you are the flesh embodiment of a superficial hero? What to do as tomb raider come to life, as the embodiment of a superhero, as the historic figure? They transcend life on the screen and they gain the empty admiration of idiots, and now they must try to transcend life again in hopes that some meaning can be ascribed to their empty existence.

And here is where comes the Little Caesar.

They are the all powerful. They are the political entities that determine the quality of our lives. They give us our bread and circuses. They give us even our health and our education. They give us security. And they may taketh away just as they give, for they are Caesar, great & proud.

We bow before them now a little bit differently: not only are they the famous, the rich, but they are also the powerful and the benevolent. Without their near divine grace and goodwill, where would we be?

Millions laugh at the image of the country preacher, bucktoothed and in an outdated suit, figuratively soiled, raising the alarm that Hollywood is Babylon, and that we are building ourselves a new Great Whore in America. Nobody wants to hear a moral lesson curbing our enthusiasm for consumerism, cautioning us against the idolization of mammon.

And less than that do we want to be subjected to the foreign devils who we are told are abusers of children, abusers of women; murderers, wipe their ass with their hands, and eat with the same hands. We don’t want to ever live as a judgmental person who gleans their truth in the quiet hours at dawn, praying towards Mecca; we don’t want to ever listen to the man who would fight the world with a rusted AK-47. We want nothing to do with those who fill their lives with a hundred rules governing their behavior strictly.

God-worshipers, bent down before Him, , allahu akbar x34, alhomdaelillah x33, subhanallah x33; ending with one La Illaha ill allah, adding up to the sacred number of 101.

No, we are not interested in a moral judgment. We are not interested in improving ourselves and making an inward change that translates to outward action, that becomes a worldview of true non-consumerism, of small living; We are interested only in the naked ass of Angelina Jolie, and in the breasts of Madonna (not to be confused with the Mother of Christ, whom we disregard). We are not interested in liberation from our materialistic worldview, and we are not interested in overcoming our addiction to the consumer products that are the hallmark of the massive divide between rich and poor, the divide between us First Worlders and the unadopted children of Angelina Jolie…

We want the film Gandhi; we don’t want the Gandhi Gandhi. We want the areligious, abbreviated and symbolic Jesus; we don’t want the Jesus Jesus. We want the Secular Morality, the arms-length distance between each other, the consenting adults clause, the really easy money and cheap products put together in third world shit holes;  the last thing everyone needs is some real hard fucking morality that challenges a person to abandon the greater portion of their life.

We choose Little Caesar, we don’t choose Christwe choose the Bollywood Moghuls, not Gandhi; we want the Buddha made of Gold and not the Buddha made of clay.

… But, if for one minute, Indiana Jones selects Jesus Christ the Carpenter’s cup in a film…

We will follow that heroic gesture and for a moment consider its significance.

The hand of Little Caesar gives us bread & circuses, and as they symbolically play out our greatest dreams on the screen, so too do they fulfill all of our political ambitions.

I ask you:

What Does Little Caesar Think? I want to think the same. I want to know the worldview of the Angelina, of the Sean Penn, of the Russell Brand; surely, if someone famous and important as them, who entertains me between the wretched hours I go to work, there must be total truth.

We’ve become a society of idol worshipers. The funny thing is: the idols come back to us, in their interviews, and they want us to approve of them as people. They pose for us even when the initial posing is done, until their behavior on & off the screen is all an ancient act began by the Pharoahs who presided over great ceremonies to symbolically reassure the people that goodness will prevail.

The sad thing is that we’ve bought this same bullshit for six thousand years and we will buy it for six thousand more.

I said it once, and I will say it again: if the unadopted children of Angelina, armed to the tooth & festooned in the Jihadi robes & Khmer Rouge pajamas, were to show up in Beverly Hills and humble every one  of these Little Caesars, that would a very merry Christmas make. 

Assorted Thoughts On [Political] Balance, Independence, Justice, Futility

(NOTE: it is hard to not sound like an ass while talking about this but I write this merely because a few people enjoy it…) One of the more humbling things about politics, and one of the reasons why I have not been so avidly partisan in a good many years, and why I have embraced a seemingly fleeting and often ambiguous position has been the slow (yet steady) realization that achieving justice, or something like it, on a large scale is an incredibly difficult task. It is confounded perpetually by the weakness of man, the impossibility of achieving it on a large scale; it is a futile effort.

It reminds me of the Christian idea that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We have some ideas for achieving good but the task is nigh on impossible.

The best argument against centralized power is the fact that, as the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely; the more power is taken away from the individual, the family, the state, the region, and moved to the centralized core, the more these smaller groups are overlooked and thus the greater likelihood of injustices and imbalances in these areas…

But there is also the trouble of the lack of centralization leading to it becoming easier for great discrepancies to arise in the peripheries of power.

More and more, balance (just as justice) becomes an increasingly impossible task to fulfill; we see the news coming out from everywhere and it seems that the ideal balance is never achieved. And, in the end, we become to some degree more rightfully skeptical and even faithless.

But like all things there  must be a balance between skepticism & cynicism Vs. faith & hope. For with a small amount of soulsearching we can realize that there is such a thing as good and such a thing as evil. Perhaps we cannot offer proof or definitions but since the advent of philosophy such a thing has existed. Maybe this was never even meant to be known, for maybe ‘goodness’ is on some level beyond the grasp of human intellect and perception. But perhaps it is here for something to inspire us to greater heights and to merely behave as a moral compass for us.

So more and more, with age, we have to not aspire to passing great judgments applicable to entire nations, cultures, religions, creeds; we have to at some point stop analyzing things so much in the big picture but turn towards smaller and smaller pictures and hope only to make some better, greater dynamic within our own personal spheres of influence. We must also have faith that there are likeminded people throughout the whole of the world with similar aspirations, and that they have always, more or less, existed, and they shall go on existing after us.

And perhaps the profoundest truth of this is that we can recognize actions towards justice arising from individuals with whom we even disagree greatly; perhaps, indeed, there is the element of goodness in several ideologies, even those opposing. Whenever this goodness comes to the top it matters not what the source is, but matters only that it is there in some form of another. 

None of this requires anything more than our desire for intellectual growth and actualization in the now, and to slowly model our lives after our realizations so that our every action proceeds forth from such an inner mechanism. And we can only hope that from our small spheres emanate a greater and a superior reverberation that will be found in those around us.

What we do not so much need is an absolute, singular ideological movement to sweep any globe but rather a plurality of positive changes…

… and perhaps what is most important to realize is that we are fallible and mortal, often capable of moral indiscretions and our own small evils. It is rather discouraging on some level and we should strive against it but it attests in and of itself to the necessity of having such a division of peoples, a division of spheres, a division of everything to give us all our own room and place to have our own balances.

Perhaps the two things to take away from this small rant are as follows:

  1. Achieving a balance or achieving justice on large scales is difficult because it becomes less applicable to specific incidences but is superimposed across too many; likewise, on small scales sometimes the balance / justice is too weak to stand on its own for a long time.
  2. There is always a flaw that exists, even within ourselves, yet we can still pursue the good, and this mere pursuit of good while understanding our own fallibility is perhaps the best we can hope for, and if we do it with good intentions and high spirits there will be some success.
  3. More than anything, I think, we should recognize that people of opposing ideologies can even both have some goodness in their actions, some more than others, and perhaps we have to recognize the necessity of individualization and separation. Our justice can be our own, and theirs their own; our balance our own, and theirs their own. Essentially, it is a doctrine of ‘freedom,’ but let us not impose freedom on such a massive scale (a la #1) but rather let us embrace an idea of independence to go along with it.

There is a natural, pervasive movement towards the good from the beginning of most lives which later realizes the futility of everything; it is merely important to relentlessly push it forward and past such a point.

(Written while listenng to Butterfly Temple’s Wheel of Chernobog album)

Camouflaging Extremism With Bigotry Accusations

What is the easiest way to distract people from the fact that you are an overbearing ideologue and disinterested in rational discourse on a complex, highly nuanced political topic? Pretend that the enemy is solely made up of bigots! And this is a tactic currently being employed most notably in the gay marriage debates.

The tactic is simply the Poisoning the Well fallacy which, ironically, in the wikipedia article even includes the poignant example of someone accusing the other party of being a Fascist. Referring to someone as a bigot before the argument even gets started is quite a closely related term — how a propos.

This poisoning of the well is often worked into the idea of creating a large false dichotomy. One has to side with the liberals because, if we don’t, we will be left only with the bigotry, fascism, narrow-mindedness, etc. of the conservative. One can also see this in other debates such as the immigration debate (the right, for opposing immigration, are often accused of being closet racists), the abortion debate (the right hates women) or, conversely, conservatives will use it in Patriot Act debates (the left are clueless pacifists), Obamacare (the Left is ‘Socialist,’ oh dear), etc. 

The real issue with this debate tactic is that it appeals to the dumb (who make the argument and who read it and feel ‘convinced’) that the opponent really cannot possibly say anything worthwhile. Even if his arguments are rational or well constructed, they must be ignored because they are bigoted / Communist or some other words of an extreme individual.

The great underlying irony of all of this is clear: this is often used to mask the fact that the poisoners of the well are quite extremist in their own right.

In some recent discussions on the Gay Marriage issue, it is easy to see people being labeled universally bigots for their mere opposition to the policy. How is bigotry typically defined? Dictionary.com would tell us:

stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

Obviously, there exists a burden that would have to be fulfilled — the burden that the particular person consistently was ‘completely intolerant’ of another creed, belief or opinion; obviously, they would not be the sort of person who was actively discussing said topic. They would not be a person who was merely using their God-given right to voice their own opinions and thoughts on an issue…

… In this case, the real bigots are obvious: those who consistently drum up hatred and extreme views against people for their beliefs and thereby demonstrating their complete intolerance. An intolerance so complete that the mere participation of people of other beliefs in a discussion warrants the sort of name-calling that constitutes poisoning the well.

Anyone who associates with the conservative grassroots movement is merely a racist or a homophobe to this open-minded & tolerant liberal.

Clearly, the false dichotomy is meant to be drawn back here to the regular businessman, politician looking fellow in the center, meant to insinuate that the real power is the KKK, skinheads, confederate flag wearing ‘Huns’ (lol, fun image) and beer swilling blue collar ignoramuses that appear vaguely monstrous (lol).

And here we see people organizing boycotts of a business because of the personal beliefs of one of the business owner’s political beliefs — not something that he has grafted onto the business! This is the sort of democratic opinion bubbling to the surface of the hate-filled bigots who invest their time witch hunting people for their personal political beliefs.

 

Obviously, a person is allowed have whatever beliefs that they wish and said beliefs do not necessarily make anyone a bigot (barring obvious ones that are advocating hatred).

The real bigots here are the ones who resort to all manner of logical fallacies and emotional arguments when a serious discussion is trying to be had.

Watch out for open minded people who prefer caricatures of their opponents than legitimate discussion. 

 

Faith Based Baby Tossing: The Ill-Thought Nu-Atheist Social Campaigns

It is hard to put your finger on it exactly, but we will try to do it: there is a disturbing trend of very Faithful, A-rational A-theists. Of course we are not talking about the studious classical atheists who mold their social views more along the lines of Marx orStrauss, who accept that the religion has an existence that, while not necessarily ‘true,’ perhaps is part of a greater scheme of things. Indeed, even the Stalinists eventually made peace with the religious establishment and saw it existing within the society in some positive regard. The Straussian conservatives understand the importance of the good and evil dichotomy, and even the Altheussers of the world looked to their proverbial Prince of Philosophers, Spinoza, and suggested that there was an underlying atheism to the Prince, and that religion can serve some greater purpose in the enlightening and ennobling of the human spirit.

The plight of the 21st century intellectual is the Nu-Atheist clogging up every discussion, online or off, with a series of garbage statements meant chiefly to show off some brazen confidence, or the even more dangerous blowhards that truly believe they are waging some positive campaign against the religious and progressively liberating us from ignorance and creating a better world. I often shudder in disgust when staring down one of these Fedora wearers. The Hitch-bots and the Dawkins citers… Enough to make a man grimace.

What is most poignantly disgusting about the movement is the sheer bravado they approach religion with. They are as gun wielding desperados with great machismo who fear no retort because they are in the armor of a little knowledge. But we all know, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

We see that the Nu-Atheist movement operates off of the great assumption that any destruction of religious institutions or thoughts or their hold on the people will universally result in some better solution. Many toss around such accusations that religion is the reason for conflict in the world, the reason for AIDS in Africa, the reason for us not developing science sooner and they make these charges with little historic backing as if to question such is absurd. They approach these with great assumptions — and from a high horse.

A Fedora wearing Nu-Atheist enjoying his half-assed, smug assertions and conclusion-that-doesn’t-follow.

Few do not realize the positive roles that religion had in the development of the world we enjoy. Monks were prodigious researchers and scientists; religion was an amazing patron of the arts and inspiration to the masses. Not to mention, religion was the first real charitable institution that existed outside of the tribalistic unity that villages oft enjoyed. But all these aspects are ignored.

The baby is thrown out with the bathwater.

Why? Because it doesn’t fit the simple and incredulous assertion that religion is ignorance and the great boogeyman of all the world, something which laughable when all things are considered from what could be called a rather rationalistic approach.

Instead we see this bizarr atheist social campaign to endlessly tie reigion as the Holy Bigot keeping homosexuals done for all eternity; religion becomes this magnificent force for all social ills, and it is as simple as merely instituting atheism and ‘lack of religion’ to liberate the homosexual. Atheistic and homophobic China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan & Vietnam be damned! We will beat this dead horse into the ground…

… All without ever paying attention to pertinent questions of what is the real purpose of government? Is it here to embellish rights, or is t here to serve as a facilitator of social harmony?

What is the real purpose of marriage? What is the purpose of a sexual union?

What is the meaning of ‘morality’ and how should we behave publicly?

To be fair: few people on the religious side ask these questions either. They often comically engage the anti-religious from the similar, post-modern rationalist perspective or they repeat rote positions that the Churches and Mosques have held for a thousand years with little inspiration. But, at least, they do it without the cocksure confidence of a Nu-Atheist.

The Nu-Atheists regale us with endless pestering and prodding and poking, pretending that they are making some massive point and liberating society from our evil! without having much a clue as to the true depth of the questions that they are asked.

You may be reading this and saying that I am making a gross generalization… Then, sure, yes. It is a generalization but I do not believe that it is gross, but rather it is inspired by the observations I have made whilst taking a gander at the Nu-Atheists in debate form, which is at best intellectually tepid.

There is no sting in the Nu-Atheist social campaigns: there is only a meme asserting a false dichotomy and an ill-thought regurgitation of some shittily crafted and disingenuous Hitchens assertion.

Overall, we are seeing  simple phenomena: Faith based baby tossing.

The Nu-Atheists simply put a gross amount of Faith into this poorly developed theme that religion is evil and attempt to throw the totality of religion out the window without a deep thought about the ramifications.

This will be the ultimate undoing of the Nu-Atheist movement — and it sits there as the bloated underbelly beneath the cheap fedora.

British Gov’t Money Supporting GLBTQ Movement in Russia

Perhaps we can all debate what the scope of government is but it is quite curious that while the issue of homosexual rights is hotly debated in the Western world certain liberal governments take it upon themselves to use their own peope’s tax money to fund the gay rights movement in foreign countries — specifically, a foreign country that they believe should be first pulled into the political sphere of influence of the EU liberals:

The UK government is to give extra funding for gay rights campaigners in Russia amid growing concerns over the introduction of legislation outlawing the promotion of homosexuality.

In an interview for the BBC, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said it was the “right thing to do”.

Additional money will be given to protest groups such as Stonewall.

The move comes just a week before the start of the Winter Olympics in the Russian City of Sochi.

‘Considerable strains’

The sporting showpiece has already been dogged by concerns over freedom of speech and security.

“It’s very important indeed we use the opportunity of the Winter Games to underline the importance of treating people fairly, which is at the heart of the Olympic charter and important to the Olympic movement,” said Mrs Miller.

And there is not one bit of controversy to be noted here from the BBC that UK tax dollars are going towards subverting Russian laws on GLBTQ and potentially straining relationships.
Canada also used some money to jab a stick into the eye of Russia when the Canadian Institute of Diversity & Inclusion took the time to point out that the Olympics have always been ‘a little bit gay.’
What makes this all so interesting is the boldness of these governments to alienate large swathes of their own population in order to promote the sanctioned agenda.
So the question: what naturally comes after the government spending their own money promoting a singular viewpoint? Of course, the propaganda is already in effect…
But mark my words: the plan to begin illegalizing anti-gay speech & thought in the UK is around the proverbial corner. It is already illegal to use any speech that is deemed ‘hateful’ and now this sort of advocacy is taken to new heights.
Welcome to your future democracy — where you don’t have to bother with democratic thought and consensus, the government will take care of that one for you.

Strawman & #LeftRage Memes: The Coke Commercial Fallout

Dumb people say things on the internet and being outraged by it is now its own meme industry that we have been seeing for a while. There is an entire, sick little tumblr called “Public Shaming” that hones in on ‘shaming’ all of the people who say politically incorrect things on the internet because this is the legitimate way to have political dialog… right?

Of course not — it is just generating propaganda and memes for the Left and propping up old hostilities along the Western hemisphere mainstream left/right divide…

This is becoming a whole genre unto itself: Leftrage memes. What they do is find particularly dumb conservative comments, put them together, and then generate a meme meant to depict how stupid the totality of the right wing is, and to generate a further rift, make themselves look smarter and elevate themselves:

Take a look at this garbage below:

Hot Liberals (facebook)

Public Shaming (tumblr) [Epic retardation website]

Let’s analyze this silly #leftrage moment:

(1) Coca-Cola releases a commercial during the Superbowl which is more of a PSA (with money attached) about how #America is so great because of diverse, liberal Utopia, bro. The advertisement plays essentially a montage of Americana and as many minorities as possible, occasionally alternating between English and a foreign language. And do not forget, it put in a gay couple with a kid on rollerskates just to jab a stick in the eyes of the conservatives even more.

Now, as any liberal who would watch a Country music commercial that shows a series of blunt Americana — you can see it now! Complete with cowboys, American Soldiers, gospel singers in a Church, picket white fences — another shot of two young whites marrying in front of the church, mom and daughter cooking, son playing fetch with dog with old barn in the background, move to Football players holding huddling and praying, a portrait of children taking Communion, more American flags, more crosses, etc. ad nauseum.

All it basically is is a Utopian envisioning of the American conservative Christian lifestyle that the Left would point out as ridiculous for a myriad of reasons.

There would be an identical reaction

This ushers in phase two….

(2) Boil the outrage down to Racism (TM) and ‘Murica  as much as possible.

Heaven knows that the conservative faction saw this precisely for what it was: a rote assertion of liberal value systems. No, diversity and multiculturalism isn’t inherently a negative, just as Christianity, football, Soldiers, cowboys, white people marrying, loads of American flags, Churches and rural American life is not negative…

But these are both merely symbols for divergent views of America.

Now, obviously, there are going to be some ‘tweets’ (God, I despise that word) that are overtly racist and moronic…

But there is what the liberals have set up as the ultimate straw mans:

Racism (TM) is the idea that all things outside of their diversity agenda can eventually be brought back down to racism. They have the total trademark on racism, and they are the only ones allowed to invoke it.

Thus: even the tweets that are not obviously racist can be reduced to racist because they are associated with the viewpoint that is not their own and thus probably comes back to some gut racism, they will say.

Racism (TM) wants you to believe that all conservatives are fundamentally racist against Muslims who speak out against the asinine Coke propaganda commercial

In reality the opposition to the commercial was precisely because it was a series of masturbatorial, Utopian liberal thoughts on America…

‘Murica is the collection of stereotypes held by liberals towards their dumb “‘Murica.” ‘Murica has become its catch all meant to encompass everything that is non-urban, Southern or Hickish, patently conservative and traditionalist or, essentially, anything that can be envisioned as stupid due to being overly conservative or patriotic.

It becomes its own laughing point because everyone knows that anything that is ‘Murica is too stupid to even talk right, let alone think right — a point which is hinted at even in the title.

(3) Release the Dogs of War!

Now comes the fun part where the memes and information is circulated en masse. It is not meant to mean ‘every conservative is stupid,’ no, of course not — if you call them on that that is not the point of it… But we all know that the general point is to be on the High Horse and to guilt as many conservatives as possible.

Few people bring up:

– How bored do you have to be to track down stupid twitter remarks?

– The daily and weekly doses of outrage political meme factories love to pursue in order to keep their constituents radical and passionate. 

– No significant body on the right (or left) entertains any of these views actively.

– Rational dialog is never conducted through memes — nor is it ever the start of rational dialog. 

Obviously, it is garbage at its worst. Of course, conservatives do the same things with various other topics and I hope to track a few of these down this year.

But the message should be clear: stay away from shady meme thought meant to exacerbate an already silly mainstream left/right divide.

Stay away from these Strawman efforts and these fallacy rich groups.

If you want to read political or social commentary, read diverse sources and stick to ones that understand the Principle of Charity.

Olympics May Be Gross Waste of Resources for Russia

The Olympics, the World Cup and all these other great ‘global events’ that shift location every few years may have started with honest intentions and do stand as some celebration of sports but, more than anything, they exist to serve major corporations, politicians who take credit for bringing the event, the organizers themselves and those few other people who do stand to benefit from a very temporary boom in the economy. However, the actual taxpayer and average citizen is then stuck with a massive amount of unused structures and, of course, footing the bills for these.

Now journalists are acting as if this is something new:

For 17 days, the world’s attention will be on the Russian city of Sochi for the Winter Olympics.  But what happens when the games are over and the athletes leave? Some experts fear the facilities, build at great expense, will go unused and fall into decay.

“This is the first Winter Olympic games that has an Olympic park, where all seven venues were built specifically for the Olympic games in a specific area. And I do not think that is the best model, because there is just no use for, typically, seven big venues in a circle. It’s better to spread it out across the area.”

These games are estimated to cost Russia $50 billion. As the pricetag to host an Olympics skyrockets, Delpy Neirotti says proper planning is vital – especially after the games are over.

“It’s going to be a challenge to utilize all of those facilities [after the games],” she said.

The Beijing National Stadium and National Aquatics Center were the jewels of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Today, China struggles to draw visitors and events. The Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, as they were nicknamed, cost more than half a billion dollars to build.

In Greece, Athens’ Olympic park is abandoned, overrun with weeds, and closed to the public.

Even the London Olympics in 2012, which promised to revitalize the east end of the city, has had mixed results – says one man who lives nearby.

VOA

It is quite sad to think of the shortsightedness of man, willing to spend loads of money for a short economic bubble that doesn’t pay off, and doing this mostly in the name of whatever perceived prestige comes from having hosted the Olympics. I think that few people understand just how few craps are given ten years on after the event occurred.

People feel that this puts them ‘on the map’ and ‘in the spotlight.’ It is premium attention whoring for cities. And the Olympic Committee and all these associated organizations enjoy ‘awarding’ the Olympics to places, particularly struggling ones in developing nations & regions these days, as some sign of benevolence.

But let’s not forget that all they are doing is causing massive building surges that serve nobody but the elites in truth and only cause tax hikes put on the shoulders of the citizens — and there is many a Brazilian who will attest to its senselessness:

Meanwhile, mega sports projects such as the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup (to which Brazil has already spent over 7 billion reais and with total expected cost of over 32 billion reais, equivalent to three times South Africa’s total in 2010, despite only half the stadiums being finished),[40] as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics, have turned out to be over-budget, and have resulted in a series of revelations about gross overbillings and multi-billion dollar financial scandals.[42]

Wikipedia

But overall it appears that London has the right idea and that there is a movement to build more temporary structures:

“It was like a building site while they were doing it. It was like a holiday park when it was on. And when they’re all gone, it’s like the circus has left town,” says Bob Sweeney, the CEO of DC2024, a group bidding to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Washington, D.C.

He says the London games also perfected an existing concept: temporary facilities.

“Their basketball venue was a brilliant example of steel construction, high-quality interior, wrapped in plastic, and it was immediately taken down after the games. It was about a third of the cost of building a permanent construction project for the games,” he explained.

(aforementioned VOA article)

It would seem that the only logical way of doing the Olympics would be in one that is meant to host it in the most temporary fashion…

The age of building massive showcase stadiums and structures are over. Perhaps the only reason why these things seemed to fly in places like Seoul was because the country had relatively poor infrastructure leading up to the event, making the development a much needed gift to the people. Many of the facilities are still in use in Seoul, and perhaps a few other random cities out there…

But the idea of building massive new facilities in every place that it becomes hosted is an increasingly foolish idea. Especially considering that if Beijing cannot fill their facilities, how can Sochi be expected to do so?

Do not get me entirely wrong – I admire bringing the world together through athletics. I think that it is a positive and good thing, and I do understand the notion of the pride that comes with some sacrifice for the cause, some nation footing a portion of the bill, but still it seems to go unnoticed just what a burden it becomes to some places. Pretending that what the average Brazilian needs right now is a massive Olympic or World Cup event also strikes me as absurd considering the general poverty within the states and the massive crime rates that are both unaddressed.

Yet, they pretend these things are like gifts! and not burdens.

Few people gain much from these events — but those few are nearly always elites who will campaign their hearts out to get it.

Irresponsible.

A Single Shot (2013) [Film Review]

Over the last several years I have tended to avoid films that have an artsy or overtly emotional streak, or just a sort of high drama in general due to the fact that when it is poorly executed it is a massive waste of time and even when it is well done it most often only succeeds in making the viewer feel crumby. A Single Shot is just such a film with great potential to come out either way.

The film opens with a long, wonderfully shot sequence that sets the tone of the entire film (which is full of brilliant cinematography) when the hunter (Sam Rockwell) ends up mistaking a woman for a deer and shooting her which progressively leads to him discovering a massive amount of cash nearby that would seemingly appear to solve all of his past problems but, quite predictably, only starts a whole new string of them.

Great pains are taken to hammer home the stereotype of what seems to be hopeless Appalachia even though the film is shot in Vancouver, Canada (which provides an absolutely gorgeous setting). At times the film seems to exaggerate the meaninglessness of backwoods Americana; the accents and rough use of language portraying the ignorant backwoodsman is ceaseless giving a lingering feeling of melancholic hopelessness that we are supposed to believe is the great backdrop of rural poverty. At times in the film it was hard to determine whether or not the main character, ‘John Moon,’ was living in a poorly constructed shack or truly it was formerly his family’s home (the director seemed to want it both ways).

The dialog has the same issues as the dual natured portrayal of the home… It is so far gone into Hick-mode it cannot help but be surprising when one actually pays attention to the words and they sound craftily created by a New Yorker trying desperately to re-interpret proverbial country wisdom and re-insert it into the mouths of rednecks…

But… The movie kept a good pace after the long and somewhat drawn out introductory scene. Things escalate properly and the viewer is drawn into a series of twists and turns that keep a hungry mind occupied. Perhaps some of the archetypes and stereotypes can be forgiven due to the proper execution of the plot… And maybe, just maybe, there is something refreshing about a film that is willing to give some Black & White portrayal of events and avoid the seemingly boundless gray area that pop culture seems to obsess with these days when it comes to moral judgment.

The plot isn’t extremely new,.. Wealth leading to turning people’s lives upside down was the theme of the recent memorable film No Country For Old Men (2007) and Puff Daddy’s 1997 smash hit Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems

And let us not forget William Robert Thornton’s A Simple Pla(1998)…

 

Overall, 8/10. I found it highly entertaining and it set a great pace; the detracting points of it were hardly enough to ruin it. I was surprised, actually, that it received such low votes on IMDB (5.3), entirely underrated and unwarranted.

—————— SPOILERS BELOW ——————–

Pay close attention to the ending… I am still mulling it over. I think the ending did a poor job of attempting to be ‘inconclusive’ more or less, because the conclusion should be obvious with regards to how they set up. Oh, brilliantly rich in symbolism, of course, and I can see why someone would want to take it that way… But one also asks: Why can’t we have nice things?!

Often times these movies are ruined in part by not letting the tragic story just conclude at some point… Why heap tragedy on tragedy? Oh, THE SYMBOLISM, of course, but isn’t that what the previous 100 minutes of the movie is for? Does the end always have to come to such dramatics?

Apparently.

Vodka Destroying Russian Men’s Life Expectancy

I’ve been aware of this for a while (as have many others), and it is true that this is certainly a factor in many other cultures throughout the world. But for whatever reason, we are slow to attach the stigma of ‘drug abuse’ to alcohol even though, like other drugs, it has incredibly adverse health effects that slowly kill the user.

Does that mean that I am going to stop right now? Of course not… But:

The study, in The Lancet, says 25% of Russian men die before they are 55, and most of the deaths are down to alcohol. The comparable UK figure is 7%.

Causes of death include liver disease and alcohol poisoning. Many also die in accidents or after getting into fights.

The study is thought to be the largest of its kind in the country.

Researchers from the Russian Cancer Centre in Moscow, Oxford University in the UK and the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer, in France, tracked the drinking patterns of 151,000 adults in three Russian cities over up to 10 years.

BBC

There is great merit to the teetotaler elements in Islamic and some other cultures that emphasize the unhealthy nature of alcohol abuse specifically and other drug abuse in general.

The sheer amount of social ills caused through alcohol is absolutely outstanding…

It is estimated that 88,000 deaths per year occur in the US due to alcohol (CDC).

One only has to take  tertiary glance at alcohol and crime statistics to understand that a certain moral lassitude is produced through alcoholism that dooms people to lives of indulgence and harming others…

Drinking responsibly is key and making people aware of the countless risks attributable to alcohol abuse can lead towards more safe behavior.

The alcohol culture should be less celebrated… but unfortunately there is a lot of money to be made by the ‘party hard’ culture.

Perhaps, what would be cooler, would be the think hard culture.

But… still… I love to drink.