Archive for January, 2012

Larry Crowne

January 27, 2012

I feel like this film struck a chord with me in many ways, besides being quite funny and heartwarming, and delivering good performances by Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. The first thing that struck me, was the very opening of the movie in which we learn Mr. Crowne is in some sort of retail hell similar to mine. He’s always in a good mood, always happy, always helpful to everyone, customers and co-workers alike, yet for all of the work he has done for them, how do they repay him? They fire him. And the years he could have gotten an education, he gave up to his country to be in the navy, yet even so, nobody else seems all too likely to hire him, even other retail jobs. Larry Crowne enrolls in college classes, and the main meat and potatoes of the movie is underway. He has no hard time making friends, and just like any of the younger students, gets in trouble for using his phone in class. I won’t give away much more of the movie so as not to spoil it, but this movie reminds me throughout, to never give up, to always have a dream, and to know you can live the life that you want, as long as you keep believing in it. ‘Nuff said.

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Abolish….

January 26, 2012

Abolish police cars. I mean, seriously. A motorist who often errs on the side of caution, the sudden presence of cop cars on the side of the road, or god forbid, driving behind me, tends to make me nervous and on edge. Though it is nice to know that they are around if there’s ever some crazy fool driving recklessly behind me or some such deal, it’s not a nice thought to think that people like myself, obeying the rules of the road and whatnot end up being targetted. Just think about this for a second, I mean really really think about it: the crazy assbutts that are endangering folks such as me who obey the rules of speed and what have you, try to behave when they see a cop car, while people like me are made more likely to slip up and do something wrong when they see a cop car. Therefore, abolish police cars, and those jerks will actually be stopped instead of time being wasted on folks like me. And don’t get me started on how much special cars for cops are costing the taxpayer. That’s all for now I guess.

Cheers,
Craig

 

And as a pretty cool aside here’s a song about police cars:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=136EzIJqH7E

Having Dreams

January 20, 2012

The week started off with the remembrance of a man who always spoke out for what he found to be just and right, that all people deserve their chance to live a life the way they see fit to live it.  This man who had a dream, encouraged many of us to also have dreams with his powerful words.  Dr. King was many things, and not the least of these things, was to be a gifted orator.  And when the person who took his life enacted the deed, they may have kept him from speaking out as was his right, but in so doing, he did anything but silence Dr. King.  WE hear his words all the time, and today they are just as potent, just as important, and we need to take them more to heart than we have been lately, it is the only way to get this country out of the mud it is letting itself sink into.  So please, for the betterment of the world, try not to lose sight of your dreams.  That is all.

Apocalesque

January 20, 2012

It’s my new word to describe things that make me think about the end of the world, or things that seem akin to such a thing.   Many literature, music, and movies come to mind.  Most notably, Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and Orwell’s 1984, which of course makes me think of David Bowie’s album Diamond Dogs.  Since right now I am sitting here watching Episode III, apocalesque describes Anakin’s turn to the dark side and the destruction of the jedi order, and then it causes me to think about Star Wars in general, what with Death Stars, and tyrannical governments that rule with iron fists, and of course the final book in the series I am currently reading: Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse.  It comes out in March, so I hope I can last that long, since I’m now on the most recent title in the series, Ascension.  I first came up with the use of this word last week, when we were in the throes of an epic cold snap, and it was dark and dismal.  It may still be cold, but not nearly as much as it was, and it’s also nice out, so it does not feel even slightly apocalesque anymore, but my countdown is.  So here is the apocalesque playlist for y’all:

 

1. Last Living Souls- Gorillaz   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA-i4ti2OQI

2. Walking With a Ghost- Tegan and Sara  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHxBA-vgww4  There’s also a pretty sweet cover of it by the White Stripes.

3. Karma Police- Radiohead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBH97ma9YiI&ob=av2e

4.Sunburn- Muse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9SZaOJEWXU&ob=av2e

5.Kids With Guns- Gorillaz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxziFMyRwDg&ob=av3e

6.Tiny Cities Made of Ashes- Modest Mouse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0tsoPEEdrs

7. Paranoid Android- Radiohead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPLEbAVjiLA&ob=av3n&oref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fresults%3Fsearch_query%3Dparanoid%2Bandroid%26oq%3Dparanoid%2Bandroid%26aq%3Df%26aqi%3Dg4%26aql%3D%26gs_sm%3De%26gs_upl%3D181l2245l0l3192l10l10l0l6l6l0l413l721l0.2.4-1l3l0&has_verified=1

8.Little Black Submarines- Black Keys http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F20zZKWeXyg

9.Immigrant Song- Led Zeppelin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBmueYJ0VhA

10. I Want You, She’s So Heavy- The Beatles  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW6G3nh5S3I

11. Sober- Muse  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJmBUhChHBo

12. Little By Little- Radiohead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vMDKg4MMN8

13. Cat People- David Bowie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWX_MFNOL_Y

 

As always, Enjoy! or Don’t.

 

Romney 4 Sale! (no buyers)

January 7, 2012

An expanse of land this is “for sale,” is home to a gigantic Mitt Romney campaign sign.  Does Mr. Romney come with the land as well?  I’d rather not spend my money on a politician of his or anyone’s reputation.  I hate election year, where politicians win support simply by having more money than the others.  Also, think on the fact that most standard candidates are already rich folks, and that all of the money supporting their campaigns comes from whom? Us, the common people, the public.  And all these signs are doing is fueling their egos, and in my mind they represent a resignation that is all too common a sentiment in this political game.  A sign swears unswerving fealty to your chosen candidate, even if new information that is contradictory to your views comes to life.  You are resigned, because you shouldn’t need to make up your mind until the actual decision day comes.  Keep yourself ever vigilant, always on your toes, always learning new things, always changing your mind, in typical human fashion, and one day, maybe, just maybe, we will end up with someone a larger group of people can agree with.  Maybe?

Crisis in Infinite Walmarts….

January 7, 2012

Apparently it didn’t save my draft of my in progress 2011 movie list. Said list was also delayed on account of me becoming sick in the new year, and who knows if it will actually appear, for I think it is time to hit this year running.  All I can say is this:  Go see the David Fincher version of  Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  It is equal parts nerve-wracking, heartbreaking, astonishing, outrage-inducing, and world changing.  I also do not claim either film version is better than the other, so do yourself a favor and see both, because both are worth your equal consideration.

It is interesting to note how different people react when a crisis occurs.  Our true natures are laid bare for all to see, our game faces stripped away like the polystyrene disguise of a Scooby Doo villain.  Take yesterday at work for example: not present here were the far flung plots to snag some obscure treasure, no meddling kids, talking dogs or brightly colored vans.  But what we did have, was an old and severely confused woman in distress.  She said that she wasn’t feeling good, but she couldn’t express herself to explain just what was wrong, and seemed to be almost frozen in place. The cashier on the register next to mine promptly called the supervisor, who delivered a chair to try and get the woman to sit down.  And immediately after, a number of managers and other such types came to see what was wrong and to assist.  It seemed that the woman had trouble breathing, and after figuring out what was wrong as best as they could they called the EMTs.  So in this instance, I saw managers and people who usually wear a guise of indifference or make themselves difficult to approach, just plain and simple, being kind and compassionate human beings, and not just doing something because it was part of their job. So it goes to show you can never judge by surfaces. That of course goes both ways.  My supervisor chose at that moment to have me take my break, since there were surely enough people helping.   Out in the dingy Walmart break room, I found people who usually seem so dignified and calmly respectful, making fun of what was being said over the radio while this woman was being helped, laughing at this poor woman’s misfortune, and I just wanted to know for the life of me just what was so funny.  It’s like once the new year hits, people are back to their old tricks and too few of the treats to go with them.  Why is this?  It is up to those of us who dream awake, to combat injustice at every turn, and help keep this world a good place for all to live.  It doesn’t matter how much or how little you do. Simply striving to do good, you make this world a better place.

“The time has come the walrus said…”

January 1, 2012

The time has come where I walk you through some of the best of the past year.  We will start with that which is most important! Music, of course.  Today was a good year in music for some of my old favorites, and new artists alike.  Starting the year off right were albums by two of my favorite bands, bands I have also had the honor of seeing live.  Released right in January: The Decemberists hit us with The King Is Dead, giving us the folksy brilliance, the airy vocals of Colin Mellloy, and the lyrical masterfulness we have come to expect from these guys.  It goes farther into pop and rock territory than some of their other offerings, but much with the last experiment, Hazards of Love, it brings us into new areas, but the spirit of the album shows it through and through a release just as good as the rest.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Waz7PMZHeg  Cake’s Showroom of Compassion, arrived with all the weirdness and genre defying confidence they exude with each release. Though it is not as solid an album as Pressure Chief or Comfort Eagle, it leaves us with their catchiest single since their unique cover of War Pigs, Sick of You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55lxVJIF05E, and gems like this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx902fZL7Y4.   

Then came Spring, and with it a few surprises, and some not so surprising but equally awesome happenings.  There was Adele’s 21, which I raved about so much throughout the year on here and elsewhere that I have nearly exhausted what I have to say about it. So just listen to this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti3t7MAwaaM.  Lady Gaga’s third album, within just as many years hit in the middle of March, and although I’m a bigger fan than I let on, her crowning achievement this year was to deliver to us one of Weird Al’s greatest parodies yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ss_BmTGv43M.  Of course, the biggest Spring hit in my mind, and in my ears, was REM’s new album, and as it so turns out their last.  Collapse Into Now, is one of their strongest records since the mid 90’s, and the collaborations with Patty Smith and Peaches only increase that greatness.  Speaking of which, they are my two favorite songs on the album:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIn6RJl2SP4&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLEA740C5FC2492C1E    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDY2tUrSMLc.  

My summer was inundated with the sounds of Ben Gibbard’s spectacular voice, in an album that is their most stripped down showing since Plans, while so much different than anything else they have ever released.  Including songs with, *gasp* happy lyrics.  Wow, Ben, I don’t know how that makes me feel, but I still love everything you and your band do.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHFbeGfT_B8

My Indie darling Feist made a triumphant return to the album scene with Metals, seeking out new musical pastures, and densely populated soundscapes, full of grand existential musings, and just some downright delightful singing. Just experience it.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7dKcEvtl50

And also, who could forget that Radiohead graced us with new album once again.  Not as good as In Rainbows considering how they hyped this one up, and although I think it’s great and all, definitely not my favorite by a long shot.  The remix album released later this year though, redeemed the album a bit more in  my eyes, and I can say I am a lot less disappointed because of that.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y9YdHkQJPg

My favorite pop siren, Miss Florence Welch and her fabulous machine graced us with a new album, which is just as good if not better than their debut.  Ceremonials seamlessly misses mythical imagery, with heavenly vocals, and deliciously ambient soundscapes.  You can hardly tell where one instrument begins or ends sometimes.  Production value is supurb, but that aside, if you just stripped it away and left her voice by itself, nothing would feel devalued in the slightest.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGH-4jQZRcc&ob=av2n

 

Black Keys came in at the very end of the year with a new album to my greatest surprise.  El Camino is a gem of fuzzed out Indie gold, that only these two could create.  Well with the help of Dangermouse of course, but that goes without saying.  🙂 This record could be just at home in the 60’s or 70’s as it would now, and for that I think it has a timelessness that will allow us to view at as a classic years down the road.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_426RiwST8

 

Also check out: The Arctic Monkeys= Suck It and See  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8OVjGuBXTg&feature=fvst

Ellie Goulding= Lights http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBf2v4mLM8k

Foster The People= Torches http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlAgHt92lqE

Coldplay= Myl Oxloto  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1G4isv_Fylg

 

Enjoy, and stay tuned to hear what I have to say on movies of this past year!