Saturday, February 12, 2011

Zach Wahls on Love and Commitment

Pretty amazing statement by 19 year-old Iowa native Zach Wahls. And oh yeah, he was raised by two women. Lesbians.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Picture-perfect Celebration -- Writer's Poke #288

Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Hundred-Dollar Kisses," available in the While Mortals Sleep collection, makes an interesting observation. In the story, Henry George Lovell has been arrested for assaulting Verne Petrie with a telephone. I don't want to give away the full details of the story, but Lovell's motive is this: "Everybody pays attention to pictures of things. Nobody pays attention to the things themselves."

So, think about that. Lovell was so upset with Petrie that he wanted to do him bodily harm. The reason: Petrie didn't pay attention to "the things themselves."

This story reminds me of what's currently going on in Egypt. After a couple of weeks of protest, the Egyptian leader has finally decided to resign. We watch the celebration of the Egyptian people on our televisions, but all we see is "the picture of things" and not "the things themselves." Isn't that interesting? For most of us, we have no idea how poor of a ruler President Mubarak was. Why, after thirty years, should we automatically be happy for the Egyptian people? After all, Mubarak turned over power to the military. Is that really better for the average Egyptian, and how would we know? And now that Mubarak is out, will we continue to care, or will we simply assume that all is now right with the state of Egypt?

If I had a phone, I'd be tempted to use it on someone celebrating who doesn't fully understand what it is he's celebrating.

When is celebrating justified?

"Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyself, to make love, and to celebrate the good days." -- Egyptian proverb.

God, Complex -- Writer's Poke #287

A recent Cracked article ( listed Kevin Smith and Quentin Taratino as great artists that have horrible real-life personalities. Personally, I'm not sure why this should matter to the average film goer. It's unlikely that I will ever meet either one of these guys, and I doubt that we'll ever go out to dinner together. If we did, then maybe it would matter. Maybe I would learn first hand what arrogant, full-of-themselves pricks they really are.

Until then, however, my only real interaction with them is through their work, and their work is more than solid; it's exceptional. I'm sure part of the reason I like their films so much is because they care about dialogue. Modern films don't generally pay much attention to dialogue. These days, people go to films for CGI and 3D effects. I, on the other hand, like films that pay attention to language. Smith and Taratino both brand their films with their distinction language styles.

For me, these men are the equivalent of film gods, and since when do we judge our gods based on their prickish personal behavior? One perk about being a god is this: no one has the right to judge you. That's the sole right of the god himself. That's why if Kevin Smith wants to go on a crusade against movie critics, he has the god-given (self-given?) right to do so. And who can blame Quentin Taratino for noting how pleased he is with his latest film? Is he doing anything different that the god of Genesis that created heaven and earth and proclaimed his creation "good"?

Pick a religious figure of your choice (Jesus, Dalai Lama, Buddha, Mohammad, etc.). Should their personalities matter? If the one you selected turned out to be an arrogant dillhole, for example, would that be enough reason not to praise and follow him?

"I don't care what you think unless it is about me." -- Kurt Cobain