Archive for December, 2006

He broke all the rules with his announcement. I loved every minute of it.

I really thought Tom Vilsack had something going with his video blog. In fact, I am still rapt when I see it pop up in my news reader. However, John Edwards has really grasped the idea of the grassroots and letting the citizens lead his campaign.

With his downbeat demeanor, yet his insistence on hope, Edwards makes for a compelling candidate for many all along the political spectrum. I can’t wait to see his energizing message sweep across the nation. With Saddam Hussein’s execution today, his punch might be somewhat limited, but it’s impossible to stop a message like this. Even if you disagree with the message, it’s powerful to see how his different approach has seemingly woken up the progressive voter base.

You will have noticed that I am not taking a neutral journalistic approach here. I am supporting Edwards for President and I will try to be circumspect in what I cover. Like all really good citizens, I am excited by his message, but I am also aware of being led by the nose. In other words, there is still a margin of cynicism that I will use to keep Edwards and his campaign honest to the best of my abilities.

Hussein’s Hanging

It will happen any minute now. The coverage has been decidedly mixed, perhaps even surprisingly so. I have avoided a lot of it for the escapism of college football. I guess that makes me the typical American slob.

In the end, the violence in Iraq was bound to get worse, no matter what happened to Saddam. I have very low expectations for any positive outcome there. Yes, some positives have happened, but they are going to be drowned in the blood of the innocents now being massacred daily.

Saddam’s hanging will be used to each side’s purpose with disregard to what may or may not have been the truth.

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Originally posted here: Fylmic Glory at Fylmz.com

I just tried to watch Asia Argento’s film “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things .” There’s no doubt that this is filmmaking with passion and a desire to obey the Muse. However, the unsettling subject matter is unceasing and simply leaves the viewer without air or even space to squirm.

The performances are bold and fearless, but that does as much to make me worry about the young actors as it makes me awe at the filmmaking. Sure, editing can be done, and a close eye can see this protective editing and camera placement at work. In Roger Ebert’s review, he laments in regards to the young actors, “…I feel no confidence that the experience left them untouched. ” This makes the viewer complicit in the very cycle of abuse that the heart of J.T. Leroy’s short story, on which the film is based, fights so boldly against.

J.T. Leroy is in itself a bothersome topic. Yes, I said “it.” It seems now that J.T. Leroy is merely the fabrication of an author and her lover. In addition, the supposedly autobiographical story is apparently entire false. This echoes James Frey’s falsehoods , of “A Million Pieces” fame, but it is even more disingenuous because Frey was doing a little embellishing. Leroy is an entire fiction.

This is problematic because the context of the stories is a great deal of the readers experience. Should this be simple fiction, it comes off as exploitative and cruel. In an autobiographical milieu, it comes off as a story of the resilient human spirit and a desire to survive.

So, if the source material is so problematic, why not just change it in the film? Well, that’s one of the few kudos that Argento and crew can happily gather. They are absolutely true to the source material and do nothing to make the story more palatable for the American film audience.

In the end though, none of this mattered. I simply couldn’t watch it. It was too perfect and too real. This is the same feeling I had watching Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream,” which must have influenced Argento’s direction. I simply do not need this darkness. Others may be able to find a salvation in the film, but it must come after the halfway mark, because I never saw it.

Music Meme

Open iTunes/iPod or Windows Media Player to answer the following.
Go to your library.
Answer, no matter how embarrassing it is.

How many songs? 20,643

Arrange by artist:
First artist: !!!
Last artist: The Zutons

Arrange by song:
First Song: ’74-’75 – The Connells
Last Song: Zwara – Juno Reactor

Arrange by time:
Shortest Song: Flip Sting – 0:02 – Kill Bill Vol. 1 Soundtrack
Longest Song: A Long Day – 36:30 – The Polyphonic Spree – Beginning Stages Of…

Arrange by album:
First Album: ‘Frisco Mabel Joy – Mickey Newbury
Last Album: Zu & Co. – Zucchero
First song that comes up on shuffle: Twenty Flight Rock – Tiger Army
How many songs come up when you search for “sex”? 88
How many songs come up when you search for “death”? 122
How many songs come up when you search for “love”? 1,058

Arrange by play count:
Which is your most frequently played song? N/A (library just rebuilt, so no data)

Damn Dirty Bombs!

InnerTee is a site that lets you create your own “remixed” t-shirts using art provided by other users. Those artists get a few coins everytime someone uses an element on a t-shirt that is then purchased. It’s an interesting idea, though the t-shirt mixing tool is pretty basic right now and the choice of available art is small. The site just launched, so both issues should disappear relatively quickly.

This has the potential to be very cool as you could mix your own art with that of others and create truly one-of-a-kind designs. The tshirt market online certainly has room for something like this. One concern is that the “remix” idea could be rather easily adopted by someone like Threadless or Zazzle. Another concern is price of a shirt with more than one suer-created image. The shirt below is almost $25 plus shipping. That’s starting to get out of the realm that most folks will pay for a tshirt.

Click this badge to see my first mix:

This little embedder should really show the shirt I made, not just link to it. I hope they fix that as well. It also gets jacked up by WordPress’s code filters. Simplifying it some might help.

First, we had Troy Gentry shooting a bear in a cage. Now, Trace Adkins is responsible for at least 2 of the worst songs recorded in country music…of all time. He is now on my official list of people to pick a fight with in Nashville. Sure, both of them would probably kick my ass, but I’ll take a beating if it meant they couldn’t play a guitar for even one day.

Terrible Song #1

Second, Maybe Worse Song #2

How can anyone who has a remote understanding of music stand to listen to this?

I submitted my first image to JPG magazine today. It’s for the “Embrace the Blur” theme. If you aren’t familiar with JPG magazine, you should check it out. It’s a great combination of web content and print magazine.

Lights of London

This is one I submitted in the “Tourist” theme.

The Corner Market

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