22 June 2008

Going Off-Line For A Little Bit As Of To-Morrow

Been having trouble with the OS on my computer's hard drive since Tuesday last, and, despite a few attempts at reinstalling it back onto the hard drive since, these problems are still on-going.

So, a computer-knowledgable friend of mine is coming over to my place to-morrow(don't know when he-ll be here yet), and will take the computer back to his place for examine and repair it.

That means will be off-line for the next two weeks while the examination and repairs are going on.

Now, I will try and access the net from some local public library computers during that time, to check e-mail, quickly pop in here and on some other social networking sites am a part of, and to, perhaps, leave some very quickly written progress up-dates on this matter, and to keep faith with y'all that I ain't ignoring or mad at any of ya, or that I've suddenly decided to turn into a complete dick overnight.

It's just that I might be able to only access the 'Net from my local library once or twice a week, that's all.

In the meantime, if you wish to leave messages, comments, etc, please do so. But, please keep in mind that I might not be able to immediately respond to them.

Doesn't mean I won't respond to 'em at all. Just means that I might be a bit slower than the average bear at getting back to you for a little while.

In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and yours out there, and hope everything in your lives is either doing better than well, or at least as well as the circumstances allow.

Be seeing you.

21 June 2008

Just a quick note here to let you know that have been big problems with my computer and its operating system for some time now, and especially since Tuesday last.

Hence, my prolonged absence here.

Am currently accessing the 'Net via an operating system on a CD given to me by an excellent friend of mine, who's also helping me work on repairing the damn thing.

Point is that am very limited right now in what I can and can't do on the 'Net, until such time as these problems are corrected in one form or another.

So,there probably won't be many posts here for a while.

Sorry about all this, and hope that those of you out there who look at this blog even on just the occasional basis will understand.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and yours out there, and be seeing you once the computer and I are back up to full good working order, whenever that may be.

16 June 2008

YouTube Cat Video: "Scottish Fold"

Yet another YouTube cute cat video here, with this being from a Japanese YouTube poster,
Panda0000000, entitled "Scottish Fold", which features a beautiful Scottish Fold kitten being held up on display for the camera, causing much consternation and mewing on the kitten's part.

Anyhow, the kitten's just too damned cute for words. So, have a look for yourselves, hope you enjoy it, and be seeing you.

14 June 2008

YouTube Video: "Techno Kittens"

To-day being Caturday(when one lives with a cat or cats, every day's Caturday), here's a video I just found on YouTube, posted by a Vysokji called "Techno Kittens", which features a group of kittens sitting on a couch and apparently moving their heads in time with a techno dance tune.

Don't know if that's really the case, but, hey, there're kittens in the video, so what more do you want???

Enjoy and be seeing you.

13 June 2008

AP YouTube Video: McCain Denounces Supreme Court Decision On "Enemy Combatants" Right Of Appeal In US Courts

The following is an Associated Press video of an excerpt from a speech given by John McCain to-day, I believe, in which he denounces the Supreme Court for its decision to allow detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to appeal any decisions made by military tribunals in their cases there in US civilian courts.

For my money, this strikes me as being a bit of a turnaround from McCain's oft-stated positions on the treatment of "enemy combatants" detained there, and I think he both grossly over-simplifies and omits some facts about the Bush Administration's policies and practises there, as well as the fact that this Administration has made no bones about neither recognising the Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of prisoners of war as applying to the detainees, or about the use of various forms of physical and mental abuse on them.

Anyway, enough editorialising on my part.

The video follows below, and, as always, be seeing you.

11 June 2008

AP YouTube Video "Will Clinton's Base Jump To McCain?"

From the Associated Press's YouTube channel comes this video, "Will Clinton's Base Jump To McCain??", which is about whether or not some of Senator Rodham-Clinton's supporters in the Democratic primary will jump over and vote for John McCain on 4th November.

One of the text comments, by one allencrider, states, "If you AP folks followed recent polls, you would have known that female democrats have moved to Obama in a big way. You're simply manufacturing news, and that sucks," and I think there may be some small merit to that contention.

On the other hand it's also entirely possible that some of Clinton's supporters, whatever their motivations for doing so, will vote for McCain come November, and it's a possibility for which I hope the Obama camp will prepare itself.

Be seeing you.

Link To BBC Footage Of Canadian PM Harper’s Apology

Just saw this YouTube video, posted by the BBC, of a short excerpt from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's public apology, before the Canadian Parliament, for the Canadian federal government's policy of taking away First Nations'(the Canadian name for their native peoples)children to be educated in religiously-run schools and given an education designed to assimilate them into the Canadian variant of European culture and customs, while destroying their native cultures and customs.

Know very little about PM Harper, save that he is much more of an American-style conservative than previous PMs have been, and, from what little I've read and heard of him and his policies, can't say that I care for either.

That said, and it's hard to judge from such a short excerpt as the one posted by the Beeb to their YouTube account, I would say that I think such an apology to our native peoples is well over-due down here as well, because we pursued similar policies towards native education at around the same time that the Canadian government did, and with identical aims.

Haven't read any articles detailing the whole speech and the various reactions of Canadian First Nations' individuals to it, so won't comment any further on it until I know more.

Unfortunately, the BBC's disabled the embed function in their YouTube account, so will enclose the link, http://youtube.com/watch?v=j5lu71livnU, so you can copy and paste into your Web browser window, press Enter, and go there and see it for yourselves.

Be seeing you, as always.

My Reply To A Form Letter From The AJWS

I am subscribed to, and get the occasional on-line form letter from, the American Jewish World Service, which is an organisation that has devoted itself, and admirably so, to exposing, bringing to the attention of the world's elites and peoples over the past few years, and in putting pressure on the Sudanese government and Chinese governments about the atrocities and crimes being commited in Darfur.

That said, received a letter from them this afternoon, asking if I would sign an open letter to President Bush asking him not to attend the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Beijing come August.

Well, and it was really a split-second decision I made here, I decided not to, and enclosed a reply to this letter, the text of which follows below, stating why.

To be honest, I have considerable regard for China and its people, even if their government is a fairly beastly one, and, especially after the comments made by Ms. Sharon Stone about the 6th May earthquake in Sichuan province being a sort of karmic pay-back(mentioned in the response below)for the Chinese occupation of Tibet and its government's treatment of the Dalai Lama, a fairly low opinion of the Dalai Lama's Western supporters, such as Ms. Stone and Mr. Richard Gere, and you better believe that much of that reply was motivated by that dis-taste, as well as by the contentions I make below.

Should China be in Tibet and supporting the Sudanese government??? No, of course not.

But, neither should we be in Iraq and Afghanistan, nor should we be supporting some of the people we do around the world, either.

We here in the States don't often seem to see that much of the world, rightly or wrongly, resents our pompous lecturing about human rights, democracy and freedom, while feeling perfectly free to sell arms and give money to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and unconditionally supporting the State of Israel's policies and actions towards the Palestinians.

Whatever the motivations behind such resentments, there is at least a grain of truth in the perception that the US can often be a hypocritical bully on the world stage, and that's a pity, because, in the end, that grain only helps germinate more resentment and anger towards the US and its citizens, and allows many people who'd otherwise have little defensible reason for hating the US to happily do that.

One last quick note here, and that's the name of the head of the AJWS, whose name was signed at the original message's bottom is Ruth Messinger. The only reason I mention that, is because I address her as "Ms. Messinger" at the message's beginning, and I don't want people wondering, "Who the Hell is this Messinger woman??".

Now that you know that perhaps over-much bit of detail, on with the message, and be seeing you.

Ms. Messinger: With all due respect, am gonna have to dissent here on three grounds, the first of which is that President Bush, as he's made quite demonstrably clear over the years, will do what he wants, regardless of what others think and feel.

Hence, our involvement in the idiotic mess called the Iraq War, and for the horrors that we subject "enemy combatants" to at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. So, I rather doubt that he will pay much in the way of attention to any open letter, not even if sixty million people signed it.

Reason number two is, quite frankly, that such a refusal would, especially after the earthquake of 6th May, and Sharon Stone's stupid, pig-ignorant and utterly crass comments about Tibet and the earthquake being a sort of "karmic" pay-back for China's nasty little occupation of Tibet, be seen, not just by the Chinese government, but by many so-called ordinary Chinese, as another piece of beastly Yankee hypocritical swinishness, and I think they would have something of a point there. In the end, it would probably back-fire on us more than it would hurt the PRC, and especially its government, which, at least domestically, is rather more popular than it's been for quite some time now.

The third and final reason's, and please pardon the circular line of reasoning here, our own involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the bellicose noises that our Administration's been making about Iran for the past few years, have severely undercut whatever moral authority the US had before we went into those areas in the eyes of not just the Chinese government and people, but of much of the world as well.

Symbolic gestures like the one proposed in this open letter are all well and good, but, if the parties making them lack the kind of moral and other forms of credibility to back them up, the point is entirely lost.

If you were to reply to this message, you might say that such gestures are better than doing nothing at all. Most of the time, I'd agree with you.

But, in this case, I can't, for which I apologise.

Symbolic actions have their place, but, better by far, are actions that put direct pressure on the American, Chinese, Sudanese and other governments involved in the Darfur, as well as the United Nations and various Darfuri rebel groups, to end the fighting and atrocities in that region for good and all.

A lame-duck US President with a massively and deservedly tarnished reputation not attending the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics will have little to no effect on either Chinese policies towards Darfur and the Sudan, as well as Tibet, nor end the suffering on the ground in Darfur one iota.

Therefore, I must respectfully decline to go along with this campaign.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Yours, Donald Rilea.

YouTube Video: "An Engineer's Guide To Cats"

Well, folks, am in kinda of a pissed-off mood to-day for reasons I won't go into here and now.

Suffice it to say that it's gonna take a few hours for me to work this crap through my system.

But, in the meantime, here's a YouTube video that I got from my friend Cheryl in one of her MySpace bulletins.

It's called "An Engineer's Guide To Cats", and was posted on that site by klusmanp.

I found it funny and charming, and, of course, the cats completely stole the show, as they always do.

Hope you enjoy this, and be seeing you.

07 June 2008

Saturday Night At The Flicks: "Privilege"(1967)By Peter Watkins

Well, it's Saturday night, and, even if you're not going out to the pictures, there's no reason why the pictures, or at least one of them, can't come to you.

So, am posting the trailer for, as well as a couple of scenes from, Peter Watkins' 1967 opus, "Privilege", starring Paul Jones, from the '60's Brit-Pop group Manfred Mann, and Jean Shrimpton, who, along with Twiggy, was one of the leading fashion models of that time.

Watkins started out making amateur films in Britain in the late 1950's, and by 1964, when his first film, "Culloden", a cinema-verite examination of the battle of Culloden Moor, the last battle of the second Jacobite Uprising of 1745, appeared on the BBC, he had first been an assistant director, then a director at the BBC.

His second and most famous film, "The War Game", in which Watkins used a combination of documentary interview and dramatic techniques to depict what the effects of a nuclear attack on Great Britain would be like, was actually banned by the BBC, from which it'd been made, not only from broadcast within Britain, but from world-wide television screens for twenty years after it was made, although Watkins himself was nominated for an Academy Award for the film.

"Privilege" was his third professional film, and his only major studio one, and is set in 1970 Britain, where a young pop singer, Stephen Shorter, played by Mr. Jones, who has accrued a great deal of influence among British young people, is essentially set up and used by religious and politically reactionary groups for their own ends.

The first clip from "Privilege" we'll see is the American theatrical trailer for the film, which was critically savaged in Britain, as was "The War Game", but garnered a fair amount of critical praise in the US at the time of the film's release. However, Universal Pictures only ran it in a few locations internationally, then pulled it from release, and it has seldomly been seen publicly since.

The next clip features Jones and the George Bean Group, singing "Jerusalem", a modernised(for the '60's, that is)version of the old Anglican hymn at a nationalist youth rally. Actually, Jones doesn't do any singing in this scene, but rather stands very silently on the platform in this scene.

The next clip, "Free Me", features an audio track of Mr. Jones singing one of the main songs from "Privilege", the aforementioned "Free Me", with a collection of album and other period photos providing visual accompaniment.

Sorry I don't have more in the way of scene or other clips from "Privilege" for you, but, considering just how spottily distributed the film was, and how seldomly it's been seen, or been available to the public, since its initial 1967 release, I find it extraordinary that any clips from it have surfaced on YouTube, from where I got these extracts.

Finally, here are a few links about "Privilege", its director, Peter Watkins, Paul Jones and Jean Shrimpton for you to check out, should you be so interested.

The IMDB entry for the film can be found at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062155/, its Wikipedia entry is at here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privilege_%28film%29, and its entry on Mr. Watkins' own web-site is http://www.mnsi.net/~pwatkins/privilege.htm, where you can find out more about the film's back-story from its writer and director.

Peter Watkins' IMDB entry's at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0914386/, his Wikipedia entry's here at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Watkins, his British Film Institute's web-site page entry is http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/454916/, and, finally, Watkins' web-site address is http://www.mnsi.net/~pwatkins/.

You can find out more about his films, their availability, or lack thereof, in various regions of the world, and about his critique of what Watkins calls "The Monoform", which is the traditional narrative form of cinema and television story-telling, and which he attacks as being hierarchical, un-democratic in its form and relationship between producer and consumer, and engendering political and social passivity in its viewers.

Paul Jones's biography, filmography and television appearances can be found on his IMDB entry at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0428990/, while Jean Shrimpton's IMDB entry's at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0795398/.

In closing, am going to post a quartet of YouTube videos of a video talk given by Peter Watkins, intended for French viewers of his 1999 effort, "La Commune", about the Paris Commune of 1871, at a Soviet-era-themed park south of Vilnius, Lithuania in 2001.

While "Privilege" isn't mentioned in the talk, most of which is about his critique of "The Monoform", and some of which is about "La Commune", am posting these here, so you can get a better idea out of Mr. Watkins' own mouth about "The Monoform" and its effects on audiences, and to see where he's coming from for yourselves in a way that's direct and far better than any description of these ideas I could contrive.

Check these out, please, and, whether you agree or disagree with him on these issues, I hope you'll find his ideas at least somewhat intellectually stimulating.

Those videos will follow immediately below this.

In the meantime, be seeing you.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

05 June 2008

Official Pop: A Quick And Very Dirty Definition

OK, you ask, what do I mean by "Official Pop"???

Well, I mean a kind of popular music, whether rock 'n' roll, what have you, that is both musically and politically un-threatening to a given political regime, and, if anything, upholds the values and standards of that regime, of whatever political stripe it may be.

For example, the body of musical works by East German groups of the 1960's, '70's and '80's like Oktoberklub, whose sound combines the folk rhythms of The Weavers with light choral pop musical ones practised by their roughly contemporary Western counter-parts like Up With People, or artists like Dean Reed, an expatriate American rock 'n' roller, who found far greater fame and fortune, first in Chile and Argentina in the 1960's, Italy in the early '70's, and, from the mid-'70's until his death in 1985, in East Germany and the Soviet Union, are a couple of examples of official pop from the old socialist bloc.

In the West, there are also tunes composed for the Movimento Nacional de la Falange Espanola y de las Jons, generally known as the Falange, that used light rock and pop rhythms in some of the songs intended for use by the Falange's youth wing, and, in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea, there has been, at least since Kim Il Sung's death in 1994, a kind of North Korean pop music, one description of which I've read on-line states that it's like South Korean pop music circa the 1970's or '80's.

I haven't really heard anything of South Korean pop music from that era, but it does sound at least a little like some of the Taiwanese pop music I heard when I listened to the Voice of Free China shortwave broadcasting station on my shortwave radio back in the 1980's, generally slow, soft, and almost sickeningly sweet in musical colours and tones.

However, the Taiwanese pop tunes I heard on the VOFC were a-political, which is one of the big differences between pop music produced under an authoritarian or totalitarian regime and official pop, in my book.

Official pop is political, no bones about it, and its musical and lyrical contents are designed to achieve a political purpose, whether it's shoring up support for a given country's governing classes and policies or attacking the enemies, foreign or domestic, of those.

Love songs, what have you, may exist in official pop, but, at least in the few examples of official pop from East Germany, North Korea, the Soviet Union and Franco's Spain that I've heard, politics comes front and centre, and that's that.

Protest tunes, like Bob Dylan's "Masters Of War", from other cultures are used by the governing party and its cultural apparatus to not only take a quick poke at its opponents, like the American government, but as a means, at least in the old socialist bloc, of affirming "socialist internationalism" and similar values upheld by the regime in question as well.

Official pop, at least in my definition, is also a product of the 1960's and later, when regimes of various stripes around the world found themselves having to cope with the influx and impact of British and American rock 'n' roll and other forms of popular music on their nations' young people, whether overtly or clandestinely, via tapes smuggled in from the West or from listening to Western radio broadcasts.

It was, and is, a means of taking the energy and rhythms of rock 'n' roll and other similar forms of popular music, and trying to harness and tame it, both musically and politically, into something that will serve a regime's political, ideological and social needs, while supposedly satisfying the wants and needs of a given country's youth for energy and excitement.

Sometimes, it is successful, as in the case of Dean Reed, who introduced rock 'n' roll, albeit a form of it that pleased the Soviet, East German and other Eastern European governing classes. Other times, it isn't.

Either way, the main reason for its artistic failure is that, in taming down and using rock 'n' roll and similar kinds of pop music to suit a party's or regime's needs, it takes much of the vitality out of it.

In my view, rock 'n' roll, punk(especially punk!!!), reggae, and other forms of pop music like those are essentially rebellious and oppositional(sorry to use that bit of academic duck-speak!!)to establishment values in whatever part of the world the musicians playing them may come.

Official pop, of whatever origin or form, is designed and used for precisely the opposite purpose by a country's establishment. But, in doing that, its users have bled out the energy that comes from rebellion found in many forms of popular music, and replaced it with a kind of tinned copy of that energy, but one that's greatly diminished.

In fact, I would dare say that official pop tunes don't generally even have the same kind of energy or power that a political party's or regime's old marching and other tunes have, because at least those tunes have a certain rousing quality that official pop generally lacks.

Well, that's my quick and dirty definition of official pop, and aren't you sorry you read this????

Whether you are or not, please go do something else more constructive, or at least a bit more fun, whether on- or off-line.

Until next time, be seeing you.

As I Would Not Be A Slave, I Would Not Be A Master

Wouldn't have made a blog entry here, except for that have become in a debate in the comments section of a YouTube video on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict about, of all things, the Algerian War of Independence and the roles of the Algerian FLN(Front de Liberation Nationale, the main Algerian Arab independence organisation), the OAS(Organsation Armee Secrete, the main Algerian European anti-independence organsation)and the French.

Won't go into the details involving the Algerian War of Independence. If you wish to find out about it, please consult books like Alastair Horne's "A Savage War Of Peace"(which I have here at home, and which has been my main guide to this conflict for around twenty years now), or the various on-line resources about that war.

That said, I just want to say this; no nation or people has the right to dominate another, for any reason.

This goes for the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Russians in Chechnya, the Chinese in Tibet and Xinjiang, the Indonesians in West Irian, and so on and so forth.

This also goes for the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan who make up the bulk of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban fighters and supporters, the Arabs in the Sudan and Mauritania, and any other peoples that seek to, by weight of numbers or force of arms, impose their beliefs, customs, business practises, and other ways of living upon their neighbours.

When a nation or people engage in such activities, it doesn't reflect the best aspects of their societies and cultures, but the very worst.

It's one thing to trade with, have cultural exchanges and diplomatic relations, and to interact with other peoples in various peaceful, non-invasive manners.

It's quite another to try and shove those same exchanges down another's throat, and call it progress.

The Soviets attempted it in Afghanistan, as they did throughout Eastern Europe, and, in the end, it back-fired badly on them.

The Egyptians, Assyrians, Hittites, Macedonians, Romans, British, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Germans, Italians and Japanese, among many others, tried it at various times in their histories.

For a time, sometimes a quite lengthy one, such powers have been able to dominate and hold onto large territories and control large numbers of subject peoples.

But, in the end, whether through external assault or internal pressures and weaknesses, those empires fell apart.

Mind you, they have often left long-standing cultural influences behind in their former territories.
But, their political, social and economic control of those territories is either finished, or, as in the case of the former British and French colonies, considerably diminished from what it once was, although the French continue to maintain a close relationship with many of their ex-colonies, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Either way, the domination of one people by another, while it may bring some benefits at various points to the subject population, is about the systematic control and exploitation of that people, and, more importantly, of the territory in which they live, and the resources it has.

It is also, in my opinion, an incredible waste of time, talent, resources, energy and lives that could have been better employed in making their own lands far better places to live.

Call me naive here, but this is what I believe, and I also believe that human history would be a generally happier one if more peoples had decided to either peacefully interact with their neighbours, or, if not so inclined, stayed at home and lived within their own means.

But, they didn't, and it is the consequences of those decisions, some made only a few months or years ago, others centuries or even millennia ago, that we are living with to-day.

However, we can, and do, have the choice not to repeat the same mistakes, or at least the same KIND of mistakes, as our forbears in future.

It seems to me that it is either that, or remain locked in at least one of the various cycles of domination, exploitation, and eventual reaction to, and overthrow of, that domination, with the next cycle afterwards being started by one of the formerly dominated peoples.

Everyone has their excuses for engaging in such acts, but none of them, particularly when compared with their actions, holds up very well at all.

Am unsure if this is an exact quote from Abraham Lincoln, but will leave you with this anyway, "As I would not be a slave, I would not be a master."

Be seeing you.

03 June 2008

A Pair Of Notes From The Democratic Candidates

Just checked my Hotmail in-box a little while ago, and found, among the usual junk, these two on-line form letters from the Obama and Clinton campaigns respectively.

Note the folksy, yet artificial, style of the wording in these, thanking me for achievements and inspiration that I never provided either candidate, as I didn't work for, nor provide inspiration, advice, nor anything else to them during their fight for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Me, I was an Edwards supporter and delegate, one of four such, at my neighbourhood caucus back in January, and switched over to Obama only because there weren't enough Edwards' supporters there to make up a quorum.

That was that, and haven't been active since, to be honest.

So, I find any form letter in which I am thanked for efforts and contributions I didn't make to be risible, to say the least.

I won't presume to say I know what's going on the candidates' heads at this moment, but I know what's going on in mine, and that's the feeling of relief that that particularly ugly little bit of sordidness is now over.

Now, on to the next!!!!! Ohhhhh, boy!!!!

Senator Obama's and Senator Rodham-Clinton's letter texts follow directly below this. Please read 'em and decide for yourselves what you make, or not, of 'em.

Be seeing you.

Donald --

I'm about to take the stage in St. Paul and announce that we have won the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

It's been a long journey, and we should all pause to thank Hillary Clinton, who made history in this campaign. Our party and our country are better off because of her.

I want to make sure you understand what's ahead of us. Earlier tonight, John McCain outlined a vision of America that's very different from ours -- a vision that continues the disastrous policies of George W. Bush.

But this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past and bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

It's going to take hard work, but thanks to you and millions of other donors and volunteers, no one has ever been more prepared for such a challenge.

Thank you for everything you've done to get us here. Let's keep making history.


(Author's note: In the original text, there was a large red button marked "Donate" in white letters directly below this)

Dear Donald,

Over the course of this campaign, I have seen the promise of America in your courage and character, your energy and ingenuity, and your compassion and faith.

Your spirit has inspired me every day in this race. While I traveled this country talking about how I wanted to help you -- time and again, you reached out to help me. To grab my hand or grip my arm, to look me in my eyes and tell me, don't quit, keep fighting, stay in this race for us. There were days when I had strength enough for the both of us -- and on the days I didn't, I leaned on you.

This has always been your campaign, and tonight, there's no one I want to hear from more than you. I hope you're as proud as I am of what we've done and that you'll take a moment to share your thoughts with me now at my website.

I want to congratulate Senator Obama and his supporters on the extraordinary race that they have run. Senator Obama has inspired so many Americans to care about politics and empowered so many more to get involved, and our party and our democracy are stronger and more vibrant as a result.

Whatever path I travel next, I promise I will keep faith with you and everyone I have met across this good and great country. There is no possible way to thank you enough for everything you have done throughout this primary season, and you will always be in my heart.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

02 June 2008

More On "The Intruder"

Am watching, or rather, listening to, a copy of "The Intruder", which I discussed in my last entry, as it's closing up, and here are a few, pretty raw thoughts on the picture.

The film is pretty powerful indeed, though marred by a few flaws.

William Shatner's performance as Adam Cramer, the traveling right-wing agitator, is fairly good, and we get a fairly nuanced portrait of a kind of amoral young man(Shatner was 31 or 32 years old at the time "The Intruder" was made), who sells his gospel of racial hatred, just like a traveling salesman or an itinerant preacher would sell their respective goods, though there are times, particularly at the film's climax, when we see a bit of the over-acting for which he would later become infamous.

The other cast members, whose names I didn't catch, also give a generally good calibre of performance, albeit the style of acting found in "The Intruder" is of a much more hyper-emotional type than to-day's.

Perhaps one of the most interesting features of "The Intruder" is the struggle that the town's newspaper editor undergoes with his conscience throughout much of the film over his very mixed feelings about the integration of the town's high school.

We see this struggle within him from the film's start, and, while the editor eventually ends up, rather predictably, on the integrationist side, what makes this struggle work for me is that, as he tells his wife in one scene before the film's climax, he really doesn't know why he feels the way he does.

Why I find that interesting is because I've come to believe that, while all of us, including Yours Truly, all have our reasons for believing and acting on our beliefs, there is also, at the most unconscious levels of our minds, a certain inarticulate sentiment, what have you, that helps propel us, or not, into action.

While much of "The Intruder" will seem a bit creaky and dated to most modern film-goers(the ideological fire-brand who turns out to be a louse, the last-minute confession by the white girl who's accused one of the African-American high school students of rape, and the agitator's exposure), the reason I think it still packs at least something of a punch is because, while many of the sentiments shown by many of the European-American townspeople in the film are now stated differently and more covertly than in 1962, those sentiments, as some of the logic and reasoning exhibited by some of Sen. Rodham-Clinton's supporters, as well as by portions of the right-wing media, show, they have by no means died out in American society and culture.

If anything, the racial, ethnic and cultural picture of America has grown more complex than at the time "The Intruder" was released.

But, then again, perhaps, it is, to a degree, that our view of America's racial, ethnic, religious and other forms of diversity has become much more sophisticated than in 1962.

America, like its neighbours throughout the hemisphere, always was something of a complex racial, ethnic, religious and social mix, and it has really been only in the last 40-odd years that the American mass media and educational system have really begun to acknowledge that, however grudgingly and half-heartedly at times.

At the same time, there are still many Americans out there who retain the older view of being an American as meaning being of European ancestry, exclusively English-speaking, upper- or middle-class, and either Jewish or Christian(BTW, there is a fair amount of Jew-baiting used by Shatner's character to stir up the small town mob early on in the film, which is something I've not noted in the very few other comments I've seen on "The Intruder"), and not all of these people are all middle-aged or elderly, nor are they all to be found exclusively in Radical Right groups, like the various branches of the Ku Klux Klan or Nazi-Skinhead groups.

Likewise, the race-baiting going on in this country doesn't solely come from the European-American side of the aisle, as some of the Reverend Wright's or Father Pfleger's recently brought to light on YouTube have shown.

Add on to that, the growing inter-racial tensions and violence between Latinos and African-Americans in various parts of the US, including Los Angeles and parts of my home town, and one can see that a tremendous amount of work still must be done in this country in terms of inter-racial relations.

There has been considerable progress, especially legally, in American inter-racial relations since "The Intruder's" first release date.

But, to repeat myself yet again, there is still a very long way to go indeed, and, especially because we are undergoing the stage of changing people's thoughts and attitudes toward each other, which is really the hardest part of any cultural change, there are no guarantees that we may not fail in that attempt, and do ourselves great damage as a result.

That is, I think, still quite possible, though not inevitable. It is only if we let it.

Be seeing you.

"The Intruder" Or, Captain Kirk Goes Race-Baiting

In light of some of the race-baiting that has been going on between some partisans in the Clinton and Obama camps in the last two months or so, I think it's only entirely appropriate to exhibit this YouTube clip of the trailer for the 1962 Roger Corman film, "The Intruder", which starred William Shatner as Adam Cramer, a young agitator for the far-right "Patrick Henry Society"(probably based by the film's screenwriter, Charles Beaumont, who adapted it from his novel, on the John Birch Society), who arrives in the fictional, small southern town of Caxton, where he starts agitating the townsfolk against school integration, and, at least for a while, has his way, in more ways than one.

This film is one of the very few Roger Corman films that ever lost money at the box office, and, in fact, was subsequently re-released under a few different titles, such as "Shame" and "I Hate Your Guts!!".

Have only seen the trailer, which, along with scenes from the film, are available on YouTube, as well as from the Internet Archive, under the title "Shame", but it looks pretty good to me, thus far.

Have down-loaded the Internet Archive version, and will include the web page address after the clip, so you can go there, and either view or down-load it for yourselves.

Anyhow, here comes the clip.

Now, as for where you can find "The Intruder" or "Shame" on the Internet Archive site, here's the page address, http://www.archive.org/details/shame_ .

If you want to find out more about the film and its origins, here are the IMDB and Wikipedia page addresses devoted to it, at, respectively, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055019/combinedcomment, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Intruder_%281962_film%29.

You can also find a video trailer for "The Intruder", with commentary on the film, at its page on Trailers From Hell at http://www.trailersfromhell.com/trailers/56?auto=1, and, if you want to buy the DVD of the flick, you can go to Roger Corman: The Official DVD Website at http://video.movies.go.com/rogercorman/coll_special.htmlintruder, and order it from there.

Yes, American society and culture have changed considerably since "The Intruder" was first released 46 years ago, but, in some very fundamental ways, especially regarding race and its role, there is still a very long way to go.

Be seeing you.

01 June 2008

A Tryptich Of Sarah Silverman Videos

Recently down-loaded some Sara Silverman videos from YouTube, and decided, while am listening to the soundtrack from one of them on my Real Player, to share some of these with you, as am busting a gut laughing while seeing, or rather, listening to, them.

So, here we go.

From the 2007 Video Music Awards, comes Ms. Silverman's spectacular diss of Ms. Paris Hilton.

That video was posted to YouTube by "ParisHiltonMusicFan"(!!!!).

The next video, "The Porn Song", was posted to YouTube by one "SnatchSnack".

The third and last video is her(admittedly, hadn't heard of this until a day or so ago)infamous little music video, "I'm F&@ing Matt Damon", posted to YouTube by "SwagDogDotCom".

Anyhoo, there you go. Hope you enjoy them, and try not to fall over when you're laughing at these.

Be seeing you.

A Quartet Of YouTube Cat Videos

My MySpace friend Cheryl was kind enough to re-post a video featuring three kittens watching tennis from YouTube.

So, I went over there and found the video, plus a couple more such videos, and am posting 'em here for y'all to see for yourselves.

The first's the original video, from a Japanese YouTube video contributor called "CatteryAkubi".

The second, from "bregman1155" is "????Tennis Cats-"Le Freak" Remix", in which the above video is set to the old disco tune, "Le Freak", and which works amazingly well, I think.

The third video, from "MemeMolly" is "TokenMemeChannel17Like", and features a group of young people, mainly girls, moving their heads back and forth as if watching a tennis match, until they break up laughing.

This video, like the one above it, was posted as a response to the original video on the top.

The fourth and final YouTube video entry here is from one "calwhite", and is simply entitled, "Cats Watching Tennis", in which a quintet of kittens are moving their heads back and forth watching something off-camera, though it's never disclosed just what it is.

There's your Sunday cat-video fix. Now, run along, go outside and play, or do something else entirely un-constructive with your Sunday. As always, be seeing you.

While You Were Waiting....

Well, Folks, am back after a period of around a little over seven months since last I posted here.

Part of that was due to the active blogging I'd been doing on my MySpace blog, part of it was due to me being a lazy thing, and a very large part of it was due to two computer hard drive melt-downs back in late November of last year, and late March of this year, which knocked me off-line for quite a while.

Have been back on-line, since a month ago come 3rd June, and have been meaning to get over here and start posting, or at least re-posting, some of the blog entries that have composed on my MySpace blog since then.

Well, below are a selection, re-published somewhat out of order, as you will see, with the first part of an action figure story I originally published on MySpace back on 3rd March, 2008, to lead 'em off.

Now that I've published it here, this takes away whatever remaining excuse I've to procrastinate on getting Part Two of the story written and published, doesn't it???

You bet it does.

Anyhow, sorry to have gone for so long.

Hope you enjoy this selection of entries, and, as always, be seeing you.

The Orphan: A Pacifica Action Figure Story, Pt. 1

The time was about 2:30 going on 3:00 PM, to judge from the sun's position in the cloudy mid-November Southern California sky, and the body's rays shone somewhat feebly on the Southern California coastline, and, so it seemed, on a one very small individual making his way across a seemingly endless expanse of grass and weeds in a field on that very coast.

His name was Christopher Triumph, a rather ordinary, brown-haired, brown-eyed, Timeless Collection GI Joe from the very ordinary southern Pacifican town of Averageburg, and, up to about two years ago, his life was that of a very ordinary citizen of that locality.

He'd been the owner-operator of a small auto repair shop there, been married to a perfectly ordinary, but an absolute goddess in his eyes, raven-haired, 82nd Airborne GI Jane named Mary, settled down and, took in and raised three newbie figures, two Classic Collection Joes, and a blonde 82nd Airborne Jane, and it pretty much seemed that all of them would go on living the same sort of ordinary lives that they had been.

All that changed when Pacifica was attacked by its rival collection of Centralia, from which the former had separated in April, 2002, in the early morning hours of 28th April, 2007, only a few hours after the Pacificans finished celebrating the 5th anniversary of their independence.

Like most of the other able-bodied figures in Averageburg, Christopher hurriedly put on his Pacifican National Guard uniform(in his case, a 21st Century Vietnam Platoon Leader olive drab uniform, and M1 steel helmet), put up his webbing, said a hurried farewell to Mary and the kids, shouldered his M-14 rifle, and went away to war.

It never would have occurred to him to even think about declining to go, because of the situation at hand, and also, because everyone else he knew, except those, like Mary, who had either vital jobs or pressing family responsibilities, or who were either physically or mentally unable to go, were going, so off he went.

No need, Christopher thought as he hurried to the local Guard depot, to let everybody else down by not doing his part.

Not his neighbours, friends, family, community and country. No way, no how, was that gonna happen.

And, though he never would have admitted it to anyone, especially himself, no way in Hell was he gonna let himself down by sitting out the biggest show to ever hit town.

Christopher and his unit got to see and act in that very show within a few hours of mobilisation, and played their parts well enough, if not outstandingly so, over the hours and days that made up the 10-day long Centralian-Pacifican War.

They had been, if Christopher remembered correctly, in around half-a-dozen fights and skirmishes of varying sizes and degrees, had lost 3 or 4 soldiers dead, twice that number of wounded, and about half that total missing.

He'd done his duty well enough. Sure, Christopher received no commendations, awards or medals for his performance during the war, but he'd also never shirked an order or failed to hold up his end of whatever needing doing, when it had to be done, and that was good enough for him.

As for killing bozos, being scared and all the rest of that happy horse-shit that folks who've never been in combat ordinarily ask about, and those kind of questions just irritated Christopher to no end, he could maybe, just maybe, remember shooting at and perhaps hitting a couple of customised Dragon figures in Iraq War US Army uniforms during one fight, maybe killing or wounding 2 or 3 more with a hand grenade he chucked in their general direction during another(The reason Christopher wasn't sure about that particular incident was that, after he pulled the grenade's pin and tossed the explosive, he dived flat on his face, as any sensible soldier would, and hugged his little portion of Mother Earth in the shelter of a curve in the ground. As he didn't hear any sounds coming from his targets, and certainly got no more trouble from them, after the grenade's detonation, he paid them no more mind, and quickly moved on from there), and maybe a few others in some of the other actions he was in.

There was only one figure that Christopher knew for sure he'd killed, and that was a customised Blue Box figure in an Iraq War US Marine outfit, whom he'd seen getting the better of Elmer Fiedelbaum, a GI Joe Classic Collection Dwight figure, an assistant manager at the local supermarket back home, who was a casual acquaintance of Christopher's, and a regular enough guy to hang out every now and then.

The soldier had Elmer pinned on his back like an awkward turtle, and had his Ka-Bar combat knife out and ready to plunge into whatever part of the turtle's torso came most handy.

Christopher was about 4 inches away from the struggling pair, which was too close for him to plug Elmer's assailant without possibly hitting Elmer in the bargin. But, with just a little effort, he could get over there and fix the bastard with the bayonet at the end of his M-14.

Quickly running over to where the struggle between Elmer and his opponent was about to end unfavourably for the former, Christopher kicked the Marine hard on his right side, knocking him off of Elmer, and onto his back.

With the barrel of his M-14 not more than an inch or two from the downed Marine's face, Christopher quickly decided to forget about using his bayonet, and simply shot him between the eyes, killing him instantly.

The only thing that he could remember about his victim's face, was the look of absolutely sheer dumb surprise the Marine had on it, like what a luckless dog or cat which had been run over by a car might have.

Christopher stared at that surprised face, now doomed to look like the biggest Pore Dumb Fuck in all the armies, organic or toy, that had ever existed in the history of the world, until his corpse was collected, revived and given a new identity, for what seemed to him to be about a minute or so, but was probably more like 5 or 10 seconds, then turned away from it and helped Elmer to his feet.

"You OK???", Christopher asked the former soldier-turned-temporary turtle, after the latter was on his feet, to which Elmer replied after drawing in a hard breath, "Yeah. Sure. Thanks."

"No problem", Christopher said. Then a corporal from their squad ran up, yelling at them to stop standing around with their thumbs up their asses like a couple of Kansas City faggots(Oddly enough, the only knowledge the corporal, who'd never been outside of Averageburg in his life before the war, had of Kansas City faggots, was as an insult that Slim Pickens' character in "Blazing Saddles" had used on one of his cohorts in that film, which yon corporal had seen on late-night TV sometime ago. Other than that, he knew about as much about Kansas City faggots and their goings-on, as he did the Man in the Moon's), and get moving to another part of the battlefield where the fighting was particularly hot.

Christopher and Elmer looked at each other a second, grunted affirmatively to the corporal, and, after Elmer hurriedly put his helmet back on his head, and picked up his rifle, followed the corporal and 3 or 4 other of their squad-mates in the general direction of the latest skirmishing, leaving the Pore Dumb Fuck of the Universe alone with his eternal surprise and dismay.

Sometimes, Christopher would see the Marine's face in dreams, and, every time he saw it, he didn't know whether to laugh his head off or scream, or both.

After the war and his return home, Mary would occasionally be woken up by the soft mix of chuckling and yelling Christopher made whenever he saw that Marine's face, and would ask him when he woke up afterwards, if he'd had a nightmare, and, if so, what it was about.

Christopher's response, which was generally about the same every time she, or anyone else, really, asked him about something that was bothering him, was, "Nothing I can't handle, honey," and leave it at that.

He didn't really like talking about his feelings, especially hard or unpleasant ones, with other figures.

Christopher wasn't that way, had never been that way, and sure as Hell hadn't been raised that way, either.

If other folks wanted to talk about how they felt, good for them, Christopher thought, but rarely said, but not him.

He'd learned early enough on that life's hard, sometimes it hurts, disappoints, saddens, or does something else bad to you, and that the best remedy for it wasn't to be a whiny little wimp, sniveling and carrying on like a Merrill-damn theatre queen(Christopher had known a couple of those in school), but to suck it up, suck it in, and move on from there, the quicker the better.

Talking about even a little of the bad shit that happened to you simply got in the way of doing that.

So, , that's exactly what Christopher did, just as he was moving on along the seemingly endless great grassy plain on that mid-November's day. Moving on, ideally to someplace better and fast.

-To be continued. End of Part One.

More Info About The Drumming Out Of Alex Barton

You may remember that I posted a blog entry on Saturday last about how a Port Lucie, Florida kindergarten teacher, one Wendy Portillo, allowed her students to vote a 5 year-old boy, Alex Barton, who has Asperger's Syndrome, out of her classroom.

Well, here's the contact info for Ms. Portillo's superiors, courtesy of the Autism Self-Advocacy Network, and a MySpace friend of mine, "kafecat", who posted this info on her blog a few days back.

Contact info:

*Morningside Elementary School Principal:*
Mrs. Marcia Cully
(772) 337-6730

*St. Lucie County Schools Superintendent: *
Michael J. Lannon
4204 Okeechobee Road
Ft. Pierce 34947-5414
Phone: 772/429-3925
FAX: 772/429-3916
e-mail: lannonm@stlucie.k12.fl.us

*St. Lucie County School Board Chair:*
Carol Hilson

*Vice Chair:*
Judith Miller

Ari Ne'eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
1101 15th Street, NW Suite 1212
Washington, DC 20005

Please be sure to keep the tone of your message to them as respectful as possible, and please cc the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network into the messages when you send them, so they can track how many are being sent regarding this matter.

Am also including a link to kafecat's blog entry on this, so you can see it for yourselves, at http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=78853530&blogID=399324355&Mytoken=F27DB57C-A88D-4136-9D315B3835E76E1A110795966.

Hope these prove to be of interest to you, and, if you can, please contact the Morningside Elementary and St. Lucie County Schools and School Board officials at the e-mails listed above.

Thanks, and be seeing you.

A Trio Of YouTube Videos

In my last entry here, I mentioned my great appreciation for the Internet and the amazing variety of videos on it.

Well, am gonna give y'all some samples of what I meant.

The first one was posted to YouTube by a Dutch YouTube contributor called Yolan59, who has quite the collection of old "Carol Burnett Show" sketches, and, it was while viewing the following sketch that I learnt, in the accompaning information box, that Harvey Korman died yesterday at the age of 88.

So, this sketch, "The Old Folks" featuring the late Mr. Korman and Carol Burnett goes up here in homage to a fine comedic actor, who is now no longer among us.

For a bit of better news from the other side of the world, here comes a news article, posted by Nepal News on 28th May, about the celebrations going on in Nepal, now that the Nepalese monarchy, which reigned for 240 years, has been officially abolished and replaced by a federal democratic republic. Congratulations and the best of luck to the Nepalese people.

Finally, there's this video entry, "The Two Talking Geese" from an American YouTube poster who calls herself AliceAngel7, which features her two geese, Snooky and Randall, communicating with each other by honking, rather than the usual fighting that goes on between, according to her.

This is a charming little bit of animal footage, which was made as a response to the "Two Talking Cats" video that ran on YouTube some months ago, and is, I think, an appropriate way to end this entry, and help get your day off to a good start.

Please enjoy, and be seeing you.

The Internet and Internet Video: 2 Appreciations

Y'know, for all of the junk, or at least just plain mediocrity, that I sometimes see here in my little corner of the 'Net, one of its features that I just plain love to death, especially after having got a cable connection last year, is videos, and especially YouTube and similar video-sharing services.

For me, this has been a chance to see and down-load(via RealPlayer 11)videos of films by film-makers like Peter Watkins, Nagisa Oshima, Jiri Trinka, Shuji Terayama, and many others, whether famous or obscure, whose works I'd only read about back in my teens and twenties, or had never heard of nor seen at all.

It's not that there aren't foreign and independently-made American films in Vegas. Some theatres show them, and there are some groups here(NOTBAD being the main one of which I can currently think)that have once-weekly free showings of such flicks.

But, being as generally house- and neighbourhood-bound as I currently am, I don't often go to such places.

I know I need to get out more, but that's a subject for another day.

Thanks to the technology of Internet video, I can see, whether whole or in excerpts, art films, or any other type of film for which I care to see, on-line, at my leisure, as well as vintage tv programme episodes, documentaries, and short and feature films from just about every period of film history, and I love it.

Mind you, there's a lot of junk out there, to be sure, and not every film or video I see on-line is a masterpiece of High Art, nor should they be.

But, that's par for the course in just about every type of human endeavour, I think.

There's a small number of truly great pieces of product, slightly larger numbers of very good or at least satisfactory ones, a much larger number of mediocre products, and, of course, a pretty larger amount of just plain awful material that are produced by human minds and hands every day of the year, and that goes for film and video in all periods of their short histories as it does for any other kind of human enterprise.

Nonetheless, it is the ACCESS to film, video, sound and other sorts of media, as well as to sites dealing in information of all sorts on various topics that I prize the most.

Just knowing that I can, by entering in a name or topic into a search engine, pressing the Enter key, and, 3 quarters of a second or so later, get back a variety of results to my query, in my own home, is just a marvel to me.

Yes, I can take it for granted, as does just about everyone who has regular access to it.

But, there are times, like now, when I realise just how powerful both the technology and institutions of the Internet and the World Web Web are, and what joys I have in being able to wander around them, peeking here and snooping there, at sites that strike my fancy.

The 'Net, and my computer in general, have become a major, if not the sole, means of self-expression for me, and whenever deprived of them, as I was at various points during the past 7 months, I can make do with whatever available media I've at hand, but it isn't the same.

Quite a statement coming from a former computer-phobe like myself.

But, that was before I discovered the Internet 11 years ago.

Now, it is a very important part of my life, and I keenly appreciate it.

Anyhow, that's it for now.

Be seeing you.

Rant: Sharon Stone, The China Earthquake, And YouTube.

Just got through watching some thirty(!!!!)videos about Sharon Stone's comments at the Cannes Film Festival that I'd down-loaded from YouTube over the past several days, and it is amazing to me the levels of passion that some off-the-cuff remarks from one of Hollywood's leading bubble-heads can inspire, including within myself.

Most of the comments I saw came from quite understandably upset, outraged and angry young Chinese who were revolted by the sheer callousness of Ms. Stone's remarks, but there were also a few European Americans, one African American, and a Canadian gentleman of European descent who also expressed their outrage at her comments in various forms.

Additionally, there were also some YouTube video programmes, like The Young Turks and What The Buck, hosted by one Michael Buckley, as well as some clips from Fox News, Celeb TV, Hollyscoop.com and a Hong Kong television channel to whose reporter at Cannes Ms. Stone made her remarks, that I viewed, as well as a few videos lauding Ms. Stone posted by pro-Tibetan YouTube members like mayyoubekind, which mainly consisted of the same collection of Fox News, BBC, and other Western news sources' article clips about the negative publicity that China has received in the Western media in the past several months.

I also saw quite a few text comments accompanying these videos, most of which were anti-Stone and pro-Chinese, or at least outraged by Ms. Stone's comments, as well as a smaller number of pro-Tibetan and anti-Chinese comments posted by YouTube contributors like mayyoubekind, whose YouTube nom de guerre needs a bit of a change, because his or her comments certainly weren't kind at all.

So, what's the up-shot of all this, you ask??? Good question.

Here's the answer: aside from one young Chinese gentleman, who identified himself as "Adam" and whose two YouTube videos on the subject can be seen at http://youtube.com/watch?v=2pesCrT1d9c&feature=related and at http://youtube.com/watch?v=7EAUZr8WTrY, and who only wanted Ms. Stone to apologise for her remarks without indulging himself in personal attacks upon her in any way, the other responses were very angry, with some of the male respondents describing her as a "whore", "bitch" etc.

BTW, when and if you do watch Adam's videos, you will see, as I just did, some comments mocking his poor grasp of English grammar and pronunciation. I will say that both need a lot of work, but that is, I believe, a minor point compared to what he has to say on the subject.

I had to go into my bookmarks(now, you know my dirty little secret when it comes to writing these articles)a few minutes ago to find the web page addresses to display here, and, when I came on the link to the first video by Adam, I saw a loathsome little comment made by a YouTube member named NewEnglandPatChic, a 31 year-old American, which I will now reproduce in full-"China needs to deal with the fact that we are a FREE Country and we do have Freedom of Speech. She shouldn't have to appologize for speaking her mind. She didn't hurt you physically. My Mother always said "If it doesn't apply let it fly" So grow up, put on your big boy panties, slap a pad on take your midol and stop whining!
Bad things do happen to bad people...Your people are barbaric dog, cat and baby murders. All those kids that died would turn out the same way, so was it really a loss??".

I don't know if this contributor is either male or female, though, from the two comments I saw posted on his or her Channels page, I think that NewEnglandPatChic is a woman.

Either way, the comments made by this person are sickeningly callous, rude, mean-spirited and downright racist, and I am sorely tempted to go back to that video, and make the meanest-spirited, nastiest and most vicious reply I can to this.... "person".

On the other hand, I probably won't, out of the self-centred desire not to soil myself and whatever reputation I may have by letting this twit utterly have it, and but good.

This brings me to a point that have been trying to get to for some time now, and that is remarks like Ms. Stone's, NewEnglandPatChic's, mayyoubekind's and some of the other Tibet-supporters, or at least China-bashers do their causes no God-Damned good whatsoever, and, worse still for them, make themselves look like the mean, vicious, callous, hypocritical sons-of-bitches they are.

I don't know much about the Dalai Lama, but, I can only say that, if I were in his place, I would be furious with Ms. Stone, and I would let her know that in the kind of language that Hollywood production executives and drill instructors are infamous for using.

Why??? Because, for one, controversies like this tend to take the main focus off of the central topic in all this, China's occupation of Tibet, two, it makes the Tibetan cause and its supporters look like a bunch of marble-headed ninnies and dunderheads, who talk a great game of being loving and forgiving souls, but who are really hypocritical, mean-souled little shits with brains of suet and hearts of purest tin, and, three, they can create the kind of public back-lash against one's cause within the space of a heartbeat, or maybe just a little longer than that.

Most importantly, it's the kind of, as one YouTube respondent critical of Ms. Stone's remarks put it, " a kind of Westboro Baptist Church" interpretation of karma(The Westboro Baptist Church, for those of you out there who mayn't have heard of it, is a rabidly anti-homosexual church led by the Reverend Fred Phelps, who, along with his congregation, pickets the funerals of both dead gays and US service personnel, because it's the "Reverend's" contention that, since God hates fags, and America tolerates them, he also hates America), or, as I like to think of it, the World War Two-era Wehrmacht or Imperial Japanese Army version of that same belief, in which an entire nation, people, etc, can and should be held accountable for their government's crimes and mis-deeds.

In short, it's the idea of karma as collective punishment(So, if you can imagine the Amida Buddha, or some other incarnation of the Buddha dressed up as, and possessing the manners of, a stereotypical World War Two movie Wehrmacht general, you might hear him or her say something to the effect of, "Zo, you haff been fery nasty to mein gut friends, ze Tibetans. Vell, remember dat, for efery vun Tibetan you kill, I vill haff a hundred Chineze shot vithin vun half-hour").

Great, just what the world needs, the Gautama Buddha as played by Erich Von Stroheim or Conrad Veidt.

If that's the case, what we, the British, French, Spanish, Dutch, Russians, Japanese, Germans and Israelis, among others, have coming to us will make 11th September look like a walk in the park by comparison.

That is, if you either believe in that interpretation of karmic destiny, or even believe in karma at all.

As for me, well, I know so little about the differences between dharma and karma, it isn't funny, so am not about to even attempt any sort of discourse on that topic.

What I will say is that I believe that shifting tectonic plates underneath the Earth's crust cause earthquakes, not dharma, karma, or any other sort of divine judgement or punishment.

You may choose, of course, to disagree with me on that subject, as is your right.

I'm neither God nor the Pope, and my estimation and judgment are far from infallible on so many topics, it makes my head swim just thinking about it.

But, I do believe that there are very real issues of life, death and survival at stake for both the Tibetan and Chinese peoples in this issue, and that comments like Ms. Stone's, her on-line and off-line detractors, and either pro-Tibetan, or at least anti-Chinese, knuckleheads like NewEnglandPatChic's trivialise them by bringing the discussion level down to, as one of The Young Turks' co-hosts described some of Ms. Stone's remarks, "a second-grade level."

With that, I most wholeheartedly agree, though you may not.

Either way, here endeth the rant, and, as always, be seeing you.

Now, I’ve Seen Everything(Not Bloody Likely, I Have!!)

A friend of mine sent this site addy in an e-mail to me this morning.

It's http://kittywigs.com/.

That's right. Wigs for cats.

Incredible, no????

I'd say so, as well as a few other words and phrases not suitable for family publications, unless they're published by the Manson Family, that is.

I took a look at the wigs on offer on the site(there are four of them), and all I can say is that I admire the feline models that wore those wigs in the photos of them for being as patient with their Monkey-People care-givers as they possibly could.

Cats, generally speaking, don't LIKE having anything on their little noggins, and I don't blame 'em a bit for it.

So, when some chuckle-headed Monkey Person decides that putting a hat, wig or whatever else on their long-suffering feline companion is a good idea, I can only hope that either the feline will tolerate it, as they often, or give 'em a good, quick clawing to let 'em know where they stand.

Needless to say any further, I think wigs for cats is a damned poor idea.

But, who am I to piss on anyone else's parade, eh????

I can only hope that the cats in the various households that purchase these wigs will have the good sense to avoid their silly Monkey People until the latter have that silly notion out of their systems.

Be seeing you.

The Lords Of All Creation(So They Think!!!)

Have a Facebook account that have started up a little over a week ago, and this entry was originally posted in my Facebook Notes just a few minutes ago.

Am including a link to a Facebook Note written by a friend of mine on another blog, and imported to here about two stories of exclusion of autistic people, the first being a present-day American story of a Port Lucie, Florida 5 year-old, Alex Barton, who was voted out of his kindergarten class by his classmates on the instigation of their teacher, Ms. Wendy Portillo, and of her own exclusions as a child.

Just appalling, really.

The link's http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=15720918169&ref=mf.

Please go to it, read it, and think about what you can do to NOT be a complete exclusionary arsehole in your own lives.
Be seeing you.

A Fistful Of Mego Star Trek Videos

Just got through watching, and laughing my head at, a sextet of Mego(the company that made a line of 8 inch Star Trek action figures back in the mid-'70s)Star Trek action figure videos, made by the good folks at Hoserlu Studios, and posted up on YouTube, as well as their own site, http://hoserlu.com/.

The figure puppetry is of mixed quality, as is the voice-work. But, the writing and most of the rest of the quality of these videos are quite well-done, amateur, action figure videos that, while maybe not giving "Robot Chicken" a run for its money, should fit the bill.

One last bit before we jump into the videos here, and that's, as the folks at Hoserlu themselves warn on their YouTube postings, there is adult humour of the most juvenile kind, meaning sex jokes, profanity, etc.

With that in mind, here we go, and may God help you, because no one else can;).

The first entry's "Star Trek: The Mego Picture", which features Capt. Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Ensign Goodbody(Hey, the folks at Hoserlu named her, not I), and a couple of security officers(Guess who dies first!!!)as they find themselves at the mercy of some very brilliant, and very bored, aliens whilst on a mission on an alien planet.

Next, we have "Star Trek: The Mego Picture, Part 2 Trailer", in which one can see some exciting(well, it depends on one's definition of exciting)scenes from the sequel to "Star Trek: The Mego Picture".

The third verse, which is worse than the first, in this wretched Mego Star Trek saga, is "Star Trek: The Mego Picture-The Bloopers"(you knew that HAD to be coming!!!).

Then, we have some "leaked" footage from the sequel to "Star Trek: The Mego Picture", which gives us a "sneak" preview of what we can expect in the sequel. Or, does it????

After enough beating about the bush to scare all the game in the national park away for a month, we finally arrive at Part I of "Star Trek: The Mego Picture, Part 2", in which Captain Kirk finds himself being court-martialed for crimes against humanity, or something like that.

Finally(and not a moment too soon, you might be thinking), we have Part 2 of "Star Trek: The Mego Picture, Part 2", which concludes this saga, at least for now.

One can also see the entire film, uninterrupted, at http://hoserlu.com/, and it's in higher resolution, if that's your particular bag.

BTW, in parting, let me just say that, a la Hoserlu Studios own disclaimer at the end of their end titles, this blog entry has been made without the written permission of Hoserlu Studios, Paramount Pictures, etc, and please don't sue me, as I've nothing any of you out there working for those enterprises(pun unintentional, or is it???)would want, not even Amigo the Cat.

Anyhow, hope you enjoy this collection of Star Trek and Mego figure fan-vids, and, as always, be seeing you.

YouTube Video Clips: "Fantastic Voyage Cartoon Opening And Closing Credits(1968)

Yes, I am going to get off of my dead arse in a day or two and post Part Two of "The Orphan" here.

But, in the meantime, here's a bit of vintage('68, to be precise)Saturday morning cartoon footage from YouTube to keep you entertained while you're waiting.

The opening and closing title clips shown below are from the 1968 Filmation animated adaptation of "Fantastic Voyage", which ran on ABC TV from '68 to '70, and which was one of the better-done Saturday morning shows of its day.

By the way, the narration in the opening titles is provided by the late Mr. Ted Knight, whom you probably know best as either Ted Baxter from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", or Mr. Rush from "Too Close For Comfort", who not only provided narration for this show, as well as the voice of the show's team commander, Jonathan Kidd, but who did voices for at least two other Saturday morning shows in the mid-'60's through early '70's.

Lastly, the closing titles, with the ominous reiterations of the show's theme, combined with the sound effects of the various machines operating with no controllers about, and the visuals, make for one of the most effectively creepy and memorable end titles for any film or television project I've ever seen.

Anyhow, enjoy and be seeing you.

Opening titles:

Closing titles: