Archive for April, 2003

the few, the proud, the damp

Chest beating, he-man resolution, two hours ago:

Fuck this “waiting for it to actually get warm and/or clear” shit. It’s obviously never going to. I’m riding my bicycle everywhere starting now. Outta may way, inclement weather, I’m a-comin’ through!.
Slightly chagrined, extremely waterlogged, dirty-strip-up-my-ass-and-back resolution, 60 minutes later:
I am buying a rain fender for my back wheel first thing tomorrow.
As a side-note, it’s more difficult than you’d expect to make a chest-beating, he-man resolution when you’ve recently gotten an electric blue manicure.

Satisfied consumer postscript: the CourierWare shoulderbag that bought me (thank you!)…seven years ago now (?) continues to rock the goddamn bells. A solid hour of bicycling through city streets in the pouring rain. Several entire puddles dumped on my by passing taxis. The outside of the bag: dripping water by the cup. The inside: bone dry.

Wasting my time so you don’t have to.

When it comes to Kung Fu films, there is One Law, and only One:

The fights must not suck.
Everything else is negotiable. Cringe-inducing dialogue? Fine. Plot written by an autistic 7-year-old? No problem. Camera shots, characters and entire scenes stolen from other movies? Sure. Acting that’s beyond “wooden” and well into petrified? Not an issue…as long as the fights don’t suck.

Ladies and gentlemen, Bulletproof Monk has terrible dialogue. A worse plot. Scenes, characters and camera angles ripped off from other films. Acting that would have failed to pass muster in my high school’s drama club…

…and the fight choreography completely, totally sucks.

I could go into some detail about all the ways the movie was annoying, but it’s pointless: a chopsocky film stands or falls on its fight work, and there’s just nothing to see here. There’s a couple of interesting visual ideas (notably a fight on a glass platform that keeps getting smaller as its sub-panels are shattered), but none of them are executed with any grace. Every fight is a jittery, impossible-to-follow mess of jumpcuts: there’s practically not a single shot in any of the fights that’s held long enough to see a single move start and finish, and it’s impossible to tell whether this is just out of directorial incompetance or because they were trying to cover up the fact that none of the lead actors are actually martial artists.

I’m glad Chow Yun Fat is getting paid good money in America, but I really, really wish that someone could come up with better work for him than this crap.

how would we know if this was hell?

Well, I was going to try to write up a quick little recap of my amazing sleep-deprived adventures over the last two weeks, but then I saw this link from Warren Ellis’ blog and my blood pressure shot up to about 200 and my brain started leaking out my ears:

Children held at Camp Xray, US admits
The best part of this article, hands-down, is the understated use of the words “multiple” and “under.” Because without their careful use, it might take a few seconds less for the point to penetrate that we are holding fifteen-year-olds, plural as terrorists at Camp X-Ray.

Well, that certainly makes me feel safer. It’s good to know that al-Qaeda won’t be toiletpapering my yard any time soon.

tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

I used to think that I was obsessed with clocks. “Clock” wasn’t my first word, but it was among the first ten. (Seriously, ask my mom.) I used to spend hours as a child staring at the wind-up mantlepiece clock in my grandmother’s house, and to this day I find it impossible to pass by an old open-gear mechanical clock without staring at it for minutes on end. There’s just something compelling to me about them, from the tiniest digital watch to five-story Foucalt’s Pendulums.

So yeah, I like clocks a lot…but nowhere NEAR as much as this guy:

www.leapsecond.com

the real-life strongbad

Sigh. Ages overdue for an update here, but it’s not going to happen today. Working at a news company during a war is interesting, but time-consuming.

So, in lieu of any actual content, here’s a funny link, courtesy of memepool, who failed to make the obvious inferrence:

It’s the real-life Strongbad!

I must not think bad thoughts.

The following should not be mistaken for anything other than 3am, post-beer paranoia.

Follow the bouncing ball:

  1. The reason that the assorted US intelligence agencies (primarily the CIA) failed to notice the 9/11 attacks being plotted was, in my opinion, because far too many CIA operatives consider the ex-Mujahadeen that make up Al Qaeda’s organizational base to be their “old Afghan buddies” from the days when they were working together against the Soviets.

  2. There has not been, and likely never will be, a purge of the personnel in the intelligence services responsible for point #1.

  3. We are current irrecovably committed to a war for the purpose of removing…Osama bin Laden’s second-most-important regional enemy.

  4. Ergo…”Operation Iraqi Freedom” is aiding and abetting Al Qaeda.

Have a nice war!