Random String of thoughts

Taking a slice out of Logtar’s brain can be both difficult and confusing. I thought I would document a string of thought that I had last night and see if at the end anyone follows. I started reading The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. One of my coworkers, whom I went to lunch with about a month back, told me that the book was grand. I told him the movie was somewhat incoherent and at times dumb. I totally missed the British humor on that one, which by the way I love, if that is what it was. He insisted that the books were weird but still funny. He then watched the movie, after our conversation and agreed with me that it was crap. I have never said on my blog crapfully yours, which I should have. Shame on me.

A couple of weeks ago he brought the book in to work so I could borrow it, but I did not start it right away because I was in the middle of reading another book based on a movie. Which brings me to another point, the next generation Playstation PS3, might include technology that will not let you play “borrowed” games. Meaning, you would not be able to swap games with a friend or even rent them. The technology has been patented, but at this point no one knows for sure if it will be in the new system.

Today we might go see Harry Potter 4, another book based on a movie. We did not get to see it this weekend because of the Lan Party, picking up a pool table and just overall craziness of our running around life. Getting back on the train of thought, I started reading the Hitchhikers book, and what do you know it is written by the same guy that started wrote for a season of Dr. Who.(see comments) The infamous Big Orange Michael addiction. I was reading the introduction to the book written by the actual author that attempts to put some perspective on his work with the theme. The has been radio broadcast, albums, TV shows and the books, all related to the subject but different and at times contradictory. So, I get to the part where he says he was starting a series called Dr. Who. I stop dead on my tracks and think. Should I read more (almost in a computer like voice ala Starship Troopers, would you like to know more?). I have plenty of hobbies right now, and that is not counting my interests which I could not even list in one day. Dr. Who. is just something that I leave to Michael to be a geek about… but is reading this book going to wake up an interest on this show. So far this guy’s writing has been excellent and keeps me interested and entertained. He uses simile like other authors I like but in an almost too sarcastic way that keeps you smiling if not laughing while you read.

So I take a break and decide to think about it further. While it might not seem like a big decision to must of you, to read a book or not, to me it can be a life changing experience. I have seen what has done to Michael and his life. I can compare that to the other addiction that I have successfully managed to stay away from MMORPG’s. I have had a couple of friends offer me free trials for games like UO, Everquest and the growing WOW. Which btw was blamed for the Dave Chapelle disappearance. I would love those games, I know I would, but I also know that my addiction for them would leave me without a personal life. Right now my current addiction, Counter Strike, is already taking up part of my sleeping time, but it has been worth it so far. So I will stick to FPS’s for now.

Fortunately or unfortunately, that remains to be seen, I continued reading the book. And let me tell you, only the introduction and a little of the first chapter into it and I am already loving it. His style of writing is very appealing to my sense of humor and overall insanity. So that is all for today on my random string of thoughts. Feel free to comment on any of them or start a string of thoughts from it.

Back to Work

I am not ready to start this week… even though it is a short one I could have done with another day off. The mini LANParty was excellent. The good news is that we now have a pool table :) that needs some TLC but will be awesome once is done, the bad news is that my back and arms felt what having a slate top means. Wow that’s heavy. Also got to watch a good movie that I heard about through friends, Equilibrium. If I have time tonight I will review it, it is worth watching Finally had a chance to finish the review.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (****)

I cannot believe how adult this book is. I also cannot believe that I did not read more as a kid, this book has been out forever and I never even knew about it. The only children’s book that I remember reading during my childhood was The Little Prince, which I have been meaning to get for Ty.

The book has an excellent story full of magic and mystery. In its short length it manages to develop a full story that unravels at just the correct pace except for the end that felt a little rushed. I felt the last chapter felt a little too much like the movies that hint to a sequel. Somehow the Harry Potter series has managed to do that in a way that I don’t feel bad about.

The story definitely had a very Christian undertone and almost a parable like feel to it. The themes throughout the story developed each character in such a way that they change to become something a lot better. Also I was surprised that it was not presented as they simply grew up, but that they actually changed traits in their personalities.

Without giving much away, there are many things that Lewis borrows directly from religion. The thought of redemption, forgiveness and doing things for the greater good is shown throughout the book. The sense of adventure is present enough to make you want to get to the next chapter.

I was also very interested in the sense of different magic, and the notion of almost the power of God being portrayed as very ancient powerful magic. There is a sense of right and wrong, and good and evil but they surprisingly coexist in an almost yin and yan balance. Nothings lasts forever, and I am very interested in reading the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia. I give this book full stars and think that you should check it out. It could be a fun library afternoon for sure.

buy at Amazon.com
, , , , , , ,

Sex, Drugs and Violence

One of the reasons I enjoy “foreign” films so much is because they seem to still center around the story. Hollywood has been disappointing me for quite some time. Instead of centering movies around the story, they place more emphasis on sex, drugs and violence. I understand how those three words are not just part of our vocabulary but part of our society, but why can we not center life around words like health, love and peace. Why is it that those three words do not have the same level of weight as work, fun or food those things are also necessary to our lives and just as much a part of it. It even bothers me more that we can all have a perfectly normal life without drugs or violence, yet they are so important to movies coming out of Hollywood. I would feel more comfortable if Hollywood used the imagery to denounce those negative things, but it bothers me when it seems like they try to make them cool.

Starting with sex. I have no problem with nudity, but pornography in a major motion picture is just a cheap attempt at making money. Sex and nudity are a common appearance in Television outside of the US, I grew up seeing breasts on the TV screen in Colombia, here in the US a little nudity here and there is considered taboo. Magazines and even some periodicals had nudity and it was not something to be ashamed of. In the American culture however, nudity is a hot button that Hollywood loves to press. It makes the youth in this country so hungry for it. The porn industry keeps on getting bigger and bigger every year. It really bothers me that so many movies that could tell a story so much better without the gratuitous sex, are tainted by scenes where nudity is at the center stage shown in a very cheap way. It is at times very degrading to women to the point that I feel Hollywood does not respect women’s sexuality. I find it laughable that so much censorship centers on this topic, not because I believe it should be a free for all, but because it should not be made into the big deal that it is. Remember the half time, Janet Jackson boob moment? Nudity for adults should be natural, beautiful, not something to be either ashamed of or overly excited to see in a movie. The reason to see a movie should not be because Halle Berry is going to show her breasts, which was the reason for so many to go see Swordfish. I did see the movie, but it was because it was supposed to be centered on a computer hacker, I bet you money that there were people that went to see it and did not even know it had so much to do with computers before they saw the film. I don’t even want to start with the portrayal of adultery on film, that is a whole other post. I know that sex sells, but does it really have to sell movie tickets instead of a solid plot?

When it comes to drugs, they are glorified to a level that is scary. While I do understand that the use of marijuana seems to be ok with a lot of the US population, I don’t think that it should appear so much in the movies along with other drugs that are taken very liberally. Taking drugs in some movies is shown as something as normal as lighting up a cigarette. Unless drugs are part of the story, I don’t see the need for a character to have to “light up” or “snort” drugs as if it is a common occurrence of every day life. While most people have sex, not everyone does drugs. Again, this completely sends the wrong message.

Violence is also at the center of Hollywood’s 3 kings. Some might disagree with me, but I think that the constant glorification of bad-mouthed violent characters in the movies does affect us as a society. Scarface has become this generation’s movie hero. Enter a teenager’s bedroom and you will most likely find an Al Pacino poster. I did enjoy the movie, who’s subject was drugs, sex and violence, I also laugh at the various jokes that stem from it (Say hello to my little friend!), what I don’t like is the glorification of a character that personified everything that is violence. In Asian film violence is portrayed in a very different way. Fight scenes serve the purpose of telling the story in a very beautiful choreographed way. Some violent scenes in Hollywood are so brutal that not only do they turn my stomach, but they are burnt into your mind permanently. I love the movie Rounders, but the “beat down” scene is still very hard to watch. Violence serves the purpose of telling the story and not just to complete a weak plot. Watching this kind of violence tends to desensitize us, it makes it easier to see it on TV and not be as shocked as we should be when we do see it in real life. While violence is today’s reality do you really think that is should play such an important role in today’s movies?

I believe that movies about those topics are relevant, and I still want to watch them. What I don’t agree with is the need to have almost every single movie I see have one of those elements present just for the sake of box office success. Why can’t a good storyline be what draws big audiences? Why can’t we make words like peace, love and kindness be what excites us to see a movie instead of the negative ones we now have put on top of the marquees?

, , ,