WEDNESDAYS WORDS

“And if you heard I was celebrating… it’s a world wide lie!”
—Public Enemy

WEDNESDAYS WORDS is a new weekly installment that ranks the most interesting, intriguing books of the week (old, new, reissues, digital, etc). Contributors represent a variety of genres and sources. Each book includes Title and publisher blurb.


Declaration Of Independence, Constitution Of The United States Of America, Bill Of Rights And Constitutional Amendments [Paperback]
Book Description
Publication Date: June 24, 2012
A compilation of important American government documents including the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States of America, the Bill of Rights and all amendments to the United States Constitution. An excellent educational reference tool to have on hand.
Declaration Of Independence, Constitution Of The United States Of America, Bill Of Rights And Constitutional Amendments


Civil Disobedience and Other Essays (Dover Thrift Editions) [Paperback]
Henry David Thoreau (Author)
Book Description

Publication Date: May 20, 1993 | ISBN-10: 0486275639 | ISBN-13: 978-0486275635
Thoreau has inspired generations of readers to think for themselves and to find meaning and beauty in nature. This sampling includes five of his most frequently read and cited essays: “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” (1849), “Life without Principle” (1863), “Slavery in Massachusetts” (1854), “A Plea for Captain John Brown” (1869) and “Walking” (1862).
Civil Disobedience and Other Essays (Dover Thrift Editions)


Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Signet Classics) [Mass Market Paperback]
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Publication Date: June 7, 2005 | Series: Signet Classics

One of the most important documents in American history…In this wrenching, classic autobiography, Douglass describes himself as a man who became a slave—and, later, a slave who became a man. With an Introduction by Minister Peter J. Gomes of Harvard University.

Review
“Having consistently used the book for almost a decade, I can say that it remains the most popular of my required books. The introduction places Douglass in a historical context comprehensible to undergraduates and offers students shrewd insights into how he drafted his autobiography.”
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Signet Classics)


The Communist Manifesto and Other Revolutionary Writings: Marx, Marat, Paine, Mao Tse-Tung, Gandhi and Others (Dover Thrift Editions) [Paperback]

Book Description
Publication Date: January 15, 2003
Spanning 3 centuries, this works include such milestone documents as the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789), and The Communist Manifesto (1848). Also included are writings by the Russian revolutionaries Lenin and Trotsky, Marat and Danton of the French Revolution, Rousseau, Gandhi, Mao, other leading figures in revolutionary thought.
The Communist Manifesto and Other Revolutionary Writings: Marx, Marat, Paine, Mao Tse-Tung, Gandhi and Others (Dover Thrift Editions)


The WEDNESDAYS WORDS column is a new blog feature, appearing (you guessed it!) every Wednesday. Come back next week to see which books make the list!

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Some memorable, one might even say memorial, movie quotes

Okay this gets a bit weirdy and ranty, so if you don’t want weirdy and ranty, skip this post and come back tomorrow when I’ll be discussing the finer arts of moose calling or some-such nonsense. 🙂

Okay… you’ve been warned.


The White Cliffs Of Dover DVD


“God will never forgive us, if we break faith with our dead again”

— Irene Dunne in her favorite film role (I concur) 1944’s THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER, set in a world at war, fighting to end future wars. Hoping the sacrifice of young lives would end there.


Short Night of Glass Dolls DVD

“It’s not Mira. Mira was a rebel. She refused sex and gold when everybody else here was lured with them, We use them as bait the whole world over. Sex and Gold. They are important because they suppress the will to resist.”

–In Aldo Lado’s surprisingly haunting and still relevant 1971 film… SHORT NIGHT OF THE GLASS DOLLS, written in a world beset with wars civil and colonial.

“The oldest person beats the drum, and the youngest go to battle. We will hold the reigns of power in the world as long as there are people willing to be killed, willing to shed their own blood. And nothing must ever be changed.”

— SHORT NIGHT OF THE GLASS DOLLS [for my full review go here]

I like those quotes. Good quotes from good films.

With an election year upon us, I’m always mightily aware of politicians and posturing.

And I’m always distinctly aware, I’ve heard it before.

Every lie before they say it. A memorial of lies one might say.

How about we try this crazy thing, instead of just remembering the ones who have died, always a worthy goal, let’s do our bit and reduce the number of people we send to join them this year, and next year, and the year after.

How’s that for a worthy memorial to war? An end to all current and future war. An end to young people dying for the posturings of old people.

Be those young people American, or Iranian, or Somalian, or Haitian, or Guatemalan…let’s consecrate ourselves to some new way, some better way, some civilized way… to live, that does not involve pitting our young people against each other in conflicts, real life Hunger Games, that they have not the slightest idea of why they are fighting.

So I’m putting on the ballot a new way to fight wars… the big mouths in this country who have a problem with big mouths in another country, the congressmen, the owners of papers, the columnists, the heads of corporations, the religious zealots, and the talk radio idiots, everyone who is quick to have others kill and torture for them… you go fight the war.

Let’s try that.

All in favor, raise your hand. 🙂 .

Let’s let the 20 and 30 year olds stay home, eff their brains out, get back to some of that age of Aquarius loving (before the 80s came to get them on the ‘me’ kick), and let them run the country.

And all you senators, all you justices, all you presidential candidates… you’ve had your time at bat, and you’ve made a perpetually regenerating and increasing mess of it…. so yeah you old, chairman of the board, want to be in charge f**ks, put on some fatigues, fill up that rucksack and you go fight the wars.

But no remote control drone bombing raids, no satellite directed death from above, no weather modification toys, no dropping mines in playgrounds (what kind of animal signs off on that? You do my friends. With every tax dollar you pay and flag you wave. You do, when you say ‘yes sir’ to terms like war power acts, and patriot acts, and laughable misnomers like homeland security… you do, we do. We did. Not anymore), not even any nuclear subs or good old grunts on the ground. No, we don’t give you any of that to wage war with, none of your cowardly, expedient toys to turn countless people into your faceless collateral damage, instead just a cage match with you old, hateful, fat f**ks in a cage with other old, hateful, fat f**ks.

We’ll give you some boxing gloves, maybe even a club or two, and you guys go at it. Work it out. Get along or kill each other, but either way, the world would be a lot better if you old manifest destiny, new world order, ‘woodrow wilson’ idolizing mfers would just die.

Because honestly, you effers have had your day, and all we have seen since the industrial revolution, is more of the same. The rich few get richer, and the rest of the people and the planet, gets raped and used up until we are clinging to a burnt out dying ball of rock.

What is the good of all your imagined power then you dumb f**ks?!!

The world can’t afford doing the same insanity that got us here, to this point, and expecting a different result. In fact that’s the definition of insanity, trying the same thing, and expecting a different result.

So give it to the young.

The world… give it to the young. They might eff up, they might not. They might find a different way, a better way. They’ll at least fall down going forward, going toward something new, which is more than any of you old ingrained effers have done in the last century and a couple decades, of mounting genocide.

Hell, maybe young people, devoid of you old people riding them to ensure they make your comfortable, beloved mistakes, they’ll even make a REAL democracy out of America, instead of a tyranny dressed as capitalism.

And as far as you old dudes and dudettes, you seekers or power and despoilers of wisdom, when you die, which is sad but more than likely a probability, that whole ‘live by the sword, die by the sword’ thing, we’ll grill a hot-dog or hamburger to you on the next memorial day.

Really we will.

Happy memorial day. 🙂

Price The White Cliffs Of Dover

Price Short Night of Glass Dolls

Why do you care if Avengers, or Dark Knight Rises, or Prometheus in Imax 3D makes a boat-load of Money?

As I’m wont to do, I tend to keep abreast of the entertainment news, specifically film. One thing I’ve been hearing quite a lot in the wake of the Avengers film is talk of it making over a billion dollars. And I listen to the fervor and sense of ownership all these writers and pod-casters are going on with about this financial mark. And I have to ask ‘Why’?

I mean I enjoy the Avengers movie, as much as anyone, arguably more than most people will in 6 months. By that I mean it’s an interesting hive mind approach that occurs in popular films as well as other things, where people’s steadfast belief in whether a movie is good and bad fluctuates with the slightest derision or the popular opinion of the day.

AVENGERS was and is a great movie full stop. Pacing wise, action, wise, story wise. But now barely two weeks into its release you hear a few people say, “oh well the first half was slow”, and people I heard broadcast not even a week ago how great the film was, begin to backpedal and parrot “Oh well the beginning was a little slow”. We live in a monopolized society where the individual is so scared to have an unpopular opinion, to the point that a lot of their opinions generally are not worth the breath they take to say it, or the paper they take to write it.

They have the spineless nature of slugs.

Same change of opinion (but to both a lesser and greater degree) happened to the Bryan Singer film SUPERMAN RETURNS. First week, people came out raving and loving that film. The Airplane scene, the bullet to the eye. It was a solid very good movie. But less than a week later, people began picking up the mantra of ‘why’s the kid there’ and ‘lex again’ and ‘Lois’. And you could see the ship of public opinion so to speak, turn. And people who initially were overjoyed about the film, started backpedaling, “Well, yeah I didn’t really say it was good.”. Until now a few years later people routinely call that movie awful and one of the worst.

It’s something I’ve noticed, Something that is not just American, because I’ve listened to enough British pod-casters do the same thing. So many are seemingly so afraid to hold an opinion derided or frowned upon or be seen cherishing something not embraced by their ‘friends’ or even their ‘enemies’.

It’s a lack of conviction, to anything you believe. Obvious symptoms of a propagandized population, so used to embracing any lie, that will keep it from having to alone, look at uncomfortable truths.

So yeah, when I say I enjoy the AVENGERS more than most people will in 6 months, that’s not me having you on, it’s just a fact. I’m not swayed by the mob.

I thought SUPERMAN RETURNS was a fun, solid B movie when I first saw it, and I still think so. I think AVENGERS is a brilliant, surprisingly so, Grade A movie today, and will think the same thing 5 years from today, when most of you have been pushed far afield of any opinion you may have had on the film.

I mean there’s nothing wrong with changing your opinion, if it’s your change, your growth, your adaptation. But that’s not what’s happening. What’s happening is a propagandized population taught by the media to have no constants, no ideals, no values, that will not be torn down; have learned to make their opinions on shifting sands, always ready to be remade at the slightest rise of the tide.

Superman Returns [Blu-ray] 2008 Remastered Version

Which brings us back to the original concern. Why are you celebrating or in any manner cheering the AVENGERS making over a Billion dollars?

Beyond just financial interest, I could care less if the movie breaks even, does 400 million, or does a billion. Honestly I don’t really have a stake in it if it loses money.

Of course liking the film, it’s nice if it doesn’t bomb, for the simple fact it would be nice to see more films by a competent director like Joss Whedon.

But it’s not a passion, I don’t have a dog in this fight. If I’m the studio, or someone with a percentage share in the film, hell yeah I’m celebrating every dime it makes. Or in the days when people from your neighborhood actually owned movie theaters and that blockbuster money actually cycled locally, rather than just getting funneled out of the community to make fat cats fatter, I might be happy.

But none of that is the case. I don’t personally know a single person who is in any way going to profit, by making a monopolized studio and theatrical system a billion dollars richer. All this did is take a billion dollars from a lot of little pockets, and put it into a very few big pockets.

Now I’m not making a deal on that. I went to see the movie like everyone else, but you can be damn sure I’m not celebrating this state of affairs either.

AVENGERS makes a billion dollars, okay. I accept it as a fact. But honestly, until such time as those funds and profits get distributed to real theaters and real people (a billion dollars, hell you can afford to hire real projectionists, pay the ushers, and ticket takers a real wage, get real popcorn and healthy drinks, etc, etc…but you’ll drop dead waiting for that money to trickle down. In fact all the studios can talk about is reducing costs at the local level and maximizing profits by digitizing everything), I have no interest in celebrating billionaires becoming bigger billionaires.

Beyond a movie breaking even to keep a good director or actor I like viable, that’s where my interest in what a film makes or does not make… ends. Some people were complaining because TRANSFORMERS:DARK OF THE MOON was a box office success. Who cares? I personally don’t get the Michael Bay hate, but as we’ve established I don’t follow the crowd.

Michael Bay is a talented director who puts bodies in seats. Some films of his I like, some I don’t. I loved his first film BAD BOYS, and loved his last film DARK OF THE MOON (which the end of the AVENGERS was more than a little like) and in-between like any other director he has been hit and miss. But even the movies I don’t like I don’t wish them ill at the box-office. What sense does that make?

If you don’t like a movie, does that mean everyone has to wish it ill and hate it as well? Does that mean you have to begrudge it its success?

I personally hated Nolan’s first Batman movie, and thought his DARK KNIGHT while better, was still flawed and over-hyped. So not really a Nolan fan, but I don’t begrudge his films their success. As stated, what Billionaires do or don’t make.. not concerned.

When some of that tremendous profit begins cycling back into the communities, well then that will be something to feel pride and ownership of.

Viewing the Present through the Past

I’m in the mood to rant. Those of you who’ve been with me a while know I do that from time to time. Some of you, the more insane, even love me for it. A few of you pat me on my head, and abide me my rants.

For those in the mood, not to love or to abide, then I would say…. run.

Come back tomorrow, the fit of truth will have passed, and I will be a cuddly clown again, cooing and capering for pleasures… cloying.

But right now, like Lovecraft’s mad apocryphal Arab, Abdul Alhazred, the fit is on me. Sometimes the blood seeps into my eyeballs, the blood of all those we are killing… and it is either speak or die.

So the words will have their say….

Everyday

Everyday I wake up, I ask myself if I’m on the side of the angels

Every single day.

I don’t take it for granted I am.

On the side of the angels I mean.

Most people take it for granted, that they were right yesterday, and will be right today and tomorrow. Particularly Americans. Americans are always so sure that they are right, adamant of their right before they do something so glaringly wrong. No nationality in the history of the world has ever been so documented in their lies not just against other nations, but lies against their own citizens. America has repeatedly and consistently been wrong about yesterday, yet continues to follow the same wrong path through ever more bloody todays and tomorrows.

As if true choice, and true change were concepts America steered away from long ago, and no longer even sees.

I don’t take it for granted that in the night, the causes I love have not been invaded by the causes I loathe, And the things I adore, have not been replaced by what I despise

That is the nature of evil

It sheds its skin

It is ever changing, ever moving

And you must be on guard

Ever on guard

And guided not by stagnant allegiances

But by the fruit of your present tree. That is the constant question you must challenge everyone and everything with. What are your actions sowing? If they are things you fear to show, and fear to acknowledge, then your fruit is rotten, and your tree withered.

And the only sane thing to do, is to cut down the old… and to plant a new tree.

But god… are we fond of the old.

I think of that generation that stood around when Christianity called burning people righteous.

I think of that generation that stood around when Christianity called slavery holy.

I think of that generation that stood around when Christianity called Jews an abomination.

I think of that generation that stood around when Christianity cheered killing Arabs to save them.

And of that generation, that is ever changing and always unchanged, I would say simply

If people die at the end of the day… perhaps it be not Christianity, but something else.

Something that wears the skin of righteousness but not the heart.

Perhaps Rome never relinquished herself to Daniel’s Christians

Perhaps Rome, the idealogical not the geographical, survived

The only way evil ever does endure

by hiding

by changing

by subverting

Like klansmen and scorned ex- slaveholders invading Lincoln’s party post the Reconstruction,

Making of the Republican party

Making of the Party of Tolerance and Abolition

That which it was not.

A party of bigotry and landholders (that is not an insult, that is history and verifiable fact in the wake of the reconstruction)

Perhaps in this same way Rome, the religion of Rome

Rome, the ancient

Survives under the guise of the religion it hated

Even to the naming of the days of the week

And not keeping the Sabbath

So Be ever mindful Christian soldiers

Marching as to war

That you have been

led astray
bamboozled
hoodwinked

And be wary
lest the cause you fight for my Christian Brothers
is the one you should be armed against

When even the Dream…

Well I hope everyone has had a great Friday and is gearing up for a great weekend. Though part of me, the cynical part says… how great can it be.

I’m going to ramble for a while, I’m in a rambling mood. Those of you who don’t want to be rambled at… walk away, come back tomorrow. I’ll be nice and fluffy and kind to kittens and talk about movies or books or music or somesuch.

But today, I want to ramble….

The cynical part of me says that maybe, just maybe, in an America where every damn thing is made in China (and I say that having nothing against China, beyond the obvious common sense… that says a nation that does not employ its own or produce its own, is not long for being a Nation),

—in an America where wages are down, and gas prices are astronomical, and yet the untaxed gasoline companies such as Shell and Exxon are swimming in record profits,

— where American citizens are being taxed into poverty to pay for wars domestic (the unending drug war still being America’s most profitable domestic war) and foreign, and in an America where the profits of such land grabs are used toward faster and more automated ways for killing people and toppling nations,

—and in an America where those funds are further used to build middle east Dubai pleasure nations, for the rich and corrupt to vacation in when the streets of America flow in blood boot deep, and even the dream of liberty lies screaming, when even the dream lies screaming

—in an America where offshore concentration camps are alive and well, that in such an America….

my concern is that all our great days are behind us.

At least that’s what they are selling. They are selling hard the fall of the dream of America, our attorney generals, and congressional shills, and captains of industry, and paid CNN and Fox talking heads, all those who are feeding us the lie of liberty, and sending our children out in the world to enforce tyranny, to build empire, to give to the rich… more riches, to complete a new world order…of master and slave.

And all that stands in the way of it, is this dream, is this illusion, is this hope, is this promise, that America has feverishly failed to live up to, but has it in its bones…to rise to. All that stands in the way of it… is this America.

Not the America of the politicians, the Obamas and the Romneys who would sell the calcium from your children’s teeth to make 2 cents more for their billionaire masters, not the America of the conglomerates, the Disneys, and the Time Warners and the Sonys who want even your dream of dissent to go away, not the America of your lies, but an America that says no to FOX News, no to CNN, no to programming, no to propaganda, no to the MPAA, no to the RIAA, no to congress as an enforcement arm of movie studios, no to push button wars, no to easy enemies, and constant terrors, no to an end of liberty.

Every other nation is falling like dominoes. Embracing America’s mad cancer of corporate subservience. So ironic isn’t it that all that stands between a World’s worst hour and her finest… is the source of the madness, is the America that they have divided, lied to, poisoned, sold, raped, impoverished, and brutalized. They our congress, they our corporations. But we’re still here, you and I, and the dream.

And we scare them.

We scare them deeply.

Us nothings, us nobodys. And these billionaires cannot sleep for want of trying to silence every single voice, and close every single loophole, that reminds them of all the blood they’ve spilled.

It’s funny that no matter how high you build your fortress, how far into the clouds, how lavishly you ordain it, what is ever present in your mind, is that brick, allllllll the way at the bottom of this fortress, this pyramid you’ve built, and the fear that one of those ants, at the bottom of your glorious monument, your works, will notice all the blood on that brick, and will pull on it, and it shall all come crumbling down.

It’s a thought I take comfort in, the more they ramp up the oppression. Because it’s a sea-saw, the more they push down, the more they raise us up.

Case in point…

Thousands of websites went dark last year and stayed dark. Countless more blogs. For one bogus reason or another. They want the same relative media saturation and uniformity of opinion on the internet as they have in the mass media press. They want no more SOPA defeats. No more… ramblings from the edge.

No more American patriots.

They want to shut down dissent, but all they will do, in the fullness of time and by the grace of God, whatever God you bend your knee to, … is raise us all up.

Here endeth the lesson. 🙂 .

PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID and Walks across Hell

BILLY: You know, I believe ole Pat has lost his sand.

DEPUTY BELL: You ought not to talk about him that way. You and him used to be pretty close.

BILLY: He ain’t the same man… He signed himself over to Chisum and every other goddamned landowner that’s trying to put a fence around this country. Hell that’s what you been doing, ain’t it, Bell? Selling us out and getting fat.

Which version of PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID should you see?

You didn’t know there were multiple versions? Unfortunately there are.

This is why I dislike multiple versions of a film. A film is a touchstone to a culture, it’s one of those key moments where you could say ‘I saw Star Wars’, and all of you can agree what the movie was, and what scenes you loved. You can have a conversation based on a shared cultural memory, a shared moment that in the crosstalk, connects us across time and across class or ethnicity or gender. That’s the very core of culture, these communal touchstones that bind us. That bind us all.

“Billy they don’t like you to be so free.”

And multiple versions of a film take away from us having this easy cultural shorthand with each other. Because the films and the moments that should bind us may not be there, depending on the version of the film we saw.

PAT GARRET AND BILLY THE KID unfortunately is like that. Depending on which version you see will determine if you walk away thinking it’s a masterpiece or overrated, bordering on inane.

There’s the TURNER MOVIES 1988 cut that finally restored the movie to its full length, and then there is the inexplicable 2005 version.

Avoid watching the 2005 version first, as your introduction to the movie, as it is… in ways deep and decisive, a betrayal of what the film is (If you listen to the commentary on the 1998 version, by ‘experts’ on Peckinpah that I typically find interesting, you hear the art by committee, art by consensus, ‘back seat’ driving and editing that leads to the butchered 2005 version. People who confuse being fans of a creative person, with being able to create in that person’s name. And as the 2005 version shows, that’s just not the case). Let’s just take the opening scene as an example, where, if you lose the power of that… you might as well just turn the movie off.


Jailer: Repent you son of a bitch.

Billy: Sweet Jesus I repent.

Jailer: Not till you taste the fear of the lord! I’ll show you! I’ll take you for a walk across hell on a spider web.

—(This is one of the great iconic lines of the film, of any film, and the actor (not the writer) came up with it, similar to how Rutger Hauer added the best line in BLADE RUNNER, the monologue about ‘tears in rain’. And the above line, “A walk across hell on a spider web” is completely cut out of the 2005 edit. Whoever the moron or morons are who are responsible for the 2005 version they should never work in film… ever. In fact I would sign off on a good stoning! 🙂 It’s one of multiple lines they either change, or yank out of the film. Unbelievable that someone could think they were doing anything but butchering the film by making these changes. Amazing.)

The 2005 version cuts the heart out of that first scene. The risqué joke that Billy and Pat share, removing some of the pauses and freeze frames, and shortening the conversation, and cutting out the pivotal final exchange of:

“he’s my friend”
“he aint no more”
“I reckon”

That exchange, the moments between those lines, and Billy’s quiet acknowledgment that times may indeed… have changed, is essential to the next scene and the rest of the movie.

It’s like they want to rush the movie, and that flies against the very heart of the film. Allegories and myths should not be rushed.

It’s a film about the pauses, what is not said between characters, it’s about a jail-break staged unlike any jail-break in any film, ever. Where it’s not about the jail break, it’s about a town, and a time, and a song, and a held moment of myth. It’s about the history that these two… once friends, share. That story is told in much that the 2005 version cuts out.

It’s a film that lives in the pauses.

“She was laughing like the devil when I caught her, but she was smiling when I left her.”

PAT GARRET AND BILLY THE KID is, in the purest sense of the word an existential movie, a movie (not a biography, Peckinpah is not interested, and neither are we, in the reality of these men, but in the mythology, in the romance) that is not about rushing to the next scene, but a movie that in the pauses and in the held shots says something about existence; and the 2005 edit of the film, doesn’t want to give it the time… to exist.

I’m saying avoid the 2005 edit, and stick to the 1988 Turner version with all those scenes still there (Both versions are available in the same box set available here, just make sure to watch the 1988 version).

To see any other version of PAT GARRET AND BILLY THE KID is not to see it at all.


BILLY: To ole Pat. Sherrif Pat Garrett, sold out to the Santa Fe Ring. How does it feel?

PAT: It feels like… times have changed.

BILLY: Times maybe, not me.

SONG OF THE DAY: DIXIE CHICKEN by FEAT and The Quintessential American writer

“And then he started to play. He felt his way slowly through the chords of the song once and listened to the deadened hush as it fell over the room. He used the slide to squeeze out the melody of the song that he had grown up hating, the song the whites had always pulled out to remind themselves and those other people just where they were. Daniel sang the song. He sang it slowly. He sang it feeling the lyrics, deciding that the lyrics were his, deciding that the song was his. Old times are not forgotten… He sang the song and listened to the silence around him. He resisted the urge to let satire ring through his voice. He meant what he sang. Look away, look away, look away, Dixieland.

—from THE APPROPRIATION OF CULTURES, one of the many stories in Percival Everett’s essential short story collection DAMNED IF I DO-A Razor keen dissection of the part that symbols play in our lives, and about owning them or being owned. Endlessly re-readable. A+. And I realize now, after years of reading Percival Everett what he is, he is the frontier spirit, he is the soul of the open spaces, he is brother to Twain, and all those who would not be fenced in. He is the quintessential American writer.

Damned If I Do: Stories

Image Copyright Percival Everett

And a perfect lead in, to the following:

SONG OF THE DAY: DIXIE CHICKEN by FEAT

I’m not by any means a Dixieland fan, but this is a rollicking song.

Google’s Android Tablets vs Apple’s IPAD2, Microsoft, Oracle, British Telecom, Ebay!

Who would have thought that I would be on Google’s side on anything, much less feeling sorry for them.

But true to the axiom the enemy of my enemy is my friend, that’s exactly where I am at with Google, at this point in time.

The Android platform came onto 2011 like a breath of fresh air, and its meteoric rise gave the mobile market something it hasn’t had in many a year… choice, and true competition, relief from the Apple Juggernaut.

But that choice came at a price… Namely a feeding frenzy of the most powerful companies in the world all deciding to destroy the Android Platform, Google, itself no lightweight, finds itself having to deal with no less than 6 Mega-Massive Lawsuits, from companies with revenues in excess of billions of dollars each.

The companies lined up to protect their entrenched, monopolistic and consumer enslaving business models and technologies are Oracle, Apple, Microsoft, Ebay, GeMalto and as of today British Telecom. And that’s just counting the ones suing that are valued over a billion dollars.

You add them all together and you have as stated… a bloody feeding frenzy.

With companies using flawed to the point of destructive Software Patents, to stifle innovation and destroy competition.

These Goliath’s don’t want to win customers through creating better products, heaven forbid, they want to sue, and legislate and license and otherwise utilize “Al Capone style” Protection racket schemes, to sell the American people and the world… only their product. Typically overpriced, often severely crippled products. Take the Ipad that is lacking basic design features such as USB and HDMI and SD ports, and it’s only the competition of Android (which does offer these ports) that is making Apple have to address these glaring omissions on their tablet in each successive new model.

So again I’ve had, and had my share of problems with Google, their search engine and email and pretty staggering abuses of privacy and personal freedoms, from digitizing and uploading massive amounts of books, to the detriment of authors and publishers, to extreme methods of uncovering and mapping public and private networks/wi-fi hotspots, to generally being one of the privacy problems on the Internet rather than one of the solutions.

So imagine my surprise that it is Google, for self serving needs to be sure, that through the android platform, offers us, the consumer, the best chance at real choice and real innovation to hit the technology scene in decades. Android isn’t perfect, it’s in its infancy, and as Carrier IQ and malwaqre scare show, it has growing yet to do. I’d like it to get the chance to grow.

And further, Google’s Android platform, in an economic environment that has been going from depression to depression, has actually been allowing businesses to flourish in a way we have never seen in the mobile market. That competition thing again, that is the first excitement, and first upswing in terms of substantial new products, and new players we’ve seen in the market, the first good sign in the economy.

And the Goliaths rather than wanting to compete, and win or lose based on product merit in a flourishing everybody makes money environment, seek instead to sue the Android Platform into a coma, and all the watershed business, and economies of scale, and diversity, and yes choice… that has built up around it… sue them out of business. And continue an economic outlook and policy, that further disenfranchises the bulk of people and companies, in favor of a very few companies and a very few people. Moving ever quicker to an unsupportable age of masters and slaves. And I tell you now, in that age… when the poor man has nothing left to lose… the fall for the rich…. shall be steep.

Apple particularly has been blatant and disgusting in their global attempt to monopolize the mobile market. To allow this monopolization and indeed chilling of innovation and competition is to sign the death warrant of liberties both subtle and gross in America and in the world. It is to Grandfather these six companies in… not as providers of services and technologies to customers, but as imposed entities, protection rackets, selling their products to the American people and the world at the barrel of a lawsuit.

It cannot stand.

And not only is Google the sole large capital company to defend open source, but they are also one of the few big cap companies to battle the media provider rape of the American people that is this horrendous SOPA Bill now, brokered by the same companies suing Google, winding it’s way into law in our congress. Which once done will make freedom of speech on the Internet, like competition, an endangered species.

Find out where your representative stands on this ‘Patriot Act level of wrong’ bill.

Tell them today to oppose the SOPA bill.

So as odd as this is for me to say, I’m rooting for Google, not just to win all six court cases and get to maintain a non-crippled Android, but further to deal a death blow to this horrible ‘its time is passed’ concept of Software Patents.

The enemy of my enemy being in this case… my friend.

All I had to say.

For more on all this go to Eff.

Now go… Defend something. While you’re able.

BBC, BBC America, Doctor Who and an outrageous Season 3 DVD Set!!

I have to tell you, I just got the US boxset of Doctor Who SEASON III (the one starring Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones), my favorite season of the new series, and the only one I think enough of to own in its entirety (Don’t get me wrong there are weak moments in this season, and bits from other seasons I like and think are great, it’s just as a whole I feel this season works the best), and while very happy with Season III’s episodes I’m not as happy with the special features, particularly the commentaries.

The BBC season DVDs are extraordinarily expensive, retailing at $80 per season in the US for only 13 episodes, calling that high-way robbery prices wouldn’t be too far off. BBCs pricing is rubbish.

And even though most of us can get it for less than retail, the fact remains if you’re going to justify that exorbitant retail price (you can get multiple seasons of most shows for that price or less) you need to offer more.

Namely you need to offer full cast DVD commentaries. This is David Tennant and Freema Agyeman’s journey, and people who love this season are buying to hear these great actors discuss and reminisce over that journey, so common sense would tell you to at the very least, have these two actors in the commentaries.

I’m always amazed how uncommon, common sense is.

Because these two show up together on the US release in exactly 0 episode commentaries. ZERO!

WTF is that?!!!

We do get commentaries, by various producers, and editors, and writers, but really the people you want to hear from most on these commentaries are absent, and it is a huge, effing glaring omission.

In addition to offering no Tenant/Agyeman commentaries, the special features are very light. Why just snippets of Doctor Who Confidential? Why not full episodes??

Christ, BBC you’re charging an arm and a leg for these boxsets, you can afford not to be cheap bastards.

So I’m very glad, I didn’t pay full price for this boxset, but even still… lacking decent cast commentaries I still feel more than a bit cheated. So I’d recommend (if you have a multi-zome player) avoid the BBC America DVD release and purchasing the UK version instead. At least you get (according to various sites) one Tenant, Agyeman, and Barrow commentary on the UK set, and it’s currently priced at 1/3rd the price of the US boxset. So even when you factor in shipping, it still screams deal to me. Man, US/Region 1 viewers are getting screwed. BBC America is rubbish!

So I guess that single episode 13 commentary (with all three stars) will have to do me until BBC grows some brains and decide to release proper full cast commentaries for this season.

So in closing, just say no to BBC America and their rubbish overpricing and heavy editing of episodes (and according to some, poor mastering of US/Region 1/A Blurays, read this). You’d be better off waiting for the UK DVD releases.

Here endeth my ranting for today.

British Riots, Mark Duggan, Crispus Attucks… and the beginning of the end

America has sold herself to sluts and hors of industry, to Disneys and Time Warners and Sonys. And all around us, liberty is rolling up her blanket and going home.

America has been called on account of rain.

In England the nation is racked by riots, set-off by the death of Mark Duggan by police. By all reports the assassination of Mark Duggan, activist… who sought a better England.

My mind, I don’t know why, ran to the the death of another young man and true, centuries ago… that set off riots that changed the face of the world.

A free man of color, a rabble rouser and rogue, and the most beloved man of the colonies.

He also died at British hands, by British ‘law’.

His name was Crispus Attucks.

The more we supposed bastions of democracy rain down hell and fire and tyranny on other countries, the more all that hurt, and hell, and war… though drowned by lies, though concealed by ‘unreality’ tv, though numbed by doctored news…through all this, do our sins abroad find us out here.

‘and if you hide it, even in your heart, there will I rake for it’ Henry the Vth’s message

All the sins we hide with our video games, our tv, our films, our songs… even the air we breathe, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive… all the sins we have allowed so we can drive to a job that does nothing to make the world better…

All those sins, have their hour. And they have their name. And they have their time.

Now.

It cometh now.

And God help us to meet it with some grace. To have the courage to choose. And the wisdom to choose wisely.