Sunday Open Thread

Quiet

Sunday Gospel

Saturday Open Thread

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R.I.P. -- Rowdy Roddy Piper

Not that I was much of a wrasslin’ fan in Hot Rod’s heyday (or now), but always found him more entertaining than his cohorts. 61 is gone way too soon these days, too. Prayers and condolences to his loved ones, family and friends.

Continue reading R.I.P. — Rowdy Roddy Piper

Last Five Watched

1. Nightcrawler

JGNightcrawler

Following the lead of Ryan Gosling in “Drive”, Jake Gyllenhaal produces and stars in this dark L.A.-based thriller. But while “Drive” was basically just a stylish but overrated artsy remake of “The Transporter”, “Nightcrawler” goes deeper, a potent satire of media sensationalism and blind ambition. Gyllenhaal gives an outstanding performance as Leo Bloom, a young sociopath with little humanity but plenty of drive to succeed (the script belabors this point by having him constantly talk in self-help clichés, which isn’t nearly as clever a character trait as the filmmakers think it is). By chance, he finds himself becoming a “stringer”, a freelance journalist who prowls the streets of L.A. at night filming crimes and selling them to the local media (personified by a soulless TV producer played by Rene Russo, in probably her best role since the ‘90s, giving us a 21st century take on Faye Dunaway in Network).

As Leo’s new career flourishes, he progressively gets closer and closer to the crimes he films, until the line between spectator and participant begins to blur – after all, it’s a lot easier to cover the news if you help make it yourself, right? Then he gets a little too close for comfort during the movie’s intense, bravura climax, in which not only his life is at stake, but his very soul (assuming he even has one).

The satirical points the film makes about the mainstream media’s glorification of violence aren’t exactly subtle, but they’re stinging and effective. Note, for instance, how Russo’s character instructs Leo to bring her footage of crimes that fit a certain narrative of class or racial struggle. This is something a lot of people don’t seem to get: that the media is not as simple as “if it bleeds, it leads”. It’s about who’s bleeding, and how can that fit the narrative we’re trying to push? Ahem, for example.
Continue reading Last Five Watched

When Coach Taylor speaks/inspires ...

… you damn well better listen.

This Afternoon’s Broadcast is brought to you by…

The Police. I see you sent my letters back…

Charlie or Kanye?

charliekanye
Who said it? Charlie Manson or Kanye West?

1. “Nothing in life is promised except death.”
2. “No sense makes sense.”
3. “I’m like a machine. I’m a robot. You cannot offend a robot.”
4. “I can’t judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in.”
5. “One day the light will shine through, and one day people will understand everything I ever did.”
6. “Everything I’m not made my everything I am.”
7. “The real strong have no need to prove it to the phonies.”
8. “I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud nonreader of books.”
9. “I don’t know what ‘my way’ is. Everybody keeps telling me I got all these things. I read the other day where I had magical powers. I told everybody in the chapel ‘Zap, zap, zap, zap!’ I said ‘Where’s my magical powers at?’ Well, you can’t believe what you read in the press. I ain’t got no magical powers or mystical trips or anything like that. It’s kind of silly.”
10. “I live and breathe every element in life.”
11. “There’s all kinds of Jesus. There’s a black Jesus down in Florida, he’s having a good time. There’s a Mexican Jesus down in Mexico, I mean there’s all kinds of Jesus. There’s a Jewish Jesus.”
12. “The media crucify me like they did Christ.”
13. “When someone comes up and says something like, ‘I am a god,’ everybody says ‘Who does he think he is?’ I just told you who I thought I was. A god. I just told you.”

Answers to this psycho quiz here.

Friday Open Thread

From the Trailer Park - Black Mass (#2)

That’s it, I’m re-reading the eponymous source book, starting tonight … or finally start watching Out of the Furnace. One or the other.