Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Posted by the bekka

Hello friends. It's been a long time since I've posted. I'm listening to Brian Wilson live at the Roxy, and I've also been thinking about posting scans of some of my original collage art. So, this seemed to be an appropriate time to do so. I made this after Ross and I saw him perform Smile at the Hollywood Bowl, opened by the Polyphonic Spree. Brian - if you're reading this - you're an inspiration to me. The world wasn't always great to you, but you hung in there, and told us all about it through your music. I'll never feel alone as long as I have your songs. Thank you.

For Hank
Posted by Raznor

Six months ago, Echidne was kind enough to add a post on her blog for Brett, a family dog of mine and Ross's who passed away, at the age of approximately 15 (he was a stray when we got him back in 1992). Now she too has lost a dog. Go ahead and send her some of her sympathies.

Monday, March 27, 2006

V For Vendetta
Posted by Ross

What a strange film. I mean, it's the kind of film you have a hard time hating just because it breaks so many rules of conventional moviemaking, sticks it to the man in so many ways it's hard to keep track.

I mean, yeah, it's got the martial arts that keeps the kids in their seats, but you have to slog through endless scenes of talking heads explaining everything that's going on, because evidently that's the only way the Wachowskis know how to develop things like plot and character.

And you have to wonder if this is less a political sci-fi action/thriller, and more a coming out, a confessional if you will, of the Wachowskis' strange, creative, gothic sexual preferences: hot chick with a shaved head making out with a man in a mask. What is this, "Eyes Wide Shut 2"?

I'm not one of those guys that complains endlessly about actors doing accents not in their native tongue, but hearing Natalie Portman deliver her dialogue just reminded me of Charlize Theron's intentionally bad British accent in her hilarious stint on "Arrested Development" this season.

The scene that pretty much lost me as a viewer happened early on, when Portman has her first scene in the lair of masked weirdo V. Between the explain-it-all dialogue, Portman's accent, and Hugo Weaving delivering his flowery lines behind that silly mask, I was starting to feel claustrophobic.

And then there's the whole question about how V wages his revolution. I mean, as implausible as "Batman" is, you still sort of get a glimpse into how he makes all this possible, what with his great wealth, cool gadgets, hard-core training and loyal butler. But with V, he just kind of shows up and you never really have an idea how he's actually accomplishing any of these astounding feats. It's like, the bad guys are behind this fortress of security looking every which way to make sure they're not vulnerable to attack, and then they turn around and there's V, ready to kick some ass.

It's like the logic has been borrowed from a "Droopy" cartoon.

And yet, nowhere in mainstream popcorn movies are we seeing this kind of social commentary (however over-the-top and goofy it may be), and you've got to appreciate that.

In a way, "V For Vendetta" reminds me of those scattershot revolutionary films of the late-60s and early-70s. Call it "Billy Jack" meets "Zabriskie Point."

I wonder how a movie like this will look in 20 years. With an estimated $50 million budget, it could quite possibly stand as the most expensive experiemental film ever made.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Here's a crude comic I drew

Posted by Ross

The tombstone says: "Here lies some poor sap. Nobody cares."

The Dinosaur wearing the fez (because it's the future) is saying: "Hot damn, human fuel is cheap!"

Friday, March 24, 2006

That was quick
Posted by Raznor

So, apparently Ben Domenech can add to his resume that he worked for the Washington Post for less than one week.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

On the Blogosphere and the Twilight Zone
Posted by Raznor

If you've been reading the left blogosphere lately, you'll know that reputed asshole, racist, plagiarizing right winger Ben Domenech has been hired as a blogger by the newspaper that fucking brought down a president.

Anyway, August Pollak has written the best single post on the subject. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A lament for time and energy wasted
Posted by Raznor

So, I'm grading a project I assigned my students, that involves finding standard deviations for a different data set per student. So, since all I have is Mathematica, I've set up a sheet on Mathematica that, step by step, finds the standard deviation. First finding the mean by adding things up, then dividing, then typing a different calculation for the standard deviation each time. And as each student is finding 2-4 standard deviations, this is a huge pain.

Then I thought "Hey, wait, this is way too much work for a common mathematical calculation", so I look up standard deviation in the Mathematica help file, and sure enough, there's a command called StandardDeviation that does all the work described above for me. And here I have spent hours over the past three days trying to get this graded the hard way, when I probably could have cut my time in half, at least.

So the fact that things are going easier at the moment is the only consolation for what I just went through. Ah life.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekend Dog Blogging
Posted by Raznor

It snowed this weekend. And a lot. Hermes absolutely loved it, as you can see, but Gus had trouble getting around outside. Snow was just too deep for him. Too deep I say!

Anyway, here's some adorable pics. Enjoy!

Gus is a suspicious little dog.

Take that Gus!

Hermes enjoys the snow.

Gus is sleepy after a busy day.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Quick Note
Posted by Raznor

Today is Blog Against Sexism Day, I'll get something written.

I find the hardest thing about blogging these days is that I can't take how fucked up things are getting. So when Bush attempts to prosecute reporters and South Dakota passes its "Women are Livestock" abortion ban, rather than writing about it, I get horribly frustrated, depressed, then try to get on with my life so I can fucking function for the day.

I really should get back into the habit of converting rage to blog posts.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Weekend Dog Blogging
Posted by Raznor

Well, Gus is now a member of the household, and he and Hermes get along quite well, thank you very much. Here's the two of them chilling.

Hermes and Gus relaxing.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Political Dating Misadventures
Posted by Ross

So I’ve noticed ads for a dating site that’s specifically for liberals. I would assume, then, that there is also a dating site specifically for conservatives. It makes me wonder if the same company is running both. If it were, I could imagine mix-ups happening from time-to-time.

Our guy, the liberal (we’ll call him George), meets our eligible lady (we’ll call her Georgina), who happens to be conservative, at a Starbucks.

George: Hello there.

Georgina: Hello there, good to meet you.

George: Same here. It sure is great to meet someone who believes in the same exact political things I believe in. And you’re not bad looking to boot!

Georgina: Agreed. Do you want to get some coffee?

George: Oh yes, I’ve been looking forward to a grande triple chai mocacinno with whipped cream all day.

Georgina: You like the grande triple chai mocacinno with whipped cream?

George: I do.

Georgina: That’s my favorite drink. We have so much in common!

George: That’s why I only go out on dates with people who share the exact same political beliefs as myself. Speaking of which, did you hear the news today?

Georgina: About the president?

George: Yes, can you believe it?

Georgina: I know! Those people make me sick.

George: Me too! I’m so glad you agree with me on this.

Georgina: How could I not?

George: And can you believe what’s happening with the abortion issue?

Georgina: No, I can not. It’s the most stomach-churning, deplorable think in the whole wide world. And what about the gay marriage issue, can you believe what those people are doing?

George: It’s unbelievable what THOSE PEOPLE are doing. Have they no decency?

Georgina: Exactly. I’m so glad we agree on these things.

George: I agree. Making people wrong for their personal political beliefs helps me forget about my own crippling pain and depression!

Georgina: It’s THEIR FAULT that you’re depressed in the first place!

George: Exactly! I think I love you.

Georgina: I love you too. Let’s get married this very night so we can have sex without making the baby Jesus weep tears of pure acid!

George: Hahahahahaha! You’re funny.

Georgina: But… I wasn’t joking.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New Blog!!
Posted by Raznor

In response to these posts by the irreplaceable Atrios, I've started a new blog, that will have one and only one post in its life, which will be as long as it takes for me to get sick of seeing it listed as my blogs when I log into blogger.