Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Take pity on poor Donald Rumsfeld

Posted by Raznor

He will soon lose a dear friend.

Monday, December 25, 2006

"Vengeance is mine," quoth Alvis. Then he shot that guy right in the frickin' face.

Posted by Raznor

Here's hoping you and yours had a merry Feast of Alvis.

Quite possibly the happiest music video ever made

Posted by Raznor

Man, it's been a while since I've listened to Dave Matthews Band, but for some reason, I was suddenly reminded of this video. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Children of Men

Posted by Ross

This movie is so insanely fucking awesome.

These might be SPOILERS...

...but one thing I thought about was that this world in the movie could actually exist within the logical axis (if not the stated dates) of Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos, which simply happens to tell its story of worldwide infertility from a different part of the globe.

Also, as I hadn't known anything about the film before seeing it, I didn't know about those epic tracking shots, so I just found myself in the middle of one of those shots thinking, when was the last time there was an edit? A friend of mine who was at the film with the bekka and myself commented that this action-non-editing was sort of the opposite of the gold-standard Michael Bay a-million-edits-a-second style. And it's just so relentless to be on Clive Owen (with shaky hand-held; at one point the lens is even spattered with blood) and never cut throughout these horrific sequences. An edit in this case wouldn't make the scene more exciting, but would instead be something of a relief.

Music blogging

Posted by Raznor

So I recently went to see the Deck the Halls Ball here in Seattle. Eight bands were there, I stayed through 6 - in order: Pete Yorn, Angels and Airwaves, Jet, Gnarls Barkley, Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance. I regret not staying for The Shins, but at that point, I was beginning to worry about leaving the dog in my apartment.

Anyway, of the bands I hadn't really listened to before (those other than Yorn and My Chemical Romance) I was most impressed with Angels and Airwaves. Here's their video for "The War". Seriously, this is their video. Weird, huh?

The song is great, but man, dark as hell.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A question

Posted by Raznor

Inspired by this post by Nitpicker, I wonder: If someone from Al Qaeda released a video stating that the fact that America has indoor plumbing is a victory for jihadists, how soon would right wingers start advocating for outhouses?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Big surprise of the day

Posted by Raznor

In Georgia, a 17 year old boy was sentenced to 10 years in prison for consensual oral sex with a 15 year old girl. Here's a picture of the boy from his website:

Wow, what a surprise. Georgia has decided to destroy the life of a young black man. How much you wanna bet the girl was white? How come I looked at this case and in two seconds knew the boy was black?

This kid had no criminal record. He had good grades and was a good athlete. He had consensual sex with a girl 2 years younger than him. And now his life has been utterly destroyed. And why? Because he was black. You never hear of this sort of sentencing in the case of good ol' American whites having good ol' American heterosexual sex. But once you've offended the delicate sensibilities of the southern racists, you're screwed.

Bob Dylan said it best:

If you're black you might as well not show up on the street
Less you wanna draw the heat.

How sad that that's still as true today as when it was written.

You can sign a petition here.

Update: Scott at Lawyers, Guns and Money has more. The girl was in fact also black. The prosecutor was white. And, as zuzu points out, the jury didn't realize, when finding Wilson guilty, that the law held a minimum of 11 years in prison, 10 without parole. Also, zuzu points to why Wilson didn't take a plea bargain:

The prosecutor, David McDade, the district attorney in Douglas County, west of Atlanta, says he has repeatedly offered Mr. Wilson the opportunity to resolve the case with a plea deal, adding that he would have to be treated similarly to the other defendants in the case, who are serving five- to seven-year prison sentences with a chance at parole. They, too, will have to register as sex offenders.

Mr. Wilson is adamant that he will not plead.

“Even after serving time in prison, I would have to register as a sex offender wherever I lived and if I applied for a job for the rest of my life, all for participating in a consensual sex act with a girl just two years younger than me,” he told a reporter for Atlanta magazine last year, adding that he would not even be able to move back in with his mother because he has an 8-year-old sister. “It’s a lifelong sentence in itself. I am not a child molester.”

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Add this to the dumbest shit I've ever heard- CNN edition

Posted by Raznor

Via Josh Marshall, here's a little fashion commentary on Barack Obama:

The senator was in New Hampshire over the weekend, sporting what's getting to be the classic Obama look. Call it business casual, a jacket, a collared shirt, but no tie.

It is a look the senator seems to favor. And why not? It is dressy enough to suggest seriousness of purpose, but without the stuffiness of a tie, much less a suit. There is a comfort level here that reflects one of Obama's strongest political assets, a sense that he is comfortable in his own skin, that he knows who he is.

If you want a striking contrast, check out Senator John Kerry as he campaigned back in 2004. He often appeared without a tie, but clad in a blazer, the kind of casual look you see at country clubs and lawn parties in the Hamptons and other toned (ph) locations.

When President Bush wanted in casual mode, he skipped the jacket entirely. Third-generation Skull and Bones at Yale? Don't be silly. Nobody here but us Texas ranchers.

You can think of Bush's apparel as a kind of homage to Ronald Reagan. He may have spent much of his life in Hollywood, but the brush-cutting ranch hand was the image his followers loved, just as the Kennedy sea ferry look provided a striking contrast with, say, Richard Nixon, who apparently couldn't even set out on a beach walk without that "I wish I had spent more time at the office" look.

Okay, kinda irrelevant but interesting. Obama pulls the "man of the people" look beter than Kerry, and Bush, like Reagan, is seeking to appeal to a different demographic. You got me so far, but wait what's this?

But, in the case of Obama, he may be walking around with a sartorial time bomb. Ask yourself, is there any other major public figure who dresses the way he does?

No really, you'll love this.

Why, yes. It is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who, unlike most of his predecessors, seems to have skipped through enough copies of "GQ" to find the jacket-and-no-tie look agreeable.

And maybe that's not the comparison a possible presidential contender really wants to evoke.

Eeeeeeeeeek. Obama and Ahmadinejad dress similarly!!!!1! Certainly he's unfit for public office! And certainly the American electorate is parsing how candidates dress as compared to foreign officials. So this is political suicide.

The best thing is we get to look forward to 2 full years of commentary as enlightening as this.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

When crazy videos happen to great music

Posted by Raznor

So I went shopping at Target today to pick up some stuff for my apartment, and afterwards, I was already kinda irritated because I hate big box stores in general, and traffic was atrocious, but just as I was getting pissed, suddenly The Killers' "Bones" came on the radio. I tell you, happiest song ever made. You cannot stay angry or sad or whatever when you listen to this one.

Meanwhile, "Supermassive Black Hole" is possibly the best song on the new Muse album, but I've got to say: the video kind of weirds me out.

. . . and it certainly doesn't help that the video makes Matt Bellamy kinda looks like Rene Auberjonois.

More on the day after World AIDS Day

Posted by Raznor

Though I guess by now it's more like two days after. I'm saying up late to try to get my apartment a bit more organized. But in the meanwhile, I thought I'd post this.

Rude Pundit commemorated World AIDS day with an appropriate quote from Angels in America. In a similar vein, I thought I'd post what is my favorite quotation from the same play.

"But still. Still.

Bless me anyway.

I want more life. I can't help myself. I do.

I've lived through such terrible times, and there are people who live through much much worse, but . . . You see them living anyway. when they're more spirit than body, more sores than skin, when they're burned and in agony, when flies lay eggs in the eyes of their children, they live. Death usually has to take life away. I don't know if that's just the animal. I don't know if it's not braver to die. But I recognize the habit. The addiction to being alive. We live past hope. If I can find hope anywhere, that's it, that's the best I can do. It's so much not enough, so inadequate but . . . Bless me anyway. I want more life."

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The painful separation of artist and art

Posted by Ross

Joseph Campbell has the best footnotes. This is Otto Rank from 1943, as footnoted in The Hero With a Thousand Faces. It holds a strong personal resonance:

If we compare the neurotic with the productive type, it is evident that the former suffers from an excessive check on his impulsive life. . . . Both are distinguished fundamentally from the average type, who accepts himself as he is, by their tendency to exercise their volition in reshaping themselves. There is, however, this difference: that the neurotic, in this voluntary remaking of his ego, does not go beyond the destructive preliminary work and is therefore unable to detach the whole creative process from his own person and transfer it to an ideological abstraction.

The idea of the "average type" always strikes me as a bit strange, because it seems like it's saying it is somehow normal or "average" that a person would "accept himself as he is," whereas I kind of think most people have trouble accepting themselves for who they are, if they even know how to figure out an honest way of ever even discovering who they are.

And that's something that appeals to me as an artist, the grasping at abstract concepts to piece together a greater truth. Not to replicate the world, but to interpret it. And in doing so, the artist's creation is left vulnerable to other people's opinions of this unique interpretation, which is invariably painful because it's just so damn hard sometimes to feel a separation between who I am and something I made.

Yesterday was World AIDS day

Posted by Raznor

Well, I didn't post anything, but really I don't know what I could have said. But I do highly recommend this post over at Joe.My.God. And while you're there, if you happen to be a gay or bisexual man living in San Francisco, or know someone who is, read this post:

Today is World AIDS Day. The San Francisco Public Health Department contacted me and asked that I help publicize their new HIV prevention study, Project T.

"Project T, part of the HIV Research Section at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, is studying whether a commonly used HIV drug, tenofovir, is safe for healthy, HIV-negative gay and bisexual men. The same study is happening in Boston at Fenway Community Health and in Atlanta at the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta.

Project T will evaluate the side effects and tolerability of daily tenofovir in healthy gay/bi men (biological safety) as well as whether taking a daily pill will affect men’s risk taking behavior (behavioral safety). If tenofovir is proven to be safe then it may be tested in future studies to see if it will prevent HIV infection. It is currently unknown whether tenofovir can prevent HIV infection.

Right now they're looking for gay and bisexual men in San Francisco to do this study. The details and links are here.