Saturday, December 04, 2004


For the love of Yahweh, it is already December. That's actually good, making it all the sooner I will be leaving Babylon and returning to a more civilized place where the preferred method of civil disobedience is public drunken nudity rather than beheading. I may consider engaging in some drunken public nudity myself. My firm doesn't look kindly on that, but they try to make us all wear the same earth-tones outfits as well, and they do nothing for my hips.

On the lighter side, I got some new comic books in the mail today, and they are good. I also recently re-reread the first three volumes of the collected "Powers" series by Bendis and Oeming. I never fail to be blown away by their ability to tell some pretty devastatingly emotional tales with artwork that is stylistically reminiscent of the "DC Adventures" comics. I don't think anyone can deny the impact of Olympia's wife's reaction to his public death and the revelations that he had taken comfort from hundreds of groupies. I think they go five or six pages with no dialogue, and it is great.

Finished a horribly disappointing book- Jonathan Carrol's "White Apples." He excelled at creating truly weird moments, but just couldn't bring it all together in the end. His God-concept is pretty good though, as much as the story goes nowhere. Maybe I just didn't get it, but I really was left with the feeling there was nothing to get.

Watched a really fascinating movie recently; "Return to Oz." now, this is a movie that was lambasted when it came out, I'm sure because it is far more true to the source material than magnesia classic ever thought of being. Sure, who doesn't love Judy singing "Over the Rainbow?" This is a different type of trip though. Notably, it is Fairuza Balk's first film, as a more age appropriate Dorothy. The film also involves serial decapitation, electro-shock therapy, inanimate objects brought to life, people turning to sand, and the only villains in movie history as creepy as Flying monkeys, the Wheelers. It's really a well made film though, with Jim Henson's shop working overtime on the animatronics, Will Vinton's claymation, and some great imagery that didn't rely on computer effects to make a movie. Don't expect musical goodness, but it is well worth checking out. I don't think you can play "Dark Side of the Moon" along with it though...

I'll tell you what else I have to talk about- William Shatner's "Has Been" album. Now, one could probably argue this is a Ben Folds album with Shatner narrating, but the damn thing is bloody brilliant. I defy anyone to find a better study on classism than "Common People" or anything more chilling than Shatner confronting his deceased wife in "What Have You Done?"

Arrogance. We The People of the United States are full of it. In a lot of ways, we kinda earn that right. For all our troubles and blemishes, the vast majority of our country lives in safety and health, and does not go to bed hungry. Our poorest are better off than most of the planet (if you have ten bucks in your pocket, you have more money than some 75% of the worlds population). We are so good in so many ways, but we let that go to our heads. We enjoy freedom and our Republic, and we believe everyone else must want what we have right? A lot do- but not everyone. Not everyone knows what it means. Not everyone knows that with freedom comes responsibility. You have to be involved for freedom to work, you have to be accountable for freedom to work. We cannot expect people to have never had the right to think for themselves to do it right overnight. We have to teach them (or not push ourselves in them in the first place, and let them earn freedom like we did...).

I don't know what all these subjects in this post have to do with one another, but they are all in my head. Maybe it is the approaching Babylonian winter, or the spring that will (hopefully) take me home, but my mind's a scramble right now. It is a swirl of the inane and the severe, the important, and the really-way-not-important.

A beautiful woman sent me pictures of herself today. That made me happier than my comics.

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