My Favorite Subversive…

So, my wife is a librarian. If you ever doubted–or even just hadn’t thought about it–you need only consider their reactions to the Patriot Act to realize that librarians are on the side of all that is good and true in this world: there are librarians out there who are considering breaking the law so that you, good person, can know when your government is spying on you.

Anne, as a librarian with a law degree, has been part of a panel discussion in Fayetteville, NC (where Fort Bragg is located) regarding the Patriot Act, and is starting to accumulate a bit of a speaking schedule in the local academic community regarding the Patriot Act. Finally, she was one of several librians interviewed for “this article in the News & Observer:http://www.newsobserver.com/front/digest/story/2471743p-2298944c.html, about NC librarian’s reactions.

In the weeks since her speaking engagement in Fayetteville, we’ve often joked to one another that if we weren’t on some FBI list somewhere before she spoke, we certainly must be on one now. It’s unfortunate that, in this land of freedom, it doesn’t feel much like a joke.

Dr. E. F. Codd has died

The Mercury News has a nice obituary. I cannot help but find it interesting, in this time where the words traitor and unamerican are seeing a lot of use, that he left the country in disgust at McCarthy’s witchhunts.

Seen in TurboTax’ context-sensitive help.

Do not use this form to report:
* …
* Illegal Kickbacks
* …

So, is it a subtle joke from a writer, or is it one of those warnings that springs from a lawsuit? “Your honor, they only caught me because TurboTax did not specify that I was not to report my Illegal Kickbacks on Schedule C!”

It was pretty…

…but ultimately, The Two Towers disappointed me.

I do not think I am being obsessive about the movies exactly replicating the books–frankly, I have a great deal of affection for Ralph Bakshi’s animated version which plays much more fast and loose with things than Peter Jackson has.

What I do look for is staying true to the characters.

So, changes in the flight from Hobbiton, the lack of Tom Bombadil and the Barrow Wights in both versions, the changes in the way the whole Rohan thing unfolds–even, after a second viewing of the first film, the modifications to Arwen’s part–do not particularly bother me, because they do not seem to distort the characters, even if they do some violence to the story itself.

Faramir, though, gets screwed, and for no reason I can discern. In fact, in the book a large part of the point of the interlude in Ithilen with Farmir is setup for what happens in Gondor later, and the person that Peter Jackson has portrayed does not, in my opinion, fit into the place that the character in the book fits–so one is forced to wonder what further distortions, on top of the time wasted in this whole stupid Osgiliath segment (including Sam’s clanging speech), are going to have to be made to try and fix these seemingnly unnecessary changes to the story brought on by some bizarre need to create extra tension.

I think I need to remember in future to not see movie adaptions of books for which I have some affection, because the filmmakers cannot win with me–if they stay too close to the book, I walk out wondering why I spent my money, but if they stray too far, I walk out wondering why I spent my money.

Perhaps this explains why I go to so few movies.

Next up in the list of potential disappointments…??X-Men 2??. Although, in fact, I have high hopes for this–??X-Men?? was a much more subtly done movie than I ever would have expected, and they showed great respect for the characters while telling a story that had not been told before. Perhaps Brian Singer and company will pull another rabbit out of the hat…

How consistent is your belief system?

Battleground God is likely to make you think about your answers, maybe a lot, even if it doesn’t change your mind about them.

I had 1 direct hit (although I would almost swear that I actually answered differently than they said I did) and 1 bitten bullet (which means I’m consistent, but perhaps outside of the normal moral footpaths).

I had a Political Science professor in college, Dr. Daniel Pound, who started his Political Theory classes saying that he never taught anyone anything but a better vocabulary with which to articulate their pre-conceived notions. “Tests” like this make me think of him because that was, perhaps, the class that made me realize that I needed to consider what I believed and try and articulate it and see if it made sense.

I was sad to hear that he died recently, having retired only last year.

If you like ’90s Bowie…

…and you’re a guitarist, you might want to check out this interview with Reeves Gabrels, his guitarist from ’89 to ’01.

For my part, and, I’m sure, much to the dismay of people I know–including Anne, who has to endure the guitar turned up too loud–I find that the things he does on guitar just make sense to me.

Maybe that’s why it was so damn incoherent.

So, it appears that, at least initially, David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive was meant to be a TV series. If that weren’t absurd enough, apparently a big feature was going to be lots of cameos by Marilyn Manson.

No, I’m not kidding. I couldn’t make up stuff this silly. Look at the (unfortunately not directly linkable) March 12th entry at Nothing Records’ March ’99 Newspage

I recently watched Mulholland Drive and not even a naked Naomi Watts could really make me enjoy it. Put that together with catching about 15 minutes of Wild At Heart recently (how the hell did that get to basic cable!), and you really have to start wondering if David Lynch has done anything worth watching since Elephant Man.