Friday, December 12, 2014

They Make Good Films These Days (Just Not In Hollywood) - #24

24 is my favorite number.

The Island (2006) - Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man whose bizarre conduct confuses his fellow monks, while others who visit the island believe that the man has the power to heal, exorcise demons and foretell the future.




Thank you and God Bless you, Pinar Ă‡oral, for the recommendation. I love you.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I Thought the New Star Wars Trailer Was a Parody for a Second

The fist official image anyone will ever see of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is of John Boyega, a dark skinned black man,  in a Stormtrooper Uniform.


It hasn't even been out a full day yet, and #BlackStormtrooper is generating a lot of discussion.

Mostly everybody who wants to have a shred of credibility in their public commentating career is quick to condemn anyone who acknowledges that - just for a second - it looks like we're about to see something like Spaceballs crossed with Blazing Saddles.

But I believe JJ's using an old Jedi mind trick on us weak-minded fools.

I need to be honest with myself and the rest of you. My very first impression when I saw the trailer was that I was watching a Mel Brooks-style parody. It was a split-second, instinctual gut feeling, but I completely expected Mr. Boyega to do an act reminiscent of Stepin Fetchit.

Does that make me personally responsible for my instinctual thoughts? Am I as evil as the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan? Should I flog myself? I could but it would be a waste of time.

I think it's great that JJ's doing this Jedi mind trick. Millions of kids' first impression will not be like mine because they will not have had the years of cultural conditioning that would lead them to have the reaction that I did.

If this film is anything like Star Wars was to me when I was a kid, it will bury deep into their psyches and condition them to think the image of a black man sweating and gasping for breath, looking scared and lost on a desert planet is not the precursor to a shuck and jive. It will teach them this before all the institutionally racist images that have gone before can condition them toward the...ahem, dark side. Pun intended. Reference to color not intended.

Well, I don't know if I believe all this will solve racism, but since Obi-Wan's death, there must be come other hope out there. Right?

Thus Sayeth the King of Funny Faces!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Great John L

My maternal grandfather died on November 18, 1964 - 50 years ago today.

I wanted to go and leave a golf ball at his grave today, preferably one that somebody had chipped into Palmer Park, where my dad's flag is; but, it's freezing cold, I have no car and I also have a doctor's appointment today. I feel bad that I only ever saw his grave for the first time last month.



I'll get there again eventually, then go have some greasy food at Rutt's Hutt. In the meantime, even though I never met you, you are not forgotten.

So Sayeth the King of Funny Faces!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence = Freedom

“Decide yourself who was right: you or the one who questioned you then? Recall the first question; its meaning, though not literally, was this: ‘You want to go into the world, and you are going empty-handed, with some promise of freedom, which they in their simplicity and innate lawlessness cannot even comprehend, which they dread and fear—for nothing has ever been more insufferable for man and for human society than freedom! But do you see these stones in this bare, scorching desert? Turn them into bread and mankind will run after you like sheep, grateful and obedient, though eternally trembling lest you withdraw your hand and your loaves cease for them.’”
--from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

50 Years Ago

I used to watch this film every day. I can still watch it anytime, anywhere.

I especially love when Gene Hackman's FBI Agent gets called "Mr. Anderson" by Willem DeFoe's "Mr. Ward". I wish it would catch on as a meme more than that Matrix asshole.

Ward: Just don't lose sight of whose rights are being violated!
Anderson: Don't put me on your perch, Mr. Ward.
Ward: Don't drag me into your gutter, Mr. Anderson!
Anderson: These people are crawling out of the SEWER, MR. WARD! Maybe the gutter's where we outta be! 

 That's sheer poetry, ladies and gentlemen! The true events that inspired this film happened 50 years ago now. It would be naive and silly to go on about how anything's better now than before. I just really like the film and think everyone should watch it and decide what's what for themselves. So sayeth the King of Funny Faces!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LETTER: 'He said/she said' scenario frustrating

Published Again: 

LETTER: 'He said/she said' scenario frustrating 
By Express-Times Letters to the Editor
on June 17, 2014 at 12:05 AM, updated June 17, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Reports have emerged that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his post. It is rumored that soldiers were killed trying to rescue him. 
Reputedly, Bergdahl was discharged from the Coast Guard for "psychological reasons" before the Army recruited him and sent him to Iraq. Allegedly, the soldiers accusing him of desertion were aware of his instability before he disappeared. It is known that at least some of them are anti-Obama political operatives. 
It has been hypothesized that the prisoners exchanged for Bergdahl were going to be released anyway. Conversely, it has been propagated that the prisoners will commit more terrorism. 
But all of it is theory: speculation, reports. A "he said/she said" scenario. Hearsay. 
Neither Bergdahl nor the Guantanamo prisoners have been afforded a fair, impartial jury trial. 
While you're all out there using your imaginations, I'm imagining what it feels like to be locked in a dark cage for months and years. I'm struggling with the idea that the country that knew he was not well when it hired him to keep us all safe now wants him executed for desertion. 
In the meantime, the next generation of Swift Boat propaganda comes of age.

ERIK B. ANDERSON 
Independence Township

Sunday, April 27, 2014

StutterTalk Podcast

I just stumbled on this podcast randomly the other day. I don't stutter, but my grandmother - the first Queen of Funny Faces - did. I grew up not knowing there was anything considered socially "wrong" or different about it. I always found it very easy to follow her and be patient. I didn't really think about it until I was older and saw her interact with other people. She was just my favorite person in the world. She passed away 13 years ago now. I wish she could have been a guest on this show. Anyway, this podcast is extremely comforting. Check it out.