Daily Archives: April 3, 2012

Greatest Comedy Films #25-#21

I loved this scene. Not humorous, but it does a great job at conveying the sense of accomplishment at what they just did.

#25 Ocean’s Eleven (and Twelve and Thirteen)
While the original has its place in my heart, the remake is one of the few remakes in history that I think was actually better than the original. And I know I’m not the first to say it, but part of what makes all three movies so enjoyable is that the cast clearly just had a fun time making all of them.  And one of the greatest part is that this movie does an excellent job of subltely playing off the plotline of the original where the money was lost when the oldest member of the gang had a heart attack and the money was burned up with him when he was cremated.  It was little things like that where they paid homage to the original that made this a great film.

All of the humor is witty and seldom goes for the obvious joke which really helps keep what could easily be a silly heist film fresh and original.

#24 Get Shorty
Get Shorty (and to a much lesser degree Be Cool) are one of the few examples of an ensemble cast working out. Usually when you try to shove more than three actors that people might recognize things get lost very quickly yet this movie manages to balance all of the different parts. I make this comment here and not with Ocean’s Eleven because as much as we love all the characters in the Ocean films Clooney, Pitt and Damon do dominate, whereas in Get Shorty there is a healthy balance of all the characters and their individual expressions of insanity.


#23 Men In Black

They should have stopped with the first one.

The sequel was terrible and I have few if any hopes for number 3, but the original was a masterful work of wit and whimsy. Yeah there were some issues with the supporting cast and a few scenes that I think didn’t work but overall the movie is not only funny but, despite the stupid concept, seems to have stood the test of time and remains watchable and enjoyable.

#22 Snatch
As far as I can tell British comedy is a bit of an acquired taste for most Americans…especially since it seems to be broken into low comedy which seems obsessed with the radically different attitude toward sex that the Brits have and high comedy which isn’t much different than high comedy over here (although we don’t have much of it anymore)…but that said, the works of Guy Richie are more in the high witty and surreal category, and by that virtue hilariously bizarre. Now while I love Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels I found Snatch to be just a little more entertaining (especially with Brat Pitt’s utterly incomprehensible Irish gypsy character).  As opposed to the other films listed here there is a chance you might not know what this one is about…but I couldn’t try and summarize the plot in a sentence or two, it’s just too damned insane.

#21 My Fellow Americans
A movie that portrays politicians as idiots.   Not so subtle hits at Bush and Clinton…and really Democrats and Republicans in general.  It’s kind of obvious why I love this film.  Can’t you just see Joe Biden saying some of the things that the VP in this movie does?  Actaully no, Biden is a lot dumber than the VP in this movie.

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Filed under Art, Government is useless, Humor, Movies

Idiot Legislatures, Bullies, Unions, and a dish best served cold…

So as much as I love my state of Arizona, it is becoming very apparent that the current state legislature is out of its mind. Not only passing two socially “conservative” laws that require a combined IQ in the low single digits (doubly stupid that they did it in an election year, triply stupid that they played right into Obama’s plan to make social issues an issue of this election…thanks morons) they decided to follow that up with a 1st Amendment violating censorship law. Ostensibly it is supposedly to help stop bullying, but in addition to making a mountain of the latest molehill of an overly protective society, this has to be one of the worst laws I’ve ever seen.

 

It’s updating an old law and replacing the word telephone with “any electronic or digital device.” This would be bad enough as it doesn’t update any language to only mean communication from one person to another. However ignoring that new technology requires new definitions, the law originally was kind of stupid.

“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a telephone […]”

I understand the intent of the law, to make harassment a criminal offense. But “annoy”? Good lord, I should stop paying my bills as any bill collector calling me would clearly be annoying and I could have them arrested. “Offend”? Oh I can’t wait for the next dipshit Democrat to call me asking polling questions. Their beliefs clearly offend me and as Obama is clearly in a criminal conspiracy with them (as defined by Arizona law) this will be fun. Yes my examples are preposterous, but so is the wording of the laws.

Or that it forbids one to “use any obscene, lewd or profane language.” Profane? Really? Profane is a religious concept and the government has no right to legislate my words in a religious sense, be they sacred or profane.

So, by the letter of the law the state of Arizona is about to outlaw the use of the internet. As I do not consider it a full day without annoying someone via blog, twitter, or Facebook, I am a repeat offender against this statute…and I dare any wanna-be Gestapo (previously known as Arizona police) to come and arrest me. I will have so much fun suing you personally and the state as a whole for multiple civil and Constitutional rights violations. Not only will it be great free publicity for the blog and my book, but I figure I will be able to retire off the settlement alone. So I dare you fucking stupid excuses for public figures (obscene, check, intent to annoy and harass, check) to come arrest me. Idiots.

Now in practice we know that this isn’t going to go anywhere as both the ACLU and every right wing legal group will eviscerate anyone who tries to enforce this on a legitimate use of free speech (like I said I understand the original intent of the law, but the wording is just shit for brains), but let’s deal with the reason why they didn’t update the part of it being individual to individual communication. To help stop bullying.

Are you kidding me? Once again because people don’t want to act like adults we are choosing to delegate all authority to government, who will inevitably, as always, makes things worse. At least I’m not the only one who thinks that the media hype over bullying might be more media than reality.

 

Now, yes there are some terrible cases where we get to see how vicious children can be…but you know what? This is not because there is a lack of laws, it’s because there is a lack of adults. Children should be encouraged to deal with things on their own when they can (something drilled out of them by being told to tattle to an adult the minute a single insult is hurled) and go seek help from friends and adults when it’s more than they can handle…and maybe educated to know the difference. One thing I notice in almost every case of extreme bullying from the media is a lack of adults. Now parents may bear some responsibility here for not being open with their children and making it known to them that they can come to them with problems, but that isn’t always the case; we all know our parents are sometimes the last people we want to take our problems to. However what I do notice in a lot of these cases is that teachers seem to be utterly absent. I’m a teacher, and I know it’s not hard to know what’s going on in student’s lives. Teacher’s thrive on the student rumor mill (because it’s the only life we have time to have) and while one teacher may not know everything I guarantee you a competent staff knows more about student’s personal lives than even the most well informed student (probably because we don’t limit ourselves to knowing only about a few select cliques) and so teachers have no excuse for not knowing if a student is being harassed. (Especially when you set up a work only account of Facebook and twitter and get your students to add you—you would be shocked at how quickly they forget you can see everything they post). And I am not the warmest of teachers, I play more into “tough but fair” rather than “everybody’s friend” but I would like to think that I always made it known that my students could come to me if they needed an ear or shoulder. And it is more the purview of a good principal to find good teachers who are competent and qualified to offer students support when they need it—not the purview of the legislature. Although since we don’t always have good teachers, I would wager that if you were to chart which states offer the teacher’s unions the most unimpeded power against which have the most instances of truly vicious and inhuman levels of bullying you would see a heavy correlation between union presence and poor support from teachers. After all if there is one set of organizations out there responsible for poor teacher’s it’s the teacher’s union.

And since we’re on the topic, I would be remiss in mentioning there is also the two other ways to deal with bullies. The first being the wise adage, “Never start a fight, but always finish them.” This being probably the best advice that the best way to deal with bullies is go on to be successful and makes massive amounts of money while the bullies never amount to anything. Perhaps with your success and piles of cash you could even make a music video to rub in your success in a wonderfully cold dish, as the Queen of Comicon, Felicia Day seems to have done.

 


It’s called taking the high road.

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Filed under Arizona, Civil Liberties, Evils of Liberalism, Fear, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Long Term Thinking, People Are Stupid, politics, Teacher's Union, Teaching, Tyranny, Unions