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Sunday, January 16, 2022

Dune



This week's movie rental was Dune ...

is a 2021 American epic science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve .... It is the first of a two-part adaptation of the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, primarily covering the first half of the book. Set in the far future, it follows Paul Atreides as his family, the noble House Atreides, is thrust into a war for the deadly and inhospitable desert planet Arrakis. The ensemble cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.

This is the second movie made of the book, the first being a 1984 version that was really pretty bad - Dune - which starred Kyle MacLachlan and was directed by David Lynch (what could go wrong?).

I read the book by Herbert, which won the Nebula and Hogo awards, when I was a teen, but haven't read the numerous other following Dune books.

Anyway, this film got mostly positive reviews. Here's a one from The Guardian: Dune review – blockbuster cinema at its dizzying, dazzling best.

I thought the movie was very good, if depressing. It's the storyline of the book, so I can't blame the movie. I can't tell you how many science fiction stories have a depressed hero from an advanced culture find love and spiritual rebirth by embracing a more primitive culture instead (think Avatar). I believe that's a dopey storyline, but it appears to be very popular, so ok ;)

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The stench

The conservative Supreme Court Justices ban OSHA from requiring vaccination or testing/masks for businesses with over 100 employees, to protect employees' health in this time of COVID.

It's estimated that 6,500 workers will die and 250,000 will be hospitalized in the next six months without the workplace mandate (Supreme Court blocks Biden's Covid requirements for businesses, upholds health care workers mandate).

Just another day's work for the "pro-life" party and its pet judges. The stench only grows.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

RIP: the chicken

Sigh :( This morning when I went out to feed the cats, a neighbor was walking by and she noticed that the chicken had perished in the ditch down the street. It appears he was attacked by another animal. We should have tried harder to catch him.

I hope it wasn't one of the cats who killed him. They were around him all yesterday and didn't attack him ... they actually seemed a little afraid of him. Maybe it was the big dog across the street. He has a fence, but I've seen him jump over it numerous times to chase other critters.

I've been thinking about how tenuous life seems. Over the holidays, my step-father had a stroke and had a blood clot removed from his brain. He seemed to be getting better, but then got worse, and now he's in a nursing home. It's hard to get info since we are the step-children of a past marriage, and he has new step-children, and a child, and a wife from his present marriage ... they haven't been keen on sharing details.

It's hard to believe there's any meaning to life when we're all (chickens and perople) so jerked around by events.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The chicken

I woke up this morning to the sound of a chicken. I went outside to look for it, but couldn't find it, and decided it must have been a squirrel instead. But then later, my sister was looking out the window and said, "There's a huge chicken in the backyard".

The cats were all weirded out - a giant bird! - and though they followed him around, no one attacked him. Our neighbors two houses away have chickens, so he must have escaped from there, and we tried to catch him to take him back, but he finally took off by himself over the fence in that direction.

:)

Saturday, January 08, 2022

RIP: Sidney Poitier

- from Wikipedia: Poitier (left) at the 1963 March on Washington, alongside actors Harry Belafonte and Charlton Heston

Sad to see that Sidney Poitier has died. He is known for his many great movies, but it is a pair of 90s B movies that I think of when I remember him.

Sneakers ...

a 1992 American crime comedy .... starring Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, and David Strathairn.



The Jackal ...

a 1997 American action thriller film directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, and Sidney Poitier in his final theatrical film role. The film involves the hunt for a paid assassin.



He will be missed.

Thursday, January 06, 2022

More January 6



Don't allow yourself to forget what Jan. 6 was like. Trump and Republican lawmakers are trying to rewrite the history of that day. We should not allow them to succeed.

January 6

- Christian nationalism, on view at the January 6 riot at the Capitol

To conservatives Christians ... you may not understand what it would mean to let democracy slide. You may think a Trump dictatorship would mean a conservative regime, sort of like Orban's Poland that Tucker Carlson so loves. A regime that would preserve a (rather unrealistic) 50s lifestyle where most of the people with power are Christian, are white, are men.

It would be a regime where women stay home and make and raise babies, where they don't get to decide whether they want to be pregnant (or, gasp, whether they want to have pets).

A regime where immigrants know their place, where religious minorities know their place, where non-whites know their place.

A regime where gay people can't marry and adopt, but stay in the shadows (or become Catholic priests).

A regime where the poor are kicked to the curb, not givrn our hard-earned tax revenue.

A regime where the sick earn their medical care, or crawl off under a bush to die, out of our sight.

A regime where education means telling children what to think, not how to think. Because, give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man.

And finally, a regime where if you have a change of heart, if you change your mind, you will be SOL. A dictatorship means you don't get to chooose. Anyrhing.

There are a lot of Christians who think this is what they want .... a theocracy with Trump at the top, then Trump Jr., then Ivanka, then Barron, etc. They believe that the dark joy of having liberals under their thumb will be worth selling their souls. I can't convince those people - they are just lost.

But for those Christians who aren't quite sure if democracy is worth saving, think of all the stuff Jesus said, think of what he did. Think of how he treated people, who he hung out with, what he thought was important. Think about his decision that winning wasn't the ultimate goal in life, that being good was better, even if it means you lose. Trump is the antithesis of Jesus.

Today is the one year anniversary of the violent attack on our Capitol, all for the purpose of overturning a free and fair election, and replacing the man voters chose with a man they rejected. Trump planned this so that he could hold onto power. Forever. Like Putin, like Xi, like Kim Jong-un, like Erdoğan, like Orban. He's not done trying. Neither are his crazed followers.

Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Unthinkable

One of the former impeachment (of Trump) managers and a present member of the Jan 6 committee is Congressman Jamie Raskin.

He recently wrote a book, Unthinkable, about his experience of the riot on Jan 6, but also about the death by suicide of his son - he was buried on January 5th - and about how the two events intertwined for him.



Fanny



My earworm for today :)

Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Supergroup



From the distant past, Val Kilmer reprises his portrayal of Jim Morrison, as the dead leader of a supergroup in heaven (SNL).

I saw The Doors in person here at the Memorial Auditorium, and Jimi Hendrix here at the state university, both in 1968 when I was 16. Don't really remember The Doors' performance, but still remember Jimi Hendrix playing his guitar with his teeth. Here's me back then with my boyfriend, Dan :) ...

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Termites



On Meet the Press today, a review of the planned takeover of our government by Trump and his supporters, at the (almost) one year anniversary of his mob attacking the Capitol.

We're learning more and more about the complexity of Trump's plot to stay in power despite losing the election, thanks to investigative repporting and the work of the January 6th committee.

One of the horrifying things about this is that Trump and his supporters are even closer now to making this country a dictatorship than they were a year ago. Now almost all Republican voters believe his lie that the election was stolen from him, and almost all Republican politicians are willing to go along with that lie, whether they believe it or not.

According to a recent Washington Post survey, One in three Americans say violence against government justified.

People make excuses for those who are ready to use violence. They say that those poor people were lied to, that if they then believed the election had been stolen from them, of course the natural response would be to use violence to reverse that.

No, no no.

First, those people, let's just call them Republicans, are responsible, as are all people, for what they choose to believe, who they choose to trust. They have chosen to believe and trust Trump - a known liar and crook - not because he has proof, but because they *want* what he's peddling to be true.

And second, if I had learned that the election had been stolen from my chosen candidate, my first reaction would not be "I'm gettin my gun so I can kill me some bad people". A normal persson under those circumstances would try to find legal ways to redress the injustice. But Republicans are willing to turn to violence because violence is what they want. Any group that demonizes their opponents by portraying them as Satan-worshipping child-molesting bllod-drinking lizard people (or termites) is preparing to justify the violence they crave.

Trump and his Republican politicians are planning for the 2024 election - restricting voting and replacing local officials in charge of counting the votes. They might get away with subverting the election next time, but whether they do or not, they have whipped their followers into such a frenzy of hatred, there will be hell to pay.

Think Rwanda.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year

They look worried, don't they? Probably hating the ubiquitous fireworks.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Omicron

The year is almost over and I find the current state pretty scary.

I'm thinking of COVID. Yes, I have my 2 vaccine shots and the booster, but ... Real-world data from the U.K. showed that efficacy of a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine waned significantly at the 10-week mark, leaving boosted individuals at risk of infection with Omicron. COVID Vaccine Booster Efficacy Against Infection May Fade Quickly

And the latest advice from the CDC about people who are infected going back to work in 5 days instead of 10 (with no negative test required) ... well, is not the greatest advice if you really are trying to shut down transmission - COVID isolation cuts priotizes business over health, say scientists

And if we do all get infected with Omicron, and that seems increasingly inevitable, at least 50% of us will probably get Long Covid, which can damage so many organs and systems, including our brains ... Vaccinated Isn’t Enough: Omicron Carries the Risk of Long Covid

Why have we not considered a 4th booster, as Israel has? Why are the CDC and the government prioritizing the economy over our health? Why won't people face up to their responsibility to each other and get vaccinated, wear masks, socially distance? People are dying. To most of us, that apparently doesn't matter anymore, as long as we can still party like it's 1999.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

:)



Sunday, December 26, 2021

RIP: Desmond Tutu

Sad to see that the Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, has passed away.

He was a staunch defender of human rights, and animal rights too (We Must Fight Injustice To Animals).

And he had a long and close friendship with the Dalai Lama :) ...



Sad that he is gone.

Friday, December 24, 2021

The Bishop's Wife

Lovng kindness, warm hearts, and the stretched out hand of tolerance - all the shining gifts that make peace on earth.

Watching my favorite Christmas movie, The Bishop's Wife ...

a 1947 Samuel Goldwyn romantic comedy feature film directed by Henry Koster and starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven. The plot is about an angel who helps a bishop with his problems. The film was adapted by Leonardo Bercovici and Robert E. Sherwood from the 1928 novel of the same name by Robert Nathan.

It's free to stream now at Amazon if you have Prime. I'd post a trailer, but apparently, one was never made :) ...



Thursday, December 23, 2021

Bing and Frank

At the dawn of history, when I was six :) ...



... from Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank, Dec. 20, 1957, an episode of The Frank Sinatra Show.

PS ... am I the only one who finds it creepy that Santa Claus can see you when you're sleeping?