"Well- Merry Christmas, Mr. Prime Minister." "Ah! Right... Merry Christmas."
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
"Well- Merry Christmas, Mr. Prime Minister." "Ah! Right... Merry Christmas."
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
By the examples shown, I infer that the Gear will enable you radio someone else who's also got one (Dick Tracy), video conference your family (The Jetsons), or set a detonation countdown for your personal wrist-mounted tactical thermonuclear device (Predator).
Thursday, September 19, 2013
"The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”
- Interview with Pope Francis, as translated in America MagazineIn the fifth grade at my parochial gradeschool, my teacher explained a term 'Cafeteria Catholic'. Someone who is Catholic, but chooses what parts of that faith they're going to take or leave. I picture it as someone in line with an orange tray, extending an index finger to indicate whether they want the beans, the salad, the pepperoni pizza (and then later, maybe, removing the pepperonis). I don't recall if it was part of the lesson or not, but what I walked away with was that if you're picking and choosing, then you are not really by definition, doing the thing you're saying you're doing (i.e., being a Catholic in the true sense of the word).
All or nothing.
So as an adult, I've found it difficult to define myself as Catholic. Because I don't do all the pieces (I'm not at Church on Sunday), and I don't believe all the things that seem to be Catholic dogma (Church teachings re: contraception and homosexuality at the very least). But part of that may well be because it seems that at least in the past 10 - 15 years, these are the things that the Catholic Church has defined itself by.
Defining itself by telling the world what it is not about. It is not about abortion, it is not about homosexuality, it is not about contraception. And not only is it not about these things- for it, these have been the most important things.
So for me, if I were to answer, am I a Catholic or not- by the Cafeteria Catholic test, I'd say no. Because I don't necessarily agree with all of the Church positions on these issues. These are two halves of the same coin: an organization that has defined itself by opposition to these things, and an individual that figures that if I disagree, then I should not partake.
The news headlines about the Pope Francis interview, much like the ones from him talking with reporters on the flight from Rio de Janeiro, are all focused on his comments regarding homosexuality, abortion, and contraception. It's easy business to run a headline that the Church is doing a 180 on hot button issues. But what's more interesting is that the Church teaching on this actually hasn't changed at all (not saying that it shouldn't, just describing what this actually is). What's important is that its leader is putting them in context next to what he thinks is a bigger, more important message.
"The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."
He is not saying that the Church is incorrect. But he's saying that this isn't important the most important thing in the world right now. And I think from the other things he says in the article, my takeaway is that he believes that the emphasis that the Church has placed on these singular issues is misguided. That the Church should not only define itself by what it is against, and what it is about.
All Church teachings are not of equal importance. It's not an all or nothing deal.
And it seems from the rest of this interview that for Francis, the Church is not about the specifics of dogma, but about love, about seeing God in all people, and according all people the respect and care that you would if you knew that God was right there in front of you (with the implication that, by means of this person in front of you, he is).
For me as a non-practicing Catholic, I think that the challenge that Francis's position opens is that if you're not a practicing Catholic, and you're not practicing primarily because of the Church's teachings on these social issues, then imagine for a moment that the Church doesn't define itself by its opposition to these people or practices, but that the Church defines itself by seeing God in all people, and caring for them.
So in the same way that the Church may no longer define itself by the things it opposes, then maybe I should no longer define my relation to the Church purely out of my opposition to what it opposes.
Once we get past that, then I think there's actually a genuine question of, broadly:
Do I believe in the value of this organization and what it might be able to do for people living in this world?If Francis is able to lead the Church in the direction that he points towards in this interview, then I think that my answer to that question would probably be yes.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Local man reported to have delivered phrase "You've got to watch Breaking Bad" to last Earthly person to've not already received it.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Bruce Wayne's lines from Batman Begins combined with Raymond Sellars' from the Robocop trailer would go like this.
"People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy."
"A man is just flesh and blood and can be ignored or destroyed."
"We're gonna put a man inside a machine."
"But as a symbol... as a symbol, I can be incorruptible, everlasting."
"Make him more tactical make him look- let's go with"
"Does it come in black?"
Thursday, August 29, 2013
"Ed Miliband is playing politics when he should be thinking about the national interest and global security," a Conservative source told Reuters. "He keeps changing his position, not out of principle but to achieve political advantage," the source added, saying Cameron wanted to "do the right thing" in the right way.
- August 29, 2013. Reuters article re: opposition to British Prime Minister David Cameron's plans for a military strike in Syria
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
The crucial intercept that prompted the U.S. government to close embassies in 22 countries was a conference call between al Qaeda’s senior leaders and representatives of several of the group’s affiliates throughout the region.beep beep beep
The Daily Beast
"Are we all here?"
"Ayman, we're going to need you to talk a little louder, Bob had some trouble hearing you."
"-and then we, wait are we on?"
"Is everybody here?"
"Great so if we could just--"
[cellophane wrapper slowly crumpled]
"Hey, just a favor, if you're on the call, could you hit * to mute if you're not speaking that'd be great. Thanks."
"Are we on?"
"I mean, he's ignoring the 10,000 signatures on the petition to keep the name? Now, he's giving in to political correctness!"
- No offense, but they prefer the original Chink's
Political correctness is becoming a sort of scapegoat. PC can predispose people to pass snap judgment based on your use of hot button words or phrases. But even if they're wrong to do so, that doesn't necessarily mean that what you're saying isn't racist, inconsiderate or simply rude.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
"Lurking in these conversations is the implication that publishing an attractive picture somehow diminishes the magnitude of what Tsarnaev stands accused of doing. It does no such thing. Far more disturbing is the fact that against all biases of what evil 'should' look like, an attractive, modest, apparently well-liked person committed this terrible crime."I agree with this. What is inherently disturbing is that the alleged terrorist looks like a normal kid. And this is what is most disturbing about domestic terrorism by Americans. It's hard to make an us-vs.-them distinction as easily as it is about people who look malicious, threatening and different (daresay "other", for p.m. fans out there).
- Matt Spots, S.J. in The Jesuit Post
Context is largely the reason why the cover image story is making waves. We expect to see glamorous, sexy rock stars on the cover of Rolling Stone, to be desired and idolized, and the image suggests the same treatment. And if the image is indeed being used to make a point about the face of evil, the caption doesn't do a great job calling that out to the casual newsstand customer, despite describing the alleged bomber as a "monster". If Rolling Stone does desire to make a point about the new face of domestic terrorism, it's unfortunately too subtle compared to what we're used to them delivering.
It would be a whole different story, perhaps even a non-story, if the image were on the cover of The Economist, with the caption "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: the new face of domestic terrorism".
On nextdraft.com's daily newsletter, Dave Pell mentioned "But it's impossible to take the Emmys all that seriously when Two and a Half Men has nine trophies and The Wire has none." In that vein, here's a list of things people say about The Wire, but with the phrase Two and a Half Men inserted instead.
- The show's creator speculates that Two and a Half Men underperformed in the Nielsen ratings on account of its plot complexity and predominantly black cast.
- You will never find a more accurate depiction of urban American local law enforcement and institutions than Two and a Half Men.
- Unlike other shows in its format, Two and a Half Men only scratched the surface of its main characters' personal lives, focusing instead on the gritty details of their professional work.
- In its second season, Two and a Half Men's focus shifts to working class stevedores.
- Oh my God. You have got to watch Two and a Half Men.
Borrowed freely from The Wire's Wikipedia page.
Monday, July 15, 2013
- During your tenure, 29 year old contractor steals documents that could allegedly cause more damage to the U.S. government than anyone has in history.
But I guess you have to consider it if:
- You have an affair with your biographer.
Friday, July 12, 2013
My advice for romantic comedy characters would be as follows:
- Stop dating that jerk that you know is bad for you, and focus instead on that guy whom you know is really sweet but you've never legitimately considered as a relationship interest.
- Recognize that your existing job, while seemingly comfortable, is actually extremely dissatisfying in the context of your true ambitions and life goals. Take more proactive role in realizing your dreams and accomplishing those goals.
Also, move the alarm clock to a more convenient position so that you don't have to blindly reach for it with one arm from under the bed covers.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Friday, June 28, 2013
I've never wanted that, though, so really those birds are just a bunch of sleep-depriving jerks.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Seeking a provisional arrest warrant for Snowden, the US government submitted documents referring to Edward James Snowden, the Wall Street Journal reported. In another document it just used his middle initial. According to his passport, however, Snowden’s middle name is actually Joseph.
- Jake Maxwell Watts, qz.com
NSA officials then requested that they scoop up everyone named Edward and have some analysts sort out who's what later.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
While on a trip to Finland today, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that wanted NSA Leaker Edward Snowden is still in the transit area of Moscow's airport, and thus, technically not on Russian soil. He also confirmed that Russian law enforcement will not arrest him or extradite him to the United States, saying he is "a free man," but the sooner he chooses his final destination, the better.
- The Atlantic Wire
Preparing my pitch for a gritty reboot of 2004 Tom Hanks film The Terminal.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Adrift and clean shaven main character stands over bathroom sink. Looks in mirror. Grows long hair and unkempt beard with increasing vigor and determination.
Splashes water on face, emerges refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Corollary: Spy played by Matt Damon dyes girlfriend's hair blonde and adds extensions.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
LOS ANGELES — How does Superman shave? If he is a “Man of Steel,” impervious to nearly everything, what could possibly remove that formidable stubble?Every Gillette/Man of Steel subway ad reminds me of Superman IV, in which a strand of Superman's hair is exhibited holding up a one ton weight. Lex Luthor clips off the hair using a pair of wirecutters. Conclusion: Superman shaves using Lex Luthor's wirecutters.
Brooks Barnes, New York Times re: Gillette ad campaign
Friday, June 07, 2013
Together, the unfolding revelations opened a window into the growth of government surveillance that began under the Bush administration after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has clearly been embraced and even expanded under the Obama administration.
U.S. Confirms That It Gathers Online Data OverseasThe image refers to the phone record collection program. The Times article is about that the revelation of the collection of data on foreigners overseas from internet service companies, though their quote captures one of the more disappointing things about both programs. While Bush may have started a number of 1984-ish surveillance programs, Obama continued and expanded them.
New York Times
June 6, 2013
Friday, May 31, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Photos via Bing.com search:
Still time to shoot for these before the product ships.
On a less facetious note, I'd find Glass less creepy if it were dead obvious that someone was wearing them, and that's why I'd prefer to see bigger and more overt designs rather than smaller ones.
Also, there probably is a niche geek market for packaging Google Glass into headgear props that look like they came from your favorite movies.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
"...so they can pay their taxes and play by the same rules as everyone else."PLAYING TO BOTH SIDES
"...go to the back of the line and learn English before they can earn their citizenship."
- White House info sheet re: Immigration Reform
I was reading up on President Obama's immigration speech from this past Monday when I came across this image from whitehouse.gov. These quotes in particular stood out to me, because they seem to use the language that would often be associated with anti-immigration statements.
Pay their taxes, play by the same rules, go to the back of the line.
The pitch here is: If you think that undocumented immigrants don't play by the same rules as everyone else, that they evade taxes but reap the benefits, that they should go to the back of the line (i.e. behind people trying to get here legally)-- this initiative should appeal to you, too.
Of course, "path to earned citizenship" is really the crux of it, one that some may object to no matter how many hardline phrases you use. But here, "path to citizenship" is implicitly presented as a solution for the alleged problems of undocumented immigrants not playing by the rules.
It's strange to see this language in a position that I feel is fairly pro-immigrant, but maybe it's necessary in order to make the case that a path to citizenship is actually the answer for everyone's concerns.
It is a move that's not unlike how recent gun control initiatives also use the phrase "common-sense." The term suggests that however you may feel about this controversial issue- far left or far right, there are certain things that are de facto true.
To deny them would be to deny common-sense.
But common-sense is a deceptively loaded term. On the one hand, the term suggests that there are a number of basic, simple things that a large group of people agree upon. Don't murder people, turn off the stove before you leave your house, etc. However, when I think of the times I most often hear someone use the phrase "that's common-sense," it's because the speaker has just witnessed someone doing something that defies the speaker's understanding of what common-sense is. Sure you don't murder people, and sure you turn off the stove before you leave your house. But what about shutting the door behind you when you walk into a room, putting trash in the trash can, or not walking three-abreast on a New York City sidewalk?
Common-sense is a way of saying that something's correct at face value, but most of the times when the term comes up, it's because someone's behaving in a way that doesn't compute with what we think is correct at face value. The only thing irrefutably true about common-sense claims is that they are common-sense to the person who's talking. For everyone else, your mileage may vary.
Being politically moderate-left, I'm inclined to favor both comprehensive immigration reform and increased efforts towards gun safety in America, and I'd be happy to see if both efforts gain traction among conservatives and liberals alike. At the same time, it's absolutely necessary to criticize what is claimed to be the self-evident, correct course of action, even if you're on the side of the people making the pitch.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
nothing’s a better motivator than fear of public shame, so I figured I might as well post this now.Kicking this off. Starting work on the screenplay now, hopefully out by the fall.
No name for the film yet, but updates and any notes on progress will go up at: