Wednesday, May 29, 2013 4:54:57 AM
For some reason the UK's Guardian ran Op-Ed about liberals being rude to republicans
Well, I'm not a liberal (or at least, don't have a sufficient understanding of WTF that term means) but I do know why I -- usually -- hold Republicans in such disrepute.
Especially when you put out comments like:
Wouldn't it be better for America if liberals really were liberal, and listened to other points of view? Is prayer in public places really so awful? Isn't it possible to have legitimate concerns about the effects of gay marriage? Hasn't Sarah Palin earned some respect for her successful fight against corruption in Alaska? Perhaps the best response to global warming is to adapt to it, rather than spending billions to fight it. Think about it.
Listen to other points of view? Republicans who listen to other points of view. I do recall the Bush II era and points of view that were not theirs were certainly not entertained... where were those definitely there
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq... or the listening to those who complained that depriving people of all civil and prisoner-of-war rights was wrong? That
is the Republican version of listening.
Is prayer in public places awful? Of course not. What is
awful is forcing it down the throats of others by ostracizing them for failing to participate, what's awful is when government (including public school administrators and teachers) officials lead the prayers and influence our young minds in a manner that gives PREFERENTIAL treatment to one religion over another (just ask yourself, would you want your kids praying to Mecca?).
Legitimate concerns about the effects of gay marriage?! There are none. Only strawmen who fall to legitimate concerns of the deprivation of civil rights.
Sarah Palin's fight against corruption? Okay, so she didn't come off as a genius in the election -- I'll forgive her wild talk and silly gaffs, it happens sometimes. But what about ordering the stop to a State Trooper investigation and using her public office improperly? What about QUITTING the Governorship cause (I don't know) it was just too tough? (And she wanted to be Vice President... she thought THAT was going to be easier than being Governor?)
Adapt to Global Warming vs spending billions to fight it... misunderstands the severity of the problems we face. Either way we are going to have to spend billions of dollars -- whether you want to call it a "fight" or "adaptation" is irrelevant. Shorelines are going to erode as ocean levels rise. Disaster weather (extremes) will become more common, more dire (not to mention effect more people... just simply because there ARE more people). If the oceanic ecosystem collapses, killing the vast majority of sea-life, the "adaptation" you're talking about will be global food crisis unlike anything seen before and wars of the scare resources that will be necessary to adapt
to the new way of life.
No, I don't think it's okay (or particularly helpful) to be rude and considering most of my family is Republican, it wouldn't do me much good at family outings but Republicans seem to live in a world of "Wishing Makes It So." There are harsh realities that must be faced and spending time arguing about whether people of the same sex should get equal protections under the law if they want to make a public declaration of a commitment to eachother (aka, Marriage) is not just a waste of our collective time, it's insulting and, oh yes, rude.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 7:44:45 AM
Just saw it.
JJ Abrams has definitely claimed Star Trek as his own. The costumes, the shooting, the music, the special effects -- all quite amazing, stellar, really.
It blows you away and begs you into this world (although, the Getty Museum is iconic and difficult to miss without more redressing). The opening just sucked you right into the events. A girl, a fatal disease, a desperate father. And then it seemed to go downhill.
The story felt dry, as if desperately searching for some perspective or point of view to cling to so we could root for someone and the only one we could really root for was Spock... well, and our badguy -- who didn't really get a chance to be bad. Sure, he, in desperation, decided to strike out against Starfleet but his act of desperate revenge was misdirected (perhaps an intentional choice but without justification for our character). Our man-of-evil would have wanted revenge against those who had wronged him. Spock had wronged him, he is not the type to settle for blowing up comrades, he wants the death of those who wrong him.
Of course, these thoughts to come to pass in the movie. In the movie it's just... this feels boring. I love the character of Christopher Pike and the Klingons but they felt contrived in this scenario. There were great moments but . . .
I analyze it as a student of the world of film and a fan. What happened?
First, why take away his ship for all of two seconds? We know he's the hero, we know he's the Captain. Yes, this is important to him, it is his life, it means everything to him but WE know that the ship is going to sink in Titanic, walking in; we know he's going to be in command so if you take it away from him, it better be for a good portion of the movie and make some damn sense.
The attack on Starfleet Command? It's funny, my first thought is that Starfleet must be getting pretty damn lazy/arrogant is they have command meetings in a facility so vulnerable that anyone can fucking drive-by the place. I quickly got over it in the movie but it did leave me annoyed. It's such an easy problem to solve in the story. Just meet in the Admiral's office or have him attempt to blow up a secure facility. (Also, the use of "Section 31" shout-out, while clearly Star Trek, is trivializing what they meant -- they were secret, they are the people who's names are not spoken except using code).
If you're going to use Star Trek references then, by-god, UNDERSTAND THEM! Instead of "Section 31" just say, "It was a covert research operation." And Pike says, "I wasn't aware of any operation, run by who?" Admiral Marcus, "That's need-to-know, Admiral."
SIMPLE. Done. Compelling.
JJ also didn't let us revel in the "something is coming anxiety" for very long. Why do the setup, if you aren't going to have a payoff?
The Carol Marcus character, another character of Star Trek lore, played by super-hot Alice Eve (it took a great deal of effort to... oh, lies... Half the time she was on screen I wasn't paying attention to her words. Especially after her random, WTF, underwear scene). Her purpose? Nothing. Her storyline wasn't explored. Her flirting with Kirk lasted all of 5 seconds and WTF? I mean, I'm all for super-hot, half-naked girls but we give them a purpose OR we give them no purpose (and they stay background). If you're going to introduce the damn girl, give her something to do (Oh, but Yum, she was critical for keeping her Dad from killing them -- ah but, no she wasn't, could have been done by Scotty).
A few great moments, not a great movie make.
The death scene. Brilliant. I remember thinking, "Finally, the payoff. Finally, the movie has come alive.... all that other stuff was just a build-up to this."
And, honestly. I sort of hope they let the movie end there and picked-up with a sequel. In fact, if they could have done that and fixed the structural deficiencies in this script with the extra time, YES! But no... they did this weird 9-11 homage (it didn't seem that subtle to me but maybe to others?)
Again, it wasn't that it was a bad idea. It's that it was poorly executed so we gave a flying-fuck about anything that was happening. Oh, yes, look at those people on the ground getting plowed down but SO WHAT.... In the previews I saw the world destroyed 3 times! If you want to comment on 9-11, then don't do it through cutesy homages - make a fucking statement - and make it big.
Which makes me wonder whether JJ is actually a fan of Star Trek.... even HIS version of it... Because, honestly, I don't think he is. It felt more like an audition tape for Star Wars than a Star Trek film.
Even his "kicking the ship back to life" had a moment where, I swear to god, he kicked it at such an awkward angle that it moved backwards.
I just want to beg JJ to let me fix the next film. He doesn't even have to give me a credit, just let me come in and revive it. Give it some life.
It had all of it but no soul.
I have nothing but respect for JJ Abrams, all of his work to this point has been spectacular, excellent, thrilling and just brilliant but this was not those things. This was a disappointment.