Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Where To Begin?

My Weekend In Boston

It was a trip up to Boston to complete work on the screenplay I am writing with Suit; we didn't end up finishing it, but we made huge strides in getting it done. The actual experience of doing it was rather Dionysian, as our productivity was only matched by our self-abuse. I'm still recovering from it.

"We can't stop here! We haven't reached the end of the scene!!!"

In addition to spending some quality writing time with Suit, I also got to spend some wonderful time with Suit's cat, Kato. Kato rocks, you see. And he knows it, which would be really annoying if he wasn't Kato.

Incidentally, my current anxiety is that this film may well be the only epic-length movie about college students. The purple snorklewacker has been informed.

On the trip I saw a real Boston Market, too!



Despite President Bush's pledge that homosexuals "ought to have the same rights" 1 as all other people, his Administration this week ruled that homosexuals can now be fired from the federal workforce because of their sexual orientation.

According to the Federal Times, the president's appointee at the Office of Special Counsel ruled that federal employees will now "have no recourse if they are fired or demoted simply for being gay." 2 While the Bush Administration says it is legally prohibited from firing a person for their conduct, they have the legal right to fire or demote someone based on their sexual orientation. To carry out the directive, the White House has begun
removing information from government websites about sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. 3

Not only does the new directive contradict the president's own promise to treat homosexuals as equals under the law, but it also contradicts what the Administration told Congress. As noted in a bipartisan letter from four Senators to the Administration, "During the confirmation process [of the president's appointee], you assured us that you were committed to protecting federal employees against unlawful discrimination related to their sexual orientation." 4

1. Debates, 10/11/2000.
2. "OSC to study whether bias law covers gays", Federal Times, 03/15/2004.
3. "Gay Rights Information Taken Off Site", Washington Post, 02/18/2004.
4. "Special Counsel Under Scrutiny", Washington Post, 02/23/2004.

Visit for more about Bush Administration distortion.



A previously forgotten report from April 2001 (four months before 9/11) shows that the Bush Administration officially declared it "a mistake" to focus "so much energy on Osama bin Laden." The report directly contradicts the White House's continued assertion that fighting terrorism was its "top priority" before the 9/11 attacks 1.

Specifically, on April 30, 2001, CNN reported that the Bush Administration's release of the government's annual terrorism report contained a serious change: "there was no extensive mention of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden" as there had been in previous years. When asked why the Administration had reduced the focus, "a senior Bush State Department official told CNN the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden." 2.

The move to downgrade the fight against Al Qaeda before 9/11 was not the only instance where the Administration ignored repeated warnings that an Al Qaeda attack was imminent 3. Specifically, the Associated Press reported in 2002 that "President Bush's national security leadership met formally nearly 100 times in the months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks yet terrorism was the topic during only two of those sessions" 4. Meanwhile, Newsweek has reported that internal government documents show that the Bush Administration moved to "de-emphasize" counterterrorism prior to 9/11 5.

When "FBI officials sought to add hundreds more counterintelligence agents" to deal with the problem, "they got shot down" by the White House.

1. Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, 03/22/2004.
2. CNN, 04/30/2001.
3. Bush Was Warned of Hijackings Before 9/11; Lawmakers Want Public Inquiry,
ABC News, 05/16/2002.

4. "Top security advisers met just twice on terrorism before Sept. 11
attacks", Detroit News, 07/01/2002.

5. Freedom of Information Center, 05/27/2002.

Visit for more about Bush Administration distortion.

The worst part about all of this is that people will still be voting for this evil fuck.

My apartment is newly cleaned, courtesy of my friends Tim and Dave. In instructing them how to use the home theater, it occurred to me that it was much more complicated than it had to be. This happened because I kept adding new units to the setup. I resolved to simplify the situation by reorganizing the whole thing.

Unfortunately, in the process I busted the tray on the Sony 5-disc CD/DVD/SACD changer. I brought it in this morning to get it repaired. Luckily, an audiophile such as myself has redundant technology; while I can not play my SACDs until the Sony comes back, my Toshiba DVD/DVD-Audio/CD player is still around for watching DVDs and playing CDs.

I brought the laserdisc player in to get it looked at as well. For a couple of months, it has been making a squealing noise while playing certain discs. The discs play fine otherwise.

I took it to LaserLand, where it was flocked about by the employees. The laserdisc format may indeed be defunct, but my player, the Pioneer D-704 was the shizznit when it came out (it was the first laserdisc player to have Dolby AC-3 audio, now known as Dolby Digital 5.1), and still commands quite a lot of respect among those in the know.

The fact that the player is ten years old and has only a minor problem tells quite a lot about its resilience, and I have quite a lot of stuff on laser that will never show up on DVD, including a lot of Criterion titles that have since expired. I also own the original version of the Star Wars trilogy, which will apparently never be seen again.

Episode I

It is a difficult for someone who is so snobbish when it comes to film, but when Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out, I saw it quite a few times.

I knew the film wasn't all that great, but the fact of the matter, and something that was confirmed by my watching it again for the first time since I saw it in the theater, is that it was a fantastic spectacle. There are certainly many missteps (midi-chlorians from the planet Zeist?), but there are also some wonderfully gripping sequences, such as the pod race and the lightsaber duels. Visually, it is stunning, with quite a lot of imagination going into the environments on Naboo and Coruscant, and John Williams' score is gorgeous.

More than anything else, revisiting this film has thrown into harsh relief how much The Lord of the Rings films have changed how drama and spectacle interact in a film.

Return of the King
DVD Preview

I have had the opportunity to preview the upcoming DVD of The Return of the King. The picture is much more high-contrast than the theatrical prints, which gives the Minas Tirith sequences a slightly overblown appearance.

Unfortunately, the length of the film means that the picture is slightly compromised. While the disc is dual-layered, each layer has what would be the length of a complete film on it (1:34 on the first layer, 1:46 on the second), and so during the darker sequences, one can see the limitations.

Several sequences have been recolored from the theatrical prints. For example, this scene, which takes place in moonlight on film...

...on DVD takes place at dawn.

The Dolby Digital EX sound is very good, approximating the Dolby theatrical track, although not quite as aggressive as the theatrical DTS track, which I assume will be remedied with the release of the extended version, which will have a DTS-ES track.
Tags: cinema, lord of the rings, travels

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