Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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California, here I am...

My, the weather is astoundingly pleasant today.

The Adventures of the
on the West Coast

Part II

Flight Details

Yesterday, I came in at about 10:40 Pacific, which is about 1:40 Eastern. I have to say the Jet Blue flight I took was most comfortable. The seats were wide enough for my ass, which is a wonderful thing on an airplane these days. The courtesy of having a personal television set works for me because it means I am not forced to watch it (although I did check the LiveMap, which showed our location, velocity and altitude regularly... that's a cool feature because you can monitor your progress). The flight gave me a wonderful opportunity to do some serious music listening!

As I indicated last night, the most impressive aspect of the flight was the thunderstorm over Ohio that I got to see from above. Each flash of lightning would illuminate layers and layers of clouds. The scale of the thing was enormous. It's just one of those things that you have to be in the right place at the right time to see.

Of course, getting to the airplane meant going through an airport, which is a pain in the derriere, not so much because of the security (there only really is a problem if you're an idiot and don't realize that they are paranoid right now), but because Kennedy has lots of Americans on vacation. Aside from the policies of our current administration, it is not too difficult to figure out why the rest of the world hates Americans. They're loud and boorish. I was stuck on line with a group of twenty-somethings that were boisterous and stupid. Really boisterous and stupid. I'd like to petition the airlines to have a minimum IQ requirement in the future. Dumb people shouldn't travel.

* * *

I got an e-mail from Michael, who informed me that a lot of his music, including his score from the film I directed, Nocturno, can be heard here.

Another Bucket for Monsieur
...and perhaps a hose...

The night before I left, I watched Monty Python's The Meaning of Life for the first time in many years. I was struck not by how gross the humor was (it remains one of the more raw comedies in cinema history, and this is a film from 1983), but rather by how much more meaningful much of the humor was. When I first saw the film is when I was horrified at the complete lack of tasteful boundaries the Pythoners had... today it seems more natural. In fact, in one of the supplements, Michael Palin mentions that the film isn't gross because they were trying to be disgusting, but rather because they didn't bother censoring their ideas. If an idea such as Mr. Creosote (pictured above) was funny, it would be included whether it was icky or not.

It is the most uneven of all of the Python films, but the funnier parts of it are so hilarious that it brings you through the slower parts. Some of the tossed-off jokes are funnier than the point of the sketches, such as the luxurious lives of the officer class compared to the meatgrinder regular army suffers in the Zulu sequence.

The DVD looks pretty good, and the DTS track is front-heavy but an accurate representation of the film's original sound mix. There are a myriad of features that are quite funny as well, including one in which Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones clean the film for its restoration. Oh, and I finally got to see the "Martin Luther" sequence that was cut from the film at the last minute. It is referenced, briefly, on the soundtrack album, and it was in the published script.

Oh, and I noticed that Matt Frewer plays the executive with the sword for the Big Corporation of America in The Crimson Permanent Assurance. Cool. Why doesn't this guy get more noticable work? I mean, I guess I understand typecasting from the Max Headroom craze (for the British version of which he did an outstanding English accent), but that was close to twenty years ago. I mean, he's been busy enough, but where is the spotlight?

I close this reflection with one of my favorite lines from the film:

"Stop staring like you've never seen the hand of God before!!!"

* * *

The Bush/Cheney Re-Election Commitee of Doom had, at one point, allowed you to create your own slogans, which would then have the Bush/Cheney logo on it. Several people decided that it would be better to have a bit of truth in advertising. The results were, in my opinion, hilarious... not to mention a lot more accurate.


People take this guy seriously!?!

Tim and I watched his copy of Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War On Journalism before I left yesterday. It was quite illuminating to me, not so much because of the revelations (I know that Fox News Channel is full of shit), but because it is shocking for me to see what so many people think is news.

Bill O'Reilly, for example, has a show in which he purports to be inbiased, but every time I've ever seen anything from it, he is shouting somebody down, not giving them the chance to explain themselves, and taking clear (fascistic) positions. No wonder Americans have no clue as to what's really going on in the world...

Interestingly, there is one element of the Fox information clouding procedure that is not gotten into in the film. It is a particularly difficult one to explain in print, but I will attempt to anyway.

Intellectual Montage is the phenomenon upon which all film editing is based. A shot placed after the previous shot will be, in the viewer's mind, linked. Works such as Bruce Connor's A Movie, which consists of just a lot of stock film that Connor had edited together randomly, have an interesting effect on a viewer, as their minds strive to find some sort of relationship between shots that have nothing to do with one another.

Fox News often links stories and facts that have nothing to do with each other by having them abut one another with no transition. This is an interesting, and frightening method, because it is all but invisible to the general public. Furthermore, it is impossible to hold them accountable for such a thing because nothing is being outright connected. A story about Al Queda may be immediately followed by an item about Iraq, and while no direct correlation is being made (indeed, there isn't one, as we have established long before the war), the audience will automatically bridge the two topics.

That aside, Outfoxed works very hard to be non-partisan, a difficult task given that Fox's thrust is so partisan. The film is quite good at avoiding taking a political side, which works to its credit, instead concentrating on the perversions of journalism that the network is guilty of.

And what a legacy of disinformation it is...

First Impressions of California

Well, I haven't really gotten to see much of it yet, but I did find out that there are streets that "DIP," and that there is a doughnut spot that makes seasonal fruit flavors, including a peach that I haven't tried yet but that sounds delicious. "Donut Man," in Glendora (formerly Far Foster's).

I got the tour of aerolyndt's abode yesterday, which will be quite cozy once the unpacking is done. I only got to meet Mark for a few moments, as he was working, but I did get to interact more with Daniel, who, it should be noted, falls under the category of feline who feels that the zenith of human civilization was reached thousands of years ago, in ancient Egypt. Wait a minute... that's all cats.

Anyway, he was a bit cranky because he wasn't feeling all that good last night, but he was much friendlier this morning. He called me outside to stroke him a couple of times while composing this entry, in fact, just so I would know who was in charge around here.

I really need to move to a place where I can keep a cat. I am jealous of all of my friends' felines...

So, when Aerolyndt refers to a shed with computers in it, she wasn't misrepresenting. And this is a fine patio, I must say.


Raz told me that he talked to Brad yesterday, and apparently he and his family survived the worst of the floods and are doing okay. Raz isn't saying much more than that, but at least I can rest easy on that count.
Tags: cinema, travels

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