My three year old son (along with mom and dad) saw his first movie in the theatre today -- Finding Nemo. While I know that the movie is supposedly for kids 6+ (due to a scene where the mom fish gets eaten and a few other scenes with big teeth), we didn't have any problem thanks to fact that I used the Iraq War news coverage and XBox to desensitize him to violence. The few scary parts aside, the movie was incredibly well done. There were a few moments of political correctness, but it was very mild by Hollyweird standards. Ellen Degenneres (sp?) did a spectacular job voicing Dory, an absolutely hilarious blue fish. Most of all, though, the animation was amazing. Definitely a big step up from Toy Story II (also a brilliant film).
I recommend the film, but my son gives it a big toothy grin...and that's what really counts.
James at OTB raised an eyebrow at my claim that Ringo may well be the most normal Beatle. In the spirit of great debate, let me put forth my argument.
John Lennon (not Lemon) tried to stop the Vietnam War by sitting naked in a bed with a pretentious Japanese chick. Though the US got out of Vietnam, this was not the reason. Also, Lennon insisted on putting Revolution #9 on The Beatles (White Album). No matter how avant garde you may pretend to be, it is nearly impossible to listen to more than 1 minute of that "song."
George Harrison, who D-squared claimed was somewhat of a Tory (probably because he hung out in a rural English manor), was actually a rather normal chap until he discovered Indian Enlightenment, TM and the sitar. Admit it folks, Ravi Shankar sucks and his influence did nothing to help out the Beatles' answer to Pet Sounds. And while he was the spiritual one, which I respect, it was always a weird New Age-y spirituality.
Paul McCartney was my candidate for the most normal Beatle until recently, but his record is not unblemished. First, he was the one who was most "in it for the money" (good for him), and not surprisingly ended up the wealthiest Beatle. But he married and continued to stay married to Linda Eastman (who is NOT related to the Eastman-Kodak family). What was that all about? Paul (the cute one to most women Beatle fans) could have had any babe he wanted (and probably did anyways), but continued to stay loyal to a butterface whose main goal in life was to sell frozen vegan meals. And now he is having another kid by a one-legged chick! You connect the dots. This ain't normal.
Ringo...well, Ringo didn't really do anything odd. He just kind of hung out, and was smart enough to figure out all that Indian enlightenment stuff of his best friend George was just a bunch of hooey. I believe he was the first to leave India, but I may be wrong. At his worst, he wore about 40 lbs of jewelry (mostly rings), which makes him a trendsetter for today's pierced teenagers. Currently, his hair looks like it is painted on and he has more jewelry, but again, it is quite tame relative to most of the kids in my classes. Plus, I will fully admit that I think Ringo had two of the best post-Beatle songs by any of the Beatles -- "It Don't Come Easy" and "Photograph." Seriously. Plus, Ringo never stayed married to the relatively normal Maureen (no vegan-cicles there), and instead played the field like all good rock stars should.
With a bit of deserved prodding, I finally updated my link to the all new Mudville Gazette by Greyhawk. It is well worth a visit. Some very good commentary there, plus a great design! A good place to start is his post "Saving Hollywood," where he recounts his vital efforts to help out a beleaguered website. All of this reveals how lowering the costs of information (i.e., creating blogs) can lead to powerful networks that are having an impact in today's society. Well done Greyhawk!!
Also, Greyhawk also confesses to being a big Beatles fan and recounted his joy of sharing A Hard Day's Night DVD with his kids. I'm going to have to pick that one up. My favorite Beatles movie was Help!, partially because it was a bit more plot-driven, but also because Help! was the very first album I ever had (though it may have been Surfin' USA). In any event, the world is a smaller and better place knowing bloggers like Greyhawk are out there defending it!
Is it just me or did Doonesbury * stop being funny about 25 years ago? What is amazing is that I don't think Gary Trudeau actually draws the strips anymore -- something that I think the WSJ pointed out years ago and got him really pissed off (funny how he has no sense of humor even beyond his comic strip). And instead of trying to draw political figures, he just draws invisible men. There is more political wisdom in 5 minutes of the Simpsons than during the entire run of Dunceberry.
* Link refreshed daily. If you access this after 5/29/03, there is no guarantee that the strip you see will be as mundane as the one posted on this date. However, I'm betting it will be droll and uninspired.
John Lemon, being absolutely exhausted from academia, went on a blogging spree tonight and began referring to himself in the third person. Odd. John often becomes odd when exhausted. Regardless, be sure to read all the day's posts below, including the two explicitly on sex (not explicit sex)! Sex and rock 'n roll are definitely the mutual themes tonight.
In keeping with some of the song title themes tonight, this story caught my attention being that I'm a big Beatles fan (obviously). I just have to think this is a bit weird. I guess I can't understand why a 60 year old guy would want to have a baby. Of couse, his wife is just less than half his age and he has enough cash to buy the kid his own mansion and an army of nannies. That makes the whole prospect of changing diapers a bit easier. ("Imagine all the poopy, it's easy if you try, no Pampers below us, I wrote a song called Flaming Pie...") And think about this...you're the kid of a Beatle (which will likely be your only claim to fame), yet the Beatles are ancient history to you. The last Beatles album came 32-33 years before you were born. Also keep in mind that Paul's wife was born about the time he was recording "Abbey Road" (if indeed it really was Paul and he wasn't really dead -- the jury's still out on that one). I wonder if the kids from his first marriage are pissed off because this cuts into their inheritance. I also wonder if he'll be visiting Pete Townshend less often.
The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced Ringo was the only normal one. Sigh. It don't come easy...
U2's Bongo may be up for the Nobel Peace Prize, but it appears as if a Rat may be smarter than he. In an interview reported in the UK Guardian,** Geldolf actually praised George W. Bush for doing more to help Africans than the Clinton Administration ever did. Clinton still got some high praise, probably because he aspires to be a rock star, but Geldolf's brutal honesty took many off guard(ian). Interestingly, the pro-Bush quote make it in to Australia's Herald Sun. It would appear as if that paper saw such praise for Bush as being in excess.***
* This is in reference to a song by Bob Geldolf, in case you didn't know.
** The Guardian once reported that Venezuela's oil wealth was being plundered by multinational oil firms (during the reign of funny guy Hugo Chavez), despite the fact the Venezuelan oil company is nationalized and under government control.
*** Those of you "hanging around" **** during the 1980s and who understood the rock 'n roll reference in the title of this post will appreciate that little pun as well.
**** Yet another 1980s rock trivia pun.
Loaded is probably how I should have seen this latest blockbuster flick. I thought the new (and old) Matrix was a horribly boring film. This is suprising for me as I usually am a sucker for blockbuster action flicks; I've seen the Die Hard series about 25 times. What I found most annoying about this film is that it tried to mask itself behind some deep philosophical and theological musings, namely about the nature of predestination. Unfortunately, the movie stars Keanu Reeves (of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure - which was a great flick). Let me give my summary of the movie from what I remember, including the critical scene with The Architect.
ACT I: Basic fight scene to show off new (marginal) advancements in stop-action photography.
ACT II: Orgy -- and not the political science type (this one really has sex and a montage of nipples!)*
ACT III: Obligatory car chase with obligatory old Asian man riding on back of motorcycle with hot chick.
ACT IV: The Architect scene as I remember it
Architect: Hello, Neo. I've been expecting you.
Neo (Reeves): Huh? You have? (in whispered voice) Whoa, look at all the TVs. This is totally excellent dude.
Architect: Yes, this is all part of a repeating history that is merely a glitch in a computer program -- an endless loop.
Neo: Huh? (blank stare) Um...like I'm supposed to save the world, dude. How do I do that?
Architect: Do you think the choice is up to you?
Neo: Huh? (more blank staring)
Architect: Choice, Neo, choice! Do humans have choice or are your actions all predestined? And is it possible to ever know this for sure?
Neo: Huh? (pause) ...Can you get ESPN on one of these TVs?
Architect: Neo, you are faced with two choices -- the door to your left (salvation of the human race) or the door to your right (a hot chick dressed in leather). Is this really a choice, though? I know what your meager human mind, clouded by emotions, will choose. It is all pre-determined.
Architect: Choose, damn you!
Neo: Whatever. I'll take the leather chick.
Act V: A false prophecy revealed, doom for the human race, good sex for Keanu and some mystery guy who is all of a sudden the key player in the movie.
All told, I thought Spiderman had a more interesting and complex plot:
Boy loves girl.
Boy cannot get girl.
Boy is bitten by a GM (foremerly radioactive) spider.
Boy's girl is taken by rich kid with father who turns into psychopathic green menace.
Boy kills pyschopathic green menace.
Girl would rather spend life with mutant spiderboy.
Boy thinks crawling up walls is cooler than sex; forgoes girl.
*At a minimum, this sentence should bring me many more hits via Google. If you're new to the site, welcome. Please place both hands on the keyboard and stay awhile.
All across America's campuses, people are mobilizing to create an environment that is more diverse and free from prejudice. Many of the major issues -- e.g., racism, homophobia, animal cruelty -- have already been taken. However, I want in on the act and have been searching for a cause of my own. In the spirit of campus activism, I am formally announcing my crusade to eradicate lactose intolerance with the goal of creating a campus atmosphere that is more accepting of the lactose community.
I also plan to raise funds to open a Home for Battered Fish.