Saturday, June 29, 2019

Good News, Everyone!!



Over the years of serving up your Cup of Joe (fresh and hot), this semi-experimental online  original commentary on our collective Past, Present and Future, well, sure, there's been great focus on politics. But something happened.

Pretty much a year, two even, have been posts about the Con Man Who Swindled America.

Titanic effort has been applied all along by yours truly to resist attempting to endlessly post pithy captures our current Idiocracy. The effort has won the day, so, in the words of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, "Good news, everyone!" More normal weird and wonderful items are making a welcome return here.

(No, I'm not turning blindly away. How could anyone? We all know what a horrible place we've become. America is now the place parents warn their children about. "And if they catch you, they'll lock you away forever.")

So.

First we heard about an Alabama man who allegedly had an Attack Squirrel, which he had been feeding meth in order to make it "aggressive", so the police better watch out! Then came The Chase after said owner of the perhaps meth-addicted Attack Squirrel.



Ok then.
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Movies have been on my mind too, as always. Especially regarding the process of making them. As a hardcore fan of the films of Stanley Kubrick, I I enjoyed this oral history about the making of the orgy scene in Kubrick's final film, Eyes Wide Shut.

"Peter Cavaciuti (Steadicam operator): Stanley’s precision was the thing I remember most. I had three lasers on the Steadicam, pointed to the ground, and when they all lined up, a grip would drop a plumb line from a string from the lens; then I’d line my lasers up, and then the grip would talk me into the mark, saying I was two inches, one inch on the mark. That level of precision was pretty exceptional. You’d very rarely do less than 20 takes. So physically and intellectually, it was demanding. Very often, Stanley would say to me that I wasn’t on my mark. I’d look down and I had my three lasers, so I’d say, “Well, I am on the mark, Stanley.” And one time Tom Cruise whispered to me, “Just move the camera, Pete.” [I realized] it was just code for saying that Stanley wanted to put the camera in a different place."

As much as he was known for being a control freak, it is much more a case of his being a collaborator - gathering very talented people, work with them for months to create the best way to tell a scene or a story, and still at the moment of shooting the scene being open to what else might be possible. 
I was also struck by descriptions of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as great to work with - helpful and contributing to the work. One doesn't spend years working on a difficult project unless their is great commitment and excitement.


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How about pretty much every way you can cook a potato?






Thursday, February 21, 2019

So Many Enemies He Needs Some Executive Time to Relax a Little


So the president repeatedly says the American press is America's enemy - but not one word about Russia threatening a nuclear attack on America ... 

Former FBI director says he fears the president is a Russian asset .... but the press is the enemy (oh, and the entire FBI).

Saudi Arabia murders a journalist, the president's staff has secretly sold nuclear weapon secrets to them ... because the press is the enemy?

The president calls for retribution against media comedies for jokes about his great self, and a coast guard officer is thankfully arrested for planning mass murder based on a hit list spreadsheet of media targets ....because the press is the enemy.

Except the press is not the enemy at our southern border. It's all the non-white people. Such a horrific enemy the president says America has a national emergency. 

Odd ...The press, non-whites, treaties with our allies, our military alliances, our trade with other nations, these are the enemies of America in the eyes and mind and actions of the president and his followers. Oh, and all the ex members of his administration. They are all bad people too. And his lawyers. And former friends. 

So many enemies. Gonna have to grab some Executive Time.



Monday, January 21, 2019

The Question Only You Can Answer


As much as I have railed against folks like our current president who promote racist ways, let me instead today refer you to Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate our better selves, and go gently among the battered and wounded America by way of this humble but lovable blog and remind you of how much King got right, that hope among all of us rises in every walk of life, that possibility, life, freedom and equality exist, that justice exists. 

However.

I am stumped and stupified by the reality that this country is still battling over the same ground so many years after King's death. Since that battle still rages, then, as now, it is my responsibility - our responsibility - to speak up and call out the racism and injustice others consistently tolerate if not promote. This is America -  everyone is an immigrant's child. 

So on this day, let us remind ourselves of some of King's words:


--  "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"


 --  "An individual has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow horizons of his particular individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. And this is one of the big problems of life, that so many people never quite get to the point of rising above self. And so they end up the tragic victims of self-centeredness. They end up the victims of distorted and disrupted personality."