Thursday, April 14, 2005

'The Final Cut' = Worth Watching

Last night I watched 'The Final Cut' a film that went through the theaters like a greasy taco on buck-a-beer night at the El Sombrero. This is too bad because its actually a pretty cool film.

The set up is simple. In an a quasi-alternate reality parents can implant an organic device in their unborn child called the EYE implant (Everything You Experience) which records everything they see, hear and say for their entire life. Upon their death, a 'cutter' takes the implant, downloads all its information and edits it down to an hour or so highlight film called a 'rememory' to be shown at the funeral.

Robin Williams plays Alan Hakman, a cutter who specializes in carefully editing the lives of pervs, abusers and other wealthy but wacked individuals into something tasteful for their next of kin. In this role he is privy to lots of dirty laundry. As such he is very remote and uneasy around people. An anti EYE implant group seeks to get the raw EYE footage of a powerful member of the company that makes the EYE and will go to great langths to get it. Williams is also haunted by a childhood memory about a death he may have caused.

Willams does a good job though the understated role could have beenplayed by a number of good actors. The look of the film is also very understated. No chrome, no CGI, or explosions which is a relief. If Bruckhimer had directed this, it would have been a messy pile of shit with Ben Afflek, gunfights and a 'tasteful' sex scene with Hollywoods latest piece of ass. In fact, its best feature is that 'Final Cut' generates post-film converstions about how society would view such an invention. How would you behave if you knew everything you did would someday be watched by someone you don't know?

Rise up! Fight the power!

I was raised a Unitarian. Our battle cry; "Whatever makes you happy". This meant that I only had to attend a few religious services a year at the West Shore Unitarian Church and the ones I did attend, were pretty laid back. But times have changed. We live in a post 9/11 world now, which means that all our actions have to be based on fear and anger. I found this manifesto from a group called Unitarian Jihad. Read on a ndprepare yourselves.

Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States. We are Unitarian Jihad. There is only God, unless there is more than one God. The vote of our God subcommittee is 10-8 in favor of one God, with two abstentions. Brother Flaming Sword of Moderation noted the possibility of there being no God at all, and his objection was noted with love by the secretary.

Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States! Too long has your attention been waylaid by the bright baubles of extremist thought. Too long have fundamentalist yahoos of all religions (except Buddhism -- 14-5 vote, no abstentions, fundamentalism subcommittee) made your head hurt. Too long have you been buffeted by angry people who think that God talks to them. You have a right to your moderation! You have the power to be calm! We will use the IED of truth to explode the SUV of dogmatic expression!

People of the United States, why is everyone yelling at you??? Whatever happened to ... you know, everything? Why is the news dominated by nutballs saying that the Ten Commandments have to be tattooed inside the eyelids of every American, or that Allah has told them to kill Americans in order to rid the world of Satan, or that Yahweh has instructed them to go live wherever they feel like, or that Shiva thinks bombing mosques is a great idea? Sister Immaculate Dagger of Peace notes for the record that we mean no disrespect to Jews, Muslims, Christians or Hindus. Referred back to the committee of the whole for further discussion.

We are Unitarian Jihad. We are everywhere. We have not been born again, nor have we sworn a blood oath. We do not think that God cares what we read, what we eat or whom we sleep with. Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity notes for the record that he does not have a moral code but is nevertheless a good person, and Unexalted Leader Garrote of Forgiveness stipulates that Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity is a good person, and this is to be reflected in the minutes.

Beware! Unless you people shut up and begin acting like grown-ups with brains enough to understand the difference between political belief and personal faith, the Unitarian Jihad will begin a series of terrorist-like actions. We will take over television studios, kidnap so-called commentators and broadcast calm, well-reasoned discussions of the issues of the day. We will not try for "balance" by hiring fruitcakes; we will try for balance by hiring non-ideologues who have carefully thought through the issues.

We are Unitarian Jihad. We will appear in public places and require people to shake hands with each other. (Sister Hand Grenade of Love suggested that we institute a terror regime of mandatory hugging, but her motion was not formally introduced because of lack of a quorum.) We will require all lobbyists, spokesmen and campaign managers to dress like trout in public. Televangelists will be forced to take jobs as Xerox repair specialists. Demagogues of all stripes will be required to read Proust out loud in prisons.

We are Unitarian Jihad, and our motto is: "Sincerity is not enough." We have heard from enough sincere people to last a lifetime already. Just because you believe it's true doesn't make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn't mean you are not doing harm. Get a dog, or comfort someone in a nursing home, or just feed the birds in the park. Play basketball. Lighten up. The world is not out to get you, except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone.

Brother Gatling Gun of Patience notes that he's pretty sure the world is out to get him because everyone laughs when he says he is a Unitarian. There were murmurs of assent around the room, and someone suggested that we buy some Congress members and really stick it to the Baptists. But this was deemed against Revolutionary Principles, and Brother Gatling Gun of Patience was remanded to the Sunday Flowers and Banners committee.

People of the United States! We are Unitarian Jihad! We can strike without warning. Pockets of reasonableness and harmony will appear as if from nowhere! Nice people will run the government again! There will be coffee and cookies in the Gandhi Room after the revolution.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

More cool watch goodness

These clever monkeys just keep coming up with more and more cool watches. When I am God Emperor of this miserable mud ball of a planet I will have an entire government department dedicated to providing me with cool gadgets like this.

Does it tell time? Who the hell cares? You can go check it out for yourself here.