Saturday, March 31, 2012

Letters to F

F: Dear H, I don't care what happens as long as I get to kill shit. Sincerely, F

H: Dear F, Typhoon Harridan! don't hawk out at me – H

F: Dear H, I'm not. I'm with you on this one. Just tell me who to split. Sincerely, F

H: Let's be real for a moment. I used to be just like you, full of apples and kanger. Then I learned how to cook stir-fry, sew backpacks and fix motorcycles. Have a good one. - H

F: I need your sayso before I gogo on these cholos.

I don't even know what that means, F.

Take yourself down a peg, it'll do you a world of good. - H

H - Maybe you forgot what you owe me and what it means to not even want anymore. Peg yourself down
a take and throw out the rice cooker while you're add it.

F - H, upgrade your attitude. You know how to make Powerpoints, that doesn't equip your for life in killing fields, trust me, okay. F.

H. Con your way up the food chain all you like but sooner or later you're going to find the window of opportunity slamming shut on your fingertips causing blood runs and possibly liver flukes.

Nevermind. I don't even want to have this conversation. (equals parts conversation and letter-type document –ed.) It's over. I never want to hear of you again. H.

F: Too bad. In the old days they never got to have sweets. Now you're a regular Sweets McGee. So- ---what-you-gonna-gonna-do-abit-it? - H

H: Forget for a moment that you're a twelve-year-old loser that thinks just because you knocked over a liquor store you're some kind of Jedi Knight. Listen what I have to say: there are three things I hate and that is pets - all kinds - and sports - all kinds. Pick a choice of what to split and get back to me when your ovaries have dropped. - F

Friday, March 30, 2012

How I Would Overhaul the U.S. Tax Code - Part II: Current Problems in the System

Continued from Part I.

The problems of the U.S. Tax Code are almost innumerable, but I will describe only the most inimical flaws that this proposed overhaul will address. These can be categorized broadly in three groups: problems of unfairness, problems of inefficiency and problems of complexity.

The tax code is unfair when it derives revenue in a needlessly regressive manner as in the case of the funding source for Social Security and Medicare. The FICA Tax that raises revenue for those programs is flat and thus by definition regressive. An individual earning $20,000 annually is in the same income bracket as a person earning $90,000 in the same year as far as the FICA tax is concerned. To make matters worse, only the first $106,800 of wages is subject to Social Security portion of the tax while investment income is not subject to the tax at all. This means that for three fourths of Americans, the FICA tax represents a majority of their tax liability. But for the wealthiest people in the country, the FICA tax is a minuscule part of their bill.

The federal income tax is more progressive in structure than the FICA tax, but it has become dramatically less progressive in recent decades. At the same time as the richest Americans became ever wealthier while every other income group stagnated, the federal government has been effectively providing a regular boost to the aftertax income of the top income bracket. Thus the government has only been exacerbating an already pernicious problem of rapidly growing income inequality.

In addition to its dwindling vertical equity, the federal income tax is also economically inefficient. Conservatives of various stripes regularly make an argument against the federal income tax on this basis. But some progressives have articulated the point as well, with Robert Frank arguing in the liberal American Prospect magazine that “taxes do more than pay for public services. Taxing any activity both generates revenue and discourages the activity.” With this in mind, he reasons that we should not tax work or income, as both the federal income tax and the FICA tax do, because we do not want to discourage either of those activities. It is highly inefficient for governments to discourage desirable economic activities through taxes, and can only be justified if there are no alternative mechanisms for raising necessary revenue. However, there are alternatives.

Finally, a growing chorus of voices has been calling for root-and-branch tax reform simply because the code has grown so complex in the past quarter century since the last major revision. Both parties abuse tax expenditures as a way to favor their political priorities without adding any new spending to the budget even though the fiscal effect is usually the same and tax expenditures are often far less economically efficient. Coupled with the intense influence of special interest groups who constantly lobby for special tax privileges and the like, the tax code seems to inevitably turn to swiss cheese within a few decades of each major reform. Perhaps this is unavoidable, but the need for fairly regular reform does give the country an opportunity to seriously reconsider its tax system every few decades. Instead of squandering this opportunity by only eliminating loopholes and adjusting rates while keeping suboptimal revenue sources in place, we should embrace the chance to use an overhaul to creatively address our nation’s biggest challenges.

Continued in Part III.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Self-enhancement: The Hidden Value of Good Breeding

People tend to overestimate the level of control they have over events, understanding their contributions as important even when they are actually inconsequential. People stand by their belief that they can affect the results of random systems and even when a relationship exists between actions and outcomes, people still reliably overestimate the importance of that relationship.

For wealthy people, this tendency is much stronger than among ordinary people. This may explain the existence of such absurd social phenomena as aristocracies and hereditary monarchy. When you have so much money, this may distort your perception of the world in such a way that you could actually start to believe it makes sense for your children to inherit the extremely powerful position you hold simply by virtue of them being your children.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Transgression Comedy

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
2009.  122 minutes. USA. Directed by Werner Herzog. Watchdate: 3/27/2011.
An odd duck of a movie that novelly spoofs the police detective story by roiling up such an absurd concoction of unhinged wildness that it skewers conventions and upsets expectations seemingly without any effort expended whatsoever. This is exactly the kind of movie I love - contemptuous of genre, hilariously impulsive, aware of its self-indulgence but unwilling to apologize for it. In fact, it fulfilled my desires too much - at a certain point it was so enjoyable that it ceased being at all challenging. Therefore it can't quite rise to the top of the pile. Or can it? On first viewing it felt too good to be true, but in retrospect I can't stop loving its drunken audacity and hallucinatory liveliness.

In any case, this is exactly the way Nicolas Cage can be utilized effectively for high entertainment - waving a huge gun around in order to threaten old ladies, smoking crack before making out with a hooker, running up gambling debts, and extorting or intimidating every other person he meets. Looking back, this movie is Dionysus, Leaves of Grass is Apollo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Transgenre Tragedy

Leaves of Grass
2009.  105 minutes. USA. Directed by Tim Blake Nelson. Watchdate: 3/24/2011.
An odd duck of a movie that novelly attempts to use the delicately promising premise of Edward Norton playing mismatched twin brothers - one an Apollonian academic, the other a Dionysian drug dealer - to combine the utterly modern subgenre of a stoner action comedy (ala Pineapple Express) with the most ancient of genres, the Greek Tragedy (ala Antigone). The result, as one might expect, is very uneven. But it deserves some attention for the curiosity of its storytelling impulses.

Oscillating between ruthlessly violent Jewish gangsters and loving tributes to Walt Whitman, satiring the pretensions of cloistered academia alongside the antics of troglodyte rednecks, the movie virtuously tries to arbitrate the idiosyncrasies of the diverse ways people choose to live their lives. It's a valiant effort, worthwhile as much for how it fails as how it succeeds.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Miskimin’s Previews

This section is rambling and weird. Please fix this nonsense. (You cannot fix it through a purchase or a password, its just something that burns in your chest.)

Miskimin is said to have been raised inside a globe of video glands. He fought the populace for points, which he would trade in for a toothbrush and other tools in order to acquire more points.

I.

Depending on who Miskimin really was, you may have different objectives. If you want to see the highlights of development, you can do that by building Banana Republic-type stores on a lake of lava in order to conquer or the world or blast off into space. This will be addictive fun, but you will find that you torture yourself with the allure of “just one more turn.”

II.

If Miskimin was an alchemist, the likelihood is that he does not live in this century. In that case, you will have to fight your way through each shared space. Along the way, you will kill enemies like Ghenghis Khan and Alexander the Great by laying railroad track on their heads. You will likely end by ripping off a great novelist in voluminous measures.

III.

Miskimin may be the author of this guidebook, and then you have to question whether he is giving you a fair reading of the games offered to you for surprisingly high prices. Of course, for an untrustworthy narrator to actually tell you directly to your face that he is not to be trusted would take all the fun out of the "Language Arts."

IV.

Most people think Miskimin is some kind of revolutionary organism, but they don’t tell him that because they do not want his head getting too big.

V.

The revolutionary organism is characterized by its unpredictable interaction with the environment. Now, what you’re seeing here are three strings: ecological, mythographical -- the development of stories – and physiological – that’s you and me. The problem, for us and for Miskimin, is that what happens is mainly revolution of populations, not so much the revolution of individuals. But this shouldn’t surprise us if we’re looking at the time scales involved.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cosmos, Earth, Life, and Humanity

The Tree of Life
2011.  138 minutes. USA. Directed by Terrence Malick. Watchdate: 8/15/2011.
This movie is the most conspicuously arty movie I have watched since Wings of Desire. It left me feeling conflicted. I want to call it pretentious garbage, but I got too caught up in it and found it too emotionally and intellectually stimulating to really believe that it's that. No doubt it is pretentious, and finds itself more profound than it actually is, but as with Wings of Desire I admire rather than ridicule its soaring ambition.

I found both the second section and the third section of the movie to be superb. The second section is a journey through space and time to discover the origin of life and rhythms of birth and death. This section is packed with great images. On that basis alone, I rate it highly but I also like that it connects human tragedy to the larger canvas of the cosmos. As portentous as it is, I wish more storytellers were daring enough to make that leap from the concerns of humans to the larger processes of the universe. The third section is the most straightforward part of the movie, essentially a domestic drama about growing up. It imbued me with  nostalgia but also made me feel and think deeply about my childhood and early adolscence.

I save my sharpest criticisms for the beginning and ending sections. I understand what Malick was trying to accomplish here, but it just didn't always work so well for me. There are some poignant moments and images, but the fractured nature of the sequences did not do for me what i think he intended. This is where the pretentiousness and the artiness was least worthwhile or interesting and most noisome.

With a bit of judicious editing the movie may have been one of my favorite movies rather than (merely) a deeply flawed masterpiece. And there are also some interesting parallels between this movie and the documentary Nostalgia for the Light, on which I hope to expound on a future date.

Friday, March 23, 2012

How I Would Overhaul the U.S. Tax Code - Part I: Summary of Proposed Changes

The United States tax code needs a complete overhaul. An overhaul is necessary not simply because a wide variety loopholes, exemptions, and carve outs have infested the system with unfairness, complexity and inefficiency. Even more importantly, the United States needs a tax structure that will help it confront the economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century in a sophisticated, effective way. Closing loopholes and eliminating special interest giveaways, while appealing and worthwhile, is just not enough good enough in a world of staggering economic imbalances and looming climate catastrophes. We must pursue a more ambitious approach.

We should eliminate the federal income tax and the payroll (or FICA) tax and replace them with more sensible revenue measures to fund the bulk of government expenditure. Basic economic principles indicate that governments should tax activities in order to reduce their incidence. For this reason, governments have so-called ‘sin’ taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. But sin taxes only provide revenue on the margin.

The largest revenue streams of the federal government tax income. But income is a positive activity. Governments should want more, not less of it. The payroll tax is also extremely regressive, and so it might be more precise to say that it taxes work which is another activity governments should not be discouraging.

This might be a necessary contradiction if there were no other alternatives for raising the amount of revenue needed to maintain the essential government function of a modern wealthy superpower. However, there are fairly straightforward options for raising comparable revenues by taxing more negative activities. Instead of raising the bulk of the federal government’s revenue through income and payroll taxes, we should raise the same (or greater) revenue through taxing excessive consumption and deleterious pollution.

The federal income tax should be replaced by a progressive consumption tax. Under a progressive consumption tax, Americans would report their income to the Internal Revenue Service as they do now but they would also report their annual savings. The difference between these two amounts would constitute taxable consumption. Basic necessities would be exempted in the form of a standard deduction dependent on family size. Rates would start low but as taxable consumption rose, the tax rate on additional consumption would also rise.

The payroll tax should be replaced by a tax on man-made greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon. Several countries have instituted a tax on each ton of atmospheric carbon emitted and we could model our tax on the most successful international versions. However, in order to raise as much revenue as the payroll tax does presently, the tax on carbon and other climate distorting pollutants would have to be quite high. This would cause the costs of various goods and services to rise dramatically, but individuals and families will be able to cope with increased costs as their paychecks will be much bigger due to the repeal of the payroll tax. This will also allow consumers to make informed choices by imposing the true costs of energy use on all economic activities. Market discipline will allow consumers to more easily look for alternatives that pollute less or not at all.

There are innumerable reasons for instituting such an admittedly radical reform but the main desirable effects of these proposed changes would be to encourage saving and to make pollution as burdensome economically as it already is on human health in the long term. Given the role that unsustainable debt and overleveraging played the recent financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession, the wisdom of building the tax code around making saving more advantageous should be clear. And the largest burden we are currently building up to leave to future generations is not a fiscal deficit at all. Rather, it is a climate debt of monstrous proportions. We are condemning our grandchildren to a world that is more impoverished, fractious and possible uninhabitable. Replacing the payroll tax with a climate pollution tax is not only good policy, it is a moral imperative.

To supplement these substantial alterations to the current tax system, we should also add a small financial transactions tax, a tax on bank size, and a tariff on imports from countries that do not put a similar price on carbon. A financial transactions tax would mostly afflict speculators while helpfully slowing down the often blindingly fast speeds of financial markets. A tax on bank size would serve as useful cudgel against the persistent problem of “too big to fail” financial institutions. A carbon tariff along the lines of that endorsed by Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman is the only way to level the playing field between countries with responsible climate policies and those without. The considerable additional revenues raised by these supplements could be used both for budget deficit reduction and to finance long-neglected investments in public education and infrastructure.

Continued in Part II.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meat Trembling

Live Flesh
1997.  103 minutes. Spain. Directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Watchdate: 5/22/2011.
Shall we gasp at the lively energy of this uninhibited soap opera that brings only graceful honor and boundless imagination to a once scorned storytelling form? Javier Bardem accomplishes wonderful acts in the fields of wheelchair basketball and cunnilingus, playing against type as a nerdy paraplegic. A storm of jealous misbehavior swirls around him, alternately uproarious and moving, engulfing his seemingly untouchable goodness as Almodóvar upsets expectations with ease and memorably weaving emotional conjuring. The puzzle snaps into place just before we are ready to say goodbye.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ode to Pancho Ramos [as transcribed by Ray Pinchot]

No place to live
No place to work
I can't help feeling like a shiftless jerk
So I'm stealing from Santa Claus
Santa Claus, Santa Claus
I'm stealing from Santa Claus

Bank account's empty
Credit is shot
Don't even own all the junk that I got
But I'm stealing from Santa Claus
Santa Claus, Santa Claus
Stealing from Santa Claus

I know it's my fault
I know I fucked up
Just drop some coins in my novelty cup
Cuz I'm stealing from Santa Claus
Santa Claus, Santa Claus
Stealing from Santa Claus

I got a friend
Pancho's his name
Had no idea he's playing this game
Stealing from Santa Claus
Santa Claus, Santa Claus
Stealing from Santa Claus

We maque all the villains
While Pancho, that turk
studied supraneous neural networks
We're all stealing from Santa Claus
Santa Claus, Santa Claus
Stealing from Santa Claus

Santa Claus, shame!
What have you done?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Destroyer of Worlds

"Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
- J. Robert Oppenheimer

The bust of J. Robert Oppenheimer that sits prominently in the Physics-Astronomy Library of the University of California, Berkeley includes a biographical blurb on a plaque beneath the head:
The plaque makes no mention whatsoever of Oppenheimer's most (in)famous invention: the atomic bomb. How curious.

It's almost as if the University of California isn't proud of its role in inventing the atomic age and engineering the proliferation of the most dangerous weapons in the history of world. As if the school doesn't want to draw attention to the fact that two of its campuses are dedicated to designing the next generation of thermonuclear weapons.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gorejus

Biutiful
2010.  148 minutes. Spain. Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Watchdate: 2/28/2011.
You will have already guessed how easily my way of evaluating can split from the critical and then continue to evolve into its opposite. Such a evolution receives an incredible jolt each time a movie has forced me to try to find out who I am—how could it happen that one day I'd discover myself in the reflection of the shadows playing upon the silver screen?

The critical judgments of value have as their starting point a need for dramatical verisimilitude, a blooming, rich, even overwhelming vein of emotional realism, together with those aspects required to maintain these qualities—fine actorly performances, a throbbing plot, children or a yearning in their absence, nudity of some sort or another, and, in general, everything which involves adults qua adults feeling their oats yet feeling guilty about it. My method of evaluating has, as you might imagine, other preconditions.

Therefore I will grant Biutiful a sturdy hand for the beautiful performance of Javier Bardem, though this is mainly for the moment after he discovers the results of his own tragic carelessness before ending up numb-stuck in the neon darkness of a sleazy titty bar. This isn't your father's triptych, and it profits from a sense of divine focus on the hard decisions of the present.

Of course, as is well known, critics are the most evil of enemies—but why? Because they are powerless. From their petty lack of power, their nibbling metastasizes among them into something enormous and stupefying, to the most profound and venomous iterations. Yet movies like Biutiful would be a really stupid affair without that spirit which entered it from the critics.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Brief Catalogue of Imagined Books

The Undulating Earth by Yekaterina Lazarova
Cosmocrat by Darwin Fallon
The Autobiography of Hoover Framingham by Hoover Framingham
The Butterfly Auction by Li Shao
Adam's Fictions by Ray Pinchot
Internal Travel by Alexander Williams Oliver
A History of Snakebites by Frances Perlmutter
Nostalgiac by Hamish Dohr
The Perpetual Fortune by Tia Tula
Unusual Contraption by Eric Tertius
Intention by Tsung-dao Liang
Directions to an Unknown Road by Fox DeMoisey
Season of Amnesia by Zülfü Erdogan
Eddie Notorious by Katherine Eastwick
This Moon's Labyrinth by Jônatas Gusmão
The Dioramic Dynamic by P.C. Bentley Blair

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Los Angeles Times Misses the Point

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau announced he was resigning yesterday and I know I speak for a fair number of students, faculty and staff in saying "Good riddance." But you would never know that faculty had debated a vote of no confidence in Birgeneau's during recent months or that student government was presently having a similar discussion if you read the Los Angeles Times:
Birgeneau, whose annual salary is $436,800, presided over the highly political campus during an uptick in protests over tuition hikes. In November, the Occupy movement erected a tent city on campus and student demonstrators contended that UC police brutally used batons to evict them.
There is no need to frame the UC police brutality as an unproven allegation. There are lots and lots of videos of what happened: police beat up students and professors before a tent city was ever even erected (and they beat students the same way two years before in 2009, it's a pattern). One professor was dragged to the ground by her hair. She now faces criminal charges. Birgeneau's police force perpetrated needless violence and he is responsible for their actions. This is Birgeneau's real legacy. The LA Times completely trivializes it.

As a side note, I would like to apologize on behalf of UC Berkeley to the Los Angeles Times for being such a highly political campus. I know that in college you're supposed to learn to start taking things lying down so that you'll be prepared for the real world of - oh wait a minute, are we are supposed to be living in a democracy where taking interest and action in how society is governed is not just honorable, but necessary? I totally forgot seeing as how the Los Angeles Times just published a hagiography for a man who silenced the voices of his uppity highly political campus through violent beatings, intimidation, and the threat of more violent beatings.

Yesterday, a friend summed up Birgeneau best by saying, "It's a shame his passion for higher education didn't extend to the students of higher education." It's too bad the LA Times was too busy crediting Herr Chancellor with all the Nobel Prizes that Berkeley faculty have won during his tenure to ask a student or two what they thought of his "leadership."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hail! Hail! Warre'n Oates

Cockfighter
1974.  83 minutes. USA. Directed by Monte Hellman. Watchdate: 2/27/2011.
That's not Warren Oates, but yeah that guy is putting a live chicken's head in his mouth.
Oh - here is that hero of our regrets, that stoic of unfought battles past - Warren Oates, a man for his time in a movie of its time. When images capture the mood of a hungover people, we can breathe easy for there is no fabrication of anger, disappointment, inadequacy, even betrayal. There is a genuine worthiness in the expression of these sentiments. In the intimations of skill and sport in the insular world of cockfighting, one can read the thoughts of entire culture.

The time during which I held away the movie at arm's length has now passed and I am ready to fully embrace this perfect example of that certain 70s Americana feel, the sullen working class bourgeosie ready to be kicked in the knees for the next forty years, all of it encapsulated in the petty robberies, the money hidden amongst rooster corpses, the axe-wielding Ed Begley Jr., the quiet dignity that comes from abstaining from speech.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Colossal Academic

Kahuna Lacuna! This deadly chamber await
Unjumble your face to hear Libidinal Kibitzers

Colossal Academic: the difference is youth
"She fall, she fall," he begrudges Adhesive C-sections

Retina Patina...his latest plan come early
Gruyere, you big bear let Paginated Regiments commence

Fructose Bubbler: Gruyere's gone home Midgewest!
"To the house of yore," dances Barrister Furtively

Umberto Dudley never met her in life
Now gone just as Gruyere & University Depopulated

Had you listened to those Juiced Whiskers
Just Wait! She alive Gruyere out newborn provosts

-- A Kahunal Lacunal Paradiso

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March Resolutions

I failed all of my February Resolutions. My failures came in varying degrees: I did not read a poem each day at all really after the first handful of days, I only read the first third of Heart of Darkness, but I did post on this Betamax every day in February except the last few. So let's try this again with some wildly unreachable resolutions for March:

1. Line up a solid job prospect for after I graduate
2. Write a total of 20,000 words
3. Read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
4. Really finish reading Heart of Darkness this time

I'll check back in April to see how I did.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cult of Schlock

Circus of Horrors
1960.  88 minutes. UK. Directed by Sidney Hayers. Watchdate: 2/27/2011.
These cinephillic curators whom we have to thank for the best attempts up to this point to direct our attention to lively trash normally consigned to forgotten gutters - they torment us with a persistent problem. In uncovering a potential treasure in the beehives of Netflix, am I simply elevating a low-rent imitation Hitchcock, perverse but uninspired, beyond its proper station? Certainly there are divine moments embedded in Circus of Horrors, but this symphony of mutilation almost seems to court a cult following with its curious bodily obsessions. Perhaps it can be best described as a garishly grim public service announcement about the dangers of hubris in the field of reconstructive surgery.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Requiem for a Dying Planet

I’m the jackass who died on a sunny day
A hot Saturday steeped in solar radiance
Dogs broke free of their leashes
Ladies wore their biggest hats
Everyone laughed with mucho gusto
And I had to go and die

Next day, they started digging and it rained
Not a heavy rain
Just enough to soak the backs of their shirts
A warm, August rain
A rain that aspired to be tropical
On Sunday, they dug my grave and it rained

24 hours later it snowed
Frozen flakes steamed down in furious heaps from above
Layer after layer of dirty vanilla enveloped the sweaty world
Children stayed home from school
Spiders came in from the cold
Men threw shovels up chimneys
Charm bracelets and earthworms adorned my wrists
I consider myself the luckiest jackass in the earth

Monday, March 5, 2012

Poison Polemic

Plastic Planet
2009.  95 minutes. Austria. Directed by Werner Boote. Watchdate: 3/14/2011.
Here is a documentary that deadens the world historical importance of its subject matter with unnecessary speculation, effective gimmicks turned idiotic by overuse throughout the running time, and most of all a real creep of a director/"star" in form of the odiously mannered Werner Boote. Just go watch Tapped instead.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Prominent Wards of the State Praise "Free Enterprise System"















Privatize your emotions
in the wetware of your braingus.
Your mind is a
gated community of
alchemical magic.

Outsource your empathy
to the charity of your choice.
Tax benefits exist
to reward you
for your benevolence.

Deregulate your sociopathy to
let undead unborn demons out.
Zombie banks
will help you to
recoup any losses.

Securitize your myopia!
You don't want to
kill the biosphere...
...just shrink it
'til it's small enough
to drown in a bathtub...


Saturday, March 3, 2012

To Pout or Not to Pout

Never Let Me Go
2010.  103 minutes. UK. Directed by Mark Romanek. Watchdate: 3/23/2011.
While watching Never Let Me Go, I got caught up in it somber dissection of the meaning of love and affection. Its dystopian trappings seemed to exist mostly to further dramatize the choices of its three romantic leads. As Shakespeare knew, young love only becomes tragic when the lovers never get a chance to really grow up. So yeah, as a dystopian vision, it was just another take on The Giver or what have you, but the romance at its center succeeded remarkably. Therefore it was a Very Good Movie. But looking back on it now, all I can remember is extremely attractive people with bad hair cuts pouting for what seemed like the entire duration of the movie.

Friday, March 2, 2012

God Code Fractionation Interviews Obviously

B: We used to listen to "The Adventures of Blasto McGee"
and imagine him cleverly foiling the dastardly machinations
of Astro W. Chandler.

N: I remember it was Ralph Dannigan as Blasto McGee - I
really have to credit him for everything in my life
because he made me want to be an astronaut, that was my
interest in space initially.

B: We imagined. We visualized, that's what we did - because
you could only hear. I think that's where it started. That
writerly tendency.

So why didn't you become a visual artist? Like a painter?

B: Well you got me there. I suppose I was trying to create
a God code and you broke it up. Well now, I think...
textualization isn't the write word though. It's visualization...
but it's visualization of text. Do you dream in text?

N: Of course I didn't become an astronaut, but then if I
did I couldn't tell you much about millisecond pulsars.
And I actually didn't stay with the astronaut space adventure
for long, only a couple years. I quickly became entranced
by the deeper phenomena we can see up there.
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