Happy Old Year.

Sometime after Christmas, everybody starts wishing everyone else “Happy New Year.” I, myself, like to spend the time between the 25th and the 1st thinking of what happened during the last 12 months, and hoping I can avoid repeating the same mistakes next year. That said, it’s probably a good time to reflect, and share a few thoughts about last year that are on my mind. Continue reading Happy Old Year.

A Modest Proposal on Driving.

You can't drive 55.I’ve been thinking a lot about bad drivers. The holidays seem to bring out the worst in people. They’re in a hurry. They’re rude. They take the laws of self-preservation less than seriously, then get mad if you so much as touch your horn in protest.

I think I have a solution.

No, it’s not traffic cams. It’s not more police on traffic duty (although, that wouldn’t hurt). It’s not stiffer fines for reckless driving.

It’s a phone number. Continue reading A Modest Proposal on Driving.

Getting Even.

I’m not big on getting even. The older I get, the more pointless it seems. Even though I’m a Christian (and proud to be one, thank you very much), there’s something in me that believes in at least the possibility of “karma” – the “what goes around, comes around” theory of the universe. At a fundamental level, we obey laws because we know that if we don’t, something bad will (eventually) happen to us. For some people, their personal moral code keeps them on the straight and narrow. For others, it’s the knowledge that the police will, sooner or later, catch you if you do something wrong. For some, it’s the fear of the condemnation by their peers. Continue reading Getting Even.

Directorial Excess.

King Long.I watched a lot of movies over the holidays. I’m a movie fan. At one time, I’d watch almost anything, just to try and learn something about telling a story visually. I’d even watch a bad movie, just to see how truly bad it could get. (For the record, the worst movie I ever voluntarily sat through on my own dime was Gas, a little comedy opus on the gas crisis of the 70’s. I don’t think Donald Sutherland put THAT one on his resume.)

But, I digress. As I’ve studied editing, lighting, directing, screenwriting, scoring and so forth, I’ve been struck by how some movies can go so very wrong. I’m also struck by the fact that good directors are allowed to bend the rules of storytelling, because of studio indulgence – and how bad directors keep getting hired to helm movies they have no business directing. Continue reading Directorial Excess.

A Captive Audience.

This is the FBI. We're here to annoy you. I don’t watch a lot of movies any more. I used to. There was a time that I’d go see 10 or 12 movies in a month, if I could. It would be easy to explain away my change in habit…I’m married, I’ve got a young daughter, my wife doesn’t like theatres (she doesn’t like the volume cranked up), theatre audiences are rude, tickets are too expensive, and on and on. But None of that explains why I don’t rent a lot of movies. No, I don’t have HBO, Skinemax, or Stars at home. In fact, I’ve got the equivalent of “expanded basic” on my satelite dish. Nope, the reason is the way movie studios choose to burn their DVDs. Strange, you say? Read on… Continue reading A Captive Audience.

Blowback.

As 2005 draws to a close, I thought it might be useful to try and put the past few years into perspective. Over the past year, I’ve grown increasingly aware – and concerned – over the demonization of the right by the left. Note that I’m not citing polarization, or a quid pro quo between the sides. I don’t believe that’s true. Let me tell you why…

When Clinton was in office, those of us on the right were in a constant state of angst. We couldn’t understand how those in the middle of the political spectrum (and even those on the left) could be so blind to the many ethical/moral/legal failings of Wild Bill and his cronies. Then Bush came into power. Continue reading Blowback.

On Smoking.

No smoking.Much has been written about smoking. Smokers (and I know many and count them as friends) cite how it helps them to relax, keep their weight down, et cetera. Me? I’m a lifelong non-smoker. Hate it. I’m allergic to cigarette smoke. Can’t stand it. Given that a number of people I care a lot about are smokers, I’d like to explain a couple of things about smoking and my outlook on the practice.

Kissing someone who smokes is like licking a dirty ashtray.
Yup. And it really doesn’t matter if you take one puff or smoke an entire pack. When you draw the smoke into your lungs, it’s gonna make your breath smell bad. REALLY bad. And no amount of tooth-brushing or mouthwash is going to change that. Unless you decide to suck the mouthwash into your lungs.

Smoking makes you reek.
Continue reading On Smoking.

Your Right to Stop Annoying Me.

Tired.Do you have a favorite magazine? TV show? Online site? Forget, for a moment, political speech media – news shows, political blogs, partisan sites, and such. Let’s just talk about “Mainstream Media (MSM)” I’m talking about special-interest magazines, network television, Top-40 radio, et cetera. Have you noticed lately that they seem to be getting more and more politically opinionated? I have. Everything from Law & Order to Wired magazine seems to have veered from “entertainment” to “screed” in an alarmingly short period of time. And another thing – I’ve noticed that the vast majority of these media outlets espouse a doctrine that is far to the left of the political spectrum.

The other night I watched an episode of Law & Order. It featured a right-wing, conservative radio talk show host/author getting gunned down outside a Manhattan bookstore in the first five minutes of the show. Did I mention the victim was being sued by an employee for sexual harassment? (I wonder if Bill O’Reilly would call this “hate speech.”) Continue reading Your Right to Stop Annoying Me.

Civil Rights versus Civil Wrongs.

[The following post is closed-captioned for the thinking-impaired.]


Okay, here’s the deal. This week, the New York Times [all the Liberal-slanted Spin (un)fit for Print] revealed [leaked] details that President Bush had authorized the NSA to “spy on Americans” as a part of our Worldwide War On Terror [WWIII]. The NYT is [predictably, in a liberal, knee-jerk fashion] outraged. The leaders of the Democrats [fellow travlers] have lined up [rushed to judgement] to pronouce Bush’s actions as “illegal.” Senator Harry Reid [had the audacity to] state that, even though he’d be briefed on this action from the very begining, he believes [sees an opportunity for scoring political points] that this program is illegal.

Can a call for the impeachment of the President be far away?[I can hear the Libs salivating, even as I write.] Continue reading Civil Rights versus Civil Wrongs.