I did one of these courtesy of Intel last month, and thought it might be interesting to compare and contrast how things have changed over the course of a month. I think I’ll continue to monitor these data as long as the site hosting the app stays alive.
I just wanted to get back on track today with a quick roundup of the “best of the web” that I could find celebrating US Independence Day. I figure a nice little meme gallery might be interesting to come back to in the future.
Definitely a win.
That’s it for this year’s ID4 round-up, kiddies! Hope everyone who celebrated had a safe celebration. If you didn’t, I wish your eyebrows a speedy regrowth and hope you make the most of that prosthetic hand!
I ran across this last night from one of my new favourite designers. Check out his DA site here.
The trouble with a history course centered around film is that one has to rely on Hollywood’s warped sense of historical accuracy. Generally speaking, reality doesn’t sell as well as something written by a halfway-creative studio ferret. In addition, directors, writers, and producers often have their own agendas to push through their work, so much of the accuracy gets distorted in the intricate process of filmmaking. However, one does the best that one can do with the arguably massive cinematic library that has been produced in the past hundred years or so. Even so, there are still some good picks and some not-as-good.
Besides being one of the most brilliant pieces of cinema ever created, Unforgiven made a place for itself as a revisionist western. Instead of romanticizing the pragmatic struggle against the elements—taming the land, and carving out a space for oneself on the frontier, the film shows the truth of life in the American wilderness: the lawlessness, the corruption, and the sheer danger encountered in the Old West. Until this point, the Western genre had mainly focused on the shimmering, wide-eyed optimism that almost reverberated tones of original “Go West” advertising campaigns that proliferated throughout the Eastern Seaboard of the 19th century. Gone, now, is the swaggering, lonesome hero in favour of the more historically-accurate pragmatist just trying to survive. In addition to being an excellent film, this—to me—makes Unforgiven particularly effective at exemplifying life on the American frontier and illustrating the historical context of the push westward.
In The Heat of The Night is another particularly brilliant piece of cinema that also quite effectively highlights historical issues prevalent in the time period that it was made and set. Sydney Poitier’s Virgil Tibbs is thrust into the middle of a murder case in a small Southern town, which, adding insult to injury, happens to be quite contrary to the idea of a black man being so competent in the ways of homicide investigation. Initially, Tibbs is arrested on suspicion of murder solely by virtue of his being alone in a train station in the middle of the night with a pocket full of cash—something no innocent “negro” would be able to possess. The folly of the Sparta police department is further exemplified by their constant jumping to conclusions and arresting the wrong suspects while Tibbs digs further into places “he doesn’t belong” such as the local town Boss’s personal life. Tibbs’s struggle to obtain (and subsequently maintain) legitimacy in the eyes of the local police reflects the struggles of black people at large to obtain equal status in the eyes of the white majority not just in the South, but all across the country. At the same time, Tibbs also earns the respect and even the friendship of the chief of police. Eventually, the corrupt, old-world establishment is overturned, and things in Sparta begin to show signs of hope and change for the better just as the sixties and seventies did for the majority of blacks in America.
Although it is probably one of my new favourite films, and certainly worth watching for its cinematic merits, There Will Be Blood showed less about the pragmatism and pioneer spirit of the Westward Movement and more about the corruption and deceit of “Big Oil” and the megalomaniacs that allegedly run such “Big” industries: oil, steel, the railroad, and even modern entities like broadcast media. To me, the movie was more an allegory about the dangers of rampant, unchecked capitalism which came about after the West was “won.” Prime example is the fact that the plot is mostly set in the early years of the 20th century and centers around a man who doesn’t simply wish to survive, but who wants to build his own little revenue empire and—quite literally—wipe out all his competition. Daniel Day-Lewis’s Daniel Plainview did, at first, embody the pragmatic and individualist mindset of the Old West (note his surely-excruciating crawl back to town after breaking his leg in a mining accident), but as time moved on, his wealth and power began to corrupt him until he became a twisted wreck of a man with no family beating a clergyman to death with a bowling pin. “I’m finished!” Finished growing (as a country), and finished exploring (as a people).
The Last of The Mohicans probably sits at the top of my short list of films that did not effectively communicate the historical era they were intended to highlight. The Last of The Mohicans felt more like it belonged on The Wonderful World of Disney alongside Davy Crockett and other purely adventure serials. In addition to being a particularly sub-par film overall, the plot focuses mostly on how insipid the British are. In fact, the only real example of the pragmatism and willingness of the American spirit is in Daniel Day-Lewis’s Hawkeye providing a foil to the British army commanders. Hawkeye emphasises retreat and regrouping that will allow American settlers to tend their homes and farms in opposition to the British mandate that all able-bodied men be conscripted to fight the French (who ultimately win, anyway). Overshadowing the clash between the two ideologies and adding fuel to the already hot fire, is the apparent cockfight over the attraction of the female lead—both sides trying to wrench power in order to demonstrate their prowess and win the hand of the trope maiden. The only thing that makes this melodrama even remotely about early America and the Westward movement is the fact that it incorporates Native Americans into the plot and setting. Unfortunately, they are—as Mark Twain eloquently put it—“Cooper Indians,” one-dimensional characters that really only serve as an enhanced setting element. If this were a science-fiction film instead of a “Western” (when it really isn’t, it’s a melodrama), then the Mohawk would be Star Trek’s “red shirts” and the Huron are Star Wars’s Stormtroopers. Both are essentially faceless and serve only to advance the plot and provide some level of authenticity to the weak battle scenes.
As noted before, There Will Be Blood, is not only my favourite film sampled in this course, it is also on my list of all-time favourites. The cinematography is unparalleled at capturing the desolation of early California and the music resonates just enough to send a chill down your spine. Outside the dialogue, the viewer already knows that there is something not to like about Daniel Plainview, and, as the plot develops, he understands why the film imparts such a creepy vibe. Within the script, the film has already spawned such quotable lines as “I drink your milkshake!” and “I’m finished!” while the overall tone of the film warns us of the dangers associated with “big” industries and unchecked capitalism.
Throughout the course, the film I liked the very least was Far From Heaven. As a retrospective period piece, the film took a harsh look at “WASPy” New England society in the 1950’s, and deconstructed it to study the human element behind the masks of propriety. The characters where highly stereotyped, and it just felt like watching some kind of dance by grotesque caricatures. In the end, there was no feeling of sympathy for any of the characters, no sense of development, and certainly no sense of loss from the deconstruction of their lives. Everyone just lives on, moderately content ever after. Such lukewarm films serve no real purpose except as an exercise in cinematography, which is what the film felt like—an internship piece for a budding director of photography.
I’m a Treasure Hunter. I guess that explains a lot.
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For the first question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button TWICE
6. Tag some random people.
IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE
Lou Rawls, “Nobody But Me”
Men Without Hats, “The Safety Dance”
They Might Be Giants, “‘Til My Head Falls Off”
First Day at School:
They Might Be Giants, “Au Contraire”
BFFFL Hang Out:
Peter Frampton, “Do You Feel Like I Do?”
Falling in Love:
Guns N’ Roses, “Don’t Cry”
They Might Be Giants, “No!”
Blondie, “Hanging On The Telephone”
Ivory Wire, “Hey You”
Metallica, “Devil’s Dance”
Hampton the Hampster, “The Hampsterdance”
The Crystal Method, “Starting Over”
Metallica, “Trapped Under Ice”
Blues Traveler, “The Path”
Getting Back Together:
The Doobie Brothers, “It Keeps You Runnin'”
Bachman Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”
Birth of Child:
Van Halen, “Atomic Punk”
Black Sabbath, “You Won’t Change Me”
They Might Be Giants, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”
Buckcherry, “For The Movies”
Diana Krall, “Maybe You’ll Be There”
Those You Left Behind:
The Dandy Warhols, “All I Have To Do Is Dream”
Beastie Boys, “Body Movin'”
Copy and paste and put your own answers in. The purpose of this is to get to know your friends better and it’s so much fun!
Here are the rules – post this list on your profile (in Notes) replacing my answers with yours. Tag 25 people to do the same thing.
If I tagged YOU, it’s because I want to know more about YOU!
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? my father
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Sometime around New Year’s, it’s a long story that I don’t care to retell.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? When I slow down and actually concentrate on my penmanship, I really like the way it looks.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Salami or pastrami hot. Honey-cured ham cold.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Considering my situation, I’m rather glad I don’t as yet.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Not only would I be friends with me, I would ASPIRE to be more like me!
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? Noooooo….
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Indeed.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If it weren’t so blasted expensive, absolutely!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Omigosh! It really depends on the day. Generally, I like Froot Loops or Fruity Pebbles. Cap’n Crunch is great, except that it cuts up the roof of your mouth. Honeycomb just brings me back to childhood, and is always a pleasure. Kashi Heart to Heart is really good, too!
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Almost always.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Beatles! (Some of you know what this means.)
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Often it’s the way they carry themselves.
15. RED OR PINK? Blue.
16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I tend to get carried-away with things. It’s all a part of my manic personality, which can be rather intimidating to people. I would also say that it’s probably one of my best assets.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? There was a girl I knew somewhere.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST? Anyone who feels up to it, I guess.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue jeans and grey socks.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? “Redemption” by Twisted Carnies
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? R012 G027 B255
23. FAVORITE SMELL? Human pheromone.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? my father
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? In person: baseball and hockey. On tele: hockey and NASCAR.
27. HAIR COLOR? Burnt Sienna
28. EYE COLOR? They’re almost hazel.
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? Again, it depends on the day. Right now, it’s Lamb donner with ezme or taboulli. I’m also known to indulge in sushi, curry, good tacos, and deep-dish pizza.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Oh, I love happy endings! Wait, you were talking about movies?
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Spaceballs
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? white (Hill Valley Preservation Society t-shirt)
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? summer
35. HUGS OR KISSES? It really depends on who it’s coming from. I’m not opposed to hugs in general, but unsolicited kisses can be absolutely grand!
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Someone with the inclination.
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Appropriately, someone without said inclination.
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Journey of Self-Discovery
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A mouse. The picture? It’s the Hard Rock Cafe logo.
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? It wasn’t on TV, but I watched Battlestar Galactica.
42. FAVORITE SOUND(S)? Massive pipe organs, waves crashing to shore, jet engines, rotor slap, racing engines
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Early Stones and later Beatles.
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Los Angeles
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Yes, but I’m not going to broadcast it.
46 WHERE WERE U BORN? Marietta, Georgia
47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? anybody
48. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER? I’ll tell you when I do.
What ________ needs
Here’s how it works: Google “[your first name] needs” and share the first 10 results. That’s it: it is that simple. But be honest! Tag the person who tagged you, and pass it on…
1. Matthew needs to bring sexy back.
2. Because Matthew needs to realize it’s possible for him to be wrong….
3. Who thinks Matthew needs to stop asking questions about Regan Smith?
4. Matthew Needs – Plymouth | Facebook
5. Matthew Needs – LinkedIn
6. MySpace.com – Matthew needs more Jesus
7. Matthew Needs (Hansard, 14 July 1982)
8. Matthew Needs
9. Groucho’s family: What Matthew needs.
10. MySpace.com Blogs – New Project, and Matthew needs your help….
Apparently, there’s actually this person named “Matthew Needs” and that kinda buggered-up my results.
Questions about who you were/what you did in high school, and how it stacks up to your current life…
1. Did you date someone from your school? Not until after high school
2. Did you marry someone from your high school? Nope
3. Did you car pool to school? Junior year with Mike D and every-so-often senior year
4. What kind of car did you have? 1996 Ford Windstar
5. What kind of car do you have now? 2001 Mazda MX-5 Miata
6. It is Friday night…where are you ? Either at the Atlanta Brewery or sitting around my place in Cochran
7. It was Friday night…where were you then? Marching band hijinks, CiCi’s Pizza (more marching band hijinks), Wal-Mart, Jana’s house, or somewhere making a movie
8. What kind of job did you have in high school? Bookstore…Waldenbooks
9. What kind of job do you do now? Academic Resource Tutor for Middle Georgia College
11. Were you considered a flirt? Probably not
12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? (see #7)
13. Were you a nerd? Dude. I was Alpha Geek!
14. Did you get suspended or expelled? They figured it was safer to keep a watchful eye on me
15. Can you sing the fight song? I could play it…oh, yeah, “HOYA HOYA SAXA!!!!!” Those were the only words.
16. Who was/were your favorite teacher? Coach Crump, hands down. Runners-up (in no particular order) included Mr. Hannah, Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Hansen, Mrs. Motley, Dr. Stickel, and Mr. Green. Honourable mention goes to Mrs. Wingate ‘cos she wasn’t at my high school.
17. Where did you sit during lunch? 9–wherever I could find a seat, 10–the long table perpendicular to all the others, 11–the first table near the main mess entrance, 12–in the courtyard
19. When did you graduate? 2001
20. What was your school mascot? Martin Frank. Wait, the character was a bulldog and the mascot was a rock wall?
21. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Maybe–just to play around a bit more.
22. Did you have fun at Prom? Could have been a better time, but it was still fun.
23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? Actually, I do. We’re great friends after not speaking for 7 years.
24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Hell yeah! I think it’ll be a lot of fun!
25. Do you still talk to people from school? Thanks to Facebook, a lot more than I used to. I mean, there’s the Angst Haben gang, but that was it for a long time.
26. What are/were your school’s colors? Navy blue, white, Kelly green
You know the drill, copy and paste to a new note and pass the fun around!