Monday, June 29, 2009

What writers are up against

Sadly, I believe Frank Darabont when he relates, regarding his script for 'Farenheit 451,' this exchange:
I actually had a studio head read that script and say: "Wow, that's the best and smartest script that I've read since running this studio but I can't possibly greenlight it." I asked why and he says "How am I going to get 13-year-olds to show up at the theater?"
I'd have an snarky retort at this point, were it not for the weekend receipts for 'Transformers 2' staring me in the face.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today in history...

Epic Tragedy

Today in 1453 the 1,000-year-old city of Constantinople -- most powerful and spectacular city in the history of mankind -- fell to militant Islam:

"...The Emperor and his commanders were trying frantically to rally their troops and push back the enemy. It was too late. Waves of Janissaries, followed by other regular units of the Ottoman army, were crashing through the open Gates, mixed with fleeing and slaughtered Christian soldiers.

Then the Emperor, realizing that everything was lost, removed his Imperial insignia, and followed by his cousin Theophilus Palaeologus, the lord Branas, the Castilian Don Francisco of Toledo, Katakouzinos, Mathaios Sgouromalis and John Dalmatus, all seven holding their swords, charged into the sea of the enemy soldiers, hitting left and right in a final act of defiance.

They were never seen again...

". . . the great church of Hagia Sophia was filled to capacity. Thousands of people were moving towards the church. Inside, Orthodox and Catholic priests were holding liturgy, the last Christian service after almost 1,000 years. People were singing hymns . . . .

"Bands of Ottoman soldiers began now looting. Doors were broken, private homes were looted, their tenants were massacred. Shops in the city markets were looted. Monasteries and Convents were broken in. Their tenants were killed, nuns were raped; many, to avoid dishonor, killed themselves. Killing, raping, looting, burning, enslaving, went on and on . . . .

"The great doors of Hagia Sophia were forced open, and crowds of angry soldiers came in and fell upon the unfortunate worshipers. Pillaging and killing in the holy place went on for hours. Similar was the fate of worshipers in most churches in the city . . . .

"Thousands of civilians were enslaved, soldiers fought over young boys and young women . . . the invaders broke the heads of those women who resisted on the floor of the churches and they raped them dead. The famous icon of Apostole Loukas was totally destroyed.

"The sultan asked for the young sons of Duke Loukas Notaras. Their father refused and Mehmed was ready to take their heads. Notaras asked him to kill him after his sons so that he was sure that they were dead and not disgraced from the perverted sultan."

If this massive, advanced civilization fell to the same enemy we face today, what makes us think it can't happen to us?

(Hat tip, ACM)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Remember Neda

I sit here watching this on Father's Day -- my own little girl asleep in peace across from me in our living room, the birds chirping and a cool breeze coming through our open door on a nice day in a free country -- and it puts the whole wide world in heartbreaking perspective.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Barham Saleh praises the troops on Colbert

Iraq's deputy prime minister is so much cooler than ours. Well spoken and very classy. And I hope Colbert realized that when Saleh thanked the American military, he was thanking George W. Bush. (Props to Colbert for doing this, with minor boos for waiting until Obama was in office to realize it was worth doing.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Road Worrier!

This car has Farfegnugen.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Conservatives taking Europe by storm

Mr. Smith Wilders goes to Washington Brussels

Good news from the twilight of Western Civilization...

Right-leaning governments came out ahead in Germany, France, Italy and Belgium, while conservative opposition parties won in Britain, Spain, and Bulgaria. Far-right groups also made gains in Britain, Austria, the Netherlands and Hungary.

Many Socialists ran campaigns that slammed center-right leaders for failing to regulate financial markets and spend enough to stimulate faltering economies. But voters did not embrace their cause.

With more from the UK...

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's center-left Labour party finished third behind the anti-European U.K. Independence Party — a crushing defeat that cast more doubt on Brown's future. The Conservatives are expected to win Britain's next national elections.

Best of all, despised Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders' party made big gains, becoming the country's second most powerful party.
Wilders, who has become popular in the Netherlands running on an anti-Islam and anti-political establishment platform, promised voters he would be tough on immigration and criticised Turkey's bid to join the EU. "Should Turkey as an Islamic country be able to join the European Union? We are the only party in Holland that says, it is an Islamic country, so no, not in 10 years, not in a million years," Wilders said.
Like I said, baby steps. Now if we can only Geert our Wilders on here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tories taking England by storm

OK in the UK!

With Gordon Brown's own MPs calling for him to step down and the Conservatives stomping Labour and the Lib Dems across the nation, things are looking up in Britannia.
"...The Conservatives have taken Staffordshire, Lancashire and Derbyshire from Labour - which had run all three since 1981 - as well as Devon and Somerset from the Lib Dems.

According to the BBC's estimated projected national vote share - the Conservatives are on 38%, Labour on 23% - a historic low - the Lib Dems on 28% and other parties on 11%.

...."We have won almost every council we could possibly have won ... We have won councils we really didn't think we were going to win ... so I don't accept that these aren't extremely good results for the Conservative Party," [said Conservative leader David Cameron].

He said the results showed people wanted a "strong, positive and united alternative" to the government and were seeing the Conservatives as that alternative.

"Across the country what's remarkable about these figures and what shines out is it's the Conservative Party winning in every part of the country," he said.

So as another nation in Europe does a spectacular about face, we here in the States stumble merrily on down the road to socialism.

So much for any Obama bounce!


Standing tall

Warm congrats to Randy Johnson, only the sixth left-hander in history to reach the big 300.

Randy is a class act, evinced by his family interaction after the win and his gracious, no-frills appearance with the press soon after. He represents the best in baseball, and watching the win last night on TV was an honor.

Here's to seeing more wins from this Giant of a man in the postseason.