Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The depths of idiocy...

Here's a good one about the laughingstock that today's playgrounds have become. The article explores the safety measures that are being taken today to make playgrounds safe.

You know the drill. Out with the slides, merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters. In with the plastic crap, rubber bumpers and and padded helmets.

Out with the fun and in with the blues.

That we allow these paranoid, pantywaist ninnies to have this sort of control really irks the hell out of me. I haven't had much chance to stand up to this sort of irrational overprotection, but as my kids grow up, believe me I will.

Morons like this are the same sort that will hand over every liberty our veterans have bled and died for just so they can delude themselves into thinking that they are a little bit safer. It's a typical liberal mindset. "We know better than you. Nanny knows best. Here, let me pat you on the head and condescendingly tell you how to live your life."

The politically correct mindset they exude with their exclusions of things like dodgeball and tag (tag for Pete's sake...) is an excellent illustration of their totally disconnected association with reality. Of course these are the same sorts of people who loathe the economically successful. These are the same socialists, commies and tyrant-enablers that want the government to control everything.

And now it's spread (like a disease, an infection, a virus) all the way down to our friggin playgrounds.

I don't know what the solution is. Maybe privately-funded dangerous playgrounds with public access.

What morons.

Monday, August 28, 2006

V for Vendetta: The Ugly

Spoiler warning: I will reveal plot details in this post.

We've been through the Bad and the Good. V for Vendetta also offered some serious Ugly. I touched on it in both previous posts, but I'll go into a little more depth here.

The most bothersome notion in the movie is the idea that Christianity is a religion of hatred and oppression. That they described the Dictator as a man of deep faith was beyond absurd. It was beyond infuriating. But it was totally expected.

Jesus Himself told His followers that they would be hated and persecuted. After all, the world hated Him much more. (Matthew 10:22.)

What better way to dish out hatred than by slanderous lies? To take it from V, you would believe that Christians propagate hatred through scare tactics about anyone who is "different."

The Truth, of course, is that Christians are the ones who are different. We are slandered, maligned and hated because we acknowledge the One source of Truth. Because we refuse to bow before the gods of Relativism and Moral Ambiguity we are treated as hate mongers.

I could go on and on about this, and maybe someday I will. For now, I have a couple more Uglies to touch on.

Revolution does not happen peacefully. The movie presents an unrealistic and wildly optimistic view of a revolution. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on a governmental level means bloodshed, and bloodshed means more than a masquerade ball in the town square.

Finally, I would like to point out the utter absurdity of a revolution without guns. This piggybacks off of the idea that a revolution won't happen peacefully. If you think that any citizenry will be able to face down any government without the proper armaments and come out the victor...Well, should we ever get the choice to observe as uninvolved third parties, I'd like to put money on it. V missed the boat entirely on this issue. For all the governmental oppression that the movie depicted, I can't possibly understand how in the world the producers missed the fact that these people would have needed some serious firepower to get things back on track.

This concludes my list of the Ugly. If you feel I have left anything out, feel free to post comments. (The same goes for the two prior posts.)

V for Vendetta: The Good

If anyone is still reading this blog, I apologize for the lengthy delay between my last post and this one.

Spoiler warning: This post will reveal plot details. Don't read on if you haven't seen the movie.

I did love the movie, although after my last submission you may be wondering why. The first time I watched it, I did so with a mindset suggested to me by Reason, and inspired by a quote that I will here butcher in my attempt to recreate it. I don't know the source, but it went something like this: "When someone is standing on your throat, you don't care whether they're using their right boot or their left boot."

Of course being a product of foaming-at-the-mouth liberal Hollywood, this movie uses a so-called Conservative government to oppress the people. That said, I quickly dismissed this in my mind as a matter of no consequence. Suttler (the dictator) is no more of a Conservative than Stalin. The producers were just trying to get in their digs. But if you ignore their mindless drivel and look at the state of affairs in England as represented in the movie, several key truths present themselves.

- Governments will always seek to attain more power. This is accomplished through the suppression of personal freedom.

- Governments will get this power through deception and redefining reality. The movie mentioned the Youth Reclamation Project. Reclamation? From what? Well, from independent thought, of course. Notice any parallels to today? Goodness, you could rename our public education system exactly that, and it would be totally accurate. Sure, things could be worse, but just read the news and you'll see just how much free thinking is promoted in our school system. It's pathetic. This could be an entire post on its own, so I'll leave it to rest. If anyone wants further explanation, I'll provide it later upon request. To finish this point, the other realities that have been redefined all revolve around the role of the government in people's lives. The Chancellor at one point screams at his minions that the people need reminded of "...why they need us!!!"

- "People should not fear their governments. Governments should fear their people." Are you afraid of your government?

- Disarmament is key. Poor V had to fight with (bloody) knives. Why? Hell, Britons have already given up their guns in real life, and this movie is set at least 30 years in the future. One character made a remark, the truth of which struck me as both hilarious and tragic. It was towards the end of the movie and the mob of V look-alikes is marching towards a division of soliders. Someone asks the detective what he thinks is going to happen. He says, "What usually happens when people without guns stand up to people with guns." That it doesn't turn out that way in the movie is immaterial to the truth of the matter. They would have all been killed in reality.

- Revolution is the only way to fix things. Once a government seizes power it's all over.

Alright, so this post isn't as well thought out as the last one. Suffice it to say that if you can divorce your viewing experience from the tainted references the movie makes, you can truly enjoy it as a statement about the evil of tyranny.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

V for Vendetta: The Bad

I feel compelled to blog extensively on this movie. I know this isn't entirely timely, as it has been out for quite awhile. I saw it in the theater, and have watched it twice more since. I will insert a "spoiler warning" right here. Don't read on if you haven't seen the movie and don't wish to have its plot details revealed before you do see it.

First, I'll address the superficial. V for Vendetta is an extremely entertaining movie. The violence is highly stylized and the cinematography and the story are excellent. Additionally, it is well written and thought provoking. The character V's use of words is done very well. The character is well developed and serves his purpose well. Plus he's fun to watch. On its merits as a movie, it stands well. I quite enjoyed it.

That said, its political themes can be interpreted in multiple ways. This post will address the "bad" interpretation.

The original graphic novel from which this movie was adapted was meant to be a scathing commentary on the Thatcher administration in Britain. The movie was adapted to bring forth images of the Bush administration. The third time I watched this movie, I did so with a friend who remarked (as the credits rolled), "So where's Michael Moore's name?"

Certainly, if you view this movie only as a liberal commentary on the currently conservative-controlled United States government, you will be seething. I noted the following:

- The Conservative Party leader (dictator) is probably supposed to be comprable to Bush. He is described as deeply religious and having no regard for the political process. By the third time I saw this, it sunk in that they were probably trying to allude to the "stolen" election of 2000. He is also incredibly Hitler-esque. He has the somewhat mussed hairstyle, a little bit of facial hair, he waves his hands in passion as he speaks in front of a frenzied crowd. The symbols of the Party are black flags with modified red cross. So Suttler = Bush = Hitler.

- The government in the movie is responsible for the worst terrorist acts in their history. These acts were used to seize totalitarian control. Fahrenheit 911, anybody?

- The government speaks out against homosexuality and Islam. They use the word "terrorist" as a sensational fear-mongering tactic. This is, of course, how the Michael Moores of this country view the current administration. (Interestingly enough, being Muslim, gay or outspoken in your disagreement to conservatives are the only rights that are specifically portrayed as infringed.)

Even worse, when you veiw the "Making Of" documentary on the DVD, the producers take things one more step to the left. Anytime the right wingers in this country try to take a moral stance on something (i.e. homosexuality), the leftists accuse them of being "afraid of differences" and so on and so forth. In the documentary, they equate the homosexuality issue to the civil rights movement, allowing no room for disagreement with the lifestyle (choice.) That the Bush administration would ever "black bag" people for being gay (or worse, execute them) is of course ludicrous. They use the same agenda-driven sensationalism of which they accuse the conservatives.

Perhaps the worst part of the documentary is their agreement that V is a terrorist. V is a revolutionary! Too blind to see the truth of their own movie, they agree with the evil government that they portray! It's pathetic really. They label him as a terrorist so that they can use the opportunity to equate the real-world terrorists (Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda) with freedom fighters. They go so far as to say that today's terrorists view themselves as freedom fighters and that we should work towards understanding that point of view.

This idea is so idiotic I'm tempted to not spend the time to refute it. Revolutionaries fight for change within their own government. V wasn't killing innocent people in another country in an effort to dominate the world with his religion. He killed people in his country in an effort to overthrow his own evil government.

This brings me to the end of my major beefs with the movie. In the next post, I will explore an alternate interpretation - what you can get out of it if you ignore the liberal hogwash. Watch this movie with the right attitude and you can beat them at their own game - you'll come away with an idea that they would abhor.

In my next post, I'll tell you why I absolutely loved this movie.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Papers, Please

No link is necessary for this one. Everybody knows what happened with the terrorists in Britain.

- Britain captures terrorists trying to do harm to America.
- America tightens its air travel restrictions yet again.

It's hard to know where to begin. I guess I'll start with what (to me) is the Obvious Question. If they caught these guys using security and intelligence measures that were already in place before August 10th, why is it necessary to come up with more restrictions after the fact? Does it strike no one as a pathetic commentary on the American state of affairs that our response to terrorism is always a REACTIONARY GRAB AT MORE FREEDOM?!?!

It was with no small amount of disgust that I watched the news last night. There at my own local airport were plenty of sheeple lined up in a nice row applauding the government and its pathetic, totalitarian reactionary response. One woman even went so far as to do the Feds' propaganda work for them. Quoth the sheep: "It's for everybody's own protection."

We have allowed the Federal government to state (and act on) the following: "The Constitution [Bill of Rights] no longer applies in air-travel situations. If you wish to travel by air, you will be treated as a subject and suspect rather than a citizen. You are assumed to be guilty until we can prove otherwise by unreasonably searching your person and property. Your right to defend yourself against any actual wrongdoers is hereby revoked. You will behave in an orderly fashion. If you say something we don't like, we will arrest you. This is for your own protection."

Now a lot of people's response is to say, "Well you don't have to travel by airplane. Really they're restricting a privilege more than a set of inalienable rights."

In reality, that's very near-sighted. They are restricting rights - just in a certain arena. We (the public) have agreed with the government that the risks of air travel are great enough that we are willing to (completely) hand over our rights in the interests of our safety.

So where am I going with this? Well, it's not where I'm going with this - it's where the terrorists are going with this. I don't think they understand just how much damage they've done. Without the American freedom-loving Constitutional point of view, they cannot possibly understand just how much and how subtly they have eroded our freedoms. They'd be dancing in the streets if they knew the real consequences they can net with a simple attempt at a terrorist act. The only tangible result they can hope for is a big pile of dead bodies - but they've done more lasting damage than that.

So what happens when we successfully clamp down on air travel to the point that a terrorist act is a totally impossible? At some point, air travel will consist of willing passengers being strip searched and then handcuffed to their seats. What then?

What happens when the sleeper cells wake up? What happens when car bombs start going off? What happens when suicide bombers start blowing up buses and grocery stores and movie theaters in the Midwest? What happens when sleeper agents go into action and start randomly shooting people?

My point is this: if the terrorists are ever smart enough to change tactics and truly terrorize the American public, it will be decision time. We can choose to keep our freedom, or we can do what we have done at the airport and say that safety is more important.

Metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and government listening posts. Those are all in our (very grim) future unless we make radically different choices when the terrorists make a tactical shift.