Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A List

There really isn't any coherance (if that's a word) to this so-called "list" but golly gee, who doesn't love a list. I mean, I know I love lists. I look at "This Many Hundred Greatest" lists all the time whether it be Rolling Stone's guitarists, albums, songs, or AFI's films, villains, songs. I think you get the idea. Here, I'm going to list things that come to mind and I'm going to comment on them. The numbers really mean nothing, but numbers are a staple of a good list.

10. The Last Waltz-This is a helluva film. I imagine I've mentioned it somewhere on this blog previously, but I happen to be listening to it's soundtrack right now, and it reminds me how much I love the movie, the music and the artists in the film. Not to mention, Martin Scorsese deserves some props for hitting this one out of the park.

9. Procrastination-I'm not quite sure what I would do with my life if procrastination wasn't there for me. In fact, in writing this post write now, I am procrastinating homework. Usually this term, this concept, this ideal is associated with slacking and lazy teenagers. I find it to be a great help when I'm trying to get something done. In all likelihood, I am doing whatever I am doing at the very last minute possible. This gives me quite a rush and the pressure of the time constraint gets me going and I manage to accomplish something. Here's to procrastination.

8. Senior Year-I can't wait forit to be over. It's consisted mostly of me doing nothing, although this last week or so has required me to do more work then I can remember doing in quite a while. Certainly, I've taken it very easy in the last couple of months, but I still don't like doing work, and that is partially why I have put it aside to write this. In school, our class has been shafted quite a few times, but it's almost over, so I'm not bitter or anything, but I'd have to say it's been less exciting then it could have been because of things beyond my control, at least that's what I'm going to tell myself.

7. Superheroes-Superheroes are the things of dreams for young boys and nerds. Seeing as I'm obviously not a nerd, I'll consider myself still a young boy for a moment. I just saw the new "X-Men" flick and it's pretty sweet. Certainly, I love the first two, so I couldn't wait for this one, but I've also been revisiting the Christopher Reeve "Superman" movies and getting into "Smallville," mostly in preparation for seeing "Superman Returns" at the end of June.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What has this world come to: real cage fighting is legal and viewed as a leisure activity?

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Film: The Iron Giant (1999). This is without a doubt, my favorite animated film. The film is incredibly intelligent, something most wouldn't expected since it is animated. The film takes place at the height of the Cold War and uses this setting as a major theme of the film. The films exploration of Cold War hysteria is absolutely intrigueing and surprising to find in a film originally billed as a children's film. The story and characters are captivating and this one should not be missed.
Song: "Stand Inside Your Love," Smashing Pumpkins. My love for the Smashing Pumpkins is still around and this is my new favorite song of theirs. Not really sure what to say about the song, but I think it's awesome and I recommend that you have a listen.

A trip to Sin City this last week has prevented me from putting up any new entries. But, now I'm back and rural America has gotten me angry again. The day before I saw Al Sharpton, on the way home from the Grand Canyon and while still in awe of the Blue Man Group show I checked out, I stumbled across a story in the good old New York Times.

The story is simply titled, "Alive and Thriving in Midwest: Brawling in Cages," (July 28, 2005). The picture accompanying the story shows, through the cage, the distorted face of one of the fighters being pinned, eerily reminiscent of the masks worn by the beings in the surreal samurai fantasy sequences in Brazil (1985), additionally, redneck fans can be seen outside of the cage enjoying the action. Not exactly the atmosphere I would find myself, but some are spending leisure time doing just that.

This cage fighting, also known as no-holds-barred fighting, hardcore fighting, etc., is banned in many locations around the country, where it is rightfully considered assault. However, at Indian Casinos and in several Midwest states, this form of assault is legal. The article mainly focuses on the community of Sioux Falls, IA, so most of my thoughts and generalizations will be based on facts about this community.

During the course of one of these fight nights, normally, several people take a trip to the hospital or at least have to be checked out by medical personnel. These events are normally held in respectable venues such as bar parking lots. The fighters use kickboxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and boxing techniques until one of the fighters taps out for mercy and the fight ends.

O'Leary's Recommendations of the Day:
Theater: The Blue Man Group. Despite whether you have won a Nobel Prize, served as President, are Martin Scorsese, or have garnered ridiculous amounts of money or any combination of the above, your life is not complete until you have seen the Blue Man Group. This musical/theatric trio is absolutely brilliant. For about an hour and a half, this trio does not say a word but delivers a pleasurable kick to the senses like nothing else I've ever experienced. The music is awesome, the theatrics are awesome, the experience is absolutely one of a kind.
Song: "Lola," The Kinks. This song from classic rock legends The Kinks tells the story of timid guy and the romance that would bloom with an agressive transvestite, Lola. Yes, that is a fairly bizarre concept for a song, but the song is excellent. The lyrics are very clever in subtly suggesting that Lola is a transvestite and the music is addicting.

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose Trainspotting the next time you're in the video store. Of course, except for the previous sentence, that compound reference to Trainspotting will be lost on those of you who haven't seen the film yet. Danny (28 Days Later, Millions) Boyle's masterful Trainspotting (1996) weaves the awesome story of several Scottish low life heroin users and a get quick rich scam they get involved with.

The film's drug content and the context in which it exists brought about a bit of controversy when the film was released because some critics believed it was glorifying drug use. While the film isn't Requiem for a Dream (2000) in terms of how it depicts heroine use, it doesn't glorify the habit. Several lines do suggest that the initial sensation from injecting the drug is beyond euphoric, but such a notion is well known, and is the main reason that drug users maintain the habit. The immense difficulty of getting off of the drug, the pathetic state heroin use can leave a user in and the terrible things that can occur as an indirect result of the habit are all graphically depicted and any person not intelligent enough to realize this should stick to watching Rob Schneider movies.


This is not part of the "Classic Films of the 1990s" or whatever I've been calling that series, this is a post concerning the state of the union. I don't mean to alarm anyone, but some of the ideas I have for where our great nation is headed may be ridiculous/over the top but I am seriously concerned, what in God's glorious name is going on?

Several things going on right now have me seriously concerned. Here's a quick run down: our president has the lowest approval ratings of any president since WWII besides good old Richard Nixon, his war in Iraq is going to crap, one of our major ports appears on track to be the next Atlantis, the people of our country are divided (militiantly, almost) regarding many things and most precious gasoline has reached an astounding price. A good number of these things are directly connected and none of these things are boding well.

George W. Bush has now secured himself a legacy of screw ups and idiocy. Granted, he pulled our nation through 9/11 (although I suppose we're still dealing with its aftermath in the form of the war in Iraq) and successfully ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan (although the main goal of that operation, to capture Bin Laden, still hasn't been completed). Currently, Mr. Bush is on vacation. He has been on vacation at his Crawford, Texas ranch for several weeks now. While there, he herds livestock and cuts up trees. He should probably be in Washington running our country!

Michael O'Leary Spices Up History

To begin, I enjoy studying history. Politics and events of yesteryear interest me because I think ties to today can be made in regard to almost any historical matter. Now with those two sentences quasi-intellectual rhetoric behind, let me get to what I'm really here to write about. Sometimes, I wish things in history would have turned out differently, just to see how the world would have been shaped differently. What if Huey Long had become President of the United States? What would have became of the aftermath of the Kennedy assasination if Jack Ruby hadn't killed Lee Harvey Oswald? What if America had lost World War II? These are questions pertaining to situations that probably have been discussed by history buffs and professionals, but one situation, or series of hypothetical situations loosely connected through connections that I am fabricating, that has probably never been discussed is the one I am here to discuss.

The chapter of history that I am here to write is one that would probably not have affected the evolution of society or anything significant like that, but I think would be interesting to study, just as an aside to conventional history. In simple terms, I'm going to come up with what I wish had happened with D.B. Cooper.

Political Test

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Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

What's the Minimum Age for Nostalgic Feelings?

At 17 years of age, I already find myself thinking about events and occurences of yesteryear and wishing I was back in those moments so I could do something differently, or just relive such great times. Some of it, I'm sure, is due to the fact that the future and the present always have elements of uncertainty and insecurity. The events of the past that I've already experienced are done and I know how things turned out and therefore wish I could be back there to exist with such certainty.

I wonder, is the present really that bland that I want to be back in the past? I wouldn't go that far, for I am shaping my own present and have no right to complain about the state of the present, for it's almost entirely on me as to how it plays out. Of course, some elements of the present are basically out of my control, but I have to live with them anyway. Certainly, we find ourselves in a tumultuous political state right now, which adds to the dissatisfaction I have for the present.

Many memories of my past stick out in my mind as things that I wish I could relive or attempt to relive. I love to watch the Batman cartoons from the early 90s because they are relics of my childhood, and were high points of my life at the time in which I originally experienced them. I recently doled out a few bucks to the good people at Amazon for the first season of The Adventures of Pete and Pete on DVD. When I used to watch that show, I never found myself loving it, however, since the individual episodes have remained in my mind for so long, I realize that I must have loved it, and anything I didn't like, was over my head at the time and now I seek to revisit this show.

Now that I have a few years under my belt, I know that in the future, I'll look back on things I've recently done or will do very soon. I suppose this all kind of came to me when I was at the Cream concert recently, and to see these people, who looked as if they had been fans since the band's heyday (late 1960s), paying top dollar for the worst seats in the house for a band they have followed since they were my age, when the band was just another group on popular radio. Did they know at the time that this band would be, some 40 years later, one of the most respected and important groups in the evolution of modern music? I believe there's no way they could have known this, but I wonder what things of the present will eventually be placed upon the highest pedestal. I hope I'm experiencing the things now that everyone will remember in the future as great moments of their past so I can feel appropriately nostalgic.