Monday, June 28, 2010

The Good Guys

For many months now I have lamented on the dearth of watchable TV shows coming out of Hollyweird.

But for many Monday nights now I have enjoyed the new summer TV series The Good Guys.

First, it stars one of my favorite actors from The West Wing, Bradley Whitford, sporting a completely real molesterstache.

Second, it's well written. That's an extreme rare in this day and age of "reality" TV. It can't be easy for the regular networks to come up with pre-scripted material.

Third, this series does not make the mistake of trying to take itself seriously. That is a surefire recipe for success.

Long live The Good Guys!

Monday, June 21, 2010

So I saw it

In a previous post, I questioned whether or not I should see the new Karate Kid. Well, events of the week prevented me from posting my opinions.

And here they are.

I saw it. I was entertained, which is rare for me when it comes to what is coming out of Hollyweird these days.

I was also amused by the little touches, which were an homage to the original: The instructor at one point spreads car wax on his car. He reads the instructions on how to compete in a tournament. He uses chopsticks to catch a (dead) fly.

I also couldn't help comparing it to the original time and time again. The protagonist gets in trouble originally over a girl. He is nearly beaten to death (and rescued by his future instructor) after pulling a prank on his tormentors that goes wrong. He is forced into humiliating repetitive labor that he grows disgusted with, only to learn that it is an important part of his training. He discovers that his instructor is hiding a devastating secret that is only revealed after finding said instructor strongly intoxicated.

It's all there.

But it was still entertaining.

And I recommend this to anyone who has not seen the original. You will enjoy it.

For everyone else, your enjoyment will be dimmed by the constant comparisons. And you may not find it as enjoyable as you could have.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It is not Right

Today I attended the funeral of the six year old daughter of a co-worker. She died from the injuries she sustained after being struck by a car.

She was six years old.

She was six years old.


It is. Not. Right.

Every time I attend a funeral, I hear the same themes: They are with God now. They are in a better place. God has a plan. We will move on.

This was a funeral for a six year old. God couldn't wait a few decades?! A better place? What better place is there than growing up in a home with parents and siblings who love you?! A Plan?! What kind of cruel God takes a six year old girl away from parents who love her?! What kind of sick, twisted plan is that?!

At times like this, these are the questions that we ask.

During the sermon, the priest brought up the troubles experienced by Job. As everything good in Job's life was stripped away, he cursed himself, his life, and the day he was born. The one thing he did not curse was God.

I do not curse God. But I question His wisdom on days like this. And I wonder about His plan. Why is He so cruel to those who praise Him?

Maybe someday I will know the answer to that question. Maybe.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Decision to Make

For months now I have been grappling with a difficult decision: do I go to see the new Karate Kid?

In the first place, the title is wrong: it should be the Kung Fu kid. And I realize that Karate and Kung Fu are both westernizations of Oriental martial arts that have existed far longer than Hollyweird has been aware of them.

Second, I watched the first Karate Kid more times than I care to count, both in theaters and on video. Hey, what can I say: I empathized with the story: a high school nerd, picked on by bullies. I only wish there had been my own version of Mr. Miyagi to defend me. It might have gotten me a lot farther than I am today.

Third, I can't help but think that I can't watch this movie without comparing it to the original. As will anyone of my generation.

In its defense, this movie features an actual 12 year old playing a 12 year old. (Ralph Macchio was 22 when he played a high school sophomore). The movie also stars Jackie Chan, who has starred in dozens of martial arts themed movies, and frequently performed his own stunts. Pat Morita, who portrayed the original Mr. Miyagi, readily admitted that he knew little or nothing of the martial arts. His stunts in the movie and its sequels were performed by doubles.

I have to decide if i will see it.

Future updates will tell.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Today, I learned that my former boss, a former Republican elected official, apparently jumped to his death from the fifth floor of a Hospital parking garage.

Note: I will use no names or other specific references in this post. Those who want to know who I am talking about can find out easily enough.

I currently know next to nothing about the circumstances. This was a man who, at 53, apparently decided that it was not worth going on.

As of this writing, it is being considered a suicide. The fact that it happened in the parking garage of a hospital is telling. I will wait and see if anything further develops.

I am sad, angry, confused, and devastated, in no particular order. This man ran the office I worked in for 14 years. He was well-liked by almost everyone who worked for him. When he lost his job, It was a blow to nearly everyone there, myself included. It should be noted that I don't like many Republicans. I liked this guy. He wasn't afraid to put politics aside and do the job he was elected to do. It's an attitude that probably cost him his job.

I can't imagine what can drive a person to decide that it is no longer worth the effort to continue living. I hope that I will never reach that decision. I have family and friends. And a dog.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

We Love You Ah-Nuld!

Ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger became the Republican Governor of California, I've refused to watch a single one of his movies. Fortunately, this really hasn't been much of a sacrifice since most of his movies sucked dirty ass water.

But recently, he said something that may just redeem him in my eyes:

"I was also going to give a commencement speech in Arizona. But with my accent, I was worried that they would try to deport me back to Austria. So I canceled that idea right away."

Oh mercy, that's funny.

I must admit I'm of a mixed mind about this legislation recently passed in Arizona. On the one hand, I'm definitely opposed to illegal immigration. But on the other hand, I'm opposed to legislation being passed that allows--in fact forces--the police to accost any citizen with brown skin walking down the street and demand that they produce proof of citizenship. It's the first step on a dangerously slippery slope.

Think about it for a minute. Do YOU carry around proof of your citizenship? I don't. The closest thing is my driver's license. Which may not be enough. Someday.