Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Conspiracy of Silliness

It may be hard to believe, but it seems that us Merkins just can't seem to accept that which is. Every national disaster - assassination of a beloved leader, terrorist attacks, even Katrina, seems to bring along an in-built need for a better, more complex explanation that what the facts support.

In philosophy, there is a principle called Occam's Razor. The idea is that between two explanations that are similar, the simplest explanation is likely to be correct. Popular conspiracy theories ignore this principle, instead opting for DaVinci Code complexity where more sensible, factually established arguments should hold sway.

Scenario: two giant airplanes loaded with explosive and volatile jet fuel crash directly into the centre of two giant skyscrapers. The jet fuel ignites, burns at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The structures are compromised because of a) the intrusion of giant flaming foreign objects into the structure and 2) the hollow-tube design of the building which is meant to resist lateral force, not the multiplied gravity and force of pancaking floors, each weighing several thousand tons, that give way as the cantilevers that were distributing the force between the compromised center columns and the compromised outside tube columns are heating to melting. And those elements don't have to melt to fail, either, just get hot enough to allow their load-bearing spec to be exceeded.

In short, most buildings are NOT designed to withstand missile attacks, let alone almost a million pounds of aircraft loaded with super-hot-burning fossil fuel. So, it seems that the likeliest explanation, which is flaming, heavy, high-speed missiles + structure not designed to resist those forces = structure failure. Versus what else? Surreptitiously planting literally tons of high explosive? Per building? With no one noticing? In two buildings? With security tightened after the '93 bombing? Huh? Doesn't pass the "makes no sense" test.

I believe that conspiracy theories like this are rarely proved but understandable. Kennedy was assassinated by a team of black ops people or the Mafia or the Cubans left floundering in the Bay of Pigs or maybe Marylin Monroe. Yet, years of examination and the collection of all the evidence seem to point to the simplest answer - a crazy dude did it.

We would all like a more diabolical and complex answer to "why" rather than the simplicity of a coordinated, low-tech attack. The feeling of being "had" needs more than such simplicity in order to be erased. Aren't we the greatest, strongest nation in the world, or don't we believe that anyway? Don't we represent good and not evil?

We may be Goliath after all and it's clear that others in the world see America and Americans that way. The truth hurts. The truth is that the Davids out there will be successful when they use the simplest means at their disposal - cheapest, most direct, easily done. And there does not have to be, and usually isn't, a sophisticated explanation involving archaeologists, popes, CIA operatives and evil geniuses. The only way to beat that approach is with a stick, literally. Or close the gates and stay at home. Either way, it won't stop nasty jerks from their bullying, no matter whether we're the ones being bullied or whether we're smacking kids upside the head for their milk money.

Welcome to the human condition. Now, get over it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why I Don't Watch (Don't Like) "Black" Movies

It's really very simple. Motion picture entertainment target exclusively at "black" audiences is, believe it or not, still a developing market. As a consequence, "black" movies that get made and promoted tend to be, well, dumbed-down to a point that an equalized audience would have little choice but to be insulted.

So, by not being part of that audience, I choose to not support "black" movies by watching or renting them nor do I subscribe (knowingly) to any cable network that supports that kind of programming. The fact that the only director to ignore the audience, namely Spike Lee, can make intelligent movies and inform me on the real black, excuse me, African-American, perspective, means that it can be done. Not my fault that he's an intellectual. He is bankable, and so, can make his brilliant movies. The rest is absolute crap and is f*cking insulting to my African-American brothers and sisters. The time has come to look at this this and perhaps suggest a blanket boycott of that tripe.

So, is it okay to make stupid white-person movies? Maybe it's because there's more freedom and more history. There's certainly enough "free" perspective to make a significant difference and to allow way more latitude. In fact, it should be expected. But for black audiences, there are issues that need to be examined carefully, right now. That doesn't mean boring, dry scripts, either. It can be, and has been done in an entertaining way, too.

I beg you, Tyler Perry: stop with the Medea crap - that's particularly embarrassing. "Why Did I Get Married" one and two, is cringe worthy - for a white person!  Please - make it stop.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sentimental Reality

Well, there you are.

A well-worn sentiment, cast in stone, placed thoughtfully in a garden and subsequently shattered.

What is the message and who, may I ask, is sending it?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Maru: Defining Determination

Yes, I know. Two cat posts in a row can't be a good sign. But then, I don't really write about what I'm writing about when I'm writing about it. It's only when, like a good pot roast, it's had a while to soak in its own juices that it starts to take on the proper meaning.

This, however, is a cat post. I wish for you to have no illusions about this. I am addicted to cats. I can't get enough of them. oddly, I have none in my possession at this time. No, instead I have a dog. Interestingly, this dog has developed some very cat-like properties, like being forever underfoot in the kitchen, watching birds (also know as crack-for-cats) while muttering something akin to, "I could get you, I could kill you, I could, I could . . .", sleeping like all freakin' day and playing with string. Perhaps it's a good thing I have no cats as it's likely that I would have at least three and begin the not-so-long journey to stereotype-dom.

Still and all, I like cats. I especially like cats that are wacky. So, without further delay, here are two videos. The first one is about Maru The Japanese Cat and his obsession with a big box. Simple, I know, but like most things Japanese, elegant. And I can't be the only one who likes cats and cat videos, since this video has had nearly six million views. And the second is a video of an apparently invisible cat. Please excuse me if you've seen these and kindly let me know if they disappear, since the videos are on YT and may very well go "poof." Meow!

And here's yer bonus: