Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
My hope and respect for humanity has been hanging by a thread, and that thread finally snapped the other day when I read a horrifying news story about an 11 year-old girl who was picked up on the street by a 19 year-old man who took her and raped her, and then took her to another location and continued the rape in the company of 17 other rapists, some of them middle school-aged. I do not root for the survival of a race capable of this. And, with terrible predictability, the apologists started coming out and admonishing the girl for what she was wearing.
This video is a great anti-rape PSA. I'm glad we're starting to see more people who think rape prevention is not the sole responsibility of women who should live in fear and get in line with how men apparently think they should dress and conduct themselves.
Instead, teach men and boys that rape is wrong, inhumane, and intolerable.
A review of the films I've seen this past week.
I haven't been watching too much current television lately, and a lot of what I have been watching, I don't have much to say about. MasterChef is just as self-serious as it was last year, Teen Mom is as whiny yet oddly compelling as ever (by the way, did you know teen pregnancy is down to its lowest levels in a couple of generations?), and for some reason I'm just not enjoying Futurama as much right now.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Referencing a small discussion I was having in the comments section of my latest Star Trek: The Next Generation post, I ended up running across this article about the distinct lack of--and even rejection of--homosexuality in the Star Trek universe. It's a much more thoughtful article than I could have put together, and I agree with the author that the issue with this is not the issue (or non-issue) of homosexuality, but the way the rejection of any homosexual influence in the future damages the moral credibility of Star Trek's utopian vision.
Netflix is about to become less compelling bargain for people who want to stream videos and also watch DVDs: The company's abandoning its $9.99 a month plan that enabled subscribers to watch unlimited video streams and also have one DVD out at a time sent via mail. The price for that combo service will jump to $15.98 as Netflix requires consumers to separately order unlimited streaming for $7.99 a month or 1-at-a-time DVD rentals for $7.99. The new pricing begins immediately for new customers, and on Sept. 1 for existing ones. Netflix already offered the streaming-only service, and is spinning this as a price break for DVD-only subscribers. "By better reflecting the underlying costs and offering our lowest prices ever for unlimited DVD, we hope to provide a great value to our current and future DVD-by-mail members," Chief Service and Operations Officer Andy Rendich said in a release.
Overall, the show's still going strong. I think there's a sort of... Europeanism that's taking hold of the show here, and I really like it. I've heard the criticism where the original series is, in its way, a Western power fantasy of being able to interfere and then running off to the next adventure before interference leads to responsibility. What I find interesting at this point in Next Generation is that the show is willing to admit that, sometimes, the answers aren't easy. That some things are beyond the power of Starfleet to control or fix. I think it's a balance the writers have a hard time with, to be honest, but it's interesting that they're even trying to find it. We're seeing flaws in Gene Roddenberry's perfect future, and it's very human. I think it's because of Patrick Stewart, honestly. His style as an actor is very thoughtful; he was given some lines in the first two seasons that were meant to be more bullish, more direct, but instead pondered with them, reflected with them. I think he changed the tone of Star Trek, and writers began writing for his more interrogative style. It seems like now the show is willing to explore the idea that the Federation can and does fail to address things. It's very interesting, and very human.
16. Galaxy's Child (3/5)
17. Night Terrors (2/5)
Interesting idea, but again, it just doesn't come off for me.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
I don't know. I just... well, I just thought of this on a whim. But you know what? I like this song. Maybe it's cheesy, but I like it. This specific version--the original, by George Benson, from the 1977 film The Greatest. It's just so happy and sincere. I never liked the Whitney Houston version at all (someone whose style I've always considered mannered and insincere). So why the hell not, eh?