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Month: March 2012

So there I was at Walmart again …

Now they’ve moved all those storage foods to their own spot in the grocery aisles. Added a couple more items, too. I’m standing there choosing this week’s purchases and making notes on what to get on future trips. While I’m scribbling, the section turns, once again, into Walmart’s own little social center. I’m not doing any talking this time. But so many people are standing there chatting with each other about freeze-dried and dehydrated foods as they load up their carts that I’m thinking Walmart should install a Starbucks right there to take advantage of all the friendly idling. This…

21 Comments

The Hunger Games (mini-review)

The Hunger Games is good. It hits you in the gut. It’s well-acted. It ought to get Oscar nominations for costume, art direction, and sound editing, as well as another best actress nomination for Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen. Woody Harrelson is a perfect Haymitch Abernathy. Josh Hutcherson (once I got past him being noticeably shorter than Lawrence) is an appealing and believable Peeta Mellark. The young actresses playing Prim and Rue are spot on. It’s a really very, very good movie — but not great. I have to agree with the reviewers who’ve noted there’s something missing —…

35 Comments

V weeks of V: win a mask

I’m off to do a little Wal-Martery, then catch a late-morning showing of The Hunger Games. See you when I return. Meantime, here’s a cool challenge. The folks at Silver Circle Underground are giving away five Guy Fawkes masks over the next five weeks. This week’s contest: write rebel poetry. Haiku? A sonnet? An ode? Or just your own version of the famous “Remember, remember …” verses. Have at it. Should be fun.

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NSA chief denies all! (Who you gonna believe?)

The head of the No Such Agency is denying the truth of the Wired article that caused such a stir last week. No! No! Of course they aren’t spying on Americans! How could we even think such a thing? Our own government? Spying on us? Illegally? What, are you some sort of commie pinko subversive Islamist radical agitating racist anti-government paranoid weirdo fanatic? At risk of coming down in the side of panic and hysteria … well, hell, just coming down on the side of reality … who you gonna believe in this fracas? Lessee … one of the most…

8 Comments

The Hunger Games and freedom in the real world

The movie The Hunger Games comes out this Friday. If you’ve read the books(s) you know this isn’t going to be the Twilight-style teen flick that’s being marketed. Can’t blame Lionsgate for the marketing; they want to make money and the Katniss-Peeta-Gale triangle offers a hook to the silly-but-moneymaking Bella-Edward-Jacob triangle that no marketer could resist. At least they’ve been doing their marketing very, very well; it’s been an elegantly teasing campaign. Have you noticed that, never once during all the buildup, have they actually showed the Hunger Games part of The Hunger Games? Marketing aside, it looks like Lionsgate…

28 Comments

Keep cool. Don’t panic.

Friday brought two horrible-looking pieces of news that have made their way around the ‘Net fast and fearfully: The NSA is building a super data center in Utah. One that can — and will — scoop up the complete text of all our emails, break our encryption, and even report on where we parked last time we went to lunch. And a new executive order is a setup for “peacetime martial law” in America. By now, even Walmartian grannies have probably heard all this, and true paranoids have retreated to underground bunkers with their Super-Whiz-Whacker 3000 assault rifles and colossal…

31 Comments

Yes, actually, Santorum IS a moron

The other day I linked to an article that found one good thing to say about Rick Santorum (he’s strongly opposed to Obamacare and was, at least that day, making repeal a centerpiece of his campaign). I fear that some took that as an endorsement of Santorum. Never mind that I’d be as likely to endorse Vlad Dracul, Typhoid Mary, or any average inhabitant of an insane asylum. In fact, speaking of inhabitants of insane asylums … With the entire freaking world coming apart at the seams and the economy headed off yet another, steeper cliff, Santorum has been busy…

25 Comments

“We … are fearful of a cascading credit event …”

I’m not sure how many grains of salt this deserves to be taken with. Perhaps a whole shaker full. Or perhaps it’s the dead-solid truth. Judge for yourself. Marc Slavo tends to be a bit conspiratorial for my taste and the bona fides of the letter writer he quotes are unverifiable. Whatever else, it’s fascinating that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission tossed this public comment down the memory hole yesterday almost as soon as it was posted. The comment’s author claims to be a whistleblower writing from inside JPMorgan Chase. And he or she confirms (among other things) the widespread…

8 Comments