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Wednesday miscellany

  • World ended yesterday. Hm. Didja notice? I didn’t.
  • Well then. Since we still appear to be here: ten everyday acts of resistance that changed the world.
  • Ten incredibly cool homemade toys you could really hurt yourself with.
  • The feds are moving Bradley Manning to Leavenworth. Where he might get slightly better conditions. We can hope. But notice the use of that word “detained.” Is it just me, or are the uses of “detained” getting creepier by the day? Didn’t there used to be a connotation of “slightly inconvenienced, momentarily delayed”? Now it’s getting closer to meaning “disappeared without a trace into some freaking dank, spider-filled dungeon out of an old movie with no more due process than Evil Prince John or Edward Longshanks would have given his worst enemy.”
  • P.J. O’Rourke didn’t like Atlas Shrugged, either. But at least he was witty about it.


  1. Woody
    Woody April 20, 2011 5:02 am

    Regarding the beer cannon…. Finally, a good use for light beer! Just aim the cannon at the trash can.

  2. It's Me
    It's Me April 20, 2011 5:17 am

    The word “obey” has became very creepy for me now. It’s used a lot in Christian Conserative circles and, of course, government stuff. The two combined as well. I’ve noticed that both expect IMMEDIATE “obediance” from their underlings (children, “taxpayers”) when they give an order and both are willing to use violence when their rules aren’t acted upon (spankings, etc).

    So “obey” is the most creepy word I can think of right now.

  3. Pat
    Pat April 20, 2011 5:57 am

    P.J. O’Rourke was right about one thing: “A hundred years, from Bolsheviks to Al Qaeda, were spent proving Ayn Rand right.”

    But I don’t understand why critics are so down on this movie for “not bringing it up-to-date” re building a train. (Several critics have complained about this.) In the first place, we could use a good train system. More to the point of the movie: when a movie is made from a book, you use the time period the book was written in; you don’t transport, say, “The Great Gatsby” into the 60s. Railroads were what the book was about at that time, when trains were losing their impact and trucks (and truckers’ unions) were taking over transportation.
    I’ve never heard of the Yes! magazine — it sounds interesting. Yet it seems so full of everyone’s “causes.” Not all positive attitudes result in the best solutions.

    In “10 Everyday Acts of Resistance That Changed The World”, the American Katie Redford (#10 on the list) eventually forced Unocal to “settle” for its role in abuse of the Burmese villagers. And that was a good thing. But what has been gained, when large corporations are still helping to shape foreign countries’ political affairs?

  4. Claire
    Claire April 20, 2011 6:35 am

    It’s Me — Another creepy and ever-more-popular word along those same lines is “compliance.”

    Pat — I think one reason critics dis the movie for still emphasizing railroads is that it’s supposed to be set in the future. “The Great Gatsby” was, is, and always will be of the 1920s. No reason to update it. With Atlas, since its set at a date that hasn’t happened yet and involves big national/international events, you’re stuck either with making it about railroads and being true to Rand or converting the railroads to spaceports and lunar colonies — or at least free-market airlines which is almost as farfetched — and having to completely rewrite the story. I think the filmmakers did a good job making trains relevant again. But I can see why it’s a sticking point for some critics.

  5. It's Me
    It's Me April 20, 2011 6:42 am

    Claire – Yep, you’re right about that. The word “compliance” certainly has become dramatically more creepy.

  6. Kentucky Kid
    Kentucky Kid April 20, 2011 10:27 am

    I agree that the movie had to be set in the time frame in which Rand composed it. To do otherwise would be tantamount to setting “The Wild Bunch” in 2007, and having air strikes accompany the final shootout. Just . . . wrong. To me, it’s just desperately searching for something to complain about.

  7. EN
    EN April 20, 2011 11:21 am

    Leavenworth is hardly a happy place. My experience goes back twenty years, but unless it’s changes a lot it makes Federal Pens look like grade school. Of course you’ll never be raped in Leavenworth, no time for frivolous activities such as that.

  8. Claire
    Claire April 20, 2011 1:24 pm

    EN. Your experience? In Leavenworth? You realize that just screams for a follow-up question, don’t you?

    It sounds as if Manning is at least being moved to a new facility there and has at least a chance of ending up in medium security. Going to any prison must be hell, but going to some ancient place like Leavenworth (which always makes me think of Shawshank from the movie) seems even more depressing — even before the picture you just painted of it.

  9. naturegirl
    naturegirl April 20, 2011 3:12 pm

    Skynet…Judgment Day….LOL

    I do believe the machines have taken over the world already, they just haven’t attacked YET…..

    I get the same shudder when hearing “detained”….it certainly is no longer a temporary situation, that’s for sure…..

  10. Chris D.
    Chris D. April 25, 2011 2:27 pm

    Heck, I’m waiting for the “rapture” on May 21 to see if some people that will float up in the sky and we can get a bit of heaven for once here on earth.

  11. Claire
    Claire April 25, 2011 3:03 pm

    Chris D. — The Rapture? It’s coming on May 21? Oh my. And me wasting all this time painting and re-flooring the garret! Please — more. Who has proclaimed The Rapture this time, and on what authority?

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