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Smore sweet treats

George A. Romero made this grandaddy of flesh eating shamblin' goodness.

Delicious AV sweets...

What sweet little ghouls and goblins.
Here are some public domain goodies to put in your bags.
Vincent Price in an Italian adaptation of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.
Mind the fish hooks and razor blades...

Spook Country...

I'll do myself a favor by poking some holes in my high-falutin' Halloween rant.
I also like dressing up like a fool, scaring the crap out of the neighborhood kids, and eating candy till I'm sick.
So there.

Ghost pic courtesy of Salendron under a CC license.

All hail the Great Pumpkin!

Why is Halloween is such a psychic touchstone for me?
At least for me, this holiday seems to be the most genuine expression of the human condition.

While other holidays try to gloss over the horror that most people deal with on a daily basis, Halloween seems to be a slight tip of the hat to the universal equalizer.

In a world filled with genocide, cancer, environmental meltdown, etc., it's nice to have one day where we can publicly acknowledge the one thing that all humans share. For a day we can give in to the deeper/darker side of ourselves. For a day we can surrender to our existential "war on terror".

Pumpkin pic courtesy of Fabbio under a Creative Commons license.


Message for Comrade Kelly...

It's like Battleship Potempkin meets Singin' in the Rain.

Who watches the watchmen?

Just found this interesting documentary by Henry Porter on the use of CCTV in Britain and the rise of a surveillance state in response to the "war on some terror".
As a film maker, 21st century video voyeur, and armchair civil libertarian this subject fascinates me.
The idea that we'll be safer if we allow governments, corporations, and now individuals to monitor everyone else certainly sets off alarms in people concerned with personal privacy.
Is there a balance to this Orwellian idea of a creepy Big Brother?
Can it work in the opposite direction?
Do citizens have the power to turn their own electronic eyes and ears back on those "guardians of our best interests"?
I'll try to find some answers to these questions in the near future and post them here.

Brian De Palma bites back

Amazing to see a major Hollywood player like De Palma butting heads with his studio heads in public over his film "Redacted".
This one clip raises issues of censorship, free speech, and the problems of applying fair use in film making.
This debate is long over due. Maybe having some heavy hitters weighing in on the subject will shake things up.
Cross your fingers.


Fear and Loathing in the Heart of Darkness

I just finished this horrific article in the NYT about the use of rape as a weapon of war in the Congo.

It's hard enough for me to understand what motivates an individual to commit acts of sexual violence.
How do you come up with an answer for what would motivate groups to do something like this? 130+ years of conflict, exploitation, environmental destruction, and political conflict certainly have contributed to this social pathology. But is this there something else?

Unfortunately it seems that humans have used rape as a weapon of war for as long as we have been human.

This is one of those things that makes me wish for the giant meteorite.
Time for someone to hit the universal reset button.


How do you define mercenary?

Here's how Wikipedia defines it.

Has anyone else noticed this extreme bleedover from the cyberpunk of the 80s and 90s to the scary news headlines of the present??

He was a perpetual outsider, a rogue factor adrift on the secret seas of intercorpo- rate politics. No company man would have been capable of taking the initiatives Turner was required to take in the course of an extraction. No company man was capable of Turner's professionally casual ability to realign his loyalties to fit a change in employers. Or, perhaps, of his unyielding commit- ment once a contract had been agreed upon. He had drifted into security work in his late teens, `when the grim doldrums of the postwar economy were giving way to the impetus of new technologies. He had done well in security, considering his general lack of ambition. He had a ropy, muscular poise that impressed his employer's clients, and he was bright, very bright. He wore clothes well. He had a way with technology.

Count Zero by William Gibson

I wonder how many Blackwater personnel fit this description?