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General Discussion / Re: Celebrations!
« Last post by New Dawn on June 08, 2014, 08:07:05 AM »
Thank you! :-)
General Discussion / Re: Celebrations!
« Last post by Sir Osis of Thuliver on June 07, 2014, 04:48:55 AM »
Happy Birthday! Half a century is an accomplishment... Here's to another 50!
General Discussion / Celebrations!
« Last post by New Dawn on June 05, 2014, 07:12:20 AM »
I'll give you the opportunity to celebrate with me: Tomorrow June 6th is my 50th birthday! Cheers!
General Discussion / Re: Nixon
« Last post by New Dawn on June 05, 2014, 07:11:14 AM »
I reralise I have never seen any of those movies mentioned. Maybe I should give Nixon and a few of the others a try. (I have seen JFK though)
General Discussion / Re: Nixon
« Last post by Sir Osis of Thuliver on May 28, 2014, 06:41:28 AM »
Thanks Cugel...I guess I had forgotten Born on the Fourth of July was a Stone joint...

I'm on board with Platoon and Wall Street, and have never watched W... But it's on the DVR somewhere, and after the whole Nixon affair, I'm ready to give W a shot...

And yes, I agree, compared to most Republicans that have come after Nixon (I've repeatedly held of GHW Bush as the lone marginally sane Republican in my lifetime), the crook comes across looking pretty good.
General Discussion / Re: Nixon
« Last post by cugel the clever on May 27, 2014, 10:39:26 PM »
Despite my clearly leftist politics, I have never "objected" to Nixon as much as many and I believe that he has been unfairly vilified.  He wasn't a "great" president by any means, but in comparison to Reagan, George W, and the clown car of wing nut nihilist crazies who call themselves Republicans these days, Nixon was a saint.

I have a better opinion of Stone than you.  His film portfolio has been up and down, but to me all that proves is that he's willing to take a chance on some offbeat topics unlike people like Lucas, Spielberg, Cameron, and others who go for the safe blockbuster epics with lots of mainstream Hollywood backing.

Many of his films are near masterpieces and don't have a "conspiracy" orientation.... they're just damn good stories that often push a particular sociological or political point.....
    Natural Born Killers
    Born On The Fourth Of July
    Wall Street

And of course, his recent documentary series, "The Untold History Of The United States" should be required viewing in every high school in the United States as an antidote to the hyper-nationalistic, militaristic, cowboys and indians distortions of global history that passes for US history to most Americans who get their information from faux news and talk radio.
General Discussion / Nixon
« Last post by Sir Osis of Thuliver on May 24, 2014, 06:10:01 AM »
Watched the film "Nixon" by Oliver Stone today.

First, as y'all might suspect, I'm no fan of Nixon. I read Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail" detailing the '72 US presidential election every four years for a good dose of perspective on the corruption inherent in US politics and hold the opinion of Nixon that is the typical opinion of most: he was a cynical, manipulative politician that rode the worst emotions of the US general public (fear, jingoism, vindictiveness) to the nation's highest office.

And, for what it is worth, I've never been much of a fan of Oliver Stone's work as a director. Sensationalistic, conspiracy-ridden nonsense in the handful of films of his I have seen.

Now, those points entered, let me say this....

This was an absolutely amazing film. Checking in at 'round about three hours, the first hour or so took its time pulling me in. And there was some BS JFK/Cuba conspiracy tangents in the first hour that had me just about ready to shut the damn thing down and move on to Batman or some crap...

But, I'm glad I persisted. Stone told this story as a great Greek tragedy. You all know the downfall at the end, but the first two-plus hours of the film are spent - for the most part - building up Nixon. He tells you all the reasons why Nixon was on the right side of history. He pulls you, ever reluctantly, over to Nixon's side. Makes the historical monster relatable. There's a great scene - purely fictional of course - where Nixon (played absolutely superbly by Anthony Hopkins - and now's a good time to call out the rest of the cast: Joan Allen as Pat Nixon, Paul Sorvino as Henry Kissinger, Powers Boothe as Alexander Haig, J.T. Walsh as Ehrlichman, James Woods as Halderman, but the whole friggin' cast is phenomenal) goes to the Lincoln Memorial late at night and there are a bunch of Vietnam War protestors there, and he actually comes across as human and engages in dialogue with them. And you're rooting for Nixon. You see his point. You want him to connect with the kids and make them at least temporarily understand his point of view.

And then, in the last hour of the movie, as Watergate unfolds, as he finally resigns... Just amazing. You're in his shoes. You're there with Kissinger in Nixon's final hours. You understand the magnitude of the President of the GD United States of America resigning rather than letting his "private" tapes be subpoenaed..

I don't watch a ton of movies, but the movies I watch tend to be "serious" movies. Classics.

"Nixon"? Yup. Right up there with the best movies I've ever watched. And I'm enormously surprised that I just wrote that sentence.
General Discussion / Re: New Dawn goes literary!
« Last post by Sir Osis of Thuliver on April 03, 2014, 06:41:24 AM »
I've always wanted to read Cryptonomicon, but that takes dedication and I've got a stack of books lined up that I've got to get to first...

Of that last bunch, I've read War of the Worlds, Slaughterhouse Five, A Tale of Two Cities and most of that Poe stuff. Vonnegut is one of my favorites...

On the summer reading list I've got a couple basketball books lined up first, then:

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 - Hunter S. Thompson
The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick
The Death of Sweet Mister - Daniel Woodrell
San Miguel - T.C. Boyle
American Psycho - Brett Easton Ellis
He is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Masterson

and I'd like to work a classic of some kind in there... Maybe Last of the Mohicans? I've never read that one...
General Discussion / Re: The weather
« Last post by Sir Osis of Thuliver on April 03, 2014, 06:34:30 AM »
Um, we've gotten a little rain, but rainfall amounts in California are way down, reservoirs are at something like 30% of normal... Snowpack is at a similarly low number.... Hopefully we get a miracle April, but barring that we're in serious drought conditions out this way... Heck, I would guess between September 1 and March 1 we may have had 7-10 total days where the high temperature didn't hit at least 75 F/24 C.
General Discussion / Re: Youtube!
« Last post by Sir Osis of Thuliver on April 03, 2014, 06:31:33 AM »
Haha. Peace, in response to the "going commercial" complaint, definitely... that particular album was in the late 70s and had a more polished "pop" sound, with definite influences from the disco age... That era was bemoaned buy some as "Disco Dead."

I would warn you not to get me started talking about the Dead, because it is often hard to get me to stop talking about them once started... I would agree that their vocals aren't particularly polished and the instrumentation much the same....

But really, they're a folk band playing Americana in a jazz-influenced (improvisational) style. Two relatively infamous quotes sum up their appeal to me...

First, "they're not just the best at what they do, they're the only ones at what they do." They were famously and proudly unprofessional. They hated practicing so they'd just show up at a show and more or less wing it. Hell, where most rock bands try to keep things moving from one song to the next, there were times these guys would just stand around on stage for a while between songs, tuning and chatting before deciding what to play next...

Second, "there's nothing like a Grateful Dead concert." Listening to the music or watching a video only gives you a hint at the experience. The sounds yes, but the sights, the smells, and, yeah, let's face it, the drugs... Haha. Sensory overload.
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