Category Archives: Media

HST

Another of my Heroes has Left this Mortal Coil: R.I.P., You Magnificent Bastard

I’ve been shocked into a ever-deepening valley of despair over the passing of one of the most influential literary icons of my lifetime – Hunter S. Thompson.

When I logged into Farkistan this morning, the first headline I would see today totally cold cocked me upside my head. Just a few words, short and sweet; “Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself”. I instantly felt frozen and detached from reality – ‘Gonz…is dead?’, I said aloud. In the back of my mind, I asked this very same question repeatedly, as if trying to convince myself that the words I was reading were being projected into my retinas by some deeply embedded sadistic, psychosomatic element of my own persona. I attempted to rub away the ghastly dialogue from my eyes, but it persisted, like the bearable but completely uncomfortable searing sensation of a nasty sunburn.

‘Duke’s’ voice has been silenced once and for all, and the literary genious of this Magnificent Bastard will never be duplicated, or equaled. At once I felt my despair slip into fear and helplessness. Whoa. I never thought I would have taken it this hard. This was MUCH more serious than just another writer passing. This was the extinction of THE pioneer – THE architect of thought-provoking, ‘in your face’ social commentary – The great “Gonz” himself. Damn, I thought. ‘What the fuck are we in for now?!?’, I said aloud to no one.

No doubt, many love or hate him, but the respect for his literary prose will forever surpass personal boundaries and generation gaps. Deeply embedded expose’s like “Hell’s Angels”, uncover raw elements of human behaviour usually stifled in other forms of literature. Things like excess, intimidation, manipulation, rage, humiliation, general debauchery, and instinctive violence are all par for the course in Thompson’s world – as nature intended. This author brings reality to the reader’s doorstep in a fashion so few can ever hope to realise. His quick witted talent for storytelling, leaving nothing disclosed from the reader, allows for the imagination to become almost fused to the story, like cokeheads become entertwined in their habit.

The substance-induced journeys, like “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” take the reader through all of the insanity and moments of clarity in himself and others around him, no matter how absurd, and scoops us into his psychedelic quests for a story. And it never fails to provoke thought. Sometimes, the alliteration is so raw, it beckons macabre thoughts, you know, the type that makes us look at traffic accidents and such. And before you realise it, the ridiculousness of it all suddenly makes the reader laugh out loud. That, to me, is the inspiration of Hunter S. Thompson.

R.I.P. Dr. Thompson. You sure had prose like a motherfucker.

“There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -H.S.T

“I have spent half my life trying to get away from journalism, but I am still mired in it – a low trade and a habit worse than heroin, a strange seedy world full of misfits and drunkards and failures.” -H.S.T

“If there is, in fact, a Heaven and a Hell, all we know for sure is that Hell will be a viciously overcrowded version of Phoenix.” -H.S.T

“Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas … with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.” -H.S.T., Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“As your attorney, it is my duty to inform you that it is not important that you understand what I’m doing or why you’re paying me so much money. What’s important is that you continue to do so.”-H.S.T.’s Lawyer, Oscar Acosta, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

star_wars

Blockbuster Loves Me!….and yes, i’m still an idiot.

Well, the weekend is just about done, and I figured I would update this week with SOMETHING. Lynda’s having a great time in Joisey, and we’re staying in contact every other day. It sounds like shes having some frustration over the efforts, or lack thereof, from her sister-in-law-to-be. She is claiming that not a lot has gone into the preparation of this wedding, and that she is being put in a position to try and resolve some of the ensuing issues. Better her than me. I’m glad she’s taking this one for the team, because I am as useless as tits on a raincoat in areas such as this.

I’ve been by myself just 2 days, and already i’ve frequented my local Blockbuster twice now. I know, what a pathetic little monkey am I. Of course, when you’ve got an LCD device projecting 86 inches of cinematic goodness onto the screen, shrouded in rich sounding dolby 5.1, you tend to prefer watching your movies at home, and often, rather than put up with the madness today’s cinema provides. I purchased a movie as well as rented one (which I watched last night) yesterday, only to go back again this evening to rent more. The Blockbuster staff might just have to start opening a special line just for ME…Hahahahaha! *sigh* Holy shit, man. *burying face in hands* I’m WRITING this garbage, and even I can see this last paragraph was completely devoid of humor and/or interest, and generally makes me look like a fucking imbecile. Writer’s block kiddies – what can I say? Err, allow me to change pace…

One of the movies I watched was Lucas’ new digitally remastered DVD version of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Of the three movies in this series, ROTJ is definately my favorite. Lucas has added subtle new CGI complexities into most of these re-release’s background scenes, showcasing new computer generated characters, landscape depth never seen in the originals, and explosions are more vivid and realistic-looking. Not bad, Mr. “4-years-ago-I-was-anti-DVD” Lucas. The new additions don’t tend to detract from the original storyline, but there are some notable exceptions. A few of the new scenes just…didn’t “bode well” with the theme of this series. You see, when Lucas made these flicks, oh so many years ago, real effort was made to ensure audiences that we would never see anything like it, and it showed. These young (at the time) lads at ILM basically worked themselves until they shat blood to create these effects, mainly because no one had ever attempted it before. Special “new” state-of-the-art cameras were used. Elaborate miniature sets were painstakingly built to scale for believable effects. Crews worked night and day to make sure scenes weren’t put in the can until they perfectly aligned with Lucas’ vision.

Cut to now. Two decades later, the present “modern world” has evolved technology used in special effects and sound down to a push of a button, your imagination being the only limit. Worlds that once took months or even years to come to fruition can now be created and digitally rendered to big screen via computer at highest resolutions possible within a few days or even hours. To me, the best thing about the original Star Wars series was its slight imperfections. Some examples would be that in The Empire Strikes Back, you could almost tell that the big robotic ATATs, as well as the tauntauns on planet Hoth were scale models filmed in stop motion. Yoda looked much more “muppet-like” than in the current series incarnations. These factors, though a little rougher looking, illicited merely a tiny suspension of belief in contrast to an almost perfect, bigger-than-life storyline. CGI has made said imperfections all but obsolete. With breakthroughs in texture mapping, movement, and creative new lighting methods, these CGI “worlds” have become nearly impossible to distinguish from reality when seen upon the big screen. New characters can be conjured up from mere pixels, deeming previous practices of relying on living, breathing actors a thing of the past.

There are drawbacks to this level of technology however, in that the industry has grown dependant upon such easily utilized methods. Computers have made the art of special effects almost too easy. Case in point: Jar Jar Binks. I’m sure Lucas had all of the best intentions by introducing this character into the latest prequels, but for some, like myself, this character left a really bad taste in my mouth. Coupled with the loud, faux-jamaican accent, and the chinsy, bumbling personality, I found this new artificially generated ‘character’ cartoonish and boring. I suppose you can still go “too far”, even when working with the “perfect tools”. This, I believe, blatently showed in Lucas’ choice of lead actors for this film series. Putrid. Both actors. The kid who played young Anakin Skywalker, and Hayden Christenson, the person who plays the character currently in Attack of the Clones and the upcoming release, Revenge of the Sith, are truly talentless, which I feel takes a lot away from the merit of the series in itself.

Nevertheless, this new ROTJ is still the fun and exciting movie it has always been, new effects aside. I thoroughly enjoyed this refined release. Visually, it is even more stunning than the original. Coupled with Lucas’ patented THX sound, there is really no camparison. The ONLY gripe I have with ROTJ is the last remaining 3 minutes of the movie, after the death star has been destroyed yet again, and all is right on Endor, with Luke, Leia, Han, 3PO, and R2, chillin wit da Ewoks. Leia confesses to Luke that they are indeed siblings, much to the relief of Han, and that they share powers of varying degrees within “The Force”. Yee haw! Remember the final scene where the ghosts of Luke’s dad Anikin, Obi Wan, and Yoda are standing on, nodding in approval to the “good job!” actions of our fellow crew? Well, Lucas felt it necessary to digitally replace Sebastian Shaw’s Anikin (who was the original actor, unmasked in ROTJ) with Hayden Christianson’s Anikin. Blasphemous!! That goddamn kid was probably unborn, or at least still shitting his pampers when that movie originally hit the big screen! Unbelievable. Shit, I had to have been 4 or 5 myself when I saw the first one with my big brother, Matt, and I KNOW that talentless hack is much younger than I! Still thought it was the best.movie.evar, tho. Other than that major faux pax, this new ROTJ is definately worth watching.

And on that note, ~goodbye.

a_prop_pamphlet1

AHnold tells us how to vote

The other day, I got this wonderful “Ballot Proposal Voter Guide” in the mail, sent directly to ME (and every registered voter in Ca.), from our current “Guhvernator-in-charge” Ahnold Schwarzeneggar. Its chock full of flattering pictures and quotes from the “Gov”, instructing the would-be prospective California voters of the state propositions we SHOULD be voting for in this upcoming election. Yummy!

I guess I should be thanking the Republican party, for weeding out all of that pesky “reading” of said propositions for myself, thus recklessly making objective decisions purely based upon “thought”. And we ALL know that if we base our decisions upon this dangerous logic, the terrorists win. Therefore, I give you “Ahnold’s Picks”:

To the left is a heartfelt plea to the unwashed voters of California, by Mr. Man-In-Charge himself, reminding us that our right to vote is important, and that we should not take said right for granted, as many poor dregs around the world are still denied said right, and that we, as Californians, should be generally grateful, goddammit. We are told to not screw up this opportunity by using our own conscience, but to use this guide to tell us what, and what not to vote for. Ain’t politics easy?? As I meandered on into this important piece of partisan literature, I was humbled by the sheer simplicity of the document, laid out in red and blue, very easy to distinguish, except if you’re colorblind.

And of course, if you’re colorblind, you have no business being a deciding factor in our future. Turn in your voter registration card at the nearest polling center IMMEDIATELY, and then report directly to re-education! Gohvernator has it all wrapped up and laid out for us, in a contrasting red and blue format. Blue for “yes, you WILL vote for the pretty blue number – do not think, just do”, Red for “if you vote yes on this, you traitorous hippee, I will eat your first born – don’t fuck with me, i’ll do it!” Ya know, even though our “Guhv” is a FORMER body builder and movie star, I can’t help but think that if I vote incorrectly, “Der Terminator” is going to show up at my doorstep, RPG in hand, looking for fast answers.

This shit is a little scary.

In addition to this “informative guide”, there is an envelope enclosed, allowing us to CONTRIBUTE money to the humble group responsible for this “color-coded goodness”, the Republican Party. Even if you’re a registered Democrat, you should at least send a few bucks to them for their woeful sacrifice of many colored inks, giving us the “knowledge” of what to vote for, don’t you think? After all, Its for our own good, you know. Oh, and make sure it’s stamped before you send it in, though. I suppose with all of the money spent on pretty packaging, there wasn’t enough in the budget for prestamped envelopes….*sigh*

In all seriousness, this kind of political pandering cheeses me off in the worst way. If you’re voting this coming November 2nd, crap like this isn’t going to give you any objective knowledge to help you decide. If you haven’t already received one, get a sample ballot for your state from the local Registrar of Voters. You should be able to easily find one in your local phone book, or through an internet search. The sample ballot contains all of the candidate names, so that you can research each one further, and explains all upcoming propositions in an objective, non-partisan way. Use your head, not propaganda being spewed at you from political affiliations, to make an informed decision. Our state, and our nation’s future depends on us!

(This message NOT endorsed by The California Republican Party. Tee Hee.)

Oh, and P.S.: Another shout out to the BoSox. With tonight’s win, they are up 2-0 in the World Series over the Cards. With Tuesday’s game 3, are they quite possibly on their way to a sweep?? I’m pullin’ for that curse to break wide open, Boston. Keep on steamrolling St. Louis!