YCMTSU: Election year Oz brings out brainless Scare Crows again
Let's see ... there was Dorothy, Toto, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scare Crow. It seems that Nebraska, not Kansas, simply must elect Scare Crows in need of a brain to the U.S. Senate. It was Nebraska Senator James Exon who frightened the technophobic christians of the country by telling them that, "the worst, most vile, most perverse pornography is only a few 'click, click, clicks' away from any child on the Internet" and sponsored the Communications Decency Act to be part of the huge, sweeping Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996. Perhaps because Exon was a Democrat, Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich had reservations about Exon's CDA but, he was obviously astute to the political game when he commented, "Clearly a violation of free speech and it's a violation of the right of adults to communicate with each other, but was I think seen as a good press release back home so people voted for it."
Both of these quotes are from the same transcript of the respected PBS show, McNeil Lehrer News Hour, sent out by Shabbir Safdar of the Voter's Telecom Watch (VTW). Some of you may remember me going ballistic back in 1995 and 1996 over Exon's CDA and all of its subsequent legislative permutations. I still have packets from Michigan's legislators. Imajica BBS became the anti-CDA coordination point for the VTW for the state of Michigan and we may have helped Senator Carl Levin to check his pair and vote against it. Regardless, you need only to scan the titles on this Electronic Frontier Foundation archive page to see how many lawsuits and court battles that the brainless, unconstitutional legislation caused back in the d-a-y.
Fast forward now to the present election season. Once again, a Scare Crow Nebraska Senator sponsors another smarmy 'protect the children' amendment. According to a Reuters News article,
"The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to crack down on indecency antics on broadcast radio and television by sharply raising fines to as much as $275,000 per incident and up to $3 million per day."
In a Cowardly Lion move, the Senate passed this amendment by slipping it into the upcoming defense authorization bill. While the House still has to pass it, and someone in the White House has to sneak into Dick Cheney's desk and borrow his Dubya stamp pad, it's likely to become law of the land. No one is going to commit political suicide by voting against any defense related bill during this election year. Besides, who cares ... it's just extra fines against big, rich, liberal media conglomerates, right? You'll care when they start dumbing down radio content so far you'll be treated to Clear Channel playing that annoying Barney the Dinosaur song during your commute home after a particularly stressful day at work.
Once again, as citizens of this country, we are also treated to cowardly, brainless politicians who want to legislate our morality and take the heart out of the constitution for the sake of their own careers.
And what do you think is behind the wizard's curtain in Washington, O.Z.? Sadly, it's just the floppy middle-aged breast of Janet Jackson.
You constantly read stories in your daily newspaper about the crimes committed in our world. The perpetrators and victims of so many robberies, rapes and murders blur and simply become another statistic. While in college at UCLA, Ed Solomon (writer/director) tutored inmates at a maximum security juvenile prison. One young kid, serving the first year of a life sentence for murder, kept a photo of the man he had killed to remember and try to understand the life he had taken.
Based on this true story, Levity is Solomon's expertly woven parable of such a man, Manuel Jordan (Billy Bob Thornton), parolled almost against his will, and back in the wintry city seeking redemption and forgiveness for killing Abner Easley during a convenience store robbery over two decades earlier. Manuel (Billy Bob Thornton) meets Miles Evans (Morgan Freeman), portraying the preacher of a half-way house and soup kitchen, who counsels Manuel though he has his own past to reconcile. Manuel helps Sofia Mellinger (Kirsten Dunst), a self-destructive girl who frequents the night club near the soup kitchen, and he also seeks out the sister of his victim, Adele Easley (Holly Hunter). Manuel then tries to make amends with Adele by helping her troubled son, also named Abner after his dead uncle, avoid making the same terrible youthful mistake he has made while not revealing his true identity as her brother's killer.
In one scene that summed up the film for me, Manuel is deep in thought and absent-mindedly breaking off pieces of frozen snow from the railing of a concrete pedestrian bridge. Casually tossing them, like feeding pieces of bread to park squirrels, he watches them fall to the ground below and break apart. His murder victim, Abner, appears next to him. Abner has been in Manuel's thoughts for over twenty years and has been more of a constant companion and a guide than a haunting spirit. Thus, the conversation is casual.
Abner asks, "What are you thinking about?"
Pondering for a moment, Manuel tosses another piece of winter off of the bridge. Looking at Abner as if he doesn't know how to answer, Manuel replies, "Gravity."
In a poignant simplicity describing his own life cut short, Abner takes a piece of frozen snow, tosses it, and says, "It doesn't last long." Manuel watches it -- as it falls up -- into the bright and crisp winter sky.
Levity overcomes gravity.
Get this DVD. It'll become one of your favorites.
Or, if you're bouncing around the house because you need to see something brand new, check out this new Hollywood preview web site.
Well, this Mother's Day is a difficult one. It's the very first Mother's Day ever in my lifetime without my mom, since she died last Fall. I guess I really tried not to think about it very much until I started to think about something to write about today for the blog, here. Bleh.
In other Mother's Day news, the Million Mom March anti-gun protest in DC only drew about two thousand this year. When this protest was first held in 2000, it supposedly drew the participation of about one hundred thousand. The Second Amendment Sisters held a counter-rally. I think I can say unequivocally that my mom would have been in the second group of women. Being a single parent, living and working in Detroit most of her life, and only having the physical presence of about five-foot-tall and 100 pounds -- soaking wet -- she always had the company of her friends Smith and Wesson. Upon hearing about something like the Million Mom March, she would have likely retorted, "If those women have so much time on their hands, they should just go get a job, instead". She didn't have much patience for the 1950's house-wife stereotype.
[excuse me a minute]
I don't have much patience for this fucking lame dialup connection software anymore that has an ever-so-annoying top-and-uncloseable-window that gets in the way of everything else on my desktop while connecting or the fact that it's so fucking lame it doesn't even ever detect when the connection has dropped and I have to listen to the off-hook beep-beep-beep from the phone company. Then, I have to CTRL-ALT-DEL the piece of shit software every 2 minutes because the Sprint telephone company -- whose landlines have so much fucking noise on them you can barely hear yourself speak -- let alone maintain a modem connection. So, while I'm just try to type up this simple and short blog entry, I have to keep repeating the process of forceably terminating the lame-ass dialup software and dialing back out -- 14 fucking times in 15 fucking minutes!!! And while I'm on the topic of lame, what's up with Microsoft Update? I know some German teenager hacked the OS and shut down airports in fucking Hong Kong or Singapore, but do I need a security update every fucking day, now?