Friday, June 15, 2018

Film Friday: The Weather Underground

Stars: Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Mark Rudd.  With Brian Flanagan, David Gilbert, Todd Gitlin, Naomi Jaffe, Laura Whitehorn.
Extras:  Audio commentary from Ayers and Dohrn and an interview with Gilbert.
Verdict:  Worth watching if you're interested in the Weathermen.  It hits the expected topics - SDS, Days of Rage, the New York City townhouse explosion, breaking Timothy Leary out of prison, the Black Panthers, the Vietnam War, etc. 

--  I can't buy into Ayers' absolutism.  He seems so caught up in ideology that he ignores the flaws of people on his side, and he ignores the valid arguments of those he opposes. 
--  Back then there was 'Nam, Watergate, civil rights issues.  I don't see those same galvanizing issues now - just shades of grey.
--  People suck.  There won't be a magical revolution that makes everything cool.
--  What did they accomplish?  What did they expect to accomplish?
--  I admire the sacrifice and commitment.  I just find it pointless. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

News Dump

So apparently a Jew-hater is running for Senator of my state. He has the David Duke endorsement, which always plays so well in California.

Another school shooting since I addressed the topic. I guess I missed the NRA's campaign to make gun owners responsible for their weapons.

The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame tried to dis Brandi Chastain and got called on it. Rightfully so. I won't be posting the offensive image.

A lot of teachers' strikes in the news recently.  I'm not a fan of public employees striking; it seems like bully tactics. When grocery store employees strike, I can shop at a different store. Not so simple when public school teachers strike. That being said, we want good teachers, so we should treat them well within reason.

The little man in NoKo is an annoying b*tch. But he sent back three of ours, so let's keep playing.

Dems gave President Trump crap for calling MS-13 members animals.  Then an MS-13 member got convicted of murder and his nickname is Animal. I can't make this stuff up. 


Friday, May 25, 2018

Film Friday: Full Metal Jacket

Vague Description:  Marine recruit goes through boot camp, then comes under fire in the Vietnam War.
Stars: Mathew Modine, Lee Ermey, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio
Why Watch:  Ermey's a scene stealer.  The film does a good job of showing why we lost.
Dissenting Opinion:  I don't buy Gny. Sgt. Hartman's (Ermey's) behavior in his final scene. Platoon did a better job of connecting me to the characters.  Apocalypse Now did a better job of portraying the utter f*ck-up the war was.
Rating:  3 1/2 stars of a possible 5     

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Old West Book Tag

(in which I horribly misrepresent the typical frontier town)

Read a book for each:

1.  Bank - The setting is the financial sector or a character is wealthy.

2.  Brothel - A character enjoys sexy times.  (It need not be described; just mentioned.)

3.  Church - Religion or spirituality is an element of the story.

4.  Hotel- A character is traveling.

5.  Jail - A crime happens.

6.  Saloon - A character drinks a lot.

7.  Store - The story is centered on ordinary, every-day happenings.

Consider yourself tagged. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Review: For Those Who Know the Ending

Note: I received a promotional ARC through the First Reads program.

It's a bit of a page-turner.  Once I was able to focus on this book exclusively, I was able to read much more than my usual. Mackay knows how to keep the plot moving.  His characters have a realness to them - not super villains but guys trying to make enough money to pay the bills. Enough closure with the ending, while still allowing the reader things to ponder afterwards.

I liked how Mackay gave us the perspective of a variety of characters.  He also showed us a bit of the primary characters' personal lives without bogging down the plot.  I wonder why some of these people are involved in the underworld; there doesn't seem to be a family tradition like the Mafia.  It would have been nice to get a glimpse at how certain characters spend their time between jobs.  But I enjoyed this one.

Rating:  Four stars on a five-star scale.