Friday, January 17, 2014

Better Lay Low; facebook is the devil-part01172014

Don't even try to tell me there is no conspiracy trying to make me smoke.  Obviously, there is.  I'll give one example, provided I don't get carried away and give five or ten.

They have a page for the regular saturday open mic thing.  Actually many very experienced and good players attend this.  It is more like a big social club where most of the people play some kind of music.  Not everyone is all that good, but most are experienced and have played good paying things at some point.

Anyway, there is a violin player who used to come around.  He's played everything from classical to bluegrass, and is very good.  He had to move away for whatever reasons, somewhere north of here, so he only gets down this way once every several months.  Everyone is happy when he shows.

Well, he posted on the page that he'd be here tomorrow, and said he looks forward to playing, then he said "and I have been practicing so please...bring your A game."

Slowly I turned...
Needless to say, this struck a nerve.  Really.  You announce you are coming into town and tell everyone what amounts to, "you better play at the top of your game because I, the creme de la creme fiddle del mundo am making an appearance."   I know he is in on the let's-anger-John-and-make-him-smoke bandwagon.

It won't work.  I did the mature reasonable thing.  I posted a reply to his egotistical announcement which says, "Screw off.  I'm bringing my B game".  

Now I'm thinking, "cool comment. Wish someone else had thought of it first.".    This guy is somewhat of an icon I think.  You know, the type who many put in that class of people who enjoy a different set of standards and expectations than the average peon in a given group.  I know this syndrome both from being in that spot a time or two, and from experienced observation.

So, maybe someone will get a kick out of it.  Or maybe not.  Either way I can see the trouble I am prone to if I read things and comment.  

The Obamabot posted one of those half true talking point pictures which gave all these figures about when the big O took office as compared to now.  I know of many things that would shoot some of the figures down, but even in my somewhat agitated condition I'm not going to get into a skewed statistics pissing contest with dedicated statists.  

So, I just commented "Utopia!!!"

The reply was, "hell no, but it beats Romneytopia!"   Slowly I turned...

What I replied is too long unless I cut and paste.  The first line says, "A kick in the nads beats having an eye poked out, but I've never experienced the latter.", then it goes on and on, and who knows what I said.  How the hell did Romney get in there?  

Obviously the conspirators are laying traps to get me so fed up with humanity, so mad at everything that I'll decide I have to smoke or else I'll drink.  And I walked right into the traps.  But they can not 
win.  This is bigger than me now, and I have to do it for God, Freedom, and all that is holy, and whatever it is that makes women so powerfully irresistible.   And, I'm doing it for the children!

I'll have to go into camouflage mode for awhile.  This is war.  And war requires strategy, patience, and stealth.  If I were to light up, they'd spot my position and shoot me.  Sneaky infidels!  I'll not do that today!

??????????? comments, we're doomed

Just a quick WTF.  I was reading a little article about Obama telling democratic lawmakers that he planned to do things with or without congressional cooperation in the coming year.   What is new?  He's saying he'll use executive tricks, directives and the usual moves to push the envelope of executive power.

Presidents have been doing this for some time.  Each one seems to step it a little further beyond legitimate constitutional authority, and they get away with it.
Their own party is always ok with it.  I'm not.  Big deal.

In the comments some character was listing all the flaws of this president; narcissist, messiah complex, etc.  He wrote well enough, and spelling was OK--rare for political commenters.  Then he says at the end of the list, "and a severe edifice complex".

What is an edifice complex?  Is it something to do with buildings?  Maybe he thinks he's a building or ..I don't know.  If the guy meant Oedipus complex, I'm still not sure I get it.  And he said severe, so I guess he really wants to do his mom, and maybe kill his dad?  Oh well, too late on both counts.

It could be he actually meant edifice complex.

Finally, I found it in the urban dictionary:

(n.)An Edifice Complex is a serious budget-busting illness that typically manifests itself on modern college and university campuses. Soon after their inauguration, an incoming university president will frantically and feverishly fall all over themselves to relentlessly badger wealthy donors and students for the purposes of leaving a mark with their name on it on the campus by constructing a new, over-priced, prime parking lot removing, ten-story structure post-modern eyesore whose purpose is solely to house administration, their support staff, and grace the cover of university brochures and websites. Faculty and students then are given the vacated, broken down, second and third string buildings for use as classes and offices.
So, maybe that is what he meant.  Budget busting, ego-centric policies.  

Still, I wonder.  I'm no fan, but it takes support of congress for a president to get away with madness.  Unless of course you are G.W. Bush.  In that case you are so powerful you can make hurricanes, and do anything, even hypnotize the democrats to vote for your wars and wipe out their memories so they forget they did it. 

A severe edifice complex.  I think it would be more fun if he had a severe Oedipus complex.
Either way, if you read comments on news stories, you may find them even scarier than the news.

Review of Lone Survivor; maybe review of the reviews

First let me address the idea that this flick in any way promotes the thrill of touring Afghanistan via the US military.  If anything, it does the opposite.  Especially because it highlights the unrealistic practice of placing soldiers into war zones under ill conceived rules of engagement.  And it also casts a casual light on the typical difficulties bureaucratic arrogance precipitate.

That anyone escaped alive is nothing short of a miracle.  There is good reason that so few qualify and make it through SEAL training.  That aspect, I can see wanting to do.  Perhaps if I had been exposed to that branch of military at an age prior to 16, maybe I'd have tried to prepare myself and sought that as a goal.  Probably not, but I do see how a young guy might do that.  Maybe girls do, but I don't get that.  Sorry.

Anyway, I was prepared for gratuitous blood and gore.  It wasn't like that.  Highly intense battle scenes were well filmed and effective.  Keeping in mind that this was a real mission, and it is based on the book which details the account of the only survivor, it is mind blowing.  When the realization sinks in that this stuff happens, this is what we actually send people out to do, it makes me angry and more convinced than ever that politics attracts sociopaths.

No one else would conduct such a foreign policy and place such valuable, incredibly bright, disciplined, well trained people into such situations which do not have more direct connection with the defense of our country.  They essentially use the integrity of these teams for their own political gain.  It is maddening.

I'd definitely say this movie highlights the very best of what a soldier can be, and the extremes of mental and physical toughness a human being can achieve.  It reflects well on the best of the best in special military forces.  But it in no way glorifies the context in which they have to do their job in modern times.

Another point to counter some of the lies from critics; the Afghanis were not presented in a bad light.  Taliban  were portrayed as badass brutal lunatics, which is probably pretty accurate for any islamic extremists.  Other Afghanis had a code of honor, and a compassion, without which we wouldn't be having this discussion because Marcus Luttrell would not have survived, so no one would be around to tell the tale.

Now I have to read the book.  My impression is that the movie is not too much over the top, like some. How there could be any controversy, or why some think they are taking the liberal line by downplaying this story, or a conservative line in promoting it, I have no idea.  People are idiots and willing to hijack or demean anything to further their stupid agendas.

If you want to see an amazing, edge-of-your-seat, almost incomprehensible survival story, see this.  You leave thinking, "Holy smoke, how did that guy manage to live?"  How did any of them survive as long as they did?

And for all the redneck tough guys out there, black white, or whatever, you think you could do one tenth what these guys did?  I seriously doubt it.  Most wouldn't have the brains or education to operate the equipment.  And you would never make it through training, providing you have the smarts to even qualify for training.  (Sorry, I hate gangs and thugs and punks with a passion)

Score 1 for the elite of the military and minus 1 for the political elite who decide where we go to war and how the war is conducted.  That is how it goes down in this movie from my perspective.

I'd class this as an anti-war film, but not one of the in your face bullshit ones written by naive dolts.  It's an anti-stupid-war film.   Good movie.

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