Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shame on you HBO... Shame on you!

Does the “B” in HBO stand for Bigot? Because I’m sure that the “Big” in Big Love does, indeed, stand for Bigot. In a world where almost nothing is sacred, why is it that HBO thinks that smearing the sacred practices of other people all over the airwaves is acceptable? Last Sunday, HBO broadcasted a sacred LDS temple ceremony on its series Big Love… and I say, a pox on HBO and Playtone! A POX!
There are things in this world that are off limits to the prying eyes of the world, and what the LDS people choose to do in their temples is one of those things.

According to the AP:

“HBO said it did not intend to be disrespectful of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and apologized.”

*Cough* Bull-crap!

"Obviously, it was not our intention to do anything disrespectful to the church, but to those who may be offended, we offer our sincere apology," the premium cable channel said in a statement issued Tuesday.
But the ceremony is an important part of the "Big Love" story line, HBO said.”

Do you know what “But” means? “BUT” means “disregard everything that we just said, because it’s a lie intended to make us feel better about being total bigoted scumbags.”
“Important to the storyline?” My rosy white hindquarters it was “important to the storyline.” Do you know why they did this? They figured that it was a great way to tick off some folk they don’t really like anyway, for a couple of extra points in the ratings. Well congrats HBO… ya did it. And it only cost you your souls… if you had any to begin with.

Later in that AP article, they say that HBO went to great pains, and even hired a consultant, to make sure that it was absolutely accurate.
So, who was their consultant? A Temple President? A Stake President? A General Authority? No! They hired some excommunicated slug with a beef against the Church! Ha! Hey HBO! You got ripped! Hope you didn’t pay him a whole hell of a lot… 30 pieces of silver maybe?

So here’s my thing. The Church is not calling for boycotts… but I am!
Tom Hanks (exec. Producer) & Bill Pullman… you are both dead to me, your sucky movies will no longer be allowed in my home. Well, no… Bill’s just some dumb actor who doesn’t know his head from a hole in the ground, and who’s trying to keep his job. So until shown otherwise, I’ll keep Bill around, but Tom… I’ve heard what he has to say about Mormons and I think that he’s one first class bigot… so all of Tom’s sucky movies are going away, ya friggin’ gut slug!
HBO… I don’t subscribe to your service… and never will.
I urge my readers (all two of you) to do the same… pull the plug.
Lets show the scumbags who’s really in charge!

Oh, and if you’re LDS and a fan of the show… Shame on you! For shame…

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Twilight... Ugh... Just so bad.

Saturday my wife and I went to the dollar-flicks to see Twilight.
Oh man! It wasn’t even worth the dollar I spent. Now, granted, I went into it with the lowest of low expectations, but that movie stunk… on a bun… with a side of fries. I am more convinced now, than I was last week, that Stephenie Meyer has never, in her life, ever read a vampire novel or seen a vampire movie… ever!
Now look, I’m not a purest when it comes to Vamps. I love it when authors can stretch the genre. While Bram Stoker’s vamps had some human qualities, they were, for the most part, mindless killers. Anne Rice made huge leaps toward humanizing the vamps, giving them drive and purpose to their extended lives, even giving them guilt and angst for the deeds they’ve done. The Lost Boys, Blade, Underworld, The Anita Blake Series, Fright Night, The Dresden Files, The Rachel Morgan / The Hollows Series, I am Legend, Salem’s Lot, Vampire$, Buffy the Vampire Slayer… All of these books, movies and what not, stretched the vampire legend just a little further… but Meyer seems to have thrown it all out and started over with a very small amount of knowledge.
Plus... Where were the fangs!
Ok, so while we’re on the subject of fangs. Hello? Makeup people… don’t have a budget? 20 bucks from Vampfangs.com will get you a pretty good set, good enough for that movie, anyway. Also… from what I understand, the “vamps” in this movie were supposed to look like they were cut from marble? So, what was with the clown white? Ben Nye and Kryolan make some really good colors… you can mix ‘em too. But no, they went with this weird powdery clown white. And… they couldn’t cover Edward’s 5 o’clock shadow? Come on! I’m an amateur makeup guy and I noticed that one! In fact, I’d say the vamp makeup was so bad, that when the Cullens were facing off against the three hunter vamps, it looked like the battle of the anemics. “Ok, guys, first group to get dizzy and pass out wins!”

So bad on so many levels!

That whole section where Edward and Bella were running up the side of a mountain, and leaping from tree to tree… Ugh! Where do I start? Years and years ago, my friends and I used to rent this martial arts movie called Shogun’s Ninja. It was filmed 1980 somewhere in Japan, with bad voice over work, people flying from tree to tree, jumping off of cliffs, jumping out of road puddles… the whole bit… It was just so bad that it was good. We would watch this thing and just laugh our butts off… well Shogun’s Ninja had better special effects than that section of Twilight.

It was just so bad. I would be embarrassed to have my name even associated with this movie.

Now, to be fair, I have to admit that there were some sections I liked. The graduation caps on the wall was a clever little idea. The fact that Bella’s smell was like a drug to Edward seems to fall in line with prevailing thought in Vamp fiction, and it was played up very effectively. The would-be rapists… they should have been torn into bloody stains by Edward, but his fight to keep from doing that was very will played.

So there were some small highlights in the story… but to little to late. They just didn’t happen often enough to save the movie from sucking… hard. Or, not sucking… since it was a vampire movie that had no sucking in it. So it stunk… it had great odor.

Do you know what the movie said to me? It was as if the producers and the movie company said, “We’re not going to spend a lot of money on this, so were not going to hire the best because no mater what we put on the screen, the sappy fans are going to love it anyways.”

And I guess that they were right. "Suckers!"

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Reading Banned Books



I am so proud of my daughter! She’s just awesome! Yesterday at school, in her English (now called “Language Arts”) class they were talking about censorship, and the banning of books. She told me that she was surprised at how many of her friends and classmates believe that schools and libraries should ban books that have “objectionable” content. As she said “Sex and stuff in them.”
So I asked her, “What do you think?”
She said, “I don’t think they should ban any book, you just shouldn’t read the bad ones.”
I tell you, I could not have been more happy if I’d have won the publisher’s clearinghouse while saving a family of ducks from a burning barn.
I said, “ You’re right, did you know that Dr. Suess has a book on the list of banned books?”
“What? Why?” She asked… almost screamed.
“Yep,” I said, “Back in the 80’s, some school thought that The Lorax went against their local values.”
It was actually 1989 in Northern California, they said that it preached against the logging industry, a major industry in that area, and so like all good Nazi’s they banned it.
So, then I explained that Huckleberry Finn, The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Outsiders, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Little House on the Prairie, James and the Giant Peach, Where’s Waldo … even the Bible have all been banned, in the United States, at one time or another, in one place or another. Strangest of all happened in 1992 when a school (Venado Middle School) in Irvine, California censored Fahrenheit 451, a book about the dangers of censorship, by blacking out all of the “objectionable” words (as if Ray Bradbury uses a whole lot of ‘em). It took action on the part of parents and the media to get this one set right.
Now look, I’m not one of those people that believes that Penthouse Magazine belongs in our public libraries because of an absolute freedom of the press. They have their place… that place is at the bottom of a dumpster (in my opinion) rather than on a library shelf… but they have a place non-the-less. Because of the first amendment, I will not infringe, or have others infringe, upon the rights of people to publish whatever they feel is worthwhile. I’ll just have to teach my children to seek out books that are beautiful, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy.
And that, my friends, is the only true and good form of censorship. It begins at our own front door and encompasses the walls of our homes. Let no government, large or small, tell you what you can or cannot read, to do so is to place shackles on your mind.
I am very proud to say that many of the books on the banned book lists of the American Library Association are on my book shelves at home, and that my daughter and I have read many of them, because many, many of them have great and worthwhile messages despite having “that word” in them.
Finally, I wish to add a quote from one of my favorite authors:
"And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries."
-Kurt Vonnegut in A Man Without a Country
I don't think that A Man Without a Country has been banned anywhere yet, but it does have "that word" in it. ;)
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