December 13, 2002

Favorite Christmas Movies

CHRISTMAS EVIL

Because of a boyhood trauma during Christmas, a man remains slightly obsessed with the holiday for the rest of his life, becoming a toy maker and keeping track of which children are naughty and nice. After learning of his company's corporate greed he snaps and goes on a killing spree dressed as Santa.

Hey, I think I'm finally getting into this whole Christmas Thing !!!!!

BLACK CHRISTMAS

Festivities turn fatal when obscene phone calls break the serenity and it becomes clear that a psychopath is stalking a sorority house.

SOUTH PARK: Christmas in Iraq

When Santa's sleigh is shot down as he tries to deliver the presents, Cartman is screwed. He and the boys call on Mr. Hankey and Jesus to liberate Santa from his captors and save Cartman from the worst Christmas ever.

ENEMY AT THE GATES

WW2's premier sniper calls a personal truce during Christmas before continuing his record setting killing spree.

A TWISTED CHRISTMAS CAROL

Spoof of the original Dickens classic. What if Scrooge worked at a 7-Eleven and the Ghost of Christmas Past was Elvis ??

BLACKADDER'S CHRISTMAS CAROL

If Ebenizer had any doubt as to whether he should change his ways, that is dispelled when the Spirit shows him what his future will be like if he continues being kind and charitable, and what it will be like if he changes his ways. Ebenezer himself sums up the message here: "Bad guys have all the fun."

MIXED NUTS

A bleak and subversive black comedy about individuals manning a suicide hotline on Christmas Eve and the horrible things that happen when the stress of the holidays is added to the usual stress of living.

MERRY CHRISTMAS MR LAWRENCE

The commander of a Japanese POW camp tries to convice the Allied ranking officer that suicide for him and his men is preferable to internment.

AND MY ALL TIME FAVORITE ...

RUDOLF THE RED NOSED REINDEER (Claymation version)

My favorite quote from the movie:
"What's a Christmas tree without sparkly crap all over it??"

Starring:

- Hermey the Elf, who really wants to be an orthodontist and spends most of his time in the workshop yanking teeth out of dolls.

- The evil Mrs Clause, who keeps stuffing Santa full of food, because the children expect a fat Santa.

- Cornelius (whose sled team includes a poodle), goes after the Abominable Snow Monster. His pet pig stumbles while trying to rip out the monster's teeth, and he, the dogs, and Cornelius plunge off a cliff to their grizzly deaths.

- The Ragdoll, a homicidal maniac, but you would be too if you pee'd hydrochloric acid.

- The Misfit Toys, which include a water pistol who shoots jelly, a bird who swims, a cowboy who rides an ostrich, a boat that sinks, a bear with feathers, and an elephant with the pox.

- and who could forget King Moonraiser, the rage-aholic lion who steals toys from kids around the world and brings them to Santa for recycling ??

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at 06:54 PM

February 12, 2002

Nuclear Armageddon

The nuclear family is no more. Gone are the days when the American extended family was capable of providing support for the younguns if Mom and Pop couldn't do it alone. Usta be Gramps and Gramma were just around the corner, and could be over in a flash. Ifn they just plumb forgot to pass on a real plumb of wisdom when they reared THEIR younguns that would come in handy right then, why, they'd be right there!

(Wake up, you're not in Kansas anymore.)

Parents can't wait to get rid of the kids, and it's not like they really knew them anyway. Dad's out getting a paycheck as he always has, but Mom's out there too. The kids are in daycare, and it's a real pain when they need a little traditional parenting. A real imposition really. Don't we pay professionals to do this crap? Mom and Dad get home and they do TV while the kids do TV dinners (pop em in the microwave, what are ya, a cripple?).

Divorces are unfortunately easier to get than a $10 bankrupcy. You have to wait longer to get a gun than it takes to break up a family. Mom has issues, and Dad doesn't even know Mom anymore, so what's the point in staying together. The home? Today the average family plants roots about every five years, and sometimes even in the same city. The schools? I think we're all pretty much agreed schools worth being loyal too are not affordable by the middle class anyway. The churches? The neighborhood church is fading fast, and the megachurch probably has a branch in the next city. It's sort of like switching banks or health clubs; they all look alike. Chances are pretty good your local pastor is a convicted pedophile anyway.

The kids?

Yes! The Kids! What part of this don't you understand? As if the "X" Generation wasn't bad enough, we haven't even cared enough to give the current crop a nickname. They're anti-social, have little or no values, live in front of the TV, and really couldn't give a crap what we think. They'll just as soon sue your ass if you even think of slapping one of them up side the head for flushing the cat just to see if it could swim. I'm not talking teenagers here - read the headlines and see how many 8-10 year olds are in the headlines for murder and rape, once thought to be adult crimes. There was a time when a single murder would capture the attention of the nation for days, because it just didn't happen. Now every newspaper and TV has special body count summaries daily just to see who survived, and what groups are no longer a problem due to a LACK of survivors.

Evil, and yes, that is the correct word, is easier than good. I can agree with the professionals on that topic. It's harder to resist doing something just for the shock value or thrill of it all, than it is to evaluate the impact of your actions, and analyze how others will be affected. It's called values, and it doesn't come naturally, and it doesn't come in a can. You can't pay someone to teach them, and you can't teach them overnight. Everytime you screw up and try to blame someone else, keep in mind there's little eyes watching you and filing your examples away for reference.

That said, you can't just walk away from your (or their) problems. You had that chance before you decided to have children. Now, it's too late - you're committed. Do what you want most of them - GROW, dammit! Face your personal issues and do what you need to do to straighten out your lives so you don't have to take it out on the kids and society in general. Spend the money that would have gone to child support on counselling and therapy, and ride out the storms. Life sucks, and trying to manage more than one just multiplies the difficulties - deal with it. Kid swapping on weekends simply raises a generation of belligerant schitzophrenics, and pushes the human race that much closer to cultural armageddon.

Write your congressmen and have them pass a law that requires a waiting period for divorce. They did it with gun purchases, and the banks do it with loans. Sayeth the judge, "Yeah, alright, here's your divorce. It kicks in when the youngest turns 18. One per customer. Now go away, and don't bother me again..."

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at 06:17 PM

March 18, 2001

That's Mr Cockroach

The clock ticks, and the end draws nearer with every breath. They say it won't be long now, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it. We're reduced to sitting around in abandonded warehouses whose only light is provided by the shallow pools of rendered tallow from the occasional sewer rat that survives the nuclear winter. Even the cockroaches are now scarce - a hungry man will eat anything that moves ...

They say she comes on a pale horse
but I'm sure I hear a train
Oh, no, I don't even feel no pain

I guess I must be driving myself insane

Damn it all

Does Earth fill a hole in heaven
or Heaven fill a hole in Earth ??

How wonderful to be so profound
when everything you are
is dying underground !

Genesis
Lamb Lies Down

~ ~ ~

We curse the "recyclers" who took it upon themselves to "clean up the earth" and unknowingly remove the only source of consumables that could have kept this generation going until the environment recovered sufficiently to begin once again to produce sustenance for the few who remain. We tried; oh, how we tried. We burned our homes and books for fuel. Our pets were among the first to go when it came down to us or them as we fought over the last scraps. When the food supply gave out, and we were then reduced to rooting through the landfills for protein, we knew we would survive. When the dumps were empty, we knew we would die.

A wanderer recently stumbled into our turf, and before his mysterious disappearance told us about a new food substitute our remaining scientists are working on, inspired by one of the last books in existence, that could be our salvation. I've heard they they call it Soylent Green. There may be some hope after all ...

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at 06:38 PM

August 14, 2000

Education as an Artform

A short course in the three "P"s: Politics, Politics, Politics ...

There was a time when little Sally and Jim finished their morning chores, grabbed their primers, and walked three miles through the driving snows to the one room schoolhouse. There they learned the skills essential to survival, with a bit of culture and refinement thrown in for good measure. Actually gaining something from this daily ritual was not optional Ė an occasional good smack or two with a ruler from the teacher assured their attention. The majority of graduates from this system proceeded to become gainful and useful members of their society.

Are we talking about the same planet? Our current educational system pukes out a graduating class annually that seems incapable in most cases of picking their own noses much less successfully contributing to our speciel heritage. This same system gloats over the major improvements in a curriculum that now boasts a 15% (qualified) rate of students having achieved basic adult skills either during their senior year of high school or shortly thereafter. I assume the bean counters include special education received during incarceration in the final tally.

It may be that our continued exposure to environmental hazards and constant bombardment with cosmic rays from space and cell phones has diminished our ability to learn. It may also be that the amount of information we need to absorb to successfully integrate with and advance ourselves has become too much to bear. It would in fact be a relief to somehow be able to pin our failures in education on something we have little or no control over. We do need to consider, however, the possibility that we ourselves are the problem, accept the blame, and come up with a reasonable alternative.

We can no longer ignore the fact that our current approach does not work. High school graduates canít read or write and are incapable of functioning in an increasingly complex work environment. Basic social skills are lacking as evidenced by the mayhem in our schools and on our streets. College applicants are barely housebroken as well as functionally illiterate. Professional educators dare not hold back a student who doesnít make the grade without facing substantial criticism from the bleeding hearts who would accuse them of crippling the educationally disadvantaged. Surviving that attack, they then face civil lawsuit from the outraged parent who feels the system has let them and their children down. Itís a lose lose situation.

The current crop of gurus who profess to know the solution sing the praises of charter schools. The theory seems to be that the additional incentive provided by these alternative educational systems will drive the quality of public education to sufficiency if not excellence. The public school bureaucracy will have no choice but to improve or face dissolution. As originally proposed, the concept seemed sound. It was only after tweaking and fine-tuning ad nauseum that the great minds were able to pervert the system to the point where it is now as cumbersome and unworkable as the original system it was meant to replace. The public schools are now even less capable of providing for their students than they were, due in large to decreased funding available since state and federal funding once intended for their exclusive use has been redirected by some strange slight of hand to support multiple educational systems where there once was one. The latest twist is the requirement now under consideration in some states that charter school students be allowed to represent the public schools they have deserted as members of their sports teams. The students remaining now face reduced opportunities as athletes along with lower budgets and the brain drain of qualified educators migrating to the private sector.

It may be too early to tell if this grand experiment will result in a better education for the next generation of adolescents. It seems obvious that diverting state and federal funds for alternative educational systems is a recipe for disaster for public schools. We need to seriously reconsider the public support of what are essentially elitist private academies if there is to be any hope of improving the educational opportunities affordable by the masses. Private and parochial schools will always be available for those parents who are that strongly opposed to the public schools. They may reasonably expect financial support from their peers - To expect such from the general public is asking too much.

The key to success lies in improving the existing system, not gutting it and attempting to replace it with a myriad of conflicting and overlapping schools that answer to no one but their own. Make the public schools more accountable by all means, but by the same token, remove the restraints that do not allow them to use their available resources efficiently. Allow the teachers to teach by once again assuming our roles as responsible parents. It is not the teacherís duty to teach basic social skills. If we must provide alternative educational systems, provide them for the incorrigibles who disrupt the system and refuse to allow those who wish to learn the opportunity to do so in peace. Itís time to get back to the three "R"s and leave the rest to the parents and churches.

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at 06:43 PM

May 25, 2000

Selective Blindness

Racial bigotry in the United States is an insidious thing. Once the exclusive territory of vigilante white Southerners who got their jollies lynching blacks and protecting their Aryan purity, it is now practiced regularly by those who should be most offended by it and least tolerant. Decades of slow painful progress towards social equality by the black community have achieved remarkable results when compared historically to other injustices wrought by man, but along with this laudable achievement have come disturbing parallels in prejudice.

It's interesting to see how selective the black community can be when it comes to what they get outraged about. A couple of recent examples:

- A four-year-old white boy was dragged 4 miles to his death by a black man when the automobile his mother was driving got car-jacked. The child was attached to a seatbelt, hanging out the side of the car, clearly visible to the perpetrator. The mother frantically pleaded for the life of her son to no avail. Some other motorists watching this horror unveil eventually subdued the driver. According to bystanders and police, the man was completely remorseless. Tell me something... How is this man any less of an animal than the 3 rednecks that dragged a black man to his death behind a pickup truck last year? So, where is all the public outrage and cries of racism here?

- Days later, a black man went on a firing rampage, shooting 5 white people - killing 2 and leaving one in critical condition with a bullet lodged in his brain. When asked why he did it, he told a neighbor and police that he just wanted to kill as many white people as he could.

Yet again, complete silence from the black community. The double standard that seems to apply suggests that it's OK for black criminals to victimize whites but not the other way around, and has led to a lack of credibility for black's when it comes to criminal justice and social responsibility.

The Diallo case in the Bronx demonstrates that Americans (law-abiding blacks and whites alike) can get together and decide not to allow this double standard and racial bias to infect the judicial system. This was at the heart of the judge's decision to move the trial to another venue. For the record, I didn't agree with the final verdict. At a minimum, I think these cops should have been charged with extreme reckless indifference to human life and they should have been punished appropriately. This was not murder, however, it was incompetence. If these cops had set out to with the specific intent to murder this guy, it would have been done quietly in a back alley, and they would have probably gotten away with it.

Call it backlash if you will; no longer required to remain silent, the black community shouts it's anger whenever inequality is perceived. That's the point - it's all a matter of perception. I neither condone nor condemn past inhumanities with these musings. I propose no solutions, and would dare not presume what needs to be done to solve these injustices, real or imagined. Since the prehistoric headbangers first discovered social dominance as a force to be reckoned with, there has been a cultural, religious, or racial underclass. American blacks are one of the more recent victims of this dubious distinction, but have the opportunity to break the cycle of generational imprinting that now seems to force them to view their own actions differently from those of other social groups. A little soul searching might be in order. Prejudice is, after all is said and done, in the eye of the beholder. Learning to see injustice as a "people" thing, rather than a "racial" thing, would be a substantial step in our evolution from animal towards "human".

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at 04:35 PM

March 02, 1999

How's My Driving ??

The great steel Gods have spoken from the misty veiled Valhalla known as Detroit (moving soon to EuroLand - check your local listings). And Yea, we shall give unto them many pounds of steel seductively designed to generate odious amounts of testosterone. And Yea, we shall likewise give unto them the thundering power of many horses with which to satisfy the prehistoric urges generated by these excess hormones. And Yea once more, we shall build endless ribbons of concrete with which to play.

Yea !! So I'm a horsepower freak (i.e. leadfoot), so what ?? I figure if they didn't want me to use all this neat stuff they sure as hell wouldn't give it to me. It's like giving a candy bar to a kid and saying "You earned it, you paid for it, it's yours - but whatever you do, don't take it out of the wrapper, and under no circumstances, enjoy it." Gimme a break, huh? Brings to mind an old Walsh song:

"My Maserati does 185 ... I lost my license, now I don't drive ..."

Look deep and see if you're not a kindred soul. You probably aren't willing to admit it, but it's true just the same. Listen to your mind as you drive down the road, and see if it's not so.

- If you consider the right lane the "wimp" lane, and dare anyone who wanders over to the left to keep up with the big boys, you're a leadfoot.

- If you think the only thing more irritating than a tailgater is that idiot who won't get out of your way (beep! BEEP!), you're a leadfoot.

- If you've got no particular place to go, but need to get there NOW, you're a leadfoot.

- If you kick yourself for not paying attention any time anyone merges in front of you, you're a leadfoot.

- If glare ice and zero visibility don't really slow you down, you're a leadfoot.

That said, there are a few obstacles to total gratification out there. One of course is the local constabulary who I firmly believe are paid on commission and consider every traffic stop another house payment. These guys are currently not a big problem, thanks to technology. After all, a radar detector, jammer, LIDAR diffusers, and stealth bra on the nose of your wheels all together is still cheaper than a citation for reckless driving. A bigger problem is the playground is getting more crowded every day. A hearty tip of the hat to our legislators who haven't laid a new mile of pavement since the Depression, and are currently allocating all their road improvement dollars to studies on Road Rage. Here's a thought, guys. Build a few more lanes, and nobody will have anything to get mad about. This time, build them right - the Germans can have unlimited speed limits because their roads are built well, and built to last. Next time you cut driver's education from a school budget, keep in mind that's another generation of idiots with 3 hours of practical experience merging without a mirror check at 40 mph during rush hour. Go figure when somebody gets pissed.

Someday, somewhere, there will come a time when I admit to myself that it's time to hang up my spurs and take the bus. Hopefully by then, we'll have a licensing department that is willing to take a common sense approach to old age and it's unavoidable consequences, and just say no when I truck my walker up to the DMV and squint miopically across the counter demanding a renewal with extra cheese. I hope by then, if I'm too senile to see the light, someone will have the common courtesy to slap me up side the head and tell me to pull it over permanently. Until then ...

EAT MY DUST !

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at 06:31 PM