Jul 302012
 

I’ll be having breakfast and lunch at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday in a show of support for the business.  I encourage you to do the same.  (Click here for the post reporting on the actual events of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.)

Mike Huckabee may have started Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day—that’s certainly the impression he gives on Facebook, and frankly I don’t know how accurate it is—but the issues are much larger than one person or another’s interpretation of “Christian values.”  The widespread excoriation, and indeed governmental bullying, of a private citizen expressing his views is nothing short of a thoroughly irrational assault on the First Amendment.

As I said earlier, they may or may not be your views, and actually they’re not altogether mine either.  (I did love the “first wives” line.)  But neither are they radical.  When such an expression is followed by several sincere threats to prevent a company from doing business, and there are lots of people nodding right along, then that’s a big problem.

I’ve had enough mindless jackass liberal outrage.

 Posted by at 6:01 pm
Jul 282012
 

(No spoilers.)

The boys, my nephew Chris, and I saw The Amazing Spider-Man at the late morning matinee.

It is a reboot, completely ignoring the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies.  I’m not sure exactly why those stopped, but I presume it wasn’t any perceived weakness in the films themselves, because they were and are fine, you know?

In any case, here we are with a new Peter Parker, a new Uncle Ben, a new MJ named Gwen, a new bad guy, and so forth.  The trappings are all very familiar, with minor differences here and there from the previous films’ universe and resident narrative.  I know nothing about what constitutes comic canon, so I can’t comment on that angle, but none of it offends on its own merits.  I did notice that the Daily Bugle office and J. Jonah Jameson are totally absent from this film, so I guess Parker isn’t freelancing for them/him anymore.  (Or “yet,” maybe?)

My biggest irritation with the previous series was how chatty Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man was with himself.  He was all the time babbling about something, even in the middle of a big fight.  Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man is markedly better in this regard, and what he does say tends to be less corny.

Indeed, it’s a strong cast all the way around.  Garfield and Emma Stone have convincing chemistry.  Denis Leary and Martin Sheen kill in supporting roles.  Rhys Ifans does a good job scaring you and garnering sympathy as a tragic villain.  C. Thomas Howell sneaked up on me very appealingly.  Sally Field isn’t given much to do, but she’s there too.

It’s a tad long at a deuce and a quarter, but it uses it well.  The back story is unrushed, but never lethargic.  There’s a solid mix of action-setup-action in the second half that avoids the trap of too much in-your-face for too long.

It’s an enjoyable superhero movie with no significant flaws.  I still can’t quite avoid a bit of a “whatever” sentiment because it was unnecessary, but in all respects it should be a fine foundation for two or three sequels.

7/10

 Posted by at 5:09 pm
Jul 272012
 

I remember lots of my first experiences with new technologies.  The first time I heard a compact disc, the song was “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” by Don Henley, and it was during a meal stop at a mall on an Oxford High School marching band trip.  The first time I saw honest-to-goodness video on a computer screen was about 1990 on a Macintosh II at Madison Books and Computers, and it was only about two inches wide—but it was video.  Cool.

One that hit me harder than usual was the first time I saw a 3D printer in action.  It was at a Solid Edge user conference.  It was by a company called Z Corporation, which I thought was quite clever (Z-axis, get it?).  I don’t remember what it cost, but it was enough that I didn’t want to touch it (even though the booth babe was encouraging me to).  And it was taking a CAD file and a handful of powder as input and spitting out a part I could hold in my hand.

Wow.  I was blown away.

Today I read that someone has 3D-printed and successfully tested most of a gun—a .22 pistol, to be exact.  Now clearly you can’t 3D-print a working chamber using plastic resin as the medium, so that part was commercial (and metal, obviously).  But, dig:  as the article explains, it’s the part the guy printed that is legally regulated.

So the future that is developing is one in which background checks and so forth will be increasingly irrelevant, because a guy who can’t buy a gun from a licensed dealer will be able to make one.

This causes me no particular consternation, partially because a bad guy who wants a gun now clearly has little problem getting one, and partially because I think people ought to carry pistols like they carry pocket knives.  I do think it’s important that we pay very close attention to how this situation develops, and particularly to how it might be “addressed” in Congress.  I fear this has potential to be the greatest sustained assault on the Second Amendment we’ve ever seen.

 Posted by at 7:15 pm
Jul 262012
 
  • RIP, Sally Ride.  Thanks for the dreams.
  • RIP, Sherman Hemsley.  Thanks for the laughs.
  • These Thursday posts have been politics-free for most of two years now.  It’s getting more challenging to keep them that way, but I think I will.  I’ve been politics-free on Facebook for about seven months.  That self-imposed directive is considerably more vulnerable.
  • Speaking of, I’m quite ready for the Facebook post that consists solely of a drawing or photograph with a witty saying on it to be over.  Folks, it was only ever so good to begin with.  Please.  Think of the children.
  • I took a bottle of Marie Sharp’s to work today and ate a bell pepper using it as dip.  I dug it—and it’s quite waistline-friendly.
  • Checking out The Amazing Spider-Man with my nephew and the boys this weekend.  I’m a bit irritated at the reboot, but yeah, I’ll play.  I figure I’m still at least three weeks out from The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Andrew Gribble is writing a decent series of articles breaking down positions on the 2012 Crimson Tide.  You can get to them all here.
 Posted by at 5:46 pm
Jul 242012
 

The campaign against Chick-fil-A is off-the-rails crazy.

Opposition to gay marriage is not my position, and it may or may not be yours, but it is not a radical one.  Even as support for it has increased, there are still 100,000,000 Americans, give or take, who think gay marriage is a bad idea.  If you truly believe that they’re all carrying some heinous prejudice, then you’re deranged.  They merely disagree with you, and isn’t ideological diversity grand?

Oh, but it seems your “tolerance” pulls up short of differing viewpoints in polite society, doesn’t it?

You know, it’s not like there’s any real support for gay people here either.  As Dana Loesch pointed out last night, these nitwits spewing hate at Chick-fil-A haven’t the first problem ignoring or even actively enabling brutally anti-gay policies in other parts of the world.  When you support a president who believes in the legitimacy of a group like Muslim Brotherhood, is that not what you’re doing?  Want to tell me again how the Taliban should be appeased, as opposed to defeated?  How about you spend a little effort on actively undermining religious groups who wish to kill people for their homosexuality?

This whole stink has a lot more to do with hating Christians than it does defending gay people.

Put that in your “tolerance” pipe and smoke it.

 Posted by at 8:01 pm

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