Evil Forces in the World

Reflections on ''Evil Forces in the World,'' as well as occasional remarks concerning ''Good Forces in the World.''

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Most people have an angel and a devil's accomplice perched on their shoulders (rarely on the same shoulder, not because of mutual animosity but because the devil's accomplice tends to be prohibitively overweight.) It's a bit different for me. On my right shoulder (I'm right-handed) sits a wide-eyed sports nut. On my left shoulder sits a nerd. Since they are both nice people at heart, their appraisals of good and evil generally coincide. This, however, is a gut-wrenching exception. I am, as she of the Patrick Ewing-esque nostrils might croon, torn.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

I think the GPS child personal locator (see link below) is kind of cool. It is a small computer device that one can affix to one's child, thereby always having a "trace" on said child, always aware of where the child is at any time. That way, there's no way the children of the future can build elaborate teleport devices to transport thousands of hostile Martians, intent on destroying human kind, to Earth via their bedroom closets. All of this was carefully documented in Ray Bradbury's "Zero Hour." That story is totally crazy. More or less then, this is all to say that speculative fiction, the sort that warns us of our impending doom, is a force of good while, "science" fiction amounts to an ambiguous force of inertia, not really helping to ward off oppression but rather, only helping to give thousands of maladjusted nerdy junior high boys an excuse not to go outside and play basketball or just "roughouse" with the neighborhood kids.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

In very short order, this link will die, which is a bloody shame. And for those of you wondering, I did not use the services of the organization in question for I am far too stingy. I am, however, not stingy enough when it comes to buying grossly overpriced hardcover books from semi-prestigious academic publishers. But the thread -- the soon-to-be-dead thread, that is -- does make a crucially important point, namely that short dudes catch a bum rap. Fortunately for yours truly, I'm just outside of the freakish range, which is a very difficult place to be. (Reich shouldn't be mocked for his size; rather, he should be gently ribbed, at the very least, for his outsized ego and his tendency to bloviate. I don't agree with him often, but he did write a brilliant, and I don't use the term lightly, WSJ op-ed on school choice.) Even so, I am definitely one of the scrappy millions "below average," the average in this nation of giants, literal and not figurative, that is. I attribute my modest size, which places me at or around the global average (in a world wracked by mass starvation, not to mention severe vitamin deficiencies, catastrophic plagues, and massive irritability), to a persistent failure to eat my greens. Eat these greens, punks.

In December 1995, The Economist published a wonderful essay on "heightism." If anyone would like a copy, let me know. Discretely.

Normative political theorists have not, by my lights, addressed this issue adequately, and so there's a large and inviting research agenda for a young woman or man with the talent, energy, and verve to pursue it.


Monday, March 18, 2002

So it looks like TRL's Carson Daly is back in the house. Back in the hizzaouse, that is. After being unceremoniously dumped by American Pie's Tara Reid, who is hot as fuck, (they were engaged) it looks like he's taking up with equally hot as fuck blond vixen Jaime Pressly, the super bitch from Not Another Teen Movie. Well. One could write a dissertation on the cultural effects going on with this celebrity merry go round, but I would like to point out a few things. For one, am I happy for Carson? This is a complicated question my friends. In one sense, I am, because Carson appeals to the common man, or rather, common loser in me, and I like to see a knucklehead make it once in a while. However, Carson does embody the talentless schmuck who makes good in Hollywood, the type of model that propogates an endless stream of MTV-host wannabees, now clogging up the cultural airwaves. So I hope he dies, along with all would be Carsons. Then what about Tara? That bitch. That fucking cold bitch dumping Carson at the goddamn alter. She has become, reports indicate, a total party chick, and I can only envision her having tons of promiscuous sex with attractive men with indie rock hairdoes, and if her tiny and icy heart feels a bit of jealousy or resentment at this recent Carson news, amidst her most recent round of hot celebrity sex, then I'm all for it. And as for Jaime, well, my housemate put it best: "she kind of has a nubile, adolescent-boy appeal, with her really pale features." Wow, just writing that makes me feel dirty. Rock on!
It's becoming clearer and clearer that the French are an evil force. Perhaps it would be better to say the French military. The BBC lists no fewer than three incidences of leaks from the French in connection with ongoing NATO efforts to bring Serbian war criminals to justice. This count does not include the most recent allegation that an operation to capture Radovan Karadzic was compromised by a tip-off from a French officer. It's beginning to look as though either (1) someone high up in the French military is giving orders that violate the NATO agreement or (2) the French military cannot control its officers. In either case, shouldn't we start wondering whether it's really necessary to give them complete information about NATO operations in the Balkans?
Are kittens evil?

One kitten bore a striking resemblance to Winston Churchill.

"I think I'm hyper enough as it is."

Has anyone seen John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars? I recall seeing it with a dear friend of mine and finding it almost entirely inexplicable. It was definitely dreadful -- that much is beyond any shadow of a doubt, I assure you -- and yet it was entertaining nonetheless, in part because Ice Cube has a great deal of charisma (and, lest we forget, Clea DuVall of But I'm a Cheerleader fame was in it, which is enough to make any movie spectacular) but mainly due to the prominent role given to crazed, undead metalhead-zombies, "led" by a brainless figure called "Big Daddy Mars," I kid you not, a name that appeared only in the credits. And I sat there, utterly dumbfounded by how inspiringly awful a movie could be. Apparenty, Mars was ruled by lesbians. But this issue was never explored -- not at all. This could be a very emancipated plot decision, i.e., the creators could've deemed this detail incidental -- but then why mention the fact of total lesbian rule at all? It is at least somewhat interesting, I think it's fair to say. I know I'd be fascinated by an account of how lesbian rule came about, and how we can hasten its arrival in our own reality, in large part because a disproportionate share of those I like and trust are lesbians. I'd much prefer such a state of affairs to bourgeois liberal democracy as we know it, or perhaps not.

I came to John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars with a host of expectations informed by Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series, which recounted the exploits of a nineteenth-century Virginian in a fantastical Martian landscape, some would call it an Orientalist fantasy no doubt, in which our hero battled otherwordly monsters and married a beautiful Martian princess, if I recall correctly. In light of the fascist modern aesthetic of the previews, I was convinced that the movie was going to be some sort of half-hearted, ham-fisted update of the John Carter series, which would've been pretty damn cool.

I mention John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars because I just saw a peculiar, and entertaining, movie called Resident Evil, loosely based on the video game of the same name. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed the movie very much. Milla Jovovich is one of the great beauties of our time, or, for that matter, of any time. Also, I love gun-toting corporate goons as a rule. That said, it didn't escape my notice that this movie, with its crazed, undead zombies, was almost identical to John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars. Both movies have bad-ass blondes killing zombies, Natasha Henstridge in the first and Milla in the second. Is this really nothing more than mere coincidence?

That's evil.

Also, I saw The Son's Room (much, much later than I ought to have done, and on a Sunday night no less). It was amazingly good. What was most amazingly great about it was Laura Morente, possibly the most gorgeous woman ever. I say possibly only because we must never disrespect the Pope. Decisions, decisions!