Violence & Old Folks

Our favorite theater is the local Laemmle, which features an assortment of big budget H-wood flicks alongside of art-house and foreign fare.

If you don’t restrict yourself to JUST blockbusters, you have a way better chance of seeing an actually good movie on any given outing.

Plus, you can buy a debit card and cut the price of tickets down to–I think it’s as low as $4 if you go before dark on Mon-Thu. And the popcorn is Orville, the butter is real(!), and the staff are intelligent and alert (if, granted, not Disney-happy).

It’s sort of the Trader Joe’s of theater chains.

And like TJ’s, the combination of quality, variety and price attracts seniors like an Early Bird Special at The Sizzler.

This has result in various moments of irritation and/or hilarity. Irritation because old people, like teenagers, tend to not know (or perhaps care) that there are other people in the world. Hilarity because they’re not shy about broadcasting their misapprehensions to the world.

The French film Caché starts with a video playback, which is then rewound and replayed. Several old people complained loudly that they’d already seen that part.

One employee told me that she had been grilled after Children of Men by some old folks wanting to know when it had happened and why hadn’t they heard. (Children of Men is a post-apocalyptic thriller.)

Recently, I asked if they were going to get Sweeney Todd, and I was told by the manager that she suspected not–that it would be too violent for the seniors. I had not realized–though it makes perfect sense when I reflect upon it–that they tailored their offerings around, essentially, seniors demands and complaints.

She then proceeded to tell me of all the complaints they had received over The Departed, because it was a gangster movie and the old folks hadn’t realized it. OK, maybe you missed the part where it was directed by Martin Scorcese. But they ALSO got the SAME complaints over American Gangster. Now, wait a minute, that’s hardly fair.

After putting off Todd because it would be too bloody, though, she said they were demanding There Will Be Blood.


I’m sure the title is meant metaphorically.

This reminds me of an elderly relative who insisted upon seeing The Astronaut’s Wife, because of course it would be a lovely film about the space program, not, say, a movie about a face-sucking alien.

Watch the previews, people. And then, uh, remember them.

Of Oozing Skulls and other referents

On a lark, I looked through to see what people had been coming to this site looking for, and by far and away, you’re here looking for the Oozing Skull review.

Honestly, people, form your own damn opinions. The Cinematic Titanic crew can’t make more if you can’t be bothered to buy the DVD.

Meanwhile, here were the other links:

thumb disk through washing machine
Ouch, sorry, dude.

ending to a foreword
Just a coincidence. My use of “foreword” and year end.

vincent d’onofrio
He was the bomb in Mystic Pizza

orphanarium the movie
Ha! Someone actually looked for an “orphanarium” review. For those who don’t know, the word “orphanarium” was coined by the animated sci-fi comedy series Futurama.

died in a blogging accident
Wouldn’t be the first.

banned words 2008
‘cause you gotta know what NOT to say.

malestrom 2008
Coming in 2008: The Bit Femalestrom. I expect WAY higher hits.

dark apocalyptic films
I think these are going to be a bit-maelstrom meme.

duckling programming -ugly
Imprint with Smalltalk!

Also, someone came here through an image search on long, white, lace bloomers. Heh. Thanks, Trooper York!


Althouse has a post on a malpractice suit that has stirred up some emotion. Real emotion, too, not the sort of faux-outrage that typically accompanies political stuff.

It’s probably just an example of self-selection, but a lot of people in the commentary have suffered losses from medical malpractice. (I can count three losses in my own life so far, two of which have had a profound effect.) I’ve heard that iatrogenic (doctor-caused) causes of death are the #1 killer in this country, and I tend to believe it.

At the same time, I think it’s clear that malpractice suits exacerbate the situation. One of my heroes is a midwife who delivers children naturally, with her only stipulation being that it has to be what’s best for the child (and secondarily, the mom). She says “We don’t do natural childbirth because it’s fun or pleasant, but because it’s what’s best.” And she insists that women go to the hospital when necessary, no matter how much they want to deliver naturally.

Legally, it’s hard to imagine many more precarious situations to be in, because there are legal requirements as to what has to be done. This is sheer insanity, of course, and probably high among the things that will undo us. She’s in particularly precarious situation because she’s not even a doctor, and she can (and has) come under attack from over-zealous establishment types who feel she’s cut into their bottom line.

But despite the many problems I’ve had with doctors, it’s clear there are some great and heroic ones out there, risking their life and livelihoods every day.

One day I might even go to one of them.

Albums Meme

Got this from “da Goddess”. Using random wiki, random quotations and random flickr, you make a fake album for a fake group.

The only problem I ran into is that a lot of the flickr images can’t be copied. For some reason I kept getting waterfowl.

This first album is from an Australian group (“South east Queensland”) that combines surfer music with goth. And, uh, porno.

The second album is a little bit trickier to place. I envision a Beck-like guy, maybe combined with Loudon Wainwright. And an obsession with waterfowl. I see this guy going around with his accordion singing his #1 hit: “And now, Klooster sings "The Hungry Pelican!”

Of course, before he was a solo artist, Klooster was in a Mormon Rock Band called “Turin”. Their debut album, “To Me Through Books” was a moderate success in Utah, though no one could recall Joseph Smith talking so extensively about ducks.

The tragic thing? I could do this all day.

Resolutions: Part Deux

Amazon “Gold Deals” is stuffed with ads for exercise equipment.

I guess the “get in shape” resolution is a common one.

That’s not actually mine, mind you. It’s not specific enough: “pear” is a shape. Mine is more along the lines of “run a marathon”. That’s not it, either, but my target is to increase ability, not so much shift my career to underwear model.

My looks aren’t much of a concern. Dropping dead of a heart attack or developing diabetes–that is.


I’ve never been one for making New Years resolutions, exactly. I’ve always seen them portrayed as things like giving up smoking or stopping beating your wife. For those of us who like smoking and beating our wives, what are we to do?

But I have, in recent years, used the New Year to focus and gauge progress on various projects. For example, I needed to improve my physical condition last year–a side effect to having a zillion sedentary hobbies along with a sedentary job–and while I did so, I think this year I need to get more structured about it so that I’m progressing rather than just treading water (metaphorically).

I also try to decide which projects to put up at the top of the list. Otherwise I end up working on everything and not getting done what I want.

This year I’m starting a business. That suggests that putting anything else on the list is probably folly. But I’ve decided to do a few things, anyway.

Reading a book a week is at the top of my list. This actually has a multi-purpose. It cleans up this ever-growing stack that I have. It gets me away from the computer (which is where I do the bulk of my reading these days). And, to the extent that I’m not reading technical stuff, may prevent some tunnelvision.

But this is stuff I’m already doing. Just not in a habitual manner.

Updating this blog and the associated websites is up there. The blog should be fed daily. The websites I’m more of a technical guy on. But I should feed my movie reviews over tp the Loaded Shelf. And I have a couple of multi-part articles that are better in a forum format than a blog format.

What I’d really like to do is write my own website software that could integrate stuff from different sources. Forums–which are far better for long-running discussions, conversation trees, tech support and the like–shouldn’t be so distinct from blogs. They’re sort of like open blogs, really.

I don’t know. There’s a synergy (forbidden word!) there to be exploited. That’s probably not realistic, though.

Sometimes I pause and realize, if I didn’t have to work for a living, I’d be doing much the same thing as I am, just on pet projects rather than things people pay for. This probably ranks me among the fortunate.

When you get down to it, I’m just not ready to make any resolutions yet. I’ve got too much to do.