Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dirty lovely door NYC 1

Dirty lovely door NYC 1
Originally uploaded by metasailor
Dirty lovely door NYC 1

Friday, October 16, 2009


Originally uploaded by metasailor
Couch for sale.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Battlestar Postmortemica

I agree with most of the problems people have had with Battlestar Galactica's long-awaited finale - and I agree with most of what people loved about it.

I do think that five major opportunities were missed with this finale. No, three. No, four. No, five.

1. The prophecies did clearly state that Roslin would die before she reached Earth. This was simply ignored.

But it could have been addressed *and* made everything richer. Roslin's decision to risk dying earlier in order to help the mission, ended up helping them make it to Earth.

So that could have been the breaking of the cycle, rendering the prophecy wrong - and the start of something new.

This all could have been addressed in two lines of a scene with Roslin and Adama, before they left Galactica.

Roslin: You know, the prophecies said I would never get to see Earth.

Adama: Did they now.

And then he takes her there - showing there is a brand new set of possibilities, and they are freed from previous fates.

What clearer proven example that they've broken the cycle?

2. I would have been happier with a clearer explanation of what Kara was. But let's say the writers wanted to leave who she was unexplained.

I still would have dearly liked to see a clearer resolution for Kara's *emotional state* as a character. I'd have liked to see her grappling with **whatever** she is, and finally accpeting it. And maybe realizing what she's done her whole life, who she's hurt and who she's helped and who she's loved and hated, has been a complete part of this destiny.

How her mother was helping to shape her, and maybe how that made her mother sick. How that helped or hurt her throughout her whole life. How that led her to ping from one relationship to another, to hurt Lee and love him too - and maybe love everyone.

That would have been a beautiful moment for that character to see, and would have left viewers a lot more satisfied with her character disappearing. i don't think it was just the disappearing that was the problem - it was the lack of emotional resolution for that character.

3. I would have liked to see a bit more struggle from the people of the fleet, about letting go of the technology and starting over. That could have really brought the whole series to a head, in once crowded scene with a few lines.

Crewmen: "Why let go of all of this?"

Doc Cottle: "More of our children are going to die without technology. And die young. Disease, the elements, natural disasters, famine...they'll have an average life span of 30 years, for Gods know how long.

Ellen: "But we held onto the technology when we went to Earth1 from Kobol. And we didn't learn. We destroyed ourselves 3000 years before the Colonies."

Apollo: "this is our only chance to break the cycle! if we can come up again, from our roots, without the crutch of technology, wih a truly clean slate, then we won't have another tragic death of billions, maybe hundreds of billions of people. We can actually grow."

Some of this came out in Apollo's talk in the finale - but there was no argument. And argument makes the whole issues clearer and more emotional. What humanity is giving up here is supreme and weighty, and in context so noble. I would like that point to be driven more forward.

4. I would have liked to see some closure with the cylon Leoben and Starbuck. He was trying to help her and guide her - more than any other cylon. Why was this? What was it in her, that was he clued in about and other cylons were not? And then why was he suddenly freaked out about her?

5. Something not necessarily needed, but that I would like to have seen: visions appearing to Hera, and/or angels. This would indicate that she is in some way going to be a spiritual leader, in addition to the mother of humanity. That would have satisfied emotionally, for me, the symbolic importance of that character as well. We never really saw anything from that character's point of view, for even a second.

Also, waaaaay back in I think the second season, during the visit to Kobol, Boomer mentioned the cylons new a lot more about who the original Hera was. This was never followed up on. Would have loved to have seen a bit more about that too.

Who knows how much of these issues were addressed more, in the original script? Or even shot for the finale, and then was edited out? But I think it would help quite a bit.

Since the BSG team did such a great job backfilling in with the Pegasus series, maybe we can see other one-offs come in and fill in further areas of this great universe. Some of the Pegasus and Galactica adventures, when they were both crewed by the Adamas. Some of the Cylon Basestar's struggles. Maybe some of Admiral Adama's earlier adventures as Husker. Maybe some more Cylon politics too, even some concerning Tory Foster and an abortive power grab.

As a side note - if at the end of the episode the cylon colony does get sucked into the black hole it was floating near, as Ron Moore states happens (but was cut from the finale for time considerations), that does bring up interesting possibilities for the identity of the God / gods.

If they cylon ship floats in the event horizon and then the border of the singularity, according to some theories time can effectively slow down to infinity.

Which means that if previous cylon civilizations felt into that singularity (or others), they could have a long time to develop, grow, and think on the mistakes that led them there.

This could lead them to merge together and develop the understanding of the Universe to try and guide others to avoid their fate - which could be the source of the Gods and/or Angel-like figures helping to guide cylons and humanity.

That's all I got...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Laying me out to lie there, but not lying about it

A friend of mine who learned English as a second language, just hit me with a stumper over lunch. What is the exact rule for using "lie" or "lay", in a sentence where someone or something is lying down or laying?

I knew what sounded right to my ear, both formally and in typical conversation; but I couldn't formalize the rule.

So, obsessed, after drawing a full grid, and then throwing up my hands and researching it on the web, it appears the lie vs. lay rule is most succinctly:

The word ‘lie’ or variations of it can only be used in the present or future tense, AND only if the speaker is referring to someone or something that is reclining (and not being merely placed somewhere.)

The lie vs. lay confusion is caused by three main, colliding factors:

1. “lie” and “lay” sound similar, but are actually separate and distinct verbs. “Lie” means “to recline”, whereas “lay” means “to place somewhere”.
2. to muddy things further, the past tense of the verb “lie” (to recline) is the word “lay”. So even though this “lay” sounds the same as the verb “lay” (to place somewhere), it really is a different word.
3. further spinning things around, the "past participle" (hypothetical phrasing) of the verb "lie" is "lain", while the past participle of the verb "lay" is "laid".

So “I’m lying down,” “I lie down,” “She is lying down,”, “The cat lies on the table” or “They’re all lying down, and they're going to keep lying down after eating that much turkey” and are all correct.

But if the speaker is referring to him or herself reclining in the past or hypothetically, it's lay or lain. Such as “Then I lay down and slept,” or "I would have lain down if I could".

And if referring to placing something somewhere, it's always lay or laid. Such as "I lay the book on the table", and "I would have laid down the books if I could"


Basic rule of thumb:

You LIE down but you LAY something else down, when speaking in the present tense.

Also it may help to remember that you never lay someone down on something. Only something on something. Laying someone is an entirely different verb. An awesome one.

So “The cats lie on the sidewalk,” but “The leaves lay on the sidewalk.” The exception to this rule would be when an object is being treated as alive for poetic effect. (i.e. “The building lies in ruins.” Vs. “The building lays on a concrete foundation.”)

And there we shall let the sleeping grammar dogs lie. Before I get laid off.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What if George W. Bush had been Black?

Perhaps you've all seen it. But the BRILLIANT setup, which for some reason is chopped off the front of this clip, is this:

Dave Chappelle basically notes that no black person could have done what George Bush has done, without a whole lot of people asking a lot more questions.

He then casts himself as a Black version of George Bush -

And there you have it.

Funny as it is, I have to say it's a dead-on translation of what literally happened with the unfortunately real *white* GWB.

In the future, will our descendants be able to understand what happened here? How a whole nation was literally frightened out of it's wits, sold out by a compliant media and a complicit Senate and Congress, and made to shaft the world and ourselves?

Thank God it's over. Not the skit, but the even more surreal reality.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Polyamoralicious and Spirals

Funny how things are with humans. We grow older and, with fortune, humility and persistence, come to realizations about themselves. Realizations which were in some ways very clear from the beginning.

I'm thinking about a friend of mine, let's call her "Sarah". When we were both in college, she was a fun and freaky little thing. Very into sex, or at least sensuality, she had a variety of experiences, some of which I was a part of. Then she met her man, and became monogamous.

Now after having reconnected with her years later, it turns out that she's just recently realized she's polyamorous. She wants loving relationships with more than one person at a time. This was very tough for her man - the same one she met in college - but they were working it out. After what must have been a rather intense conversation that took place on Christmas day...

A cynical part of my mind wonders if Sarah has just become disenchanted with this man in particular, and is unconsciously finding a way to leave. With others this might be more believeable - but polyamory fits very closely with that Sarah I first met. Back in college, Sarah enjoyed an essentially polyamorous lifestyle. She liked having a few different very close people to fool around with, and was not visibly jealous of those others' escapades as long as she received closeness. It's taken a journey of roughly 15 years, for her to realize this more fully about herself.

As for me, while I've not yet discovered that I'm polyamorous (at least, not much more than most other single men), I have been realizing ways I am in relationships which have been similarly evident, for 15 years or longer.

A lot of life's lessons seem like this. Not so much a circle, as a spiral. It is a blessing that, on making the journey of discovery, with perseverance humility and good fortune we may come back to some place near where we began - but with a much higher level of understanding, and a greater range of vision.

This spiraling process may also show that when we started on our journey, we may not have been as wrong as we thought we were.

ADDigression 1 - Rather mythic, isn't it, this journey through a labyrinth of relationships, to bring the grail of self-knowledge back home? Like Joseph Campbell meets the Kinsey Report...

ADDigression 2 - interesting links.

Kosher Polyamory
Polyamory and the hierarchy of relationships
An outsiders account of the Kerista Polyamorous commune, 1971 - 1991.

ADDigression 3 - The accepted term is "polyamory" and not "polyamorality" - to avoid the awkwardness of the full word "amorality" inside. Critics would say it's still in the lifestyle itself; adherents would say polyamory is very moral, it's just an acknowledgement of the reality of human attraction and a way to build relationships that honor it.

Certainly, the extent that human relationships remain completely monogamous for lifetime spans is pretty small. Living as we do now in an increasing vacuum of church, state and society-enforced morality, it seems that it's up to consenting adults to determine what is and isn't moral with their sexing. We'll be able to determine what really works best for humans psychology in 100 years. Or by 2012 when the Aliens come, if you prefer.

ADDigression 4 - If the Aliens come, will we even notice? Will they have to get jobs like everyone else? Will they be outsourced to other Aliens, and protest by disintegrating management?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nutball v. Obama

So some nut petitioned the Pennsylvania District Court for injunctive relief. Said nut basically wants to forbid the Electoral College from certifying Barack Obama as President, at their upcoming meeting on December 15.

This guy's rationale is that Obama is not a US citizen, because Obama's father was not at a US citizen. This, the dude claims, means that according to the original Constitution Obama can't be President.

This is related to an ongoing meme that won't die - that Obama is hiding his original birth certificate because it will somehow reveal he wasn't born in the US. A scan of the birth certificate has been provided. All appropriate Hawaii state personnel have confirmed the scan is genuine, that Obama is a US citizen, and also that he is not the artificially inseminated love-child of Malcolm X (as another conservative blogger actually claimed!! Seriously!!).

So this guy and others have concocted various rationales to "prove" the scan is a Photoshop fake. All of which have been debunked, but like Iran-Contra it's just never talked about.

This crap shouldn't even need debunking. If there was an ounce of possible truth to this crap, wouldn't it have been pursued to Hell and back by Bush, McCain and the rest of the GOP? Or Hillary in the primaries, for that matter? And if Obama would forge a birth certificate, don't you think he'd slap down another $500 from his donations to forge with an actual typewriter on paper? But some people just don't want to be a part of any reality that has Obama making it the Black House.

Anyway, the district court denied the guy's petition for injunctive relief, and then further dismissed his entire suit. And that was that. But the nutball then petitioned the Third Circuit for emergency relief. (In East Brunswick NJ, of all places.) They also sent the nutball packing. So he then took it to the Supreme Court, where Justice Souter refused to hear it.

So this persistent-like-a-rash nutball took it over to Justice Thomas. And Thomas actually agreed to bring it to current consideration before the other justices. This is either because a) the GOP knew what it was doing by appointing Thomas, as he is a house Negro Uncle Tom, or b) because Obama criticized Thomas once during the election, Thomas is a bitter angry and vindictive house Negro Uncle Tom.

As things stand, it can apparently take one SCOTUS judge to declare an emergency stay. I don't see Thomas doing this by himself. He's the only current justice (possibly the only one in US history) to not write down the reasoning for his decisions. So if anyone could get away with it, he could. But I doubt he'd want to stick his neck out alone.

And since the other conservative SCOTUS justices write down their reasons, Roberts Alito and Scalia are unlikely to join Thomas. Since it would take four judges to hear Nutball v. Obama, and five to grant a stay - it seems astronomically remote that anything Nutball v. Obama will go any further.

I'm just amazed at what one nutball with court access can do.

Said nutball's website - . (I shit you not.)

And here's his surprisingly lucid description of the process, and what's to follow: