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Monthly Archives: March 2010

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

What an entirely accurate adage this is, sad to say though no one ever really listens to it, especially the movie companies in Hollywood.  Like everyone else I love me a good movie, however in the last decade or so the quality of movies has reduced drastically.  This post is not going to be to bitch about movies in general, instead I will touch on  three types of movies made that really tend to irritate the hell out of me:  Books made into movies, sequels and the worst offender, Movie Remakes.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a very avid reader, hell my mother even owns a used book store in this area.  Reading for fun is, I will admit, an acquired taste, however reading provides so many benefits.  A brief escape into the story, getting to know and understand the characters and of course keeping your mind working by “drawing” the story put before you and allowing you to think is different directions.  When a movie is created from a book I always tend to groan a little bit, even the most perfect adaptation will have its flaws.  In fact the best adaptations I have ever seen tend to be short stories made into movies, that being just about the perfect length for making a movie.  Trying to make even a simple novel into a movie tends to involve a lot of content being taken out and if you do something like Stephen King’s The Stand you wind up with a whole lot of the backbone of the story left out.  Then there are the books that they must just say fuck it and do their own thing.  Books like these are The Running Man and The Lawnmower Man.  Of course sometimes the story stays mostly the same except they change some major event or character in the story to the point of ruining it.  Examples of this include First Blood (Rambo died at the end of the book) and the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan series, they have that series of movies so screwed up now any serious fan of the books will not bother watching any future movies.  Now, I know that the movie makers will continue to do what they want (as well I know there are time limits on movies) I just wish they would actually try to do justice to a book or not even bother making it into a movie at all.

Before I start talking about movie sequels I am going to talk a bit about what I consider to be a sequel and what is not a sequel in my eyes.  Things like Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings are not sequels but continuations of the story.  Children of the Corn (which was only one short story by the way) and Nightmare on Elm Street are in fact sequels.  Now, not all movie sequels are bad, in fact there are times when the sequel is better than the original, ie. The Road Warrior.  I am not fully against sequels, however there is some responsibility that comes from making a sequel.  Simply redoing the original story with small differences is always a bad idea and just throwing some piece of shit out there to try and capitalize on the success of the original is always a guarantee for a failure.  Also, if you are going to make a sequel it tends to appeal more to people if you can use the same actors as well as using the same characters.  Nothing irritates me more about a sequel than sitting down to Something Part 2 and not knowing any of the characters in it at all.  Plain and simple there will always come a time when you need to let go of a story line and move on to something else, this can also be referred to as the time after jumping the shark.

With very few exceptions, remaking a movie is always a bad idea.  From the start the new movie is going to be based on the standards of the original, provided the watcher has the brains to realize he is watching a remake.  Are movie makers that much out of ideas that they need to recreate something that was already a great movie?  In looking up movies coming up in the next few years I see titles such as Clash of the Titans (which was fucking epic in the original), Nightmare of Elm Street (this was another great movie in the original and I hate to see it remade), The Karate Kid and let us not forget Red Dawn (Oh come on please, there is no way to make this movie better).  All of these are movies that were great when they came out and, honestly, I am quite scared of the job they are going to do on them.  In addition we have some tv to movies coming out like The A-Team and 21 Jump Street.  It is definitely looking to be an interesting couple of years for movies.

Before I sign off here, I just want to repeat that I love watching movies, they can be quite enjoyable.  However, I am the type of person that prefers a good story line over special affects, if you can get both in there together, fine and good, but story should come first every time.  Movie makers need to get original again and come up with new ideas instead of more sequels and remaking movies that were just fine the first time around.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2010 in Random

 

No Child Left Behind… What A Crock Of Shit

When this policy was first introduced into the school systems I was excited for it and happy that they had finally gotten around to it, although I should have known better.  The promises they made of smaller class rooms, more and better 1 on 1 between teachers and students, these all soon quickly faded away into obscurity and the same old idea of just passing them on came back quickly, this time with an established policy to back up the decision and keep the parents out of the decision making of their child’s education even more.

I am not just spouting off on this topic, I feel victim to this mentality as a child and I see it happening with one of my own kids.  You see, when I was in 6th grade I was way ahead of everyone else academically, however I was what they called Emotionally Handicapped at the time.  A rather ambiguous phrase nowadays but back then it was a rather dreadful title to have to deal with.  I was sent to a shrink to be evaluated and well, heh, I play some serious games with her that only came back to bite me hard in the ass.

My parents very much wanted me to be held back in the 6th grade, again not because of anything academic based, I was just not emotionally or mentally ready for junior high at that point.  But, as they do, the school system refused to hold me back and on I went to 7th grade, the only concession being the counselor I was given that would be with me through 9th grade.  At first I fought against having to see the counselor, not showing up for the meetings, arguing with him rather loudly when he would come to get me from PE and what not.

I was a wreck when I got to Rundlett, the junior high I went to, and it only got worse as time progressed.  I became a barely passing student, not through anything I did, just the teachers pushing me along every year.  Mentally and emotionally, I started getting better thanks completely to the counselor that I was seeing, yes I eventually chilled out and started seeing him on a weekly basis and it helped tremendously.  However, between not being ready for 7th grade and the separation of my parents the damage was done and done hard.  Not to mention I was at a point where I was rebelling against my father in all aspects and well, it did not work out for me.  I graduated in the year that I was supposed to, but again it was not a real accomplishment as most of my academic career was just getting bumped along, and yeah I really do wish I could go back, knowing what I know now and do it all over again to the best of my abilities.

Back on topic here, this is really a serious issue, the children that are being allowed to graduate high school now quite frankly scare the fuck out of me.  A good number of them are unable to make change without the aid of a computer, cannot do basic math (I consider basic math to be arithmetic and basic algebra and geometry), cannot tell time on an analog clock, have incredibly poor grammar and spelling skills, and no appreciation for history or science at all.  They also are extremely lacking in social skills and respect for fellow people.  Exactly when did we lose the whole Yes Sir, No Sir, Mr, and Mrs thing?  Address elders or superiors by their first name?  That is something unheard of when I was a child and would get you in a ton of trouble.

Now I do not blame it all on the school system, although they do have their fair share of blame.  I blame local and state governments for a lot of this mess.  Teachers are paid employees and Jesus it is time for a living adjustment in their pay.  There also needs to be more funding for schools.  What is this crap that students have to not only get their own school supplies but through the year provide items for use by the entire class?  We never had that shit when I was in school and we also had the text books that we needed without having to share, leave them in the class room for the next class to use or have to get photocopies of to do our assignments.  It is like the standard of education has dropped in the last 15 or so years, did you know they allow elementary school students to use calculators now?  It is not only allowed, it is encouraged for them to use them.

Laptops for students…  oh sweet Mary Mother of God what a mistake this idea is.  Yes, I know it is the computer age and all that crap, but give me a break, you are asking for trouble with these things.  One of the neighborhood kids got busted, even had the cops called, because she was using her school laptop to take nude pics of herself and was sending them out, and she was only 12!  I have personally seen that the kids that use these laptops have completely lost the ability to do proper research, can you say Wikipedia?  My worst peeve about these damn laptops though is that they are Macbooks.  Fine and good you want to teach children about both Macs and PCs, but give them PC laptops, which are less expensive to begin with, and let them learn about Macs.  I can guarantee you that these kids all use PCs at home and once they leave school it will be very rare for them to encounter a Mac in their life.  Don’t get me wrong, I am nit completely against this idea, however, I think the students should have to wait until their high school career to be able to bring laptops home, it is just way to easy for them to abuse them.

I do not expect my children to be geniuses, but I do expect them to get a proper education.  I want them to know their math skills, to be able to spell and write proper and cleanly.  I do not expect historians or rocket scientists but they should have a basic grasp of history and science.  A child’s school career is just as much about learning how to think and reason as it is to acquire knowledge and quite honestly, these graduation classes are 70% or more full of idiots.

We need a unified standard of a high school education.  We need this to be established across the entire nation, there is no need in this day and age to have different curriculums across the country.  Hell, when we moved from NH to Maine, just one state over, I was completely lost, in some areas they were far ahead of me and in others way behind, I got lost and it took me quite a while to catch up.

The saying goes that “The Children Our Are Future”, well, in my eyes, the future is looking pretty fucking bleak.  I am just waiting for a President to be elected who shows up to his Inauguration wearing blue jeans 3 sizes to big with his boxers showing, $80 Timberlands and a T-Shirt with Family Guy on it and you just know his speech is going to start up with something like:

I just wants to say TY (yes TY and he will say it TeewhY) cuz ya voted me in.  Me and my crew plan to make all this work for next week and then just chill with some weed, SoCo and hos.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2010 in Random

 

Friends Til The End… This Is The End Chucky!

So, as I have been getting so personal lately, I figured it was time for a blog about my friends.  Or more specifically the type of people I like to surround myself with and label them as my friends.

I am not overly selective when it comes to gender, race, etc etc.  Gotta love all those labels out there.  However, what I do look for are intelligent people.  Now, I am going to have to go off on a tangent here for a bit.  When I say intelligent what I mean is this, people who are able to think and rationalize on their own.  Give them some data, ideas, opinions and they are able to make their own informed decisions.  Smart people on the other hand I do not have much use for, these are the kind of people that anything they know comes from books or the opinions of their cliques, peers, study groups etc.  Don’t get me wrong, I do like my friends to have some smarts;  basic math, knowing how to use:  to, two and too, your and you’re, there, their and they’re…  ya know, the basic stuff LOL.

I like having friends that I am comfortable being around.  People that can just as easily get into four hour long bullshit sessions or just sit around with a few drinks and have some laughs.  For the most part these are the types of people that I have in my life right now.  The friends I have come from all the different aspects of my life:  Where I grew up, the schools I went to, the states I have lived in and World of Warcraft.  Now before you start laughing, I have made some very good friends through WoW, not many, a handful at most, but they are some very good friends that although I have never met them in real life I knew that if I was to they would fit into my circle very well, most especially the gnome warlock, yes I intentionally did not use their name to protect privacy while at the same time letting them know who they are.

Now, as most of my friends know I am a chatter, and I do not mean online.  I enjoy sitting and talking and just basically having bullshit sessions with my friends.  In my adult life I have had some very interesting conversations.  I am always willing to bring someone new into the conversation to get other viewpoints and opinions, however what I cannot stand is people that allow themselves to get emotional during a conversation and suddenly a fun and interesting discussion gets turned into a fight because someone could not be adult enough to maintain an even keel.

As I said, I love to have these discussions and I do not even care which side of the discussion I am on, I can usually argue both sides evenly.  That is another thing I look for in people that I talk with;  the ability to have a discussion using proper facts, their own opinion and avoiding the internet gossip about topics, unless that gossip has a valid point in the discussion.  One of the things I remember my father once told me, and I actually listened to it, was this.

I do not care if you have the same opinion on issues as me as long as you have your opinions for valid and logical reasons and not just following a group.  Think for yourself, you will get more respect from someone if you can discuss opposing opinions rationally than if you just follow the party line.

Now, of course that is paraphrasing on my part, but the essence of what he said is there and it is something that I hold true to to this very day.

Now, as I hinted at, I have a wide diversity of friends.  From what most would call normal, to slightly eccentric.  The convicted murderer to the “Every Sunday in Church” woman.  So yeah, lol, all of my friends are considered friends for several reasons.  Some I have known most of my life and some are here because there was an almost audible click when we met and started talking.

I do not expect anything from my friends except for them to simply be themselves and be honest to themselves, other than that everything is pretty much free game.  Life is to short to live alone and friends are very much needed in your life to make it whole and comforting, something I know very well from my earlier years in life, as was shown in my previous blog post.

So there it is, a basic outline of my friends.  It seems so clinical looking at it now, but things like this are very hard to describe.  All of my friends are precious and dear to me, from the smart ass to the dumb ass, from the murderer (yes I have no doubt he did it but he has been my friend for almost 30 years) to the saint and most importantly from the bitch (so many are gonna argue this is them LOL) to the sweeheart.  My friends are as close to me as family and in some cases are considered family.

Hope you all cherish your friends as much as I do mine…  despite how much I might bitch about them at times.  LMAO

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2010 in Random

 
 
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