"It is too hard a knot for me to untie..."
Took Jason to the Circus on Saturday, same day Tananarive got home from New York. My favorite part was actually when someone flubbed a stunt, which happened a couple of times--once with a tricky trapeze move, once with a very tricky balance stunt (they repeated the "walking a ball up an incline" stunt, and got it right. Impressive). Cute clowns, a unique juggler juggling big geometric frames (never seen that before), and one gorgeous circus girl who was flexible enough to fold in a suitcase, and later gave us a demonstration of some form of Latin dance that made me totally believe the statistic that Latins are the sexiest people on Earth. I turned to Tananarive and soberly informed her that she had my permission to learn to move like that. Good Lord. I guess I must have seen stuff like that on television, but never in person. The level of energetic control, separation and precision was just awesome. I'm thinking it was some kind of Brazilian dance, frankly, because it looked like a combination of some kind of South American Indian and African fusion. Like nothing from Europe or Asia or Polynesia, that's for sure.
One thing it made me think of: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I know that those guys have their own form of yogic discipline. I also know that people who work with them describe the feeling of grappling with the most advanced practitioners in a way that made me think of the male version of movement like THAT. Boy oh boy, would I love to see a porno film with experts in the male and female versions of that movement quality. Is that wrong?
It's kind of interesting how the discussion of Israel brings out such passion in people. There are ways in which Jews seem more measured in response than many Christian Americans. Varying reasons for this are offered by either side of the argument. As I've made it clear, I absolutely believe in Israel's right to exist, but think that they've made serious mistakes--like all human beings, especially those under pressure, will do. The fact that the blockade runners aspired to martyrdom doesn't make them "Terrorists." In fact, it makes them about the opposite: they hope to demonstrate that it is the other side which uses violence and terror as a primary weapon. This doesn't necessarily make 'em nice people, although I approve of the tactic. But the mislabeling of their efforts and tactics makes the fur on the back of my neck stand up. As soon as people distort language or reality for one purpose, it is reasonable to question everything they say.
This is, of course, the problem with the corruption of the term "terrorist," which has come to mean "any non-uniformed enemy" in the popular lexicon, as opposed to "a person who specifically uses terror, usually by attacks on civilian populations, as a tool to weaken political will" (that's my definition, which seems to be in alignment with Webster's and Wikipedia). The attacks on the WTC were certainly terrorist acts, but the linguistic distortion began rather swiftly, referring to them as "cowardly" (err...cowardice generally relates to someone UNWILLING to risk life and limb. This seems to be the wrong use of the term). I get it, though, and instances of this kind of thing are probably universal, to be found in the popular culture of any people preparing to go to war--distortions which make the "Other" seem sub-human, or at the very least, not as good as "us." It is interesting to watch this at play even in America's Civil War, where brothers fought each other, labeling the other side as weak, cowardly, dishonest, traitorous, etc. etc. This all seems totally natural, and in fact it seems damned difficult to get people to the point where they will kill one another unless there is this kind of disrespect. You see it in High School football game pep rallys. In school yard fights. One of the most fascinating things to me is the ethic that allows professional warriors to kill each other WITHOUT such emotions.
You definitely get this in the Left-Right split. While I generally listen to Left-leaning radio if I'm in the mood for political theater, I get totally disgusted with the hosts who position their positions as the only representatives of truth, justice, the American Way, and so forth. So I'll flip over to the Right Wing station, and sometime they make more sense...for a while. Sigh. This is an aspect of human nature that is probably a survival value, and it makes little sense to push against it. It is, as the Bard said in Twelveth Night, "Too hard a knot for me to untie."
Saw "Splice," and despite my antipathy for mouth-rapist Adrian Brody, thought it was pretty darned good, a throwback to the David Cronenbergian school of distorted-body horror. Basically, you have a married pair of geneticists working with recombinant DNA, who make the mistake of thinking they are sane, or are making sane rational decisions. They are not. The woman is disturbed, the husband a total spineless dishrag. And the human-animal hybrid they produce does nothing we haven't seen before in movies like Species or Embryo, but does it with a sense of creeping doom that is really cool. Without a lot of explicit gore, and with some REALLY nicely executed effects (almost flawless) they tell the tale of "Dren" ("nerd" spelled backwards), an artificial being who...well, that's the story. And it's well-told. A cautionary tale about science and sanity. I really liked it. An A-, if you get into stuff like this.
Apparently James Cameron is going to give his opinion about the Gulf Oil spill tonight. Should be interesting. He has genuine knowledge of deep-water work, is said to be a straight-up genius (by people I serious trust with such judgments) and has a science-fiction writer's imagination. This could actually be interesting.
Monday, June 07, 2010
"It is too hard a knot for me to untie..."
Posted by Steven Barnes at 8:01 AM