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Name:
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

I am nothing more than a crossroads of arbitrary signifiers. Just like you.

Blogs I Enjoy Reading

Life-Altering Links
Homestarrunner
My Home Page
RPGnet
Feed the Hungry

ENGL 3621 Blogs
Postscript
Abby
Ants on a Blog
Deanna
Jannainspa
A Blog of One's Own
A Magic Missile in the Dark
Martha's Place
Muddled Musings
Not So Domestic Goddess
Perspectives
Readings from Last Class
Simone
Small but Mighty
Who's Write
Words from the Wise
Yelhsa
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Someday, maybe I'll be an Adorable Rodent... Someday...




Movie Reviews:

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A New Job for Bush

Seems he was voted as this year's top movie villain in Britain. I just felt the need to share the news.

http://www.imdb.com/news/wenn/#2

Gotta hand it to the Brits... They thought of this before I did.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 10:31 AM
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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

If I Could Go Back in Time...

...one of my top priorities would be to hunt down and kill James Joyce. I'd do this by whacking him over the head with all nine-hundred-odd pages of that horrendous University-torture-device he thought it would be funny to call a book, Ulysses.

I know he wrote it the way he did (that is, utterly confusing and frustrating) on purpose. He knew how it would be used a hundred years later. He knew the pain it would inflict upon poor English students like myself. His sins were done wilfully and unrepentantly. I hate him so much.

Tho' I have to admit Ulysses for Dummies is kinda cool.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 5:22 PM
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Sometimes, Science is Cool

Considering I recently ran a Supers RPG adventure involving Zombie FDR, Ghost Churchill and Vampire Stalin fighting against Hitler's-Brain-in-a-Jar trying to establish a Fourth Reich, this amused me to no end:

Rat Brain in a Dish Flies Plane

I'm one step closer to building my army of rat-cyborg death machines designed to wipe Wal-Mart off the face of the earth.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 1:28 PM
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Saturday, October 23, 2004

Brain... Seizing...

I just finished the concluding paragraph of the final draft of the second essay that's due Monday. Now, by "final" draft, I mean "only" draft -- I'm not going to have time to revise it before Monday 'cuz I've got a supers game to run tomorrow and, heck, I need to take some time to relax; I get precious little as it is.

Still, I've got more school-related things I need to do tonight before I hit the hay, so all I can offer you in return for your visit is Bush and Gary Busey talking about Weasels. Which, really, should be enough compensation for anyone.

UPDATE: I misspoke. It's about ferrets, not weasels. Well, actually, it's about both. But more the former than the latter.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 11:41 PM
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+++++


Friday, October 22, 2004

An Announcement

Henceforth, orange juice is no longer my friend.

That is all.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 1:28 PM
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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ultimate Geekery

I will now commence to prove that I am a bigger geek than you.

I saw this Dungeon Mastery video for the first time last night.

My first thought, even before my mild embarassment for my hobby, even before I winced at the cheesy B-movie stop-motion monster, and yes, even before I noted a rules error...

"Hey... That Mystika's pretty hawt."

Let all lesser geeks bow down before me!


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 2:55 PM
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+++++


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Stewart on Crossfire: The Aftermath

Part of it, anyway.

I just heard (perhaps someone can correct me if this is incorrect?) that the video of Jon Stewart on Crossfire is the most downloaded thing on BitTorrent.

Ever.

Carlson has been quite outspoken against Stewart, trying hard to spin the exchange in his favour:

Carlson chided Stewart for lobbing softball questions when Kerry appeared on The Daily Show last month.

Later, Carlson told Stewart he was "more fun" on his Comedy Central show, and Stewart called him a jerk - although he used a more vulgar term.

"I thought that he looked ridiculous," Carlson said in an interview Monday, "and I think the tape makes that clear."

Carlson said Stewart continued lecturing the Crossfire crew after the show went off the air. "I wasn't offended as much as I was unimpressed," he said.


He even accused Stewart of being a sell-out:

Carlson noted that many of the great comedians kept their political opinions to themselves, not for fear of offending anyone, but because it could hurt their art.

"You're selling out," he said. "If you are a satirist or an acute social observer, and he is, and all of a sudden you suspend disbelief on someone or suck up rather than prod or poke someone, people will look at you and say, 'Even if I agree with you, I don't like it,' " he said.


Unfortunately for Carlson, other people actually watched the show. And for anyone who did, it was pretty obvious who won the exchange:

Mr. Stewart's frankness was a cool, startling, rational version of Senator Zell Miller's loony excoriation ("Get out of my face") to Chris Matthews of MSNBC during the Republican convention.

The transcript of Friday's "Crossfire," and the blog commentary about it, popped up all over the Internet this weekend. Mr. Stewart's Howard Beal (of "Network") outburst stood out because he said what a lot of viewers feel helpless to correct: that news programs, particularly on cable, have become echo chambers for political attacks, amplifying the noise instead of parsing the misinformation. Whether the issue is Swift boat ads or Bill O'Reilly's sexual harassment suit, shows like "Crossfire" or "Hardball" provide gladiator-style infotainment as journalists clownishly seek to amuse or rile viewers, not inform them.

When Mr. Carlson took the offense, charging that Mr. Stewart had no right to complain since he had asked Senator John Kerry softball questions on "The Daily Show," Mr. Stewart looked genuinely appalled. "I didn't realize - and maybe this explains quite a bit - that the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity." When Mr. Carlson continued to argue, Mr. Stewart shut him down hard. "You are on CNN," he said. "The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls."

[...]

And of course it was fun just to see television pundits who think they are part of the same media version of the Algonquin Round Table as Mr. Stewart lose their cool when he tore off the tablecloth and shattered the plates. "Wait,'' Mr. Carlson said querulously. "I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny." Mr. Stewart was funny. And it was at their expense.


What's particularly interesting to me is the fact that only Carlson, one of the show's conservative speaker, is talking about the exchange, despite the fact that Stewart's comments were obviously aimed at the show itself, its format, and both of the hosts. Yet Begala has been silent. It's as if somebody's trying to spin this into being Stewart (a self-professed liberal) against conservative Carlson, rather than Stewart against what the media's become. Which, really, is exactly the partisan hackery Stewart was complaining about -- playing the spin rather than trying to get at the substance behind it.

Stewart's Daily Show response can be found at iFilms.

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Image by Valandil of RPG.net. I make no claims of ownership. I just think it's a keen pic. Bonus points to comic geeks who get the joke.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 5:03 PM
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My Government Confuses Me

Every year thus far in my quest for a higher education, my government has awarded me a bursery. And every year this bursary gets just a little bit bigger...

My understanding is that bursaries are awarded according to need. Frankly, my financial needs aren't particularly big right now; I've got a horrifically low overhead and I've no problem with public transportation so my transportation costs are also pretty low.

It always follows the same pattern. I apply for a student loan, and my loan assessment includes a projected bursary, subject to change upon confirmation of financial information. This sum is then reassessed, and usually more than doubles once the folks in charge get a more exact numbers from me.

I was sure that, this year, my bursary was going to be at least a little bit smaller, owing to the scholarship I was awarded (and, hence, less financial need). Yet when I got this year's reassessment yesterday afternoon it was bigger than ever.

It's confusing. I mean, I know I shouldn't be complaining (and honestly I'm not, or at least I don't mean to) -- money I never have to pay back is always a good thing, and I work my ass off to get the grades I get. But still, there's always this nagging irrational fear bubbling in the back of my mind that, somehow, someone's going to call me up one day and say, "Hey, you know all that money we gave you? Yeah, big mistake. We need it back."

It could never happen, I know, but that's what makes it irrational.

But I guess until that time comes, I'll just enjoy having the extra spending money.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 4:31 PM
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+++++


Monday, October 18, 2004

A Rare Third Post in a Day

I just wanted to let you all know that, minutes ago, I was this close: ==>| |<== to making an incredibly bitter, angsty, self-pitying post on here. In the end, my self-restraint managed to win out.

Be very glad, all of you; it wouldn't have been pretty.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 11:05 PM
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+++++


I'm looking over my Site Meter stats...

...as I do occasionally, with an eye toward eventually becoming an Adorable Rodent in the ecosystem, instead of the slimy mollusk I've been for the past while. (Incidentally, I notice that my blog's first birthday went by and I missed it. Happy birthday to me?)

Part of this requires that I get more regular viewers. Preferably regular viewers who have blogs themselves, and who come to so admire all the awesomeness that is me that they blogroll me, but I'm not too picky.

Anyway, looking over the past month's entries and the corresponding attention that they got, I've discovered the following...

-I tend to seek a drop in viewers on the weekends, though Sundays are usually better than Fridays and Saturdays. This makes sense, considering the weekend is when people like to Do Stuff.

-Hardly anyone bothers commenting. Hardly anyone, in this case, being about 3.3% of the total visits. (This can probably be boosted up a percentage point when one discounts hits received from me checking my own blog, which amounts to about one or two hits a day)

-Sympathy posts get the most on-topic replies.

-Posts that contain mostly links about general media topics receive average attention, though they receive more replies than any other topic besides sympathy. My distaste for all things Wal-Mart gets about the same amount of attention (read: hits), but few if any replies.

-American Politics and Iraq (which are highly related) get above-average hits, but few, if any, viewers feel inclined to reply -- not even to say "yeah, me too!" or to decry me as a liberal commie hippie french-loving surrender-monkey.

-My movie reviews aren't very popular, and receive even fewer comments than entries on American Politics and/or Iraq.

-Even less popular than my movie reviews is my poetry, apparently. Hopefully people aren't comparing my work with that of the Vogons.

-Few people seem to care much for the passing of celebrities.

Lots of data, not many conclusions. The passing of celebrities has only come up, I believe, twice, and both recently, so I can't really say anything for certain there. And although both my movie reviews and my poetry don't appear to be much-loved by my adoring fans, I'm afraid I enjoy doing the former, and as far as the latter is concerned I have to write at least one poem a week for the duration of my Writing Poetry class, so they make convenient filler for those times when blog entry topics seem to be scarce.

Still, I must ponder this data and try to use it to aid me in my quest for Adorable Rodent status. Perhaps I need more vitriolic snark in my posts.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 5:07 PM
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Bush Robs Bank

Talk about symbolism...

Click here to see the security pics.

OCTOBER 18--Police in the battleground state of Pennsylvania are looking for a man who robbed a bank Thursday night wearing a George W. Bush mask. The holdup man, who did not flash a weapon, demanded the money from a teller at a Commerce Bank near York. As seen in the below bank surveillance photos--provided to TSG by the Northern York County Regional Police--the robber wore gloves, a ski hat, and a fixed grin. A police spokesman would not say how much the Dubya doppelganger got away with.


Mucho Gracias to Scott Leaton of RPG.net for pointing this one out. Made me smile.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 4:43 PM
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+++++


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Jon Stewart on Crossfire

Wherein he rips apart two partisan hacks and, by extention, most of the mainstream media.

Watch the Real Video stream, or read the transcript. Or better yet, both.

UPDATE: You can also get it off of BitTorrent, if you have the BitTorrent software.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 3:35 PM
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+++++


Thursday, October 14, 2004

Shock and Awe

I have no words. I'm just... Aw, heck, I'll just post a few excerpts. You'll get the idea, though you should really read the whole damn thing. It's a laugh riot, if laugh riot = laughing while simultaneously depressed and afraid for the fate of the world.

From here:

A panel of UF students bucked conventional wisdom Thursday and declared President Bush the winner of Thursday’s presidential debate.

Seven of the panel’s nine members favored Bush over Democratic nominee John Kerry before the debate, and the panel did not mirror UF’s student population. The group included only two women, one Hispanic and no black students.


“Kerry spent most of his time splitting hairs and putting the dots on the I’s and crossing the T’s,” Rollins said, adding that Kerry’s speech was too complicated for the “common man.”

This seemed to be true in the case of UF electrical engineering freshman Daniel Milian.

“Kerry didn’t connect with me,” he said. “Like that one word that I didn’t even know what he meant - Fallujah? I need a dictionary to understand him.”


None of the nine panel members said newspapers were a source of their information, and four students cited the Fox News Channel as their primary news source.

The 90-minute format seemed to be too long for the students’ attention spans, as nobody seemed to be watching the debate closely during the last half-hour.

The debate about how to stop genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, where more than 50,000 black Africans have been slaughtered by Arab militias during recent months, was drowned out by laughter over whether Bush or Kerry was sexier in the 1970s.


In addition to genocide in Africa and nuclear weapons in North Korea, there were other moments of levity for the panel during the debate.


Hooray for higher education. I would say I'm glad that I'm Canadian and, thusly, attend a Canadian school, however I fear the results wouldn't be too drastically different. Though, at the very least, I do know that everyone I have any kind of regular social contact with knows what (or, more accurately, where) Fallujah is.

Le sigh.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 2:24 PM
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+++++


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Sy Hersh on Iraq

Seymour Hersh has been talking about Iraq a lot lately, and the things he's been saying haven't been making anyone feel particularly comfortable, referring to the conflict as "shades of My Lai." Considering he's the one who actually broke the My Lai story back in the day, this should be pretty telling.

I first saw the story on Tiny Revolution (which was pointed out courtesy of Jaakko of RPG.net). The real video interview can be found here, and the important stuff begins at 41:45 (or you can just go to Tiny Revolution and read the transcript).

There are also stories about this at Common Dreams News Center and UC Berkeley News.

Very disturbing. I only wish I could say this was unbelievable, but with everything else that's come out already, not to mention the fact this is Sy Hersh (an investigative reporter with lots of credibility) who's doing the telling...

Well, let's just say I'm finding it difficult to muster up too much disbelief in this case.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 1:58 PM
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+++++


Kitsune

Your strawberry voice kissing my ear;
liquid whisperings.
the almost-seen foam of the rushing waves
rolling over the rocky sand,
only to retreat once more.
Soft soft soft skin.

Holding you holding me closer. No, closer.

Sand shifting beneath the blanket
as we lie to one another.
The ocean, too, lies with its susurrus wavespeech,
sending up droplets to salt the air
and dance on tongues.

Then playful red ears, a sniffing nose,
Curious, circling us.
Dark-furred fox paws leaving sand-prints,
a bushy tail trailing fast behind.
Twin moons flashing from the darkness;
canine reflections of Luna above.

Trickster spirit.
Somehow, I think, he knew
how it would end.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 1:56 AM
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+++++


Monday, October 11, 2004

Christopher Reeve dead at 52

Alas, we'll miss you, the one, true superman. Listening to some Crash Test Dummies in your honour, Mr. Reeve.

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Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 2:15 PM
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+++++


Saturday, October 09, 2004

Derrida is Dead

And not in a deconstructionist sense. I mean he's actually gone and kicked the bucket.

Which is odd, because I thought he was already dead. Hmm.

A brilliant man, to be sure, who's left a huge mark on the literary world. Reading his essays can be truly painful for the uninitiated, though.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 8:21 PM
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+++++


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Uuuurrg...

No sleep last night. And when I got up at 6:20 this morning I took a gamble with some risky orange juice.

Wasn't such a great gamble; I just now managed to get over my chills. Don't even ask me the number of bathroom trips I've had to make.

Bleah.

In other news, Wal Mart is evil. You knew this, of course, since you've previously read my rant about just that topic. However, Wal Mart has now sunk to a new level; they're building one of their eyesores next door to the Teotihuacan ruins in Mexico. So now instead of all those tourism dollars going into the local economy, a huge chunk of them will instead to travelling back to Bentonville. And that's not even mentioning the cultural side of things.

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My guess is that next they'll be opening up a store beside the newly discovered ruins of Genghis Khan's grave. Remember, you heard it here first.

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Both images by Kuma of RPG.net -- all rights belong to him.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 3:27 PM
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+++++


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Debates over the Debate

Why is it that the lowest common denominator never seems to be quite low enough?

Okay, for those who haven't been paying attention, a number of moronic right-wing bloggers (taking after their glorious moronic leader, Drudge) have been whining about Kerry cheating in the first debate.

Their accusation?

Kerry used his own pen!!1!one!

According to Drudge, the debate rules state:
"No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by either candidate.... Each candidate must submit to the staff of the Commission prior to the debate all such paper and any pens or pencils with which a candidate may wish to take notes during the debate, and the staff or commission will place such paper, pens and pencils on the podium..."

That lousy, stinking cheater. How dare he? HOW DARE HE?!?! Obviously, placing your own pen directly on the podium, rather than having someone else place it there for you, is a huge violation that gives one participant a great advantage over the other.

But, wait, dear reader... It gets better.

Bush, not to be outdone, brought secret notes to his own podium.

GASP! SCANDAL! EVEN WORSE THAN A PEN!

And for those who haven't taken their medication today, there are also accusations about Bush having an earpiece that allowed him to receive signals from his aides outside the debate, while Kerry was transmitting signals to his secret Muslim masters with his necktie. No, seriously, some people actually seem to believe that.

So, first a pen, then a cheat sheet, and then secret messages transmitted through electronics or code. Way to raise the level of discourse, folks.

Actually, from what I've been able to gather, Kerry's ties are all embroidered with his initials: JFK. And I find it amusing that Bush was crushed as badly as he was when he had a cheat sheet.

And the electronic messages through Bush's earpiece? Aliens, without a doubt.

But at least we've still got Poland to talk about.



Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 3:32 PM
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+++++


Sunday, October 03, 2004

Insert Witty Title Here

Yeah, I know, it's been a few days. Keep in mind, I warned you about periodic hiatuses thanks to school stuff.

Unfortunately, not much to say here. I'm still kind of in a good mood over the stellar performance Kerry made in the Thursday presidential debates, though like Mark Evanier I find it odd that so many American viewers thought Bush did so badly, since he's always seemed like that to me. Regardless, according to Newsweek Bush's lead in the polls has evaporated, and according to other sources Kerry's base has been re-energized, so here's to hoping that the folks south of the border will choose the sane candidate this time around.

I wonder if this lead in the polls had anything to do with that bastion of "Fair and Balanced" "reporting" (and I use all of those terms very loosely) Fox "News" issuing an apology over a fake Kerry-related news item they'd released on their web site? Well, at any rate, if they're going to apologize for fake news now, then that would make one apology down, nine thousand to go.

And for something completely unrelated and non-political, it seems that some Japanese architects have designed plans for a sky city of the future. It looks tremendously cool. Which probably means it will never be built in my lifetime.

As an aside, I've now perfected the art of catching a thirty-minute nap in the university library. This is fairly remarkable because it's something I'm completely unable to do in my own bed. Go figure.


Jesse R enlightened the masses @ 1:13 PM
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ENGL 3621: Concerning Frances Burney... ...and N...
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Teh Funnay! What if Fox News had been around thro...
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