‘Bone Tomahawk’ is a Western without the formula

The other day, I re-watched Bone Tomahawk for I think the fourth time, and that one just as good as the first if not better. The same weekend I saw the original Django starring Franco Nero, and it impressed me in a similar way despite them not having anything in common beyond being Westerns and noticeably gory.

Continue reading “‘Bone Tomahawk’ is a Western without the formula”

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Law is obeyed of respect, power obeyed of fear

The other day, the Odessa American reported on the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute’s event on policing, and as reported, the featured guests said some troubling things.

First, both outgoing Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson and Odessa Police Chief Tim Burton suggested folks ought to comply with whatever an officer tells them to do in order to protect themselves.

Now, women in the audience might not feel completely comfortable following that advice if interacting with former police officer Salvador Becerra during a traffic stop or former deputy Alfred John Herrera once in jail.

Or maybe that’s not fair. Only rarely do peace officers sexually assault people they have in their custody.

Continue reading “Law is obeyed of respect, power obeyed of fear”

Meat isn’t murder, but it will be one day

The final entry in my friend’s initial question/topic of discussion series involves humans and domesticated animals.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the meat and dairy industry but I have way too many things to say about that.

That’s quite an open-ended prompt, although we talked about it in more detail in person over a lunch that included tacos with pig meat.

I expect proceeding generations to view my own meat consumption and use of animal products in the same way we now view the behavior of Nazis and slavers, and yet I don’t think this will change anything.

Continue reading “Meat isn’t murder, but it will be one day”

After 20 years, ‘Oz’ has lost most of its magic

The other day I started watching the HBO series Oz. Going in, my expectations were that it was a serious drama from the late 1990s with a brutal depiction of prison life including lots of sexual assault and violence but altogether of high quality.

That’s not unwarranted, but through four seasons it’s mainly been interesting because it’s so completely a product of its era that it feels like it was produced in another country.

Continue reading “After 20 years, ‘Oz’ has lost most of its magic”

Elvis liked little girls, or ‘How do you enjoy music played on an ivory piano?’

The other day my somewhat young friend shared some of the things they’d been turning over in their mind and in the process, infected me with a word virus that left me turning it over in my own mind.

Continue reading “Elvis liked little girls, or ‘How do you enjoy music played on an ivory piano?’”

Donald Trump isn’t president yet, but he’s already started bombing

The other day the candidates finished up the last of three presidential debates after a year and a half of serious campaigning, and the only thing left on the calendar is Election Day itself. Now the final hours of the election are unfolding like the extended director’s cut of Return of the King: we’re ready for it to be over any time now, but there’s still much more than you need or want ahead.

So the 2016 Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner just happened, and because there are pageviews to get and 24 hours of cable to fill and politics are consumed and pored over by laymen like Westerosi genealogies, it wasn’t just another private white-tie fundraiser for New York Catholics and other elite figures to mingle and lightly roast one another; it was a public occasion open to anyone with cable or YouTube and another subject to fill conversation for the chattering classes we can now all count ourselves among thanks to the steady march of progress and the Internet.

Donald Trump gave his speech; Hillary Clinton gave hers. They each apparently gave two versions of their talks because that’s how people reacted to it. Ideology is a prism for splitting the light from any event into your preferred spectrum, and we’re lucky enough to have plenty of sources available to better crystalize our thoughts, whatever the ideology.

Continue reading “Donald Trump isn’t president yet, but he’s already started bombing”

A Social Justice Society would be a lot more interesting

The other day, I made a long and nerdy social justice warrior post on io9 in response to Evan Narcisse’s article about the hero Nighthawk.

My response doesn’t cover any new ground, and it certainly won’t change anyone’s minds, but I spent some time on it, and it’s as close to writing fiction as I think I’ve got in me these days.

With some revisions, here’s my case for retconning and reinterpreting more characters to have diverse backgrounds:

Continue reading “A Social Justice Society would be a lot more interesting”

You can’t ‘Just Say No’ to weed because pot smokers are like cat owners

The other day, I went to one of the nearby recreational marijuana shops and got a few things for the house. None of us smoke regularly, but we do host people a lot, and a guest’s recent description of me as ‘quite the homemaker’ is sadly accurate.

When a friend came over later,  I remembered he didn’t enjoy smoking, so I said that if he’d like to try it again some time, one of the strains I’d gotten was 0% THC, high percentage CBD and would be physically relaxing without being psychoactive. I told him how such an edible had helped me when I pinched a nerve and needed an affordable muscle-relaxer.

He declined then mentioned how he’s noticed that weed seems to be the only drug that people will continue to push on a person after they’ve heard you don’t want to do it.

After thinking on it, I think I figured out why.

Continue reading “You can’t ‘Just Say No’ to weed because pot smokers are like cat owners”

It’s time to drop out of the Electoral College

The other day, Will Holford wrote an interesting column supposedly explaining the ongoing value of the Electoral College and presidential primary process.

What’s especially interesting is that he spent no real time talking about primaries, and none of what he said about the Electoral College ended up making sense. Continue reading “It’s time to drop out of the Electoral College”