Tuesday, October 6, 2015
The symbolism is telling - At the same time that Vladimir Putin sent the Russian military into Syria guns blazing, President Obama was hosting an events for transgender people and their bathrooms entitled "A safe place to pee". I do not mean any disrespect to transgender people but the priorities shown here are lacking.
Truth is the creation of ISIS was a two step process 1.) The Iraq War eliminating the secular dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and destabilizing Iraq 2.) Training anti- Assad rebels under the guise of regime change in Syria but instead empowering Jihadists with their own agenda. You can argue whether or not 2 was deliberate. I believe it was as the Pentagon documents obtained through legal action by Judicial Watch leave very little room for thinking this was the result of incompetence, an accident.
Couple this with the anti-Russian provocations of the Bush and Obama administrations from the so called Orange revolution to NATO renigging on agreements about how close they would be to Russia physically to the US actually siding with Neo Nazis and blocking a UN resolution condemning their rise in Europe to the Ukraine coup against a democratically elected government which I wrote about here http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.my/2014/03/egypt-ukraine-venezuela-and-ned.html
The bottom line - poke the bear with a stick sooner or later it is going to bite you back.
In addition, the Jihadists of ISIS are starting to spill into Chechnya and Dagestan creating problems for Russia there.
The biggest problem in the world today is an out of control dying empire the United States. In its death throes it causes more and more destruction and disorder around the world. Maybe Russia can save the world again like they did in World War II both through force and through setting up an alternate banking system with China which I wrote about here http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.my/2015/07/the-most-important-under-reported-story.html
The reason the season finale of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD was so successful is that it finally revealed what the show is actually about - The effect of the zombie outbreak on individuals in particular Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis).
Manawa's journey from pacifist school teacher to shell shocked survivor unafraid of using violence happened quickly but it made sense. His two actions in the finale a.) Beating the soldier they had kidnapped to a pulp after she shoots b.) Killing his ex-wife Liza per her request after she reveals at the conclusion of the episode she had been bitten by a zombie were perfect expressions of what has changed in him.
I enjoyed the storylines of the original WALKING DEAD comic book more than the black and white art which I always thought looked unfinished. However, I find the cast and the pre-zombie narrative of FEAR as it turns into a full fledged epidemic to be potentially more interesting than the TV version of the original WALKING DEAD. Curtis as Manawa, for one, is a vastly superior protagonist than Rick Grimes as played by Andrew Lincoln who IMO just doesn't fit the Rick character. He doesn't seem hardened nor particularly expressive as he encounters all types of horrors and conflict and death.
I really look forward to where this show is going with Manawa's transformation as well as what the sinister Strand is up to. I almost gave up on the show earlier in the season as it seemed nothing was happening but I am glad I didn't as it is now well on the way of realizing its potential.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Happy to say my poem JOAN OF ARC KILLED BY DRONES is included in the October issue of the art and poetry e-zine The Bitchin' Kitsch - It appears on Page 30
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
COMIC BOOK ROUND-UP- BIRTHDAY THOUGHTS ON JACK KIRBY AND DON PERLIN, JIM APARO AND BATMAN DAY, LUKE CAGE VILLAINS DONE RIGHT, THUNDERBOLTS 2012 REBOOT
Recently was the birthday of Jack Kirby one of the greatest figures in comic book history for the sheer number of classic characters he created or co-created for both DC and Marvel....I especially liked a lot of his early 70's DC creations - The New Gods (especially Mr Miracle), Etrigan the Demon, Kamandi, Omac, Kobra. I also think his work on The Black Panther Marvel solo series is underrated. Where do you start with Kirby? Maybe the first appearances of Galactus and the SIlver Surfer in Fantastic Four #48-50.
Speaking of comic book birthdays, also recently was the birthday of Don Perlin who was the artist who drew two of my favorite comics as a kid - The Defenders and Werewolf By Night. He also co-created another favorite character of mine - Moon Knight (who appeared for the first time in Werewolf By Night).
Yet another recent celebration - Batman day and I'd like to celebrate my favorite artist who drew Batman, Jim Aparo. Aparo drew the human body with great proportion and realistic looking form even when it was in a costume and could also render his characters emotions even when seen through a mask. He also drew great versions of Aquaman and the Spectre as well as all the guest stars in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD team-up book.
Regarding the announcement that the Luke Cage Power Man Netflix miniseries (following Daredevil and Jessica Jones and to be followed by Iron Fist and the Defenders) has cast two of his villains, Cottonmouth and Black Mariah. One thing I always liked about Cage's villains was how exaggerated in physical appearance they were like Dick Tracy foes (Flattop, Pruneface etc.). Hopefully, the series follows this and doesn't go the wretched Gotham/Agents of SHIELD route - that would be tragic and sad.
Also recently read the 2012 Marvel NOW reboot of the THUNDERBOLTS series - The line-up is Red Hulk, Punisher, Elektra, Deadpool, and Venom (replaced by Ghost Rider later) with assistance from Red Leader. So far it's excellent with art from Steve Dillon who drew most of the issues of the awesome Punisher MAX title and great conflict chemistry - Heroes working together who hate each other. These particular characters were a good choice for a super team and the writers working on this series get what they are about and how to show them relating to each other also superb action sequences!
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Hate to say it but Donald Trump did well - More subdued, more specifics, a little less nonsense exuded the sense he was the frontrunner. Personally, I thought Rand Paul and John Kasich were really good and had answers that could connect with the electorate at large not just the Republican base. Ben Carson came off as thoughtful, a decent person but also befuddled, slightly lost - I think he connects with evangelicals better than anyone this time around which is why his poll numbers are high. Jeb Bush was awful - he really got beat down by Trump in those early exchanges. The point where he slapped Trump's hand high five was like he was Trump's b*tch. Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio were very aggressive but all of them peppered their comments with factual inaccuracies and ridiculous silly misstatements. Ted Cruz is creepy, the stilted way he speaks to the camera is like a teenage boy at a public speaking contest and is really awkward. Truth is Trump has killed almost everyone's else campaign (especially Scott Walker). It's Trump's world until something happens to change that.
1.) John Kasich supports the Iran Deal and is against government shutdowns???? Good for him but it wont earn him many votes in today's GOP.
2.) Jeb Bush is a cowardly weasel. His Kim Davis answer was such a pretzel! How he avoided confrontation made me wince. He's no John Kasich that's for sure.
3.) Some people are deliberately dumb and some people are actually stupid - less intelligent than others. I think Carly Fiorina is the latter. Linking the Iran Deal and Planned Parenthood? but she did have a good jab at Trump.
4.) Give credit where credit is due. Donald Trump bringing up North Korea's nuclear program when everyone is talking about Iran was a good answer.
5.) "I hear your wife is a lovely woman" Donald Trump to Jeb Bush LOL
6.) Marco Rubio cue the heartwarming music. My grandfather only spoke Spanish, my father was a bartender blah blah blah.
7.) Donald Trump can talk about birthright citizenship all he likes. You are going to have to amend or get rid of the 14th amendment to change that (which is not going to happen). Rand Paul's comment about no direct Supreme Court decision on illegals is a good point.
8.) Carley Fiorina's answer about her tenure at HP if I understand it is HP got really successful after I left LOL. Trump thrashed her pretty good.
9.) Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson tax answers were embarrassing. When it comes to how much tax working people pay, both want to Duggar America.
10.) Rumor going around Twitter is Chris Christie is eating potato chips between answers LOL. Seriously though, he seems a bit desperate to interject himself tonight. He's in 11th place and almost didn't make it to the main stage.
11.) Jeb Bush is having a terrible night - He just said he would consult foreign policy team from his brother's administration. Even Republicans think those guys were complete failures.
12.) Ben Carson not only opposed the Iraq War but Afghanistan too??? Interesting Also Chris Christie lying again about being appointed on September 10th.
13.) Marco Rubio "Some problems cannot be solved by intellect" LOL
14.) Rand Paul killing it on marijuana decriminalization. Excellent! "The federal government has gone too far on the war on drugs "Ben Carson highlight - vaccines in and of themselves don't cause autism, gently chiding Trump.
15.) Silly questions segment - What woman would you put on currency? Mike Huckabee - my wife, Ben Carson - my mom, Donald Trump - my daughter Ivanka, Also Carly Fiorina said she'd like her secret service name to be Secretariat (race horse).
16.) Will be interested in seeing the speaking time totals for each candidate. Really weird how some speak for huge chunks of time others are mostly silent. Most silent of all are the moderators.
Monday, September 14, 2015
Some other thoughts....
1.) Tennis history wise, this, his 10th grand slam title, ties Djokovic for fifth place in number of career grand slam tournaments won. If you only count the Open era then he's fourth. I don't think he can catch Federer at 17 but I do think he can catch Sampras/Nadal second place at 14. Needs to win more four grand slams which is not out of the question for a #1 in the world fit 28 year old.
2.) Forget about Serena Williams, Djokovic also reached all four grand slam finals this year. He must really be thinking about that French Open final loss now although I don't think there was much he could have done. Wawrinka was on fire that day
3.) Speaking of Serena WiIlliams tough loss for her. Better luck next year. But for now Steffi Graf is still the greatest of all time.
4.) If the NYPD is looking to brutalize more people they can start with people who yell during a player's service toss or clap when serves go into the net or at double faults. The US Open seems to be the worst of the slams for that type of disruptive audience behavior.
5.) Just happened to notice the single trophy still reads Lawn Tennis Championship. They haven't played on grass since the 70's although grass court tennis I find more interesting to watch and it is better for the body than hard court.
6.) I dug Federer's outfit - white with pink trim. A perfect balance, not too flashy.
7.) As he ages, Roger Federer looks more and more like Quentin Tarantino and a younger Morrissey.
8.) The way Federer plays, he could play forever as his type of play doesn't take a lot of wear and tear on the body. The law of averages of him winning at least one more grand slam tournament is there. I still have hope.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
The question of what the first Libertines record in twelve years sounds like is akin to what sartorial and grooming changes a man goes through between his early 20's and his mid 30's. This record is cleaner and slower. The standout tracks are the ballads the piano driven You're My Waterloo and semi-acoustic Iceman. There are noteworthy rockers such as Glasgow Coma Scale Blues but most tracks are mid-tempo singalongs such as The Milkman's Horse. A more disciplined approach to recording and better musicianship (perhaps both a result of sobriety) yields a very good record that on songwriting ,removed from the anarchic playing of inspired youth, is somewhat on the level of their first two brilliant records.
Helen - THE ORIGINAL FACES
This is My Bloody Valentine filtered 3rd hand - A grandchild rather than a child of the original shoegazer sound. More from the Bilinda Butcher side of things with unintelligible female vocals that alternately soar above, push, and tug the melodies. It never gets too heavy alternating between poppy bursts of sunshine like Motorcycle and Alison and moodier tracks that still swing such as Dying All the Time. Fast and enjoyable!