Sun-Earther

irregular burbling

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February 26, 2004

Tinfoil hat time

Happily, it looks like the case against Katherine Gun, the GCHQ whistleblower has been dropped shortly after her defence demanded that the government disclose Lord Goldsmith's advice on the legality of the Iraq war. Excellent. But why not publish the advice?

In the run-up to the war, Tony Blair repeatedly pledged not to take Britain to war in breach of international law and repeatedly claimed that Lord Goldsmith's advice was that the war would be legal. However, he has since repeatedly refused to publish that advice. It seems to me that if Blair has been telling the truth about these things then he can only benefit from the publication of Lord Goldsmith's advice. As some of his ministers are so fond of telling the public in relation to compulsory ID cards: you've nothing to worry about unless you've got something to hide ...

But that's not the point I wanted to make. I wanted to draw attention to an interesting detail from a statement she made at a recent press conference (my emphasis below):

"The intelligence services do important and necessary work, but listen to your conscience is what I would advise. I know it's very difficult and people don't want to jeopardise their careers or lives, but if there are things out there that should really come out, hey, why not."

People blowing the whistle on our intelligence services are jeopardising their lives? Did she really mean that? Who knows, but I'll just wrap this post up with the following two open letters sent by several doctors questioning the verdict of suicide on the death of Doctor David Kelly ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,3604,1131833,00.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4856799-103683,00.html

Posted by Jonah at 10:50 AM

February 25, 2004

Total recall

This is a spoof ... isn't it ... ?

(via scribot)

Posted by Jonah at 12:22 PM | Comments (2)

There's always one

Jan Jarventaus sees my top ten films and raises me his top "fifty" (for values of fifty that equal twenty, it appears, heh). Let's take a look at some of them.

1) Once Upon a Time in the West
Excellent film, of course, like almost all Leone/Morricone collaborations. Apparently, Leone wanted to cast Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach for the three gunslingers who meet Harmonica Man off the train at the beginning in order to show just how incredibly fucking nails he actually is. In my opinion Wallach's Tuco would have been perfect for the scene with the fly caught in the gunbarrel! Unfortunately, Leon couldn't get one or all of the actors to do it. Shame - would've been great.

2) Blade Runner
Jan is completely right about the mighty Rutger Hauer - a man who even managed to bring some dignity to selling beer (unlike that poor cunt in the Hofmeister bear suit). However, having Rutger Hauer does not guarantee a quality film (cf Blind Fury). The Vangelis soundtrack is another feature that makes this film pants-wettingly good.

10) Happiness
Oh yes, what a fine, fine film! Totally hilarious and with a very satisfying "mad as hell" moment at the end. However, you'd think that the sound of hammering would mean that chap's wife was able to sneak up on him mid-tug!

12) 2001: A Space Odyssey
Undoubtedly an SF milestone, however for me it's edged out in the bong-addled science fiction stakes by John Carpenter's Dark Star.

17) Deliverance
Imagine if this film was pitched in Hollywood today. The main characters go canoeing and one of them gets fucked up the arse. The film would end up with them goin on a (heavily edited for gore) revenge rampage through the Hillbilly community, with a final set-piece bullet-time shootout with a corrupt "Boss" and his cadre of sinister be-shaded redneck cops.

Now imagine Boorman trying to get a studio to let him make Zardoz. Heh. A-heh-heh!

I look forward to the other thirty mate!

Posted by Jonah at 10:44 AM

Pop-up ads are annoying

Crappily-named consultants Bunnyfoot Universality have come up with astonishing research showing that pop-up ads annoy web users. Well, spank my arse and call me Shirley - who'd have thought it? I wonder if those clueless cunts on That UK Netmarketing mailing list will finally twig now.

Pah, probably not on past performance. (grumble)

Posted by Jonah at 10:35 AM

February 20, 2004

kill your brain

Do not play this if you have any respect for your nervous system and especially not if you are epileptic. Garrrrrrrr.

Do not play this if you are offended by flowers, bizarre hummingbird/insect hybrids or naked japanese ladies.

Posted by Jonah at 2:53 PM

February 17, 2004

grow

Speaking of strange flash games ... the structures grow more depending on what order you put them in. This is curiously addictive! I have yet to get everything to maximum, but I'm getting there. I think the pipe goes on last ...

Posted by Jonah at 6:13 PM | Comments (2)

Wazzah!

The many fighting styles of Donald Rumsfeld is doing the rounds right now. I love this stuff!

I think they forgot "eight bullshitting liar fists" and "wonder palm-related program activities".

Posted by Jonah at 3:33 PM

February 13, 2004

This week I ar been ...

Giggling at the thought of conjoined mecha in US politics

indulging in inexplicable 80s nostalgia

being slightly disturbed by these surreal redubbings of old GI Joe catroons

miss-spelling "cartoons"

enjoying "When I am King" from back in the day, again

indulging in more inexplicable 80s nostalgia

And finally struggling to fix my Mac when the upgrade from OS X 10.1.3. to Panther broke everything (probably due to some obscure old OS X gui hack I had installed somewhere)

Posted by Jonah at 12:39 PM

February 2, 2004

Films

My current top ten favourite films ever, subject to arbitrary change as always:

  1. Funnyman
  2. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
  3. This is Spinal Tap
  4. Pulp Fiction
  5. The Matrix
  6. Network
  7. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  8. Buddha Fist
  9. Barbarella
  10. The Toughest Man in the World

1. Funnyman (1994)
Funnyman is liable to remain number one on my list of top ten movies for all time. It's gory, hilarious, highly quotable and British, featuring a masterful accent-wandering turn by unknown Tim James as the Funnyman. The supporting cast are fantastic too, including a PC puppeteer with a right-on alternative Punch 'n' Judy show, Velma out of Scooby Doo and the creepy Callum Chance played by Christopher Lee.

Favourite scene: probably the Psychedelic Wig Evening at Club Sexy.

Favourite quote: so many to choose from! "What can you get for 73 quid these days? A wig and a lager!"

2. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)
In my humble opinion not only the greatest western ever made but also one of the greatest films ever made, Sergio Leone's crawling, sprawling masterwork never hits a bum note. From the opening scene which takes minutes before abyone even speaks, the film rightly refuses to sacrifice atmosphere and tension to push the narrative along at a forced pace. The three main characters are all engaging but despite Clint Eastwood's laconic ultracompetence and Lee Van Cleef's sly evil, the film is comprehensively stolen by Eli Wallach's transparent amoral self-serving bandit Tuco.

Favourite scene: what else? The three-way standoff in Sad Hill Cemetary.

Favourite quote: "If you gotta shoot, shoot. Don't talk." Advice to be heeded by all Bond Villains!

3. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
Half-improvised and full to the brim of some of the funniest quotes in cinema, Rob Reiner's spoof "rockumentary" has me guffawing all the way from "enough of my yakkin'" to "what are the hours?" Tap withstands heavily repeated viewing and features many examples of the rarest of all comedy beasts: the comedy song that is actually funny.

Favourite scene: Jazz Odyssey

Favourite quote: so many! In the end I'd have to plump for "so long as there's plenty of sex and drugs I can do without the rock 'n' roll".

4. Pulp Fiction (1994)
OK, so it's an easy choice, and not one you'd pick if you were trying to make out your taste in films is unconventional or obscure but, dammit, I really like Tarantino and this is definitely his best film (pending Kill Bill Vol 2). I dig the non-sequential narrative and the way the three plots interleave, not to mention the belting soundtrack! Let's not forget that the film features the sublime Uma Thurman (on whom I've developed rather a crush of late), a career-defining moment for Samuel L. Jackson and revived the career of Scientology-dupe John Travolta. Ah well, no film's perfect I suppose ...

Favourite scene: Vincent Vega administering the adreneline shot to Mia Wallace.

Favourite quote: "Oh, oh you ready to blow? Well I'm a mushroom cloud layin' mother-fucker, mother-fucker. Every time my fingers touch brain, I'm Super-Fly TNT! I'm the gunes of the Navarrone."

5. The Matrix (1999)
Another easy one from my point of view: when Cres heard that they were releasing a VR/hacker/kung-fu/sci-fi movie she asked me who I'd been bribing at Warner Brothers. A bit po-faced and not very quotable but god-DAMN the kung-fu! Sadly tainted by association with the substandard sequels and with effects so imitated they now seem cliché'd, it's sometimes easy to forget just what a fantastic, ground-breaking film this actually was at the time. Even so, there's no denying that it's a solid, satisfying and literate piece of sci-fi.

Favourite scene: Morpheus and Neo sparring in the construct.

Favourite quote: "Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger ... and you give me my phone call."

6. Network (1976)
I love this film for its cynicism, its depressing ending and its ahead-of-its-time rant about of globalisation. Who can fail to cheer Howard Beal on as he rails against the decay of society and community? Makes me want to get up lean out of my window and shout ... you know what!

Favourite scene: Arthur Jensen pitches the New World Order to Beale.

Favourite quote: the whole Beale rant, but for brevity's sake "So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!'"

7. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
It's not often that you get a kung-fu movie that my girlfriend will not only sit through but actually like, and this film delivers the goods. I'm actually rather glad that Jet Li turned down the role of Li Mu Bai 'cos I reckon that Chow Yun Fat is the better actor and the relationship between Li Mu Bai and Yu Shu Lien would have suffered with Jet Li in the male lead role. Beautiful and melancholy with fantastic fight scene set-pieces and a refreshingly downbeat ending.

Favourite scene: The fight scene where the policeman and his daughter encounter Jade Fox.

Favouite quote: "When it comes to emotions, even great heroes can be idiots."

8. Buddha Fist (1980)
This golden-harvest style chop socky romp has to be my favourite film for kung-fu choreography and unusual fights. A classic, it features fights involving chess-sets, what appears to be a full pencil-holder, a jade buddha on a bit of string, a giant chopper (fnar), a birdcage and the frankly bizarre Holy Ghost Claw. To add to the fun, everyone shouts out the stance and form they're adopting during the fight and the dubbing is comically awful. A beauty!

Favourite scene: the fortune teller fights the chess master.

Favourite quote: "Left hand Buddha Palm! Right hand Buddha Fist! Buddha Fist has the power, Buddha Palm has the technique!"

9. Barbarella (1968)
One of the campest films ever made and featuring a scrumptious Jane Fonda at her prime, this saucy space romp is great fun. Shagpile-lined spaceships, killer dolls, angels and man-bongs it's totally bonkers and has more costume changes than an IBS sufferer on laxatives.

Favourite scene: Dildano and Barbarella make out with pills and telepathy.

Favourite quote: "A great many dramatic situations start with screaming."

10. The Toughest Man in the World (1984)
In this film, Mr T plays a nightclub bouncer trying to ensure the survival of the kid's daycentre that he runs by entering the "Toughest Man in the World" competition! Because he's helluva tough! What more could you possibly want? Features much throwing, a villain named Tanker and the rare sight of Mr T refusing a glass of milk!

Favourite scene: Mr T goes to the council offices.

Favourite quote: "See, I been social, now I'm gonna get some service!"

Posted by Jonah at 11:33 AM