Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Screed on Weed

Now here's a real convincing argument on why pot should be illegal:
Do you know why we don't see potheads out in public? It's because they're sitting at home smoking weed and staring at their television sets or playing video games all day. Do you have any idea how many marijuana addicts I encounter at my rehab on a daily basis? They talk about wanting to be productive. But what pot does is it kills their motivation -- it destroys people's ability to go out and work and to have a career. It makes them want to do nothing but lie around all day.
Oh, did I say argument?  I mean "argument."  Let's see....stereotyping, over-generalizing, blatant distortion.  Check, check and check.  This guy should go meet some of the stoners I've known.  Oh, they get plenty of couch time, sure....who doesn't?  But they also run the gamut from attorneys to computer programmers to artists.

The telling statement is this:
Do you have any idea how many marijuana addicts I encounter at my rehab on a daily basis?
No, I do not.  And who cares?  Because of the selection effect, this guy only sees the burnouts who can put their lives on hold to go to rehab.  How many high-functioning potheads has this guy seen out in public?  Probably more than he knows...

Sadly for him, he gives away the store when he delves into his biography:
I know what marijuana does to the human mind because I started smoking weed when I was 15 years old. It literally robbed me of my motivation to participate in my own life. I was absolutely OK with sitting around all day eating cookies and watching television and getting high with my friends. But, to go out and earn a living and do something with my life? That was all stuff that I was going to do later after I came down off of the marijuana. But, then I'd smoke some more and think, "Why bother?" . . . and, eventually, I started shooting heroin. 
 Wait....heroin?  What?

This poor dude wasn't a pothead, per se.  Oh, he smoked bales of it on his way to being a full-blown junkie, sure, but he could never be a pothead because pot wasn't good enough for him.  It failed him.  He needed more...   Is that where this bitterness is coming from?

This is bitterness, right?
And my kid, he's going to know the truth about you. He's going to know that every time you approach him arguing for the legalization of marijuana, what you're really doing is asking him to vote to make it OK for you to spend the rest of your life half-baked on your sofa, too stoned to go out and play with your own kids or do the things you've always dreamed of doing. To my kid, I'm going to say that this means one less competitor on his road to a successful and fulfilling life. 
Okay, dude.  Whatever you say.

Truth be told, the way this guy goes on, it makes me want to go World Star on him.  This is way bigger than some sad dick head's "bad times on weed" tale.

The black market in the stuff is out of control, so prohibition has a strike there.  I mean, I think snatching away such a cash cow from the Mexican drug gangs and giving it to hippies with grow lights would be a good idea.  Taxing it to help pay for all this shit we want but don't want to pay for would also be a good idea.

Will there be people with addiction problems?  Sure.  There's addiction problems with a lot of perfectly legal things already.  A junkie is going to become a junkie no matter how he gets there, whether it's weed, beer, or something else.  But not everyone who smokes weed becomes a fucking junkie.

So let's think about the cookie makers and the video game companies and the couch manufacturers for once and just legalize the shit already.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Seriously, what the fuck? 

It has been cold, gray, and downright autumnal the last few days.  I hate it. 

It's only August!  I haven't even had any time off this summer and it's fucking autumnal already? I can't handle that, man. 

Then football starts tonight.  Yes, just a bullshit preseason game.  But it's NFL football.  I'm stuck at work, but we have TVs. 

And just as the game starts, it's starts pouring rain.  The dish on the roof is inundated.  The picture goes Skinemax fuzzy.

When the rain stops.....the starters are back on the bench and the scrubs are already in.  Seriously.....WHAT THE FUCK?

The Freak-Out Bunker

This made me laugh:
For Rand (and Ron) Paul, the dread specter of fiscal collapse and hyperinflation is more of a generalized fact of life than something that depends on particular "numbers." The whole political rise of the Pauls since 2008 owes a great deal to the economic crisis and the resulting spike in the deficit, which drove large numbers of people to join the freak-out bunker where the Pauls have resided all along. Of course Rand Paul isn't going to notice the apocalypse is receding — its imminent appearance is a fixed piece of his worldview.
 I have to say....the fact that there are many Republicans flirting with "Rand Paul For President" ideas should tell you all you need to know about Rand Paul and the GOP.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Not Really Impressed With This Summer's Movies

I finally saw Man of Steel last night.  My reluctance was mostly due to the movie's running time, which my lower-back determined would be better experienced lying prone on my couch than folded uncomfortably into one of the seats at the multi-plex.

But I was a trooper.  Only got up once to stretch.

And while it was clear that Man of Steel was a very well-made movie, something was lacking.  Indeed, it was lacking in The Lone Ranger, too, another big summer movie, and if this review is to be believed, it will be lacking in the upcoming Elysium too.

So it says:
At last week’s screening, while I sat eating GMO popcorn and sipping high-fructose lemonade, watching a $100 million, cliché-riddled exercise that glorified guns and explosive violence, I thought to myself: We are doomed.
 I'm not so sure we are "doomed" per se, nor am I concerned about glorified guns and explosive violence.  (I'm firmly in the "It's just catharsis" camp on that stuff.)

What bothers me is the "cliche-riddled" stuff.  What bothers me is the complete lack of story-telling craft in these movies.  We're talking about one-dimensional characters moving through poorly conceived plots.  We're talking about films that nailed the execution but totally failed in conception.

Why would you make a movie called The Lone Ranger, then make the actual Lone Ranger be a pacifist wimp until the very last act?  Are you trying to make his transformation from zero to hero implausible? 

And me, if I cast a star as big as Johnny Depp in the second fiddle role, then I would try and cast as big a star in the lead role.  That way you don't have to tack on superfluous sub-plots to justify hiring the star.

And how about just one climax?  One that has an actual emotional pay-off, instead of the one that just neatly ties up all the goofy plot's loose ends.

Not to ruin Man of Steel for you, since this shouldn't really be a surprise, but after Superman saves the world, that should have been it.  Bam, credits.  Movie's over.  Go home.

But oh no, after Superman saves the world, there's MORE.  He has to go fight General Zod, mano a mano, giving you two climaxes for the price of one.  (Maybe that's how the thinking goes...)

Me, I watched that and thought, "What if there were a clever screenwriter out there who could conceive a climax where Superman saves the world and defeats General Zod all at the same time?"  It could have been done.

I think what's happening here, though, is business, pure business.  They write the script to get the budget, and once they get the budget, they get so distracted by what you can do with modern filmmaking that you lose sight of some of the intangibles. 

Sure, you can engineer an amazing train crash or destroy Metropolis in the most beautiful way possible, but you can't make me care.