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In a struggle to be happy and free

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Cinema Strangiato: R40+

So Julie and I attended a show this evening.

It was terrific. No recording is like being at a live show but this was pretty darn good, having much of the live R40 concert. Not only was it better than any seats I’ve ever had, but it was more than enough to remind me of the good times I’ve had at their shows. The mix of live performance, interviews with other musicians, and the band’s goofiness was ideal. With all of the Rush-related ads at he beginning (the ad for Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass alone must have been 15 minutes long), it was 2½ hours in length. I thought it was great but I felt bad for Julie. She wanted to come with me not because she likes Rush, but because she likes me! Although I’m pretty sure she doesn’t dislike Rush, I can understand that it could have been a lot to take since she knows little about them and their music.

They’re not touring any more but it was a lovely walk down memory lane. Recommended!


I don’t know who owns the copyright on the marquee poster. Probably Anthem Entertainment, but who knows.

Man From Earth

So there I was, earlier today, looking for something to watch. I came across Jerome Bixby’s Man From Earth on Amazon Prime. I don’t know what it was about the film that had me start it, but start it I did.

I’m not going to offer any spoilers at all because I want you to see this film. It has the best part of good science fiction … namely, it makes you think, “Whoa, imagine that!” So much science fiction does not do that, and is less for it. This is the IMDb synopsis:

An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues he has a longer and stranger past than they can imagine.

Jerome Bixby wrote for Star Trek and The Twilight Zone so you know he knows what’s what. Unfortunately though, this screenplay was his last work before he died.

It’s not a high budget production, but it’s riveting and a fine piece of writing.

Consider this a ‘must see’ recommendation.


Marquee poster ©2006 Man From Earth, LLC

I’m shocked!

The other day, I have a dim recollection of hearing the President of the United States delivering a line from Casablanca, and then having a talking head explain it all. Of course it was a dream right?

Later the same evening, I came across the source of what seemed like a dream, but wasn’t. Obama was giving a speech to the Democratic National Committee in which he offered his thoughts on Donald Trump.

How can you be shocked? This is the guy, remember, who was sure that I was born in Kenya — who just wouldn’t let it go. And all this same Republican establishment, they weren’t saying nothing. As long as it was directed at me, they were fine with it. They thought it was a hoot, wanted to get his endorsement. And then now, suddenly, we’re shocked that there’s gambling going on in this establishment.1

It’s the last sentence. It echoes the scene from the film in which Captain Renault is closing Rick’s Cafe on the orders of German Major Strasser. Since he has no reason to do this, he makes one up.

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]

Croupier: Your winnings, sir.

Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.

Captain Renault: [aloud] Everybody out at once!2

That is one of my favourite lines from the film and I have used it in conversation. It was especially timely as I just watched Casablanca again recently with Julie, because she had never seen it before. We certainly had to fix that! Then a couple of weeks later, this!

I find it curious that the television news report felt the need to explain it while the Washington Post article did not.


  1. Nora Chokshi, “Obama’s brutal assessment of the rise of Donald Trump: He’s ‘selling stuff like it’s the Home Shopping Network’” from The Washington Post (as reprinted in The National Post), March 12, 2016.
  2. Casablanca,” The Internet Movie Database, retrieved March 15, 2016.

Disney and the dinosaur

Disney has a few motion picture out called The Good Dinosaur. The picture posits the question,

What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.1

Spot (top) and Arlo (bottom)…and never the twain shall meet.2

The problem is that the extinction of the dinosaurs opened up a plethora of environmental niches that other creatures then filled. While the dinosaurs were around, mammals eked out an existence in the background because the dinosaurs had a lock on those niches. It took the removal of the dinosaurs for our ancestors to have a chance to expand their physical/environmental ranges. Put simply, had the dinosaurs not gone extinct, the odds of our being here now alongside dinosaurs are not even worth considering. It never would have happened.

I shouldn’t be surprised as Disney has a great love of re-writing both history and myth in the most unnecessarily ridiculous ways.


  1. From http://movies.disney.com/the-good-dinosaur, retrieved December 17, 2015
  2. Photo from: ibid

The bad word games?

There are always a dozen kerfuffles happening on the Internet at any time (rounding down to the nearest billion), but this one has to be one of the dullest ever. As you no doubt know, the second part of the last Hunger Games picture is coming out in November. Lionsgate released an ad to let us know we have only 100 days to wait:

Well, it didn’t take long for some to notice an unintended naughty word that came about because of the overlapping text, highlighted here in white:

Honestly? I never would have noticed. I also find it really difficult to get even mildly worked up about it because it was obviously unintended. I won’t be surprised if some people are unbelievably offended, angry, and upset, because no matter what happens, someone is always unbelievably offended, angry, and upset.


Image is probably ©2015 Lions Gate Entertainment but I’m not sure.

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