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The Many Colors of Dixie-Chink

Musings of a Confederate A.B.C.


January 21st, 2013

Anonymous Speaks @ 01:36 am

I do not normally agree with 100% of Anonymous's socio-politial issues.  But I find that they bring things to the light of day that often need speaking; i.e. "The Emperor Has No Clothes".  I was surprised to learn of this video, and I am posting it here to spread awareness of it.  Watch it.  Follow up on the cited sources.  Think on it.  Pass the word along of the message. 

 

January 16th, 2013

Educate Yourself "What is an Assault Weapon?" @ 09:13 pm

A forum colleague of mine made this presentation.  It is clean, concise, simple, and factual.  It explains to the layman and everyday citizen what needs to be known about assault weapons, assault rifles, and what is an everyday sporting/hunting rifle.

http://www.assaultweapon.info/

Please pass this on to anyone you know who could benefit from learning the facts.


*Edited To Ad Some Humor*

The embedded video below was passed along to me, it's a rather funny short about some folks trying to get gun control supporters to put up "This House Is Proudly Gun Free" signs in their yards.  The results might be somewhat telling in how people reacted...

 

January 12th, 2013

Who Really Needs An AR15? @ 01:48 pm


This is from a friend's journal.  It's articulate and sums up a great deal of the sentiment and reasoning behind my own support of the Second Amendment and its affirmation of our Human Right to keep and bear arms.  I really couldn't have said it better myself.

Originally posted by mzmadmike at Who Really Needs An AR15?

This question has been bandied about by people who don't know guns, as some sort of rhetorical trump.  The answer is somewhat complicated for people not versed in the subject, but I'm going to have a whack at it.


The AR15 is a development of an earlier rifle in a larger caliber—the .308 caliber AR10.  The "AR" is from Armalite, the designing company, which at the time (early 1950s) was a division of Fairchild Aircraft.  Some of the most sophisticated alloys and machining techniques were used in its development.


Keep that timeline in mind—1950s.  AR15s have been in military use since 1959, and on the civilian market since 1963—longer than most of you have been alive.  If you're just now becoming aware of them, you're 50 years, half a century, behind the curve.  There have been improvements in this time, but it's been around for two generations.  This might even be your grandfather's gun.  The 30 round magazine, by the way, has been STANDARD CAPACITY for 40 years.  You don't get to redefine it as "high capacity" just because you've recently become aware of it.


The AR15 receiver is made of light, very strong aluminum alloys, to quite tight tolerances.  The barrel and operating parts are various steel alloys, chosen for specific characteristics.  The gun weighs 5-9 lbs depending on configuration.  This is quite light, at the bottom end for rifles, which makes it easier to handle for smaller people.  It's a fact that without the AR15, and its military analog the M16 (which fires in full auto or burst, which civilian AR15s are not capable of), there would be a lot less women in the armed forces or shooting sports.  Not only are earlier self-loading rifles heavier, they usually have heavier springs and operating masses, beyond the capability of many women and smaller men, and youths, to operate.


Also, the AR15 operates by what is called "direct gas impingement."  Instead of using barrel gas pressure to shove a piston to work the action, the gas directly hits the bolt carrier—the cycling part of the action.  There are pluses and minuses to this, but the big plus is a much lighter operating mass.  That means a lot less recoil, which makes shooting easier, and more accurate, for everyone, and makes it usable by some small people for whom a bigger rifle would cause bruising and injury.


It generally comes in 5.56mm, or .223 Remington, developed from what was considered a "varmint" round in the 1950s. Again, there are pluses and minuses.  One plus is that a lighter cartridge means even LESS recoil.  So again, there's an advantage for smaller people.  It's still an advantage to larger people, because recoil itself doesn't offer ANY advantage.  It's a side effect of shooting.  The less side effect, the better.  Also, it's more powerful than a handgun.  The recent case of a lady firing 5 shots from her revolver http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57562397-504083/georgia-mother-hides-children-shoots-intruder-5-times-during-home-invasion-police-say/ without reliably stopping the attacker is an indication that handguns have limitations.


I mentioned "5-9 lbs depending on configuration."  The AR15 is a brilliant design that can be changed in caliber, barrel length and even stock type in a few moments, literally a matter of seconds for most changes in barrel or caliber, by swapping out an entire assembly held in place with two pins.  You can shoot .22 for practice, .223 for varmints, or .458 SOCOM in a carbine length for home invaders.  You can attach a heavier barreled assembly for long range target shooting or sniping.


And the adjustable stock, that 'evil feature' that makes it an 'assault weapon' to some people, means it can be adjusted to fit shooters of different statures or wearing various clothing –parkas vs T-shirts.


Detachable magazines do enable faster reloading, which is a good thing.  Fumbling with a gun while someone is trying to kill you is a bad thing.  Also, a detachable magazine makes it easier to UNLOAD a weapon, which also increases safety.


So, it's a light, versatile, reliable, accurate, easy and safe to use weapon that is excellent for home defense, pest control, recreational shooting and making a political point against invaders and tyrants.  Every home should have a few.


As far as the AK47, it has some advantages over the AR15, some disadvantages, and generally costs ½ to 2/3 as much, so it's better for people on a budget.


Now, let's address some of the snide comments people are going to want to post.


Its political opponents like to bleat, "Guns are only good for killing," as if they've discovered some profound revelation, are standing on some moral peak, or have played some kind of trump.


Well, no, that is not true.  However, as far as killing, or at least stopping people, it is pretty good, and quite accurate.  They also seem to think that killing is a bad thing.  It's not.  Murder is a bad thing.  Killing should generally be avoided, but thousands of years of Common Law, and most state laws, do not prohibit the killing of an attacker, if your own life is threatened.  And unless you're Chuck Norris, an AR15 is a much better tool for this than your fists or a kitchen knife.


There's also the possibility of local or national insurrection or despotism.  While the US has avoided this so far, it is not an impossibility.  It has happened in dozens of prosperous, liberal nations over the last century.  If you deny this fact, or the possibility, please stop reading now and go back to your reality shows.


Don't take my word for it, though.  Let's see what the Supreme Court has to say:



There are many reasons why the militia was thought to
be “necessary to the security of a free state.” See 3 Story
§1890. First, of course, it is useful in repelling invasions
and suppressing insurrections. Second, it renders large
standing armies unnecessary—an argument that Alexander
Hamilton made in favor of federal control over the
militia. The Federalist No. 29, pp. 226, 227 (B. Wright ed.
1961) (A. Hamilton). Third, when the able-bodied men of
a nation are trained in arms and organized, they are better
able to resist tyranny.
Cite as: 554 U. S. ____ (2008)



~~~



The most significant of these commentators was Joseph
Story. Contrary to the Court’s assertions, however, Story
actually supports the view that the Amendment was
designed to protect the right of each of the States to maintain
a well-regulated militia. When Story used the term
“palladium” in discussions of the Second Amendment, he
merely echoed the concerns that animated the Framers of
the Amendment and led to its adoption. An excerpt from
his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United
States—the same passage cited by the Court in Miller34—
merits reproducing at some length:

“The importance of [the Second Amendment] will
scarcely be doubted by any persons who have duly reflected
upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence
of a free country against sudden foreign invasions,
domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of
power by rulers.

...."The right of the citizens
to keep and bear arms has justly been considered
as the palladium of the liberties of a republic, since it
offers a strong moral check against the usurpation
and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even
if these are successful in the first instance, enable the
people to resist and triumph over them."



~~~



3. Relationship between Prefatory Clause and
Operative Clause
We reach the question, then: Does the preface fit with
an operative clause that creates an individual right to
keep and bear arms? It fits perfectly, once one knows the
history that the founding generation knew and that we
have described above. That history showed that the way
tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the able bodied
men was not by banning the militia but simply by
taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or
standing army to suppress political opponents.
This is
what had occurred in England that prompted codification
of the right to have arms in the English Bill of Rights.



~~~



Story’s Commentaries
also cite as support Tucker and Rawle, both of
whom clearly viewed the right as unconnected to militia
service. See 3 Story §1890, n. 2; §1891, n. 3. In addition,
in a shorter 1840 work Story wrote: “One of the ordinary
modes, by which tyrants accomplish their purposes without
resistance, is, by disarming the people, and making it
an offence to keep arms, and by substituting a regular
army in the stead of a resort to the militia.” A Familiar
Exposition of the Constitution of the United States §450
(reprinted in 1986).


All from District of Columbia vs Heller, 2008.



There.  Several references to being able to fight a tyrannical government, all from four years ago, from the highest court in the land.  DC lost, by the way.


So, yes, the AR15 is made to kill people, and there are some people who need killing, so says common law, codified law, and the Supreme @#$ing Court.  Therefore, if you say, "The only purpose of a gun is to kill people," you're not entirely correct, but you are in fact making a statement that supports gun ownership. Thanks.  We're glad you've figured it out.  One of the main purposes of guns is to kill people who need killing.


"When all you have is a hammer, all your problems look like nails."


No. However, when the problem IS a nail, beating it with a screwdriver accomplishes nothing, and beating it with your fists only causes injury to yourself.  One well-placed hammer blow makes the problem go away.  Thanks for playing.


Just to reinforce this, here's the money quote from Heller:


http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/07-290.pdf


"Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding."."


~~~


In America we have a constitutional right to own modern firearms for the purpose of killing people who need killing to defend ourselves, our communities and our nation.  If you don't like it, there is no law stopping you from leaving.  In fact, as an immigrant myself, I'd encourage you to find a nation better suited to your philosophy, as I did, and move there, as I have done.  In exchange, I have friends and relatives overseas who'd be happy to swap with you.


And my daughter thinks you're a sissy:


 

December 15th, 2012

He's dead, Jim... @ 10:56 am

So it's weird...

There's something about distance between yourself and people that you knew and liked, maybe not quite friends but better than simple acquaintances, you used to chat or follow their lives and work perhaps...  but you moved, they moved, or you started putting off reaching out to communicate- often intending to get around to it 'soon'. 

Maybe you knew each other only through online.  Maybe it was geographic distance.  Maybe it was evolving circles of friends that changed.  For whatever reason you lose touch with them.  Months go by without either of you contacting each other, perhaps even years.  Then one day on a whim, or maybe through a friend of a friend, you reach out to see if they are still around...

...and you find out they're dead.

It's worst when it happens within the span of weeks or months of when you just recently thought of them.  Like you feel as if you failed them somehow.  There's a lack of closure.  And they're already buried and their friends and families have had their closure, but you won't.  To you, it's hard to imagine that they are dead and gone.  But the realization is there, they're gone.  How do you react?  Do you grieve?  Do you bury the thoughts and feelings back where they were before you even thought of them, comfortable in ignorance as you were?  What if you feel like you were better off not knowing at all?

This has happened to me three times now in recent memory.  Each time, I feel like I just sort of shut down emotionally.  A twinge of regret, some sense of sadness that starts to rise like a sour burp and then is suppressed and disappears.  Eventually I shrug and move on with life.  I wonder if I hadnt even been told, if I would have reacted even for the brief moment that I did.  Was it a show?  Did I feel like I owed it to have some sort of human reaction?  Is it normal to not dwell at all? 

Some other folks I have talked to who lose close loved ones, start to just find it easier to deal with deaths of other less intimate faces without caring as much.  Maybe they do actually, but it doesn't show as openly.  Maybe they are all 'grieved out' and there's a sort of acceptance and realization that the dead don't care, they're beyond showy displays and giving a crap what people think.  Others seem to think each and every loss deserves some kind of public acknowledgement.  They want to talk things out, to share details of lives and experiences that are now lost.  It's like they want some sort of validation from the people left behind that they cared.  I don't know.  I tend to side with the former POV, the latter feels alien and inaccessible to me. 

If I concentrate, I feel a lost sense of fondness for these people that I knew.  But I don't think about them ...not much anyhow.  It's easy to forget about people.  It takes virtually no effort at all.  But every now and again something will remind me of someone I knew, maybe a shared joke, or something that will twitch the corners of my lips with sentimentality or nostalgia.  And then I feel a twinge of guilt for not being warm enough or human enough to have said something, to have made some kind of gesture after the fact.  But then the moment passes.

And I keep wondering, if I hadn't even known they were dead, would I even have the same reaction?  Would I have even given them a moment's thought? 

Mankind is so full of expectations.  Even with an audience of only one, the shows we put on for our selves, they continue regardless if anyone even cares.  It's dishonest.  It makes me feel like a dirty liar.

We comfort ourselves by saying we're human.  We desperately want to be seen as more than an animal.  I hate that feeling.  I like it better when I don't feel anything and don't owe anyone any sort of show.

But sometimes, I think I genuinely miss my friends.
 

August 1st, 2012

Laissez Faire Article I Found Interesting @ 05:57 pm

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

It's got a few inaccuracies, but the article below I found to be rather thought-provoking.  I am sure I will still have friends who will pooh-pooh it or call it fascist propaganda, but hey- different strokes right?

Own Guns, So I Don't Have To (July 30, 2012)

Dear Laissez Faire Today reader,

While attending the Agora Financial Symposium in Vancouver, I became aware that Americans enjoy some rights that Canadians do not: among them, the limited ability to carry weapons. Even private security guards seem unable to be armed in Canada.This does not make me feel safer. Quite the reverse.

Private people who carry guns make me feel safer.

So I would like to make a plea to my fellow citizens: please buy, carry, and even stockpile weapons. Carry them with you always. Keep them in your homes and cars. It’s especially important to do this in public places, where freak murderers like that guy in Aurora, Colorado, lurk. The weapons should be loaded and dangerous, capable of killing with one shot.

I especially desire this because I don’t want to buy or own a gun. Truth be told, I hate them. I don’t want them in my home. I don’t want to go shooting at the range. I don’t like looking at them, shopping for them, cleaning them, or even thinking about what they do to others. I loathe violence of all sorts, and hope to never have to use it. I’m a pacifist in spirit.

The only way I can really hope to get away with indulging my wimpy temperament here is if others are willing to pick up the slack that my unarmed self has created. I want burglars, kidnappers, and thieves of all sorts to believe that every home in my neighborhood is heavily armed and populated by fearless gun owners.

I want every robber around every corner to hold the expectation that anyone he mugs is carrying a deadly weapon. I would like to sit in theaters, airplanes, and restaurants where the trolls and scum among us believe that they could pay the ultimate price for misbehavior.

The thing is that I do not want to personally contribute to this cause in any way. I’m not up to it.

To be sure, I was raised with guns in Texas. As early as my trigger finger could work, my parents gave me a surprisingly powerful BB gun. All my friends had them too. We played in the backyard with them regularly. The older kids had 22 pistols and rifles. When they weren’t playing basketball or street football, they were in someone’s backyard (in city neighborhoods!) blasting away at cups, cans, and targets. When I came of age, I got a pistol too.

It was enjoyable enough. But as the guns got bigger, I lost my interest. The shotgun my father taught me to shoot I found to be alarming. His 33 rifle was no better. The bullet was long and looked deadly, even horrible. Once a friend took me out to his farm to shoot his 44 pistols. The sound, the kick, the astonishing damage that these guns caused was it for me. It burned me out on weapons forever. I never want to hold one again so long as I live.

My sincere hope is that other people are not as squeamish. If everyone felt like I do, the world would be a much more dangerous place. The criminal class would rule the day. The pathway for their craft would be clear. So too for government agents, who would hold a monopoly on the use of deadly force. Barriers to tyranny would removed. Those who prey on others would have a free hand.

A friend who grew up in Brooklyn in the 1960s said this was a common slogan in his neighborhood: “For every Jew a 42.” It was commonly understood that if the Jews had been heavily armed in Germany, the rise of the Nazis would have been checked, and perhaps the Holocaust could have been prevented. Neither he nor his friends were particularly interested in doing this but the point was clear.

Today, he too hopes to be a free rider on gun nuts. I’m with him on this point.

In so many ways, the debate on guns in deeply disturbing. Those who love guns, collect them and shoot them, are the people who are dedicated to defending Second Amendment rights. They go to gun shows, sign up for gun-rights advocacy groups, read gun magazines, and hang out with friends at the rifle ranges to practice.

On the other hand, the opponents of gun rights, those who would want to disarm everyone and stupidly think that the criminal class will go along with the bans, are also the same people who can’t imagine ever owning a weapon. None of their friends own weapons. They live in places like Portland, Oregon, where there doesn’t seem to be any purpose to owning a gun. They are sickened by them. Therefore they want to ban them.

This group has a corollary among those who have no desire to smoke pot and therefore want to deny everyone else’s right to smoke the stuff. So too the people who want to ban liquor and prostitution exercise no effective demand for the goods and services. These people all see the law as an extension of their own moral and aesthetic preferences, and means of institutionalizing and universalizing their own lifestyle and belief systems.

Actually, what the law is should have nothing to do with our own personal choices about what we like and do or dislike and do not do. This view seems nearly extinguished in our world today. If you don’t drink sodas, you are happy to ban them. If you are not gay, you are glad for laws that restrict freedom for others. If you don’t like guns, you want them banned.

That’s not how the free society works. The preservation of freedom requires that we be willing to stand up for the rights of others to own and do things we do not like but which harm no one, or, in the case of guns, actually save lives.

For this reason, I have far more respect for the teetotaler who favors a free market in liquor than I do for the heavy drinker who favors them same. Non-smokers should stand up for the right to smoke. And so too should people who do not own guns and have desire to own guns stand up for the right to possess and carry.


Especially in the case of guns, we gun wimps have a special and personal interest in defending not only gun rights but also the massive proliferation of weaponry among the citizenry. It’s the only way that we can truly deter crime and stop crime in public places when it is unleashed.

The Aurora theater case is a great example. An unarmed population is vulnerable to mass killers, and there is nothing the state can do to prevent this. You can turn the whole of society into a prison and not even that would prevent violence, as anyone who knows prison life can tell you.

The push to disarm is actually a very scary trend. Think of how it applies among travellers today. All weapons are confiscated before people board the plane. So we have large numbers of unarmed people landing in unfamiliar places and wandering around without the ability to protect themselves. Every tourist has a sign on his or her head: mug me.

The only real means to prevent the emergence of a world safe for criminals and government is to see the proliferation of guns among everyone else. I’m sorry, but I will not do my part in this respect. But I will defend the rights of others to do so, with a sincere hope that they will stockpile and be ready. Yes, I’m a free rider, but gun nuts need to know that I’m truly grateful.

Sincerely,
Jeffrey Tucker


http://lfb.org/today/own-guns-so-that-i-dont-have-to/
 

July 15th, 2012

FUCK YOU MARVEL!!!! @ 08:54 am

Current Mood: pissed off pissed off

I just got the news...

Iron Man 3 is casting Sir Ben Kinsley as the Mandarin.  I saw the photo. 

It's fucking flashback to the yellowface of 30 years ago.  FUCK YOU MARVEL!!!

I won't be seeing your shit movie, and I'll be encouraging everyone I know to boycott it. This shit wasn't cool 30 years ago, and it isn't cool now. 
 

January 28th, 2012

Counterpoint Review- Flowers of War @ 05:39 pm

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

I recently had the opportunity to see a Chinese DVD copy of the film Flowers of War. It's been out for quite some time overseas, and opened in limited screenings here in the US (30 screens). Both domestic American reviews and box office performance have been unkind to the film, which stars Christian Bale and a mostly unknown cast of talented young Chinese actresses who were recruited from filming locations in China.  It tells the story of a group of Chinese women and girls taking sanctuary and protection in a Catholic Church, under the 'care' of a besotted American masquerading as a priest during the Nanking Massacre.

Before I describe my own feelings on the film, I want to address some of the really ignorant critic's reviews that I've seen posted about the film. Some have called the film's events contrived and maudlin. Others have questioned why a White Protagonist was needed for the story at all. And still others have brought into public the very question of whether or not the atrocities portrayed in the film were simply exaggerated and Chinese propaganda caricatures of the Japanese. 

To explain a bit about the context and historical material portrayed onscreen, the film itself is an adaptation of the book The 13 Women of Nanjing by Geling Yan.  The novel was derived from memoirs and material taken from many Nanking survivors, including the Diary of Minnie Vantrin (from the historical archive files of Nanjing Massacre Memorial) as well as the experiences of the German businessman John Rabe.   The veracity of the film's events are of course difficult to absorb as absolute truth, given that it features fictionalized composites of various historical characters, but to assert that the atrocities and pettiness that human beings are capable of during wartime as being contrived and invented to strengthen a weak script ignores the unfortunate truism that real life is far more lurid, twisted, and horrific than fiction ever can be. 

While in many Hollywood productions set in the Far East, there is an unfortunate preponderance of inserting white protagonists to create an 'everyman' that Western audiences can identify with, I don't think that in this film that decision was arbitrary or even artistic license.  There is a sense of historical accuracy and legitimacy in creating a white witness character based on those real-life survivors and Good Samaritans that tried desperately to  save their fellow human beings from terrible pain, suffering, and humiliating deaths.  To ignore their contributions and insert a Chinese protagonist in their place would have been the reverse equivalent of historical 'white-washing' in Hollywood.  I think the Chinese producers and crew should be lauded for their attempt to give credit where credit is due.

As for the Japanese characters, there is a degree of sympathy for certain officers and NCO's who 'obeyed orders' reluctantly and found themselves in a whirlwind of mayhem beyond their control.  But to quote Mou Tun-Fei who was criticized by the Chinese Communist Party in the '90's for bringing into public consciousness the atrocities of the Japanese Unit 731 during a time of reconciliation and rapprochement with the Japanese government, in response to their assertion that "we have a friendship with the Japanese", Mou replied  "Friendship is friendship, history is history"; and so what little empathy we the audience can share with these characters is dwarfed by the historical truth of the misdeeds performed by the Imperial Japanese Army and artfully implied in minimalistic scenes in the film. A word of warning, however stoic you might consider yourself to be, the scenes are sure to stir some unease within many at the illustrations of the 'conduct of war'.

When I was a young child, my Ah-Mah and mother used to take me to museums and tell me stories of our kin who were caught up in the Japanese occupation, passing down their experiences to me so that I would 'never forget' what happened.  What the film showed was very sanitized compared to the recollections of those who endured the terror in real life.  What the film did not show were the instances of babies and infants being rounded up and then tossed into the air like clay pigeons, to be impaled in mid-fall by bayonets; nor did it show the genital mutilation of the women and girls taken by the IJA, swords and bayonets inserted into their sex and sawed upwards, breasts and appendages sliced off for the entertainment and souvenir value of the soldiers; throngs of Chinese civilians and soldiers bound together for mass-beheadings and 'blade-testing' as well as 'plank shootings' intended to kill as many with as few bullets fired.  The film doesn't need to show us these terrible things.  There are traumatic scenes of aftermath, of implications,  the camera turning away or coming into frame without the audience needing to see the final degradations of young girls.  Similarly the camera records the final frustrated moments of resignation in the faces of the handful of surviving Chinese soldiers who try desperately to save a group of young convent girls and get them to safety.  Both men and women, boys and girls, victims all in the greater scheme of things share that final sense of awful realization when the time comes, knowing they are going to die and die badly.  It's wrenching to watch as the helpless audience when these moments are shown on-screen, and restraint of the part of the director lends more to the credibility of the artist, than the raw truth would have.  And it's already hard not to hate the Japanese characters as it is, to have shown more would have really caused the film to have fallen into the trap of propaganda and caricaturization, as its critics have already mistakenly asserted. 

One of the legitimate criticisms I have heard levied against the film is that its characters are not very sympathetic across the board.  I think part of this is cultural, but I can understand the feelings of many Western audience members who find that showing the ignoble side of humanity during war can be depressing and leave one feeling without identification with any of the protagonists.  The 'Priest' played (brilliantly) by Christian Bale starts off as selfish, greedy, and lascivious.  The Convent girls are petty and stupidly naive.  The prostitutes are self-absorbed and vindictive.  Yet all undergo evolution and growth during their hardships, and this is staple of the Eastern storytelling tradition, showing unlikable and unsympathetic characters who change and gain heroic characteristics- not because they had them inherently within them, but because there is no one else to be heroic.  Western storytelling tradition usually demands identification with the protagonists early on, as they serve as the proxy for the experiences to unfold for the audience, and I think this causes a bit of a disconnect for the cross-cultural window here, not that the two traditions are incompatible, but they do demand some understanding of each other.  The casual American viewer might find this difficult for their palate, something that I think the producers might have considered a bit more.

A character I found very likeable and I suspect will be the one most likely that Americans might identify with is Major Li, one of the Chinese Nationalist soldiers surviving from the first third of the film.  As a supporting character he exists on the sidelines of the interpersonal stories, but his influence is deeply felt from the brutal opening sequences of the city's fall onward.  His is the decision that saves as many of the Convent girls's lives as possible.  His sympathy for youth is what causes him to break the prohibition of military personnel from the "Safe Zone" of the Cathedral.  And his deeply held convictions that he and his men did not fight in vain is a moving impetus towards the inevitable change in heart for the main protagonists. 

In conclusion, I found Flowers of War a very strong and artistically-rendered  film, with unflinching portrayals of war and atrocities.  I very much was moved by the entire film, and it provoked many different emotional responses ranging from hate, anger, grief, hope, faith, and relief.  It is a 'good' film.  Not in the sense that it provides easy catharsis for tragedies of humanity, for as Schinndler's List demonstrated, one film cannot wash away the impact of death and malevolence on the large scale of history, but in concentrating on a microcosm of a few individuals it helps make some sense of the terrible events and revelations of humanity that exist in wartime.  I found that the historical accuracy and faithfulness to the adapted material to be quite high, well above the bar established by many war movies out of Hollywood or China in the norm.  I would urge those curious about the film to see it before it leaves distribution in the theaters or if you can get one of the few import DVD's, to watch it unflinchingly and without pause, for the impact it will have. 
 

August 25th, 2011

That Ship Has Sailed My Friend... @ 10:24 am

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: The Muppet Show Song
Tags:

This is too cool for words...  Pass this on and share with fellow Muppet Fans!




 

August 17th, 2011

Need a haircut... @ 01:17 pm

Current Mood: chipper chipper

Amused when this was sent to me...

The Haircut

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.
After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied,
'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this
week.'


The florist was pleased and left the shop.
When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a
'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill,
the barber again replied,


'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this
week.'
The cop was happy and left the shop.
The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank
you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his
bill, the barber again replied,
'I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service this
week.'
The Congressman was very happy and left the shop..


The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen
Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the
citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.
 

March 17th, 2011

You are listening to... Los Angeles. @ 02:15 am

Current Mood: impressed impressed
Current Music: You are listening to Los Angeles...

Just found out about this website stream.  It's too cool to describe until you listen to it.  For lack of better words, I'lll attempt to at least give an idea of what this is about:

This is Los Angeles

Techno ambient music overlaid with LAPD police band scanner radio traffic.  I am not sure if it's realtime, but the fact that the music sometimes parallels the topic of the radio traffic is rather eerie.  Apparently the concept is not new and it exists for departments such as NYPD and other metropolitan areas, but this one is dedicated to Los Angeles.  It's... it's just too cool.  Check it out.
 

The Many Colors of Dixie-Chink

Musings of a Confederate A.B.C.