Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hello, Alex...

This blog entry is a free association covering several important issues.

According to the FCC, broadcast media is supposed to be a public service. Though people do tend to think of commercial broadcast media as a public service, as Noam Chomsky points out, commercial media has only narrow-minded objectives-- the propagandization of consumption and seclusion. Hugo Chavez learned the hard way about the dangers of private media when, after he was democratically elected, the Venezuelan media people, smiling-- almost innocently-- broadcast on the media networks that they owned, that they would, "for the good of the country," rewrite the constitution and ignore the election.

Some of the motor vehicles we just bought came equipped with XM radio, free for a year. This actually turns out to be a rather large burden-- every car ride, be it 15 or 45 minutes, is permeated with an incessant barrage of 2-3 second sounds of various XM radio stations as the [edited, plural, negative connotation] in the front seats can't content themselves on a single station for more than a single note.

Anyway, I thought I'd take control of the new film night here at Hands On. I made a few rules: all films must be in the English language (not dubbed), all films must be under 120 minutes runtime, no documentaries, all films will be from an open request list, the films will be shown in the order that is objectively guaranteed greatest audience satisfaction (showing what critical, lay audiences consider the “best” films), all films will be shown in their original widescreen format, no documentaries, and nothing more than abstractly political.

I love documentaries and all but don't watch English language films that are not documentaries. It seems rather sad to have to exclude Terry Gilliam's Brazil, one of the best films of all times (a film I wrote a sixteen page analysis of using Herbert Marcuse's Eros and Civilization-- hands down the most important book of all time) because of its 150-minute runtime. Someone even requested it. I would've had to say no. The rules aren't just the rules that I felt like making one morning, they're more of an Aristotelian epiphany, a revelation of the way things should be-- many people confuse the way they'd like things to be and the way they are, desires with reality; in this case, the heavenly film night.

There's only one heaven and one heavenly film night-- that's my model.

A community should take into consideration the desires of all of its members. Though I'd like to show everyone some awesome German, French, Slavic, Japanese, or Chinese-language films, I know the net aesthetic effect would be greater with an English-language film, something-- sadly-- most Americans desire.

Dubbing is the most terrible phenomenon to strike the film industry. I don't care about your attention issues. If you're too disinterested to read the subtitles, look at a plot synopsis. I mean, I don't speak Italian but I still listen to Italian operas. I don't care about tastes. In the John Stewart Mill sense, I'm an elitist-- Mozart is better music than Britney Spears, it simply cannot be phrased as a subjective question. There's a reason that no people seriously interested in film will watch a film that is dubbed or not in it's original aspect ratio (if there's a reasonable alternative [look at Turner Classic Movies on basic cable and see how they defy, 100 percent of the time, the standard 1:1 “formatted to fit your screen” ratio]), it's because they're not stupid. Similarly, most people interested in film do not restrict themselves to English-language films.

Anyway, there was this rumor that Aramando said that the food at the Salvation Army was no good. When this rumor was found out to be false, it was changed so that Arman said that the food was no good. I'm going to bring an end to this rumor once and for all: Arman has the same appreciation for the Salvation Army-- hell yeah!, breezy football field, ginger ale, and seven mayonnaise packets!-- as me and has volunteered his luncheon services many times. Thank you Arman.

Also, the official title of the Hands On Gulf Coast warehouse / cafeteria / sleeping quarters / indoor “base” is the “Beauvoir United Methodist Fellowship and Family Life Building”. As of this blog entry, it's known as “Alex” for short. Yes... Alex... As in: “Alex is air-conditioned, well-lit, and spacious, but has it's drawbacks; no natural light, electric elements in the kitchen, the noxious grey interior colour and totally unsexy exterior, and moldy discharges from the ceiling.”

The last open mic was 'quite rather good.' And that's an understatement. Again, I apologize about the usual, low technical quality of the recording. Download it at the link below. The link is only good for a week. You have to cut and paste it, people.

Marco X (Utica, NY;; )

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