Don't worry, you can trust me. I'm not like the others.

Banned In China

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Wednesday we went to a showing of the American version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  Go with caution from this point forward since I do go into detail concerning the differences between the two movies and the book.

The American version was very good, although some different from the Swedish version.  Mara Rooney, the girl who played Lisbeth was more waif like then Rapace, but in the end I think just as good.  There are some things the American version has in it that the Swedish version doesn't and visa versa.

The rape scene was less violent in the American version and the retribution scene was different.  There is no dildo used by the rapist in the American version, at least that we are aware of and when Lisbeth returns to exact retribution and justice she brings her own dildo and uses it rather than getting the one he used on her out and using it on him.  Which I think makes her retribution look a little less like old testament justice, which if you think about it is meant to contrast, I think, with the very sick minds of the serial killers and their Bible verses justifying their killings.  Lisbeth's actions are obviously justified, particularly when one knows her entire history and relationship with the authorities. 

Towards the end after cutting down Mikael she asks him if she can kill Martin in the American version.  Then as she chases Martin his car blows up before she can do anything, which is different than both the other movie and the book. (Wrong about the book, although she did, I think, cause his death in that he purposely ran headlong into a truck while trying to escape her.)  Lisbeth actively participates in the killing of Martin in both the others, but not in this one.  This changes things, not so much that it ruins the movie, but it does change things.  In both of the others Mikael is the one who has the more conventional morality even with all his sleeping around. He does not approve of her assisting in Martin's death or even just letting Martin burn to death.  Having her ask permission of him and having him give it changes this dynamic and gives him more authority then either the book or other movie gave him.  I wonder if this wasn't an attempt by Hollywood, to make the movie a little more conventional.  You know somehow the girl needs the big strong guy for something even if it is only the moral authority to go out and kill.

In the Swedish version Lisbeth chases Martin on her motor cycle without a weapon and wearing the helmet that that doesn't allow you to see her, it makes her a kind of other worldly avenging angel, even though she exists in an otherwise real world (no matter how horrible). And you know that when she catches him she will exact retribution weapon or no.   In the American version she chases Martin, but doesn't put on her helmet and has the gun all of which makes things more realistic, but once again makes her less of a force of nature.

One of the most important symbols in this version is the bridge which is the only way on or off the Island of the Vangers.  It seems to play an important role in this movie.  I think that one of the themes that was mostly lost in both movies was the contempt Larsson has towards the capitalist class.  Oh well, you can't have everything.

Still after saying all this I did enjoy the American version.  The actors are excellent and in some ways it was closer to the book:  the ending, Mikael's daughter and her religious belief and how she not Lisbeth turned him on to the Bible verses.  Also, Lisbeth's employer and her first guardian are in this movie a little more, which should make them more interesting in the second and third movies.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fuck Him and The Horse He Rode In On

A letter from the dick who is one of my senators.  The really liberal one.  Fuck Him.
Dear Mr. Couch
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about legislation to combat online infringement and digital theft.

Last Congress, the Senate considered, but did not pass, legislation entitled the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA).  The aim of this legislation was to assist the Department of Justice in tracking and shutting down "rogue websites."  These sites provide unauthorized downloads, streaming, or direct sale of copyrighted material.  Similar legislation, entitled the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act, was recently introduced in the Senate.  The PROTECT IP Act narrows the definition of "rogue website" in an effort to target only the most egregious purveyors of digital theft and counterfeit crime.

In an age of advancing technology, it is critical we have laws that protect internet users from unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent marketplace practices.  Too many consumers today purchase goods over the internet that may pose a significant threat to their health and wellbeing.   For example, a consumer may unknowingly purchase counterfeit prescription drugs online that contain incorrect amounts of active ingredients, and thus pose a serious risk to ill individuals.

Additionally, illegal file sharing and unauthorized copying of digital material prevents musicians, producers, filmmakers, software designers, and many others from reaping the fruits of their labor.  Such activity has the potential to stifle artistic creativity and compromise electronic innovation.  Ultimately, intellectual property theft costs our economy billions of dollars and can result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs.

However, I have also heard from individuals with concerns about the scope of this legislation, as well as its First Amendment implications.  I take these concerns seriously.  Should this legislation come before the full Senate for a vote, I will keep your views in mind.  Thank you again for getting in touch with me. 
                         Sherrod Brown
                         United States Senator

UPDATE: So I sent another email to my liberal senator and I told him the above was pompous, condescending and insulting among other things. Then I punched send on his web page and the next thing I knew .............. well lets just say I'm not sure it actually went through and I suspect that a second message of the same sort if they actually got the first one, would be a little less than convincing.


I posted yesterday and I didn't think about the little brag I have at the top of the page:  Banned in China.

Its true, I found out that this blog is banned in China.  I found out when I posted a remembrance of my friend Larry and tried to get a friend of ours who was in China to read it.  She told me it was blocked. 

So anyway given what PIPA and SOPA would do to the Internet and what would happen given how much I link to, this blog would definitely be banned in the U.S.A.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Am I wrong in posting today, blackout day? I meant to post yesterday in honor of the late not particularly lamented Gary Gilmore, but I did not.  I would assume that I would be in trouble if either SOPA or PIPA were currently in force. 

I am having a problem getting myself into posting for much of anything involving politics right now. Although it looks like Ohio will have a "Heartbeat" Constitutional Amendment on the ballot so there will indeed be something to at least work against.  Or perhaps work with the Electronic Freedom Foundation.  I have actually been wondering just how long it would take the politicians to realize that the Internet can be real irritating and to do something to try to gut it.  I figure this will continue to happen yearly.  Eternal vigilance, etc.

I do slide over and read various blogs about the presidential race sometimes, but mostly I am looking for snark and humor, not information. I have a hard time getting excited about what horrible things Romney, or Gingrich or even Paul might do if elected since they are not going to do a lot that Obama didn't do already and won't do in the future if elected\. With the exception of course on his current position on LGTB issues, which costs no banker any money. 

This is combined with my belief that the people who are ruling us all, all over the world are not very bright sociopaths. Austerity and more austerity and when that doesn't work then more austerity. This is happening in Europe in what are described as democracies. Although technically they are something else, since none of the political parties seem willing to do what the people want them to do. Also, none of the political parties will do what works, just to show, I guess that they can't be accused of scrounging for votes. Iceland as always excepted.

In American the democrats are shocked, just shocked that republicans won't vote for a jobs bill and extended benefits for those who are in the bottom half of society. Ideas the democrats didn't really come up with until they had lost the ability to control things. Mean while we all agree that the military must not be cut at all because if we do we might be invaded by Costa Rica, I guess. Or China, who really doesn't want to invade us they just want to sell us more shit.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Everything Old Is New Again

From Lawyers, Guns and Money.
  Although you can get it from the I.W.W. here

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Little Follow UP

This is just too good to pass up.
A sort of follow up to yesterdays post.  The piling on on Greenwald is still going on.  Now as I (very) briefly peruse the comments I see that we are very angry with Paul, not because of his (quite correct) positions on endless war, drug war, indefinite detention, or total surveillance state.  We are angry because of his method of getting to those positions.  We will of course not discuss the positions themselves, nor will we discuss how "liberals/progressives/leftists" are able to support a president who takes the wrong side on all those issues.

One of the more interesting attacks on Paul is on his position on the drug war.  Apparently his position is not to be considered because he wants to let the states determine the drug laws.  As opposed to the current guy who wants to continue the drug war nationwide.  Some how this makes Paul's position not serious I guess.

Otherwise, the complete ability to refuse to deal with the issues themselves, but rather allow the discussion to deteriorate into discussions of whether or not Paul could really be elected or whether or not he could accomplish his major positions if he were elected is more important then a discussion of the issues and why it is that the "progressive" community is able to support a guy who is nothing but a Wall Street Whore, or as I have began to think of him as a kinder gentler softer fascist.

I guess I should say that I find most of Paul's positions horrible in the extreme, but the idea of placing a flaming reactionary who believes in certain things that most "liberals" claim to believe in opposite a guy who played a liberal on TV and then demanding that "liberals" justify their support of the TV liberal is entertaining.  Of course they managed to refuse to engage in the merits or lack thereof of the positions and charge off in several other directions ignoring the issues. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Why Glenn Greenwald is Not Serious

Generally I don't write these kind of posts, or maybe I do but I forgot, however I got a little pissed off today.  Read Greenwald's thing about Ron Paul and how he is the only person taking certain positions that go against the entire establishment both "left" and right.  (One really must put "left" and "liberal" in quotation marks when referring to our political/pundit class, not so much with right or conservative.)  Its a brutal take down of Obama and what Greenwald calls tribalism from a real liberal perspective (no need for quotes here).   There is more (much more Greenwald is not known for his brevity) I suggest reading the whole thing.

I, in cruising the web later went to Lawyers, Guns and Money and they had a take on the whole thing that essentially, and I do think I am being fair here (read them), accused Greenwald of supporting Paul, ignoring Paul's horrible positions of women's rights among other horrible positions that Paul takes on other things like civil rights.  alcicublog also had something about it.

The comments at all the sites seemed more than willing to ignore the original argument: mainly that Paul forces discussion of the various issues he raises into the main stream and deteriorated into, but Paul wouldn't do what he said if he was elected and/or he is just a bad person concerning civil rights and women's rights and/or he couldn't do what he said and/or ........... In other words a horse race or this is my hero and I'm sticking by him (Obama) because he is just dreamy (OK that last is a little snarky, but why not its my blog?)

Given that I figure that most of the people who read these blogs are better educated and more informed then the average citizen (showing my prejudice here) this kind of response is kind of depressing. OK major depressing.

Oh well.