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(no subject) [Aug. 24th, 2009|12:25 pm]
steve








i can not stop listening to this song. i think it's one of the most brilliant pieces of pop music that's been made in the past gazillion years. i think aliens will one day listen to this and say, "my [alien] god, there WAS something that these humans were good at making: MUSIC."

seriously, i don't know what the hell it is, but this song is indescribably good on so many different levels. it's funny, catchy, uplifting, positive, and it makes me feel warm inside.

the video is just goofy.
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mj [Jun. 25th, 2009|06:38 pm]
steve




michael joseph jackson


8.29.1958 ~ 6.25.2009




michael jackson was truly the very first memory i ever had about "america." besides disney movies, coca cola, and maybe mcdonalds, michael jackson came to represent everything that would eventually become my formulated visual interpretation of the united states, way back when i was a little kid growing up in hungary.

his passing, which is even worse given the completely random nature of his ailment, is something that is perhaps the biggest nail in the coffin of pop music besides the death of john lennon or elvis presley. it might even be MORE important, if only because of the incalcuable amount of contributions that his artistic influence has had not only on a musical level, but on the media as a whole.

to say that michael represented a generation of people who were brought up on music television would still be doing a disservice to the unique vision and ingenuinty that he actually brought into the game.

i CHALLENGE anyone in any given place who has ever had access to a television to tell me that they weren't somehow changed or mesmerized the first time they ever saw any of MJ's videos on mtv. to say that he was the most important video music artist of all time is still a vast understatement. as far as i'm concerned, michael was truly the king of pop music and he is unquestionably the most significantly important pop musician of his era, and perhaps even of all time. as i stated before, the only people in the same stratoshphere as him were john lennon and elvis, yet neither of them had as much influence on the world wide media as MJ did.

the entire landscape of popular modern music owes EVERYTHING to michael's sole existence as an artist. his image, his sounds, his ultimate visions (as bizarre as some of them may have been) brought about a new level of possibilites in video art and music promotion that musicians from all walks of life have benefitted from since the day that THRILLER came out on wax.

as much bad press as he has gotten over the years concerning his bizarre behavior and sadly publicized private life, MJ still soldiered forth amid the high seas of negative publicity, which he sadly spent the better half of his life constantly rowing against. given the nature of his accusations, it is amazing to me that he managed to live as long as he did.

what bothers me more than anything else is the fact that MJ was a picture perfect example of what can happen to someone who truly ends up growing up in the public spotlight. his disturbing childlike demeanor, and his obsessions with youth sadly made perfect sense to me. it's easy for us to just say "grow up," but what if we are never given a chance to truly do that in the first place? instead of having normal friends, playing outside, being young and goofy, MJ never had the oppurtunity to be a young kid because he was barely a kid to begin with whenever he was already in the jackson 5. the entire world has grown up with michael since he was just about 10 years old. he never had the oppurtunity to be a "normal" person because he inadvertently became blessed with the genius that brought about his spectacular rise to fame in the 70s and 80s.

it's not often that i like to say that some people truly were destined for anything, because i don't necessarily believe in that idea, but with michael jackson, it's hard to deny the inherent gift that he had and it's even more difficult to say good bye to all of it in such a sudden way.

rather than focus on everything negative on his life, i'd rather remember the positive things and i'd rather remember what he meant to me as i was a young kid, watching tv, totally captivated by some of the best pop music that's ever been created, and mesmerized by the visual accompaniments that come to shape the media-saturated face of modern culture.

with the passing of michael jackson, the official torch of genuine pop music has been extinguished forever. there will never be anyone as important, both culturally and musically, as michael jackson.

rest in piece, michael. you have no earthly idea how much you will be missed.











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(no subject) [Apr. 20th, 2009|12:50 am]
steve



j.g. ballard
11.15.1930 ~ 4.19.2009



he was one of the few remaining writers that rightfully deserved to be called 'visionary.' his ideas were truly ahead of their time and his place in the fodder of postmodern fiction was something that he carved out for himself without ever resorting to pretentious buffoonery. RIP.


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CHILDREN OF MEN: fact, fiction, or fiction turning into fact? [Oct. 18th, 2008|09:05 am]
steve

Britain to limit immigration: minister

LONDON (AFP) – Britain will impose tougher restrictions on immigration as the global financial crisis lifts unemployment to the highest rate in nearly a decade, the country’s new immigration minister said Saturday.

"If people are being made unemployed, the question of immigration becomes extremely thorny," Phil Woolas told The Times newspaper.

"It’s been too easy to get into this country in the past and it’s going to get harder," he added in an interview.

In a dramatic change of policy, the Labour government intends placing a limit on immigration, according to the daily.

"There has to be a balance between the number of people coming in and the number of people leaving," said Woolas.

The minister said his government would not allow Britain’s population to grow to 70 million people.

Britain’s population grew by about 3.4 percent to almost 61 million people between 2001 and 2007 fuelled by expansion of the European Union, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Reacting to the comments made by Woolas, the opposition Conservative Party’s spokesman on immigration, Dominic Grieve, said: "We have been calling for immigration limits for years now but the government have repeatedly poured scorn on this.

"But tough talk is simply not enough; they must now explain how they intend to deliver. Will they implement our plans for an annual limit on non-EU immigration, transitional controls on future EU immigration, and establish a dedicated UK border force to secure our borders?"

Britain’s unemployment rate jumped to an eight-year high of 5.7 percent in the three months to August, official data showed on Wednesday.

Under the International Labour Organisation measure of unemployment, the rate had stood at 5.2 percent for the three months to May.

The 5.7-percent unemployment rate was the highest since the three months to March, 2000.

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the female diversion [Oct. 12th, 2008|06:51 pm]
steve
i am well aware of the fact that what i'm about to write may be considered offensive to certain people, but i'm beyond the point of caring whether or not it is 'considered' offensive, because to me, it constitutes reality, and if reality is somehow offensive, then there isn't a fucking thing that i can do about it.

simply put, i'm at a point in my life where i am beyond frustrated at the opposite sex. i'll go on record and flat out say it: most girls just PISS me off. i used to think that i'm simply being ignorant or that i'm just stupid, but i retract the idea that i'm somehow unintelligent enough to figure out the truth of the matter, which is clearly the FACT that MANY girls hold positions of power in almost every single possible relationship that they can forge with anyone who is male. is this a grandiose and bold generalization? SURE, but generalizations can also be completely true as well and there is no way that THAT isn't an accurate assessment in far too many modern day situations.

according to dwight k. schrute, women have many defects, including weak arms. while that has never been an issue with me, one of the "defects" i've noticed is that so many of them simply LOVE going after assholes. is that a cliche amongst cliches? yes, it SO is, and yet it is SO incredibly true. i can not and will not even begin to think of the amount of times i've heard girls, both in real life and countless movies, tv shows, reality shows, and any other medium that gives them an opportunity to vent about their personal lives, just go the fuck off about how much of an asshole their boyfriend is and blah blah blah. "all guys care about getting off, all they care about is fucking you, all they care about is getting some pussy, they never listen, they don't care, they are selfish, etc." well, maybe if you would QUIT FUCKING THEM and then NOT DATE more assholes like that, they wouldn't be given the opportunity to keep on treating you like the shit that you apparently feel like you are becoming. the most infuriating thing about this whole ridiculous process and romantic pitfall is that most asshole guys are GIVEN the oppurtunity to treat you like shit whenever you allow them to become involved with you on an intimate level.

so i have a question for women: if someone told you that they were going to treat you like shit, that they wouldn't listen to you, give you the proper respect that you deserve, and that they just wanted to bang you and then go to sleep or leave, would you still want to be with them? i can safely assume that the answer in most scenarios would simply be NO. however, how many guys tell you upfront that they will eventually learn to denigrate you? probably none, because then they can't hit the power-u. but what i really want to know is how any of this becomes different AFTER THE FACT? so for instance, how come AFTER the truth comes out, which is that the guy sucks, and that he is a total asshole who treats you like shit, how come you still stay with him anyway? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

seriously, it is impossible for me to feel any hint of pity at anyone (not just women) who has the opportunity (keyword HAS) to NOT be in a shitty situation and yet choose to ignorantly NOT do anythign about it at all. and before any feminists pounce on me, I AM NOT talking about spousal abuse and domestic violence, which is NOT and has nothign to do with what i am going off about. i am discussing the activities of the girls that constitute my demographic of interaction, which are generally girls in their early to late 20s who are not married and who do not have kids. issues involving wife beaters and serious domestic violence (verbal or physical) are serious, sociologically and culturally damaging situations where my heart goes out to anyone who does not have the power to change their circumstances. if anyone even remotely assumes that i would EVER in my life condone, or ignore the use of violence and the plight of defenseless women in such situations, then they are completely missing the point of my argument.

my whole issue regarding the 'bad boy' phenomena is that i advocate, as always, an equal playing field where people do not let themselves get taken advantage of and where truth, equality, and honesty come through on BOTH ENDS, males and females both. it needs to be clarified RIGHT NOW that my ultimate goal, both now and hopefully forever, is that the equal unification of males and females might one day take place and that i won't have to write these stupid blogs anymore.

unfortunately, i don't see that happening because at this point, the elephant in the room is the fact that i think way too many women KNOW that they have the power of the vagina and they DO take advantage of it and this in the long run DOES create an environment where men end up becoming assholes because they are eventually turned into the assholes and bad boys that these stupid girls want.

now is this ALWAYS the situation? fuck no! i know far too many girls who are in committed relationships with guys who don't treat them like shit, and who wouldn't ever allow themselves to be in positions where they would be treated like shit, but i know even more who are either unsatisfied with their relationships or in a position where they essentially HAVE to 'test' out all potential suitors and they do this by flooding the market with themselves in hopes of attracting male counterparts that they can then "try out" and discard until the one that might fit their personal mold finally comes along.

while the logical part of me can not argue with the idea that it makes senses to see what is out there, another inexplicable part of me views the entire process of dating, or human interaction between males and females (who both secretly strive towards finding someone who will have sex with them adn make them happy in the long run) to be a huge fiasco of incalculable proportions. my frustration lies in the fact that there doesn't seem to be any kind of other option available for young people to talk to each other without sex somehow being there, even if it is latent. sex itself is not the cornerstone of any relationship, but it is an undeniable aspect of the human mind and body that is present and it is an issue that exists, whether or not you want to admit it...and a lot of women do not. they love to claim that they can have all kinds of friends who are guys who do not want to have sex with them and that (in a general scope) might very well be true, but the real truth is that at least half of them DID want to have sex with you at some point and they DO secretly know that this is the case. even if it is an unconscious thing, sexual tension exists everywhere and it is an embarrassment to sentient human beings to claim that sex isn't something that is on the mind of everyone at some point in time during the course of just about any type of relationship.

what pisses me off here is that the act of even thinking about sex is almost considered taboo and the mental state of someone is demonized if they admit to the fact that even if it is completely an unconscious reaction, the politics of sexual power exist every single second of every single day at every single moment between males and females. choosing to act upon sexual urges is completely irrelevant to the fact that human beings are capable of recognizing the feelings of desire, of love, and of the need to touch and be touched by someone else, even if it isnt in a sexual manner. sometimes, people are just lonely.

in many instances, i feel as though the politics of female power lie deep in the vagina, and the last time i checked, females are the ones who control who can visit, who can get a grand tour, and who needs to be pulled out by security and given the boot. i don't care what anyone says, THAT is the truth. women do call the shots, they do determine who their partners will be, and they are always right because if they aren't, then it's rape, which is easily the most disgusting and dehumanizing thing that someone can ever do to their fellow human being.

should women be in such positions? if i say no, then i am considered a chauvinistic pig. if i say yes, then i am "right," but according to who? if i say, define the positions of power, which is what i would say, since THAT makes the most sense to me, then i would be given the evil eye. but that is exactly what i am going to say: what are the positions of power that lie between the legs of women ? i'm not trying to make that sound like a dirty euphemism. it is a question and i want to know the answer...because my idea of respect is destroying the playing fields and setting the boundaries down anew, face to face. i do not want to be a slave to the vagina, yet in this society, i feel as though that is the only way a man will be considered respectable, which is to say that he must do whatever he can to appease the collective vagina of the world. in my non existent ideal world, i respect people based on how they are, not what they have, and i'm frustrated and tired and pissed off of always being a slave to the va jay-jay. this kind of respect is synthetically created, and it is not humanely earned, and i'm tired of the fact that i feel as though the entire whole of femininity lies in the secret worship of the life-giving vulva and that i am somehow invalidated from choosing another religion. i am tired of this because no one else will admit to it. instead of claiming that the playing fields are equal, which they are not in terms of sexual politics between men and women, i just wish that women would admit that they know they have the power and they take advantage of it. at least then, my frustrations and feelings of inferiority would make more sense to me.

since the option of castrating myself is not necessarily sound of mind (or body), my next best option is to simply give up all hope in ever being completely truthful with someone of the opposite sex, because that is OBVIOUSLY not what they want to hear, since being honest and upfront with women has done ABSOLUTELY nothing for my personal life beyond giving me a ton of friends who are females who will never ever even remotely be interested in me sexually, which i am becoming completely accustomed to nowadays anyway. instead of finding more stress and frustration by playing the fields, i'm opting to simply eject myself from the game. the power of the vagina is an ever expanding force in the universe that i feel only compels me toward self destruction and not the natural spiritual or mental growth that i feel as a human being i should endure. the fact that my sexual feelings aren't ever taken seriously enough (which SOME might regrettably argue about) is further testament to the fact that even if i give alms at the "dome of the cock" everyday, my "religious" inquiries will never be validated fully and my own desires will be condemned and considered fallible forever.
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BREAKING NEWS! real life unintentionally creates an ONION article [Sep. 11th, 2008|12:36 pm]
steve
this was just posted on the houston chronicle website. i'm NOT making this up.

Tiny babies evacuated from UTMB

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston evacuated babies in its neonatal intensive care unit this morning. About 11:30 a.m., seven of the tiniest, sickest patients were loaded on a bus at the hospital for transport to Scholes Field, Galveston's airport. An air ambulance will fly them to San Antonio.
....They are our most vulnerable, most fragile patients,'' said Marsha Canright, a UTMB spokeswoman. ....(The medical staff) is the most nervous about the evacuation of those patients.''
Canright said the hospital's evacuation is expected to continue for at least six hours. At least 30 more babies and 11 children will be taken by ambulances and buses to hospitals in San Antonio and Austin.

http://blogs.chron.com/hurricanes/2008/09/tiny_babies_evacuated_from_utm.html


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OMG a hurricane! it’s going to kill us! its gonna eat my baby! it’s gonna-SHUT THE FUCK UP! [Sep. 11th, 2008|10:58 am]
steve
SERIOUSLY!

hurricanes should be no big surprise to anyone who lives in or near houston, so why the fuck do people always FREAK THE FUCK OUT as soon as one starts coming close to us? if you live in areas that are ON THE COASTLINE or adjcent to it, in low laying areas, it's understandable to worry, but its much more effective to just pay attention before you run off and start nailing plywood around your balls.

ever since the hurricane katrina fiasco, news stations and weather broadcasters have seriously upped the ante in terms of "hurricane coverage," up to the point where people start freaking out about it 2 weeks in advance, EVEN IF the damn thing ends up in florida.

in terms of people living up north of houston, particularly around my neck of the kignwood / humble area, the hyper paranoia and rampant doomsday soothsayers on the weather channel do VERY LITTLE in terms of helping people actually deal with the hurricane. what it does instead is induce a hyper paranoia into huge groups of people in order to get them to a) WATCH MORE TV and b) run to the nearest walmart and buy up 50 gallons of water JUST IN CASE a storm surge magically makes its fucking way 75 miles from the galveston coast UP TO KINGWOOD. even if you look at galveston bay, the areas that will be most effected by it are at least 20 miles south east of anyone living in kingwood or humble.

the worst part of these incredibly hyper-sensationalized news broadcasts and the hundreds of meteorological hurricane models is the fact that none of them are EVER 100 percent accurate, not even by a long shot. the hurricanes are always unpredictable and completely capable of shifting in different directions at the very last minute. right now, about 3 models say that the eye will come through or very close to houston, while like 8 or 9 still say it will head into central texas. there are others that say it will zing towards brownsville and one or two that say east louisiana will get it. who knows what the fuck is going to happen in a day and half when it makes landfall somewhere.

another thing: people seem to magically forget that the sooner hurricanes get towards the land, the more drastically they begin to weaken. it seems as though some people have these insane delusional ideas that hurricanes are like JAWS or something and that houston is somehow chief brody. people are so fucking loaded down with doom and gloom that they want to imagine the worst possible scenarios all the time. how on earth is that effective? ITS NOT. being smart and logical and prepared is effective, even in the face of the utmost danger. but whenever ANY FUCKING HURRICANE in the gulf shows up, all newscasters are so quick to call everythign "the next big one" that everyone freaks the fuck out and begins hording water and tuna fish and buying up ALL THE GAS even though they have nowhere to go to.

people need to calm down and realize that even in the worst case scenarios, WE AREN'T UNDERNEATH SEA LEVEL like new orleans was. nor are most of the people in the humble / kingwood area living in shotgun shacks. people here are freakign out and buying enough food to last through two weeks. its as if people expect some kind of apocalyptic situation to arise where its marshal law everywhere and no one has food or access to electricity for a month and we're somehow cut off from the rest of civilization. PLEASE, GIVE ME A BREAK.

everyone already has enough food to choke elvis presley on if he was still alive. everyone has water, if not you, your neighbor does, PLUS THE TAP WATER still works. its highly unlikely the water lines IN HUMBLE AND KINGWOOD are somehow going to get "broken." even if the power goes out, WHO GIVES A FUCK? the only thign to worry about up here is some big dumbass trees and flooding for anyone living NEXT TO A LAKE OR A RIVER. otherwise, this entire hurricane ike thing will be over with in about 3 days time and then most people will be back to normal being just stupid and vapid, not hyper paranoid freaks.
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(no subject) [Aug. 22nd, 2008|07:01 pm]
steve
they just posted a small article about my friend adam’s exploits at the woodlands mall 7 years ago on the houston chronicle website. a few weeks after sept. 11th, adam decided to dress up like hulk hogan and go running down the woodlands mall, waving an american flag, in hopes of cheering people up and it was all taped and it eventually made its way to youtube a few months ago and it apparently became a small youtube hit and the chronicle interviewed him.

here is the clip:


here is the link for the interview:
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/7questions/5957746.html

keep the american spiriti alive, brother!

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haneke [Aug. 19th, 2008|10:46 am]
steve

i feel like making a bold statement, so here it goes: i think that michael haneke is far and away the best living film director right now PERIOD and i really doubt that that is going to change any time soon.
i know that a lot of people are either unfamiliar with him or they hate him because they might only be familiar with his newest movie FUNNY GAMES U.S. , which is a real shame because that movie (and the original version of it) are the only two films (technically) in his entire oeuvre that are actually cerebral, obnoxiously transgressive, and painfully postmodern to the max. having said that, i'll add in that i still loved FUNNY GAMES, even though i've only seen the original german version.


i also know that many people think its highly pretentious to list someone relatively obscure and then make such a bold declarative statement, but my reasons for saying such a thing (and then writing about it) is most definitely NOT because i want to appear pretentious or arrogant, it's because i want more people to know about him and i want people to know WHY i would say such a thing in the first place. believe me, if steven spielberg actually made amazing movies anymore, i would be the first person to "boldly" claim him as a favorite filmmaker. this ridiculous idea that obscurity somehow benefits independent or lesser known artists is a bullshit notion that is rooted in elitism and academic buffoonery. also, let it be known that just because something might not have mainstream appeal doesn't automatically make it good either. if something sucks, it doesn't fucking matter how popular or unpopular it is, it STILL sucks. likewise, if something is really good, it doesn't fucking matter how many people know about it, it is still going to be GOOD. all i know is that my purpose in writing this is simply to either bring about discussion or to get people to see his movies.


i'll start with the negative: apparently, a lot of people hate his movies for numerous reasons: they are too "slow," they are too "bleak" or "nihilistic," there are animals killed (one horse, one pig, one chicken and some goldfish), or my favorite complaint-NOTHING HAPPENS. not to down play other people's opinions, many of which are not only valid, but opinions that individuals are completely entitled to having, it's necessary to point out that all opinions are simply an assessment of personal aesthetics and as such, there is no way that one opinion will ever "out do" another. the criticisms that his films elicit are totally valid and i don't even completely disagree with them, especially because many of them are completely true, even though those reasons do not affect my personal feelings about each respective work.


bringing attention to this apparently detrimental aspects might not seem like the best way to show people why i would claim haneke my favorite living film director, but i feel as though one has to work through the negativity in his creations in order to understand the positive appeal that his movies ultimately end up having. anyway, there is no way around the fact that his movies ARE not made for people who consider burger king value meals "fine dining." once again, this is not to make some snooty social commentary, but a way of simply saying that its much easier to get into his movies if you appreciate basic processes, whether that is in regards to the technicality of a film, the rudimentary 'construction' of a meal from scratch, or something as beautiful (and utterly boring) as the formation of clouds. those unwilling to patiently sit through a 2 hour movie usually are not big fans of haneke's works, but then again, they are more than likely not going to appreciate the value of ANY movie where they might have to shut the fuck up and not get up every 15 minutes to take a leak or check their cell phones for text messages. if someone is not willing to give their attention to the movie that they are about to watch except for the things that THEY want to get out of it, then it's their loss. it's specifically those type of people who are the most likely to not only misinterpret most movies, since they aren't willing to let a film teach them anything, but the kinds of people that make shit films like SAW III number one at the box office on opening week. good films are good films regardless of any outstanding circumstances. art snobs and film geeks alike might scoff at the notion that something like TERMINATOR 2 would ever be considered "high brow" enough to allow itself to be validated by academia, but what they fail to recognize is that it's their own elitism itself that has created the void between the box office and the art house. the context for any film is not (and should not) be assessed according to how you will be perceived by others, but by how you personally feel about something. it is this sad stigma that i feel keeps most of haneke's films from the public's attention, which is a true pity because anyone with half a brain who is even slightly tired of feeling manipulated and cheated by mainstream movies could stand to benefit A LOT from his films.


haneke's films are NOT manipulative at all except for FUNNY GAMES, which is COMPLETELY manipulative on purpose. the best word to describe the rest of his movies is "static," which once again might turn many people off simply because they are not used to long takes with no dialogue or music, which is a staple in most haneke films. oddly enough, i remember initially feeling bored sometimes in his movies, only to realize a few minutes later that i was simply falling into the cog works of his cinematic vision. to say "nothing happens" would be a gross understatement that downplays his ability to basically drop the viewer into real life in ways that many might not like. most people do not like being reminded of how boring and mundane everyday can be and it is specifically because of these long lulls in reality that we all face all the time that makes the feel of his movies hit that much closer to home for me personally. one of the best things about his movies is the fact that they are capable of getting such a strong emotional response from viewers. people either love or hate him, but they will never have a middle of the road opinion.


haneke's vision often shows the systematic breakdown of society in microcosmic instances, which is another thing that many probably do not wish to see. we all know that life sucks sometimes, right? why would we want to be reminded of that in a movie? for many, seeing such portrayals is disheartening and unnecessary, but to me, it's the absolute essence of purity in filmmaking, because his visions of people are so genuine and realistic that it elevates itself into another realm above the standard characterization that takes place in most movies. i know this sounds kind of stuffy and over long, but i can't overemphasize how significantly honest many of his movies end up being. the writing is so on point and realistic, i've often felt like a voyeur watching his movies because you forget that you are even watching a movie sometimes.


perhaps the best example of this is his movie the piano teacher, (bold statement alert) the most deeply erotic and sensual film i've ever seen, which is ironic since the film deals heavily with extreme sexual repression. i'm not really sure how he does it, but he is able to get such believable performances from his female stars that i've often second guessed my own perception of human behavior after watching this film in particular. it is rather grim and extremely disturbing, but the complex implications are astounding.


even though his movies are definitely not for everyone, i think many people can stand to benefit from watching at least some of them. michael haneke is, in my opinion, a purifier. he is someone who creates art that transcends into the realm of our day to day life in ways that most other filmmakers are incapable of doing. there is a dark rhythm in his films and it is meant to be felt, physically and emotionally.

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(no subject) [Aug. 4th, 2008|07:56 am]
steve

Alexander Solzhenitsyn


December 11, 1918 – August 3, 2008

besides having one of the 20st century's greatest beards, solzhenitsyn was proof of the unbridled strength of the human spirit against the face of one of history's most brutal and soul crushing political entities. his endless desire to fight for the truth, against all odds, was in a class all its own.

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