Archive for the Politics Category

I’m Alive

Posted in Film, Music, Podcasts, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 10, 2010 by roarvis

Howdy, strangers! It’s been awhile since my last post, but I’ve been relatively busy. I’ve been putting the finishing touches on an album that’s been in the works for some time now. Hopefully soon it will see the light of day – or at least the pallid glow of the Internets.

My leisure time has been spent watching a lot of the New World/Roger Corman Blu-Rays released by Shout! Factory, which are amazing. I’ve also been listening to a ton of Neil Young, especially the “Ditch Trilogy.” I may or may not write more about these things in the near future.

Oh yeah, and I got married. Woo hoo! Cecy and I will return with Episode 8 of our ground-breaking podcast once we are done staring lovingly into each others’ eyes.

I promise to delve back into deep blogging soon (eew, that sounds gross). In the meanwhilst, check out this interview with Amanda By Night of Made For TV Mayhem. She won the prestigious “Versatile Blogger Award,” and in turn listed a few blogs that she loves. I’m honored to report that Blanked As Ordered made the cut!

It’s always nice when someone acknowledges and appreciates your writing, especially when you do it as a hobby/obsession/unpaid internship. I should probably follow this up with links to some of MY favorite blogs, but I’m too damn lazy. So check the links on the right hand column of the home page, and follow my Twitter feed – I try to repost whenever I find a really fantastic blog entry, although you may have to wade through lots of bad jokes and passive aggressive political activism.

I’ll be back with more enthusiastic ruminations on pop culture before you know it (or want it, or want to know that you want it).

In Fear of Fear

Posted in Film, Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , on June 22, 2010 by roarvis

See what I did there? I brought back the song title thing. You don’t care? FINE!

In light of the recent announcement that The Exorcist will be hitting Blu-Ray later this year, I started thinking about a discussion I had with a friend of mine awhile ago.

He was saying how he didn’t like the film because he saw it as being Christian propaganda. As an atheist, he found the film to be offensive, since it seemed to imply that the characters were being “punished” for their lack of faith.

While I don’t completely disagree with this interpretation, I always regarded it as a work of fiction about characters struggling with their own faith, not as propaganda. Obviously writer William Peter Blatty was himself a priest, so he was drawing on his own personal experiences to some degree. But that’s what any good writer does. And by tapping into his own fears, he created one of the scariest concepts in fiction, which in turn became one of the greatest horror films of all time.

The Power of Christ compels you to read on!

Haters Gonna Hate

Posted in Film, Politics, Rants, Television with tags , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by roarvis

I haven’t said much about television in awhile, but don’t worry: it’s not all slashers and campers over here. I’ve also been keeping up with one or two shows. The current shows I follow, for various reasons, include: Doctor Who (I like the new Doctor, stories are average to forgettable), True Blood (this is mainly the fault of the wife-to-be, but there are some genuine laughs in between all the wincing), Justified (wasn’t too impressed at first, but it built to a great season finale), Boondocks (awesome), and Treme.

Continue reading

Help the Aged

Posted in Politics, Rants, Television with tags , , , , on August 11, 2009 by roarvis

I posted this on the other thing, but it deserves it’s own blog entry. The ignorance of the right wing has reached another new low, as they prepare to violently defend the rights of…corporate medical insurance companies?

The “mandatory euthanasia” rumor is an interesting one, as it basically is designed to prey on the elderly. As disgusting as this may be, I was reminded of this classic SNL commercial parody. It’s a matter of time before we see ads like this one, stating that “Obama wants to feed old people to robots!”

I can’t get the thing to embed so click the link please

Stop Your Crying

Posted in Film, Music, Politics, Rants on June 19, 2009 by roarvis

Big fine could be big trouble in downloading case

I no longer have any sympathy for the RIAA. I don’t give a shit how much money Destiny’s Child’s lawyers supposedly lose from Kazaa. Stop harassing people for filesharing. No one said shit when we were making cassette mixtapes in the 80s and 90s, but now it’s a big deal because of the Internet. Looks to me like the last gasp on an industry that hasn’t figured out how to adapt to changing technology.

And to musicians who complain about filesharing: If you’ve been paid royalties for your music, consider yourself very fortunate. I’ve never been paid royalties for my music, and I can still record, perform, and write songs. If you need money, get a day job like the rest of us and shut the fuck up.

The only people I feel some sympathy for in the entertainment industry is filmmakers, because I realize how expensive it is to make films. But the audacity some of these guys have to assume that consumers will buy their films sight unseen…it boggles the brain! I was renting and dubbing video tapes as soon as I could walk to the fucking store. If the industry was going to crash, it would have happened long before the internet was invented.

This doesn’t mean I am without conscience when it comes to downloading. I try to give back to the industry when I can. But that’s because I can afford to buy a DVD or record every now and then. When I was broke, I rarely paid for anything except concert tickets and VHS rentals, and I don’t remember hearing any bands complaining about slumping record sales due to cassette dubbing back then (roughly 1985 to 2005). The film industry did not appear to be in crisis. Strange how things suddenly change…

New Year

Posted in Comics, Film, Music, Politics, Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 by roarvis

It has been two months since my last post, which in the “blogosphere” means I have effectively shot this thing like a sick dog and put it out of its misery.

Or so it would seem.

Perhaps I have been quietly simmering, brewing up a shitstorm of insightful reviews and essays which are simply too controversial and brilliant to unleash upon the world until it has caught up with my genius.

Were it only so…

No, in fact I have fuck all to say at the moment. Certain items in the real world have cropped up to prevent me from continuing my slightly acclaimed series of gripping essays on vigilante movies and over the hill shoegaze bands. 2008 ended amid much economic and political turmoil, as you probably know. I landed on both feet, fully employed – at least for the moment. (Although it’s safe to say I would be updating the blog more frequently had I been laid off.)

Riots break out on Wall Street

Riots break out on Wall Street

I was overjoyed that Obama won the election, but now a malaise has set in as I watch him scramble to fix a broken machine, while those responsible for fucking it up whine about having to bail out the same people they gave bad loans to in the first place. Now, the nation quakes in fear as millions of privileged white Americans threaten to throw down their briefcases and riot in the streets.

The new digs

The new digs

My legendary girlfriend and I celebrated the new year and the failing economy the only logical way: by signing a lease on a much nicer, much more expensive apartment. Hey, if we’re gonna go down on this sinking ship, I want to go down in style. I want to be able to watch Los Angeles crumble as I sip brandy on my balcony on a hill overlooking the toiling masses.

Despite our preoccupation with packing, moving, working, yelling, and crying, we have still found time for our first love: getting drunk and watching movies. Several British and Spanish horror films have been viewed, as well as numerous episodes of British comedy shows (IT Crowd, Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace, Little Britain, Mighty Boosh – we even rented Spaced for chrissakes). My brain is such a jumble of pop culture references and surreal set pieces that I’m mentally typing with a dubbed British accent at this very moment.

book_crab

Music-wise, I’ve been ping-ponging back and forth between trendy new stuff (Santogold, TV on the Radio), old stuff (Thin Lizzy), and British goth/glam fusion (The Cure circa 82-86, the stuff Pulp did before they broke in 1993). I’m also disgusted to report that thanks to a few of my “friends” and Rock Band 2, I have started to like the music of No Doubt. Shoot me now.

And just so I can justify clicking on the little check box next to “Comics” on the categories tab, I should mention that I received an awesome Christmas package from my beloved featuring the first two volumes of Creepy magazine reprints. The horror!

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So despite not having any new updates for Blanked is Ordered (that is what this blog is called), I have done some writing. I reviewed three nasty, vile movies for From Below, a website apparently devoted to nasty, vile movies (and rightly so). Granted, two of the three were written last year, but I was too ashamed to post a link before now (the ones accredited to “Ryan O” are mine).

Also, my close friend and colleague Mr. Weyls has lept into the fray with his own blog entitled Bad Actor. It is a series of biting observations about daily Chicago life mixed with brutal pop culture eviscerations. Read if you dare!

I’m off to either break down due to the pressure and stress associated with moving into a new apartment in an uncertain economy, or clean the kitchen and make breakfast. Expect more posts in the not so distant future.

Good Guys Don’t Wear White

Posted in Film, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2008 by roarvis

star_chamber

The Star Chamber (1983)

Peter Hyams (Outland, 2010, Capricorn One) directed this film, which takes a more “psychological” slant on the vigilante issue. Michael Douglas plays a judge who is tired of seeing criminals walk based on technicalities. His friend Hal Holbrook eventually recruits him to join a clandestine panel of judges who rule on cases outside of the court of law. When a person is rendered “guilty,” a hitman is contacted and the sentence is carried out in a swift and brutal manner.

When a couple of thugs implicated in a child porn ring go free, Douglas is pushed too far and joins the star chamber. After placing a hit on the two men, it is revealed that they had nothing to do with the crime. However, the men are obviously not upstanding citizens, so Douglas has to decide whether the cost of killing possibly innocent men outweighs the value of being able to take out the truly guilty.

Thus, the basic problem of vigilante justice is revealed. The Star Chamber has a great set up, goading the audience into sympathizing with the judges and their frustration over the shortcomings of the system. It then tries to twist the story around to show how taking the law into one’s own hands can go wrong. By avoiding a black and white approach, it remains somewhat realistic and thought provoking.

Unfortunately, things become rushed toward the end, and the film veers off the cliff into ill conceived action movie territory. It’s hard to imagine anyone being satisfied with the ending, and almost seems as if studio execs had stepped in at the last minute and changed the direction of the film.

The Star Chamber is worth watching for any fan of vigilante films or 70s and 80s crime movies in general. The cinematography retains a decent amount of grit, and the cast does what they can with the material. Holbrook is excellent, Douglas is average, Yaphet Kotto is great as usual (but pretty much wasted on a minor part), and Don Calfa (Return of the Living Dead) and Joe Regalbuto (Murphy Brown) are likeably over the top as the “innocent” criminals. James Sikking also turns in a great character role as the father of a young murder victim. There is also a humorous scene-chewing performance by John DiSanti (I think) as Kotto’s partner.

This film was obviously designed to provoke debate, and it probably succeeded in that. However, its flaws were apparent and it tanked at the box office. There is a remake in the works, and depending on who is involved, it might actually fare better than the original. But I’m not getting my hopes up; it will probably be another Hollywood special effects wank job by the time it gets released.