Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jello Biafra to perform in Israel like an idiot

I was disgusted when Elton John violated the boycott and performed in Israel. I was unhappy that Justin Bieber performed there, although I didn't hold it against him---he didn't know any better. But I don't know what the hell's wrong with Jello Biafra. He claims to be an anarchist. It turns out that he is also Jewish, not that that's an excuse.

It seems that Biafra is planning to finish up his European tour by performing in Israel.

I've run into Jewish "anarchists" over the years. They're against government in any form, except the Israeli government. They defend mechanized warfare against refugee camps, they support the Israeli Army and any act of violence it commits against Palestinians. Curfews, bombing, detention without trial, "collective punishment"----they'll defend anything. What do these idiots think anarchism is?

I knew one of these guys in high school. I'll call him "Billy M".

I just looked him up on the internet. The poor guy died four years ago. I expected to read he had OD'd, but he died of cancer. Terribly screwed up when I was acquainted with him. His parents sent him to a psychologist. A bizarre mix. He was an anarchist who loved the Israeli state, an atheist who practiced his Jewish religion focusing on the most obnoxious elements of Judaism. For example, he refused to go near his mother or sister when they were menstruating (this is true). In spite of his religiosity, he was a heavy drug user. I found out he was selling hard drugs to the children at a middle school down the street. I reported him to his rabbi.

Later, I ran into him at school. He found out that I was the one who told the rabbi on him. But he was high on hallucinogens. He mentioned me squealing on him, but he wasn't upset about it. He just stared at a mural on the wall and wondered why the colors kept moving.

I found out that the rabbi had gone to his house.

"Let's go for a ride, Bill," he said.

In the car, the rabbi said, "I hear you're selling drugs to children."

"I had to think of a lie quick!" Bill later said. He told the rabbi that, yes, he had experimented with drugs in the past, but it would be terribly wrong to sell them to others.

Not long after that, I attended a bar mitzvah. Billy saw me. Came over. He was furious!

"I heard you were talking to Myron here," he said indicating the rabbi.

"Yeah, we already talked about that," I said.

"I want you to know that an extremely half-assed thing to do and there's no reason I shouldn't break your neck! Except for moral reasons."

"Except that you're physically incapable," I said.

He could see I was trying not to laugh and he walked off muttering something about pepper spray. He figured he could incapacitate me with pepper spray and then break my neck.

His father was a history professor. Billy was very serious about school even though he was on drugs all the time. He seemed very bright, which made it seem rather strange that he took speed to help his stay up to study before a test. It was only high school. If he was so smart, why did he need it?

"Boy, was I strung out," he said. "That's the last time I buy from someone I don't know."

"What did you take?" I asked.

"I don't know. They were little yellow pills."

"Why don't you just take No Doz?"

"No way! That's caffeine! That'll give you a heart attack!"

I pointed out the obvious flaw in his reasoning. He was unswayed. He said, "You take too much caffeine, it'll give you a heart attack."

He called me a "bigot" because I wasn't pro-Israel. I asked him why he was pro-Israel. He said, "Because I'm Jewish!" What did he think bigotry was?

Now I've read several tributes to him on various blogs by his various friends. Almost all of them mention that they're Jewish. They talk about how intelligent and nice he was. Was I wrong about him? But I realized as I read that they were talking about the same traits that people found so obnoxious. For example, his constant assertions of his own intellectual superiority. I don't know if they were putting the best face on it, or if misjudged him, perhaps prejudiced by people who had other reasons to dislike him.

Poor Billy. I'm still baffled by his religiosity. I was somewhat friendly with him until I heard about the drugs and the middle schoolers. My friends were mad at me for squealing on him---I don't know why. A socially awkward car ride with a rabbi was a small price to pay for his criminality.

Roger Ebert was right. The guy was a drunken jackass

Ebert posted on his blog:
To begin with, I offer my sympathy to Ryan Dunn's family and friends, and to those of Zachary Hartwell, who also died in the crash. I mean that sincerely. It is tragic to lose a loved one. I also regret that my tweet about the event was considered cruel. It was not intended as cruel. It was intended as true....

What did I mean by that [initial Tweet]? I meant exactly what I wrote. I wasn't calling Ryan Dunn a jackass. In Twitter shorthand, I was referring to his association with "Jackass." I thought that was clear. I note that Bam Margera uses the word "jackass" in the same way in his tweet....

I don't know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly. I do know that nobody has any business driving on a public highway at 110 mph, as some estimated -- or fast enough, anyway, to leave a highway and fly through 40 yards of trees before crashing. That is especially true if the driver has had three shots and three beers. Two people were killed. What if the car had crashed into another car?

Ryan Dunn's final act in life was to kill his friend, and it was just by chance, as Ebert pointed out, that he didn't plow into another car and kill a lot more people. The roads are safer and the world is a better place without him. There's no denying it. Police now estimate that the car was going between 130 and 140 miles per hour.

I don't know anything about these people, but I doubt that Hartwell agreed to get in the car with Dunn knowing that he was going to be driving 130 miles per hour. He was murdered by that scumbag. His estate ought to sue the hell out of Dunn's estate.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Roger Ebert, Ryan Dunn, Jackass

Funny thing is, Roger Ebert gave Jackass: The Movie a nominal "thumbs up". Now people are mad at him for tweeting that friends don't let jackasses drive drunk after Jackass star Ryan Dunn killed himself and a production assistant in a fiery drunk driving accident.

"I hope a lot of kids in the community will see what happened to their role model. Maybe this sends a signal that you're not indestructible," a cop said.

As far as I know I've never seen Ryan Dunn in anything.

Maybe his fans were morons:

Much to her dismay, her 18-year-old son, Will Bradshaw, said, "At least he went out having fun." Will admitted that even after a couple of his friends were killed while street racing three years ago, he and the rest of his peers have not been more careful when driving and probably won't be after this incident either. "People are gonna do what they're gonna do," he said matter-of-factly.

Chrissy Guthan, of Coatesville, agreed: "They shouldn't have been driving [drunk]. People do it all the time though. We've all done it," the 32-year-old confessed. "Sometimes, you don't make it back." Now that she's a mother, Guthan added, she avoids risky behavior. "But if I didn't have a kid, I'd probably still be doing it," she admitted.

Dunn's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. He had tweeted pictures of himself hanging around in a bar before the crash. He had received at least 23 traffic tickets in the last 13 years including 10 for speeding and careless driving and three more for driving with a suspended license. His license was suspended after he was arrested for drunk driving in 2005.

I guess it's good that he didn't kill anyone else except his passenger, a production assistant. His death has made the world a safer place.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Why does Super 8 film look so bad?

I can't figure out why Super 8 film looks so bad! You can look at You Tube and see samples--either test footage of home movies shot on Super 8.

In theory, Super 8 should have a much high resolution than anything shot on video. And, looking at it on You Tube, you're not looking at it on a big screen. And, in any case, there has been footage shot on 8mm film that's been shown on movie theater screens that looked pretty good. Look at some of the 8mm footage in the movie JFK. In a lot of movies, for footage that was supposed to have been filmed with a video camera, they will use footage shot with a Super 8 camera.

So how come these movies on You Tube look so bad?

I guess it doesn't matter. I should just be glad we have digital video.

Lenny Lipton

Lipton wrote the book years ago, Independent Filmmaking which gave a lot of information and advice to underground filmmakers. For example, you could get cheap film by buying 16mm print stock. This was the film the labs used to make prints. It was cheaper than camera stock because the labs did their own color correction and they didn't have to be as careful when they produced it.

Lipton later put out a book on Super 8 which argued that it should be used to television production---he said that it looked almost as good on TV as 16mm. He also argued that, with brighter projector lamps, Super 8 could be projected on the big screen in movie theaters.

That's all over with in any case. Now that you can buy a high definition camcorder a hundred fifty bucks.

But Lipton was also arguing for a new approach to filmmaking. Super 8 film was so cheap, you didn't need careful planning. You could shoot footage freely and scrap what you didn't need. Guy Maddin has been doing that, shooting movies with several cameras running at once. It's only Super 8 but it still must be costing him a fortune. I noticed in one of his movies, one of the child actors got screen credit as a camera operator.

So what are the bold new cinematic theories for high definition video? I know there are some.

Monday, June 13, 2011

That movie Super 8

How were those kids able to film at night with Super 8 film? I guess if they were using 160 Ektachrome and an XL camera, but even then, wouldn't they need lights? And did they have sound?

Well. I guess Super 8 is dead and gone. It was so beautiful. I never actually like Super 8. I liked Regular 8. The cameras were so beautiful. I did shoot some footage under florescent lights, Kodachrome 40 with no filter. The color would have looked better with the filter--it had a bluish tint--but it was still a little dark. Video has finally killed it off.

Maybe its just as well. Remember the words of the late Sidney Lumet. Film was a pain in the ass.

Things haven't evolved quite the way we imagined.

Home video came along. Fine. For a time, people imagined that Super 8 would work for direct-to-video movies, but that didn't work out. Hi8 video came along, but it editing was its Achilles heel. You edited by re-recording and you lost quality when you did that.

Now the digital revolution is sort of complete. And look at it.

Well. It's not that bad I guess, but there's just so much of it.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Anthony Weiner: Healthy mind, healthy body---take your pick posted some of the pictures Anthony Weiner was sending out over the internet. The pictures show him hanging around the congressional locker room. He was actually in pretty good shape.

I don't know which came first, his perversion or his physical condition. Did he start sending out pictures because he was proud of his muscles and minimal body fat, or did he work out to make his indecent photos more appealing?

I don't know. He's weird-looking. He's all right in many ways. But he's fanatically pro-Israel to the point that he accused Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of "anti-Semitism", claimed that The New York Times was anti-Israel, and has publicly proclaimed his support for every act of violence committed by Israelis, even ones in which U.S. citizens were killed. Apparently he wanted to become mayor of New York and wanted the support of the city's Zionist community.

Well, this is old news anyway. You know more than I do.