Make cinemas less like air travel, and I'll go back.

Jan 14, 2010 | | 3 comments |

Everyone I speak to on a daily basis has been raving about Avatar. In some cases they've seen it two or three times. And they all tell me I MUST go and see it.
Well I'd like to, but there's a reason we spent money putting a decent home theatre setup in. Cinemas are as appealing to me as air travel right now.
We stopped going to the cinema years ago - not because we were pirating movies or any of the other evils the MPAA would have you believe - but but because of the sheer unpleasantness of the cinema experience. Sure the picture and sound were great, but the incessant texting, cellphone calls and talking just made it unbearable. On top of that, here in Utah, the cinemas allow anyone in to see NC17, 18 and R-rated movies as long as they're with an adult. So we'd be beset by families with 4 or 5 young kids and babies in baskets crying, screaming, shouting and running around. Didn't matter what time of the day we went or which cinema we went to.

So I'm sure Avatar is very clever, and it might be worth all the hype it's getting but the cinemas need to do something to make the cinema experience worth going to again before I'll go back. Put in cellphone blockers. Ban families with obviously underage kids. Have members of staff haul those who insist on talking out of the cinema. Then, and only then, will the cinema be worth going back to.

It's a shame, because we really used to enjoy going to the movies. Now we just wait 6 months and watch movies when Netflix sends them to us. No kids screaming. No cellphones. No talking. Just us, some friends, a six pack and a pizza. Lovely.

The republicans are crazy.

Jan 12, 2010 | | 1 comments |

It's official - the Republicans and their supporters are just crazy.
On Fox News (duh), CNN and a couple of other pulp fiction outlets, Republican pundits have latched on to an interesting theme : Obama has suffered 4 terrorist attacks on America or American interests since he took office. In the same sentence, all these people point out that compared to Bush's zero-attack record, this shows how Bush was clearly a better president.




Ok lets look at the facts here. The four attacks that the Republicans are using as the basis for this argument are - well - there's actually only two:

2009 - the crotchbomber (who was thwarted by passenger intervention)
2009 - the Fort Hood shooting

By comparison, Bush's record:
2001 - 9/11 - the grand daddy of them all
2001 - the anthrax mailings
2001 - the shoebomber (who was thwarted by passenger intervention)
2002 - the Karachi US embassy bombing - 12 people dead
2002 - the beltway sniper
2003 - the Riyadh suicide bomber at the US compound - 34 people dead
2003 - the Kuwait Camp Pennsylvania grenade attack
2004 - the Khobar Saudi oil company attack - 22 people dead
2004 - the 3 Americans and 1 BBC camerman who were kidnapped and executed in Riyadh
2004 - the US consulate in Jeddah where 9 people were killed
2005 - the Amman suicide bombers that hit the Radisson, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn
2006 - failed attempt by four gunman on the US embassy in Damascus
2007 - anti-tank missile attack at US embassy in Athens
2007 - car bomb attacks at US embassy in Alegeria - 60 people dead
2008 - suicide bomber in Tarmiya - 6 people dead
2008 - meeting between Americans and sheiks in Karma - suicide bomber kills 20
2008 - US and nato troops killed over a series of 4 suicide bomber attacks by Taliban in Afghanistan
2008 - US embassy car bomb in Yemen - 20 dead

Lets not forget that Bush flouted the Geneva convention by allowing torture for interrogation techniques.

Let's not forget the fact that Bush and Cheney released the Yemen citizens who are now apparently the people who planned the crotchbomber attack.

Obama has taken responsibility for that failure because, as he put it, the bucks stops with him. Even though intelligence agencies fouled up by not communicating, ultimately the commander in chief is responsible. Did we ever see Bush accept responsibility for any of the failings of his intelligence services?

The absolute worst part of the discussion was when one of the people on O'Reilly's show, with a straight face, said that the crotchbomber counted, and the shoebomber didn't, despite the circumstances being identical - passengers foiled the attempt.

Republicans - can't live with them, can't shoot them.