Category Archives: News from Within the Empire

Election 2016 – Oregon Primary Day – An Exercise in Over-analysis

portland2016Politics in My Fair City is bananas, you guys. In these types of articles, it’s customary for The Author to make some pretentious argument for why his slice of the U.S. is a microcosm for the Nation as a Whole. But given all the geographic and demographic factors at play, Portland, Oregon, might as well exist in its own pocket dimension.

We’ve got real estate speculators, both local and national, driving home prices through the roof, the rent really is too damn high, and there aren’t enough jobs to go around. No surprise, we’ve got a homelessness crisis. We’ve had one for years, but the Current Crisis only became a “crisis” when our current mayor told the cops to stop jailing people for camping on the sidewalk. The city’s gray bar hotel is already packed beyond capacity (once again, as it has been for years), and the County doesn’t want our over-spill. No one does. Most would rather the homeless just die quietly, somewhere no one has to watch, and if they could avoid contaminating the water any more than it already is on the way out, that would be just swell. So massive camps have started forming on city-owned property, triggering absolutely nothing but sane, compassionate responses from the local middle class. (Random-but-actual quote from my city’s major daily newspaper’s website: “You have to get tough on the homelessness problem or we will all end up paying for for some lazy drug addict/alcoholic, non motivated individual’s private room somewhere, where they can party on our dime, because they don’t want to get sober and work.” Time it took to find that quote: thirty-five seconds, including the time it took to Google that article.) Continue reading Election 2016 – Oregon Primary Day – An Exercise in Over-analysis

An Announcement: In Requiem

My grandfather, the hero.
My grandfather, the hero.

My grandfather, Col. Herbert E. Carter (USAF, Ret.) died Thursday afternoon at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika. He was 95. He is survived by his three children, including my mother, and an ever-increasing number of grand- and great-grandchildren, all of whom are slowly but surely making their way down south this week. Including me.

I’ll be waking up at 4 a.m. to catch a flight out on Tuesday for the funeral, and remaining as long as my mother needs. Obviously, this will cause some disruptions around here, as I’ve no idea what, if anything, I’ll be able to produce from the road. So I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding in these times. Any donations to the family may be given to Cecil, as usual.

Gone Conning…

Geek Girl ConAs you’ve probably noticed, they’ll be no Friday review this week so that we here at AYTIWS Central might batten down our hatches for a quick trip up the coast. By the time you read this, I’ll most likely be on the road, headed to Geek Girl Con 2012 in Seattle. I’ll do our best to snap cool pictures, make wry observations, and more-or-less stalk two of my favorite Batman comic book authors, Gail Simone and Greg Ruka, who’re both scheduled to speak on various topics at various times. Wish us Bon Voyage and I’ll see you all Monday, when I plan to post pictures, or Wednesday, when I hope to hit with both barrels as I review of something…super…stay tuned…

Return of the Podcast from the After Movie Diner

No, I’m not dead, I’m just on vacation, thousands of miles from my equipment and the numerous films on my To Review list. That’ll continue for (at least) the next eleven days.

In the meantime, enjoy this episode of the After Movie Diner podcast, in which host Jon Cross and I discuss three DIY superhero films you might’ve seen around here recently: Defendor, Super and my perennial favorite, Kick-Ass. And happy holidays.

A Podcast from the After Movie Diner

Last week, I sat a spell in the After Movie Diner and discussed the always-hilarious topic of film Censorship with musician and podcast host Jon Cross.

Along the way we touched upon This Film is Not Yet Rated, The Last Days of the Boar, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Sam Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, That Damned Remake of Straw Dogs (recently released at the time), The Last Temptation of Christ, The Evil Dead, the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, and everything else in between.

You would do well to familiarize yourself with the After Movie Diner’s back catalog, rate and review it on iTunes, and start reading Jon’s blog. And I’d just like to once again thank him for the opportunity to rant. It was a hell of a lot of fun.

If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise (2010)

A Monument to American Amnesia

Man, Spike Lee just can’t win.

Oh, don’t get me wrong: he’s a successful, independent filmmaker, three words you don’t see strung together very often. So long as he’s making Serious (Fictional) Drama’s about Serious (Fictional) Black People suffering from Seriously Fictional Problems your average movie critic’s content to churn out a gutless, wishy-washy write-up. “Oh,” they’ll say, “it’s alight, I guess…but its so serious and ambivalent and there’s all these black people in it…I don’t know. The man’s no Oliver Stone.” {More}

Memo From New Zealand: Twilight Kills!

What's a little murder between friends?

Wednesday night, police discovered a twenty-three year “transient” slumped in his car, dead, outside a Wellington, New Zealand theater screening of Eclipse, the latest film installment in the unfortunately-popular Twilight series.

To paraphrase my favorite Quaid, I’ve been saying it for years. (Ain’t I been sayin’ it, Miguel?) Twilight is undeniable blueprint for murder, more potent and viable than all the “violent” video games I’ve ever played in my life put together.

The official cause of death is yet to be determined at press time…but I think we could hazard a few guesses. I’m living proof that puzzling over Twilight series continued success can inspired more than one bout of suicidal depression. Frankly, its nice to know I’m not alone. So I’d like to salute you, anonymous transient man, and let the whole world know that your death was not in vain.

(h/t Jezebel and the NZ Herald, with preemptive apologies to all those actually involved in this tragic loss of life).