The Actual Beast

Last evening I heard on the evening “news” that a drive-in cinema in Henagar wasn’t going to project a Disney re-do because one of the characters in the cinema is homosexual.

At the time this was another bit of Alibam not-news.

But then this morning I read an article [Link] in LifeHacker about this. And I was vaguely amused.

Let me start by mentioning that Henagar is one of the great cities of Alibam. It is almost in either Jawjah or Tennesse in the upper nawth-east corner of Alibam. It has a population of about 2.5K people. This part of the state is mountains so no industry or large organizations and the people who live there are rather like mountain people have been depicted in videos since the movie about Alvin York.

That would seem to explain what the owner of the motorcar cinema meant by her statement that 

“If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.”

since mountain people have all sorts of unusual religionist ideas. In this case thinking that the deity or his supposed offspring are pookas (to stay with the cinema metaphor.)

I should mention that many people in Alibam avoid saying what they really think or feel because they fear starting a feud or being beaten horribly by anyone who thinks or feels otherwise. In a place where one could speak one’s mind, the proper statement would have been something of the order of

“A lot of people hereabout are insecure and dislike homosexuals and just about anyone who isn’t like them and genetically similar (kinfolk) so if we show this movie no one will come and we will loose a whole bunch of money for no good reason.”

I won’t dwell on the nature of why this message wasn’t used since further discussion isn’t going to dissipate the reader’s already substantial disbelief.

Now let me address a couple of other points. First, a motorcar cinema today? Yes, exactly. Bear in mind that this is a small, impoverished mountain community. Land is cheap but buildings are dear. And the population is low so there isn’t much in the way of cable or internet. On in-door cinema. 

Not so say that there aren’t lots of places like Henagar in Alibam that aren’t in the mountains. There are people not more than five miles (yes, we still use Imperial units in Alibam) from Greater Metropolitan Arab, an Alibam metropolis of about 9K peoples who have neither indoor plumbing nor a heating system that doesn’t burn wood. And Greater Metropolitan Arab doesn’t have a motorcar cinema, nor an in-door cinema. But we do have Digital Switched Line. And cable television.

Second, let me take up the matter of movies. Disney movies are a good model of movies in general. Cartoon characters. Magic. Everyday people singing in public. Totally unrealistic stories. 

And that’s why I don’t go to see Disney (or much of any) movies. I have seen an earlier version of the movie in question. This alteration does not make the story any better or worse. It wasn’t real then and it wasn’t real now. 

But happily a lot of people in Alibam don’t and can’t understand that. Much less act rationally about it.

I can say that I have enjoyed two Disney Movies. One as Davy Crockett. It wasn’t a cartoon. And even as a child I realized it was a crock of inaccurate stercus and reveled in my rationality.

I also enjoyed The Black Hole. Not for the title; for the odoriferous inaccuracies. At least the part I got to see. I saw this at a now non-existent theater in Huntsville when I has in grad schule and was asked (demanded indignantly) by management to leave because my laughter and floor rolling was disturbing the other customers and the grease on the floor. I doubt that I was really disturbing anyone else, more likely the opposite but I can see how sopping up the sticky yuck on the floor would require them to spend money on cleaning the floor. And this was one of the nicer in-door cinemas in town. It even had a separate smoking section. The smoking section was in the middle of the rest of the seating but a waist high fence kept the smoke in (and the non-smokers out.)

I am asked why I live in Alibam. Several reasons. First of all, I grew up here. And although it is impossible to be believed by anyone who hasn’t, it’s better now than when I was a child. Second of all, it’s green. I have been lots of other places, mostly courtesy of the Yankee Army of Occupation sending me places I didn’t need to go to but they required me to go there. And after a week or so coming back to the green was a fulfillment.

The third reason is “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” To translate that, anyone in Alibam who is rational and/or educated in something useful – that is, a nerd – is one-eyed. And you don’t get to be king, mostly because no one who is rational and/or educated would want to be king in this place, but you do get a whole lot better job than those who aren’t rational or educated.

What I understand is that when most of the people have a (useful) education, that education is NOT an advantage. By useful, I am not talking about quoting Descartes or Proust; I’m talking about doing instead of talking. (Incidentally, those folks who can quote Descartes or Proust, or even Patrick Henry, are more likely to get beaten horribly. If you know – really know – the calculus then the folks who do the beating run from you in terror as if you were the Attack Rabbit (more cinema vein.) And you get paid pretty good and can enjoy the good parts of Alibam.

Enough. If you ever get to Henagar take your kids to the motorcar cinema. It doesn’t matter what movie is being projected. What counts is that they experience a motorcar cinema for much the same reason the service station fellow in the Nevada desert wished for rain.




Media Dangerous

We once more have a MASSIVE FAIL on the part of “local” media. In particular, the Huntsville Weather Beavers at the local television studios have missed morning mimimum temperatures by over five degF.

Lots of bad results from this.

Dangerous results. And their incompetence is putting people at risk.

We have to wonder if this is some sort of plot to make people think these winter storms aren’t as bad as they really are? Or worse, some attempt to make work for local plumbers?

Anyway, stern condemnations of these weather beavers.

Overestimating the minimum temperature when that temperature is below the phase change point is borderline criminal.

ORF Add-Ins

I run across some of the most amazing Stercus on website like Lifehacker. For a site that is supposed to be about hacking existence, it is often abysmal.

I ran across an article [Link] entitled “The 50 Free Apps We’re Most Thankful For” this morning. It purports to be a list of excellent apps, presumably for Android and iPhoney but unspecified. I don’t expect any other OS to be offered because this web site is basically an arrogant iPhoney fanatic place. After scanning the list I found ten passable to good apps and 40 pieces of Stercus.  Frankly, better than I expected.

This is typical of their lists. Not very good. Mostly, I suspect, written by junior journalism graduates who think being a journalist (and having a job) makes them a deity. Journalism, after all, these day si a cult of self with nothing to do with accuracy or veracity.

So in bemused irritation I am going to start commenting on decent to good add-ins. Mostly for browsers since I am ORF and this who slablet addiction thing is more than a bit orthogonal.

The starting point is an add-in called “Print Friendly.” Not gonna bother with an URL because we ORFs can do searches without Mommy’s help. What Print Friendly does is strip down what’s on a web page to nut meat. It’s rather like dressing a deer, which is something only the redneck denialist GEN Ys know anything about and then not very well. But I don;t expect any of the GEN Ys to be reading this except by error.

Film at Eleven.

Tar Strokes

Heard yesterday and this morning that Florence Henderson and Fidel Castro have discorporated. Musing on this I was struck with the thought that both got rather a rough deal.

Ms. Henderson was a gifted actress but got damned with her maternal role on a nauseating family situation comedy. Zero depth, zero creativity. Horrible fate for an actress.

Mr. Castro was a gifted leader who got damned by the Capitalist Oligarchy of Amerika because they didn’t like him sacking their puppet in Cuba.  Walled in. Reviled. 

Two character lessons that we seem doomed to repeat.

Brisket Thursday

Off to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill yesterday in spite of the petrol shortage. FD SCP had to have her eye cut upon. Obscured lens. So I did the little-old-man drive thing, to the annoyance of the petrol grasshoppers, to the city.

I went through this myself earlier in year and it was a nasty, tedious business. This conversion to day surgery substantially increases the pain and discomfort of the victims and the cash flow of the cutters. Of course with the hospitals once more a place of discorporation, this also reduces the cutters’ liability as well.

So I got to sit about and be the responsible (????) adult responsible for all the ash and trash that the medicalist community wants to get rid of as fast as possible.

But the affair was not without a bit of humor. I got to experience a blatant example of “Secretarial Arrogance.” This is the phenomena whereby direct and usually unshared singleton reports take on the importance of their employer. It used to be most obvious in the personal secretaries of executives who adopted the command prerogatives of “their” executive. The term has been generalized to any subordinate who assumes the authority – real or imagined – of their superior.

In this case the example was the “assistant” of the cutter. This assistant emerged once the surgery was over with the mission of relieving the cutter of the nasty, odious task of dealing with the victim’s friends and family. The assistant did this in the most stilted and legal Teflon (R) fashion possible which unfortunately struck me as horribly humorous. Like watching some silent movie comic aping a pretentious oaf. And while the cutter in this instance is pretentious, he isn’t an oaf. 

I suspect the closest association is with a Kosher butcher. A Kosher butcher has to be a Rebbe, essentially. Which is rather an overkill for someone who dismembers discorporate animals. This is why a lot of cutter jobs can be done by robots. Daniel Olivaw, M. D. Accepting the pretentiousness of a Mesopotamian emperor is part of the price we pay for medical care. Not in this case would a butcher do, of course, since we rather don’t want discorporation or dismembering, but the education analogy is not inapt.

Anyway, the assistant had assumed some of the pretension and I was struggling not to roll on the floor in frame shaking mirth. So I redirected my laughter into incessant questions to see how far the arrogance could be stretched. Not very far as it turned out. So there is hope for the assistant. As a real human, that is.

Meanwhile the petrol shortage is still worrisome and has the benefit only of diverting us from the upcoming catastrophe on Tuesday.


Occasionally a Good prevails

I ran across this article [Link] about the bigot Chief Justice of the Alibam Coven of Justicers being sacked again, this time for royally messing up the state’s standing with the Yankee government and vertically copulating the standard of living in Alibam.

As one of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, proclaimed on the FaceScroll, for once the Sokratic Good emerged.

And I am AMAZED.

This is, after all, Alibam where the standard of government and politics is mostly unadulterated evil.

The Chief Justice was typical of Alibam political office holder, too immature to cope with his own insecurity. Hence his evil.

Sic Semper….

The Good of a Pen

Five Day. Last day of gym under the new schedule. And an intense hope the weekend will actually be enjoyable.

The first morning of BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Bundled up like Nanook. Southrons and heat are nasty but Southrons and not-heat are just plain pathetic. Even more pathetic than Clinton-Trump supporters. 

The podcast this morning was the second half of an episode of Linux Luddites. Passable. Consumed the time well. But not much in the way of ideas. So my mind wandered to the subject of writing and then to pens.

I sometimes listen to Brad Dowdy’s “The Pen Addict” [Link] podcast, mostly when walking. He sometimes has useful things to say about pens. But mostly he waxes adoringly on Field Note paper. Not that it isn’t good paper but pocket notebooks aren’t real notebooks. At least in my frame of reference.

Which brings me to note taking and composition and writing. One of my colleagues, Force Spring Constant, gave me an Economist article entitled “The Comeback of Cursive” [Link] about why cursive is making a comeback in schules mostly because – they claim – of push-back from Common Core and the extra-office existence of corporate serfs these days. Neither seems a good reason but then humans almost never do things for good reasons. Mostly they glandular. 

I have nattered on writing and note taking previously so I won;t compete with a search of the blog site. And get to the marrow. How do I rate a pen?

Importance 1: How well does the pen put into on the page? This is primarily about the interstices of the pen. Does it skip? Does it drag? Yes to either question is failure. And the pen ends up next the telephone to write down pointers.

Importance 2: How well does the pen feel. Is it comfortable both at rest in the hand and while writing? No to either is a fail.

Importance 3: Is the pen painful in any way? Is it unendearingly ugly? Or nastily garish? Depending on the depth of 1 and 2, a Yes may be a fail. But not usually. This is a distant 3.

The problem is that we can assess these with opposite order of ease. A glance and a touch answer 3, A bit of manipulation and test writing answer 2 and much of 1. But a new pen does not perform like a developed pen. So sometimes we buy and then amass at the telephone. 

So when someone tells you they buy pens for visual appearance or cheapness, you know they are a BOG. Pity them. Perhaps they will abstain from reproduction.