Friday, 25 April 2003: For as advanced as our society is in terms of technology and whatnot, we are truly backasswards with regard to our thought processes. Katie and I were watching the Primetime special last night with the Dixie Chicks regarding the "comment heard round the world." You know what I'm talking about. When, at a concert in London a little over a month ago, Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines announced, "I want everyone to know I'm ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas" or something pretty close to that at least. As would be expected, there was a critical backlash here in the States despite the fact that everyone in London was cheering the statement.
But, hey, isn't that what makes the U.S. great? We get to say what we want to say about whomever we want to say it about and it's protected by the first amendment, right? Apparently, so many people don't agree with this that there were Dixie Chick CD destruction parties and boycotts on the radio among other things. The special even showed little kids smashing Chicks CDs with their feet.
This is the kind of ignorant bullshit that really makes me sick. The Chicks were right on the money when they said that this action is akin to Nazi book burning. Whether you agree or disagree with what Maines said, you've got to agree that destroying pieces of art (which is what music is defined as) in order to get back at someone for what they said, is, in fact similar to Nazi-like actions.
What was sad is that even the U.S. soldiers in the Middle East, those that they featured in the show at least, agree with Maines' right to say what she wants. They don't necessarily agree with her, but they respect her right to say what she said and they claim they would still listen to the Chicks' music and see them in concert. Funny, eh?
I was also listening to WXRT 93.1 FM (Chicago) this morning and they were giving a preview to their weekend XRT Flashback show that they do. This particular flashback revolves around the year 1971 and some of what they played on the air included clips from the TV show All in the Family (which went on the air in '71). The soundbyte they used featured Archie (Carroll O'Connor... RIP) spewing his regular U.S.-centric propaganda. He was saying how the Space Program separates us from "the Chinks and all the other races on Earth." This show was very revolutionary in its day. It's even revolutionary by today's overly PC standards and I honestly don't think this show would survive on TV in this day and age. We, as a country, are way too politically and culturally sensitive and believe that we need to be far more protective of other races and cultures than we really need to be or than they want us to be.
Yep, we are pretty damned backasswards. When are we going to grow up?
Thursday, 24 April 2003: Throughout history, there have been many examples of things that just don't mix or don't mix all that well. Oil and water. Cats and dogs. Star Wars fans and Star Trek fans. North Koreans and nuclear technology. You get where I'm going?
Well, here's a new one to add to this list... McFarlane Toys and The Wizard of Oz. Yes, Todd McFarlane, noted for sculpting some of the best and most detailed figures in the history of the action figure industry (such as Spawn, Shrek, the movie monsters like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, and all the really good pro sports personalities), has decided to tackle the Wonderful World of Oz.
In August, he will be releasing sculpts of the most popular characters as only he and his visionaries could see them... The Twisted Land of Oz. Should you be afraid? Hell yes. Should you run very quickly in the other direction? If you're an Oz purist, yes. Let's just say they are definitely "enlightening" for lack of a better word. There are figures for Dorothy, the Lion, the Tinman, the Scarecrow, Toto, and the Wizard and they are like nothing you've ever seen before in your life. And they are definitely not for children under 17. You can use your imagination with that warning.
The following link will take you to the Twisted Land of Oz homepage and there is a description of the figure set underneath the picture of the Lion. To the right of his pic, you will see links to the six characters. Click on each of them and you will find an intro page for them and links to three finished sculpt photos. The first two photos are given some dramatic flash with creative close ups, lighting, and some smoke. The third picture in each series is just a clean, full shot of each figure.
My fave is, personally, the Lion as he ain't quite so cowardly anymore. The Tinman and the Scarecrow are weird while Toto is all shades of f'd up. The Wizard is pretty cool looking in an H.R. Giger sense of it all. While Dorothy is... not going home to her Auntie Em in Kansas looking like this.
Consider this fair warning... McFarlane's Twisted Land of Oz.
Monday, 21 April 2003: In an attempt to make the eventual facelift of this site (yes, I do have one in the works) that much easier, I have played around with some things here at kapgar.com.
1. The Fun With Dead Trees book review site no longer has book covers accompanying the reviews. I know it may not be nearly as pretty or colorful anymore, but you have no idea what a pain in the ass it was to maintain all those images. Yikes.
2. The Fun With Dead Trees site no longer has links to Amazon.com so you can purchase copies of the books I've reviewed. To be honest, I was an Amazon associate for three years and I didn't earn one red cent from sales off my site. So why bother?
3. Updates are no longer listed under the links in the left menu bar. I'm currently debating one of two possibilities regarding how to deal with informing you all of updates. One would be a box in the left bar that lists what has been updated. The second would be to just put a bar under each entry on this page listing the updates. I'm not sure what I'm going to stick with when I convert, but I think I'll try the box for now.
4. I've deleted several entries on the Any Life Out There page (ed. note - link removed since page doesn't exist anymore) seeing as how I don't visit many of those sites much anymore and some shows have either been cancelled or we just don't watch them as much as we once did. I may entirely redo this list so that many of the links that I access pretty regularly will just be listed right here on the homepage. I'll have to figure out how I want to work that one, if at all.
5. I'm completely eliminating the Top 20 films list as well as the new on video list that I currently maintain in the Movie Critique section of this site. Those pages are a royal pain in the arse to maintain as well. And, currently, Katie and I have only seen one movie that is in the Top 20 anyway. That's pretty sad for us and the page looks truly barren, so why keep it there? Besides, if I include the most recent reviews in the update box, who needs the page listing what movies we've seen that are in the Top 20? Not me.
6. Oh, and a little tiny something that has only, thus far, been changed on this page... I have renamed the "Life in HTML Archives" link to Kapgarchives. Just a cutesy little thing that I dig on. Let it be said, let it be done.
Simply put, all these changes are just more of an excuse for me to be lazy with this site. Hells yeah.
Sunday, 20 April 2003: Sorry it's been so long. But, sometimes you just have to know when to prioritize things in your life, and updating this website wasn't exactly a priority of mine for the last week. So, to catch you all up...
Wednesday and Thursday were spent performing the normal visitation and funeral proceedings for Katie's Uncle Greg. It's truly amazing how many people showed up. The guest book alone had 33 pages filled with 11 names each. This doesn't take into account the fact that many people signed as families and there are likely to be those people who didn't bother to sign at all. That was one heckuva turnout and much greater a number than anyone expected. Amazing the impact a life can have. I could only hope to have half that number of people mourn when I go. And that may be pushing it.
Friday was a lazy day to catch up on sleep and do some cleaning of the apartment. So, nothing much to say there. That's also how much of Saturday was spent. We also took some time to catch up on the tapes we had piled up of shows from the last week and we rented a couple DVDs for the first time since November. We saw The Good Girl and Secretary. Well, I saw Secretary, that is. Both were interesting in their own right, but I was severely let down by the ending of Secretary while both of us were really impressed by Jennifer Aniston's acting range in The Good Girl. Yes, she will have a future after Friends, unlike some of her costars. Lastly, on Saturday, we also went out to dinner with my parents as an early Easter get-together since we would be spending pretty much all day with Katie's family on Sunday.
Okay, perhaps I should clarify... I spent most of Sunday with her family since Katie had to work and I was supposed to hide the eggs for the kids to go find in the yard. Of course, I didn't get there in time to hide them, so I just played photographer for the event. I do have about a dozen pix that I need to resize and then I will post them in the Photo Album. I'll let you know when they're up. Katie did come up after her shift at work ended, but, by that time, all her relatives had left. So we spent some time with her family and then made the drive home.
Long week. And we're both very glad it's over.