Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Internet Made Me Do It!

When life goes awry, cross your fingers behind your back and point to the computer next to you.

It seems to me that any time someone does something stupid, and the internet is involved, people blame the internet, a non-sentient network of inanimate computers....anybody else see a problem?

I have prepared some scenarios for us to experiment with:

Scenario: A teen girl goes to a dark alley to meet a new friend she found on Myspace and gets kidnapped because her friend's a pervert pretending to be her same age. What went wrong?

Answer: A. Myspace or B. The Teen should have used common sense and not gone to the important disclaimer: The opinion here does not in any way condone, justify, glorify, make light of, or in any other fashion say anything about the actual events that prompted certain individuals to point an accusatory finger at the internet. i.e. I do not think suicide, bullying, or other such things are funny.

Scenario: a teen kills himself because he reads some mean things that his "friends" said about him on Facebook. What went wrong?

Answer: A. Facebook or B. The Teen had a clinical problem if he thought of killing himself, so its only partially the fault of his "friends" who were doing what kids have been doing forever.

Scenario: A man uses his credit card to buy a book from a website that he found on Google. The website offers no signs of being reputable and no way of checking its validity. The man is completely robbed by the owner of the site who escapes the law. What went wrong?

Answer: A. The Internet or B. The man is another of Barnum's born a-minute.

Answer Key: If you chose any "A" answers then shut up and get off of this computer. Maybe you can find yourself a Time-Machine that will take you back to 1985 when most people thought that the Calculator was a dangerous computing device.

If You chose "B" then you must realize that computers have become a part of a grand list of scapegoats including:

  • Communists
  • The Devil
  • Witches
  • Illegal Immigrants
  • That other kid on the playground who told me to do it

All of the problems that people like to attribute to The Internet are problems with the PEOPLE on the internet. The people are saying mean things and going into dark alleys of their own volition. Social Networking is like meeting people on the street, take the same precaustions.

It's time to stop blaming The Internet for the stupidity, frailty, and strangeness of people. We need to focus on the actual issues involved. For example: instead of banning Myspace, we should teach our children how to not be stupid!

We need to stop being stupid before the government steps in. Already, there are bills flying around that can ban all Social Networking from schools (that would include educational sites, as well as Myspace or Ebay). If people would start pointing fingers to the individuals who are really to blame, the out of date politicians can keep their spectacles on topics they can actually understand.

Or we could resign ourselves to writing new fairy tales for kids: Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Internet.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Right Between The Eyes: Shoot 'Em Up hits the spot.

He's a British nanny and he's dangerous. Clive Owen stars in the action film to end all action films.

When you go to see an action movie, what do you want to see?

  • Explosions  
  • Car Chases
  • Lots of blazing guns
  • hot girls
  • bad ass heroes
  • exciting escapes
  • daring deeds
  • bad ass villains
  • hot sex scenes
  • one liners
  • just enough humor
  • did I mention bad asses?
Why does anyone go to see a movie with Clive Owen in it?
  1. to see him kicking ass
  2. to see him being bad ass
  3. to see him kicking even more ass
  4. to see a complete removal of all asses in the film due to Clive Owens bad ass boot.
Shoot 'Em Up has all of this unlike any other action film; this film does not hold back. How often are we amazed by the skill and dexterity of our hero? While watching Antonio Banderas defeat of enemies in Desperado and Once Upon a Time In Mexico, or as we see Schwarzenegger remove an entire island of enemies from his path in Commando, it's easy to think, "I bet this guy could do anything! He could probably deliver a baby amongst all of that!" In Shoot 'Em Up's first scene, Clive Owen fights off 60-some guys with a gun, while he delivers a baby; he cuts the umbilical chord with a shot from his pistol. Don't we wish that we could have a sex scene and not stop the action? Clive Owen does his woman, and kills his enemy. Yes, he's that good. The bad guys "walk in" on Owen and Monica Bellucci with guns blazing. Clive grabs his weapon and dispatches the first wave without leaving bed. The two keep it up while our hero continues to blaze through his opponents.

Clive Owen plays a man with no name, no past, and nothing to lose (read the poster), known only as Mr. Smith. Isn't this the perfect action hero? He knows everything about any situation they are in. He hijacks cars, knows how to clone people, can fire any weapon, he's an expert marksman, he's got one liners down, is there anything else? Oh, yeah, he's British.

The villain, a high-ranking hitman played by Paul Giamatti, is perfect. Excellent at what he does to the point of absurdity. Brutal and full of great exclamations like "well fuck me sideways!" He's the perfect opponent for Owen's character. He makes great phone calls to his wife explaining that he's going to be away longer than normal on his "business trip". He's really trying to murder Bellucci's baby. Why? Watch the film.

I could never do this movie justice in a review, so go see it. It has a good plot that I have intentionally dodged and it's full of action. But this film achieves excellence with its wonderfully bad ass characters and hilarious situations. This film never pulls a punch and goes the whole nine yards of ammunition to have everything an action movie should. Watch Shoot 'Em Up, and see how bad ass one British nanny can be.