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Archive for March, 2015

I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.
   –  Alice Walker
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On This Day In:
2014 Great Service
2013 You Really Should Wear More Sweaters
Here I Am God
2012 The Serenity Prayer
2011 The Victory Of Life

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The little I know, I owe to my ignorance.
   —  Sacha Guitry
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On This Day In:
2014 The Difference
2013 My Heart Is Described
2012 Keen To Be Alone
2011 The Ideal Business…
2010 55

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Where the rewards of valor are the greatest, there you will find also the best and bravest spirits among the people.
   —  Pericles’ Funeral Oration
(from Thucydides, 430 B. C. E.)
[This quote brought to mind General Patton’s famous quote: “Your job is not do die for your country.  Your job is to make the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country.”  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Intricate And Subtle Order
2013 Attention To Detail
2012 Aequanimitas!
2011 Consider This

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I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity.  I want this adventure that is the context of my life to go on without end.
   —  Simone de Beauvoir
[Happy Birthday to me!   Actually, I’ve found the older I get and the more brushes with death I have, the more accepting I am of my own mortality and the greater infinite context beyond this one.  But I’m nowhere near ready to start it!  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Unpaved
2013 Headstones
2012 Keeping Young
2011 Lessons Well Learned

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The world is full of wonders, but nothing is more wonderful than man.
   —  Sophocles
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On This Day In:
2014 Are You Confused?
2013 But The Odds Are Against It
2012 Far Better Off With Books
2011 Timid And Fainthearted

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There exists a species of transcendental ventriloquism by means of which men can be made to believe that something said on earth comes from Heaven.
    —  Georg C. Lichtenberg
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On This Day In:
2014 Not Saying
2013 Ears And Tongue
2012 The Story Of Joe (Middle-Class Republican)
2011 Happy Birthday, Diana
Depending On Kindness

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Each of us has his own alphabet with which to create poetry.
  ―  Irving Stone
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On This Day In:
2014 More Beef, Less Bull
2013 Where Are Your Mountains
2012 Spherical Knowledge Of Hamsters
2011 Taking Stock Over Time

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It takes great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.
   –  Oscar Wilde
[Happy Birthday, Bro!  You inspire me!  Love ya   —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 58 – Little Bro
2013 New Adventures And Old Hopes
Caving In
2012 Bits And Bobs And Birthdays
Always Hope
2011 Wet Snow And Long Hills

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When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
  —  Written by:  William Butler Yeats
[Pure serendipity…  I “found” this poem watching an episode of “Space: Above And Beyond“, a TV series I used to watch back in the ’90’s.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Three Observations
2013 Robbed Again
2012 Good Hearts
2011 Interesting Reading
What Are You Lookin’ At?

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One just man causes the Devil greater affliction than a million blind believers.
   —  Kahlil Gibran
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On This Day In:
2014 Just Setting Out
2013 Scott’s Inscription
2012 Good Knowledge
2011 Social Safety Nets

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Countless choices define our fate: each choice, each moment, a moment in the ripple of time.  Enough ripple, and you change the tide…  for the future is never truly set.
   —  Professor Charles Xavier
From the closing lines of the movie: “X-Men: Days of Future Past
[Last night I re-watched a movie from last year, “X-Men: Days of Future Past“.  I had planned to see it in the theater, but never got around to it.  Later, when I was viewing a number of movies on bootleg sites, I managed to see it, but the quality was so bad (as it typically is on these sites) that I didn’t even bother to review the movie because I didn’t think I could give it a “fair” review.  And, all in all, I think that was a very good decision.  My opinion of the movie was vastly improved over my prior viewing.
The “X-Men” comic book series was one of the many comic titles I followed when I was growing up.  Much like the “Spider-Man” series, the X-men were geared to a youth audience and sought to express the “angst” of growing up, feeling different, and coming to terms with a growing sense of uniqueness in the adult world much bigger than the imagined (and imaginary) world of our early childhoods.  Combine this feeling of difference with a mild (or not so mild) persecution complex (“they hate us because they fear us; they fear us because we’re different”) and you have a very deep story-line vein to mine for many years of comics (and movies).
The problem with any persecution story arc’s is, of course, the natural tendency of the writer(s) to follow the escalation sub-arc to it’s natural conclusion – the death(s) of all the heroes (the mutants and X-Men) or the death / termination of the antagonist (in this case, the Sentinels).  And, of course, if you kill off all of the heroes – wait for it – no more comic books (or movies).  If you kill all of the bad-guys, same problem (or you have to “invent” new baddies).
The somewhat classic response to this problem is to re-boot the series (either in the comic book or the movie format) or to go back and change time so “it” (the current present) never “really” happened and we can make up new stories.  Sometimes, you do both.  (See the latest two “Star Trek” movies…)
So the questions are: which does this movie do; and does it do it well?  This movie chooses “both”, but with a heavy emphasis on time-travel to get to the re-boot.  The movie goes very dark in the escalation sub-arc and does, in effect, kill all the heroes.  The time-travel also does its job of re-booting (some of) the actors / characters and getting the movie series back to a place where they can now logically create “new” sequels.
That’s the “do”.  How about the “well”?
Like all comic-book movies in general, and X-Men movies in particular, this is very much an action and special effects movie.  The action scenes are too few (for my tastes), but well done.  The special effects are visually well done, but mostly don’t make any sense.  And I mean “suspend belief” cause there’s no way this is possible kind of stuff.  There are far too many to list, but most of the problems have to do with trying to use actors across a 40 year span and technology that could not exist today, let alone back in the 1970’s.
Somehow, though, the “dark”, “not enough action scenes”, “unbelievable” movie still works for me.  The core message is that the future is never “really” set as long as you have hope and that hope is what drives the individual to a commitment to change.  The message / theme is touched upon frequently during the movie, but even I have to admit it (the message) is somewhat hidden in the viewing experience.  All in all, I give the movie a “B+” rating.
Final recommendation: strong recommendation.  Well worth viewing by any action / adventure / comic-book fan.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 You, Too!
2013 Bitter Stand
2012 Lost For Words
2011 On Market Reactions…

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One who moves along the line of least reluctance to a desired death.
   —  Ambrose Bierce
From his book:  “The Devil’s Dictionary
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On This Day In:
2014 You, Too!
2013 Bitter Stand
2012 Lost For Words
2011 On Market Reactions…

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No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.
    —  Alice Walker
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On This Day In:
2014 I Hear Voices
2013 Ethics And Standards
2012 Swing Higher
2011 Convicted For Life

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The people do not exist for the sake of literature, to give the author fame, the publisher wealth, and the book a market.  On the contrary, literature exists for the sake of the people, to refresh the weary, to console the sad, to hearten the dull and downcast, to increase man’s interest in the world, his joy of living, and his sympathy in all sorts and conditions of men.  Art for art’s sake is heartless and soon grows artless; art for the public market is not art at all, but commerce; art for the people’s service is a noble, vital and permanent element of human life…  Masterpieces have never been produced by men given to obscenity or lustful thoughts – men who have no Master…  Good work in literature has its permanent mark; it is like all good work, noble and lasting.  It requires a human aim – to cheer, console, purify, or ennoble the life of people.  With this aim, literature has never sent an arrow close to the mark.  It is by good work only that men of letters can justify their right to a place in the world.
  —  Circuit Judge Martin Manton
Writing in his dissenting opinion on the pornographic nature of the book “Ulysses” by James Joyce in the case:  United States v. One Book Entitled Ulysses, 72 F.2d 705 (2d Cir. 1934)
The majority opinion was that the book was not pornography and the court’s decision was upheld on review.
[Actually, the classification of any art – literature or other – as pornography or otherwise is very subjective and difficult.  As such, I prefer the better known quote concerning pornography:
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it,…
  —  Mr. Justice Potter Stewart
United States Supreme Court
Concurring in Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 US 184 (1964).
Both quotes are about “art” but from unrelated cases – one about a book and the other about a movie.  While I personally agree with the court’s decision about “Ulysses“, I find myself in complete agreement with Judge Manton’s statement that “Good work in literature has its permanent mark“.
Today’s post is unusual in that I don’t normally compare / contrast quotes and I also don’t normally comment on them.  “Interpretation” is normally left to the reader.   There is no particular reason for today’s exception.   —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Nudge, Nudge
2013 The Journey Will Be Joy
2012 Hopeful Flights
2011 Irrationally Predictable
Lawful Restraint

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Perhaps in time the so-called Dark Ages will be thought of as including our own.
  —  Georg C. Lichtenberg
[This is completely out of context so I don’t know if it was originally meant to be funny or sarcastic or serious, but it makes me chuckle.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Rule One
2013 Spelling God’s Name
2012 Love Your Life And Sing
Feeling Under the Weather?
2011 Cheers, Friend!

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