linky links

A variety of things to keep you occupied this morning:

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and i’ve been disappointed ever since

You might not have heard this, yet, but the new Star Wars movie comes out today. I do not care. Here’s why: In 1977, I saw a trailer for what is now referred to as Episode IV, but which we used to call, more reasonably, Star Wars. In this trailer, Luke Skywalker is working on a squat little garbage can robot, and a shiny gold robot is talking. “This is my counterpart, R2D2,” the shiny robot says. “Hello,” says Luke, smiling.

I thought Luke was R2D2. See, I thought the human and the shiny robot were in some kind of man/machine symbiotic relationship. “How cool!”

Alas, it was not to be.

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my weekend update

We went out to see Silver City on Saturday night. This film has received unfairly negative reviews. It’s not John Sayles’ best work, but it’s quite good. Check out Chuck’s review from last week. Afterwards, we went to the Plaza Art Fair which was fun–big crowds, good food, good beer–but not that interesting. When I got home, I stayed up late adding some music to a sound file of Weez reading the first stanza of The Goblin Market. Neither one quite works. Weez IM’d me to say she thought something like a carnival organ grinder on crack would be appropriate. Here’s where I ran into a limitation of GarageBand: it has a paucity of loops and beats for 3/4 time. (You know, 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3) Experimentation will continue as time allows. This creative collaboration is loads of fun and helps keep me sane. If anyone else wants to play along, all you have to do is ask. (Actually, you don’t even need to ask, unless you want the GarageBand files; then I’ll send them or post them.)

Sunday, it was back to work at the office. It’s nice and quiet there on the weekends. Wrestling with the article. Working up towards putting various proposals and applications together. Listening to the cicadas through the open windows. Above is a shot of what my desk looked like right before I left for home. One laptop is mine, and one is the school’s. My notes are displayed on the one in back, and the draft of the article is on the one in front. I love a small laptop, but I have a hard time tracking my way through a big piece of writing by looking at a small slice of it on a 12″ screen, so I’m trying to expand the 2-D space upon which the article is represented: two laptop screens and an entire (real) desktop. It’s easy enough to move the cards around to rearrange chunks of the argument, and I can stand up and get a picture of the whole thing, see what’s missing and what’s there.

As I mentioned in an earlier entry, the cards are lined up like the little bits of data in a GarageBand file. Here, take a look at what “Gimme Gimme (Angry Chicken Remix)” looks like visually (warning, big pdf, 430K). I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m so drawn to the GarageBand interface (no firm conclusions, yet) and I’m trying to mimic its form in writing this article. We’ll see.

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documentary film series

I just received an announcement via email for an impressive series of films to be shown here in KC:

Documentary Film Series
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (Directions and Map)
All films begin at 7:00 p.m. and are followed by a discussion.
There is no charge for the series, however donations are always appreciated.
Tuesday – August 31 UNPRECEDENTED – The 2000 Presidential Election
The battle for the Presidency in Florida and the Undermining of democracy in America.
Filmmakers Richard Ray Perez and Loan Sekler examine modern America’s most controversial political contest the Election of George W. Bush. What emerges is a disturbing picture of an election marred by suspicious irregularities, electoral injustices and sinister voter purges in a state governed by the winning candidate’s brother.
Tuesday – September 14 UNCOVERED: the whole truth about the Iraq war.
The story of how truth became the first American casualty in Iraq. This is the second film in a series by Outfoxed producer, Robert Greenbaum.
Tuesday – September 21 THE FOG OF WAR
Robert S. McNamara sits down one on one with award-winning director Errol Morris to offer a candid and intimate journey through some of the most seminal events in contemporary American history. 2003 WINNER – Best Documentary Feature
Tuesday – September 28 OUTFOXED – Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism
We will replay the film that brought the largest crowd to our documentary series – ever! This documentary provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public’s right to know.
Tuesday – October 5 BONHOFFER
This poignant documentary traces the life of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was one of the first to speak up against Adolph Hitler throughout Hitler’s rise to power. Bonhoeffer organized the Confessing Church, the only structured revolt against Hitler, and turned to his roots as a devout Christian for the strength to take a political stand for Jews everywhere.
Tuesday – October 12 BE GOOD, SMILE PRETTY
In March 2001, when Tracy Droz Tragos happened upon a first-hand account of her father’s death on a U.S. Naval swift boat in Vietnam, she decided she needed to know exactly who that 25-year-old stranger was. Be Good, Smile Pretty documents Tragos’s journey of discovery and the powerfully moving, personal exploration of her grief for the father she never knew, a grief shared by the estimated 20,000 Americans whose fathers were killed in Vietnam.
     We showed this film earlier in the year. It has since been awarded two Emmy’s. The father of Tracy Droz Tragos is from Rich Hill, Missouri. Mike Murphy, program director, of KCPT Public Television, helped her, in part to complete this film. On her trip to Washington, she is met by none other than John Kerry, who served with her father.
Tuesday – October 19 FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (if available)
Tuesday – October 26 CONTROL ROOM
This documentary peers into the controversial and often dangerous operations of the 7-year-old Al Jazeera news network. Although it often enrages its own people, the news outlet has become the most accepted informational resource in the Arab community. Filmmaker Jehane Noujaim gains extraordinary access to Al Jazeera journalists and the risks they confront on a daily basis.
Tuesday – November 2 LIVE ELECTION RESULTS – to be shown on the large screen at All Souls.
Come, bring a friend and a covered dish and join us for an evening of election results.
Your host is Mike McKelley, E-mail: mmckelley[at]kc[dot]rr[dot]com
(816) 531-2551

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