And yesterdays most popular search was…

“fucking”.

Yesterdays top keyword, that led internet users from google to us, was the word “fucking” (most likely because of midmulls review of “young people fucking”).

I’m very proud of that fact, but also a little sorry for the 4 poor bastards that did (unexpectedly) not find any bare boobs or butts on this respectable blog – just some occasional strong language (yes we are rated R !).

Good night everyone. (And yes, I am secretly hoping that this post will lead more people, searching for some fucking, astray. ;))

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Young People Fucking

No, I’m not going to comment on the title because I just don’t care. What I’m going to say, though, is the following:

I never wanted to get this close to gay porn. I’ll be scarred for life. 😦

So, how did I find this movie? The provocative title? Nope, that’s not it. Joe Mallozzi it is. Stargate writer – a show I like and a man whose blog I read daily – and so is Martin Gero, writer/director of ‘Young People Fucking’.

So, what’s the movie about? Well, on the outside it truly is about young people fucking. Even though I wouldn’t necessarily call all of them young (actually, none of them) the main (and only) plot is five couples having sex, being followed through the various stages of the act. Interesting, to be sure – and for once I’m not saying this because we get to see the actresses’ boobs (that isn’t even necessarily a plus figuring into this review – certainly not a minus but it’s just not that important).

Below that, though, lies a masterpiece. I have about three things that I’d criticise:

  1. The word “fuck” and its variations are used too often at the beginning (not that it bothers me – it doesn’t – but is just doesn’t seem right).
  2. The gay scenes! How dare you? It’s not that any homosexuals are involved (I wouldn’t care – I just probably wouldn’t watch (unless they were lesbians)) – but you’ll see what I’m talking about once you actually watch the movie for yourself…
  3. It’s only about 80 minutes.

Now, none of that is terribly bad – 3. could even be considered a strength. Let’s get to the good stuff, then.

First off, the actors. Now, I think I’ve said this before but I truly am not expert. Sure, I’ll notice if it’s really bad but normally I just won’t notice. Here – they’re all terrific. I noticed. That’s a very good sign.

It’s terribly funny. At times I found myself laughing out loud – that’s a very rare thing. Usually I might smile a little – not laugh out loud. I did. More than once! It’s terribly sweet. Not in an unnecessarily cheesy way. It’s just right! The story’s being told are wonderful. The exes – it’s obvious they’re still in love and still they can’t be together. The story works out just that way – it has to because it obviously working out between the two of them before.

Jude Law (no, not really) – another rather amusing storyline. You’ll have to see for yourself. Kinda borderline cheesy though (reminds me of Wedding Crashers, kinda). The perverts – entertaining and cute. Especially when she explains why she loves him and doesn’t care that everyone else thinks they shouldn’t be together. It’s especially ironic considering what happened previously to that scene. 😀

The married couple – those two are most in danger of being cheesy. I was worried for a moment there. Then I got scarred for life. You’ll see. I’m still weeping. 😦 (Yes, I know that deep down this is sexist – I don’t care)

Finally, my favourite storyline: the friends. It works out perfectly. Very romantic. And still, not too cheesy. Doesn’t tell us where this is going to go and that’s why it’s so strong.

So, let’s get to the bottom line: This reminds me of another favourite film of mine: Love Actually. Another brilliant movie about love. Awesome writing, awesome acting – what more could you ask for? And the only reason most people ever talked about it is the title. That’s worrying – we could’ve missed a real gem here.

5/5

Refining opinions: Legalising Drugs, Part II

As promised in the comments to part I, here’s the next argument FOR legalising drugs.

DQ kinda mentioned it – there are “dangerous” drugs. Let’s begin with that, shall we?

First off, you’re mostly wrong. Drugs per se usually aren’t that dangerous. Let’s take heroin – it makes you addicted pretty quick but pure heroin isn’t that dangerous. You get somewhat impotent and you get haemorrhoids, if I recall correctly. That’s about it – get your required shot and you’re good to go, ready to partake in civilised society like any other productive member.

This usually goes even farther – there’s plenty of BS indoctrination in public schools as to the dangers of drugs. Cocaine, for example, probably just isn’t physically addictive (even though it might be slightly – they’re “not quite sure”), and even if it is a little – the major, major factor is purely psychological. Now, I don’t think I even need to get started on weed…

This indoctrination is rather counter-productive, too. You put all these horrible ideas into childrens’ brains and then they hit the real world and see that you exaggerated, grossly misrepresented and just plain lied to them. How serious do you think they’re gonna take you on those areas where you actually told the truth?

Anyway, the argument I’m trying to get to: drugs aren’t that dangerous. I currently lack the inclination and the time to go check out wikipedia for links to historical examples of how drugs were quite widely used without any kind of too terrible effects. It isn’t really necessary, either. The criminalisation of drugs is much more important.

It makes sure that the quality of drugs actually deteriorates – the drug gets stretched and additional substances are added. Substances that are actually dangerous. Now, if you’re gonna go the anarchist/minarchist route and call it a question of liability or the more classically liberal route and say the government ought to regulate it – either option is obviously much better.

There is really very little reasons I can come up with as to why established drugs companies (you know, those good old bluechips) would want to offer worse quality than what’s being offered right now. You really don’t hear about stretched coffee or fucked up bananas that often. If there’s a safe and legal way to import, say, cocaine from Columbia – that’d be a pretty awesome business. You can slash prices, increase quality (and thereby safety) and make quite the profit doing all of that.

That’s part one of the argument – drugs really aren’t that dangerous to start with (and propaganda to the contrary is rather counter-productive) and if they were legalised, they’d logically be even less dangerous. I’m sure the marketing whiz-kids would come up with plenty of ways to price-discriminate against different buyers of cocaine but all of them would ensure far purer, far safer drugs than we see now.

Part two of the argument runs quite contrary to part one. Even IF drugs were that dangerous – wouldn’t you want them out in the open? Wouldn’t you want to either know what you’re dealing with and, again, handle it through either liability and the courts or government regulation of the market to ensure proper standards?

I think this makes it quite clear that there’s little point in keeping drugs illegal from a safety point of view.

Coming up next: why legalising drugs would decrease crime by quite a bit.

Refining opinions: Legalising drugs, Part I

As promised (or did I?), better posts coming up. What’s the point, you may ask?

Rather selfish, for now. I like to hear myself talk (even though I don’t especially like to re-read what I’ve written) and I think I could potentially profit from some thought-provoking counterarguments. Not that I think any of you might have a point (I’ll look to the Ayatollah Rand and – potentially – Mr Rothbard and Mr Mises for that) but you can still help me prepare for the fights coming up. Obviously, I’m so undeniably correct that I don’t expect much coming this way. 😉

Anyway, I’ve done most of this in some other form multiple times already but this might turn into some kind of proper reference – and a guide to my views. Commenting on news articles is indeed rather pointless and I lack the time so I’ll concentrate on fundamentals.

First up: legalising drugs. All drugs. Yes.

To fellow libertarians this won’t sound very daring – so you’re allowed to skip this one. And any other post in this vein. Even though I’d appreciate it if you didn’t and helped me see where I’m missing something or forgetting about an important argument.

Off we go. I’ll split this into various parts so as to keep it readable (and to offer me the opportunity to write on an issue more than just once). I’ll beginn this one with the most fundamental point that I can come up with:

The state has no right to tell people what they can and can’t put into their bodies.

I’m not gonna start with discussing whether or not actually taking drugs is a terribly good idea (I’m leaning towards yes, currently) but this is at the very heart of the discussion. What justification is there to tell people what they can and can’t put into their own bodies, by their own free will?

The obvious answer to the question is: “someone else will be forced to pay the bill”. That just shows how horribly flawed the system is and says absolutely nothing about drug use. Sure, socialized health care, government handouts to drug addicts – all these costs might conceivably offer some kind of justification for state intervention. The problem though: all these state interventions shouldn’t be there in the first place. They directly contradict what a free society ought to be about – people making choices and living with the consequences.

Yes, you might become addicted to drugs and yes drugs might fuck up your body real bad (even though I’ll argue in another post that this would actually be less dangerous under a system where drugs are legal) – that’s a risk you take when choosing to use drugs. Do the necessary homework, take the necessary precautions and you should be fine. And even if you aren’t – isn’t that your own fault? Yes, it quite obviously is. You are the one that decided to take drugs so you are the one that needs to man up and live with the consequences. Obviously, you have no right to make society pay for the bills.

The more general argument, though, is nanny statism at its very worst. Someone, probably even a majority, thinks “it’s bad for you” and therefore you shouldn’t do it. And because you shouldn’t do it, there “oughta be a law” that prohibits it. Again, you could call this all kinds of dirty words – fascism, totalitarianism, collectivism. It’s the belief that your life belongs to someone else, that society has a claim to what you do with your own life. That you need to be told what to do because it’s for your own best. That someone else knows what’s better and that this someone gets to make that decision for everyone else.

I don’t think I need to point out where that kind of reasoning leads – the real world provides enough examples. Outlawing smoking in restaurants, pubs, clubs and pretty much everywhere else. Government money for convincing people “not to drink”. Outlawing real, proper light bulbs. Limiting the food choices people have (think PETA and their approach to eating meat). The list goes on and on.

I’m pretty sure you can tell where I’m going with this. It’s not that “it’s gone too far”, it’s not that the system needs some tweaking. It’s that the fundamental concept is wrong. It doesn’t matter how small the intrusion is – there’s no justification for it.

Lions for Lambs

Got the DVD as a birthday present and finally decided to watch it today.

Let me say right off the bat: the reviews are right, this one sucks.

The movie follows three different storylines – a professor trying to convince a student that he should “do something” with his potential, an evil, evil Republican senator trying to sell a new strategy to a reporter and two soldiers in Afghanistan getting into a bad situation.

Those three stories, obviously, are linked together – and that’s where the trouble starts. The three storylines only exist so we can link the different characters together, there’s absolutely no point in having them all. There could be more, there could be just one – it plain doesn’t matter. The only thing remotely clever? They all happen within one hour or so.

Let’s start with the professor: his student is some frat boy and he missed class a couple times. How sad. This then results in a long tirade of “the world’s going to hell” and “people just don’t care anymore today” – yadda, yadda, yadda. Sure, most people occasionally feel that way (sometimes with decent quantities of alcohol involved) but then they get offer it and move the fuck on. It doesn’t exactly become clear what he expects his young, bright student to do – just “something”, I guess.

Also, this wonderful professor had two other boys with potential. They proposed reinstating the draft in class and then – and this is probably the only halfway decent scene in the film even though it’s terribly forced – respond to accusations of hypocrisy by putting their enlistment confirmations on the OHP (they always somehow have the exact right information on their slides to respond to any kind of criticism that comes up) – terribly leftist, fascist, statist – you name it, you can pretty much throw any kind of accusation their way, considering what they are proposing (and considering that this is a libertarian blog).

Those two boys, alas, are the soldiers that are getting killed – yes, they get killed (even though it could be considered semi-suicide). People get killed in wars, what a surprise. The only point to have them in the film, though, is to have them killed. Seriously, it’s that simplistic. They serve no other purpose – kinda like the professor not offering anything other than “do something!”. No background, no motivation – nothing, nada. No idea why they are where they are, why they need to die. All just a set-up to drive home the message that Bush really is evil.

Oh, I didn’t mention that yet, did I? Yeah, it’s a film against the neo-cons. Tom Cruise, finally, in the third storyline is an up-and-coming Republican senator who tries to sell his new strategy to Meryl Streep. The major problem? There is no strategy. It’s just bullshit. And while that gives the film makers a wonderful opportunity to illustrate how stupid the one-liners in defence of the war(s) really are, it just hurts the movie.

If there’d been some kind of plan, some kind of strategy that could reasonably have been expected to come from politicians rather than the military (because this new strategy is clearly a military decision) it could have worked. Use the surge, use some kind of major change – something that makes the movie work. Not some weak-ass bullshit like this.

So, in conclusion: there’s no proper message apart from “everything sucks” and “we all oughta do something about it”, there’s no asking useful questions, there’s no starting an interesting discussion. It’s just whining and bitching – and Michael Moore is just funnier when he does it.

Best thing about the movie is that it only lasted about 82 minutes. 😉

Rewatching Burn Notice: Fight or Flight

International conferences attract spies for the same reason hotel bars attract hookers: you can do business and drink for free.

Another awesome episode. Let’s start right off with the wonderful stuff that went on here:

Sam – finally he’s having the FBI boys act they HE wants them to. He’s found his proper role and he feels comfortable. This, obviously, also offers much more potential for him to actually be serious occasionally (very rarely, of course) – if he isn’t almost all of the time, he seems all that much more convincing when he actually is. He’s now his fun self, drinking, with a couple of irons in the fire (if you know what I mean) – that’s the Sam we want to see, that’s the same that makes this show a wonderful joyride, a very pleasurable experience.

Fiona and Michael – we’re moving in pretty big steps right now. She’s got a key and their relationship’s almost back to where it’s supposed to be. Also, none of those weaknesses we saw in the last episode. She’s her usual strong self, forcing Michael to give it his best, show his true colours. Yeah, that’s what we’re paying for.

The Mom – still pisses me off. This episode also (kinda) announced the coming of Michael’s brother, Nate. Don’t particularly much like him either and it just goes to show that his family is less fun than the rest of the people Michael hangs out with.

Finally, the story. So much cool stuff going on here, I don’t even know where to start. The fake surveillance tape – brilliant and seems pretty plausible. The fucking up of the car tyres – twice, no less! – great fun. Especially the second time.

Oleg seems like a nice guy. Well, not exactly a nice guy but a cool person to have on the show. Throw in some links to some kind of criminal organisation in his background and you’ve got a wonderful B-story over a couple episodes or a pretty great A-plot for an episode.

We get some major progress in terms of overall arc as well. Nice to see Michael finally getting somewhere – it’s not much but it is a start. Something to follow up on. And unlike that pipe bomb which lead to a pretty useless call, this contact turns out to actually be useful.

This kind of episode is great to rewatch, too. You notice stuff that you had no idea was there the first time round. Take the sparks he steals in school – didn’t notice the first time round but it’s an amusing detail.

Bottom line: just an awesome episode. Progress on the main arc, a main story that works as a stand-alone episode, major development in terms of characters. What more could you ask for?

5/5

Rewatching Burn Notice: Identity

Most fun I’ve had in Miami.

Agreed. It was a fun episode – hot chicks abound, Fiona loses the accent (even though it’s a bloody cute one!) and Michael gets one instead. A car gets blown up and the general story moves forward quite a bit even though not as much as it usually does.

Now, there’s not much to be said in terms of character development. It is, in fact, a rather weak episode in that area. Sure, the Michael-Mum relationship gets closer to where it’s supposed to be (but still not there yet) – unfortunately, she’s still just an annoying, whiny bitch. We already know that Michael’s a good guy at heart but seriously – he gets her back all her money and 500$’s too much to ask for?

The “I have some kind of illness” running gag doesn’t work (and I don’t really pay attention – IIRC they lose it somewhere, though). Fiona, OTOH, seems worse than she was in episode one. Totally not COOL, totally not RELAXED. Just like a teenager who’s madly in love with Michael (in the relevant scenes). It’s not what she’s supposed to do. When acting like this, she leaves Michael alone and there’s no partner to back him up.

Sam, finally, gets closer to where he’s supposed to be. The underpants joke is obviously cringeworthy and that’s why it works. He’s far closer to his joyful, overconfident self than he was in the Pilot.

Enough about character development though. Let’s talk about the narrative – and that’s what’s really in the foreground here. Michael’s a really cool guy and this episode drives home that point – in addition to showing that he really, really, really is capable of doing evil things, if necessary. Obviously, that old lady truly needs to check herself into some place that her kids approve of – buying into that whole scam business is just so 20th-century (I’d say even then there was no excuse for it).

Luckily though, it offers the opportunity of showing real cool stuff. I’ll just name a few of the things that really entertained me (and why they weren’t necessarily perfect):

  • Fiona and Sam getting caught – that scene really worked, their infighting didn’t
  • Michael figuring out that Paco didn’t drink – even though his retelling just a moment later kinda ruined the scene as it no longer seemed terribly witty
  • Michael shooting the police car’s tyres – plain fun
  • Michael ripping off blondie – it truly is the most fun we’ve had so far

As you can see from that list, it’s a Michael-centric episode. Not necessarily in terms of character development (which is why he doesn’t figure all that prominently above) but certainly in terms of showing the audience what he’s capable of, driving home the point of his vulnerability and the reach of his abilities. Plus, the beginning of the awesome team that Sam, Fiona and Michael form.

As you can see from the length of this post, it wasn’t a terribly deep episode. And I’m glad we’ll start moving ahead a little faster in future episodes – because just one tidbit of information at the end of each episode just isn’t going to cut it in the long run.

The bottom line: even though the review sounds quite negative, it’s a great episode again. Not as brilliant as the pilot but considering it’s the second episode (which usually appears to be quite a bit weaker) there’s nothing much to complain about. It’s fun watching stuff being blown up, it’s fun watching the good guys beating the bad guys at their own game. In short: I love it when a plan comes together. 😉

4/5