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Movie Review: Home

I wanted something completely different and found a film about a family in isolation. They play hockey in the abandoned street in front of their house. They are close, they are French, and all the adults smoke. It’s a family movie.

There’s an interesting dynamic in the beginning. You could see that some are closer than others and an emerging conflict with the oldest daughter. As she steals a cigarette on the counter, walks out the front door passed her mom in a two piece bathing suit and Doc Martin’s, to tan in the front yard.

Maybe it’s not so ideal after all. Kids do challenge the boundaries set by the culture of the parents. I just really liked that scene. It’s a five person family. In this landscape of wild grasses and a lonely house on a hill. The lonely unfinished highway has become their patio. They watch television outside in the front yard. It’s a daring way to live. Maybe, Home explores the contrasts of living without convenience. How that shaped this family.

The major conflict arises when a half dozen construction workers put guardrails across their driveway. Push all their stuff off the highway and into their front yard. Their real front yard beside their house. The Dad comes home from work and saw the guardrails that now separate an empty highway from his driveway. The strangeness of having to park across an empty divided on foot to your front door. It felt, like an ordering of the family’s lives by an outside force. It does begin to wear on the parents and they have a fight.

The conflict within the family felt like they were fighting against the concept of home itself. Trying to redefine their country existence while dealing with this thing. This, modern convenience that was always unfinished. That was the conflict also in Arizona (2018), and I can’t think of another. That switched the roles of modernization as villain. Hm. Might have to look harder. Crash (2004), took place on the road mostly and was more sociology, people were villains. Priscilla, Queen of The Desert (1994), has a greater focus on the road as character but again, town people were the conflict, maybe the progressive characters conflicting with traditional town people. Hm. Guess, Home like in the movie stands by itself.

I do like films that have that Dorian Grey aspect to them. Either some conflict arises from an object or the possession or loss creates personal conflict. About, a third of the way through the film you can see the family’s early anger have subsided and the men sit on the couch waiting for the road to open. The nearby children ride outside the guardrails on their bikes also waiting. I’ve never witnessed, this encroachment of modernism in the simplest version. A road. Could be such an interesting subject for a movie.

The mother, Marthe slowly withdrawals after the road opens. Her kids cannot cross safely to catch the bus. Her older daughter tans outside to the sound of horns honking from pervert drivers. But, the mom takes the new road hardest for some undescribable reason. Maybe, she felt the shell of safety was broken. Their lovely place out in the country to raise children has now connected to everything awful modernity offers. Roads, all roads kind of have that built into them. The conflict changed though from the road itself to the people on the road and their new limitations by being right next to convenience and no access to it. The road was built to exclude them. Marthe, runs across the road to leave dinner in the mailbox for the children who wait for their dad to help them cross.

The kids all deal with the highway completely different. Judith, still tans in her two piece to death metal. Marion, becomes obsessed over the amount of cars and collects samples of the carbon soaked soil. Julien, without his freedom becomes lost and goes a bit mad. He’s the youngest and one day he just runs into the traffic on the highway. Marthe, cannot help Julien and you can see at that moment what the new highway has done to her.

We like, bigger faster and better everything. This requires an expansion of these things called cities. I really liked the portrait of how one family deals with the unwanted transition into modernization.

It has this interesting resolve that I don’t want to ruin. The Nina Simone song was perfect.

Movie Review: Red Dawn (2012)

I don’t really watch war movies. I think remakes, are an absurd waste of time. Like, how many Lion Kings do we really, need in the world? I’m a cynic. I just, don’t like what comes out of Hollywood, very little. You know? It’s a crappy place and you have to sift through these awful movies. It was worse when you couldn’t click the next movie like a dumb little hamster. At least at the rental place you physically picked something up. You entered a section. Some people, just love everything. I’m not one of those people. I’ve never been one of those people. So, liking a remake more than the original is new for me.

I should get a little hat and celebrate. The original Red Dawn was, an awful movie. It just…was porn for patriots. If you didn’t live out in the country you could put in the original Red Dawn and just fall asleep to the bullets hitting invading Soviets every three minutes.

So, many thought the new Red Dawn to be too fantastical. I agree, movies always seem to make sense as much as video games. Which also make as much sense as James Bond films which make a little more sense than our Rambo films. None of them keep well, unless you actually believed the premise of all action movies. Oh. Hey remember this video game?

As soon as Doom came out we tore at the code only realizing older nerds were doing the same thing.

If you think about it. The action movie is a “mod.” A loose shell with a crappy story and a high body count. Usually a dude, in place of ourselves and our mundane existence.

A bad guy of the season, usually news based on growing hatred toward a foreign culture or idea.

Also, some kind of world saving event. A detonator.

You could arrange this set of ideas and come up with almost every action movie, ever. Red Dawn, is not that different in it’s respect to the action movie recipe. Chris Hemsworth and Josh Peck are brothers Jed and Matt like the original except this time the bad guy is Russian sponsored North Korean soldiers. The remake did deviate from the original cast with so much diversity. I liked that. You can only see so many heroes before they all look the same. White dude in tights, great. Fighting a, white dude in tights. Cool.

There was a reason for the action film. There, had to have been. Action films have almost no plot or a very predictable one. They are for men mostly and I’ve noticed while going to the theater it is older men. That may have grown up with Dirty Harry and Charles Bronson. The many spaghetti westerns of a lone gunman against a mountainside of Native Americans. I wish we could point to a time when everyone was represented on film but, we cannot there lies the problem. The action film, needs to be fixed.

I think that was a reason for such a diverse cast than the very vanilla original cast of Red Dawn. I think we can still accept the fantasy of foreign invaders because not many regularly seek to understand global problems. A Russian sponsored North Korea? Sure. About as plausible as aliens invading Los Angeles.

Everyone kind of falls to pieces in handling the idea of racial identity and culture as we are becoming more represented in blockbuster movies. We have to understand an important factor is that race in our post modern world is mostly separate from ethnic culture. We have mostly grasped this idea of American. As a blanket culture inheriting little facets of everyone. It’s nice until we have to divide again by race because, someone doesn’t exactly fit the role by skin tone. Yes, this has favored White actors mostly. I think, it inhibits true integration to unite under false pretenses. Who would play “Bart” in a live action movie of The Simpsons? Maybe, that’s why there’s action movies still. To give us recreations of past wars to offer that last camera shot of the hero washed in a golden sunset. Action, had a good run.

Our Big Beautiful Recession

Something doesn’t look right on the jobs report. 312,000 jobs? Okay? Unemployment is almost 8%. That’s 16 million people out of work. The U-6 number is more accurate it includes everybody that just gave up. Some generic recession indicators are unemployment, job creation, price of gold, interest rates, and Wall Street fluctuations. All these things are happening and everyone’s silent. Like, someone just farted. 💨

So, let’s see if there’s similarity to unemployment numbers in past recessions. Bureau of Labor, puts 2009 unemployment at 7.2%. BLS, says in 2001 unemployment peaked at 6.3%. 1991 it was 7.9%. We’re in the range for unemployment during the past three recessions if the BLS matched the U-6 report. So, 2018 is 7.6%. 2009 is 17%. 2001 is 9.6%. 1991 had no Bureau of Labor Statistics U6 data but you could tell it does increase 3 to 10 percentage points including everyone that can work but has no job.

Also, not every recession is EXACTLY the same. Even Obama, tried to rename the recession and both Bush presidencies had one as well. 😂 I mean no one wants that kind of attention but as soon as it could be addressed the faster it disappears.

These last three recessions are special though they follow what Reagan attempted with trickle down economics meaning, large tax cuts. The largest tax cuts for the wealthy.

You know let’s pause for a second. My Uber driver recently was uncomfortable that I was not White. If you’re not White, well you understand more. Umm. I didn’t want to have “the conversation.” I just put five dollars in the cup holder and suggested we sit in silence and listen to country…music. Immediately, he became my best friend. That’s Reaganomics.

Except, it normally doesn’t happen that way. The higher income brackets make lots of money because, they don’t give it away. Not to employees, the state, or federal.

Let’s look at job creation. We are praising 312,000 jobs created for December. The reports are a month behind and adjusted as the data becomes available. There, also was 32,423 jobs lost in December. A staggering amount from the industries he was proud of medical, manufacturing, and sales. There’s a .2% increase in unemployment as well. Maybe they match. Oh. They don’t, a .2% increase in unemployment is 200,000 new people out of a job. So, for simplicity lets subtract 312,000 from 200,000 and really only 112,000 jobs may have been created. I say may have because there’s no definite number for almost a year. Worst case scenario, start with 312,000 and subtract 200,000 and subtract 32,423 and you get 79,577 new jobs. Realistically, this seems more accurate as every year usually starts with low jobs and higher unemployment. A sacrifice from the holidays seasonal employment. Maybe. Target kept mentioning it added 120,000 seasonal jobs this year. Great, 27 million people are working part time. The Federal Reserve estimates 156 million people can work legally in the USA. That’s about 1 in 6 working Americans that may be stuck part time.

Glassdoor.com says the national average for part time work is $24,500. Which after deductions still qualifies you for Food Stamps. (Usda.gov)

Did we move anybody up a class? Seeing as the numbers aren’t matching and the media and news and Trump supporters love repeating them. It is hard to tell. Putting people off welfare, Americans. Only benefits the employer as the person is now moving in place. They make just enough money to stay poor. They may gain skills but without a solid path they are working to stay poor. You cannot combine benefits of employment and welfare and education. What many did in my generation is put that upward mobility into the hands of the children. So, we all became really smart and were bottlenecked in the education system that does have many scholarships but not enough for everyone. I didn’t get one.

Interest Rates. All this peaked my interest when Steve Mnuchin called the Bank CEOs on a Sunday. To tell them there’s lots of money to lend. That spooked the market. It fell a couple hundred points and Gold. Did something weird, it rose almost $6.00 in a week.

  • If there’s lots of money interest rates are low.
  • If the economy grows interest rates rise with that growth.
  • You want a steady interest rate hike because everything is connected to it.
  • Maybe, the CEO call was to SEE if there was lots of money to not trigger a rate hike. The inverse occurred and bonds fell, gold went up, and interest still rose. The bonds falling some was odd, bonds are steady in a good economy. Gold doesn’t rise in a good economy.
  • I am curious, though. There’s a lot that is keeping this afloat at the expenses of workers and long term prosperity for everyone.
  • 100 Questions: Energy

    Maybe its just me that looks at things and wonders how it was made. What was before it? What is the buzz about for its future use? About a hundred years ago, plastic was like really awesome. Now with everything covered in plastic its wrong and really bad. Some adopt new behaviors but most do not because of the slight disadvantages maybe, even the slight disappointment in those restrictions.

    Energy. Is well written on our endeavors into pretty much all human creations. From wood, to steam, to coal, to oil, to natural gas, then back to coal (weird), alternative energy, then ending with nuclear. Setting it up as a timeline which I felt coincides with different world regions and their advantages over others.

    In America, we love talking about Henry Ford and Steel plants but fail to realize that we started, about a century behind England. When we were still using up all our wood resources England had moved onto coal and oil. American innovations eventually caught up but as far as energy, the book led myself to wonder, what’s next?

    It relayed stories of different discoveries and inventions that led to later industries. I can really see how like the simplest invention held back a whole industry. Worldwide. Inventors and customers asked for more or better or useful, products. Like, Edison was credited with the lightbulb and that’s a whole other argument. Let’s not get into that. Edison couldn’t just give the world the lightbulb without a means of producing energy for its illumination. So. Edison made a power grid to reduce our depency on gas lighting. Now gas lighting was an invention that had its own subtle innovations mostly on the gas. Whales were hunted and depleted off the Atlantic to light our lamps at about $30 a gallon. Then, one resource was depleted another was found and took its place.

    This cycle, of overlaps had a lot to do with a need. We night workers needed to see in the dark. If there was no night shift things took twice as long as your competition. So, we adopted the newer cheaper innovations. However harmful or over the top. He doesn’t get into plastic because its more about energy production and its uses. As well as the connected inventions such as the automobile but specifically the internal combustion motor. Which he traced from the train and from the first motors that were also the size of a house and drained and drilled in mines.

    I really like how the author weaves the stories together and went over a few chapters again. It just, seemed unreal that energy had all these links to our current way of life. In this strange creature we call innovations. You want to believe that we can have a clean environment and free energy for everyone like Marie Curie wanted. The market, and the people that steer it through purchases aren’t interested in that way. It’s not a liberal or conservative book but a serious look at how we got to now.

    Questions I asked myself while reading:

    Where does the term out of whack come from?

    How many trees did it take to build a warship?

    How many years did it take grow a tree ship sized?

    How many ships in the Royal wooden Navy?

    What type of wood did they use?

    Since wood became a currency how long did it take colonists in America to exploit it?

    What type of wood was marketed for sale?

    Was the American wood resource a factor in the Revolutionary war?

    If the church was against mining why is everything covered in gold?

    How did the chimney sweeps in London get soot cancer?

    Who created the Royal Society of London?

    What was an addit?

    What is a damp?

    How did they use horses to drain the mines in England?

    Who was Dribble?

    What did Heigens contribute?

    What was used before wood as heat?

    What did coke do for iron?

    How did the method of Coke for coal help reduce wood dependency?

    When did the first steam engine haula load?

    When did the finally succeed in tunneling under a river?

    When did they first try tunneling?

    What is the grand alliance?

    What did a safety lamp do in a mine?

    Was there only one train in production?

    Why was the advancement of steam different in America?

    What animal was used for light in mine shafts?

    What is coal tar?

    What was coal tar going to be used for?

    Why was coal tar dismissed?

    What Scotsman invented what came just before the bicycle?

    Why did the church hold back the use of anesthetics?

    If there’s oil on the surface what lies beneath?

    Why did nobody believe drilling for oil was possible or profitable?

    Who was uncle Billy?

    The first oil driller in America.

    Did we have environmental protections with the new oil industry?

    What was the first attempt at environmental protection?

    What was a Liden jar and what came after it?

    What did Volta make in 1800?

    Why did people laugh about electricity and it’s future?

    Who gets credit for an invention?

    What is the horsepower of Niagara?

    Where is goat island?

    How many households used wood before coal?

    How many households used switched to coal?

    If Lake Eerie emptied how long would it take to stop the Niagara Falls?

    What is the voltage of power lines?

    How many hydro electric plants were in operation in 1900?

    How many calories does a riding horse consume?

    How many calories does a workhorse consume?

    Did electricity replace the horse?

    What replaced the horse?

    What was death by air pollution blamed on during the industrial revolution?

    Do you have pollution before a city is built?

    Does the demand for capitalism trump the needs of limiting pollution?

    Has there been a city in time that worked to control it’s environmental impact?

    Why is the distribution and market as important as the new energy source?

    Which is worst for life expectancy heavy pollution or no industrial technologies?

    What year was there only 300 cars running on American roads?

    When did automobiles outnumber horses in New York?

    What was a consequence of switching to automobiles for farmers?

    Which rich family owned the oil refinery and distribution network?

    What was made just before the electric starter?

    How much gasoline is in a gallon of crude oil?

    How come motors can’t run on 100% crude oil?

    Why didn’t they make a better motor instead of better fuel?

    When was the Golden Age for farm production?

    What did benzene come from?

    When was the thought that we’d run out of domestic oil Reserves

    How successful is abstract thoughts on compounds?

    Is it better to treat ideas as physical objects with a complete lifecycle?

    What was the ratio of leaded gasoline?

    Was leaded gasoline even leaded?

    Why did they make leaded gasoline?

    If they already had a working gasoline with alcohol why make a leaded gasoline?

    When was leaded gas first sold?

    Who owned the patent to create leaded gasoline?

    Why did the government want a test of leaded gas exhaust test and then allow General Motors to hide the negative results?

    So leaded gasoline added a billion in revenue, hid the reduced quality oil, harmed everyone and the government did nothing?

    What do Bahrain and Standard Oil Company have in common?

    When did Saudi Arabia sell it’s mineral rights to American companies?

    Why did they think they had no oil?

    What needed to be invented before long distance pipelines?

    Why did Mexico align with Germany during World War II?

    What happened to the seized German boats in New Jersey at the start of the war?

    What was the Lucetania?

    How many German submarines did it take to sink 46 ships in World War II?

    What were the German Submarines after?

    What was the Bucket Brigade?

    After supplying the allies with oil from pipelines, what occurred after the war with reduced demand for that much oil?

    What did we have before movie trailers in movie theaters?

    What energy industry was reduced with the new natural gas resource?

    What is a moderator in energy production?

    Does all uranium have the same energy potential?

    What did Fermi use to slow down the faster neutrons in uranium?

    What’s used in Hiroshima uranium or plutonium?

    Nagasaki?

    What bomb were they working on before the Atomic bomb?

    Did they succeed in anything similar to the Atomic bomb?

    How much uranium ore was needed for the first Atomic bomb?

    Would it be plausible for someone to enrich uranium individually?

    What creates the public fear of Atomic energy?

    Is there a hydrogen powered train?

    What are the indicators of uranium ore?

    Which American military branch was known for being anti semitic and derogatory?

    What kind of pact was created with NATO and America’s nuclear weapons stock?

    Who created the first public power reactor?

    When was the first nuclear submarine created?

    What does Uranium turn into when it decays?

    What had to be invented before nuclear power?

    When was the first recorded smog death in America?

    What did the government do about the pollution?

    Who owned the plants that created the most pollution?

    Who reports the air quality and the effects of Industries?

    Is it the responsibility of the Public Health official to report dangerous levels in the atmosphere?

    Can Public Health officials suggest sentences for environmental damages or related deaths?

    What is smog, really?

    Who invented a way to understand the different chemicals in photochemical smog?

    Who invented the EPA?

    What was the greasy substance in New York air pollution?

    Does higher pay really make cleaner air?

    What happened the wealth gap in World War 2?

    How many people died in World War 2?

    Does encouraging a healthy environment over humanity lean towards eugenics in some scholarly arguments?

    Seeing the benefits of nuclear reactors why didn’t we switch from coal?

    So we need technology advancements that are equally priced with current markets?

    What is an alternative to equally priced technologies?

    Did Russia push purging in the 1950’s?

    Was there a discrepancy to nuclear exposure that contradicted a Noble Prize recipient?

    What is the efficiency of solar panels?

    Worldwide how much of the energy market is solar?

    Which country is 4x greater in alternative production?

    Why is natural gas just as bad as regular gas for the environment?

    How much green house gases do nuclear power plants create?

    What is iodine 131?

    What blocks iodine 131?

    What really happened at the Chernobyl accident?

    What happened at Fukushima?

    Wind energy has been around almost a century why hasn’t it caught on?

    What did Scalding define war as for a population?

    How much has technology helped to increased the population?

    RHODES, Richard (2019). ENERGY: A human history. S.l.: SIMON & SCHUSTER.

    Movie Review: Bumblebee

    I thought there was more Michael Bay Transformers. They come out a little less often than Marvel movies. Maybe the robots have a better agent. Maybe, they’re hard to work with or out in space somewhere fighting crime. Initially, I was skeptical, even cynical because John Cena was in it. Which meant WWE might also be in it and just screw everything up. I’m still mad about what WWE did to Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania (2017).

    Surf’s Up 2 was awful, if you missed it well you didn’t miss much but you should try Surf’s Up (2007).

    I loved it I’ve saw it about fifty times. John Cena was in the sequel but after his acting in Bumblebee (2018), I forgive him.

    I just, don’t know though if all these Transformers movies really compare to this.

    I know, we are all grown ups watching stylized versions of the above which was almost a daily occurrence. All day weekend battles also occurred because, school got in the way. When the first Transformers came out in 1987 I begged and pleaded to watch it. I mean, Optimus Prime! He’s saving the galaxy and he, needs me to see this.

    That one had every character in it I grew up with. Bumblebee, I didn’t really know too well back then. He would appear in the nick of time and just fade into the background. It was, different storytelling a few years back. Twenty minute cartoon show segments don’t really leave much for a character’s journey. Optimus Prime was always involved and any character was just waiting to be told what to do. I believe, kids might have grasped onto that and filled in the plot of their favorite characters on their own. In their yards with their toys. Or, with crayons drawing out their favorite characters. Might have been the same with all the great cartoons of the eighties and early nineties.

    So, Bumblebee. To me was that character from my childhood. It was actually a settling because the Optimus Prime toy was like $60 and I didn’t have all of it so…

    I even bought the toy knock offs when I was little because you couldn’t have one. He needed to fight someone.

    So, Bumblebee (2018), appears to be the prequel to Transformers (2007). I thought that was very clever from a story creation standpoint because it allows for another prequel or two before the 2007 remake. From, a fan perspective but I guess the next one is going to start just before the last one. I don’t know, the last three Transformers were kind of confusing mixes of just exploding cars for two hours.

    As a fan since childhood I felt a little cheated. The character personalities of each robot were barely there.

    Which made Bumblebee, a breath of fresh air. Finally, after six films they decided to showcase at least one robot’s heroic journey. I also liked that it was set in the mid to late eighties like the setting of the original story. Including the emerging class differences, the musical influences, and the endless bummer that surrounded the eighties. Bumblebee was extremely well written to include those moments but not preach them.

    It showed, where each character would have been affected by current events. Agent Burns (John Cena), worked for our government’s Sector 7 trying to get an edge on Russia through an alliance with the Decepticons. Sally (Pamela Adlon), mom of Charlie (Hailee Steinem) and Otis (Jason Drucker) is a recent widow and nurse starting over. Single parent families peaked in the eighties.

    Otis, had the normal obsessions that were drawn from the eighties. Every skinny kid was learning martial arts. The Karate Kid (1984), wasn’t the only coming-of-age film referenced and neither was it a great showcase of martial arts abilities. The Karate Kid was special because, he was a nobody that became something. In the suburbs, that was what every boy was trying to do.

    That may be why Bumblebee (2018), did so well with the moviegoers more than the critics. It showcased, a period of life that so many Americans experienced even just, slightly. THEN, had fighting robots. Charlie, gave up on people after her dad died. She’d sit in the garage and work on a first generation Corvette. Chevrolet, was the first to offer their cars for the 2007 movie so it’s not a coincidence. Charlie, had that vulnerableness that wasn’t as apparent with Sam Witwicky the last owner of Bumblebee. I really liked that, Charlie was able to offer more to Transformers than what is usually represented. Which let Bumblebee shine as this interesting creation of a machine with a soul. Their relationship reminded me of Iron Giant (1999). Also about the cold war and also a boy-meets-robot film.

    Which, even further could be placed near Frankenstein or the Greek myth of Daedelus. That was the one flaw I disliked about Bumblebee. Is it’s similarity to Iron Giant and not breaking enough new ground. I can see why, it can’t be so different then no one will watch it. It can’t be so similar and no one will watch it. I can appreciate the balance it struck in Bumblebee, rather than the rest of the series that I was honestly getting bored of.