Saturday, July 14, 2012

True Grit and more

I watched the Coen brothers' True Grit last night and enjoyed it. Mattie Ross was really impressive and formidable for a teenager, saying things matter-of-factly with "no sugar" or deference to characters that try to argue with her. She's hell bent on avenging her father's death, and nobody will stand in her way. At one point, she irritates the LaBoeuf character so much that he spanks her and tries to hit her with stick like a disobedient child. He is stopped by Rooster Cogburn, who apparently respected her for stubbornly crossing the wide, deep river on horseback to catch up with them. As the movie goes on, Rooster and Mattie form a bond, as well as with LaBoeuf, who is trying to catch the same man Chaney and take him to Texas for a reward. Mattie is opposed to him at first, before learning to like and trust him. The characters all have an odd way of talking, which I hear is true to the book. They are eloquent and thoughtful, measuring their words carefully even in weird situations. It's a grim movie with many deaths, injuries, and hardships. I found the ending somewhat abrupt when we changed to the adult Mattie, but I liked that she didn't mind who she turned out to be. Still strong and independent, with no sugar and softness. I would have liked more information about LaBoeuf, though.

In other news, a panel of judges is still considering Texas's voter ID law. Some people live 120 miles away from a DMV center, and couldn't get a driver's license without undue burden. (And as I saw on the news the other day, even living close doesn't mean you won't have to miss hours of work waiting in overcrowded lines.) It's laughable for the lawyer Hughes to argue that this is okay, and easy to get an ID. The voters' polling places are presumably closer to where they live because their right to vote is so essential. Either make more DMVs close to where they live and reduce overcrowding in urban areas too, or drop the freaking ID requirement. Voting should always be easy and free.

I'm also glad that Apple returned to EPEAT. Their decision to suddenly pull out all their products from certification always seemed abrupt and boneheaded. Why did they imagine they wouldn't receive criticism for it? There is a wide swath of Apple-haters ready to pounce on them for anything, and even neutral or Apple-positive people would have a hard time defending this.

No comments: