Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Texas Redistricting

Yay! A federal court ruled that the Republican redistricting maps in Texas were discriminatory. These are the original maps, not the "interim" maps that are currently in place for November 2012.

The decision is going to be appealed so there's uncertainty about whether the interim maps will have to be redrawn. I don't think there's time to do it now and get approved before November, so it might be for the 2014 elections instead.

No, I'm not watching the GOP convention, not even to see Senate Candidate Ted Cruz embarrass Texas with his Tea Party rhetoric. No I don't need to hear from ignorant Democrats about how Texas should secede except for Austin. Help us, or shut up!

Edit Aug 30th: The Voter ID law was rejected on Thursday. Good. People whining that anybody can get a driver's license need to remember that some DMVs in Texas are 120 miles away from where people live. Even in DFW where there are DMVs close by people's neighborhoods, the DMVs are fucking overcrowded with huge wait times. These are unfair burdens that shouldn't be put in place for voters, especially the poor and elderly.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

More Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

The Last Reveal has posted about Billy Wilder's film (called PLoSH here). First there is a transcript of the Honeymooners scene that was cut out, plus commentary about the film in general. There's even a link to a script of PLoSH that I'll certainly have to spend some time reading. Finally there's a a theory about PLoSH and the plot of Nicholas Meyer's Seven-Per-Cent Solution pastiche. I've already made my comment on Lee's blog, so there's no point repeating it here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Into the West

Today I watched on TV the 1992 movie Into the West starring Gabriel Byrne. It's a fantasy movie about a mystical horse, and a band of Irish travellers. It's sort of like how Thunderheart revolved around a part-Lakota man going to the reservation and getting in touch with Native mysticism and culture, so that he becomes proud of his heritage instead of ashamed. Into the West has that same sort of blending of real, modern world with the myths and traditions of an outcast culture.

I liked it quite a lot. It's what Beasts of the Southern Wild ought to have been, but wasn't. (Lots of people like Beasts, but I didn't like how nonsensical and strung together it was. The fantastical elements didn't relieve the crushing poverty, and I was sad that Hushpuppy was raised to be hard and have no physical affection or tender words from people who loved her. She desperately craved the embrace she got from the woman whom she thought was her mother. I felt pity and depression more than admiration and hope.) SPOILERS BELOW:

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Fuck it! These crazed shootings are becoming a regular thing now. Every few days it seems. This is so insane.

The only good news this week is that the judge ruled against enforcing the Texas voter ID law. Technically he ruled that the law won't go into effect until the case comes to trial, but we have no idea when that trial will be. Hopefully not until after the election. Too bad that Pennsylvania didn't fare so well their voter ID law.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Zero Effect

Wikipedia claims that this movie is based on Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries, but any doubt that it's based on Sherlock Holmes is erased with one of Ben Stiller's first lines, when he paraphrases Holmes's statement that his fees are on a fixed scale, save when he remits them all together. Stiller also later paraphrases the line about how the stage lost a great actor when Holmes became a detective. Ben Stiller plays Steve Arlo, the lawyer and go-between for reclusive private detective Daryl Zero, played by Bill Pullman.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hate Crimes

God, how horrible to read of the origins of the Hammerskins in Texas. And of skinheads in general committing other hate crimes throughout the country. It's interesting to read of the undercover informant who monitored these groups for the FBI, but sad to think that Wade Page couldn't have been stopped before the massacre in the Sikh Temple.

I don't know how to grasp this horror any more than I did the shooting in the Aurora movie theater. I have no words.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hot August Night

It's a miserably sweltering summer in Texas, but at least most of the political ads are gone for now. It will certainly pick up again closer to November.

As I said, I don't care about the Olympics, so I'm just watching various movies and TV shows that I've got on DVD or Netflix. This weekend I'm gonna watch Zero Effect to refresh my memory of that updated twist on Sherlock Holmes. This film and The Royal Tenenbaums are the two Ben Stiller movies I enjoy the most, as I don't generally watch his broader comedies.

Because my Elementary obsession knows no bounds, I've found spoilers for the show. Really SpoilerTV is mostly just listing all the CBS promo material so far, though they did get an episode title and synopsis for the 2nd episode.