Saturday, March 27, 2010

Honoring Our Troops

Note: This was originally posted as part of an ongoing discussion in another venue, but thought it was worth cross-posting here. The intro is slightly edited to try to give a little more context, but is otherwise copied verbatim.

Earlier this month, the always provocative Glenn Greenwald published a searing indictment of the ruling political class' shift towards declaring Iraq a "success" and the various disgusting positions which that entails. I've been rolling Glenn's article around and getting, quite frankly, madder and madder. His update is why:
Several people argue in Comments that this effort to portray the invasion of Iraq as a good thing is motivated not only by a desire for self-cleansing on the part of those responsible, but also to enable future, similar wars to take place. I don't know whether that's the motive, but it's definitely the effect.
I mean, it's one thing to just try and cover your ass in some meaningless attempt to shine your shit into gold or whatever. But these are the real, terrible, consequences of the kind of PRAGMATIC SERIOUS attitudes that pervade the sickening elite of our country.

I used to say that I opposed the war but I at least wanted to "succeed" (whatever the fuck that means) now that we were in this horrible mess. But, you know what? Not any fucking more. Not as long as evil men like Friedman will be out there, pumping their fucking chests out with shrill screams for war and bloodshed and sending my friends off to die for no fucking reason other than the money and privilege of a few. The countries of Iraq and Afghanistan aren't going to be what we want to them to be, no matter how many brown children we mutilate and kill, so propping up some sort of false "victory" is what's going to dishonor the dead.

All this talk of making sure sacrifices aren't in vain is exactly fucking right. And you know the best way we can make sure that our fallen soldiers' lives weren't taken in vain? Learn from this goddamned debacle and make sure we don't do anything like this ever again. That wouldn't be a "waste" or "dishonorable" or whatever else the red meat assholes like Friedman petulantly scream at us while they gleefully send young men and women off to die.

If Friedman were just trying to cover his own evil, dishonest ass I wouldn't fucking care, but the kind of shit he's advocating is unspeakably horrific. He's saying we shouldn't care what the costs are, we can just table those for future generations! The point - the real point - is that Thomas Friedman needs constant war. Constant, never ending conflict to satiate his bloodlust. And you know what? It's not going to be enough. It will never be enough. As long as he can justify any conflict, any at all, by saying we shouldn't bother with the costs in blood and lives so long as we strangle some idiotic definition of "victory" out of the proceedings, we will be perpetually at war. Killing people because guys like Friedman salivate at the thought of the misery and pain of others.

And that's the real disgrace to the memory of the dead. If Friedman gets his way, that's when all those people will have died in vain.

Flex's Mix For Your Musical Pleasure - Edtion #10

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Friendly Business Opportunity

A note to my right wing friends who are currently putting up FB posts about armed revolution and civil disobedience in the wake of the passage of the Health Care bill: I will give $100 cash to the first person who either a) leads a successful armed rebellion against the United States, or b) is jailed in the attempt.

Also, I won't think any of you are hypocritical douches if you go back in time and give these same reactions to the passage of all the war legislation we've endured and the systemic destruction of our civil liberties.

Think about it. 100 bucks. And not being a douche. That's a two-fer.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Torchwood Review: 2x05 - Adam


Review: Another sort of minor entry into the show, this one was reasonably engaging on first watch but felt a little dull on repeated viewings. On the plus side, each member of the team gets a chance to shine, with personality changes from the somewhat subtle to the radically altered. The story lacks a bit of tension simply because there only really seems like one tenable way for the story to be resolved. The bits about Jack's past are interesting, and build a bit on some other hints that have been dropped already this season.

Final verdict: A decent episode, but largely disposable. If you're a fan of the series at this point, you won't want to pass it up but it has no standout qualities to recommend it to newcomers.

Available on: Torchwood - The Complete Second Season

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Torchwood Review: 2x04 - Meat


Review: This is usually not considered such a hot episode of the season, but I think it holds up rather well on repeated viewings. This is, of course, the episode where Rhys finds out about Torchwood. As a viewer, my general feeling is that it was about freakin' time. The deterioration of Gwen and Rhys' relationship had just been getting painful. the particulars of the story are rather mundane - the villains are basically the definition of small-time - although it's impossible to not feel pretty darned bad for the alien.

Final verdict: A nice little episode. I think Torchwood is usually better in its single-episode story format when it's taking on smaller stories like this. The major change in the character landscape make this a must see episode.

Available on: Torchwood - The Complete Second Season

Torchwood Review: 2x03 - To the Last Man


Review: Now we're talking! A great episode that combines an interesting sci-fi plot with a great character piece for Tosh and the guest of the week. The guest is quite likable and there's some obvious chemistry on screen which make the proceedings feel extremely natural. Some people find these predestination type stories too pat but I kinda like the way everything falls into place and as the little clues get answered it's pretty interesting. It's also pretty awesome to see an older iteration of Torchwood.

Final verdict: Definitely one of my preferred season two episodes. It's a bit low-key, but that adds to its charms and it's perhaps the best Tosh-centric episode of the entire series. I think anyone who enjoys good television would dig this.

Available on: Torchwood - The Complete Second Season

Torchwood Review: 2x02 - Sleeper


Review: Eh, a sort of season one-ish episode to my mind. A lot of big and interesting ideas that don't quite coalesce into a super engaging storyline. There's not a lot of dramatic tension because we know the alien plan is too big to really work and we also know the sleeper agent is pretty much hosed right from the start. A few decent moments, and I think the team works rather well together, but this is one of the weaker episodes of season 2.

Final verdict: Might as well watch it if it's on or you're going all the way through, but it feels slightly inconsequential. There are some hints that perhaps these will be recurring villains, but so far nothing here has been revisited. I might revise my opinion if we see a future episode tie back into this one.

Available on: Torchwood - The Complete Second Season