Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Indecision of the Elderly
As some of you know, I have recently passed out of the meaningful demographic. In addition to getting the cold shoulder of marketers and television programmers everywhere, I've recently discovered some of the horrible, terrifying conundrums of this horrible age between youth and agedness. Such as:

Is that splotch a zit or melanoma?

So Many People Have Come And Gone
Brad Delp dead at 55

Back in the day, I was a huge Boston fan after buying Don't Look Back on the $2.99 cassette rack at Walgreens. I went on to get the others available when I was in college (Boston and Third Stage). I even got RTZ's Return to Zero which Delp played in when Boston was on hiatus.

A voice of my youth, silenced.

The Hawaiian Insurgency
Hawaii Tour Helicopter Crash Kills 4

Friday, March 09, 2007
300 Movie Review, As Expected
Joe Williams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pans 300, but it would be a better panning if it wasn't so steeped in ignorance and mandatory thoughtsophistication. Choice bits:
    Frank Miller is the biggest name in American comic books — or graphic novels, as his fans call them.
Is he demeaning graphic novels, or does he truly not know the difference between comic books and graphic novels? When in doubt, suspect ignorance, I say.
    Armed only with shields and hoary slogans about freedom, the Spartans repel wave after wave of Persians.
Hoary slogans about freedom. Williams is above falling for those.
    Persia became modern-day Iran, and it is surely no accident that the "Asian hordes" are depicted as dark-skinned degenerates. Some of the Persian warriors resemble Japanese samurai, some seem to be wearing Afghan burqas and the ruthless King Xerxes is bejeweled and effeminate.
Student of history trying to obscure the truth, or ignorant? Ignorant, probably, of the extent of the Persian empire that would feature many of those myriad peoples. Further, Williams seems to want to obscure the fact that throughout recorded history does actually feature occasions where the dark-skinned Other did invade the lands of lighter skinned folk. Much like lighter skinned folk have done to the Other. It's more a matter of human nature than racial or ethnic differences, although cultures have differed in their warmaking sentiments and strategy.

I'd like to see the movie, and Joe Williams has never really influenced me before. I think his columns are more about his delicate sensibilities than the actual movies, but sometimes, that's all a critic has going for him.

UPDATE: More reviews and reviews of reviews:
  • Ace takes issue with Slate's review.

    (Anonymous commenter pointed this out in comments before I could post the link, but you people who don't bother to read the comments might like it, too.)

  • CNN sees it through the prism of a Republican administration:

      Nevertheless, it's not so much the body count or even the blood lust that's disturbing. It's that the film, with its macho militarism, seems out of step in a war-weary time.
  • Oddly enough, Duane Dudek of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel sees an underdog story:

      Neither history nor cinema is especially well served by "300," which is, nonetheless, a remarkable intersection of technology and imagination.

      The battle at Thermopylae in 480 B.C., a suicidal last stand by an army of Spartans and Thespians estimated at about 5,000, against Persian invaders, estimated at from hundreds of thousands to millions, set the stage for a later Persian defeat and for its own transformation into a metaphor for the ages.

    Of course, Dudek probably recognizes the national anthem is a song about perservernce and not bombing the hell out of innocent native peoples, too, so he's hardly qualified to be writing for a newspaper.

Thursday, March 08, 2007
Ville Nieminen, Philosopher Forward
A new Blues acquisition muses on his first NHL game:
    You can't really remember anything ... that's how big of a memory it is.
Where was he when Scooter Libby was rounding up his defense?

Monday, March 05, 2007
Scenes From the Front Line In Homeland Security
Espied as I waited for my driver's license to print several weeks overdue because I'd sent off to the Great State of Wisconsin for a Certified Birth Certificate and paid $15 for the effort to comply with the Lesser State of Missouri's new laws designed to thwart the malevolent forces in the world from obtaining driver's licenses with fake credentials so they could wreak havoc upon this nation.

Woman: (Retrieving a photostat of a birth certificate that looked like it had been washed in the pocket of blue jeans with the stones to create that worn effect that is found by certain segments of young people to be so pleasing as to pay extra for) I'm sorry, I sent for a new one and haven't gotten it.

22 year old license office employee with the ring in her nose: (Not glancing at but not unfolding the three pieces) Okay.

Woman: Can I change my address? I moved.

Employee: I need something with your new address on it. A utility bill, a check, or something.

Woman: (Rifling through purse) Oh, I don't have anything. That's okay, keep it the same.

Thank you, faceless license bureau employee with the ring in her nose. Your efforts have ensured that this potentially lethal agent of destruction could not change the address on her driver's license inappropriately. Our nation is safer!

Alaskan Insurgents Strike
Alaska Moose Brings Down Helicopter

Retreat! Redeploy our rangers to Seattle where they'll be safe!

The Men Who Would Be Demigods
Lileks today takes issue with urban designers:
    What really caught my eye was an interview with a University of Minnesota professor named Thomas Fisher, the dean of the U's new School of Design. It was a conversation about the new Design Economy, a term I hadn't heard before. America will compete and thrive because we design good things, like the iPod. You might wonder how a nation of 300 million can be sustained by design, but rest assured the term has broader definitions. The interview, called "Intelligent Design," focused on cities. As you might expect they are in dire need of Design, and I suspect this design will be administrated by experts. (As Dr. Johnson once said: A man who has tired of criticizing London is tired of tenure.) In order to compete, our cities need better design. No argument here - until we look at the specifics.
Wouldn't it be neat if we could get all of these government planners together and buy them copies of SimCity and let them go at that for their tax-money squandering fun as they tried to one-up each other?

No, probably not, because design and aesthetics and micromanaging Cits is only one component of their self-aggodizement. The other is enriching themselves and their unelected Elect.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."