The War on Film Culture: Part 2: The Fox and the Monopoly (1900-1915)

Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged.  That’s not the place to become discouraged.

— Thomas Edison

 

Carrie Nation, a radical feminist and member of the temperance movement (against alcohol before prohibition), went about busting up saloons in 1900 for a few months in protest of alcohol; she usually did this wielding a hatchet.  A year later, Edison would capitalize on her popularity with the film Kansas Saloon Smashers.  It’s only inevitable that films would cover topical subjects outside of boxing.  Carrie Nation would later die in 1911, with her last words being, “I have done what I could.”  In 1919, her dreams of national prohibition would be realized.  One year later, women would be given the right to vote.

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The War on Film Culture: Part 0: An Introduction

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

So a while back, listening to the Slaughterfilm podcast (again), Forrest Taylor brought up the subject on how many were bitching about “the death of cinema.”  And Forrest basically stated that these complaints are nonsense.  Well, this instigated a multi-step response from me over the course of a few of their podcasts.  Below I list each entry I made in response to each podcast.

Entry #1

“Where’s this ‘death of cinema’ coming from?”

You’re looking at it the wrong way. Financially? Nuh uh. A film can be the highest grossing film of the year, and still be a piece of shit, which dumbasses who are easily entertained with money to spend go and see. For example, in the year 2000, the highest grossing film of the year was Mission Impossible 2. As another example, in 1979, the highest grossing film of the year was Moonraker.

The point being, just because a film does well financially doesn’t mean, long-term speaking, it’s going to do well culturally (ex: March 1990, Pretty Woman did better financially than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, yet it’s the latter that had the bigger cultural impact). And that’s where people are coming from when they state that cinema is dying.

Television shows, whether on network television or on streaming services, are doing far better from a cultural impact standpoint than films are. And before you get your feathers in a ruffle over that statement, I’m aware of The Last Jedi (which is coasting on the cultural impact setup by the original and prequel trilogy) and the Avengers films (or any Marvel film in general, which have been coasting on Iron Man and The Avengers’ cultural impact since 2012), and their cultural impact (which is about as negative as it is positive in some cases). But the problem with those films is that they are a glorified series. They don’t stand on their own. You are required to see previous episodes/movies for the sake of understanding what is going on a good portion of the time. They’re not movies, they’re a glorified episode of an ongoing series.

The bigger cultural impacts come from shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Last Man Standing, The Big Bang Theory, Vikings, House of Cards, etc. People know more about those, and are more inspired by those, than they are with films in theaters.

For more on this, I suggest viewing this 10 minute YouTube video that primarily discusses how a remake should be done, but delves into the death of cinema too for a respectable length:

 

Entry #2

Well, I wouldn’t say everyone loves Marvel films. The amount of people starting to hate on them has been growing since Captain America: Civil War (yes, that includes me as one of the haters). And I mean a consistent growing hate across all their movies. It’s small now, most would consider insignificant. But, by the time the Captain Marvel movie hits (at the earliest), or after the 4th Avengers film comes and goes (at the latest), this hate won’t be insignificant anymore. It will be for reasons I’m sure you find silly and childish. However, if you feel strongly enough about it (which I doubt, considering the “not giving a shit” attitude you tended to have with regards to Star Wars), I’m willing to debate the subject. But be warned, when I debate, I do it aggressively and methodically.

In any case, I’m ready and waiting for Hollywood to fall down, while the Independents swarm in to help pick it back up, like they did throughout a decent portion of the 90s and early 2000s. I expect this fall to be the biggest one since the Hay’s Code went away. I hope for a semi-film revolution the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 70s. I will be disappointed if this doesn’t happen within the next 5 years (I calculate this will happen no later then 2043; just hoping it happens a lot sooner than that).

Entry #3

Regarding where I got that date from, it’s an estimation based on how long the Hay’s Code lasted. The Hay’s Code was put into place in 1930, but wasn’t fully enforced until 1938. Basically, between 1930 and 1938, more and more films became more and more self-censored by adhering to the Hay’s Code during that time until it came to a head in 1938, when it remained in full effect until 1967 where it thematically (but no less officially) died with the release of Bonnie and Clyde. If we state that the whole thing started in 1930, then that’s a lifespan of 37 years.

I predict 2043 to be when the film industry goes through an independent reformation because I suspect this current trend of safe PC liberal films began around 2006, possibly earlier. But there are 2 factors that make me believe this reformation will occur sooner than that.

1.) This trend likely began earlier than 2006.

2.) The Internet, where much information is spread about the state of things at a far more rapid rate than was possible in the 30s-60s. Which makes it possible for things to change faster.

But it’s like Cory said, there are so many films and shows being made that it’s basically impossible to track them all, let alone know which ones are supposed to be good. And social media sites like Letterboxd, and various sites where so-called film critics review films, and Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, were initially meant to not only track/rate/review all these diverse films, but to also allow one to know if it is something that would appeal to them or not.

But that has now, heavily. Letterboxd has largely become an echo chamber for liberal-minded PC viewers (they greatly outnumber alternative voices, who are never the most popular reviews, and thus are largely ignored unless you search hard enough for the good ones). Film critics are either paid off or just as liberal-minded. And Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes have become a joke like IMDB.  As a result, as things stand now, even if a non-liberal, non-PC film was released that appeals to those of other political/social/cultural tastes, those sites and critics will do everything in their power to bash it to pieces, or even worse, attempt to silence its existence by ignoring it.

So because of those factors, while it is possible for the reformation to happen sooner, the masses who have been brainwashed by teachers and critics, and spend most of their time in safe-spaces where group-think is not only encouraged but mandatory… That could make the reformation happen later rather than sooner.

I warned you about this, and gave you hints about this with my bashing of The Last Jedi. And to be honest, I’m more worried that society will fall before the counter-culture grows big enough and gains enough influence to even matter. And at that point, awaiting good films to be made will be the least of our worries (though it is a symptom of the overall problem).

The key word is culture.

 

Hey! You!  Hey you!  Where Do You Go?

So after thinking on the subject for a while, I decided to do a study on film culture.  My initial intent was to simply study the Hays Code, its rise and fall, and what we could (or should) learn from it.  Lessons we should have learned from it since then, yet showcasing evidence of censorship to conform to some government/corporate/religious view the eerily mirrors that of the Hays Code era.  If nothing else, it would give me a better idea on how to predict events, and form superior arguments more prone to swaying opinions.

However, I didn’t expect to find elements during and prior to the Hays Code that end up being more relevant to the time period we’re in now than the Hays Code period.  As if we’re not so much as living in an era similar to that of the Hays Code, so much as living in a time period similar to the oncoming rise of the Hays Code.  And that is something I find more unsettling than what I thought we were currently dealing with.

There is too much information to condense into just one single post.  So I will be presenting my findings over a series of posts.  I intend to showcase events and speeches that occurred around a century ago, and how they mirror events similar to this day; demonstrating that we are regressing from free, liberated, artistically independent film-making culture, to a film culture controlled by politics and religion (sometimes religion disguised as politics).  You may find them fascinating at the least, terrifying at the worst (or is it ‘best’ in this context?).

I currently don’t have all of the articles done.  But I have enough of them done to feel comfortable to start releasing each of them now, one by one, on a weekly basis.  You may find them not starting out all that exciting.  Stick with them.  By the time they get to the year 1915, you’re going to be in for some heavy-hitting stuff.  And just when you think you’ve seen the craziest most controversial stuff, just when you think you know everything about that time period, it will get even more insane.  The more I uncovered, the more I knew I had to write about this.

The next entry will hit on Sunday.  And I will try to aim for the releases from each Sunday after that.  Until then, here’s some older posts I made that should hold you over until then:

https://theanomaloushost.org/2018/01/09/on-the-topic-of-films-based-on-true-stories-events/

https://theanomaloushost.org/2018/06/30/its-not-just-a-movie-the-importance-of-films/

 

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5, Part 6

My Theology

This is the blog post that will convince many of you that I’m insane.  Well good.  Being normal is overrated.

Introduction

Sometimes one wonders how a religion gets started.  An individual doing an act many consider miraculous?  One who believes they have been touched by God (or whatever) and decide to write about it?  One who is critical of religions, and makes a religion as an answer to others?  In any case, there are usually writings either done by the founder, or by followers of the founder, or those who have observed the founder and/or his/her followers.  Did the founder truly experience a supernatural sensation or vision?  Did they really see God?  Was their epiphany real, imagined, or drug induced?  Can the founders themselves ever be certain?

I say no matter what the theology is, it always requires a certain amount of faith.  Because having all the answers is impossible, faith is mandatory.  But this shouldn’t be confused with blind subservience.  Faith is believing something to be true even when there isn’t enough evidence to logically conclude that the belief is a valid one.  For instance, it doesn’t take much, if any, faith to believe the sun will come up tomorrow, even if there are clouds to block one’s view of the sun.  99.9% likely this will happen, but there is always that 0.00001% (add however many zeroes as you will to that, with whatever number at the end) chance that some unforseen event can occur that ends up being the exception to the rule, such as alien interference, some space nebula or gas cloud that spontaneously appears to consume a planet or two.  You know, strange stuff like that.  It’s as close to a certainty as we can get with the knowledge we have available to us.

But when one believes they will go to sleep, and then awake to see the sun rise again, well then that would take a little more faith.  Because a number of things could happen while you sleep that could result in death (sleep tight).  But considering the number of times one has slept, then awakened, and repeated the process over and over again, it’s a reliable faith to have much of the time.  And one is aware of the possibilities that could change that outcome.  Faith, in that case, is believing the outcome won’t change for that night.

And then there’s faith in things one hasn’t observed, that one hasn’t experienced.  This could be anything from belief in a supernatural entity that watches and/or guides us, how the afterlife is, that things written in a religious book are legit; to things such as believing one day there will be world peace, or that mankind will one day expand beyond Earth and start to colonize the stars.

Faith comes in many shapes and forms, and isn’t limited to religion.  One could have faith in a positive outcome just as easily as one could have faith in a negative outcome.  Most importantly, one has faith that what they are doing is the right thing to do.  Or even faith that what someone else is doing is the right or wrong thing.

Currently I have faith that my belief in the afterlife is the right one.  And no, this isn’t an afterlife based on Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Satanism, Buddhism, Scientology, or any of that.  I’m not entirely sure if my belief is one that is an established religion others follow.  If it is, it’s not well-known.

 

The First Message

I should mention how I came about this belief of mine.  It’s not something I came up with by studying several religions.  It was more spontaneous and amateurish than that.  It happened one day roughly 2 hours or so after I had eaten a portion of a pot brownie (yes, this is one of those things I came up with while under the influence).  And was watching that Key and Peele movie Keanu.  Once that shootout scene started happening, and that cat was running around (emphasis on the cat), suddenly it hit me like a hammer to the head.  An epiphany?  A message from beyond?  A wild thought produced by various chemical and cellular concoctions in my brain?  Well, it felt real enough to me.

How many of you picture me at this point.

What hit me was the idea of the afterlife, what happens to us when we die.  From what I can remember, we turn into these humanoid beings that aren’t made up of flesh, or anything solid as far as I understand it.  Rather we are made up of many circular golden lights that are condensed enough to give the appearance of a humanoid form.  Think of it as connect-the-dots with the stars, but the stars are gold-colored, and there aren’t any lines.

Closest similarity I can think of at the moment.  Vectorman.

As for what we do in the afterlife, well, it’s a multi-step process.  First thing that usually happens is that we relive our life, viewing it in a similar way as we would a film, with the ability to jump to any point in time we want.  Feeling the same sensations, the same thoughts (but with more awareness to it), the same feelings, etc.  Reliving whatever highs and lows we want.  Once one has their fill of that, then comes the interesting part.  The ability to live the lives of others who have also passed.  With many people to choose from, there will be plenty of lives and memories to sift through.  Like having access to a giant video library.

And this won’t be limited to experiencing the lives of other humans.  This also extends to any other lifeform.  Even those not on Earth.  Because everyone and everything that dies eventually gets transferred to this same place, the afterlife.

Once one has had their fill of experiencing all they feel that needs to be experienced, that’s when they begin to mingle with others who have also had their fill, and begin their walk in the afterlife, whatever life that turns out to be.

 

The Second Message

It was many months after that initial experience before it hit me again.  Wasn’t really watching a film at that time, but I was high again (that seems to be the only way to get it to happen, and it’s rare when it does happen, as it’s only happened to me a total of 3 times as of this writing).

There was a feeling of great happiness.  As if I were touched (on a mental-level) by one of the beings experiencing my life.  To let me know that everything will be ok in the end, one way or another.  And reinforcing the idea that the initial message wasn’t some random fluke.  Reinforcing the idea that this vision of how the afterlife works is real. That’s all that really happened.

 

The Third Message

A number of months came and went before this happened (not as many as between the first and second message).  This time it was more of a mind-bender.  The idea that our lives are imagined.  It becomes a bit of a mind-bender at this point, and I wonder if this contradicts what I experienced in the first message.  But it does fit in with the second message, reminding me of something I had forgotten from that experience.  That feeling of joy was being experienced on multiple levels, simultaneously.  That feeling that the joy wasn’t just being felt by me, but from those on lower and higher planes of existence, all having joy felt from being observed by the higher entity, by the observer, experiencing all our lives in that moment.  It made me picture a downward spiral line, only made up of circles close enough together to give the look of a spiral line.  And a line passing vertically down through some of those circles (missing most, hitting some).  The observer is the line, and those experiencing the sensation of joy from the observer are the circles being hit by the line of the observer.

The idea that our lives are held in the shape of a ball, sort of like those balls containing universes in Men In Black.  Except it’s not a universe so much as a thought.  To put this in perspective, consider someone who is thinking of writing a character in a story.  The thought of the character is 1 ball, formed by the thought of this person.  But in this case, the character in the story has a will of his own, and he inevitably also makes a thought about something.  A ball within a ball.  They multiply from a point of origin, similar to the idea of planets and galaxies expanding from a point of origin ala the Big Bang Theory.  The idea that we are created from a thought, and how what we create also comes either from our own thoughts or from the thoughts of others.

IMG_20181215_115723830
Circles represent a life or a thought on a plane/dimension of existence.  Dotted lines represent the planes/dimensions (I was too lazy to draw a dotted line for each circle).  The solid line represents a point in time when someone on a higher plane/dimension looks into, or relives/re-experiences the lives/moments/thoughts each circle represents.

For what purpose?  Because in the afterlife, we (or what we become) are building something.  Why and for what purpose, I don’t know.  Haven’t gained that insight.  But this something, when attempting to visualize it, I think of those plasma plates you can find at a Spencer’s store, where the electricity is attracted to your finger should you touch the disc.  This is the visual I got, but I was also under the impression that this isn’t the exact image of what is being built so much as the only thing I would be able to visualize that most closely matches the description on this plane of reality.  I imagine the image changes once I get to the next plane of existence (ie the afterlife).

But I do believe that the whole “experiencing the lives of others” fits in with the reason for building it.  Or rather, providing the means for building it.  Experiencing the lives of others isn’t done just for our entertainment, and just for giving us something to do while in the afterlife.  It’s also for knowledge that can be gained from others.  How that knowledge can also be achieved from the sensations and insights of other lives, from other beings.

Which brings me to the 3 most important factors that are universal to everyone, no matter the race, gender, species, dimension, etc.  Wisdom, knowledge, and entertainment.

Wisdom is knowing what should be done.

Knowledge is knowing how to do it.

Entertainment is what keeps us motivated to continue on.  After all, if it’s a life without any fun, what’s the point?

And these three work together.  Entertainment can be had from knowledge and wisdom.  Having for knowledge isn’t good for anything unless there is a reason for putting it to use, and wisdom provides that reason (and to another extent, entertainment too).  Likewise, wisdom is pointless unless there is a way to actually do something with the wisdom possessed, and knowledge is knowing how to do that something with the knowledge.  Having fun while doing any of the above makes it all worthwhile.

Those three things are linked to the reason as to why this certain something is being built at the higher (highest?) planes of existence.

In addition, I gained insight into another bit of wisdom that can be learned in this life, that is significant in the next.  Individuality, and conformity.  The individual is as important as many individuals working together with a like-mindedness.  As original, creative, and capable as an individual can be, the individual can be more effective in a team.  At the same time, if there is only one group where everyone thinks alike, and no one else to show alternative ideas, then they will suffer from lack of creative ideas.  Thus the individual is equally as important as a group of conformists.  In the next world, I believe, we go through phases.  There are times where we wish to be alone with our own thoughts, or to experience the thoughts of other individuals, and do so.  There are other times where we wish to be with other like-minded individuals.  Both are important.

Ultimately, an individual is made up of many individual parts working together in order to make the individual work.  Like cells making up the body, the brain, the heart, the DNA, etc.  They can each be distinct on their own, yet they also work together, meshing together as a team of different-minds, different-abilities.  Even a thought is significant and powerful in this manner.  A thought can drive one to do a great many things, or just one thing however grand or small.  A thought is like a bubble, as are we.  I suspect we exist as thoughts from a being on a higher plane of existence.  And there are multiple planes of existence.  We are neither at the top or at the bottom.  Like individuals, each plane works in their own way.  Like a group of like-minded thinkers, they also work together.  After all, can there be 2 dimensions without 1 dimension?  Can there be 3 dimensions without 2?

What I do know is that, in this plane of existence, we are incapable of knowing all the answers, even if granted the temporary gift of insight into those higher planes.  It doesn’t matter how intelligent you are, what drugs you use, what near-death extremes are taken.  The mind in this plane of existence is incapable of comprehending much beyond our current plane of existence.  But we can comprehend everything on the lower planes.  Thus the knowledge/wisdom/entertainment to be had in this plane will all carry on to the next.  And all those experiences from that next plane of existence will carry on to the next.  And so on and so forth, until we reach the highest plane.  Which involves us (or is it I, and individual or a group, or both at the same time, as contradictory as that sounds) eventually having the wisdom, knowledge, and entertainment experience needed to construct whatever it is that needs constructing for whatever reason.  For all I know, those on the higher planes of existence got bored at some point and want to build the ultimate entertainment system, which also serves as the ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge.

 

Final Thoughts (until the next “Insight Experience,” if there is one)

In any case, it makes me optimistic about things when I (and everyone else) pass from this life into the next. I have considered the possibility that I may be wrong.  That these 3 experiences are just coincidental delusions brought about by a dream state where I subconsciously bring forth images I’ve seen before in the past that I’ve combined together to create this theory.  Any experience like this can be explained away with stuff like that.  On the other hand, a doctor’s opinion isn’t always the right one.

Ultimately, no one can know for sure until they’ve passed on.  At least in this case, there is a reason not to rush passing on, something Christianity tacks on by saying, “Get to heaven when you can, unless it’s by suicide, in which case you’re going to hell.”  Or Islam where they highly encourage one to get to the afterlife as soon as possible to have 70 slave girls be their pets for eternity, so long as they go out in a blaze of glory in a religious war.  Not so with this belief of mine.

In fact, the belief itself is inconsequential, which is why it won’t ever really catch on (something one of my experiences indicated).  Because it only really effects one’s experience in the afterlife when they get their, and doesn’t have any real bearing on one’s current life, it doesn’t really matter if one is convinced of it or not.  And it is better that things stay that way.  After all, when we’ve moved on, we’ll be wanting to experience as many diverse beliefs/thoughts as possible.  Because many beliefs, experiences, and emotions, hold different pieces of the puzzle.  For all I know, they all may have been inspired by something similar.  Even I’ll admit that I’m only capable of knowing one piece of the puzzle.  It’s only when we pass on to the next dimension, and the next, and the next, do we begin to put more and more of these pieces together.

Until then, it’s best to create as many memories as possible, to make your life one that is worth reliving.  Until then, at least in this life, we know that there is a puzzle.

Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: March 1990

March 1990, the sequel to February 1990.  An interesting month to be sure for that year.  Steve Jackson Games gets raided by the U.S. Secret Service; a case that would evolve years later into something establishing the legalities of online speech still equating to speech; as in free speech.  Carole Gist becomes the 1st African American to be crowned Miss USAHeriberto Seda becomes a New York City Zodiac Killer copycat.  Janet Jackson wins a Soul Train Music Award.  The first world ice hockey tournament for women is held in Ottowa.  The LA Lakers retire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  Star Trek V wins the Golden Raspberry Award.  Akira Kurosawa wins the Lifetime Achievement Award.  The United States begins broadcasting TV Martí to Cuba in an effort to bridge the information blackout imposed by the Castro regime.  The final episode of the cancelled series Alf aired on the 24th.  And Michael Jordon is still hot in basketball.

 

Music

Ok, some disclosure before proceeding here.  I’m generally not a fan of rap and hip-hop, but I can’t ignore something that reached platinum status (and later quadruple platinum; that’s not a joke in case you were wondering, that’s a real thing apparently).  So Bill Biv DeVoe released an album titled Poison that was a huge hit.  Not my kind of music, but for those who are curious to know and are interested in that style of music.  I’ll be sticking with my metal and rock.  Also worth mentioning is Salt-N-Pepa: Black’s Magic, Digital Underground: Sex Packets, Above the Law: Livin’ Like Hustlers, Urban Dance Squad: Mental Floss for the Globe.  The rap and hip-hop wave was out in full force.  For those electronic lovers, there’s also The Beloved: Happiness.  As for the rock & roll genre, I’ll give an honorable mention to The Fall – Extricate, and to Nitzer Ebb: Showtime.

Tribe: Here at the Home

The song “Outside” would later be featured in the game Rock Band.  Personally, I’m more akin to the song “Rescue Me.”  The band never made it big and only released 3 albums and disbanded in 1994.  It had its fans; I wasn’t one of them (a casual listener at best).  But the songs are decent enough.  Plus I’m a bit biased with this particular selection, considering some band members would go on to get involved with the creation of the videogame Thief II: The Metal Age.  And System Shock 2.

 

Borghesia – Resistance

So this is an electronic band, which usually isn’t my thing.  But I have to admit, I really dig the beats on this album.  It sounds epic, yet not overdone.  I mean, just the opening track is incredible.  The downside is that it’s in a foreign language that us English speakers won’t be able to understand, but that’s ok, because I usually have a hard time listening to lyrics in general anyway.

 

Robert Plant: Manic Nirvana

Interesting rock n’roll stuff.  It’s groovy.  Stand outs for me were Tie Dye on the Highway, Anniversary, Watching You.

 

Depeche Mode: Violator

You know this band from the song Personal Jesus.

 

Heart: Brigade

Definitely one of the best female bands that has ever existed.  But there’s only one song for me on this album.  Wild Child.

 

Social Distortion: Social Distortion

It’s one of the most famous rock bands with their debut album.  I have to include this just on principle alone, even if these guys are pricks.  You’ve heard the songs “Ball and Chain” and “Story of my Life.”  I think the band is just ok, but one can’t ignore their fame.

 

Movies

I’ll give an honorable mention for a film called Side Out.  The film itself is just so-so at best, but it does have, “that’s so 90s” feel to it, and many do consider it the greatest beach volleyball movie ever made (some competition that genre’s got; I still say Top Gun is the best one, and it’s not even a beach volleyball movie).  So, with that out of the way, there were some fairly good picks for this month.

Lambada

A film to capitalize and promote the lambada dance craze, which never really took off as well as many hoped it would.  In fact, in the same month, another lambada film was released titled The Forbidden Dance.  Let’s just say it’s not even in the same league as this film.  But whatever, this is a prime guilty pleasure film, with great cheese and ridiculous moments.  Such a guilty pleasure for me that I enjoy it more than Dirty Dancing (you can’t hit me, I’ll lambada dodge all those beer bottles and bullets coming my way).  This is one of the definitive, “that’s so 90s” films.  Though I have to admit, that chick in the poster is a bit of a bitch in the movie, in ways that, well, just don’t happen in movies anymore, at least not in the context of this movie.

 

Joe Versus the Volcano

First it’s a dystopian future film about a guy who hates his desk job.  Then it turns into a road-travel-romance flick.  It’s interesting, and a bit of a cult classic (this month’s films have plenty of those).  What would you do if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal disease and only had a few months to live?

 

Last of the Finest

So it’s mainly a so-so cop action-thriller, but I’m a bit of a sucker for this movie.  Especially because of the bitchin’ shootout during the finale.  Also known as Blue Heat in the UK, which is a better title.

 

The Ambulance

This is a pretty damn fun thriller that moves along at a brisk pace which never lets up once you get about 30 minutes in.  James Earl Jones literally chews the scenery, Stan Lee makes a cameo, and there’s some fun stunts served with a decent dose of cheese.  This film flies under the radar of many, but it’s a great under-appreciated popcorn flick worth checking out.

 

Blind Fury

A cult classic.  It’s no Zatoichi, but it’s the best American-made blind swordsman movie we’re ever going to get.

 

House Party

House Party movie posters at movie poster warehouse ...

Found it difficult to get into until the 2nd half kicked in (though I do believe I should give that portion a second chance).  That second half alone makes the film worth seeing.  Great down-to-earth characters and moments; some good laughs; and one of the best endings ever.  A true cult classic, the kind that Superbad wishes it could be.

 

Pretty Woman

This was the #1 highest grossing film of the year.  It also skyrocketed Julia Roberts film career.  And… it’s not bad, for a dream scenario of a rich guy going out with a hooker and making her life better and saving her from it (I’ll take it over 50 Shades anyday).  Richard Gere and Julia Roberts work well together, and would team up again in a future romantic comedy film.

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Come on, you know this movie!  You know this franchise!  The most financially successful independent film of that decade.  And you bet your ass it’s the best live action TMNT film ever made.

 

The Hunt for Red October

Arguably the best film of the month, at least as far as popularity from today’s perspective goes.  Also arguably the most famous Tom Clancy novel-to-film adaptation ever done (though not my personal favorite; that one comes later on).

Games

I’ll give brief mention to Kid Kool and the Quest for the Seven Wonder Herbs, just because the Kid Kool franchise  was known well-enough during the time period.  But this game is too fucking irritating to recommend playing.  Fuck you, and your Mario Bros. rip-offs.

Baseball Simulator 1.000 (NES)

No, I’m not a fan of sports games.  But this one is remembered by anyone who played it during that time period.  That’s all I’ll say.

 

Burai Fighter (NES)

Now this is more like my kind of side-scroller shooter.  This is fun, but like most of them, hard as hell.

 

Abadox: The Deadly Inner War (NES)

Yep, another fun side-scroller.  Just look at those levels.  Aren’t the graphics great?  It’s like you’re flying through intestines.

 

Adventures of Lolo 2 (NES)

Finally.  Something that is neither a sports game nor a shooter.  A puzzle-like game.

 

Conflict (NES)

Well what-do-ya-know?  Another one that stands out.  This time it’s more of a tabletop wargame than it is a puzzle game or shooter.  Basically think of it as one of those Avalon Hill wargames from the 70s and 80s put into videogame format, and this is basically what you get.  If we had an NES back in the day (I was a Sega Genesis person, didn’t hop over to Nintendo until the N64 came out), I’d imagine my dad would’ve played the hell out of this.  He’s a sucker for stuff like this.

 

 

Code Name: Viper (NES)

Another side-scrolling shooter, but this time it’s a shameless rip-off of the arcade game (also ported to the NES) Rolling Thunder.  However, they did improve on the gameplay, letting it be a bit more forgiving (ie fair).

 

Al Unser’s Jr. Turbo Racing (NES)

That racing music.  The immersion this manages to bring for an NES title.  Have to admit, despite racing games not being my thing, there’s something alluring and addictive about this one.

 

Astyanax (NES)

Good luck pronouncing the name of this hack-and-slash side-scroller.  Another port of an arcade game (most NES games were).

 

The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle (Game Boy)

Well…  Ok, so this game isn’t regarded as good.  But it does have a reputation that made it well-known.  The first videogame released to feature Bugs Bunny.  Puzzle elements.  And gameplay that infuriated gamers; including the inability to fucking jump, while you played as a fucking bunny!

 

Kwirk (Game Boy)

So this is when I usually throw the Game Boy a bone here, because their games aren’t on par with those from the NES and PC.  But when the games emphasize puzzle-solving rather than action, then it’s not bad.  The hand-held systems weren’t capable of making any decent real-time action games yet.  But every now and then…  But this is no masterpiece.  It gets monotonous.  But the fact that there’s a Game Boy game that’s fun which isn’t Pokemon…

 

Revenge of the ‘Gator (Game Boy)

And what-do-ya-know?  Another decent title for the Game Boy.  Another pinball game.  Quite polished for a Game Boy title.

Shows

Well, there were at least 2 memorable ones that go a bit beyond being just cult favorites.  Makes it better than last month’s offerings then.

NewsWatch TV (March 1990 – present; AMC Network, Ion Television)

You can pretty much tell what this is from the description.  A news series.  Well, considering it’s still ongoing; kinda worth mentioning.
H.E.L.P. (March 3, 1990 – April 14, 1990; ABC)

I honestly can’t say I know much about this series.  What I do know is that some consider it to be ahead of its time, and cancelled as a result.  To quote a youtuber: “it was basically Third Watch…but a decade earlier, with some really big names in it.” Also came out before Law & Order, though that would be coming soon.  Only ran for one season (6 episodes), and was intended to be a simple mid-season replacement for Mission Impossible.  Mainly mentioning the show because it may have inspired others that came after it, particularly Third Watch (which wouldn’t come out until near the end of the decade).

 

Sydney (March 21 – June 25, 1990; CBS)

A show that was hyped and sort of popular, likely because it starred Valerie Bertinelli.  But it was short lived and didn’t go past 13 episodes for 1 season.  Never saw it, but I’m aware of the brief popularity it had at the time.

 

The Outsiders (March 25, 1990 – July 22, 1990; Fox)

There are a lot of mixed opinions about this show.  On the one hand, the pilot episode ended up being one of the highest watched and rated series premieres of all time during that time period.  On the other hand, the ratings fell sharply after that, thanks to 60 Minutes and Married With Children.  Some revere the show, others think it is a borderline disgrace to the famous film it acts as a sequel to.  Main reason it has its haters is largely due to the cast, which many felt were inferior to those who were cast in the 1980s movie.  The show only ran for one season and was cancelled, but from what I understand it didn’t end on a cliffhanger either; so it can be considered more-or-less complete.  You be the judge, if you ever decide to watch it.

 

Equal Justice (March 27, 1990 – July 3, 1991; ABC)

The show had its cult following, which were outraged when the show got cancelled after 2 seasons.  From what I understand, just about everyone who watched the show loved it.  Great cast and writing.  But it never built up a big enough audience (like others); probably because many dismissed it as an LA Law ripoff.  Plus the early 90s was loaded with courtroom drama and police drama shows already, and Law & Order hadn’t even aired yet.  So if you like your Pittsburgh D.A. shows, well here’s another you might like.
Bagdad Cafe (March 30, 1990 – July 27, 1991; CBS)

As if The Outsiders wasn’t enough, now we have another series made that is based on a film (and may more or less act as a sequel to it).  I wouldn’t have given this sitcom much thought if not for one thing.  It stars Whoopi Goldberg.  That should be enough to convince some to give it a watch, even if it did get cancelled midway through season 2.

 

Carol & Company (March 31, 1990 – July 20, 1991; NBC)

Only ran for one season, then got cancelled (though there was some sort of spin-off which some would consider season 2, which also didn’t last long).  An anthology series without any ongoing character development or storyline.  So it didn’t leave any threads dangling when it got off the air.  Anyway, some people love the show.  I was never a watcher.

 

Alright, so enough with the petty shows only some fanatical fans remember.  Now for the 2 big tamales.

 

Tribes (March 5 – July 13, 1990; Fox)

Ah, this show.  One of the High School soap operas that made its mark alongside other shows like Degrassi and Edgemont (the latter of which would show up during the next decade).  It was created precisely for the timeslot it occupied, so that high schoolers could catch an episode when they got home before doing their homework.  Unfortunately, despite the popularity and cult following this series had, it was cancelled after 1 season of 95 episodes.  Fox hoped the series would reach Syndication, but it never happened.  Oh well.  Thanks for the memories.

 

Road to Avonlea (March 5, 1990 – March 31, 1996; The Disney Channel)

Heard good things about this Emmy Award winning series from Canada.  Ran for 7 seasons.  Technically, the series started airing in Canada in January 1990, but made it’s way to American televisions for this month.  But watch out for those alternate titles and versions.  To quote Wikipedia, “In the United States, its title was shortened to simply Avonlea, and a number of episodes were retitled and reordered. When the series was released on VHS and DVD in the United States, the title changed from Road to Avonlea to Tales from Avonlea.”  It’s a family show that takes place during the very early 1900s.  And this could very well be the top show of March 1990, and one of those series many hold in high reverence.  I should check it out sometime.

 

 

Debate! Right-wingers commit more murders than any other political group in the U.S.?

Nothing can break me out of my slumber like a potential debate on a wild subject.  So I’ve been tweeting and gabbing a bit here and there, but not really finding it in me to make another full-blown blog post.  Until now.  Hope they don’t disappoint me.

So this all started, sort of, with that shooting at Thousand Oaks.  So the same sort of arguments came up that usually come up around this point in time before anyone has any time to grieve (because let’s face it, many people who weren’t in the area give less of a shit about the victims and more of a shit about using them as a means to an end to make a political point about gun control, or lack thereof).  “We need more gun control!”  “It happened because it was in a gun-free zone!”  “Conservatives suck dick!”  “Liberals suck dick!”  You know, all that stuff.

But I was taken off-guard when the topic came up that far-right extremists are statistically proven to be more responsible for these “massacres” than left-wing extremists, let alone muslim-extremists (I wonder of the last two should be grouped together, considering how much left-wingers go down on Allah worshipers).

Let me start at the Twitter tweet (because let’s face it, it’s only on Twitter where I can find people with differing opinions to debate with, Gab is currently just an echo chamber; it’s going to take another couple years before that changes, if it lasts that long) where someone who goes by the name Historian‏ @NeolithichHist got involved in the discussion to finally make it interesting (ie offer me a real challenge).  Someone else did something like that in an earlier Twitter debate I had which got too convoluted, and I’ll include her in the discussion should she choose to get involved in this current one (I can handle double teaming should it come to that).

1

Every single time huh?  As opposed to every other time where someone illegally obtained a gun to go kill people?  Because statistically, those who don’t legally purchase a firearm (or who don’t legally obtain a firearm) are much more responsible statistically for gun crimes than those who do.  But that’s just addressing the “legally purchased a gun” portion.  He’s primarily taking aim at “white conservatives.”  I’m not entirely sure where to find a study that takes aim at people by grouping them by their politics (identity politics is a dangerous topic to get dragged into, which from what I understand many left-wingers live by).

The difference between identity politics and people identifying with politics is this: The Left uses the concept of identity politics to spread division and strife amongst people.  So they bring this group into a room, and they tell them something different in this group, and there’s something different in this group, and they pit them against each other.  […]  On our side, and on the side that I think better represents what we believe, is that we use people… all we use things to identify with politics. So we say… Ok, this group of people learn differently, they have a different culture.  We understand that.  But we’re telling everybody the same thing.  […]  And that message is unity, freedom, and American values.  Big difference, huge difference, and we have to understand that difference.  And therefore we can reach outside of the box.

Finding studies that group people by their race, on the other hand…

According to a 2015 Brookings Institution study, 77 percent of white gun deaths are from suicide. Only 19 percent are homicides. Even when you combine homicides and suicides, the white-male death rate from guns is approximately 16 per 100,000. For white women, the rate is less than five per 100,000.

[…]

A staggering 82 percent of African-American gun deaths are homicides. Only 14 percent are suicides. The overall gun-death rate for black males is roughly double what it is for white males, and for black males between the ages of 20 and 29, the rate is approximately 89 per 100,000.

[…]

Gun deaths are lowest in the population that owns the most guns. Fully 41 percent of white households report owning a gun, compared with only 19 percent of black households. Among white Americans, there are more guns, but there’s less crime. Among black Americans, there are fewer guns, but there’s more crime.

[…]

After all, there is ample evidence that federal officials can be extraordinarily lax when it comes to gun crimes, especially in cities where the death toll is highest. As recently as 2012, the districts encompassing Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York ranked last in federal gun-crime enforcement per capita.

[…]

Cries for gun control will lose their potency when crime loses its potency.

https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2017/02/20/gun-violence-and-race-conservatives-gun-owners/

But I know what some of you might be thinking.  “82% of African-Americans killed by guns?  How often was it white people doing them in?”  Well not that often.

According to the American Community Survey 2016 estimatesLos Angeles is 49 percent Hispanic, 29 percent white, 8 percent black, and 11 percent Asian.

The findings of the “Los Angeles Police Department Homicide Report” for 2017 are unsurprising for racial realists. According to this analysis, both the victims and perpetrators of violent crime in Los Angels are young, non-white, and poor. Of the 282 homicides which occurred in Los Angeles in 2017, 177—62.8 percent—were gang related.

Of all homicides committed in 2017 in Los Angeles, 72 percent involved handguns. Shotguns and rifles accounted for only one percent each. “Assault weapons”—the weapons targeted by current gun control push—accounted only for one percent. Firearms were used in 93 percent of homicides committed by gang members.

Suspect descriptions were provided for 146 of the homicides, yielding 171 suspects (some incidents involved more than one suspect). Of these suspects, 52 percent were Hispanic, six percent were white, and less than two percent were Asian. An astonishing 40 percent were black, despite blacks comprising less than ten percent of the city’s population.

https://www.amren.com/features/2018/04/the-color-of-gun-crime-in-americas-big-cities-race-new-york-city-chicago-new-orleans/

So what else does he got?

 

2

 

 

3

4

And that’s where we left off, plus my mentioning that I’d carry this over to another website.  So, regarding that article he linked to

The only Islamist terror attack in Pennsylvania over the past 15 years was committed by Edward Archer, a mentally ill man who shot and injured a police officer in early 2016, later telling investigators that he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Far-right episodes of violent extremism were far more common.

[…]

A new database compiled by The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute examines that claim by looking back over a nine-year period, from 2008 through 2016. The findings are dramatic: Far-right plots and attacks outnumber Islamist incidents by almost 2 to 1.

There are 201 incidents in the database, sorted broadly as Islamist, right wing (including white supremacists, militias and members of the so-called Patriot and sovereign citizens movements), and left wing (including animal right militants, environmentalists, anarchists and Black Lives Matter sympathizers). Most of the Islamist incidents are thwarted plots, indicating a significant investment of law enforcement resources. Most of the others are successful acts in which attackers damaged property or inflicted human casualties.

[…]

  • Right-wing extremist terrorism was more often deadly: Nearly a third of incidents involved fatalities, for a total of 79 deaths, while 13 percent of Islamist cases caused fatalities. (The total deaths associated with Islamist incidents were higher, however, reaching 90, largely due to the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.)
  • Incidents related to left-wing ideologies, including ecoterrorism and animal rights, were comparatively rare, with 19 incidents causing seven fatalities – making the shooting attack on Republican members of Congress earlier this month somewhat of an anomaly.

https://www.revealnews.org/article/home-is-where-the-hate-is/

Have to admit, it’s a very extensive article.  The quotes above aside, it also points out how federal resources are used to target Islamists far more than right-wing-extremists.  Which is disproportionate to the number of crimes right-wing-extremists commit compared to Islamic extremists, or even left-wing-extremists, which even when combined is still lower than the crimes committed by right-wing-extremists.  The point the article is making is that right-wing-extremists (implying extreme conservative whites) are more responsible for acts of domestic terrorism, and causing fatalities by those terrorist acts, than any other political/religious group in the United States.  As far as I can currently tell, there’s no disputing this (though I am open to opinions, with data to back them, that oppose this conclusion).

However, don’t be fooled by this.  This found a way to take the broad discussion of dangers posed by groups based on their political/religious leanings, and narrowed it down in a way to make it appear that we should all be more critical and wary of right-wingers than left-wingers (there’s the muslims too, but for the purpose of this discussion we’ll leave them out of this for now; they were worth mentioning just because of the context the above article is to be taken).  It only focuses on acts of terrorism, as the article defines it.  It doesn’t take into account gang-violence, non-terror related incidents of fatalities.  You know, where the big numbers are.

Let’s take into account the population of the United States and, statistically, how ethnically diverse it is (though that can be a bit tricky with the Latino population, given the illegal immigration issue).  According to StatisticalAtlas.com, out of a population of over 200 million people in the United States, 62% are White, 17% are Hispanic, and a little under 13% are Black.  Now with those numbers in mind, you would think crime stats would be similar to fit with those percentages.  Since whites compose the majority of the population, you would expect the majority of the violent crimes to be committed by whites, mostly against other whites, sometimes against other races (the higher the number of other races, the greater the chance they will be a victim of the majority race).  And you would expect Hispanics to make up the second highest amount of violent crimes, with Blacks taking third place.  In a perfect and fair world, where everyone is the same and equal, and treated as such, that should be the case.  And by the logic of that RevealNews.org article, that seems consistent with it at least in terms of race (at the moment, I can’t locate an article mentioning the ethnic percentages of what makes up those who identify as right-leaning, left-leaning, or just down the middle, so I wouldn’t know how to begin taking apart an argument stating that right-wingers are more dangerous because they’re composed more heavily of whites than left-wingers, anymore than I could make an argument supporting that view).

That being said, it’s not a fair and perfect world because we, as humans, are not a far and perfect species.  We have political differences, we have cultural differences, and we have different hobbies.  Because of those factors and more, anomalies are to be expected.  The issue is what to make of those anomalies and how to address them without making things worse.

So with that in mind, back to the statistics.  The RevealNews.org site states that right-wing-extremists are responsible for the deaths of 79 people from 2008-2016.  An 8-year time-span.  Not that I think nothing should be done about combating terrorist acts or anything, regardless of what race and political-party-supporters are doing them; but this is small potatoes.  79 deaths over the course of 8 years.  Whoop-dee-fucking-doo.  Non-white people, non-domestic-terrorist people, can beat that number in 1 year, in 1 city (not State, not County, City).  Most of those committed by people who don’t legally own firearms.  A good portion of those committed by non-white (and thus one could assume, by some strange logic, non-right-wing) individuals.

So they want to argue that because there are more right-wing-extremists in a white-majority country committing the most domestic terror acts on a white-majority population, we should do… what exactly?  Have more gun control or eliminate guns when it’s statistically proven that More Guns = Less Crime?  Have white guilt?  Have right-wing guilt?  I say we’re taking the wrong approach with that mindset, given some inconvenient facts that go against such conclusions.  Consider the overall scale of crime.  The overall crime rate, according to DisasterCenter.com, has been decreasing since 1991, without a single year of uptick.  That being said, according to the same source, the murder rate has sort of always been in flux; but recent years have shown that it has been on the rise since 2014, and hasn’t gone down since.  More than 17,000 U.S. citizens per year are murdered; it’s been that way since 2016.  That’s too many just to simplify the argument down to, “But right-wing-extremists killed nearly 80 people in 8 years, roughly 10 people a year on average!”  The problem is broader in scope than what domestic terror acts can account for.  Certainly broader in scope than what right-wing-extremists can account for.  Don’t let mainstream media which lives for sensationalism fool you into thinking otherwise.

On a side note, this does seem to fit an interesting pattern.  A similar spike in overall murder rates occurred in 1999, with the number continuing to rise until 2003.  So if the pattern is to repeat, that number should start to fall by, oh say, by either this year or next year.  They seem to go by roughly 4 year patterns of rising and falling; making it seem like they coincide with presidential elections.  Not sure if that’s a coincidence or if the political climate across the history of the U.S. is a contributing factor.  On the other hand, I’m not so sure these are normal times we’re living in.  Hindsight is 20-20, so time will tell.

What else do you have for me Historian?

 

Edit (11-24-2018): Here’s an interesting article: Armed Citizens Have A 94% Success Rate Of Stopping Would-Be Mass Shooters According to FBI Data

#WalkAway from Twitter to Gab.ai

I was willing to give them a chance.  I was willing to link my wordpress site to twitter so that you all can see my tweets.  I was willing to hope that they would show reason.  But they didn’t, and they won’t.  When everyone else banned Alex Jones and InfoWars from their platform for entirely hypocritical reasons but Twitter didn’t, I was hoping it would be a legit act of restraint, in spite of the shadow-banning they’ve done up to that point.  It was just an act attempting to save face when they wanted to eliminate AJ just as badly as the other Silicon Valley Twats.

“They banned me!?  But I was the only one asking the hard questions at the Senate hearings!”

So I’m leaving Twitter, and that bar of tweets to the right of most pages will eventually disappear.  But I’m not leaving peacefully.  I’m not just going to delete my account and only post on Gab.ai from now on.  No.  I’m going to raise Hell and make a lot of noise on the way out (with however many will listen, given the small amount of followers I have).  I’m going to do stuff that will make them ban me.  Links to InfoWars, links to Minds.com posts and BitChute videos done by InfoWars.  Expect me to do likewise on this site for the next few weeks, maybe months, until I cool down (assuming future events will allow me to cool down).

PS: Fuck the Senate hearings.  That’s as big of a waste of time and money as I’ve ever seen.

Say what you will, about him being a nut, but he is entertaining to watch.

9|11 (2002) review, and a cry for united patriotism

Rated: 3.5 / 5

Introduction

This documentary I’ve been wanting to see for a while.  But I’ve been putting it off because, well, despite wanting to see it, I always find some excuse to watch/do something else instead.  But now we’re in September, the anniversary is approaching again, and now seems as good a time as any.  Not sure if I’ll be able to do any more of these types of reviews for 9/11 after this.  I mean, I’ve already reviewed The Path to 9/11 extensively, and that 2-part miniseries still banned by Disney is probably never going to be topped in terms of there being a great movie made on the subject.  I’ve reviewed World Trade Center and United 93, which are the only other 2 decent films on 9/11 (the latter being the best one next to Path to 9/11).  I’ve even reviewed Path to Paradise which covers the 1993 world trade center bombings which would eventually lead to the 9/11 incident.  I even reviewed Loose Change and unleashed my wrath on that piece of shit documentary.

To put it simply, I’ve just about run out of steam on this topic.  This might be the last one I’ll review for this incident (unless some other film gets released on the topic which grabs my attention, which I doubt will happen, taking into account a few factors that makes Hollywood want to whitewash history in ways that have nothing to do with white supremacy).  So, with all that said…

 

Review of 9/11

The film was made primarily by 2 French brothers who wanted to make a documentary about New York City firefighters (and remained more respectful towards American patriotism than fucking Damien Chazelle did with his movie).  The first 20 minutes, barring some foreshadowing during the first minute, is pretty much filmed with this in mind.  Just showing these New York City firefighters going about their daily business, and primarily following a new rookie who learns the ins and outs of it all.  Bonds are formed, it is shown how anything can happen that can take a firefighter’s life in an unexpected instant, and the foreign brothers are eventually accepted among the crew as a sort of family after a little over 2 months of filming (they started at around July 2001).

And then September 11 comes, and one of the brothers manages to capture the only known footage of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center.  Then everything changes.  The whole purpose of the documentary, the firefighter’s routine for that day, the lives of citizens in New York City, and all of America.  Everything changed.  From there one of the brothers follows the firefighters into the base level of the tower, where many firefighters in the city would setup operations and try to figure out how they were going to deal with this.  And as we should know, there was no contingency plan for something like this.  They weren’t sure what to do other than to evacuate as many as they could.  Plus since the impact of the plane knocked out tower communications, the firefighters could only rely on their radios, which got overloaded with communication between multiple houses/ladders/districts.

9-11 image

What is interesting is the restraint the film-maker shows while he’s shooting amidst the chaos.  There’s one moment where he enters the tower for the first time, and remarks narratively on how he didn’t turn the camera in a certain direction to avoid filming these two people who were on fire.  Because he didn’t believe anyone should have to see that.  So he kept himself restricted to just following the other firefighters into the main lobby.  Have to admit, most film-makers I’ve seen, they would’ve tried to capture that sight.  Under the context and circumstance, I actually found this restraint admirable.  On a similar note, the other thing not shown is the aftermath of people falling from the upper floors of the tower to their doom.  Some of the firefighters describe the site, of blood and dismembered legs and arms covering much of the ground around the tower, but no footage of such is shown.  Another act of restraint that is also appreciated.  With that said, you still here the screams of those off-camera and on fire.  You still hear the loud slams of jumpers hitting the concrete (unsettling to say the least).

While one brother is in the tower, the other is attempting to make his way to the tower, and he captures other significant moments, such as a brief instant of the 2nd plane hitting the 2nd tower (while the other brother capture the debris of that impact falling down outside the windows of the first tower), and showing footage of one of the plane engines on the sidewalk, several blocks away from the tower.  A plane engine that got ejected from impact, flew several blocks away, smashed into a road sign and then settled onto the sidewalk below.  Amazingly, from what I understand (and correct me if I’m wrong), but it doesn’t seem like anyone got injured from all the debris that flew away from the towers, excluding those few buildings that caved in next to the towers, including WTC 7.  Even amidst all this, somehow, some way, the film-maker managed to capture an irony.  Right behind this plane engine is a sign that says, “Do not litter.”  Have to admit, despite the gravity of the situation, it got a chuckle out of me.

9-11 image Eventually the first tower falls, and the one brother was still inside along with many other firefighters when it happened.  Miraculously, he manages to survive along with most of the other firefighters (but not all).  Not long after they manage to make their way out, the 2nd tower falls, and they run again from the debris, only to be forced to take cover behind vehicles as the debris and dust clouds overtake them.

Yes, the film does get quite gripping after those first 20 minutes.  The intensity eventually starts to relent when the survivors make their way back to the firestation, and regroup and re-coordinate their efforts.  Then the film has a long drawn out epilogue showcasing the lives that got lost.  And I get it, this is a sad moment of remembrance as we see the faces of those firefighters who lost their lives, but I can only stay sympathetic for so long before I get bored out of my mind with this and the musical eulogy.  It would’ve been better if all that played alongside the end-credits.  Then again, the end credits aren’t all that long, because this documentary was made by a very small team on an independent budget, almost like a college project or something.

Despite that, this remains one of the most gripping ground-zero films out there on the 9/11 incident next to 102 Minutes That Changed America.  That documentary comes just as highly recommended as this one, possibly even more-so.  It also shows footage from everyday citizens who took their cameras out to film the incident as it unfolded after the first plane hit.  While the 9/11 documentary shows it primarily from the perspective of the firefighters, 102 Minutes shows it from the perspective of everyday New Yorkers, from several perspectives of random people who each own their own video recorder.  Both documentaries act as the perfect companion piece to each other.

 

 

Epilogue

A part of me is tempted to bring up the other stuff when thinking outside the box.  The political/cultural implications, how things changed for the worse, or in some cases how some say it changed for the better.  The other part of me is telling myself not to go down that route, to just look back on these videos, these moments in time.  But to what end?  To remember?  And why remember?  What’s the point of remembering?  The same reason one would remember history, to learn from it.  I may regret it, I may hate myself later for it, but I’m giving in to the former temptation.  Because when I think back on events like this and how it caused things to change over the years, up to where we are today, I come back to remembering this one commercial that somehow managed to come to the forefront of my memories.

How this imagery used to be true for a while, until it wasn’t by no later than 2015 in many places.  Once a tragedy that caused Americans to unite together as patriots against an enemy that attacked them (though our retaliation became muddled amidst political and corporate interests, which many became aware of as the years went on), has now faded into the opposite spectrum.  Many now sympathize with the religion that is one of the root causes of violence worldwide today rather than be critical of it (at the very least one should be critical of the radicals to keep them in check so that this so-called religion of peace can be practiced as such).  Many now spit upon patriotism by kneeling and flag-burning, while being praised by mainstream media and various corporate entities for doing such.

And all this just makes me wonder what the hell happened?  How did it come to this?  Why is it that those who once decried extremist terrorists and united against them now attack each other while a portion ally themselves with terrorism in one form or another?  What would happen if some 9/11 event happened today amidst all this?  Would such a tragedy give us cause to unite again once more for a time, or would it somehow divide us further?  Back then one could fault the government for its inadequate security measures and not taking such things seriously enough.  But who would be blamed today if something like this happened again?  Sure, the government, or at least a branch of it, would be blamed.  But I fear we have somehow devolved into a state where citizens would be blaming each other as well.  And the worst part is that I wouldn’t think they would be entirely in the wrong either.  What kind of country with such division and such anti-patriotism would be worth defending by its own citizens?

So I ask what will it take to get us all together again (or at least most of us) before some other big tragedy strikes?  What will it take for everyone to see and act with reason?  Because I’m honestly not sure how that can be done without an age of violence that can cause us to move down one path or the other.  The question is whether that path will be the correct one that leads to a brighter future, or one that leads us to a dark age that generations must suffer through before things are made right again.  Or, dare I say, we go down a path that leads towards our ultimate destruction?

What I do know is that an entire nation shouldn’t be damned just because some aspects of it are corrupted.  Damn those aspects, not everything around it.  Being anti-patriotic and hating your own country is not the path to take.  Seeking self-destruction and taking all that you can down with you is not the path to take.  Being filled with such (self) loathing never leads to anything good.  Rather, love yourself and your country enough to want the best for it, to attempt to fix the imperfections within it, to make it a better country.  That includes listening to the advice of others and gaining elements of wisdom and knowledge to know better which actions to take.  Individualism is important, but so is some sense of unity, some sense of brotherhood, sisterhood, family, friendship, ethos.  Find a way to compromise, find a way to be tolerant (except towards those who will never be anything but intolerant), find a way to come together.

After all, it was that togetherness, that patriotism, that love for one another, that caused many to act selflessly saving the lives of others during 9/11.  There can be many instances found during that tragic day of other Americans helping other fellow Americans survive, amidst the chaos, amidst all that was going wrong.  And not just the police who protect (because despite what some may say, there are plenty of good cops who do protect), or the firemen who save, but also everyday Americans who are capable of protecting and saving in their own way.  It is another reason to never forget.

 

PS: Made this tribute a few days early of the anniversary mainly to encourage others to track down and watch a couple of these films.  Especially The Path to 9/11, if you can.