- With the recent memos NBC news leaked — wow, good on you NBC — I’m getting a little frightened for the future of the USA. The President has taken the War on Terror ball from the last guy and he is running with it without looking back or stopping for nothing. When he hands it off to a more than likely more conservative successor in 2016 I fear we will continue down the rabbit hole to oblivion. Oblivion looking like a mild, subtle, and polite police state.
- 2013 could be one of the best years for science fiction films we’ve seen in some time. The ones I’m most excited for:
- Neill Blomkamp‘s second feature film behind the brilliant “District 9″, called Elysium. The overall concept of the film: 2159, overpopulated and most likely trashed Earth, the well-to-do living in a massive glorious orbiting space station society (called “Elysium”), the less than fortunate living on the surface, an ex-Con who has a chance to bring about equality back to the human race. The fact that Jodie Foster is going to be the pseudo villain, in an anti-immigrant authoritarion role aboard the station, is enough to get me to the theater on this one. Throw in the fact that this is Blomkamp we’re talking here, who’s use of CG is so subtle, who’s art direction is so grimy, this film could turn out to be eerily plausible. And I would not be surprised if he throws in some modern day rhetoric to make it feel all the more real.
- The highly anticipated (for me at least) Gravity. Alfonso Cuaron‘s first movie since 2006′s “Children of Men“, which is a great flick. The story is quite simple really: two astronauts (Sandra Bullok and George Clooney) get caught-up in the destruction (accidental, most likely) of something similar to our International Space Station, the film depicts their attempts to get back on Earth safely. Now, I think this was scrapped, but rumor had it the movie was going to be one long take. Which would be insane. I have read more recently though — from fairly reputable sources — that it’s looking like the movie will be composed of a select handful of long takes. That alone has my interest peaked, Cuaron’s shot at the end of “Men” was spectacular.
In terms of discussing the influence of film on American society and the alarmingly frequent and horrifically violent acts perpetrated by Americans on other Americans, we have recently heard, AGAIN, two specific films called out and scapegoated, American Psycho and Natural Born Killers; despite the field day that these so-called “film critics” could have had with movies actually from this decade like Killers, from 2010 (oops, that’s an Ashton Kutcher/Katherine Heigl romantic comedy). Taking a closer look at both American Psycho and Natural Born Killers, it becomes clear how weak both movies are when called out as examples of media “aired like propaganda loops on ‘Splatterdays’ and every day.”
- Considering I received an oh-so subtle death threat on Facebook the other day, it’s no surprise many users are taking hiatuses from the service right now, and will continue to in the year 2013 (it’s looking like). It was December 2012 when the data of a PEW survey was taken, finding that 61% of users were backing off from the social networking site. I think election hangover might have something to do with this. Although study subjects’ top two claims were “gave it up for lent” and “too much drama”. I actually do not agree with this idea though that on Facebook we can’t talk about deep philosophical issues. Sure, it gets tedious. But that’s because of the quality of discussion, not the discussion itself. People don’t listen to each other and they don’t think critically. Sure, I generally use Facebook to share music I like with my friends, or keep people updated on the status of my family… but it can be more than that. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it could be the 21st Century town square. Where someone presents an idea, then the rest of the public comments on it, likes or dislikes it. But no one is civil anymore. In fact, mostly what you get is 20-somethings lashing out against their family about how terrible they’ve been to them publicly. I know, this happened on my feed (not surprisingly) around December 2012.
- More proof of patents limiting innovation rather than expanding it.
We’ve written a few times about a patent trolling operation called Personal Audio. Like so many patent trolling companies, whose actually behind it is something of a mystery, but it does have an empty office in East Texas that no one ever goes to. It sued Apple and others claiming that it held patents on the concept of “playlists” and actually scored some victories. Amazingly, it sued Apple multiple times over the same patent, arguing that small changes to its products were new violations.