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Tuesday, 3/16/04 - WE'RE NUMBER 1!!!!!!!!

This breathtaking news came out today concerning the town I live in.


I thought so.

Monday, 3/15/04 - A sad story developed here locally last Friday in a neighboring county involving a 16 year-old who shot and killed a policeman and then barricaded himself in his home. It continued overnight into the next day. I had left work around 3:30 on Friday to go to a walk-in clinic for a sore throat I'd had FOR A FRIGGIN' WEEK. The TV was on in the waiting room with live coverage of the teenager's armed standoff. From what I saw, it looked out of control with all the SWAT teams, helicopters, and over a hundred lawmen from counties all over east TN that swarmed to get in on the action. Seemed like overkill to me (no pun intended).

Anyhoo, on top of all that police presence, at one point the reporter on the scene said that the police had earlier sent in a robot and that it got shot at. Of course, instead of picturing a realistic Mars rover type robot it probably was, my mind immediately thought of the B-movie Lost in Space-type robot and I burst out laughing. I couldn't help it... that news caught me offguard and struck me as funny... at an inopportune time. Several people looked at me strangely, glaring at me disapprovingly, so I said "Sorry... I just think robots are, uh, funny... sorry."

I didn't think the situation as a whole was funny at all... far from it... just the robot part.

And that is why I continue in my downward spiral towards Hell.

Friday, 3/12/04 - Yeah, so yesterday's comment was pretty weak... but there's no need to send me e-mail insulting my mother.

There's new e-mail banter posted on the E-Mail Extravaganza. Not much, but a little. More to come.

Last month, my small circle of friends celebrated the birthday of our friend Brian by throwing him a party and presenting him with a gift... his very first DVD player. The day after his party, inexperienced (some may say "idiot") Brian set up this newfangled gadget and chronicled the installation step by step with this series of photographs...

Thursday, 3/11/04 - In the past few years, we've gotten rather used to the sights and sounds of people walking around in public, by themselves, talking loudly into cell phones. But let us not forget their pre-cell phone predecessors... yes, I'm talking about crazy people walking around in public talking to themselves.

I was at the grocery store last night, near the milk, when I heard a woman talking, "yes, Aunt Louise really misses him... he was a good boy." My first reaction was to look at the woman and I saw that she didn't have a cell phone. As I shopped, our paths crossed a few more times and she was having a very nice conversation... with someone in another dimension.

That's all of my story. Sorry if you're disappointed, but that's pretty much it.

Wednesday, 3/10/04 - Actor Paul Winfield died this past weekend...

This article mentions his "highly praised" title role in "King," the 1978 Martin Luther King TV miniseries. It was on cable last month (that's Black History Month here in the US of A) and I watched about an hour of it. It was one of the WORST movies I have ever seen with the most amateurish directing ever. I hope it comes back on again so I can tape it. It's bad enough to watch for laughs.

Despite the fact that the title character in "King" was assassinated, Winfield (pictured at left) went on to star in the mini-series' not-so-highly-praised sequel, titled "King's Big Score."

Imagine, if you will, this actual scene from the movie: King is making a speech outside before a crowd of people. All that is shown is a head and shoulders shot of Winfield (as MLK) speaking before a microphone with an aide seen at his side. You only see half of the aide's face on the right side of the screen. As King speaks, the aide adds little extra tidbits of dialogue like "tell them, brother", Amen!", "Oh yes!", "That's right!", and "Hallelujah!" You get the idea... like something you'd hear from the congregation at a black church during a sermon. But the problem is that this is all you hear and see. No ambient sounds of outdoors, no crowd sounds, no applause or other responsive sounds, no shots of the crowd... just an uninterrupted shot of King and his parrot-like aide onscreen for more than five straight minutes. Unintentional COMEDY GOLD.

You have to see it to believe it. And there are other really, REALLY bad moments elsewhere in the movie. There are many other scenes that have incredibly bad acting and even worse editing... or lack of. This is one worth keeping an eye out for to tape. It's MSTK-worthy.

Tuesday, 3/9/04 - Yes, I've been lazy for the past month. I just haven't felt inclined to post anything. I'd like to say thanks to the whopping number of 4 people out there who wrote me to say that they miss the comments. I'll catch up in the next few days.

First, I'd like to say Happy Birthday to my daughter Ashley who turns 16 today and also a bleated, I mean, belated online Happy Birthday to my son Nick who turned 18 last month.

Yep, I got suckered in by the hype and controversy of the Mel Gibson film, The Passion of the Christ, and saw it last weekend. I can best describe it as The Bloodiest Story Ever Told, or Jesus Christ Superscarred. The filmmakers were obsessed with focusing on blood, gore and violence. I guess their point was to make the audience feel sympathy and compassion for Jesus, but it didn't work. I felt no more sorry for Him than I would for a victim of Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. That's probably due to the fact that there is no character development. Mel Gibson relies on the likely fact that his audience has prior knowledge of this Biblical story. Otherwise, you wouldn't have a clue as to what was going on or what the constant flashbacks mean. That's just one of the many flaws of this movie.

The movie starts on the night before the crucifixion when Judas betrays JC to the Hebrew guards. The beating of JC commences immediately at this point and continues nonstop until He's nailed to the cross the following day.

One part of the film that's different from previous JC movies is the presence of the supernatural. Satan is very much interested in what is happening and is seen lurking around and taunting Jesus along the way. Some genuinely creepy images are shown that will send a shiver down your spine.

Speaking of creepy... you get the feeling sometimes that you're watching a horror movie, especially when there is the occasional sudden action/loud sound meant to startle you. Yep... they use that standard horror movie gimmick in a few places.

OK, now the Hebrew elders are hell-bent on getting rid of JC, as He is arrested and brought before them for what they claim to be heresy. They question his practices and his claim to be the son of God. This scene strangely reminded me very much of the courtroom scene in Planet of the Apes where Charlton Heston defends himself and his origins. You think the POA filmmakers had that in mind? Hmmmmm.... interesting.

Anyhoo, the Jews turn JC over to Pontius Pilate and the Romans and they proceed to literally whip the holy shit out of Jesus to the point of the guards becoming exhausted from the beating, wet towel-snapping, and wedgies they've administered to Him. This is the "scourging" scene, not to be confused with the "scouring" scene or even the "grouting" scene. Every inch of JC's body is slashed and battered (no, not with flour) when Pontious Pilate's captain finishes his meal at Waffle House, or wherever the hell he was, drops by and chastises his men for overdoing it, especially noting that the high-fiving was a bit too much. Hey, nice supervision there. You've only got the son of God being beaten to a pulp here, happens every Thursday, but I guess you had somewhere else to be and was too busy to check in with these morons.

After this, it's off to the hilltop to be crucified. As JC is dragging his cross, He collapses about five or six times along the way, in overused slow motion action. Now Jesus is nailed to the cross with great attention to close-ups of nails going through hands and feet, blood dripping off of nails, and arms and shoulders being dislocated to fit the cross.

After Jesus dies on the cross, a Roman soldier is instructed to make sure he is dead by ramming a spear into His ribcage. He does this, which results in a gushing shower of sprayed blood right into the soldier's face. By this time, I'm thinking "OK, that does it. That's enough. Why in the face? WHY THE FACE????" One more horror movie gimmick checkmarked on the clipboard.

Finally, at the end, there is the sound of the stone being rolled away as sunshine spreads into the interior of the tomb of JC. The camera pans over to an empty wrapping cloth collapsing from the now displaced body it recently contained. We then see Jesus, clean and scar-free except for hole in hand, as he gets up and exits the tomb. What an ending... it had the feel of a setup for a sequel. The Revenge of Jesus?

The main controversy surrounding this movie is that it may come across as anti-Semitic, portraying the Jews as being responsible for the death of Jesus. Hey, didn't it really happen that way originally? The Hebrew elders didn't approve of the unorthodox preachings and healings of Jesus and his claim to be the Messiah, so they sought to get rid of him?

Overall, this film was a bloodfest that was preoccupied with featuring the excruciatingly gory and painful death of Jesus Christ with few too fleeting glimpses of His life and purpose.

Let's wrap this up with an image that came to me from out of the blue...

Oh, come on now! If Saturday Night Live can show Benny Hill as Jesus with cross attached to back chasing bikini-clad women around to that Yakety Sax theme song, this isn't THAT bad... is it?

Monday, 3/8/04 - Hello.

More to come!


©2004, Mark Longmire, The Wonderful World of Longmire