Tea Time With Jesse

Six of One, Half Dozen the Other

Archive for June, 2010

Thinking some more about Afghanistan

Posted by middlerage on June 28, 2010

I am trying to make myself stay abreast of the war. It is important, it seems to be our generation’s Vietnam. But it is hard. For one thing there is a lack of news (come on MSM! see more below), for another, there’s the Economy and there’s the BP oil spill. Stupid.

But there are two thoughts I have at the moment. The first is that the MSM is just.not.getting.the.job.done. Forget bloggers – who often break their own arms patting themselves on the back as the “new journalism,” it’s the “outsiders” who are stepping up to the plate for journalism. It was the National Enquirer that busted John Edwards affair wide open. Now it is Rolling Stone who owns ex-General McChrystal and bitch slaps the MSM that were asleep at the wheel. Here is a New York Times opinion piece that cogently analyzes the scoop, Frank Rich, an excerpt:

What we saw was this: 1) Much of the Beltway establishment was blindsided by Michael Hastings’s scoop, an impressive feat of journalism by a Washington outsider who seemed to know more about what was going on in Washington than most insiders did; 2) […]

Like I said, “COme on! MSM” And let’s not forget the lack of analysis in the lead up to the skulldudgerous Iraq War.

The second thought I have is, just how wise and important it is to democracy to have our military under civilian control. I am sorry to say that I have to resort to movies to make my point, but, hey, we live in a pop culture world. 1) I’ve always hated the glorification The Godfather gives to thuggery, but that’s neither here nor there, and 2) It has always remained seated in my mind (because it made such an impression) the line from A Few Good Men, when Kieffer Sutherland (who plays a Guantanamo Bay Marine guard on trial for the death of a fellow corpsman) is on the witness stand and he is telling the cross-examiner where a Marine’s loyalties lay (lie?):

“Unit, Corps, God, Country”

[middlerage sez…”I can’t quite remember – God and Corps might be transposed”]

So what he is saying is that, in the interest of being the hardcore tool, the tip of the spear, that America needs to defend it’s border, the Marine becomes loyal to his unit above all else. The author or scriptwriter wants us to be shocked by the fact that country (or God) doesn’t come first.  But I always found this offensive – moreso if true – because for a military man, there is no reason for being without the country. Does  unit integrity make an un-matchable military tool that we could get no other way? Then how come the  idealogues from Boudicca to Che Guevara form such militarily potent entities?

In our democracy, it is THE COUNTRY, represented by civilian leaders, who run the military. Not the other way around. How dare General McChrystal and his aides disparage the White House administration! Via a transcript of the Rachel Maddow Show (on MSNBC) I come across this quote:

The Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 88 says, “Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the president, the vice president, Congress, the secretary of defense, the secretary of a military department, the secretary of transportation, or the governor or legislature of any state, territory, commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

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The Greatest Post Ever

Posted by middlerage on June 28, 2010

A million years ago there was a Beetle Baily comic strip that involved several panels of Beetle Bailey searching for a pencil. The punchline is that he had solved the mystery of the universe, but before he could find a pencil to write it  down, he forgot it.

I really wasn’t working on the greatest post ever when the boys, playing at my feet, thought it would be fun to unlpug all of the plugs. Including the one to the computer.

I should be able to remember most of what I was saying. I think I’ll wait for a few hours. Maybe for naptime.

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Results Are In! Whopping Numbers Ask For My Script

Posted by middlerage on June 25, 2010

The Readers Have Spoken! All Seven of them.

In Landslide, Readers Prefer to See My Duke City Shootout Entry Now!

So a few posts ago, I had set up a poll to see if you wanted to see my loser script RIGHT NOW, OR if you preferred to await my visualization attempt at a storyboard (which I think would play to the strengths of the script better – sort of a “dancing About architecture” thing). As the headlines above indicate – it is the former. And how! So today my faithful readers get to read what the Duke City Shootout pooh-poohed.

I’ve set up a separate page on this blog because the script is too long to make an attractive blog entry and it would dominate the home page.

An Important Note! The linked script is in actual, hollywood, movie industry, technical scriptese…so it may take a moment to get used to the formatting and writing style.

Another Important Note! The movie is a silent movie, and when reading the script, it is important to know that an “INTERTITLE” is script tech-jargon for the old-timey dialogue card that appears on screen after the villian’s lips moved – “Zounds! Foiled Again!”

Another Important Note! It actually isn’t very important at all to know what a santero is, but wikipedia can answer questions you might have. You’ll probably figure it out by context.

Another Important Note! Remember – the movie is a short. Twelve minutes max. It is sometimes estimated that a page of script equals a minute of movie, thus my short film is around 7 minutes long. Don’t read it expecting a summer beach read or an Andy Warhol 8 hour juggernaut.

So roll out the RED CARPET! Here it is for a LIMITED ENGAGEMENT. Linked here or on the tabbed bar above…..drumrollllllllll for…..



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