Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

I have a lot of thoughts about the Occupy Wall Street movement.

I personally have not yet physically participated in the Occupy movement by tent camping anywhere.

I do believe that it's impressive and admirable that such a large number of people have taken to sleeping in the cold streets- allowing themselves to pepper sprayed, tear gassed, verbally abused and beaten to show just how serious they are about demanding fundamental change be made to the current system in this country, which serves to funnel vast amounts of wealth into the hands of an increasingly smaller and smaller number of increasingly wealthy individuals. 

I have found the television and print news coverage of the Occupy movement to be severely lacking in depth in terms of presenting the legitimate demands of the Occupy protestors.  From what I've seen the typically coverage highlights only spectacular displays of police force and the most bizarre looking of the members of the protest.  Any serious discussion of the economic realities that have driven people to occupy the streets or specific suggestions as to how wealth could be better distributed in our post-industrial world have, to my knowledge, not yet taken place on the 24 hour news channels or nightly network television news. 

Thankfully, the New York Times recently published an article describing what the founder of Adbusters magazine, Kalle Lasn, has to say about the protest.  To my way of thinking, the following offers an excellent statement of purpose for the Occupy movement:

Mr. Lasn [Founder of Adbusters magazine] has long believed that Wall Street and vast corporate wealth have sent the United States into what he calls “terminal decline.” But unlike many people involved in the protests, he also has specific goals he would like to see reached. He wants to see, among other things, “a Robin Hood tax” on all financial transactions, a restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act that erected barriers between banking and investing, a ban on certain types of high-frequency trading and the overturning of the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case
 Here is a link to the full article.

TL;DR: I'd suggest giving the indented paragraph above from the New York Times a quick read.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adventure Stories

Adventure Stories

One of the things that comes to my mind frequently are thoughts of narrative, writing and storytelling.  The adventure genre has always been a favorite of mine.  Here are some of the adventure stories and series that I think are worthy of being enshrined in the canon of adventure literature. 

Indiana Jones Series

Remember kids, the inside of a refrigerator is a better place to hide than under the covers, especially to escape the effects of a nuclear blast.

Seriously, don't ever close yourself inside a refrigerator,
people really have died from doing this

Zork Grand Inquisitor

The Librarian Series 

 The blonde behind him in line is probably going 
to need someone to console her after she finds
out she didn't get the job...
Or, perhaps, I just have a one track mind.

National Treasure Series 

The first film and the first half of the second movie had a lot going for them in my opinion.  These movies managed to blend American history and entertainment in a way that I enjoyed.

Pirates of the Caribbean 

The way Johnny Depp plays Jack Sparrow in this entire series is fantastic:

"There should be a Captain in there somewhere"

The only thing I remember from the fourth movie in this series was Captain Jack Sparrow tripping over a bit of foliage, stumbling to his feet and using his sword to hack wildly at the plants that caused him to trip.

Early Days of Adventure Movies
Prior to all of these were the 1930s to 1950s serial films in which adventurers would go on... well... adventures, mainly, that would often end with the hero falling over a cliff or otherwise dying in some spectacular fashion.  Of course, at the beginning of the next episode, it would be revealed that the hero had actually survived. The Indiana Jones films certainly drew from these serials as the produces noted in a documentary I recently watched on the making of Indiana Jones.


Prior to the serials from the early days of film, there were travel narratives that date all the way back to Marco Polo.  According to his biographers, poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge read extensively from travel narratives, which allowed him to include detailed information about travel on the open ocean in the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner prior to his ever having been on board a ship at sea.


Hopefully, I'll have more original content next time.