Friday, March 12, 2010

Not quite sure how.................. 

I'm not quite sure how this happened. I have three blogs that I maintain one about Oakmont, a second about amateur radio and a third about rail fans. Normally I don't "cross post" to them unless I really feel that the subject would be of interest to both sets of readers. Last week I wrote an entry about the movie "The Blind Side" for my Oakmont blog. At one point I made some changes in the posting options and when I returned to the software "dashboard" of Blogger I was surprised to find that my entry has simply disappeared. There were no backup or draft copies and it was getting late and I wanted to go to bed. So I gave up in disgust and left the computer.

So imagine my surprise when I was writing a posting for the rail fan blog yesterday evening and in the process of looking over all three blogs found my movie posting in my amateur radio blog! It may well turn out to be a simple case of operator error but I really think the blogger software pulled a fast one one me and I didn't take the time to investigate all of the avenues of where my written words had wandered off to. So if you are wondering why you are getting Siskel & Ebert on an amateur radio blog now you know.

I will be making some posting in the Linux area shortly. I have been using Ubuntu for about two years now and I have recently switched to Linux Mint. I am writing this on a Mint system and have reached the point where I don't even bother with dual boot any longer. If I can't do it with Linux I just ignore it. I do have access to a Windows machine if I really REALLY have to make use of some software that only runs on that platform. But for my day to day computer use reading mail, blogging, listening to podcasts, editing photos and digital modes for amateur radio Linux does it all quite nicely. Is it perfect? No it is not. Is it superior to Microsoft Windows? Absolutely without a doubt. More latter.



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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Blind Side gets an Oscar 

I haven't watched the Oscar awards on television for several years now despite that fact that I have always been an avid movie fan. In recent years Hollywood has forgotten how to make good movies. I worked for a theater owner who used to tell me that if Hollywood made good movies people would come to the theater to see them. Long before "Field of Dreams" was produced Joe knew that "if you build it they will come".

I feel that Hollywood has lost touch with their audience especially when it comes to what is fit to put on the big screen. There have been some great movies come out of tinsel town in recent years and not all of them were rated G. We have however come a long way from the days when Clark Gable paid a hefty fine, actually the studio payed it for him, for saying the word "dam" at the end of "Gone With The Wind". It used to be that using a four letter word starting with F would get a film an R rating while now days it barley rates a PG-13. This despite in some cases it is used in every other sentence in the script.

I don't live in a fantasy world and I know those words are used everyday. I have even uttered a few of them myself on occasion. I do however try my best not to use them even when I'm angry and I really see no reason that they have to be incorporated in a part of our culture that is labeled "entertainment". It is just not necessary. Likewise it seems that whatever the cause celeb happens to be this year that Hollywood seems to have to make it the center piece of their efforts at Oscar time. Whatever the message is be it anti war, gay rights, perceived government corruption in foreign policy and the list goes on. Much like the crowd in Washington DC the makers of movies have come to believe that their little worlds in the inner circles of New York and Los Angeles are not only what real life is like but that it is the way the rest of the country views it.

I have been a big fan of movies since I was a teenager and have sat through some real stinkers when it comes to feature length films. I had never gotten up and walked out on a film though until I went to see "Natural Born Killers". I went to see it because it had an excellent cast and the "buzz" was that it was going to be an outstanding film. I had never in my life seen such a waist of time, talent and film in my life. This was in 1994 and I have to say that things have not improved a lot since then.

That is why I was surprised that "The Blind Side" got a nomination this year for best picture of the year even though it didn't win. It also brought a nomination for Sandra Bullock in the best actress category for which she did take home the statue. The reason I was surprised was that this film doesn't fit in with how I think Hollywood looks at our society. It also portrays religion in a favorable light something that is extremely rare these days. Linda and I went to see this movie several weeks ago and I wrote a review of it here on the blog. You can read it here THE BLIND SIDE if you like.

I'm not sure if the terrible economy has gotten the attention of those producing films to rethink their product or if the changing technology is making them think that if they don't amend their ways that they could find themselves in the position of the recording industry in a few years. What I do know is that movies like The Blind Side offer a glimmer of hope that they can produce movies that tell a story, entertain the public and while doing so and make them buckets full of money along the way.

I don't expect every movie to be one that you could take a ten year old too. There is a place for movies geared to an adult audience in the film industry. Even those however don't have to go out of their way to shock the senses of the audience to draw them into the theater. It is my sincere hope that the industry is waking up to this fact and will continue to make more movies like The Blind Side.


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