Wednesday, August 31, 2011


There is probably nothing more disturbing to a driver than the realization that despite everything your antilock brakes can do, it is not quite going to be enough.

On a related note, why is the rear end of a car built like a fortress, and the front end like an eggshell? I ran into a Kia, and there is a small dent in her bumper. My Mercedes' whole front end is smashed. The hood is wrinkled, the grille crumbled into hundreds of pieces, the light lenses and brackets are destroyed, the radiator got pushed into the fan... only the fenders and the directional lights were undamaged.
I understand the whole idea of energy-absorbing construction, but why does it have to absorb that much energy from a 10 MPH collision?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Movie Night

The wife and I went out to see "The Help" last night.

This is one of those movies that takes some contemplation to understand.
On the surface, it is a comedy/drama that will make you laugh and cry.
On a deeper level, most modern Americans will also experience a sense of disgust at the institutionalized repression of blacks in the early '60's South.
The movie does a great job in sharing with its audience the atmosphere of a culture which demands, by law, that black people be treated as second class citizens. It shows that even white people were trapped by this evil; Even those who hated the system had very little ability to live by their own conscience. The people who loved the system would destroy them if they tried to change anything, just to keep their hateful system alive.
Such a system is, thankfully, difficult for most Americans to imagine. It is good for us to have such a reminder.

I have heard the criticisms of this movie: Shallow. Heavy-handed. Schmaltz.
Maybe all of these are valid.
Who cares?
It was a good movie on many levels. I liked the attention that was paid to the appearance of historical accuracy. The costumes, hairstyles, cars, buildings, and so on.
The acting was great. The characters were believable and had distinct personalities.
The relationships between the characters were meaningful. It is surprising how few movies achieve this, and without this quality, this movie would have been a complete waste of time. Instead, this movie nailed it, and that makes it one of the best movies I've seen in years.
And finally, I believe that America has left this kind of institutionalized bigotry in its past, except for small pockets of the lunatic fringe here and there, but movies like this are a great way to teach new generations about what has been, and what can be again if we do not guard ourselves against it.

So in short, it may not be an all-time classic, destined for greatness, but it is a very good movie, and I would recommend it to anybody.

As a side note: Yes, I really do believe that America has left this shameful practice in our past. There are people who make a lot of money and gain a lot of power from fighting this system, so it is not hard to see why they keep screaming that institutionalized bigotry is as bad as ever. If they ever admitted that America has evolved away from it, they would have to go out and find a real job.

Getting Started

I've only ever done one blog before now, and that was on MySpace - which should indicate how long it's been!

I'm a procrastinator by nature, but now and then, I get a burst of creative energy. Typically it passes after a couple minutes.
At the moment, though, I have remembered wanting to make a blog, and I am at the computer, so here we go.


One final word of warning - I plan to leave thoughts lying around here; step in them at your own risk.