Half-Baked Ideas: Congressional Reapportionment

There aren’t enough members of the House of Representatives here in the United States. I know that the idea that there are not enough politicians in Washington is anathema to the current American condition, but as the House is currently apportioned, some states have disproportionate representation. Continue readingHalf-Baked Ideas: Congressional Reapportionment”

Shitty Movie Sundays: No Escape

Recently, I had a vague memory of a movie. I swore that I had seen it, way back in the dark and distant days of the 1990s. I couldn’t remember what it was called, but I was having visions of Ray Liotta running around a jungle prison and killing people. What was this film? Had I imagined it? Was it a dream? Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: No Escape”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Escape from the Bronx, aka Fuga dal Bronx

Escape from the Bronx movie posterCan lightning strike in the same place twice? Yes, it can! Escape from the Bronx, a.k.a. Bronx Warriors 2, a.k.a. Escape 2000, is the wonderfully shitty sequel to 1990: the Bronx Warriors. Coming back from the previous film are producer Fabrizio de Angelis, director Enzo G. Castellari, and star Mark Gregory as Trash. The gang’s all here! Well, almost. The Bronx Warriors was such a success for de Angelis and company that it appears he reduced the already miniscule budget for this film in order to generate a higher profit margin. At least, that’s what I would do. The Bronx Warriors had a larger entourage for Trash, and more above scale talent than Escape. Gone are Vic Morrow and Fred Williamson, replaced by one of the most recognizable That Guy faces of the 1970s and ’80s — Henry Silva.

Silva has always been great in shitty movies, and he does a great job in this film as the over-the-top mercenary Floyd Wrangler. That’s right. FLOYD WRANGLER. All caps, folks. That’s the praise Silva has earned from me for putting on the bad guy hat in this flick.

Anyway, plot. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Escape from the Bronx, aka Fuga dal Bronx”

Missile Test Predicts! The 2016 Results

Holy fuck, America. We did it. We actually voted into the Oval Office a man who didn’t know, until he met with President Obama last week, that all the staffers in the West Wing are Democrats and will have to be replaced. We voted into office a man who hired, as his chief strategist, a white nationalist propagandist. We voted into office a man who, during the campaign, could be relied upon to disqualify himself from said office at least once a week, either through word or deed. But most importantly, America’s voting public went with most of my 2016 election gambling picks, thereby ensuring my Loyal Seven readers, who faithfully follow my advice, early and prosperous retirements. The results are below. My picks are first, with the winner in bold. Continue reading “Missile Test Predicts! The 2016 Results”

Empty Balcony: Rollerball (1975) & Rollerball (2002)

Alongside post-apocalyptic films, there exists another popular nihilistic genre of film — the dystopian tale. Civilization doesn’t have to have collapsed into a dense ball of suffering for the dystopian film to work. Rather, current mores and politics just need a little bit of tweaking and society becomes unrecognizable. Indeed, in some dystopian futures, it could be argued that humans are thriving. What is common in dystopian films is that some eroding of freedoms has occurred, brought on usually by technology, capitalism, communism, post-industrialism, or a conglomeration of every fear we have about the role of individuality in the future. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: Rollerball (1975) & Rollerball (2002)”

Election Day: 12:12am

The most amazing thing about Trump’s performance tonight is how much it was missed. Right now, whole piles of electoral votes east of the Mississippi are still up for grabs, after midnight. Clinton is still mathematically in this, but nothing has broken her way tonight, and there’s no reason to expect things will all of a sudden win her victory.

Was Clinton really despised so much that she couldn’t beat Donald Trump? Was the conservative disinformation machine that effective that voters could not make a fair comparison between her and Trump? Did people place far more weight on the email scandal than was deserved? Did James Comey deliver the election to Trump?

Or was this truly a populist rebellion? Has government gotten so out of touch with a majority of American voters that our representatives missed an underlying current of dissatisfaction? That’s a legitimate question. When the economy is doing well and unemployment is low, the temptation is to say that there is no big problem in the country. Apparently, there are other concerns than the economic that can sway the electorate. Figure out what that is, please.

Election Day: 11:41pm

I could not be more surprised at Donald Trump’s success tonight. For one, the polls were only fleetingly in Trump’s favor, and the electoral models even less so. When I look at this outcome, all I can see is a failure on the part of the American voter to do an honest comparison between the two candidates. There was an equivalency in voters’ opinions that had no basis in reality. Despite Clinton’s flaws (many of which are imaginary), nothing should have been sufficient to disqualify her compared to Trump. Donald Trump is not just unqualified for the presidency from a professional perspective, but from a temperamental one. Yet there he looks to be, occupying the same office as true giants of American, and human, history. It will be a tall order, indeed, for the United States to recover from a Trump presidency. The future of our country has not been this uncertain for a very long time.

Election Day: 11:20pm

At this point, it feels like the election will be called for Donald Trump within the hour. Everything is breaking his way. It is extremely hard to describe my reaction to this. There is still a fair amount of disbelief, buoyed by the fact the important states have yet to be called, and there is still hope for Clinton. But the news has been bad since 9pm, and it has never gotten better. In all likelihood, Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. The premiere position in the world will be occupied by a charlatan who has no respect for the laws that allowed him to run. It truly is something incredible we are witnessing.

From a personal perspective, there will be pain from a Trump presidency. With a GOP congress, it’s probably a given that Obamacare will be repealed, and my health insurance along with it. What a wonderful turn of events.

This is quite the gut punch.

Election Day: 11:03pm

It’s hard to believe it, but Hillary Clinton is losing this election right now. Michigan needs to be called before we get an idea of how the race is going. To give readers an idea of how precarious Clinton’s position is right now, Michigan was not expected to be an important state to the outcome of this election. Her path to the presidency is now more narrow than Trump’s. Extraordinary. Donald Trump — DONALD FUCKING TRUMP — is now poised to be the most powerful person in the world. The good news for me is that New York City is targeted by around 100 Russian nuclear warheads, so when the bombs fall, we’re talking a rate of about one nuclear detonation ever fifteen seconds for a half hour. I probably won’t feel a thing.

Dispensing with all the hyperbole, I am very surprised at Trump’s turnout and rate of support. Just about everyone seems to have missed the huge amount of disaffection for Clinton, and the impact of Trump’s emotional appeal. There is no reasonable explanation for Trump, so his possible, but growing more likely, victory tonight has absolutely nothing to do with a rational examination of the issues, or Trump’s ability address them. This is all visceral.