I have seen the lesser minds of my generation,
rise up in protest against foes
real or imagined.
A people who are bound by nothing
beyond their own self-interest
in the name of the patron saint of selfishness
Whose disciples feel their sense of worth
by correcting those who are ignorant
that their saint’s name is pronounced “Ein”
Whose motivations were proclaimed
against a government who spent too much
and taxed too much
and did too little
All in the name of a mythologized image
of those who would cry for their own freedom
while turning a blind eye to the oppression of
Those who were deemed to be lesser beings.
Who, while oppressed, built a nation for those
whose descendants ignore the worth of that building
yet claim the greatness of those oppressors
Whose imitators, while feigning to oppose a system of economy
know nothing of its machinations
and find fault with all manner of those they deem unfit
Riled in their own ignorance and self-interest
at such a system suckle at the teat of those who supported
and corrupted that same system
Who built their movement on the lies and bigotries of the privileged
so that their fears of becoming the underclass are never realized
much to the expense of the underclass
Never seeing beyond their own skins, never admit that
E Pluribus Unum is blasphemous to their religion
Who worship at the altar of Dollar for blessings undeserved
Who will lie for their god
and send others to die for their god
And will have no other gods before their god
Who lie with the government they call Whore
and fornicate with Oedipal lust and hypocrisies
and sanctify their sins
Who walk the path of doom and destruction
led astray by ambition and hubris and deliver
blindly their prize of freedom to Enslavement.

©2012 James Montgomery


George, George, You Really Weren’t Up To the Job In the First Place, Were You?

Yeah, I know, I’m not covering any new territory here.  George Lucas, for better or worse, has been one of the most important figures in moviemaking in the past fifty years and has been praised and vilified accordingly.  Over the many missteps that Lucas made over his career concerning his most important work, the Stars Wars franchise, the one that stuck out the most to me was that the excellent parody video, The Star Wars That I Used To Know, actually made Darth Vader a sympathetic figure, something that would be much preferable than what we were left with in Anakin being a short-sighted dimwit.

I know, without a doubt, that I could have done a much better character development with Anakin than was done in The Phantom Menace.  When the best plot line in your movie is a pod-race, it may be beneficial for creating excitement (aka merchandising), but it doesn’t make a “character examination” very character-driven, now does it?  Anakin should have been a bad seed from the beginning – not necessarily a mean kid and certainly not evil, but a manipulator, selfish, someone who is not likable.  Now I know what you’re thinking: “a main character who is not likable is not much of a step-up from a non-character-driven character examination and not a recipe for a successful movie.”  And that is where I say you would be wrong!  This is Darth Vader we are talking about!  This is the character who did not really have any sort of contrition for his life of evil, but still got the ol’ Free Pass from The Force at the end of Return of the Jedi.  So don’t talk to me about believability or that a bad guy can’t carry a movie.  What we got in the end was forced, dumb, and confused.

For all the wooden acting, the clothes-changing pretentiousness of Padme, the horrific attempt at comedy relief in the CG person of Jar-Jar Binks, the utter nonsense of the Clone War, one of the worst-named characters in the Star Wars universe in the person of who-the-hell-is-he? Count Dooku, the ridiculous concept of General Grievous (another bad name), the “prequels” could have been good, but Lucas was seduced by the dark side of moviemaking: special effects.  If you don’t have a solid story, you have jack.  Lucas surrounded himself with people who couldn’t work up the nerve to tell Lucas to go take a leap off the Golden Gate Bridge and take his bad ideas with him.

So why did I take the time to vent about things others have already covered ad nauseam?  Because when I see something as brilliantly done as The Star Wars That I Used To Know, I am reminded that something so important to the most important movie franchise in my lifetime was mishandled and my complaint is valid and shared.  Is it an important issue?  On the surface, no.  But if you think not learning from the Greek tragedies of real life could be a problem, if you think that people who worship money over all else are a problem, if you think people who revel in power without restraint are a problem, then, yes, this is an important issue.  George Lucas only screwed his movie franchise, there are others out there who are under the same delusions who would do much worse.  Are you really prepared to see the next sequel to Trickle Down?

Not A Surprise To Me

Ha! Ha!  I just witnessed one of the biggest puss-outs I have ever seen as the Democrats begin their second day of the convention: an introduction, by former Ohio governor Ted Strickland, of an amendment to the party platform addressing the issues Paul Ryan raised about the lack of  mentioning “God” in the platform or the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  I’m not going to get into why I believe this to be nonsensical political theater at this time, but to witness the utter capitulation by the Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa as he took a voice vote, which was clearly not a two-thirds affirmation, and declared the motion passed.  Unbelievable! 

This is why I don’t support the Democrats: they will knuckle under rather than stand up to some potentially bad PR.  I’m sure there are some Republicans laughing their asses off right about now.  They should.

…And Put The Sleeves Back On!

In my inbox today, I got a notice from LinkedIn about some graphic designer from Nike that they deemed a “superstar”.  Well, I have news for Nike and all the other major sports apparel companies: your design people are clowns and should be fired!  The uniform du jour for abuse is the Notre Dame uniform and, yes, it is butt-ugly.  There is no excuse.  Last year’s overwhelming winner for “Designers Who Have No Clue” goes to whoever was responsible for that abortion of a uniform that belonged to the University of Maryland.  Bad.  Ugly.  Stupid.

I think this crapola started when the sports apparel companies started heavily competing for the exclusive rights to production for the various colleges and the NFL.  If I’m wrong about that, I don’t care because they have all failed miserably at producing uniforms that retain some semblance of dignity.  It started with that overhaul of the Denver Broncos uniforms with those pointless pointed shapes going up each side of the jersey and going down the legs to a curved point.  The college teams couldn’t jump on that bandwagon fast enough (or was it that the sports apparel companies couldn’t shove it down everyone’s throats fast enough?).  Then it was the ridiculous piping that showed up on nearly everyone’s uniforms.  And then it was every variation imaginable until you had some jerseys or pants that had geometric shapes on them that made no design sense at all!  And let’s not forget the University of Oregon Ducks and those putrid uniforms in their endless variants.  They suck and it has nothing to do with the school colors!  Like the sorry excuse designs the Seattle Seahawks wear, both Oregon and Seattle’s uniforms look like bad 1970s track suits.  BURN THEM and never even think about doing those types of color block designs again!

Among other artistic fields, I am a graphic designer by trade, so even if my complaints don’t matter to anyone else, this type of thing matters to me.  These apparel designers are being lauded for making bad designs and people don’t seem to realize how bad they are!  It’s frustrating because I know the motivation behind it all is not improving the look of a team, it’s making money on production and merchandising from fans who have to have the team jersey.  And if you want to plunk your money down on these travesties, be my guest, but don’t tell me they are great and expect me to take you seriously because I won’t – ever!