Monday, July 26, 2010

[slideshow id=2810246167516119810&w=426&h=320]

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What I hated about Inception

The biggie is the treatment of finance/business/economic issues in the film. This was handled so shoddily that we were either to realize in the first minutes of the film that the whole thing is part of Cobb's dream, or we are to assume the write and director take the audience for fools.

You see, I'm far more likely to accept the premise of intervening in dreams (that's called suspension of disbelief, and is required in the economy of narration) than I am that there is a single firm that controls 50% of the world's "energy*", and that such an amazingly huge and important firm needs to be explained to the protagonist of the film, and that he wouldn't immediately know everything there is to know about the management of such a firm.

And then, we are to somehow assume that by Fischer Jr. giving up his family's firm, it's supposed to clear the stage for Saito's company. Fischer Jr. would not need to break up his father's corporation: he would simply put this improbably private firm on the market. And even if he did sell it off in pieces, that would likely improve the group's competitiveness, not hinder it (conglomerates are always shedding branches to realize their true market value).

I can accept a stupid MacGuffin, but this one is too much MacGuffin to swallow.

(Another stupidness for me was the fact that he could only see his children in the US. I'm sure he could manage to get them to Brazil or some other safe place where they could live together. So the two great motivators for the action, the Saito caper and the need to return to the US, both fall apart.)

*I'm assuming this is the same BS "energy" the computers use in the Matrix movies. How would I have fixed this? I would have changed the industry from energy to minerals, where there can be real near-monopolies. And which would make having regular trips between LA and Sydney make some sense...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dear Prudence, 22 July 2010, One-by-one: There are limits, people!

The letters and answers from Prudie are to be found HERE.

This week, you really wonder if these people don't deserve the hells they've been making for themselves.

Letter 1 is from a newlywed whose recently joblessed husband is picky and violent. He throws things, but not quite yet at her. Prudie says he needs counseling, and that she should be ready to dump him.
My take: DTMFA. You've only been married a month. Get it annulled. If he really wants to change, you can remarry later. You might get some counseling, too. Like to find out why you are such a dumb cluck. If you do stay with him, and he does some physical damage to you, Prudie and I warned you. (And along the way, tell him that if wants the dishes out of the dishwasher, he can fucking do it himself.)

Video letter is preceded by one of the Amway ads. What's with that???? The voice of the Letter Write is June Thomas, which is always nice to hear. June's husband cheated on her with a coworker, but they've reconciled. He's going off on a work retreat or something. She's worried that something will happen at the Maui Holiday Inn. Prudie says LW is right to worry. But why can't she express her concerns to her husband?
My take: Now we know why he's looking elsewhere. He's not really married to LW.

Letter 2 is from a woman who attempted suicide a few years ago. She's now engaged, and wonders if she should tell him about this event from her past. Prudie says yes.
My take: Duh.

Letter 3 is from a worker whose boss and other people congregate in front of her cubicle, distracting her. She doesn't want to come off as a grump. Prudie says to try to switch locations to a more quite venue.
My take: Yes, these people should be working, not chatting (please don't let me get going on the American canard about the French having soooo much vacation time and soooo short working hours... my observation is that [some] Americans spend lots of time at work, but not that much time working), but the real problem is the DAMN CUBICLES. They are horrible places to work! Employers, please come to your senses and spend some money on enclosed office space for all. It's already clear that the social control aspect of open plan offices doesn't work. The boss is malingering, not observing his underlings malingering.

Letter 4 is from an ecofriendly gal who loves herself a bit of AC in the summer. Her greener-than-thou friend keeps nagging her about using AC. Prudie says to tell friend to shut up, or they'll have to stop seeing each other in hot weather.
My take: If all she has to say when she comes over is how much of a pig you are, maybe you wouldn't be losing much of a friend if you simply pulled the plug permanently on this relationship? You might remind her first that the best way she could reduce her own carbon footprint would be to commit suicide. Offer her a knife (seppuku is a green way to die).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dear Prudence, 15 July 2010, One-by-one: Take prompt action!

The originals are HERE.
On the whole, people who've been wasting or will be wasting time. Take prompt action now!

Letter 1 is from a fantastic independent beautiful woman who's BF watches porn, yet still manages to bonk her twice a day. He "defended" himself by saying he liked women with bigger breasts, and so why doesn't she get a boob job? Prudie says LW should say she'll get a boob job when he gets his penis enlarged.
My take: Problem starts with him having to "defend" himself for watching porn. After that point, I don't want to hear anything out of your pie hole, LW!

Video letter is from a OCD guy who gets all worked up when people lick their fingers to flick through pages of a document that he has to handle afterwards. Prudie tells him to get a real problem.
My take: Get your very own laminator and put every paper you handle under wipeable plastic.

Letter 2 is from a golden-age woman who wants to enjoy her golden-age freedom to travel as a romantic couple with her hubby. His 80-year-old parents expect them to take them with them on vacation. Prudie says they don't have to do it, that there are other options for the in-laws to holiday, and that hubby's out-of-state siblings should be doing more.
My take: LW is stupid.

Letter 3 is from a social-worker type who's also bipolar. Whenever she has a disagreement with your young intern, intern claims that it's because LW is bipolar. Prudie says to have a frank discussion with intern to let her know it's hurtful and unprofessional. And then if the behavior doesn't stop, go to the higher-ups.
My take: Skip the heart-to-heart and report the twit. It's not like there aren't lots of potential staffers for social work jobs. If this girl is a "trained professional" and she's pulling this BS, she's not worth saving.

Letter 4 is from a woman who made a beautiful homemade arrangement of flowers from her garden for the funeral of her stepbrother. One of her sisters and her stepsisters keep harassing her about being "cheap". Prudie says to give the bitches one warning then cut off relations.
My take: Skip the warning and cut off the bitches. They're from the school of rubes that think that a Hallmark card is better than a handwritten note, and a pink rental limo better than your father's car for your wedding.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dear Prudence, 8 July 2010, One-by-one: WTF?

The originals are HERE.
An awful lot of strange behavior here.

Letter 1 is from a young woman who's started her great internship in the entertainment industry by getting drunk and taken to the home of her boss who sexually assaulted her, at least until she puked in his living room. Youthful indiscretion or crime? Prudie says youthful indisretion and she should shape up and show she's a responsible person.
My take: WTF? OK, she got drunk, too drunk to drive. But what's this about: "I wound up too drunk to drive home. One of the bosses took me home with him, and when we got there he repeatedly tried to kiss me." He should have been driving her to his home, or far, far better, she should be in a taxi, or sleeping on a couch in the office. He did commit assault, but really, what was she doing going home with him????

Video letter is from a woman who can't bear sleeping with her husband. He's hairy and clingy while sleeping. She's not getting any sleep. Prudie says to tell hubby not to touch her while sleeping. And Prudie zings the LW for insufficient enthusiasm about her sex life.
My take: You'll get used to it.

Letter 2 is from a parent whose young child saved money to buy an expensive video game console. A few years later, the boy's uncle offered to buy the console, which suited the boy, since it allowed him to upgrade. Uncle has yet to pay the final 20-dollar instalment on his payment plan. Prudie says to write it off.
My take: Uncle's lost his job. He'll be selling this aged console on e-Bay soon to pay the rent. Give him a break. (This story hits my pathos nerve pretty hard... brrrrr.) Also, hate the LW signing off as "Mama Bear". Gonna protect your baby from his mean old uncle? WTF?

Letter 3 if from a gay guy whose colleague made an isolated semi-homophobic remark. She's apologized and he accepted, but can't let it go. He wants to let her know how hurt he was. Should he? Prudie says let it go.
My take: Stop whining you scrotum!

Letter 4 is from a woman whose sister is expecting her first baby. Sis is having four baby showers, and has signed up for every item on every registry in town. Should she tell her sister she thinks this is too much? Prudie says to gently suggest that she should consolidate her showers.
My take: WTF? You don't hold your own shower, so why is she involved in any registry for one (let alone four)? But there's no good intervening here. Attend one shower and one shower only, and bring a gift if you choose, and of your choice.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dear Prudence, 1 July 2010, One-by-one: What? No tribute to Canada?

She does letters about mothers on Motherz Day, she does letters about fathers on Fatherz Day, but she doesn't do letters about Canadians on Canada Day?

The originals are HERE.

Letter 1 is from a dude who for six month has been dating a girl who may be Miss Right. When and if does he tell her that he was a sperm donor some fifteen years ago? Prudie says to make the most of some movie to broach the subject.
My take: He wouldn't have to worry about some grown-up gamete showing up on the doorstep if it weren't for the misguided gamete-ID laws the geneto-obsessives have sprung on society. The kind of laws that mean that in many countries there are... no more sperm donors. Good move, folks! I do hope you're not Canadian, where the right of anonymity is under attack (see HERE).

Video letter is from a gal whose parents prefer her newish hubby to herself. Prudie says to tell her parents this is hurtful.
My take: Maybe they prefer him for a reason? Is he Canadian?

Letter 2 is a punfest for Prudie, so I won't indulge her. But her advice is sound. Too bad the LW isn't from Canada, where that kind of sexist speech can get you landed in jail.

Letter 3 is from a mom who wants her two daughters to be friends. This means forcing them to do everything together, and depriving her older daughter of special moments just for her, like getting her ears pierced for his tenth birthday. Prudie says that mom's a bitch and goes all Cary Tennis on her.
My take: I agree with the general tenor of Prudie's response. How about the younger daughter share the moment by offering her older sister a pair of earrings? In any case, if you force love on your kids, they will rebel, and one will run away to Canada.

Letter 4 is about a wedding, so I won't bother going into it here.
My take: Jane is crazy, but just how offensive could not inviting Tammy be? Tammy already said she had a conflict. I hate to say it, but weddings make Canadians go crazy, too.