November 21, 2006

Pass the Hatchet [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at November 21, 2006 3:46 PM

My brain seems to have gone on vacation already, but I want to move the purity balls down the page. So here's another open thread. Tomorrow I'll be flying to Dallas for the holiday weekend, although historically that's an inauspicious day for visiting that particular city.

Borat: I went into this movie having read various reviews that all called it a brilliant satire on the dark side of American culture. Funny, yes; brilliant satire: not so much. He managed to get some frat boys to say some obnoxious things, and some Deep South types to make some homophobic remarks, but this does not seem like a difficult task. Even his interviews with political figures weren't really that political, just Borat acting bizarre. The movie consists of some disposable plot-related scenes interspersed with footage of Borat walking up to unsuspecting bystanders and generally being a jackass until he wears out their tolerance. Often this is pretty funny, but sometimes he's just being an asshole and you feel bad for his victims. Rating: 3/5

Yo La Tengo: I Am Not Afraid Of You, And I Will Beat Your Ass: Despite the belligerent title, this is a pretty calm and peaceful album. I've been catching up on Yo La Tengo's earlier work through my '90s music project this year—they're now my fifth most-played band, partly because I really like them and partly because there's so much to listen to. This one is a good addition to the catalog, a long, meandering record with a variety of styles and a warm and comfortable feel. It opens with "Pass The Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind" which runs for about ten minutes with few lyrics and mostly variations on a single theme, but is still interesting all the way through. This is followed by the upbeat, sunny, three-minute pop song "Beanbag Chair", which is one of my favorite tracks. (Both of those can be freely downloaded at the band's website.) My favorite song here is the beautifully assembled "Black Flowers". Rating: 3.5/5

...and if you're new to Yo La Tengo, the compilation Prisoners of Love is a good place to start. I picked it up for some tracks that were previously only on singles, and found the selection to be very good.

Tags: Movies, Music, Open Thread

YouTube has a video of the confession, taped in '94, of a convict named James Files who claims he shot JFK with a Remington single shot pistol from the grassy knoll. He implicates the Mob and the CIA as being behind the hit. There are, however, severe holes in his story.

On the other hand, and speaking of severe holes, I can show you a copy of a Dallas newspaper from that tragic weekend in which a Parkland Hospital emergency room doctor named Kemp Clark says without equivocation that the President had a gaping wound in the rear of his skull, consistent with an exit wound. There is no chance the slug that caused that wound could have been fired by Lee Harvey Oswald.

What better day of the year to be in the city where the most famous unsolved murder of all time took place.

Posted by: JSpur | November 21, 2006 4:51 PM

3/5 is generous for Borat. I appreciate the 'not so much' reference, however, which I also recently used. :)

Actually, some of the victims ended up having serious ramifications like loss of jobs, so this whole just isn't sitting well with me (despite the fact that I agree some scenes were funny and on the mark).

Overall, though, I was hearing all this hype and was disappointed and because of the harm that befell people, this whole thing put a really bad taste in my mouth.

I really like the title of the album you reviewed.

By the way, my copy of Civ IV arrived yesterday and my copy of the first new Loreena McKennitt album in almost 10 years (!) is on the way and should arrive imminently---hopefully tomorrow, so I don't have to wait another weekend. Now if I can just get a Wii at O(retail price) and a certain game along with it, then I'll have all the inanimate objects I need for a while.

Posted by: Mason | November 21, 2006 5:44 PM

JSpur: the Penn and Teller's "Bullshit!" skeptic show has a very good episode about Conspiracy theories... among them, they cover 9/11 and JFK. In the JFK segment, they get the same kind of rifle Oswald used and shoot through a watermelon, playing it back in slow motion so you see just how big an exit wound is and how it propels an object in the opposite direction the layman might think.

Posted by: Josh | November 21, 2006 6:47 PM

So, Josh, is that a vote for the Lone Gunman Theory? I'm guessing not, but I just wanted to check.

Posted by: JSpur | November 21, 2006 7:55 PM

Yeah, basically they say that the second gunman idea is total crap, and the "back and to the left" famous Oliver Stone theory is disproved by the watermelon experiment, showing how little the force of a bullet's entry affects an object whereas the exit wound blows out so hard that it would create a whiplash very much like JFK's did.

Posted by: Josh | November 21, 2006 10:14 PM

But in 1978 the Congressional House Select Committee on Assassinations found with 95% certainty that there were FOUR gunshots in Dealy Plaza, based on forensic analysis of sound recordings made at the scene (i.e., without regard to what the Zapruder film may show). And everyone agrees that LHO only got off three rounds. On that basis Congress concluded that there was, indeed, in all likelihood, a second shooter in play, 43 years ago to this very day. (For more information go here-

Posted by: JSpur | November 22, 2006 5:07 AM

Honestly, I wouldn't know about any of that. I will say that the experiment they did was a recreation of Nobel prize winning Berkeley physicist Luis Walter Alvarez, who was a buddy of JFK's and first introduced the jet recoil theory in 1968, before this committee revealed their findings about the number of gunshots.

Whether there was one gunman or five doesn't matter to me so long as anyone who thinks it was LBJ or someone too shocking to know gets smacked upside the head.

Posted by: Josh | November 22, 2006 12:15 PM

I thought it was common knowledge that it was a disgraced alternate timeline JFK who shot himself from the grassy knoll... :-D

Posted by: Justin | November 22, 2006 2:10 PM

Justin gets the award for funniest thing ever said by man on November 22.

Posted by: Josh | November 22, 2006 2:39 PM
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