Month: January 2016

  • Explaining The Donald

    To mention his last name would be against my religion, but I just read a fascinating article at by Matthew MacWilliams and want to share it.

    I learned a new word today:  authoritarianism.  I still don't know what it means exactly, but it seems that the best predictor of whether an individual supports The Donald for president of the U.S. is whether that person is or is not an authoritarian.  If yes, then he's likely to be a supporter.  Here's a key paragraph from the article I just read:

    "These [poll] questions pertain to child-rearing: whether it is more important for the voter to have a child who is respectful or independent; obedient or self-reliant; well-behaved or considerate; and well-mannered or curious. Respondents who pick the first option in each of these questions are strongly authoritarian."

    Read more:

    I'm not sure whether the above link works, or what it leads you to.  Here's where I read the article:

    Obviously, you're directed to the same place, either way.


    I'll be voting for the Democratic nominee, regardless.  (If the GOP nominates John Kasich, I might waver, but I'll probably still prefer Hillary or Bernie.)  Incidentally, I looked at the poll questions, and I am as anti-authoritarian as you can get.  Not surprising, in view of how I view The Donald.  Apparently, there are a lot of authoritarians in this country.  Scary.

  • "The Hateful Eight" and Other Movies

    I've seen it spelled H8ful Eight, or maybe H8ful 8, but I like the spelled-out version.  It matches what was on the screen.

    I won't urge you to see "The Hateful Eight" unless you're a huge Quentin Tarentino fan, as I am.  I've only seen half of his movies   He has made eight; it says so right on the screen, at the beginning of "The Hateful Eight," and the people who hate Tarentino might think that's what the "Eight" means in the title.  I've loved the four I've seen:  Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained and now this.  

    But I gotta admit, I spent the whole three hours trying to figure out where it was going and why, but the other thing I gotta admit was that I could literally feel the wide grin of enjoyment on my face the whole time.  So if you're a QT fan, you're in for a treat.  

    Every movie is metaphorical, no matter who makes it, and every individual who views a movie views it through his own personal lens.  MY take was:  this was about Trust vs. Distrust.  None of the characters in this movie were trustworthy, but at various times it was necessary for trust to be granted, at the risk of betrayal.  And at the risk of violence, which is typical of QT.  You can't even trust the door of Minnie's Haberdashery (more about that place later) to stay shut against the storm.

    I happen to know that QT is passionate about more than just filming ultraviolent movies.  He's passionate about washing away this country's original sin -- slavery -- and the bigotry that exists to this very day.  He is a voice.  And he means to use that voice.  For two more films, anyway.  He's already announced that he intends to make a total of ten films, then either retire or find something else to do, like get involved in a television series, or something.  We QT fans hope he continues to make films, and hope that his intention is merely that, and not a promise.  

    As for the movie itself:  Two bounty hunters are making their way to Red Rock, Wyoming, just ahead of a snowy blizzard.  They'd be John "The Hangman" Ruth, played by Kurt Russell, and Maj. Marquis Warren, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson.  Jackson's prisoners are all dead.  He wants the reward money, is all.  Russell's prisoner is Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and she's due to be hanged.   Despite panoramic views of the wintry countryside, the movie has a claustrophobic feel, taking place either in the stagecoach occupied by Jackson and Russell and later by Red Rock's future sheriff, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), and later in a stagecoach stop known as Minnie's Haberdashery, which looked more like a barroom to me..

    The pressure and suspense build for nearly two hours before the first deadly gunshots are fired (oh, you'll meet the other four of the hateful eight in due time, plus a raft of other characters).  It's grisly, it's funny, it's full of surprising  twists.  It's Quentin Tarentino.


    I promised "other movies" in today's heading.  Gosh, there have been so many great ones all I feel like doing is ranking the ones I've seen:  In order from top to bottom:



    The Martian

    The Revenant

    Mission Impossible:  Rogue Nation

    The Hateful Eight


    The Danish Girl


    Star Wars:  The Force Awakens

    Not a stinker in the bunch.  I may have seen others (my job gives me a whole afternoon free every day, in between two-hour tours of duty), but I forget.  As you see, QT's film, greatly as I love it, doesn't even make my top five.