Friday, November 1, 2013

#TotalRecall - Politics - Letter the the Mayor

With the #WorldSeries, #Halloween, and #reruns, and #ByeWeeks dominating the news and #primetime television, there hasn't been much to blog about over the last week or so. I suppose I could talk more about the #RedSox, or #ObamacareFail, but who really wants to start the weekend reading or writing about something that'll just annoy them? Not me, and probably not you. So I thought I'd take it in a different direction.

My original intent was to start this blog over a year ago. I even saved the first few entries as a word file. Obviously, that didn't happen, but it's still interesting to go back and see what was going through my mind during the summer of 2012. Below is a letter I wrote to #MayorRahmEmanuel of Chicago about his poor management of #ChicagoPublicLibraries , #CPL. I also sent copies of the letter to the #ChicagoTribune, #TheChicagoSunTimes, and a couple of other local newspapers.

Dear Mayor Emanuel,

I love my Chicago Public Libraries. Usually it is very efficient and convenient, but it hasn't been lately.

Today I went on CPL's website to check the status of some books I had on hold. The website wasn't working so I went to my local branch, Lozano at 18th St. and Loomis. The book I wanted wasn't there. The poor librarian at the front desk couldn't help me at all because the system was down, and wouldn't be back up until Monday. I did end up checking out a few books, but I'm not even sure that they are properly checked out. The librarian was putting anything she could into Microsoft Word so that they could properly input the information later.

Along with the reduced hours that the libraries are now available, I find this unacceptable.

When the internet shuts down at my house, I call my provider and they fix it within twelve hours. I don't understand why this can't be resolved before Monday. If this was a planned shutdown we should have been notified. I'm on the CPL's website several times a week, and I did not see any such notification.

Libraries are a vital part of education, and a method of making each of our communities stronger. Making them less available weakens our communities, our city, our country, and our world.

Thank you for hearing me, a proud citizen from the south side of Chicago.

Sincerely, Jason J. Smith

The next one is a review of the #TotalRecall remake starring #ColinFarrell #KateBeckinsale and #JessicaBiel. It came out August 3rd, 2012, and I saw it opening day.

            Phillip K. Dick, Arnold, and Sharon Stone. Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel. Awesomeness. Explosions, car chases, amazing action sequences, hot men, and hotter women. When I shell out ten bucks for a summer blockbuster that’s all I want to see.
            Total Recall (2012) had all of that. Colin Farrell must have jumped out of five or six exploding buildings. The cars in the chases were all flying, sometimes upside-down. Colin and Kate’s fight scenes were spectacular, making me wonder why I haven’t seen all of the ‘Underworld’ movies. And who is hotter than Jessica Biel?
            If that’s all you’re looking for, you’re in luck. Your ten bucks was well worth it. But if you were looking for a truly great ‘flick’ when your ticket stub was torn, you probably are asking the same questions as I.
            How in the first forty minutes did they so completely run out of dialogue that the only memorable quotes were “Oh, shit.” I thought it might have been a catch-phrase at first, but after an hour it didn’t stop.
            If you’re going to stick to Dick’s story, and remake an already pretty good movie, what happened to Mars? That was a pretty big part of both the short, and the first version, and it barely had any relevance.
            That’s all you could do with John Cho? Seriously? As if no one saw Harold & Kumar. More importantly, he’s Sulu, for chrissake! Thirty seconds of blonde hair and a tiny little voice over at the end is not enough. If you wanted him in the movie, you should have had him in the movie. Otherwise, you’re spending money on cast that you could have spent on another writer who could come up with a little more than, “Oh, Shit”
            How come we got to see Colin Farrel with no shirt, (not that he isn’t a very hot man), and never really got to appreciate the ladies? Sure, we got Beckinsale in her panties for about five seconds at the beginning. But that was it. No love for Biel?
            And the most important question of all. Did this movie really need to be made at all?
Props to Bokeem Woodbine. His character was probably the coolest in the movie. John Cho is amazing but was completely unutilized as an actor. Whoever came up with the idea (*spoiler alert*) to put a tear on Jessica’s face instead of a bead of sweat on Bokeem’s forehead deserves a bowl of sherbet from my fridge (I don’t like to share.)

            The answer is no. Colin Farrell, while cool, is probably still less cool than Arnold. Beckinsale, and Biel, though really hot, are probably not as hot as Sharon Stone in her prime. And, ultimately, if you’re not really going to change the story, and you’re not going to add anything significant to the storytelling, you’re not really doing anything. So, my advice is wait until you can see it for cheap, or just rewatch the original. If you just enjoy the movies and a fun summer blockbuster, go for it. I do, and I still don’t regret it.

The last piece of throwback bloggery is a rant I made about some truly things #republicans were saying at the end of August, 2012. You'll probably remember the comments from #ToddAkin, former U.S Representative from Missouri, and #StaceyCampfield, Tennessee state senator. They were just too absurd to forget.

I am a 31 year old, African-American living on the south side of Chicago.  I was a member of the Michigan Black Republicans. My father is a Baptist minister living in Fort Wayne, IN. I am very proud of my ethnicity, my heritage, and my upbringing.

But some of you politically conservative and religious-right politicians have lost your minds.

Thank you, Todd Akin for telling us that female body can reject pregnancy in the case of rape. Thank you, Stacey Campfield for letting us know that AIDS can only be transmitted via homosexual interaction.

I won’t lie, I got my first D in freshman health class. But I’m pretty sure both of those topics were covered, and my teacher never said anything like that. A woman can become pregnant regardless of the circumstance of intercourse. AIDS, as a sexually transmitted disease, may be transmitted through any bodily fluid regardless of the sex of the participants. Maybe I’m not as smart as I suppose, but these are both pretty basic lessons in biology.

What were you thinking when you said that? Who on your staff let that one slip by, and when are they going to be fired?

I agree with the politically conservative, religious right wing on most cases. But right now, you’re just making me look bad.

Go ahead and make a stance. Defend my religious political views. But please don’t make me an asshole. I want you to represent me, not the other way around.

So that's how my first blog posts would have looked if I had started back in June of 2012, like I planned. Oh well. #LifeHappens. At least I finally got it going this year, even if my writing still isn't always up to the standard I usually set for myself.

Check me out tomorrow, as I review #EndersGame. I love the book, my wife loves the book, and tonight may very well be our second to last #DateNight before the baby comes and ruins all of our fun.Our last date night will probably be next week when we go see #ThorTheDarkWorld.


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