Latest Blogs

FDL Late Night: “Taxman” The Beatles Cartoon

By: Tuesday April 15, 2014 7:54 pm

The Beatles cartoon TV series was really weird, locking the band down as suited mop-tops, with John as the leader and Paul as the cute one. Ringo is goofy and George is uh…mysterious?

In this episode the Beatles travel back in time and encounter Robin Hood and his hip beatnik sidekick Little John.

Happy tax day!

Captain America: Winter Soldier – Even in Our Fantasies, the Only Existential Threat to the USA is Internal Corruption

By: Tuesday April 15, 2014 9:40 am

Chris Evans and Scarlett Johannson in Captain America: Winter Soldier

Spoiler Alert – Captain American: Winter Solider

Over the weekend I saw Captain American: Winter Solider and it seemed to highlight for me a current trend in big action movies:  the idea of an external existential threat to the United States has become literally unthinkable.

A nuclear arsenal combined with a military budget roughly equal to the rest of the planet means that even in Hollywood fantasies, the idea of another nation seriously threatening America is beyond people’s ability to suspend disbelief. Even less believable than a scientist who becomes an unstoppable green giant of destruction when he gets angry.

The only serious conceivable danger to American freedoms is the military-intelligence-industrial complex supposedly built to protect them.

That has consistently been the source of villains in modern action movies. In both the first and second Ironman movies the villains are American defense contractors. In Winter Solider the threat comes from a corrupt group that has taken control of S.H.I.E.L.D., an incredibly powerful quasi-military quasi-intelligence agency.  Once again, the only thing on earth that can threaten the United States is a segment of the United States military.

Similarly, the President is almost assassinated in White House Down only because several top American officials try to stage a coup d’etat. Even in the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, the villain is a MI6 agent that gone rogue.

An external threat to the United States is literally so inconceivable that villains now need to be out of this world. The only thing in Hollywood that can come close to beating the United States military is aliens. They are the source of the conflict in The Avengers, Independence Day, and the Transformer series.

While they are only movies, they are also a reflection of our society. How can we justify spending so much on a military-intelligence system that only makes sense fighting alien invaders, especially when it feeds the more legitimate concern of corruption?

To steal a metaphor from another genre:  We have come to a point where popular culture realizes the only conceivable threat to the American way of life is a call coming from inside the house.

FDL Saturday Art: San Diego’s Chicano Park

By: Saturday April 12, 2014 9:47 am

Chicano Park

Chicano Park in San Diego’s Barrio Logan displays one of the largest assemblages of public murals in North America. The monolithic pillars, the pylons of the Coronado Bay Bridge, have been transformed into an outdoor museum of art and history.  These awe inspiring murals are giant mirrors of Chicano Mexicano history, and a tribute to the force of community.

Barrio Logan, a Chicano neighborhood since 1930s, was bisected by the building of Interstate 5 in the mid-1960s, and the completion of the Coronado Bay Bridge created a looming concrete tangle over a barren patch of land. In 1970 the state which owned the land decided to make this area a park to surround a California Highway Patrol office. And the community rebelled. Barrio Logan and Chicanos throughout San Diego wanted a park, but not one that featured the CHP as the centerpiece. Spurred by activist Mario Solis, a student at San Diego City College, the men, women and children surround the bulldozers as a human chain and began occupying the land. They planted cactus and flowers, they camped out and cooked meals. Supporters came from across California and from across the country. Activists demanded that the property be donated to the community as a park in which Chicano culture could be expressed through art and leisure.

And after a twelve day occupation, the state relented, ceding the land to the city for a community park. Muralists and community members working together created the dozens of monumental murals which pay tribute to Chicano history and the lost lands of Aztlán.

The result is Chicano Park.  It’s lovely, peaceful, tranquil, magical, empowering.

The 44th annual Chicano Park Day celebration will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 10 am to 5 pm, between Logan and National Avenues, under the Coronado Bay Bridge, San Diego, CA 92101.


Late Night: She Sells Sanctuary

By: Tuesday April 8, 2014 7:53 pm

  This weekend I saw The Cult in San Diego. A band I’d written about here, Prayers, was opening for them so I bought a ticket and drove down. I’d never seen The Cult in their heyday, and I thought it was pretty cool that a friend of the lead singer Ian Astbury had shown [...]

Game of Thrones Returns on Sunday!

By: Saturday April 5, 2014 9:34 am

While this post is spoiler free the links ahead contain show spoilers aplenty. I don’t know about you guys but I’m the most excited about returning to the world of Westeros this Sunday night. The thought alone initiates the sound of the all too familiar theme song (performed by Break of Reality in the video [...]

Mozilla CEO Steps Down Amid OkCupid Led Backlash to Anti-Gay Marriage Views

By: Friday April 4, 2014 10:25 am

Five years ago amid the debates over marriage equality in California, Mozilla Firefox founder Brendan Eich made a $1,000 donation to proponents of Proposition 8, a ballot measure designed to revoke the rights of same sex couples in the state. Yesterday, that decision cost him his job as newly appointed CEO of the company with popular online [...]

Late Night: Goth-a-Go-Go!

By: Tuesday April 1, 2014 7:54 pm

I wish I could find a clever prank video for a-once-in-seven-years April Fools Tuesday FDL Late Night, but this video is so freaking awesome it transcends April Fool’s Day (though since the lyrics are NSFW until 06:30, so you may want to watch it on mute, which is still pretty awesome!). And the funniest prank [...]

Lessons Not Yet Learned: New Washington Redskins Foundation CEO Under Federal Investigation

By: Friday March 28, 2014 1:18 pm

Earlier this week, The Washington Redskins announced that in light of the increased criticism regarding their racially offensive team name, they had created a “Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation” intended to “offer genuine opportunities for tribal communities”.  New revelations show that Gary L. Edwards, the recently hired CEO leading the foundation, is currently under federal [...]

Born To Fly: Extreme Action Heroes (#SXSW)

By: Thursday March 27, 2014 7:43 pm

Upcoming Screenings: See Born To Fly at the Cleveland International Film Festival March 28, 29, & 30, and April 3 at the Full-Frame Film Festival in Durham, N.C. Its official theatrical release begins September 10-16 at New York City’s Film Forum. What comes to mind when you think of dancers? Elegant, graceful ballet? An experimental, intellectual modern dance [...]

Protect Ya Neck: Wu-Tang Clan to Sell One Copy of New Album

By: Thursday March 27, 2014 8:09 am

It’s no secret that when it comes to the music business the times they are a changin’. Artists, agents, and labels are all trying to find new ways to make a profit, or even just stay afloat, in a world of streaming and pirating. To that end, anything’s game and the guys of Wu-Tang Clan [...]