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Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

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  1. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    The Gremlin Returns

    edited..tried to delete...ignore..sorry
  2. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    UK Politics: Winter of Discontent

    Observing all this from the other side of the Pond, just when I am ready to come to the conclusion that you folks are surpassing us for sheer breathtaking dysfunctional stupidity, along comes another tweet/word/action our said Russian Asset, who currently sits at (desecrates) Abe Lincoln's desk (when he isn't golfing that is) that turns your current Punch and Judy show into a cute puppet spectacle for children. Your situation is as tragic, yes, but you Brits are not supposed to be the linchpin of the entire international order....whatever we are economically, it still seemed to be the Pax Americana. Our dysfunction has real and immediate global consequences, puts global order at risk (as if his mere being there hasn't done that already). Your situation is a tragedy, but ours is an utter devolvement into the Seventh Circle of Hell. The announcement of the NK meeting is bad enough...(which will be an utter farce; he probably wants to open a hotel chain in Pyongyang; another avenue for propping up a financial empire held together only by Rubles at this point...that he was supposed to have given up when taking power....and the meeting for their part will only be for them--and China--to thumb their nose at us and the world to say, "See, we are equal to America now!" For us it will be an utter farce. ) But for Putin to out and out come out with a "Don't f--" with me, or you will pay," statement made after a poison gas attack on the soil of our de facto SISTER COUNTRY, our closest ally, and NOBODY HERE HAS UTTERED A WORD OR DONE ANYTHING..COMPLETE AND UTTER SILENCE, from the country where "If you see something, say something" has become the national slogan, along with "You gotta do what you gotta do"? .can you imagine if Obama did not respond? No TV statements of alarm at this disruption of the peaceful international order? Where then is NATO? The U.N? "Five Eyes", for God's sake, where were they? And maybe your government won't do anything b/c they have plans for cozy relationships with Russia propping up their personal fortunes and swanky London townhouses. once full Brexit is accomplished, May is kicked out after she played her part, and the full economic costs become apparent to the average voter. By which time it will be too late. And the players in the current drama will have quietly exited the stage having done the damage, to enjoy life in their coy dachas and yachts, not bothered by intrusive media examinations of their roles in subsequent years, while the poor earnest chappies of the next generation are left to deal with all the fallout, the damage and the loss. And this is before you factor in climate change and what will come of that. (The image of Cersei raising her wineglass after blowing up the Sept comes to mind.) Or the oligarchs walking up the gangplank waving to the trapped workers who built their Ark in "2012": :"So long, see ya, shmucks!" (OK, that wasn't a line, but that's what was being conveyed.) It also reminds me of Agent Orange's sneering response to the Women's March, the day after the "Inauguration": "I thought there was an election?" Knowing full well what he knew, and knows. Try as I might, I have not been able to resist slipping into the ladies' room at work, overwhlemed by the sheer horror of it all, and shedding a quiet and solitiary tear. I have said to friends and co-workers, "Can you imagine all the groups--and you know who I mean--who are noting THE LACK OF OUR RESPONSE to this incident and are probably making plans because of this? If you know what I mean? (And they all nod, b/c with all the violence here lately, to say "terrorist attack", seems like a swear word.) God forbid, b/c no-one else will..." There is a creeping Sept 1939 feel about it all, as stable govt around the world fall to "strongmen." But esp Putin, an evil we should already know well. Unlike the others, b/c of what he has already done, I really do get a "I want to take over the world, and will stop at nothing to do it" vibe. Pretty old-school....but his methods (at least to outsiders) are not. I mean, poison gas attacks and poisonings of his enemies both inside and outside Russia have kinda become his trademark. So too late;y has using various nefarious KGB methods combined with modern tech and often domestic traitors "opening the gates" to install either captive puppet regimes (our own) or at least sympathetic actors (of which Le Pen almost was one) to aid his purpose. And that's what I think here in the U.S. I cannot imagine what someone like you, Polish Genius, must be feeling as you watch....or at least I have followed....the slow progress of this monster on the international stage and the slow revealing of his plans. How helpless the world seems to be to stop him. I have seen our own role in legitimizing this monster. I remember the poison gas attack on the Moscow theater a few yrs back,that killed hundreds of his own innocent people as well as the attackers. (Like, a SWAT Team kinda thing could have defused that situation?) Putin actually called Dubya and informed him what he was going to do, and Bush's response was basically, "Well, as long as it isn't Zyklon B, it's ok. And you have to, ya know, becuz Muslim terrorists." I also remember he "offered to help" after the Boston bombing. That's what oil oligarch Putin does, use the "Muslim terrorist/race" card to win govt leaders to his side, and when that doesn't work, it's the real estate thing, or oil deals, or..let's see....gathering "kompromat" on people in positions of power and influence to use against them later. (It just might be how he keeps his Americans puppet(s) under control. We'll see if Mueller will offer any evidence of that.) So what? you might be saying. High time America got a taste of its own Kissingerian medicine. Oh, I know the long litany list of wrongs we did during the Cold War in the name of the Pax Americana, but I didn't see anybody doing anything meaningful to protest our actions either, like boycott our Hollywood films or place us under sanctions or anything. maybe I'm wrong about that, but even so. "Words are wind," as the saying goes. I suppose there are many well-meaning people who quielty applaud our current woes and are happy to see America pay the price for all the suffering it has caused in the world, both during the Cold War and after. They are happy, no doubt, that the chickens seem to have come home to roost. (let's see how happy they are when climate change and our own stupidity and greed destroy our corn crop, and there goes much of the feed for your cows and chickens, and there goes your meat consumption.) But I always say to them (and I've talked to a few in my life): "Why don't you come and live here. You might revise your opinion. We're not what you think. Do you really think we are happy here?" And ask yourself if you want China to take over. A hyper-industrial China that aspires to, even if it will never achieve, American per capita consumption levels, and controlled by a man who really has just made himself Dictator for Life. We did enough damage to the planet as a capitalist democracy with only 250-300 million; now imagine what happens when the gloves really come off a Communist dictator whose Party are professionals at oppression and corruption who make us puny by comparison, and who have 1 out of every 6 or 7 people on the planet....what happens when the fish in the South China Sea run out?...this is beginning to happen already....what do you think the real cause of the South China Sea drama is about? Again, I refer to the article " China's Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse" (google it) to see what I mean. But to get back to Polish Genius and others who concede that there is nothing we can do, b/c Putin has done his work too well, and it would be unwise to provoke him. Made you folks dependent on Gazprom etc. To which I say: history shows us that if you do not find some way to act now, you will be FORCED to act later. You will pay the price in the long run for not acting now. And talk to your elders, seek out the eyewitness accounts of those who lived under the ancien regimes of the 20th century. It is like outer space for those of us who have only known peace, relative prosperity, a connected and globalized world. We don't remember because we can't. We simply have no idea. me? I'm half-Armenian. Of course I don't either. But I talked my grandfather before he passed away..and over 70 yrs later, he remembered things he had experienced as a child. I can hear him still. Watching the daily devolvement of our society here in America, so soon after "Hamilton" hit the streets, I have a Sept 1, 1939 feeling. No, no tanks are rollingi in, and we have no Rifenstaalian-hyper spectacle. But watching our society fragment at a rapidly accelerating pace, the school shootings almost on a weekly basis now, the explosion of bomb threats; the disentigration of society into hordes of squabbling groups (men/women; PoC/white; liberalconservative; tradtional media/socal media and the subgroups fighting within that, the explosion of the opiates in medication abuse crisis (60,000+ dying A YEAR in the past 2 years, that has actually shortened our life expectancy statistics--hey Tory Brits who hate the NHS, try coming over here where heavy opiates are routinely prescribed for routine illnesses like back pain, and sometimes even to childen? it's how Tom Petty just died, he was taking meds for a hip injury..hey, at the rate we're going, we should just put the coacaine back in Coca-Cola, This is what I hope Britain will become if the full "reforms" go through.) And worst of all is the rotting and ossification of our revered national institutions: the news media have all mysteriously turned into giggling schoolgirl fan worship of our Traitors, esp the Usurper. Not just "Wow! let's see what he does next!" But PRAISING him. Squeeing Beatlemania at worst, and pardoning crimes brought to light at best, or practing another of Putin's favorite methods: "me-too ism" aka "Hey, if they can do it, I can do t too." Or conversely, "well, the left did this, so we can do this." When they really should be sounding the alarm that the United States of America, the supposed Superpower or at least one of the big "multi-laterals" (hey, let's cut to the chase; the one with the nuclear football, OK?) has become in essence a puppet vassal state of Russia, just as surely as if Putin's tanks had rolled up to the WH gate. the way he/they behave, and Congress's utter silence (again:imagine Obama or Hillary this?) Big deal right? OK, so what was the whole existential 20th century struggle against Russia about? Crickets from Congress. They're just as paraliyed as your govt it seems. Or worse....what many suspect...the entire Congressinal GOP --and many Dems--are all either on Russia's blackmail list, on the Kremin's take, or both. The media is bought and paid for, except maybe Reuters and a few intrepid Twitter bloggers. Then there are the courts....and the Supreme Court, which has a certified neo-Nazi on it now (Gorsuch, appointed by...3 guesses) ..again, he has a track record. Our Internet has just been privatized, (in spite of a huge campaign it stop it from happening, by voters of all parties as well a lot of corporate America--the FCC tried to do it twice when Obama was in power but he listened to the people and vetoed it both times, even though he was for it at first; no such luck with this creitn) the Tax Code has just been changed for the first time since 1986, and we are alreafy feeling the pinch of that;; BTW, that was rushed though both Houses in less than 3 weeks, during the Christmas season, and we relly didn't find out about it from the media until New Year's. You'd think changing the national tax code would be something that the people would want to debate, but no. It's effectively wiped out all our "living wage" raises we've fought for over the yrs. We are out of the picture, it seems, until our Traitors and Usurpers are dealt with accordingly. (God, this is all so GoT!) And that is a scary thought. But other Western institutions thrive....of the kind that Europe did not have say, in the 1920's-30's. NATO has already correctly come to this conclusion months ago; that is why they are doing what they are doing on the Russian border now. I was convinced that the tanks would come rolling into Estonia by last September, and that Hungary would again fall like it did in '68, by Christmas. I'm serious. But so far, they have not. And that, I think, is b/c of NATO. Maybe Putin is working on a way to sabotage their elections too. Or play the "Muslim race" card like he did in the Czech Republic. (Beware.) I go around thinking that history is repeating itself, and that we are revisiting a dark chapter in history, the long slow exestential agony that all peace and freedom loving peoples must have suffered before the real crisis unfolded. I have always thought democracy's days were limited, but that it would crumble organically under the weight of rescource depletion and climate change, around starting 10 yrs from now as the perfect storm of crisis begin to hit. But not this. Not like this, and before it had to....Ithought we could take a few pleasant memores with us on the final trip, before we faced the Long Night togther. I always thought that democracy would die a natural death in bed, sometime towards the middle of this century: a victim of not enough food or water or timely energy infusions; a changing of the temperature, so to speak; or too many people in the Global house. I never in my wildest imaginings thought that it could die young: that it could be--WOULD be--murdered. Thank you all for reading my ramblings. I sit here finishing this at 2 AM. Had to get it out of my system. I apologize.
  3. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    Benioff and Weiss to Create New Star Wars Series

    Ha Ha. I'm actually relishing this news. Call me perverse, but I actully WANT to see Dave and Dan go head to head wih Kathleen Kennedy and see who comes out on top. Benioff in particular with his "I'm Goldman Sachs royalty; who tf are you?" autocratic arrogance. Honestly, I've often wondered why Dave and Da didn't get fired from the production after the many controversies during season 5 which caued a noticble dip in the ratings and led a noticble amount of fans to stop watching. Anybody else would have been sent packing after that point; instead, Season 5 wins ALL THE EMMYZ! (not that I regret GOT winning awards; just the wrong seasons.) I think these past few years Dave and Dan have had the attitude that THEY run HBO with regards to this project, not the other way around. "they're playing with the big boys now," as the song from "Prince of Egypt" goes. (Gods, that was and is a great movie still.) After TLJ I've leaned a lot about Ms. Kennedy; she's changed a LOT from her E.T. naif days with Spielberg to put it mildly. Word will get around in the industry about them if it hasn't already. Will they think they can run Disney too, or just fork over Kathy a bundle of cash and get her to bend the knee like everyone else has? Then too, SW comes with its own set of headaches. They won't care about the fan any more than they have with GoT, but if they don't luck out and get a set of future films where they don't have to worry about canon/non canon, old vs new EU, etc. And they will find themselves under the global microscope the way they never were for GoT, and they think up until now they've been in the cross-hairs, they're really not. Welcome to the Big Leagues, D and D...MTFBWY ('cause you're gonna need it.) One good thing though: I've been fantasizing about Ramin Djawadi scoring a Sw film for months. Who will take over after JW, cause he won't be active too much longer. Ramin has earned it; what other composer today has taken his score out on the road as a popular travelling road show, the way composers like JW and Ennio Morricone used to? GoT has its pop culture chops and global appeal, if not yet the awards (I'm still upset about that Grammy loss; he'd better win for Season 8!) And Ramin can write a theme motif and create "blockbuster" cues with the best. Directors like to take composers with them and I hope that counts for Producers too, if they're the writers. I can't imagine Dave and Dan wanting anyone other than Ramin to work with them on their next blockbuster (if only b/c he didn't give them trouble!)
  4. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    It's the End of the World: Climate Collapse

    In other news, I read earlier today that somewhere in Russia, the thermomenter has hit -86 degrees Farenheit. Yep, MINUS 86 degrees. I don't know what that is in Celsius, but in winter I've only heard of cold snaps around -40 to -50 there. Snow in Tallahassee...21 degrees F in New Orleans? We've had cold winters but it seems to be global this year. We're not at The Day After Tomorrow yet, but it's fun to speculate while sitting at your computer with a nice mug of hot chocolate. So folks, how is this winter treating you? Aside from that week of -20-30 F wind chill during the holiday week, nothing out of the ordinary. (Which in my part of the woods is not unheard of, but a cold snap like that is usually a couple days long rather than over a week.)
  5. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    Raw water

    You have to admire the guy's chutzpah, though. He's part of a great American tradition, one that long predates the snake-oil salesmen. As P. T. Barnum famously said (most certainly not Hugh Jackman's Barnum): "There's a sucker born every minute."
  6. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    It's the End of the World: Climate Collapse

    It's funny how peoples' minds work. 2 yrs ago there was a fantastic Rolling Stone article about NYC and the dangers it faces from rising sea levels. I remember one part where it discusses how Rockaway Beach area is now a fashionable neighborhood, a hotbed of development, even after Sandy basically leveled it. People always will seek waterfront living no matter what. But sometimes even post-disaster reality doesn't register ;it's just another business opportunity. Mind-boggling. I guess unless it affects you personally, sometimes unfortunately that's the only way to get people to care. By then of course it's too late. It's like the area of the Finger Lakes my grandparent's home is in, a staunchly Republican area, but from 2010-2015, when it looked as though hydro-fracking might come to the area, everyone all of a sudden became an environmentalist, with black "No Fracking Way!" signs on their lawns. It helps if there's the prospect of your own little corner of Paradise suddenly becoming an industrial hellhole. Sometimes you have the opportunity to affect change, more often not. Oh and thanks for the video. Jack Black, I've always liked him.
  7. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    The Last Jedi (spoilers): Only a Sith deals in plot holes

    But Eggegg, Star Wars has always been political. An 7-yr-old girl may not know what "Stormtroopers" were in 1977 as she sat watching ANH. She certainly did not know what Triumph of the Will was, or how a certain famous scene was a mockery and parody of it; she only cheered her new heroes getting those shiny new medals and marched out of the theater to the strains of that martial music. And then she grew up and found out what those things were, and watched, and listened, and watched some more, and did some research, and read essays and books, and marveled at the deliciously seductive power of great art. How you think you're above the "ignorant masses" in how you reacted to a film; then you grow up and watch it again and all of a sudden it smashes you full on in the face: I'm just like those Nazi troops: I didn't cover my eyes either; I was just as spellbound: I looked too. Would that make me as blasphemous as those fictional characters, and nominally deserving of punishment as well on some purely cosmetic level, in my desire to be entertained by the spectacle of my enemies' death? Was Spiellberg "breaking the fourth wall" in that sequence? (OK, that's another franchise, but same co-creator and same time period.) And don't get me started on poitics/political themes in the Prequels. Can we all agree on this? Esp Ep 3. got uite a lot of comment back in the day, until Lucas was asked about it directly. Again: you don't think of these things when you are an 11-yr-old girl, as I was in 1981 watching Raiders. But such is the richness and power and pure magic of these films--fairy tales is what they really are--that they exact an indelible hold upon us, and we know this because for so many of these reviewers, they--and we--know firsthand the experience when we were children. And now we see the franchise through adult eyes, and project our own values upon it. Or take from it. great art appeals to all ends of the spectrum. I would love to be able to talk to little kids and find out what they thought of TLJ, what they liked and didn't and what stuck with them. The 2nd time I saw TLJ, even as I was re-watching the Luke/Rey scenes re-evaluating for light/darkness after the "Hope is like the sun" comment, I also tried to see it with the eyes of a child, trying to see what scenes I'd likely remember or what effect they'd have. I remember the Binary Sunset from 1977 like it was yesterday, the chills down my spine as my eyes focused on the trembling heat waves in the air making the suns shiver, how that was echoed in JW's string arpeggios. It struck something deep within me that I've never been able to erase. And I know if I was an 7-yr-old girl sitting in a theater today, the image of Luke disappearing, framed by the black walls of the cave, would be equally as powerful and long-lasting. I remember reading back in 1999 about the scoring session for TPM. It turned out that fully 20% of the London Symphony Orchestra was comprised that year by late 20/early 30 -somethings who swarmed around JW asking for autographs, they told him that they were inspired to pick up instruments as little children after walking out of the theater. I'd like to think that similar stories are happening today. This is precious and beautiful. We write about these things, and these images and the stories they tell, because they're part of America' last great modern myth, it's like the Wizard of Oz, these characters are us, they're part of us. Even the new ones. Why else have I just put up the Prologue to the Alan Dean Foster ANH novel on my fridge? If that doesn't describe America now...One of the reasons Ep 9 suddenly intruiges me more than it did s that the film's script...are you SURE Rian didn't have a crystal ball and write this in 2017? As I said much earlier, the Resistance, and in such dire straits? "Hope is like the sun..." etc. That's a more powerful line the 2nd time around and not just b/c it links to the last images of Luke onscreen. I remember another SW ancedote. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, then-CNN reporter Anderson Cooper was trying to sneak a convey of supplies with a camera crew past a military roadblock. He concocted some story that eventually swayed the official in charge and the convoy was waved through. When they were well down the road, out of earshot of the authorities, Cooper's chief cameraman turned to him and said, "Hey, nice one, Obi-wan!" I guess what I'm trying to get at is that in spite of its supposed place as a mere children's popcorn franchise, we've always taken SW very, very seriously. You don't find quite this level of controversy in the latest Marvel flick. And people enjoy it being taken seriously. We all enjoy fighting over possession of it. Right down to "that other crank on Twitter." (Bless him for saying that, it's what Luke would say.) In spite of all Disney tries to do to it, SW is still our great evolving national modern myth and we are very precious about it. As we should be.
  8. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    The Last Jedi (spoilers): Only a Sith deals in plot holes

    OK, thanks for the proper title guys. I admit I haven't revisited most of the old EU in years,so I've forgotten a lot of titles etc. And I know I haven't read Traitor, so I'll have to check that out. Who/what is that book about? I know I did check out the novel where a depressed Luke becomes a reclusive, whiny hermit at some point--and actually blushed at how godawful it was..:) Was that a KJA book? he's the worst of the old EU authors IMO. Davrum, it's nice to speculate on JJ possibly attempting to repair some of the damage by bringing Luke back as a Force ghost, but hasn't his name vanished from the IMDB cast list for Ep. 9?
  9. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    The Last Jedi (spoilers): Only a Sith deals in plot holes

    Thanks Seli. I don't put much on $ totals though, b/c of inflation. I mean, in my town IMAX/RPX tickets are almost $20 now. And this is not NYC or California. Average ticket price here has jumped to about $13 for regular screenings, $10.75 for matinees (!). I've always been more interested in the number of actual tickets sold. If ticket prices continue to rise exponentially like this, something has to give. Throw in price of concessions, price of finding a babysitter etc and going to the movies is more and more a challenge and many take the Netflix route. I mean, it's all well and good for the majorest of major tent-poles to gross boffo box-office, but what about everything else?People save up money for movies like SW movies b/c it's a family tradition and they know it'll be good to some extant, but increasingly the slate look lop-sided. I read an article earlier this year about the glut of franchise films supposed to hit the screens in 2018, some are talking about a box-office bubble.
  10. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    The Last Jedi (spoilers): Only a Sith deals in plot holes

    Actually my favorite EU book is "I, Jedi" (forgot author). Is this the title? Star Wars meets Apocalpyse Now. Mace Windu channeling his inner Martin Sheen and confronting his iffy past as he gets swallowed by the jungle in a treacherous search-and-rescue mission. It might be the darkest of the EU novels too. God, how I would have loved to see Vergere on the big screen or some variation thereof. If we had spin-offsin the 90's. Now Sam Jackson is too old and they'd never do it, it's Non-Canon. So many great alien characters created in the old EU, not just the humans ones. So far, I haven't seen any alien character in the new trilogy that captures the imagination the same way. Maz is fun but well, maybe she needs more time to be developed. This new franchise is only 2 yrs old after all. I used to collect the EU novels but don't have as much time to read or disposable income as I did in the the 90's- early 2000's. A lot to catch up on, I have. I guess I'm prejudiced too. The 90's books seem to be better-written, for audiences who still read books and were not yet influenced by social media. A lot of today's novels, from the ones I've read, a lot read like fleshed-out screenplays for people whose reading is mostly Twitter. OK, maybe I'm wrong. But after the Yuuzon Vong I sort of tuned out. I've seen a little of the Asoka cartoons and that's it. I have SO MUCH to catch up on... My old EU faves: --Anything written by Timothy Zahn --Anything written by Jude Watson (I'm sorry, I love them, esp the young Obi-wan ones) --Rogue Planet --the Lando Calrissian Trilogy (as someone said way back, some WACKY stuff) -The Han Solo Trilogy (*sigh* if only THIS was what they were making now! It's darned perfect!) -Tales From The Mos Eisley Cantina (forget The Shape Of Water. There's a story in here that remains my favorite inter-species romance of all time, still brings me to tears. No, it's NOT "Nightlily" lol) --Outbound Flight --the grown-up Obi-wan one (I know, titles? We get to know Owen Lars's father?) the best of the new Canon so far? Recommendations please? I just finished Phasma, which was actually pretty darn good, and that collection of kid's stories, the one with the chef contest etc. EDIT: Thanks for that, Seli. I mean numbers. And just to throw in my 2 cents: I love Rose. She's cute as a button and I thought how great it is that she's nobody, just a mechanic who gets caught up in all this, but she's no Force-user or related to one, or anyone famous, or a fighter pilot. She'd be the person an ordinary viewer can relate to. She's one of the things the film got right. The first time I saw her character I had a fleeting moment of, "OK, gotta cater to that Chinese global market now" (We're seeing this in a lot of blockbusters BTW) but I repeat, it was just fleeting, b/c this is Star Wars, that most inclusive of universes from the get-go. IMO. She's perfectly at home and there's nothing strange about her.
  11. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    The Last Jedi (spoilers): Only a Sith deals in plot holes

    AHEM. *Munches popcorn* So in the meantime, folks, how the film's box-office doing?
  12. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    It's the End of the World: Climate Collapse

    Unfortunately, China has a LOT more problems than air pollution. Air pollution gets the most attention because, of course, it's the most visible, and the Communist authorities can't hide it from the international and business community for very long. But it's just the tip of a very big iceberg and their long-term problems may be unsolvable. Can someone post this link directly for me. Folks, this is THE best article on China that you will ever read. Probably EVER. Sums up basically EVERYTHING. I found it 2 yrs ago by chance when doing research on something completely unrelated, you know, one link leads to another. After reading it, I printed it out and the printout came to about 50 pages. It's more of a novella than an article, really, I wish the author would expand it into a book, in the same way that "Fast Food Nation" began as a Rolling Stone article. Then again, I doubt this author would be welcome again in China if the authorities ever became aware of this article! Forget the stock markets. Forget the articles and books breathlessly proclaiming "end of 500 yrs of" and "Chinese Century." The "When China Rules The World"'s and "the New Silk Roads"s. (2 of my favorites in this genre.) Not one of those publications takes into consideration the conditions and situations described in this article. I know, I read them all the time. The article is dated June 5, 2015, but I doubt the conditions and situations described in the article have changed much in 2 1/2 yrs. Google: "China's Communist-Capitalist Ecological Apocalypse" First page should have a picture of a guy wearing a mask walking under a highway overpass. This isn't the China their "Confucius Institutes" want you to see. It sure ain't Shen Yung. This is the real China today. Right now, and probably for the next 5 yrs or so, barring some event like another 2008-9 style economic crash, China will be riding high, enjoying the best years it is ever likely to have. Our own current idiocy is not helping because it allows their government to come across as sane, rational and civilized, ...But starting in the mid 2020's their problems will start to kick in big time.... . And paradoxically, we had better pray they last as long as possible, because as the article states, China is going to end up dragging the rest of the world down along with it. Our current global civilization is too hyper-linked for it not to. But more and more fighting over a rapidly shrinking pie.... Anyone who thinks I'm talking out of my...well, read the article first and then get back to me. i sure found out a lot I didn't know. if you decide to read it, set aside a couple hours because it's one heck of a read. And I think this author is not lying. My town has a lot of Chinese students and a fair-sized Chinese immigrant community, and I have seen a couple of the older ones walking around wearing masks here. I've heard a couple students on the city bus explaining to native students how at home,, they don't drink the water.
  13. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    Soundtracks for Movies/TV Shows/Video Games

    "All my life I've lived alone. Many times I faced my death with no one else to know. I would look into the huts and the tents of others in the coldest dark and I would see figures holding each other in the night, but I always passed by...You and I, we have warmth. That's so hard to find in this world. Please, let someone else pass by in the night. Let us take the world by the throat and make it give us what we desire." It's a testament to how good Basil P.'s score for Conan The Barbarian is (the 1981 origional that Darth Richard refers to, not the so-so current one) that I'm able to quote verbatim from one of my favorite scenes in a film I haven't watched in its entirety 6 or 7 yrs. God, this scene made me cry. John Milius's script was so wonderfully epic in its pulpiness, but then little gems of scenes like this one just fall out of nowhere. It was this scene that made me fall in love with the film, that it was more than a faithful Robert E. Howard adaptation. The music accompanying Valeria's plea to Conan is GORGEOUS and the montage of Conan leaving her afterwards is epic. That's just one minor scene. In fact the whole film is, as one critic put it, "a small gem," I can't name the cues but I can hear them now. This used to be a movie I could quote like SW films. I first discovered it when I was a kid b/c I used to have a fit when my uncle allowed my then grade-school cousin to watch it, edited love scenes, gory beheadings and all.:) (But I wasn't much older and a girl at that?:) "..Valor pleases You, Crom, so grant me one request: grant me REVENGE! And if You do not listen, then the hell with You!" Stop me before I quote this entire speech too... OK, here I go...should we change this thread to "favorite film scenes" or "favorite weepies" or "favorite movie quotes" now? So many great things to catch up to in this thread but the poster who recommended Eastern Promises for bathing music. Ah yes. Viggo Mortensen fighting in the bathhouse wearing his Name Day Suit. I'll stop right there. I just got back from nearly a week out of town where I was subjected to the indignity of the News on TV nearly every day. Against my will and wishes. The world is going to hell in a chariot but this image is the perfect ancidote for that. Before Kit, there was Viggo.. Heck, there still is Viggo--he still looks great for his age. Dayum.. I have to catch up to this thread but I'll leave it at that. G'night ya'll, and keep warm! (oh and thanks Ran for that film title!)
  14. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    Soundtracks for Movies/TV Shows/Video Games

    Corvinus, *ouch*. My bad. I knew it was either Bear or Norris for Vikings but like Darth Richard, chronic sleep deprivation.:) I should have known, Yes, Bear's work is a little percussion heavy at times. PolishGenius, thanks for explaining temping. I knew what it was, but not that it was called that. I'd love a link to your Marvel Symphonic Universe video, it's something I've thought a lot about, and why I'm so concerned about the future of musical talent in Hollywood. The MCU is a beast strangling the town and it's only going to get worse. I wish I knew how to link to YouTube but here are a couple more faves of mine. Forgot the composer but the soundtrack for "Pan's Labyrinth," arguably the greatest film from the Western Hemisphere in the 2000-2010 decade. There, I said it.:) And there was a Christopher Reeve film from 1981, forgot the title, kind of a forgotten gem of his. Used to make me cry like a baby. Basic plot is he goes to Chicago and embarks on a brief and doomed romance at a resort. A real weepie. Ugh. Can't remember the title but I can pull up scenes and OMG I'm getting teary-eyed again... Deborah's Theme! How could I forget! Jennifer Connelly's screen debut. In that movie she was, what, 12? First time when we hear this when she is reading from the Torah to Noodles(?),"Why he can never be my beloved," that scene breaks my heart. She was luminous in that scene, such poise and maturity. You could already see the woman in the child. Still amazing. As for the next SW trilogy like I said in my thread, I'm biased. Ramin all the way. He's earned it. He's still amazingly young to be doing what he is, the GOT Concert experience has solidified his epic big orchestra chops and popular big-tent appeal. If he wins a Grammy so much the better. It's iconic. And such a range of themes. Speaking of big epic sounds, this remains my all-time favorite "album jacket" description of instrumentation in a musical cue: "piano strings violently hammered upon by chains." I kid you not. This was for one of Howard Shore's "Two Towers" tracks, something from Mordor. I used to joke, "On his most frustrating workdays, was it Howard who was hammering them?" It's pretty much a description of my recent workweek:)
  15. Lady Of The Crossbow Inn

    The Last Jedi, not the last spoiler thread

    It is a contradiction Darth Richard though isn't it? I have to go see it again next week, but as far as I can remember here's the general arc. Luke: Oh woe is me, I f'-d up big time. I wanna die. But Jedi can't commit suicide, so I'll just run away and hide at...hmmm...the first Jedi Temple. Where I can hide away and preserve the ancient Jedi Lore for whatever reason, even though I think the Jedi should end. Luke on the way to the temple (maybe?) : And I'll just plant this lightsaber with my old friend Maz, and it's programmed so that if a certain person touches it she;ll see a vision. But no, I guess I never did that at all, or it doesn't matter. *scratches head* Rey shows up: Oh wow, I found you. I need a teacher and BTW save the galaxy. Luke: Go away, and leave me to my self-pity trip. But if you insist, help me milk the cows. Rey: you WILL train me. Luke: okay, I'll tell you how the Jedi are losers, and then get the heck off my lawn. Rey: this is all nice so far, but you really are pathetic. Get your s** together Luke, this is getting real fast. (Rey goes to a cave where she sees herself in a hall of mirrors and then a big Hogwarts Mirror blur. Sorry but did anyone think of Harry looking in Dumbledore's forbidden Mirror in that scene, I forget the name of it?) Luke and Rey have a leeeetle argument. They each tell the other to F off. Luke: -----* (Yoda then appears in a vision, gives Luke a pep talk, dropping nuggets of wisdom, and then he immediately mysteriously does a 180 and decides to save the day. Well sorta. One minute he's afraid to die right away, the next he decides to do a jedi procedure he MAYBE knows will kill him. Oh, and he wants to say goodbye to Leia first. And Threepio can totes see him during it.) Luke: I'm gonna save the day by screwing with Ren's mind, tormenting him with my virtuoso phsy-ops force projection disguise. In the hopes that he'll have mercy to his enemies. Or something. It'll work like a charm. And I'll go out like a boss. OK apologies. THAT was epic, a sequence for the ages. But the lead-up to it...It's a heckuva arc, not much to get from point A to point C, was it? EDIT: had free time today to post. Not so much the next few days. Cheers. FINAL EDIT: Just saw a link, "3 Buck Theater" on Youtube: "The Last Jedi" box-office numbers are down 42% from the Force Awakens. OUCH. of course it won't matter as Chinese reciepts are yet to come in. With Aisa in the mix now, the rest of the globe don't matter! Didn't Empire make less money than ANH too? What were the box-office figures then?