I'm watching Atlanta Tech Edge at 1:30AM on WXIA (though I suppose it must air some other time, because who other than me watches technology news magazines at 1:30AM Sunday morning?), and the hostess just admitted being surprised when her guest, a tech podcaster, informed her that "free" apps use data mining to strip our privacy and sell our information to other companies.
Well, duh. (Side note: paid apps do it too.)
Who is this show for? If you didn't know that, most of what Tech Edge talks about is probably going over your head. If you did know that, you didn't need to hear that the hostess has no idea what she's talking about.
(I should admit that the use of the phrase "data mining" up there in the first paragraph was mine, not hers. If she doesn't know they are doing it, she sure doesn't know what it's called.)
It's not exactly fake news, more a case of the blind leading the blind. I shouldn't complain. That's better than some "news" organizations manage these days. (I'm looking at you, Newnan Times-Herald.)
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I'm not sure what to write about today, so I'll do what I do most days when I don't know what to write about. I'll write about movies.
These are the first six films I watched in May.
59. (1118.) Gabriel Over the White House (1933)
What if the archangel Gabriel was elected President of the United States? Despite that premise, this isn't a theological exploration of Christian mores in politics but a fascist political fantasy about how great it would be if the federal government caved in to the irrational desires of the Chief Executive. It's hard to believe that any American would have thought this would be a great idea. Oh, wait a second . . . .
60. (1119.) Lady Snowblood (1973)
This is the clear inspiration for Tarantino's Kill Bill. If you liked that, you'll like this Chinese tale of ultra-violence, assuming you can handle subtitles.
61. (1120.) X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
I remember that there was some key plot point that bothered me about this movie while I was watching it that I don't seem to remember now. Oh, well. If you're choosing to watch this, the seventh movie in the "X-Men" franchise, you already know what you're getting into. So far as ridiculous period piece superhero action movies go, it's not bad.
62. (1121.) Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance (1974)
This sequel isn't as good as the original (mainly because there is less Lady Snowblood in it), but it still manages a satisfying finale.
63. (1122.) King's Row (1942)
I elected to watch this film because Ronald Reagan starred in it. Though I typically think he's stiff on film, he's very good here as the reformed ne'er-do-well struck by a series of terrible fortunes. There's a lot of pitch-black subtext in this critique of small town America that was too dark for 1942, and this movie is probably one of the very few that really needs to be remade.
64. (1123.) The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
I didn't quite know what to expect here, and I was quite surprised at how enjoyable this fictionalized melodrama is. It's about a woman who has three distinct personalities at odds with one another. Well done.
More to come.
In both cases, I purchased tickets for face value directly from the NFL after winning the opportunity in the annual NFL Super Bowl Random Drawing. For years, so long as football fans sent in a certified letter before May, there was a chance they could buy tickets in November for that January's game. Hopefuls could enter only once per physical address, and each year over 30,000 requests were received for approximately 1,000 tickets. Those were long odds. Now they're worse.
This year, the NFL canceled the program.
Why did they do it? Who knows. The NFL didn't explain its thinking when it updated its website to let us know that we couldn't enter this year. The league hinted they've got something else in the works for next year's Super Bowl LII, but still no word on what it might be. Given the league's guiding principle is the same as Gordon Gekko's — "Greed is good" — I'm not expecting great things.
I'm disappointed in this development, but not mad. I did get to go twice, after all. That's two times more than most. Good times.
"All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds."
—Candide, Voltaire, 1759
Back in February, I expressed my enjoyment of NBC's Powerless and said that it probably wouldn't make it past May.
The show was officially canceled last week by NBC, which had pulled it off the air last month with two episodes still unaired. What a shame, too. The show was just starting to find its footing as it dug deeper into DC's toy box, introducing live action versions of the Olympian, Jack O'Lantern, and Green Fury, all members of the criminally underappreciated Global Guardians.
What other wonders did the show have up its sleeve? Would future episodes have brought us founding Global Guardian member Godiva, the woman with prehensile hair? Or Owlwoman, a Native American with the powers and abilities of an owl? Or the immortal African king Doctor Mist? The world will never know.
So long, Powerless. I'll see you in the funny pages.
Let's finally finish my reviews of movies watched in April, shall we?
55. (1114.) Peeping Tom (1960)
Peeping Tom is a British movie about a British serial killer. The Brits have the best serial killers. Jack the Ripper. Burke and Hare. Emperor Palpatine. Apparently, this was the first movie to portray a serial killer as a sympathetic protagonist, and I can attest that it can be very unsettling at times. Fans of Hitchcock-style suspense will enjoy this.
56. (1115.) Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)
This sequel — a dumb send-up of heist films — is better than its predecessor. Charlie Day steals every scene he's in that Jamie Foxx doesn't steal first. Kudos also to Jennifer Aniston for playing against type. Enjoyable.
57. (1116.) Call Northside 777 (1948)
Do you remember when Americans considered reporters to be crusading heroes? (Hashtag Trump's America.) Here Jimmy Stewart plays his best, jaded Clark Kent who goes to bat against the state for the mother of a man imprisoned for murder. I liked it.
58. (1117.) In a World... (2013)
Not every movie has to be about life and death. This is a light comedy that is part coming-of-age film, part sex comedy, part Hollywood lampoon. Lake Bell pulls together a great cast of comic actors (many of them her Children's Hospital co-stars) and each scene ends with a subtle punchline. If Lake Bell wants to make another movie, I'll watch it.
More to come.
Mother's Day means more Renaissance Festival. We went last year and had a good time. The weather was nice, so we went again this year. It's a tradition now. I suspect Christmas started much the same way.
Not much has changed. Just the important things.
See what this sign looked like last year here.
You could still see the imprint of the word "Coke" underneath the new vinyl letters. Was the festival no longer serving Coca-Cola products? What did they drink now? Pepsi? That's not the Renaissance. That's hell!
I shouldn't have worried. They still sell Coke. It is the Georgia Renaissance Festival, after all. What else are they going to sell? Dasani?
Maybe we'll find out next year. We have a tradition to keep now.
Watch this. You'll understand.
Looking good, dog.
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