Monday, February 19, 2018

That's entertainment

Starcrash 1979 film poster.jpg
Over the weekend I watched Starcrash, a low budget science fiction movie that was released in 1978. As a child, I remember watching it one summer on television during non-ratings period, and thinking at the time that it was a good movie. I was too young to be bothered by the bad special effects, the cheap looking sets, the nonsensical plot, and the uneven acting. Now that I'm older, I know better.

Its cast includes Caroline Munro as a space pilot, David Hasselhoff as a prince, Victor Spinell as a scenery-chewing villain, and Christopher Plummer as a space Emperor. By far the best actor in this movie, Plummer accepted the role because he wanted to work in Rome, where it was shot. His scenes took three days to complete, and give the movie much needed gravitas.

The male lead was played by Marjoe Gortner. It was fascinating to read about his background. Before he was an actor, he was famous in the United States as a child preacher. Sadly, he was pushed into this work by his exploitative parents, who used him to fleece the public, and make money for themselves. It was an an example of the worst aspects of Christian culture. He was also the subject of a documentary, and mentioned in the work of atheist author, Christopher Hitchens, as an example of the danger of religion. It's hardly surprising that Gortner is now completely disillusioned with religion.

On multiple movie websites, Starcrash is consistently listed among the worst movies ever made, but remains a cult classic. Anyone watching a film that Roger Corman was involved in knows that his name is always a mark of quality.

By Source, Fair use, Link

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Flag of Libya.svg
In Libya, February 17 is officially designated as Revolution Day. In 2011, the Arab Spring spread to Libya, and the end of the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. The country has been engulfed in turmoil and civil war ever since, with rival groups seeking to fill the power vacuum he left, not to mention a major humanitarian crisis, with scores of people fleeing the country.

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, its capital, Tripoli, is the 136th most livable city in the world, with Lagos, Port Moresby, Dhaka, and Damascus. The situation is very bleak there. Open Doors ranks it as the world's seventh worst persecutor of Christians. Since 2011, they have been targeted by people traffickers, and face discrimination from radical Islamic extremists, and the government.

By Various The source code of this SVG is valid. This vector image was created with a text editor. - File:Flag of Libya (1951).svg, Public Domain, Link

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Real talent

Colleen Hewett was one of Australia's most popular entertainers. She is best known for her 1971 cover of Day by Day, from the musical, Godspell. Among her other hits was Dreaming My with You. If you were alive back on February 15, 1980, this was number 2 on 3XY's Top 40 chart. She charted higher than the likes of Queen, The Jacksons, and, er, Rupert Holmes. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dirt money

Cleaning up childrens' bathroom accidents is in a childcare worker's job description. Presumably they also provide disposable gloves, cleaning equipment, and disinfectant for these occurrences. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Killing two birds with one stone

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has fathered a child with a former staffer, and his marriage has now ended, His estranged wife, four daughters, and his electorate will understandably feel hurt and betrayed. He may yet be forced to resign from Parliament for this scandal.

Well known radical feminist commentator, Clementine Ford, couldn't resist the chance to write an article attacking Joyce, because he opposed same sex marriage whilst being unfaithful to his wife. She also uses her article to smear the Australian Christian Lobby and the Australian Family Association, because of Joyce's past association with them during Australia's same sex marriage debate.

She also claims that if a woman in Joyce's position had committed these indiscretions, she'd have already been forced to resign. In her view, Joyce is a man, so he is held to a different standard. I don't know what media she consumes, because I don't see this at all. Media commentators have clearly said that Joyce's position is untenable, and he must resign.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently announced her pregnancy. She was supposed to have been attacked for not disclosing this information during the election campaign. I don't see what this has to do with Barnaby Joyce. Besides, expectant mothers often wait until the end of the first trimester to announce their pregnancies. It is very offensive to accuse her of lying to New Zealand voters.

We get it. She is no fan of conservative politicians, or conservative Christians, especially men. She uses this article to attack both of them. As well as a misotheist, is she also a latent misandrist?

I'm glad I'm not a radical leftist. I couldn't handle being angry and hateful all the time.

Friday, February 09, 2018

The plank

Looking for work isn't much fun. However, I have a knack for finding the funny side of such a stressful activity, such as spelling errors in job advertisements. This is an advertisement for a customer service role in the construction industry. Whoever wrote it needs to be told that correct spelling is important in conveying a professional image in the marketplace. It would be ironic if excellent written communication skills was one of the selection criteria for this role.

Za Vashe Zdorovie

Cast your mind back to February, 1984. The Cold War was at its height. It was on this day 34 years ago, Soviet Union leader Yuri Andropov died. He was appointed in November 1982 after the death of Leonid Brezhnev, and held office for 14 months. Andropov was succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko, who himself only held office for 13 months, from February 1984 to March 1985. The cycle was broken with the elevation of the younger Mikhail Gorbachev to the position.

As author and journalist Clive James once amusingly commented, at this time, funerals for deceased Soviet leaders almost became an annual fixture, and the carriages used to carry their coffins in funeral processions held in Red Square looked like the Batmobile.

All of this was very symbolic. Just as the Soviet Union was led by a succession of sick old men in its final years, the Soviet Union itself was also crumbling. It was waging an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Its economy was struggling. The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident provided more evidence of its decline. It was inevitable that it would collapse eventually, as it did in 1991.

This is a timely reminder that communism has been tried and failed, and it not worth trying ever again.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

It's not a house, it's a dwelling

I briefly studied English as a university undergraduate. One of the reasons why I changed out of the subject a few weeks into the semester was that I didn't like the lecturer. He once spent an entire lecture talking about phrases used in real estate advertisements. This doesn't bother me so much, as the spelling errors they often contain. What is a "sort after location?" Granted, there are many homonyms in the English language, but it is not difficult to tell the difference between sort and sought.

In the context of this sentence, sort makes no sense at all. If a location is sought after, it means that the location is very popular with prospective home buyers. If it is sort after, perhaps the copywriter means that a homeowner will sort through their personal effects after they move into their new home, so they will "sort after location."