Archive for July 3, 2004

Spiderman II

July 3, 2004

And now for something completely different… a film review!

Went and saw Spiderman II today. I wasn’t really among the fans of the first film, I thought it was a decent effort but was let down by an overly talky script and one of the worst villains since God tried to nick Captain Kirk’s spaceship in Star Trek V: The Scriptwriters Are On Strike.

Things are improved this time around. Director Sam Raimi (the Evil Dead series, among others) lets loose with a few screwball moments scattered through the film and a generally more comic-booky style. There is still quite a bit of talk but it works better this time, with a better script and the actors fitting more naturally into their roles. The action scenes are first class and the villain is vastly improved. Doc Ock’s mechanical arms are lively and evocative, doing a much better job of acting than, say, Hayden Christiansen in Attack Of The Clones.

While it’s a good film there has possibly been a bit much praise heaped on it by critics. “The best superhero movie since Superman” gushed Ebert; well, I’d rate Batman and The Crow better off the top of my head. The film is still a bit saggy in the middle, as a result of Peter Parker/Spiderman’s identity crisis being drawn out for too long. The CONSTANT knocks and humiliations suffered by Peter Parker get irritating after a while – yeah, life can be tough. We get it. Can we move on?

So, walk into the cinema without expecting a classic and you’ll have a blast.

Tune in next week when I defy Michael Moore’s corporate greed machine by reviewing a pirated copy of Fahrenheit 9/11. As an aside, the eDonkey2000 peer-to-peer network is flooded with fake copies of this film, which is the first time I’ve seen the network deliberately spoofed on this scale. I would have thought Moore would WANT to get the message out to everyone. It’s almost as though he’s more concerned about the money than anything else.

Religion Of Idiocy

July 3, 2004

KANO, Nigeria — A suspected large-scale polio outbreak was reported Friday among children in a heavily Muslim northern Nigeria state that had boycotted immunization campaigns, and local authorities appealed for urgent action to stop the spread.

The suspected outbreak was in Kano state, one of several in northern Nigeria that had shunned polio vaccination drives over suspicions the vaccines were part of a U.S.-led plot to render Muslims sterile.

The Jews must have been too busy controlling the world to get involved in this one.

Sing Along With Colin

July 3, 2004

Some bloggers are so influential that politicians will go to extraordinary lengths to get them onside. Gay blogger Andrew Sullivan recently withdrew his support for Bush in 2004 over his support for a ban on gay marriage. Colin Powell to the rescue:

US Secretary of State Colin Powell donned a hard hat and tucked a hammer in his belt today to perform a version of the Village People’s hit YMCA.

This blog is greatly looking forward to John Howard’s cover of Tom Petty’s Refugee, and Mark Latham having a crack at Big Yellow Taxi.

We’re Not Sorry: Police

July 3, 2004

The attitude of the WA police force is an amazing thing to behold:

One of WA’s top policemen insisted yesterday that brothers Ray and Peter Mickelberg committed the 1982 Perth Mint gold swindle, despite a Court of Criminal Appeal decision which quashed the brothers’ convictions for the crime.

Assistant Commissioner Mel Hay was adamant there would be no apology from police to the Mickelberg brothers, who are likely to pursue the State Government for a multi-million-dollar compensation payout.

And they wonder why people hate them?

Nurse Update

July 3, 2004

Extinct (adj): No longer existing or living: an extinct species.

Most people take this word to mean that an animal has been completely wiped off the face of the Earth. Like a Dodo, or a Thylacine. It’s a very sad event when that happens. Nobody can ever again see one of those creatures again, they are just memories.

That’s why environmental activists love to throw the super-emotive word “extinct” around whenever possible, even when it doesn’t mean what you think.

The grey nurse shark on Australia’s east coast was in danger of extinction because the federal and state governments were stalling on the issue, the Australian Democrats said today.

If you stopped reading there, then you could be forgiven for thinking that they mean Grey Nurses are actually in danger of becoming extinct. Not the case at all. All they mean is that there might not be any Grey Nurses left on the east coast of Australia.

“NSW fisheries scientists have estimated the east coast grey nurse population could be extinct in six years but still our waters are poorly protected despite long-winded public consultation and planning.

With less than 400 remaining on the east coast, this is a species of which we cannot afford to lose any more individuals.”

Of course, Grey Nurses are found in heaps of places other than the East Coast of Australia. In fact, like most sharks, they are bloody everywhere:

The family Odontaspidae is recorded throughout the world oceans. Grey Nurse Sharks are found in tropical and temperate waters in the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific Oceans, although the species is known by different common names in different regions. It is recorded from all states of Australia except Tasmania.

Conclusion: Even if every single last Grey Nurse on the east coast is killed by pissweak skin divers tomorrow, it won’t threaten the species’ survival in any meaningful way.

Conservationists don’t care about that though. They believe a shark has rights like that of a human. If all the grey nurses on the east coast disappear, they see that as a moral crime tantamount to ethnic cleansing. The fact that there’s millions of the fuckers elsewhere in the world doesn’t matter to them.

The way I see it, who cares if there are grey nurses on the east coast if you aren’t allowed to catch them? The only people who would actually be affected in any way would be divers who might like to observe or photograph one. Hardly a disaster in my book.

Extinction of a species, in the sense that there are none left at all, is quite sad (I would love to have a pet Thylacine). Extinction of a local population of people is also very sad (For example, the Aboriginal population of Tasmania).

Extinction of a local population of fish? Not particularly sad at all. Mildly inconvenient, maybe. Hardly something worth the immediate attention of federal and state governments as the Democrats suggest. This is why we refer to such shrill conservationists as the loony left. Because they are.