Monday, July 17, 2006

Weeks of July 9 and July 16

Good god, the news has been alarming the past two weeks. Hell, since July.

Even with Iraq removed, we've had two instances where the possibility of war is very real. Take North Korea. Japan stated it would consider striking North Korea if it kept up with their missile testing. Japan strikes. North Korea retaliates, South Korea gets involved.

Israel and Palestine. There have been hints that the kidnapped Israeli soldiers could be sent to Iran. Israel strikes Iran. Neighboring states get involved. All of this seems like such a stark contrast from the '90s. True, the '90s wasn't the 'decade of unprecedented peace and prosperity' as some folks paint that decade (just ask those who lived in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda). But without underplaying the horrors of those conflicts, those conflicts were fairly self-contained in their respective regions.

Today, it's like reliving the '80s again: where we were told that at any time, Russia could launch all of their nukes at us just like in Red Dawn and War Games or other movies I used to watch on HBO after school. These two weeks, we've had the on-edge Israel, the over-the-edge Kim Jong Ill, the on-edge Lebanon and the on-edge Japan prove that even after a decade of relative stability, just how quickly situations can turn into a possibility of all-out war.

On a brighter topic, I saw Wordplay and A Scanner Darkly this weekend as part of a geek double-feature to escape the 105-degree-plus weather. Just by reading A Scanner Darkly, I thought it was going to be nearly impossible to translate Philip K. Dick's book to the big screen. And with the music, direction, animation and vocal talent, I can say that it probably couldn't have done a better job. That said, it was still a bit of a bore. Wordplay was great. By far the best documentary on crossword puzzle fandom I've seen. It was oddly affirming as well: knowing that there are cute, intelligent, gay geeks out there who would rather spend an afternoon playing vintage pinball games and working on the New York Times crossword puzzle as opposed to passing time at the mall to kill time before the latest wet underwear contest at the gay bar.

Though true to the stereotype, I did blow $100 at Kohl's the weekend on a pair of hiking books (originally $90), a pair of running shoes(originally $75) and two decent shirts for work. The benefits of a second paycheck...


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