Runcible Blog

people and categories

I haven't done much photography lately. What is it with people who want to compare a picture to one by some other photographer? Why can't they resist the urge to compare? I used to think it was a compliment if someone said that a picture of mine reminded them of a Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Garry Winogrand, Weegee, or some other photographer's picture. But I don't see it as much of a compliment anymore. What it says to me is that the person can't overcome their preconceptions. I'm not just speaking from my own experiences with such people. I see it on and elsewhere. People will say, "what a great picture! It is reminiscent of a Steiglitz...blah blah" What it amounts to is hero worship. So, instead of having a great picture stand for itself, you have a picture that is great because it emulates some dead photographer.... I also tend to think that many of those "arm-chair art critics" are trying to impress us with their knowledge of dead artists. It also makes me cringe when people really get into the spirit of hero worship when they say things like "Ansel Adams could take 1000% better pictures than mine if all he had to use was a pinhole camera, and his arms were tied behind his back!" I mean, give me a break. A salseman in a bike store once said that even if all he had was a tricycle with flat tires, Lance Armstrong could still kick everyone's ass. Hey, that's great. Maybe Lance Armstrong and Ansel Adams could be some kind of Superhero Duo that fights crime, wins bike races, and takes outstanding photographs. Maybe they could also round up all the art critics and hero worshippers, carry them up into space (riding a tricycle with flat tires), and hurl them into the sun.

a 3 hour tour

Last night I saw Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with Judy. I give it 37 out of 38.219 specs of lint. (that's a good rating) I did have some problems with some of the editing decisions. It seems that in the wake of September 11, 2001, the writers and director Peter Jackson decided to change some of the characters and plot devices. Here are some of the more controversial changes:
  • changing the name of Mordor (home of Sauron) to "Iraqdor"
  • Sauron's name was changed to "Saddam"
  • Saruman's name was changed to "Osama-man"
  • the CG artists digitally added turbans on each of the 10,000 Uruk Hai heads in the Battle of Helm's Deep
  • Gandalf the White was replaced with "George the White" (subtle...)
  • the scene with Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli raising a large, tattered American flag after the Battle of Helm's Deep
but perhaps the most blatant change was the scene (added in post production) of 19 Orcs hijacking two 767's and dramatically flying them into the Two Towers while aboard a third 767, Harrison Ford successfully defeated the Orc hijackers and landed the jumbo jet at Gondor. Just after the planes hit, there was a cut to a closeup of Frodo (Elijah Wood) shedding a single solitary tear while the reflection of the crumbling towers shown in his digitally-enhanced blue eyes. I mean, that part just didn't make sense at all. I don't know how the producers got away with such a blatant disregard for the story or setting. But I have to admit, I got a little teary-eyed after the defeat of the taliban Uruk Hai when Aragorn eloquently stated, "The Axis of Evil will never defeat Middle Earth's values of Democracy, Freedom, and Justice under God. We will pursue these evil-doing terrorists to Afghanigard, Iraqdor and wherever their evil network of evil rears it's ugly, evil, Islamic head." as all the Ewoks cheered.


I had a nightmarish sort of dream last night wherein I was a soldier on another planet fighting this swarm-like insect that devoured everything and was impervious to any weapons. And somehow the swarm also manifested itself as an orange cat, but it was a menacing cat. The only way I could escape it was by jumping in the ocean (I can't swim) naked. You had to be naked or else the cat/insect swarm would find you. And at one point the cat jumped in the ocean and was just feet away from me. I couldn't bear to look, but I thought, "that's it. at any moment I'm going to be gobbled up by this ruthless alien, and there's nothing I can do but sit here in the ocean and think happy thoughts." And amazingly, the cat passed by me and devoured my commanding officer instead. But that was a scary moment. The dream continued for a while....People colonized the planet after the cat/swarm left, but I stayed there and played the role of the paranoid-guy-who-freaks-out-because-he-thinks-the-aliens-are-going-to-return-and-kill-everyone-and-no-one-believes-him. But I think that's what happened. It gets hazy after that. Usually I have fairly realistic and mundane dreams, so this one was pretty wacky.

I'm Wired

So, I plunked down $600 of my hard-earned moolah to pay for insurance and registration of my car today. It was pretty exciting. Now I can drive around places -- all I need is a destination and a passenger, preferably. I managed to drive to Salem State without dying, so I'm off to a good start. And to ensure my alertness, I downed a regular Double D's coffee on the way back (of course, I had Pink Floyd blaring, which sort of counteracts the coffee). Now I just hope the caffeine wears off so that I can sleep tonight. I miss Jessika. I don't know what it is about her...she's got a spell on me. Or maybe it's just that she is elusive. I can't read the signs. I hope I'm not confusing "PROCEED WITH CAUTION" with "DO NOT ENTER" or "DEAD END". if that makes sense. I don't want to get stuck running around a Grecian Urn, but at the same time, I don't want to let such a groovy chica slip away so easily (especially since she's single, for pete's sake!). Anyway, I have to give her those prints eventually, so that'll be fun. Ack. must sleep.


After lots and lots of reading, I can't decide whether I should start a revolution or go hide in a corner. Pursuing the whole secret society/Illuminati thing, I found, among other things, this page which exposes the Freemasons as a Satanic organization bent on ruling the world (or at least the "advanced" Freemasons have that goal). I had known absolutely nothing about their group before today. And man, is it weird... What's scarier is the connection the Freemasons/Illuminati have to our government. For instance, the symbol on every dollar bill, and the Illuminati-based logo for the newly created Information Awareness Office (whose job it will be to spy on Americans, basically). Another fishy group that has power in the political, media, and financial worlds is the Council on Foreign Relations, of which nearly all of the U.S. presidents and secretaries of defense have been members since the council was created by none other than members of the Order of Skull and Bones.... Some people claim that the CFR is another offshoot of the Illuminati's with a similar group in the U.K. Indeed, the CFR holds meetings that are "off the record" in which members aren't allowed to reveal the contents to the public. Incidentally, prominent players in the media (Tom Brokaw and Jim Lehrer come to mind) are members of the Council. Chew on that for a little while. I've got to get some fresh air before there's no more fresh air left!