Friday, August 7, 2015

Blogging Around

Tom Cruise is the Best

I'm going to call him Tom Cruise during the rest of this review of "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" because even though his character has a name, Ethan Hunt, it is really Tom Cruise who makes his entrance clambering over a hill and exhorting his lovable tech guy Benji (Simon Pegg) to use his hacking skill to open the door of a cargo transport plane that's about to take off with a belly full of nukes stolen by Chechen separatists or something, I don't know who they are, it doesn't matter, Tom Cruise is running, arms and legs pumping, hair flying, and holy mother of moley he's climbing onto the top of the plane and hanging to its underbelly as it takes off, with his bare hands!
Matt Zoller Seitz's review of the new Mission Impossible movie is just about as fun as the movie (probably - I mean, I haven't seen it). It typifies the way Tom Cruise can make you feel when he's been properly cast. It's the way I felt watching him in Edge of Tomorrow, which I did not love. But I loved Cruise in it. Just go read the review.

Rhetorical Context

An excellent piece from The Curt Jester about the revelations from the Planned Parenthood videos. What I especially like is his reminder that we must not fall into the same error of dehumanizing those doing the evil. Read it all, but here's a bit to get you started.
I once wondered how the evil of Nazi Germany could have come about? Unfortunately I now understand this much better. The first step is historically always dehumanization. Using language that moves from a defined reality to a more abstract concept. Once that is done you can intellectualize your reaction. To develop a purposeful blindspot as a callus hardening against conscience.

The conversations in these videos shows the “banality of evil”. No maniacal laughs like movie villains. Calmly discussing the parsing of unborn children for parts as if it is the most mundane task. Like they were playing the battery-operated game “Operation” with a comic likeness of an unborn child.

Hunting Is Normal. Enjoy Your Tasty Animals.

Time for another cultural update from the backwards southerners, and to get us started let’s hear from the guy so southern and backward nobody can stand him:
129. In order to continue providing employment, it is imperative to promote an economy which favours productive diversity and business creativity. For example, there is a great variety of small-scale food production systems which feed the greater part of the world’s peoples, using a modest amount of land and producing less waste, be it in small agricultural parcels, in orchards and gardens, hunting and wild harvesting or local fishing.
Laudato Si’ 129.
Jennifer Fitz cracks me up. Oh, she's very serious on this topic and I urge you to go read it all. But she's got a way with a hook and a way with words ... and a way with logic. All of which I enjoy greatly.


  1. Julie, here's a little something else that struck me about the first video and its aftermath, looking just with secular, disinterested eyes. Even if one could argue that there was no haggling over price going on, the fact remains that the woman in the first video ADMITS that the mothers signed an agreement that said in all other respects the procedure would be the same as "non-donors". Then she says that PP will be using a different procedure to ensure "donations." That right there is illegal and unethical.

    Any other corporation would freak out at that and they'd do two things: They'd insist that they were conducting an internal investigation and they'd suspend the woman (with pay, but still...). This is the modus operandi of a beleaguered group facing a bombshell video. But not PP. That's because they can't throw the woman under the bus because she's not an outlier. She's not breaking protocol; she's following company policy.

    So PP accuses the whistleblowers of harassment (like they did when the Komen Foundation discontinued its grant) and demands a judge use prior restraint against them. They're the queens of projection.

    On the hunting brouhaha, did you see the New York Times op-ed piece by Goodwell Nzou, an honest-to-goodness Zimbabwean?

    1. Excellent points about PP, Jean! Thank you!

      Also I hadn't heard about either Cecil the lion (avoiding the news evidently works to keep at least a few items away) but the piece by Goodwell Nzou was a fascinating look at cultural disconnect from our side. Just what those tolerant Cecil-lovers wouldn't understand. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention! :-)