Saturday, October 15, 2011

Static and Noise: Violence and Capital Gains

Occupied: I haven't written much about the Occupy Wall Street movement, and that is for a variety of reasons. It should be obvious at this point that, as a rapid and heartless free-marketeer, I probably agree with only a small minority of what the protestors stand for. (There's a certain level of "crony capitalism" that does seem to be creeping back into vogue that I heartily dislike, so there's that.) But pretty much everything else seems like a field guide for the naive miseducation of the general class of protest scientists our nation has. On the other hand, I'm fine with nearly every form of protest--hell, it's what makes America different than others, so if waving stupid placards and dressing up like sea turtles lets the masses blow off steam, have at it. (Just keep the traffic disruption at a minimum, please, and don't bitch when you are on someone else's private property.)  That said, I think it's ultimately a waste of time at this point. Many comparisons have been made to the Tea Party, and rightly so, but so far there appears to be a major difference. Occupy Wall Street seems more concerned about protesting, whereas the Tea Party protested, then went to work electing candidates. Perhaps the 99% will change and start to do that, but so far it seems like they are targeting the converted.

The Price Is Right: My wife and I watched a well-known B movie starring Vincent Price called The House on Haunted Hill. By modern standards it's pretty tame--as most old horror movies are--and it had its share of weird, nonsensical plot lines. (This movie supposedly inspired Alfred Hitchcock to attempt to make a low-budget horror, which ended up becoming Psycho.) It has all the trappings of the old-school horror-mystery: false walls, self-playing pianos, falling chandeliers, candles that blow out on their own. Watching this did two things: one, it made me appreciate Vincent Price a little more; I had only ever really seen him in awful movies where bad camera angles and props were more important than the actors. And, secondly, it reinvigorated my desire to read some old mystery books I've accumulated.

Scrum! I need you, the Internet, and all five of my readers, to convince me to love rugby. Every time I read about it or catch a snippet of it it seems like it would be immeasurably cool, but without a major league to support it it's going to be difficult to really get in to. Plus I am very hazy on the rules and feel like a woman watching football begrudgingly with her husband. So why is rugby as great as it appears? Convince me!

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