Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Whale Wars! Of a different sort...

Paul Watson, terrorist and Captain of the Sea Shepherd, is gonna be so pissed when his fellow guerrilla-nerds relay what has happened in Vancouver.

"Whale-watchers' ship strikes, kills whale"

It's not only true, it's fucking hilarious!

"Whale watchers on a cruise ship in Canada were stunned when they saw what was stuck to the ship's bow when they arrived at the port of Vancouver - a dead whale."

Now, I feel it necessary to point out that I am not pro-whale death, even though I think this is one of the funniest stories I've read all summer and I consider Paul Watson a terrorist. But the irony! And imagine the look on all those poor bastards faces! I can't help it!

"The vessel apparently struck the 70-ton fin whale in the ocean and unknowingly carried it wedged to the bow from Alaskan waters to the Canadian port. The adult whale was an estimated 70 feet long."

Okay, one of two things were going on at this point in the story.

1) The captain of the cruise ship fell asleep and the "Sapphire Princess" (Its real name) was under the control of a chimpanzee.

or

2) The ship is so enormous and was going so fast that an extra 70 tons went unnoticed.

Either way, seems pretty unsafe.

"'Basically like a train coming through, it just hits them. That bow is kind of like a spear. And once they're hit by it, it probably breaks their back, kills them almost instantly,' Craig Delahunt of Tymac Launch Service said."

Construction foreman: So how do you want us to build this whale-watching boat?

Architect: Well, I really want this baby to fly through the water. Make the bow as sharp as humanly possible!

On-hand whale expert: Uhh, guys... I'm not entirely sure-

Construction foreman: Shut up, nerd! We've got our orders!

On-hand whale expert: But the whales!

"Delahunt...said it was the third such whale-ship impalement he has seen. The skeleton from the last whale carcass is now displayed in a museum in Telegraph Cove, north of the city, he said."

What the fuck?! Are the museums building these boats as a way to ensure they're freshly stocked with whale carcasses? And why hasn't the design of the boat been modified? Paul Watson's gonna roll some heads when he backs from Japan!

I found this story in a newspaper (A what?!) but here's a link to the same story.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

That's the way it is

As a journalism major, I, like I believe any respectable journalism major should, hate journalism. It's drek. All of it. From Fox News to the Huffington Post, the once respected industry of journalism has become a never-ending quest for ratings and money, where partisan bickering passes for debate and the need to entertain has superseded the need to inform.

This is why I'm taking the death of Walter Cronkite so hard. I never saw him deliver the news, but I know full well his impact on journalism and how there will never be another journalist like him. That's not a condemnation of all journalists today, as I think many (Well, maybe not many.) would favor a return to Cronkite's days, when truth was held at a premium and before politics and corporations knew how to effectively manipulate the growing industry.

Anchors today cannot afford to have the courage Cronkite did, lest they be fired, but I'd at least like to see an effort. Author Glenn Greenwald wrote a fascinating piece for Salon.com, where he quoted Meet the Press's new anchor, David Gregory, defending today's journalistic practices...

"I think there are a lot of critics who think that [in the run-up to the Iraq War] . . . if we did not stand up and say this is bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this, that we didn't do our job. I respectfully disagree. It's not our role."

Well, sort of.

A good journalist would not have simply said, "This is bogus" or "You're a liar," but a good journalist would have said, "Why are you doing this?" That's a little thing called "investigative reporting." And if, through the process of investigation, the journalist discovered a lie or uncovered something bogus, then it is their role, indeed their only role, to voice it. And this did happen eventually, but not during the run-up to Iraq, where the questions were most needed, only afterward, when they really didn't even fucking matter anymore. How many brave soldiers and innocent Iraqis died before you felt the need to do your job, Gregory?

The ABC News channel on YouTube posted a video honoring Walter Cronkite, and I'm not sure whether it's an anti-CBS statement or merely a reflection on the state of journalism today, but in the aforementioned video, Cronkite's famous Vietnam analysis is referred to as a "stunning break from journalistic objectivity." Bullshit.

After returning from Vietnam, Cronkite reported the facts. He said that when faced with the evidence, "it seems now more certain than ever, that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate."
Whoever narrated the ABC News video clearly doesn't know what "journalistic objectivity" means.

If I'm on a pogo stick in the middle of a NASCAR track as a dozen cars come barreling down on top of me at 140 mph, it's not biased to report, "It seems now more certain than ever, that Alex is about to have one hell of a bloody experience." A stunning break from objectivity would be, "Jeff Gordon's in for a whole mess of trouble if he thinks he can stand up to the masterful pogo-sticking of that young man!"

Objective reporting doesn't mean the outcome has to be objective, it means that during the process of information gathering, you've not left one stone unturned that will help you make an educated, reasonable decision. Even a guy dumb enough to pogo-stick during a NASCAR race knows that.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Uwe won't Bollieve me

Uwe "Don't pronounce my first name [You]" Boll, the man sometimes referred to as "Michael Bay without a budget," is a "filmmaker" who has brought us such video game adaptation classics as BloodRayne, House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, and BloodRayne II: Deliverance. He's also apparently making an upcoming "movie" entitled Rampage, whose plot, according to its IMDB page, breaks down thusly...

"A man with a thirst for revenge builds a full body armor (suit) from Kevlar and goes on a killing spree."

Direct-to-video gold, I'm sure.

Regardless, the man who made you hate video games is about to make you hate something entirely different, something you never thought you'd hate even in your wildest, most xenophobic dreams. Darfur.

That's right, the man incapable of applying any semblence of human touch to a film is making a movie about the genocide in Darfur. Side note: My research indicates that the UN believes the situation in Darfur is but a conflict, as "genocidal intent appears to be missing." If you ask me, 176 pages isn't enough to make that case.

It would be an incredible feat to bore with Darfur, but I think Uwe Boll is just the "person" to do it! If you thought The Passion of the Christ glorified violence, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

But wait a minute, perhaps that's exactly what Darfur needs. Just 120 minutes of Boll's pure, exploitative brutality to scare the holy hell out of everyone. Remember how Christianity (and anti-Semitism) became popular after the release of The Passion? Well, get ready, Darfur, people are about to start caring about you! And only six and a half years after the fact!

Thanks, Uwe Boll!