ThinkExist Dynamic daily quotation

"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin

secret Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Reminder of the Lost Ark: Oh to be Indiana!

I caught Raiders of the Lost Ark on a satellite station last week. It is one of those kick-ass movies that takes your breath away, and leaves you clamoring for more.

I love the way Spielberg exposes Jones with his hat at the beginning of the film. The way he emerges from the darkness to the light is almost allegorical: here’s Indy about to be more educated –ie capitalize on his knowedge -- about his expertise of the occult from his erstwhile ignorance of the traps that had been set for him as he attempted to steal the gold idol.

More interestingly, what I loved was the way Jones emerges with his hat anda comobata jacket at the beginning with his stubble-covered face, looking all grim, determined, and serious.

This is less of a movie review, and more of a reminder of Spielberg’s brilliance and greatness for having created this incredibly interesting character of all movie history.

Back in Brussels, I recall that BBC1 was notorious for having shown almost every other Christmas one of the Indiana Jones’ movies. As annoying as it was, it was almost always entertaining to be delighted by Indiana’s intrepid character. I grew up with Indiana Jones, and do not regret it one single bit.

Although sometimes the movie resonated with US imperialistic overtones (remember Indiana in the Lost Ark shooting the saber-wielding Arab?), it always somehow managed to show Indiana as a humane and versatile man. More importantly Indy always managed to display intelligence and, sometimes, a chutzpah that reeked of single-mindedness and determination.

Oh to be Indiana! Isn’t there something about him that we would all like to emulate? First, to be strong and intrepid when need be; secondly, to be intelligent and display your knowledge when need be (Jones has a Ph.D and is a kick-ass adventurer (some might say filibusterer!) ); and finally to realize you’re not superhuman by running away from guns and poison-wielding natives instead of being overly brave and trying to fight them.

Oh, and to be wise and shy away from snakes!;-)

Long live Indiana Jones.

S.W.A.T or An Incredulous Offer

I rarely post movie reviews here; I usually save that for IMDB, but I thought this one had to go down for posterity as it was too juicy;-)I spent the better part of Saturday night siting glued to this film. The least I could do is credit it;-)


S.W.A.T is a deceptively good, yet occasionally predictable film. Throughout the movie, you could smell deception all the way, especially with the character called T.J. There was an uneasiness about him—call it an uncertainty, some kind of shiftiness—that rendered him an easy target for almost anything. Small wonder, therefore, that he would be the only one out of the L.Jackson/Farrell/Rodriguez/LL.Cool J/etc… team to be shot during a simulation.

I thought that was ominous.

T.J. was a cool guy, the kind of guy who exudes a chutzpah that is unparalleled, but it was all superficial. The look on his face that someone—ie Farrell’s character—could shoot better than he could was a damper to his confidence. But maybe, that was just a red herring for us viewers to think that there was going to be some serious competition among the team?

In so many ways, competition there was, because in the end, T.J. let the whole team down—not because he wasn’t able to overcome his chutzpah, but because he got greedy. I haven’t looked lately at what S.W.A.T team members earn, but I suspect it might be quite high. The appellation associated with them—“elite”—speaks volumes about how that corresponds with their salary I would guess.

Then again, salary structures were hardly the issue in the film, but I did find myself glued and captivated all the way through the film. I had to rush with my shower so that I could catch most of the dialogue and ascertain any clues that were so waiting to be uncovered. It was a good thing that there was a concomitant trail of the Frenchman criminal coming into the country, getting caught, killing someone, and weaving his own path of destruction as he went. Not necessarily in that order.

The clincher that I found most interesting, or rather, let me rephrase—the crux—was that call to have him released. It was rather incredulous though that news networks worldwide, in a complete shirk of their social responsibility, would give the criminal airtime for him to repeat his demand that he would give a gargantuan sum to anyone who would free him.

It was amusing for the storyline though, and the punch-line at the end of the film was cute: there he still was clad in his orange clothes en route to federal prison. So for all the explosions, the banditos, and what have you that tried—in vain—to rescue him, he STILL went to prison.

Still interesting though was the human nature aspect here.

Going back to T.J., he let his human frailty of greed overcome him, and that was essentially what revolved round the storyline of greed, but as I said earlier, you could sense it coming. It was a tad too predictable. However, what was nice was the ex-S.W.A.T introduced at the beginning of the film, only to re-emerge as one of the major protagonists. You could sense that he had an axe to grind, but not this deep.

Then again, wasn’t he a gambler? Nice little touch there.

In the final analysis, what I learnt from watching S.W.A.T – I like to think I learn from movies – is that primo, no one is indispensable (for all his kick-ass techniques, the ex-S.W.A.T. had to be kicked out of the force didn’t he because of his questionable character?); secondo, humans will be humans (or in this case, boys will be boys?), what with their atavistic tendency to want to get ahead over and above everyone else—be it by fair means or foul—even if it means conniving or contriving.; terto, everyone deserves a second chance. From Farrell to LL.Cool J to Rodriguez’s character, each one of these were wallowing in their own existence, unaware that they had skills that could take them far some day. Maybe Farrell’s character knew, but he had to be pushed. I liked that touch too: knowing that you are a kick-ass G.I. type, but willing to not push the envelope and draw attention to yourself. But Rodriguez’s character was cute. Asked whether she was interested in becoming S.W.A.T., she intoned, “…I just like applying all the time”. Which sounds exactly like what a lady might say in that given circumstance.

Once again, nice touch.

Over all, the dialogue was good; the storyline refreshing, albeit a bit incredulous. As for the action, well, with L.Jackson in here, you were always going to get wit and some firepower going awry (remember “Long Kiss Goodnight?”). Or maybe, I should have been talking about the director? Some contributors on IMDB know more about these than I could ever dream to. So I’ll pass on that one. But I do have to add, by way of conclusion, that for the length of the film, it still managed to hold one’s attention, and it was, frankly, refreshing to see someone as ostensibly top-notch like Farrell’s character training—without complaints or delusions of grandeur—with the rest of the putative/so-called “rookies”.

Another nice touch.

In conclusion, there were many nice touches here, though I think the Frenchman getting caught too early was a bit of a let-down. It just seemed to show that these French cannot even make sustainable criminality do-able.

But, hell, what would I know? I’m only an opinionated viewer, and I’d like to dash this film a full seven out of ten.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Watch your Thoughts...

Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character for it will become your destiny."
--Frank Outlaw

I thought too juicy to let it slip by...

Addendum to "Crash" Post (Tavis Smiley)

Read the whole interview here

Here's a preview, as it were:

Transcript: Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, Ludacris, Connie Rice
Tavis Smiley: Good evening from Los Angeles. I'm Tavis Smiley. Tonight, part two of our discussion of the thought- provoking new movie “Crash.” The film, which features an all-star cast, is from writer-director Paul Haggis and producer and star Don Cheadle. If you were with us last night, you know the movie focuses on the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic mosaic that is 21st century Los Angeles and, though the film is set here in L.A., many of the issues the film raises are universal. Tonight, we'll be joined by three of the film's talented stars, Matt Dillon, Terrence Howard, and Ludacris, along with L.A.-based civil rights attorney Connie Rice. We're glad you've joined us. Night two of our discussion of the movie “Crash” is coming up right now.

Announcer: Tavis Smiley is made possible in part by Toyota, makers of the 2005 Toyota Camry. Now, that's moving forward.

This portion of Tavis Smiley is brought to you by Wal-Mart. We embrace diversity and strive to uphold its ideals for our customers and our associates. We are committed to our community partnerships, and we are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

And by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you. Thank you.

Captioning made possible by KCET Public Television and the U.S. Department of Education.

Tavis: This is the second of two terrific panel discussions about the new movie “Crash.” For those who saw the program last night, you know “Crash” is the brainchild of writer-director Paul Haggis whose own real-life experience with a carjacking here in L.A. spawned the script of the film. Tonight, we're joined by three of the film's fine cast.

First up, Matt Dillon in the house. His terrific career includes movies like “The Outsiders,” “Drugstore Cowboy,” and “There's Something about Mary.” Still laughing at that one.

Terrence Howard's film credits include “Ray.” Terrence, you were great in “Ray.” We loved you in “Ray.”

Terrence Howard: Thank you, man.

Tavis: “Lackawanna Blues” and the much talked-about new movie “Hustle & Flow.” I haven't seen it yet. Everybody's talkin' about it.

Next up, Ludacris. That's right, y'all, Ludacris can act. The talented hip-hop artist just won a Grammy for his work with Usher on the hit song “Yeah.” He also appears in the upcoming film “Hustle & Flow.” Everybody's in that but me, obviously.

And finally, my friend and longtime contributor to my radio program, Connie Rice, founder and co-director of The Advancement Project, and formerly an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Before we start our conversation here on night two about “Crash,” first up, some scenes from the movie.

Ria: Why do you keep everybody at a certain distance, huh? What, do you start to feel something and panic?

Christine: What I need is a husband who will not just stand there!

Cameron: What did you want me to do, get us both shot?

Man: Get out of the car! Gimme the keys!

Jean: I just had a gun pointed in my face, and this was my fault because I knew it was gonna happen.

Officer: Hands in plain sight. Step out of the vehicle.

Girl: Daddy!

Man: Honey, stay inside.

Cameron: Man, don't walk up on me.

Officer Hanson: I know this man.

Man: Get back. [gunshots]

Tavis: This movie is so intense even after discussing it last night, Connie Rice, I don't really know where to begin. But I assume you saw last night's conversations. So let me just ask you a crazy question. What did we miss last night?

Connie Rice: Let's make sure we don't want to end the evening on trying to get our Prozac prescriptions redone, Tavis.

Tavis: What did I miss last night? What did I forget? What did I overlook?

Rice: Well, you know, Tavis, it wasn't that anything was overlooked. I think that what we didn't talk about last night, and we want to make it a little bit lighter tonight and a little more fun. But um...

Tavis: This is an intense movie, though. There ain't nothin' fun about this movie. It's intense.

Rice: When you leave it, you know how it feels? It feels the way you feel after you've gone to the prisons. It's that crackling, intense racial conflict, all those human fault lines and the collisions, and so you come out, you know, sort of catching your breath, and it's fabulous. It's just a fabulous piece of work, gentlemen.

But if you want to talk about some of the themes, what I loved about it was a little bit of the complexity. You focused on the stereotypes last night. But the flipside was that each and every character—and there are stereotypes, but there was a flipside that was subtle. There was a flipside that showed the human complexity, and that's what I loved. I mean, this movie is about the human fault lines. We got a lot of San Andreas faults, earthquakes. But this was about the human fault lines, and the thing that was hopeful about it was that in the end, you saw a way to be able to see through the other lenses. Every person brought a lens. It was like flipping the lens of a camera over and over and over again for each human being, and when they clashed, when they crash, you see the conflict. But then you also saw a little bit of the comin' together...

read the whole interview on the link above...

Friday, May 20, 2005

You Have Mail! Or Narrating an Accident on Voicemail

Many thanks to on whose website this is.

Featuring a little woman that looks like Mother Goose, another who has a cattleprod, and another that is 4 foot nothing;-)


Jack in the Box
The link below is to an audio file -- be ready to turn your volume down if necessary. It's about an Operations Manager for Jack in the Box who was late for a meeting and called his boss to let him know he was running late. As he was leaving the voice mail message, he witnessed an accident and went on to provide a "play by play" of the incident.

It was forwarded so many times within Jack in the Box, it crashed their voice mail server.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

A Film to Watch--"Crash" (Paul Haggis)

Having been inspired, after having read Elsbro's entry on "Crash" here, I decided to check out the page of the film here. Check out IMDB's user comments here.

1. In a real city, you know, you brush past people. People bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you...we're always behind this muddling glass...

2. you going to...that bullet that came through that window?

3. What's wrong, you alright?

4. I am angry ALL the time, and I don't know why!

5. Will you just do as he says?

6. Do you have any guns, or knives...?

7. It's his brother's file--kid's going away for life for stealing {a} car...

8. When you find your brother...

9. why do you keep everybody at a certain distance?

10. what I need is a husband who will not just STAND there!!

11. what did you want me to do--get us both shot?!

12. I just had a gun POINTED in my face, and it was MY fault because I KNEW it was gonna happen!!


14. Daddy!

15. Honey, stay inside!

16. Get back!

17. You think you know who you are, you have no idea

18. You had a conversation with God, huh, what did God say?

19. I'm trying to help you...

20. I didn't ask for your help did I?

21. It's okay Daddy, I'll protect you.

22. "It's about the touch; I think we miss that touch so much...that we crash into each other just so we can feel something"

23. Is something else funny?

24. People, man, people.

All these lines from the trailer are enough to generate mini-essays on their own.

Some day, I will come back to them.

For now, my burning desire is to get "CRASH" on DVD.

crash Posted by Hello

collide... Posted by Hello

moving... Posted by Hello

together... Posted by Hello

moving... Posted by Hello

searching... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Galloway, my Hero!

"when a hero comes along //
with the strength to carry on //
and your cast your fear aside //
and you know you can't survive..."

-- Mariah Carey, Hero

George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, testifies at the Senate subcommittee for homeland security and governmental affairs in Washington. Photograph: Dennis Cook/AP

British politics can be a bit of a blast.

In fact, for me, it always has been.

Not to mention the hilarity that it engenders…

Hearing on BBC World yesterday the invective flying from George Galloway, MP (RESPECT) for Bethnal Green on Capitol Hill for the Senate Hearing, I just went to bed…bemused and awe-struck.

The guy hit it home.

"I am not, nor have I ever been, an oil trader" he said. But even juicier were the following:

  • “I know that standards have slipped in Washington in recent years, but for a lawyer, you’re remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice”

  • “I’m here today, but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced {now, there’s a good word!} my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question

  • “I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq”

  • “Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong”.

  • I failed GCSE Physics. My teacher was a Scot, with a very heavily-imbued Scottish accent. When she got angry, you could not MESS with the darn woman.

    Galloway is Scottish, and though his accent may not be as strong as what many Scots are teased about, his red-blood face yesterday as he spoke to the Senate gave me the shivers.

    Sometimes less is more, so I’ll just leave you with some mental pabulum to ruminate over: NEVER mess with an angry Scot!

    Especially over a serious issue like Iraq.

    For more reports, go to,2763,1486431,00.html

    Thursday, May 12, 2005

    On Abuse

    Three things have conspired in the past week to home in for me the point of abuse—both sexual and domestic.

    I found out that a very close friend of mine had been the victim of domestic abuse. I was rather traumatised though, I doubt as much as she must have been. The second was from a blogger I came across—September Girl, or Autumn. I found her blog by way of Alyssa de Autumn’s article "Weeping Innocence" was a rather harrowing article about how she had been date-raped and survived it. So, not necessarily abuse in the strictest sense, but abuse anyway!

    The final one was closer to home: a cousin of mine’s daughter who complained that her friends’ father had touched her privates.

    My god, how horrible.

    I have recently come from a country—Belgium—where in 1996, the notorious paedophile Marc Dutroux abducted two girls—Julie and Melissa—and buried them half alive. It caused a storm in the country at the time, triggering a so-called “Marche Blanche”, or White March.

    Two years later, I took a Media elective for my communications class at university, and I had the privilege of interviewing Michel Bouffioux, the guy at the centre of exposing corruption in the Belgium police system that protected Marc Dutroux.

    I, with two other colleagues, were tasked to do a comparative study, so we chose to compare Zola’s “J’Accuse”with Bouffioux doing a “J’Accuse” of corruption to the extent of protecting a child molestor and paedophile.

    He was categoric in his statements about Dutroux. For him Dutroux was able to get away with what he did because he was protected.

    But the average case of abusers is such that they are just normal guys with the ability to exercise power. I reckon that is the bottom line with abusers. They abuse because they can.Plus it gives them a sensation of power.

    Giving excuses that they saw their mothers being abused cuts no ice with me. Tragedy, as they say, begets tragedy. At some point, the circle has to be broken, and we all have tremendous capacity to break these cycles. It is built within us.

    After all, is it not our attitudes that determine the way we live our lives? From James Allen of “As a Man Thinketh” to Norman Vincent Peale, time and time again, we have been told about how we are all under-estimating the innate powers that we have to becoming better people than we can be.

    Some people , nay EVERYONE, has the choice of becoming better than they can be. Even abusers. So, let’s say for argument’s sake, they were overtaken by their lust, as in my third example, they have to accept the situation and not go into denial so that they can be treated.

    But most, it seems, do not, because their sense of aggrandisement overwhelms their character. They think that they are good people, and respectable people. SO who will suspect them?

    That is just SICK. I have no time for abusers. I think people ought to be given the benefit of the doubt when, beyond a reasonable doubt, they can provide mitigating circumstances as to why they abused.

    But even then, that is scant excuse. There is NO excuse. How can grown men allow themselves to be so overtaken by lust, or by rage that they have to touch a little girl—yes a girl—or hit their women?

    I tried to do a background reading before doing this post, but most of what I saw was harrowing and too time-consuming to consume for an entry.

    So, I write this one for posterity, and anyone who chances on this entry—Abusers MUST NOT BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO ABUSE. You are stronger than you think you are, and you have a RIGHT to live in dignity and, yes, comfort, with peace of mind.

    As for those who are into sexual abuse, SHAME ON YOU. GO SEEK HELP. YOU DO NOT NEED A GIRL TO SATISFY YOUR LUST.

    And so, the battle continues.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    On Why I Do SO Love Jazz...

    read the full story here

    Thursday, May 05, 2005

    A Historic Day...

    It is indeed a historic day--for citizens of the UK that is.

    Today is voting day in that very interesting country. The country that brought us one of the best radio stations on earth--in my humble opinion--the BBC World Service is about to go to the polls today.

    I do not want to wax too lyrical about it, cos there are a plethora of sites out there -- no less the BBC and the Guardian website, among others, that will do this light years better than any normal person can.
    Still, for posterity sake, it needs to be penned.

    I am interested in politics, but I am no geek--and for a blog about an eccentric world, it sounds mightily geeky to write about politics. But seriously, what is politics, but the "art of the possible". My Dad questioned me on this out of the blue during Mauday, and I was as stumped as a hedgehog in the headlights of an oncoming car.

    So I promptly took out my aide-memoire--this being my book on politics. I barely remember the quotation, but it's something about "the collective management of the organisation of resources".

    I'm too much of a non-pundit to respond to that.

    But I lie. Surely.

    If the US elections are any guide, politics touches all of us deeper than we can ever imagine. It is just that in a country that things are going very well (c.f,. Belgium, where there is a very generous welfare system) people tend to develop apathy because things will plod along *irrespective* of whether they vote or not.

    The crunch in both the US and the UK, though, has been Iraq.

    And rightly so. I suspect judging from Bush's surprise win, Blair will anticipate not necessarily a close shave, but a shave that is worth a historical footnote. After all, who would want the UK's Conservatives back? Howard is considered creepy by many, and Charles Kennedy, of the Liberal Democrats, though vocal on not going to Iraq, simply doesn't stand a whisker of a chance of winning.

    The Liberal Democrats have never won over the past couple of decades, despite having such charismatic figures like the now-Lord Ashdown.

    Back in 1999, I wrote a piece for my British Politics class at university in which I referred to the derision already being placed on the Liberal Democrats:

    It was quite funny - though not that funny if you were the Kennedy's in the States - when in August this year, Charles Kennedy , a Brit, was finally elected as next incumbent leader of the Liberal Democrats (after Paddy Ashdown tendered his resignation a couple of months back) for a broadcaster on BBC Radio Four on his light-entertainment Saturday programme, Loose Ends, joke that the "Kennedy's have suffered another loss - Charles Kennedy was elected as next Liberal leader". If this says nothing, it speaks volumes of the extent to which the Liberal Democrats are quite pooh-poohed upon in Britain for their relatively meagre policies

    The quote above sufficiently reflects the attachment that I have -- of a somewhat endearing quality -- for the U.K., which is odd, considering I have never lived in the country. The only time I stayed there was way back in 1992 when, at the age of 15, I travelled back from Anerley (near Crystal Palace, and not too far from Croydon)to Victoria Station--back to Brussels train station (Anderlecht). Mostly by way of hovercraft, which rocked--big time!

    Even then, it was just to visit relatives of mine.

    But still, what is also clear, is that BBC Radio Four for me is a byword for quality and excellence.

    In 1997, I remember staying up in the wee hours of the morning just to have confirmed to me that Labour had won a landslide. I remember distinctly that it was the Today programme's James NaughtieJim Naughtie who confirmed this, with his team of other hard-working BBC colleagues, in his characteristic Scottish accent.

    But I digress...

    Iraq will be the bane of Labour. It's not as if Blair wasn't warned.

    He forced the UK to go to war, when there was no compelling evidence to do so--and for that if he has to go, well, he has to go. It's a hard lesson, I guess, but as they do say in Ghanaian culture and many a culture, "he who fights and runs away will live to fight another day".

    Seriously speaking, Blair, barring any complacency being inculcated in him by the likes of those like Alastair Campbell -- that former-porn journalist-cum-spindoctor with language colorful enough to rival any chameleon's body -- must be fighting for his life.

    Similarly, Blair must miss not having his pal -- the now EU Trade Commissioner -- Peter Mandelson (spindoctor extraordinaire) by his side today.

      < ? Blogs By Black Women # > eXTReMe Tracker CONTENT Copyrighted ©E.K.BENSAH II PRODUCTIONS. 1998-2010