Saturday, August 29, 2009

Down in the Hole

When you walk through the garden
You gotta watch your back
Well I beg your pardon
Walk the straight and narrow track
Iff you walk with Jesus
He's gonna save your soul
You gotta keep the devil
Way down in the hole

He's got the fire and the fury
At His command
Well you don't have to worry
If you hold on to Jesus' hand
We'll all be safe from Satan
When the thunder rolls
Just gotta help me keep the devil
Way down in the hole

All the angels sing about Jesus' mighty sword
And they'll shield you with their wings
And keep you close to the Lord
Don't pay heed to temptation
For his hands are so cold
You gotta help me keep the devil
Way down in the hole

--- Tom Waits, "Way Down in the Hole"

I spent the better part of my downtime watching the complete five seasons of "The Wire" from HBO. It has been some three-odd years since I wanted to see the show, but of course it isn't available on Philippine TV (it took some time before local execs warmed up to "The Sopranos," and then again, still with heavy censorship), and I didn't have access to the DVDs. The show came highly recommended from some of my friends, though seriously I only picked up on it because two of my favorite sports bloggers, Bill Simmons and Jason Whitlock, dedicated an entire podcast to it in March 2008.

The show is gritty, grey, and heavy on realism. Policemen and criminals are treated humanly, i.e. the cops are not white knights and the crooks are not outright blackguards. The show started slowly because of the dense backstory and preparation for future events, but once things got together BAM! I was hooked. For several moments in the show I was waiting for some deus ex machina or some cheeseball endings or events (alright, I have to admit Omar Little's portrayal in Season Five was a bit of a stretch), but it never happened.

Bonus is that most of the guys are virtual unknowns outside of TV, though I recognized some guys like Dominic West (as the dickweed Theron in "300," playing Det. Jimmy McNulty), Larry Gilliard Jr. (as the sidekick to Sarah Michelle Gellar in "Simply Irresistible," playing D'Angelo Barksdale), Frankie Faison, Wood Harris (from "Remember the Titans," playing Avon Barksdale), and my personal favorite throughout the series, Idris Elba (various movies, but the one I remember best is "The Gospel"). Elba's Stringer Bell is, without doubt, one smooth mofo. I don't want to spoil the show for you, you've got to see it.

The haunting title track is amazing. I am seriously looking into starting a Tom Waits collection.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Wizard's First Rule

"People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they're afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true.

"People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool."

--- The wizard Zedd, in Terry Goodkind's "Wizard's First Rule"

Watched season one of "Legend of the Seeker" and while it was a departure from the original "Sword of Truth" books, I didn't mind because Bridget Regan, who plays Kahlan Amnell in the show, is SMOKING hot. A little of the milkmaid-type along the Celtic prototype (examples: Lucy Lawless, Katherine Heigl, Meg Foster) but with a bit more character to her face. At least I can get a new inspiration. There's only so much you can get out of porn.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Tragedy of Being Offline

This new modern world is just becoming too...modern for me. I mean, getting through the day to finish work and everything else depends greatly on computers, e-mail, decent telephone lines not including handphones.

So when I lost internet connectivity in the middle of June, it was like my world collapsed. At least my Internet identity, that is. I lost track of my Facebook updates. I couldn't sign on for all the Michael Jackson updates, the Farrah Fawcett updates, the rites of indignation over PGMA's State of the Nation address.

And yeah, I couldn't rant about how hard it was to eat crow over the LA Lakers winning the NBA title.

I couldn't express my jubilation when Roger Federer won at Wimbledon and thus pass Pete Sampras in the Grand Slam race among men (People conveniently forget Steffi Graf had 22).

I couldn't say my say about the ongoing turmoil in Iran, or how the current administration in the United States is being hamstrung by its own ideals.

The tragedy of being offline is that somehow you become less of yourself to the outside world. The truth is, you are more of yourself when you are not facing the computer and living life.

(And in the meantime, when my internet bill arrived it was, literally, a hot poker up my ass. It hurt --- I never knew it could cost that much. Lesson learned.)