Today on #ruby-lang…

Today on the IRC channel #ruby-lang, after someone posted the URL to a piece of software that has this clause for its use

Please don’t use this program to make music that is against God and Jesus Christ (eg. HeavyMetal, NewAge,..etc..).

the following discussion ensued:

  [12:58]  if there's christian gangster rap, there has                    to be christian heavy metal  [12:58]  and it would not be opensource 5. No                    Discrimination Against Persons or Groups  [12:59]  curious that he singled out heavy metal and                    new age music as examples of "... against God and Jesus Christ".  [12:59]  I've heard some of that 'Christian Gangsta Rap'...                    I couldn't tell... (Of course I hate ALL rap...)  [12:59]  person2: i know examples of Christian heavy metal, but                    have never heard of Christian gangsta rap.  [12:59]  person2: i just heard of it because it is an mp3 tag genre  [12:59]  person2: there's some guy named T-Bone who is supposedly                    a Christian Snoop-Dogg.  [13:00]  person1: haha nice  [13:00]  joeyGibson: I am thinking of the common themes of                    gangsta rap and have trouble seeing how Mr. Bone  				  would reconcile them with my Christian beliefs ;)  [13:01]  maybe something like                    "bow down to jesus or I'll bust a cap in your ass"  [13:07]  person3: That's Great! I love that line! :-)  

Now that’s funny.

Return of the King is AWFUL!

I went to see RotK today and it was so much worse than I ever could have imagined. Not only should Peter Jackson, et al, not win any awards for this travesty, but they should be strung up for destroying one of the greatest literary works of the 20th Century. Here are some of the low-lights from Jackson’s 3.25 hour monstrosity, in no particular order:

  • Aragorn is a big ol’ pussy with nothing Kingly about him who wanders around with a bewildered look on his face most of the time
  • When Aragorn goes along the ‘Paths of the Dead,’ a place he seems to have vaguely heard of, he doesn’t command the dead to fight for him, he asks them politely if they’d care to join him
  • Aragorn does try his best at pretending to be Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn
  • Gandalf is a Kung-fu master bo-staff wielding bad-ass
  • Frodo is a weakling who trusts Gollum more than Sam
  • the ‘secret stair’ that leads to Cirith Ungol is 5 feet away from the entrance to Minas Morgul thus affording Frodo the opportunity to march across the bridge, risking capture by the Nazgûl
  • Gollum throws away the remaining Lembas bread then frames Sam for its being missing; Frodo then sends Sam away as he continues to ascend the stair, meaning that he finds his way through Shelob’s
    lair by himself
  • Although we don’t see Sam take the Ring from a seemingly-dead Frodo, he does take it. Of course he never puts it on himself, and thus has no clue what Frodo has been going through and doesn’t need it to get past the Orcs, because they’ve all killed each other before he gets there
  • Minas Morgul is equipped with a laser beam
  • Frodo pushed Gollum into the fire of Mount Doom
  • Denethor, after being set on fire, runs out of the door and leaps to his death over Minas Tirith
  • The character assassination of Faramir from TTT continues
  • When the armies of Gondor and Rohan ride to the Black Gate, instead of an embassy coming out to show Aragorn Frodo’s clothes and Mithril shirt, the gates open revealing 10 bazillion Orcs for yet
    another boring battle scene
  • Sam never puts on the Ring and is able to find Frodo in the tower inside Mordor within about 5 minutes. He also pretends to be Dirty Harry
  • When the Hobbits get back to The Shire, everything is just as it was when they left
  • It’s one long boring battle scene after another; there is NO subtlety from the book that Jackson has left intact

That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure I’ll be adding to the list.

To put it bluntly, this movie sucks ass! I hated this movie!!! But some people like it… Some chowder-head stood up when it was over, clapping madly, shouting ‘BRAVO!’ I was thinking, ‘Dude! This ain’t the Met, here…’ I sat there for the last two hours of the ‘film’ constantly checking my watch… It’s that bad. The only tool that Jackson didn’t employ to ruin this film was to have the Hobbits start swearing like
sailors; I’m actually surprised he missed that one… Anyway, I am terribly disappointed. If you love the books, you will hate this movie.

Note: Sorry for the swearing, mom…

He Don’t, She Don’t and I Don’t Got None

As a rule I don’t like country music. I love bluegrass, but not country. As a rule. But I love and adore Sara Evans and Martina McBride. Anyway, while I love these ladies and their music, I do have to ask: is it a written law somewhere that to participate in the ‘country music scene’ you have to sing songs with deplorable grammar? Yes, I’m a certified Grammar Nazi™ and this annoys me. Sara and Martina both have lovely voices and sing great songs, but they are peppered with lines like “Don’t need no copy of Vogue magazine,” “He don’t give a damn,” and “A town that I ain’t heard of.” This is all too common in country music, not just with these two. It’s all over the place.

But the question is: Why? Are there classes available in Nashville to unlearn proper grammar rules for prospective song writers and singers, and if so, how many credit hours are required in ‘Hillbilly Grammar 101’ in order to get a record deal? Is there an exam given by the country record labels before they let someone record to ensure they don’t come off sounding like British nobility? Clearly they don’t want something like “Righto! I do not require a copy of Vogue Magazine,” “He does not give a damn,” or “Gadzooks! A town the likes of which I’ve never heard,” but would it kill these people to use proper grammar? There are hundreds of perfectly delightful songs that get marred by stupid grammar choices. Alas.

Piping Lessons Well Begun… Again… Well, Almost…

Some of you who know me know that about six years ago I started playing the Highland bagpipe under the expert tutelage of Mr. John Recknagel. Some of you also know that about two years after beginning lessons I stopped them due to the birth of my wonderful son. Well, I’ve been trying for two years now to get back with John, but he’s been full up with students. Finally John has an opening and I’ve now got it. My first lesson was supposed to be last night, but he called 10 minutes before I walked out the door saying he was still at his office and wouldn’t be home in time. Ah well, we’ll try again in two weeks. The extra delay is actually a good thing since it gives me more time to practice and try to get back into some sort of playing shape before embarrassing myself in front of him… Actually I haven’t lost as much of my ability as I’d feared, but much work is still needed.

All of which leads me to an amusing Thomas story. Sunday night I was telling him I had to return to work on Monday after being home for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Here’s a transcript:

Me: You know I have to go back to work tomorrow, right?
Thomas: Drat!
Me: I’ll be home for a few hours after work but then I have to leave for a little while.
Thomas: Where are you going?
Me: I have to go to Mr. Recknagel’s house so he can tell me how bad my bagpiping is.
Thomas: No… I should go with you to tell him that it’s not bad. It’s great!

What a great cheerleader!