OBLIVION, the movie

OBLIVION, with Tom Cruise. It’s very much a movie about working for The Machine. I won’t elaborate the story further, other than to say that the RottenTomato score is seriously off on this one, giving it only a middling rating. This is not a “dark” movie. Beautifully filmed, well-paced, solid performances. I can certainly see why Cruise bought the rights to the graphic novel from whence the story originates (considering his denominational worldview, and its origin myths) – but then, I could care less about his “theology”.

Considering the NSA revelations about our own gov’t spying on us, repeatedly lying to FISA Court, hounding journalists (“Journalism is not terrorism!”), keeping secrets under penalty of death — while citizens are denied the liberty of unbreakable encryption to secure our own private spaces — this really surpasses The Matrix, and I Robot in many respects. Stimulating storytelling.

Wake up America! — if you’re up for an honest challenge, view OBLIVION and then read WHY AMERICA FAILED by Morris Berman. Much in both products to ponder!

OBLIVION, a movie starring Tom Cruise as Jack Harpur.


Indiana Jones, eat your heart out!

Indiana Jones, eat your heart out!

South of the border down [Guatemala] way there is some newly discovered temple art which has been described as the find of a lifetime. That temple is located in Holmul, which is in the Peten jungle of Guatemala, near Tikal, below southern Yucatan, just south of the recent discoveries in Calakmul (near Becan, Campeche State).

For anyone interested in this general topic, Marina Aguirre is at the inception of organizing a tour to visit Calakmul from Merida, sometime during the coming winter season. (A new discovery from that part of Campeche was mentioned in these pages recently.)


IMG_1945Photo by Vivian Hai, at Photobucket

I’m a big fan of editorial cartoons by Tom Toles of Washington Post, and visit his ‘toons and his blog daily. Today he has a simple observation about democracy in USA. I’ve contributed a comment about our loss, which jumps to a link with a short essay about email privacy and press freedom which is deeply troubling. It has to do with our NEW OWNERS.

Big Money has taken over, and they now claim to own all of our private spaces! The essay linked above reports a stunning fact about our lost privacy. If we can’t communicate with each other in private, are we still citizens of a free nation? How do we get Big Money back into its container? Clearly, NSA does the bidding of the One Percent. And they won’t let us talk in private anymore. The article repeats this observation several times: If the public knew what the government was doing, the government wouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore.

Who knew? I’ve never heard of Ladar Levison, have you? Obviously our own government doesn’t trust us anymore, which is why they’ve stuffed a rag down Levison’s throat. We need to discuss this with each other, in private, (maybe not by email). Our conversation will surely touch on considerations written about in Why America Failed. The same author has a new title about why he moved to Mexico.




Family riders

Great travel writing captivates me because it makes me think outside of my habitual environs. I lived in Spain for two years while in the US Navy. My grandmother gave me a copy of Michener’s IBERIA, before I left for that duty station. The book (and the tour of duty) taught me much about travel and about life.

An article in NYTimes Sunday Magazine tells a thought provoking tale which stirs my travel and philosophical passions. It’s an excerpt from a forthcoming book: THE TELLING ROOM: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese.