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A Message to the Boston Marathon Terrorists

There’s a couple of guys in the US right now who can feel their world closing in around them.

How does it feel guys? Are people looking at you? Are people whispering as you walk by? Or are you holed up in a house and relying on others? Or are you alone?

You’ll need to come out eventually for supplies.

If someone’s helping you, can they be trusted to not turn you in?

How are you sleeping? I bet you’re glued to the TV. Look, there’s your face. Won’t be long now guys.

Don’t jump at that noise outside, that’s just a squirrel. The big dogs are coming for you though.

The sweat you have now will be nothing once you’re stuck in a windowless room getting tortured for information about who you’re working for. What group you represent, or are you just a couple of so called patriots trying to save your 2nd amendment rights? Are you upset because your guns might be taken away and you’re trying to divert attention away from gun control?

No matter what, you’re both sick puppies whose walls are closing in around you.

How’s that cabin fever going?

The pressure is building just like in the pressure cookers you used to callously kill 3 innocents and ruin the lives of so many others.

Can you handle that pressure? It’s never gonna ease up. Your lives are over. You just don’t know it yet. I’m looking forward to seeing you in cuffs very soon and having your mugshots plastered all over the evening news.

Very soon, everyone will know your names.  Or is that what you want?  Fame?  More like infamy.

Enjoy that fried chicken while you can because your days of being free are done.

Because no matter how much you and your kind terrorise the world, good people will always stand up and say no and take you down. You’re fighting a losing war. You’re just too stupid to know it.

You think you know terror? You don’t. But you will.

The good guys are coming to get you. Soon you’ll be swarmed upon by good men and women in blue jackets with yellow ‘FBI’ written on the back.  They’ll come in guns drawn with dogs and tazers.

You’re done. You’re cooked. If Massachusetts has the death penalty, you’ll get it.

And it will be for nothing.  Your crusade will never change the way that a free and good society will behave.  We will continue to live our lives. We will celebrate those enjoying a marathon.  We will celebrate at stadiums and we will go to cinemas and sky shows.  We will do so without fear because we are free and nothing you do, will change that.

Those walls are a little bit closer than they were a few hours ago aren’t they?

Enjoy these last minutes of freedom, because you’ll never experience them again.

It IS A Good Day to Die Hard

die hard 5

If you go to see A Good Day to Die Hard, the 5th instalment in the Die Hard franchise, don’t expect to see a typical Die Hard movie.  

But firstly, what is a typical Die Hard movie?

When people think, Die Hard, they think of an ordinary guy, trapped in an impossible situation, armed only with his wit and determination not to die.  Sure. 25 years ago when John McClane was trapped in a building alone and up against 30 terrorists.  The only conduit to the outside world he has is via a CB radio to Sgt Al Powell, who’s out on the street.   He saves the day as we all know and the credits roll to Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.

The sequel, just 2 years later, escalates with McClane once again in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He is mostly solo but has a little help from an airport orderly and a reluctant airport police commander in trying to save his wife’s plane as it heads to Washington DC.  Armed again with his customary one liners, he once again saves the day.

In the third instalment, Die Hard with a Vengeance, McClane is this time in the middle of the action, but not by accident but by invitation from another Gruber.  Other than the opening challenge, set by Simon, McClane is joined by a sidekick in the form of Samuel L Jackson, who assists him in saving New York.

In Live Free or Die Hard or Die Hard 4.0, he has another reluctant sidekick in the form of Justin Long and then in the newest film, A Good Day to Die Hard he is joined by his estranged son, Jack.

See a pattern here?  I’ll help you out.  McClane in each movie since the original and most of the Die Hard 2, hasn’t been solo. The last three films he has had a companion throughout the movie.  He has also become somewhat superhuman, surviving a flooded aqua dock and exploding ship, an attack from an F35 Jet after surfing on the tail of the same jet, and being flung around by a helicopter in the newest film.  Sure he dangled from a fire hose in Die Hard and ejected out of an exploding military cargo plane in the second, but both are plausible and not that far fetched.  However the stunts have been getting bigger and more unbelievable.  Nothing about the sequels equals the same feel as Die Hard and to a lesser extent Die Hard 2.

During the 25 years he’s been a cop, don’t you think that John McClane has also grown and become more skilful and cunning in what he does?  If the original John McClane tried to fight the Russians in A Good Day to Die Hard, he probably would have been eaten up and spat out in the opening gun battle.  But as with anyone, he’s 25 years older, smarter and wiser.

This isn’t James Bond who replace the actors every 5th movie or so.  This is Bruce Willis who coincidentally is getting old too, just like John McClane. Therefore not only is the actor ageing but so is the character.  With ageing comes growth. With growth comes new skills and emotions and new ways of doing things.

I don’t go to each new Die Hard expecting to see the same movie or get the same feel as the original. I go expecting to see a kick ass action movie with plenty of explosions, gun fight, one liners and great villains.  And when it comes to the villains, I never expect to see Hans Gruber again.  He was an extraordinary bad guy, played by Alan Rickman.  If each bad guy wore John Williams suits and spoke so well, then maybe but he really was one of a kind.

So my advice when going and seeing A Good Day to Die Hard is to sit back and enjoy it for what it is.  A whole different movie to the original but with the same John McClane wit and never say die attitude.

I loved it and so has everyone else in my family full of McClanes.

4 out of 5 stars.

The Newsroom Speech

Everyone knows by now how much I love a good movie script.  Well occassionally a good TV speech comes about and my absolute favourite is from the new HBO show ‘The Newsroom’ starring one time Dumb and Dumber star, Jeff Daniels who plays news anchorman, Will McEvoy.

I have transcribed the speech below and below that is the video clip of the very moving speech about how America is no longer the greatest country in the world.

My challenge, like many other movie speeches, is to memorise it to heart.  Why? Because it’s a hobby and I like doing it.

Enjoy and if you can, tune it to The Newsroom which is fast becoming my fav drama. The first series from the pilot episode is currently airing on Showcase on Foxtel.

Fine. Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paychecks, but he  gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn’t cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fuckin’ smart, how come they lose so GODDAM ALWAYS!

And with a straight face, you’re going to tell students that America’s so starspangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. Two hundred seven sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom.

And you—sorority girl—yeah—just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there are some things you should know, and one of them is that there is absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re seventh in literacy, twenty-seventh in math, twenty-second in science, forty-ninth in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies. None of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are without a doubt, a member of the worst, period, generation, period, ever, period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about?! Yosemite?!

We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right! We fought for moral reasons, we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, and we acted like men. We aspired to intelligence; we didn’t belittle it; it didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy. And we were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one—America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.

Enough?

Click here to watch The Newsroom Speech

 

Insanity

One of the definitions of insanity is:

“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome”.

So by going on this definition alone, I am technically insane.

So what things am I doing over and over again without changing how I do it?

Well lot’s of things to be honest but specifically it is my writing. As many of my readers know, I have been ‘writing’ a book for a while now.  Click here for chapter one for anyone who would like to read it.

The issue is that I think daily about this book and that I should be writing it, and daily I don’t.  What is stopping me mainly from writing each day?  TV.  I watch far too much TV, but I really love TV and don’t want to watch less.  The quality of shows now-a-days is so good and we are spoilt for choice.  Plus it is many of these shows that inspire me to write! What a vicious cycle it is.

Why do I want to write this book?  For a few reasons.

1.  The main reason is to finish it and have written a novel.  Not many people can say they have done that.  For me that would be quite an achievement.

2.  Can I be good enough to sell books and therefore derive a main source of income from it?

3.  I enjoy it.

I heard recently Jay Mohr’s agent, Barry Katz ask if you had $40,000,000 in the bank, what work would you do, not for the money but for the enjoyment of doing it?  For me it would be photography and writing.  I love both.  The writing I want to do is creative writing like novels and screenplays and perhaps musical theatre (I have a great idea for a musical).

To help me keep on track, I’ve advertised for a writing partner. Think Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.  They wrote Good Will Hunting and look at them now. I’m not saying I have as much talent as them, but I’ll never know if I don’t try.

So time to stop being insane. Watch a little less TV and see if I can write a little bit every day and finish this thing to see if I am any good at it.

Are you insane too?  What thing do you do over and over again expecting a different result?

An Open Letter To My Daughter On Her 15th Birthday

Some daddies have kids who are out wandering the streets.

Some daddies have kids who are always getting into trouble.

Some daddies even have kids who are disrespectful to adults and authorities.

Some daddies have kids who don’t love them back.

Some daddies even have kids with no desires or dreams or aspirations.

So Mickey, while you are all of these things, you are also pretty damn good looking!!

I’m just kidding my baby. The only thing out of the above that you are is good looking but that doesn’t even sum up your beauty. To me, you are so beautiful both inside and out and I am proud you are my daughter.

15 years ago today, you were causing your mother so much grief in labour, while daddy was down in the cafe having a feed while reading the paper and waiting for the worst of the labour to be over. It wasn’t and at the last minute, I joined your mum in theatre as they opted to slice her open to get you out as you just weren’t playing the game properly.

Then you came out and my whole world changed. I saw you through new eyes. Eyes that had never witnessed such joy. Such hope for the future. Such a cute and tender and beautiful baby.

Then I held you for the first time and something dawned on me. You see for all of my life up until that point, I had heard people say that they would die for their kids. I often thought how stupid that was. Surely no one would voluntarily die for someone else. Then I held you, and I instantly knew that statement to be true. I would die for you if it meant it spared you from harm. I wouldn’t hesitate. I still wouldn’t hesitate.

A few minutes after you were born I burst into the waiting room where there was waiting eagerly for news: Aunty Joanne and Misti and Aaron and Aunty Vicki and Alecia and Aunty Julie and Brisbane Nanna and Melbourne Nanna. (I think I got the cast right) and I proudly announced your name at which point everybody jumped to their feet in the crowded waiting room and attacked me with a massive group hug. There were cheers and tears and that was just from the guy selling coffee. 🙂 It was a special time and one that I will never forget.

You may not know this, but 15 years later, you have given me so many moments of happiness and joy that no man has the right to expect or demand. Yet you give them to me, even when you don’t think I notice.

I would not swap you for anyone else. You, to me, are the perfect daughter and I am honoured to be your daddy. I must have done something right, sometime in my past, to deserve you.

I love you so much and I will always love you, no matter where the future leads us. You are only a few short years away now from adulthood, but know this, my baby, you are now and will forever be, my baby.

Happy birthday, Mickey. I love you. ♥

Michaela 15th  - 01

Doping and Organised Crime

A couple of weeks ago I watched with interest the Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah.  I honestly never expected to see Armstrong admit to cheating in his sport of cycling.  For so long I believed that people were gunning for him due to the tall poppy syndrome.  Surely someone who won seven consecutive Tour de France’s had to be juiced up, they were saying. No one could possibly achieve that feat with some assistance, they said.

I for one, believed him and then felt like a schmuck when I heard him confess. I knew that doping in cycling was rife but I hoped that the best of the best, who had such stellar careers and did so much good in the community, were above that.  That these people won because they had a drive and determination and a skill that made them the best.

I now can’t look at the sport of cycling or its participants without thinking cheats and that their  sport is tarnished, perhaps forever.

I remember thinking that I am glad that cycling, which is to me, just a sport which is a passing interest, and I felt sorry for all of the fans whose sport was now ruined and in tatters.

I was glad I wasn’t that guy.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday the same brush that has tarnished the sport of cycling was also used to brand, well most Australian sports, into the category of drug cheats.

In an historic press conference, the heads of the major sports in Australia, including AFL, NRL, FAA and CA, with politicians and investigators from Australian Crime Commission lifted the lid, no blew the lid on illegal doping in most Australian sports with a link to organised crime.

Image

I was shocked that it was so widespread and while no names were named it was pretty obvious that this story is only going to get bigger and a witch hunt will begin.

So now what?

As a major consumer of sport, particularly AFL, NRL and Cricket, I want names named! I want to know who are the players and coaches and sports scientists and clubs that are illegally trying to get an advantage.

I want to know who the clean players are so that when I watch the footy this winter, I’m not wondering if that goal by a superstar forward was not assisted by illegal doping. That, that freak try that no one in their right mind should have been able to score, was not assisted by illegal doping.  That, that outfield catch which was no one’s business to take, was not assisted by illegal doping.

Because until names are named, that is exactly what I will be thinking.

It’s a very sad time for Australian sport and the authorities must get to the bottom of it and quickly.

So what do you think. Is all Aussie sport tarnished?  Will you be watching and wondering who is a cheat and who isn’t?

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.