OK, I know I’m supposed to be busy working on my presentation for the big event, but someone’s posted this great (somewhat old) British documentary on Blade Runner to YouTube and I wanted to pass along the link… I was personally happy to learn that no one involved in the project cared for the Harrison Ford narration, and that Philip K. Dick had an opportunity to see some of the footage before his death. (I was under the impression that he had not.) Anyway, if you like the film, it’s definitely worth watching — if only to hear Rutger Hauer talking with disdain about Ford’s character “fuck(ing) a dishwasher.” (He, of course, is referring to the replicant that Ford’s character, Rick Deckard, falls in love with.) And, if you’re interested, they’re having a pretty good discussion over at Metafilter as to whether or not Deckard was himself a “skin job”. (I need to add the director’s cut to my Netflix list now.)
…The GOP’s “take that, bitch” approach to governing has been taken to the greatest heights by the House Judiciary Committee. The committee is chaired by the legendary Republican monster James Sensenbrenner Jr., an ever-sweating, fat-fingered beast who wields his gavel in a way that makes you think he might have used one before in some other arena, perhaps to beat prostitutes to death. Last year, Sensenbrenner became apoplectic when Democrats who wanted to hold a hearing on the Patriot Act invoked a little-known rule that required him to let them have one.
“Naturally, he scheduled it for something like 9 a.m. on a Friday when Congress wasn’t in session, hoping that no one would show,” recalls a Democratic staffer who attended the hearing. “But we got a pretty good turnout anyway.”
Sensenbrenner kept trying to gavel the hearing to a close, but Democrats again pointed to the rules, which said they had a certain amount of time to examine their witnesses. When they refused to stop the proceedings, the chairman did something unprecedented: He simply picked up his gavel and walked out…
(I don’t have time to go looking for it now, but I remember posting video of Sensenbrenner walking out when it happened.)
OK, maybe this isn’t the best example of proper journalism (I can’t think of an instance off the top of my head where a “New York Times” reporter has speculated that a politician may be responsible for leaving a trail of dead prostitutes in his wake), but, as far as I can tell, Taibbi’s got his facts straight. I can see how he might be a bit too “colorful” for some, but desperate times, in my opinion, call for desperate measures. And, if writing like this and the films of Michael Moore are what it takes to break through the apathy and wake people up, then I say we need more of it. If the issues weren’t so damned critical I might think differently, but I don’t think we have the luxury to sit back and look down our noses riught now. We need things that will prompt people, especially young people, to take action, and that’s tough to do in an environment like the one we find ourselves in today, were college kids don’t even seem to identify with their classmates dying in Iraq.
Lisa Dugdale, the woman behind the sustainable business organization Think Local First just left a comment on the Future of Ypsi blog suggesting that we ask a few of our local officials to make a public pledge stating that they will buy from local businesses as much as possible during this year’s Buy Local Week (December 4-10). It’s a good idea, and I think that we should pursue it. I think we should also ask our mayor to officially designate the week as “Buy Local Week” in Ypsi, as Mayor Hieftje has done in Ann Arbor… I don’t really have time to get a formal campaign going, but if someone else wants to, I’d be happy to sign on. I’m looking forward to doing it actually. I’m curious to see where problems might arise… If enough of us decide to do it, we could even start a little mini-blog around the project, sharing tips, etc… So, is anyone else up for it?