Open Thread: WoW, the IMAX Iteration?

Paul Constant, at the Stranger:

There has never been a good movie based on a video game. Think about that for a second. For twenty years, Hollywood has been trying to adapt video games to film; Wikipedia lists 29 adaptations made in that time. They’ve never successfully made a good one. And so I am highly nervous about the news that Duncan Jones is going to make a World of Warcraft movie. Jones’s first movie, Moon, was a home run. His second movie, Source Code, was not very good at all, although it was at least ambitious and demonstrated his craftsmanship. But this is going to require a lot of work…

Read the whole thing (it’s short, but includes some interesting details). Opinions in the Stranger commentariat seem to be all over the grid. Disclaimer: I’m not a WoW player — I’m not even a gamer — but as a lifelong sf/fantasy geek I’m alway open to the possibility that a particular brick of Hollywood sci-fi might be worth watching…
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What else is on the agenda for the remnants of the evening?








A Seemingly Reasonable Negro With An Unreasonable Past?

First I’d like to say thanks to the Balloon Juice community for your support in this our first week (We don’t broadcast on Fridays.) We’re loving some of the comments we’re seeing and we will continue jumping all around in the comment section.

As for today’s show–I’ll admit it. I have all sorts of mixed feelings about Colin Powell. I can’t forget his place in the George W. Bush White House and his problematic role but at the same time his dive into the magical territory of “old black guy” combativeness is awesome. He’s saying what many folks in the black community feel he should have been saying much louder for years. On the latest TWiB! Radio we check out his interview on Bill O’Reilly and…well…we mock Bill hard. Plus talk on the record amount of school debt, our previous Asshole of the Day comes back with some extra assholic goodness plus more…

And as usual our morning show continues talking the gun control debate and why focusing on simply guns is not enough to curve gun violence.

And if you happen to have Current TV where ever you’re located you can catch our morning show host L. Joy Williams, TWiB Radio’s co-host Aaron Rand Freeman and myself on Viewpoint with John Fugelsang discussing the latest in news headlines. 8pm EST.








Wiley Cash – A Land More Kind Than Home – Live Discussion

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Tonight’s live chat is featuring author Wiley Cash, whose first book, A Land More Kind Than Home, was just released in paperback.

Wiley has been a friend of mine (and neighbor) for several years, and I am really excited about tonight’s discussion. Feel free to ask anything. For more information on Wiley, please visit his website.

For the record, we photoshopped that picture above a while back because he had the Angelina Jolie leg thrust pose. Little did I know that it would rocket to the top of google images and all his work friends would see it and laugh hysterically. Had I known that, I would have done it earlier.








Walter Needs a Shooter

The coastal elites are all abuzz over Walter Kirn’s latest meditative essay on what it really means to be a gun owner–something, according to Walter, that can only be truly understood on a visceral level by those who have handled and shot guns. He comes down on the side of an assault weapons ban but the way he gets there is buswah mysticism at best. Kirn on Aurora:

The shooter (I dislike this term; it seems too procedural, too flavorless; I still prefer the harsh, judgmental “killer”) had been armed with a shotgun, a pistol, and a rifle. He’d used all three, according to reports, firing into the crowd of moviegoers from a position near the screen. The casualties would have been greater, experts speculated, had the rifle—a semi-automatic model based on the Army’s M-16—not jammed (a sensation that gun owners know inside their muscles and at which others have to guess).

Here’s more:

Guns alter your reflexes, your neural pathways. The changes are subtle at first, and welcome, like the heightened awareness that posture golf clubs bring. Later, if you’re an imaginative type, the changes can grow more pronounced, more conscious. You start to entertain scenarios that might not occur to you if you didn’t shoot.

I’m a year younger than Kirn, we grew up in similar places (he’s from rural Minnesota, I’m from rural South Dakota), and we’ve both shot guns, but we came away from our childhoods with two different attitudes towards them. When he fired a gun, he found “the urge becomes part of your body, your nervous system. It feels as though it was always there, this appetite, this desire for a small, acute struggle that you can win. Win consistently. Repeatedly.” Perhaps I am a less sensitive and enlightened soul than Kirn, but I did not gain that appetite and I don’t really believe that having grown up around guns, shot them, and owned them endows me with any special muscle memories, urges or, more importantly, privilege to say how guns should be used in this society:

The divide is phenomenological, not political (or not political until it gets to be), like the gulf between those who’ve had sex and those who haven’t or those who smoke and those who’ve never lit up.

Take it from someone who’s shot, fucked and smoked: of those three things, shooting is the one that you need the least amount of experience to understand. Kirn’s desire to elevate his gun handling history to some ethereal plane says a hell of a lot more about whatever ghosts haunt him than it does about shooting.








Just a Quick Reminder

Our live chat with Wiley Cash will begin in an hour.








Cat Rescue Bleg – Seattle / Northwest Coast Area

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From commentor Erin B:

I’m hoping to get some assistance rehoming my mother’s two cats. Her health has taken a rather abrupt turn for the worse and she can no longer care for them. Their names are Pumpkin and Cleo, and both are elderly (12ish) and diabetic, requiring regular insulin shots. Pumpkin is a handsome orange fellow with a long face that looks like Art Noveau, and Cleo is a petite calico.

They are wonderful animals; Cleo is sweet, although not too social with other animals, and Pumpkin is the original nice guy.

They’re in Seattle, but I imagine we could get them anywhere from there down the Pacific coast to the Bay Area. I’m really hoping to get them settled while I’m in town next week, so Mom can know they’re getting the love they deserve and the care they need.

If you are interested, or have any leads, send me an email at AnneLaurie (at) verizon.net (click on my name in the right-hand column) and I’ll put you in touch with Erin B.
Read more








Don’t want to end up like Bonnie and Clyde

Someone once told me that the gun lobby wasn’t close to the most powerful lobbying organization in Washington, that I had probably never heard of the most powerful ones. The idea here is that when you’re truly powerful, you can get people not to talk about you at all; it’s better to bribe everyone quietly than to be Public Lobby Number One. I understand that the NRA thrives off controversy but I wonder if that’s true of the Israel lobby too. I suspect it isn’t, and that it was a mistake to pick a fight over Hagel, though from what I understand this may be more Shelly Adelson and a bunch of secret donors than it is AIPAC:

I understand how politically popular Israel is on Capitol Hill, but its still somewhat amazing just how completely questions about Israel have dominated the Hagel confirmation hearings.

At a certain point, this starts to turn the public off. Israel would be better off getting its $3 billion a year from the US in silence, IMHO.

The whole “pro-Israel/anti-Israel” thing is dumb…why is it “pro-Israel” to encourage the Israeli government to pursue an overly aggressive dead-end strategy (similarly, of course, why was it pro-America to want the US to pour thousands of lives and billions of dollars into Iraq)? But even if you take the right-wing definition of “pro-Israel” at face value, I don’t think clown shows like the Hagel confirmation have a “pro-Israel” effect.