the end

so this is the end of politik1. i've decided to squash this blog and move onto a new one. i've realized that with a new year, a new blog is in order. that's why i've decided to do away with politik1. the new blog will still be focused on my writing, and it will still be political. at first, there won't be much difference, just a slightly different look and a new name. i have formatted the blog so that it will be more conducive to photos. eventually i may turn it into a multi-media blog (writing, video, photos, etc), not sure yet. i may get a HD video camera so i can take video around vancouver to go with my panoramic photos, we'll see what the canadian dollar does in the next six months. i don't know if i will merge my photoblog with the new one, but the option is there. for now, the photoblog will continue as a separate entity.

anyway, the new blog is blinksociety.blogspot.com. nothing is there right now, but there will be soon. take it easy. - loring.


state of the union

i thought about doing a best of list of what went down in the art world of music, writing and movies for me in 2007, but then i thought, fuck it. it's all in the past and the past doesn't matter. the future is where it's at.

and what's in my future? i don't know. but after a year of random crap, i know i have to refocus, and get back on track. and that begins with getting this blog back on track - sort of. i don't think i'll be doing much with this blog in 2008, except for its intended purpose, which is to focus on my writing. admittedly, i have written very little, virtually nothing, in the last six months. and i have no excuses. the truth is, creatively, there has been a drought. and i have been doing this long enough not to force it when it's not there. it's a lot like trying to start a car when it won't start. there's only so much you can do before giving up and just waiting it out. hopefully it will start up for you again enough to get you home, if you know what i mean.

the last week of 2007 has been my most productive, having written a total of four brilliant pages. no, not brilliant, but it's something. i've also done a lot of rewriting and rearranging, what with the plot changing virtually on a daily basis. as i write more, certain characters get pushed to the sidelines while others move to the forefront. it's typical of the writing process.

now what about the novel? this great canadian novel that i've been writing for the past two... three years? this novel that i wrote, then rewrote, then deleted, then subsequently wrote all over again? this novel, while political, is ultimately at its heart about two men looking for excuses as to why their lives aren't what they are supposed to be, why they fail to live up to the archetype of their fathers, and why they lay waste to their lives, not in a stylistic, over-the-top drug or alcohol induced way, but more in the subtle ways men tend to carve away at their own lives, only to wake up one day and realize they've made a mistake. ultimately what makes a man is not how much he can drink, or how much ass he can kick, but rather how he behaves in a crisis.

anyway, the question is will this novel ever be done? i don't know. it seems i've been writing the same novel for ten years, with each attempt at it being an improvement over the last, but not worthy of any sort of final product. hey, whatever. ultimately you can't regret anything. you just have to keep going, right?


little fucking robots

a month ago i posted some photos of my latest obsession: transformers movie toys. for some reason i cannot get enough of them. i have now collected all the ones that i find worth getting, and i figured i may as well share them with any and all geeks out there, as well as a few of my thoughts on each figure. again, as mentioned before, i think the reason i got into these is because it reminds me of what it was like to be a kid.

i know this blog has deteriorated into, well, crap, and i do apologize. i've just been so lazy about writing in general, and since i can't muster any desire to complete my novel, this blog has pretty much gone neglected. anyway, here they are:

top: voyager classes - ironhide, optimus prime, ratchet and starscream.
bottom: deluxe class - 77 classic bumblebee, concept camaro bumblebee, barricade and jazz.

there are a few that are missing, like megatron, brawl and bonecrusher, as well as various other versions of the same models, but i find the rest just aren't worth getting.

voyager class:
optimus prime: personally, i'm not too excited about this figure, but it's the best optimus there is for the movie line. there's a leader version about three times the price and size, but i didn't find it very good at all. way too big, looked horrific on the shelf, and really limited in articulation. basically, an overpriced paperweight. this voyager optimus prime, however, is pretty decent with excellent articulation and light piping (clear eyes that allow light to shine through).

ironhide: probably my favorite voyager class figure. his alt mode is excellent and his robot mode is pretty badass with those big guns. it's pretty movie accurate. only real downfall is that he's so dark colored. hard to see details. his cannons combine into one large one that you can mount on one arm and fire the missiles out of.

ratchet: this guy i basically got because i wanted to get all the autobots. his alt mode is oversized compared to the other voyager models, and it feels really cheap, but his robot mode is kind of cool with excellent articulation. he does, however, look a bit like frankenstein.

starscream: the only decent voyager decepticon figure, the alt mode is pretty cool, with spring-loaded missiles. his robot mode is kind of awkward looking. sort of like an insect squatting to take a shit. he also has charlie brown knee caps.

deluxe class:77 classic bumblebee: this version is the japanese version, which came with clear windows and hard plastic bits, compared to the very plain looking north american version with painted in windows and dull cheap yellow plastic. i really like the alt mode. it's very compact and tight. the robot mode is pretty bad with clown feet and spring-loaded missiles that you can put on his shoulders or hands.

concept camero bumblebee: probably the best of the bunch, this version of bumblebee has amazing articulation very movie accurate, and all around fantastic, both in alt mode and robot mode. his gun actually splits apart to reveal a clear blue energy blade. yes, geeky but cool.

jazz: the worst figure, barely worth purchasing. he's pretty ugly, his alt mode is pretty plain, but his robot mode at least has good articulation and great light piping. however, he's got these near non-existent t-rex-like hands that are pretty ugly. again, the only reason i got him was to complete the autobots.

barricade: one of my favorites, he's pretty awesome. his alt mode is probably one of the best, and his robot mode is just mean looking. like a bodybuilder experiencing roid-rage. he comes with a miniature frenzy that comes out of his chest.

transformers supply has been next to nothing this christmas season, but i figure in the new year stores will be restocking. deluxes range in price from $9-$15 canadian dollars, and voyagers somewhere at $20-30, depending on where you go. i wouldn't hit up ebay because the major chains should be restocking. however, if you're prone to laziness, then by all means, take advantage of ebay.

finally, as i mentioned before, there are many alternate versions and repaints of these figures. i didn't find any worth getting except for the "evolution of a hero" pack which included the north american 77 classic camaro and the battle damaged version of the camaro concept bumblebee. this was exclu
sive to target in the united states, and zellers here in canada. but that's only because that deluxe model is really cool regardless of paint job.

and finally, just to round out this post, here's a photo of one of the coolest christmas gifts i have ever received. it's a convoy ultra magnus ipod player. this figure throws back to my childhood.


pimping for jesus

british comedian pat condell on the u.s. election. well said.


david usher: music

mitt fit

republican nominee, mitt romney believes that "freedom requires religion. just as religion requires freedom." um, no. fuck you mitt.

via onegoodmove.


into the wild

in april 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of mt. mckinley. his name was christopher johnson mccandless. he had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter...

that's what it says on the cover of the book written by jon krakauer. i'm not giving away anything because it's not a story about christopher's life: it's a story about his death and the life that was taken. the film version of into the wild is faithfully directed by sean penn. when i read the book, it quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. even though i knew the outcome, there was so much tension and drama on every page. i was gripped. what's so interesting about the story is christopher mccandless himself. a young man so principled with his own idea of morality. a young man so desperate to experience life.

those who have read the book seem to have two different opinions of him. one group believes he was a selfish, stupid, careless kid who caused his family incredible grief and ultimately committed suicide. another group believes him to be a very smart and intuitive kid who was after something bigger than this life, something higher than material goods and human pettiness, who touched people's lives, and who ultimately made a fatal mistake. i've got a different opinion of him, but i won't say it because the beauty of the book and the way krakauer wrote it, is in the way it leaves it open for your own interpretation.

now, the movie however sort of robs you of that choice. sean penn, if you have heard any of his political rants, is very one-sided and is very vocal about his opinions. and here, he's no different. he directs the movie, a movie he's wanted to make for ten years but couldn't without christopher's family signing off on it, with plenty of passion and love for the subject. the only thing is, he shows christopher off as almost jesus-like, which i think is a mistake. he also does some very heavy-handed things in the end of the film which i think sort of takes away from the power of it. what penn does is focus so completely on what makes christopher great, he doesn't include any of the negative aspects of chris - the selfish kid, the naive kid, the hurtful and spiteful kid. i think if he had, it would have made a much better movie. personally, i love a hero with faults. penn makes christopher's story cut and dry, black and white, and that's a shame. he sort of forces his opinion on you, and i sort of resented the film for that. i also had a general problem with the movie where i felt hardly any emotion. it may be due to the fact that i had just read the book a couple weeks earlier. the book drained me emotionally, which is perhaps why the movie comes off as kind of lacking. the film has been well received by critics and audiences alike, however.

the film also has a great soundtrack by eddie vedder. vedder shows off some great original work as well as some awesome covers.

i must say that all in all, i do identify quite a bit with christopher. i understand his desire to experience something beyond this life. i understand his frustration with his father as well as society. i also understand his wanderlust. as much as i love city life, sometimes i think it will swallow me whole, which is why sometimes solitude and being comfortable with being alone is a good thing. the big different though is that i don't have the fortitude that he has of his principles, and ultimately, despite enjoying solitude, i eventually find my way back. unfortunately for christopher, he couldn't.

the following is the video for the cover "hard sun" as well as "society," a video some fan made with pics of pearl jam. enjoy.


9/11 conspiracy nutters

i am all about questioning everything. you shouldn't just blindly believe something just because someone told you it was so. otherwise, it borders on religion. however, there is a line where logic and reason is drawn, and conspiracy theories often test that. one such conspiracy theory is that the u.s. government purposely destroyed the world trade center towers on 9/11 in a controlled demolition. there are whole internet communities about this online. i've heard their arguments, and normally this is where i'd post a link to one website or another, but really, it's just not worth my time.

bill maher is back on the air with another season. these conspiracy theorists have apparently been getting at maher to bring up this topic on his shows, but he refuses to. it appears a couple of audience members decided they'd throw it in maher's face. what ensues is quite a funny little war of words.

and here is a more civilized discussion. maher interviews garry kasparov, chess grandmaster, and a candidate for president of russia. kasparov speaks with such intelligence and sophistication that it sparks remarks from maher and guests about how great kasparov is. very good interview.



so i basically have the whole book written out in my head. it's just a matter of getting it down onto paper, which is getting easier and easier as the days go by. it should be, considering i've been meditating on this story for at least a good year and a half. over the past few months, i've managed to put to rest some nagging personal and professional issues that have plagued me for the past year. i think this has allowed me to free up time and thought to finally get this book done. the only real question marks are when will i have it done? (i'm hoping for the end of the year) and which ending will i choose?
endings are tough, because a bad ending can ruin a good story and a strange ending can pervert the whole story. at the same time, you want an ending with some balls. at least i do, especially considering the themes that i will be discussing. the problem is that the ending i have in mind is great, but it borders on foreign art-film type stuff, which usually turns a lot of people off. i have read and seen a lot of stuff lately where the ending would wuss out even though overall it was a good move. i don't want to do that.
that being said, i have three endings in mind, all different variations of each other, but the book will be drastically changed depending on which ending i chose. at this time, my plan is to just write all three endings, and have friends read the book with all three endings and give me feedback, even though most of my friends consider feedback as, "that was good." or maybe I won't release all three endings and I'll just chose the best one and just fuck the audience over. we'll see. it's still a long ways away before i even write them.