Friday, June 3, 2016

5 Things on a Friday: Trouble on Rogue One

Happy Friday, everyone!
It was a short week at our house, and yet it still felt incredibly full.  How the Hell does that happen?

1. North Korean state media offers support for ‘wise politician’ Donald Trump (Washington Post)

State outlet DPRK Today published an editorial on Tuesday that called the business mogul a "wise politician" and said he could be good for North Korea. “There are many positive aspects to Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies,'” the author of the article wrote, according to a translation from NK News. “Trump said he will not get involved in the war between the South and the North, isn’t this fortunate from North Korea’s perspective?”

The author of the editorial also dismissed Hillary Clinton, Trump's likely Democrat rival in the presidential race, calling her "dull" and warning that she hopes to use the "Iranian model to resolve nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula."
Donald Trump poses with one of Kin Jong-Un's female soldiers for a photo op.
Presented without comment because I’m still trying to stay more-or-less off politics for the rest of the election cycle.  I will say, however, that I’m surprised that N. Korea has said something positive about something American.
First came the leaked character and vehicle information for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and now, more disconcertingly, "Page Six" reports that the first cut of the movie is in ... and it didn't go over well.
"The execs at Disney are not happy with the movie, and Rogue One will have to go back into four weeks of expensive reshoots in July," an anonymous source told the paper.
Rogue One's tone has been anything but secret, and yet here we are.
Eh.  Y’know, the first cut of Smokey and the Bandit was so awful that no one could even understand the point of it.  Then they added the music and did a little additional editing, and it suddenly all came together.  In the end, Smokey and the Bandit was a great movie.
I’ve read that Rogue One’s problem is tone.  They pitched it as a war movie set in the Star Wars universe, and this is apparently exactly what they produced.  However, test viewers aren’t reacting to it because it’s not what they came in expecting to see.  Star Wars itself has a certain tone, and super-dark war flick ain’t it.  
Still, I’m a little torn.  On the one hand, I think making a war movie to sell the Empire as truly evil is a generally good idea.  Plus, it’s an out-of-the-box approach, and those are in short supply in modern movies.  And yet, the last thing that anyone needs is a grimdark Star Wars film.  I like my Star Wars without the goddamned Batman, thank you very much, and apparently I’m not the only one.
Anyway, if this Star Wars thing doesn't work out, we'll always have Monster Trucks.

3. Friday Hair Metal: The Ghost of Tom Joad

Been wanting to put a workout mix together, but unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just taping off a bunch of my favorite songs anymore.  Anyway, this is probably gonna be the second song in the mix, making it something of an uptempo warm-up.

 An ice cream truck driver tried to settle a turf dispute with a Midtown Manhattan pretzel vendor with a baseball bat to the head, the police said on Tuesday.
The attack was another skirmish in the continuing battles over territory between street-food vendors, notably ice cream sellers. It occurred several weeks ago, but the ice cream man, John Cicero, was not arrested until Tuesday, the police said…
New York Ice Cream, based in Queens, has been in the news lately — its drivers have shut the soft-serve giant Mister Softee out of Midtown, using threats and intimidation, Mister Softee officials said. East 54th Street falls squarely into New York Ice Cream’s Midtown territory.
My old boss sent me this one with a note calling it “an interesting story portraying local culture.”  The guys from New York Ice Cream certainly seem to take their “territory” seriously.  Mess with their turf, and you get busted upside the head.
Marriage ends up as a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully avoided investigating.
This article has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.  The author’s take is ludicrously pessimistic about marriage, and that’s no one’s fault but his own.  However, it gives me a chance—finally—to explain what I look for in a woman, which is a thing I’ve been dying to do for a while now.  
My theory on this is that you have to marry someone who shares the same basic interests as you and who wants to head in the same basic direction, and if you do that, and you’re not a selfish prick, you can pretty much make it work as long as you’re willing to be a team player.  By which I mean that you need to be willing to put the good of the team ahead of your own personal good because, bottom line, marriage is a team sport.  You either win or you lose as a team; your individual statistics are largely irrelevant except as they contribute to the success of your family as a whole.  This is why you need someone whose interests are compatible.  At the end of the day, it won’t work if you’re not both playing the same sport.
For me, that means looking for a woman who can do the following:
 -- Run a 10K in under an hour.
 -- Name the president of France.
Speaking personally, these seem like things that every college graduate should be able to do pretty easily.  However, every time I try to explain these criteria to someone, I invariably get an expression of slack-jawed incredulity.  
Is this really that weird?
Now look.  I was never out there giving fitness tests to would be suitors.  Likewise, I have never quizzed dates on European heads of state.  However, I’m an avid fitness buff and a generally well-informed guy, and I prize first and foremost the ability to have a conversation.  From experience, I know that I tend to get along best with fellow athletes and with folks who have a shared passion for the world around us.  No apologies.  I was simply lucky enough to find a partner who fit that general description.  
Still, people seem astonished.  I’m not sure what that says about me.
Today marks the 21st anniversary of my class's graduation from West Point.
With Honor We Strive
I've said this before, but the most amazing thing about the U.S. Military Academy is the people with whom you find yourself in company.  I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments of my classmates and feel both blessed and honored to have stood with them.  

It's been a good ride.

That’s all I’ve got, folks.  Have a good weekend.


  1. I have to disagree on your 'Rogue One' comments. I think a Grimdark Star Wars movie is exactly what we need to restore confidence in the Star Wars series.

    What's been produced so far has been...not Star Wars, IMO. The prequels were just bad, and Force Awakens was mostly crap, as far as I'm concerned.

    I really believe that a dark, brooding and gritty Rogue One is the only thing that will make Disney's new Star Wars worth keeping up with. It would harken back to the good novels like Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy. It would play into the truth of the SW's setting, IMO.

    1. We talked about this yesterday in my office, and I agree that I'd like to see that version of the movie. In fact, I'd like to see both versions. However, I really, really liked The Force Awakens, so it's hard to agree with the rest of that. Which is fine.