Sunday, September 20, 2009

It takes two: TGR ski porn milks the skier/camera interaction.

Watching the TGR premier in Jackson Hole is great for two reasons: local footage and stoked locals. They always have a substantial portion of local footage that plenty of locals in the room have also skied. Even though these are some of the most jaded been-there-done-that skiers anywhere, they still went wild for several parts of the flick such as the ridiculously deep, dry powder in Haines and really tight couloirs in the North Cascades.

The movie's title refers not just to the zeitgeist across the country this last winter, but also to TGR's own situation. They too, had to tighten their belt for this production with the loss of Jeep as their primary sponsor. Amazingly, RE:SESSION was put together without a big auto sponsor that was key to their initial success. That they can now put out a movie without one shows how far they've come since Continuum.

That said, they definitely are cutting corners to focus on the meat and potatoes of jib/park sessions, AK big-mountain freeriding, and hucking. There's some powder, some incidental shots of the new tram, and a tacked-on tribute to Shane McConkey, but no real storyline, plot development or examination of the characters. This is the same complaint many people make about porn though, and this is ski porn. What most people want is to cut straight to the action. Methinks it has more to do with limited budgets than lack of creativity. In fact, I would expect a challenge such as this to stimulate the creative minds of the Tetons to make something new happen.

And that's what I was originally thinking about as I watched the movie and noticed a somewhat flat response in the crowd to some sections. The athletes are still there doing their thing, but the rad heli-cam might have been curtailed, leaving it up to the magic between skier and camera, instead of the mechanics. I am saying that some of the shots were unimaginative and unimpressive, but as skiers continue to play with the different features of the mountain and the photogs/videogs learn to make the most of this tightened budget situation, we will continue to see innovation and be impressed in new ways by the art of filming skiing.

So who wants to play?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wingnut healthcare opposition: "I got mine!"

I like to keep in touch with the fringe. By that, I mean groups and people interested in the same issues as me, but with completely illogical stances on the issues. I listen to Rush and Savage on occasion. Since I got seriously informed and active about health care reform this spring, I have spread a lot of my thoughts on Facebook -and so have other health care reform activists, but one group of very fringe folks is catching my attention. They are calling their group "Hands Off My Health", like the government is going to come and put lead in their coffee, mercury in their toothpaste, bury dioxin in rusting barrels in their backyard, clog the toilet with paper towels and leave. It's got a lot of misinformation, anti-government blathering, and general opposition to anything except Republican hegemony. It's kind of the teabaggers of health care. Here are some posts that give good examples of the thought process in the "Nobama" camp.

[Looney associations and thoughts that were only half-finished when they left the author's head]:

Deborah A. Talmadge Obama forgets that allopathic medicine killed George Washington....They bled him and then decided to give him 65 miligrams of mercury......the cure was worse than the illness, kind of like cemotherapy. Obama is trying to get rid of naturepath's. I have great allopathic medical coverage, but chose go to a naturepath and that cost me.
Obama needs to get it togeather[sic].

Jennifer Kent
"We don't know what it would be like to be treated as second rate citizens just because we're not insured. Sadly, good friends of mine do. Affordable health care plans should be available to every citizen."

Last sentence is correct and is currently true in the U.S. The fact that any number of people are uninsured is not an argument for health care reform nor is it an indication of failure of our current system. That's one of the biggest fallacies that underlie Obamacare.

Arrogant bully? That's funny. Obama makes Bush look like the picture of modesty and graciousness and gentleness. I find it hilarious that people criticize Bush for the very traits that describe Obama: arrogance, lack of class, non-intellectual (yes, Obama may use fancy words thanks to his speech writers but catch him on the fly and he sounds unprepared, uncouth, and very ignorant.) ...

The emperor has no clothes, people!

[Threats against the president for trying to do what all other industrialized countries already do for their citizens]:

Sharon Donehey Obama's attempt to turn America into the euro-socialist nanny state of his dreams deserves to fail. Sic semper tyrannis!

[Really flimsy attempts to gloss over the central issue in the health care debate (whether Americans should join together to provide health care to all or if we should go everyone for themselves) with presumptive statements]:

Cheryl Leger Osipov
[Obama] has a track record of lying. Too many ignorant Americans who chose to forget campaign promises that were made to them. And too many ignorant Americans who refuse to remove their blinders and see what's happening. If they believe it's all for the common good - then it's okay, right? Common Good is Socialism. I'm all for charity and helping out, ... but it's not the governments responsibliity to provide my healthcare or welfare. Unfortunately, we've raised a society of entitlement thinking people - it's EASIER to let the government do it for me instead of being responsible for themselves. God forbid - one be responsible for their own bills and themselves?! What a concept!

[Just despicable "I'm worth more than anyone else" crap]:

Joseph Bennett
Joseph Bennett
Hamish - We can kick 25% to 50% of the uninsured out of this country if we enacted a 21st century iteration of "Operation Wetback."

Also, why should I have to wait in the same "Universal Healthcare" queue as a welfare recipient and her ten bastard kids, when I have an advanced degree and contribute far more to the local, state, and federal tax coffers in one year than they ever will?

[And the usual "love it or leave it" assinine ultimatum]:

Bart Cauley
Bart Cauley
hamish your a ifoolish person go live in one of those nations and get terminally ill you will begging for private insurance from America a first rate nation.. It sad that you want something easy and free get a job pay for it and get what you pay for..

Helen Joyce Box
Helen Joyce Box
this person sounds so immature &
uniformed & needs a lesson in history,
& needs to move where they have socialized medicine

My response, after reading a fiery blog on Huffington Post that basically told the "love it or leave it" crowd to get with the program -as in, the "America is a democratic nation and we are all in this together" program, was this piece of my own vitriol:

I wish to tell these kick-the-ladder-down types to go take their selfish, greedy, idiotic tribe and do what they keep telling us, the majority, who LOVE AMERICA, to do: "Go find yourself a floating island, an uninhabited bomb test site -a space station for all I care- and start your own libertarian paradise where you have to pay just to breathe. And when you need laborers because you need to build your profits on someone else's slaving, you want to gobble up America's natural resources or use our military to "defend" your corporate interests...Well! You can just pay them a living wage and also compensate the state for educating them so they are knowledgable in math and literacy, adding to their productivity; and you, my cloistered "free-marketeers", you can pay us a hefty sum for using in a few centuries what took the earth eons to create -with a disastrous environmental impact on the most vulnerable of us- and then, dear Teabag Patriots, you can defend your own damn corporations if you really think they are so holy that foreign countries have no business kicking us out when our corporations buy out their governments, rape their resources, enslave their labor and in-debt their children. When you're ready to talk about paying the bottom 95% of this country for what you currently get FOR A SONG, then...just maybe then...we'll consider your proposal. Until then, accept that Universal Health Care is going to be good for all Americans (including you!) and the same goes for the next piece of progressive change. After seeing the result of Americans working for change that benefits us all, I hope you don't make us force a healthier environment, living wages, and corruption-free public campaigns down your throat.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Enzi gets it

When it comes to health care reform, my senator Mike Enzi gets it -he just doesn't put it all together.

Enzi in 2006: "If you have no insurance, it doesn't matter what services are mandated by the state." (His excuse to vote AGAINST legislation that would stop insurance companies from listing spousal abuse as a "pre-existing condition" that allowed them to rescind the policy.)
Enzi in 2009: "If I hadn't been involved in this process would already have national health care." "National Health Care", one has to assume, would include a mechanism to provide or mandate insurance for the whole nation. So the Senator knows that reforms of insurance has no affect on the uninsured, but is working AGAINST covering the uninsured.

Enzi sees the gaps, but doesn't want to enact the reforms.