Archive for the Polls Category

Movie Review: Timer

Posted in Cinema Reviews, Polls with tags , , on July 8, 2010 by Verge

Would you want to know the future?  That question alone has been explored in films before.  Most of the time it comes in the form of a traveler from the future trying to warn us.  But Timer, the directorial debut feature from Jac Shaeffer, moves the dilemma from the distance of the future to the very immediate present.   What if there was device that could tell you, to the second, when you would look into the eyes of your soul-mate for the very first time.  Would you want it?

An Indie film that appears on the surface to be just another romantic comedy proves to cut much deeper into philosophical dilemmas than an initial impression might imply. With a very brief explanation, and a solid dose of suspended disbelief, we are presented with the “Timer.”  Taking place in modern New York, this quasi sci-fi flick employs a wrist embedded countdown clock  to unravel the classic romantic tug-and-pull storyline with a serious moral dilemma.

Once attached to your wrist, the Timer finds your soul mate and displays the exact days, hours, minutes and seconds until you meet that person.  There are a few catches, though.  For one, you can only see the countdown if your soul mate also has a timer implanted.  Until then, it just looks and waits and displays straight zeroes.  Secondly, if you ever choose to remove your timer, biologically, you cannot ever have it re-implanted.  This setup cast doubt over many of our gut reactions to the formerly easy decision of discovering our life long soul mate.

Our main character, Oona, and her sister have both chosen to implant timers in an effort to avoid the pitfalls of marriage as we know it.  In the day of timers, divorces are non-existent.  Happiness is a guarantee when you eventually find your match.  It can range from never, to 5000 days to even just a few hours.  Oona has no match yet, and she decides to force potential partners to get timers implanted t0 decide whether to continue dating them or lose the “dead end” right away.

Problems arrive when she inadvertently falls in love with a young boy who is well below her league but curiously attractive.  He has a timer as well, and he’s all set to meet his soul mate in just a short four months.  At first, it makes for the perfect, extended one night stand as Oona waits for her timer to finally find her a mate, but emotions don’t make things so easy.  The movie unravels with a peppering of clock imagery, carefully thought-out dialog and a twisting of existential debacles.

A staggeringly serious movie cleverly cloaked as a chick flick, I highly recommend you watch this film with an open mind.  With the same seriousness, I invite you to ponder the following poll.  Please leave your responses as comments on this blog so that others may respond.


Eating Dolphins & Poll # 2 — What Would You Eat??

Posted in Polls, Vegan and Vegetarian Lifestyle with tags , , , on March 9, 2010 by Verge

The other night, in case you were unaware, was the Academy Awards.  That’s just another pat-ourselves-on-the-back, Hollywood bullshit fest in general, but it does give us some insight.  The award winners in each category are not based on statistics, but rather the Academy members’ collective opinions.  While the film that makes the most money doesn’t get an award, sometimes a ground-breaking movie with relatively little known actors, that didn’t make a ton of money, gets an award.

Yeah, they love to glorify each other, but once in a while, they have some class, too.  But what’s more is that because the votes are a result of Academy members’ opinions, and Academy members are most certainly a part of pop culture (every one of them, to some degree), it would be fair to say that the Academy Awards are a pretty decent reflection of current popular opinion in Hollywood, if not the entire country.

This past weekend a movie called “The Cove” won a statue for Best Feature Documentary.  The subject of this film is basically the fishing practices of the indigenous people of Taiji, Wakayama,  Japan.   They practice a fishing technique called dolphin drive hunting in which bottle nose dolphins are cornered into an inescapable inlet and then attacked with spears and knives, dragged ashore, and killed for meat and lard.

While I think it is fairly obvious that I don’t approve of these practices, it raises several intriguing questions.  There are so many lines to be drawn between what is and what is not acceptable in these practices, but I’m focusing on just one.  What is it that Westerners, and really, most of the world, find despicable in killing and eating dolphins?

Rightly so, the leaders of this community either refuse to comment on the recent publicity and controversy surrounding their culture or they shoot right back.  While they kill dolphins with their bare hands and hunting skills, America raises, tortures, slaughters and gets fat (financially and physically) on a lifetime of animal abuse for the convenience of a dollar double cheese burger.

It has been their culture for 400 years to corner the local dolphins, kill them and eat them.  Never mind that it is gruesome.  Now that this movie has gotten an Academy Award, many will watch and shun the Japanese culture and their mistreatment of innocent animals.  There are many documented accounts of a much higher degree of disgusting treatment withing our own borders, but those movies don’t win awards.  I don’t wonder why.

So, is it that dolphins are smart??  That they look  kind of cute?  Pigs are just as smart as dolphins.  They have been know to use tools, to be easily trained, and are estimated to have the intelligence of a 3 year old human child.  But shit… this country love bacon.

Some things on the farm get to live, and some get to be dinner.  The cow, chicken, and pig…they’re dinner.  But for some reason, the horse, mule, donkey, dog and barn cats get to live.  Why??  Okay, maybe the cats don’t offer that much meat.   Maybe the horse is just too damn muscular to be tender.  But why don’t we force feed the cats corn for three months, fill them with steroids and fatten them up for a snack?  Why don’t we cage young horses in dark rooms and starve them so their muscles don’t have the opportunity to develop, and make them delicious?

So, I present to you the “What Would You Eat” Poll.  I’m not talking about what extent you would be willing to go in a catastrophe.  I’m not talking about what you would be willing to eat on a dare, or for money, or in a foreign country while visiting.  I’m asking what you would eat if it was considered normal, everyday food in America.  Is what we eat really a direct result of what is culturally acceptable??  Do we only find flavor in things we don’t consider pets??  It’s a truly anonymous poll, so answer truthfully and marvel at the results.  The answers are randomly ordered and you can check as many as you like, or add your own.

Poll # 1 — Cover Song

Posted in Polls with tags , , on March 3, 2010 by Verge
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