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whatever happens

April 2017

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whatever happens

What's with Firefox? That browser used to load so swiftly - much faster than IE. Not anymore. Much to my shock, IE loads faster. And as much as I hate to give any credit to Microsoft, they were smart enough to add my favorite thing, the tabs, to IE. I may give up Firefox, after all these years.

Thursday night, we got a very unpleasant surprise. One of our stray cats, Splot, was lying on the ground near the driveway, dead. She was still warm, even. She was lying on her side as if she'd just stretched out. She hadn't been ill, her weight was good, and her coat was still silky. There was no sign of trauma on her. We considered snakebite, but because she was never too smart and had recently gotten into the habit of crossing the street a lot, our belief is that she was bumped by a car and only made it to the driveway before dying. I was never really attached to her, so I don't need sympathy, but my roomie was, and it's always a tragedy when an animal dies.

Recently, I discovered a movie indirectly through my flist - from gregx, to be exact - called Good Night, and Good Luck. Every once in a while, I run across a movie which is so thought-provoking that I think everyone should see it, and this is one of them. On the surface, it's a look at Edward R. Murrow tackling Sen. Joe McCarthy. (And anyone on my flist who doesn't know those names, shame on you and/or your education!) But what it's really about are deeper and more pervasive issues: that if we allow our freedoms and rights to be overrun by fear, then we stand to lose them; that television truly is an opiate, allowing entertainment to invade our homes in a pervasive manner and dull our intellects; that journalism has a social responsibility to the truth - not just facts, but The Truth - which it has largely abandoned due to the pressures of capitalism. George Clooney is not just a pretty face! (He cowrote and directed it.) The companion piece on the DVD is fascinating, although not as fascinating as the movie itself. On a strictly entertainment level, besides Clooney himself (who tries, without complete success, to hide his pretty-face), it casts one of my favorite actors, David Strathairn, as Murrow, and he brings the right gravity and intellect to the role. Everyone in the film is good, but a standout is an actor I actually don't like, Ray Wise. The only fault with the film that I can find is that it is too short - I could have spent at least another hour with those people. Although I enjoy being opiated with entertainment, just as much as everyone else, I do like an occasional splash of cold water on the face, which I manage about once a month. Good Night, and Good Luck was that splash. As an indictment of journalism and capitalism, it's a lovely illustration of Kat's Rules of Life #3 - "There is no idea so good that humans can't f*ck it up." It avoids the obvious and isn't an indictment of our government, by the way, showing the good and the bad of Congress and the military, and thereby leaving the social conscience squarely in the laps of us, the citizens.

I am working on my Nano and will soon - to be merciful to my flist - stop talking about it here and switch to my nanokat LJ for it. I am considering posting it as I compose it, but I'm not sure anyone would read it if I did. And it would be raw first draft, too. *wince*

I am still playing games, Kingdom Hearts at the moment, when I should be writing. But the bad weather is leaving me so fatigued that I find thinking difficult and creativity nearly impossible.

And that is my life for the moment, in no particular order, excepting bitching about my job (which, actually, requires very little bitching these days!) and money. You can go back to your life now! :)


I'm sorry about your cat. Losing an animal is, as you say, always a tragedy.

My brain is not functioning well enough to comment on the movie, but it looks like it's well worth a look if I ever get in the mood to watch anything that doesn't just take me away from reality.

Oh, and I haven't been having any trouble with Firefox at all, so perhaps it's something on your end?

Talk to you this afternoon. :)

Edited at 2009-09-27 03:55 pm (UTC)
Firefox is still, for the moment, safer than IE (less security holes). My main disappointment with Firefox 3 comes from the so-called "Awesomebar" which I don't find awesome at all, just annoying, and last time I checked, there still wasn't a quick and easy way to simply turn it off. I would have had to download an extension that made the bar act like the old search bar or another one that would have made it look like the old search bar but still pretty much acted the same. I chose to downgrade to Firefox 2.0 instead. There were other things that bugged me about FF 3, like the buttons being too big. IE still loads slowly for me and many options seem to have changed drastically from the times when I used it on a regular basis, and now I don't always know how to use the darn thing.
There used to be a clear difference between IE and FF, lately it seems like they're both just getting more confusing and user-unfriendly. Time to switch to Safari? :/

"On the surface, it's a look at Edward R. Murrow tackling Sen. Joe McCarthy. (And anyone on my flist who doesn't know those names, shame on you and/or your education!)"

I, err....don't know those names? Actually, I do know the second one, only I don't know what they're famous for. However, I have heard that the movie is very good, so I may give it a try sometime. A quick summary of those two characters might aid my understanding of the film, if you can be bothered to write one up.
LOL! Sorry, I forget about my international friends.

Quick thumbnail description:

Edward R. Murrow is the US's most famous journalist. He rose to fame through radio reports from London during WWII, and then became an important broadcaster on the new medium, TV. He is remembered for his high standards for journalism, his courage, and his integrity.

Joe McCarthy was a US Senator who headed up a committee in the early 1950s that investigated "un-American activities", in particular anything that was communist. He's famous for being the leader of a witch-hunt, during which a climate of fear pervaded the country. People could be denounced by anyone - relatives, neighbors - and condemned without trial or any real evidence. They'd lose their jobs, friends, even family, and could be jailed as well. McCarthy's scare tactics trampled all over Americans' civil rights, and his prime targets - artists of all kinds, dissidents, anyone who criticized the government, along with a lot of other people who just happened to be in the wrong place - were reminiscent of the Nazi administration.
Thanks for the explanation. I've heard of "McCarthyism" and had a vague idea what kind of practices it referred to, but it's good to have more background to the issue.
And you, being Finnish/Dutch, are forgiven. No reason for you to know the dark byways of mid-twentieth century American history.

If my kid makes it out of high school and doesn't though -- that will be bad, and an indictment of our educational system here in town.
I like knowing this stuff, though. We get a lot of American entertainment over here, including movies and talk shows and sometimes it helps to get the joke if you have some knowledge of the historical or cultural context. Chris and I are both bona fide geeks and I suspect we both know a lot more about American (pop) culture than your average Dutch/Finnish person.:P
You probably know more about our history than most Americans! Going around talking about this movie, I've been *shocked* at how many people younger than me have never heard of McCarthy. And now we have roughly the same situation going on, and as the saying goes, those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.
Well, quite honestly I think we talked about Murrow and the broadcasts from London sometime in -- Jr. High? Maybe in English, not Social Studies... But it was my mom who told me he took down McCarthy.

On the other hand, our school system was lousy on 20th c. history. We got past the Civil War and into the early industrial revolution, but never made it to WWI much less WWII or Korea except for once in 11th grade. My modern American/world history knowledge I owe to my parents who saw it as current events....

The one place my education failed me. There are classes I should have taken more of, like science or art -- but they were available, it's my fault I didn't sign up for them or learn the subject. It was taught. But the local schools did a really bad job on history after -- oh, 1880 or so.

Jesskat, I love that icon!
No -- not another cat. Too much death this year...

I missed that movie in the theaters when it came out and only just saw it myself. Truly wonderful. I heard Clooney interviewed shortly after it was released and he said the only thing some of the critics complained about was that the actor who played McCarthy had overacted, not realizing they had used actual news footage of the real Joe McCarthy.

Weird about the browsers... I just changed to Firefox because my IE went wonky...
Thanks for the compliment? But no, this year I'm doing a fantasy. It'll be a big story - 10 POVs. *wince* Well, at least with that many, I won't have trouble with the word count.