New Years Day 2010

2010 is here.

Doesn’t look so tough.

Only 365 moving parts.

CCCLXV is actually an interesting number, being a biprime centered square number.

It is also the fifth 38-gonal number.

I think it is also the smallest whole number that can be expressed with more than one string of consecutive square numbers.  For instance:

365 = 13² + 14²
365 = 10² + 11² + 12²

See?  High School still counts.

I got this.

New Years Eve

Here on the dark eve of a new year, I sit quietly at a friend’s house considering the year ahead and the year behind.

Work taken up and work laid down.
Friends gained and friends lost.
Sunrises and sunsets.

All that.

I am reminded of how few in number are the truly meaningful things in life, and how our lives are frequently cluttered by emotional debris we hold in tight, choking orbits.

So much of life is noise: dark minds, cold souls, scarred children who grew up to be scarred adults, the old tired patterns of force.

The doubtful.
The selfish.
The petty.
The addicted.
The insecure.
The deranged.
The merciless.
The hopeless.
The charlatans.
The imposters.
The weak.

…and the fearful.

Broken generations begetting broken generations.  Each after its own kind, giving rise to broken ages.

So much of our time is spent trying to deceive and distract ourselves from the liberating clarity of the heavenly peace insinuated through the hours of each and every day.

They aren’t grains of sand in the hourglass.  They are tiny diamonds.

How simple it all really is.

The dishonest man reads a holy work and fantasizes God is a myth.

The honest man reads a holy work and realizes Man is the myth.

It is a mad drama to think otherwise.

So what are the Good Guys to do in 2010?

Same thing they were called to do in 2009.

Stand the hazard.

The White City

I had a very vivid dream in which I visited The White City.

A high-fantasy fortress, everything in The White City was, well, white:

The colossal walls with their exquisite friezes; the ornate patterns of the cobblestone streets made of a million stamped, five-sided bricks; long, leaping tendons of stone that fused into bridges, buttresses and fantastic terraces; the odd porticos, carved columns and seducing statuary; the sculpted stone doors hewn so thin as to appear as diaphanous sheets of rune-bearing bone; the milk white steel of flowery hinges, ornate hasps and clever, scrolling bolts; the seemingly seamless fence of helical minarets, twisted miradors and sky-aimed towers; the cryptic design of a vast park of white-stained glass optic devices, armillary spheres and other astrological henges; the albino brass markers countersunk into the streets, walls and arches of the city like a grid of glyphs; the wide, five-sided moat of white wine that surrounded The White City.

Within this snow-blinding, five-sided city moved its wise yet indistinguishable population, which among their number not a rebellious hue of color could be found.

Their eyes, skin, hair, nails, lips, and the entire spectrum of their raiment—cloaks, crowns, plate armor—could scarce be separated from their colorless keep.

Not even a shadow could be found in The White City.

It was as if there was such a perfect ambiance of day that neither priority of light, nor deficit in the bright pervasive alabaster, could be found.

As I moved through The White City I pondered if such a place had ever known Night, conceived of Darkness, or had ever entertained or even dreamed of a defiant shade. Surely it was a place with no word for black, or the countless other chromatic compromises that hide in prisms.

I didn’t want to leave.

For all was perfect in The White City, for there was neither blame nor blemish.

There was only gleam.

Stainless and saintly.

Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy

I am not really a fan of this film.  The principal reason for this is Troy, like The Watchmen, being entertainment, breaks my the cardinal rule:  the bad guys win.

In our cynical age, where we have become to shallow to be inconvenience by hard work, ethical standards, or fair play, we have become cold, sarcastic and aloof.  How many of you have heard the worn-out phrases re-imagine or deconstruct—these are catch phrases used by people who don’t understand any given source material as it is originally presented.

Let me translate.

These phrases mean “I’m stupid, and I don’t get it, so I am going to bring this high work down until I can understand it with my limited intelligence.”

So, returning to my point:

Simply putand I will go into greater detail of this consideration in my new personal blog in 2010—I don’t need Hollywood to make motion pictures in which the  bad guys win.

I have the  blood-drinking news media for that.

But the most grievous crime committed in Troy, is its total disprect, in fact it’s inversion, of the original source material.  This is not an interpretation of Homer’s  Iliad, but a secularized attempt to pervert the Iliad’s theme antithetically.

The Iliad is absolutely replete (pregnant) with gods and goddessess:  Greek religion, mythology, theology, spirituality—and they are not idle.  The deities in The Iliad are proactive, reactive, and interactive.  Wolfgang Petersen decided to strip the active spiritual canvass of this religious work out of the film.  Now, if he had  stopped there, okay, fine: we got a swords-and-sandal movie.

But Mr. Petersen takes the extra step of then turning The Iliad into an anti-religion soapbox.

This is like making a Holocaust movie in which you remove the Holocaust, blame the  Jews and treat the Nazis as the good guys.

Now, whatever your personal opinion of The  Mystery (spirituality) is irrelevant.  You don’t  subvert the work of others entrusted to you.

This is why sermons are best left to priests and preachers, not filmmakers.

What You Get with James Cameron

James Cameron

I am eager to see James Cameron’s much anticipated return to feature length film with Avatar.

In reviewing Cameron’s filmography, one is immediately struck by his stark style, perfunctory dialog, heavy archetypes, moody blue cinematography and maternal cords.

This is a man who doesn’t believe in subtext of almost any kind. His work is universally blunt.

Still, his two primary strengths are his dedication to putting as much money on screen as humanly possible, and his fierce fidelity to good, if not outright great, pacing. When you see a James Cameron movie you get your money’s worth. The money is on the screen — every penny. Few people can move a story along as expediently as this Canadian filmmaker.

With Avatar I am expecting a first rate if not revolutionary 3D experience, astounding special effects and next generation rendering, and solid pacing.

I predict the plot will be basic if not wholly obligatory, hammered into place with dull archetypal nails and unremarkable dialog. There will also be a notable discrepancy in how the corporate forces will be lit, staged and shot and how the lush, fluorescent jungles of the natives will be shown.

Still, I have to say I am excited to see so expensive a work in the hands of one of Hollywood’s few remaining good filmmakers.