Monday, June 26, 2006

Obscure Movies I Love, pt. 2: A Shock to the System

Michael Caine has been in about a bazillion movies. Some went largely unnoticed by the movie-going public. One of those was the delightfully dark 1990 film, A Shock to the System. I'm not even sure if this had a theatrical release, or if it was straight to video.

Aside from Mr. Caine, the movie had a great supporting cast, such as Peter Riegert and Elizabeth McGovern. The movie centers around Caine's character, one of several middle-age ad execs who are getting passed over and pushed out in favor of young, irritating yuppies. For awhile, Caine is the whipping boy, doormat for the New Corporate Order of the self-obsessed 80s yuppies, until a chance encounter with a bum changes his attitude...

This movie is like a murder mystery in reverse. You get to see the killer plotting his moves, calculating the angles, and dodging suspicion. And it's the killer you're rooting for, because his victims are the soulless embodiment of greed. So yeah, it's a bit on the dark side, but it's the dark side we all wish at one time or another we could walk. Well written, well acted, and I would say well directed, this is a great movie that should have been big but wasn't. An evil take on the greedy culture that begat the amazing movie Wall Street.

Netflix has this one. Check it out if you haven't seen it yet. If you have, post your thoughts here!

Mattbear out.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Do you love music?

Then you need Pandora.

Oh man, this is the coolest thing I've seen in awhile. A brilliant use of technology. The Music Genome Project, a collaborative effort to create a detailed analysis of the evolution of music, have created this online service. Pandora lets you create up to 100 "radio stations" to listen to by entering an artist name or a song. Then it plays songs with similar qualities to that. You can vote them up or down, which helps determine what gets played next.

You can also help guide your "stations" by choosing "Add more music to this station". For instance, I created a station based on AC/DC. To help guide it, I added Jackyl to the station.

This service not only gives you a chance to listen to music you love, but also will introduce you to new music you may like.

Of course, it has extra little "widgets" like RSS feed, and code you can add to your blog to show your stations (and others can listen to them), or favorite songs, or favorite artists. You can see my stations in my sidebar there.

Enjoy. Mattbear out.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Just a brief post with some linky-linkys.

The Chinese get super-efficient when it comes to executions.

Photographer goes to small town, takes pictures of all the people. Goes back 20 years later, photographs them again. Pretty interesting, really.

Make your own high-definition projector. Oh man I want to do this.

The freak flag was flying at Stonehenge for the solstice today.

AT&T fucked its customers' privacy rights in the ass today. Hard. With no lube.

-Mattbear out.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


There's a group out of Minnesota urging people to submit what is called a "memorial", basically a formal citizen complaint/demand, to Congress to impeach Bush. In theory, submitting these memorials is a way to initiate impeachment proceedings. It has been used before successfully to impeach a federal judge.

I urge all who read this to go to and download the Do-It-Yourself Impeachment PDF file. Follow those instructions and help impeach the most corrupt President this nation has ever had. Also, please spread the word. Post this on your journal/blog (who cares if the same 5 people who read this also read yours? let's peer pressure 'em), e-mail it to your friends, whatever it takes to spread the word.

Who knows if it will work. Congress may ignore it all. But I hope not. All I know is, I cannot sit idly by and watch the current "administration" continue its reign of crime unchecked. Knowing others are being drummed up to do this, to give voice to our common complaint - I cannot in good conscience ignore this opportunity to make ourselves heard.