March 01, 2007


Rocky-to...pero matón!

Several weekends ago, I did something I never thought I would: See Rocky in the theater again! And who would have thunk it, Rocky VI was actually an entertaining movie. Not close to the 1st one in terms of quality or the 4th as far as entertainment value goes--or even the 3rd if we focus on the soundtrack--but it was far from the stinker that was the 5th!

One actually feels that had this movie not required the obligatory climatic fight and boxing comeback, it would had potential to be a fine study of a past-his-prime dinosaur of a boxer struggling with life's actual challenges. Firstly, we're shown Rocky working at his italian restaurant--basically entertaining guests with boxing stories-- while copying with Adrian's death and his fame having created a chasm between him and his son. Secondly, Rocky meets a nice lady whith whom he strikes a blooming friendship and whose son he basically adopts as a proxy for his own estrangled offspring.

A widower living in his old neighborhood, surrounded by the hunting memories of his beloved wife, his son a grown man who keeps his distance, and new people coming into his life with the potential of at least partially filling the void inherent in these vacancies. Nice proposal for a story...till Stallone--who wrote, starred and directed--remembered that audiences wanted to see Rocky fight no matter what, so he conveniently concocted a poorly conceived stratagem to ensure Rocky would have an exhibition bout with the reigning world champion: A 50-something legend somehow needing to prove himself against an undefeated world champ in the prime of his career--and 30 years his junior--in order to be at peace with himself and ease the pain of his sweetheart's absence. Hmm...perhaps we should allow Buzz Aldrin to give it a shot at being the first human to step on Mars' soil! Hooray for the golden oldies! (Or not).

Clearly Stallone wanted to advance the plot towards the desired pugilistic finale sans caring for common sense. No problemo; everyone who attended this movie knew in advance that suspension of disbelief was of the essence. My beef concerns more the script's internal consistency (or its lacks thereof) than anything. Why, in the name of Evander Holyfield's bitten ear, should the 2 threads pertaining the new people in Rocky's life be completely disregarded for the rest of the film? Why introduce new characters who get emotionally involved with the Stallion during the first 40 minutes only to turn them into glorified cheerleaders for the rest of the movie? Right, makes no sense at all, and that was the flick's major flow, a huge divide between the character study posited at the beginning and the fight-oriented action into which the movie deviated for the remainder.

That being said, props for the great dialogue--and yes, acting!--in the reconciliation scene between Rocky and his son. Very human, very real. As to the eagerly-awaited fight, it was textured by way too many flashbacks compromising the emotion of the moment and detracting from the brawl's climatic emotional punch (no pun intended), although, at least, by the 10th round the excitement was actually unleashed and you could feel the purpose of the man from then on.

The metaphor of a boxing match being a reflection of one's own internal struggles in life was nicely represented and expounded upon--even if the circumstances to bring it about where somewhat forced, the music, as always, was captivating and totally attuned to the emotional moods of the film, and, overall, Rocky Balboa was entertaining. Its great fault of initially aspiring for too much and then settling for less can easily be forgiven thanks to the nice--if contrived--execution of an uplifting story with which every underdog can identify. With time, the (presumably) last installment of the Rocky saga would be fondly remembered as a fine film that, while cinematically being far away from brilliance, surpassed expectations and fulfilled the always noble task of instilling hope during these cynical times our society is undergoing. Now it's time to take off the gloves, get some camouflage on...and await the release of the newest chapter in John Rambo's lead-laden career.

(Even the blue-shirted dude in the below picture could beat Rocky in a fight. That's how far-fetched the posited scenario was!!!)

February 06, 2007


21 Questions...or more

A few days ago I was listening to the great tunes I had just downloaded, when it occured to me to multi-task by answering--in tongue-in-cheek mode--those silly web questionnaires that abound in message boards. So, without further ado, here's a couple Q sets.

1. Have you cried today?
No, but I have masturbated...thrice!
2. What time did you fall asleep last night?
Sleeping is for pussies.
3. What is usually the first thing you do when you wake up?
4. Do people ever spell your name wrong?
Yes, some write it quASSar.
5. Are you a good secret keeper?
Try me! (Or ask Victoria).
6. What's the latest you've ever woken up?
See above.
7. Name one word to describe your mom.
8. Name one word to describe your good friends.
9. What is the last thing you made fun of?
These silly questions.
10. Would you rather spend a whole day with your mom or your dad?Could you please include my Margaret Thatcher inflatable doll in the question!
11. What are you addicted to?
12. What is your favorite Disney movie?
The one with the prostitute.
13. When is the last time you vacuumed?
You can not be serious!
14. What room do you spend most of your time in in your house?
15. What are you going to be doing five hours from now?
What else? Masturbating.
16. Do you like funny or serious people better?
I like seriously unfunny gay black muslims better.
17. Did you eat a cookie today?
Nope (cockroach inside cookie jar).
18. What do you and your parents fight about the most?
Music, especifically, whether the Spice Girls are the female Beatles or not.
19.Do you believe you suffer from a psychological problem?Which one?Yes. I believe a rabbit inhabits my fridge.
20.Do you have a journal/Blog?
Blogging is for sissies. Wanna write? Write a book.
21.Last movie you saw and rate it.
The Holiday (e/pi).

Part deux

1.What does your MSN quote mean?
Exactly what it says: Quoting is for those who can't think for themselves. 2.How many band shirts do you have?
One: Citizen Dildo's.
3.What is your current problem?
My parachute ain't working...
4.If you could go back in time, and change something, what would it be?
I would put a camera in Jesus' tomb and wait for him to wake up.
5.Ever have a near death experience?
In this incarnation? No.
6.Name a physical fault you have?
Abnormaly large penis.
7.What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head RIGHT NOW?Right Now? Right Now (Van Halen).
8.Name someone with the same birthday as you:
My twin sister Brenda.
9.Have you ever sang in front of a large audience?
Sure. Where else could I get free vegetables!
10.What's your most recent mistake?
Fucked my GF's twin sister. Twice. (Come on, they look the same!).
11.Are you comfortable with your height?
I can dunk, what do you think?
12.What is the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you?Whisper in my ear: "Tonight, you completed me. By the way, do you have cab money?"
13.What is your favorite smell?
My farts.
14.Do you give random hugs and kisses?
Sure. In the monastery. Them nuns are da bomb!
15.Have you ever been rushed to the emergency room?
Yes (Viagra malfunction).
16.Choose one to have (love, beauty, creativity)?
A modern day Paris' dilemma? We all know how that turned out. I'll better pass.
17.Whose bed did you sleep in last night?
Can't afford one, but the floor ain't as cold as they say.
18.What were you doing at 11 last night?
What I do every night: Try to conquer the world (and download porn).
19.What's something you look forward to most in the next 6 weeks?
Paris Hilton's new sex tape. (Or Britney Spears getting preg. Again).
20.Do you think that someone is thinking about you right now?
Sure. Those who think about me outnumber the losers that don't.
21.Is your self-esteem low?
See question 6 above. What do you think?

January 19, 2007


Religión, política y tecnología: Eje del Mal?

Una breve reflexión distópica focalizada sobre la evolución y perspectivas futuras de la religión --con énfasis en el catolicismo--, y secundariamente versante acerca del potencial papel de la tecnología para frenar la influencia religiosa y potenciar la manipulación política sobre la sociedad.

Los mitos religiosos, tradiciones y rituales, no son más que un simple contexto para la más expedita y sencilla diseminación de la base ética y moral subyacente, la cual debería apuntar a mejorar la calidad de vida de los fieles, en particular, y la sociedad, en general. Mientras la religión sea inculcada como mecanismo para infundir estos principios, todo está bien. De hecho, uno de los aspectos positivos de la institucionalización de la religión es el proporcionar una terapia psicológica masiva que enriquezcala vida de muchas personas. El problema nace de las cúpulas eclesiásticas, ¡ésas no son tanto de confiar!

Utilizando para fines ilustrativos el catolicismo romano, la historia es clara en su dictamen: persecuciones contra aquellos que osaran tergiversar la verdad por ellos propugnada (por temor a perder su dominio ideológico), fraude documental (Donación de Constantino, que falsamente alegaba que éste último había legado territorios a la Iglesia), manipulación ideológica con fines económicos (venta de indulgencias para asegurar la salvación), guerras de religión (Cruzadas), alianzas políticas (Sacro Imperio Romano y Estados Pontificios), pasividad cuando le correspondía denunciar (Holocausto), carencia de humildad para reconocer errores (perdón a Galileo extendido hasta 1992). La lista continúa...

Más contemporáneamente, la suntuosidad del Vaticano es antitética a las enseñanzas de Jesús, consideraciones políticas predominan sobre disciplinar los crímenes sexuales cometidos por muchos sacerdotes (sería un desastre de relaciones públicas que se destape el Pederasta-gate), la antipragmática postura doctrinaria contra el uso de preservativos a sabiendas de cuanta gente en África es víctima de los flagelos del SIDA y la sobrepoblación a causa de no contar con métodos de sexo seguro. La lista prosigue...

La realidad es que desde que una confluencia de improbables circunstancias le otorgó poder político, territorial e
ideológico a la Iglesia por allá del Siglo IV después de Jesús, ésta ha vivido en concubinato con todas las acciones que predican como "pecados". Con el paso del tiempo, modificación del panorama geopolítico y el surgimiento de avances tecnológicos --de la imprenta a Internet-- que han eliminado su monopolio sobre la mítica "Verdad", su esfera de injerencia ha ido erosianándose, reduciéndose en lo político y territorial, sin mencionar un decadente control ideológico sobre sus fieles.

Extrapolando con base en las tendencias actuales del caso particular de la Religión Católica, es natural presagiar que, con el paso del tiempo, la religión basada en una Iglesia de la cual emana una doctrina oficial y que rige ideológicamente las creencias de sus seguidores, va a ir en decadencia. A un menor grado, la creencia en Dioses va a ir reduciéndose. La Humanidad, a lo largo de su amplio espectro cultural, inicialmente postuló su existencia para atenuar temores derivados de su propia ignorancia y fragilidad ante la naturaleza que le rodeaba. Así,la furia de volcanes de repente podía ser aplacada vía sacrificios que complacieran al Espíritu superior que yacía en su interior.

Ciertas castas (que luego formarían lo que ahora conocemos como Iglesia) se aprovecharían de tales miedos y los explotarían para su propio beneficio, adquiriendo influencia y poder. Ley de Oferta y Demanda: El pueblo clama por Dioses que los protejan, y prontamente la necesidad es satisfecha.

(De hecho, la forma en que la Iglesia Católica utilizó su doctrina teológica para apaciguar los temores naturales de las personas, no dista mucho de cómo Hitler empleó su retórica nacionalista para ascender al Poder: Ambos prometían subsanar una necesidad carente proponiendo una solución que sólo bajo la oscuridad de la ignorancia y el idealismo originado de la extrema necesidad pudiera ser aceptada).

A medida que el Hombre se va acercando a descubrir su génesis --y así justificar su existencia prescindiendo del concepto de Dios-- el conocimiento de su mundo no solo se expande en magnitud y relevancia, sino que ahora puede ser transmitido de forma inmediata a cualquier rincón del globo, disipándose la posibilidad de mantener una hegemonía ideológica cimentada en la ignorancia y el temor.

La tecnología (derivada de la búsqueda sistemática del conocimiento --es decir, ciencia-- en clara oposición con el dogmatismo religioso) ahora permite dispersar con celeridad la sabiduría amasada a través de generaciones y fronteras geofráficas, de manera tal que se erradique la ignorancia sobre la que --en no pequeña parte-- se edifica el poder de las élites. Por eso, las diferentes Iglesias (así como las entidades seculares gubernamentales y corporativas) tendrán que hacer un drástico overhaul para impedir el éxodo de adeptos --en el caso de la primera-- y la conmoción social / revolución --en el caso de los segundos--.

Desde el punto de vista del catolicismo romano, la asimilación de este nuevo paradigma tecnológico es ya palpable en la clara brecha de espiritualidad entre las últimas 2 generaciones; no sería extraño augurar que, si en el próximo siglo la Iglesia omite cambiar drásticamente sus doctrinas, deberá resignarse a que sus fieles decidan llevar su vida espiritual...sin su intermediación.

Bajo la óptica política, la perspectiva desafortunadamente más plausible --y sombría-- permite vislumbrar el avance tecnológico como un medio al servicio de las altas jerarquías para propagar la desinformación sobre la cual mantener su sigiloso control ideológico sobre las masas inconscientemente una manera aún más imperceptible: Una nueva iteración del cíclico proceso de darwinismo político mediante el cual los paradigmas que rigen la sociedad varían y, paralelamente, los detentores del poder evolucionan para mantener incólume su hegemonía.

Independientemente que los medios para propagar la explotación se modifiquen, las cúpulas proactivamente hallaran la forma para mantenerse en pedestal de honor --el Olimpo no ficticio que informalmente, cual Moiras hilanderas, rigen los destinos de la sociedad moderna-- con vista panorámica sobre el caos social que se manifiesta en derroteros ajenos a su incumbencia. A veces el "progreso" no es más que un eufemismo para ocultar el cómo los nuevos paradigmas (tecnológicos, religiosos o de cualquier índole) no son más que una ingeniosa manera de disfrazar los nuevos modelos sobre los que se sustenta la persistente --y aparentemente imperecedera-- inequidad, cuya mezquina presencia es tristemente una de las constantes más claras a través de los apróximadamente 5,000 años de vida "civilizada" de la raza humana.

(Lo anterior, claro está, si nuestra civilización no se autodestruye en el proceso, pues el conocimiento bien puede ser una Caja de Pandora disfrazado con traje de oveja).

January 16, 2007


Golden Globes 2K + 7

The predictions were mostly correct: A Helen Mirren sweep winning best actress for The Queen (drama) and Elizabeth I (TV film). Meryl Streep's pact with the devil was succesful, taking home the Globe for Prada (supporting role, comedy). Sacha Baron Cohan gave Kabul a thrill with his taking of the GG for Borat (main actor, comedy). The big winner, as expected, was "DreamGirls," gathering not only best musical / comedy but a couple of acting awards as well: American Idol standout Jennifer Hudson won as lead actress in a musical and, in the surprise of the night, Eddie Murphy (yes, Axel Foley!) toppled both Babel's Brad Pitt--whose wife, Angelina, unsuccesfully tried to adopt Jack Nicholson's teenage kid--and Jack-o himself, whose sacrifice of missing the Lakers OT win against D-Wade and the Heat at the Staples Center to partake in this gala went for naught--although at least he got to joke with Warren Beatty while the former Dick Tracy was onstage delivering his speech for the Ceci B. Demille award in recognition of his brilliant, multi-faceted, very longevous career (the latter point being endlessly hammered by Tom Hanks during his introduction. Hey, if I ever turn 70 like Mr. Beatty, I would love to have a wife looking as hot as Annette Bening still does!).

And speaking of women, the coveted Jennifer Connelly Award for Most Beautiful Femme at the ceremony goes to sizzling-hot Jessica Biel--one could not tell if such extreme beauté was an illusion or not! She was followed closely by the always-enchanting Drew Barrymore, with the belle gorilla-dominatrix from Down Under, Naomi Watts, taking the bronze. And speaking of Australia, I was channel-shifting between the Globes and the Aussie Open, where Maria Sharapova (aka Slutpova) was battling heat exhaustion (over 100 degress F at Rod Laver's) after blowing a 5-0 lead in the 3rd set. She even got away with telling the referee "are you fucking kidding me!" after a let call in a point she had won. She looked so helpless, so impotent, that for a second I--who dislike her petulant self so much--even thought she was cute! In the end she overcame a break down at 6-7 and beat journeywoman Camille Pin 9-7, in an inspiring demonstration of guts and courage. She might be an ass (and maybe even have a hot ass too--specially today, when she really looked quasi gorgeous), but a true gritter, a real fighter she definitely is: At times she looked like she should have been given an IV (or a banana, we all know jow much she likes those!). Kudos, Maria, for a great, non-Henin-Hardennian exhibition of a what a veritable champion is all about!

Proceeding with the Globes beauty rankings, Evangeline Lilly from "Lost" earned the nod for Prettiest Unknown Starlet, and Sienna Miller gave Britain the bloody prestigious Padmé Cuteness Prize for looking marvelous, captivating, adorable and naturally sweet: A blonde goddess if I ever saw any. Furthering the British connection, she gave the best actor in a miniseries award to her Love Actually co-star, the always hilarious Bill Nighy, (who, along with Drew Barrymore's co-presenter, Hugh Grant, completed the Love Actually triumvirate in attendance). Honorable mention must go to Katherine Heigl, who was nominated for Grey's Anatomy but failed to win, even though the show got the Globe--although Glove would be more fitting in this case--for best drama. Personally, I've only seen bits and pieces--coincidentally when Miss Heigh is on scene, but for my money ER still is the best hospital drama on TV.

As the night deepened and vampires rose from their tombs, an ominous-- baffling and outright scary, even-- situation began to unfold. Apparently, the accounting firm in charge of handling the vote-counting process messed up and the Globe for best director went to often-neglected, yet always nominated, Martin Scorsese--departing not only from tradition but from Scripture also. First sign of the Apocalypto, anyone? Incidentally, three of the film's stars were nominated for acting awards: Marky Mark, Leo DiCarpio (or is it DiCaprio?) and the afore-mentioned Jack-o. All took zilch home, but the debacle was not so much for The Departed (Scorsese won, that's vindication enough), but for Leo who took as many awards as flavour du jour, David Beckham, did (meaning a flat zero), striking out twice in his 2 nominations: his performance in the Blood Diamond didn't get much love from the Hollywood Foreign Press--and neither did his role in the Departed). One who did get appreciation aplenty was Forrest Whitaker, who even though was the clear favorite for his depiction of African dictator Idi Amin in the Last King of Scottland, was so shell-shocked after winning best actor in a leading role (drama) that he actually resembled Forrest Gump while accepting the award: So dumbfounded was he, he could barely formulate a sentence during the first half-minute of his speech!

On a more normal note, Clint Eastwood won for best foreign-language film with japanese-spoken Letters from Iwo Jima (take that Mel; hope your upcoming swahili tale about the Boer War gets equally beaten-up!). This was the most difficult category to prognosticate, with Gibson's mayan-epic, Apocalypto, Almodóvar's Volver and Guillermo del Toro's El Laberinto del Fauno, all vying for the award. In the end, it was the Man With No Name earning the Globe, but González Iñárritu and critically-acclaimed Babel would have the final say in the evening's closing award. After coming in with a resounding 7 nominations--and failing to get any love in its 1st 6 tries, the Brad Pitt-led, 5 language, intricacy-laden film won Best Picture (drama), leading to the wittiest quip of the night: mexican director Iñárritu, telling the Governator himself, who delivered the award on crutches, that he hoped not to be deported, a clear subrrepticious punch at Ahnold's stance against immigration in California. Take that Terminator!

And basically, that was it. An entertaining show, mostly adhering to expectations in terms of winners and losers, hot actresses frequently adorning the screeen, David Beckham nowhere to be seen (not even on Real's bench after his mega signing with the LA Galaxy!), Angelina Jolie adopted no one, and Sacha Baron Cohen's fine schatological humor providing a few laughs. Now it's time to start downloading the nominated films coz I ain't seen any and, come Oscar time, I don't want to again be a dumbass watching awards without having a clue as to what movies they are talking about!

January 15, 2007


The Finlandian Connection Reloaded

Since I'm too lazy to begin writting new content in '07, I'm posting a political parody created back in late 2004, when the CCSS's fiesta of premios was being discovered, Bush was seeking re-election, the WMD fraud was in the main pages...and so much more...Ah, those were good times, weren't they! :)

The Finlandian Connection Reloaded

Over a year after Iraq’s peace mission began:

--Bush: So, Donnie, have we found those Weapons of Mass Destruction yet?
--Donald Rumsfeld: Ah, George, I have told you a 1,000 times. There are no WMDs: They were a McGuffin.
--Bush: An Egg McMuffin? Is that military parlance for “let’s open a McDonald’s franchise in Iraq”?
--Dick Cheney: Sigh! Nope, Georgie boy. We are continuing to stay the course towards a Halliburton franchise. Scratch McDonald’s! And, by the way, a McGuffin is something convenient used in a movie to advance the plot while serving no real purpose within the story. Haven’t you watched any Hitchcock?
--Bush: And that’s related to WMDs how...?
--Rumsfeld: Sir, remember the meetings in the war room? The WMDs never existed, they were a McGuffin: A ploy to deceive the American Public and deviate attention from our real objective, getting control of Iraq’s oil.
--Bush: So that’s what was behind those weapons of mass DIVERSION jokes? I get it now: We used the weapons as a false pretense to divert attention from our imperialistic aims. Brilliant!
--Cheney: Ahem, Yes, well, I must admit it was a masterfully orchestrated plan. I love when a plan comes together!
--Bush: I meant the JOKE was brilliant.
-Cheney: Sigh!
--Rumsfeld: Anyway, sir, now the truth is out and we must cover our tracks if we want to get you re-elected.
--Bush: But how we do that? People aren’t stupid, you know. Wait, I got an idea.
--Rumsfeld: Let's hear it, sir.
--Bush: Let’s send a convoy of planes against the Sears Tower, the Lincoln Memorial and Disneyland. That should scare the populace and reinforce my iconic status as fearless leader whose resolve shall lead us through these dark times.
--Rumsfeld: Ahem. Sir, I was thinking about something subtler. More along the lines of perhaps planting the weapons so it actually appears that the Iraq campaign was an actual decisive move to placate a clear and present danger against our great nation.
--Bush: But who could coordinate such a masterful scheme of deception? I think I should phone my brother. He did such a wonderful job with the 2000 elections...

*Jeb Bush’s phone rings*

--JB: Hello? Georgie, is that you? It has been almost four years since your last call. How is everything in the Oval Office?
--Bush: Well, not as windy as in Florida, but a bit rough nonetheless.
--JB: Tell me about it. These damn hurricanes! A butterfly flaps its wings in Peking and I get thousands of welfare cases to deal with over here! But I digress, you have some sort of trouble in your hands?
--Bush: It’s those Egg McMuffins once again. It seems people do not trust me anymore and we might need to recur to your helping us with the Florida ballots yet one more time…

*Rumsfeld approaches the Prez; talks to him in the ear*

--Rumsfeld: Sir, it’s a McGuffin, not Egg McMuffin...Either way, what we need is not electoral fraud, but rather create the illusion that WMDs actually exist and are located in Iraqi soil.
--Bush: Heard that Jeb? Any insights?
--JB: Actually, I was talking with some Costa Rican lobbyists the other night. It appears a group called "The Ex-Presidents" has been for several years diverting public funds into their own pockets, veiling their frauds under pretenses such as buying unnecessary medical equipment and pocketing hefty commissions for structuring the deals and cooking the books. Seems like these are the right people for the task at hand.
--Bush: Great suggestion, bro! If they engineered that, cleaning up our mess should be kiddie play. I knew you would come through for me once again.
--Cheney: Fine. Colin, get immediately in touch with your people in Costa Rica. Bring me the government officials involved in this Machiavellian plotting. And while you’re at that, see to it that we privatize their oil fields. Fooled you! There’s no oil in Costa Rica, dumbass. I kill myself!
--Colin Powell: Yes sir, quite amusing, your wit. I shall commence with the preparations.
--Cheney: Please do. Ashcroft? Were’s that faggot when one needs him?

*Attorney General John Ashcroft abruptly enters the room*

--Ashcroft: I’m sorry sir. I have been too busy issuing detention warrants and imprisoning illegal combatants.
--Cheney: Yeah, yeah. Quit toying with that Patriot Act of yours and use it for something meaningful. Get busy raising our fear status to “Ridiculously High Terrorism Alert” and forming a Joint Congressional Committee to approve $100 million budget for counter-terrorism defense. We are calling this operation “The Finlandian Connection Reloaded." And where in the name of those deliberately-high-oil-consuming SUV’s name is the president?
--Bush: Crap! Just lost another game of tic-tac-toe over the Internet!
--Cheney: Sigh! Let it go. We’ll send a hit squad to dispose of the kid that beat you. Ashcroft, declare it a threat to National Security to beat the President at tic-tac-toe. And you, Georgie boy, zip your mouth while we orchestrate this dastardly evil plan.

*One day later, at Washington DC’s Dulles International Airport*

--Powell: Mr. Vicepresident, may I introduce you to our Costa Rican associates: Eliseo Vargas, Walter Reiche, Rafael Ángel Calderón and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez.
--Cheney: They could call themselves Hannibal, Face, Baracus and Murdock and go by the alias of The A-Team for all I care. I don’t need names. I seek a credible strategy to mislead the gullible American citizens until the elections. So, what do you have for me, you Costa Rican schmucks?
--Calderón: Sir, what we was planiating is a artificial prestamation of…
--Cheney: For Christ’s sake, can’t this dope speak any English? As if I didn’t have enough trouble already trying to understand my funny-speaking Arab business partners!

*Diplomatic Translator is called. Calderón proceeds*

--Calderón: Yes, well, as I was saying sir, we have devised a master stratagem: It’s already arranged for our National Legislative Assembly to approve acquiring a governmental debt destined to buy medical equipment which would be provided as humanitarian aid to Iraq, whereupon…
--Cheney: Wait, that doesn’t make sense. Your pitiful country backed-down from our “Coalition of the Willing” crap. Why should your Congress approve any Iraq relief package?
--Calderón: Therein resides the brilliance of my plan. Michael Moore stated in his documentary “Fahrenheit 911” that we are members of the coalition. If it’s in the movie... must be true! You are not as dumb as I thought, Cyrano. Even though your constant pointing of your nose at me is exasperating, your plan seems worth the time. Go on, how does buying the medical equipment translate into procuring phantom weapons?
--Calderón: There, precisely, lies the brilliant stroke. There’s no need for the weapons to actually exist. We simply pick a random country—say, Krakozhia—to lend us the funds. The loan is set up as a government initiative to subsidize their lagging health industry exports. A dummy Krakozhian corporation, Gepetto’s Workshop, has already been chartered to act as the seller of the purported medical equipment. Mr. Reiche over here has agreed to arrange for his company, Fischel Corp., to serve as technical consultant for the deal. Here’s his recommendation indicating to Mr. Eliseo Vargas --who runs our state-owned health-care monopoly--that our beloved CCSS, founded by my father if I may add...
--Cheney: You are sacking your father’s legacy to your country? That’s evil, man. My respect for your nose, I mean, for you, has suddenly risen. But I ramble, please go on...
--Calderón. Well, as I was explaining, we then proceed with the “buying” of the made-belief equipment. We donate it to Iraq, and you follow suit proclaiming their WMDs have been found. We will take care of the equipment acquisition paperwork--loan agreement, dummy invoices, bills of lading, electronic money transfer slips, Customs papers demonstrating equipment delivery to Iraq, phony photographs, the whole 9 yards--, thus authenticating the use of the funds to Costa Rican regulatory authorities. Concurrently, you arrange for fake radar and thermal imaging of the weapons--pinpointing their location inside Iraq--as well as shipping manifestos from military subcontractors and point at the unofficial records--false phone call logs, terrorist contact’s names, message intercepts...--that will unequivocally evidence that the Costa Rican loan was a cover-up for what “really” took place: Us buying black market Krakozhian nukes and handing them over to Iraqi freedom fighters. By the time they figure out Krakozhia isn’t even a real country, and neither the weapons exist nor any sale ever took place...
--Cheney:...our president would have already been re-elected!
--Bush: Wait a second. Krakozhia isn’t a real country? So that’s why I couldn’t find it in the Atlas! Now I’m confused. Didn’t Tom Hanks’ character in that flick, “The Terminal,” come from a nation called Krakozhia?
--Calderón: See what I mean? If it’s in the movie... must be true! That should buy us sufficient time until the truth is uncovered. Works for me, but I’m intrigued: what do you gain by all this? We accomplish our goal and emerge immaculately clean. Moreover, we swiftly demonstrate to the world our unparalleled skill at detecting and promptly stopping terrorist activity. But you will face certain imprisonment in your country and with no money to show for your efforts.
--Calderón: Well, not exactly. You will create a $5,000,000 expense account against your anti-terrorism budget. That will be our cut from the deal, let’s call it a “premio”, as we say back in CR...

*The 4 Costa Ricans laugh in unison*

--Calderón: Here’s the Panamanian account where the funds are to be deposited: Chorizo Holdings, account number: 12345666. As to the imprisonment, we fake illnesses to assure we get nothing more than house arrest in the exquisite comfort of our castle-like residences. Trust me, this plan can’t fail. Being there, done that.
--Cheney: And should the press dig something up and find enough evidence to trial and convict you in a REAL prison, we can simply annex CR as the 51st member of the American Union and appoint you as antiterrorism ambassadors or some made-up title of the sort.
--Calderón: It`s settled, then.
--Cheney: Yes, only one question lingers. I can see your role as deal coordinator and facilitator. Reiche and Vargas are the corrupt government officials. That’s pretty straightforward. But what’s that Rodriguez fellow’s place in all of this?
--Calderón: Nothing really. We just brought him to entertain your President so we could machinate in peace, without any of his obnoxious interferences.

*Bush is heard in the distance, intoning a rather excited remark to Miguel Ángel*

--Bush: Ha! Beat you once again. I quite enjoy playing marbles with you!
--Calderón. See what I mean?
--Cheney: Sigh! It’s painfully clear.
--Calderón: Well, Dickie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

*Calderón and Cheney walk away together into the sunset*

January 08, 2007


Pantheon of Films: Top 3

(In no particular order)

--Star Wars (Original Trilogy, i.e., Eps. 4-6): The classical yet simple story of a hero overcoming obstacles to fullfill his destiny (IV), coupled with the more intimate, personal evolution that deviates from the martial elements in favor of the darker psychological and philosophical ones (V), and culminated with the emotional face-off where the secondary storyline of the overwhelmed Rebellion agaisnt the mighty Empire and the main theme pitting Luke against his own self--and clouded destiny--perfectly coalesce together (VI) in an epic trilogy of grandeur, unbounded emotion, exquisite action, envolving music and comedic pearls scattered throughout...One can't simply ask for something better.

--Love Actually: Love is actually...all around. From that simple premise, the director develops several threads exploring different manifestations across the vast spectrum of love, cleverly intertwining them together to portray a display of natural, unrestricted, passionate orchestra of feelings surrounded by a magical musical atmosphere, and perfectly executed by simple--if sometimes quirky--everyday characters that represent us all, and through their experiencing of the most peculiar, exquisitely creative situations, evoke laughter aplenty, tears and joy in a unique, majestic emotional maelstrom of love.

--It's a Wonderful Life: Life is wonderful...sometimes we are just opaque to this truth. In this 1946 masterpiece bestowed upon us by director Frank Capra, the great Jimmy Stewart--in one of the all-time greatest histrionic performances, and the ethereally enchanting Donna Reed, our methaporical hearts come alive to acompany George Bailey towards a life destined to what society deems "greatness" but interrupted by unforecasted circunstances...and his own goodwill and self-sacrifice for his fellow human beings. After tragedy besets, the noble protagonist--and we as an audience--are granted a reincarnation of sorts in which we voyage through the most heart-touching 5 minutes of film the cellulloid has ever known: Life, though sometimes dressed in dark, is actually wonderful...if only we bothered ourselves to notice, rejoice in its blessings, and discover that the true nature of happyness lays in the company of our loved ones. Never has a simple, apparently-evident lesson such as this one, been more aptly and joyously represented.

December 12, 2006


Ring Wars: Episode Pi

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a Ring to rule them all (and in the darkness bind them) was forged... [Cue Music]

Ring Wars: Episode Pi

The evil Sauron has forged the One Ring to further oppress the whole of Middle Earth.
From the shadowy political spheres of Coruscant, a misterious leader, Senator Palpatine,
emerges as the front man of the Republican forces against the evil regime of Sauron and
his minions. In an epochal battle, Palpatine swiftly blasts off Sauron's annular finger with
his lightsaber, leaving him a disembodied cyclops.
Now coronated as Emperor Sidious, the former Senator succumbs to the lust for power
emanating from the Ring, initiating a malign new religion around his precious possesion,
branding it The Schwartz.
As the Dark Ages spread, the council of Yoda-El is convened in the far away lands of
Hoth. There, Frodo Underdog, a brave young Ewok mentored by Gandalf the Hutt
(espiritual leader of the Ringu Order, the keepers of Peace in Middle Earth), emerges as
the leader of the incipient "Rebellion of the Ring," charged with the herculean task of capturing the One Ring
and destroying it where it was forged...the impenetrable Doom Star.
Joined by IMURSAM-2--his always faithful droid, the powerful Scharwtz-wielding Anakin
of Mordor--a messianic figure of sorts too self-obsessed to confront his own destiny,
the mighty pirate Legolas Solo, the belle princess Arwen Amidala and the impetuous Jar-Jar
Gollum, Frodo must leave his peaceful life at Endor Shire and undertake the perilous task
of liberating Middle Earth from the nefarious grip of the Empire...

December 02, 2006


Marti and Lena

Ode to Martina
Your sweetness puts Swiss chocolate to shame;
Whilst Alexandria had its Pharos ,
The WTA has an even more imposing sight:
The lumière emmanating from your lips
Every time you smile: An smile so bright, so pure,
As to outshine the most luminous supernova
that ever was...or will ever be...
Bonita Elena:
Russian Aphrodite, ye of the golden smile...and tender lips
Modern day Helen of Troy: No need to launch 1,000 ships
to inspire our hearts to vibrate in unison...together as one
as you gracefully criss-cross 'round the conquer # 1
Can you hear the Seraphim Chorus joyously chanting:
"Lovely Lena, the Slams are soon a-coming"
Even the Heavenly Realm has taken notice
how thy on-court passion--and off-court kindness,
rekindles hope in the sublime, my Earthly Princess.

December 01, 2006


Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane. Con íncreíble habilidad se revela el misterio de a qué, precisamente, aludía la enigmática palabra que Kane había pronunciado antes de morir (cuya interpretación había sido el hilo conductor de la historia narrada por el film) y, sin develar directamente el verdadero significado de esta palabra, utiliza un relevante monólogo para dejar planteada en la mente del espectador su más probable, mas no definitiva, significación.

Y la magistral serie de escenas finales con las que se prepara la toma que finalmente pondría fin al suspenso y revelaría la naturaleza de Rosebub (sin pasar de elegantemente aludir lo que pudo haber significado para Kane, dejando como ejercicio para el espectador el interpretar por sí mismo, a la luz de lo narrado, su verdadera trascendencia y, concurrentemente, tácitamente apelar a la audiencia a sumirse en una catarsis para descubrir sus más íntimas añoranzas, aquello que verdaderamente deseaban y que mejor definía su identidad).

Porque al fin y al cabo, CK no es el simple intento de decodificación de una palabra, sino un viaje de autodescubrimiento de quiénes pudimos haber sido y de quiénes resultamos finalmente siendo.

Dicho lo anterior, la cinta es un bostezo, pero el final es genial.

(Escrito 11 de febreo, 2005, tras finalmente haberme armado de coraje (y paciencia!) para ver tan aclamado film.)

November 20, 2006


Travesuras de Benedicto

Iba Benedicto por el Monte de los Olivos,
cuando de repente se encontró con una bella doncella,
monja y pura, era ella.
Poco a poco de su hábito la desvistió,
y tras sustraer su casto cinturón ella le dijo:
Bene, Bene, la puntita de tu pene, nada más,
Cállate monja plebeya, o te la insertaré toda ella.
A las 9 meses parió, y a los 10, murió,
no se sabe si de SIDA, o por desdicha,
o por los 5 centímetros de picha que Benedictó le insertó

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