Monday, July 11, 2016

film reeling

I don't understand why so many people are panning Tarzan. Many reviews are saying bad things blah blah stilted dialogue. Was there even dialogue? I don't recall. I thought that the movie was brilliant. Alexander Skarsgard was perfect; he managed to look hot for every second of every scene, for the entire 1 hour and 50 minutes of the movie. Every angle of his physique was amazing at all times! Each pore in his ridiculously sculpted physique acted to shift, flex and shine for every wet, shirtless moment of the movie. It was worth every dollar that I spent to be able to observe Alexander Skarsgard's six pack in a dimly lit, air conditioned room. I'm pretty sure that I was flushed for most of the movie and yet I managed not to pass out. Those obliques were perfectly directed to flex in accordance with the rippling abs, each muscle rippling and undulating as Tarzan swung through the forest. I hope that this movie has a sequel where he loses his trousers. I can't recommend this movie enough.

Friday, July 8, 2016

fodder for thought

I'm not especially fond of the man who works under the Senior Manager with a personality disorder, but I recognize that he is a productive worker and does the best that can be accomplished under such unusual conditions, the conditions being that the senior manager is barking mad. I tried not to care when the senior manager inexplicably (but then almost everything he does defies linear thought) turned on him. The underling is often left to clean up messes and actually accomplish tasks and it was as per usual except in this case, the senior decided that the underling had overstepped. Never mind that the underling was the only reason work was proceeding while senior manager concerned himself with sending out diatribes of spam-like quantity and increasingly unhinged accusations (always blame, never solution).

So for the past week I have had a front row seat to numerous humiliating emails sent out to all of the consultant teams, instructing us to no longer address any items to the underling as he no longer had decision making authority. By yesterday evening, upon reading the last email in its Comic Sans, multiple font and color glory, I could only shake my head at why the seniors of the senior manager had not yet discreetly reminded him that spewing your internal conflicts to your external consultants was probably inadvisable.

This morning during one our our numerous weekly coordination meetings, I told found myself complimenting the underling for how he managed us over a complicated interface issue, in front of all of the senior managers. Underling looked over at me in surprise (recall that we aren't especially fond of one another). Sometimes when you are shipwrecked together on an island, you find yourself sharing shelter for a moment or two before reminding yourself that there is no room for humanity, and then you go back to trying to cannibalize each other.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

fear and prejudice

You would think that you should know yourself well enough but then the truth slaps you in the face. When I was in college, I knew that I wasn't a bigot. But then one of my black friends told me that he passed by hundreds of people every day on campus and sometimes he went the whole day without anyone making eye contact. On my way back to my dorm, I passed a black guy and my eyes slid away. Huh, wasn't that interesting. And there was the truth, slapping me in the face.

Monday, June 13, 2016

waiting

This has been one fucked up day. Say what we will about the evils of Facebook, but it has been a lifeline. I have been logged in continuously, searching for news that my friends are safe, shocked that the 'mark safe' feature should even be a thing. I am torn up inside, part joyful when I see another friend checking in, and part terrified every time another post shows up, begging for help finding a lost loved one. Two of my friends, both active in the LGBT community, have still not checked in. D contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I was going to attend our high school reunion. It had been years since we last talked. I am desperate for him to reply to my message. Please be okay.

Monday, May 30, 2016

you might just become the very best version of yourself

This is Sheryl Sandberg's commencement address, delivered to the graduates of UC Berkeley. It is worth watching in its entirety. You may also read the full transcript here.


"You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are—and you just might become the very best version of yourself"

Friday, May 27, 2016

boo hoo

The original Gawker post showing a video of Hulk Hogan having sex with his ex-friend's wife (with the guy's encouragement) while spouting racist statements about his daughter dating a black man wasn't of any particular interest to me. The lawsuit and trial against Gawker was a bit more interesting but I had better things to so than follow it. When I read that Hogan won $140 million, it was more interesting.

Then things got really interesting when Peter Thiel was "outed" as the man who backed Hogan's lawsuit. Now, almost every Gawker site is running some sort of story about the how Peter Thiel is using his bags of money to suppress freedom of the press and has it in for Nick Denton. There are comparisons to Shel Adelson who bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal for what seems to be the sole purpose of promoting his causes such as trying to dig up dirt on a judge who he is mad at.

While I have read many believable accounts of billionaires using their money to try to sue journalists into bankruptcy and I'm convinced that Peter Thiel despises Nick Denton, the multiple Gawker squawkers have glossed over a few pertinent facts of the case. First, it seems that the majority of lawsuits from billionaires trying to bankrupt critical journalists are merit-less and obvious in their purpose to cause financial hardship for journalists defending themselves. This case was not frivolous and Nick Denton was not in danger or going broke defending himself. It is even unlikely that Gawker and Nick Denton will go broke paying out the judgement, though the same is not true for AJ Daulerio. Gawker published videos that they knew were filmed secretly and illegally. No one seems to remember, or at least no one cares to remember that crucial fact. Of course they deserved to be sued.

Gawker is retrying the case in the court of public opinion. They are highlighting how the judgement against the editor, AJ Daulerio, would destroy his life because he has no assets. I know of someone who could help AJ Daulerio out of his predicament quite easily. The Gawker sites point out ad nauseum how Hulk Hogan is basically broke and could not afford his attorney if not for a secret backer. They appealed the verdict and were so sure of their success that they have already published an open letter from Nick Denton that baits Peter Thiel. After reading the Gawker response, I have become convinced. 

Gawker should pay, and pay a lot of money. While I wish that the recipient of the windfall wasn't Hulk Hogan, what Gawker did should not be protected by the the First Amendment or any form of journalistic privilege. Whatever Peter Thiel's motives were, they do not excuse Gawker from their crimes. And frankly, the way Nick Denton/Gawker keeps spouting off about how Hogan is broke and shouldn't have been able to afford his attorney sure seems like exactly what they are complaining about. It seems like he's salty that Hogan couldn't be litigated into the ground but instead was given resources from a billionaire so that he could fight against a similarly wealthy and powerful opponent. Boo hoo.