Daily Archives: November 13, 2009

Kvick Tänkare

An introduction to the Swedish language…


The guy who made the great podcast about the Byzantine rulers (which you should check out if you haven’t already) has started another one about the Normans.

If you want to bash zombies in style might I recommend this sledgehammer?

Bluefin tuna continue their fast decline to extinction (courtesy of us).

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No goats, no glory

So, on Veteran’s Day, we went to see The Men Who Stare at Goats.  As a movie it has its flaws.  Ewan McGregor’s character has some backstory that isn’t particularly relevant, the movie runs two narratives simultaneously (one in 1980s Ft. Bragg and the other in Iraq circa 2003) and the transitions aren’t always the smoothest, and (most importantly) towards the end the movie seems to flirt with more serious issues that creates a bit of dissonance.

That being said, we both enjoyed the film.  The storyline reminded me vaguely of the feel of a movie like Kelly’s Heroes (and don’t hold me to that, I last saw that movie more than 20 years ago and so can only say that it reminds me of the impression it gave me as a teenager).  It’s the story of a group of misfits who want to do their thing which may not be exactly what the Army wants them to do.  This may be the first movie with an Iraq War theme that manages a few laughs.

I don’t know if I’d recommend you spend $20 to go see it in the theater but I wouldn’t pass it up on cable or DVD.  It does have some very good moments.

And following what appears to be the movie meme of the decade (appropriately so, I might add), the film takes some nice shots at private military contractors who, I suspect, are on their way to becoming the go to bad guys for the next several years.  Remember, post Vietnam when it seemed that every movie had some CIA plot behind it?  Well, we’ve got somebody new to kick around now.

I’d recommend checking out the book to find out which parts are true and which the film embellished (hint:  most of the Iraq stuff wasn’t…except for the stuff about Barney).

Also, the film made me realize how totally awesome Boston was as a group and what a good song ‘More Than a Feeling’ is.  Listen again and get the air guitar ready…