The Greencine Five, Part III: 12 Monkeys, Signs of Life, Twin Peaks, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Idiocracy

So many possible screenshots…

In the brief period after Catholic terrorists went away but before Islamists terrorist showed up, ecoterrorists were all the rage. 12 Monkeys joins Rainbox Six in the ecoterror subgenre, but adds timetravel that cannot change the past but can only observe it. What is most striking about the film is the chaos of visual style, from exploitive shots of women (as above) to Brazil-style futures, naturalistic cityscapes to Moorish insane asylums. PS: DVD cover art aside, Bruce Willis is not a robot, and never claims to be one.

German v. German; Germany v. Germany

Signs of Life is two stories at once: the tale of a post-traumatic-stress suffering soldier and an apology for Germany. An injured German soldier in Greece is given a posh assignment on a collaborationist island, where even the local gypsies like the Germans. He’s liked by his friends, loved by his wife, is smart, careful, and industrious. But tragically, suffering from his psychic war wounds, he becomes a threat to himself and others. Signs of Life recalls nothing so much as Underground, that apologia for Yugoslavia previously featured on tdaxp.

David Duchovny, Why Wont’t You Love Me?

It’s not brilliant, it’s not terrible: Twin Peaks Season 2 Disk 3 marks the transition of a one-of-a-kind quasi-soap-opera into a pretty good soap opera. Laura’s Palmer’s death is solved and the loose ends are tied up. Now minor subplots come to the front, and while some are exciting, nothing can ever replace the memory of Laura.

Soviet Hokkaido

The Place Promised In Our Early Days is the best animated Japanese movie I have ever seen. Beginning as a coming-of-age-love-story and ending as a sci-fi-geopolitical-thriller, Place centers on the northern tip of Honshu, separated from Hokkaido by the Tsugaru Strait. At some point in the past, the north island of Hokkaido had become Ezo, surrounded by forces of the [Soviet] Union. Beyond this I don’t want to say anything, out of fear of spoiling a truly excellent movie. Only one criticism, though: the movie is purposefully slow. The dreamy quality is intention, but you have never checked the clock so many times on such an enjoyable movie.

Luke Wilson at the Supreme Court

An uneven movie that is hilarious at best and merely dull at worst, Idiocracy tells the story of Luke Wilson (Bottle Rocket, Royal Tennenbaums) as a man transported to a world five centuries in the future, where the stupid have inherited the earth. Like Gattaca (see my earlier review), Idiocracy is based on a well known fact: the domestication of animals decreases their individual intelligences and can atrophy an otherwise normal development (see wolves v. dogs, wildcats v. housecats, early homo sapiens v. modern humans, etc).

Symbols of Christianity

For some time I have been using this Chi-Rho emblem:


to symbolize the Christian 4GW. The original design was by James Greece of Catholic and Loving It, with a minor change by Lexington Green of Chicago Boyz.

I found the original graphic on a now-defunkt clipart page, so I am grateful to James for letting me know of the image’s original location, and its use as part of his wedding services company. (As a newlywed myself, I can appreciate his work!)

As long as the subject is Christian symbolism, I also wanted to point out “It’s Christmas! Let’s be glad!” by Sufjan Stevens. Sufjan describes his church as “kind of Anglo-Catholic,” so the Christian and Marian themes shouldn’t be surprising.

Sing a carol to your mom
Because she knows what’s going on
And she knows if you’ve been bad or good

And if you get what you deserve
To be graded on the curve
Oh, you got a lot of nerve

Listen to the song on, download from podbop, or purchase from Amazon.

True Sufjan fans may appreciate the animated YouTube video of ‘Put the Lights on the Tree’.

Describing the Military-Industrial-Sysadmin-Complex: How We Will Win the 5GW to Shrink the Gap

After I described how we will lose the war of ideas to al Qaeda and therefore must search for a better way of winning, Curtis of Dreaming 5GW asked that I be more precise. Specifically, how would I build a 5GW that can lead America to victory even after conceding the 4GW battlespace to al Qaeda? And how should the centerpeice of our 5GW to shrink the gap, the Military-Industrial-Sysadmin-Complex, look like?

The Military-Industrial-Sysadmin Complex (MISC) is a broader version of Thomas P.M. Barnett’s “Department of Everything Else (DOEE).” While Barnett’s DOEE takes on, the “miscellaneous” functions of the federal government involved in processing politically bankrupt states, the MISC is the broader structure which keeps the long war going.

The Military-Industrial-Sysadmin-Complex must be built around an Iron Triangle of Congress, the Department of Everything Else, and Sysadmin Contractors.

A Typical Iron Triangle

Each edge of the MISC supports each other. The Virutal Department of Everything Else funnels money to contractors. The contractors provide jobs for voters and therefore votes for incumbent Congressmen. Congressmen fund the Virtual Department of Everything Else.

The Iron Triangle that will Shrink the Gap

Just as the Military-Industrial-Leviathan-Complex that won the Cold War existed in all its pieces before the National Security Act of 1947, each part of the Iron Triangle can be assembled from politicians

The Congress

  • 435 Representatives, of both parties
  • 100 Senators, of both parties

The Department of Everything Else

The Sysadmin Contractors

  • Lockheed Martin (especially their integration unit)
  • Blackwater (and related security contractors)
  • Enterra (and other provides of development in a box)
  • &c

In shrinking the gap, as in most of politics, principles are fine, but steady cash flows are better.

Defeat al Qaeda. Win the Long War. Shrink the Gap. Build the Military-Industrial-Sysadmin-Complex.