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Mar 30, 2016 thelyamhound commented on Build It.
I support this all in principle, and will surely support it with my vote(s). It kind of sucks, though, that I'll be getting senior discounts before travel to West Seattle or Ballard becomes something one can do in reasonable time by transit.
Mar 30, 2016 thelyamhound commented on Why Is Hillary Clinton Entitled to Any Washington Superdelegates At All?.
@27 - Possibly, on a national level. But in this state, Sanders' victory was large enough that proportional representation will at least narrow Clinton's lead at the convention. This is not insignificant. As a Sanders supporter who will happily vote for whichever Democratic nominee walks out of the convention, I prefer a Hillary Clinton chastened to the left by a margin narrow enough to indicate what many of us suspect - that despite both parties moving to the right and corporate media and right-wing ideologues training the populace to respond negatively to words like socialism, that progressive ideals actually hold some sway in the mainstream (universal health care, same-sex marriage, and mistrust of big money do well in most issues-based polls). In other words, the ideas championed by and for the progressive wing of the party are not fringe ideas, and I'd love to send a candidate who recognizes that to the Oval Office. I'm not really concerned if she's doing it for political gain; that's actually how this is supposed to work. Those whose jobs come with power should occasionally be goaded into serving those over whom they wield that power out of self-interest.

More than that, though, I think a narrow margin of victory for Clinton (or Sanders) sends a message to the Republican party, as well: that they can't continue to count on Democrats being susceptible to being bullied to the center (read: to the right). At the very least, I hope they can't continue to count on having concessions built into the first ask at negotiations, until the inevitable compromises bleed all legislation of anything resembling, you know, liberalism. We should negotiated by demanding what we want, so that the inevitable compromises still land on the left side of center, if only slightly.

Mar 23, 2016 thelyamhound commented on .
@schmacky (you're all numbered "0", at least from every computer on which I've looked at this page) - That presumes that the math that matters to every Bernie supporter is the math by which he wins the nomination. Don't get me wrong: I want him to win the nomination; that's why I cast my vote the way I did (I will be teaching my usual kickboxing class during the caucus; I need the money to pay for my wife's & my health insurance). But more importantly than that, if I'm forced to vote for the opportunistic centrist in November to ensure defeat of the plutocrat (Trump) or the theocrat (Cruz), that the opportunist has been chastened enough by a solid showing of Sanders supporters that she will treat the left-wing of the party not as a bothersome fringe element, but as the significant coalition within the party (and within the general populace) that they actually are.

I'm not actually bothered by politicians who say what they have to to get elected and cater to their various interest groups to stay in office. I want people with power over me and mine to be fearful of our revolt, and thus inclined to appease. So what I want for Hillary Clinton, and for those of us who may soon be living under her presidency, is for people who work and struggle and teach and create to be among those interests to whom she caters, ideally first among those interests, certainly higher among those interests than the plutocrats against whom Sanders rails.
Mar 5, 2016 thelyamhound commented on Assassins at ACT Theatre Is Really Good—Especially These Two Performances.
@1 - Interesting. It's my favorite way both to perform and to watch theater. I wonder if it's a temperament indicator, like creamy vs. crunchy peanut butter, or which James Bond you prefer.
Jan 20, 2016 thelyamhound commented on "Begging for Acknowledgment, or Even Asking, Diminishes Dignity".
@31 - If you watch any of the featurettes on the shooting of that stunt, you'll be surprised to discover that very few of the objects flying towards the camera were CGI. The guitar was, of course, and I think that, plus the color blending made it appear animated when it was, in fact, nearly all practical. Still probably my least favorite of many, many stunts, but I think we've actually become so hypersensitized to CGI that we see it even when it's not (or barely) there.
Jan 20, 2016 thelyamhound commented on "Begging for Acknowledgment, or Even Asking, Diminishes Dignity".
There's no accounting for taste, obviously; I adored Mad Max: Fury Road and Creed, and can't quite find an "in" to the view that either was overrated. But regardless of personal views, which will always come down to some subjective reaction, it seems suspicious to me that not one of the films featuring non-white characters this year was deemed well written enough, well directed enough, well acted enough, or good enough in aggregate to receive some nod.

I can actually understand why someone would ignore Smith's I'm-doing-an-accent-for-a-nobly-intentioned-medical-drama-place-statue-here grandstand, but I loved the quiet simplicity of Michael B. Jordan's performance in Creed, which also benefited tremendously from Coogler's surprisingly savvy script and downright spellbinding facility in filming the boxing scenes in different styles that suited their placement in the story. Straight Outta Comptom isn't the type of thing that usually gets me out of the house (biopic, not exactly a visual feast, in either the art-punk sense or the blockbuster sense), but as a fairly acclaimed biopic, I'm a little surprised that it didn't get some acknowledgment.

I suppose we could say that Compton may have been ignored for the same reason that Smith was - that the Academy is trying to shake off its image as a champion of fuddy-duddy prestige films and embracing genre (the bracing period revenge pic The Revenant; acclaimed - rightly, to my eye, but YMMV - pulp fantasia Fury Road), but that would almost seem to favor genre pics like Creed. One could even make a populist argument for Compton; to argue against it would seem to be a blow in favor of Chi-Raq or Concussion.

As with last year, when my favorites were admittedly lily-white arthouse flicks made with studio money (Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman), I'm not sure I would be rooting for anyone but Coogler or Jordan among the would-be non-white nominees, and I will continue to wish that more non-white filmmakers dabbled in horror flicks, surreal art films, and other genres that pique my interest (the degree to which race and bias shape interest is an interesting topic - I've done some soul-searching on the question of why punk resonates with me and R&B doesn't, or why my favorite jazz musician was a French gypsy - but it's a conversation for another post, if not another thread). That doesn't mean I don't see the implicit, insitutional racism that allows an whole communities to be excluded from recognition for their work.

And no, artists shouldn't do it for the recognition, and refusing to bring your toys to the sandbox may not be a particularly effective way of registering dissent. And I can't help but think that Smith, in particular, and Lee to a lesser degree are in positions of enough power that they can actually open the gates to a more diverse set of minority voices (not just diverse in the sense of race & gender, but diverse in aesthetic, worldview, narrative style, genre, etc.). Wouldn't that work do more to address the problem than refusing to attend a very long and expensive party that most of us watch to get drunk while bitching about famous people's fashion choices?

Still, to insist that the problem they're complaining about doesn't exist is downright myopic.
Jan 20, 2016 thelyamhound commented on Why Are Tribute Nights So Popular?.
I think it's strange that anyone would question the value of covers. Classically trained musicians are pretty much educated entirely in "covers"; as a stage actor, I've spent a lot of time "covering" Shakespeare. It seems to me that every band probably starts as a cover band, or at least each musician therein started by hammering out a riff by the Velvet Underground or Ritchie Valens or the Clash. Yes, true artists eventually find their own voices, but that voice surely exists in a context that includes the influence of other musicians.
Jan 6, 2016 thelyamhound commented on Authorities Want to Cut Power to Wildlife Refuge in the Hope of Freezing the Armed Outlaws.
@23 - I'm disinclined to rely on their good taste.
Jan 6, 2016 thelyamhound commented on Our New Health Care System: Still Evil. Less Evil. But Still Evil..
@17 - That became abundantly clear via @14. Thanks. A little subtle - more successful, as such, at capturing Raindrop, who isn't opposed to reason (just not very good at it). Too soft with the milk of human kindness for SB.
Jan 6, 2016 thelyamhound commented on Our New Health Care System: Still Evil. Less Evil. But Still Evil..
@4 - Could you elucidate that a little? I have never lived under a health care system that didn't dance on the backs of the bruised, and have little faith in the possibilities of any for-profit system, but a coherent (not just to an economist or people who read business magazines instead of having sex) explanation might give me something to chew on, at least.