Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Interview - The Streisand Effect in Motion.

How do you make a picture go from 'not watch' to 'must see'?  Give it global attention.  It's called the Streisand Effect.  Years ago when Barbara Streisand called attention to how Google maps had included her house, she tried in vain to have the information removed from public view.
Sony Pictures (C) 2014

The Streisand Effect is now officially defined as a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information having the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely via the Internet.   

I never planned on seeing "The Interview".  I am not into the stoner buddy movies.  However, it's like being compelled to watch what people thought was worth threatening others over.  This was it?  It was like watching the antics of high school boys who obsess over the usual things of their lives, drugs, sex, success and how to be more successful, get laid the most and then doing it the "American" way.  Weave that in with CIA intrigue, a Leader that people are afraid of because of his access to nuclear weapons laced with emotional daddy issues.  A fantasy assasination plot with bitten off fingers.  I think none of these are really spoilers for the movie, because it's much like "Christmas Vacation", where you know every time you see it; the cat still gets torched and people still laugh.  It's absurd.

In the movie, you see the battle of censorship to have the removal of mythology of the leader.  Absurd myths, such as, President Kim Jong-Un doesn't have an anus.  It's this over-the-top nature that this movie takes that quite possibly is viewed as a personal attack of laughter.  We are laughing at the situation, the means, Sony pictures, fear, nukes, the CIA, the North Korean hackers and ourselves.  I never had any plans of watching this movie.  Yet, thoughout this movie, all I could think of was how "The Marriage of Figaro", a comedy, written by Pierre Beaumarchais helped to fire up the French Revolution.  

It's a dangerous movie in North Korea, because they could see their leader is not a God.  They could see that all they are led into is just 'honey-dicking'.  Because words still hold power and that is why they weren't laughing with the world.  So, why was the movie pulled from theaters?  Quite possibly for one reason.  Perhaps they believe their own caricature of  North Korea's Kim Jong-Un.  If they believed he was as unstable as their fictions version, maybe they were being socially responsible by pulling the movie from theaters, but at the same time, they are validating the insanity of Kim Jong-Un.  

For the west, who is incredibly used to the satirization of EVERYTHING, where there is nothing sacred, and not used to remaining silent, it's a culture shock.  When we don't like something, we joke about it.  Create movies that blow up our governments.  We don't view it as profane.  With our imaginations, we create new worlds to escape from in 120 minute segments.  Dreaming for a moment that the world is either worse or better.  

Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw said, "When you tell people the truth, you have better make them laugh, or they will kill you."  

We were laughing so hard that we couldn't hear the silence of North Korea.  In a world where everything is a form of propaganda for profit or power, not even a comedy is overlooked.  Now that the "Interview" is released into the world, what impact might this have on the people of North Korea?   Perhaps that is the next act in this play.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to Sony Pictures, President Obama, President Kim Jong-Un, Seth Rogan and Pierre Beaumarchais.  I wonder, what is the real revolution?  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice or The Longest Night

 All I do know is I don't have to eat the elephant in one sitting. It's one bite at a time.  
I always remind myself that praise and criticism are the same coin.  
A lot of good has come this year.  Another 5-Star review, a lot of lobster and today, the shortest day of the year, received word that I have been accepted into a very fine externship (not internship) in Grinnell.

How many people say you can't do certain things at certain ages?  I once saw a flash of an old movie, where the young man had stated he was a failure at 20.  Why?  What an insane way to view a life.  When a person measures their life by the standards of others, is that wise?  We may live to be 100.  We may only live to be 20.  That isn't the point.  Those are YOUR years, live them well.

I was sad about it being cooked.  

I don't feel very good reading this...kind of stomach churning.
Ah...better now.
Why make a fruit tart when you can make a savory one.

"Not Quite" Head Cheese.  
So as we, broke bread together, ate curries, drank beers and contemplated our futures...
The Motley Crew of Badasses - My Friends
I thought to myself, what a wonderful year it has been.  I wouldn't have had it at all if I would have said to myself, "I am too...(insert disqualifying statement)."  I can't think of how many conversations I had with various young people who were concerned with either being too young or too old.  Let me just say, that while you are ALIVE is the time that is just right.  When did we start putting a time limit on what we can do with our lives?  It's a distracting thought that seems to come up as I continue to do many things with my life.  It's a happy day.  I keep learning that I know nothing.  The more I learn, the more I don't know.  It's hard to be arrogant when you know nothing.  
So, as I began, I will end with...
 All I do know is I don't have to eat the elephant in one sitting. It's one bite at a time.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lago Tacos in Uptown

Lago Tacos in Uptown is located at the former Heidi's, where Chef Stuart Woodman once served up an amazing menu and it flamed out in complete chaos.  This was a bittersweet visit for me, since I actually love the Heidi's menu more, but I wanted to give Lago Tacos a chance.  I sat at the bar, where it is peppered with big screen TVs, happy hour menus and a traditional toast (out of their book of toasts) at sunset, tequila sunset shot glasses are sent around the house.  It complements the house margarita I am drinking, and I am on foot, so I feel safe enough to indulge.
Fried Avocado with Jalapeño Ranch
I decided my meal in advance, but look over the menu for about 5 minutes.  For the appetizer, I have never had deep fried Avocados.  The batter is light, almost like a tempura.  The seasoning is great and there is a great balance of heat and the acidity of the ranch dressing.  This works.  This would be a great appetizer to share, a bit much for one person to consume.

Grilled Chicken Lago Taco served doubled up on Corn Tortillas with Refried Pinto Beans
From their extensive menu of tacos and burritos, I went a little more traditional and had wanted some heat.  I didn't understand why they felt they needed to double up on the tortillas, I tasted more corn than chicken with the first one.    After that appetizer, there was no way to finish this.  I like the presentation, but I think they could have gone with a hard shell.  A doubled up soft shell, without anything in between the tortillas seemed a bit of a carb overload.  You walk away feeling bloated. Underwhelmed.
White Chocolate Banana Quesadilla With Caramel sauce, Cinnamon Ice Cream
This is the sole dessert on the menu.  The White Chocolate Banana Quesadilla with caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream.  Presentation is nice, but delivery is not.  How do you normally eat a quesadilla?  You either pick it up with your hands or you use a knife and fork.  Utensil provided, a spoon.  That caramel sauce is sticky.  As soon as you bite into it, the bananas slide around and not to mention, the white chocolate sauce is dripping.  You are best served by opening up the quesadilla and taking the bananas and mixing it with the cinnamon ice cream.  The ice cream was assertive and smooth.  There wasn't a grainy texture, so if this is an in-house concoction, extremely well-made.

So for me, the appetizer works, but would request a half-order.  The tacos didn't work for me, but I would probably order one of their salads instead.  The dessert, well, I love the ice cream and the bananas had a nice flavor.  So I would order without the cumbersome tortilla.  They could restyle this as a banana split and I would love it.  I get what they were going for, but unless they bring out a finger bowl, it is honestly too messy to deal with.