Monday, February 17, 2020

Odd Bits - The Ghetto Steak Edition


Ten Years of Lying
I saw this meme on Facebook the other day… it was so bad it had to be a domestic product. The Russian troll farms produce better propaganda than this.

When the hell did anyone reputable ever say that these things were going to happen “in 10 years?”

I’ve been reading about “global warming/climate change since the terms were invented and I never once saw anyone claim that “in 10 years” one of these things would happen.

This is a “Straw Man Fallacy” because the creator mischaracterizes his foe’s argument and then attacks that, rather than looking at the consensus coming from experts in the field.

Plus, we can look around us most any week and find new symptoms of a destabilizing planet, from Australia wildfires, to massive ice bergs breaking off, to 70-degree temperatures in Antarctica, to every year setting a new record for global high temperatures.

This meme also doesn’t account for efforts mankind has taken to avert these catastrophes.

Out of oil? We’ve gotten a lot better at finding and extracting oil. At the moment, there seems to be plenty. That won’t last forever, of course. Oil is a finite resource. We won’t run out of oil, but at some point, it will become too expensive to extract it.

Another Ice Age? Frankly, I think the author pulled this one out of his ass. I’ve never, ever, heard anyone prognosticate that another Ice Age is on the horizon. He probably just needed something for the 70s.

Acid Rain? Cutting carbon emissions and other poisons previously released into the atmosphere has been the work of the EPA, right up until the Trump* administration neutered it. Without environmental regulations being what they were, acid rain would have become a more common problem.

Ozone Layer? Same there. Notice how you rarely see aerosol cans anymore. The EPA again worked to get ozone-destroying chemicals out of common products (or at least greatly lessen the amount).

Ice caps gone? I think that one’s too fresh because we’re losing ice cover at the poles at record speed. There’s no easy fix there because the ice caps are disappearing due to the end result of all our activity raising the temperature all over the world.

Then the part about taxes? Taxes go up, taxes go down, they get allotted all over town. But that’s always the big concern, isn’t it? “Oh my God, I might have to pay for something that doesn’t benefit me tomorrow.

Maybe not tomorrow, but a big bill is coming due in our lifetimes. If we don’t figure out a way to get everyone on board, it’s going to suck all the joy out of being able to tell these climate-deniers “I told you so.”

A Modern Fable
The weekend before last, Sweetpea was out running errands. When she came out of the liquor store, she saw I guy hawking his wares out of his car. He had fish, steaks, and ribs, and was selling them cheap. He told her she could have a package of 9 steaks for $25.

She called me from her cell and asked me what I thought. I said, “$25 is a good price for 9 steaks. Take a look at them and if they look good, buy them.” He showed her the top two in the package, they looked good so she came home with the steaks.

Right off the bat, upon unwrapping the package, she saw that there were only eight of them. “Still,” I said, “$25 for eight steaks is a good deal too.”

Upon further inspection, they were awfully thin too, only about a half-inch thick. Plus, some of them were pretty narrow.

OK, so they weren’t very substantial. But what was there looked pretty good. We decided to grill them the next night. How bad could they be?

Worst steak in the world. Sweetpea knows her way around a grilled steak so I know it wasn’t her methods. But these things were tough, like shoe leather. And about as tasty. I could barely even cut through it. I had to hold the bone, sink my teeth in and pull just to get a bite. It was quite a mandibular workout. I wonder if it was even cow.

Plans now are to boil the rest down, mince them up, and give them to the dog.

The moral of the story: No matter how good the deal is, never trust ghetto steaks from a liquor store parking lot.

Bluz on Film
Over the last couple of months, I’ve seen a lot of new movies. Not that the movies were necessarily new but new to me. Saw some on the movie channels, a couple on new DVDs, a couple in the theater. I figured I’d give some quick impressions, which may be helpful if you’ve ever considered seeing any of these.

Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker: (Theater) I don’t know why so many people gave this such a hard time. I guess expectations were just so high… high enough that there’s no way some people won’t be disappointed. I liked it just fine… it was what the Star Wars movies are supposed to be: action-packed popcorn movies.

1917: (Theater) I mentioned this here, when Sweetpea and I had our Baltimore Staycation. I thought it was superb, and I marveled the whole time about how they can maintain the “one-unbroken-shot” motif throughout the whole movie.

Men in Black – International: (Pay-cable) Fun movie but it just doesn’t have the same snap without Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

Long Shot: (Pay-cable) Very funny movie. Seth Rogan plays a schlubby guy who becomes a speechwriter for Secretary of State and presidential candidate, Charlize Theron. (She used to babysit for him, in their youth). I love when the schlubby guy gets the girl, even though I know damn well that it’s as unrealistic as no innocent bystanders getting shot in a Die Hard movie. And by God, Charlize Theron may be the most gorgeous woman on earth.

Godzilla – King of the Monsters: (Pay cable) Also on cable. Monsters fight each other while the government tries to decide which ones are on their side. I love creature features but I have no idea how a movie with so many monsters could be so dull and slow-moving.

Zombieland 2: (DVD) If you liked the first one, you’ll like this one. The big difference is that their angle on the zombie genre is no longer new, so it loses that little “zing” of originality. Still, there were some big laughs.

Terminator – Dark Fate (DVD) I’m a big fan of the franchise, but I don’t see why everyone was so down on this movie. I liked it. It’s what you expect from a Terminator movie. It picked up following T2 and ignored everything else. I wanted to see it in the theater, but it wasn’t there long enough. Three weeks and gone.

Birds of Prey (the Harley Quinn movie) (Theater) In my review of Suicide Squad, a few years back, I said, “I would watch a whole movie about Harley Quinn.” And so I did. In this R-rated DC Comics film, The Joker’s ex finds herself missing his protection when all those she wronged before are looking to get even. Another apparent bomb at the box office, I liked it anyway. People are so hard to please anymore. I find the character, as brilliantly played by Margot Robbie, audacious, hilarious, vulnerable and ultimately fascinating. One part of me thinks I could “fix” her, while the other part knows I’d just get screwed over in the end.

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (DVD): I love the New Jersey series of Kevin Smith movies (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, etc.) This guy was running the continuing arc of a multi-film universe long before Marvel ever started theirs with Iron Man. Anyway, this one is basically one long series of recurring cameos by stars from the other films. There’s lots of meta-moments and inside jokes that we’ve come to expect. I loved it.



16 comments:

  1. Oh I made that mistake a few years ago and came home with ghetto steaks. Oooh they were very very bad. I feel ya.I have not seen any of your movies except Long Shot. I thought it was better than what I thought it'd be. And yes, Charlize is perfection isn't she?

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    1. I've always thought that Charlize was pretty, and a real chameleon. She's had a lot of different looks in her various movies. But in this one, holy crap, she's off the charts gorgeous.

      Lucky for me, I did like Seth Rogan in Long Shot and married up and out of my league!

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  2. So instead of Pit Beef, you got "The Pits" beef. Good to know you have a dog, who will no doubt find them delicious!

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    1. The dog ended up with a dozen minced-meat and gravy frozen dinners. The toughness of the meat doesn't really affect him because he doesn't chew his food in the first place. It just gets the express elevator from bowl to belly. (He's a lab.)

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    2. LOL Labs are animated garbage pails. If it's remotely related to food, it's right down the gullet.

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    3. Doesn't even matter what it is... as long as there's SOMETHING in the bowl. And every time he comes in from outside, first thing he does is check to see if anything magically appeared in his bowl.

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  3. Another Ice Age? Frankly, I think the author pulled this one out of his ass. I’ve never, ever, heard anyone prognosticate that another Ice Age is on the horizon.

    I have actually seen right-wingers cite the "nuclear winter" hypothesis to claim that science recently predicted extreme cold rather than global warming. The nuclear winter hypothesis proposed that a major nuclear war could affect the atmosphere in ways that would block sunlight and plunge the Earth into subzero temperatures for several months, killing off most life that survived the war itself. But this was proposed as an effect of nuclear war, not a result of current trends, man-made or natural.

    As to a true ice age, they do naturally happen at intervals, but tens of thousands of years apart, and the last one ended only 12,000 years ago. So most scientists would probably agree that, left to itself, the Earth's climate might well naturally return to ice age conditions eventually -- but not any time soon, maybe in another fifty thousand years or so.

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    1. Yes, an impending (meaning w/in 10 years) Ice Age would have to have significant interference on our part, namely a global nuclear war. Which is not really the point of the original meme.

      It's funny how some of these lugnuts try to drop in a few scientific-sounding things, only to remain far off base. Like when they say we're just going through a "cyclical" warming period, because the earth's temperature has risen and fallen in a cyclical manner.

      What they invariably leave out is that it takes thousands of years for a "cycle" to move the temperature a degree or two. What we've seen in the last 200 years, even the last 20, is a spike. There's nothing cyclical about that.

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    2. There was definitely a new ice age buzz in the 70's. I remember reading (breathless) articles in Time and Newsweek. I do not recall the 10 years telemetry, but most definitely a warning. Also, be aware there is data that suggests we have recently come out of a mini-ice age, which heretofore has mitigated the greenhouse effect.

      I think it was about the same time stories about cutting back on black pepper (to relieve stomach irritation) and replace the flavor with ... salt.

      Good times, the early/mid 70's.

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    3. Like with eggs! They're bad, they're good, they're bad again, they're good again... There have definitely been a lot of contradictory findings over the years... often, I think, due to the private funding of studies.

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  4. I saw both Terminator Dark Fate and Rise of Skywalker at the cinema, and really enjoyed them both. TDF had the same feel of relentlessness that the first two Terminator movies had, and RS nicely rounded out the series IMO.

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    1. Both movies were good for just getting reacquainted with some old friends and going along for the ride one more time.

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  5. I remember my Weekly Reader (remember yours?)
    Hadn't thought of it in years. In 1968, there was a series of little articles about 'the next ice age'.

    I was sure I was going to freeze to death and that all my friends would be turned into popsicles, to. I do not remember anything about '10 years' though.

    We don't have our good old half lab Maggie anymore, it's been many years. But it's safe to say that she would have eaten almost anything, including mystery meat from the liquor store parking lot.

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    1. I remember the Weekly Reader but nothing about an impending Ice Age, from there or any other source. I think the key point is, and this is what I'm on about in this post, is the "In Ten Years" part. Even if there was talk about another Ice Age in the 60s, it was not predicted to happen in the 70s. That's just bullshit to bolster a weak argument.

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  6. Before we get started, full disclosure - when I was a kid watching the Jetsons, I just knew by 2000 we would all be driving in flying cars(lol) Goodness knows how in the world I get anything done, including trying to get my new business FootBALLism off the ground, and my friends don't know either, but I watch tons and tons of movies and television. So I feel like you're speaking directly to me about your latest movie mania.

    Star Wars - I've seen them all and have a lot of the action figures from each movie, but I still say this is an example of not messing around with the classics from back in the day, so this one wasn't my fave, and I think they should just stop, please.(lol)
    Men in Black - yes, I totally agree. Just not the same movie without those guys.
    Long Shot - Charlize Theron is one of those actresses with a true talent to reinvent herself in a movie,(and yes, she's stunning) and Seth Rogen is often underrated, but I was iffy on how their chemistry would work, and like you I thought it was a funny movie. Some things were a little implausible(lol), but I'm always for the underdog.
    1917 - Brilliant!
    Terminator - Just seeing badass Linda Hamilton back in this film made me do the Happy Dance, and I felt like Arnold made sure that he "didn't come back" by agreeing to that ending, right? (lol)
    Birds of Prey - on my list for this weekend. I'm gonna stop now so you have time to do some other stuff today(lol) Hugs, RO

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    1. But for the adoption of flying cars, we seem to be living in the Jetsons' world right now.

      Seeing the Terminator characters back together again... it was like seeing old friends again.

      I think Charlize must have to be a quality human being just to do a comedy like that. She seems like she'd be fun to hang with. (IF I could even look her in the eye without choking.)

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