Somnus: Movie Review and Spoiler Alert!

 

SOMNUS — What Gives?

Public Service Announcement: Guest blogger Lisa provides a friendly warning on a film released last year (2016). I haven’t watched the movie myself, but I suspect it might be a sleeper. Just suspecting you understand. Ahem. Should you decide not to watch this 2.9 rated cinematic wonder, save the 83 minutes you will have saved for some alternative spare-time fare — such as listening to the earlier seasons of Vic and Sade,

vicandsademap2
the small house halfway up in the next block.

my personal favorite among a great many old-time radio programs 🙂

Editor-selected links for SOMNUS:

Movie Trailer

IMDb rates it 2.9 (on a scale from 1 to 42, I think)

Jennie Kermode  reviews “Somnus.”

Und so, the inimitable Lisa Chieco is our guest blogger today, she is sharing her personal opinions of a middle-o’-the-night film selection right here and right now. I turn the keyboard over to Lisa.

Applause

Studio pause

Final coughs

Lisa speaks

Bad, bad, bad movie. It was 83 minutes and still had nothing cohesive to say! We begin in 1952 with a  scene of a scientist boarding a train with his friend’s journal of  work having been passed as a “terrible burden” to be kept for him after death.

Somnus, The

Then we’re aboard this ridiculous space ship (only FOUR people on it and we see only three – hearing of the deaths of another – and seeing the hand of the woman’s death we are aware of which implicates the ships talking computer (not Hal, but Meryl) who seems more like a jealous, petulant and homicidally insane woman who is later reflected in a “colonist” on this penal station on an asteroid that is somehow slipped the memory of all Earth.

somnus.image.1

So, everybody dies – a couple of times. We get insanely subtle images that suggest we either have the Earth being destroyed by aliens for our dangerous weapons and the threat they impose to other worlds alongside the depiction of our visitation from said aliens around pyramid building times noted by the narration as a huge boon to humanity bringing us into the age of “technology.” Okay, but then,  the same alien technology that lifted us out of our pathetic inadequacies is being used to kill all human life on Earth because we are a threat to those worlds with our scary weaponization, even though they use the same objet de space to kill all human life, while also sparing the planet proper. Yeah.

The entire movie is spent listening to one poor sod trying to trick Meryl (computer controller) into allowing him to disable her so they can return home. She kills him too.  The skipper is spending most of his time in his virtual reality sleeper (Somnus??) where he sits on a pebbled beach and sees his dead wife walk towards him.  Beside vague references to having taken part in a war he is amazed we survived without “blowing ourselves up” is tossed to us  in a scanty early conversation with the ensign.  This skipper really gives no consideration to anything happening until only he and the young ensign are left. Meryl has taken them away from home to this asteroid for which we have absolutely neither build up nor explanation before docking.

Well, after they are taken to this asteroid and the ensign is denied access, the skipper walks through this forest, fondling the leaves and droplets of water and suddenly  AT ONCE  we see a woman making squishy noises out of our view.  He is hailed as being expected by this crazy woman with wild eyes who it appears is beating a man in the side, showing her very bad teeth while feeding bits of this man to a little ferocious alien reptile with big chompers – then the awakening of the man who Bad Teeth dispatches via a rock to the skull (including pinking brain matter) all witnessed by the skipper, whose quixotic response is to reassure her he is no threat and that everything is OK.  WHAT??

 

Somnus.2

So, somehow, that ends – and we see the only other living guy (our ensign who expressed in that one dialogue in the beginning of the movie that he is 20 and   wants to fast track to deep space missions) leaving the ship and running around this forest habitat (that is also penal colony BTW) and then he is chased by something we never see. We see him waking up in a room strapped to a machine with some oil can type robot taking orders from a man with crap smeared all over his face and head. This man is clutching the notes from the book the guy back in 1952 had on the train and decides this guy in his chair is not in the book (now apparently a prophesy) so he must die. Then the robot begins to pump something blue into him and he dies. But not YET! He jumps up fighting into an immediate shift to the skipper, arm around this guy as they try to run up the hill and back to their ship (or wherever) and of course then this guy dies for good. Oh yeah – all this time the computer consciousness on the ship is really trying to bring together the remnants of humanity to restock the purged Earth.

somnus.3

So, Skipper sets off the reactor on board saying, “You can’t cheat destiny.” As if this is something we have known would happen since the earliest visitation. This is all going on in OUR heads – the movie is so poorly related it takes someone with my long winded and very convoluted intellect to thresh out the intended plot – I think. So, Skipper and ship blow up – and we are shown images of the skipper’s head in his EVA and his eyes are black hollows… then we see him in the core of the ship reaching down into water to rip the dead head off the “control” of the ship and the reactor again flashes but by this time the skipper has made it back to his little virtual (SOMNUS) bed and is back on the shore. Only this time he is washing up in his EVA and pulls his helmet off.

Then, his wife walks up to the shore and looks down. She picks up a rusted old EVA head piece. Then it’s over. Is that as infuriating to anyone else as it was to me? I know it says I’m disgusted but I’m really laughing at it as well. So, don’t waste your time and if you wanted to watch it maybe you won’t be angry for the spoilers because I had to look up lots of discussion on it (okay two) to make my own synopsis with review. There are still the images of jellyfish which I refuse to dignify with pondering.

👎👎Two thumbs down because that’s all I have.

 

Post-Truth is the Opposite of Veganism

A new post on Peter Schreiner‘s FB page highlighted an intriguing inarguable disclosure by Sir David Attenborough, British naturalist extraordinaire:

Humans Are A Plague On Earth

sir-david-attenborough-the-hunt-main

How to respond to Attenborough’s sound observation?

Sir David drops this verdict into our laps, six words that indict the inhumane human species. No other species since the last extinction event can make that statement. I wonder how the other five extinctions bade the Earth farewell?

Let me guess the most common response to Attenborough’s pronouncement:

An English and French student converse.Truth be damned. Out, damn’d truth! out, I say!

Paul Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb in 1968, a time when world population was half its current size. A breakthrough a day keeps the crisis at bay. Pundits against birth control suggest that artificial contraception will lead to population dearth.

Speaking of population un-dearth, did you know that there are twice as many chickens on Earth as humans? Extend that number by the ratio of human-lifespan to chicken-lifespan to arrive at a daunting number. Hint: the number is not 42.

darth-vader_6bda9114
Dearth Vader

I leave it to my reader to research the ratios for chicken, cow and pig population. And as I write this, tomorrow is T-Day, where T≠ Thanksgiving. Another hint: the answer is fowl.

Enter the OED new word of the year for 2016: Post Truth. What better words than these for 2016?

truth-lies-detector

Ehrlich wrote his bestseller less than a decade before Exxon would discover and cover-up the findings their own scientists reported: global warming was a reality. The petrochemicals that took them to number 1 on the Fortune 500 in sales was causing it. They made this discovery in 1977.

Exxon to Planet: Drop Dead.

The logo of Exxon Mobil Corporation is shown on a monitor above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York

World population has tripled in my lifetime. A cursory glance of traffic patterns on this eve of Thanksgiving tells me that freneticism is a lousier answer than veganism. Thanksgiving is a celebration of decadence: a pilgrim/savages history lesson.

I declare that veganism is an antonym for post-truth. It faces truth full-on and deliberately. For the same reason that Thoreau brought so many to think critically. Always live your life deliberately — the matrix is already fully populated.

What is a Bold Challenge?

Harry Sinclair Lewis died in 1951; he would be 131 years old today, had he avoided death. Like the swan song that marks the extinction of a sound frequency: never to be heard again, our auditory system erases a frequency from its database. When a genuine journalist dies she is not simply replaced.

aa_news_19411201-advertisement_sinclair_lewis

Before the 17 candidates became the one I could not identify the sound of DJT’s voice from the sound of any other. It’s like a reverse swan song: from never heard to ever heard. I have yet to watch a single episode of “The Apprentice” and don’t plan to mar my record.

Sinclair Lewis explicated the incredible, the darkest shadows of homo sapiens. He dubbed the vile industry of meat manufacture a jungle. Where is the heart of that darkness today? Gone? No. The Jungle, published in 1906, has morphed into a spectacle that only grows larger — gross consumption. The rhythm of Trump’s speech slithers into my ear like a Dune-sized ear worm.

Bread and circuses and reality (TV)

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What is a bold challenge? It’s marketing jargon for carefully controlled and crafted lying. It’s a way to make a living — if you can live with yourself.

But is there a downside?

I’m thinking of submitting product names to a local Cincinnati cleaning products company. I have two so far: “Pontius Pilate Hand Sanitizer” and “Lady Macbeth Soap.”

Ad copy suggestions:

“Naturally it’s flavored”

“Naturally it’s colored”

When shopping for the slouchiest in decadent snacks, discerning and discriminating hosts choose palm oil, the chemical that clings to ingested molecules for a longer acting crave experience that does not rely on saturated fats.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Veganism, Climate and Election Seasoning

Ignorance and arrogance is a combination that echoes with brute force this very curious year. Unfortunately, both are proudly celebrated. Doubly unfortunate for the entire planet: the sad celebration of ignorance occurs in an election year.

climate-change-conference

The topic least considered is the topic most important, global warming or climate change? Your choice.

What actions would HRC or DJT  take on climate change? And answer came there none. It’s not a convenient time to…uh…next question please.

BTW, I am running on the Vegan ticket. For write-in ballots I suggest

Bill Ziegler (the one on billziegler1947.com). Readers are welcome to apply for cabinet positions in the event that I receive the most electoral votes.

Ironically, in 1912 the climate researcher Alfred Wegener proposed a theory of continental drift, positing that different large landmasses of the Earth almost fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. That they appeared to move. He was correct, but off by two orders of magnitude in the speed of plate movement. GPS tracks it automatically and continually now. 

Sadly a very influential paleontologist name George Gaylord Simpson vehemently fought against Wegener.

Prof. Dr. Alfred Wegener, ca. 1924-1930
Prof. Dr. Alfred Wegener, ca. 1924-1930

When I first began studies in Geography at the University of Cincinnati in 1965 (in the day of slide rules).Wegener was mentioned for his climate work, but the professors at that time roundly dismissed any realistic notion that the Americas ever met Eur-Africa. Tectonic plates. The thought had a romantic and fanciful value, but no evidence supported it.

In 1976 Exxon received the results of a study they launched on the global impact of increasing dependence upon fossil fuels. Exxon risked eventually losing claim to “We’re Number 1” (USAUSAUSA) on the Fortune 500. Ignoring evidence is an enormously profitable enterprise.

Addressing climate change could have begun 40 years ago. Veganism may be the only option available. It’s also great for your personal health. Just expounding.

Unfortunately (very unfortunately) a tectonic shift in political execution began in 1980.

There is great  symbolism in the release of hostages during Reagan’s inaugural address. Allow blame to flow to the Carter Administration, rigorously and self-righteously deny any hint of a deal in Nicaragua. Proceed with an order to remove Carter’s solar panels from the White House roof. The Project for the New American Century raised a toast to the death of the 70’s. I call it mourning in America.

 

Slave-level labor keeps inflation in check. Fill in the blank, Made in …..

Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger are both still alive, still active and still war criminals. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

Meanwhile Jimmy Carter hopes that the Guinea Worm will die before he does. Google guinea + worm for details.

guinea-worm-carter

A question raised in January 2016 by the Party of the Grand Olds: Who will be our next Reagan? That month a friend of mine predicted the total collapse of the Republican Party. In the same month that friend asked my son about his estimation of the number of racists in the United States, he answered 35%. DJT’s hardcore.

January was already a WTF year by February. Lisa joins those explaining zombies in popular culture as a response to the impending doom dropped into their collective laps by preceding generations. As one of them. I can only agree.

iran-contra-bush-reagan-herbert

At least Jerry Rubin did not live to witness the folly of equating a growing wealth-management portfolio with a revolution. RIP stock portfolios.

Details at 11:00.

Thanks for reading.

USAUSAUSA? Looks like Sausage to me.

As the sage dictum suggests, don’t inquire into its contents. As a vegan I now enjoy reading the ingredients in such no-animal tube meats as Field Roast, produced by artisans who sign off on their work.

field.roast

Genuine big-deal topics are not covered in this depressing election year.

Smallish asteroids are reported only after they slip by our planet. I hear that extinction events occur regularly, perhaps half a dozen of them since the planet sphered together over a few billion years or so.

extinction.event

Or is it 6,000 years ago? I’m told that your guess is as good as mine. Have I mentioned that I live close (geographically) to the Creation Museum and to that other Ken Ham production? 

Climate change is associated with extinction events but it wasn’t in keeping with the alternate reality show in Cleveland, the progressive pole of electoral Ohio. Cincinnati, at the conservative pole, get noticed every four years. I’m just south of the Ohio River. We don’t decide elections here, but there is no dearth of demagogues in Frankfort. Hell, we couldn’t even ditch Mitch.

poll.tax.now

Woody Guthrie knew fascism, synchronistically well. Guthrie’s father fell victim to the father of today’s favorite fascist. That word is not used on right-wing calling cards, but by their actions do we know them. Our fascist du jour might just give it an Ayn-Randian shrug. Where is John Galt when we don’t need him?

woodytrump

Veganism is another threat to capitalist society as we know it. Death is a great job creator. Trillion dollar enterprises thrive on the death sector in our capitalist cornucopia. I sit on a man’s back… Cheers!

A vegan diet is a planet saver. It provides no answer for impending meteor strikes, but it means taking a potent step toward addressing climate change.

A vegan diet grants benefits to all and to each. You can even read about the vegan choice in one or two posts here. I leave them to your discretion; in fact, I leave everything to your discretion.

every-time-you-eat-or-drink-you-are-either-feeding-disease-or-fighting-it-quote-1

Fascism is a disease.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to No Future: Daze of Rage

A toss of the hat to Hidden Causes, Visible Effects

I’ve been spinning wheels here trying to draft coherent thoughts  on the inexplicable year 2016. My earliest election year memories extend to 1956 television: watching people in suits holding a sign with the word Connecticut, someone being handed the microphone and booming out an exact count ‘for the right honorable Carey Estes Kefauver.’

carey.estes.kefauver

It’s fourteen leap-years later, but I recall none that parallel even the first five months of 2016.

So, citing a fellow traveler who recalls at least as many election years as I:

Hidden Causes, Visible Effects:

dk.fennell

“One doesn’t have to be particularly observant to notice that we have entered dangerous territory in our public realm. The fact that the Republican Party will nominate a man who makes openly racist appeals, attacks by name and ethnic background a judge presiding over a case in which his business is a party (in a money case, not even a matter of judicial philosophy), insists that as President he will cut back press protections and “have people sue you like you never get sued before,” refuses to rule out first strike use of nuclear weapons, flirt with authoritarians and dictators, ridicules the disabled, women, protestors…”

Read more: Back to No Future: Daze of Rage

Now that I have stood upon another pair of shoulders I will continue to laze-out, taking just the time to pose a trivia question, which of the Chicago 7/Chicago 8  was a University of Cincinnati alumnus, later to become a stock-market revolutionary? Hint below.

jerry.rubin
From The Native Angeleno

Just for the record, the answer to this trivia question does not help explain 2016. So I shall go back to drawing straws.

And do not hesitate to contact me if you can predict anything by November.