April 30, 2007

Seriously, why is anyone still driving?

With $4 gallons about to spring up everywhere, how can anyone afford it?

(Ally has written a guest Dogboy story here. If YOU have a Dogboy story you'd like to share, send it to: writer@aarondietz.us)

April 26, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine: Dare I Trash Such A Film?

First, thanks to all who checked in with their own opinion on the film.  Remember: all opinions are valid until they are paid for.  Now, please enjoy this paraphrased (edited) list of reviews.  My short review is at the very bottom.

Positive reviews:

Aaron (not me, a different Aaron): I liked it because it wasn't the major huge happy triumphant ending.

Ally: I liked it because the desperation was real.

Claudine: The characters were great and it required no thinking.

Dabi: In a film world filled with stupid pandering towards the lowest common denominator, Little Miss Sunshine caters to viewers who want a lot of intelligence in their humour, with a healthy dose of profanity mixed up.

Fantastic H: The characters are people that you wish you knew in real life and when the movie ends it is sad because you know you will miss them.

Jeremicah: Irresistible character building.

MickeyBlowTorch: Alan Arkin's character was priceless. I don't know too many elderly people kicked out of nursing homes for snorting heroin.

mr whatever: I like pretty much every movie that doesn't completely suck. The Matrix sequels sucked, but they didn't totally and completely suck, there were robots and kung fu and flying people in those after all. and I've

watched those more than once. Little Miss Sunshine didn't suck near to that level (acting, dialogue, story, all superior to the MAX), but then again I haven't watched it that many times. I attribute that to the fact that there weren't any robots or kung fu or flying people in Little Miss Sunshine..... Here just use this: I LIKE MOVIES! YAAAAAAAY!

Peregrine Flounder: Those characters...all have a life that seems to extend beyond the...screen, a rarity in movies these days. Everything about it was just so . . . cute.... Smart too. The performance at the pageant had me laughing and crying at the same time.

Pie Is The New Toast: I can't quite put my finger on it, but the humor was great in it.... I could relate to Olive and her father....

Rachael: I loved it. Because great character driven ensemble movies reign. Because Abigail Breslin is adorable. Because you love each character in spite of their glaring faults. Because of the ice cream scene. Because the focus of Steve Carell's eyes says more than his words. Haha, because the sound of the bus horn going non stop sounds just like my sister cat Bezor.

Redd: The characters were interesting and well-developed. All the actors nailed their performances with a great mix of humanity and humor.

Slacksploitation: Alan Arkin, Steve Carell were fucking hilarious as adult freaks.... I also really liked DeVotchka's soundtrack.... Thematically, I like the idea of authentic people sticking it to the "pretty" or "normal" people.... The people were weird, the soundtrack was quirky and expansive, proust is used -- it's a good film.


Not as positive reviews:

Desi: I enjoyed watching it, but I wouldn't consider it a favorite movie. I really identified with the teenage son though.

Kerri Lynn: *in the voice of Randy jackson* It was just okay for me, dog.... Seriously, I think I would say it was a 'cute' movie. But wasn't as good as I'd hoped it would be. So I did not love it or hate it.

Sophia: It seemed like it was trying to be off-kilter and indy.... I like to feel there is a point to a film.... Mostly, I felt it was trying too hard.

Somewhat ambiguous reviews:

AC for life!: I suppose I enjoyed the drug addict grandfather.

Adam: Aaaaaaaron, YOU are Little Miss Sunshine. And that is all.

Lauren: Liked it in the movie theater, as the audience really got into it. Watched it again on DVD and couldn't figure out why I liked it the first time.

And now, finally, my review:

Aaaaaaron: In short, it was a triumph of style over substance. And I prefer substance.

April 17, 2007

I will now trash The Secret without ever having seen the movie

The Secret: stupid feel good bullshit designed to make people delusionally happy (at least, delusionally happy enough to spend their money).

I can tell you why it's stupid, because I have the book that the movie is based on. I checked it out from the library. And to further point out how stupid it is, I don't even have to read a word of the book to trash it. All I need is the copy on the cover.

The book claims that a secret "has been passed down through the ages" and that now this book will reveal it to you (for $23.95, if you're not friendly with libraries). Read on: "As you learn The Secret, you will come to know how you can have, be, or do anything you want."

The book supports this claim by stating that this "secret" was known by "some of the most prominent people in history". It lists them: Plato, Galileo, Beethoven, Edison, Carnegie, and Einstein.

This is how we know this book is already contradicting itself. If these men (apparently the secret has only been known to men) could have anything they wanted, why did Einstein struggle for most of his adult life to come up with a Unified Theory of Everything (he failed)? Why was Carnegie's reputation permanently damaged by the Homestead Incident?  Why did Edison have to try thousands of different filaments before he got his light bulb working? Why was Beethoven deaf? Why was Galileo persecuted for his heliocentric model of the universe? Why was Plato unable to stop the unjust trial that resulted in Socrates's death?

In reality, these men suffered, just like the rest of us (okay, maybe Carnegie didn't suffer that much, but the others did). I'm all for positive thinking--it helps people. It has helped me, even. But when positive thinking works, it has more to do with accepting what you have than trying to "have, be, or do anything you want."

Besides, this book has people like Neale Donald Walsh contributing to it, a man who claims to have conversations with a god that called George Bush I a "visionary."

"Life is pain.... Anyone who says differently is selling something."

         -From William Goldman's The Princess Bride

April 15, 2007

A Transcript From The Office Of CIA Agent Jones

CIA AGENT JONES: I want tamari almonds to disappear.

ASSISTANT: From the Capitol Hill area? Or all of Seattle?

CIA AGENT JONES: I don't want Aaron Dietz to be able to find tamari almonds anywhere in Seattle proper. He loves those things.


CIA AGENT JONES: And get rid of baba ganoush, too. It's okay for restaurants to have it; just get rid of all those easy-to-make baba ganoush mixes they sell at the grocery stores.

ASSISTANT: But sir--our records indicate that Aaron Dietz only uses those once every six months or so.

CIA AGENT JONES: That's especially why it will perplex him. Besides, I checked his Google Calendar and he has a "Falafel Night" with the significant other coming up. I know he'll want to make baba ganoush.

ASSISTANT: It shall be done.

April 10, 2007


I'd really like to leave Starbucks alone, but they keep pulling some pretty ridiculous bull honkey.

To be fair, they have made improvements--since I started picking on them about 18 months ago, they've doubled the percentage of Fair Trade coffee that they buy (from 3 to 6 per cent of their total supply).  So, they are improving.  They can show people statistics that support this fact.  Yet, they continue to rely on smokescreens and flashy phrases, rather than simply saying, "We're not as socially responsible as we want to be in the future."  When corporations use P.R. smoke and mirrors, I get suspicious and downright hateful.

The smoke and mirrors:

I've been told that "Starbucks offers Fair Trade coffee everyday."  While this is technically true, it is not true within the context of my question ("When is Fair Trade coffee brewed in my local store?").  I wasn't asking about the pounds of Fair Trade coffee beans you can buy (which are indeed offered every day).  I wanted to buy Fair Trade coffee brewed on a day when it is their special "Coffee of the Day".  Several friends in this effort have reported getting the same feedback when asking about Fair Trade coffee.

When I emailed them to find out when Fair Trade coffee would be the "Coffee of the Day", they wrote back (without quoting my email--they don't like to encourage an open dialogue): "Starbucks is committed to brewing Fair Trade Certified coffee as part of our 'Coffee of the Day' program."  Problem solved LOL!

A friend of mine asked about Fair Trade coffee and was told by a Starbucks store manager, "All our coffee is fairly traded."  Apparently, the manager doesn't expect consumers to know the difference between a standard (Fair Trade coffee) and a statement of opinion ("our coffee is fairly traded").

Starbucks, why must you insult the intelligence of your consumers?

Note: in case you're wondering what I did with that Starbucks gift card of mine....  It was too difficult to figure out when I would be able to purchase Fair Trade brewed coffee, so I spent the $50 gift card on a coffeemaker.  If anyone has some fun stickers I could use to put over the Starbucks logo, I'd love it if you sent them my way.

April 03, 2007

A Quick Update...

Thanks to el capitan for offering some mega mega awesome assistance that I fortunately didn't need in transferring some files off of my dead laptop.  He convinced me to do it myself, ultimately saving me hundreds of dollars.  Thanks!

In other news, there is a new Dogboy story up here, guest written by King Rusty.

And in still other news, I've been invited to write for subREVOLT, a pretty impressive site for people that are cool.  My first piece for them is up right here.  Make sure you check out their Worst Comic Ever series.  Problem solved LOL!