The first time I saw Braveheart I was for the three hour span, like everyone else, mostly entranced by Mel Gibson’s legs. Recently, when I watched the movie again my attention was allowed to wander enough to grasp the message it was trying to send. Shame on you, Mel, for producing this piece of propagandistic putridity.
The story begins with the English King Edwards the Longshanks restoring a much-needed peace between the English and the Scots. A short while later, when he instituted the ‘Prima Nocta’ (English lords may party down with Scottish brides) I thought, “Finally, somebody who gets free love!” We may never know if this daring policy would have been but one in a series of enlightened reforms that would have led the country peacefully out of the Dark Ages and into the warm progressive light of progress because William Wallace (Gibson) bull-headedly used a single murder as an excuse to preemptively launch a campaign of organized murder that would claim countless lives throughout its duration.
The most heartbreaking scene in the movie occurs before the big Battle of Stirling. Wallace had recruited from the poorest percent of the population a herd of mindless sheeple to bleed and die for him in the senseless slaughter soon to come–a kind of ‘troop surge’ to pointlessly prolong the conflict. But two of these men turned out to be true heroes. Stepping forth from personal puddles of urine they courageously refused to participate in the carnage, and even attempted to persuade their fellows to tuck their tails between their legs with them! As they told the military establishment to f*** off I stood and applauded. This was true bravery. But it was all for naught. Wallace turned his propaganda machine on full throttle to silence the protesters and the killing commenced as scheduled.
Wallace next laid plans for a unilateral invasion of the sovereign nation of England. As his army moved onto English soil without a timetable for withdrawal it was like watching the next victim open the basement door in a slasher flick. It may be true that Edward the Longshanks had done some bad things in the past, but he was getting old and wasn’t a threat to anybody! Every move on the part of the King towards peace and reconciliation was shot down and spat on by the Scots, making it increasingly clear that Wallace had wanted to go to war all along. Perhaps he harbored a ulterior motive? A desire perhaps to finish what his father, who appeared in the movie’s opening scenes, had started?
Of course the official casus belli was for ‘freedom’. The accursed word cropped up over and over in the film. Every time I heard it I winced not unlike a Knight who says Ni at the sound of the word ‘it’. How much blood has been shed throughout history in the service of that demon!
But the climax revealed that it was Gibson’s intent to glorify the lie. The arrest of the infamous war criminal at last brought an end to the tragic cycle of violence. While his sentence was carried out he bellowed that word at the top of his lungs, instantly killing all Knights who say Ni within an 80-mile radius. Thankfully, I was able to hold onto my wits long enough to stumble close to the VCR and pop in a Michael Moore tape before I passed out.
To Iraq, in Politics
If Not in Fact
Inspired by the above almost-Haiku identified by James Taranto as masquerading as a Washington Post headline, I thought I’d try listening to my own poetry muse for a change. Here are a few I came up with. I hope you find them pleasing to your mental ear and soothing to your soul.
Jews, Christians, Muslims
Why can’t we all get along?
The Jews most of all
Bush and bin Laden
A cycle of violence
A cycle of pain
Match made in heaven
Our love will last forever
Al Gore and the tree
Why do they hate us?
Don’t they know hate is a crime?
Live, love, and abort
Snowy field of silent white
The page will not load
Caged bird cannot fly
All men desire freedom
OJ Simpson too
Falling autumn leaves
Who will pick them up? Someone?!
Waking in cold sweat
Nightmare of nations come true
Results in, Jeb won
So who else likes to write Haiku?
“George W Bush. Great President, or Greatest President?”
— Stephen Colbert to his guests (from time to time)
In my opinion Colbert is not being completely fair here. There may very well be a guest who would like to have the choice to answer “Greater President” because after all, the world is not black and white. There are shades of grey in between.
I bring this up to better introduce today’s topic (I think you’ll agree it leads in perfectly!), which is How To Make an Origami Hydralisk.
Few of my readers will have discovered axcho’s artful instructions, seeing as a google on the word ‘hydralisk’ brings up the site you were really looking for within the first five hits. Not looking beyond you would indeed be missing out.
While I’ve not yet had a chance to replicate myself thusly (a voice keeps telling me to “Spawn more Overlords!”), the Flash instructional is quite lucid, and based on the pictures I’m seeing the finished product looks smart.
Of course I am more handsome in real life. Also, the model could be improved by having an impaled origami marine dangling gruesomely from one of my claws, but you can’t have everything.
Thank you, axcho! Looking forward to seeing origami instructions for my big brother, Ultra.
Sara Goudarzi of LiveScience reporting on a new study:
While eyes are the vehicles for receiving visual images, the brain decides how attractive those images are. Attractiveness appears to be related to how easy you can wrap your brain around a face.
“A stimulus beomces attractive if it falls into the average of what you’ve seen and is therefore simple for your brain to process,” said study author Piotr Winkielman, of the University of California, San Diego. “In our experiments, we show that we can make an arbitrary pattern likeable just by preparing the mind to recognize it quickly.”
Neat. These guys have simultaenously discovered why on earth anybody has ever bought a minimalist art painting, why provincial homely-looking married couples really do think their spouse is the peachiest thing, and why nearly everybody listens to the very crappiest music they can find.
Den of Hydralisks is committed to bringing you the most shocking and exciting news of the day. Such as a report published in Pravda that “Dead people grow no huge claws and no long hair as they lie still in their graves.”
Den of Hydralisks brings you the news you want to hear. What is the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island in the world? Den of Hydralisks has the answer.
But Den of Hydralisks goes the second mile, sending our reporters off to faraway websites to lift images acquired and scanned by others for your viewing pleasure.
And Den of Hydralisks goes a step beyond to bring you all the relevant information you might need in order to plan a vacation with your family to that island lake island lake island.
(Must-see attractions: water
Items you should bring along: a towel
Useful phrases for communicating with the locals: stand at the highest point and shout at the top of your lungs anything you please)
Den of Hydralisks delivers the scoops no one else will. Den of Hydralisks was the first and only to report that Blizzard has confirmed Archons will be returning in Starcraft 2.
We bring you the news *before* it breaks. Such as an unconfirmed rumor that Maki Goto‘s new album scheduled for release in September will be titled How to use SEXY (Den of Hydralisks is not making this unconfirmed rumor up). And Den of Hydralisks answers all your relevant questions about it. “Am I the only one who thinks Maki Goto looks like a horse?” Answer: no
Den of Hydralisks cuts through the spin to get at the heart of issues. Is global warming really happening? Den of Hydralisks has no idea, but here’s Al Gore’s email address: email@example.com
But most importantly, Den of Hydralisks brings you the news you need to know.
The stories that make a difference.
The stories that impact our lives.
The stories that touch our lives.
In-depth analysis of the most meaningful, historically significant events of our day.