Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Phantom of The Opera


For our Halloween revels this dark night, The Pacific Slope proudly presents one of the most frightening depictions of The Phantom committed to film: The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Cheney Sr. as The Phantom.

Good night... sleep well, if you can.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Grim Grinning Ghosts

Seeing as Halloween is upon us, here are the Barenaked Ladies performing "Grim Grinning Ghosts."

Be safe and have fun this Halloween, and, as ever, beware...

Beware of hitch-hiking ghosts!



Ghost Village

Doom Buggies

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Zombie Preparedness Has A Long Ways To Go

Jim Geraghty adds this coda to this morning's Morning Jolt:
On Tuesday, AMC tried a publicity stunt to promote their new horror series about life after zombies take over the world, The Walking Dead. The stunt was to hire actors, have the makeup crew turn them into bloody, ugly zombies, and have them start slouching around major landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and the Brooklyn Bridge and 24 others around the world.

Of course, zombie movies are now so ubiquitous that I half-figured that a well-conditioned and educated populace would simply roll into action with double-tap headshots and creative use of chainsaws to ensure the continued existence of humanity.
More preparation and public education is obviously needed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Can't Stop Making Snow Angels

Steve Lindbeck, president and general manager of Alaska station KSKA, expressed similar sentiments. “It struck me as an overreaction,” he told Fox News from Anchorage. “And then I listened online to his comment in context [on the October 18 edition of "The O'Reilly Factor"]…And it didn’t strike me as [being as] difficult as it originally appeared….That’s a problem, where people occasionally don’t look at the context.” Lindbeck said KSKA exceeded its fundraising goals last week, which saw the Williams controversy coinciding with pledge drives at most NPR stations, but added: “I doubt that it was good [for fundraising]….I don’t think it was the most deft handling of the situation.”

No, “deft” is not the first word that springs to mind. [NPR's] Vivian Schiller has thrown herself face-first into an identity politics minefield and can’t stop making snow angels.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Scratch Hard Enough

The huge dachas of the leadership on the Black Sea coast contrasted with the miserable hovels of the peasants on the road to Tiblisi. The facade of ethnic friendship among the fraternal peoples of the Soviet Union contrasted with feverish, paranoid hatreds festering just under the surface. As in Yugoslavia, I got to know people who were nerving themselves up to massacre their neighbors and drive innocent people out of their homes. I saw how the worst nationalistic paranoias and chauvinisms raged unchecked under Soviet rule — while in the capitalist west most Europeans had left that murderous claptrap behind long ago. Communism, it seemed to me then and still seems to me now, is not the opposite of fascism: it is fascism’s blood-brother, its complementary twin. The two live together in a vicious symbiotic relationship; scratch a Red and you’ll find a Brown. Better yet, scratch either one deeply enough and you will find a Black: someone so caught up in the will to power that crimes and atrocities don’t even count anymore.

Remember When We Built Things, Fast?

"It took 410 days to build the Empire State Building; four years to erect the Golden Gate Bridge. The Pentagon took two years; the Alaska Highway just nine months. These days it takes longer to build an overpass."

Jonah Goldberg

Friday, October 15, 2010

Because The Night

"Because The Night," 10,000 Maniacs. (Do you think they counted them all?)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Repost: The Beginning of a Reckoning for the Khmer Rouge

Tyler's Note: I originally posted this two weeks ago, but I wanted to call your attention to its contents again. So here it is.

Claire Berlinski over at pointed out this article by Guy Sorman at City Journal. Mr. Sorman explains that Cambodia is finally bringing to justice - in a civil, lawful manner - some of those who perpetrated the horrors of the killing fields.

But Cambodians and foreigners alike still struggle to understand why so many were put to death. Mr. Sorman explains that the answer why is chillingly simple - such carnage is an essential part of Communism, a natural reflex:
But who or what was behind what the tribunal has called the genocide of Khmers by other Khmers? Might this be the fault of the United States? Was it not the Americans who, by setting up a regime in Cambodia to their liking, brought about a nationalist reaction? Or, might this genocide not be a cultural legacy, distinctive of Khmer civilization? Archeologists are digging through the past in vain to find a historical precedent. The true explanation, the meaning of the crime, can be found in the declarations of the Khmer Rouge themselves: just as Hitler described his crimes in advance, Pol Pot (who died in 1998) had explained early on that he would destroy his people, so as to create a new one. Pol Pot called himself a Communist; he became one in the 1960s as a student in Paris, then a cradle of Marxism. Since Pol Pot and leaders of the regime that he forced on his people referred to themselves as Communists—and in no way claimed to be heirs of some Cambodian dynasty—we must acknowledge that they were, in fact, Communists.

What the Khmer Rouge brought to Cambodia was in fact real Communism. There was no radical distinction, either conceptually or concretely, between the rule of the Khmer Rouge and that of Stalinism, Maoism, Castroism, or the North Korean regime. All Communist regimes follow strangely similar trajectories, barely colored by local traditions. In every case, these regimes seek to make a blank slate of the past and to forge a new humanity. In every case, the “rich,” intellectuals, and skeptics wind up exterminated. The Khmer Rouge rounded up urban and rural populations in agricultural communities based on precedents both Russian (the Kolkhozy) and Chinese (the popular communes), and they acted for the same ideological reasons and with the same result: famine. There is no such thing as real Communism without massacre, torture, concentration camps, gulags, or laogai. And if there has never been any such thing, then we must conclude that there could be no other outcome: Communist ideology leads necessarily to mass violence, because the masses do not want real Communism. This is as true in the rice fields of Cambodia as in the plains of Ukraine or under Cuban palms.
And still, far too many refuse to see. It simply hasn't been done properly yet; it just wasn't done right. Give us a chance. We'll make it work.

But killing is Communism's nature. It is essential to how it works, how it survives.

Communism survives - no, thrives - on blood and horror and human misery.


By the way, if all this seems like cold numbers to you, read this. It is an account by Pin Yathay, a man who welcomed the arrival of the Khmer Rouge into the capital - and spent the next two years trying to survive them. He escaped with only his life, watching his entire family die at their hands or by their neglect.

When everything - and everyone - is property of The State on behalf of The People, it is truly horrible what crimes will be committed in their name.


P.S. Ricochet and City Journal should be weekly visits, at minimum. There are some fascinating conversations at Ricochet, and absolutely fantastic writing at City Journal.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Desert Empire

Presenting "Desert Empire," an old Universal Pictures travelogue touring Utah just before World War Two.

Sponsored by the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad.

Yes, really.

Blogging Advisory Is Now In Effect

I'm going to be doing quite a bit of travelling the next couple of weeks, so posting will be lighter than usual. (Yes, even lighter than usual.)

Back to normal operations by October 20th.

Friday, October 01, 2010


Real, by James Wesley

What About Armistice Day, Then?

Good news: on Sunday, the First World War will finally be over. From the Telegraph:

The First World War will officially end on Sunday, 92 years after the guns fell silent, when Germany pays off the last chunk of reparations imposed on it by the Allies.

The final payment of £59.5 million, writes off the crippling debt that was the price for one world war and laid the foundations for another.

Germany was forced to pay the reparations at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as compensation to the war-ravaged nations of Belgium and France and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging what was then the bloodiest conflict in history, leaving nearly ten million soldiers dead.

Events from nearly a hundred years ago, still haunting us today. Given that my generation can't even be bothered to remember the significance of November 11, 1918, I imagine this will go by with little more than a smirk and raised eyebrow, if that.