Sunday, August 25, 2019

Your Tax Dollars At Work

There was a Monday in July when Rochester residents went about their days to a tragic story. A three-year-old boy died at a Tim Hortons restaurant downtown. If you've spent any time in downtown Rochester, you know exactly where that Tim Horton's store is, it's the one in front of the Price-Rite that seems like it's just in the way. The toddler's mother had taken the kid to work with her. Police were called at 10:56 a.m. on July 15 about a missing child. He was found a few minutes later, having fallen into a poorly-guarded grease trap outside. From all accounts, it was a harrowing event. According to the Democrat and Chronicle:

Witnesses removed the child from the grease trap and administered CPR until first responders arrived. Employees were seen crying outside and consoling each other after the child was taken away by ambulance.

Today, it was reported that Monroe County had swept 2,500 businesses in the area for grease trap safety checks. Four were found not to have been covered properly, and the county worked with those businesses to remediate those problems. The county currently has no regulations regarding these gizmos, but new legislation has been forwarded at the county level. A public hearing will be held to talk about that proposal on September 10 at the Monroe County Legislature at 6:45 p.m.

In July 2019, the public of Monroe County was alerted to a deadly problem in a startling way. The government acted immediately and swiftly, eliciting the cooperation of two thousand five hundred businesses in a month and is already acting to ensure this emergency action is not merely singular, to ensure that going forward, this previously overlooked problem will not recur, and that another Tenitia Cullum will not have to lose another child to an uncovered grease trap in Monroe County again.

I cannot imagine the "free-market" solution that would have acted so swiftly and so decisively in reaction to this shocking tragedy. And yet, there are some who would think that our government overreached and that, somehow, supply and demand would have done a much better job.

Kudos to our Republican County Manager for her bold leadership and for grabbing the government reigns to quickly address this issue. Perhaps free-market solutions can wait around for another urgent matter to address.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Good Eats: The Return

I cannot begin to tell you how happy it makes me that Alton Brown is back to his roots. This man taught me how to cook well. Here is the first episode, courtesy of Cooking Channel, on YouTube. Chicken parmesan, ya'll.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Linux Spelled Backwards is xunil

On this date in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. It was 37 pages long.
In Other News

Monday, August 12, 2019

Not To Put Too Fine a Point On It

"I don't think he's a white nationalist, but I think that the white nationalists think the he's a white nationalist, and that's even more troubling." (South Carolina Republigoat Mark Sanford on Hardball tonight)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Quentin Tarantino is one sick bastard.

I am about to write about a movie that is currently in the theaters, called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I have seen the movie, and I am about to write about the movie. This means reading the following may not behoove you if you have not seen said movie and intend to. Requisite spoiler alert handled. Get on with yer bad self.

I don't know about you, but the first thing that tickled me about Quentin Tarantino's ninth film, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" was an unabashed, non-masked appropriation of the Wilhelm scream.

It is the first hint to its audience of what this film is: It is, on the whole, Tarantino's mash note, his Lloyd Dobbler with boom-box raised above his head scene, his rose petals sprinkled over the bed and chocolate covered strawberries to Hollywood.

And it is this in multitudes. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt play, respectively, an early-'60s western series actor Rick Dalton and his stuntman Cliff Booth, now in 1969 when America's love for shows like Gunsmoke and The Rifleman are fading. Dalton is being wooed for Italian spaghetti westerns and resists, though his current spate of jobs is guest-starring as the heavy on the remaining shoot-em-ups on television. It is within this context that Tarantino gets to create a mini-western within his film, a phrase that is challenging, frustrating, doubtful, and in the end victoriously redemptive for Dalton.

Tarantino, as you might know, is a master at mis-direction. His movies pull quarters out of your ears and put the card you picked into your own pocket. There is a macguffin in Hollywood but it's not a fucking briefcase. It's the Manson murders and what Tarantino is going to do with them. Is he going to do what I had expected and create a vengeance motive? Or would he dare to once again change a huge story's ending, as he did in Showing results for Inglourious Basterds and to some extent in Django Unchained?

Well, as Tarantino bashes you over the head with near the film's end, THE MOVIE IS CALLED ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. It's named like a fairy tale. What do you think happens?

What happens in the end is yet another Tarantino vengeance fantasy. For most of the film, harsh violence is more whispered than it is shown. Until the end. Until the end. Holy forking shirtballs, until the end. But, as in Basterds and Django, it is a bizarre pop-culture catharsis. Unlike those films, the violence is depicted in a way that unscrews the lid completely. You will see a person's face as a mangled, bloody stub. It may help you feel better that the person portrayed is Patricia Krenwinkel, one of the Manson Helter Skelter clan.

My Dad and I agreed that this would somehow via butterfly effect have been a better world had Tarantino's story played out, had two washed up Hollywood boys thwarted the most infamous Hollywood murder ever, had Sharon Tate been allowed to carry her pregnancy to term, or even, what the hell, had Jay Sebring not been shot, kicked in the face, and stabbed to death at age 36.

Somehow, Tarantino's rewriting of these events is incredibly uplifting.

Once upon a time. The most fucked up fairy tale I've ever seen.

P.S. Margaret Qualley has impossibly beautiful legs. There, I said it.