2000 Dead in Iraq

There will be vigils tomorrow (Wednesday) across the country noting the 2000th American serviceperson killed in Iraq. These demonstrations have been organized by the American Friends Service Committee and Moveon.org.

You can check here or here for an event near you.

Locally, there will be vigils at 5:30pm on Wolf Road and Central Ave. in Colonie, at 7pm in front of the Post Office in Saratoga Springs and other locations. At 3:30pm, there will be a demonstration in front of Congressman Sweeney’s Office in Clifton Park. For more local information, check here.

Sci-Fi Movies

Tosy directed me to writer John Scalzi’s page. Scalzi has written The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies, now officially available for purchase in the US.

The book is arranged in several interesting-sounding chapters, including The Science: the science (or lack thereof) in science fiction films.

He predicts that “the part of the book that’s going to get most people’s attention — and raise hackles — is The Canon, which features the 50 science fiction films I have deemed to be the most significant in the history of film. Note that ‘most significant’ does not mean ‘best’ or ‘most popular’ or even ‘most influential.’ Some of the films may be all three of these, but not all of them are — indeed, some films in The Canon aren’t objectively very good, weren’t blockbusters and may not have influenced other filmmakers to any significant degree. Be that as it may, I think they matter — in one way or another, they are uniquely representative of some aspect of the science fiction film experience.”

So, what films are in The Canon? Here, in alphabetical order, are “the 50 science fiction films you have to see before you die”:
(The ones I”ve seen are in italics:

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
Back to the Future– in fact all three of them
Blade Runner-is my omission a cardinal sin? (Cardinal Sin- didn’t he used to be the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines?)
Brazil- had fully intended to one day, and it didn’t happen
Bride of Frankenstein
Brother From Another Planet– but I’ve seen a LOT of John Sayles movies
A Clockwork Orange– but I don’t plan to watch it AGAIN
Close Encounters of the Third Kind– I think I’ve seen both versions
The Damned
Destination Moon
The Day The Earth Stood Still
Escape From New York
ET: The Extraterrestrial
Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
The Fly (1985 version)
Forbidden Planet
Ghost in the Shell
The Incredibles– so there, Hemby!
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version) – I saw the later version, too
Jurassic Park
Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
The Matrix
On the Beach
Planet of the Apes (1968 version)– I saw all 5 Apes movies at a drive-in in one night! Brutal.
Sleeper– but then, I saw all of the Woody Allen pictures of that era
Solaris (1972 version)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan– saw the first five films, none since
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
– I also saw VI, and I
The Stepford Wives– I HAVE to assume he means the original film, not the recent remake
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Thing From Another World
Things to Come
12 Monkeys
28 Days Later
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
2001: A Space Odyssey

La Voyage Dans la Lune
War of the Worlds (1953 version)

Well, I’ve seen exactly half. So if I live to be 104, I’ll be sure to see the other 25.

Sister Rosa

Much of what I’ve heard about Rosa Parks’ courageous act was contradictory.
Even when I heard it from Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks sat down in the white section of that Montgomery bus because she was tired from working all day.
The only thing Rosa Parks was tired of was sitting in the back of the bus.

Rosa Parks was a simple seamstress who didn’t know that she would be arrested.
Rosa Parks was a secretary with the local NAACP and had a pretty good idea that she would be arrested.

Whatever the particulars, they do not alter the fact that Rosa Parks’ action, followed by the 13-month Montgomery bus boycott, altered the country for the better.
When I heard Rosa Parks died, I pulled out my Neville Brothers’ album, Yellow Moon, and played the track “Sister Rosa”:

Thank you Miss Rosa, you are the spark,
You started our freedom movement.
Thank you, Sister Rosa Parks.

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