Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Pro-Illegal Immigration Protests

You're not protesting... you're skipping school. How very brave.

Now go get your shine box.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'd Prefer to Think of Baseball

Remember an episode of The Simpsons where Homer took a business trip with a sexy coworker (Mindy, voiced by Michelle Pfeiffer)... she seemed so much like him and also seemed to be making a move on Homer. To combat his obvious attraction to Mindy, Homer tried to "think unsexy thoughts".

He needn't look any farther than here. By the way, that is a 30 year old woman at 5' 9" weighing 280 pounds.

(Cue Stanley Tucci from The Impostors, "I'm BLIND!!!")

Apparently, she took her kids from their father (her ex-husband) and had the kids call her Daddy. Of course, she denies this was an effort to avoid police.

Something tells me she might get off light considering this is a so-called lifestyle choice.

(By the way, even the image of Patti and Selma shaving their legs together in the bathroom or drunk Barney in a red bikini singing the "I Dream of Genie" theme isn't as unsexy as "Mister" White.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Blog Stumble

Obviously, I've not been hitting hard at the keyboard recently. What I don't do on the blog I end up doing 'round the house... I've been cleaning up and organizing a bit.

Excuses, excuses... I know.

In any case, I plan to write a little something rather soon and more regular for next week.

Check out the Sci-Fi channel tonight. It is one of the best episodes from this new series of Doctor Who (with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper)... "The Unquiet Dead". (The best comes up in a few more weeks... "The Empty Child".)

Sopranos Spoilers!

I really like #3 and #5.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blog Speed Bumps

I'm surprised I've blogged as much as I have... work's a little heavier than usual. I'll try to get something on to Anti-Strib soon, but I suspect much of this week will crawl as far as blogging is concerned.

Hopefully I'll get some kind of post up regarding Lenten abstinence (eating no meat) and the Friday Feast of St. Patrick by the end of the work week.

We'll see. Maybe Hadleyblogger Mitchell might mention it at Our Word. I suspect he'll be somewhat busy.

South Park: Religious Insensitivity

Must... resist... urge... to snark.
Veteran soul singer Isaac Hayes, voice of the libidinous character "Chef" on the satiric cable TV cartoon "South Park," said on Monday he was quitting the show, citing its "inappropriate ridicule" of religion.

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs ... begins," Hayes said in a statement.

Hayes, 63, a devoted follower of the Church of Scientology, did not mention a "South Park" episode that aired last fall poking fun at Scientology and some of its celebrity adherents, including actor Tom Cruise.

Rather, Hayes said the show's parody of religion is part of what he saw as a "growing insensitivity toward personal spiritual beliefs" in the media generally, including the recent controversy over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad.

For eff's sake, you're Isaac freakin' Hayes. You're one bad mother...

(Shut yo' mouth!)

But, baby, I'm just talkin' 'bout Chef. Can you dig it?
[South Park creators Trey Stone and Matt Parker] "feel that it's a bit disingenuous (for Hayes) to cite religious intolerance as a reason for him pulling out of the show" because the series has lampooned religion since its start, taking shots at Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Mormons, among others.


"Their premise is as long as you can make fun of everybody, then everybody is a potential target," Fox said. "The minute you start pulling punches, then the show's reason for being sort of gets compromised."

You're damn right.

You don't even need to be a fan of the show to see that this looks a little silly. Maybe it's a stunt... I don't know who came up with it, but it sounds odd.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Beautiful Winter

Heaps of snow... while my snowblower is kaput due to a slipped belt (and I never brought it to get fixed). Power outages through parts of the Twin Cities... but not for me. Poor visability and a long, slow drive to work... but that's more time for me to listen to "The Chronicals of Narnia" on Harper Audio (which has been an absolute treat).

I love winter. As long as the wind isn't sharp, bitter, and hostile I love it... but keep that sloppy, messy slush to a minimum.

Maybe I'm just high.

Look at the fresh snow clinging to tree branches as you drive by or under them. Hugh, thick mounds of snow on roofs or in large open areas... especially with big drifts. The only thing missing today was the beautiful look of trees glazed with ice.

Don't get me wrong... shovelling the thick, wet, compact snow by hand can wreck my back and will sometimes wear me out (especially if I don't get to sleep until 1:30 am the evening before). That annoys me... however, I pulled Badda-Toddler around the front yard in a little mini-sled that his Crazy Auntie bought him. Earlier this winter I bought him a snow shovel to help me out with. He wanders around the driveway pushing the shovel one-handed thinking he's doing some good.

I just love it!

Oh, I was compelled to add that the Dutiful & Beautiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger started shovelling earlier this afternoon... and that she wants me back outside tout de suite.

My Grandfather on The Sopranos

Finally, I see the season opener... darkly funny. Well, that mostly sums up The Sopranos in general. In any case, tonight we saw Tony's uncle (Corrado "Junior" Soprano) further slip into dementia. One shot reminded me of my late grandfather.

Now, my grandfather wasn't demented, but I rarely understood a word he said. Maybe it was the way he mumbled his speech, or possibly he slipped from Italian to English, or possibly because he spoke fast, or possibly for some other reasons.

His friends called him Cookie... he liked to cook. His jaw stuck out a bit giving him an underbite. His hair was either always very short or he was bald, but his face often had a day or two of stubble. His eyes were wide... I think they bulged out a little, but certainly not like Marty Feldman. He hunched over a little and was thin, even gaunt. I think he chewed tobacco, and his aim at spitting was rather poor. He would chuckle to himself with a little crooked grin... especially at the sight of my sister and me or some of my cousins playing. He watched from a distance, never really talked much to us either... but I seem to recall that he enjoyed seeing his young grandchildren. At least that's what I remember.

If I think about it I can sort of remember his laugh. (Some of the grins and walks and shuffles and chuckles and even exclaimations from Badda-Toddler really remind me of my father and my grandfather... it's a real treat.)

I also can hear his characteristic grunt which served as a number of questions such as "what?", "where?", "who?", "what are you talking about?", "where have you been?", and "are you nuts?". All of that in a simple, "Eh?" In fact, not only did my grandfather do that, so did my grandmother, my father, my aunt, my uncles, some of my cousins, my sister, and my nephew.

Near the end of tonight's episode ("Members Only") the image of "Uncle June" made me think of my grandfather. The scene won't really work to show my son or my nephew and say, "Your great-grandfather sort of looked like that senile old man without dentures... the one who thinks he's shooting at an intruder in his house." I don't know if my grandfather ever owned a gun... and I seriously doubt he ever brandished it at a family member.

Oddly, I also remember seeing an animated film or an illustrated book (or slide show) in school of Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart"... the old man who falls victim to the mad narrator was drawn in a way that reminded me of my grandfather. Old, frail, shrunken...

This is rather unnerving... to have your grandfather murdered by a famous fictional madman as to have him shoot at one of television's most popular mob characters. (More reasuring is the laugh I remember.)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Confounded Weather Halts "Sopranos"!!!

People complain that satalite television often drops out because of bad weather. This rarely happens to me.

Not tonight, though! DAMN!

As late as 7:35 pm my signal remained strong in spite of increasing snowfall. My receiver has provided a nice strong signal during actual snow storms before... but for some reason, this one crapped out my signal so that I had no chance to watch the season opener for "The Sopranos" tonight.

At least it runs again at 11:00 pm.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Why the Democrat Party?

Speed Gibson explains why certain moms are big time Dems.

Just think Sinatra.
She’s at the rallies, in her tin-foil hat
She never spanks, her kid is a brat
She loves Bill Clinton, wishes he could come back
That's why the lady’s Democrat

Doesn't like NASCAR, attends soccer instead
She drives a hybrid, uses Ethanol blends
Won’t go to Keegan’s, would rather watch Friends
That’s why the lady’s Democrat

She loves Oprah, Al, MPR on the air
Life without prayer
New views? Won't do!
She shares her toys, makes you share yours, too
That's why the lady’s Democrat

Doesn’t like talking, where facts are involved
Can’t say from where, her views just evolved
When programs don’t work, she’s somehow absolved
That's why the lady’s Democrat

Monday, March 06, 2006

iPod Film Festival

A friend of mine mentioned a new film festival that you can watch in the privacy of your own video player. He comes from the Idiot Box sketch comedy troupe... they regularly play in the Twin Cities (I think they were at Bryant-Lake last year).

He'll say it best... he's looking for votes for the Idiot Box video sketch, but even if you don't (and you should) you ought to find something entertaining.
...Idiot Box, has entered the first ever iPod film festival at a website called The Flux. We are hoping to win, and we need your help in the form of your vote. You will have to create an account with their site to vote, but while registering, you can check the box that says not to receive any mail from them, and you will never be bothered again.

You can find our entry at The Flux iPod Video Film Festival. Just scroll down until you find "Idiot Box OnStar sketch." You can vote for us once each day, and we're trying to get all of our friends to vote for us early and often!

So please, if you have a few minutes, stop by the link above and vote for us - I'd really appreciate it.
Best of luck to the Idiot Box.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Oscar Predictions

Picking the winners for Oscar awards sometimes proves tricky. Some years you can pick 'em without seeing them... either by publicity, box office draw, subject matter, certain actors or directors (or, rarely, films in a series) often get recognized not for the work of the year but for their work in the past.

Sure, much of this can be subjective. However, when movie fans argue that the acadamy's standard isn't very consistant we're pretty much saying that. Oscars used to be a celebration of quality... or at least they respected it more often than now.

Also, time treats some films and some award winners differently. No one can deny that the great Peter O'Toole, always a bridesmaid and never a bride, truly shines among actors... and he's never taken an Oscar home for acting. Hell, he's better than most of the actors who received Best Actor or Supporting Actor honors... or even those who have received more than one. (The Acadamy nominated Peter O'Toole seven times without win... the same as Richard Burton, who also never won. What's more Dustin Hoffman and Jane Fonda were nominated seven times but won twice... and O'Toole's at least three times the actor that they are. I think, and I don't think it's a stretch, that he's even better than Pacino and Nicholson who were nominated more times.)

Another example: Do you remember the film that won Best Picture over Raiders of the Lost Ark? I suspect most folks who enjoy Indiana Jones have no clue what it lost to... and it doesn't matter considering how wonderful Raiders is. (Ordinary People won over Raiders.)

Yet another example: Titanic clearly had publicity, box office draw, popularity, and good will going for it. Also, it clearly did not have brilliant directing, writing, and acting in its corner. (Brewing J, who knows computers and such stuff fairly well, denies that the computer effects in Titanic are anything to be proud of... I should get him to tell me again for purposes of posting.) There can be no doubt in my mind that L.A. Confidential trumps Titanic in quality... yet more folks saw Titanic, more folks saw Titanic multiple times, and more advertisement was done for Titanic. Lots of girls also liked Titanic... and that's not a snarky comment, girls don't go out in droves to see many films. They also told their friends. Even though Oscar didn't smile on Curtis Hansen, time will. Anyone with any sense of judgement already can tell you... L.A. Confidential is a vastly superior bit of film work, writing, acting, etc.

Another example: Two words. Shawshank Redemption. For shame... period. That movie's going to be well remembered beyond Forrest Gump. Probably more than Pulp Fiction.

Yet another example: As cute and fun as Shakespeare in Love was, a great film or a pinnacle of cinema it certanly isn't. Thirty minutes of Saving Private Ryan was better. There was more heart and talent in Life is Beautiful. Those films were more than Shakespeare in Love could hope for. All had fairly good casts, in fact most of the supporting cast of Shakespeare in Love is remarkable. (Obviously, I'm not speaking of Ben Affleck... he is distinctly average.) I'd even go so far as to say if you were going to nominate Shakespeare in Love for anything Geoffrey Rush (as Philip Henslowe) should have won.

[I've not seen Affliction so I'm not familiar with the late James Coburn's performance. Having seen none of the other films in the Best Actress category I only wish someone else other than Gwyneth Paltrow would have won. I like Dame Judi Dench, but much better in most everything else... so I can't really get all warm over her Best Supporting Actress performance. As for Best Picture, it was the bottom of the list on my chart.]

Who do I think will win this year? Having seen only a couple of the films (I suspect they were all nominated for music or computer effects or animation) I'm going to run with a theory that Ann Coulter is using for this years Oscars: Whatever film is more gay.

Brokeback Mountain ought to score well with that criteria... followed up with "the new Truman Show" Capote and Transamerica.

Speaking of gay films... why not remember some good work?

Chasing Amy. Probably my favorite Kevin Smith film. Far from perfect, but quite entertaining.

The Full Monty. Entertaining and full of heart... with a nice gay character. Love the scene where the gang are picking up their dole checks after rehearsing their dance routine. Always gets a laugh from me.

Gods and Monsters. I'm embarassed. I haven't seen it... but it's got McKellen and Redgrave in it to start with. Considering it's about director James Whale and I have enough recommendations from friends I respect I'm willing to mention it.

Lawrence of Arabia. A masterpiece of film on many levels. O'Toole plays T.E. Lawrence (El-Aurens) who some consider to be gay. (Nice and vague, huh?) Classic cinema and brilliant performances... not to mention the music. Go. See. It. Now.

UPDATED LISTING: 7:30 PM Sunday March 5, 2006
Peter's Friends. Nearly forgot to add this movie. Kenneth Branagh turns in a fairly good movie... but the his first two that preceeded it (Henry V and Dead Again) as well as his following film (Much Ado About Nothing) are a step or two above it. The cast is largely excellent... especially the very talented comedy duo of Hugh Laurie (from House and Jeeves and Wooster) and Stephen Fry (from Wilde and also of Jeeves and Wooster). Fry plays Peter, who invites his college pals to the estate he inherited from his father, Lord Morton... and he intends to tell them all a bit of important news. Unfortunately, his friends screw up the weekend before Peter gets a chance to begin... a troubled marriage, an affair, a crush, and Branagh drinking to excess.
(End up updated listing.)

Zorro the Gay Blade. Not really a great film, but it is delightful camp fun. George Harrison plays both swashbuckling Diego and his swishbuckling brother Ramon with charm and style and extravagance.


Outstanding Film of the Year!

The "Wallace and Gromit" films always entertain me. In fact, Aardman Animations first caught my eye (and I suspect quite a number more) with "Creature Comforts".

I'm most fond of "The Wrong Trousers", however, the set piece in "A Close Shave" really satisfies. Other Aardman films work quite well... they've got a healthy dose of creativity. Just see "Wat's Pig" (No real diologue, but great visuals... mostly with matched action in a split-screen.) "Chicken Run" is good, but was merely a nice way to wait out the time until a better attempts.

Minutes ago Badda-Toddler and I finished watching that film. The Outstanding Film of the Year (as declared by BAFTA, the British Acadamy of Film and Television Arts): "Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit". (The proper name is the Alexander Korda Award.)

Not only was the movie a delight and a slight departure from the previous shorts (a few subtle jokes for the audience that zoomed over kids' head), but great clay-mation and a nice score as well. The DVD even featured an entertaining preview at the next Aardman film, a digitally animated film (in the style of Aardman's claywork) called "Flushed Away". (It features Hugh Jackman, Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Jean Reno, Bill Nighy, Simon Callow, and Kate Winslet to name a few.)

The fact that BAFTA named "Curse of the Were-Rabbit", a rather simple yet very entertaining movie (not to mention a family film... how many family films are that good?), over "The Constant Gardener" warms my heart.

Cure For Bad Movies! (continued)

In honor of the Oscar Awards I will not watch much (if any) of the ceremony... however I shall watch several wonderful scenes from great films and favorite movies of mine. I'll post some fond quotes, possibly post some blind predictions, comment on a prediction column, and possibly comment on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Talking about that film has moved me to finally get it under my belt. Here's hoping that I'm successful.

Any suggestions of what else to watch? Classics, contemporary, foreign, animation, comedy, epid, Western, mystery, suspense, horror? Anything?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cure For Bad Movies?

Movie remakes seem to rile a few film fans. Certainly, they can get some down well enough and they obviously tend to renew interest in the original (or the definitive if more than two versions exist), but most people think of a new remake as tedious and unimaginative best and terrible at worst.

Sometimes the memory cheats and we think more highly of the original, but that's probably the exception to the general rule.

Think of the following:
  • 101 Dalmations
  • Charlie (Willy Wonka) and the Chocolate Factory
  • Dr. Dolittle
  • Freaky Friday
  • Guess Who('s Coming to Diner)
  • The Italian Job
  • King Kong
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • Oceans 11
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Psycho
  • Rear Window
  • Sabrina
  • Scarface
  • The Thomas Crown Affair

Which versions of those films would you rather see?

Sometimes the remake changes enough of the basic story (or even most of it) to create a pretty interesting take on the original. Some films finally get to have the right polish thanks to techological advancement in filmwork, sound, stunts, and special effects.

Doug Gamble ad NWO approaches the subject from a different angle. Remade films probably seem watered down for a perfectly different reason... something other than the lack of creativity and originality.
Most of Hollywood's former leading men have been replaced by boys. Starring roles that used to feature guy's guys now go to punks. Damon and Affleck are not worthy to wipe the dust from Butch Cassidy's bicycle.

I am embarrased to say that while Butch and Sundance sits on my DVD shelf it remains unwatched. Yes, I have yet to watch the film. Perhaps I saw some of it years ago on television or even cable, yet that doesn't count in my eyes. I've got to see it.

That said, the idea that someone wants to put Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in the roles of Butch and Sundance is jarring and annoying. (Even if Robert Redford is a mega-Lefty like Matt&Ben... I'm going with Redford on this.)

Gamble's idea works well enough in terms of most leading ladies. Audrey Hepburn... a legend, and Julia Roberts couldn't come close on her best day. Sure, we have Streep and Close and Dench and some other very fine actors (again, many of which are on a social-freaking crusade) but we don't often expect them to play the leading role anymore. Leading ladies are (for better or worse) younger and more attractive. I'll take Judi Dench's lively and dynamic performances any day of the week (and if you look at photos of her from her youth, she's a strikingly beautiful woman... much like Audrey Hepburn!) but we're not going to get her to star as Ilsa in a remake of "Casablanca".
As someone who became a teenager in the late 1950s, my movie heroes were larger-than-life figures like John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Robert Mitchum, Jimmy Stewart, Marlon Brando, Clark Gable, William Holden, Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, and others of that mold.

Compare that lineup to the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Cruise, Heath Ledger, Justin Timberlake, and the aforementioned Damon and Affleck. It's like sizing up a good steak next to a plate of tofu. And while Tom Hanks has been compared to Jimmy Stewart, as versatile and easy to take as Hanks is, he's no Stewart.

The old Hollywood stars, above all, were adults. They had a steely maturity and craggy features that made them look like they had lived a life that delivered a few hard blows along the way, just like our dads. Many had served in WWII. And they all looked different from one another.

I like some of DiCaprio and Pitt... but their best work is ahead of them. (Especially when you consider "Titanic" and "Interview With the Vampire".)

Who is cool in Hollywood? Tom Cruise and Heath Ledger? Dean Martin's drunk routine has more class and cool than all of Hollywood's leading men put together. Who is sexy in Hollywood? Salma Hayek's cute but she can't act her way out of a wet paper bag. Smoldering gazes and sultry looks? Vacuous stares and clueless expressions, more like it.
Sure, there are still a few old-school actors around, including Jack Nicholson, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, and Redford and Newman, but they are dinosaurs in contemporary Hollywood. Clint Eastwood is one of the few senior citizens who has managed to remain "cool."

Okay, Clint IS pretty cool.
"Michael Moore and I actually have a lot in common - we both appreciate living in a country where there's free expression," Eastwood told the star-dotted crowd attending the National Board of Review awards dinner at Tavern on the Green, where Eastwood picked up a Special Filmmaking Achievement prize for "Million Dollar Baby."

Then, the Republican-leaning actor/director advised the lefty filmmaker: "But, Michael, if you ever show up at my front door with a camera - I'll kill you."

The audience erupted in laughter, and Eastwood grinned dangerously.

"I mean it," he added, provoking more guffaws.

Not that I'd ever want Moore to actually die that way, but I'd love to see him crap his pants from Clint uttering just one of his many famous movie lines.

(I don't care how old Clint, I mean Mr. Eastwood is... that man could snap many of us like a damn twig. My father-in-law is his age and could do the same... so could a good friend of mine, G.H.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lent: Giving Up Democracy

America is becoming a democracy. Maybe we've getting more and more democratic... and that we started on this road some time in the last century. Maybe sometime in the 1800s. Who knows, maybe earlier.

In any case, we didn't start out that way and the very idea of becoming a democracy should scare us greatly.
...The word "democracy" appears in neither of our founding documents -- the Declaration of Independence nor the U.S. Constitution.

Most Americans know what I'm talking about. (I don't believe most Americans are dumb or ignorant... I know too many folks on both sides of the political spectrum that get elitist and condescending about how the other people just arn't as smart as they are. That shit bugs me.)

Williams puts it much better than my talents allow.
Our nation's founders had disdain for democracy and majority rule. James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, said in a pure democracy, "there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual." During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said that "in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy."

John Adams said, "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." Chief Justice John Marshall added, "Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos." The founders knew that a democracy would lead to the same kind of tyranny suffered under King George III. Their vision for us was a republic.

"And to the republic for which [the flag] stands..."


Too many of us are lazy enough to say we want a democracy in Iraq. God, no! We hope for Iraq a republic!

Williams suggests a specific model for Iraq's government.
The ideal political model for Iraq is Switzerland's cantonal system. Historically, Switzerland, unlike most European countries, was made up of several different major ethnic groups -- Germans, French, Italians and Rhaeto-Romansch. Over the centuries, conflicts have arisen between these groups, who differ in language, religion (Catholic and Protestant) and culture. The resolution to the conflict was to allow the warring groups to govern themselves.

Switzerland has 26 cantons. The cantons are divided into about 3,000 communes. Switzerland's federal government controls only those interests common to all cantons -- national defense, foreign policy, railways and the like. All other matters are controlled by the individual cantons and communes. The Swiss cantonal system enables people of different ethnicity, language, culture and religion to live at peace with one another. As such, Switzerland's political system is well suited to an ethnically and religiously divided country such as Iraq.

If it happens, we should hope no one convinces their government to take control of education.

Lent: Giving Up Principles

Perhaps Soucheray's given up conservatism for Lent. He's now on board with the idea of the Minneapolis light-rail system.
Opponents of the Hiawatha Line might as well face the fact that billions and billions of dollars from now, light rail will make sense in the Twin Cities. It makes no sense now, even though Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin believes he has demonstrated its usefulness by taking his wife to the hospital by train a few weeks ago when she went into labor. He claims it was his wife's idea. Try that one at home, fellows. When the wife goes into labor, tell her you might as well take the train downtown to avoid parking and she can walk a few blocks.

Then again, maybe not.
I know behavior modification when I see it. The trains are fancied by Europhiles who actually believe that we can be like London and Paris when it comes to public transportation. Well, we can't, considering that London and Paris preceded Henry Ford by a thousand years or so. Those trains in London are a joy. They make sense. I can't imagine any other way of getting around the town.

It was also convenient of London and Paris not to develop in ways that included Burnsville and Woodbury.

Here? Here, we swallow hard and write the check to entertain the notions of spoiled adult children who believe the trains give a town a certain panache. Why, when the train crosses Lake Street in Minneapolis it is called "Midtown." Oh, please, that's Lake Street down there.

The whole idea reminds me of Arthur Dent, the Douglas Adams everyman from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (radio, album, book, and television series that is), asking the construction manager Mr. Prosser why his house must be knocked down... for a freeway.
Dent: Why has it got to be built?

Prosser: What do you mean, why has it got to be built? It's a bypass. You've got to build bypasses.

Is it to be more modern? To prepare for the huge swell of population that should be here in 10 years, 20 years, or 50 years? To become for fuel-efficient? To reduce traffic on the freeways and sidestreets? To help folks who need public transportation? To accomodate folks who like the concept of public transportation? To accomodate building contractors who need a city or state funded gig?

Why does the light-rail system have to be built?

I suspect Joe's on to something regarding social engineering... and I suspect I'm on to something regarding building contracts.

Perhaps for Lent I should give up asking questions.