Iron Sky

imgres.jpgI enjoy watching subtle movies that make me smile (or cringe) just a little bit but when they sign-off I’m feeling satisfied but still thinking about them. Then what is it that made my watching of Iron Sky one of the cinematic highlights of 2015?

Forget the reboot of Star Wars and get a copy of Iron Sky.

The story behind the movie is a common space opera with real heroes, corrupt politicians, greedy corporations, race relations, and a secret colony on the dark side of the moon that is preparing to conquer the Earth … for the Fourth Reich! Yes, although never explained, a group of Nazis escaped in 1945 and built a new civilization on the dark side of the moon. Here they have constructed a swastika-shaped fortress and have been building the engines of war needed to return to earth and destroy all opposition.

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Classical Education and Contemporary Word Salad

scholarsClassical education was based on a clear understanding and facility with the trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. You don’t hear too much about these disciplines any more and it’s sad to say that contemporary education appears to be moving further and further away from classical education. Shoot, they’re not even teaching cursive writing any more. When I was a kid (not THAT long ago) I had grammar and spelling from the earliest days of grade school at least up through high school. Logic and rhetoric were also presented but under the guise of critical thinking and forming a valid argument. At the university we took courses explicitly designated Logic and Rhetoric.

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The Growler Party

Here’s how Upton Sinclair introduces the judge that confronts Jurgis, one of the central characters in The Jungle:

court system“Pat” Callahan—”Growler” Pat, as he had been known before he ascended the bench—had begun life as a butcher boy and a bruiser of local reputation; he had gone into politics almost as soon as he had learned to talk, and had held two offices at once before he was old enough to vote. If Scully was the thumb, Pat Callahan was the first finger of the unseen hand whereby the packers held down the people of the district. No politician in Chicago ranked higher in their confidence; he had been at it a long time—had been the business agent in the city council of old Durham, the self-made merchant, way back in the early days, when the whole city of Chicago had been up at auction. “Growler” Pat had given up holding city offices very early in his career—caring only for party power, and giving the rest of his time to superintending his dives and brothels. Of late years, however, since his children were growing up, he had begun to value respectability, and had had himself made a magistrate; a position for which he was admirably fitted, because of his strong conservatism and his contempt for foreigners.

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Look at me … look, look, look

There are a number of redundant people in this country who are adept at saying or doing outrageous things when they themselves are not worth noticing. Still, the media seems to focus on these cyphers, wasting broadcast time and effort on a whole lot of nothing. I’m sure you know who these people are—Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, etc.—and I’m sure you can add a few names yourself. These are people who have gotten their fifteen minutes of fame and still won’t go away.

Why do we care what they say? I’m ashamed to have even mentioned their names in this post.