This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

This from

Samuel L. Jackson's new mile-high thriller Snakes On A Plane has created such a buzz among internet film fans, movie bosses have called for re-shoots - to give the film a tougher rating. The film, which stars Jackson as an FBI agent trying to keep a federal witness alive onboard a plane full of snakes, wrapped last September - but went back before the cameras earlier this month for five days of additional shooting. Film bosses at distributor New Line Cinema opted to add new scenes to the film to take the movie from PG-13 into R-rated territory, according to industry magazine The Hollywood Reporter. They claim the second round of filming became necessary after intense and growing fan interest in the film, which is scheduled to be released this summer. Among the reported additions to the film is a foul-mouthed rant from Jackson in which his agent character bellows, "I want these motherf***ing snakes off the motherf***ing plane!" The line is expected to take on cult status. The film-makers have reportedly added more gore, more deaths, more nudity and more snakes to the finished product.

I am the internet, and thus have heard a lot about this movie. Up until I saw the IMDB article, I thought it was all a big joke. But it's supposed to come out in August, and it's doubtful the internet buzz will continue through summer. Maybe they'll come out with some cool trailers or something.

I'm almost positive the movie will suck (one of the dudes who wrote it wrote Gothika, for pete's sake), but it will make a ton of money no matter what. According to the IMDB trivia page for Snakes on a Plane, Samuel L. Jackson only signed on because of the title, which is awesome.

For a good summary of the internet buzz surrounding the film, check out Snakes on a Blog.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

One Thing Straight, Part One

Let's get one thing straight. If you don't believe in the boogeyman, then no amount of evidence -- be it circumstantial, photographic, videographic, theoretical, etc. -- will convince you of its existence. For example, even if you go to sleep at night and hear rattling in the closet, and then go to that closet and open the door and see a ghostly being inside with a "I'm the boogeyman" t-shirt on, and then are told "boo!" by that being, you will still not believe in the boogeyman. Even after you reach the point where it's simpler to believe in the boogeyman than to attribute the thing in the closet to special effects, you still won't believe.

Similarly, if you don't believe in universal and objective moral values, you won't be convinced of their existence no matter what happens. Unbelief, just like belief, is a matter of faith. We have put our faith in the non-existence of universal morals, just like we've put our faith in the non-existence of the boogeyman. Is this a good idea? Well, who am I to say, right?

People come to a position for whatever reason they do, and they hold onto that position for as long as it takes them to be convinced otherwise. This is called logic and reason. However, when one's core beliefs -- the ones that can't be shaken -- supercede logic and reason, we have a problem. It's called sucking, and people do it every day, on every issue imaginable. Everything takes an abominable amount of time to sort through -- you ever tried to examine the fossil record to see if it really supports or condemns the theory of evolution? Yikes, that's a lot of material to read over, much less actually do yourself. No wonder we either a) defer to whomever (we are inclined to agree with) that declares themselves an authority; or, b) throw our hands up and say "It's all relative -- now bring on what I want!" Either way, we've embraced dogma or relativism for reasons that have nothing to do with logic.

In other words, we have given up our belief in universal moral values for the same reason we had them in the first place -- somebody in authority told us to, and we were inclined to believe them. We've traded the universal morals for the universal immorals. We have faith in our lack of faith.

Now, not everyone has given these unversal moral beliefs up. There are still some throwbacks who try to discover what the universal values are. We can all agree on a subject like Hitler, but when it comes to gay marriage, it's not immediately clear which side of the fence we should jump to. To be fair, this is where religion comes into play most of the time -- making decisions like these. So the most important thing is choosing the correct God, the one that lines up with the unversal moral values. The one that created the universal moral values. The one who fulfilled them. The one who has demonstrated himself to be real and still alive, even after death.

I love you all.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

News You Can Depend On

New Chef in Town? -- From a source called "iAfrica" comes news of South Park. Is that show even on in Africa? Why do these Africans care about this? Anyway, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have a new voice for Chef, and it debuts tonight on Comedy Central. The identity behind the new voice is apparently a closely-guarded secret, but we'll put our news hounds on it to see if they can turn anything up. If not, we'll put them to sleep at the end of this post. That should build some tension, don't you think?

Microsoft Delays Vista, Shockingly -- From a source called "Red Herring" (my, they'll let anyone be a news outlet on Google these days. What is this, fish news?) comes news of Microsoft's next operating system and the inevitable delays it is experiencing. Turns out it's not going to be ready for consumers until at least January. This is bound to tick off retailers (as well as everyone else in the computer industry) because they obviously wanted that thing available for Christmas. Which brings up the question: Why are they delaying it? The most likely reason is that it's buggy and annoying, like Windows ME. The last thing America needs is a follow-up to that fishy computer OS. Epth Nation is keeping an eye on this, so you don't have to. Go back to eating those pork rinds.

In the Hopelessly Corrupt Illinois Political Arena -- Governor Rod Blagojevich (pronounced, perhaps slightly too whimsically, as "Blagoyovich") will be challenged by some lady named Judy Baar Topinka, which is more the name of a gypsy than a Governess. Governoress. Lady Governor. This is only important because I wanted to write "Blagojevich." Also, they're probably all corrupt, so good luck with all that, Illinois. May the sublime flatness of your state keep you warm as they appoint their friends to cushy public jobs and siphon money from the tax rolls.

This Just In, America -- I just walked past the break room TV here at work, and was disturbed to see Kenny Rogers (the singer, not the psycho pitcher) throwing down a disturbing hairdo. It's all hiply cut and combed forward, and he looks like either an old fashion designer or some pretentious actor promoting a film. Either way, he looks ridiculous. Looks like it's time to throw away all my old Kenny Rogers records. Another one bites the dust. Isn't there anyone genuine out there, who's not trying to sell me something?

THIS SPACE FOR RENT -- (sample product placement: Dandy Bars. You could reach as many as 30 pairs of eyes each day. Call me.)

We Should Be More Like the French -- In nerd news, as reported by some guy named Xinhua English, the French Parliament voted 296-193 to force Apple to allow their iTunes-compatable "AAC" files to be played on every mp3 player in the world. This would also force other DRM-enabled tracks to be played on every mp3 player as well. The Xinhua article is great because of the bombastic quotes like "direct attack against Apple's intellectual property" and "Apple may pull its music store out of France." Guess what, Apple? If you do that, those Frenchies will just go to another online music store that wants their business. In short, this is a brilliant decision by the Parliament, and it makes me want to move to Europe where music and copyright laws are saner.

But then again...

My favorite quote from the Xinhua article: "If Apple were to withdraw iTunes from France, consumers would be left owning iPod music players that are "as much use as paperweights," the FT (Financial Times) report said."

Right. Because you don't get a copy of it with your iPod or anything. What does the FT think, Ipods will only play Apple files? Is it too much to ask for a little insight with your bombast? Sheesh, you'd think iTunes just came out last week or something.

That tears it, I'm outta here. But before I go -- hounds, what did you turn up?

Hounds: Ve haff found somesing, masssterrrr. Eet appearz zat zey vill be takink old Isaac Hayes zound bites and yooosing zem to voice zee "chef."

We'll see, hounds. We'll see. And what kind of accent is that, anyway? Bulgarian?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

No Time to Write

So now I seriously need a new job. I'm trying to get this place, the place I work, in tip-top shape so I can leave it. Anybody out there got a job for me?

I'm a:

Computer Technician
(A+, MCP, MCSA, 4+ years experience troubleshooting and fixing computers)

(Just look at this blog for evidence of that, holmes. I can do reviews, fluff pieces, hard-hitting investigations, and especially stories of any length, for magazine, book, and web)

(Manage a 1000-piece inventory, great knowledge of shipping and receiving processes)

Resume' provided upon request. I'm looking for a company that treats it employees with any sort of respect at all, or at least pretends to. I'm awesome, hire me.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Tom Cruise vs. South Park: Sorting it Out

I've never been the biggest fan of South Park, even though I love satire. To me, it's alternately brilliant and horrible, and the sameness of all the voices is distracting. I sorta feel the same way about it that I do about Family Guy: it's good, but I'm probably too old for it. There comes a point in every episode where they just go too far and I can't watch anymore because it's making me angry. I guess that's why people like it -- it mananges to offend even the unoffendable.

The whole point of the show is that its controversial -- the guys behind it, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, just try to satirically attack as many things as possible in the most offensive ways possible, and then sit back and watch their fans knowingly wink to one another over its subversive brilliance. When they offend somebody, they are doing their job. And since they're on cable, nobody cares -- until now, apparently.

Nobody knows how true it is, but this is how the story goes: Last year an episode of South Park aired that made fun of Scientology. The episode was scheduled to re-air, but was pulled at the last minute. Isaac Hayes, the voice of "Chef," on the show, is a Scientologist. He stated (or did he? -- see below) that he could not be a part of the show anymore with all its "religious intolerance." Parker and Stone pointed out that Hayes didn't care about them making fun of religion until they poked fun at Scientology. In any case, the offending episode was pre-empted for one of "Chef's greatest hits," to honor that character upon Hayes' retirement.

Then, the story gets weird. Rumors flew around the internet that Tom Cruise (always the face of Scientology, for better or for worse) threatened to cancel his promotion of Mission Impossible 3 unless they yanked the episode (which he could do since both Comedy Central and MI:3 are Viacom productions). The internet also reported that Cruise forced Hayes to quit. Then Parker and Stone took out an ad in Variety that said:
"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!"

Which is pretty funny, if you know the mythic story behind Scientology.

Tom Cruise then denied any threatening anyone with anything, and as it turns out the controversial episode will be run after all, this Wednesday. Talk about your free publicity. I guess we'll see if the midgety Cruise shows up on those press junkets for the movie. I guess we'll find out if those threats were real.

And check out this Fox article. Hayes suffered a stroke, and his "friends in Memphis" say that he never quit anything. He's apparently been rehabbing for 2 months. But if Hayes didn't issue that statement about religious intolerance, who did? Who would claim to be speaking for Isaac Hayes?

Is this really all a publicity stunt? Scientology attacks everyone, but would they really try to squelch these guys? That's like Dan Quayle attacking Murphy Brown -- it just makes them look stupid and out of touch.

None of this makes any sense, but that's life.