Saturday, November 28, 2020

"Cashless Society" where all you have is your social credit score on the blockchain (Denman)


Zachary Denman has a number of other dystopian soliloquies as he walks through an apocalyptic London.

Now he offers us “Cashless Society”.

But what he describes is a social credit system, where your comradeship is stored on the blockchain, after all your accumulated assets were taken away from you and redistributed to the needy.

China isn’t quite there yet.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

“Why Families in Europe Are Sending Elderly Relatives to Care Homes in Thailand” from Journeyman and Aljazeera

2010 09 19 red shirt protest bkk 09

 Journeyman Pictures presents an Aljazeera report, “Why Families in Europe Are Sending Elderly Relatives to Care Homes in Thailand” (26 min), posted Nov. 16, 2020.

The report must have been filmed in late 2019 however as it makes no reference to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film focuses mostly on families in the UK.  The families say that costs are much lower in Thailand and they think the (assisted living) facilities are more luxurious (mostly individual little cottages, one level), in splendid tropical surroundings, and the actual care is better.

However the families are much more separated from their relatives (usually with dementia, sometimes not even that old).  It would sound like they would have to be locked in to their cottages at night to prevent wandering.

The film finishes with an external visit of the old home in rural UK that the relative had “lost”.

The film was punctuated with excessive ads from YouTube.  Two of them were from Tyler Mowery’s Practical Screenwriting (in the same presentation).  I actually take that. Sorry, but for the sake of time, I had to exit out of it!

Thailand has had “free speech” and other political freedom issues with respect to(and for)  the monarchy.

Wikipedia embed: Red Shirts protest in 2010, click for attribution.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

PBS: "All Cats Are Grey in the Dark"; "Kachalka"


PBS POV has assembled a program of two shorts that it calls (together) “Uniquely Euro”.

The main offering is “All Cats Are Grey in the Dark”, by Lasse Linder, 15 min (German, subtitles).

In Austria, an elderly man has a female “Marmalade” impregnated by a Russian cat Katyuska, takes care of the couple, and nurses the mommy cat when she delivers the kittens.

There is a scene early on where he simply allows the cats to be together in a playroom, and the tomcat goes right to it.

The second film is “Kachalka”, directed by Gar O’Rourke (9 min, in Ukraine).  The film depicts an outdoor gym in Kiev, filled with very heavy metal.  There is a shot of sparse chest hair filling the screen made to look like an alien landscape. Later there is some very physical massage.  There are women there, too.

Here is a related video.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

"Belly of the Beast": in California, female prisoners sterilized illegally possibly for eugenics



I hadn’t even heard the stories that forced sterilization of women (often PoC) go on in prisons, especially California’s, but Erika Cohn laid it all out in a documentary, filled with interviews, aired Monday Nov. 23, 2020 on PBS Independent Lens, called “Belly of the Beast”m PBS link.

NPR has a useful historical link on the practice, which continued until at least 2010. 

The women talked unashameably about their prospects for love again.  And they describe not knowing they will be sterilized, for “eugenics”.

You could imagine connecting this to Bryan Stevenson’s work on wrongful convictions (“Just Mercy”).

The film seems to be related to or inspired by the book “In the Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison” from Vintage Books by Jack Henry Abbott (1991).

The prison is located near Chowchilla, in the Central Valley along I-5.   I’ve been in the area twice, in 2002 and 2018.

The film was followed by a brief QA where the director talks with several former prisoners.

Wikipedia embed shows the prison from the air (click for attribution).   The film shows various shots of downtown Sacramento (visited 2018) and the Capitol (my pic at night).

Monday, November 23, 2020

"The Great Reset" occurs with the pandemic


Zachary Denman offers “The Great Reset”, the fifth in his series of dystopian science fiction films.

As a result of the inequity created of risk by the pandemic, all private property was seized, and money eliminated, replaced by a social credit system on the blockchain. Inherited privilege is stored, too, and the rich in the past have to work it off.   People who could avoid the virus will be assessed now for hiding from risk while working from home. 

Maoism came back   Kain, an attractive young man now (he has a strong cellular immune system and survived without ever getting sick but infected a lot of other people going to circuit parties), walks though empty streets in a city, but he knows he will be grabbed soon and taken to the countryside to take his turn living in the Stone Age, and being resurfaced to look like everyone else, a mere cell in a colony, like a siphonophore.  It will be a new, just kind of "survival of the fittest".  Ironically, you have to reproduce. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

"Housekeeping": thriller short film, what you can expect in an extended stay hotel when on a business trip??


Tracy Kleeman has a short film “Housekeeping”, from Lucy Kat Productions, and a hit at the LA shorts filmfest and in New Hampshire. The film dates to 2019 (pre-pandemic). 

A housekeeper (Kate Boledian) starts developing a relationship with an extended stay guest (Hank Amos), who is quite assertive and full of himself.  The room does leave some interesting clues behind, like a mini chess set, card games, and drugs. The room looks more like a furnished apartment than a hotel room (full fridge, full kitchen, etc)m separate bedroom.  I once had a place just like this in Charlotte on a business trip!   

The film makes it look like the plot will be driven by gear left missing in a room.  What if I left a smart phone in my room?  In Minneapolis, I once left a UBS drive that had my backups and passwords.  I think it wound up in a landfill, but yet I changed all the pw’s when I got home (and discovered I had forgotten it).

The film has the plot device of doing “one week later” several times.

Hotel workers are generally required to be able to clean 12-15 rooms in an hour, I thought.

Friday, November 20, 2020

"What Would It Be Like to Stand on Pluto?" (from V101)

Pluto-01 Stern 03 Pluto Color TXT


V101 Science presents What Would It Be Like to Stand on Pluto?

The dwarf planet is the largest known object in the Kuiper Belt. The surface is relatively new, and is occasionally graced with methane snow when it is retreating from closer approaches to the Sun (which can be closer than Neptune). The surface has areas of white, black and dark red, because of the ultraviolet hitting the methane.

There may be a subsurface ocean in some areas, which could conceivably have life.

The documentary shows how large the similar moon Charon looks in the sky.

Triton, a moon of Neptune, is similar to Pluto. 

Wikipedia embed of NASA image of Pluto, note the crimson color, click for attribution.