Karl Denninger pointed out that the theft-tax is going to keep some businesses from being able to make payroll, which is even better: obviously the best way to solve a government debt problem is to ensure that tax receipts hit rock bottom as quickly as possible!
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Well, on Thursday night of last week, Mrs. Fungus and I watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and I had to agree with her: that movie was an hour too long.
'Way back in the mists of time-1977--there was an animated version of The Hobbit which was 90 minutes long and actually managed to tell the entire story. Peter Jackson et alii barely managed to tell a third of the tale taking a shade less than three times as long. (169 minutes. Probably 180 for the "extended version" they'll release, by and by.)
Bonus points, though, for Sylvester McCoy (the seventh Doctor from Doctor Who) being in the movie as Radagast. I was looking at him and trying to figure out why he was so familiar-looking, and finally it hit me...and then I had to explain it to Mrs. Fungus:
Me: Ah! That's Sylvester McCoy! No wonder he seemed so familiar.
Mrs. Fungus: Who's Sylvester McCoy?
So movie #2 will be out late this year ("Desolation of Smaug") and I expect I'll watch it on pay-per-view around this time next year, because I don't care to buy such boring movies on DVD.
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Last night, then, we watched Passion of the Christ.
...I don't know. It was not as hard to take as people had led me to believe it was; then again I've been desensitized by Hollywood's love of violence in movies. I found myself watching the thing and wondering how historically accurate it really is; for example, I don't recall any mention of Jesus being scourged. Still, it fits.
Bonus points for showing Jesus speaking Latin. Jesus was well-educated, speaking Latin, Greek and Hebrew, as well as his native Aramaic; and I have to believe he could read and write, as well. More points for the sign hung on the cross, in both Roman and Greek; anyone who could read in 33 AD would be fluent in at least one of those languages.
I didn't have any kind of epiphany from watching the movie, though. Like watching Yet Another Movie about the Titanic, the ending is well-known and there are no surprises. This movie represents the first time anyone depicted the true level of suffering Jesus endured, but since I'd had a Sunday school teacher who had once explained the reality of the crucifixion, it wasn't like I'd had my eyes opened to something I hadn't known before.
I like that the movie shows Jesus' resurrection in the denouement, right before the credits roll.
The only thing I didn't really like about the movie and its portrayal of Jesus came from the lack of characterization. From prior study I understood the motivations of the people in the story, but an ignorant viewer wouldn't get what was going on. I'd like to see something like this with a bit more attention to historical detail--why Judas betrayed Christ, for example, and why Caiaphas was so intent on Jesus being executed. About the best job done was Pontius Pilate; he was given enough screen time to explain what his motivations were. (These are things I already know, but it's still interesting to see them portrayed.)
It would also have made the movie at least an hour longer, though. I guess you can't have everything.
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I got a polite form letter regarding my submission informing me that it's in the reading queue now. Whee!