Sunday, May 07, 2006


I did more gardening and movie watching than anything this weekend. Now that everything is blooming, it is much more apparent where things in my backyard are not growing well, that and the part of the fence that is still down. So my wife and I used a coupon from a local nursery and bought some veggies and flowers to spice up the yard. Then I spent a nice chunk of time repairing the sprinkler heads that were covered in mud from the flood. Ahhhhhh, the joys of home ownership. But seriously, it is very nice and soothing to have a nice backyard to look at when you come home after a hard days work.

I also went back and watched what I consider to be, the best movie in the last two years, Kill Bill Vol. 2. I know, many people are critics of Vol. 1. I think they miss the point of the movie, with the hommages to the 1970's samurai flicks, the old cop dramas, and the spaghetti westerns. The gallons of blood that are spilt are done in a comical fashion, with the final fight scene with the Crazy 88's going over the top. It is a pure nod to a different type of cinema. However Vol. 2 is above and beyond better, and most critics agree with me. Why? Basically Kill Bill Vol. 2 has some of the best dialogue that has been written for years, with nothing coming close since.
Take for instance, every scene that has David Carradine. This picture shows a scene where Bill is interrupting The Bride at her wedding. Watching the interaction between Uma Thurman and Carradine makes you realize that director Quintin Tarantino really gets the best out of his characters because he lets them play the part. For this generation, Carradine is Bill (for us, he's Kwai Chang Caine). The part is simply that masterful. The second great scene is when The Bride and Bill are discussing their current situation on the couch at Bill's hacienda. The ideas of ego, superheros and murder are pandered about in the fashion that only Tarantino can make logical, and entertaining.

Of course, since the movie in from Quintin Tarantino, people will either love it or hate. You choose.

By the way, I came upon an article from The Wall Street Journal. I love the Journal, and I use many articles in my Economics class. However, just like the article back in April, this one points to the big, bad teachers as being the problem with education. Apparently, the Florida legislature got rid of a voucher bill, which is enraging the pro-school choice Republicans who look at the pretty numbers raise without realizing that they are selectively enhancing the population sample for academics. Once again, don't let an economist try to run education, you wouldn't get results. As always with these voucher movement people, they seek to move a tiny population to get better results while announcing that the public education system is a failure, and is beyond repair. Not a very economic thing to do, since education is supposed to be an investment in the future. I have the same problem with Joanne Jacobs book, "Our School" as well, which I'll review later. Basically, both camps say "screw public schools", and go about their merry way, while completely bringing nothing to the table about how to fix public education. Hell, I'm ready for an overhaul of the system. But the American people better be ready to pay up.
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