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2002-08-12 7:07 p.m.


Two days in a row. Don't expect me to make a habit out of this.

Some more thoughts on negative versus positive thinking: I guess being pleased with yourself isn't bad, but that is the result of success, not the the cause. And even then, you shouldn't let yourself stay satisfied for very long.

"Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I'll show you a failure." -Thomas Edison

Positive thinkers would have you think that looking on the bright side all the time is the road to success, and focusing on the negative will only lead to failure. Well, uh, I think otherwise, and so does Randy Johnson. So there.

Most Japanese people (and foreigners in general) tend to get the idea from movies and such that America is a very dangerous place where everyone has a gun and shit is going down all the time. One of these days I'm gonna get tired of trying to debunk the myth and start telling stories about the adventures of me an' ma nine. Poppin' caps and shit. Bitch. Yeah, in America we call the front passenger's seat "shotgun." You know why that is? Let me tell you a story about the time me and my wing man were cruising the urban wasteland...

Maybe then I'd get a little respect around here.

But seriously, I have to wonder if the distorted vision of America received by many foreigners from popular media as their only concept of every day American reality isn't responsible for how easily these Arab populations can be manipulated into hating us. There's a lot of people in the Arab world right now who absolutely hate America. But how many of them have a realistic picture of every day American reality?

And then there's the terrorists who have their meetings to overthrow American decadence in Vegas so they can go to strip clubs in their spare time... What the hell?

Oh, apparently there is such thing as a Japanese rail pass which once purchased allows you to go anywhere in Japan by train free of charge (I imagine special train fees still apply). However, you can't buy one of these IN Japan. You can only buy it the US before you go. I guess it's meant to encourage tourism or something. But I sure coulda saved a lot of money if I'd had one of those. A lot.

In other news, I saw what was perhaps the scariest movie of my life last night. It's a Japanese movie called Ring. Seriously, I was nearly brought to tears a couple of times. I am deeply disturbed. I only understood enough to basically understand what was going on, but I still had a really hard time getting to sleep after watching it. Maybe watching it alone at night was a bad idea. I did find an English translation of the script so I could fill in the blanks my understanding (turns out there were a lot).

And, as it turns out, they've made an American version, and it's coming out this October. You in America have probably seen trailers for it, right? Here's what someone who saw a test screening said about it (taken from here):

"I had a chance to see a screening of the new Dreamworks movie Ring a few weeks ago and I'd have to say it was way better than I was expecting. I went into this movie not knowing anything about it except the basic concept of, you watch this tape and 7 days later you die, which at the time sounded like another lame attempt at a horror movie for teens. It started out with two girls having a sleep over and telling scary stories, at this point I thought I had guessed right, soon after I found out this movie was completely different. The entire cast was awesome with one exception, which was the young boy in the new teaser trailer, he was very creepy but could not act well at all. The story was very well written and the tension throughout the movie built up at a nice pace. The video itself is quite disturbing and has some visuals that I would of perfered never seeing, but it did add a lot to the movie that they couldnt of done without the visuals being so disturbing. There was a lot of work put into the visuals throughout the film and the cinematography was brilliant. I haven't gone into any detail about the storyline because Darwin did a great job of not giving away too much and anything I could add would just give away more than should be known yet.

"Even though I saw this film a few weeks ago it still has me quite freaked out when I remember parts of it and I have not watched any unmarked vhs tapes since. My main concern is that they are going to market this movie completely wrong and end up ruining some of the best parts by showing even a picture of a few scenes or a few key peices of dialogue, this concern has intensified a bit since I saw the teaser. My best advice is to ignore every preview or commercial that comes out for this movie and definatly do not read the script, this movie is best seen without any knowledge of what is to come. I have not seen the original version of this film yet, but I'm gonna probably brave it in the next month or so, even without seeing the original though I think that this must definately stand up to it and would have to be the absolute scariest and most disturbing horror film I have ever seen. Overall I'd have to say whatever hype they put out for this movie it will deserve and fully earns."

Oh hell yeah. I ain't touching any video cassettes unless I know EXACTLY what's on them. The Japanese movie managed its evil magic without any gore or sex... I wonder if the American version will do the same? Apparently the American version is pretty different than the original Japanese.

By the way, movies like this don't get a rating. To review, my rating system goes like this: 0 stars- not worth watching ever (Armageddon) 1 star- worth watching if it happens to be on TV and you're really bored (Tremors 2) 2 stars- worth renting (Woman On Top) 3 stars- worth seeing in the theater (Mission Impossible) 4 stars- worth owning (Popeye). Most movies I watch get 2 or 3 stars. Anyway, this kind of criteria just doesn't apply to a film like Ring. It was extremely well made, but I'm not sure I'd ever want to see it again. I maybe even regret seeing it that once.

Maybe films like this should get their own rating- GAH, for Grade A Horror. I'd also probably rate Resident Evil GAH. Blair Witch, The Others, Sixth Sense- they're not quite there. Good, but not quite. They're normal 3 star movies, except Blair Witch, which gets 2.

Anyway, go check out the official site. And if you do go to see this movie, don't say you weren't warned. And avoiding advertising for the film before seeing it might also be a good idea. And don't bother finding a translation of the Japanese script and reading that- it's just not the same. Do check out the original Japanese one if you can.

shoumon bakkari boukon ga kuru zo,