Mount Rushmore

By Ronda Darby (Unsplash)

Here's an article from the Wayback Machine . . . causes one to think: can politics get any worse?

Originally published 2/25/2021

Here's the best conspiracy theory you'll hear all day (among the many coming out of the White House): None of this is happening.

Everything since the 2016 presidential election is just B-roll for a parody movie about the American presidency. Our actual president is dancing with Annette Bening at a state dinner. Our president is balancing the federal budget with common sense. Our American president is kicking ass on Air Force One.

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Culture News

Harrison Ford Under FAA Investigation: Should He Be Allowed to Fly at 77?

After making an error on the runway, the actor's fitness to fly planes is being questioned

Ford Harrison Welcome Video

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum - via YouTube.com

Actor and avid pilot Harrison Ford came under FAA investigation this week, after making an error on the runway at Hawthorne airport in Southern California.

The Indiana Jones actor has been in the process of updating his pilot's license so he can participate in relief efforts—delivering supplies and equipment when there's urgent need. It's a noble goal, but it won't happen if the FAA determines that this latest incident is cause for concern.

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CULTURE

Deepfake George Lucas Is More Convincing Than Actual George Lucas

Baudrillard was right, and I have lost all sense of what's real.

George LucasLACMA: Art and Film Gala, Los Angeles, USA - 03 Nov 2018

Photo by Matt Baron/Shutterstock

A video purporting to show George Lucas camping out for the premiere of Rise of Skywalker was unleashed upon the world yesterday, and has thrown reality into turmoil.

We have been warned that Deepfakes have the potential to undermine democracy by casting doubt on the veracity of video evidence. If the alleged "pee tape" came out tomorrow, is there any doubt that Donald Trump and his defenders would shout fake? Even if the footage was clear and unmistakable, the existence of technology that can seamlessly meld a famous face onto a stranger's speech and mannerisms can throw any video into contention. But this new George Lucas video has done something much deeper, and much more troubling.

George Lucas Camps Out & Reacts to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Deepfake Sagawww.youtube.com

Having watched George Lucas being sarcastic and self-aggrandizing in a bad George Lucas wig and a cheap fat suit, I don't know if I believe in the real George Lucas anymore. You can tell me that it's actually an actor and impersonator named Josh Robert Thompson, but when he rolls his eyes at Baby Yoda with perfect contempt, I know that he's the real deal. The essence of George Lucas lives in this video more purely than any footage of the man himself, and I am no longer convinced that George "it's like poetry" Lucas was ever anything other than a character embodied by Josh Robert Thompson.

He seems certain that American culture leaving him behind can only be a damning sign for society. Couple that with the sigh of a disaffected boomer billionaire—pining for Woodstock while he contemplates buying a movie theater to simplify his schedule—and you have enacted George Lucas' entire being since 2005. Skywalker Ranch has been officially relocated to the Uncanny Valley, and I'm now convinced that the original George Lucas, in all his pompous glory, was the first CGI creation of Industrial Light & Magic.

If you haven't watched the video yet, save yourself from the existential dread. It's too late for me. The map has subsumed the territory. All that remains is the simulacrum, and I am left to wonder, if George Lucas is nothing more than this basic character study in a beard and glasses, who actually created Star Wars? I do not have the answer, but If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably Hatsune Miku.

FILM

Commemorating Rutger Hauer and the Greatest Death Soliloquy in Film

Rutger Hauer's monologue from Blade Runner lives on as one of the best performances ever given.

Warner Bros

Beloved film actor Rutger Hauer has passed away at 75-years-old.

Rutger Hauer lives on through his iconic performances, most notably that of renegade android Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi noir, Blade Runner.

Arguably one of the most sympathetic antagonists in movie history, Batty's lasting impact as a character largely hinges on his famous death soliloquy.

The setup is that Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a bounty hunter tasked with locating and killing "replicants"––androids who have gained human emotions and rebelled against their masters. Roy Batty is leader of a small band of killer replicants and, at last, Deckard has caught him. Deckard wounds Batty, but Batty knock him off the rooftop of a building. Then, just before Deckard falls to his death, Batty rescues him. As Deckard stares at his opponent in confusion, Batty delivers this monologue:

Blade Runner - Final scene, "Tears in Rain" Monologue (HD)www.youtube.com

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

Hauer's performance is absolutely flawless, but most people don't realize that he also changed the line completely.

In the original screenplay, the line was: "I've seen things… seen things you little people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion bright as magnesium… I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments… they'll be gone."

Hauer felt that the line was too much like "opera talk," so he cut the line apart the night before filming and added the concluding sentiment about "tears in rain."

The resulting performance portrays a character who, even though we've spent the entire movie rooting against him, displays an appreciation for life far beyond the protagonist's capacity. In his dying act, Batty proves his right to live and the folly of our hero's entire quest. Hauer is almost entirely responsible for this moment, truly one of the best film scenes ever.

A great artist will be missed but never forgotten.