I’m a huge fan of gamification. I’m also a huge fan of fairness. So when an opportunity arises to combine the two, I find myself unable to resist. Me and my better half are both self confessed cinephiles and love nothing more than finishing up a hard day with a bottle of wine and a film. Sadly, on occasion the overlap in the Venn diagram of our preferred genre is smaller than we’d like, and we can find ourselves at loggerheads as to what to watch. We will critique each others choices until one of two things happen; 1) We realise it’s nearly midnight and we go to bed having not watched a film, or 2) One of us will relent and watch the other’s film while moaning about the “total lack of credible storyline” or sniping “you don’t really believe you can take out a chopper with a police car do you?”. And that’s what led to the invention of FFCFC.
I guarantee these 10 simple rules will lead to a lifetime of happy evenings or your money back:
U.S. Senator John McCain, who was tortured during his time as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, said upon watching the film that it left him sick — “because it’s wrong.” In a speech in the Senate, he said, “Not only did the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information.” McCain and fellow senators Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin sent a critical letter to Michael Lynton, chairman of the film’s distributor, Sony Pictures Entertainment, stating, “[W]ith the release of Zero Dark Thirty, the filmmakers and your production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective. You have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right.”
Focusing on both science and science fiction, Omni enjoyed a long and venerable run, first published in October 1978. The print version lasted until Winter 1995, and while a digital version continued through 1997, eventually that, too, folded. That’s a damn shame, but what an amazingly cool treat that the entire run of the magazine is available for our perusal at the Internet Archive. Some days I really love the internet.
During its long history, Omni featured many who would go on to become notable contributors to science fiction literature, including Ben Bova, who worked as an editor for the mag. Omni also first published many stories that became genre classics, such as Harlan Ellison’s novella, Mephisto in Onyx and William Gibson’s Burning Chrome. It also published genre-leaning stories by more mainstream writers, including William S. Burroughs and Joyce Carol Oates.
This is the most sexually explicit thing I’ve ever posted on this blog, and yet…
it’s on YouTube and unrated, so it can’t be that bad
there’s no nudity
there’s no swearing
there’s no blasphemy
it’s artistically lit and framed
and there’s only one person
for a few minutes
reading aloud from a reasonably serious, if slightly left-field, book of poetry
Of course that’s not all that’s going on – but that’s another matter, and it’s as opaque and discreet as can be managed in the circumstances.
So: me being me, the most important question raised by this popular YouTube video (1.3 million hits) is whether it represents the kind of adult content that needs to be kept away from our eyes by default, so that we would have to opt-in to see it?
United States Customs officials opened the crates and uncovered 20 mysterious disks, eggs, and flame-like forms of carved wood, polished metal, or smooth marble. One work in particular left them dumbfounded: a thin, 4 1/4-foot-tall piece of shiny yellow bronze with a gently tapering bulge called Bird in Space. It didn’t look like a bird to the officials, so they refused to exempt it from customs duties as a work of art. They imposed the standard tariff for manufactured objects of metal: 40 percent of the sale price, or $240 (about $2,400 in today’s dollars).
Duchamp was indignant, as were Brancusi, already in New York to prepare for the Brummer show, and Edward Steichen, the photographer and Brancusi admirer who had bought the Bird and expected to take possession of it after the exhibit. News of the customs decision quickly made headlines. The Romanian-born Brancusi was known in New York: He had made a name for himself at the Armory Show of 1913, where his daring minimalist pieces had caused a small scandal and won him admirers among well-known collectors. Now articles in Art News and several newspapers took turns attacking Brancusi’s "meaningless sculptures" or defending his visionary simplicity.
Under pressure, the customs office agreed to reconsider its decision. In the meantime, it released Bird in Space and other sculptures, on bond and under the classification "Kitchen Utensils and Hospital Supplies," so they could be exhibited at the Brummer Gallery and then at the Arts Club in Chicago.