Archive for October, 2011

Inspiring Fictional Speeches

October 10, 11

Throughout my entertainment experience, I’ve come across a few speeches that stuck with me for their way with words – that is, a combination of the actual words used and the way they are delivered.

Here are my favourites:

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Starcraft – Arcturus Mengsk’s Coronation Speech

I’ve covered this before, with screenshots, but here it is again. That time the transcript was done personally by ear.

Transcript:

Fellow Terrans, I come to you in the wake of recent events to issue a call to reason. Let no human deny the perils of our time.

While we battle one another, divided by the petty strife of our common history, the tide of a greater conflict is turning against us, threatening to destroy all that we have accomplished.

It is time for us as nations and as individuals to set aside our long-standing feuds and unite! The tides of an unwinnable war are upon us, and we must seek refuge upon higher ground, lest we be swept away by the flood.

The Confederacy is no more. Whatever semblance of unity and protection it once provided is a phantom; a memory. With our enemies left unchecked, who will you turn to for protection?

The devastation wrought by the alien invaders is self-evident. We have seen our homes and communities destroyed by the calculated blows of the Protoss. We have seen firsthand our friends and loved ones consumed by the nightmarish Zerg. Unprecedented and unimaginable though they may be, these are the signs of our time.

The time has come, my fellow Terrans, to rally to a new banner. In unity lies strength; already many of the dissident factions have joined us. Out of the many, we shall forge an indivisible whole, capitulating only to a single throne!

And from that throne… I… Shall watch over you.

From this day forward, let no human make war upon any other human. Let no Terran agency conspire against this new beginning. And let no man consort with alien powers. And to all the enemies of humanity, seek not to bar our way, for we shall win through… No matter the cost.”

Especially like: The way Mengsk’s Southern accented speech slowly increases in intensity, until And from that throne… Whereupon the music cuts off for a truly regal sounding I shall watch over you. Said like a true emperor. It’s easy to see how he managed to turn most of the former Confederacy to his side (along with judicious propaganda and black ops).

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The Lord of the Rings – Kings Théoden’s Arise, Riders of Theoden

Specifically, from The Return of the King as the the Rohirrim prepare to (what looks to be suicide) charge against Sauron’s armies besieging Minas Tirith.

Transcript:

Forth, and fear no darkness!

Arise! Arise, Riders of Theoden! Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered!

A sword day. A red day. ‘Ere the sun rises!

[break]

Ride now! Ride now! Ride! Ride to ruin and the world’s ending!

Death! (Rohirrim echo: Death!)

Death! (Rohirrim echo: Death!)

Death! (Rohirrim echo: Death!)

Forth, Eorlingas!

Especially like: The first few times I watched Théoden say ‘Ere the sun rises!, I found it powerful and inspiring – almost optimistic. Although re-watching it I don’t seem to find it as powerful as I remember, it still strikes a chord somewhat.

And of course, the way he manages to rile up his berserker Vikings to gleefully embrace Death!.

Contrast this to Aragorn’s speech at The Battle at the Black Gate:

Transcript:

Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers.

I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.

An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day!

This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!

It’s actually much more of an actual ‘speech’ than Théoden’s ad-hoc rallying cry, but the way Aragorn delivers it in the film is rather lacking.

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Bioshock 2 – Andrew Ryan’s Journey to the Surface

Not a single speech per se, but rather several short narrations to mechanically-animated museum displays. Taken together, they can be read as one whole piece of propaganda.

The title makes me think of an adventure along the lines of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon or A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Actually a more descriptive title would be Reasons Why the Surface World Sucks (Because of Parasites).

Transcript:

I am Andrew Ryan. Welcome to Ryan Amusements. Please, enjoy the park.

Why, hello there, my name is Andrew Ryan. I built the city of Rapture for children just like you, because the world above had become unfit for us. But here, beneath the ocean, it is natural to wonder if the danger has passed, if those we left behind will ever come to their senses. So, let us imagine, you and I, what might befall us… On the surface.

On the surface, the farmer tills the soil, trading the strength of his arm for a home and lands of his own. But the parasites say NO! What is yours is ours! We are the state, we are God, we demand our share.

The Parasite makes nothing for itself. Its only tools are taxes and tithes, meant to trick you into offering what it has not earned. In Rapture, we keep what is ours.

On the surface, the scientist invests the power of his mind in a single miraculous idea and naturally begins to rise above his fellows. But the parasites say NO! Discovery must be regulated! It must be controlled and finally surrendered.

On the surface, an artist strives to frame his ideals in an image, to challenge his audience and make his vision immortal. But the parasites say NO! Your art must serve the cause! Your ideals endanger the people!

Lacking its own ingenuity, the Parasite fears the visionary. What it cannot plagiarize, it seeks to censor; what it cannot regulate, it seeks to ban. Rapture was founded on an idea, and here they are held inviolate.

On the surface, your parents sought a private life, using their great talents to provide for you. They learned to twist the lies of church and government, believing themselves masters of the system. But the parasites said NO! The child has a duty! He’ll go to war and die for the nation.

Unable to provide for itself, the need of the Parasite grows until war is made to justify it. Your parents brought you to Rapture, where you need never fear the Parasites again. So you see, there is no place for you on the surface, but you may bring the world to you! If you know someone who belongs in Rapture, write a letter to the Ryan Industries mailroom. And you never know! The next new face… might be familiar.

Especially like: Each time the giant Hand of the Parasite appears to a resounding NO!!!, which is progressively more ominous with each display in the series.

If Journey to the Surface were taken in isolation as all that we knew about the world outside Rapture, Andrew Ryan’s Randian objectivist disdain towards the taxing, redistributing world above would be quite convincing.

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BONUS: Donald Trump’s Argument For America

Yes, it’s not from a fictional work… But the pacing, presentation and overall feeling are exactly like the great speeches I mentioned above. And from the 2016 Election all the way thru to now, it’s been one amusing ride! Almost like a blockbuster film in three acts.

Transcript:

Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American people.

The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. For those who control the levers of power in Washington and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind.

The political establishment, that is trying to stop us, is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration, and economic and foreign policies that have bled our country dry.

The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories and our jobs as they flee to Mexico, China, and other countries all around the world. It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.
The only thing that can stop this corrupt machine is you. The only force strong enough to save our country is us. The only people brave enough to vote out this corrupt establishment is you, the American people.

I’m doing this for the people and for the movement and we will take back this country for you and we will make America great again.

Especially like:

Scott Adams, the best predictor long beforehand of Trump’s…

1) Winning the GOP nomination.
2) Winning the Presidency.
3) Forcing the media to progressively dial down the hysteria from ‘insane evil Hitler’ to ‘bumbling inept chaotic clown’ to ‘effective, but we hate his accomplishments’ over 2017.

explains what makes it so great from the persuasian aspect.

Obama Craves Love and Acceptance

October 5, 11

This is what happens when your genetic father abandons your mother to go halfway around the world, then both your mother and adoptive father dump you with the grandparents on the other side of the world.

Yet another Black person’s life ruined by Liberal policies.

Excerpts from AoSHQ:

No, what he wants most – what he needs most – is to be loved.

A great many politicians cope or struggle with depression during their careers. One of the reasons so many successful politicians come from broken homes, and a surprising number with alcoholic or absent fathers, is the natural tendency for those who must learn to earn the affection and attention they receive from the earliest point in life to develop far more adept skills at such things later in life. But this also tends to warp your priorities as an individual – it tends to make you far more dependent on the loyal affection of those you care about, or those you don’t (when Ronnie talked about Nancy saving his soul, he wasn’t exaggerating).

In some cases, this turns men into thin-skinned lonely guys, divorced from reality. In others, it turns them into gaping maws of desire and designs, creatures equipped with abounding charm and endless appetites – see Bill Clinton or Anthony Weiner or Marion Barry or any number of other politicians, and understand there are thousands more who’ve never been caught.

In the case of this president, the affection he craves goes even further. He doesn’t appear to be satisfied in close relationships at all. He needs the swelling masses. He never loved the music – he loved the groupies, the lines of people waiting to see him, cheering him as the Adonis who turns winter into spring, as I think Jonah Goldberg put it.

Pair the above with the results of not feeling the love, excerpted from The Wall Street Journal via the earlier AoSHQ link:

We caught flashes of the contempt during the campaign. There were those small-town Midwesterners who, as he put it at a San Francisco fund-raiser, “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who are not like them.” There were those racist Republicans who, as he put it at a Jacksonville fund-raiser, would campaign against him by asking, “Did I mention he’s black?” There was the “you’re likable enough, Hillary,” line during a New Hampshire debate. But these were unscripted digressions and could be written off as such.

Only after Mr. Obama came to office did it start to become clear that contempt would be both a style and method of his governance. Take the “mess we have inherited” line, which became the administration’s ring tone for its first two years.

The gratuitous return of the Churchill bust to Britain. The slam of the Boston police officer who arrested Henry Louis Gates. The high-profile rebuke of the members of the Supreme Court at his 2010 State of the Union speech. The diplomatic snubs, petty as well as serious, of Gordon Brown, Benjamin Netanyahu and Nicolas Sarkozy. The verbal assaults on Wall Street “fat cats” who “caused the problem” of “10% unemployment.” The never-ending baiting of millionaires and billionaires and jet owners and everyone else who, as Black Entertainment Television’s Robert Johnson memorably put it on Sunday, “tried rich and tried poor and like rich better.”

Now we come to the last few days, in which Mr. Obama first admonished the Congressional Black Caucus to “stop complainin’, stop grumblin’, stop cryin’,” and later told a Florida TV station that America was losing its competitive edge because it “had gotten a little soft.” The first comment earned a rebuke from none other than Rep. Maxine Waters, while the second elicited instant comparisons to Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” speech. They tell us something about the president’s political IQ. They tell us more about his world view.

What is it that Mr. Obama doesn’t like about the United States—a country that sent him hurtling like an American Idol contestant from the obscurity of an Illinois Senate seat to the presidency in a mere four years?

When a good history of anti-Americanism is someday written, it will note that it’s mainly a story of disenchantment—of the obdurate and sometimes vulgar reality of the country falling short of the lover’s ideal. Listening to Mr. Obama, especially now as the country turns against him, one senses in him a similar disenchantment: America is lovable exactly in proportion to the love it gives him in return.

Hence his increasingly ill-concealed expressions of contempt. Hence the increasingly widespread counter-contempt.

All-American Oil Driller on Obama’s Energy Greensanity, Economy-Killing Regulation, Blatant Double Standards

October 4, 11

Excerpts from Teh Wall Street Journal:

How North Dakota Became Saudi Arabia

Harold Hamm, discoverer of the Bakken fields of the northern Great Plains, on America’s oil future and why OPEC’s days are numbered.

By STEPHEN MOORE

Harold Hamm, the Oklahoma-based founder and CEO of Continental Resources, the 14th-largest oil company in America, is a man who thinks big. He came to Washington last month to spread a needed message of economic optimism: With the right set of national energy policies, the United States could be “completely energy independent by the end of the decade. We can be the Saudi Arabia of oil and natural gas in the 21st century.”

“President Obama is riding the wrong horse on energy,” he adds. We can’t come anywhere near the scale of energy production to achieve energy independence by pouring tax dollars into “green energy” sources like wind and solar, he argues. It has to come from oil and gas.

How much oil does Bakken have? The official estimate of the U.S. Geological Survey a few years ago was between four and five billion barrels. Mr. Hamm disagrees: “No way. We estimate that the entire field, fully developed, in Bakken is 24 billion barrels.”

And for those who think this oil find is only making Mr. Hamm rich, he notes that today in America “there are 10 million royalty owners across the country” who receive payments for the oil drilled on their land. “The wealth is being widely shared.”

His only beef these days is with Washington. Mr. Hamm was invited to the White House for a “giving summit” with wealthy Americans who have pledged to donate at least half their wealth to charity. (He’s given tens of millions of dollars already to schools like Oklahoma State and for diabetes research.) “Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, they were all there,” he recalls.

When it was Mr. Hamm’s turn to talk briefly with President Obama, “I told him of the revolution in the oil and gas industry and how we have the capacity to produce enough oil to enable America to replace OPEC. I wanted to make sure he knew about this.”

The president’s reaction? “He turned to me and said, ‘Oil and gas will be important for the next few years. But we need to go on to green and alternative energy. [Energy] Secretary [Steven] Chu has assured me that within five years, we can have a battery developed that will make a car with the equivalent of 130 miles per gallon.'” Mr. Hamm holds his head in his hands and says, “Even if you believed that, why would you want to stop oil and gas development? It was pretty disappointing.”

Washington keeps “sticking a regulatory boot at our necks and then turns around and asks: ‘Why aren’t you creating more jobs,'” he says. He roils at the Interior Department delays of months and sometimes years to get permits for drilling. “These delays kill projects,” he says. Even the Securities and Exchange Commission is now tightening the screws on the oil industry, requiring companies like Continental to report their production and federal royalties on thousands of individual leases under the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting rules. “I could go to jail because a local operator misreported the production in the field,” he says.

The White House proposal to raise $40 billion of taxes on oil and gas—by excluding those industries from credits that go to all domestic manufacturers—is also a major hindrance to exploration and drilling. “That just stops the drilling,” Mr. Hamm believes. “I’ve seen these things come about before, like [Jimmy] Carter’s windfall profits tax.” He says America’s rig count on active wells went from 4,500 to less than 55 in a matter of months. “That was a dumb idea. Thank God, Reagan got rid of that.”

A few months ago the Obama Justice Department brought charges against Continental and six other oil companies in North Dakota for causing the death of 28 migratory birds, in violation of the Migratory Bird Act. Continental’s crime was killing one bird “the size of a sparrow” in its oil pits. The charges carry criminal penalties of up to six months in jail. “It’s not even a rare bird. There’re jillions of them,” he explains. He says that “people in North Dakota are really outraged by these legal actions,” which he views as “completely discriminatory” because the feds have rarely if ever prosecuted the Obama administration’s beloved wind industry, which kills hundreds of thousands of birds each year.

Continental pleaded not guilty to the charges last week in federal court. For Mr. Hamm the whole incident is tantamount to harassment. “This shouldn’t happen in America,” he says. To him the case is further proof that Washington “is out to get us.”

It’s hard to disagree with Mr. Hamm’s assessment that Barack Obama has the energy story in America wrong. The government floods green energy—a niche market that supplies 2.5% of our energy needs—with billions of dollars of subsidies a year. “Wind isn’t commercially feasible with natural gas prices below $6” per thousand cubic feet, notes Mr. Hamm. Right now its price is below $4. This may explain the administration’s hostility to the fossil-fuel renaissance.

Mr. Hamm calculates that if Washington would allow more drilling permits for oil and natural gas on federal lands and federal waters, “I truly believe the federal government could over time raise $18 trillion in royalties.” That’s more than the U.S. national debt, I say. He smiles.

Ng Yen Yen Kutuks Penang on Tourist Safety, Shoots Johor’s Foot

October 4, 11

Further to the Lim Guan Eng – Johor Crimes hoo-hah, the BN-MSM Complex is going full tilt to play up this issue, bringing in noted BN tool Ng Yen Yen. (It’s to distract from the real issues, see my explanation here.)

Pay serious attention to tourist safety, Yen Yen urges Penang govt

KUALA LUMPUR – Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen has urged the Penang government to pay serious attention to the safety of tourists visiting the state.

The reminder came in the wake of an incident in which a Saudi Arabian tourist, Ali Shamrani, 30, sustained a broken hip and bodily injuries when the jet ski he was riding was hit by another jet ski operated by two Indian nationals at the Batu Feringghi beach in Penang Saturday.

“I have said this before and I will say it again, that the safety of tourists is important to the tourism industry because we have been telling the world that our country is safe and stable.

“So, I would like to remind Lim (Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng) not to poke his nose into other state’s safety affairs, but instead to mind the safety affairs in Penang first.”

If the situation persists, Dr Ng said she was worried that not only Penang’s tourism sector would be jeopardised, the income of local people who were depending on the industry would also be affected

Tourist safety?

Tell that to Johor, Ng Yen Yen!

Issues related with the spate of crimes and the people’s protests reported in and around Johor Baru have some adverse effects on the states’s tourism industry. … “We are concerned over the several crime incidents, especially of rob-and-rape in Johor Baru, and hope efforts will be taken to curb them. – Crime in Johor Has Affected Tourism

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has urged foreign heads of mission based here to set the record straight on negative reports involving safety and security in Malaysia. – Adnan: Envoys Can Dispel Myths on Malaysia

Jay Bee
You may be called a city of filth
Of gang wars and transvestite agalore
Johor Bahru – Sin City poem

147+ entries – in Johor Crimes category

Thunder Lolcats – And List of Memes Appearing

October 4, 11

Kah kah kah kah kah!

I’m no great expert on all things meme, but I could recognize most of the references.

And love the closing line, I expect plenty of less Net-addicted viewers will have had basically the same reaction:

“I still don’t understand ANY of this.”

Lololol!

Since I couldn’t find any site doing it, here’s my best shot at listing the memes that appear in rough order with explaining links embedded (feel free to comment with any ones I missed out):

‘I can has cheezburger’ lolcats
Invisible stuff, in particular, invisible sandwich
Dog fort
Minecraft Creepers (with voice)
I’M A’ FIRIN’ MAH LAZER!!
Narwhals
Angry Birds with arms
Colourful flying ponies
Samoflange
Trolling and Problem?
PWNED
Lol guy
Nyan cat

Probable:
Longcat
Tacgnol
Weegee

And of course, Thundercats

I’ll put up some screen grabs of the most loltastic bits later.

Thanks to Zack T and Jamie for some meme suggestions.

See also much older If Meetings Were Like Blog Comments and some Global Warming Rage Comics I made too.

Scott Adams: Rich Can Escape to Live on Floating Nation-Ships

October 3, 11

Via AoSHQ, excerpts from Scott Adama’s piece on The Wall Street Journal that highlight his non-liberalness (which readers of his blog would already note):

Driving the Rich Into the Sea
Megaship ahoy! To escape higher taxes, the wealthy could relocate…to open waters

Somewhere in Washington our leaders are furiously planning an economic death spiral. It will start innocently with a modest tax increase on the rich, the same way you might pluck a chicken to give it fair warning before you barbecue it. The final phase will involve a tax rate on the top 1% of earners that is so high it can’t be described without the Viking word for pillage.

The middle class will soon trade their unrealistic dreams of wealth for the opportunity to transfer money from total strangers to themselves—a process often referred to as fairness.

The ocean is the safest place on Earth if you play it right. Super hurricanes caused by climate change (allegedly!) are no problem for ships that can relocate at any time. And droughts can’t hurt you if you get the desalinization technology right. There’s almost no problem so big that it can’t be avoided by a billionaire in the middle of an ocean.

Martin Khor, Perma-Keynesian Fantasist

October 3, 11

And of course, Perma-US-Liberal-Democrat-phile like other Star writers. But I digress.

Via The Star 3 Oct 2011:

Euro fallout is bad news for world economy
Global Trends
By Martin Khor

Meanwhile, the US has its own budget deficit tug-of-war between the President and Congress and between Republicans and Democrats.

What this means is that Europe and the US are not able to make use of the policies (massive increases in government spending, interest rate cuts and pumping of money into the economy) that pulled them quickly out from the last recession.

In the fantasies of Martin Khor and other Keynesians (*cough* Paul ‘Enron Consultant‘ Krugman *cough*), the Stimulus ‘saved or created’ countless jobs and rescued the economy temporarily. In fact, if the Stimulus had been bigger, the economy would be booming now!

The reality?

The Hoover Institution’s John Cogan and John Taylor found zero effect one way or another from the stimulus. And a more recent study by Timothy Conley of the University of Western Ontario and Bill Dupor of Ohio State actually found a negative correlation between federal stimulus spending and private-sector job growth. That suggests more spending actually kills jobs.

Investors Business Daily, Democrats’ Tax-And-Spend Insanity

The striking observation is that after correcting for the higher starting point, the actual performance of the economy is almost exactly what Romer and Bernstein said would happen if we had done nothing, rather than passing the $800 billion package.

Weekly Standard, Did the Stimulus Stimulate?

Many more graphs along the same lines at here.

Oh, and his precious Liberals also caused that 2008 recession.

PS. Too good to leave out, via AoSHQ:

Quote in context:

A few months ago the vast majority of business economists mocked concerns about a ”double dip,” a second leg to the downturn. But there were a few dogged iconoclasts out there, most notably Stephen Roach at Morgan Stanley. As I’ve repeatedly said in this column, the arguments of the double-dippers made a lot of sense. And their story now looks more plausible than ever.

The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn’t a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance. To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

Hey, go back to that link about being an Enron Consultant. As Dogbert from the Dilbert comic strip put it, CONSULT = CON + INSULT

Former Jemaah Islamiah Terrorist Gives Good Testimony of Christianity

October 3, 11

Excerpts from The Star 2 Oct 2011:

Fighting extremism via comics
By AMY CHEW

Nasir Abas, a former Jemaah Islamiah leader, is now waging a private jihad to stop teenagers from being recruited for suicide bombings and other terror activities.

MALAYSIAN-born Nasir Abas is an unlikely comic book hero he is a former al-Qaeda-linked militant, leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and a weapons expert who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

His journey from an idealistic student to a militant and later an ally to the police in their counter-terrorism efforts has been turned into a 137-page comic book titled I Found the Meaning of Jihad.

His transition from militant to police ally came about when he was arrested by police in 2003.

The arrest was a turning point in his life. He was handcuffed and put into a cell with two men who happened to be Christians.

Expecting the worst, he was surprised when his cell mates fought for him to have his handcuffs removed so that he would be more comfortable. “It was my first close encounter with a Christian,” he says.

They also gave him clean clothes and a clean sheet to use as a prayer mat.

“I was very surprised,” says Nasir, who was also taken aback by the gentle treatment he received from the anti-terror squad chief Kol Bekto Suprapto, who is quoted in the comic book as saying: “If you don’t agree with the bombings, let us together stop it.”

Note that these Christians were in prison too. From the article, we can’t tell if they committed their crimes before turning to Christ or converted while behind bars (Indonesia doesn’t imprison converts out of Islam… As far as we know).

See also similar themed, Penn of Bullsh*t Give Excellent Testimony of Christianity


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