Monday, August 2, 2010

Martial Arts Monday

Thanks for all the nice comments on the food pictures. You should be honest though, if the stuff looks like crap go ahead and say so. You may not ever get a song request played again, but at least I would get some feedback on how to improve!

Bond Market is Not a Funding Source
For the second time in two weeks Pragmatic Capitalist again makes some statements about the bind market that have me scratching my head. Inside a really funny and sharp piece bemoaning the fact that anyone would listen to Alan Greenspan anymore was this item once again:
First of all, as the issuer of bonds denominated in their own currency, the US government can offer interest bearing debt instruments at whatever maturity and interest rate it pleases. As I’ve explained before, the bond market serves no fiscal purpose – it funds nothing. It is purely a monetary tool for the Fed to drain reserves and maintain control of interest rates. This actually renders the issuance of long-term bonds fairly meaningless. The reserve drain could be done with a CD, however, the government chooses to issue longer dated notes as well as short duration notes. If the government wanted to stop issuing 10 year notes they easily could (they did so with the 30 year and nothing happened to the bond market). Mr. Greenspan clearly thinks the bond market funds our spending and that this raises a solvency issue in the USA. His model is “”flawed” (not my words!).

This turns into one of those discussions on what this is or that is or how you look at things. I would offer that I have no idea what PragCap means by this and would welcome any input. Who knew we had this kind of freedom? One might wonder how it is possible that the US could ever have a downturn if we can sell debt to no end and then use that money for whatever is needed, it is not funding anything anyway.

Cool Pictorial
Saw this slide show making the rounds and it is pretty wild. A collection of color pictures taken in the US from 1939-1943. Well worth a look.
Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943

Martial Arts Monday
Some discussion over the past two days has turned my mind to martial arts movies. In keeping with my new policy of writing about a more varied set of topics, I am opening up a discussion here.

Of course the martial arts genre has numerous entries. Everyone has their favorite types of films. Here is but one example of a top ten list:
-Kill Bill vol. 1 (2003)
-Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
-Iron Monkey (1993)
-Fist of Legend (1994)
-Ong Bak (2003)
-The Seven Samurai (1954)
-5 Deadly Venoms (1978)
-Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
-Shaolin Temple (1982)
-Way of the Dragon (1979)

Now this is not MY list, every one's own picks will vary.

I wanted to talk about two of my favorite martial arts films.

The first is Berry Gordy's "The Last Dragon". This film is a really entertaining blend of music, martial arts, and comedy. I remember seeing it as a kid and I was hooked!

The lead character is named Bruce Leroy. I mean, what a start! It just grabs you right there. Here he is:

His nemesis is called Sho'nuff, The Shogun of Harlem:

The tale chronicles Leroy's quest to find the final level of mastery which will grant him the power called "The Glow". The film has all the necessary elements for this genre:
-initial inner doubt
-search for meaning
-conflict and failure

The fight scenes are pretty good and the film is really fun to watch. I have to say, "The Glow" is pretty stang cool:

One of my all time favorites.

In contrast with the above film (which goes out of it's way to not take itself too seriously) we have "Kill and Kill Again":

Now for some reason known only to my inner self, I LOVE this film. That said, this film is terrible. The acting is really bad. The plot is weak. You name it.

It was however the pioneer of the now ubiquitous film tool called bullet-time. Here is the scene:

Wow, that was so cool, yes?

Back to the film. The lead character is Steve Chase. He has a whole team around him as they try and stop the evil madman Marduk from creating an army of mindless slaves via some potion. I know, gripping stuff.

Mainly I think it is the aerial acrobatics and numerous fight scenes that make this film work. Of course the final fight is a bit puzzling; Marduk has created an ultimate warrior to defeat Steve Chase. The fighter is named, wait for it, The Optimus! That rocks and you know it. I want to change my name right now.

Anyways, the thing is The Optimus looks like he is 50 years old or more! I mean could they not find a better looking Optimus? Geez, this guy looks set for retirement after Steve Chase clobbers him:

Great yelling by the way and a perfect 10 from the East German judge on the gymnastic floor routine!

Still, I own the film and will watch it from time to time. You gotta love martial arts.

If people like this stuff, maybe I will cover "No Retreat, No Surrender" tomorrow!

Have a good night.


getyourselfconnected said...

Well so much for my "off topic" try!

CT-Hilltopper said...

You should try some of the more "mainstream" Martial arts that I mean those produced and made on a shoestring budget right in China. They aren't as slick as their American counterparts, but what they lack in slickness, they make up for in corniness and hilarity.

Have you ever seen MST3k? I always thought they should do a takeoff of one of these films. It would have been hilarious.

Oh well.

BTW, early request for Friday

Road to Nowhere or This Must Be The Place (Naive' Melody) by Talking Heads

watchtower said...

I was going to say something last night, but I was afraid I would kill the thread.

Been thinking of changing my name from watchtower to threadkiller, but I see that I would have been safe this time : )

I really enjoy when new people post (not that I don't enjoy the regulars) but sometimes I get the feeling they are not because I've come from way out of left field on something, and have 'degenerated' the topic with my 'first' comment.

I hate when you have made an effort on a post and nobody comments, but a person never knows, maybe they are just pressed for time, or something to that effect?

Kid Dynamite said...

Remo Williams!!! best ever

getyourselfconnected said...

never seen that one, will have to check it out.

I don't think you are a threadkiller at all. Sometimes people leave comments, other times not. I can never tell. I thought it was a fun post, maybe some more on the way!

OOOHHH! I do Love Remo Williams! Classic flick that not many have seen.

CT-Hilltopper said...

MST3k was really popular about ten years ago. (Mystery Science Theater 3000).

The premise was this. A man and his robots are trapped by an evil scientist on another planet, and as torture, they are forced to watch truly horrible grade B movies.

The commentary that the man and the robots provide druing these movies (which are really really bad) are hilarious.

You can read more about it, access quotes, etc, at

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