Tag Archives: Soapbox

The summer of all bores

Looking at the list of movie releases this summer, I have the same sinking feeling I had back in May of last year when I saw the fall TV season lineup, that little voice whispering in my ear there’s nothing there for me.
It’s tempting to blame it on aging but before I dropped cable, I faithfully watched 8 seasons of 24, 6 seasons of LOST, 4 seasons of Battlestar Galactica and I still watch Mad Men. The same goes for summer movies. I was looking forward to Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3 and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World last year and was curious about Robin Hood, the A-Team and The Last Airbender (So much for curiosity, I want those hours of my life back!). It’s not like I’m sitting here  remembering how much better movies and TV series were in the 80s. My point is, I like independent, smart, brainy movies but I also like when things blow up. Yet, this year’s offering from Hollywood leaves me completely cold with the exception of Harry Potter. I have some mild interest in X-Men First Class, Super 8 and possibly Cowboys and Aliens  but besides that, my opinion on these movies range from laughable to offensive.
I never want to see another Transformers or Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Thor, Captain America and Green Lantern don’t even pass the giggle test, even Pixar had to go with a sequel of their only movie I don’t particularly care for: Cars.
I guess I’ll catch up on reading and watch Game of Thrones.

Time to hit the history books America!

According to a Gallup poll released yesterday, Americans appear to be under the impression Ronald Reagan is the greatest U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln coming second 5 points behind.
I had difficulties believing the results at first but looking at historical scholar rankings on Wikipedia, Ronald Reagan seem to have been consistently climbing in the ratings since the beginning of the 21st century. Now, I could start a lengthy post about the issues I have with his presidency and what I consider inflated claims by today’s conservatives but what would be the point? I’ll instead take a quick look at some of his predecessors.

John F. Kennedy: The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Space Race.
Dwight D. Eisenhower: The Interstate Highway System.
Harry S. Truman: The Marshall Plan, the founding of the United Nations and the use of the atomic bomb on Japan.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: The New Deal, Social Security. World War II.
Theodore Roosevelt: Youngest President at 42, instrumental in the completion of the Panama Canal, first American to win a Nobel Prize with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese war.
Thomas Jefferson: The separation of Church and State, the Louisiana purchase
Abraham Lincoln: the Civil War, the Gettysburg address, the abolition of slavery.

And if none of these mattered, George Washington who as the first President of the United States defined the presidency as we understand it today.

I’m not implying Ronald Reagan had no accomplishments during his terms in office but what exactly did he do that easily tops putting a man on the moon, abolishing slavery, leading the nation through the greatest war the world has ever known or through a civil war? What gut wrenching decision did he take that came remotely close to the use of the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki or writing a response to Nikita Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile crisis?

This poll shows a terrible contempt for history and I find it troubling.