The World According to Ploy

February 24, 2009

A Quote from Will

Filed under: Gnomes — by Ploy @ 12:48 am

Nope. Surprisingly it’s not Shakespeare (one of my favorite people in pantaloons). Will Smith, actually. I think he’s impossibly cute and charismatic. And this morning at the Academy Awards (that’s my time zone. It could’ve been at night for you), he said something that will endear him to me forever. I do realize that he didn’t do it to impress me, of course, not in a million years. But I feel happy nonetheless.

Will Smith, presenting Best Visual Effects:

“They [the visual effects people] can take Brad Pitt and turn him into a garden gnome…..[He rips the envelope open]…..And the garden gnome creators have it!”

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February 21, 2009

Valkyrie, or: How Not to Stage a Coup

Filed under: Movie Reviews — by Ploy @ 4:51 pm

It’s not like I know how to stage a coup d’etat. I don’t even bother to imagine what I would have to do if I were to stage a coup, because in my life, I never, ever plan to stage a one. I will leave that job to men in suits who convince themselves that they matter in the Greater Scheme of Things. Or that the Greater Scheme of Things matters to them. Whichever.

Anyway, despite my lack of knowledge about staging successful coups, I think I certainly know how not to stage one.

I don’t remember where I got his from, but there’s this fact in my brain that to successfully take over any government, get hold of the communications system first. The radio, the television, the newspapers. The media. Control communication, you control practically everything. If they had Coup 101, they would/should probably teach that sometime in the first week.

If you control the media, you can control the masses. If you control communications, you can isolate your enemy. When staging a coup, your enemy is probably some important state figure…and look, really, if Mr. Archenemy can’t get his commands around, he’s just a lonely sitting duck.

Which brings us round to our point-of-the-day: in Valkyrie, Tom Cruise’s character, Colonel Stoffenburg, might have met a different ending if he’d gone to a Coup 101 class.

Watching Valkyrie was something I wanted and didn’t want to do. I might have beef with Tom Cruise the Man (not something personal, but he’s just…..strange), but I have nothing at all against Tom Cruise the Actor. I think he’s a good actor. In all his movies (yes, including Vanilla Sky), he’s convincing and he’s just in to character. The adjective of versatile might also apply here.

Back to Valkyrie: we know Hitler died by his own hands…so at the outset, we all know that in Valkyrie, Tom & Co. will fail in their attempt to assassinate Hitler. I think the people who made this had guts. It is difficult to make a movie thrilling when you know (if not exactly, then quite accurately) how it ends.

Surprisingly, Valkyrie was worth the 140 baht I paid. Tom was convincing as Stoffenberg, the supporting actors were great, and the setting and costumes bought the movie to life. In the first half of the movie, I found myself rooting for the German Resistance. At one point I even hoped that perhaps this would be a kind of alternate-reality movie and Hitler would be dead in the end.

But things sorta fell apart in the last half hour.

No one even made sure Hitler was dead after the blast at the conference house. Tom Cruise’s Stoffenerg just walks out of the house, without turning back. In this case I can forgive him. I mean, it’s not like you can drop a bomb in a house smack-middle of a military compound and walk back to make sure your target is dead. What you do is you get in a car and leave with your trusted secretary (which is exactly what Stoffenberg does. Bravo.) And the fact that the person driving you is one of Hitler’s loyal minions may be justified because, well, you need him driving to get past the guards at the front gates. 

You might not need to even kill him. Right? He’s just a driver.

But seriously, the moment he sees your secretary throwing the extra bombs away…well, now he begins to link you with that godawful blast he saw a few minutes ago. Stoffenberg, I know you’re the hero to this piece and you’re probably all righteous and against killing-of-innocents and all that…but this is a military operation. This is HIGH TREASON. Dude, you don’t need extra witnesses. You need to contain everything. EVERYTHING.

Ok, in all fairness, maybe they didn’t kill off Mr. Driver because Tom Cruise/Stoffenberg was sure his side would win anyways, so it didn’t matter.

But if you’re THAT sure…really….well, what gives you the right to be that sure? In retrospect, when I was going through your plot in my head during the last minutes of the movie, there were so many places that things could’ve gone wrong. The plan wasn’t foolproof. It was ridden with holes. It was not contained. You didn’t even attempt to control the communications system. Morse codes and messages were still being sent. Phone calls could still be made. The Reich side was still making phonecalls! Argh. Hitler ended up on the radio! You took control of the government buildings, but that’s all they are…BUILDINGS. Lifeless things.

If you’d severed all communications coming from Hitler. If you’d taken that communication headquarters thing (and why is it that it was only women typing?)…if you’d taken over the radio, your chances of success would’ve been much higher.

 

 
This has been long and I am getting hungry. I will now procede to wander downstairs and find some food. Perhaps I will ponder and plot  while dunking Teddy Grahams in cold milk.

February 16, 2009

An Open Letter to Johnny Depp

Filed under: Hot Guys — by Ploy @ 5:56 pm

Dear Johnny,

I love you. I really do. Aside from the fact that you are a great husband (or “domestic partner”..but really, you’ve been with Vanessa for 10 years o_O), a wonderful father, and a talented actor (you rocked in Secret Window, by the way. The plot was predictable but Johnny, you were not), you also transformed Jack Sparrow into this:

HOT Captain

HOT Captain

Instead of this:

WHAT Captain?

WHAT Captain?

I know this is almost half a decade in coming but: THANK YOU. MY EYESIGHT AND I OWE YOU MUCH GRATITUDE. Kohl and dreadlocks! You are pure genius! If your acting career ever flounders – which it probably won’t. Not many people in Hollywood can act like you (not that many people in Hollywood can act anyways, but that is another story) – you are certainly qualified to pursue a career as a concept designer, or costume designer, or stylist. Johnny, you have good taste. Thank you again. You rock.

Lots of love and many bottles of rum,
Ploy S.

 

 

PS. If you were wondering where I got the ‘test version’ of Captain Jack from, it is from our trusted source of all knowledge: Wikipedia. From Jack’s very own Wiki page, to be precise. I don’t think I need to mention where I got Hot Jack from, as those are all over the internet.

February 9, 2009

The Duct Tape Philosophy

Filed under: Sheer Insanity — by Ploy @ 4:14 pm

Ah. It’s that week of the month again, the most hated week of all. The Week of PMS.
It’s the week when I find myself tired and lethargic, brooding, moody, and susceptible to depression, though I try to wave it off as much as I can. I mean, technically I know that all the mood swings are due to raging hormones (one of which is not testosterone, I hope). I myself am not a naturally exhausted, depressive person. Right? You be the judge. In my mind, if I have to be something, anything, I think I’m somewhere between lamely droll and extremely violent.
So, back to the issue at hand, yesterday I found something that could be a very, very good reason to be depressed, angsty, and sad. But then Martha was on TV, and the part of my mind that can never concentrate on anything quickly made a connection to Oprah (not that they are anything alike – and both of them would most likely kill me for making a connection – but that they are the only female TV personalities UBC decides to broadcast.) And then I thought of the Oprah-credited quote that I have in my blog which concerns the “light” and “dark” sides of duct tape.

And at that moment, ladies and gentlemen, The Duct Tape Philosophy was born.
I don’t have it clear-cut yet. But if I’m pressed to engrave something on stone slabs by dawn tomorrow, the following points would be included.

1. Like duct tape, life has a light and dark side. As you can see, the light and dark sides are of equal sizes, otherwise the tape would not work now, would it?
2. The dark side of duct tape is usually what you see, but you know that underneath it is the light side. There is always the light side.
3. If you do not have the light side, then we would not have duct tape. Similarly, if you don’t have the dark side… ……..Ergo, you need both.
4. The light side is what makes everything work. It is the sticky side. It is what matters. Without the sticky light side, then duct tape would be just tape. It would not be special, and it will not have the strength. The light side gives you strength.

And so on and so forth. I will have to go polish up on that. Perhaps I will write a book. Being an author does seem easier a career path than, well, anything else.

 
Except pottery, of course.

If I ever start a cult, I'd want my minions to dress like this. Sorta. We'd have to work on getting them to actually walk it in though.

If I ever start a cult, I'd want my minions to dress like this. Sorta. We'd have to work on getting them to actually walk it in though.

February 8, 2009

Comrade Fergie (the Pea, not the Duchess)

Filed under: Galling But True,Gnomes — by Ploy @ 2:49 pm

I love the picture below.
I really, really do.

 [Pic from justjared.com]

Fergie & Taylor Swift

Fergie & Taylor Swift

February 1, 2009

SNAP JUDGMENT

Filed under: Angst — by Ploy @ 6:35 pm

In your life, you’ll probably find yourself making a few “snap judgments” – to make a decision in a blink of an eye, a second. If you’re lucky, those decisions are not crucial and really don’t matter in the bigger scheme of things. But what if they are? What if that decision you make in a nanosecond does matter?

You know what? I’ll just tell you why I’m writing this. I’m all riled up (other applicable adjectives are shocked, appalled, saddened, halfway to crying, etc) because Chelsea just lost to Liverpool. And I know,I am convinced,I state this with absolute certainty, that they wouldn’t have won (fine maybe they would have, but their chances would be slim) if Frank Lampard was there.

Lampard got a red card. Out of all those 22 people out there on the field today, Frank-friggen-Lampard got a red card.

For not even the right reason.

He aimed for the ball. But then his feet happens to connect with someone’s calves. I don’t actually know the name of that Liverpool dude, because by the time the commentators were describing the situation, the referee had already run up and whipped out a red card. My mind was blank and nothing else registered at that point.

In the slow-mo replay, Lampard was looking at the ball, aiming at the ball, hell, his mind was full-fledged on the ball (I conclude this because his whole body was essentially gravitating toward the ball). He was probably thinking “Aim. For. Ball.” or something. He was certainly not aiming to maim someone. Look, I know that the ref doesn’t have the benefits of a replay and all that, but even the commentator said, “Even if he had to make a snap judgment, just looking at Lampard’s character would help with the decisions. Lampard’s not a person who would do something like that.”

(See, even people without an obsession with Lampard saw that, too.)

On a wider scale, it just got me thinking about snap judgments and all. I hate making snap judgments. If I’m put under pressure to make a decisions, I either a) weasel my way out of it or b) give a very ambiguous answer that I can later clarify once I’ve thought it through.

In my humble opinion, if you’re going to make a judgment about a person’s action, at the very least, consider his/her character, background, past deeds. E.g., if ever one day George W. wins a national Scrabble contest, then it’s probably pure luck. If Oprah’s jumping on her own couch, then she’s probably re-enacting Tom Cruise – Oprah herself is probably not crazy. Which brings us back to the fact that this is Frank Lampard, he who never plays dirty and is rarely violent. If he appears to be kicking someone, then hey, did you even look at the soccer ball rolling not even a meter away?

Gyah. I hope they appeal.
PS. I still think Peter Cech is strange.
PPS. The statement above will be a candidate for the “Understatements of February” award. I have a feeling it might win.
PPPS. Actually, the Academy Awards are later this month. I might make more understatements then. We shall see.

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