I just finished watching My Scientology Movie by Louis Theroux and BBC Films. Unfortunately I was unable to get tickets when it was here at Hot Docs this year so I was really looking forward to seeing it.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Louis, I think he has a fascinating technique and he has made a number of films which I have found incredibly compelling. But I also find some of his work a bit contrived and there are occasions where I’ve felt that he’s soft peddled a situation. But I’m probably being unfair…
For whatever mistakes I may have felt he’s made in the past, he’s taken a very unconventional approach, and in doing so he manages to bait the “Church” into helping him make an even more damning film then he would ever have created if they had simply co-operated.
To quote Louis himself in the film:
They are behaving in a way that is so obviously pathological — you would think they would realize that other people would see that and think this is a religion of lunatics.
The film has some absurd moments, but it’s fairly unflinching in dealing with the subject matter and he does a much better job at holding Marty Rathburn, the film’s primary antagonist, accountable for his past as a leader of Scientology than some other recent accounts of Scientology have. The film is definitely worth the price of admission and Theroux does a wonderful job.
Here’s an interesting interview, or perhaps it would be better described as a discussion, with Theroux and Rinke Verkerk (who herself reported undercover on Scientology) about why he made the film and some of the challenges he faced.
As a follow-up to: The Atlantic’s Endorsement of Clinton, I thought I’d share the article that drew me to The Atlantic’s website in the first place about the remarkable rise of Seth Meyers to become the foremost progressive comic satirizing this year’s presidential election.
I’ve not been a huge fan of Meyers until now, he’s certainly a good performer but I’ve not been an avid SNL watcher for a long time so I missed most of his heydey. But this year he has really done an incredibly job mocking Trump in his own unique style.
Thus far the visit to NY for AES has been way busier than I expected, which is nice in a way since I always find business trips a bit weird when I have too much free time. They’re sort of like a break but you’re on the clock so you don’t ever really relax and away from all your normal break time activities.
The panels for AES basically go from 09:00-18:00 or so non-stop, so by the time I’m done it’s been a long day and it’s too dark this time of year to take a lot of photos with the gear I brought for the trip.
But I had a very curious experience, I decided to grab some take out for dinner on my way back to the hotel since I skipped lunch. When I went to pay, the sweet young woman at the counter apologized quite profusely to me because she didn’t have any singles for change. I thought she was going to give me a fist full of quarters, but instead she handed me four of these mythical Sacagawea coins that Americans seem to loathe so much! I almost felt the need to explain to her why $1 coins are better than bills and that it was no problem, but I decided it wasn’t the time or place in the end.
Coming from the land of the Loonie it was one of those weird little cultural reminders that even though the US is almost Canada in many ways, it’s also strangely different.
Then I walked out of the store and the bag my food was in broke and landed on the sidewalk. But that’s a different story and far less entertaining…
I woke up this morning and looked out the window and it struck me that the weather is finally nice enough that I can wear my favourite sneakers on my walk to work. Time to put the winter clogs away and be a 7 year old for a little while.
I’m on a RHCE course all week this week, it reminds me how much I don’t fit into classroom settings. The material we’re covering is actually pretty interesting and I’m motivated to pay attention because I’d like to pass the exam on Friday but I still find myself drifting off in my own head.
Where are those training programmes from The Matrix when you need them?
Last night I made some changes to my PC at home and in the process I blew up all my photos for the past 7 years or so. That sucks. I have some backups on DVD and I can eventually track them down. The part that’s doubly stupid is that despite the fact that I am a (semi) professional sysadmin and manage terabytes of data and co-ordinate their associated backups for a living, despite the fact that I rigorously backup the data on the servers you are connected to right now, I have been incredibly neglectful in backing up the data on my own PC.
In any event, there’s really no point in screwing something up badly unless it teaches you a lesson. So today I decided I’d finally get Time Machine working. (Yeah that’s right, I use one of the very few operating systems that ships with a sophisticated native backup tool that does snapshots, yadda, yadda, and I still didn’t have a backup of my data!) I decided I’d start with my work notebook and that means I had to get some sort of external disk.
Herein lies the silver lining, I decided I’d get a Firewire/IEEE1394 disk, not so much because of the performance, though that is nice, but more because I have a low level of confidence in USB disks based on past experience. After a bit of research I decided it was easier just to buy a retail disk instead of an OEM hard drive and a 3rd party enclosure, even if it is a bit more expensive. So after some digging around it turned out that the only place in downtown Toronto that sells a wide range of Firewire disks is the Apple Store. I wasn’t looking forward to the markup, but this problem just can’t wait any longer I need to deal with data protection for my workstations. So off I go to the Apple Store and in the end I decided to buy a 250GB G-DRIVE Q for 200 bones. Not a great deal, but it’s a good disk and I can lock it to the pillar by my desk at work with a simple cable lock and that’s pretty much a requirement in an open office. So I got home about an hour ago and started to set up my backups only to discover that the disk in the box was a 500GB disk. All of a sudden it’s not such a lousy deal. It seems like the gods of data management have taught me a lesson and then quietly blessed my response. So now I’m feeling better about things.
In any event, rambling stories aside: “Don’t be a Gabriel, back up your fucking data!”