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About RationalEgoistSG

  • Birthday 07/11/1984

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    Succasunna, New Jersey
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    classical music, NYC, Objectivism, film, history, philosophy, military strategy & foreign policy, ultimate frisbee, squash, running, working out, photography, poker, skyscrapers, hiking/conquering mountains, more

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  1. Parcells did coach in Dallas before Wade Phillips, which is a perfect reason for him to come back there. He's familiar with a lot of the talent, management, and way things are done there. In my opinion, the Cowboys need a GM that will spurn a massive turnaround in their management philosophy. There is a clause in Parcells' contract with Miami that if the team is sold, he has the option to leave the team along with huge bonuses. Because of the election of Obama, the owner is selling the team before he has to pay huge capital gains taxes. From what I've read in many news stories about it, Parcells is reluctant to work under the new ownership. It's a shame, because he has done great things with Miami, but he may just leave. Cassel is not a rookie at all, and he is a free agent after this season. Given how well he played in Brady's place, the demand for his services will be high. There is absolutely no way that the Pats can afford to pay Cassel what he will ask, and there's no way Cassel will accept a job as a backup. It's remotely possible that the Pats will choose Cassel to be their new long-term quarterback, but I just don't see that happening. There are a number of teams where I could see Cassel going: the Jets, Chiefs, Lions, Raiders, Seahawks, and the 49ers are all likely bidders. Out of all those teams, I see the Jets having the greatest chance of landing him. It's the easiest geographical move, the Jets have the best chance at success next year of those teams, and the playing systems of the Patriots and the Jets are very similar.
  2. There is absolutely no chance this will happen. Sure, the Cowboys collapsed in a rather bad way at the end of the year, but it's not because of the players. The Cowboys arguably have one of the strongest collections of offensive talent in the NFL, yet they failed to make the playoffs because of horrible coaching and team management. Any good coach would have firmly punished T.O. for all the bickering, finger-pointing, and back-talking. Along with significant injuries to Romo and Barber, T.O. clearly threw a wrench into the machine. Furthermore, Jerry Jones put so much pressure on players like Romo, Barber, and Witten to play despite injuries that they couldn't heal properly. Instead of building up the players as a cohesive unit (which includes being prepared to rely on backups), the Cowboys exist as a team of individual talents. Jones has the attitude that if he has the best individual players, his players should just win, without thought of how to develop a system in which they are all working towards the same goal effectively. In contrast, look at the best example of fixing these problems: Tom Coughlin of the NY Giants. He has a vicious no-tolerance policy to bad behavior. No player is allowed to have such control over the entire team, and cause such a disruption. No matter who it is, a player will be suspended if he violates team rules. Furthermore, the team trains, practices, and plays as a cohesive unit. Their depth, especially in their offense, is substantial. The philosophy of the team is that everyone works towards the same goal: playing good football and winning games (as opposed to personally getting more catches/play-time). The one player that defied this policy was Plaxico Burress, and we all know how that turned out. The Giants had a hard time adjusting to his absence in the first two-weeks, but they are doing wonderfully now. With all that in mind, I think the solution is definitely not to simply bring in a different big-name talent. The Cowboys need new management, and Jerry Jones needs to get his nose out of it all. They need a coach who will put his foot down and establish a no-nonsense, no-tolerance policy. They should fire Wade Phillips and place an immediate phone call to Bill Cowher, for coach or GM. Or even better, it's looking like Bill Parcells will opt-out of his contract with the Dolphins. He would be the perfect choice for GM. Alas, Jerry Jones has said that he is confident with the team's coaching. I think that's a huge mistake. Don't expect them to rebound next year. As far as Matt Cassel goes, I fully expect him to be a New York Jet next year. While they're at it, if the Cowboys don't nab him, the Jets would be well advised to place a call to Bill Parcells as well. Go Giants! Superbowl repeat!
  3. Did you guys not see the same film that I did?! I thought it was fantastic. Great acting, great plot, and very specific moral conflict. It has a few flaws, but still, I take what I can get. As for the claim that the movie didn't know what it was about, or what its message was, spoilers ahead...... I am so tired of seeing Objectivists whose judgment is completely clouded by dogmatic moralizing and cynical nitpicking.
  4. It always astounds me how two people can see the same movie and have completely different reactions. I really enjoyed Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Spoilers ahead.... As for some of your other concerns, I was happy to see Harrison Ford in his first decent role since Air Force One over 10 years ago. I loved how the film handled the first reveal of our return to his character, and I was immediately struck by how he felt exactly like the Indiana Jones of old. You are right that the plot is not strong, but has it ever been for an Indiana Jones film? The essence has always been travel, exotic adventure, and heroism; all of which were contained in this new film. In total, it's not one of the best pieces of art I've ever seen, but there were several moments that were simply stunning. Overall, I enjoyed the experience and did not let a bitter cynicism ruin my time. I have to question your intention in posting this highly charged rant against the film, without any warnings against spoilers, or providing any decent context for your allegations. I am really sick of Objectivists being so unfairly negative about every single element of our culture, without thinking of the relative context to how something like this compares with other things that are anti-man and irrational. As I said, it's not great art, but the sense of life is highly heroic and adventurous. Perhaps you should seriously consider the flaws in the other three films, and how as a kid, you likely overlooked (or did not see) these flaws because you instead focused on the heroic and the inspiring. You should think about doing that again.
  5. After skimming over the debate so far, I felt the strong urge to come to Gabo's defense. I saw Speed Racer this past weekend and loved it. Let me start out by saying that reaction to a film depends quite significantly on expectations. Before going in, I knew that the film had an anti-business tone, as I also know that the overwhelming majority of films have explicitly stated philosophies with which I would disagree. So, I went in specifically to enjoy the sense of life, and the aesthetic qualities of the film. On both fronts, it is an amazing work. The film is like a living cartoon, with larger-than-life direction, cinematography, and plot. Sure, if you go into the film just looking for something to pounce on, there's plenty to find. There are explicit denunciations of business, the profit motive, and corporations; and implicit appraisals of "family values" and antitrust law. But it also contains a heroic struggle to counter a corrupt organization and restore justice and integrity. We get to watch a young man exercise his skill at racing and perform wonderfully under immense pressure. For those of you that have seen the film, think of the scene with Mom Racer, telling her son that watching him race is like viewing art. This statement is made concrete, particularly through the end of the final race, which is something quite profound. I think that the strongly negative reaction to films such as this, with mentions of bad philosophy, is indicative of a larger problem in the Objectivist movement. There are far too many Objectvists whose first instinct is not to praise the good, but condemn the evil. Both have their deserved place, but the impression I get is that there is more of a focus on the latter, instead of the former. No, I'm not telling you to ignore reality and sanction evil. On an individual level, you'll get more enjoyment out of life by not being so instantly critical, and taking what you experience in a larger context. But also in terms of helping to spread Objectivism, we'll attract more by being positive, happy people, not bitter and cynical. Speed Racer is a wonderful film, with a heroic sense of life and a beautiful expression of the pursuit of values.
  6. I completely agree! Finally, for once, the brilliant scientist, industrialist, inventor, businessman is the HERO! Tony Stark has pieces of all the heroes of Atlas Shrugged, especially Hank Rearden. Fantastic film!
  7. Hehe guys, why are you so quick to rip this guy apart. Umm, April Fools?
  8. Ok I'll eat crow. KevinDW and Athena, you were right.
  9. Thank you all for your responses! I'm sorry that I never responded to any of them until now. Does anyone have any experience with or knowledge of the New York Film Academy? It's a school with intensive one and two year programs for directing, screenwriting, acting, etc. Thanks for your help!
  10. KevinDW, Could you actually consider that there is a motive behind this that isn't irrational? I understand condemning a play at attention when it's clear that is what's happening, but I'm tired of Objectivists that are too quick to judge before any facts are in.
  11. I'm sure I speak for most of us when I say that any information you can tell us would in fact be greatly appreciated! I like IntolerantMan's idea of using a digital disguise (or some kind of stand-in). That would allow for the possibility of casting a well-known actor as Galt in secret without his identity being revealed too early in the movie. However, it would likely take a gargantuan effort to keep that actor's participation a secret, just due to the legion of people who dedicate their lives to following celebrities and such. Oh and despite a few cranky people, most of us are nice!
  12. "This is John Galt speaking." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_qQt9IrUc0...DE8&index=0 I just came upon this series today which dramatizes Galt's speech. It uses an excellent audiobook recording combined with video and wonderful music. Parts 5-11 are particularly well done. I've really enjoyed these!
  13. For the past year I've been trying to find one pursuit that I can pour all of my passion into and develop as a career. I went to college at a liberal arts university, and double majored in philosophy and history. I had intended to become a philosophy professor, but towards the end of my college experience I became extremely disenchanted with the prospects of being a part of philosophy in academia. Since that development, my strongest love is music, specifically orchestral works. For over a year now my highest dream has been to conduct a professional symphony orchestra. I regularly attend performances of the New York Philharmonic and I am obsessed with composers such as Brahms, Beethoven, Wagner, and Rachmaninov. I'm also a huge fan of orchestral movie soundtracks, particularly those of John Williams. Just one week ago I had the absolute joy of seeing him conduct the New York Philharmonic, and I can say without exaggeration that it was the best night of my life. I came out of that concert more certain than ever that I would love to be a composer, and a conductor of a professional symphony orchestra. But sadly, I am several years too late in this. I could still learn how to compose music on my own, but I fear that to reach my true goal I would have needed a degree in music and experience with the music world that I could probably never get now. This brings me to the topic of this post. My other love is film. At its best, it can be one of the most beautiful mediums of art available. It combines not only the explicit meaning of literature but also the aesthetic beauty of cinematography as well as the heights of excellent music. But, like with music, achieving a successful career in film would be require a tremendous pursuit. My biggest concern is that I have no firm qualifications for film school. Although, I do have a long obsession with film that includes a lot of personal analysis, and a decent knowledge of aesthetics in the abstract sense from my philosophy background. What I am wondering is if anyone here has experience either with film school or contemplating the possibility of it. I have had the impression that most film students begin their study right after high school. But, I have located several programs, particularly "immersion programs" that are intended for anyone. For example, there's the NY Film Academy which has a large variety of programs ranging from small workshops to two-three year Masters programs. Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated!
  14. As a matter of fact, I'll be seeing Williams conduct the New York Philharmonic on September 14th! I am excited beyond words!
  15. Moebius, I appreciate the honest criticism. It's the best way to improve! Unfortunately I'm an amateur, and at present lack the equipment to really achieve the kind of photographic manipulation that you're talking about. Most of my best shots from that album I was able to take with the DSLR of a friend. I'm incredibly anxious to experiment and perfect my photography, but I almost feel like it's not worth doing until I have a decent camera. I really like your advice about variety. I first developed my love of photography because I loved walking through NYC and wanted to capture those memories. But after traveling to Italy and discovering a new style, I'll definitely be mixing up my subjects more than I have in the past. Although, it's hard to ignore the beauty of a skyscraper. Cheers!
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