An interview of a former FBI agent who infiltrated white supremacy groups.

I’m linking here to a brief but excellent AJ+ interview of Mike German, who infiltrated white supremacy groups as an FBI agent in the 1990’s.  To me, German appears to offer a nearly academic analysis of what such organizations actually are and how they appeal to people — but his explanations are easy for any layperson to understand.  He is also critical of both Obama and Trump.

He says some disconcerting things about why these groups are an increased threat in the America of 2017.


A short review of “The Dead 2: India” (2013)

At times, “The Dead 2: India” (2013), seems like a carbon copy of its predecessor three years earlier.  Both “The Dead” and “The Dead 2” portray American male protagonists on a lengthy overland trek to reach a wife or girlfriend.  Both were shot on location in an overseas setting.  (The original took place in Africa.)  And both portray a second protagonist who is a native of the country.  (In this case it’s a little boy portrayed by Anand Krishna Goyal.  Even a curmudgeon like me has got to admit — that kid is adorable.)

I liked the first movie a bit better.  This one feels a little hastily put together, in terms of its script and directing.

It does manage to succeed somewhat with the things that made the first film decent viewing.  Its desert locations are beautifully shot, and the filmmakers bring back some of the original’s slow-burn horror elements.  The zombies here are usually as slow as snails — slower even than the zombies of George A. Romero’s genre-defining early films.  But they’re also quiet, and they converge en masse when our hero lets his guard down.  And the occasional appearance of a rare feisty specimen leads to some genuine jump scares.  The movie also effectively employs what appears to be a low-budget special effect — the monsters’ eyes are of an opal-white, otherworldly color.  (I’m guessing those are colored contact lenses?)  The trick works, the zombies are scary, and “The Dead 2” successfully provides a kind of “creeping horror” that is rare for today’s horror films.

That wasn’t enough, however, to rescue this movie entirely from feeling like a retread of the original.  I’d describe this as an average viewing experience for a horror fan, and I’d rate it a 6 out of 10.




Tonight’s thoughts:

  • I wonder how long it will take for people to start referring to the Trump administration as the Turd Reich?  I can’t be the first person who thought of this. The pun is too easy.


  • “You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that.”  I wonder … is this how he would describe World War II?


  • I’m thinking of renouncing my past statements of admiration for the French resistance during World War II.  It has been brought to my attention that they were operating with a government permit.


  • The Russians. The Nazis. Foreign dictators.  It’s like the only people who Trump won’t criticize are the villains from 1980’s action movies.  What’s next? Is he going to tacitly defend Zuul from goddam “Ghostbusters?”


[The memes are not my own:]







Northern Virginia Rainstorm, August 2016

I took this video a year ago today.  It seems like another age.  So much has happened between then and now.  It’s feels surreal how our perceptions of time can be so subjective.

This was one hell of storm.  Summer thunderstorms in Southwest Virginia seem absolutely commonplace.  It is an extraordinary experience watching them roll in over the mountains, each of them a rapid fog ragnarok — and then moving on just as swiftly.

I don’t think I’ve seen a storm around Roanoke yet that can match the wet armageddon below, though.