Signs Of The Time, Part 95

From a headline on the USA TODAY website last night:

“Oscar ratings drop 8% amid diversity push, awards fatigue”

Gee, big surprise there.

Forgot to mention Hollywood/celebrity fatigue though, with the seemingly non-stop talking down to “ordinary” Americans on how we should think and act.

And often against a backdrop of “do what I say, not what I do.”

Oh well. Duly noted here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Levin, Gary. “Oscar ratings drop 8% amid diversity push, awards fatigue.” USA TODAY. 29 Feb. 2016. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2016/02/29/oscar-ratings-drop-8-amid-diversity-push-awards-declines/81108254/). 1 Mar. 2016.


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Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 Main Street, Signs Of The Time No Comments

Signs Of The Time, Part 85

Monday at lunch I finally got the chance to read my Sunday paper. From the Chicago Tribune “Perspective” section, in the part entitled, “Voice Of The People”:

Do not allow silencers

I cannot believe that there is serious consideration to permitting gun silencers to be used by gun owners in Illinois. Anyone with an ounce of common sense will recognize that guns with silencers are the weapon of choice for assassins, terrorists and murderers. What would happen if a nut entered a school and starting shooting randomly with such a weapon? No noise to alert the rest of the teachers and children?

Two things came to mind when I saw the above:

1. The author has quite an imagination.

2. Yet another argument leaning heavily on emotion (plea for “common sense” is often a giveaway), but devoid of facts.

Emotionally-driven arguments. Very much a sign of the time.

But now the facts on this subject.

An ABC7 Chicago I-Team Investigation recently looked into suppressors as legislation legalizing such devices has been introduced in the Illinois House (HB0433) and Senate (SB0803). Chuck Goudie reported on the ABC7 website on April 30:

Silencers used by criminals on TV and in movies; this is how most people know of the device.

Sponsors of a bill to make them legal in Illinois say the Hollywood interpretation is pure fiction…

A 2007 study found silencer use in crime is rare…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Guns with silencers are the weapon of choice for assassins, terrorists and murderers.”

Whatever you say.

And all those “assassins, terrorists and murderers” will be lining up for silencers if they’re legalized in Illinois, right?

As I blogged back on February 11:

Firearm suppressors (or sound suppressors and silencers as they’re also known) are highly-regulated in the United States. J. Guthrie reported on the Guns & Ammo website back on May 13, 2012:

If you lived in Scotland, they would be required for hunting. If you lived in Finland you could saunter down to the local gun shop and buy one over the counter—one more reason to like Finland. In the U.S., suppressors are regulated by the National Firearms Act and you have to first make sure they are legal in your state, fill out a federal form and send it, a couple of photos and some fingerprints into the BATFE for approval. Once approved—the process can take six or seven months—the BATFE sends you a little stamp and some paperwork and you can take possession of the suppressor from you dealer. There are legal considerations for interstate transportation and transferring the suppressor too…

Just like most felons don’t acquire their firearms lawfully, neither will they be obtaining suppressors legally- particularly in a highly-regulated environment like the one that currently exists.

Fears of a proliferation of legally-manufactured, lawfully-obtained suppressors among the bad guys in the “Land of Lincoln” are unfounded.

As for the “Voice Of The People” on these devices? I sure as hell hope it isn’t.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


Goudie, Chuck. “Are Gun Silencers A Threat To Safety?” ABC 7. 30 Apr. 2015. (http://abc7chicago.com/news/are-gun-silencers-a-threat-to-safety/689952/). 18 May 2015.


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Quote For The Week

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do, remember?”

-Gregory Peck (American actor. 1916-2003)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)


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Monday, August 19th, 2013 Quote For The Week No Comments

Brad Pitt Admits ‘I Feel Better Having A Gun’

Hollywood celebrities, for the most part, are seen to be big supporters of gun “control.”

So I was somewhat surprised tonight when I stumbled upon an interview of American film actor and global box office-draw Brad Pitt on the Daily Mail (UK) website in which he shared his pro-gun views. Martyn Palmer wrote on September 8:

Controversially for one of Hollywood’s leading liberals, he doesn’t believe U.S. gun laws should be changed.

‘America is a country founded on guns. It’s in our DNA. It’s very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel the house is completely safe, if I don’t have one hidden somewhere. That’s my thinking, right or wrong.

‘I got my first BB gun (a type of air gun) when I was in nursery school. I got my first shotgun by first grade (aged six), I had shot a handgun by third grade (aged eight) and I grew up in a pretty sane environment.

The Shawnee, Oklahoma-born Pitt doesn’t seem to think Americans would ever give up their firearms voluntarily. From the piece:

‘It’s just something with us. To turn around and ask us to give up our guns… I don’t know, we’re too afraid that we’re going to give up ours and the bad guys are still going to get theirs. It’s just in our thinking. I’m telling you, we don’t know America without guns.’

I wonder what all his admirers- and fellow stars- will think of such honest talk.

Something tells me Pitt could care less, however.


Palmer, Martyn. “ ‘I want her approval. Angie is a force… I want her to be proud of her man’: Brad Pitt on guns, violence and THAT wedding.” Daily Mail. 8 Sep. 2012. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2199295/Brad-Pitt-talks-Angelina-Jolie-I-want-approval-Angie-force–I-want-proud-man.html). 11 Sep. 2012.


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Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 Firearms, Gun Rights, Self-Defense No Comments

TEOTWAWKI Theater: Contagion And Phase 7

(Editor’s note: Does not contain spoilers)

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch two movies that were about an influenza pandemic outbreak. The first one is 2011’s Contagionicon, starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow (no, this isn’t The Talented Mr. Ripley), and other familiar faces including Laurence Fishburne, Elliott Gould, and Kate Winslet. From the IMDb website:

A thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.

“Contagion (2011) Official Exclusive 1080p HD Trailer”
YouTube Video

Now, rather than break down the movie and critique it like I would in an “On TV” series post, I won’t go spoiling it for those who haven’t seen Contagion yet. That goes for the second film as well.

My thoughts about Contagion:

Because the movie did center on an international team of doctors tackling a pandemic threat, it comes as no surprise that this was going to be a big budget production (estimated $60 million) shot all around the world (a good deal of it in the Chicagoland area) and having a sizable cast.

Speaking of the cast, the acting was good. Really good in a number of cases- but what would you expect with names like the ones above? Personally, I thought Kate Winslet was phenomenal in her role as a disease detective.

There are a number of sub-plots going on simultaneously involving the doctors, administrators, individuals, families, and so on. It’s not as confusing as it sounds, though. But with all the side stories going on and familiar Hollywood faces, Contagion started to remind me of 1970s disaster genre films like The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno.

Like the title suggest, Contagion depicts what the impact of a deadly influenza virus spreading around the world might look like in this day and age, especially in the United States. Dismal to be sure, and no one can be certain just how a modern-day killer pandemic would actually play out, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling while watching the film that what was being portrayed was sanitized. Sure, there’s plenty of illness, death, and heartbreak going on- as one would suspect. But several weeks into the outbreak utilities were still on, vehicles had fuel and were being driven, survivors looked well-fed, hygiene didn’t seem to be a problem, and society looked like it was more or less still functioning- save the large amounts of trash strewn about. The violence that one might think would erupt during such an event was hardly evident (save one scene). Even more so the preparations for protecting against such acts. Perhaps this was done intentionally to obtain the PG-13 rating the film was eventually assigned.

Overall, a good film with good acting. But I suspect that everyday life would be a whole lot grittier should a pandemic like the one portrayed in Contagion take place.


The next pandemic flick I watched was the 2010 Argentinian film Phase 7
, or Fase 7, starring Yayo Guridi, Daniel Hendler, Federico Luppi, and Jazmin Stuart (hat tip Surviving In Argentina blog). From the IMDb website:

Inside a quarantined apartment building a man must protect his pregnant wife from his new neighbors.

“Phase 7- Official US Trailer”
YouTube Video

My thoughts about Phase 7:

Most of the film is in Spanish, so subtitles are used. As with Contagion, I watched the movie on a Netflix DVD, and the subtitles were big and clear, which worked out just fine.

Phase 7 cost 2.5 million Argentine pesos to make- or the equivalent of around $575,000 U.S. dollars. This can be attributed to the film being set mostly in a single apartment building as opposed to all over the world. Furthermore, internationally-acclaimed movie stars weren’t used, although the South American cast of Guridi, Hendler, Luppi, and Stuart proved to be just as talented and were real good in their roles.

The term “phase 7” is related to the World Health Organization’s six pandemic phases. From the WHO website:

Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.

The meaning of “phase 7” becomes more clear as the film progresses.

The movie focuses on a young Argentine couple, Coco and his pregnant wife Pipi, who live in an apartment building in Buenos Aires. An influenza pandemic strikes, and authorities quarantine everyone in the dwelling when one of the residents is suspected of having caught the virus. Isolated from the outside world, Coco, Pipi, their survivalist/conspiracy theorist neighbor Horacio, and other building residents must fend for themselves amidst internal/external threats.

Phase 7 was a real good movie. It painted a gritty picture of what bugging-in in an urban environment could look like should a killer pandemic strike- and then some. I would classify it as part-science fiction, part-horror, with a dash of humor thrown in, believe it or not. I really appreciated the John Carpenter-esque background music. There were plenty of obscenities tossed around, and seeing them spelled out in the subtitles was kind of funny. The film also got gory at times, but it wasn’t overwhelming. It ended up being given an R-rating.

Overall, I liked both Contagion and Phase 7. However, there’s no mistaking Contagion for anything other than a Hollywood production. So much so it seemed a little sanitized for what I would envision society looking like during a pandemic event of that magnitude. Phase 7 is more low-budget, but actually more believable in many ways, if that makes sense. I think Phase 7 would speak to preppers/survivalists more than Contagion.



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Quote For The Week

Obviously, if I thought I would get somewhere by having bigger boobies I would’ve done it by now. For her (character) it was hard economic times. You can’t find a millionaire like you could three years ago before the crash, so it’s an investment in her business to get a pair of t**s.

-American actress Cameron Diaz, speaking about her character Elizabeth Halsey in the comedy film Bad Teacher (Source: WENN.com)


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Monday, June 27th, 2011 Quote For The Week, Wealth 2 Comments
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