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September 9th, 2004

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04:39 pm - "Prepare to embrace your creators in the stygian haunts of hell, dress code!"
First of all, 8 points to anyone who knows the origin of the subject of this post. 30 points to anyone who knows the other place it comes from.

My intent was never for my livejournal to become "The Wide World of DVDs Nobody Likes," but in case anyone cares, Track Down (renamed from Hackers 2: Takedown) is finally getting a U.S. DVD release on Septmber 28th. 2600 Magazine has an article about it here. I wrote several paragraphs about the film, but in the interest of keeping your Friends page clutter free, I'll stick them under a cut:

For those who don't know, Takedown is (loosely) based on a book of the same name. The book is based on the true story of Kevin Mitnick who is probably the world's most well-known computer criminal. In a nutshell, Kevin got caught doing some fairly naughty things on a computer system he didn't have legal access to. When he was arrested, lots of people (myself included) felt that he was treated in an inordinately severe manner. This is all documented on news sites all over the internet, but probably most thoroughly (albiet with a pro-Kevin slant) on FreeKevin.com.

The movie was made in 1998 and scheduled for release in 1999 (I think). 2600 spearheaded a campaign to discredit the movie and suppress its release. To everyone's surprise, Miramax opted not to premier the film in the U.S., but it got some play in foreign markets. The hacker community roundly panned the film, criticizing not only its copious and blatant fabrications but also things like the acting, lighting and camerawork. I've seen it, and though I wasn't impressed, the quality of the filmmaking struck me as fairly average for a Hollywood film. I'm indifferent to all of the actors in it (excepting (possibly) Donal Logue), so the acting was on par with any other movie. I think most of the criticisms of the production come from the inability of a certain people to translate their political biases into a movie review (see certain reviews of Fahrenheit 9/11).

Around the time I graduated high school I was being invited to "Free Kevin" rallies and I can recall seeing that slogan printed on shirts and bumper stickers at school. I was always torn as to how I should feel about the whole situation. On the one hand, he did commit some fairly serious intrusions which were unquestionably illegal. On the other, he didn't actually do anything with the information he obtained and claims that he never planned on using it maliciously. I can recall Mikey telling me after we saw Mr. Mitnick on TechTV that the best word to describe him is "dweeby," not nasty. Having seen him interviewed several times, it's easy to believe that he wasn't planning to do anything truly dishonest. I'd equate Kevin's transgressions with speeding. The proper reaction would have been to slap him on the hand (issue a ticket) to deter him from doing it again (re-enacting the movie Death Race 2000). Instead he was placed into solitary confinement and denied some of the basic rights of the American legal sysem.

I kept up on the whole thing in the news until after Kevin was eventually freed. I can definitely say that Takedown fails miserably as an accurate portrayal of the facts. The movie depicts Kevin (who is played by Skeet Ulrich) as a devious criminal. The guy who tracked him down is also pretty dweeby in real life, but here he's a suave, debonair ladies man. Tom Berenger's in the movie too, but I think I liked him better as a sexually ambiguous singing cowboy in um, that other movie.

If you actually read all the way through this you're probably not terribly interested in the movie. If you are, you could buy it on Amazon, but I'd rather just suggest that you save your money and wait for somebody else to offer it to you because they bought it and weren' impressed.

Anyway, our CEO toured the Madison office today, and I foolishly didn't straighten up my desk. This is not true. It was clean when I came in, but it got really cluttered as the day went on. Anyway, he came in and had a look around my cubicle. He's greeting lots of people, but I'd bet money that I'm the only man who had to explain to the Corporate Divine that I have pantyhose on my wall "just in case."

I hope I don't get talked to by my boss' boss tomorrow.

Speaking of work-inappropriate clothing, our casual day dress code is changing because apparently some people don't grasp that go-go boots, tube tops and denim miniskirts sporting the word "flirt" are not kosher for passover work. From this point forward, the only casual thing about casual days is that we'll be able to wear jeans (as long as they're "neat, clean and in good condition at all times"). No more t-shirts (blank or otherwise), no more tennis shoes (even on casual days), no more assless chaps (not even for upper management). They don't specifically say that men can't wear bitch-red nail polish, but I'd bet money that it would get me "talked to" (read: fired).

All kidding aside, I'd be annoyed at the company if it had come out of left field. It didn't though. We got a couple of warnings. People ignored them. I think it would have been a better idea to address issues with individual employees than with everybody, but everybody was addressed, and the violators are part of "everybody." I have no problem with penalizing everybody in this situation. I'd just like to know whose fault it is that my shoes must match my socks which must match my pants.

Oh, well. This has been popular on my Friends page today, and I must say, if anybody on my friends list belonged on the chess club in high school, it was axbuford:

If LJ Was a High School by Karen_Walker
Lunch Ladynocturne152
Head Cheerleaderrockyhorror42
Prom Queenbilllumbergh
Gang Membersylversmoke
Band Geektlhinganhom
Theatre Geekangelic667
Chess Club Captainaxbuford
Loner Goth Kidfuzzyinthehead
Class Clownagaysexicon
Quiz created with MemeGen!

Current Mood: pissed offpissed off
Current Music: Da Vinci's Notebook -- Ally McBeal

(8 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 9th, 2004 10:16 pm (UTC)

about gender-identity discrimination

I would almost be interested in seeing Track Down if it was more accurate. I also followed the news on Kevin Mitnick, and it would have been nice if the movie didn't contain a lot of fabrications. Maybe sometime I'll see it if I want to start ranting sometime.

As to men wearing bitch-red nail polish. You can be fired for wearing it, but you cannot be LEGALLY fired for it in Dane County.

Both Dane County and Madison Ordinances prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. You might get fired, or you might now. You may not be able to prove why you were fired. But the law says you can wear clothing of any gender.

So you go right ahead and wear your nail polish. This is, of course, assuming you do not work for the state or federal government, which don't care what Madison and Dane County's laws are.

For anyone that's actually interested, here are the pertinent definitions for the laws:

Dane County Ordinance 19.04(7)(a)

As used in this subsection, gender identity
means the actual or perceived condition, status
or acts of any or all of the following:

1. Identifying emotionally or psychologically
with the sex other than one’s biological or legal
sex at birth, whether or not there has been a
physical change of the organs of sex;

2. Presenting or holding oneself out to the
public as a member of the biological sex that
was not one’s biological or legal sex at birth;

3. Lawfully displaying any combination of
physical characteristics or behavioral
characteristics or expressions which are widely
perceived as being more appropriate to the
biological or legal sex that was not one’s
biological or legal sex at birth, as when a male is
perceived as feminine or a female is perceived
as masculine; or

4. Being physically or behaviorally
androgynous, or both.

Madison General Ordinance 3.23(2)(t)

Gender identity is the actual or perceived condition, status or acts of 1) identifying emotionally or psychologically with the sex other than one’s biological or legal sex at birth, whether or not there has been a physical change of the organs of sex; 2) presenting and/or holding oneself out to the public as a member of the biological sex that was not one’s biological or legal sex at birth; 3) lawfully displaying physical characteristics and/or behavioral characteristics and/or expressions which are widely perceived as being more appropriate to the biological or legal sex that was not one’s biological or legal sex at birth, as when a male is perceived as feminine or a female is perceived as masculine; and/or 4) being physically and/or behaviorally androgynous.
[User Picture]
Date:September 9th, 2004 11:04 pm (UTC)

Re: about gender-identity discrimination

Takedown is an okay movie which would be better if it were more accurate. You're not really missing out.

Anyway, thanks for looking up the law. Upper management where I work (at least, in the Madison location) is pretty cool about this kind of stuff, but bitch-red nail polish might cross the "modesty of dress" guidelines. That would be judged more by the wearer's attitude and personality than sexual or gender identity. Same with the pantyhose on my wall. The guidelines governing what I can do with my cubicle are very vague, but nobody who works there would deny that the rules could be interpreted in such a way that the pantyhose would be a violation.
[User Picture]
Date:September 9th, 2004 11:07 pm (UTC)

Re: about gender-identity discrimination

Well, yeah, I don't think most people keep pantyhose on their wall. I think it's usually kept in a desk drawer. At least where I work it is.
Date:September 10th, 2004 02:32 am (UTC)

It's better is Norwegian

I actually downloaded TakeDown while I was in college - it was the Norwegian version with Arabic, Chinese, and English subtitles. Somehow, that made it slightly better.
- mikey
[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2004 02:48 am (UTC)

Re: It's better is Norwegian

Somehow, that made it slightly better.

Why is that not a surprise?
[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2004 03:21 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2004 09:16 pm (UTC)


I wonder why it keeps picking me as a principal? This is the 2nd one now....

[User Picture]
Date:September 12th, 2004 06:47 pm (UTC)

Re: again?

Actually, I think you'd make a pretty good princi-- No, wait. Never mind. You'd never make it. All that emphasis on the arts and not enough support for football and hockey. Where are your priorities, Brian?
Garmonbozia for the soul.

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