Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Cute Letter to Ron

I am currently sorting out old papers and found a draft of an unfinished letter to Ron which I wrote, well, I don't know because there's no date. I was already in the GO WW (or maybe already out) so it must have been somewhere around 1978-1980

I think the letter is cute and also amusing, while at the same time reflecting the absurdity of the ever increasing prices.

Here it is :

(Note: my English wasn't that good at the time):

Dear Ron,

I write you about the the prices of admin courses (in GO WW).

By my opinion, they are much too high and unreal.

For example, the "Telex Writer" checksheet is a very little checksheet of about one page and with very few issues. Just a matter on how to write a telex. This course was at £25 a few years ago and with the price increase is now at more than £400!!! This is the amount of one month wage of a full time work in Belgium, which means that one has to work full time for a month before he can afford to learn how to write a telex.

If it can be argued that the technical courses and auditing "have no prices", I don't think that it is the same as regard some admin courses.

As the price increase continue on those courses, they will be more and more expensive and, for me, more and more at an unreal price.

I also saw that the DSEC (?) was, at the moment, at around £16,000 (probably more now). Although one could argue that this is the value of the data contained in it, it is however a fact that it would take a freeloader around four years of hard work before completing the payment at this price (since they usually don't have money to start with an have to start at zero in the wog).

That's all. Duh... Cute, I think, and already reflecting a nonsensical situation back then.

PS - Boy, am I happy not to be slave of this absurd system anymore...

Valkyrie Online

Anti-Scientologist Paul Horner is linking to a video upload site streaming Valkyrie from his largely ignored and bigoted "Boycott Valkyrie" call.

The stream works rather well, and apparently you can even save the file (provided you have the add-in to do it).

As for me, I interrupted the video shortly after the first few pics, because I like to see it on a big screen with full effect. So I'll just wait.

The streaming is not going to make any significant difference to the film gross income, except possibly bring Paul Horner in trouble with the law.

Alternatively, maybe you'll get enticed and find it interesting enough to go and see the movie in a real theater... Sometimes these kind of things backfire in surprising ways...

Tom Stunning OT Powerz

The craze around tabloid Daily Mail claims of Cruise supposedly "living in fear" continues. In the meantime, Android Cat of ARS caught a nice one! :
I was just wading through the tabloid twaddle about Tom's claimed death threats.


"In August this year, Cruise received a security threat that spores of anthrax bacteria could be pumped into the air conditioning system at his Los Angeles office.

"He was so shaken by the threat that he had a $10.6 million underground bunker built at his Colorado estate."


Amazing! He was so shaken by a claimed death threat in August of this year that he started on Der KruiseBunker back in September of 2007!

David Miscavige Missing in Action

Mark Bunker reports that David Miscavige was all but totally absent from the New Year’s Event this year:
"my guess is he is either sick, incapacitated or handling a huge monstrous flap that only he can deal with. It would take something HUGE for him to miss an event like this!"
I agree!


Update: Just Bill reports that in fact none of the top management were present. No Marc Yager, no Mark Rathbun in view. The event was run by Tommy Davis, a second-string PR flack. Unconfirmed reports about Guillaume Lesevre and Heber Jentzsch being speaker at the event, but neither are part of International Management anymore.

Hippies, WIFI, and Orgone Generators

gismodo.com has a funny article about hippies complaining in Glastonbury that Wifi are destroying the spiritual energy of the place.

Even more funny, they apparently deployed "orgone generators" to counter wifi waves!

The news outlet then asks "this sound like Scientology to anyone?".

No, it doesn't. Orgone is a typical Wilhelm Reich's concept, and, according to him, is a sort universal bioenergetic force based on sexual energy.

I remember reading a book about it a few years ago. I even drove to beautiful Belgium's Ardennes to visit a group that was practicing orgone therapy, that basically consisted of making love!

I think that was real fun and I would have continued the "therapy", except for the fact that the group was totally against the use of condoms.

What a pity...

Cute Among the Craze

The news is full of Cruise. Not really about his latest movie (whereas they should now that it's going strong, but, eh, that's not newsworthy enough...) but about silly gossips, like him supposedly living in fear and separately from Katie (yeah, right...), or about him wanting ten TomKittens (yawn). It gets boring and am not even going to blog about it.

On the other hand, I found that one cute:
"I go to the children’s groups like other daddies.

"At first people look at me like, 'My God, it's him!' and they treat me a little differently.

"But then they realize I'm just a father with my kids. It's up to me to make everybody else feel okay about the fact that I'm there, and then everything just goes on."

Valkyrie - The Big Surprise

The big surprise of the holidays was "Valkyrie," which did much better than anticipated thanks to being the only thriller and the most macho offering. The Tom Cruise film overcame some negative buzz to earn a solid $21.5 million over the weekend and $30 million total.
NY Times:
Still, the weekend’s most significant victory may have been scored by Tom Cruise, the director Bryan Singer and the distributor MGM with their “Valkyrie,” which for the last year has been chewed over as one of the most difficult bets in the movie marketplace.
Associated Press:
"This totally robs the nay-sayers of their ability to deem it a flop, because it's not," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. "It does show the renewed star power of Tom Cruise."
That's just a sample. More at http://news.google.com/news?sourceid=navclient&hl=en&nolr=1&q=valkyrie&btnG=Search

Four to six times $21.5 million is expected for Valkyrie's domestic total. Say five times 20 is $100 on domestic market alone, which should represent $200-250 world-wide.

Something telling me Cruise will save enough to build a few more bunkers under his mansions.

And take into account he really took risks with that film, and that the Christmas opening was filled with competing super stars (biggest of which is the dog), and the X factor...

It's a safe bet to say at this stage that the film, from that perspective, is a resounding success.

My only problem, when the movies arrive here, is that I will want to see all four of them. Valkyrie of course, but also Marley, with its attractive dog pull; Bed Time, for Adam Sandler; and also Brad Pitt's movie because I think a plot where one ages in reverse is an interesting idea...

Normally I only go to the movies twice a month. Will have to put in extra time to keep up with these.

In the meantime, user ratings continue to raise (thanks mostly to the fact that A ratings now overcome F ratings by a greater factor):

Metacritic: 6.5 to 6.6 for 29 votes
RottenTomatoes: 75 to 77 for 233 votes
IMDB: 7.1 to 7.4 for 2799 votes (671 A, 275 F)
Mojo: B- for 216 votes (114 A, 52 F)