Lock Out

Lockout is a science fiction film directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, and written by Mather, St. Leger, and Luc Besson. Luc Besson also wrote and directed the movie popular 90’s movie Leon which includes Natalie Portman’s breakout role.

In this film Guy Pearce is framed for a crime that he didn’t commit. However he is offered his freedom in exchange for rescuing the presidents daughter from an outer space high security prison called MS One. The daughter travels to the prison in an attempt to observe that the prisoners are being treated safely. Her plans to support humanity take an evil turn as the prisoners escape and hold her captive over the President’s head.

As the settings and idea behind this movie are interesting and creative, the film has some very strange political and misogynist undertones, especially in the dialogue.  There is actually an entire blog post about how “republicans would like this movie.” Although I don’t agree with what this blogger is saying, they do bring up the point that the movie is extremely conservative swinging.  The se undertones lie in the actual plot itself whereas prisoners are being sent to space is a statement, they are given a medicine which alters their brain activity, and that a woman goes to fix this issue, fails, and all of the prisoners are killed. There is even a scene in the movie where Maggie Grace shoots a gun for the first time in the picture and Guy Pearce says, “Wow, I thought you were a democrat.” This film did not get good reviews by viewers, however it still blows my mind that people watch movies like this and don’t even think twice about what the film is trying to say.

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Planned Parenthood Support

Mitt Romney had partially blamed women as apart of the reason for Obama’s reelection for president. And I am happy as a woman to say YES that is why Obama was reelected. This is because women in America and in the world deserve their rights and especially their rights to govern their own body.

During this 2012 election Republican federal and state legislators have tried to reduce funding for planned parenthood and I am here to tell you why this shouldn’t happen.

Planned Parenthood is an important service that women (and MEN) need. Abortion shouldn’t immediately be linked with Planned Parenthood and abortion services shouldn’t be the only reason for attempting to eliminate funding for this fantastic program. Planned Parenthood offers so many other services like mammograms, pap smears, STD testing, and  affordable contraception to those who live in poverty. Which bleeds into my next issue- affordable health care for those in need. I’m not outrightly casting my okay for Obamacare or whatever you wish to call it, however I am saying that it is INCREDIBLY important for those who are struggling to support themselves have immediate and reliable sex-care. This keeps away disease and takes care of those who may have been abused. Whether that is prostitution, rape, incest, or anything else sexual that makes the traditional white male uncomfortable to discuss. This leads me to my next point, which is that the availability of help for rape victims (whether they include abortion or not) is also very important.

The availability of these resources also educated and creates better body health for women.

New Genres and New Courses

A fad is defined as an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, esp. one that is short-lived; a craze. However, sometimes fads can

I was made aware of recently that a new genre of books is available in Teen Paranormal or Dark Romance. It is obvious that the obsession with the Twilight series is what instituted this genre popularization. This genre first defined at Barnes and Noble contains books such as The Vampire Diaries, Deadly Little Voices,  Last Breath and so on. Not only are all of these books based on vampire or other dark fantasy themes, but they also are apart of series that range anywhere from three to eleven books! Harry Potter was only eight and I stopped at the fourth one.

Harry Potter was a big fad as well.

However I can’t think of the last time a fad had such an effect on society.This fad has not only influenced books, movies, fashion, but also education.

There is a new course available for students of almost any state university and it is called Chick Lit. At first for some this course sounds exciting for the classic romanticist. Books like Wuthering Hights and Pride and Prejudice would be a great consideration for these courses, however what they are actually focusing on is current “teenage paranormal romance” fad.

Texenza No More

Not that Austin needs another coffee shop, but it is interesting the history behind the particular shop on fourth and congress in the Frost Bank tower.

When the Frost Bank Tower opened in 2003 a Seattle’s Best coffee soon opened inside of it. There were a handful of Seattle’s Best coffees in Austin and all were owned by the same people. It transformed into a Texenza in 2006 and now will be changing to a locally owned shop called Houndstooth Coffee.

As a former employee of Texenza I knew the ownership and inside business.When the owners decided to switch their Seattle’s Best franchise to their own “independent” company it wasn’t a successful business move from the beginning. Even though it was illegal, the new design kept the same drink recipes but changed their names. The theme behind Texenza was, you guessed it, Texas. Everything in the shop was based off of the owners proud love for Texas. Drinks were issued names such as the Alamocha or the Lone Star Latte. I think that this design and Texas theme was what really hurt the business of these coffee shops. Most coffee shop dwellers and Austinites don’t need, and don’t necessarily like a handful of Texas pride shoved in their face alongside their cup of jo. Poor design and a corporate feel wasn’t the best way to stretch out as an independent company, and it certainly wasn’t taken on by the Austin public.

While there are the traditionalists who enjoy Starbucks or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf because it’s comfortable. Most Austinites are looking for the unique, locally owned, and revolutionary shops that offer something other than just their coffee. Houndstooth should find it’s niche in downtown Austin, being their second location. Houndstooth coffee is locally owned by Sean Henry, with the original location off of North Lamar Blvd.

Ask and You Shall Recieve, Austin

After my trip on the Metro Rail this afternoon it came to my attention that Capital Metro is expanding beyond buses and the commuter rail to more efficient and available transportation.

Public transportation in Austin is and has been a growing issue. With the congestion of I-35 and downtown traffic and the vast expansion of the population in the last few years, locals have been begging for a better solution.
Potentially that solution is here and it is called Metro Rapid.
Metro Rapid is a new transportation system that isn’t really a train, but it isn’t really a bus either. The appearance of the vehicles resemble a modern street car, and they are fast, very fast. The CapMetro website says,

Everything about MetroRapid is designed to move people quickly–up to 30% faster than a local bus in some cases.


Beginning in 2014 the Metro Rapid will navigate its riders through all areas of downtown. The 801 which transports from North Lamar to all areas of Congress and South congress will be opened in the earlier time of the year, and then the 803, which will start on Burnet and follow through to South Lamar, opens in the late summer of 2014. The schedule of these shuttles will be almost 24 hours on some days with,

  • Weekday service from 5 a.m.-1 a.m.
  • Saturday service from 6 a.m.-12 a.m.
  • Sunday service from 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

This just might be the solution to traffic and transportation issues that Austinites have been looking for.

This Is England

This Is England is a 2006 British drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows. The story is set in 1983 and follows a troop of young skinheads who live in England. The film is incredibly eye-opening and slightly jarring. The manipulation, anger and racism are all very realistically displayed. The ending is quite abrupt and leaves you with more understanding of the culture in England and the struggle in society at that time.

However, this is more than just a movie. The director, Shane Meadows, has based this movie on his own life. It is pretty brave for Meadows to out himself as a teen racist,  but this movie speaks the truth and uncovers how manipulation and arrogance are large contributors to racism in England.

Meadows had an interview with Liz Haggard from The Guardian and told her,

‘I got into the skinheads through my sister going out with one,’ Meadows tells me. ‘He got me into reggae, and took me out hunting in big gangs. Then a split happened. Whereas with the first skinhead it was all parties and fun, this other guy was the one who had been to prison and came in with a much darker, political idea.’

Meadows has become one of Britain’s greatest filmmakers. This Is England is a prequel to a trilogy  which includes: Twenty Four Seven, A Room For Romeo Brass and Once Upon a Time in the Midlands. Meadows also created Dead Man’s Shoes which was nominated for Best British Film at the 2005 Baftas.

Halcyon

It could be a packed Saturday night or a quiet Monday morning, Halcyon has it all. Walk in the large double doors and the comforting aroma of freshly ground coffee beans will fill your senses. You’ll be surprised to see not just an espresso machine but a full bar that extends to the other side of the shop.
Placed in the warehouse district might not be what you think as an ideal spot for a coffee shop, but it definitely gets its business. There’s made-to-order coffee and a full food menu, or there’s a full bar including seasonal cocktails. Because of the blend of coffee and alcohol, Halcyon specializes in coffee cocktails. The devilish chocolate espresso martini with a chocolate rimmed glass is a house favorite, or the Cosmonaut (which is practically a White Russian with espresso.)

Halcyon’s versatility is really what draws the crowds. They open freshly at  seven am during the week, which gives downtown residents and business people the opportunity to grab their morning cup of coffee. Throughout the rest of the day they are usually full of laptops, meetings, study sessions, and those stopping by for a quick bite or happy hour.

What is really amazing is that not only is Halcyon a combination coffee shop and bar, but they are also open late at night(till three am on weekends!) Halcyon nights are created for downtown dwellers who need a pick me up, or want to relax at a calmer atmosphere, or those who don’t drink that still want to experience the Austin night life. There is a fitting patio where people watching is a pleasure.

They also have began to host more and more live music nights over the years. Roberto and his world jam band have been a Monday night regular for quite some time. Then Dwight Smith performs on Tuesdays with just him and his guitar and Wednesdays contain a cocktail of different performers including Luis Banuelos, Lauren Silva, and Molaro For Illinois.

They are open on holidays too. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve may not be the most opportune time for the first experience of Halcyon, but you never know when you will find yourself downtown and in need of some heart warming coffee, or probably a cocktail.

Halcyon’s atmosphere is perfect for almost any situation,whether it is to study with some hot chocolate, listen to live music, or have brunch.