Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Truth Behind Tom Cruise

Disclaimer: More satire, folks. I actually happen to like Tom Cruise (not in that way, of course). I do think he's a fine actor, and whether I take his church seriously or not, people are free to believe in what they wish to believe. I bear neither him nor his family any ill will, and I hope to Hell that he continues to make kick-ass movies, and comes to his senses and returns the Mission: Impossible franchise to its roots (bring Brian De Palma back!).

Well, well... it seems that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have had their baby. Not surprisingly, several "Tom versus Brad in the battle for best dad" articles have sprung up around the internet. It's safe to say that Brad is going to win that one, but just to add another nail to Mr. Cruise's coffin, let's rant about him a little more.

Tom Cruise, lest we forget, is a fantastic actor. He's pulled off the brother of an autistic savant, a homoerotic vampire, a "manly" (read: homoerotic) F-14 pilot, an Irish refugee boxer, a secret agent (only referring to the first Mission: Impossible, mind you), and a young prophetic warrior surrounded by dwarves (come on, who can forget Legend?). However, none of this is the point. Tom Cruise, though a Hollywood icon, is an idiot. Now, that's not saying that he's any more an idiot than the rest of us, it's just saying that every time he does something idiotic, the whole world gets to watch with wild abandon.

Think about your favorite Tom-Cruise-is-a-moron moment. Is it divorcing Nicole Kidman? Breaking up with Penelope Cruz (who isn't all that, anyway)? Jumping up and down on Oprah's couch? Declaring his vast working knowledge of the history of psychiatry to Matt Lauer? Joining the Church of Scientology? Or maybe it's knocking up Katie Holmes in a sorry attempt to prove that he's not gay?

Whoa, wait a sec... what was that last one? You read it right, folks. Tom Cruise is in the closet. The boys behind Cartman and Kenny hit the nail on the head.

Now, on to my theory (which is, as will eventually be revealed, the "truth")...

Tom Cruise is gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just disturbingly hilarious the lengths that the man will go to in order to hide that fact. His first wife, Mimi Rogers (with those HUGE breasts), intimated as much (something about liking to get tooled, but being married to guy who doesn't like to tool). Nicole Kidman, pale goddess that she is, dodges implications suspiciously. And no, adopting children IS NOT enough to alleviate suspicions. Unfortunately for Mr. Cruise, neither is HAVING children.

Theory time: Tom Cruise married Katie Holmes for two reasons: 1) because she's an idiot, looks like Sloth from The Goonies, and is easily influenced (I mean, Tom's bosses at his church certainly didn't want another Scarlett Johansson incident) and 2) because he wanted to knock somebody up to prove that he's not gay.

Well, it's not working. So, Tom and Katie (she's not Kate) are going to have a second child, much to Mr. Cruise's chagrin. Unfortunately, that won't work either, so they're just going to give up and get a divorce (amicably, of course... then again, they'd have to actually get married for that to happen). And eventually, Mr. Cruise will come out of the closet (which he should do now... I mean, look at Ian McKellen... his career has gone through the roof since he's come out.).

Watch it happen... and remember, you read it here first (or maybe second).

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Sleepless Night

I'm a pet owner. Dogs and cats. A lot of them. And like most pet owners, my pets are a part of my family. A part of it. They watch my television, they listen to my music, they eat in my kitchen. Sounds dirty, I know, and it is... but I wouldn't change it for the world.

On Wednesday, May 24, 2006, I took my dogs for a walk in a wide-open field. Not quite the middle-of-nowhere, but a good couple of miles from the nearest house and the nearest highway. In fact, other than a small livestock farm, a gravel quarry, and a water tower, there's nothing but acres upon acres of playground (for a four-legged friend, of course). It was 12:30 PM. I walked my usual route around the field, with my loyal German Shepherd in tow. My two other dogs, an independent "king-of-the-hill" pit bull/pointer mix, and a super intelligent, yet super stubborn beagle/pointer combo, decided to check out a small hill to the north of our location. Somehow, I knew it was going to be hell to get them back. And it was.

4:30 PM. My truck is stuck on an outcropping on top of a different hill. My German Shepherd is terrified of the squealing tires. My pointer mixes are nowhere to be found. Nowhere. The longest they've ever stayed gone before was two-and-a-half hours. Not three, and certainly not four. As my rescue vehicle approaches from the south side of the hill, I start thinking... start thinking about the poisonous snakes that live in the area, about the groups of coyotes that run rampant, and about the wild horses that can kill a dog with a mere flick of its hoof. And let's not forget the people who shoot dogs for getting too close to livestock, or just for fun. It's 4:30. Where the fuck are my boys?

My truck's out, but I'm tired, hungry, and my hand is bleeding from a multitude of splinters from an old, weathered two-by-four that I probably shouldn't have picked up. I have to leave the area, get my German Shepherd some water, and take care of my hand. One last look across the horizon. Nothing.

My pit bull/pointer is easily the coolest dog I've ever had. He was the first dog I'd owned since I had left the Army (Hell, since I had joined the Army) and, like my previous dog, was a stray. My roommate and I had found him, along with another lost dog, in front of our rental house outside of Fort Bragg. While the other dog was clearly trained (she wouldn't even climb on the couch when called), the pit bull/pointer was young, and was apparently still in the process of being potty trained. A good Samaritan (sometimes), I posted signs for both dogs around the neighborhood. A couple of days later, the trained female was picked up by her rightful owner. But the pit bull/pointer... nothing. Probably left by some G.I. who couldnt take him with him, and couldn't (or didn't feel the need to) find a home for him. Weeks passed, I got attached, I took down the signs that the weather hadn't blown away. The pit bull/pointer became mine.

Over the years I discovered just how gentle this dog was, and yet, how protective. I would baby-sit my friend's infant daughter from time to time, but to be honest, the pit bull/pointer did most of the baby-sitting. He would curl around the baby, keep it warm. He'd lick her when she started crying. And, if for some reason I left the room, my dog would act angry until I came back. Obviously, he'd grown up around children, and every so often I would wonder if a small child yearned for their lost pit bull/pointer. I didn't care though... by this time, like I said, he was all mine.

It's 5:30 PM. I'm back out at the field. I drive a few mile radius around the spot I last saw them. The only thing I find is a small red hatchback parked on a closed road with two teenagers trying to have sex in broad daylight. They see me, try to hide, I laugh my ass off as I pass them. But still no dogs. At 6:30, I leave again, eat a quick dinner, take a quick shower, and head right back out. I'm there from 7:00 to 8:00. Nothing. So I leave again, watch American Idol to distract myself, and then head back out at 10:30. Still nothing, not even jackrabbits.

The beagle/pointer is another story entirely. Extremely needy, extremely stubborn, and so fucking smart, it blows my mind. He's also so self-conscious, when he takes a shit, he buries it meticulously with his nose and his front paws. I'm serious when I say this... you'll never know he pooped. I had built a privacy fence at my last house. Now, this could be a testament to the sloppy work, but no matter what I did (chicken wire, rocks, boxes, planking), that damn dog would find a way out of the backyard. He's like those velociraptors from Jurassic Park: if there's a weak spot in the defense, he'll find it. He's also a master at getting to the cat food bowls. It doesn't matter where they are... on the counter, on the table, in the garage in a secluded area... he'll get to it. I've seen him walk on his hind tiptoes and turn his head upside down just so his tongue could flick at the cat food. It didn't matter how much he knocked around... as long as one or two morsels stuck to his tongue, he was happy.

He's a bit of a sad case, too. I wasn't his first owner. His previous owner used to beat him because he barked too much. That explained why I had him damn near a month before I heard him make a sound. His previous owner used a crate to try to potty train him. Unfortunately, he would be left in the crate even when the owner was home. And the fucker wondered why the dog would bark The dog would also get carsick. Every single time you'd put him in a car, he'd hurl. I don't know why. When I drove him across country, he quit doing it, so I'm guessing he was afraid of cars... probably something to do with that prick first owner. But it didn't matter now... he belonged to a new family. One that wouldn't abandon him... one that would look for him until he was found.

It's 4:30 AM, Thursday morning. I haven't slept a wink, although I've tried. I'm attempting to wait until 9:00, so I can call animal control to see if they've picked up two pointer mixes, but I can't. My anxiety overtakes me, and within 15 minutes, I've got my German Shepherd loaded up and am on my way back to the field. I get there, and there are jackrabbits up the ass, now. Everywhere. Running from my headlights, taunting me... cottontails up as if saying, "Here we are, where are your dogs?" The fuckers.

I roll down my window and start calling for my dogs, futilely, I figure. I drive slowly... maybe they'll hear the truck this time... if they're not dead. What am I doing? I should be asleep, but instead I'm driving around the same field I've driven around 50 times. I'm approaching a bush that I stop to piss on every time I walk by it. Why? I don't know... it just happens to be the right distance from the point where I drink a glass of water to the point where I need to go. A beagle's face is poking out of the bush. I stop the truck, get out, and blink. The face isn't moving. I'm seeing shit. I call for my boys. The pointer emerges from the bush behind the beagle. The beagle finally moves. Holy shit... They stayed together. I've found my boys.

They're mad at me, of course. They act as though I left them there on purpose, as if I'm supposed to wait until they're done wandering the countryside. While the pointer enjoys the hot air from the truck's heater, he growls at me a bit. I guess it was my fault. I might as well take the blame, or they'll hate me for a week. I laugh. Pet them both. Pet the German Shepherd because he feels left out. Pet the two pointer mixes again.

Then I laugh again. They're home, and they can be mad at me all they want... they slept in my piss.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Advice for Artists

1. A friend of mine recently relayed a quote to me: "Amateurs do it for the art, artists do it for the money."

While you and I and your grandmother's lesbian cousin can argue the literalness of the above quote, what we can't argue is the cold hard truth that underlies it. The only people who can write, act, paint, sculpt, film, or sing for a living are those who can afford it. What's the joke? Oh, you're an actor? What restaurant?

The point: don't do whatever artistic endeavor you're trying to do unless you're doing it for the money. Sure, have the "love," but don't do it FOR the love. Not unless you're rich. Otherwise, you'll just sit idly by creating your unique artistic interpretations of life while the jackass who hacks out commercialized formula pieces gets rich and famous (and is recognized as an artist when he or she dies). While you... well, while you just disappear in obscurity, occasionally popping up in conversation at the dinner tables of your grandchildren.

2. "That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

For contemporary artists, this quote from the Old Testament defines both the bane and the bliss of artistic motivation. Artists are usually so vain, that they try to not only be unique, but original as well. Well, guess what, buddy? What you create is unique by definition, but nothing you EVER create will ever be original.

Bullshit, you might say. But, let's use writers as an example (as I, myself, am a writer) to prove my point. There's a common maxim in the literary world that there are only seven stories. Seven. One more than six; one less than eight. Seven. ALL OTHER STORIES are rip-offs of these seven, no matter how hard you try to make your story "original." Sorry, it's just not happening.

Side note: Those stories, by the way, are Achilles, Cinderella, Circe, Faust, Orpheus, Romeo & Juliet, and Tristan & Isolde.

My point? The sooner you realize and accept that you're creating something derivative, the sooner you'll become a true artist.

3. "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." - popular maxim

This is both an entirely true and an entirely false statement. It is false in that those arrogant prima donnas who use the quote to ridicule teachers and editors have no idea what this quote actually means.

I've often said that there are three things to every thing: an art, a craft, and a science. From tying your shoes to having sex, from driving to cooking dinner, there is an artistic way, a practiced way, and a scientific way. Artists do something through talent and intuition. Craftsman do something through experience and comprehension. Scientists do something through research and procedure.

What am I getting at? Artists: leave the editing and the critiques to the editors and the critics (or, for those of you clever enough to follow along, the craftsmen and the scientists).

There's a reason that "artists" attend classes given by editors and critics. The editors and critics know what works. They know where to direct an artist's raw talent. Why? Because they read, they listen to music, they watch films, they observe the process of creating art, and they study the finished product. So the next time you feel like busting on somebody who's never been published, or never made a movie, or never released an album, keep in mind that he or she is one that will ultimately judge your work, study your work, and decide if your work fails or succeeds (by buying it).

4. "I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." - Galileo

This last point, for those of you that are still reading, is my justification for writing this little article. Basically... who the fuck am I to be giving such advice? While it's no secret that I am not the most popular published writer in the world, I do, unquestioningly, feel that I am qualified to say what I'm saying. Why? Well, even though I fancy myself a writer, the truth of the matter is that I'm far better at editing than I'll ever be at writing. There's also the matter of having studied creative writing, communications, literature, business, film, professional writing, and history. At any rate, one can boil my advice down to this: learn from everybody, even the "untalented." Expect comparisons, even to other artists that you don't particularly care for. And, for fuck's sake, create something you can sell. After all, what's the point of making a statement if nobody ever sees it?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My Two Cents on Americal Idol

This is the first season of American Idol that I've watched. I caught bits and pieces of the last couple of shows from last season, but like a lot of Americans, I'm far more interested in watching the audition train wrecks (William Hung, anyone?) than I am the actual competition.

However, thanks to an overzealous girlfriend, an equally overzealous sister, and an accidental run-in with Bucky and Paris, I've been forced to watch this year's competition... and, unfortunately, have become a bit addicted (not 24 or Lost addicted, but close enough). And so, I've decided to jot down what I think of a few of the contestants and who I think should win.

The first of the two finalists is the seemingly genuine, all-around fun-loving guy with the gray hair, Taylor Hicks. He's got a niche (think Joe Cocker, or even Tom Petty), he's got talent, and he plays several instruments on top of it. Then there's Katharine McPhee, surprisingly attractive, "I want to be a sexy pop singer but I'm more suited for singing in musicals," and "oh, I'm also a snob from Hell." Based on those descriptions, take a wild guess on who I want to win.

Seriously, can McPhee be any more snobby? I'm just shocked that most of America doesn't see it. Yeah, Simon, Paula, and Randy can be hard to take seriously at times, but has there ever been ONE instance that McPhee DIDN'T roll her eyes when the judges were being critical? McPhee... you are NOT perfect, are NOWHERE near perfect, and can't sing ANYWHERE near perfect. Take their advice, shut up, improve. You're like that idiot who takes acting lessons, but thinks you're already Academy Award caliber. And what's worse, you shouldn't even be in the finals...

Hell, she shouldn't have even been in the final three. Taylor, Elliot Yamin, and Chris Daughtry should've been the final three. At least then we'd have three relatively humble people. Three who would truly appreciate being where they are, instead of (as music consultant Dennis O'Donnell put it) thinking "she deserves it."

That being said, she has at least attempted some variety. Elliot Yamin stayed predictably safe in his choices (read: they all sounded the same after about the third week) and Chris Daughtry, despite his apparent fanboy appeal, was clearly a one-trick pony (quit that stupid throat trill... enough already), albeit a one-trick pony with potential.

Anyway, I'm already bored with American Idol. Let's hope that Taylor wins and goes on to become successful, and let's hope that Katharine becomes less of a snob, or at least falls off the face of the planet.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sprint PCS Total Equipment Protection: The Great Rip-Off

As some of you know, I was recently involved in an altercation with my old cell phone. My phone and I had it out, and I, being the superior life form, beat the living crap out of it. Unfortunately, my means of communication with friends, family, and various other scum and villainy no longer existed in a usable state.

Lucky me, I thought, for I was a subscriber to Sprint PCS' Total Equipment Protection plan. A new phone is a mere phone call away.

I won't lie. The service I received from Sprint (or the company that runs Sprint's insurance program... lock-line, I believe) was exemplary. I called, paid a $50 deposit, and the phone showed up in three or four business days. I sent out emails and MySpace bulletins to get everyone's phone numbers and, bingo, I'm good to go.

Which is when I started thinking... what the Hell was I paying $6 a month for? So Sprint and lock-line could rip me off every time I needed a new phone?

For those of you slow on the uptake, follow this:

I bought my then current phone (itself a replacement) in October of 2003 for about $120 to $130. I received its replacement (a used phone, of the exact same model) in May of 2006 (this month, obviously) for a "replacement deposit" of $50. Back then I believe that the fee for Sprint's Total Equipment Replacement was only $4 per month, but since it's $6 now, let's use that figure. Anyway, $6 per month for 31 months. That equals $186. Add the monthly fees to the "replacement deposit," and I spent $236 on a used, refurbished phone. A phone that, if bought used or on display at your local Best Buy, only costs $40 to $50 itself. What the fuck?

Okay, okay... say I broke the phone within, say, three months of buying it? Is it still a rip-off then? Well, that would equal $68 for a replacement phone. Sprint stores themselves, by the way, sell fantastic low-end phones for less than $70. Why go through the hassle of getting a used phone (one that isn't even guaranteed to be the same model), when I can drive my happy ass down to the Sprint store and get ANOTHER BRAND NEW PHONE for LESS THAN what the insurance is going to cost?

To make a long story short: Sprint PCS Total Equipment Protection is a RIP-OFF no matter how you look at it. What's worse is that they try to sell it as some sort of "exclusive club" by limiting when you can add the plan to your phone (within 30 days of activation). Not only that, if you try to get rid of it, they try to scare you into keeping it by telling you that you'll never again qualify to have it. GOOD FUCKING RIDDANCE.

I'm all for capitalism, but Sprint's phone replacement system is total and utter bullshit.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Two Greatest Inventions in the World (as of Today)

A lot of people out there are like me: poor. Now, being poor implies certain things... like not having an Aston Martin, not being able to take that vacation to New Zealand, and not being able to afford dental insurance. [Strategically-placed segue here]. Which brings me to the first of the two greatest inventions in the world (as of today): the electric toothbrush (you'll have to forgive me, I'm on a ":" kick today).

I swear, I'm all for change, though I'm usually one of the last to switch anything. I think I was the last person I know to get a cell phone (switch that, second-to-last... sorry, Nate), I was definitely late in buying my own car (other than my '67 Newport, which I never drove, I didn't get a vehicle until '97 - two years after I graduated high school), and I still haven't gotten a bidet installed in my bathroom (okay, I take that one back). Anyway, the point is that a few years ago, electric/sonic toothbrushes hit the market. Consumers and dentists everywhere praised the invention, as it supposedly made taking care of one's teeth immensely easier (and better).

Of course, egotistical assholes like me simply made fun of those hapless souls plucking up these new-and-improved toothbrushes (or is the plural "teethbrush?"), saying really stupid things like, "What, you don't know how to brush your teeth?" and "Hey, fucker, that's not a vibrator."

Then it happened... I met this really gorgeous girl at one of my colleges. She just so happened to be on the road to becoming a dentist. Now, I'm not exactly one to be directly influenced by any particular individual, but for some reason, I became really obsessed with my teeth. Fast forward about six or seven months, and I'm visiting my parents... For some odd reason, my mother just happens to have an extra electric toothbrush sitting around. So, she gives it to me. I roll my eyes and heckle her once or twice, but then my curiousity takes over... and I use it. HOLY FUCKING SHIT! Electric toothbrushes (teethbrush) are AWESOME. My teeth are seriously whiter, my gums pinker, and I don't even have to put up with that horrible exercise called flossing as often. No toothaches (they used to be chronic) and no bleeding gums. Wow.

Anyway, that's as far as this humble pie is going to go. Me = wrong. Zombie consumers influenced by television commercials for electric toothbrushes (teethbrush) = right. So sue me.

The second greatest invention in the world (as of today)? Well, let's start by asking yourself this question: if you could travel as far back in time as you wanted to, what era would you go to?

My answer is simple: as far back as the invention of toilet paper. I don't care about seeing Jesus, or experiencing the Crusades, or watching the Chinese invent firecrackers. If I can't take a dump and clean my anus properly, efficiently, and comfortably, I ain't interested.

And there you have it... the two greatest inventions in the world (as of today): electric toothbrushes (teethbrush) and toilet paper.

I'm now going to go buy stock in Oral-B and Charmin. Have a nice day.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Driving, Voting, and That Thing Called High School

To paraphrase George Carlin, think of how stupid the average person is, then realize that half of everybody is dumber than that.

What I'm about to propose is complicated, yet simple; controversial, yet obvious; educated, yet ignorant...

BEFORE ANY LUNATIC MORON OBTAINS THE RIGHT TO VOTE OR THE PRIVILEGE TO DRIVE, he or she should have to pass the simplest of intellectual obstacles: high school (or, as the more intelligent recognize it as: secondary education).

Think about it, there's absolutely no reason that 16-year-old Billy Bob and his cross-town nemesis, D-Bone and the Funk Mafia should be driving to school and raising my insurance rates and automobile taxes. High school education is FREE, so is transportation to said high school. Hey, moron... TAKE THE FUCKING BUS. Traffic's bad enough without you shitbags fucking up the roads.

Disclaimer: I realize there are exceptions to every situation, so before your dumbass attacks me with a "what about..." email, go masturbate and think about it first.

There's also absolutely no reason for an idiot who dropped out of high school to have the right to vote. I'm sorry, you're stupid and can't hack pre-Algebra, and I'm going to trust you to make the right decision in electing our next President? Yeah, right. I'm hoping that I don't have to explain this reasoning further, but I will anyway.

Example: So there I was, attending a fairly liberal college somehow located in a fairly conservative town. Not being of traditional undergraduate age, my political opinion tends to be somewhat different than the oh, so worldly 18-22 year-olds populating our post-secondary education institutions. And therein lies the problem... during the last Presidential election war (read: Kerry versus Bush battling for the title of biggest moron in office), I'm inundated with these freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, spouting liberal or conservative bullshit based on something their parents said or something they saw on television. In other words: uneducated opinions from uneducated people (I can call them uneducated... there's a reason they're attending college, isn't there?).

Ugh... and that's just the problem with people who HAVE graduated high school. Now, even I'm not naive enough to think the problem can be solved completely, but by eliminating those without high school diplomas (or GEDs, I'm flexible), maybe we can start eliminating those idiots who somehow wind up in office.

Interesting side note: the word "idiot" was originally used to describe those people who chose to remain ignorant to the outside world, specifically, those who didn't feel the need to involve themselves in government and vote. Strangely appropriate, no?

So, there you have it... no high school diploma = no driver's license and no voter's registration. What's wrong with that? And if you think that's a little harsh, just remember that there are those who think that having kids should be illegal without a high school diploma.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Star Wars Returns

Well, well, back by popular demand are the original versions of the holy grail of motion picture trilogies: Star Wars. All I can say is: it's about fucking time.

In 1977, a movie was released that damn near everyone who was breathing O2 at the time fell in love with. A movie cursed with 70s technology, a 70s disco influence, flat acting, and a premise so derivative, Oprah would have crucified its author. That movie was, we all know, Star Wars (back then, no one called it "A New Hope," because the nerds hadn't ruined the franchise yet). It was followed by the superior The Empire Strikes Back, and the technically superior, but sublimly ridiculous (thanks to the Ewoks), Return of the Jedi. With these three movies, George Lucas fulfilled his ultimate dream... or so we thought.

Fast forward to the late 1990s, and George, without a hit movie since the last Indiana Jones entry (whose credit, I'm sorry, is more due Steven Spielberg than Lucas), decides to rerelease the original Star Wars Trilogy in theaters. Audiences and fanatics everywhere are inspired, especially as the recently announced new trilogy officially moves into preproduction. The catch, my friends, is that George wanted to "alter" his beloved creations, under the auspices of "improving" them ("Beware the Darkside and its false pretenses," Yoda would have said).

So what do we get? A Han Solo that shoots in self-defense, thereby eliminating his entire growth-from-scoundrel-to-true-hero story arc. A Luke Skywalker that accidentally falls instead of defiantly resisting Darth Vader's will (a mistake that Lucas subsequently reversed in the arguably worse Special Edition DVDs). And a capital city of an Empire that celebrates the very moment its ruler is killed.

All in all, other than the misplaced nostalgia of finally seeing the Han Solo/Jabba the Hutt scene in Episode IV, the only worthy alteration in the "Special Editions" (special eds, for short) are the windows in Cloud City. Everything else: stupid.

Disclaimer: for the purposes of saving time and space, the author's comments pertaining to the horrible Special Edition DVDs and the absolutely appaling "Prequel Trilogy" will be reserved for a future weblog entry. Except for the following comment:

Episodes I, II, and III, can kiss my motherfucking ass! True Star Wars fans hate these movies, sorry, but it's easy to recognize the change in tone (how do you make Star Wars relevant? Umm... you don't), the change in pace (MTV, thanks for making these movies damn near incoherent), and the change in story (literal changes, too, exactly how many contradictions between the two trilogies are there?).

Anyway, these true Star Wars fans have, it seems, finally forced the hand of Lucasfilm, LTD. and 20th Century Fox. Our beloved movies are coming to DVD (packaged with the Special Editions, of course... I guess we can't ask for too much).