There once was a tree, a tree, a tree
as big as any tree could be.
It had bark and roots and leaves and leaves
and all around flew big bright bees.
Buzz buzz
the honeybees buzzed
and that was all because because
the tree was happy and jolly and lovely
and the sun shone down from above-y above-y.

The tree was oak, okey doke
and it could always tell you a funny joke!
Like: “What’s the difference between me and yew?
Not mulch!”
The tree told jokes, not necessarily good ones.

From that oak there fell two acorns.
Two wonderful acorns named Tammi and Sammi.
And they were friends.
Tammi loved Sammi and Sammi loved Tammi and they loved
love and loved a lot. They were acorns.

Tammi said to Sammi:
“I like your brown-ness, your roundness, your all around mound-ness.
You’re beautiful Sammi, and I am your friend.”
And Sammi said to Tammi:
“I like your ability to soundly express
your political views with ease and kindness.
You’re beautiful Tammi, and I am your friend.”

They sat next to one another on that sunny hillside
and to one another they each would confide
their secrets and things that would made themselves cry
and their dreams and their longings and made their hearts fly.
Sammi and Tammi were acorns and were friendly.
Tammi and Sammi were acorns and lovely.

Then, one night, one stormy night a storm
appeared and did perform
a sight to see! that scared the acorns.
A BOOM and a flash
And lightning crashed
And rain came pouring down.
A storm in the night
and a shivering fright
and scary lights and sounds.

And in the morning Tammi was gone.
Sammi looked everywhere and asked the neighboring flowers
but no one had seen Tammi.

And Sammi was sad.
For Sammi it seemed that rainclouds hung over her everyday.
Sammi learned that she would feel better when she swept the side of the hill.
She would use a little broom to sweep all the blades of grass into a pretty little pattern and she would feel better. For a little while.
Then she asked her friend Chippy The Chipmunk to help her brush all the flowers’ stems into pretty little rows and she felt better. For a little while.
Then Chippy brought over more Chipmunk chums to help Sammi along and she felt better. For a little while.
Then Chippy The Chipmunk tied a broom to a kite
and Sammi sailed it high to the highest height
and wouldn’t you know it that by and by
that broom-kite swept the clouds from the sky!
And Sammi felt better.
Guess for how long….A little while.

And then one night a big storm started brewing
and the crows stopped cawing and the pigeons stopped cooing.
And the lightning started with a BOOM and a CRACK
and Sammi thought: ‘would you look at that?’
To her, the lightning looked different.
Like pretty, like special, like magic.
And Sammi sighed.
And Sammi whispered:
“Tammi, I love you and always had loved you. Wherever you are, I love you.”
and Sammi took root.


Take the Metro Rail to the Rosslyn Station. 

Metro Rail Map:

Upon exiting the station, head North on N. Lynn Street. 

You’ll go a couple of blocks, cross Custis Memorial Parkway. 

As soon as you are on the North side of the Memorial Parkway
turn Right onto the Mount Vernon Trail bike/hiking path. 

You’ll soon see the foot bridge to the island on your left. 




This is a story. A story about Crooked Bill.
If, as the story goes along, you find yourself uninterested by it you are welcome to change the names of the characters and the actions they undertake until you find it more pleasing.
That’s a little trick that you can use the next time some one begins to tell you “how their day was.” The minute you begin to feel bored just replace “Me and Tim” with “A Dragon and a Robot” and replace “went to eat tacos” with “went to Jupiter to investigate a newly discovered species of penguin.”
But back to Crooked Bill.
It’s a story that’s never been heard before and I know that for certain because it’s never been told before so if it seems familiar it may just be that you had the same dream that I did which inspired the story. But don’t worry! Although you and I may have shared the same dream we may have awoke at different times during the dream so your ‘ending’ might be different than mine.
So anyway, The Story of Crooked Bill.
Are you getting tired yet? It looks like it. Did I just see you yawn? Hmmm.
Can you yawn? How big can you yawn? Wow. That was a big yawn. It was such a great yawn in fact I’m about to yawn myself! Yaaaaaawwwwnn! Whew. That felt good.
Crooked Bill got mistaken for Ethan Hawke a lot. It wasn’t so much that they looked alike as it was that they shared the same smile. Or I should say, “type of smile.”
It would be very troublesome for someone to have to come over to your house, knock on the door, and say “Sorry to bother you, but I just heard a great joke and need to smile. May I borrow yours?” “Well, certainly you may borrow it. But I will need it back tomorrow morning because I plan on looking at the birds.”
And the story of Crooked Bill gets mistaken for a lot of other stories.
Some think it is about a Toucan (because toucans are birds with big crooked bills, you see). Some think it is about an Albatross who lived in the Land Of Black Hole Potholes where time fluctuated like a roller coaster and the days were as crooked as the day is long.
But, no! This is the Story of Crooked Bill and Bill was a Chickadee.
When he was little, he was very little. He was little even compared to other Chickadees and was so small that he was about the size of a Bumblebee.
Buzzz! Buzz!
In fact some of the other Chickadees were not very nice and would say that Bill was more a Chicka-Bee than a Chickadee. Bill didn’t like it when others said unkind things and he would feel sad when they teased him.
Then Bill met Hush.
Hush was a Scarecrow who was very nice. He had a very pleasant smile painted on his face and although he never said a single word, he always had his arms opened wide to give the whole corn field a big hug.
Bill told Hush about all his favorite things.
What are some of your favorite things?
Every person has different favorite things and Chickadees are no different.
Bill’s favorite things were: seeds, insects, and berries.
As the summers and winters went by, Bill wondered where all the Autumns and Springs had gone to, but he realized that time had a way of slipping away like that and soon enough even his Tuesdays and Afternoons in general disappeared.
He matured, grew, learned, failed, tried again, became stronger, made mistakes, got teased more, became wiser, made bad decisions, made new goals, and on and on.
He tried ballet dancing, painting, biochemistry, palm-reading, farming, piloting, shoe repair, hair styling, and rodeo clowning until he finally he found himself playing guitar at a coffee shop.
And then, one Wednesday (which had crept up on him–golly his weeks seemed to zip right by) he discovered the blues.
Blues music is a type of music that even though it sounds like someone’s heart is breaking you feel better by the end of the song.
Bill traveled the countryside playing blues on his guitar and came up with the name Crooked Bill to perform under.
He chose Crooked Bill because of the winding path he took in life before he discovered the blues.
He became very famous in Topeka and Omaha and almost famous in Oklahoma City.
Crooked Bill loved to hear the sound of the audience’s applause.
“Yay! Crooked Bill! Go go go!” “We love Crooked Bill!” “Yippee! Hip hip hooray!”
The audiences would say.
And Bill became older, as all Chickadees do as time goes by and the people who came to see his concerts became older, quieter, and fewer.
One night after a show, Bill got on the last train out of town.
“Choo! Choo!” Said the train as it closed it’s doors.
“Chugga Chugga” It said as it started slowly down the tracks.
The next day Bill hopped off the train and walked down a quiet old highway past the crossroads. There he stopped and pulled his guitar from its case and began singin’
and a strummin’:
“Don’t need me no money
Sure don’t pay no rent
Cuz underneath stars honey
Is where I lay head.
Don’t need me no money
Got nuthin’ to call my own
Cuz underneath stars honey
A bird can feel at home.”

The corn stalks clapped against each other in the wind
and Hush had a big ol’ smile.

Anywho, that’s how my dream about Bill ended.

Iron Man 3 is a fine film. I got a kick out of it and so did the group of comics fans sitting behind me in the theater. (It’s always fun to see a Marvel movie with other comics folks around.) 
Here’s some ideas on the movie including how it could have been even a better movie. 

1. Don’t start a movie with the Eiffel 65 song “Blue” for any reason. This will definitely be included in YouTube’s CinemaSins video. 
2. ….But this song is part of a larger problem: it is included in the “1999 Preface” scenes. 
This whole section is unneeded but more on that later. So “Blue” was chosen to ‘set the mood’ of late 1999. Uh. I get it but isn’t “Blue” the one song of 1999 that everyone would rather forget? There are many better choices of song from 1999! 
How about
“Scar Tissue” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 
“Hard Knock Life” by Jay Z, 
“Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam, 
or maybe 
“Miami” by Will Smith!
You might not want to include the chorus, because the movie later uses Miami as a backdrop but it could be a nice choice to use just a verse. 

3. But again: this is all pretty moot because the whole intro 1999 Preface is unhelpful to the film. It is slow, it adds little new or surprising information about Tony. When we see Happy, I thought “Hmmm. Jon Favreau is wearing a costume to add weight as though he was heavier in 1999. Nope. That’s just him, as we see when we come to current day. 

4. We need some consistency about Tony’s alcoholism. We see him drinking alone in his wine cellar, and later he refuses beer from Trevor Slattery. No one every makes reference to Tony’s drinking nor does the film seem to acknowledge it in any way. Even the scene where Tony goes to the honky tonk bar and speaks with the drunken grieving mother there isn’t a glimpse of Tony judging or reacting to her appearance nor does the camera work seem to acknowledge it. 

5. Happy’s relationship to everyone is hampered by his one-note characterization as an “overly protective goof ball with inflated sense of importance.” Hey! Happy has been in all the movies and he is gravely injured in this film. We would care about it a little more if someone ever gave him some dignity before the bomb went off. He actually does some ‘detective work’ by following a lead and placing himself at risk to get to the bottom of a hunch. That’s cool. But we need to see him in a positive light before this. If Pepper or Tony saw him as ‘cool’ or the script gave him something other than goof balling around we would have. 

6. There are two instances of the gag “Cliche is said and it is revealed that its meaning is not understood.” Sheesh. In the initial voiceover from Tony he says “We create our own demons” and then backs away from it and basically says he doesn’t understand it and it has no meaning. Then, Killian says to Pepper something like “We see victory through the fog of failure.” and she says “What does that mean?” and he basically shrugs. 
Uh. How smart are our heroes? Why use a cliche if only to expose that cliches are stupid–and then have your main characters be too stupid to get them anyway? 
Waste not want not! Wait. Is that pertinent here? 

7. Why do Tony and Rhodie hang out at what looks to be a Chilis or a TGIFridays? 

8. Why is Pepper with Tony? This question is not handled too well. We get that Pepper has motivated Tony to choose monogamy and ‘settle down’ a bit and she has given him motivation to be a hero (more on that….). But why does this very smart, powerful, beautiful woman love Tony? She are shown that perhaps they have a lot of physical attraction but that is about it. Instead of showing us examples of their relationship, they are separated for much of the movie and they are simply shown 
a) arguing
b) post coital sleeping
c) witty bantering

9. And Tony is her ‘hero.’ She takes the role of Princess Peach for the last act of the film (ugh) and Tony tells her that “after New York” he feels a lot of pressure to “protect her.” Tony is a knuckle head so we can understand that he needs to feel that he gets his identity as his girlfriend’s “strong protector.” Uhhh…But!

10. I love that Pepper steps up and is awesome. She dons the suit well, and when she’s Extremis powered she saves Tony. I love that. (I’ll not get into the issue of Pepper stepping into heroism through violence here but that’s a good discussion to have.) 

11. We’re given a Christmas themed movie in May. Why? Was the release date screwed up a bit or was the Marvel studio thinking about DVD/Netflix/Redbox release dates? Which brings me to….

12. The “Christmas Carol” theme. It begins in fact on New Years, but it is a “past flashback” sequence. We have the fireworks bookending at the end also (the blowing up suits). Tony has his Scrooge-like awakening of heart (the suit was a cocoon!) and he is a changed man. He even has his heart literally repaired. Go buy the biggest Christmas goose! Tony even tells the kids in the restaurant they look like they’re from A Christmas Carol. This is a cool repurposing of a classic ‘myth.’ 

13. The whole “Tony does detective work in Tennessee” is useless. He goes to investigate a lead from the Happy bombing. But then he is given the coordinates of the Mandarin’s suspected whereabouts in Miami. These scenes in Tennessee give good “Tony time.” It’s the ‘breakdown’ of the hero. He’s been defeated, he needs to regroup, and is befriended by a child who allows him to see himself in a new light. All this could still be achieved without this phony “I’m doing detective work!” stuff. 

14. There is a big missed chance at the end of the film. The Tennessee Kid walks into his garage and finds that Tony has gifted him a bunch of expensive name brand gadgets. He’s even left a note! Uh. Wait. The Kid already has been left by a father and isn’t this just a little bit like an absent father trying to buy their redemption with a kid? 
I suggest that it could be shown that the kid and his mom are sitting around in a renovated garage video chatting with Tony who then introduces Pepper to “his friend.” This way we see that Tony is continuing a relationship, and Pepper and he can be a type of extended family with the Kid all under the supervision of the Kid’s mom. It would have been a five second shot and it would have shown us more of a changed Tony and been more meaningful. 

So: In closing my favorite line of the film was one that seems easy to miss. 
It’s when the Kid says “I’m cold” and Tony says “I know. How’d I know that? Because we’re connected.” 
This sums up the movie’s themes pretty well. We see Tony communicating with his near symbiotic suit through the film and yet he is often disconnected from those people around him–especially Pepper. But it is empathy and compassion that are the most powerful assets that we can have. As cool as it might be to communicate with gadgets and technologies and A.I., without human empathy we’re lost. 

By the way, despite the weakness of this film I did like it. Especially the falling out of the airplane rescue. 

Excellent to-the-point essay on the Christmas Carol theme from Forrest Wickman:

To find a Cookoo Clock bird you don’t look in a zoo
They live in clocks and can sing and only one could play kazoo too.
His name was Tic Toc the Cookoo Clock Cookoo Kazooist
And his name was on every year’s Top Ten Kazoo list.
Music hop scotched moonbeams from the parlor to the stairs.
Everything hopped in the rhythm that was traveling through the air.
It was a twelve o’clock kazoo-ing to say hello to the pale blue moon.
And Tic Toc the Cookoo Kazooist played to an empty room.
The ears of the Cookoo were hot, red and ouchy
Because the Clock Chicken Ted had yelled and been grouchy.

“My goodness,” thought Tic Toc, “When Ted yells and is grouchy, it really hurts my ears.”
Aside from every Cookoo clock having a Cookoo Bird, they also have a Cookoo Clock Chicken.
Cookoo Clock Chickens are typically very soft and fluffy.
They live in a cozy little apartment below the Cookoo’s nest and it is their job to tell the Cookoo when to sing.
(Or in the case of Tic Toc when to play his kazoo.)
Every hour, Ted came up from his room and stood next to Tic Toc’s nest and said: “Three, Two, One, Blast Off!”
And that was the signal for Tic Toc to burst from the clock and play his kazoo. A
nd everything had been just fine until last week when Ted started getting grouchy
and instead of saying “Three, Two, One, Blast Off!” in a nice tone of voice, Ted started saying it really loud and grouchy.

So one morning, Ted looked at his watch and saw that it was eight fifty seven, time for Ted to go upstairs and say “Three, Two, One, Blast Off!” to Tic Toc.

Ted got up from his big brown comfy couch and walked slowly up the stairs, grumbling all the way up.
“Grumble Grumble Harrumpf.” He said.
Ted stood next to Tic Toc’s nest and looked at his watch it was eight fifty nine and he counted down inside his head until finally: “Three, Two, One, Blast Off!” And nothing happened.
Where was Tic Toc The Cookoo Kazooist?
It was Nine O’Clock and he wasn’t here to mark the hour! Gulp!
Well, Tic Toc the Cookoo Kazooist was walking across the clock to find a nicer place to play Kazoo where he wouldn’t hear yelling grouchy voices.
He strolled along gears and stepped along sprockets
He had nothing but a kazoo and two empty pockets.
He played as he went a happy little tune
But without him marking time, he threw off the moon!
Time was all a jumble without his Cookoo Kazooing
And minutes stopped and started and time trouble started brewing!

And Tic Toc met a minute (small) Clock Monkey sitting on some gears. The Monkey was very wise and listened to Tic Toc’s trouble. “So this Ted Clock Chicken has burst your bubble, with his loud outside voice and his grouchy grumble grumble.” Hmmm. Monkey saw this was a very difficult situation. He stroked at his long white beard. “I’ve got an idea.”
Ideas are like friends–they’re good to have. And ideas that include friends to help each other are the best kind of ideas!

The next day Ted The Cookoo Clock Chicken woke up to find that he was a Cookoo! He was in the clock’s Cookoo nest!
He looked in the mirror and saw that he had been transformed during the night! Wow!
And he looked at his watch and saw that it was Ten Fifty Seven!
Suddenly there appeared a Cookoo Clock Chicken by his nest!
Ted thought to himself that he hoped the Cookoo Clock Chicken would be nice to him and use a friendly tone of voice.
And then, the Cookoo Clock Chicken looked at his watch and it was time to say the signal.
Do you remember what the signal was?–How the Cookoo Clock Chicken counts down?
“Three, Two, One, Blast Off!”
He said that alright, but he said it with love and friendliness in his voice–full of positivity and kindness. Just like this:
“Three, Two, One, Blast Off!”

And Ted jumped out from the clock and Cookoo-ed a loud Chickenlike Cookoo. (And he did very well indeed for his first try.)

When he came back in, there was Tic Toc was there getting out of a chicken costume!
And Clock Monkey was there too!

Clock Monkey explained that they had dressed Ted in a Cookoo costume during the night!
Ted said that he was surprised to find that he was a Cookoo when he woke up but that it was
very nice that Tic Toc used a friendly tone of voice when he said
“Three, Two, One Blast Off!”

“I feel ouchy when your voice gets grouchy.” Said Tic Toc. “I like friendly voice.”
“I’m sorry I used a grouchy voice.” Said Ted.

And Ted and Tic Toc hugged and danced and said how nice it was to have time together as friends.
And time started running smoothly again.

Preamble: I know, I know. What’s the point in re-hashing a bad movie and figuring out how it could have been better? Because I love movies so much, I like to consider not just why I don’t like a movie but how it could have been better. So here goes:

1. Voice Over Info Dump: Do we need to know the information given about this ‘Mega City?’ If you’re thinking about doing a Voice Over Info Dump ask: couldn’t we reveal the information easily through action later? And if not, is it necessary information to better reveal our characters?

2. The Morning ‘Suit Up’ scene and Chase Scene in the very beginning are unexciting and gives us no real information about Dredd. If you wanted to spruce up these two scenes, why not include something interesting about Dredd’s apartment? Something that shows us who he is ‘off duty.’ And in the chase scene, we’re given the first dose of our ‘Slo Mo’ drug camera effect. This is unnecessary because we’ll see it plenty of times later. We learn nothing about Dredd’s approach to what he does.

3. We are unsure if Judges are even human. It would have helped to show early on how other Judges behave–if Dredd is different in any way. When Dredd is at the Police Station and sees the Psychic Recruit Cassandra Anderson we do see him interact with the officer, but is she a ‘Judge?’ Are we to think that Judges are cyborgs without personalities, affect, cares, goals?

4. When Dredd and Anderson enter the Peach Trees why is the Medic on duty telling them information on Ma Ma? This de-powers the Judges and misses the chance to have Anderson show that as a ‘newbie’ she’s studied up on the current ‘word on the street.’ But no, we’re denied a character building opportunity.

5. The Medic says Ma Ma “feminized a guy with her teeth.” Would anyone say that? Do they expect that the audience wouldn’t know what ‘castrated’ or ’emasculated’ meant?

6. Urban was allowed to, or maybe even told to frown the entire movie? It makes his mouth look like a sad fish. The ‘Dredd Scowl’ of the comics does not translate to a real face. And why does Urban walk like the Terminator? This movie aches for energy and no one is given the chance.

7. When Dredd and Anderson find the skinned bodies that had fallen in the courtyard they pile up postulation after postulation: Uh, they lived on the 39th Level so they were thrown off the 39th Level. And it was a ‘turf war’ and the people who did it are still on the 39th Level. Uh. That was easy to figure out.

8. Anderson’s proposed plan of how to proceed: “Find ’em and hit ’em hard.” Great plan. Uh, how does this distinguish her from Dredd? Or from any other Judge? We are given no character in either of our ‘main heroes.’

9. Anderson says she won’t wear her helmet “because it disrupts [her] psychic abilities.” I see. Well how about she USE her psychic abilities?! Maybe she could ‘look into the room’ before they enter or she could ‘feel’ where the perpetrators are. Nope.

10. This also brings me to a missed opportunity: What are the benefits of Anderson’s Pychic Powers versus someone on the drug Slo Mo? Or what about Dredd’s helmet? We had the option of showing how Technology, ‘Magic’, and Drugs That Slow Time would stack up against each other in a gun fight.

11. On The Good Side: In the Computer Room where the Robot Eye Guy is, they are playing the theme song to “The Snuff Box.” The main line you’ll hear is: “You thought it was gold but it was bronze!” This is a very funny choice because the show “Snuff Box” is about two men who are employed as Executioners. Ha! We get a glimpse that the creators wanted to have fun, but unfortunately we don’t get a lot of fun. Even when they come back to the Computer Room, the same song is playing! Couldn’t they have thought up another fun tongue in cheek song to play?

12. Lena Headey’s portrayal of Ma-Ma (the drug kingpin) lacks creativity and energy. I was quite surprised to find out that Ma-Ma was played by Headey because I have found her acting in Game of Thrones to be good (albeit low energy and affect). The character of Ma-Ma is a very uninteresting character–what drives her? What distinguishes her from anyone else? I feel that there are actors and actresses who feel that to play a ‘drug addict’ you must be vapid, low energy, and dreamy. This is a strange view I feel because most of the drug-addicted people I’ve met are very interesting, engaging, high energy, and creative.

13. This really feels like a very bad rip off of Raid: Redemption (which is an excellent action film by the way).

14. People usually don’t run into clouds of toxic yellow gas. Maybe the action director could have figured out how to show that the gas exploded around the bad guys and they didn’t have a choice about breathing . Oh well. This is a small consideration in a movie that fails at every other scene.

15. “Concentrate the fire!” Ma-Ma screams over the sound of three mini-guns. Right. By the way movie writers: an audience will always appreciate creativity and ingenuity in a villain more than pure brute ‘power.’ An audience wants to be surprised and challenged by the minds of ‘bigger than life’ characters, not simply see people who have access to big guns shoot them into concrete walls.

16. Dredd and Anderson jump out of a hole in the wall and it just so happens to open onto a skate board patio. We are shown the exterior of the building immediately after and we see that most exterior walls open to a vast vertical drop–it was lucky that they didn’t fall to their deaths in the middle of the movie I guess!

17. The only evidence we have that the writers acknowledge Dredd’s function as a critique of ‘patriotism’ (his character always has been about anti-establishment sentiment) is when he is standing in front of a stylized US flag and is saying “sound like overkill to you?” Its heavy handed but its good to see some effort from the writers.

18. This film devolves into a “Princess in the Tower” story.

19. When Dredd is talking to the Double Cross Judge in the hall, why does the Bad Guy lift his Comm Link arm to call his Bad Buddies rather than his gun? If he had, he would have been able to shoot Dredd!

20. When the Double Cross Judge Woman says she’s going to go after Anderson she says….get ready for it….:
“I see her, I shoot her. She sees me, she hesitates, I shoot her.”
Thank you.

21. The dialogue continues to impress. A Double Cross Judge says to Dredd:
“This city is a meat grinder. People go in one end, meat comes out the other.”
Oh. Okay.
“We just turn the handle.”
Oh. Okay. How does a meat grinder work again?

22. Dredd confronts Ma-Ma in a top-floor ‘Throne Room’ type set that looks a bit like a dingy stage from a high school production. And the big plan that Ma-Ma has in store? She makes a signal and a crowd of her body guards jump out into the open to get gunned down. Okay. Are the writers as smart as Ma-Ma or did they just write her to be as wooden as Dredd? Or did they run out of money to do a good scene?

23. This will take some explaining.
Ma-Ma’s wrist bomb will only blow up if her heart stops.
Therefore there is no risk of the bomb blowing up unless Ma-Ma shoots herself or throws herself off a balcony.
Dredd’s workday is basically over. Good job Dredd.
Well, he shoots her for no reason. Not critically, though and it looks like she’ll survive. Whew.
And waitaminute! How did he shoot her in the Throne Room and in the next shot she’s now in a bedroom lying on a bed?
Well, Dredd then decides to throw her off a balcony. Sure there is a risk that her wrist bomb will still be able to signal the explosives from the ground floor, but why not risk it?

24. Dredd probably thought he was cool when he gave Ma-Ma Slo Mo before throwing her off the balcony. Its too bad that Dredd didn’t know that we’ve seen that already happen in like the first ten minutes of the movie so he was actually not that creative at all. Poor Dredd.

25. Why does Lena Headey (Ma-Ma) decide to not show any emotion at all as she falls to her Slo Mo death? This is the biggest cop-out of the movie: put some decision into it! The writers, the director, the actress all some how allowed the main villain to have a death scene with zero affect? Not ecstasy, fear, anger, wonder?


So. To summarize, Dredd is a pretty bad movie and I am interested to hear any reasons why folks feel it is a good one.

There once was a morning that was very quiet. The big bright sun was shining and the flowers were dancing with the butterflies but the birdy birds were not chirping. The birds weren’t singing, tweeting, warbling, cawing, hooting, screeching, clucking, or even cock a doodle dooing.
It was very quiet and very still.
Birdy Chirp Chirp was sitting in her nest, knitting a cozy wool sweater for her friend Oscar the Ostrich when she heard something: nothing!
“Why it is so quiet and I can’t even hear myself think!” Birdy Chirp Chirp whispered to herself.
She opened up her window and craned her neck out to see that the morning looked very normal but it sounded very unusual. It was unusually quiet.
There wasn’t even the sound of the baby chickens saying ‘peep peep’ or the snoring of the Barn Owl who had just gone to sleep.
Birdy Chirp Chirp put on her traveling hat and her walking boots and set out to see what the source of all the silence was.
She looked for bird songs everywhere: the zoo, the museum, the playground, the elementary school, the beach, everywhere! She didn’t hear a single bird singing.
Birdy Chirp Chirp sat down and began to think.
“If I cannot hear any birds singing maybe it is because my ears cannot hear bird songs today.” She said to herself.
“I shall try an experiment! I will sing a bird song and see if I can hear it.” And she sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and Birdy Chirp Chirp could hear it!
“Well,” She said. “If I can hear myself, it might stand to reason that I would hear other birds singing–if they were singing. I shall conduct a survey! I will ask birds if they are singing and collect their answers!”
And she did so and when she was done she looked at her results: and she found that no birds were singing!
“Well, I shall conduct another survey to find out why they are not singing! And it probably would have saved me time to ask this the first time around!” So she flew around the world again and asked every bird why they were not singing.
Every bird that she talked to, the emus, the penguins, the parrots, the buzzards, the chickadees, the turkeys, everyone said the same thing: “What difference does it make? I’m just one little bird. What does it matter what I do or don’t do? Grump!”
It seemed that all the birds in the world had got a case of the Grumps. The Grumps come and go and are quite common and natural but never before had all the birds in the world got the Grumps at once!
Birdy Chirp Chirp spoke with her good friend Crow. Crow as usual had an idea:
“We could tell a joke and get all the birds laughing!”
And Crow flew around the world telling jokes. It helped a bit, and some birds whistled and chirped but again everything went quiet.
Then Birdy Chirp Chirp spoke with her friend Eagle and Eagle as usual had an idea:
“We could give every bird a trophy for each time they sang!”
And Eagle went around the world and gave trophies to the birds who would sing.
And it helped a bit and some birds sang very loud to get Eagle’s trophies but soon enough everything went quiet again.
Then Birdy Chirp Chirp, Crow, and Eagle went to the very wise Miss Cluck Edie Cluck Ba-Kaw, the smartest Chicken they knew.
“Hello Birdy Chirp Chirp, Crow, and Eagle!” She said and gave them all big hugs. Her feathers were warm and a little tickley.
“All the birds of the world have got a case of the Grumps, Miss Cluck Edie Cluck Ba-Kaw, and we can’t figure out how to get those birds all singing again!” Birdy said.
“Well, Grumps are normal and natural but never have I heard of all the birds in the world getting Grumps at once! Hmmm.” Miss Cluck Edie Cluck Ba-Kaw said then thought quietly.
“Birdy,” She finally said, “I know that you sing very well and you also like to knit sweaters quietly. And Crow can caw very loudly and crow can collect shiny things very quietly. And I know Eagle can screech nicely and Eagle can also soar quietly on the wind. Loud or quiet, every bird is unique. Nobody can be a bird just like you Birdy Chirp Chirp.” Said Miss Cluck Edie Cluck Ba-Kaw.
And Birdy Chirp Chirp understood and started to sing and dance in her own special way–like no other bird could. And Crow understood and started to hop in her own special way–like no other bird could.
And Eagle understood and soared in her own special way–like no other bird could.
And soon the other birds saw how much fun they were having being themselves that they began to understand.
“I’m not just any ol’ bird, I’m an ostrich and I like math!” Said Oscar the Ostrich.
“I’m not just any ol’ bird, I’m a pelican and I like to roller skate!” Said Mike the Pelican.
The next morning, when Birdy Chirp Chirp awoke, the big bright sun was shining and the flowers were dancing with the butterflies and the birds of the world were busy being themselves: Each one being a bird like no other bird could.
And Birdy knit a sweater. It was a very nice morning. It was a very birdy morning.