Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Decided

That for Halloween this year, I'm going to be Frida Kahlo.

Which means I have to start growing my stashe, um...


In Praise of Al Gore

Is this ironic too?

Bush can win elections but not wars...
Al Gore can win awards but not elections...


And what about all the people crying that Al Gore didn't deserve to win the Nobel Peace Prize? That's funny...considering the Nobel committee disagreed.

I'm not saying you can't question their decision...I'm just saying you're not on the committee. If you don't think Gore deserves an award, don't give him one.

Oh, and you know...whatever your political affiliation, you can't deny that Al Gore is swiftly becoming one of this country's most distinguished citizens. Just a few highlights from his resume:

* Served three terms in the US House of Representatives
* Was a US Senator for almost 10 years
* Was Vice-President of the United States for 8 years
* Was his party's nominee for President in 2000
* Won an Emmy, an Oscar, and the motherfucking Nobel Peace Prize

I'm thinking that in a couple generations, his unforgivable liberalness will be largely forgotten and his record will speak for itself.

So where will you be on Al Gore Day in 2046?

What Do You Think, Alanis?

Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?

So I wrote a post bemoaning how the Anti-Graeme Frost people (also known as cheap-shot taking right-wing creeps) were (in the words of John Cole):
a bunch of bitter, nasty, petty, snarling, sneering, vicious thugs, peering through people’s windows so they can make fun of their misfortune.
And a pair of them prove just how bitter, nasty, petty, snarling, sneering, and vicious they can be!

I rest my case...

Friday, October 12, 2007

World Series Denver?

I'm not much of a baseball fan, but the Rockies are in the play-offs and they're even saying they could go to the World Series. That would be cool, but I can't wait till the season's over. I'm more of an NFL/NBA fan.

Still, I expect to see a lot more black and purple around town these next few seasons...

Never underestimate the power of a bandwagon.

Further Proof...

Further proof that the Bush Administration's interest in fighting terrorism is limited to making it appear that they are interested in fighting terrorism. Yep, to Bush Republicans, winning the newscycle is more important than winning the Global War on Terror...

Further proof that Pamela Anderson is a skank. If Tommy Lee and Kid Rock weren't testaments to her lack of taste, she went and married the guy who was in Paris Hilton's sex tape. One of my friends classified this as a slight improvement. Maybe so. But then again...Napoleon Dynamite's a slight improvement over Tommy Lee and Kid Rock.

Further proof that Al Gore is a hypocrite: He won (co-won?) the Nobel Peace Prize for "efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations for counteracting it." Way to go, Al! Of course this completely invalidates the integrity of the Nobel Peace Prize (not really)......but hey.

Further proof that the ringleader of the Jena 6 was NOT an innocent victim of racism but a thuggish dickhead. Free Mychal Bell!!! (Once he serves his time, of course...)

Further proof I'm an asshole? See below.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Final Word on Graeme

You know how I like to pile on...

I left a comment on this Confederate Yankee post and it sums up my feelings on the Frost controversy:
First...I'd like to remind you that the Frost family had already been investigated, not by Malkin, not by the Baltimore Sun, but by the state agency overseeing the SCHIP program...and as we know the Frost family not only qualified for benefits but they have already received them.

If you think that decision was wrong, perhaps it might be more appropriate to direct your wrath towards the administrators of the program rather than the Frost family themselves.

(It also makes Malkin's "investigative reporting" moot, more an exercise in mudslinging than actual newsgathering.)

What has the Frost family done that's wrong? Shilled for the Democrats? Hey...that's unfortunate, but it's not WRONG. Last I checked, that used to be perfectly legitimate.

The Frosts have committed no crime. They have defrauded no one. They have spoken their minds, and though I may disagree, I WILL NOT CONDEMN THEM FOR IT.

Nor will I invade their privacy so I can second-guess all the SCHIP eligibility requirements they have already met.

Nor will I fall into the trap of being so blinded by idealogical hatred that I will stoop so low as to pick a fight with a couple of brain damaged kids or their unfortunate parents.

Yes, the Dems thought the Frost kids would be trump cards making it impossible to argue against SCHIP. But that's not true, and we know it. And so what? Let's not forget, the right is not without their own trump cards... (9-11 anyone?)

Surely if SCHIP was a bad program, it would STILL be a bad program if no one had ever heard the name Graeme Frost, right?

Argue the issue. Forget the sideshow. And don't pretend that Michelle Malkin is, you know, an actual journalist.

That's about the extent of what I've got to say about the Frost family and SCHIP.

Beyond that, I'm going to address the comments from a former friend, and I'm going to do it right here, not in the comments section.

First we have this nugget:
So who's responsible for their lack of health insurance? Not fucking me.
Of course not. See, if the S-CHIP expansion would have passed, it was to be funded by raising cigarette taxes. So if you're not smoking cigarettes, you're NOT PAYING ANYWAY. But hey, let's not let inconvenient facts get in the way of "not my tax dollar" type-thinking.

Then there's this:
Home equity loans are pretty easy to get. You can do things with them like buying health insurance for your children BEFORE they get in a life-threating accident.
And yet, it seems to me that the family who can't afford health insurance also can't afford to go into debt to pay for it.

Not only that, but the practical effect of financing your insurance premium (with interest and fees) actually raises the cost of getting insurance!!!

In other words, if the goal was providing the Frost family with affordable health insurance, this not only fails but it has the complete opposite effect. It makes their insurance MORE EXPENSIVE.

Did that occur to you as you typed? Or were you just shooting from the lip, repeating the old "redistribution of wealth" complaints without thinking through their logical consequences?

Perhaps you might also consider that "redistribution of wealth" does not only roll downhill, from the affluent to the less fortunate, but more commonly, it also rolls uphill as well, from the working poor to exploitative institutions like banks and insurance companies. If you prefer the latter to the former, come out and say it!

Don't pretend to be sticking up for some kind of principle. At least admit that the principle is "I don't wanna pay for these poor people" rather than "I'm against wealth redistribution," because it's painfully apparent that you have no problem with redistributing wealth as long as the beneficiaries are wealthy institutions rather than working families!

But let's play a different game. Let's play the game called "Concession." This is where I concede all the Malkinite points that were made.

Yes, the Frost family are irresponsible parents for not providing health insurance to their kids. Yes, they are horrible people for taking advantage of SCHIP. They don't need "to go on the dole." They need to liquidate some of their assets and maybe find more lucrative employment.

But after conceding all of that, where does that leave us? Are we closer to solving the unaffordable insurance issue? Or did we just succeed in hanging up a family of straw men and beating them to death with a broom?

Think about it.

Also, before I close, I'd like to explain one of the reasons why you are a former friend, and it has nothing to do with political disagreements. It's the disrespect. It's the ease in which you descend to insult. It's your haughty holier-than-thou attitude.

It's comments like this:
But....forget it. When you believe something, you won't listen to opposing points no matter how reasonable they are. You are the most intentionally obtuse person I've ever met. I don't know why (I) even bothered.
And comments like this:
There's a good reason nobody ever comments on these kinds of posts of yours anymore. There's no such thing as intelligent disagreement with you. It's always, "I'm right, you're a cheap-shot taking right-wing creep." Talk about unmerited condescenscion.
Wow, you really have a problem with ME, don't you? It's hard not to take any of that personally because it's clear it was intended to be personal. But hey, that's alright. I'm tough.

I'm going to respond anyway.

First, when I believe something I usually have a good reason, and not only that, but my beliefs are always subject to revision. Always. So convince me...if you can.

When it comes to "points", opposing or otherwise, I'm more concerned with the point being right rather than reasonable, and they are not always the same thing.

As for being "intentionally obtuse," that's a laugh. You mean, like when I suggested that the solution for unaffordable health insurance is dipping into your home equity, making the insurance even more unaffordable? Or when I neglected to take into account that the Frost family had already qualified for SCHIP before Malkinish bloggers went Google-diving to prove they didn't? Is it "intentionally obtuse" to realize that the Frost family's kitchen counters have no place in a discussion about health care policy???

You didn't even take into account that non-smokers like yourself wouldn't even be paying for any theoretical SCHIP expansion! Instead, we just got the "Not fucking me!" excuse. No shit, Sherlock. Not unless you start smoking!

Intentionally obtuse? Me? I'm the one who's intentionally obtuse? I don't think so...

As to why no one comments on my blog anymore...bah. I still get comments, maybe not as much as I used to, but I still get them. I can speculate on why the volume is down, but apparently you already did the survey and determined that it was all me. You're probably right about that. I am, after all, responsible for the content of my blog, including my own comments.

However, I don't think the explanation is as simple as "You're an asshole and no one likes you," which is basically what you're trying to insinuate.

Hey, I'm confrontational. I don't suffer fools lightly. I speak my mind and I'm forceful about it. Not everyone wants to engage a guy like that and that's fine. But let's not forget that I'm not the only troll who has stunk up my comments section... There have been others.

And you have been among them.

Okay, I'm done... Are you?

Get The %$&@ of My Office

This one is for Dale. Plenty of F-bombs so earmuff the kids.Even though this guy is a Republican, I'd vote for him.

Turkish Blackmail

So is this appeasement or are we just Turkey's monkeys now?

I was always under the impression that Bush doesn't do blackmail. I guess I was wrong.

Nanny State Watch

Alright, fuckers. Let's just get it over with already.

Let's just ban smoking outright. Why not? It would be so easy to enforce...

All the DUIs out in California are boring. I want some DWSes* dammit!

* Driving While Smoking

Blackwater Clearing

This is a good sign. If there is any justice in the world, Blackwater would be pulled out of Iraq permanently, would have their corporate charter revoked, and their corporate leadership would be brought up on murder/war profiteering charges.

But like that will happen...

It's become increasingly clear to me that the war in Iraq cannot be fought without Blackwater's mercenaries protecting State Department diplomats. When the Iraq government banned Blackwater after the shooting in Nissoor Sqare, it didn't last very long because it ground almost all diplomatic activity to a halt.

So Blackwater is necessary to the war in Iraq, but as long as Blackwater is shooting up civilians, we will never win. Can't win with them, can't win without them. Simple as that.

So what should we do with this no-win situation. Try without them!

The United States military has NEVER had to rely on a private security company to win a war. And yet here we are...

This must change.

Hold Your Fire!

Michelle Malkin, protecting the American taxpayer from needy children everywhere.

I jest, I jest. The Republican party isn't really anti-family. They're just anti-liberal family. Big difference...

Don't Fire Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes

This is the Frost family:Now that you know who you're targeting, commence firing!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

True Digital Movies

Andrew Sullivan and his husband went to see Poltergeist in the theater last week. What he probably didn't know was that the one-night-only Poltergeist screening came from the company I work for, and while that may not be all that interesting, how we made it happen, well, that's another story.

Most movies you see in theaters, probably upwards of 95% of them, are 35mm film prints that come on reels. Since a reel can only contain about ten minutes, they come in big stacks of 9-12 reels that then must be "built" by the projectionist. It's still done the old fashioned way, with razor blade and tape.

But guess what? MGM (which is now part of Sony) didn't suddenly produce several hundred new prints of Poltergeist to send to theaters. They didn't even dig up old prints.

This is amazing, but the Poltergeist revival was completely digital. There wasn't a single print made.

Instead of a bulky (and expensive) 35mm projector running fragile (and expensive) film, we used a Windows-based computer and a DLP projector to run media files. And the best part?

Unless something goes wrong, the viewer can scarcely tell the difference. In fact, the quality might even be better with the digital movie. It should go without saying these days, but digital files don't scratch, don't accumulate dust and hairs on the frame, nor do they fade with time.

And there is an upside to digital movies that traditional film movies simply do not have. Replicating a digital movie is easy and has nearly no cost. Replicating a film print, though? That's a time consuming, expensive process.

In the digital world, they can release movies faster and cheaper than they ever could. The huge cost of printing the opticals and shipping them to theaters would be replaced with the cost of maintaining a digital network, which nearly all geographically dispersed companies have to do anyway. So why haven't theaters transitioned away from film to digital yet?

Theaters are open 365 days a year, and yet the only digital movies you will see are the ones my company screens, and those are usually one-off special events like Poltergeist.

Even the record labels, who so far have been as resistant to digital technology as superbugs are to antibiotics, are blazing away with iTunes and Amazon and Rhapsody and eMusic, and yet the theater chains still have barely dipped a toe into the ocean of possibilities that digital cinema presents.

Their hesitation may be due to the same fears that led the RIAA to sue downloaders, that dreaded P word: Piracy.

In the world of cinema, piracy takes many forms. Once the film goes digital, in the form of a DVD, you can forget about it. Those ones and zeroes will float into the nether of the tubes and become inkjet DVDs at flea markets from Boulder to Bangkok. They'll become the stream some gamer-type pulls off BitTorrent. They'll be gone, out there, under no one's control.

But those prints...those valuable exclusive-to-theaters first-run prints, that's another story. Those are much harder to copy, almost impossible to distribute, at least for your average film pirate. And in those few precious weeks those prints are in theaters, there is a lot of money to be made, tens of millions of dollars in a weekend.

To the film companies, the price of prints is a small price to pay to avoid the pirates.

And yet that mindset seems so small. When I heard about the Poltergeist showing, I wanted to go. Not because it was an event hosted by my company, but because I actually like the movie. I've seen it a hundred times, and it still has the power to scare me (and make me laugh). But I've never seen it in a theater.

Think of how many movies you love but have never seen on the big screen.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre
He Got Game
Run Lola Run
City of God

And those are just off the top of my head!

I would pay good money to see any one of those movies, and dozens more.

First-run features are just a slice of one big pie. Revivals and reissues could provide another huge incentive to go to the theater, and in a digital world, the cost would be negligible. Piracy, schmiracy.

You want to save a lot of money and make a whole bunch more? Go digital, ya greedy bastards. Meanwhile, those of us who like a little art with our commerce will enjoy the fruits.

The Broncos Meltdown

This will be the second week in a row where I haven't offered a fantasy football update. I suppose I could offer an update, but I'm not going to. It's nothing personal against football or my readers, who can't get enough of my fast and loose commentary.

I'm just stinging from the Broncos big-time loss to the Chargers this weekend. I have never been so embarrassed watching a football game in my life. Embarrassed!

Embarrassed for the players who could not hang onto the ball or make a decent tackle, no matter the millions (in dollars and TV viewers) in incentives.

Embarrassed for myself, who would never support another team as long as my beloved Broncos were around.

Embarrassed for the city, who in my living memory has NEVER cleared out Mile High Stadium (or Invesco Field) before the 4th even started. That was just crazy.

Hell, back in Elway's day, no self-respecting Denver fan would even think of missing the 4th Quarter of a Bronco game. With all this Mile High Magic? With the King of the Comebacks?

Are you kidding me???

Great Moments in B Movies - Lucy Liu Edition

Can I just say how happy I am that Lucy Liu thought so highly of her latest film, the star-studded direct-to-DVD Z-movie, Rise: Blood Hunter, that she spends quite a bit of time either nude or near-nude?

Charley's Angels teased but Rise delivers.

On, and Lucy? You should give lessons to a few over-exposed Celebutantes, maybe teach them how to exploit their sexuality without taking the non-stop flight to Skanksville.

More Irrelevant Wingnuttery From the Malkinites

The Democrats laid a trap and the Malkinite wingnuts fell right into it.

I'm talking about the Graeme Frost controversy. Having little use for manufactured outrage in my own life, I missed this story when it first hit, but have since gotten caught up.

The gist, the Dems got a 12 year old kid to argue FOR the S-CHIP expansion bill that Bush vetoed in his usual tone-deaf politically stupid way. This is called "Setting the trap."

Putting a kid up on the soap box to shill for their plan was all too clever in its cynicism. For one, it highlights who the bill actually affects: children. For another, you would think that decent people would have second thoughts about attacking a kid as viciously as they attack the Defeatocrats and the "phony soldiers" who dare to get their opinions from a non-Limbaugh source. (More on this below.)

It's not that Bush and company don't care about the health of needy kids. It's just that they care about their economic theories more. You see, if the government helps one needy kid, then people might actually get the idea that helping needy kids is a legitimate function of government, and we all know that governments are only supposed to protect the borders from Mexicans, install democracies in far-off hostile nations, and prevent the F-Word from showing up in prime-time TV.

Unable to admit the shortcomings of their political philosophy, what is left for the rabid right-wingers to do? The only thing they do well: Attack.

For the coherent explanation that I can't provide, check out John Cole's post on the subject, laced with plenty of snark. On Frost, with a healthy dose of sarcasm, he writes:
I can see why this rabid dog needs to be put down with the full force of the wingnutosphere.
Considering today's right-wing lacks all sense of proportion, yeah, I can too.

This part, though, this part is definitely worthy of note:
I simply can not believe this is what the Republican party has become. I just can’t. It just makes me sick to think all those years of supporting this party, and this is what it has become. Even if you don’t like the S-Chip expansion, it is hard to deny what Republicans are- a bunch of bitter, nasty, petty, snarling, sneering, vicious thugs, peering through people’s windows so they can make fun of their misfortune.

I’m registering Independent tomorrow.
I second that. But then again, I'm already a registered Independent.

Unlike John Cole, I came to the realization that Republicans are "a bunch of bitter, nasty, petty, snarling, sneering, vicious thugs, peering through people’s windows so they can make fun of their misfortune" back when they impeached Clinton for his extra-marital blow-job.

And from where I sit, things have only gotten worse since then.