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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Spike Lee Versus Clint Eastwood

So Spike Lee criticized Clint Eastwood for not including any black soldiers in his Iwo Jima movies. And Clint responded by saying Spike should shut his face. The spat continues here.

I don't think Spike has a leg to stand on here. Black soldiers made up less than 1% of the total US forces on Iwo Jima and served mostly in non-combat support roles like delivering ammunition or digging graves. So what's Spike want anyway? A minor character who's black? A shot with a black guy in the background? I find that kind of ahistorical tokenism almost as offensive as out and out racism.

When are we going to move beyond this politically correct sensibility and develop a taste for the ugly truth again?

(It should be noted that Spike Lee's next movie is going to be a WWII period piece about four black soldiers in Italy. I wish I could say that Spike Lee is genuinely upset about Eastwood's understandable omission and NOT trying to drum up buzz for Miracle at St. Anna.)

Snark in the Water

I have no idea who Selena Gomez is, but apparently she's Disney's new star (the "new Miley Cyrus," they're calling her) and apparently she has declared that she will remain a virgin until marriage.

Which, based on the track record of past Disney slutlets starlets, means that she's secretly married and that cherry's already been popped!

Michael Leeden, Iranian Stooge

Here's a headline that should give pro-war Bush people a headache:
Did Iranian agents dupe Pentagon officials?

Uh-oh...

And look who may have gotten duped the hardest? Michael Ledeen, who has seemingly made it his personal mission to spark a war between the United States and Iran. (I slammed Ledeen for his hawkish crazy talk on Iran last year.)

What a stooge.

Pants on Fire

Bush lied, people died. It's not just a bumper sticker anymore, and it's not hyperbole. These days, it's an established fact.

I've been in the "Bush lied" camp for years now so this is nothing new or surprising. What is surprising is how many people, having been duped by the Bush propaganda machine, continue to say things like, "He didn't lie. He was just wrong!" (See Dana Perino's statement)

So you're saying that instead of being a liar with bad judgment, he's just a guy with bad judgment? Oh man, I feel so much better!

Even in the most generous scenarios for the president, he got suckered by "bad intelligence," and allowed the country to be suckered too. I fail to see how this is a redeeming quality. However you slice it, the guy was wrong.

If he didn't start the war with Iraq based on lies, then he did so because he's the biggest idiot on the fucking planet. Why do Bush supporters find that narrative preferable to "Bush lied" anyway?

Because they voted for him?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Supply And Demand And a Hundred Other Things

Oil prices jumped $11 in a single day on Friday, but that's alright. Whatever you may think, you are NOT getting ripped off. It's the market, man, supply and demand. Don't worry, though. Adam Smith's invisible hand will sort it all out...

Yeah, right.

Just click the heels of your ruby slippers together three times and say, "There's no such thing as price manipulation. There's no such thing as price manipulation. There's no such thing as price manipulation."

And when you wake up, you'll be back in Kansas with Auntie Em and the gang.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Profits of Doom

Here's one of my favorite bands playing their brilliant song Profits of Doom.

I mention this because I woke up from a nap with some Clutch lyrics echoing in my head. They weren't from this song, but they were "Rosemary baby, I got the thyme." Yes I know, witty.

This song, incidentally, inspired a joke I made last week after some poor service at a restaurant. When my date asked what we should leave as a tip, I suggested, "Never trust a white man driving a black van."

Cuz he's just saving all his voodoo for you.

A caliph, rabbi, and a bishop walk into a bar.
One says to the other,
“Hey now brother, we haven't gotten very far"

Epic Fail

I've read a lot about McCain's disastrous "green speech," but didn't have the heart to actually watch the whole thing. I actually felt kind of embarrassed, yes embarrassed, for him. The guy is running against a Clinton-slaying phenomenon who can speechify like Jordan can jam and this is the best he can come up with? Spin and phoniness and hollow slogans?

I hate to quote Winger, but I think the Republicans are headed for a heartbreak this November.

Hetfield Is God

When it comes to the Megadeth versus Metallica debate, I come down on Metallica's side. Yes, their last good record was the Black Album, and that Napster stuff was ridiculous, and they're rich and spoiled and big fat cry babies, but...but they will always have Master of Puppets to fall back on.

Oh sure, Dave Mustaine is good with an ax, but he's not much of a singer. And let's be honest, Megadeth's clunker to classic ratio is about the same as Metallica's, only the clunkers are clunkier and the classics aren't as classic. (Every metalhead knows Megadeth's Hangar 18, but everyone knows Metallica's Enter Sandman.)

That's not even taking into account that over the years Megadeth should have been more properly called "Dave Mustaine and the Guys He's Playing With These Days," while Metallica (with some notable exceptions, one death and one departure) has been an actual band, a solid core with more or less the same guys for decades. A Metallica without Lars, Hetfield, or Hammett seems inconceivable. Dave Mustaine and his Hired Hands just can't compete.

So while the guys in this video really love Megadeth, I just love their enthusiasm.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

You're from Colorado If...

I got this from an Uncle Jim e-mail and some of these are fucking true, man. I bolded some of my favorites.

You're from Colorado if...

You'll eat ice cream in the winter.

When the weather report says it's going to be 65 degrees, you shave your legs and wear a skirt.

It snows 5 inches and you don't expect school to be canceled.

You'll wear flip flops every day of the year, regardless of temperature.

You have no accent at all, but can hear other people's. And then you make fun of them.

'Humid' is over 25%.

Your sense of direction is: Toward the mountains and Away from the mountains.


You say 'the interstate' and everybody knows which one.

You think that May is a totally normal month for a blizzard.

You buy your flowers to set out on Mother's day, but try and hold off planting them until just before Father's day.

You grew up planning your Halloween costumes around your coat.

You know what the Continental Divide is.

You don't think Coors beer is that big a deal.

You went to Casa Bonita as a kid, and as an adult.

You've gone off-roading in a vehicle that was never intended for such activities.

You always know the elevation of where you are.

You wake up to a beautiful, 80 degree day and you wonder if it's going to snow tomorrow.

You don't care that some company renamed it, the Broncos still play at Mile High.

Every movie theater has military and student discounts.

Everybody wears jeans to church.

You actually know that ** South Park ** is a real place not just a show on TV.

You know what a 'trust fund hippy' is, and you know its natural habitat is Boulder.

You know you're talking to a fellow Coloradoan when they call it Elitches, not Six Flags.

A bear on your front porch doesn't bother you.

Your two favorite teams are the Broncos and whoever is beating the crap out of the Raiders.

When people out East tell you they have mountains in their state too, you just laugh.

You go anywhere else on the planet and the air feels 'sticky' and you notice the sky is no longer blue.

A Few Things

In an hour and a half, my weekend starts. A few thoughts that have been swirling around in my brain all night.

A) I think I saw the trailer for Pixar's new movie Wall-E when I saw Indiana Jones. I heard rumors that it was going to be a largely silent movie, that is, with very little dialogue. When I heard that, I got all excited about seeing something new and different and so visually exciting that it can get away with no dialogue. I hope that's true and I hope it works.

Why? Because it seems that Hollywood thinks that the only animated movies worth making are cutsie-wutsie kiddie fare with animal characters and an all-star ensemble of voice talent.

Hey, I understand. All Dogs Go to Heaven was a huge hit. The formula works. But let's show some imagination here.

You start with a blank page (or a blank computer screen) and you can put whatever you want on there. And your first thought is "another funny/cute animal picture?" So original...so visionary.

So very lame. (And yes, I'm talking about you Kung Fu Panda.)

B) I've been trying to watch The Shield, but you know, I'm just not liking it that much. I thought I would. It's a cop show. The characters operate in that morally gray area between good and bad, sometimes swinging wildly between those two extremes. (That gray area is one of the reasons why I love Deadwood, Rome, and the Sopranos so much.) But ultimately it comes down to characters. I didn't like Michael Chiklis's Vic Mackey as much as I thought I would. He comes off like a hollow bully or high school jock. And then there are some characters I just can't stand.

Danny Sofer? She reminds me of someone I used to know and no longer like, but more than that, she's not very bright and not a very good cop.

Captain Acevedo? Ambitious moral midget.

Julien Lowe, the ex-gay Christ-junkie? Seriously, dude...you're gay. And the next time I hear you talking about blessed you are, I'm gonna slap you.

Shane Vendrell? A pussy-hound fuck-up. Seems like he deserves all the bad stuff that happens to him.

The only characters I like are Detective Wyms (played by CCH Pounder) who is tough and school marmish, but decent, and her partner Dutch. I like Dutch a lot, even though no one else on the squad really does. The best parts of the show are when he's got someone in the interrogation room.

But the rest of them? Blegh.

C) I'm not sure how I feel about the sport of hockey anymore. I watched the Red Wings/Penguins game go into triple over time last night. They almost played two whole games, one of them without a single score. I used to think hockey was a fast-paced sport because they're skating around, that it was cool because there were fights. But lately, watching hockey just bores me. They skate this way, they skate that way. Nothing ever happens. Maybe once or twice during a game you see something worth seeing.

Ooh, a score!

Fight! Fight! Fight!

But other than that...yawn.

I guess I'll stick with my beloved football and basketball and watch hockey only when I'm trying to go to sleep.

And that's all I got...what you got?

CNN Hotties And the Philogynist Named James

Right now Suzanne Malveaux is talking to Kyra Phillips on CNN. Too much hotness! I can't take it! I must look away!

And yes, I'm dealing with my philogynist issues again. They are both excellent reporters, and the fact that they're also absolutely beautiful shouldn't take away from that.

Screw Gay Marriage....Let's Ban Divorce!

If people were serious about "protecting marriage," you'd think they would be busy trying to ban divorce instead of gay marriage. They won't do that, though.

Because gay marriage opponents don't give two shits about protecting marriage.

They care about one thing: Preventing gay people from sharing equally in that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" junk.

(I've been looking for legitimate reasons why as a society, we shouldn't let gay people marry. So far, I've heard three reasons: 1) "activist" judges who, in the absence of explicit constitutional bans, have consistently found no legal reason to stop them, 2) the "protect traditional marriage" argument, which insists that same-sex couples will weaken the institution of marriage, and 3) gay people are gross, immoral Sodomites who will be thrown into the lake of fire when the Tribulation starts. Anyone got another reason? A more convincing honest reason? I'm all ears. You won't convince me, but I get no joy from arguing with the stupid and disingenuous.)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bo Diddley - RIP

That's quite the all-star backing band.

My Last Hillary Post

Since she's sliding further and further into irrelevancy, I'm going to try and ignore Hillary Clinton from here on out. I did want to make one point though.

Now that the Michigan and Florida delegate situation has been resolved and Clinton is still losing, her argument has now shifted to "I have the popular vote, therefore I should be the nominee."

The popular vote claim is factually dubious. According to RealClearPolitics , there are 6 different popular vote scenarios, some with Michigan, some without, some with caucus totals, some without. Out of the 6 scenarios, Clinton has the popular vote in 3 of them. Obama has the other 3, giving both candidates a 3-3 split. Not only that, but the margin of victory in all 6 scenarios is less than 1%.

What Clinton is calling a "popular vote victory" could be more accurately called a "popular vote tie."

It's also useful to remember that the nominee isn't selected by popular vote anyway. It's all about delegates, and Obama has more delegates.

Clinton's mewling about the popular vote is kind of like a football team arguing that they should have won the game because they got more rushing yards than the team who got more points.

Roger Goodell would have a good laugh at that one.

Wikipedia: Right or Wrong

I can't say I'm a big fan of Gore Vidal, but I did read this summation of what he's learned.

The only quibble I have is with this:

Everything’s wrong on Wikipedia.

I know that Wikipedia is vulnerable to graffiti due to its open-source nature, and it's information is far from authoritative or complete. I wouldn't write a text book based on information found in a wiki, but if I'm trying to figure out what kayfabe means, it's pretty damn useful. (Try and find that one in a dictionary.)

Vidal seems to have no problem ignoring the good things about wikipedia and elevating the bad things to such a height that everything is wrong.

Now, I will admit...this wiki entry is wrong. I never was a United States Senator from Maryland from 1843 to 1862 and contrary to what my wiki says, I'm still very much alive.

But even with that massive error, Wikipedia still rules.

North by Northwest on the Way to Wingnuttia

Sometimes I'll read something that masquerades as political analysis but when the masks fall at midnight, turns out that the "political analysis" is little more than small-minded hackery.

Take this post from the National Review's Greg Pollowitz (recreated in its entirety):
What would the MSM say if President Bush or Senator McCain had made this statement?

He did express curiosity about the filming of a chase scene in "North by Northwest," Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint that included a death-defying scramble over Rushmore's presidential faces.

"How did they get up there in the first place?" he asked ranger Wesley Jensen.

"They didn't. It was a movie set," Jensen told him.

"Pretty spiffy, isn't it," said the Illinois senator, summing up his overall impressions.

Here’s a YouTube of scenes from North by Northwest. The Rushmore clip begins at about 1:15. Is there anyone other than Obama who thinks this looks real?
My complaints are legion:

1) Stop with this MSM bullshit. I'm sick of the term, of the implications that the MSM can't be trusted because they're, you know, mainstream. To me, the familiar complaint that the "MSM won't print this" is my first clue that I'm about to hear something from the (lunatic?) fringe. It's never used positively, as in "If it wasn't for the MSM, I would have no clue what was going on this election season." Instead, it's always used in that eye-rolling dismissive way, "Here's a story the MSM won't print..." There are a lot of valid criticisms one can level against the networks and cable news channels, the leading newspapers and wire services, but "being mainstream" isn't one of them. Being mainstream is a good thing.

2) In noting that Obama was under the mistaken impression that North by Northwest was actually filmed at Mount Rushmore, Pollowitz concludes that Obama can't spot obvious special effects implying that he's kind of dumb.

This is done with no evidence that Obama has even seen the movie in question.

I've never seen Gone With the Wind, but I know that at some point Rhett Butler is going to say, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

To me, Obama's question indicates that he's never seen the movie. People who have never North by Northwest might have some kind of peripheral knowledge of the famous Mount Rushmore scene, but they might not know that the scene was shot on a soundstage rather than on location.

I also have a feeling that the Park Ranger brought up the subject of North by Northwest, as that seems like a factoid one would get on a tour. I can see the Park Ranger saying something like, "You might recognize the visage of Mt. Rushmore from postcards, cartoons, or movies like North By Northwest, which featured a thrilling chase scene on the face of the sculpture."

At this point I can see an Obama who has never seen the movie saying, "How did they even get up there in the first place?"

To me, that seems more likely than the "Obama is so dumb he can't even spot special effects" idea perpetuated by the right-wing hacks at the National Review.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Welcome to Bangkok

Here's Bjork, who Ray Winstone described as "a really nice kid."

That reporter met an Army of Bjork, that's for sure. Speaking of, I love this song.

Your rescue squad is too exhausted? Okay.

More on the F-word

A couple days ago I celebrated the word Fuck. Here's a follow-up post from the guy whose vocabulary suffered by his reliance on obscene super-words you can't say on network television. Read the whole thing for the reasons why Thers is liable to foam at the mouth with curse words, but I'd like to put forth a full-throated endorsement of this part:
I don't know where anyone ever got the idea that the Internet should be a place for the reasonable exchange of ideas between people of differing political beliefs, but such an idea is in my experience misguided at best and at worst actively dangerous. "Civility" is not a virtue in itself, but a mechanism, a way of facilitating discourse: when someone is determined to say any fucking shit they want as a way of getting whatever they want and to loudly insist that they are in the right just because the other side is mean and vulgar when they point out, accurately, that they are little more than a vicious gang of crazy-assed lying motherfuckers... well, fuck civility. Truth is a higher virtue by several orders of magnitude.
Over the past few years, I've come to realize there are some drawbacks to a "Fair and Balanced" approach to things. Some ideas are so odious, so wrong, that they don't deserve to be treated with anything but disdain, and likewise, some people should be dismissed with no qualms.

Like this lady:
You can't reason with people like this.

The O'Reilly Remix

I'm sure this has already made the rounds, but if you haven't seen Bill O'Reilly remixed yet then you must watch. It's truly brilliant.

Ray of Light

I heard this song a couple days ago in the background music at a store and was reminded, not for the first time, about how much I love it. 10 years later, it still holds up.