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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Great Moments in Bad Movies

Loving movies as I do, it's inevitable that I'm going to love some really bad movies. Every movie has something going for it, whether it's a small performance note or a great line, a memorable image, even the bad ones. Most of the "bad" ones don't have much going for them, but here's one that does.

Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) - Directed by John Frankenheimer

When it came out, no one liked it, not the critics, not the stars, not even the director. I saw it in the theater because I was in a Fairuza Balk phase (she was kinda big back then) and yeah, it wasn't very good. But I didn't think it was terrible. I kind of liked Marlon Brando's eccentric, effeminate performance as Dr. Moreau. I also liked Val Kilmer's impression of Marlon Brando's Moreau. But I didn't like David Thewlis (miscast) and was disappointed in Fairuza (poorly written character, a costume that even the Muslim world would deem to be too prude).

The creatures, of course, were awesome. Especially the one that becomes the eventual villian, Hyena-Swine played by Australian actor Daniel Rigney. Having watched the film again recently, it was obvious that his performance was the most interesting in the movie. This dude you never heard of trumped Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer, David Thewlis, Fairuza Balk, and Ron Perlman, who had a small forgettable role with a small forgettable performance as Sayer of the Law.

He really shines in this scene, especially considering his entire body is covered in Stan Winston's make-up. His eyes and his body movements (I assume the voice was overdubbed and manipulated beyond all recognition) are key. Rigney died from a brain hemorrhage a year after the film was released.

Slapping Your Troubles Away

The guys at work have been talking about this remix of the Vince with Slap Chop commercial. I actually think this works really well as a song, and of course I love the Breakin clips.
The guys at work have also been talking about buying a house. I, the proud homeowner, encouraged them and jokingly suggested they buy my neighbor's house, which has been on the market for several months.

But then we looked up the asking price. $80,000. Yeah, eighty fucking grand.

I paid over 130K for mine seven years ago.

I hope it never sells.

The Shackles of Technology

The irony.

They had an armed RTD representative at the train station today, enforcing the pedestrian ticket bridge rule.

But of the two kiosks, only one dispensed tickets.

Of the three gates, only one accepted tickets.

A line formed at the ticket kiosk, and of course, a line also formed at the gate.

Standing there with all this defective equipment, I asked the guy, "Why don't you just open that door and let us out of here?"

"I can't do that," he said. Instructions from on high apparently.

But he was nice enough to hold the gate open for all of us and let us through without scanning our tickets...

Equipment failure. Also known as "freedom enhancer."

Oh, God

Look out, Fake Americans. Sarah Palin's going to open up a can of whoopass on you when she finally frees herself from the responsibilities of office.
Foreshadowing the freedom to speak her mind as a private citizen, she recently wrote, "ten days till less politically correct twitters fly from my fingertips."
Just what the world needs. Another politically incorrect Republican...

Cops...Being Honest

This article contains some crucial truths when it comes to cops.
“I wouldn’t back down if there’s a crowd gathering,” the Brooklyn officer said, in part out of concern of sending a message of weakness that could haunt another officer later. “We’re a band of brothers. We have to be there to help each other out. If there’s a group and they’re throwing out slurs and stuff, you have to handle it.”
I bet you didn't know that cop solidarity took on such a Shakespearean dimension. "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."

And then there's this:
A 13-year veteran of the Denver police force, who did not wish to give his name, said likewise. “We’re not going to take abuse,” he said. “We have to remain in control. We’re running the show.”
You heard the man. The cops have to remain in control. They're running the show.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ginger is Famous

She probably won't like that I posted this, but it was in the paper.

More on the Gates Episode

From Ta-Nehisi Coates, who writes:
I feel pretty stupid for going hard on this, and stupider for defending what Obama won't really defend himself. I should have left it at one post. Evidently Obama, Crowley and Gates are talking about getting a beer together. I hope they have a grand old time.

The rest of us are left with a country where, by all appearances, officers are well within their rights to arrest you for sassing them.
But here's the kicker:
When we think about the cops, it's scary, on one level, to conclude that a cop can basically arrest you on a whim. It's scarier still to think that this is what Americans want, that this country is as we've made it.
This is NOT what I want out of my country, but it seems I've been out-voted on this one.

Bus Bullshit

The bus was super late again today. I was NOT a happy commuter.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Respect my Authoritah

It's my first day back on the dreaded 2-10 shift, which is murder on your social life (heh...what social life?) and one hell of a commute.

Today, the bus was fifteen minutes late. Which is maddening when you show up ten minutes early to catch it. And of course, it forced me to make the embarrassing call to work. "Uh, yeah, just a heads up. Even though I'm leaving an hour and a half early, I'm probably going to be late."

Not only was I late, but it was standing room only because of the backup. Most of the other people further down the bus route were probably thinking, "Man, this bus is early."

No, just really, really late.

Then, and this is what pissed me off to no end, I get off the train station at County Line like I do every day. Only today they had RTD personnel posted up on the pedestrian bridge demanding you get a bridge access ticket.

I have been taking this route for the last three months and I have never needed a bridge access ticket. Oh, I've seen the kiosks. But I just pedal past them, get in the elevator, and just ride on my merry way with no ticket.

But today, they would not let me out without a goddamn ticket.

Oh, I was pissed.

"What the hell is this?" I demanded. "I've never needed a ticket before."

"It's required by the mall," the RTD person said. The Park Meadows mall is right next to the station.

"I'm not going to the mall," I said. "I'm going to work."

"Well, you need a ticket."

"For what? Going down the elevator? Gimme a break, man. Let me outta here."

"You need a ticket."

"So you want me to go back upstairs and get a fucking ticket?"

"Yep."

"You gotta be kidding me."

"It's required by the mall."

So rather than punch the guy in the face, which is what I wanted to do, I went back upstairs --keep in mind, I'm already late for work-- and got the stupid fucking ticket that gives me permission to leave the damn light rail station.

I went back down to the asshole manning the gates.

"This is bullshit. Who do I complain to?"

"The mall."

"Okay," I said.

When I got to work, I e-mailed them a nasty gram. What purpose does this serve? I asked them. I just got off the train. Clearly I paid for a ticket. (Or in my case, paid for my pass.) Why do I need another ticket to leave the train station?

There's only one reason for them to require this. Because they can. Because most people will see the uniform and shrug. Ah, what the hell. Getting the ticket will just cost me (very little) time and (very little) effort. It's not like they're asking for money. So what if they won't let you leave without a ticket? So what if the ticket serves no purpose at all? Just get a ticket. Go with the flow. Don't fight the system.

I say, fuck that. Tickets to cross a bridge? No. I don't care if they're free. I don't care if all you have to do is push a button on a kiosk and slide it through a reader. NO.

I will leave the train station a free man!

Tomorrow, if the goons are there, I'm bursting through the "emergency exit," which until today had been propped open and my usual method of egress. If they try to stop me, they better run fast.

If they catch me, they better be strong.

If they ask my name, I'll tell them it's John Q. Taxpayer.

If they ask my phone number, it's 1-800-EAT-SHIT.

Imagine That

This does not surprise me at all.
(CNN) -- The commissioner of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police department said Thursday he "deeply regrets" the arrest of prominent black Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., but stands by the procedures followed by his department.
I know from experience that the default response from "top cops" is always going to be some variation of "I know Officer Crowley. Officer Crowley is a good man."
"I believe that Sgt. [James] Crowley acted in a way that is consistent with his training at the department, and consistent with national standards of law enforcement protocol," Commissioner Robert Haas said, referring to the officer who made the July 16 arrest at the professor's home.
Consistent with national standards of law enforcement protocol...yep.

Sounds about right.

Call the Wahmbulance

I saw this and laughed out loud. Literally.
The Cambridge police commissioner says his department is "deeply pained" by President Barack Obama's statement that his officers "acted stupidly" when they arrested a renowned black scholar in his home.
Ah, buck up, ya fucking pussies.

If you weren't such delicate flowers, wilting every time a diminutive college professor raises his voice, you wouldn't be in this situation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Does MSNBC Hate Canada Too?

This one's for Kat, since she couldn't see the CNN vid. Same subject, different network.

Same result?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Be All, End All?

You know, seriously. I love Anthrax.

But they're a bunch of dumb fucks. They did the whole Joey reunion thing a couple years ago and after that, things got muddy. They were going to maybe make a record, but John Bush wasn't really into it and Joey didn't work out for one reason or another, so then there they were, a band without a singer. Once again.

So they brought in this guy Dan Nelson. Whatever. Anthrax and rent-a-singer. They recorded an album, started touring. Things were great.

But now Dan is out of the band, the tours are canceled. The Dan Nelson record? Who knows? Who cares?

And it all leads you to say...what the fuck, man? It's metal. What's so hard about this? These guys have been doing it long enough, you'd think they had the hang of it by now.

This version of Anthrax lasted about four months...

Never Needs Winding

I've been listening to this song a lot lately. It makes me smile.

Step Right Up - Tom Waits

That's right, it fillets, it chops
It dices, slices, never stops
lasts a lifetime, mows your lawn
And it mows your lawn
and it picks up the kids from school
It gets rid of unwanted facial hair
it gets rid of embarrassing age spots
It delivers a pizza

It delivers a pizza?

The News

These are all from Huffington Post. I'm lazy. Sue me.

Henry Louis Gates Jr, a Harvard scholar of some note, was arrested on his front porch after police arrived to find him breaking into his own home. Breaking into your own home, strangely enough, isn't a crime, but talking back to the police...break out the handcuffs, straight to jail.

Gates thinks he was racismed against, and he's probably right. Racial profiling? Oh yeah. Black guy, breaking into a house? Of course the cops think they're busting up a burglary.

And of course Gates is going to be mad. He can no more burgle his own house than he can trespass on it, and their interference in the act of getting into his own house was probably no more welcome than finding he was locked out in the first place. (I got locked out once. It pissed me off, too.)

But it's not all about racism. Those cops would have arrested him if he was white, too. (Whether they would have been called...who knows?) It's just how they operate.

Speaking of racism...

Did you hear about that pool in Pennsylvania that kicked out all the little "colored" kids who came to swim there? After it became a big story, the pool invited them back.

But who would want to go back there after that bullshit? Not me.

Well, Tyler Perry's taking those kids to Disney World now. And Disney World is better than any piss ant little pool in Pennsylvania.

And finally...

Stephen Baldwin, the born-again Christian Baldwin brother, is filing for bankruptcy. I guess the Jesus business just isn't what it used to be. I thought he had a book and a clothing line and a record label and all that other stuff, a straight-edge path to God or whatever.

Damn

I'm not sure what to say about this crazy video that surfaced from a town meeting up in Delaware. These birthers are crazy.

As I explained to a comment troll once, this isn't a debate between wingnut and moonbat. This is a debate between people who can accept facts, and those who can't.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Aurora Cop Watch

Thank God for the Denver Post. They get the information you want to know, but don't really want to track down on your own.

The racial make-up of Aurora's police force:
Of the Police Department's 626 sworn officers, 85.3 percent are white, 6.9 percent are Latino, 4.3 percent are black, 1.1 percent are Asian and 1.1 percent are American Indian.
Of course, if you add those numbers up, it only comes to 98.7 so I don't know where that other 1.3% went. To "Other," I guess.

Here's hapless Police Chief Dan Oates on the subject:
"We have been trying really, really hard to attack the diversity issue forever," Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said. "At this point, the Department of Justice intervention will help us with any new ideas and strategies."

When Oates was hired in 2005, diversifying the police force was among his top priorities.
Something tells me that this guy's just not up to the job...

Mile High Music Festival


You can't really tell, but Incubus is playing on this stage. We didn't really get in the middle of this one, just kind of hovered around the edges, watching all the tanned girls in tight shorts. (And, wow, there were a lot of them!) When they played "Pardon Me," it struck me that the song is a good ten years old now. It brought back memories of those days when I was 23 and on the verge of spontaneously combustion, woe is me.

We didn't catch all of G. Love's set since they were playing at the same time as Incubus, but we did manage to get in the tent towards the end and even found a spot pretty close to the stage. They were just winding down, but in many ways, they were just getting warmed up too.

Then it was time for Ben Harper and his new band. And damn were they good. They've got more of a rock vibe than his previous bands, and that's just fine with me. Here he is, sitting down playing the slide.

And standing up, rocking out.


Then Tool. My brother wanted to get as close as possible, and I guess we did that. The last Tool show I went to at the Pepsi Center, the floor was shoulder to shoulder, chest to back. We were packed in there light sardines. But last night's show wasn't so bad. It was tight, and there was always some asshole trying to move around you, but at least there was room to enjoy the show.

This, unfortunately, is the best pic of the Tool show I took. That's alright. The memories are better anyway.