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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mayhem Like Me

I have to admit a soft spot for the All State Mayhem commercials. And the credit goes to Dean Winters, the actor playing "Mayhem." I love the devilish gleam in his eye as he wrecks all this mayhem. It's not mean-spirited, but you get the sense that he really does enjoy causing all these problems.

I must also admit some camaraderie for Winters since he, too, is a survivor of a virulent bacterial infection. He had it worse than me, ended up losing a few toes and a thumb and spent months in the hospital recuperating, but I know his pain.

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Favorite Band

Sasquatch.

I picked up all three of their albums from Emusic and have been listening to nothing else since. They remind me of Fu Manchu but with better songwriting skills and a singer who can actually sing.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised

When I was a teenager, I made my Mom take me to go see Hellraiser III.

I'd like to take this moment to formally apologize. What a cruel thing to do to your own mother...

The Truth

When considering whether or not to see a movie featuring Angelina Jolie, I must first get over the fact that the movie features...Angelina Jolie.

That girl creeps me out.

Announcement

We are less than a month from 2011. If you still "have questions" about Barack Obama's birthplace and birth certificate, you are...how can I put this delicately?...a fucking idiot.

I don't care if you're a reliable Republican voter. I don't care if you're to the right of Reagan. If you are having trouble accepting correct information because of your political loyalties, then you are missing the ability to think.

(For what it's worth...this Luke Scott guy more than proves that he's an idiot when he starts gushing over Ted Nugent.
I'm a big fan of Ted Nugent because he's a "keep it real" type of guy. He respects wildlife, he loves to hunt. I look at Ted Nugent and ... he's an American. He has the core beliefs of what it means to be an American in his heart. He lives by those beliefs and those principles. It's the same beliefs that our forefathers, who fought for our country, have. I'd be real interested in meeting him one day.
I'm a fan of Ted Nugent, too, but it's mostly because Stranglehold is a kick-ass song. His hunting lifestyle? I guess I'm with ICP on this one. "You like to hunt a lot? So fucking what?!"

And the whole American thing? Seriously? You mean you can tell just by looking at Ted Nugent that he's an American? Without looking at his birth certificate, how do you know? (Must be the camo...)

Updated: Lower in this interview with Luke Scott, it contains this:
"Crime is actually less in places where people own guns. Washington, D.C., is a case in point. It has the strictest gun laws, but who has the highest crime rate in the country? Washington, D.C.

(Editor's note: D.C. was 16th in violent crime in 2009, according to this.)"
Way to go, editor! Calling him on his bullshit.

The actual city with the worst crime rate in the country? Camden, New Jersey. Which is geographically close to Washington, I guess...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

You've Gotta Love the Manly Simplicity

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Ernest Hemingway

Actually, there's more to it than that.

Also:
I'm a storyteller. If I wanted to send a message, I would have written a sermon.
Philip Pullman

Yeah, Franzen.

Freedom to Suck

This was a pretty nice takedown of Jonathan Franzen's best seller Freedom. My favorite line:
"It’s as easy on the brain as “Two and a Half Men” - but far more impressive when displayed on a subway train or in a coffee shop."
Yowch!

I was somewhat interested in Freedom when I first heard about it. I read something about how it talks about overpopulation, but then I tried to find out more about it and the more I read, the less interested I got.

I couldn't get a straight answer as to what it was about. Wikipedia, which usually provides decent summaries, offers this:
Freedom follows several members of an American family, the Berglunds, as well as their close friends and lovers, as their complex and troubled relationships unfold over many years. The book follows them through the last decades of the twentieth century and concludes near the beginning of the Obama administration.
Um, you're not selling me here!

I'm supposed to care about the "complex and troubled relationships" of the Berglund family....why exactly? The relationships of a completely fictional family are only going to be interesting in the context of a story. I'm sure there's a story in Freedom, but I'm not so sure it's terribly interesting. Alfred Hitchcock, who knew a thing or two about how to tell a story, said that drama is "life, with the boring bits cut out."

Someone tell Franzen.

(Beat)

And on Franzen-related tangent, I found this interview with him, where he says this, probably with a straight face:
Most people aren't aware of the degree to which free-roaming outdoor cats are a problem in this country. At least a million birds a day are killed by them, so we're talking about a minimum of 365 million birds in America alone in the course of a year -- perhaps as many as a billion.
Now maybe I'm just a cold-hearted bastard, but if I were to put together a list of all the problems in this country, "free-roaming outdoor cats" wouldn't make the list.

Cats killing birds is not some "hurry-fix-it" issue; it's the natural state of the world.

What do you think, readers? Am I being too harsh on Jonathan Franzen?

A Note On Comments

Chances are, if you've ever commented on my blog, you have at one time or another run into my Uncle Jim. You'll know when it happens because you'll read a comment --doesn't matter which name is attached-- and think, "Wow, what an asshole."

Now my comment section isn't such that it requires much policing, and even if it did, there's no way I'd block my uncle, so if you encounter the brick wall of jerkiness that is my uncle in the comments section, I'll advise you to do what I do:

Talk back. Give him the blog comment equivalent of a nut shot. He's a tough guy. He'll survive.

McDaniels

It's news a hundred years old by now, but Josh McDaniels was fired by the Broncos on Monday. I think the McDaniels record speaks for itself. Questionable personnel moves (seriously, you ditch your quarterback, your receiver, your would-be running back, but hire the Spygate dude?) plus questionable judgement, multiplied by an embarrassing win-loss record.

Yeah, all I can say is I'm glad it's over.

And here's hoping Bowlen hires a pro next time.

Fun With Wikipedia

Reading about Liam Neeson, I came across this soon-to-be-edited paragraph about some "controversial" comments he made about Narnia's favorite lion, Aslan:
In 2010, Neeson voiced the character Aslan again in the sequel The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Recently, the Irishman appears to have done some original research and become confused about his voice-over character Aslan by "claiming his character is also based on other religious leaders such as Mohammed"[35]. C. S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, has always said emphatically and repeatedly that the Aslan character was an alternative version of Christ. Neeson has offered no explanation for reinterpreting the author's intentions.
Does this strike anyone else as, well, weird?

I'm not sure I understand the urge to be so protective over a fictional character. I mean, yeah, I get that Aslan is "an alternative version of Christ," but implicit in that understanding is also the understanding that Aslan is NOT Christ. Aslan is a lion from a place called Narnia. Jesus was a Jew from a place called Galilee. Both are the main characters in a series of popular books. Only one, though, claims to be the Son of God...

And guess what? It ain't Aslan.