Saturday, October 20, 2012

Turf Monster

I finally got around to watching (Today? Yesterday?) the Bronco game from Monday night and wow....

I'm not sure what I liked more:  the way Peyton Manning marched down the field multiple times?  The way the defense stepped up and made some plays?  The total meltdown of Philip Rivers, perhaps the only quarterback in the game that I genuinely hate.

But I have mixed feelings about Eric Decker.  He's a talented guy, no doubt, a hell of an athlete and one who displays the occasional glimmers of brilliance.  The way he charged into the end zone, carrying a couple of defenders?

That's physical power and will personified.

And then he does stuff like this:
What an epic catch...

And an epic fail.

PC Gone Wild

I don't think I'm a very good liberal. Perusing some of the items on Alyssa Rosenberg's blog, I'm just shaking my head and rolling my eyes. Here's an item complaining about the newest Disney Princess.

Title: The Problem With Sofia The First, Disney’s First Latina Princess, Isn’t Just Race 

The lede:
Disney is introducing Sofia, who is supposed to be its first Latina princess, in a television special, Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess, that will air November 18 on the Disney Channel. The problem—or depending on how you see it, upside of the character—though, is that the only indication that we have that Sofia is Hispanic is that Disney is telling us that she is.
Now Allyssa is careful not to base her objection on Sofia's light-skin, because that would be racist, but her complaint is that the character exists in a story with no major Hispanic elements, or as Alyssa calls it, "in the European fairy tale tradition."  Fine.

We get it.  You wanted a Latina.  We gave you one.  Now you want her to be making tortillas while a mariachi band is playing in the background?  Can't we just let Sofia be a Latina, or must we make her into a stereotype?

Can we stop demanding that every character in a story be representative of some demographic population or another?  John McClain wasn't meant to represent all New York Cops and Indiana Jones doesn't represent all archaeologists.  Why the hell do the various Disney Princesses need to represent for their race?

Just let them be who they are.

The Ignorance....It Burns!

Personally, I don't care if you're going to vote for Mitt Romney. If the Bush years didn't warn you off the thin gruel offered by the GOP, then Romney is probably your guy.

I just think that one should not be fucking retarded about it.

Case in point: Dilbert creator Scott Adams is endorsing Romney because of the Obama crackdown on medical marijuana. And hey, I get it. The crackdown was ridiculous. Our country's marijuana policy is also ridiculous.

But what kind of fool thinks Mitt Romney is going to be better on this issue? This guy:

Romney is likely to continue the same drug policies as the Obama administration. But he's enough of a chameleon and a pragmatist that one can't be sure.
Seriously??? The mind reels.

Translation: Romney cannot be trusted, therefore he will legalize weed.

By the time you get to this part, you know you're indulging in the fantasies of the ignorant:

And I'm fairly certain he'd want a second term. He might find it "economical" to use federal resources in other ways than attacking California voters. And he is vocal about promoting states' rights, so he's got political cover for ignoring dispensaries in states where medical marijuana is legal.
First overestimate the public's willingness to punish a status-quo position. No one, in either party, is worried about winning a second term because they are enforcing marijuana policy too strictly. They do, however, worry about appearing too lax. Hence the Obama medical marijuana crackdown.

Romney's also not going to worry too much about "attacking California voters." He already thinks 47% of them are useless takers. And the right-wing hive-mind, the term "California voters" might as well be translate to "Commie bastards." Romney's going to worry about hurting their feelings?


And then there's Buzz Bissinger, the writer of Friday Night Lights, who is apparently not that aware that his left-wing agenda has zero support from Republicans because he too is endorsing Romney.

Mostly because he believes that, despite the campaign, Romney is a moderate. He may well be...I don't know...but I do know that he doesn't have the stones to stand up to the worst elements of his party and instead had demonstrated a tendency to tell them exactly what they want to hear. Add to this, his own terrible political instincts, as seen in his "Blame America First" response to the Libya consulate attacks.

One doesn't have to defend Obama's handling of the issue to see something seriously wrong with Romney's knee-jerk attempt to make political hay out of it. The bodies were still warm when Mitt was giving his press conference blaming the president. At the last debate, he was harping on Obama --to his own embarrassment-- for not calling it terrorism in an acceptable amount of time.

We're going to give this dude the keys to the car?

Back to Bissinger, who complains:
Obama did pass a stimulus package, although probably the most eminent columnist in America, Paul Krugman, will tell you it was too small. It was also inefficient. Money lay there not being used. Dodd-Frank is nice but what would have been nicer, and a stronger message, would have been indicting some of these banking CEOs, such as Blankfein of Goldman, for betting against clients. Obamacare is admirable but was a politically terrible decision, the wrong thing at the wrong time.
It makes you wonder if this guy is familiar with the positions of the politician he's endorsing.

You think Romney's going to say the stimulus was too small? No, he'll say it was too expensive and it didn't work anyway.

About Dodd-Frank, Romney wants to repeal it and replace it with some other regulatory scheme that most definitely does NOT include indicting bank CEOs. (Some of his closest friends are bank CEOs.)

Obamacare? Hello, dumb ass. The Republican agenda is devoted to its repeal. In order for that to happen, they will need President Romney's signature, which he will happily provide, regardless of how "admirable" the policy is.

Truth is, if you're disappointed in Obama because the stimulus was too small and the economy is shit, you're going to be really disappointed in Romney.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Avengers Vs. War Horse

I saw the Avengers last week, and I don't know...I was underwhelmed. I enjoyed it, but the way it was hyped this summer, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would have.

It was a bit skimpy on character, with a convoluted don't-even-care-enough-to-summarize-it plot, and the whole super-hero team-up thing, well, it seemed like it would be cooler than it was. When it was over, I was glad I had rented it and not bought it.

That same day I watched the first half of War Horse and was moved to tears by a short, nearly wordless sequence. A character played by Tom Huddleston (the same actor who played Loki in The Avengers) is riding Joey, the War Horse of the title, into battle as an English cavalryman.

They charge a German camp and catch the enemy with their pants down. There's a slaughter, and the survivors run off into the forest. At first, it seems like a total rout, an unquestionable English victory, but back in the forest, the Germans have set-up machine gun positions and they hold.

RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT. They start firing into the charging cavalry. The camera focuses on the guns, not the carnage, the bam-bam-bam-bam. You think, there's no way anyone could survive that.

Cut to Tom Huddleston charging the tree line in formation. He gets this look on his face...

Cut back to the machine gun nests. There's a beat...then dozens of horses come charging through the lines at speed, terrified and missing their riders.

And I know what you're thinking: How could the horses still be alive if the men were shot off? But by the time you think that, you're already thinking, holy Mary, the men were shot off.

And by then, it's too late, you're emotionally invested in the story.

Not sure there was anything like that in The Avengers. No, I'm pretty sure it was all about getting the guys in the same room, having them blow shit up, and then putting your money in the bank.

Enjoy that buck fifty, Marvel. That's all I can say.