Friday, July 30, 2004

 

The Village is a TERRIBLE film

I don't know that anyone who reads this blog will care, but I need to post this so I will feel better. I need to make a public statement about this. It's not political and not that important... just excuse me while I vent for a minute.

I am a HUGE fan of M. Night Shyamalan. I've seen everything he's done. Multiple times. The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs are extremely important parts of our DVD collection. I have been under the impression for the past five or six years that the guy could do no wrong.

For the past year I've tracked the production of his latest film, The Village, on the internet and waited with baited breath to see it. All summer I've found myself literally counting the days until the film came out.

It was released today.

With blind faith we went to see it and labored to suspend disbelief throughout the film, and I have to say that we worked harder watching the movie than Shyamalan did making it.

Do Not Go See The Village, and if you can talk others out of seeing it as well, please do so. This movie is awful. It's terrible. It's an abuse of the audience and amounts to a dirty, dirty trick instead of a legitimate film.

Shyamalan is a powerful director. In the past he's used his powers for good. With The Village, he is using them for evil.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I want my ten bucks back!

 

The Cinema Politik

I feel stupid. All this time I’ve been going to movies to be entertained, and it turns out that, all along, movies have really been about subtle political metaphor. I guess it’s no surprise that something like the Manchurian Candidate remake would have those undertones… but did you know that even The Day After Tomorrow had heavy symbolism? Call me crazy, but I’d have thought that finding texture or meaning in a Roland Emmerich film was about as likely as finding prime rib in a pop-tart. But what the hell do I know? Turns out that even The Village and Spiderman 2 are full of political import. It all went over my head.

So I’ve decided to re-examine some of the movies we saw this summer, and as it turns out, most of them were deeply political and profoundly meaningful. I’ve followed the lead of journalists and film critics everywhere and adopted the liberal agenda while analyzing these films… you might be surprised at what I now realize was there:


Internet Movie Database Details
NAPOLEON DYNAMITE
In the character of Napoleon Dynamite, director Jared Hess does something for Democratic candidate John Kerry that his campaign hasn’t yet been able to do: It personifies him. The movie’s title character is an obvious symbol for Kerry, and his dedication to women and minorities is represented by his friends, Deb and Pedro. Napoleon’s internet obsessed brother Kip represents Kerry’s vision of the future, in that he is exactly like Napoleon, only older. And, Kip’s black girlfriend LaFawnduh represents Kerry’s dedication to women and minorities, but other women and minorities than those represented by Deb and Pedro. Throughout the movie, Napoleon (Kerry) is plagued by stupid, evil, machocentric jocks and bullies, who obviously represent the Republican Party. He and his friends are also taunted by the teenage cheerleader hotness of the Haylie Duff character, who is an obvious symbol for teenage cheerleader hotness. But in the end, Napoleon triumphs, at a school assembly (see: the Democratic National Convention) where he wins over his party by performing a pointless and repetitive dance. Badly. Rating: Two left thumbs up.


Internet Movie Database Details
DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY
Never before has the struggle of the American military been better portrayed, symbolically, than it is in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Vince Vaughn and his rag-tag Average Joe’s gym are a clear picture of the military, and the corporate gym complex trying to buy them out clearly represents Halliburton, or possibly Enron, Exxon, or some other evil corporate empire. With his foul mouth, ego, bad hair and greed, Ben Stiller’s villainous character is unmistakably Dick Cheney. Stiller/Cheney’s greed forces the brave warriors of Average Joe’s into a Dodgeball competition (the war in Iraq). Along the way they face many violent, strange, and oddly dressed foes. The most heartbreaking scene in the film comes when the team finds themselves costumed in S and M gear, a clear reference to Abu Ghraib. But remember, the individual team members must not be held accountable for their actions… ultimately, it is Halliburton/Stiller/Chenny/GloboGym/Exxon that is to blame. If you emotionally withstand that scene, brace yourself for an even more most heartbreaking scene as Steve the Pirate, in a protest symbolic of symbolic protests, cuts his hair and puts on a clean shirt. Rating: Five stars out of a possible Five Star General.


Internet Movie Database Details
SHREK 2
The world of Hollywood has never been presented better than it is as the Kingdom of Far Far Away in Shrek 2… and what better picture of George W. Bush than the title ogre, awkward, clumsy, and lost in a Movie-Star kingdom of fairies, pixies and sprites. And all of them understand what’s going on sooooooo much better than he does. It’s unclear which creatures represent Michael Moore, Martin Sheen, Sheryl Crow, and Dustin Hoffman in particular… but it doesn’t matter since they all share the same correct anti-war stance. As he wonders through this magic Hollywood kingdom, Shrek (Bush) has only two friends: A braying jackass named Donkey (try and look at him and not see Ashcroft) and a vicious assassin who’s name is Puss in Boots (or, should I say, Condoleezza Rice in Boots, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more). The central conflict of the movie comes when Shrek (Bush) tries to become pretty, and a viewer expects to see him end up walking around dressed in a flight suit, carrying a plastic turkey. By the end, the ogre decides to be himself and do what’s right, even if that means never being pretty or popular. In an ironic twist, this makes everyone happy! Talk about an f’in fairy tale! Rating: Two stars, three purple hearts, two yellow moons, a green clover, and a blue diamond. (The film is, after all, magically delicious.)

I feel so much more enlightened now that I know to look for political metaphor in every movie I watch. But I must admit that this kind of in-depth analysis is mentally draining. I think the next film we see will have to be a goofy, implausable, fictious comedy, like “White Chicks” or “Fahrenheit 9/11.”



Wednesday, July 28, 2004

 

David Limbaugh on Kerry Supporters

I've just now come across David Limbaugh's July 20 item about what a typical Kerry supporter might believe. The whole thing is good, but here's my favorite bit... a typical Kerry supporter might believe that:


Preemptive military action – a first strike against a nation that is believed to constitute a threat to the U.S. – is presumptuous, arrogant, reckless and irresponsible, even if the resulting military action also liberates the people of the target nation from tyranny and brutality. But unprovoked military action against a sovereign nation, such as Serbia, that couldn't possibly constitute a threat to the United States or its strategic interests is honorable and desirable.

 

Dumberer and Dumberest

Michael Moore and Bill O’Reilly debated live on Fox News last night from the DNC. You can read the transcript of the entire debate, or settle for this succinct summary:

MOORE: He lied!

O’REILLY: Did not!

MOORE: Did too!

O’REILLY: Nuh-UH!

MOORE: Uh-HUH!

O’REILLY: So what.

MOORE: You suck.

O’REILLY: Oh, yeah??

MOORE: Hitler!

O’REILLY: Hitler to the tenth power!

O’REILLY: So what?

MOORE: You suck!

HUME: You two shut up right now or so help me I’ll turn this convention around and we’ll GO STRAIGHT HOME.

 

Sullivan, Kerry, and Arguing Politics

The moment that some of us had been bracing ourselves for came earlier this week. Andrew Sullivan has endorsed John Kerry. I suppose I have three comments about that, in particular: One, Sullivan’s non-endorsement of Bush had amounted to an endorsement of Kerry anyway. Two, Sullivan’s argument that Kerry is the true conservative in this race and Bush is really a liberal doesn’t hold water (hat tip, Little Green Footballs), and it’s evidence that even smart, worthwhile people can talk themselves into believing nonsense when their feelings have been hurt. And, three, I’ll continue reading and linking to Sullivan because, as I said, he’s smart and worthwhile.

All of which relates to an e-mail I got from my friend Saul in Kansas the other day. I’ve known Saul since high school and we’ve remained pretty close over the years, even after he went into the army and relocated to Kansas, where he now works as an engineer for a major aircraft firm who’s name starts with a “b” and ends with an “oeing.” Saul’s pretty conservative, like me, and tends to be a pretty no-nonsense guy. So I shared his frustration when I read what he had to say the other day.


red states, blue states
I’m sharing this not because I think anything here is particularly enlightening, but just as part of my continuing contribution to the blog dialog. Saul’s hypothetical questions got me thinking, and maybe they’ll do the same for you. Saul’s questions are in green, and my “hypothetical responses” follow:

>What does it take to be a bad president? <

I think that can really only be decided in retrospect, and it's fairly subjective even then. I say, for instance, that Bill Clinton was a bad president because he failed so badly in the areas of national defense and security. Our enemies grew stronger on his watch, and I believe that's at least 51.00001% of the reason that 9/11 happened. Others feel he was a good president and point to the deficit as evidence. I guess it's a matter of priorities. What we are really arguing about when we argue these things is who has the better organized priorities.

>If Hilary Clinton was elected in 2008, would the whole country go to hell?<

We were discussing this type of thing at work the other night. Yeah, the country could withstand a four or eight year Hilary Clinton presidency. Hell, we’ve already withstood a Hilary Clinton presidency once. :)

My position, at least in terms of Kerry, is that obviously we can stand a four or even eight year Kerry presidency. The country can withstand it. However, I believe that the guy really brings nothing to the table and gives us no reason to put him in office instead of Bush. Kerry's campaign is "Elect me instead of him." That's all he's got. So, no, he wouldn't ruin the country. But it would surely be eight years of non progress and sloppy handling of most foreign issues. Some people argue that Bush’s handling of foreign issues is sloppy, and that holds water, to one degree or another, depending on the specific issue in question. Nonetheless, I think we did the right thing in Iraq even if we never find WMDs. And I think we’re continuing to do the right thing. Plus, the economy is obviously turning around, so there’s one less thing the Democrats can hang on Bush. To me, the bottom line is that there’s no reason to replace Bush with Kerry.

> If inflation went up, if the world became more dangerous, would we even realize it? <

Again, mostly in retrospect. I don’t think any of us realized how dangerous the world became during the ten years leading up to 9/11 until after the fact. We slept through the 90’s. Inflation, on the other hand, is certainly immediately tangible at least in terms of gas, milk, and other regular purchases.

>I am trying to think of things Hilary could do that would really damage the country.<

Rather than make guesses about direct actions she might take, I’ll throw out another hypothetical, instead: Once she got in, the unity of Republicans would be the strongest it's been in years. She'd be stonewalled on everything she tried to do, even innocuous or positive things. That's one MORE reason not to vote for her, even if it is one that makes Republicans look bad, too.

>Who is the worst president we've ever had?<

Totally subjective, and anyone who can answer that question is telling you more about themselves than they are about whatever president they nominate as worst-ever.

>Anyway, just feeling the frustration lately over the futility of trying to change anyone's mind about politics. <

When it comes to liberals, I think what you have to do is really learn about someone, learn where their priorities are, and then point out in a friendly way that their priorities are at odds with their political beliefs. Make them examine their own personal conflicts. Unless, of course, their priorities really do re-enforce their liberal beliefs... in which case they aren't worth arguing with and you're wasting your time. It's like the old line about what happens when you try to teach a pig to sing: It frustrates you and the pig doesn't even realize what you're doing.


I work with a lot of “heritage Democrats,” people who’s social and economic beliefs are more in line with the Republican party than the Democratic party, but who vote Democrat as a matter of heritage. They’re in favor of private gun ownership with few restrictions, opposed to federal funding for abortion as birth control, opposed to quotas, despise Michael Moore, favored the Federal Marriage Amendment… the list goes on and on. Yet they continue to vote for Democrats because they’ve been taught since they were children that Republicans are evil and Democrats represent the “little guy.” So, on an emotional level, they support the Democrats, even if logically the Republicans are a better choice for them. That doesn’t make them bad people, it just makes them frustrating as hell. No amount of arguing the logic of their vote effects them, and neither would it effect Sullivan’s endorsement at this point. By supporting FMA, Bush hurt Sullivan's feelings. That's where it ends with him.

I have no idea how to change anyone’s mind about politics. I think the best we can do is try to set a good example of what a conservative really is. No one talked me into becoming a conservative… I just realized that I was one by really examining the people around me.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

 

...And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

This is how Planned Parenthood markets itself these days. Words fail me.




Monday, July 26, 2004

 

P.J. On God and Santa


P.J. O'Rourke
I came across this on the internet today and couldn't resist posting it to the blog. Parliament of Whores is one of my favorite books and this may be my favorite example of P.J. O'Rourke at the top of his game... if you've never read it, you're in for a treat... and if you have read it, it's probably something we should all reread now and then. At any rate, it was worth a quick "cut and paste."

GOD IS A REPUBLICAN / SANTA CLAUS IS A DEMOCRAT
From Parliament of Whores By P.J. O’Rourke

I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat.

God is an elderly or, at any rate, middle-aged male, a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men strictly accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well-being of the disadvantaged. He is politically connected, socially powerful and holds the mortgage on literally everything in the world. God is difficult. God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God's heavenly “country club.”

Santa Claus is another matter. He's cute. He's non-threatening. He's always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who's been naughty and who's been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without thought of a quid pro quo. He works hard for charities, and he's famously generous to the poor.

Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one: There is no such thing as Santa Claus.


Sunday, July 25, 2004

 

A Texan Kicks Ass in Paris


The French salute Armstrong
Congratulations to Lance Armstrong for his sixth Tour De France victory. He performed well and behaved impeccably, as usual, in spite of being splattered with frog spit.

By the way, it seems that internet rumors about Armstrong being a political conservative are just that... rumors. He describes his politics as "middle to left" and strongly opposes the war in Iraq. Nonetheless, the guy is classy... and he expresses his opposition to the war much better than most "middle to left" leaning celebrities do:

"I don't like what the war has done to our country, to our economy," he says. "My kids will be paying for this war for some time to come. George Bush is a friend of mine and just as I say it to you, I'd say to him, 'Mr. President, I'm not sure this war was such a good idea', and the good thing about him is he could take that."


So congratulations again, Lance. Your guts, drive, and tact are admirable. And, it's nice to have a celebrity... and a liberal one at that... to feel good about.

PS - if my "frog spit" remark gives you the idea that I have very little respect for the French, please don't jump to conclusions. The truth of the matter is, I have no respect for the French at all.

Friday, July 23, 2004

 

Go Get 'em, PETA

By now you've heard about the idiots at the chicken processing plant in Moorefield, West Virginia and how they tortured birds in an apparent effort to get out of working overtime.

PETA is out to get these morons. Good.


Chickens call him Hitler

Under normal circumstances, I laugh at PETA. But I really hope they succeed in causing these losers to get fired. There's just no sense at all in this kind of cruelty. It makes me sick. And besides, these jerks in Moorefield have put me in the awkward position of having to side with PETA on an issue. You have no idea how weird that makes me feel.

And it looks like news of this may have made it to the chicken world. The chickens are rebelling!


LONDON - A busy highway near Oxford in central England was closed in both directions Friday when around 1,000 chickens escaped from a truck that collided with four other vehicles, injuring four people.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

 

Where's The Outrage?

“It's a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I'd rather not know." -- Linda Ronstadt

Why isn’t anyone outraged by these kinds of statements? When a pinhead like Ronstadt says something like this, why is it like a fart in a wind-tunnel as far as the mainstream media is concerned? If they mention it at all, it’s in passing… and Ronstadt is never called out for being intolerant, prejudiced, or bigoted. I’d like to know why. Imagine if, instead of Linda Ronstadt belittling Christians and Republicans, it had been Mel Gibson saying the following:

“It’s a conflict for me when I make a movie and then find out that Orthodox Jews and Democrats are going to see it. I’d rather not know.”

Do you think we’d ever hear the end of it from the mainstream media? Every liberal politician, minority advocate, prominent Rabi, and hate crime expert in the country would be on network morning news programs calling for Gibson’s head.

The thing is, there’s no reason to believe that Gibson would say that or that he feels that way. For me to even suggest that hypothetically is a small slander. Ronstadt, on the other hand, is now known to be anti-Christian and anti-Republican because of HER OWN WORDS. And nobody is outraged?


Sheryl Crow, foreign policy expert
I suppose it’s just that we’ve reached the point where celebrities can no longer outrage us with their idiotic remarks. We’ve been inoculated by now. Sheryl Crow can act like she's the Secretary of State and Jennifer Aniston can call the President a "f--ing Idiot" and Martin Sheen can call him a "moron" and we just turn the other cheek. Which is probably what we should do. Besides, their remarks are probably best drowned out with silence. It's just that it's hard to keep quiet when you hear crap like this:

"There's an old saying, in the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and were those slaves that lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. Colin Powell's committed to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture." -- Harry Belafonte

OH, Yeah, I remember how it works now. Harry Belafonte can call black people slaves… but if Harry Anderson or Harry Shearer called a black person a slave, something tells me all hell would break loose. And that goes double for Harry Potter and Harry Osbourne. Hmmmmm. Let’s do the math on that one…
"For me as an American, the most painful aspect of this is that I believe that administration has taken the events of 9/11 and has manipulated the grief of the country and I think that's reprehensible.” -- Dustin Hoffman

Yep, Bush manipulated the grief of a nation in order to get the people who caused the grief in the first place. And Michael Moore only manipulated the grief of one American, Lila Lipscomb, in order to make a profitable movie. That makes Bush worse than Moore, at least on a per capita grief manipulation basis.
"Republican comes in the dictionary just after reptile and just above repugnant... I looked up Democrat. It's of the people, by the people, for the people." -- Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts can read?? Hey, everybody! Julia Roberts can READ!! Lyle must have taught her back in the early 90's.

And then, just to make it a little harder for us Pearl Jam fans to enjoy the music we love so much, that band’s lead singer and learned pundit had this to say:
"I don't know if you heard about this thing called freedom of speech, man. It's worth thinking about it, because it's going away. In the last year of being able to use it, we're sure as {expletive} going to use it." -- Eddie Vedder, Speaking in April, 2003

Oh, yeah, that’s right. Free speech was outlawed on January 1, 2004. THAT’S why nobody is speaking out against this garbage.

For more of this kind of nonsense, read Bernard Goldberg’s Bias or Arrogance, or read Laura Ingraham’s Shut Up And Sing, or visit Celiberal or Famous Idiot on the internet. If you can stomach it.

Monday, July 19, 2004

 

What's in Sandy's Pants?

"Is that a federal record in your pants, Mr. Berger?"

"No, but it ain't half bad." (Rimshot!)

From the Associated Press:


WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is the focus of a Justice Department investigation after removing highly classified terrorism documents and handwritten notes from a secure reading room.

Still missing are some drafts of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration's handling of al-Qaida terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration.

Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed handwritten notes he had made while reading classified anti-terror documents at the archives by sticking them in his jacket snd pants.

The FBI searches of Berger's home and office occurred after National Archives employees told agents they believed they saw Berger place documents in his clothing while reading sensitive Clinton administration papers and that some documents were then noticed missing, officials said.



And people say Nixon's plumbers were half-assed. Give me a break!

If you haven't already, check out what Dick Morris has said about Berger.

 

The Vacillating North Carolina Hawkdove

John Edwards on unilateral US action in Iraq:

“(John Kerry) will fight for a strong military and also for strong alliances so that no young American man or woman ever goes to war needlessly because America has decided to go it alone…”


John Edwards on unilateral US action in Iraq:

“We must not tie our own hands by requiring Security Council action. Congress should clearly authorize the U.S. to act with whatever allies will join us if the Security Council is prevented from supporting action to confront Iraq.”


And then there's this, from September, 2002:
"The path of confronting Saddam is full of hazards. But the path of inaction is far more dangerous. This week, a week where we remember the sacrifice of thousands of innocent Americans made on 9-11, the choice could not be starker. Had we known that such attacks were imminent, we surely would have used every means at our disposal to prevent them and take out the plotters. We cannot wait for such a terrible event – or, if weapons of mass destruction are used, one far worse – to address the clear and present danger posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

John Edwards is no Atticus Finch, regardless of what you may have heard. He’s a different kind of bird altogether.

Observations from other birdwatchers:


The Johns
Rich Lowry:
“Liberal critics have accused Bush of calling Iraq an "imminent" threat -- in their minds, the ultimate in dishonest exaggeration -- but that word never passed Bush's lips. Edwards, in contrast, used it multiple times in reference to Iraq...How does a war against an “imminent” threat suddenly become “needless”? And again, why would Edwards, together with Kerry, vote to authorize such a “needless” war? ”


Pejman Yousefzadeh:
“Edwards brings a lackadaisical approach to policy and substantive discussions that is most disturbing.”

Karen Hathaway Pittman:
“Edwards represents the little guys, like you and me . . . and guys who are even little-er, like mill workers--right? Well, I mean, that's the way he made his money, representing the little people . . . so he must be one of them, right?”

This letter to the editor is my favorite, though:
“Both Kerry and John Edwards voted to authorize the war…. For those who know that the war was a mistake, the choice to vote for Nader in November will be an easy one.”

Yes, please, PLEASE vote for Nader, you anti-war people. Vote for him in DROVES.



Saturday, July 17, 2004

 

Workin' On Some Night Clicks

What did insomniacs do before the internet? I have vague memories of long summer nights and Twilight Zone reruns and dog-eared book pages and cigarettes smoked on my front porch in the cool 4 am air.

Thank God all that's behind me now! Now, I can stay up in front of the computer and while away the hours ruining my eyes and reading items like the following:

Ozzy Osbourne and the rest of Black Sabbath have gotten into the whole "Bush is Hitler!" thing. Typically, I brush this kind of thing off... but then again, these guys are old enough to remember Hitler...

The Who's Pete Townsend doesn't count himself among Michael Moore's fans.

By the way, Gary Trudeau has been making fun of the commander in chief for a lot longer than I realized.

Linda Chavez has some more details about the Democrats Radio City Music Hall fundraiser. It ain't pretty.

John Armor is disgusted with the whole mess, too.

Bob Dole is my living hero, so I tend to experience some degree of butt-pucker when I get the idea that someone is going to trash him. Thankfully, that's not what Jonah Goldberg is doing in his National Review article that finds common ground between Dole and Kerry.

Click here for the Intellectual Conservative's powerful refutation of the John Edwards Liberal Populist myth.


The Johns

Have you ever seen anything creepier than the picture to the left? I look at it and hear John Kerry speaking with Clark Gable's voice: "Edwards, you must be kissed, and often, by a man who knows how." Thanks, Rush, for a picture that will haunt my nightmares (assuming I ever get back to sleep) and some interesting observations about Martha Stewart and the Johns.

My fellow bloggers over at Homespun gave me lots to read, too...

It does all of us good to occasionally reaffirm two of life's certainties: One, Spike Lee is an asshole... and, two, country music can be pretty goofy. Thank you, HipperCritical, for killing those two birds with one stone.

If that picture of John Edwards with Kerry above wasn't enough to creep you out, check out what Marcland turned up:


Edwards worked an ostensibly less ridiculous seam: suing doctors and hospitals when babies were born with brain defects. He made his name with a 1985 cerebral palsy case, where he channelled the words of the unborn child as she waited in the womb, hour after hour.

"She said at 3, 'I'm fine.' She said at 4, 'I'm having a little trouble, but I'm doing OK.' Five, she said, 'I'm having problems.' At 5.30, she said, 'I need out'," Edwards told his hushed jury. "She speaks to you through me. And I have to tell you right now - I didn't plan to talk about this - right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She's inside me."



The whole sorted spirit-channeling mess is in Mark Steyn's profile of Edwards.

Speaking of creepy... if Hillary wasn't creepy enough on her own, Weapons of Mass Distraction found a scenereo that has me flashing back to the old V miniseries.

The little engine that lied: The Therapy Sessions reminds us that John Kerry clearly believes that if you repeat it enough, it becomes a fact...I think it's true, I think it's true, I think it's true...

Check out The Commons For a good Jack Kemp article. By the way, the top banner at The Commons is one of the coolest I've seen. It serves as a good reminder for those who need one.

Revenge of the hamster reminds the French that instant karma's gonna getcha.

Spectra directed me to David Kopel shooting holes in F911

I found some ramblings and found myself nodding in agreement a lot with the Souther Thide of Singz.

And with that, I'm off to bed... If I can just get my index finger to stop impetuously left-clicking.



Thursday, July 15, 2004

 

How About An Amendment To Ban Distractions?

The Federal Marriage Amendment is dead in the Senate, and I for one hope it’s dead altogether. It’s brought out the worst in all of us.

I’ll say up front that I’m a state’s rights kind of guy and my opposition to FMA is rooted in my desire to protect the rights of my state and not in my feelings about gay marriage one way or the other. I oppose any proposed Constitutional amendment that strikes me as superfluous… even if I agree, philosophically, with the proposed amendment. For instance, I was in opposition to the proposed Constitutional amendment that would have outlawed flag burning. Nonetheless, I would like to see my state make it legal to hold down flag burners, give them wedgies, and break all their Rage Against The Machine CDs.

You see where I’m going with this.

So I’m disappointed in my fellow conservatives who have backed the proposed amendment. They’ve behaved like liberals, to my way of thinking. Remember, conservatives, we believe in less government meddling. Not more. We realize that law doesn’t change who people are. At best, law might influence people’s behavior. At least it defines their behavior, with regard to whether or not a given behavior is a crime. At heart, FMA seemed to be an effort on the part of some of my fellow conservatives to federally frown at homosexuality. If you want to frown at homosexuality, go ahead… just don’t tell me that I’m federally required to. I’ll make that decision for myself, thanks.

Not that the liberals are off the hook, here. FMA has brought to the surface some of the nastiest, most resentful conservative-baiting and Bush-bashing yet. Cheryl Jacques of the Human Rights Campaign said that, by supporting the amendment, Bush was trying to “drag this country through a cultural war to jumpstart a failing campaign.” The National Organization of Women issued a statement condemning “conservative religious” views and even calling for the repeal of the mainstream 1996 Defense of Marriage act. Are there any liberals balanced enough to consider that maybe some conservatives were capable of serious, reflective thought about the issue? Isn't it possible that some of us conservatives... maybe even some of us Christian (gasp!) Conservatives... have done a lot of soul searching about it? Heck, there may even be a few of us who oppose the amendment on ethical grounds! But go ahead, presume that we only come out of our caves long enough to offer blood sacrifices to our God and throw rocks at gays.

Oh, and John Kerry, in a fence straddling act that would make Clinton weep, vocally opposed the amendment but didn’t bother to vote against it. I can hear him now: "Now, wait just a minute, I never actually voted against that amendment that I was opposed to."

I’m not particularly happy with the way the President has handled this issue, either. He’s entitled his opinion, but doesn’t he have bigger things on his plate? I don’t know that he benefited by making himself such a prominent spokesperson for this issue.


Not your average gay folks.
Oh, and if you didn’t notice, many of the vocal elements in the gay community have behaved horribly, too. And their motives were entirely political. Take notice, gay people: The extreme left gay groups are only your friends if you agree with their entire agenda. They will sacrifice your privacy as quickly as they say the Patriot Act does if you aren’t totally on board. But this is no surprise. These groups have always been motivated more by politics than principles. Consider the hell they raised about Eminem’s idiotic, homophobic lyrics. You don’t think Eminem was the first rapper to bash gays in his songs, do you? Aahhh, but he WAS the first WHITE one…

Look, if the people of Massachusetts want to make it legal for gays and lesbians to marry, that’s fine with me. Knock yourself out, Massachusetts. Make it legal to marry squirrels and microwave ovens, for all I care. To be blunt, I just don’t give a damn what goes on in Massachusetts. That state may as well be another planet. I don’t say that because of Massachusetts marriage laws. I say that because the people there keep sending space aliens to represent them in the Senate.

Having said that, I must also say that I support my state’s right to say that ‘round these parts, marriage is an exclusively heterosexual affair… and if you don’t like that, it’s all interstate between here and Massachusetts. That is, if that’s what my state chooses to say. And that remains to be seen.

And if you’re wondering where I personally stand on the issue… hell, I’ll tell you the truth. I haven’t thought about it. I will say that I am opposed to me personally marrying a gay person of either sex, since I'm not gay.... but maybe I’ve missed the point. I’ve been distracted. There’s a lot going on over seas.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

 

Don't Miss This!


Extra, Extra!

Why doesn't the Bush Administration do a better job of getting information like the following out there this concisely? The John McCain ad was fine, and the ad that shot holes in Kerry's preposterous book was fine, too... but I wish more people were privy to this kind of realty check:

Click here for a great unofficial Bush campaign ad.

And thanks to Liberal Utopia for the heads-up on this one.

________________________

Oh, yeah... I've thrown in with the lot at Homespun Bloggers... Tom at Mud & PHuD has put together a "front porch" of sorts for all of us who are blogging as a hobby and not as a primary source of income. Dear Lord, I may never log off now. So many blogs to read!


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

 

My Fahrenheit Incident



My girlfriend and I had one of our rare evenings when each of our kids were with their respective other parents, so we decided to go to the movies. We saw Super Size Me at the local art-house theater, the same one that happened to be showing Fahrenheit 9/11. Well, I have to report that the crowd that Michael Moore's film drew to the theater was huge. Easily the biggest crowd I've ever seen at this particular little indie theater. We were amazed at the number of people filing out as one showing of F911 ended and we were amazed at the number of people lining up to see the next showing.


An Evening At The Theatre

I comforted myself by reminding myself that, A) ticket sales don't equal votes… B) seeing a movie and agreeing with it's point of view are two different things… and, C) it's wrong for me to presume that everyone who sees the movie is mentally weak enough to be brainwashed by it. I know that I should probably see the film myself before critiquing it, but I can't bring myself to do it. Bowling for Columbine was so full of outright lies and manipulative distortions that I can't bare the idea of putting a dime of my money in Michael Moore's pocket. Besides, there are so many reliable reports on the content of the movie that it is possible to critique the movie's themes without seeing it.

Super Size Me must have let out about the same time as F911, because as we left the theater, there was a guy out front selling anti-Bush bumper-stickers, pins, and T-shirts. Real high class merchandise, too, with messages like "Buck Fush" and "No More Bushit." I just shook my head and walked away, but my girlfriend needed to use her cell phone to check her messages, so I found myself standing outside the theater, maybe ten feet from this guy, as he hocked his wares. Every time a person passed by he'd say "Don't be silent, buy a bumper-sticker or a T-shirt and fight back," things of that nature. I swear, I stood there quietly for as long as I could. I'd have ignored him if I could have, but my girlfriend took just a minute too long to check her messages.

So I approached the guy.

"Excuse me," I asked, "but how is buying a t-shirt or a pin fighting back?"

"It's using your voice," he said. "If you don't speak up, you're part of the problem."

I had to agree with that. I could stand there and keep my mouth shut and be part of the problem, or I could say something. So I rushed in.

I asked him exactly what it was he was fighting back against. He told me that he was fighting back against the Bush administration and the corruption. What corruption, I asked.

"Well," he said, "the stolen election in Florida. And, the over 400 (he had an exact number but I've forgotten it) Republican voters in New York who voted twice in the last presidential election, for example."

"And you can sight your sources for this information?" I asked.

He just stood there.

"If you're going to quote numbers and suggest that things like that are factual, you should be able to identify your sources," I continued. "What are your sources for the voters who voted twice in New York?"

"It's common knowledge," he said. "It was in the media. Go to our website and read more."

"Alright, what's your website?"

"Hillarynow.com."

I swear, I didn't mean to burst out laughing. I really had no intentions of laughing right in his face. The fact that by then my girlfriend had hung up her cell phone and was laughing too only made it worse.

Once I composed myself I asked him "So the sources for the numbers you've quoted are at your website?" By then, however, he'd tired of my questions and began shouting me down.

"Goodbye, sir," he shouted. "Thank you. Goodbye. Goodbye, sir, thanks. Goodbye. Goodbye, sir. Goodbye. Goodbye."

It occurred to me that he didn't want his potential customer base hearing what I was saying. "Are you trying to censor me?" I asked. Of course he denied it, and as I tried to wish him good luck fighting the power by tapping into the free enterprise system, he began shouting me down again. "Goodbye, sir. Thank you, goodbye."

So I said "OK, I'll check out your site. I'll even link to it."

He kept shouting me down. And, this time, as he was shouting goodbye at me, he threw in "Oh, you're a REAL good liberal."

This kinda left me dumbfounded for a second. Why would he assume that I was a liberal? If I was asking questions that were counter to his point of view, wouldn't he assume I was a conservative? I guess he thought that I'd left the theater after seeing F911 and that I'd enjoyed the film, agreed with the film's agenda, and then failed to do the right thing by buying one of his T-shirts. As a liberal, I guess, that made me a failure.

It boggles the mind.

So, yesterday I went to the guy's website, www.hillarynow.com. It turns out that there are a number of URL's he could have referred me to. This guy has a number of sites up. It seems that he's "professional political activist" from Florida who is running for Governor of that state. I read some of his posts, his open letter to Hillary and his biography, and I just ended up feeling somewhat sorry for the guy. I get the impression that he's very angry; very unhappy with his lot in life. He feels persecuted for his homosexuality and he feels that some of his rights have been denied and he seems to feel disenfranchised. He may have some legitimate reasons for those feelings, I don't know. Most of all, he just seems to want someone to blame.

I wish now that I'd just ignored him. How did it do any good for me to engage in an argument with a stranger on the street?

Especially when I walked away leaving him thinking that I was a liberal? And a bad one at that?

_______________________________________________

PS --
By the way, Super Size Me turned out to be a pretty good film. We laughed pretty hard while watching it and I'm less inclined to end up at any fast food drive-thrus for a while. The film's central message seemed to be that fast food is bad for you and that fast food restaurants make a lot of money by encouraging us to eat bad food and selling it to us. I agree with that. There were some ideas in the film that drifted a bit too close to nutty conspiracy theories for my taste, but overall the film reminded me of Roger & Me. Remember Roger & Me? Remember when Michael Moore was interesting?


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