Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Movie Review: Pineapple Express
A pothead and his pot dealer get caught up in a murder, along with the dealer's dealer. But this is a comedy, so nobody is particularly good at what they're doing. Not the perpetually stoned pothead and his dealer, not the maladroit trafficker who wants them all dead, not the two bumbling hitmen who are working out their own jealousy issues, and not the competing Asian drug cartel which starts a drug-war just as all of this goes down. Understand? I didn't, either.
- Seth Rogan is still likable and funny as his usual stoned, dirty Winnie-The-Pooh character.
- James Franko and Danny McBride are fairly funny, too, as half-assed pot pushers.
- A lot of violence that doesn't fit with the rest of the movie.
- More "roll your eyes" moments than I can remember.
- A few long, dry passages without any laughs.
- Some cameos were distractions. I should not miss key dialogue because I'm thinking "Is that Ed Begley, Jr? I think that's Ed Begley, Jr. Hey, I think that's the first time I ever heard him drop the f-bomb." Etc.
- They even brought in Kevin Corrigan, a legit dramatic actor who's played criminal types in American Gangster and The Departed and even True Romance. I scratched my head for an hour trying to figure out where I'd seen him before. When I finally figured it out I felt tricked. I'd have recognized him a mile away in a crime drama. But in an Apatow movie? Geesh.
1.5 on a five scale. And it wouldn't score that high if I just didn't flat out like Seth Rogan.
Pineapple Express is the latest, and the least, in the string of commercially successful comedies from Judd Apatow's cinematic cabal. Like the superior comedies that preceded it, this movie has been brought to the screen by a pack of producer/writer/actor types, including Apatow, Seth Rogan, Danny McBride, Evan Goldberg ... and this time directed by David Gordon Green (of all people), the indie darling behind All The Real Girls and Undertow.
There are a number of possible reasons to explain why Pineapple Express falls short. Maybe it was that the director's "artistic" sensibilities conflicted with the slapstick anything-for-a-laugh approach that Apatow's productions employ.
Maybe it was that Apatow and crew were a little giddy about their first chance to make a movie with guns, squibs, explosions and fake blood. They sure throw the violence around everywhere in this film without ever really establishing a "motif" for the violent content. Movies like Kill Bill take the violence to a ridiculous extreme to establish that the story takes place in it's own world, not the real world. Other films, such as Blackhawk Down, use violence to establish a gritty realism. Then there are movies like Shoot 'Em Up, where stylized, bloody violence is played entirely for laughs, like a mock Looney Tunes cartoon.
Pineapple Express seems to want the violence to do all of that, and then some. So there's no real context for it. One character is shot something like seven times over the course of the film and brushes it off. His bullet wounds become a running gag ("Am I really stoned or have I just lost that much blood?") Other characters are shot in the head with bloody, violent, sudden realism. There's a huge fight between three men who trash a house (ala The Three Stooges) and try in vain to hurt each other. That bit is funny, but the bigger fight toward the end, involving the destruction of a barn, is just a bloody mess.
I don't mind violence in a movie if it makes sense. If it establishes and adheres to it's own context. If it doesn't, violent content can become a distraction. Too much of it can ruin a movie. Maybe it was all the gunfire and blood that ultimately drove the Pineapple Express off the rails.
Other elements of the film were, I admit, pretty good. If you enjoy Seth Rogan's modern slacker stoned-Albert-Brooks routine, you'll probably enjoy his performance here. I happen to like the guy and I did enjoy watching him schlub his way through this series of misadventures. His characer had, as he always does in these films, his big "come to Jesus" moment when he realized that he needed to change his life. But it seemed tacked on here rather than part of the larger theme.
And that's another complaint with Pineapple Express: The absolute absence of a larger theme. Knocked Up, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The 40 Year Old Virgin, are all vulgar comedies built on timeless coming-of-age templates. The characters have actual arcs, the stories have clear beginnings, middles and ends, and when the film is over we feel like we've had a ... well, an experience ... by watching the movie.
Not so with Pineapple Express. This time we've just watch Rogen bumble his way through a great deal of violence. There are laughs along the way. A gag involving a car chase with the driver's foot through the window was a hoot. James Franco and Danny McBride both get a couple of big laughs with their understated delivery of a couple of classic one-liners. Best of all, Pineapple Express contains the funniest non sequitur Jude Law reference that I've ever heard. That one joke is almost enough to justify the mess you have to wade through to get to it.
But not quite.
I can't recommend Pineapple Express to fans of the Rogan-Goldberg-Apataw comedy formula. That formula itself is probably still a great receipe for guffaws and wet-snort laughter and, gosh darn it, a good lesson learned along the way.
This time, though, they messed with the formula, added violence and lots of blood and references to talk radio and villians played by the oddly out of place Gary Cole and Rosie Perez. This ain't a good mix.
I don't know, maybe throwing Jonah Hill in there somewhere would have brought balance to the force. I doubt it, though. They'd have probably cast him as another gun-crazy thug.
Hopefully they'll get back to the good stuff with the next film, the Apatow directed Funny People. I can't wait to find out. After all, it's gonna take more than one rotten pineapple to totally stop the Apatow/Rogan comedy express.
Trailer (Explicit language)
The Real Diversity
I wrote the other day that I wasn't gonna take time to blog for a while. But today I saw that Zo Rachel has a new video posted. And I watched it, and as usual, it's brilliant, insightful and funny. Zo kicks all the ass, man. So I wanted to log on and post it, and here it is:
Zo is hugely quotable: "Obama and the Democrat party are the ones who stand above you holding up the heads of the rich, as you work yourselves into a frenzy, so they can toss it to you. Now, I'm just wondering, how does this make your life better as you destroy the ones who could give you jobs?"
Zo also does a great job in this one of blasting the whole argument about how "Obama is a community organizer, just like Jesus!"
And he talks a little bit here about the attacks he gets for being a black man and a conservative. And his observations are so good and so smart, and he presents them so well, that he left me wanting to pump my fist and yell "Yeah!" ... and I'm not even a black guy.
The point is, Zo is an awesome communicator. Not just a "good speaker," but a communicator. There's a difference. A "good speaker" can talk for a long time and sound really cool, but never really say anything. (As in "Hope, change, hope, change.")
A great communicator can say incredibly important things in very few words ... and say them clearly, directly, concisely and creatively ... and say them in a way you instantly understand and relate to and will remember. (As in "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.")
Obama is a "speaker." Zo is a communicator.
You guys enjoy him on YouTube while he's there, because he's headed for a much bigger future than this.
But, anyway, I got to thinking about the race issue as Zo addressed it. One of the good things about the Obama candidacy is that it's interjected the subject of race into the national conversation ... as it relates to ideology and politics.
It seems to me that number of people who "aren't supposed to be conservative" have been speaking out lately, "outing" themselves as conservatives. A great many people who are minorities and/or women are refusing to pack themselves onto the bus with Obama and Hillary (remember Hillary?), where the Democrats seem to think they belong.
The Democratic party has claimed to hold the monopoly on "diversity" for a long time. But it's always been obvious that Democratic "diversity" is a very stifling kind of "diversity." After all, liberals and Democrats don't believe in ideological diversity. You must agree with them on every topic ... abortion, taxes, the environment, civil rights, the war, etc ... or you're out in the cold.
Meanwhile, among conservatives, there's plenty of room for both ideological AND cultural diversity. Plenty of conservatives disagree on any of the topics listed above, and on other topics. My opposition to the death penalty, for instance, doesn't make me a "fake conservative." And my fellow conservatives never tell me that I don't really understand that issue, or that I'm a "sell-out," or that I'm deluded.
Differ from the Democratic party on any issue and you'll find out quickly how little tolerance they have for ideological diversity:
- Have doubts about the specifics of climate change? Then you're a "global warming denier," kinda like a "holocaust denier."
- Have concerns that abortion on demand might be irresponsible at best, or maybe murder at worst? Then you're some kind of monster who wants to oppress women.
- Oppose the Obama campaign? You RACIST!
- Support the troop surge and the successful result's it's generated? WARMONGER! NEOCON!
- Insist that immigration be a legal process? You're a racist and you're ignorant.
And as Zo has pointed out, if you're a black man and you hold any of these opinions, you can expect to be labeled an "uncle tom," too.
So if you're going to be a liberal Democrat, good luck. You better get a copy of the approved liberal positions and adopt each and every one of them. There's no room for individual thought. Thinking for yourself, after all, is divisive. Shut up. Be happy. Vote Obama.
Meanwhile, the real diversity can be found under the great conservative umbrella. The ideological diversity has always been here. And more and more, the real cultural and constructive diversity is obviously here, too.
Conservatism: It's what America looks like, it's what America thinks like. It's the foundation that keeps America great. Great enough to withstand anything, even the coming four years of Obama socialism.
Here's a snapshot of what Conservatism looks like in America in 2008. Click the pictures below and get to know some of our very best (especially that dude on the bottom, pimpin' out with the fuzzy pink hat.):
Monday, October 27, 2008
Light Blogging For A While
I'm fighting another godawful post-surgery infection. I was supposed to start back to work today, but it didn't happen. Passing blood and having spasms, etc. The usual bladder cancer joy ride.
I'm gonna do a little less blogging for a little while. Part of it is that I don't want to blog while I'm sick. That leads to self-pity, etc. No need for that. But I'll be back at some point, as usual. I'm just gonna take a few days off.
Another part is ... well, you know how it is with blogging. It's like a bungee cord. There's a tendency to stretch down deep into it for a while, then pull back.
If I don't talk to you guys again between now and November 4th, PLEASE VOTE! Even if you vote for the wrong guy! ;) And I'll get this out of the way while I'm at it, since I might not be back until after the 4th: Congratulations to President Elect Barack Obama for getting past one of our country's last major hurdles. Of course, I'm talking about him becoming our first openly socialist President. Ha ha.
I'll wrap on the topic of politics with this. Just watch this clip. If this doesn't sum up Obama and the coming four years sufficiently for anyone, then I don't know what it would take:
The one good thing about the next four years (I really believe this) is that it's going to be a grand education for those young people who actually are paying attention. More new conservatives will be born of the Obama administration than any time since the Carter administration.
It'll almost be worth it.
Oh, I do want to mention this friggin' whacko story, before I wrap for a while, though:
Skinheads held over plot to kill Obama
Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in Tennessee over plans to go on a killing spree and eventually shoot Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, court documents showed on Monday...
The plot did not appear to be very advanced or sophisticated, the court documents showed...
"The individuals began discussing going on a 'killing spree' that included killing 88 people and beheading 14 African Americans," (ATF Agent Brian) Weaks said in the affidavit...
The men planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt, which would have involved driving as fast as they could toward Obama and shooting him from the windows of the car.
It sucks that I feel compelled to mention ... to even provide a link proving ... that I've always hated skinhead Nazi dipshits. God KNOWS I don't want Obama to be elected, but I've resigned myself to his Presidency and I'm gonna make the best of it. Still, regardless of my opposition to most of his policies, I really hope it's apparent that I'm not a racist, not a skinhead, not the devil, etc.
And I want to make it clear that I think these two skinheads who've just been arrested for "plotting" to kill Obama and other people are evil and repugnant and etc, etc.
Having said all that, I'll also say this: Their "plan," if you want to call it that, is so pathetic it's laughable. Driving a car as fast as they could and shooting from the windows while wearing white tux's? Who do they think they are, the formal skinhead Starsky and Hutch? I'm wracking my brain trying to think of what moronic movie these dolts were watching when they came up with that idea and I just can't guess. Has anyone ever actually made a movie that stupid? Has Jerry Friggin' Bruckheimer ever even made a movie featuring a scene anywhere near that stupid?
I realize that anyone who makes a threat against a public official has to be arrested, and all of these threats have to be taken seriously. And on general principle my gut reaction to skinhead nazis is that they should simply be taken out behind a barn and put down. But, honestly ... white tuxedos? You just gotta laugh at these idiots.
And I hope it's clear that I'm laughing out of bewilderment, frustration and disgust.
So, anyway, that's enough for now. I'll be back later.
In the meantime, a little bladder cancer music ...
Saturday, October 25, 2008
In just a couple of minutes you can visit the Jack-O-Lantern animated .gif maker, load up a picture and have an animated Jack-O-Lantern featuring your face or any face you choose.
That's my own big, gnarly head staring at you from the backside of that pumpkin.
Since I got lonely I made pumpkins for all - three - kids, too. Something about the contrast ... or the lack of contrast ... makes the kids Jack-O-Lanterns look especially creepy.
And then I took the goofiest picture of Wendy I could find and turned her into a pumpkin, too. She's gonna kill me over that.
Man, I really enjoy the Halloween season.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Obama To Be Endorsed By Space Aliens
Prophet Yahweh, self-described "UFO summoner," says by way of official press release and YouTube video that space aliens are going to present themselves to the people of the earth as a show of support for the campaign of Barack Obama on or about October 31.
That settles it. Up until now I hadn't been swayed by all the endorsements that Obama has received. Colin Powell's recent endorsement didn't effect me. Oprah's endorsement? Oprah Schmoprah. I hadn't even been swayed by the Opie, Andy and the Fonz video endorsement, and I actually really enjoyed that video.
But if space aliens are going to endorse Obama, then I guess I gotta get on board. I'll be voting for Obama, I'll be voting early and I'm sending in my vote by way of flying monkey. The monkey, of course, will fly out of my butt.
From the press release:
(Prophet Yahweh) claims that these space beings are the Angels of Yahweh, the Creator of all things. And, they are talking to him, on a daily basis, via a sophisticated form of telepathic, non-verbal, none-talk, brain-to-brain communication. Most of the time, when they contact him, he is sleep. At that time, he hears a voice speaking to him inside his head...
"YAHWEH wants people to know that if Barak Obama does not become President, America will quickly be led into a war with Russia via Iran that will result in: a cut off of oil from the Persian Gulf, a great depression, stock market crash, runaway inflation, devaluation of the dollar, food shortages, riots, famine, race wars, out breaks of disease, etc."
Here's the video:
Highlights from the video include:
Prophet Yahwah: "I will be going live with my own channel from inside the broadcast studio ... we're going live to the world, via some channel. I don't know."
Shortly after that quote a dog starts barking in the background.
Toward the end: "Spaceships are preparing to fill, appear, right up there. Right up there. We don't have but a few days, I'm going to end this broadcast, but you just know one thing: There is no possible way it's not going to happen. But those of you all, just listen, don't be going out and betting money to your friends and all of this and betting it in Las Vegas on this, 'cause what if something happens? What if I got it wrong and it's next year during the same time? Which I doubt. Then you'll lose your money and you'll want to kill me."
So just remember: Space aliens definitely endorse Obama for President and there is no possible way that they won't show that support for Obama on October 31. Unless they don't.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Not your father's Democratic Party...
Maybe the problem isn't Obama ... maybe the problem is the modern electorate:
Pretty Lady, Fancy Clothes
Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid:
The Republican Party has spent $150,000 in upmarket designer stores on dressing Sarah Palin for the part of vice-president...
The party also spent nearly $5,000 on hair and makeup.
It would have been easier, cheaper and quicker to let the Obama campaign make "Out Of Touch" signs for the Palins to wear on their foreheads.
Who authorized this spending and what the hell were they thinking?
Polls are all different, and none of them are really a solid indication of exactly what's going to happen ... but the AP reports that Obama and McCain are virtually tied in Virginia ... and everywhere else, too, for that matter.
Your guess is as good as mine.
Good Ol' Joe (The Plumber)
The new McCain web ad is really a good one:
Good Ol' Joe (The Senator)
Blogger Jim Treacher has Joe Biden's "clarification" of his remarks about the "international incident" that's sure to follow Obama's first days in office:
"Ya know, I kinda put my foot in my mouth the other day... [chuckle] You folks know how I can get, with the words and the talking and the babbling and the yammering and so forth. But I just wanted to clarify those remarks. I know I speak for Obama when I say that we are ready to lead. Come what may, we are gonna be out there in front. Because I gotta tell ya, when this great man, this fantastic young African-American kid who I'm proud to call my closest friend, when he becomes president, the American people need to know that you are all gonna be grabbin' your ankles every April 15 for the rest of your probably-shortened lives.
Yeah, it's satire. The whole thing is funny. go read it.
I Double-DOG Dare You!
After the debate the other night John McCain got a little bit turned around leaving the stage and, in mock frustration, made this goofy face:
Of course, you realize, this means a Photoshopping war.
Fun With McCain is where to go to see the photoshopped creations that people have turned the picture into ... and to submit one of your own if you have the skills.
Some of them, of course, are a bit crude. Some of them border on vulgar. And some of them, like my favorite one (below) are just plain laugh-out-loud funny:
Looks like John fell for the dreaded double-dog dare. Or maybe, God forbid, someone caused a breach of etiquette and went right for the triple-dog dare.
Stop by Fun With McCain and see what you think.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Update: I'll apparently be blogging a lot today, I keep finding stuff I want to post. So I'll just update this post occasionally rather than throwing together a heap of little posts.
Update 2: Post surgical pain has just kicked in, pretty damn hard, and mostly out of the blue. The pills ain't touching it right now. The only thing that doesn't hurt at the moment is standing, leaning against a wall. So I'm gonna go do that for a while ... I'm done adding to this post.
Speaking In Tongues
So now we can't say that socialism is socialism without being racist??
The "socialist" label that Sen. John McCain and his GOP presidential running mate Sarah Palin are trying to attach to Sen. Barack Obama actually has long and very ugly historical roots.
J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972, used the term liberally to describe African Americans who spent their lives fighting for equality...
McCain and Palin have simply reached back in history to use an old code word for black.
AAAAGGHHH! I'm ready to start pulling my hair out.
Do me a favor, leftists. Shut the f%$# up. For ten minutes, please, if you can't come up with something useful to say, just shut the f$%# up.
Mike Steele on Values
Man, I love Mike Steele. This guy ROCKS. Even when I'm good and pissed off about politics, Mike chills me out by putting it all in perspective:
"Become the blueprint for those who are trying to find their way to the American dream."
I'm telling you, this guy is the new Reagan. I just wish he'd get back into politics and leave the cushy job at Fox News behind. We NEED you, Mike!
The Emperor's New Smears
Batton Lash gets it right:
Paul the Regular Guy contemplates the threat of "urban unrest" if Obama loses the election ... and remembers the horrific violence that we experienced in our inner cities and metro areas following other recent Presidential elections. (Snicker, snicker.) It's good stuff, go read it.
Joy Behar calls Limbaugh a "terrorist"
If you don't know, Behar is one of the hysterical old biddies who makes up the panel at The View. I don't watch the show (unless clips on The Soup count), but from what I've read, there's one sane woman on the program (the young hot one, Elizabeth Hasselbeck) and three neurotic old hens.
Apparently one of the hens has proclaimed that Rush Limbaugh is a terrorist.
Like Joy Behar, I'm no fan of Rush Limbaugh.
Unlike Behar, I'm not a stark-raving, confused old loon. Calm down, Mrs. Behar. Limbaugh isn't a terrorist. He's just one more blowhard with his own personal soapbox who likes to spew his weirdo opinions all over the place. Like you.
Like me, too.
One Scary Costume
Hey, I think I found my costume for this Halloween:
Hope they make it in fat-guy size.
Resources For The Undecided ...
... presented, admittedly, from a voter who opposes most of Obama's policies adamantly.
But don't just take my word on these issues. I've rounded up some resources. People who argue for the things I believe with much more clarity, style, good humor and optimism than I'm capable of.
Especially this guy:
Obama: Wrong On Healthcare...
Zo Rachel has a new video up , featuring his usual spot-on analysis (this time he looks at the last PotUS debate.) Zo also presents some ideas about where we are and where we're goin' in terms of ObamaCare. Listen carefully, take notes if you need to. Use your pause button. As usual, Zo seems to have damn near everything down to a science:
Obama: Wrong (And Radical) On Abortion...
Gloria.tv has a great capsulization of of the John McCain and the Barack Obama positions on the abortion issue. This video absolutely sums it up. There's just nothing else to say beyond this:
I know a few people who say that they agree with me that abortion on demand is murder, but are planning to vote for Obama. Well, it's time to put up or shut up. Make your choice: It's either Obama or protection for the unborn. You can't have both.
And when all is said and done and you've voted for Obama, the most radically pro-abortion candidate ever nominated by the Democrats, don't be telling me about how pro-life you are. I'll shut that shit down right quick. If you vote for Obama, you have supported abortion-on-demand. You have used the political power allotted to you, the power of your vote, to advance the cause of those who believe in unrestricted abortion, no questions asked. Period. That's what you've done, that's who you are, and that's all there is to say about it. So don't try to explain your reasoning to me. You don't owe me an explanation. You know when you'll have to account for that act, and to Whom you'll make that accounting.
So pick one. Babies or Barack. If you've got love for one, you've got no love for the other.
Obama: Wrong On Everything Else...
Some folks at Hot Air have put together a comprehensive argument against Barack Obama. In fact, they're billing it as THE Comprehensive Argument Against Barack Obama, and it's really pretty thorough.
Packed with quotes, news stories, videos and all kinds of valuable information, if you want to know why the Obama presidency is going to be bad for America, go to Hot Air now and read that post. At least you'll have some opportunity to brace yourself for the coming problems by being well informed.
Meanwhile, the Moonbats at the Daily Kos seem to have surrendered that one last working braincell to the Kool-Ade. They're contemplating the possibility that Obama really is the savior. I kid you not.
I really don't see any way we can stop the Obama Juggernaut at this point. And McCain is too busy playing the nice guy to try. But if we keep trying to get the information out there, I guess there's some hope. Maybe.
More Of Those Classy Democrats
This is from the same YouTube user who's video I embedded on Monday:
It's hard to decide what part of that video is my favorite. There are so many classically liberal moments:
- There's the guy who keeps yelling "Joke the Plumber!" at the mention of Joe the Plumber. He seems to be under the impression that Joe himself is the reason for Joe's celebrity. I think most people would agree that Obama's unguarded confession of his socialist world view was the real focus of that incident.
- Then there's the guy who shoves a sign in the questioner's face rather than try to somehow coherently defend the socialized health care he supports.
- Then there's the woman in the red sweatshirt and glasses. The questioner asks her if Obama's health care plan is socialism and she responds "Pretty much. I don't know ... we're done here." And then walks off waving her Obama sign. Classy AND smart.
- Then there's the genius who calls himself a scientist ... and who says that one or even five babies left to die after they've been born is acceptable. Oh, sure, there's a line that shouldn't be crossed somewhere ... he just doesn't know where it is. (Hint: Allowing even one person to die needlessly is not OK, Einstein.)
This is a good cross section of the people who'll be putting Obama in office. Obama's philosophical predecessor, Vladimir Lenin, is said to have called them "useful idiots."
I understand why P.T. Barnum supposedly said that nobody ever went broke by overestimating the stupidity of the public.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Mad Dog 20/20
I saw a clip of the comedian Tracy Morgan on the David Letterman program, and he told a joke about drinking Mad Dog 20/20.
The mention of Mad Dog surprised me for some reason. I hadn't thought about that particular ... ahem, "wine" ... in ages. And I realize now that I'd kinda always thought of it as a regional thing. I'd assumed that Mad Dog was produced in and probably for just a few select states ... and that Virginia was one of the "lucky" few.
For those of you who might not know, Mad Dog 20/20 is a cheap, bottom shelf wine that tastes like cough syrup mixed with antifreeze and exists primarily for the purpose of getting young people really drunk, really fast. It's marketed in bottles with a label that says "MD 20/20", and after your first experience with it, the mere sight of those distinctive bottles might be enough to make you feel sick.
It's godawful. The flavor is terrible and drinking Mad Dog always lead to feeling awful the next day. I never liked to drink it even when I was a 20-something kid and drinking very irresponsibly. As I remember it, nobody ever pretended to enjoy the taste of Mad Dog. The only reason to drink it was to get drunk quickly.
I always wondered what the MD on the label really stood for. And what's the 20/20 all about? Now, searching for trivial information like that is what the internet is for, right? Here's what I've learned:
- There seems to be some dispute about the name of the company that makes Mad Dog...
- The website Bum Wine says that Mad Dog is bottled by the 20/20 Wine Company. Everything2 agrees. They're wrong, though.
- Wikipedia says that Mad Dog is a product of Mogen David Wineries in Westfield, New York. I checked into it, and this is the correct company. So that's what the MD stands for, I guess.
- Mogen David Wineries doesn't have it's own corporate website. I actually called them and asked. No surprise. I don't think they need to rely on the internet to reach their customer base. The people who drink Mad Dog have probably always heard about it from older kids and probably always will.
- Mogen David is not the name of the guy who started the business or anything like that. Apparently, Mogen David is a name for the Star of David. That's right, Mad Dog is named for the traditional symbol of Judaism. I'd never have guessed that.
- Does't it seem kinda sacrilegious to reference the Star of David on a bottle of cheap rotgut wine? Not that I'd know, I'm not a Jew. Maybe the Jewish faith doesn't see sacrilege the same way that Christians do. But Judiasm is the "Big Brother" of Christianity and it kinda weirds me out seeing our "Big Brother's" sacred symbol linked through the name to a bottle of cheap rotgut wine. Especially when the wine is commonly known as Mad Dog and is used primarily by young people to get drunk quickly and cheaply.
- I couldn't find an explanation of the 20/20 part of the name, although someone at Yahoo Answers insists that the 20/20 is a reference to the first thing that Mad Dog effects: your vision.
- The nutritional information for Mad Dog is available at this link. Lots of zeros in the list.
- The late Elliott Smith and the 90's alt-rock band Teenage Fanclub have both done songs named after Mad Dog.
- The website Bum Wine is a great source for more information that you could possibly need on ... well, bum wines. I recommend the site, in spite of the fact that they got the name of the Mad Dog company wrong.
And with that I plan to go back to not thinking about Mad Dog at all.
Keeping It Real
There is a great deal of harsh languaged used in the clips that follow, so be advised.
I saw this clip at YouTube ... it's a "rap freestyle throw down" that ends in an actual fight. The clip is around four and a half minutes long ... no need to watch it all, a minute or so will be plenty.
I did watch it all and I was kinda confused about exactly why the "rap freestyle throw down" had ended in a physical altercation.
Then I found this next video, which translates the "straight gangsta flow" into something not quite so "street." Thanks to this clear and adroit translation, the nature of the conflict became readily apparent.
I understand the nature of this "rap freestyle throw down" much better now. Apparently, both of the gentlemen engaged in this debate felt some measure of genuine personal disregard for their opponent.
Pity, really. I'd think that artists who make it their business to "paint with words" would be concerned with expressing themselves on a higher plane than simple brute force. Perhaps a dance-off would have been in order?
Monday, October 20, 2008
The Usual: News And Rants
- How they do that?
Watch this video, it's just over a minute long:
How in the world did they do that? It looked totally real. We're really at the point now where even seeing video of an event isn't necessarily proof that it actually happened.
- Failed talk-show host: "Blah, blah, blah."
Chevy Chase is one of the most outspoken liberal has-beens in Hollywood. And he's unhappy that Sarah Palin generated record-breaking ratings for Saturday Night Live this weekend:
“Quite frankly, it’s a big mistake to let her go on,” Chevy told Access Hollywood at the Give Food a Chance benefit in New York. “What was brilliant about [‘SNL’ chief] Lorne [Michaels] was that he had nothing written for Sarah and that apparently she cannot improvise herself out of a paper bag!”
And after all, the most important skill a VP candidate can bring to the White House is a capacity for improvisational comedy.
I'd mock Chase some more ... but he's been over for ages and I just feel sorry for him.
- Left-wing political figure endorses left-wing political figure
Colin Powell has been known as many things over the years: General, National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Secretary of State ... and just lately he's been known as an improvisational dancer:
One thing Powell has never been known as, however, is a conservative.
Powell favors abortion-on-demand, affirmative action and gun control. In 2001, he joined the ACLU in working to block a flag protection amendment. He's served as an advisor for Barack Obama (and he'll continue to do so). Sure, Colin Powell is a Republican, but he's part of the Republican Party's small left wing ... with the likes of Lincoln Chafee and Michael Bloomberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Yesterday, Powell endorsed Barack Obama. I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone was surprised by this; and I can't figure out why the MSM is trying to sell the notion that this is a big deal.
A leftist endorsed a fellow leftist. And?
- Sony crumbles under Muslim pressure
Little Big Planet is one of the year's most hotly anticipated video games, an exclusive title for the PS3. And the struggling PS3 needs all the positive hype it can get.
But Little Big Planet won't be in the hands of gamers as soon as it was supposed to be ... because some Muslims have balked at the game and Sony is cowering before them:
The "social platforming" game is already gathering rave reviews, but it hasn't proven popular with one Muslim group, which issued a complaint to the game's publisher Sony concerning one background music track. Performed by award-winning Malian musician Toumani Diabate, the song quotes two verses from the Qur'an. Many Muslims consider the mixing of music and scripture to be deeply offensive.
Although the game is already pressed, packaged, and reportedly sitting in the back rooms of many worldwide retailers awaiting its original Oct. 21 debut, gamers eager to get hold of it will have to wait at least another week while the offending content is expunged.
I expected the world to change after 9/11. But one change I didn't expect was for everyone in the world to suddenly start quaking in their boots every time some Muslim got his feelings hurt.
Campaigning For The Overlord
Barack Obama told his supporters to "get in their faces." His campaign encourages Obama voters to "be absolutely ruthless."
And the Obamabots are doing what they've been told:
If you can't lie your way into the White House ... if you can't promise your way in and if you can't guilt your way in ... I guess you can always bully your way into the White House.
Stay classy, Democrats.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Awake And Readin'
I'm recovering from surgery ... again ... and I'm awake in the middle of the night. Again.
I'm not sure if it's the meds keeping me awake or the spasms I'm having in my bladder in spite of the meds. Either way, I can't sleep. And I've found some neat stuff to read and watch:
- An October 17th news story shows that, with the election about two weeks away, the Democratic candidate is ahead by as much as ten points in thirteen key swing states ... and is poised to take the White House.
Oh, wait... that story is from October 17th, 2004. I'd forgotten how it looked like a sure thing that Kerry was going to win. Just like it looks like a sure thing that Obama is gonna win this time. Hmmmmmm....
- Sarah Palin spoke in North Carolina and said that she always enjoyed the chance to speak in the "Pro-America" parts of the country. Joe Biden took offense at that, saying
“It's disappointing, and I hope it's a slip of the tongue and she doesn't mean it, but she said it, it was reported she said that she likes to visit – quote – 'pro American' parts of the country..."
I don't think it was a slip of the tongue. Governor Palin was probably thinking about San Francisco and Portland, for instance, in contrast to the small towns in America.
- Rey has clips of Obama and McCain speaking at a charity dinner. Both of them delivered very funny monologues. Here's a clip of McCain's best stuff:
Rey has more, lots of laughs, go check it out.
It's fun to watch these two guys share big, belly-bustin' laughs together. And it reminds me how much I used to like Obama before I knew anything about him. I still think he probably will win, even though he's not the guy I'm voting for, so I guess I better find stuff to like about him again. After all, we're probably gonna have to live with him for four years!
- A twelve year old girl wore a pro-Palin shirt to school and was branded a racist by some of her classmates. WTF?
- MCF has made one of my dreams come true: Finally I can fly and shoot lasers out of my butt.
- I have a new hero: The guy who ate the fifteen pound cheeseburger...
- The Democratic Party is the party of tolerance. That's why some Obama supporters threaten and beat up McCain supporters. (HT: Ace.)
- Rhodester got a lot of 'splainin' to do. Click right here and he'll explain dogs to you.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Carnival Of Cinema
The latest edition of The Carnival of Cinema is up at Good News Film Reviews. Plenty of good reading, as always.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Today's surgery was ... well, eventful, I guess that's the word. Two more tumors had to be cut out of my bladder this morning. The doctor really wasn't sure if this was new cancer or if it was cancer that was still there from last time. I got the impression, though, that she was surprised at how much she found.
Jesus. I thought I was getting past this. I don't think it's ever going to end. It's depressing. I just want it to end.
I did get to come home today, though. I'm at home, I'm catheterized, I'm bleeding like hell. I'm having a lot more pain after this operation than I did after either of the two previous ones. That's probably because they let me come home rather than keeping me in the hospital and giving me morphine.
Sitting hurts. Standing hurts. Lying down hurts.
Not a lot beyond that to write about right now. Besides, anything I wrote beyond this would just be self-pity. This just never ends.
Surgery And Songs
Back to UVA today for more surgery. I hope to be back to my regular life a little sooner than normal this time. We'll see.
My favorite thing about YouTube is that it affords you an opportunity to track down old songs ... usually in the form of old music videos. Songs you haven't heard in ages. This is an old favorite of mine. The "proper" music video is available at YouTube, but whoever (whomever?) uploaded it decided to add the lyrics as subtitles. And he/she got a lot of the lyrics wrong.
I am NOT trying to say anything about anything by posting this song. It's just been in my head lately, it's an old favorite song of mine. But don't take it as some sort of statement on my part. God forbid I offend anybody....
Anyway, I'm just saying I've always liked this song, that's all, and it might bring back some memories for members of my own generation:
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
This is the first of the presidential debates I've watched. I didn't see any need to watch the last two, I've already made up my mind who I'm voting for ... and I'm already convinced that the other guy is gonna win.
Nonetheless, tonight was McCain's last chance to really shine ... and I think he has. I'm turning in, I've got a big day tomorrow ... but as of 10:15 I think McCain has won the debate thus far. He's beat Obama on substance, hands down.
The best line of the night: "If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have done it four years ago." Boo-Yah!
I think the "Joe The Plumber" stuff is working in McCain's favor, too. I don't think it'll make a lot of difference in three weeks. Too many people will vote based on infatuation.
But don't blame me ... I'm voting for McCain.
Movie Review: M
A child-killer stalks a German city in the early 30's. As families panic and the police prove incapable of catching the maniac, the city's criminal underworld enacts a plan of it's own.
- A classic. The movie's impact on eighty years of cinema is on display in every frame.
- The actors are all outstanding; each seems to honestly be the character he or she portrays.
- Tremendous insight into the "human condition."
- A black and white, German subtitled film with long passages of absolute silence is not an easy sell in 2008.
5 on a five scale. A must-see for students of film, serious and casual alike.
Some classic films are easier to admire than enjoy. The 1933 King Kong, for example, is a movie that I appreciate on a clinical level ... even if the movie never really draws me in. Citizen Kane is another one: I watch it and I marvel at the genius of Orson Welles, but I never feel personally involved in the story.
Then there are classic pictures that effect me emotionally. Boris Karloff stumbles painfully through Frankenstein and my heart goes out to a monster who never asked to be born. And I get so emotionally involved in Atticus Finch's closing arguments during the trial in To Kill A Mockingbird that I'm absolutely convinced that no jury could convict.
Fritz Lang's 1931 classic M works on me in both ways. For the first half of the movie I find myself admiring shots and sequences that might be hard to film even with today's technology. Sometimes I'm distracted from the story by a sense of wonder: "How on earth did they do that with a camera in 1931?"
By the powerful final act of M, however, my investment in the movie is entirely emotional. Until the final act, Peter Lorre, as the story's heinous child-murderer, is basically an evil, one-dimensional cartoon. Then, seemingly at odds with the rest of the movie, Lorre delivers a surprisingly moving monologue about his inability to suppress his urge to kill. Cowering at the feet of the city's assembled criminals and gangsters, Lorre begs for the mercy of a crowd intent on killing him. It makes for demanding viewing.
M is a German movie made during the rise of the Nazi party, so it's probably not surprising that the movie is concerned with themes of power and corruption. The comfort of the crowd is a major theme; the ability one might have to do things as part of a mob that one would never do alone. Paranoia and the power of false accusations are major elements here, too.
During the last hour, when Lorre is literally marked to ensure that he can be identified publicly, it's almost impossible not to see the apparent message in Lang's dramatic symbolism.
What's surprising about M is that the guilt of Lorre's character is never a matter of question. He's guilty, we see that clearly, and the audience hopes along with the city he torments that he'll be captured. Lang never intended to make a statement about an innocent man falling prey to a city's fear.
It seems to me that Lang's greater theme was simply about the power of an angry mob. Not only it's power to fall upon a victim ... but it's power to rob each individual involved of his or her own humanity. Mob mentality can deprive any or all of us of our souls. It can turn a just cause into an excuse for barbarism. Lang seems to be saying that there's the potential for horrible violence in each of us, given the security of a gathering crowd. Given the opportunity, any one of us might find something inside himself that he didn't know was there. Even if it's only the willingness to go along with the group.
No wonder that the movie was banned in Nazi Germany.
M is sometimes difficult to watch, but it's rewards are many fold. In terms of cinematography, history, and moral clarity, M is truly one of the great films.
Sort of a trailer, a montage from M:
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
God Help Us All
First of all, I'm not a Stern fan.
But this clip from Stern's program, which I found by way of Bob Parks, is REQUIRED LISTENING regarding the 2008 election:
Look, I know a few whites who're gonna vote for Obama simply because "it's time to have a black president."
I guess the black people interviewed in the clip above must feel the same way.
Throw in the "youth vote" (as capsulized yesterday) and we're really getting ready to elect our first pure-celebrity president ... and for all the wrong reasons.
Have you seen Mike Judge's film Idocracy? We're getting ready to elect President Camacho ... except in real life:
And if we're stupid enough to put this guy in the White House, then he's the President we deserve.
Monday, October 13, 2008
The Youth Vote
You know, I thought I knew how I'd be voting this November ... but when I really listen to the opinions of today's bright young American minds, I have to admit: They make a really good case for Obama.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The Big Four-Oh!
A certain lovely and talented (and long-suffering, ha ha!) wife of one of my favorite bloggers (and a darn fine blogger in her own right) is celebrating one of the big birthdays today. Be sure and visit Coffee Sister and wish her the best.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
McCain's Shocking, Radical History
I'm increasingly finding it difficult to support John McCain. Too much evidence has come to light to indicate that he simply isn't fit to lead our country:
- A link has been exposed between McCain and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. In the '90's, McVeigh chose McCain to distribute money for a group formed to "raise political awareness" in public schools. McCain has defended his relationship with McVeigh, saying "I assumed he had been rehabilitated." In contrast, McVeigh himself has said of his bombing efforts that he "didn't do enough."
- It would appear that McCain has been in the pocket of the horribly mismanaged and failed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac corporations. He has received the second-highest amount of campaign contribution money from Fannie and Freddie employees, right between John Kerry and Chris Dodd.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama was trying to reform Fannie and Freddie even back in 2006.
- Speaking of the mortgage debacle, McCain has been actively involved in ACORN, an organization that specialized in intimidating and blackmailing banks into making the notorious sub-prime loans that created the crisis.
- McCain has been embraced as "The Messiah" by hate-merchant and race-baiter David Duke. This isn't the first odd, peripheral connection between McCain and David Duke. For years McCain attended a church that honored David Duke in spite of his notorious antisemitism and racism.
- McCain's newly exposed connection to The New Party, a radical, National Socialist activist group, reveals him to be a National Socialist at worst ... or a vapid opportunist at best.
- McCain has taken a shockingly radical position on abortion, and the mainstream media seems to be complicit in covering it up.
Given his radical history, questionable associations and empty rhetoric, I don't see how anyone could rationalize supporting John McCain. Granted, he is a great public speaker, he's charming; he's good looking and inspiring ... but McCain is simply the wrong choice for President in 2008.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Words Can Not Describe...
I'm pretty sure that this stuff is the best thing that I have ever eaten.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Junk Dump No. 12: Autumn Junk
Before I commence with the usual goofy .jpg's that I've right-clicked-and-saved lately, here are three links worth clicking:
- Do all dogs go to heaven? That's a matter of intense theological debate.
- Yesterday I posted a YouTube video of Taylor Mali reciting a spoken word piece. I didn't know anything about Taylor Mali at the time. I've since learned that he's a "slam poet." I checked out a number of his poems today and I really enjoyed them. Especially this hilarious parody and this clever bit of linguistic satire.
- In the only (I promise!) mention of politics in this whole post, it looks like McCain is finally ready to fight like he wants to win. Probably too little, too late, though.
Now, on with the goofy pics that I found here and there ... and, as usual, I can't remember specifically where I found any of them.
Hey, I love dogs as much as the next person ... but I also love Chinese food.
I'm still not sure if there's a correlation.
Wonder if it intersects with Shovelbugger Ave.
There's just something reassuring about answering the door with a chainsaw.
Yes, but it as good as the cow something mom used to make?
That is not dead which can eternal campaign.
Of course, the main reason I answer the door with a chainsaw is just in case this guy is there. Again.
I think it's his apparent ambivalence about the price tag that worries me most.
Eh. Six of one, half-dozen of the other.
I think it might have been a certain Mr. Copy Editor's last day on the job.
This is beer mixed with tomato juice, "clam juice," lime and salt. I'm not sure if this qualifies as a beverage or as an expression of Anheuser Busch's contempt for their own customer base: "Here, drink this, you redneck retards."
This last picture isn't something I saw on the net. Wendy took this picture with her cellphone at our local Wal-Mart.
Beware our local Wal-Mart.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Like, You Know?
I don't know who Taylor Mali is ... but, like, I totally agree with his, you know, critique of our "aggressively inarticulate" language culture:
By the way, I don't intend to turn this blog into a YouTube depository. I hope.
It Takes A Village ... Of The Damned
Perfect. The only way this video could have been more perfect is if it had ended with the sight of John McCain being forced into a giant wicker statue and set on fire.
We're gonna have four years of this guy, man! FOUR FRIGGIN' YEARS! Once he's elected I expect the entire crew at NBC news to make their own version of the creepy kids video.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I posted some videos yesterday by Alfonzo Rachel, a fairly new voice in the conservative blog/vlogosphere.
Man, this guys is friggin' awesome. He really is. His arguments are so strong and his perspective is so fresh that I kept hitting the pause button while watching his vids, thinking "I need to be writing this down. I need to remember this. These are SOLID arguments."
I added Zo's YouTube channel and his blog at Bob Parks: Black & Right to my blogroll. This guy's stuff is gonna be a regular check for me.
And I'll probably keep embedding his videos as soon as he turns them out ... because his vids kick all the ass. This one is a little older, and it's pretty long, and it's well worth watching:
His comments about the whole "no war for oil" moonbattery vis a vis invading Mexico or Canada are just. completely. awesome.
This is Zo's first video:
Monday, October 06, 2008
This Guy Kicks Much Ass
Although, to be honest, he had me at the Pryor shirt:
My new favorite term: "Ballot Cattle."
Check out this absolutely awesome video about abortion, too:
Basically all the same stuff I've been saying about abortion since I started this blog ... except he says it much cooler and funnier. This guy just rules.
I don't agree with every single thing he says (death penalty), but damn if he don't say it really well.
And check out his Obama/A-Team video ... so much good information and so much humor thrown at you so fast that it'll have your head spinning. You'll laugh, you'll cry ... you might even learn something.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
In Time For Halloween
Saturday, October 04, 2008
A Bad Day To Be The Bad Guy
OJ Simpson has been known as many things: Football player, actor, wife-beater, acquitted murderer and thug. Now he's going to be known as something new: CONVICT.
The verdict came thirteen years to the day after an LA jury failed to convict Simpson for having murdered his ex-wife and one of her acquaintances outside of her apartment. Synchronicity.
OJ will probably be behind bars for a period of years, and just may finish his days in prison.
May this arrogant, unrepentant, murdering son of a bitch ROT in prison.
Friday, October 03, 2008
Children Singing For Obama, Part II
My post about the YouTube video of children being made to sing for Obama has inspired some good conversation in the comments. And, for once, I think I've actually presented my position fairly well.
Please stop by, if you haven't already, and contribute your opinion.
And while I'm recycling past content, I'll post my Obama Zombie video again:
I posted it yesterday ... and I'm posting it again because, hey, I think it's funny.
Palin did fairly well. I'm still not convinced that she's exactly what we need on the ticket. But I'm still convinced that she's got a great personality, which is more important than it ought to be. She did no better, nor any worse, than I'd thought she would.
Biden was polished, an old hand at this kind of thing. I was really surprised, though, at the number of flat-out lies that he told. I caught him in quite a few myself. He misrepresented his votes on the war and McCain's stance on funding the war, and he got fast and loose on Obama's tax policy. I noticed that, during some of Biden's most blatant lies, Palin would kinda grit her teeth and shake her head. She knew that he was lying, too. But she never called him on any of it. I think she was mostly focusing on getting the McCain talking points out there.
I'd call it a tie. Most liberals aren't going to do the research to find out that Biden was lying about so many things. They'll take him at his word and think that he's strengthened their positions. And I don't imagine that anyone who wasn't already predisposed to vote for McCain/Palin would be swayed toward the ticket by Governor Palin's performance.
Did you notice Gwen Ifill telling Biden afterwards how well he'd done?
I just looked around before hitting the "publish post" button and found this: Ace lists fourteen lies that Joe Biden told during the debate.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Zombie Apocalypse! November, 2008!
Only about a month to go ... better start preparing for the coming Zombie Apocalypse:
Five Bucks Well Spent
An hour and twelve minutes of live Metallica, recorded a couple of weeks ago. Includes half of the new album. Five bucks, man. Five measly bucks. And it sounds great. That's less than the price of lunch at Burger King. What are you waiting for? Go DOWNLOAD IT now!!
I'm Voting Democrat
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
They Were Right
It turns out that MCF was right. Every song really is better with more cowbell:
And if you thought I'd figure out a way to work Metallica references into both of those items ... well, damned if you weren't right, too.
Bail Out THIS.
One time a few years ago I forgot to carry the one ... or something ... and I screwed up the math in my check book ledger. I ended up with an overdraft on my checking account.
Thankfully, though, the government came to my rescue and enacted an emergency measure to bail me out.
HA! HA HA HA F&%$!NG HA! HA HA HA!
I don't know about you but I oppose this bailout, period. Let the chips fall where they may. I didn't make this mess. I didn't buy a house I couldn't afford. I didn't loan money to people without checking to see if they had any chance of paying it back. I didn't force banks to make risky loans by giving rights and privileges only to the banks that made such loans. I didn't shut down any efforts made by McCain or the Bush administration to prevent the collapse. And I DID NOT SCREW UP THE MATH.
I resent having to send in a dime of my tax money to fix a mess made by irresponsible agencies, lenders and borrowers. I still believe in an outdated, antiquated concept, I guess.
But for whatever it's worth, I know who tried to stop this from happening ... and I know who made the mess in the first place:
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]