Friday, November 28, 2008
You had it coming, America:
It's neat to see that this guy has a good sense of humor about himself and the RickRolling phenomenon.
By the way, I have never been RickRolled. Not as of yet, anyway. But Wendy got RickRolled just the other day and I thought it was hilarious.
Zo On Gay Marriage
This is Zo's famous video on gay marriage ... the one that YouTube couldn't tollerate:
Find a fault in his logic. Go ahead, I dare you.
And not only is his argument seamless, but he's able to tackle the subject without coming off like a hostile ass ... unlike a certain other blogger I know, who just happens to be me.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Music And Lyrics On The Big Screen
Sometimes it's annoying when popular rock and pop songs are used as the soundtrack for a movie. It's often just one more symptom of a movie maker's absolute lack of creativity, originality and focus.
But, sometimes, a pop song is worked into a movie with real creativity and with real dramatic impact. When a pop song is used well in a movie, both the song and the movie benefit from the mix. Sometimes, in fact, a pop song is used so well in a movie that I can't help but associate the song and the movie forever after. It's a tribute to the skills of the director and/or writer when, working completely independent of the song writer, he or she is able to turn a pop song into an important element of a good movie. Put simply, when it's done right, it's awesome.
Some directors are particularly good at pulling it off. Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino come to mind. Other directors try it rarely, but sometimes to great effect.
This is a list of some of my favorite examples of doing it right.
But first, some rules:
- The song must be arguably popular before it's inclusion in the movie. Unknown songs included to quirky effect on movie soundtracks don't count. Sorry, Garden State.
- The song must be the original recording by the artist that made the song popular. Songs re-recorded for a movie aren't up for consideration. So forget about Guns N' Roses and their unfortunate remake of Sympathy for the Devil from Interview With The Vampire.
- The song can't be something written specifically for the movie. It must be something that the director and/or writer included in the film without the direct contribution of the song's writer. Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On will forever be associated with Titanic, but it doesn't count.
- The song must be a plot element, not not movie background music. In other words, the characters must be aware of the song. Maybe it's playing in the bar or at the house where they are during a given scene. Maybe they're singing along with the song. But it can't simply be part of the soundtrack. As much as I enjoy the music used in Goodfellas, it doesn't count.
- The song can't be a plot element because it's being performed live in the movie. That rules out nearly every musician biopic ever made. For the song to qualify, it has to be played on a radio, a jukebox, or from some other recorded source. It's importance in the scene should seem almost accidental.
And now ... the movies and the music (eleven songs, ten films), in no particular order.
- The Song: American Girl by Tom Petty & The Hearbreakers
The Movie: The Silence Of The Lambs
Brooke Smith (Grey's Anatomy) is one of the best unsung elements of Jonathan Demme's suspense masterpiece. As Catherine Martin, a prisoner and potential victim of serial killer "Buffalo Bill," Smith manages to convey both extreme vulnerability and surprising resourcefulness. In her first scene in the film, Catherine is driving home, singing along with the radio, utterly unaware of the maniac waiting in the darkness. I can't hear this song without picturing her singing along:
- The Song: You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry
The Movie: Pulp Fiction
The unspoken attraction between John Travolta and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction is what makes the movie's first third work so well. That connection culminates (you might even say it's consummated) when the two characters enter a dance competition at a 50's themed club:
- The Songs: Sister Christian by Night Ranger and Jesse's Girl by Rick Springfield
The Movie: Boogie Nights
The primary characters in Boogie Nights are caught in a terrible downward spiral. Late in the film, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly and Thomas Jayne attempt to rob Alfred Molina's whacked out, music obsessed drug dealer. Molina blasts Night Ranger and Rick Springfield on his stereo while his "pool boy" walks around letting off fire crackers ... and the tension builds to tremendous heights. The moment when the tape stops and flips to the other side is particularly jarring:
- The Song: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
The Movie: Wayne's World
It's silly, it's trivial, it's infectious fun:
- The Song: Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Is In) by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition
The Movie: The Big Lebowski
I considered the possibility that this scene violated my "character cognizance" rule, since it's an elaborate dream sequence. But I decided that the scene's inclusion was valid since the Dude is clearly aware of the song. He even choreographs his dream to the music. Besides, it's an intrinsic element of who Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski is. "Mr. Treehorn treats objects like women, man."
- The Song: Old Time Rock And Roll by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
The Movie: Risky Business
- The Song: The Logical Song by Supertramp
The Movie: Magnolia
Frankly, I'm surprised at how much luck I've had finding YouTube clips for the scenes in my list. This is the only one I ran into where my luck ran out completely. No YouTube clip for the scene I'm thinking about apparently exists.
That's unfortunate, because it's a great scene from a wonderful film. And it's a film that uses music inventively and to great effect. Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia utilizes the music in it's soundtrack better than just about any film I can think of. Several of the songs are original compositions by Aimee Mann, written specifically for the film. The scene that revolves around her song Wise Up is particularly well done.
But the scene I'm thinking about involves a horribly sad emotional breakdown by William H. Macy's character. His character is a closeted gay man and former child star with a crush on a bartender at a local bar. As his character confesses his feelings and argues with other bar patrons, Supertramp's Logical Song plays on the jukebox and heightens the drama. I wish I could have found that scene, it's remarkably well constructed.
Lacking that scene, here's a trailer for Anderson's outstanding movie:
- The Song: Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealer's Wheel
The Movie: Reservoir Dogs
It's a horribly violent, gory scene ... so don't watch this clip without a strong stomach.
It's also one of the most suspenseful, gripping scene's that Quentin Tarantino has ever directed. It might be his finest sequence ever. Like the scene in Boogie Nights with the flipping cassette tape, Tarantino uses the music's absence powerfully. Mr. Blonde begins torturing Marvin the cop, blasting Stealer's Wheel on the radio. Then he walks out to his car to get a can of gasoline, and we follow him, leaving the music behind. When he returns to the warehouse, the very second that I hear the song begin again, my gut clinches up with dread. And that happens every time I see the film. I've probably seen it six or eight times.
- The Song: Tu Es Partout by Edith Piaf
The Movie: Saving Private Ryan
This song probably isn't something you're going to hear on the radio today, but going by the strictest understanding of my rules, it qualifies.
Shortly before the climactic battle in Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks and Matt Damon pause and listen to Edith Piaf on a record player. Hanks translates the lyrics for Damon, and they talk about their families and the lives they've left behind to go to war. The tension is unspoken, but palpable. Both men know that a battle looms and that they are terribly outgunned, and that neither of them are likely to survive. The song provides both soldiers a moment of respite that's both poignant and profound.
And, of course, there's no YouTube clip for this one, either.
But I did find the song, uploaded to YouTube, by someone else who apparently associates it indelibly with Saving Private Ryan:
- The Song: In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
The Movie: Say Anything
It's overt. There's nothing subtle about this scene. You could even call it ham-fisted. But there's no denying that it works exactly like it's supposed to:
This is only a partial list of many good examples of movie scenes that utilize pop music organically and artistically. I'm sure you may have a favorite that I didn't include on the list. I'd love to hear about other scenes I may have forgotten ... or may have never seen!
It Boggles The Mind
Hat tip to Jerry at From On High for pointing out that Planned Parenthood now offers gift certificates.
I. Do. Not. Get. It.
Maybe if everyone at the office goes in on a gift certificate, we can surprise Shelia with that abortion she's been wanting?
Does it come with fries?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
One Reason I Have Lost So Much Respect For Liberals
Part of the reason that I tend to think of liberals as stupid people is because so many of them say such stupid things.
I remember a few years ago, reading a liberal blogger who'd written that the Bush administration bullies the majority into supporting them by using fear as a tool. I remember specifically that this particular airhead blogger referred to Islamic terrorists as "shadowy phantoms" that the GOP had conjured up to keep everyone uneasy.
This wasn't a perspective unique to this specific blogger. I've heard versions of that rant over and over since 2001. And so have you.
How much effort must it take to twist the reality of our world in order to come up with that crock of shit?
Anyway, those "shadowy phantoms" have struck again, killing scores of people in India. They were specifically targeting travelers from the west.
Wow. So, explain to me, liberals ... how'd Bush/Rove/Palin/Whomever do that?
The Good Stuff Elsewhere
No time to blog today, but I'll remind you that the really good stuff is in my Google Reader. You can pick a headline from the blue box to the left or click here for the latest and greatest.
I will post this, though, really quickly. I always think it's a riot when one of the talking heads at Fox puts some leftist moron on blast. Like this, a few days ago, from Shepherd Smith:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
MCF's latest round of probing, exhaustive inquiries.
1) Is it good or bad when sitcoms feature celebrity guest stars?
I don't like sitcoms. I tend to feel that the writing, acting and directing in sitcoms is generally bad to awful. So when a movie star makes an appearance on a sitcom, my gut reaction is to wonder that he or she apparently needed a paycheck badly. Or maybe that he or she owed someone a favor.
That's different, though, when celebs show up as guest voices on the Simpsons. The Simpsons is the best thing American TV has ever produced, and well worth the time of anyone with actual talent.
Of course, all of this is just my opinion, and I insist that you brush it off and disregard it. I clearly don't know what I'm talking about and should never be taken seriously.
2) What is the most shocking thing you've seen on the internet?
Some of what comes to mind would include the following:
- Most recently, a blogger who shall remain nameless (except to assert that his name is and has always been Michael Wayvid Whorenelli), posted a link to what turned out to be a series of upsetting photographs of dogs who had been mutilated "in the name of science" by insane Europeans.
As a dog-lover, I had a terrible time looking at those pictures and I'm still suppressing the urge to get revenge by gathering up some scientists, chaining them to a tree and forcing them to "do their business" in the yard.
In the future, I'd like to suggest a new web-speak acronym for these kinds of posts. You know the kinds of acronym's I'm talking about. Stuff like NSFW (Not safe for work) or OMG (Oh, my God!) or ZMOG (Zebra meat on grill!) Posts involving links to mutilated dog pictures should include something like
Obviously, that would stand for "Warning, by clicking this link you might unintentionally see pictures of abused and mutilated dogs and might find that unbearable to the extent that you have to spend the rest of the evening rolling around in the floor with your own dogs until you feel better about what you've unwittingly seen because of the crass and shocking indifference of Michael Wayved Whorenelli, soon to be known as the Hugh Heffner or Larry Flint of mutilated-by-scientists dog-pictures pornography.*
*Though with less emphasis on the first amendment. He's apparently involved purely for love of the 'art.'"
- One of the first "dark side of the internet" sites I ever heard about was the infamous Rotten.com. I remember spending half an hour or so looking at that site for the first time. You have to be very careful about what you click there. Maybe you'll see something relatively harmless or silly ... or maybe you'll see something altogether different that will make you want to jump up, run outside and scream for the neighbor to come close your browser window for you so that you'll never risk seeing it again.
- The hanging of Saddam Hussein was a bit of a net sensation. It bothered me and I wrote about it.
- I understand that there is also a video out there called "two girls one cup." I haven't seen it, but I have had the video's action described for me by an enthusiastic young man who seemed to have (barely) more teeth than braincells. About fifteen seconds into his vivid description I had to request that oxygen and an epidural be administered if I were going to have to hear any more. Since nothing of the sort could be provided, I opted to walk away, even though doing so meant going back to the work I was supposed to be doing at the time.
3) Is it possible to have too much free time?
If you've read anything ... ANYTHING ... at this blog, you know that the answer is yes.
4) Inspired by a recent Dwight Shrute monologue, I ask you: what's your perfect crime?
Inspired by Guns N' Roses, I'll answer you thus:
"You wanna f--- with me? Don't f--- with me.
I'm what you'll be, so don't f--- with me."
SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION: What (animated) fictional town offers a whirlwind existence, race cars, lasers, airplanes, mystery-solving, time travel, and more?
Well, it's not fictional, but it is "animated." You've just offered a perfect description of Iron Gate, Virginia.
Monday, November 24, 2008
This Parenting Thing
I've talked to other parents, people who've been doing this a lot longer than I have, and they have told me that none of this is unusual.
So I'm not really worried. I'm not. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
But it's become unavoidable that I accept the fact that my son Joey and I are very different people. And the older he gets, the more apparent that becomes.
He's only a few inches shorter than me now, and it seems like yesterday that I had to bend over so that he could reach up and hold my finger while he walked. Why does everything have to change so fast? Nothing else in my life is changing this quickly. I'm still the same fat, redneck a-hole I was twenty years ago. My son, meanwhile, is changing so quickly I feel like I could actually sit and just watch him change.
And, oh boy, are he and I ever different. When I was his age, I was an introvert. He's "Mr. Cool." He's popular. I was a book-worm (and I still am), and he's an athlete. He's a burgeoning musician, I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. He's got the confidence of Alexander, I was a wallflower. He is fearless. I, on the other hand, didn't start riding roller coasters until I was in my mid 20's. He's smart as a tack, really brilliant. I, in contrast, was smoking a lot of pot by the time I was 14.
He's given me more jaw-dropping moments just with his amazing insight than anything else in the world. He just blows my mind with his perception and his perspective.
So, anyway, I found out today that he's been getting in trouble in school lately. He apparently didn't turn in some of his homework and told his teacher that "this is America, and I don't have to do your homework if I don't want to." Deep down, the part of me that mistrusts all authority thought "Yes!" But that was quickly squelched by the realization that you've got to pick your battles, and deciding not to do your homework just to assert your will is a lunk-head decision.
I talked to him about it, and I hope he understands that I do want him to keep thinking for himself and not to feel that he has to do this or that just to fit in ... but I want him to have the sense to realize that there are things you have to do just to get by. Even if they're boring. Even if they're tedious. Even if you have things you'd rather do. Homework is one of those things that you pretty much have to do. Do enough of the things that you have to do and you get to do more of the things that you want to do.
Whereas, if you don't do the things you have to do, you get punished ... you lose privileges ... and, eventually, other people have to start carrying your weight. You can't remain "Mr. Cool" that way.
I hope I got that one right, and that he's learned something.
Jeez, it's tricky. The thing is, this kid is about ten times smarter and craftier than I ever was at his age. Probably more than I am now, for that matter. Nonetheless, he is, without a doubt, the best thing that's ever come into my life. I just hope I can stay frosty for the next few years ... because he's right on the cusp of the teenage years, and God know's he's gonna keep me on my toes.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I'm Freakin' Out, Man
Tonight's web surfing turned up some neat, freaky, ghostly stuff.
These images are probably just instances of pareidolia; when the mind and eyes try to turn vague colors and shapes into something familiar and significant. Nonetheless, they're friggin' creepy, dude.
The picture below was taken in November, '95, in England. It shows a house burning to the ground. There was no one in the house when the picture was taken, and neither the photographer, nor other witnesses, saw the apparition that shows up in the photo with their naked eyes.
Here's a closer look at what appears to be an unhappy young girl with long hair and a white gown, standing in the fire:
Far out, man.
Here's an antique picture that appears to have a bearded face right in the middle; a face that looks a whole lot like the popular image of Jesus:
A page at Binnall Of America examines the picture with some detail. The altered version below uses different colors to make it easier to see what's actually in the picture:
This next one creeps me out the most. This one is from Argentina, and features what appears to be a ghostly little girl in the shadows to the left:
I think it's the "little girl's" posture and the way that she appears to be peaking out from the darkness that ups the creepiness in that one.
Here's a picture taken at a wedding reception with a particularly "goth" looking "ghost" in the lower right:
He's returned from the grave ... to audition as the drummer for 30 Second To Mars!
And this last one is closer to my neck of the woods ... it originates in Lynchburg, Virginia. It took me a minute to really see a "ghost" in this shot, but once I did I thought it was a really creepy one:
Kind of a joker-like smile on that one.
I'm not saying I believe that any of these pictures documents an actual ghost. Nor am I saying that I disbelieve.
I'm just saying I'm interested in stuff like this, and these are some of the creepiest pictures I've seen.
Friday, November 21, 2008
- Just a reminder that I really do believe that, nowadays, the best reason to visit this blog is to see the awesome stuff I share from my Google Reader. The box o' links is at the top of the column to the left.
- Keith Roy Weatherley was sitting in his car when the police tried to arrest him.
He was pleasuring himself with a jar of spaghetti sauce.
It took four officers to remove him from his car. While wrestling with those officers, Weatherley continued trying to pleasure himself.
Afterwards, when the police searched his car, they found pornography, a home-made sex aid, women's stockings and a Jack Russell terrier.
I DID NOT make any of that up.
You know, I think that the best thing about having a physical relationship with spaghetti sauce is that you can't get it PREGO! HA!
I also want to say that it's high time these simple, small-minded Republican bigots stop preventing marriages between people and pasta toppings.
- Yep, that's about it:
HT: The Ol' Broad.
- It's turkey! It's food! Darn near all of you will be eating turkey next week, and that turkey will have been slaughtered in the exact same way! Get over it, geeeez, ya friggin' crybabies!
- The movie I now officially want to see more than any other movie is Darren Aronofsky's Mickey Rourke vehicle, The Wrestler:
- Hey, whattaya know! George Dubya ChimpHitler somehow managed during his administration to end global warming! Now, I know that it would just be FAAAAR too much to ask for you leftists to give him credit for his amazing feat, but can you at least quell the alarmist crap for now?
- My non-blogging friend The Governor brought my attention to the following:
Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif,), who chairs the House Armed Services Committee strategic forces subcommittee, with oversight of missile defense programs, said missile defense programs will receive hard and long scrutiny next year.
No rogue nations have been dissuaded by formation of the U.S. missile defense shield from continuing to develop long-range missiles and nuclear weapons, she commented.
"The truth is, is that it hasn't caused anybody to stop doing what they're doing," she said. "And if it hasn't done that, then holy moly, what's the point" of developing missile defenses?"
Rogue nations are still developing long range missiles and nuclear weapons ... therefore, US missile defense programs are useless. Yep, makes PERFECT F&%$%NG SENSE to me.
Where The KoolAid Comes From: A Macabre Anniversary
You may have heard it said about someone who has unquestioningly swallowed some line of inexorable, uncompromising propaganda ... that the person in question has "drank the KoolAid."
It's possible that younger bloggers might not know about the origins of that phrase.
This week marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre. In the mid '70's, self-proclaimed messiah, socialist leader and clergyman Jim Jones brought his more than 900 followers, people of mixed ages, races, nationalities and abilities, to his compound in Guyana. Jones followers embraced him as their new Messiah, the one man who could save them from America's wickedness and intolerance. On November 18th, 1978, Jones convinced over 900 of his expatriate followers in Guyana to commit suicide by drinking a flavored drink mix spiked with cyanide.
First the children (over 300 of them) at Jonestown were poisoned, then the adults poisoned themselves. Over 900 people died on that November day because they chose to believe what they'd been told. They saw Jones as "The One," and they were ready to give the whole of their lives to their savior, leader and teacher:
Thankfully, the lessons of Jonestown are seared into our collective memory, to paraphrase John Kerry.
Never again will Americans look for someone to believe in, just to get caught up in the empty glitz of some charismatic new "messiah-figure."
Never again will we fall for the hustle when some flashy young man with a bright smile promises that yes, we can have the happiness we deserve if we just give him the power to create it for us.
If this new "messiah" condescends to us, just as Jim Jones did, by challenging the religious beliefs that we "cling to," we'll recognize him as a charlatan.
And we'll never again accept some self-styled savior's personal new vision of socialism as the secret to happy, productive lives.
Right? Never again, right?
Oh, I'm sorry, 52% of America ... I didn't mean to interrupt you while you were enjoying that fruity, mixed beverage. Who mixed that up for you? Your friends over at NBC? How nice of them.
Looks tasty. I bet it goes down smooth.
You'll have to let me know if you notice any aftertaste.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Effed Up World
Remember when society didn't encourage and celebrate people turning themselves into androgynous, discombobulated freaks?
Language warning for this clip. Content warning, too. And I don't even know how else to warn you about the whack-job bizarreness of this clip. It features that senile old turd Larry King interviewing the "pregnant man" and her wife about their "sex life:"
"Some say a comet will fall from the sky
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves
Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits.
Some say the end is near.
Some say we'll see armageddon soon.
I certainly hope we will.
I sure could use a vacation from this
Stupid shit, silly shit, stupid shit... "
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Zo's Newest Video...
...kicks ass, as always:
A lot of this one is aimed at Zo's fellow black people, so some of it doesn't speak specifically to me.
But most of it is just classic Zo. That same awesome, creative, fresh perspective on common sense that his fans love.
Common sense is pretty rare these days. And when it's presented with the authority, sense of humor and warmth that Zo Rachel musters, common sense can give you a head rush.
By the way, Zo finally has his own domain. One day we'll be able to brag that we discovered this guy when he was just getting started.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Happy Birthday, Megyn Kelly
Wendy and I are both big fans of Megyn Kelly. I like her because of the way she goes after weasels in interview segments:
The fact that she's clearly conservative (if I read her correctly), smart as a tack and friggin' gorgeous doesn't hurt, either.
Today Drew at Ace Of Spades HQ reported that Maxim had named Megyn the second hottest news anchor on TV. (The first hottest is some lady named Amy who is kinda cute. You'll have to go to Maxim yourself to see the list.)
Wendy and I were talking about that a little bit ago and one of us said "I wonder how old Megyn Kelly is, anyway..."
So we went to Wikipedia and looked it up, and whattayaknow? Today is Megyn Kelly's birthday. She's 38 years old today.
So happy birthday, Megyn Kelly. Keep goin' after the weasels and you'll always have a couple of fans in Virginia.
It's Only "Hate" If You're Straight
I'm sure there are those who'll call this "hate speech." I'm fine with that. Call it what you want. I don't hate homosexuals, I'm just disgusted by them. They inspire in me the same feelings that I feel about cockroaches. And this is why ...
The queers (it's still a derogatory term when I use it, and it's intended to be) seem to want a full on war over Prop 8:
At first, they just shouted at us, using crude, rude, and foul language and calling us names like “haters” and “bigots”...Congratulations to the woman who offered forgiveness to her attacker. She really embodied Christianity. I'm incapable of that kind of grace. I'd have tried to beat the son of a bitch to death with my bare hands.
Then, they started throwing hot coffee, soda and alcohol on us and spitting (and maybe even peeing) on us...
Then, they started getting violent and started shoving us. At one point a man tried to steal one of our Bibles. Chrisdene noticed, so she walked up to him and said “Hey, that’s not yours, can you please give it back?”. He responded by hitting her on the head with the Bible, shoving her to the ground, and kicking her. I called the cops, and when they got there, they pulled her out of the circle and asked her if she wanted to press charges. She said “No, tell him I forgive him.”
This is how leftists (in this instance, gay leftists) respond when Democracy doesn't go their way.
And can we please go back to calling them "queers?" The word "gay" doesn't fit them. They're not "gay," as in happy, joyful, care-free. They're "queer," as in abhorrent, unnatural, substandard, wrong.
Again, this is the way that queers behave toward Christians because they know that a Christian who truly follows his or her faith is going to respond with patience, non-violence, forgiveness and love.
They won't take their fight to the Muslims, the real gay haters, because the homos lack the courage of their convictions. These "militant" gays are really spineless cowards.
And that's probably why the military has never wanted them among their ranks.
Will I regret this post? Probably. Almost certainly. But not for a long, long time. I've seen too much of this in the past week to feel anything right now other than contempt and red-eyed anger.
Never Underestimate The Power Of Stupid People In Large Groups
This is from How Obama Got Elected . Com:
Who voted for Barack Obama ... and just how much do those voters really grasp about the issues of the day? John Ziegler spent some time with some of Obama's supporters and got some interesting answers:
They can't tell you who Harry Reid is, they don't know who Barney Frank is ... but they by God know which candidate has a pregnant teenage daughter.
Congratulations, America, you've elected your first Reality TV Show President.
And he won the immunity challenge, so he doesn't have to leave the house for at least four years.
Ziegler has some interesting data from a Zogby Poll to back up his assertions:
512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points
97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates
Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions
57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)
81.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)
82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)
88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)
56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).
Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes
Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter
And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her "house," even though that was Tina Fey who said that!!
Only 2.4% got at least 11 correct.
Only .5% got all of them correct. (And we "gave" one answer that was technically not Palin, but actually Tina Fey)
Emphasis above is mine. Palin gossip is entirely the MSMs.
In the words of Albert Camus, "Stupidity has a knack for getting its way."
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Happy Time Sunshine Puppy Dog Unicorn Flowers Hearts And Magical Rainbows
Now that we've handed the reigns over to the Savior-Elect, the world is perfect:
ANVIL! The Story Of Anvil
This looks like American Movie by way of This Is Spinal Tap. And it's a real documentary about a real band. (I vaguely remember Anvil from the '80's.)
I think this has the potential to be very funny and sad at the same time, just like American Movie. I look forward to seeing it. There isn't a proper trailer for the film, apparently, and the clip above is the best clip I could find at YouTube. Click here to see a shorter, better one (although not an embeddable one) at RollingStone.com. There are also several clips at IMDB.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Gotta wonder if this guy's license plate number is D-FENS:
Go to Geekologie for additional cell-phone video.
Mike's Out Of The Gate
My guy, Mike Steele, announces his candidacy for GOP Chair.
Tom Adkins wrote an extremely angry piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer about how Obama's election should signify the end of liberal white guilt. Some of it is too acerbic for me, but I did enjoy this bit:
Obama's ascension also creates another gargantuan irony. How can liberals sell American racism, class envy and unfairness when our new black president and his wife went to Ivy League schools, got high-paying jobs, became millionaires, bought a mansion, and are now moving to the White House? How unfair is that? Now, like a delicious O. Henry tale, Obama's spread-the-wealth campaign rendered itself moot by its own victory! America is officially a meritocracy. Obama's election has validated American conservatism.
That's awesome. How did Obama win? By deserving to win. Which indicates that in America, merit and character trump race and politics.
Wanna tell me I'm wrong, liberals? I'll gladly entertain any arguments that Obama didn't win based on merit.
HT: Bob Parks.
Debating In Triplicate
I didn't feel that there was any need for me to watch all three Presidential debates this year. So I only watched the last one ... but I saw all three of them. This video is both funny and frustrating:
One more illustration of some of the reasons that I'm disgusted and disillusioned with American politics.
More so than ever, that is.
HT: Hot Air.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I read about this at Wizbang:
A radical gay rights group is claiming responsibility for a protest Sunday at Mount Hope Church in Delta Township.
Protesters who entered the Creyts Road church along with worshippers surprised the congregation when they stood up during the service, threw fliers at churchgoers and shouted slogans such as "It's OK to be gay," and "Jesus was a homo," according to David Williams, communications director at the church. His father, Dave Williams, is the church's longtime pastor. He was not preaching at the church Sunday.
The gay agitators have been all to hell about the Prop 8 issue for a week now, and they've been attacking Catholics, Mormons, Evangelicals, etc. They've been showing up at churches and freaking out like this to express their displeasure.
I've really had enough. So here are just a few things, in the form of an open letter, from me to the hell-raising homos:
Dear Militant Homos,
One, here's a hypothetical for you. How many legs would a dog have if you called it's tail a leg? Well, the dog would STILL HAVE FOUR LEGS. Because it DOESN'T F--KING MATTER what you call it's tail. It's still a tail, not a leg. Just like two gay guys living together IS STILL JUST TWO GAY GUYS LIVING TOGETHER, not a MARRIAGE.
Two, this is a democracy. The people of California voted. You lost. That's how it works in a democracy. GET OVER IT.
And, three ... if you want to protest against a religious faith that is REALLY intolerant toward homosexuals, try taking your protest to a Mosque. Given their propensity toward hanging and beheading gays, I'd say the Muslims are pretty thoroughly homophobic. Oh, but what's that? You won't go near a Mosque because you're F--KING COWARDS? Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.
And while I'm at it, since you're so fond of having things shoved up your asses, how about sticking your rainbow stickers up there.
Darrell at SouthCon
A thirteen year old girl in England has refused the heart transplant that might save her life. She's been in and out of hospitals since she was tiny and she says she's just had enough:
I can't decide how I feel about this. Different aspects of this girl's case keep popping into my head. I will probably have this story in the back of my mind for days. As a parent, this kind of thing just feels like a kick in the stomach.
A cousin of mine died of brain cancer at the age of 14 about ten years ago. It was absolute hell for the family to get through. Pray for this girl and her family.
I think we can all probably agree that "android" like robots are evil and they should all be destroyed. Here's one that admits to it's nefarious plans. Lest you forget about Science Officer Ash, take a minute and get to know Jules:
Note to android creators: Giving these things amazingly life-like features and ranges of expression, and then programming them to talk about the destruction of entire cities ... that's not gonna generate the kind of PR you're looking for.
I'm just sayin'.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Steele and Thompson and Gingrich, Oh My
My long time favorite politician, Michael Steele, is apparently campaigning to become the Chairman of the RNC. There's a lot of buzz about his efforts on the net; there's even a Draft Michael Steele website.
As you might guess, I'm pretty excited about the idea of the GOP having Mike at the wheel.
Other politicians are reportedly interested, too. I've read that Fred Thompson might like the gig. I was an early supporter of Thompson's Presidential bid ... until he proved to me that he was basically too lazy and indifferent to really campaign. Fred doesn't deserve to be the chairman of the RNC (or anything else) at this point.
There are also rumors about Newt Gingrich. Some say he's interested in the chair, some say he's not interested. As of now the most reliable reports seem to be the ones that indicate that Newt isn't interested ... and that he is, in fact, working with Mike Steele on the platform.
I like Newt, but he's not consistent. He opposed the recent bank bail-out at first, and his arguments were solid. Then he reluctantly flip-flopped and supported the thing at the last minute. Plus, Newt would have to shut up about "global warming" before I'd get enthusiastic about his leadership.
Newt and I do agree, though, about why the GOP lost last week's elections. In a nutshell, although I'm not convinced that Newt is the best choice to lead the party, he is usually a reliable conservative and I hope he'll continue to have a voice in the Republican Party's (hoped-for) rebirth.
Meanwhile, Mike Steele kicks ass! I think he'll be a much needed shot in the arm for the Republicans.
Bobby Jindal: Palin Talk and Plain Talk
Bobby Jindal talks to one of the Obamabots at MSNBC about an upcoming conference of Republican governors. Sarah Palin is going to have a high-profile role in that conference, and the MSNBC ObamaZombie tries as hard as he can to provoke Jindal into giving him an anti-Palin soundbite. Jindal is a pro, he knew how to steer the conversation. He stayed on message and stayed clear, simply praising GOP Conservative Governors (including Palin) as people who get things done.
I really like Jindal, and I can see me backing him in four years. This guy has that all-important ability to relate policy to the people in immediate, meaningful terms. He also has the ability to grab the media by the horns and by-God steer the conversation. Jindal is a real pro. Check him out:
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Better Late Than Never
Now that it's too late to make any difference, NBC has decided to do an interview with Sarah Palin in which she's treated with some modicum of respect. When she's given a chance to simply hear questions, think about them and answer them (rather than dodging attacks disguised as questions), Palin handles herself very well:
Again, I'm still not 100% sure I'll support her hypothetical campaign. But damm, I really like her and her husband and their family.
And, again, I'm tagging this with my "YouTube" tag. I'm not going to create a separate tag for every possible source of embedded video.
Awesomely Awful Metal Album Covers
I'm a big fan of heavy metal music, I have been since I was a kid and I just refuse to grow out of it. I gotta have my metal.
One consequence of metal addiction is that you're constantly seeking out new bands to check out. One consequence of that is that you get exposed to a huge number of really awful heavy metal bands.
Another consequence is that you see an awful lot of really, really, really awful album covers.
With the Mp3 and the iPod quickly replacing the music store and the CD (just as the CD replaced the classic vinyl LP), maybe it's time to celebrate some of the absolute worst album covers out there before the whole concept of album covers is forgotten forever.
The best thing about this cover is that it features not one but two rockin' metal mustaches.
There's just too much going on here.
The being on the cover seems to be a Transformer. MCF could probably tell me for sure if it's an authentic one or not.
One of his legs is either a bus or a subway train, and one of his feet is a tank (I'm talking about the being on the album cover, not MCF). And, he has giant moth wings. Because, you know, he'd look goofy without them. And he's apparently ripped out his (horribly swollen) heart and is in the process of replacing it with ... a large gear. And, really, I don't see how he had any other choice.
It's kinda cool that this must be a Latino metal band. My biggest complaint is that the little skeleton-guy is gonna be far to short to play that big-ass guitar.
Another cover with just far too much going on. I don't blame the old guy for drinking, I'd drink too if I'd lost my right leg and all of my shirt's buttons.
Damn you, cruel hand of fate! He finally kisses a girl and it's just as they electrocute him! Doh!
What is that thing?
Beware the giant Easter eggs of doom!
I'm fine with this album cover featuring an ax-wielding sumo wrestler with the head of ... the head of a hamster, I think. And I'm fine with all the skulls, which seem to indicate that the sumo hamster guy is really brutal. And I'm fine with the fact that apparently a 747 is about to crash into the sumo hamster guy. Clearly he was asking for it. But why is sumo hamster guy's body pink? That just makes the whole concept seem silly.
"See! I told you guys that the painting I made in seventh grade would eventually be my own band's album cover!"
This last one is my favorite. I just can't decide what I like most about it. Maybe it's the seven-foot tall Lurch lookalike with the formal shirt and the giant hair. Maybe it's the combination of fists and sunglasses. Nothing says "We kick ass" more than fists and sunglasses. Or maybe my favorite thing is the guy second from the right. The one who's right eye appears to be bulging out of his head. There's just so much to love about this album cover. I want a FatHead of this album cover.
Monday, November 10, 2008
You might notice that I've made a few format changes to my blog. I hope it's cleaner and simpler now.
Most of what I'm doing simply involves integrating Google Reader, which is an awesome resource. The fonts in the main posts are a little larger and the line spacing is a bit more dramatic, too. Overall, I hope the blog looks more streamlined, less cluttered, and easier to read.
My sidebar is now on the left, and you'll notice that I've added a widget that lists my recent reads. When I read something at another blog that I particularly want to point out, it'll pop up in that list.
My blogroll is now much smaller, too. I've trimmed a few blogs that don't publish regularly anymore. I've also gotten rid of some of the links to blogs that seemed superfluous. (Does Little Green Footballs, for instance, or Hot Air really rely on me to generate traffic? I don't imagine so.) It's possible, though, that I forgot to apply the proper Google Reader tag to your blog. So if you know I've always linked to you and for some reason you're not in my blogroll now, please let me know in the comments.
If the changes aren't showing up, try refreshing your browser. And please leave me a comment to tell me what you think.
The Baby And The Bathwater ...
... P.J. O'Rourke comes dangerously close to throwing both of them out in his post-election article at the Weekly Standard.
I'm a big P.J. Fan, but I hate to see that he's apparently one of the many who's missed the point. The problem with the current American political climate isn't social conservatism, regardless of how well (and with how much nuance) P.J. tries to sell the idea:
Liberalism had been running wild in the nation since the Great Depression. At the end of the Carter administration we had it cornered in one of its dreadful low-income housing projects or smelly public parks or some such place, and we held the Taser gun in our hand, pointed it at the beast's swollen gut, and didn't pull the trigger. Liberalism wasn't zapped and rolled away on a gurney and confined somewhere until it expired from natural causes such as natural law or natural rights...
Nobody with kids is a liberal, except maybe one pothead in Marin County. Everybody wants his or her children to respect freedom, exercise responsibility, be honest, get educated, have opportunities, and own a bunch of guns. (The last is optional and includes, but is not limited to, me, my friends in New Hampshire, and Sarah Palin.)
...In how many ways did we fail conservatism? And who can count that high? Take just one example of our unconserved tendency to poke our noses into other people's business: abortion. Democracy--be it howsoever conservative--is a manifestation of the will of the people. We may argue with the people as a man may argue with his wife, but in the end we must submit to the fact of being married. Get a pro-life friend drunk to the truth-telling stage and ask him what happens if his 14-year-old gets knocked up. What if it's rape? Some people truly have the courage of their convictions. I don't know if I'm one of them. I might kill the baby. I will kill the boy.
The real message of the conservative pro-life position is that we're in favor of living. We consider people--with a few obvious exceptions--to be assets. Liberals consider people to be nuisances. People are always needing more government resources to feed, house, and clothe them and to pick up the trash around their FEMA trailers and to make sure their self-esteem is high enough to join community organizers lobbying for more government resources.
Well, no. I don't agree. The problem with conservatives isn't that our social values are too rigid. The problem is that we're too willing to concede, compromise and surrender.
Conservatives will continue to marginalize and undermine ourselves as long as we're willing to support liberals (McCain, Dubya) because they're preferable to radicals (Obama, Kerry, Howard Dean). If we keep showing the Republican party that we'll vote for whichever schmuck they throw our way, why should they bother trying to cultivate real leadership?
Make no mistake, the Republican party deserved to lose this election. I am sick to my stomach of having to vote for the lesser of two evils.
If anyone argues that the modern GOP or American conservatives have betrayed Reagan, I'm inclined to agree. But don't try to tell me that conservatives have betrayed Reagan by adhering too closely to his values.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
- A month or so ago (I think?) Rhodester suggested I check out Google Reader, a very handy tool for coordinating, organizing and reading blogs. I filed the advice away in the back of my mind, but I never bothered to really set it up for myself until last night. (I'm never the first to check out something new.)
Well, I've ended up really grateful that Dave suggested Google Reader. I have 40 or 50 blogs that I try to check once a day, and Google Reader makes checking them much easier, much quicker and maybe more fun. So take Dave's advice, I'm glad I finally did. Google Reader is awesome.
If you want to see how Google Reader looks, you can check this out: One option once you set up your reader account is to share things that catch your eye with ... well, with whomever. My shared page is right here.
- A couple of people have told me that they're surprised that I'm in relatively good spirits, considering how things went Tuesday. And here's the truth of it: Tuesday night wasn't a loss for me.
Tuesday night was not a loss for conservatives.
Tuesday night was a loss for liberal Republicans. Why should I give two s#!ts about liberal Republicans? Why should I care that they lost elections? They don't represent my views. Screw 'em.
Richard Viguerie sums it up to my satisfaction:
"Conservatism did not lose – big government Republicanism lost..."
Let's hope that the GOP is paying attention now and that Tuesday's drubbing will yank their asses back into gear. Give us conservative choices and conservatives will put them in office.
- I can't get over this silly crap:
The OFFICE of the PRESIDENT-ELECT??
Have you ever heard any elected candidate refer to himself as the "President Elect?" It's just killing him to have to wait until mid-January to be sworn in, isn't it?
This goes beyond affectation or pretension. This is just silly. This is just childish.
Oh, and what did he do while standing there at his snazzy, all-official-looking new "President-Elect" podium? He mocked a sickly, 87 year old widow.
You stay classy, now, Mr. Big Shot.
- DJ Drummond at WizBang shoots holes in the talk about Obama's election being historic:
"...let's start with the notion that a black man winning election makes that election 'historic'. Really now, by that logic we have had a lot of 'historic' elections. George Washington was the first president, John Adams the first president not named Washington, various presidents were the first to be elected of their party, Thomas Jefferson was the first president to be elected in a contest decided by the House of Representatives, Martin Van Buren was the first natural-born American to be elected president, John Quincy Adams was the first president elected in an election where citizens voted for their states' electors, James Buchanan was the first and so far only bachelor to be elected president, John Kennedy was the first Catholic president, and so on and so on...
What is strange about Obama's focus on being the first black president, is that he started his campaign claiming to be beyond that."
I see where he's going with that. I won't say that I agree with him, not completely, but I concede the point that simply being an "historic" President isn't good enough.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Bang Thy Head
I was thrilled when MTV2 brought back the Headbanger's Ball, their Saturday Night two-hour block of heavy metal videos.
Wendy was pretty happy about it, too. But, as with all things associated with MTV, our excitement was for naught.
For one thing, MTV2 keeps changing the time and the length of Headbanger's Ball. Sometimes it's still two hours, but often it's just an hour, and sometimes it's an odd 90 minute program.
And they keep pushing the time back further and further. There's just no way to know when or where they'll be playing it. TIVO gets it for us, but we never know when TIVO will be finding it. Lately it's been running in the deepest night when other stations are playing infomercials.
And then, once we get a chunk of Headbanger's Ball metal videos on the TIVO, we end up fast forwarding through damn near all of them because most of them suck.
There is still plenty of good metal out there, old and new ... but MTV2 seems hell-bent on programming bands based, apparently, on record label relationships. So we fast-forward through the whole program, finish it in twenty minutes, and feel disappointed. And we go through this once a week.
Well, to hell with it. Thanks to the beauty of blogs and YouTube, I'll be hosting Headbanger's Ball here at SouthCon whenever I feel like it. And I feel like it now.
Welcome to the first SouthCon edition of the Headbanger's Ball, featuring some of the best heavy metal out there, old and new, but stuff that MTV refuses to play for some damned reason.
We'll start out right with the band that ya always hope to hear when you tune in to Headbanger's Ball... Slayer:
Up next is one of my favorite new bands, unfortunately a band that just broke up this past August after ten years together. Maybe if MTV2 had given them the attention they deserve, they'd still be together. This is HIMSA, the song is Big Timber. MTV2 did play it on Headbanger's Ball a couple of times, but HIMSA could have benefited from exposure at an hour when there are still some people awake.
That last video was a classic from Pantera, Mouth For War, the first track on Vulgar Display Of Power. It's hard to go wrong with Pantera.
This next track doesn't offer much in the way of a visual, it's not a proper video at all. A fan put this together and the only visual image is the cover of the album from which the songs were drawn. The band is Opeth, the album is Watershed, and this is eight minutes or so of outstanding prog metal called The Lotus Eater, my favorite track on the album. Let it play, it's worth it. There's some amazing soloing in there, and the band goes down some surprising alleys musically:
Opeth, followed by Judas Priest, the awesome title track from the 1990 album Painkiller ... lest anyone get the idea that Priest was done after the mid-80's. Not so, my friend.
Up next, a great metal band with an interesting history. Original singer Jesse Leach left Killswitch Engage after their second album, but rather than break up the band recruited singer Howard Jones and continued. Jesse's departure from the band was under the best possible terms, and he even came back to sing harmony vocals on some of the band's first tracks recorded with Howard. For my money, Howard is the better singer ... I think the band traded up. Nonetheless, they did some awesome songs with Jesse, and this video is for one of them. From the album Alive or Just Breathing, here's Killswitch Engage with My Last Serenade:
That was Alice In Chains, their classic Would, from the album Dirt. That track is also on the soundtrack to the film Singles.
Up next, Richmond Virginia's own Lamb of God. This band never fails to bring the heavy in a serious way. For example, the track Now You've Got Something To Die For:
That was the CRIMINALLY underrated band Sevendust, one of two videos for the song Enemy. The other video doesn't have the band in it at all, I like this one better.
And I'll wrap up this ten-video, first addition of the Headbanger's Ball at Southcon with one last vid. I hope you heard something you enjoyed that you're interested in checking out a band or two based on the songs here. This last one is from my favorite lyricist in metal today. Every YouTube copy I saw of the song I really wanted to close with, Disposable Teens, doesn't allow embedding. So I'll go with my second favorite. Here's Marilyn putting our vacuous pop culture on notice, This Is The New Shit:
Friday, November 07, 2008
Videos For Friday
Man, what a week, huh? My head is still spinning.
Here are some videos to close out a week's worth of fairly active blogging on my part.
This first video is political AND personal. It's a little long, like six minutes, so I understand if you don't want to watch it. My 9 year old stepson, Liam, really followed the Presidential election this year. He watched and read a lot of news, and he asked me a lot of questions about it. And he and I had a number of conversations about Obama and McCain. So I got out the video camera:
Of course, he's been influenced by my conservative perspective. The day will probably come when he and I don't see eye-to-eye on any number of political issues. But I go out of my way to make it clear to all of our kids that agreeing on everything isn't what's important. What's important is that we keep talking and keep listening to each other, and that we share our opinions with love and with respect. We're a family. That trumps everything else. You can disagree with someone in your family on political matters and still love and respect them.
This next one is the latest from the Mighty Zo Rachel. I've been following his YouTube channel for only a few weeks now and I check it daily to see if he's posted anything new yet. In this video Zo talks about the aftermath of Election 2008 and offers some good advice to his fellow conservatives:
Man, we need to goad Zo into getting into politics. I don't know where the hell the man lives, but he needs to start out running for city council or the school board or whatever. And then work his way up to state office, and then on to Federal office and then the White House around 2020. I'm dead serious, dude. He strikes me as a communicator, a leader, and a man with a clear, conservative vision. That's what we need. Zo Rachel For President.
OK, check this next bit out: Presidential dog Barney is taking some hate for having allegedly bitten a reporter:
It looks to me like Barney might have gotten a little snag on one of this guy's fingers. But that ain't the point. Here's the point:
If you know anything about dogs, you already know what this reporter did wrong. A dog is a living animal. An animal, not a toy, and as an animal it has to be approached in a certain way. That reporter didn't know a damn thing about Barney. All dogs are different, some are jumpy, some are territorial, some are nervous, some are just mean. You have to know what kind of dog you're approaching and you have to approach him properly.
Never just put your open hand on a dog. Don't offer your open hand to a dog, either. He might respond well to that, or he might feel threatened by it. Barney seemed to have felt threatened. And he did what dogs do when they feel threatened.
The reporter is lucky. Had Barney been a moody Mastiff or a St. Bernard, he might have taken the ends of two or three of those fingers.
When you approach a dog you don't know, first of all, ask it's owner or guardian if you can pet the dog. If you're given the go-ahead, the first thing to do is to offer the dog the back of your closed fist for the animal to smell. If he doesn't like what he smells, or just generally doesn't like you, he'll let you know with a growl or a snort, or he'll back off. If he accepts your fist with a tail-wagging and general happiness, that would be the time to go ahead and give him a little scratch.
You don't lay your open hand on a strange dog. You just don't do it. You might get bitten. Let's hope that reporter has learned and will remember one of the basic lessons of human - dog interaction.
OK, let's wrap this up with a little raw Anthrax, "Caught In A Mosh" and "Got The Time", recorded live in Sacramento in '98. This was back when 'Thrax had their best vocalist ever, the mighty John Bush. The technical quality of this clip just ain't all that happenin' ... but the energy is there and I'm sure it was a great show.
Coming Tomorrow ... SouthCon presents me hosting my own made-up version of an episode of MTV's Headbanger's Ball. It oughta be a lot of fun.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
A Few More Disjointed, Random Thoughlets
- Apparently the Obama campaign has stiffed some of it's employees in Indianapolis. Stop complaining, Obama campaign workers. All that's happening is they're taking your money and spreading it around elsewhere, right? What's wrong with that?
- Rush Limbaugh has bought a new car for one of his listeners to cheer her up after the election.
I know there were times in the past when I wrote at this blog that I think that Limbaugh is an a-hole. Well, I'd like to take this opportunity to assert that I must have misquoted myself. At the very least I took my remarks out of context. What I was trying to say is that Limbaugh is a hero of mine and probably the greatest and most generous radio personality who's ever lived. There's nothing that I'd rather do than listen to the EIB while driving around in my brand new Dodge truck. You know, if I had a new Dodge truck. Which would really cheer me up.
- John McCain showed himself to be graceful in defeat Tuesday night. Not everyone who's worked for him can do the same. Sarah Palin has responded briefly to the McCain campaigners who've been smearing her since the election:
Look, here's where I stand on Palin. I like her. I am still a little reluctant to call myself a Palin supporter in any political sense, but I agree with her on a great number of things and I really like her.
And as these disgruntled, bitter, failed, anonymous McCain campaign staffers continue to prove the quality of their characters with this sniping, it makes me want to defend Palin. The conservative blog Red State is behind an effort to identify and out these people who're attacking Palin anonymously. I like that. I hope they are able to ID some of these people and I hope that future political campaigns remember what they've done and think twice about hiring them.
- Scott Ott at Scrappleface usually writes hilarious political satire. But he occasionally posts something serious, such as this video about Reagan's response to losing the GOP nomination in '75.
Dutch would NOT give up and he never lost his focus. Stay hungry, my fellow conservatives.
- A McCain supporter writes to CNN that he or she is gonna do everything he or she can to trip up Obama:
"We have to watch this guy and not give him an inch," one McCain supporter wrote. "The same way he criticized every move of President Bush. We have to make things as difficult for him as he did for Bush."
That's the wrong approach. That's the kind of thing the liberals have done to Dubya for eight years. And I admit that I've not always been above that kind of personal stuff when it comes to politicians. But we're stuck with this guy for four years, so we should probably focus on trying to help the next President do the right things and trying to discourage or prevent him from doing the wrong things. The man himself isn't important. Policy is what matters.
And, no, liberals. Right and wrong are not subjective concepts. We're not going down that relativism road.
- This cartoon from Town Hall hits the nail on the head:
It's really that simple. Look, if you call yourself pro-life and you voted for the most dedicated abortion booster to ever run for President, you are completely full of shit. Period. You can't be both pro-life and an Obama supporter. But then, you already knew that, didn't you?
- Little Green Footballs reports that Seattle radicals are waving the flag this week. I'm not surprised by that.
One way to interpret this is that these radicals are suddenly patriotic because they think they've gotten what they want. My understanding of this issue is a bit more ... well, nuanced.
In his book The Enemy At Home, Dinesh D'Souza argued convincingly that radical leftists really are patriotic, as they understand patriotism. They do love America in their own way.
The thing is, Conservatives love America for what it really is, warts and all. We're honest with ourselves about our country, it's flaws, what's good here, what's great here, and what needs improvement.
Radical leftist Americans love a hypothetical America. They love what this country might be, if only people would do things their way. So when they say that they love America, they aren't telling a lie. They love America by their own understanding of that concept.
The problem with leftists isn't that they're unpatriotic. The problem is that they're irrational, incapable of empathy, and spend most of their time with their heads in the clouds. They don't love the real America, not even the one that elected Barck Obama. They love the hypothetical America that they think Obama is going to create for him. And when he doesn't, they'll be more bitter than ever.
- Here are two articles worth reading:
I've been saying that the GOP needs to return to the policies of Reagan. George Will gets even more old school, asking what would Goldwater do?
And Joan Vennochi ponders closing the door on victimhood.
With Obama's victory, the torch is passing to a new generation of black leaders. But they still face some of the same old challenges.
I'd agree. But I'd assert that many of those "same old challenges" are presented by the lingering, backward-thinking anger of many of the previous generation's "racial leaders."
Disjointed, Random Thoughlets
- I'm thinking Bobby Jindal in 2012.
- The backlash begins. Apparently Obama's campaign is trying to deal with all the unreasonably high expectations people have for the President Elect.
That's funny. Unreasonable expectations are what got this guy elected. Unreasonable expectations are what he campaigned on! Unreasonable expectations are the foundation of Obamamania. Too late to try to get a handle on that. That ship sailed a long time ago.
- Rhodester pointed out in a recent comment that only a few days ago I said I was going to take a break from blogging. And then I started posting one or more posts a day. Dave is probably right not to take me seriously when I say it's time for a little break. Apparently nothing makes me want to ramble like saying I'm trying to quit.
- Now that the election is over I finally figured out a way to express what it is that bugs me about all this talk of "unity." Seems that's all we've heard about, the need for this country to be united. Well, here's the thing: "Unity" has always struck me as a code-word for "conformity." I cherish my right to disagree, even to disagree with the majority ... maybe even to be the only person I know who holds a particular opinion. I'd rather continue not fitting in, thank you very much, if "unity" means I have to become pro-abortion ... or that I have to believe everything some politician tries to sell me ... or that I have to let anyone else ever do my thinking for me.
- I've been seeing Karl Rove on Fox News regularly lately. He's hardly made any impression on me at all. He seems smart, restrained, thoughtful and really pretty bland. I honestly can't understand why so many people hate Karl Rove. I can understand disagreeing with him, but hating him? What's to hate? The guy is milquetoast.
- The Onion, as usual, is soooo funny and soooo dead-on:
Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are
Best quote: "Worst case scenario is that someone with evil intent seizes control of them. They've proven their minds can be taken over by empty rhetoric."
- Tonight I saw a montage of clips from the concession speeches of a number of politicians who've run for President. It's true that nothing tells us more about who a man really is than seeing how he handles failure. My gut reaction was that we've had a string of graceful, thoughtful and likable guys from both parties lose the race for the Presidency in the last several years.
- If what I've been reading is true, there are members of the McCain campaign who blame Sarah Palin for their defeat. I think that's foolish. I can't imagine that there was any really significant number of people who were swayed to vote for Obama because of Sarah Palin, Dennis Hopper not withstanding. I suppose that people who advise politicians for a living have to cast around for someone to blame other than themselves when their campaign tanks. Some of these accusations are ugly and simply impossible to believe. And considering that these things are being said anonymously, there's no reason to take them seriously. Either own up to your claims, make them publicly and attach your name to your statements, or shut the #%@# up, you cowards.
It may be safe to assume that some of these McCain campaigners have already burned bridges with Sarah Palin and they're trying to preemptively taint her prior to 2012.
Of course, if any of these accusations about Palin really are true, she'll probably fade into a footnote without any help from McCain's failed staff.
- I was sorry to hear that Michael Crichton died amid all the election excitement.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Gleaning The Aftermath
- Judging by the venom and spite they continue to throw her way, it looks like some of the leftists are still all to hell about Sarah Palin. Might they be bracing themselves for 2012 already?
- If you were one of those who suffered from the delusion that the "Arab Street" would drool all over itself with affection for the US after the election of Barack Obama, it's time to wake up:
The Saudi daily Al-Watan stated in an editorial: “There is no significant difference between Obama and McCain. They disagree only on the means to achieve America’s chief goal, which is to rule for another hundred years.”
And this is from a fatwa from Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, issued right before the election:
“The Democrats kill you slowly without you noticing it - and therein lies the danger. They are like a snake whose touch is not felt until its poison enters your body.
“Therefore, I hope that McCain comes to power, so that the motivation for jihad remains in our hearts, and so that we do not [begin to] rely on the infidels - [which will cause us] to be struck by the fire [of Hell].”
Hey, it looks like Islamic Extremists hate the Newly Anointed One as much as they ever hated Bush! Gosh, how'd that happen?
- Look, I don't begrudge Obama's supporters their celebrations. God knows the campaign was hard-fought and they deserve to be happy that things went their way. But what in hell were some young Obama supporters doing waving a USSR flag out in front of the White House last night?
I'd like to be able to attribute this to the fact that most young people are stupid, drunk and confused. But who knows?
- John Kerry has admitted that he'd consider a position in the Obama cabinet.
Some insiders claim that he's practically begging to be Secretary of State.
That's pretty funny. It must be really interesting to see John Kerry from his own perspective. I'd like to buy him for what he's actually worth and sell him for what he thinks he's worth.
- The Sun tabloid in London usually runs a photo of a topless young woman on page three of every issue. Thus the famous Page 3 Girls. This morning, however, they dropped the cheesecake in favor of a photo of Barack Obama.
I think we can all agree that the preemption of boobies is simply taking the media bias too far.
Time to spread the wealth and slaughter the goats! Election 2008 is in the books.
So, for starters, what is there to be happy about? I can think of something:
I never thought I'd be able to say it, but I lived to see the first non-white guy elected President of the US. If I put aside all of his policies and all the things about him that I dislike, I have to admit ... this one aspect of his election is pretty darn cool. Racism will probably never totally disappear from the human mind ... but America's specific and unique style of racism took a major kick in the stones just now. I gotta admit, that makes me happy.
If I were still working in radio I'd play my favorite Fishbone song and dedicate it to Barack Obama tonight.
Oprah says she hasn't seen this kind of unity since 9/11. Come, now, Oprah, the Obama election isn't a disaster on quite that level, is it? Ha ha.
And there's this: Guys like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have made careers of talking about how racist American society is. What are they going to say now? That in America a black man can never possibly rise any higher than ... President? Time to look for new jobs, Al and Jesse.
I also want to say that you're not going to hear too much doom and gloom from me. We elected a President who's policies I oppose. OK, fine. My fellow conservatives, it's time to regroup, think about what we did wrong, think about what we can do from here, and get on with it. I've never had any respect for all the left-wing crybabies who threatened to leave the country after Bush was elected in 2000 and 2004. What is that crap? "Play my way or I'll take my toys and leave?" Conservatives, now is our chance to really demonstrate the differences between us and them. Liberals can't even be gracious in victory, much less defeat. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. Don't forget it.
This is still a great country. We survived the Presidencies of Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Herbert Hoover and Woodrow Wilson. We can survive this guy, too. Remember, conservatives, we're the optimists. We talk about how strong, generous and free our country is, right? We gotta mean that. We're proud of our country, right? Don't forget that ... even when things don't go our way.
And the thing is, Barack Obama seems pretty optimistic, too. He's just optimistic for the wrong reasons. We're gonna have to out-optimistic the guy. ;)
Now don't get me wrong ... there are things to worry about. I think the real problem here is that the Democrats have picked up a bunch of legislative seats. My biggest fear is that President Obama will manage to get one or two extreme leftists appointed to the Supreme Court, and with little resistance from Congress. Hopefully we can swing both houses of Congress back the other way in 2010. And then elect a real President (black, white or otherwise) in 2012.
So what are the lessons we can take away from Election 2008?
Here's my list:
- Republicans Can't Beat Democrats At Their Own Games ... Part 1
George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" turned out to be a code word for "liberalism." His second term was especially disappointing. Bush's 2004 pronouncements about working toward an "ownership society" proved to be empty promises. Instead, he's increased the size of the government, he's created new entitlement programs and he's spent money like John Edwards at a beauty salon.
Bush's push to get the recent bail-out bill passed was probably the last straw. That bill was unpopular with the vast majority of Americans, and it remains so. If it looks like corporate welfare, walks like corporate welfare and talks like corporate welfare, dammit, it probably is corporate welfare.
Bush had only two conservative successes in his second term, and those were the appointments of Judges Roberts and Alito to the SCotUS. And even the Alito selection was a last-minute save after the disastrous Harriet Miers washout.
When Republicans govern like Democrats they give us very little reason to keep electing them.
- Republicans Can't Beat Democrats At Their Own Games ... Part 2
Hey, let's face it, John McCain hasn't really been any better. We all knew he was too liberal from the get-go. And towards the end he got even more liberal. I think his proposal to have the Treasury Department buy up all the crap mortgages was probably the death nell for his campaign.
Why should voters elect a pseudo-socialist when they had a real one available?
So I hope that the lesson the GOP learns is that they have to "dance with who brung 'em," as they say. Clearly Mitt Romney would have been a better choice. And if we'd still lost with Romney, at least we'd have known that we retained our principles in the process.
- What Would Reagan Do?
Look, the neocons have had their shot. And they've cost us an awful lot. You know, eight years ago I didn't even really know what "neoconservative" meant. After the past eight years I've come to believe that a "neocon" is basically a liberal who's pro-Israel and believes in the preemptive strike.
Nothing wrong with loving Israel ... but it ain't enough.
It's time for the GOP to get back to real conservatism. To heck with "compassion." I don't look to the government for "compassion." That's what our families, friends and churches are for. Our government, dammit, is supposed to LEAD US, KEEP US SAVE AND SERVE OUR INTERESTS.
The GOP should, in all things, reference Reaganism. When it comes to policies, candidates, positions and ideology, Reagan is the touchstone. It's not enough to just talk about how awesome Reagan was. The Republican party has to go back to promoting his kind of governance.
And that means decreasing the size of Government, not increasing it.
That means a return to good-old-by-God Trickle Down Economics. The American people won't need the government to take care of them if you free up the marketplace to do what it naturally does, and that's create prosperity.
That means being ready to strike fear in the hearts of those who'd even kill a couple of Americans in a disco in Germany ... much less actually attack us on our own soil.
What would Reagan do? That's what we should do.
- Don't Let The Democrats Co-Opt Conservatism
I saw it in '96 and to a large extent I feel like I've seen it again.
Bill Clinton got elected to a second term by coming to the middle, as the phrase goes. Obama has gotten elected by doing much of the same.
In 2006 Obama was saying that he wanted us out of Iraq immediately. RIGHT NOW. His policy now isn't significantly different from the current administration's policy. He even admitted that the surge worked "beyond our wildest dreams" in September.
He also ran as a tax-cutter, promising lower taxes for "95% of Americans." Look, you know and I know that the math on that doesn't work. It's nonsense. The point, though, is that he ran as a tax-cutter. In spite of his occasional, candid admissions of his socialist ideology, Obama ran ads promising to cut taxes.
He even posed as strong on national defense when he talked about invading Pakistan.
What's that all about?
Clearly the guy said what he had to say to get conservatives to vote for him. Maybe the GOP spent a little too much time focusing on Bill Ayers, ACORN and Joe Biden's gaffes and too little time focusing on Obama's policy inconsistencies.
Yeah, I knew he was inconsistent and you knew he was inconsistent ... but it doesn't look like the message was significantly delivered to "Joe Six-Pack."
So there are my ideas, you can take them for what they're worth. The ramblings of a fat ol' conservative redneck from newly blue Virginia probably don't mean a whole heck of a lot at this point.
I'm gonna wrap this up now. Obama is giving his victory speech and I don't want to miss it. It is, after all, history. And the good Lord knows that the guy gives amazing speeches.
So congratulations to President Elect Barack Obama. Enjoy your first term ... I'll be doing what I can to make sure it's your only one! ;)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I'm Worthy, I'm Worthy!
By the way, according to at least one source, I was worthy to cast my vote today:
You're darn tootin', Skippy.
Stay Classy, Shirley Nagal
I didn't see this story from Halloween night until now. A McCain supporter refused to give Halloween candy to kids who wouldn't tell her that they don't support Obama:
A whole slew of little kids who've NEVER been effected by politics before will have this as their first political memory: "The mean old Republican lady wouldn't give me candy on Halloween."
Do all us conservatives a favor, Shirley Nagal: Start supporting Democrats.
Black Panthers With Weapons At Philly Polling Location
The Black Panthers are practicing a little bit of good ol' fashioned voter intimidation in Pennsylvania. On the off chance that someone reading this doesn't know what the Black Panthers are, the explanation is simple: The Black Panthers is a terrorist organization. They're analogous to the KKK or skinhead nazis. Subhuman shit, in other words.
An army vet had this to say about his experience while trying to vote at a Philadelphia polling place:
"As I walked up to the door, the two gentlemen in Black Panther garb, one of them brandishing a night stick, standing immediately in front of the door... As I walked up they closed ranks next to each other. You know, I'm an army veteran. That doesn't scare me. So I walked directly in between them, went inside and found one of the poll watchers. They said they'd been here about an hour. And they told us not to come outside because a black man is going to win this election no matter what."
Watch the Fox News story, complete with the quote above, right here:
Here's some cellphone video another person shot:
My favorite part is when the guy with the camera phone says that brandishing a night stick is intimidating and the moron with the night stick says "Who are you to decide that?"
Apparently you don't have to be all that smart to join the Black Panthers. There's a shock.
From what I've seen, this is a fairly good representation of the mentality that's about to put an unqualified, shady socialist in the White House.
But of course those of us who aren't voting for Obama ... We're the real racists, right?
Well, we'll see what happens today I guess. Either we'll elect a liberal who's changed his positions with the polls and wants the government to solve everything from home foreclosures to "climate change" ...
We'll elect someone who's actually far worse than that liberal: His opponent, Senator Barack Obama.
Yeah, McCain is too damn liberal for me. But let's be honest about this new Messiah that so many people seem thrilled about and ready to put in the Oval Office:
- Obama has no leadership experience AT ALL. He's spent his life in the leftist closed circuits of academia and law practice. This is what we're electing? A lawyer and college professor? Have you ever spent much time talking with either a lawyer or a professor? If so, did EITHER of them strike you as people who were in touch with the average American perspective? Obama is both a lawyer AND a college professor. You can't get any more caught up in the dark side than that.
- His record on abortion is the most radical of any Democratic Presidential candidate ever. And, given the opportunity, he'll load the courts with extreme leftists who share his radical perspective.
- The money you work for is yours. No one else's. YOURS. Obama wants to take it from you and spread it around. He's been honest about that. If that doesn't outrage you, you just aren't thinking.
- Obama's ideas are bad. That's why he disavows them and accuses those who call him out on his ideas of "smearing" him. Obama's associates are questionable at best, reprehensible at worst. Obama's experience is negligible. And Obama's colleagues in the Senate, including fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton and others, have made no secret of their doubts about him.
Are we really going to elect our next president based on novelty?
Sadly, I think we are.
Just watch this video, that's all I ask ... and then vote your conscious.
Monday, November 03, 2008
MCFAT: Ecks Ecks Eye Eye Eye
MCF's latest round of questions:
1) Do you like Halloween? Why or why not?
Yeah, I love it. I just always have. I do enjoy horror movies, ghost stories, etc ... but probably no more than many other people do. So I like Halloween because the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel, et al, do all those specials with names like The Fifty Scariest Places In South-West Detroit. I eat that stuff up. That's what Tivo was made for.
2) What is your favorite sound effect?
The Wilhelm Scream is a fun one, if only for trivia purposes. But I have to admit that I'm not that good at spotting it when it comes up in movies.
On a more personal note ... every year, about this time of year, I edit our year's worth of home movies down to one half-hour or so of highlights. Then I put it on DVD with all the amenities: Opening credits, sound effects, background music, etc. We send the finished product out with our Christmas cards.
I've learned from all this editing and producing that you can't go wrong by adding Yakety Sax to the soundtrack of just about anything. Here's a demonstration, a video that prominently features one of our dogs. I uploaded this to YouTube almost two years ago:
Yakety Sax is my go-to music for just about any video footage. If you speed up a bit of video and add that song to the mix, you usually end up with comedy gold.
I thought about this for a while a little earlier, and I asked myself, is there any video footage that isn't improved by adding Yakety Sax to the background? I decided to do a little experiment:
The jury is still out on the results. Nonetheless, for my money, Yakety Sax almost always brings the funny.
3) How do you feel when studios recast roles to different actors in sequels to popular films?
It depends on the reason. If an actor holds out for more money and the studio says "Screw you, pal," I usually side with the studio. No actor is irreplaceable.
Having said that, there are instances where a given studio has gone with a more "bankable" star, and with disastrous results. I'm thinking about the first Batman movie franchise.
And as a Batman fanboy, I'm so happy with Christian Bale in the current films that I'd hate to see him replaced.
But no actor should own any given role purely as a matter of principle.
4) Fire or Ice?
SPECIAL BONUS QUESTION: Who is Zsaji?
Uh ... ZsaZsa after a few too many?
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Hey, look! Somebody took a video camera and went trick or treating at the homes of some of my extended family!
Jack Chick.... (shudder).
This website is pretty cool. It's one of those sites that has a list of historic events, births, deaths, etc, for every day of the year.
Thanks to this website, and assuming that it's accurate, I've just learned that:
- On the day I was born, the Ottawa Rough Riders defeated the Calgary Stampeders, 24-21. That was apparently the only thing of any note that happened on that day.
- On the day my wife was born, Billy Carter, brother of then-President Jimmy Carter, is said to have made a public antisemitic remark. And I think that there's clearly a connection.
- My stepdaughter shares a birthday with Clint Eastwood.
- Ten years to the day before my son was born, Dow Jones closed above 2,000 for 1st time.
- Actor Brian Keith killed himself on the day that my stepson was born! What did he know?? WHAT DID HE KNOW??!
- On the day my mother was born, with WWII raging, U-358 sank in the Atlantic and there were massive strikes in Northern Italian towns.
- Good Karma: I share my birthday with Mark Twain, Jonathan Swift, Winston Churchill, Ridley Scott, David Mamet, and Playboy's Miss May, 1991.
- Bad Karma: I also share my birthday with Abbie Hoffman, Ben Stiller, and GASP! Clay Aiken!
So have fun with Brainy History ... but be careful. Once you learn something, you can't unlearn it.
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