Saturday, February 28, 2009

 

Paul Harvey



Over the course of a remarkable career he developed the ability to evoke common sense and reason with just the sound of his voice.

RIP, Paul Harvey, he was 90 years old.

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Foodism



Harvey at IMHO has a post about a small-town mayor who's in political hot water for forwarding a racist anti-Obama cartoon.

The cartoon's caption is something about this year's White House Easter egg hunt not happening. The image is a picture of the White House with a huge watermelon patch.

Yeah, it's racist. And it's dumb. And it brings up an issue that I've never understood.

Why is there a stereotype about black folks liking watermelon and fried chicken? I don't get that. Don't YOU like watermelon and fried chicken, regardless of your race? I LOVE watermelon and I'm crazy about fried chicken. EVERYBODY loves watermelon and fried chicken. So what's up with this stereotype?

Is the message of this stereotype that black folks sure know good food when they see it? Because I think that's a pretty positive stereotype.

You don't hear a lot of generalizations about white folks when it comes to food. Or any other races, for that matter.

Maybe whites should have a food stereotype. Since watermelon and fried chicken are already taken (and that's a shame, since those are both awesome foods), I'll suggest the following: Why don't we start insisting that white folks sure love them some ice cream and cheeseburgers.

I love ice cream and cheeseburgers as much as watermelon and chicken, so I'm gonna speak for whites and say we got dibs on the burgers and ice cream.

Wouldn't it be pretty cool, really, if every race had a foodist stereotype?

I'll suggest a few:



OK, that's enough for now. Not because I've run out of good foods to assign, but because I'm running out of ethnic groups. But if you represent a group I've skipped and you've got a favorite food, let me know. I'll be happy to put you on the list.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

 

The Shovel List: Addendum 03



I'm gonna have fun with this one.

The list of people that I'd like to
hit in the face with a shovel* includes:


Janeane Garofalo

Remember Janeane Garofalo? She was one of those "rising stars to watch" back in the '90's. And if you did watch this rising star, you saw her fizzle out in a rather nondescript fashion. The highlight of her career was probably a Ben Stiller vehicle called Mystery Men, a movie that few people saw and far fewer people could stomach.


Well, Janeane Garofalo appeared on the Keith Olbermann Trainwreck the other night and made the following pronouncements:


Olbermann agreed that Steele suffers from "self-loathing."

Now, "self-loathing" seems to be an obsessive topic with Garofalo, judging from her imdb biography.I mean, damn... we're talking about a woman who named her production company I Hate Myself Productions.

And this is a woman who had breast reduction surgery "to get people to pay attention to me without mocking me," so self-image problems seem to be a constant in her life. It's not at all surprising to find out that she has fifteen tattoos. And, hey, nothing wrong with tattoos. I have a couple of 'em myself. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, sometimes a tattoo is just a tattoo. And sometimes a self-hating narcissist who's obsessed with her physical appearance becomes addicted to body modification in a transparent attempt to turn herself into someone she can stand to look at.

But, hey, Garofalo's turnip-like countenance is hardly the worst thing she has going for her. We're not talking here about someone who's blessed herself with a lifetime of smart decisions. Continuing at her imdb biography, with the text I've pulled directly from that source in green:

Now, a patient, empathetic blogger ought to be able to look at Garofalo's history of failures, flops, missed opportunities and disasters and feel some pity for her. A kindhearted blogger ought to view Janeane's recent crappy remarks as nothing more than an indication of the pitiful bitterness and perpetual regret that must haunt her life. Yeah, a blogger with any compassion at all ought to be able to give her the benefit of the doubt.

But I ain't that guy.

Instead, I hereby offer Janeane Garofalo a shovel to the face.

Today, Dan has the honor of standing in for a miserable, washed-up, pretentious, leathery old has-been named Janeane Garofalo:




*Disclaimer: The author doesn't actually wish physical harm upon anyone on this list, although he really doesn't care that he'll be branded a misogynist for placing Garofalo on this list. The author doesn't intend to encourage anyone to actually, physically hit anyone on this list with a shovel. In the event that someone does actually hit anyone on this list with a shovel, the author respectfully insists that the shovel-swinger must not pull some kind of John Hinckley/Jodie Foster deal and say that it was done to impress the author. The author reserves the right, though, to snicker quietly if someone actually does hit someone on this list in the face with a shovel. But I don't want anyone to physically hit Janeane Garofalo. She's been through enough, really, and there's no reason to expect anything more than continuing failures, disappointments and second-bests in her future. She's just done.

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Barack W. Bush



I've asked before, I'll ask again: Feeling stupid yet, Obama voters?
The Obama administration on Friday told a federal judge it would not deviate from the Bush administration's position that detainees held at a U.S. air base in Afghanistan have no right to sue in U.S. courts.

HT: Pasadena Closet Conservative.

Since this is one of the areas where Dubya had it right, I'm pretty happy about it.

But, uh ... change we can believe in?

Hardy. Har. Har.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

 

A Laugh At Wal-Mart



Hey, look, it's Obama's Spendulus Package in action!

Toilet paper was a dollar-twelve, now it's SEVEN BUCKS!

This time next year we'll be standing in line for two hours to buy that seven-dollar toilet paper!

Thank you, Comrade Obama!

(This post has five exclamation points!)

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Amazing Day



Today I slept for almost six straight hours without waking up to go to the bathroom.

You have no idea how huge that is. It's like suddenly developing the ability to fly.

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Something Just Occured To Me...



...because, granted, I've been thinking about Watchmen lately:

Maybe Dr. Manhattan is a monkey?

(Rimshot.)

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Throw It All Away



Pure positive energy from Toad The Wet Sprocket. I LOVE these lyrics:

take your cautionary tales
take your incremental gain
and all the sychophantic games
and throw 'em all away

burn your tv in your yard
and gather 'round it with your friends
and warm your hands upon the fire
and start again

take the story you've been sold
the lies that justify the pain
the guilt the weighs upon your soul
and throw 'em all away


tear up the calendar you bought
and throw the pieces to the sky
confetti falling down like rain
like a parade to usher in your life

take the dreams that should've died
the ones that kept you wide awake
when you should've been all right
and throw 'em all away


with the time I waste on the life I never had
I could've turned myself into a better man


'cause there ain't nothing you can buy
there is nothing you can save
to fill the hole inside your heart
so throw it all away

it won't fill the hole inside your heart

help me to empty out this house
of all I've gathered all these days
and thought I couldn't do without
and throw it all away



Or, put another way, as Tyler Durden says, The things you own end up owning you.

Click here and spend a buck on an absolutely perfect little pop song.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

 

Francis Hates Everything...



...well, he hates everything but vests.

This goofy little Left 4 Dead dance song gave me a chuckle. Somebody strung together all the clips of Francis talking about the things he hates and compiled this catchy little tribute to the man and his intolerance.

B13 and Scott and other fellow Left 4 Dead players might get a kick out of this, but to everyone else it's just not gonna make any sense.



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Movie Review: Religulous



Synopsis

Bill Maher is an atheist/agnostic. This film chronicles his travels and interviews with a number of people who adhere to various religions, and the film aims to present the subject matter humorously.

Pros:


Cons:


Generally:

3 on a scale of one to five. Keep it in context and it's not bad.

Extended Review:

Bill Maher's Religulous is a better movie than I thought it would be, which is to say that I was able to watch it without getting viscerally angry... and that I don't dislike Maher any more after watching it than I did before.

It isn't a great movie, either ... but it's actually pretty good if you take it for what it is. This isn't serious theology, nor is it a real documentary. It's a documentary only in the Michael Moore sense. The movie consists of scenes wherein Maher travels from place to place interviewing mostly earnest, simple people, and setting them up so he can make them look silly with clever editing, subtitles and (occasionally) quick rejoinders.

The danger of a movie like this is that other simple people (or young people) will see it and take it for more than it is. Maher doesn't really prove anything here beyond the strength of his own convictions. But he does so with enough humor and style to make his perspective easy to adopt. I don't think Maher would disagree with me that it's incumbent on each of us to reach our own conclusions about life, the universe and everything. It's unfortunate that he doesn't do enough to encourage his viewers to do the kind of intense thinking and soul-searching that he has apparently done himself.

For the most part, Maher spends the majority of the movie tilting at straw men. Most of the people he goes after in the movie are easy targets, and many of them really deserve his attacks. People who twist religion so that it justifies a political agenda, or so that it defends hatred, or so that it can be used to dupe people out of money. Those kinds of people are clearly vile. Beyond that, those people do a terrible disservice to the many, many kind, honest, decent religious people in the world. Maher spends his time interviewing the wackos who make up a very small minority of the world's faithful. He talks to people like Fred Phelps followers, the proprietors of the Creationism Museum, and a Jewish "Rabbi" who denies the Holocaust and aligns himself with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Clearly none of these people are fair representatives of their various faiths.

But this is, of course, a movie. And a comedy at that. So Maher had to talk to people who could generate laughs. Maher didn't talk to normal, sane religious people for his film because they'd have been boring. So that's the context, and a viewer would do well to keep that in mind. This isn't really a movie about religion. It's a movie about weirdos. This is like interviewing Michael Jackson and implying that he's a fair representation of all musicians.

Still, I have to give Maher credit for a couple of things: For one, he really went after Islam with the same zeal he had for Christianity and Judiasm. I didn't think he'd have the balls for that. And there were a few scenes wherein he seemed to go out of his way to return the kindness and courtesy he has received. One exchange in particular, involving congregants at the Truck Driver's Church (of all things), seemed mutually warm and friendly.

I enjoyed Religulous to some degree, and given my own doubts about God and religion I found myself mostly sympathetic to Maher's point of view. I was sometimes aggravated by his arrogance and his over-simplification, but I went into the film expecting Maher to get on my nerves and he didn't disappoint.

Maher hardly comes off as the smartest or most reasonable person in his own film. No, the most reasonable and interesting person in Religulous is Father George Coyne, the former Vatican Observatory director who lost his job because of his strong defense of Darwinian Evolutionary Theory. Coyne points out (rightly, I think) that religious fundamentalism of all kinds is "a plague." It doesn't matter if you're a Muslim fundamentalist, a Christian fundamentalist, whatever. Once you get so devoted to a doctrine that you stop using the Brain God gave you, you might end up doing more harm than good. Fundamentalism is the real cancer that Maher is railing against. He makes that point with a heavy hand in the closing scenes. And that's fine. But it's a shame that he's painting all religious people with one brush. Or, if you'll allow me to mix metaphors, Bill Maher is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.



Trailer:



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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

 

1983



How many other members of my generation spend the occasional evening sitting at the PC, looking for long forgotten music videos?

Remember the days before MTV ... or at least before MTV was widely available? (Heck, maybe MTV was just our alt-realty version of VNM anyway.)

Remember Friday Night Videos and Night Tracks? Man. Remember when the whole music video concept was novel, exciting and irresistible?

I have been surprised to realize that a great many of the songs and videos I remember so fondly all date back to the same year: 1983.

David Bowie was always hit or miss with me. For every song he released that I loved there would be another I disliked. I remember the first time I saw the video for Bowie's '83 hit called Modern Love and totally flipping out over it. What a great pop song. I couldn't get it out of my head. Of course, a big part of the reason the song was so good was that awesome little guitar hook at the beginning, played by the then unknown Stevie Ray Vaughn.



In 1983 I was convinced that the heaviest song anyone would ever record was Rock Of Ages by Def Leppard. This was before I got "retro" and discovered Black Sabbath. In '83, Def Leppard was like an atom bomb. Even the image of skinny-ass Joe Elliott waving a seven-foot cardboard sword wasn't enough to ruin this video:



'83 also saw the unthinkable happen: Kiss released Lick It Up and did a video with no makeup. That was a real shock. One reason it was shocking was that without their makeup Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley looked like a couple of old farts. And that was twenty-six years ago, dude. Simmons and Stanley were easy to pick out in the Lick It Up clip, and so was drummer Eric Carr. But I remember being confused the first time I saw the video, wondering who the ugly chick in the band was. Turned out that "ugly chick" was Vinnie Vincent, the guitarist who'd replaced Ace Frehley. Vinnie was one of seventy-four or seventy-six guitarists that Kiss went through in the '80's and '90's.

The video had a post-apocalyptic Mad Max kind of vibe and took place in a bleak future where a bomb or something had wiped out everything except hot chicks and elderly rock stars. Here the band parties into the night, unaware that Keith Richards is waiting in the darkness, ready to strike when they least expect it and take away their women and MRE's:



'83 was also a big year for Boy George, and his band Culture Club had a huge hit with Karma Chameleon. Of course, I was a 15 year old boy in '83 and I was into heavy metal and The A Team. Boy George represented everything I was steadfast against. He looked like Brooke Shields on steroids, and his proudly androgynous image was naturally an affront to any teenage boy's self image. We were doing all we could do to follow the natural path, dude, and become MEN. MEN who would some day have a chance at engaging in actual conversations with WOMEN. And maybe we'd have these conversations in a car, cars we would be driving as we were accompanied on actual DATES by a WOMEN. And, if all went well, the end result of the mysterious DATE process was that somehow the MAN was going to manage to touch the BREAST of the WOMAN. The goal was to touch the BREAST in a way that was mutually agreeable to the MAN and the WOMAN ...but any awkward, fumbling contact that involved the hand of the MAN and the BREAST of the WOMAN was technically acceptable. Once that was done, the MAN could make up any fool thing he wanted to say about the rest of the night, nobody was going to believe him anyway. So with this level of planning and this degree of uncertainty already having profound effects on our desperate young lives, the last thing we needed was happy Mr. Androgyny and his little band dancing their way through the havoc of our daily existence:



Honestly, accusing another guy of being a Culture Club fan in '83 was a pretty serious charge. Those Culture Club albums were sold with gay-germs right on the disc itself. If you took it out and played it, you'd have Boy George's very own gay-germs all over you before you got the record on the turntable! By the time side A was finished, you'd not only be a Culture Club fan, you'd also be Lamar from Revenge of the Nerds:



Of course, it's been 26 years and I'm ashamed to say that the 15 year old version of myself would be horrified to see how I now respond when Karma Chameleon comes on the radio. Like every other putz my age, I bop along a bit, sing along with the words I remember, and remark about how cool it is when they play the old songs I remember from my school days. Boy George just doesn't freak me out anymore. I don't even know if he's actually gay or not. I realized that my grasp on "gay culture" was tenuous at best when the gays addopted Tammy Faye Bakker as an icon d'jour.

Then there was Styx and Mr. Roboto, a conceptual piece that didn't make sense on it's own, in the abbreviated four-minute version they showed on TV.

No, the video to Mr. Roboto told only part of the story. But if you bought the album, you'd get to hear the whole story, right?

Well, at least you'd get the lyrics sheet, and you'd get to find out that Denis DeYoung wasn't actually singing "My Heart Is Human / My Blood Is Boiling / My Brain Like A Yam!" ... No, the last part of that famous line was actually "My Brain IBM!, which didn't make much sense either. But if you put the whole story together you'd realize that it involved some shocking, nefarious elements, such as:


And a whole bunch of other shit that wasn't enough to make you listen to this whole lame album all the way through more than a time or two.

So like the rest of us you probably recorded the two or three good tracks to a cassette and put Mr. Roboto back under house arrest at the bottom of the LP pile.

Here's a total change of gears; for whatever reason while I was looking for those videos I remembered another song from '93 rather than '83. I always loved Out There by Dinosaur, Jr. What a kick-ass song. It was disappointing to find out that the original music video apparently doesn't reside on YouTube. But I did find a live performance from last summer, and apparently the band can still sounds pretty good. I bet they're worth checking out live. This is really good, sloppy, grungy rock in the Neil Young And Crazy Horse tradition. Turn this one up loud enough to piss off the neighbors:

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Monday, February 23, 2009

 

Oscars, Schmoskers



Before I write anything about the Oscars I should come clean and admit that I don't really give a rip about the Oscars. So you should know that. And you should also know that there are a lot of other places you can go to read better, more thoughtful, more insightful Oscars posts than this one here. For instance:

As for me, I don't have anything really worthwhile to say. I'll just stick to my usual formula; mocking things I don't understand and generally behaving regrettably.

This year I saw an all-time high of four out of five movies nominated for best picture. I didn't see Milk, I can smell a posturing PC screed a mile away and you couldn't pay me to see Milk. I did see the winning film, Slumdog Millionare, and I thought it was only OK, not even remotely the best movie of the year. Frost/Nixon, on the other hand, really was a very good film and deserved to be nominated. And I thought that The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button was a well-polished turd of a movie; lots of obviously expensive special effects but no story worth sitting through.

As far as I was concerned, the best movie of 2008 was The Reader, which I saw only recently and reviewed at this blog over the weekend. The Reader, in fact, is one of the best movies I've seen in a long while. If the Academy had any integrity the award for best picture would have gone to that challenging, thoughtful film instead of the showy, flashy, and ultimately empty Slumdog.

I knew the minute that I heard about the movie Milk that Sean Penn would win the Best Actor Oscar. Hollywood simply had to come up with a way to thumb it's nose at Prop 8. Besides, playing a gay guy is a very safe way to get an Oscar, or at least a nomination. (See Capote, Philadelphia, Brokeback Mountain, Before Night Falls, and Gods And Monsters for examples from just the past ten years.)

Of course, playing a retarded or derranged guy is almost as sure a bet to win an Oscar as playing a gay guy. The Academy sure does love those homos and wackos. Along with his Philadelphia Oscar, Tom Hanks won for Forrest Gump, and last night's winner was also nominated for playing a retarded dude in I Am Sam back in 2001 ... the same year that Russell Crowe was nominated for playing a nutball mathematician in A Beautiful Mind.

Johnny Depp has been nominated a number of times but never won an Oscar. One of these days he's going to have to commission a script called That Crazy C--ksucker and star in the film as a guy who's both gay and deranged. Maybe do it as a biopic about Larry Craig with an angle about how his homophobic self hatred drove him crazy in an airport men's room. End it with a fantasy dance number wherein Craig comes out of the closet and/or stall and denounces the GOP. The Academy will send a guy out to the shoot to give Depp the Oscar before the film is even finished.

I hope it's clear that I'm mocking the affectations and the politics of the Motion Picture Academy, here. I'm not mocking crazy guys or homos. Crazy guys and homos are just fine in my book. It's the way the Motion Picture Academy patronizes them that I find contemptible.

Or, more specifically, the way the Academy seems to expect us all to patronize them.

Kate Winslet won the Best Actress Oscar for The Reader and I think that's pretty cool. She was very good in the movie and I hope she enjoyed receiving the recognition of her peers.

And Danny Boyle won for Slumdog..., which seems kind of weird since he only co-directed that film. I didn't stay up long enough to see the whole ceremony because, as I've said, I don't care ... and I haven't really looked around the net to find out yet ... but I have to wonder what Boyle's co-director, Loveleen Tandan, thinks about all of this.

Maybe the message the Academy was trying to send was "Those scenes from Slumdog that Danny Boyle directed were top-knotch. Loveleen Tandan's scenes totally sucked, but Boyle's scenes were good enough to make up for it."

And that's all I have to say about the Oscars. I have the feeling I've already said far too much.

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Movie Review: Splinter



Synopsis

Polly and Seth are a yuppie couple who are on a camping trip. Before long they're kidnapped by Dennis and Lacey, a couple of criminals on the lam. Tensions between the two couples are just starting to rise when they end up trapped in a gas station, trying to survive an attack by a horrific, unknown parasite that eats people and uses them like puppets.

Pros:


Cons:


Generally:

3 or maybe 3.5 on a five scale, with that scale curved to allow for the genre. This movie is good fun for horror fans.

Extended Review:


Splinter is a smart little horror movie. By that I mean that it's smart enough not to try to be smart. Too many horror movies try to justify their scares and gore with attempts at metaphor, deeper messages, subtle commentary on politics and society, etc. That's almost always a bad idea. A movie shouldn't get out of it's own depth. Splinter is a B-movie and seems damn proud to be one. It's scares and gross-outs are what they are, and as such, they work just fine. This movie is a quick, satisfying little jolt of adrenalin that pulled me in and delivered the goods. Genre fans will love it.

At the same time, Splinter is all about story, and the story is pretty good. It's not gratuitous or pointless, and it's not insultingly juvenile. Yeah, this movie does what it does within the classic b-movie template ... but it does it quite well.

And, I have to give Splinter credit for some originality. The source of the horror is a parasitic, alien force that attacks people, kills them, takes over their bodies, etc. Think The Thing and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and any basic zombie movie. What makes the parasitic monster in Splinter a little different is that the invaders in those other movies required a complete human body to use as a host. Not so in Splinter. The parasite in this movie only needs some of the body of a host. In other words, if you manage to severe the arm of an attacking infected body, you'll end up with two attackers: The body and the arm will keep coming at you. This results in a clever mix of scares, black humor and some really nerve-wracking creepiness.


The characters in Splinter are template standards. You've got your science geek who's more fascinated by the monster than scared of it. You've got your surprisingly resourceful babe (Jill Wagner from the ultra-goofy gauntlet TV game show Wipeout! ... and she's actually pretty good here). And you've got your rough-n-ready bad-guy who really wants to change his evil ways. Etc, etc. Splinter isn't trying to reinvent the wheel with regard to horror movie characters. And it doesn't need to. Putting tried-and-true genre standards up against a creepy new variation on a classic monster is justification enough for this tight, 80 minute thrill ride.

If you like horror films and want something you can enjoy without too much thought, Splinter is a safe pick. It's neither dumb nor pretentious, just a straight forward little monster movie, and entirely enjoyable on those terms.

Trailer:



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Saturday, February 21, 2009

 

Movie Review: The Reader



Synopsis

Michael Berg is a professionally successful but personally unhappy lawyer in modern Germany. When he was 15 years old, he had a brief affair with a 36 year old woman (Hanna Schmitz) who'd liked to hear him read aloud. Later in life, Michael found out that the Hanna had once been a Nazi SS camp guard. The long-term effects of their affair and the secrets that they share are the focus of the film.

Pros:


Cons:


Generally:

5 on a 1 to 5 scale. One of the very best movies I've seen in a long time.

Extended Review:

Very few films try to say something serious about human beings and the things that bind us to one and other. Most of the ones that do try end up failing. I suppose it's hard to sustain genuine emotional intensity in a film without stumbling into melodrama or unintentional parody.

The Reader is one of those rare films that tries to convey something meaningful and manages to actually do so without collapsing under the weight of it's own ideas. This movie walks a very fine line. Any film dedicated to this subject matter could have become unintentionally silly, falsely sentimental, self-important or just plain insulting. The Reader never stumbles. This is a fine, strong film and I recommend it enthusiastically to mature viewers who're in the mood for something demanding.

Kate Winslet has been nominated for a number of awards for her work here, and she deserves to win them. Winslet has turned in good performances in movies as divergent as Heavenly Creatures and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, but she's never been as strong as she is here. It's really a demanding role; she has to play a statutory rapist and former concentration camp guard and make it possible for an audience to feel some empathy for her character. It's remarkable that Winslet pulled it off. Finding humanity in a character like that and actually making that humanity palpable isn't the kind of thing I typically buy into. The very idea seems too uncomfortably close to a kind of moral relativism for me. It is to Kate Winslet's tremendous credit that I found her performance compelling, believable, and, yes, human.

A few thoughts on that subject; the idea of feeling empathy for a Nazi: There are people who feel understandable outrage about the idea of a film with a sympathetic central character who is a former SS guard. But I never got the impression that The Reader intended to send a message as simple and repugnant as "Nazi's are people, too." The movie never asks the viewer to shed tears for Hanna Schmitz. Instead, this movie seems to want the audience to consider important questions. Is it possible, for instance, to do something genuinely awful without even really thinking about your actions? How often do any of us stop to really examine our own moral imperatives? Most provocatively, the movie poses this question: If you possess information that might generate sympathy for someone who is clearly guilty of horrible crimes, are you morally bound to reveal that information?

I like that this movie neither attempts to offer simple answers to those questions, nor seems to posit that the questions are unanswerable.

The Reader seems to want it's audience to genuinely consider those issues, and I think it's possible that some worthwhile conversation and debate might be generated in the process. Even so, none of that is what really impresses me about this film. What impresses me about this movie is how smart and honest it is about the negative things that can play roles in the forming of our lifetime bonds. Things like forgiveness or the unwillingness to offer forgiveness. Things like desperation and anger. Things like the commitments we might make more out of shame than love.

And yet the movie finds it's way to a genuinely positive ending. The Reader is a movie about secrets, shame and guilt. But it never glamorizes those things. Instead, the movie ends with a message about the importance of avoiding a life shrouded in secret. So, yes, the end of this movie is positive, but it isn't false or sentimental. Maybe love doesn't conquer all, The Reader seems to say ... but love is the only thing that enables any of us to ever conquer anything.


Trailer



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Friday, February 20, 2009

 

Monkey Profiling



Shouldn't a monkey be judged by the content of his character rather than the color of his scrotum?
...a DeBrazza monkey has escaped and Woodland Park Zoo is in lockdown while its recovery is in progress. No word on the sex, but if it is a male escapee, it'll have a bright blue scrotum, which may aid in spotting it.

Just so you know, any monkeys without blue scrotums that you might see cavorting in the area are harmless. It's only the blue-scrotumed ones we're worried about.

And lest anybody level charges of racism against me for paraphrasing Dr. King, you ought to know that the blue-monkey-scrotum race-card has already been played and it was a wash:
Huffpo had posted what appeared to be a video of Fox News's John Gibson jokingly referring to Attorney General Eric Holder as a monkey with a "bright blue scrotum." That last bit is a reference to an unrelated news story about a Debrazza monkey that escaped from a zoo in Seattle...

It didn't happen, though. Huffpo now says the video of Gibson was doctored. By whom is unknown. The phony video has been removed from YouTube.

Is this the way it's going to be now? Every mention of a monkey is going to bring charges of racism? Even if soundclips have to be fabricated in the process? Who are these people who send up red flags every time someone mentions a monkey? WTF?

I mean, what kind of standard is that?

And are we going to start identifying miscreants based on the characteristics of their scrotums? What effect will that have on mug shots?

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President Obama: Funny Fella



This moron we elected last November is entertaining, at least. At most, really. I propose a new nickname for him: D'OH-Bama.

Remember how slick he seemed while campaigning? How did he maintain that illusion for so long? Turns out that, in reality, he has the physical grace of Homer Simpson ... the integrity of Caligula ... the same grasp of economics as a bag of rocks ... the hypocracy of, well, any liberal, really ... and, most comically of all, his stimulus package now has the endorsement of Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter has full confidence in Obama's "stimulus" bill? Man, that's a riot.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that having Jimmy Carter endorse your economic policy is like having Dina Lohan endorse your parenting skills.

Hey, Obama voters ... feeling dumb yet?

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Resistance Is Futile



Attention, pro-lifers: Be careful about voicing your opposition to the Obama administration's abortion policies. Especially if you live in Oklahoma.
Last week an Oklahoma City police officer pulled over Chip Harrison because of a sign in his car window reading, "Abort Obama Not the Unborn". The officer took the sign away, saying Harrison was entitled to his beliefs but that the US secret service "could construe this as a threat against President Obama".

Harrison got a visit from the Secret Service before this debacle was over:
Secret Service agents determined Harrison was no threat to the president after conducting a walk-through of his southeast Oklahoma City home. Agents conducted a field interview on his patio, Harrison said...
Harrison admitted some concern once the Secret Service was contacted. Agents called him at work, advising that he needed to return home so they could search his house.

Citing stereotypes of agents kicking down doors and rummaging through personal belongings, Harrison told them that he wanted to get the advice of an attorney.

"I (thought), 'Boy, I'm in deep trouble because of a simple sign,'" he said.

I think it's interesting that the officer who confiscated Harrison's sign did so because he felt that the word "abort" constituted a threat:
"My description of the word meant termination or remove, and one of the police officers said no it means to kill, so you're basically saying you want to kill Obama," said Harrison.

At least the cop seems to associate the concept of abortion with killing. Because, of course, abortion is killing. But I digress.

Can you imagine the outcry if someone had been pulled over due to a bumpersticker or sign critical of a Republican? Can you imagine if that hypothetical person had received a visit from the Secret Service? The lefties would have gone all to pieces.

Of course, those of us who aren't liberals have enough common sense to recognize that this just amounts to an Oklahoma cop with poor judgment. Simply voicing criticism of President Daffy isn't illegal.

Yet.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

 

Harry's Circumcision



A little irony, courtesy of Lou Reed:
Looking in the mirror Harry didn't like what he saw.
The cheeks of his mother, the eyes of his father.
As each day crashed around him the future stood revealed.
He was turning into his parents,
The final disappointment.

Stepping out of the shower Harry stared at himself.
His hairline receding, the slight overbite.
He picked up the razor to begin his shaving.
and thought, oh, I wish I was different,

I wish I was stronger, I wish I was thinner.
I wish I didn't have this nose.
These ears that stick out remind me of my father,
and I don't want to be reminded at all.
The final disappointment.

Harry looked into the mirror thinking of Vincent Van Gogh,
and with a quick swipe lopped off his nose.
And happy with that he made a slice where his chin was.
He'd always wanted a dimple.

Then peering down straight between his legs,
Harry thought of the range of possibilities.
A new face, a new life, no memories of the past,
and slit his throat from ear to ear.

Harry woke up with a cough, the stitches made his wince.
A doctor smiled at him from somewhere across the room.
"Son, we saved your life, but you'll never look the same."
And when he heard that, Harry had to laugh.
Although it hurt Harry had to laugh.
The final disappointment.


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Screw The Monkey



It seems kinda weird to me that most of the Travis the Chimp related news coverage is focused on one of two things:



Shouldn't the focus be on the survival and recovery of the woman that was attacked and nearly killed by the chimp? The damn thing destroyed her face, for Pete's sake.

I did find one story about Charla Nash's status:
“While she remains in critical but stable condition, her vital signs are improving,” Dr. Kevin Miller, an attending surgeon at Stamford Hospital, said at a news conference. “We are thankful that we are able to report that Charla Nash has made good but small progress.”

Scott Orstad, a spokesman for the hospital, said in an interview that her vital signs were “a huge positive for someone who had the amount of surgery she had within the first 72 hours.”

“She’s still not out of the woods yet,” he said, “but she’s improving.”

Screw the monkey, man. This woman is a human being and we oughta focus on her. Her condition won't be improved by screaming for laws, either.

And, yeah, I know that chimps are apes and technically not monkeys (or monkies). But I don't care.

And to hell with the editorial cartoon. It was in bad taste, yeah ... but only to the extent that it looked for humor in human suffering. Suffering that is ongoing.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

 

Spectre Of Victory Banished From White House



Cube mentioned that President Obama has had a bust of Winston Churchill removed from the Oval Office.

Cube says she wonders with whom the President will replace Winston. I'd imagine he'll commission a bust of Neville Chamberlain ... maybe include a caption along the lines of "The Unclinched Iranian Fist In Our Time."

What a putz.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

 

Still Laughing



Here's some more fun inspired by the David After Dentist video that I embeded the other day. This kind of thing usually wears thin for me pretty quickly, but for whatever reason I'm still enjoying the joke in this instance.

Neither of these are as good as the Christian Bale remix, but they still cracked me up.

First up, Chad Vader's trip to the dentist:

Next, a video from Upright Citizen's Brigade:



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Thursday, February 12, 2009

 

The Shovel List - Addendum 02



I don't watch "reality TV." I'm only peripherally aware of the "stars" of those shows due to the internet, friends, etc.

Congratulations, Wife Swap, you've actually turned up a jerk who's even more vacuous, more hateful and a great deal more disgusting than the cast of The Hills.

The list of people that I'd like to
hit in the face with a shovel* includes:


Stephen Fowler

If you have the stomach for it, you can click here and watch this affected scumball mock a friendly, innocent woman in specific ... and America in general.

And you can read more here.

Here's Dan, taking one to the face as a stand-in for a piece of shit known as Stephen Fowler.:




*Disclaimer: The author doesn't actually wish physical harm upon anyone on this list, although I really, honestly would like to physically strike this Stephen Fowler asshole. The author doesn't intend to encourage anyone to actually, physically hit anyone on this list with a shovel. In the event that someone does actually hit anyone on this list with a shovel, the author respectfully insists that the shovel-swinger must not pull some kind of John Hinckley/Jodie Foster deal and say that it was done to impress the author. The author reserves the right, though, to snicker quietly if someone actually does hit someone on this list in the face with a shovel. And to laugh out loud with wild abandon if someone does it to Stephen Fowler.

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Things I Learn The Hard Way, 2



The Angry Whopper is very tasty, but the sauce and spices do pack a punch. You should wash your hands as soon as you finish eating it ... and until you DO wash your hands, don't touch your eyes or go to the bathroom.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

 

Inglorious Bastards



I'm an unapologetic Tarantino fan. He makes loud, stupid, bloody cartoons with no redeeming value whatsoever. I dig 'em.

The trailer for his latest, a WWII film called Inglorious Bastards, tells us that "you haven't seen war until you've seen it through the eyes of Quentin Tarantino."

I have two words in response: John Ford.

This looks like a loud, stupid, bloody cartoon ... the kind of film that appeals to our base instincts ... a series of cheap thrills wherein the bloodlust of the audience is placated with mutalated Nazi corpses.

I can't wait.



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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

 

Some 12 Year Old Girl For President



I don't know her name and I'm not just posting this because I agree with her. I'm posting it because I'm so impressed with her logic, with her ability to present her argument, and the bulletproof foundation of her position. Her argument isn't based on religion, on emotion, or on any childish resuppositions. This kid rocks.

I don't know many adults who can form an argument this well. I know I can't.

So here's hoping we can find out who she is and nominate her for PotUS in twenty-four years or so.



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Laughed And Laughed And Laughed And Now My Throat And Head Hurt



The other day I posted the now famous YouTube video of the little boy struggling to get past the laughing gas after a trip to the dentist. David, your fifteen minutes are well-deserved. You're awesome, kid.

Later that day I mentioned the all-important Christian Bale temper tantrum.

I would have never, never, ever guessed that either of those two items could be milked for more laughs. But I guess I hadn't considered a mash-up.

What would have happened if Christian Bale had been David's daddy?

LANGUAGE WARNING!!

This made me laugh until I am now physically miserable:


All things considered, I'm glad little David has the daddy that he actually has.

HT: Ace.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

 

Movie Review: American Movie



Synopsis

A documentary about Mark Borchardt. Borchardt is a struggling movie maker who's trying to bring his magnum opus, Northwestern, to the screen. As production shuts down on that movie once more, Mark decides to shoot a straight-to-video short horror film ... with the hopes of raising the money to begin working on Northwestern again.

Pros:


Cons:


Generally:

5 on a 5 scale. 10 on a 10 scale. However you want to qualify it. This is a great, great movie.

Extended Review:

Life is fall-down funny, life is also down-to-the-bone sad, and sometimes all at once. Life is deadly serious, and never more suited for mockery than when it's at it's most serious. Life is good. Life is bad. Life is, above all else, utterly absurd. And I've never seen a movie that captures all of that better than American Movie.

I can't write about this movie ... I can't even talk about it with strangers ... without becoming giddy with joy. If this review reads like a twelve year old describing a really gnarly episode of Heroes, it's because this movie reduces me to that kind of scatterbrained enthusiasm. I probably actually do the movie the disservice of over-hyping it, but I can't help it. I love, LOVE, LOVE this movie.

I'm surprised I haven't reviewed it here before. A quick look shows I never even reviewed American Movie at the old film geeks site. (I did mention it once, briefly, as one of my top ten favorites.)Wow. How could I have skipped it? American Movie is my favorite documentary of all time (and I really enjoy good documentaries), and it is one of my favorite films of any kind, ever. I just can't say enough good about it.

This can be a hard movie to track down. I rented it eight or nine years ago at our local video rental place and fell in love with it with one viewing. Some time five or six years ago I ordered the DVD from Amazon and it's probably one of the best entertainment investments I've ever made. I've probably watched this film eight times, maybe more.

How do I describe a film like this? It reminds me of This Is Spinal Tap and Waiting For Guffman, but it's total nonfiction. American Movie is about Mark Borchardt, a fellow so wonderful that he'd have to have been invented if he weren't real. Borchardt is a struggling film-maker, and the degree to which he has the chops is up for debate. What he does have, however, is boundless enthusiasm, absolute disregard for even rudimentary responsibility, and an intense focus on his dreams that's matched only by his penchant for undermining himself. He's a goofball and a fireball. Mark Borchardt is both completely driven and utterly driven to distraction. He can be a real jerk, and he can show the patience of Job. Mark Borchardt is the best and the worst in all of us. I love the guy. (I didn't say I always like him, though. I don't always like me, either.)

Along the way, as Mark tries to make his movie(s), we meet all the wonderful people in his life. Mark's friends and family are made up of characters as unforgettable as he is. There's his ex-junkie buddy Mike, probably the most earnest, unaffected guy you'll ever see in a movie. Mike's just awesome. Then there's Mark's elderly uncle Bill, the most unconventionally endearing person in the whole film. (I defy you to not care about this man. Really care.) Mark's mom, with her thick accent ... and his dad, a veteran who's frequently bewildered by his son ... make big impressions as well. And the actors who are trying to make Mark's movie with him are a blast.

I won't try to describe individual scenes or give away conflicts, twists and turns. I always try to avoid spoilers, but even ruining a second of this film for anyone is a spoiler. Every scene is something to cherish.

This movie cheers me up when I'm depressed. And not in a temporal way, but in a real way. It makes me glad I'm alive. Sometimes I don't even have to watch it, I just have to think about it. That's real. This movie makes me want to hug people. Do you have any idea how rare that is? This movie makes me want to do volunteer work at a nursing home. Really WANT to. This movie makes me want to call my mom.

This isn't a feel good movie. It's not some three minute happy-buzz that fades by the time you get your car unlocked in the parking lot. This movie is more than that. This is a movie that makes me feel that life is good.... and makes me want to interact with other people accordingly.

Just go get it. Go rent it, go buy it, or download it, do whatever you have to do to see it. Just see it, man. Just see it. American Movie, at the risk of using a cliche, really transcends cinema. It's a film you will never forget.

Trailer:



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Sunday, February 08, 2009

 

The Shovel List - Addendum 01



Yeah, I'll stick with this concept. And it sure didn't take long for me to come up with another name for the list:

The list of people that I'd like to
hit in the face with a shovel* includes:


Keith Olbermann

I might actually go around Al gore to get a swat at this guy. He's added to the Shovel List in light of his insistence that Dick Cheney should be "made to desist" from making remarks critical of President Obama.

But, wait ... didn't we hear for eight years how dissent is the highest form of patriotism? And isn't it still censorship when the left advocates for it?

Today Dan stands in for MSNBC's lead asshole:




*Disclaimer: The author doesn't actually wish physical harm upon anyone on this list. The author doesn't intend to encourage anyone to actually, physically hit anyone on this list with a shovel. In the event that someone does actually hit anyone on this list with a shovel, the author respectfully insists that the shovel-swinger must not pull some kind of John Hinckley/Jodie Foster deal and say that it was done to impress the author. The author reserves the right, though, to snicker quietly if someone actually does hit someone on this list in the face with a shovel. Especially Al Gore.

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Is Greed Good?



That's not the question. In fact, that's a dumb question. They say there are no dumb questions, and they're wrong. That question is genuinely dumb.

No, the relative merit of greed isn't the issue. The question is this: is greed real? You bet your ass it is. And you better live in a society that responds to it in a way that allows for the most individual freedom. That is, unless you like $40 per roll toilet paper.

In this classic clip, currently making the rounds in the blogosphere, Milton Friedman breaks it down:

"Yeah, but wouldn't it be better if people would all just..." yadda yadda yadda.

Yeah, and it would all be better still if we each had a pet unicorn that shit gold.

Greed is real. Deal with it.

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The Shovel List



This is the start of a new SouthCon feature, something simple, dumb and memorable enough that I might actually keep at it.

I don't have a Bucket List, but I do have a Shovel List. That is, a list of people I'd like to hit in the face with a shovel.

Here's the first installment.

The list of people that I'd like to
hit in the face with a shovel* includes:




This list, I'm sure, will grow. It will grow as surely as my venomous, childish spite toward a world I can't control grows every day. Stay tuned for more fun!

In closing, "Dan" stands in for everyone on the list. Especially Al gore.




*Disclaimer: The author doesn't actually wish physical harm upon anyone on this list. The author doesn't intend to encourage anyone to actually, physically hit anyone on this list with a shovel. In the event that someone does actually hit anyone on this list with a shovel, the author respectfully insists that the shovel-swinger must not pull some kind of John Hinckley/Jodie Foster deal and say that it was done to impress the author. The author reserves the right, though, to snicker quietly if someone actually does hit someone on this list in the face with a shovel. Especially Al Gore.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

 

One, But Not The Same



A well crafted pop song is a simple thing: all it needs is an unforgetable melody and some simple, universal lyrics. Easy, right?

Over the years I've had "flirtations" with other songs, but I always come back to "One" by U2. I think that it is the best pop song of all time.

Now, Bono has his detractors, and I admit the guy can be a real turd when he starts running his mouth. But screw Bono, man. I ain't talking about Bono. I'm talking about the song.

If it was good enough for Johnny Cash, it's good enough for me. And who knew a well-crafted song better than Cash?

Over the years I've been sure, several times, that I knew what this song was about. I've though it was about the last stage of the grieving process. I've thought it was about failed marriage(s). I've thought it was about reaching a fork in the road with an old friend.

And I was right and wrong each time. This is one of those perfect little songs where the lryics are 100% applicable to a number of life's milestones.

Today, I'm certain that the song is about the agonizing loss of religious faith:

"You say
Love is a temple,
Love a higher law,
Love is a temple,
Love the higher law.
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl.
And I can't keep holding on
To what you've got
When all you've got is hurt."


I've been on the other end, I've looked down my nose at people who've stopped going to church. It's a lot easier on that end, let me tell you. I wouldn't wish the loss of religious faith on anyone. It's a lot like cancer, based on my experiences with both.


No idea what the band hoped to communicate with this strange video... the black and white, the drag, etc.

But I know exactly what they wanted to get across with the song. I've known so many times, for so many different reasons, and I have a feeling that there will be more reasons to come.

Yeah, "One" by U2 is the best pop song ever.

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BlackFive Sums It Up



Does Jimbo at BlackFive speak for all of us? Maybe not. But he damn sure speaks for me:





Language warning: Jimbo uses the appropriate terms to discuss President Daffy Duck's shit sandwich.



You know, I've avoided debt all my life. I've never lived beyond my means. If I can't afford it, I don't need it. A life dangling from a credit card is no life at all.

My mama taught me that. I've tried to teach it to my kids.

Thank you, you titanic f---heads in congress, for trying your best to undo all those lessons. We've got a word for you Rent-A-Center low-lifes down around these parts: White Trash. I don't give a damn what your race, color or creed is. Every one of you who voted for this bill is plain ol' White Trash, pure and simple. May each and every one of you rot in hell.

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Quotes From The Big Screen



Scott at Good News Film Reviews has been posting some excellent movie quotes lately and it's got me thinking about some of my favorites.

Here are some of the ones that have popped into my head. Some will be very easy to recognize, some are obscure, and many of them won't make any sense at all if you aren't familiar with the context. I'm not saying these are the best movie quotes of all time, I'm just saying that they've popped into my head lately. You can click the quote itself to see the source. Think of this as a little trivia quiz.

Have I done this before? Probably. Heck, I've probably even used these same quotes before. Anyway ...


Hope that provided somebody with some shits n' giggles.

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Christian Bale Makes Nice



I made fun of Christian Bale the other day for his infamous tantrum. Well, the guy has publicly expressed regret and contrition. Good for him. He manned up. Everybody behaves regrettably from time to time, God knows I do, and Bale's apology is a good example for all of us.

Good job, Batman.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

 

Cher On Obama's "Spirit"



Typically when leftist celebs start ranting it just gets on my nerves. But the things that this creepy, plastic, washed-up old rasin had to say are so out there, so weird, that I really enjoyed this clip. Comedy gold!

I don't think that even that demented old whore Barbra Streisand has ever been this funny.

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"Catastrophe," He Cried



President Obama says it would be a "catastrophe" for congress to fail to pass his demanded trillion dollars in "stimulus" spending.

If you've swallowed that even for a second, you really need to read Charles Krauthammer in today's Washington Post:
Catastrophe, mind you. So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared "we have chosen hope over fear." Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill...


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Thursday, February 05, 2009

 

Despicable



I don't think that even those of us who opposed the Obama campaign had any idea he'd wreck things so thoroughly, and so soon after inauguration.

He seems to be flailing around, ranting, desperate. It's as though we've elected Daffy Duck.

Obama has turned out to be something of a parody of the classic liberal; the kind of politician who really seems to believe that you can solve all the problems in the world if you just do two things:

Have you heard the latest about the War on Terror? The Failed Obama Administration seems to think that the best way to win it is to change it's name:
...the Obama administration is searching for alternatives to the term "war on terror."

What's being sought is a more precise phrase that can recast the U.S. government's counterterrorism fight in ideological as well as military terms. Obama publicly signaled the new approach this week. When asked about the "war on terror" phrase by CNN's Anderson Cooper, Obama said, "Well you know, I think it is very important for us to recognize that we have a battle or a war against some terrorist organizations … Words matter in this situation..."

Oh, yeah. I've always taken it as a given that when Bin Ladin's guys flew those planes into the World Trade Center on 9/11, they were thinking "This will teach them not to chose their words so esoterically!"

On the money spending front, President Daffy is warning us it will be "catastrophe" if the House and Senate fail to pass his demanded trillion dollar spending bill. Fewer and fewer Americans really believe that this so-called stimulus bill is really going to solve anything.

If only this many Americans had felt such reasonable doubt about Barack Obama in November.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

 

Won't Get Fooled Again



For two weeks now, the United States has been neck-deep in the failed Obama administration, and no one seems to have an exit strategy.

I blame Colin Powell. In February of 2003 Powell appeared before the UN and argued for the invasion of Iraq. In October of last year, Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States. How many more times will we allow this man to lead the US into a quagmire?

At least this time Powell can say that our nation's security really was compromised by a real WMD (Washington Media Darling).

America will eventually have time to catch our collective breath and figure out just what went wrong. When we do, here are some of the issues we'll have to address:


The way out won't be easy. We still have somewhere around three years, eleven months and two weeks of the failed Obama administration to endure. But let's hope that 2012 will finally bring America change we can believe in.

Maybe in the form of Jeb Bush.

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Christian Bale Rules The Dance Floor



Typically I don't post this kind of stuff, but this is really, really funny and extremely unsafe to play at work. EXTREME language warning. Like five-thousand F-bombs.

First, the setup: You've probably heard by now that Christian Bale apparently had a melt-down on the set of Terminator: Salvaton last summer and ended up cursing and verbally abusing the director of photography.

For that full story, click here. Audio is embedded at that link; if you want you can listen to a recording of Bale's rant. But, again, remember that the language is extreme and isn't safe to play at work ... unless you work in a crack-house or on a tuna boat.

OK, so that's the set-up, here's the inevitable payoff: Somebody chopped up the recording of the rant, added clips of the infamous Barbra Streisand on-stage rant from a year or two ago, and came up with a techno dance song that has me laughing like crazy:


Yeah, it's chidish and vulgar, but so am I. In my defense, what cracks me up is the way the remix really highlights the total absurdity of Bale's rant:

"It's f------ distracting, oooooooh good!
It's f------ distracting, oooooooh good!"


I'll hum that all day.

And for the record, although it might be a stretch, I'll give Bale the benefit of the doubt. This might be the worst he's ever behaved on the set of a film and might not be an indication of what it's like to work with him normally.

Yeah, it's a real stretch, but maybe.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

 

Hillarious



This little guy has just had some major work done by the dentist and the goofy gas still hasn't worn off yet:

It's surprising, the instincts I've retained from my misspent youth. While watching this I kept having the urge to whisper "Calm down, dude, you're gonna get us busted!"

HT: Geekologie.

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Zombie Love



This is a hoot: The fun-lovin' folks at Valve Software have conjured up some Left 4 Dead themed Valentine cards just in time to print and share with your true love.

You can choose from four cards featuring the hunter, the witch, the smoker or the boomer.

Wonder why they left out the tank? The big guy is custom-built for giving unforgettable hugs.

Update: Correction, the tank was included after all, and so were all four survivors. The complete set of cards is available in one handy link right here.

Another update: Boy, I jumped the gun and screwed this post up completely. The cards did not come from Valve, they've been turned out by a fan and an artist. Fine, whatever, the cards are still fun and funny.

Oh, and get this: some people are already talking about a Left 4 Dead movie. Man, what an AWFUL idea. Left 4 Dead is already a movie. In fact, it's already four movies. It's four fun little interactive b-movies that you "act in" on your PC or Xbox. Four b-movies that change each time you run through 'em. There's no need to make a movie out of the game, it's a superfluous and silly idea.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

 

This Is Really Worth Pointing Out



I just have to say that the first five minutes of Sunday Night's post-Super-Bowl episode of The Office is probably the funniest five minutes of TV I've ever seen in my life.

I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard.

If you watch the show, you know that they never go for slapstick. The humor is all situational and dialogue-driven. So this one time when they went for big, physical jokes it really worked. What a HUGE payoff. So, so, so funny.

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The One Keeps His Hands Clean



We all know that the New Messiah, President Obama, is all about human rights. That's why he's closed Gitmo and instructed the CIA to close all it's "secret prison" locations all over the world.

But you might be curious to know that he's kept the practice of "extraordinary rendition" as his go-to tactic when it comes to dealing with the bad guys.

"Extraordinary rendition" is when our guys grab one of the bad guys and, rather than torture him themselves (because we don't do that, right?) they take the bad guy to another country... one where torturing terrorists in order to save innocent lives is seen as a necessary evil.

So the bad guy gets tortured and, hopefully, spills the beans ... and innocent lives are saved when the bomb is defused, the plane is grounded, yadda yadda yadda, all that gnarly Jack Bauer stuff.

I'm not mocking that Jack Bauer stuff. I think it's awesome. Especially when it's done in real life. You real life Jack Bauer's out there, you guys kick ass.

Anyway, Obama wants to make it clear that his administration isn't going to engage in torture. They'll just engage in a little kidnapping from time to time, and if the countries we turn the bad guys over to engage in a little torture, well, The One's hands are still clean, right?

Classic liberal thinking.

And it gets better. Even the leftists DC organization called Human Rights Watch is on board with "extraordinary rendition," at least as per the Obama administration:
“Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place" for renditions, said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.

But, of course, Human Rights Watch is really just a human rights themed arm of the Democratic Party ... and they were singing a different tune during the Dubya administration. This is from their own website, March 2005:
The current practice of so-called “extraordinary rendition” is an affront to the fundamental human right not to be subjected to torture. This prohibition is absolute. Just as governments cannot torture people, they cannot send people to countries where they are likely to be tortured. Rendition to torture is the legal and moral equivalent of engaging in torture directly.

So to put it all together, according to Human Rights Watch, "extraordinary rendition" is an affront to human rights and is the legal and moral equivalent of engaging in torture directly, the need to ban it is absolute... aaaaaaand there is a legitimate place for it in the Obama administration.

You Obama supporters, you think the rest of the world is swallowing this crap, right? Like we don't know hypocrites when we see 'em?

Human rights? Bullshit. Human Rights Watch has no interest in preserving the fundamental rights of humanity. The group is just another Democratic extra-curricular activity. Don't believe the hype.

And just in case you're curious, Dubya's boys didn't invent the concept of "extraordinary rendition." It's a practice that goes back to Clinton, and some say further. According to Richard Clark, Al Gore loved the concept of "extraordinary rendition", saying:
"That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action..."

And of one terrorist suspect in particular:
"The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass."

What's that? The Clintons, you say? Al Gore? More Democrats with blood on their hands? Why, it can't be! The Democrats are the good guys, they protect people from those bad old Neocons! Right? And Al Gore protects us from the sun! The Leftists are the nice ones, right??!? That's why we elected Obama! So he'd change things from the way the Neocons ran things, right? And there would be no more wars and no more bad stuff and everyone would hold hands and sing. right? RIGHT??

Wake up, dummy.

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What A SUPER Bowl!



Of course I absolutely HAVE to extend an enthusiastic congratulations to

(fill in name of team here)

_________________________________

for having (circle one)


defeated the

(fill in name of other team here)

_________________________________

in last night's Super Bowl!

I think we can call agree that Super Bowl

(Sprinkle liberally with X's, I's, V's and maybe an M)

was the most (circle one)


athletic event of all time! Wow, I'm so glad I saw it!

(Note to self: remember to check Google News, find out who was playing, fill in all the blanks and post this thing Monday morning.)

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Splinter Cell Out? Velvet Assassin In.



I'm a hardcore Splinter Cell fan, it's the one game franchise I'm totally hooked on. I love the game-play, the story, the characters, everything.

Here's how hooked I am on Splinter Cell: If they ever do make the long-rumored Splinter Cell movie, I'll see it in the theater. I know up front that it's gonna suck, but I'll still see it. Even if Paul W.S. Anderson or Uwe Boll direct it, I'll see it. I'm that hooked.

Like may hardcore Splinter Cell fans, I've started to believe that the next installment of the game series, called Conviction, is never going to actually be released. I've waited and waited and waited, I've been patient and I've been loyal, but almost two years of rescheduling and delaying is a long time, brother.

I've recently heard about Velvet Assassin, and my hopes are high that this game is going to fill the void left by the MIA Sam Fisher:


Trailer:



Gameplay:


So, basically, you're Sam Fisher, except you're a chick. And instead of tracking down terrorists, dictators and hackers you're stalking Nazis.

Cool. I can do that.

Now let's hope that this game actually does get released.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

 

Mike Steele, RNC Chair



This makes me happy: The GOP picked a good man to lead them during these ... ahem ... changing times.

Change, change, change, changididdily changie changaroo. Change, change. Etc.

Nonetheless, Mike Steele is my kind of politician and I hope he's as good for the Republicans as I think he'll be.

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Junk Dump 14: The First Of 2009



Here's my latest pile of random graphic images, stuff I saw on the internet at bulletin boards, at various sites, etc. Just stuff that made me laugh. Once again, I didn't save the addresses as to where I saw these things, so I can't give link credit. I just right-click-and-saved, and eventually the "junk" folder on our desktop got full again.

You know, as I look over this current pile o' junk, I realize that my sense of humor is just getting more and more obtuse.

Just something about the implication that this anteater is being cocky got me giggling. I took the liberty to cut out the offensive word, the one and only vulgarity that I do make some effort to keep this blog free of. To the best of my ability, this is an F-Bomb Free Zone. And I think we can guess how Mr. Anteater would respond to that.



Yeah, weird, but it made me laugh.



OK, I am the LAST person who should be poking fun at another fat ol' redneck fella. But you gotta admit, this picture and caption are funny. I've found that if you sneak up on pie in the middle of the night while it's sleeping in the fridge you can make a quick surgical strike and get out of there in minutes.



I love it when The Simpsons writers go for a jokes that 90% of their audience won't get and 10% will think is hilarious and brilliant. I have to wonder how many times I'm in the 90%. Probably a whole lot.



Existentially, Snoopy and Charlie Brown are perfect for their roles, and I can live with Schroeder as Ozz... but Linus as the Comedian? That just doesn't work. Have Linus be Night Owl and Charlie Brown's sister Sally be the Silk Spectre. And go cross-gener with Peppermint Patty as the Comedian. If Lucy is gonna be in the thing at all, I'd cast her as Moloch or maybe as Nixon. Or maybe as Jon's first wife. Those changes represent much better casting than the original roles in the graphic, right?



Nope, still not trying to win the "Enlightened Male Blogger" award. I wonder if Lorna will bust me on this one? ;)



Cool! A door mat with a message that flips as easily and quickly as my wife's moods! (Rimshot.)



I saw this clip on TV... the trainer is trying to teach the dog not to lunge for food ... to wait and eat what and when he's allowed. The training seems to be working ... but at what price, Jim? AT. WHAT. PRICE?!!??.

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