Thursday, November 27, 2008

This One's For Me

Here's another slice (my favorite) from the 2003 flick "Coffee and Cigarettes" - the same source as the one below for "Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil."

This short (ten minutes long) sports Tom Waits and Iggy Pop exploring such topics as roadside surgery and Taco Bell.

Very White Meat

That sweet purveyor of US history Rush Limbaugh (AKA: the Drug-Addled Gasbag, or simply “DAG”) saw fit yesterday to bestow upon his listeners the true story of the first Thanksgiving in (reportedly) the year 1620 in Plymouth, Mass.

Click here to read it yourself, but the short version is that “true” Americans are white, Puritan/Protestant, have a healthy stock portfolio, and a hatred of all things FDR.

Rush, you elitist, pill-popping, white supremacist motherfucker, may you and yours have a delightful Thanksgiving on this day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The End

If I have ever had a real complaint about “The Shield” during its staggered, six-year run it’s that despite pulling every conceivable scam and crime (including torture and murdering a cop) during his usually successful attempts to do his job that karma never caught up with LAPD Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis).

However, judging from rumors about this evening’s series finale—which Chicago Tribune TV critic Maureen Ryan called the best she’s ever seen—that karmic avalanche has finally arrived, and it’s going to collect more than a few bodies.

Follow up comments to come later.

But here's an advance bit of speculation: I read on Maureen Ryan's column today advice for viewers to keep watching after tonight's final credits roll. I'm wondering if the implied extra scene won't involve a cameo by Forrest Whittaker as Captain Ahab-like I.A. investigator Jon Kavanaugh, who nearly went nuts (and ended up in jail) trying to bring Mackey down.

Am I smelling irony, or no?

PS (10:56PM; CST): Well, that was pretty much a perfect ending. Very powerful and understated all at the same time. Vic lost everything, and is trapped in a place worse than prison because it has removed what he thrives on most: control.

However, I think the most telling detail about that final scene was the look of determination on Vic's face after he removed his sidearm from the lockbox, and left the office. My guess is that he was going to find his family.

As for the final fate of the Vendrell family, I found it pathetic that Shane (well-played, as always, by actor Walt Goggins) blamed all his problems on Vic when I never once saw the latter putting a gun to Shane's head to do anything - such as, drop a grenade in Lem's lap and run. Plus, Shane claiming that his wife was "innocent" in their whole ordeal was as much a crock considering that Mara helped orchestrate an armed robbery, shot a woman in the back, and conspired to help Shane kill Ronnie and Vic (after they had tried to grease Shane).

I guess the whole point here is that in a drama like "The Shield," innocence does not exist in any form.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The One

That would be Kari Byron.

One only need look at the following pic to see how perfect she is for me—setting aside the fact that she’s married: she’s cute as hell, artistic, a girl geek, but best of all, look at Kari’s ferocity in going after those balloons (sporting Wolverine claws, no less). Ten bucks says it’s because they remind Kari of clowns (my age-old nemesis), and that fury inspires her to shred them with glee.

God, I love this woman.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Rope-A-Dope

For well over a year, I have balked on purchasing an X-Box 360 (even though it is backwards-compatible with my old X-Box games) until the price dropped to an acceptable level.

But today, even though the 360 has declined to $199—and services like Gamefly are big money-savers—I have still resisted getting a system because I also know what huge time-suckers they are.

However, now that this game has come out, my resolve may finally be at an end.

Farewell, outside world.

I want to see Rage Cat whomp the hell out of Granny Goodness.
That old bag creeps me out. However, if G.G. is unavailable, and he can spare 0.43 seconds (which is all Rage Kitty needs to put someone in
traction) Joe Quesada would be my second choice for a fantasy beatdown.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Priority Check

Over on Andrew Sullivan’s website, several posts appear sent in from folks around the country about how they publicly support the issue of gay marriage. One that caught my attention was from Chicago, and shares a pic of a (straight) wedding party that spilled into the street to join the protest after their own nuptials had been sealed.

Not that anyone asked, but my own take on gay marriage is strictly libertarian.

I don’t see a difference between two men or women co-habitating in an adult relationship be they officially wed or not. Plus, the chief reason why gay marriage has not already been more widespread is due to some feeling uncomfortable about it – much the same as some felt “uncomfortable” about bi-racial marriages not long ago.

Therefore, from my take, what total strangers feel about two men or women being formally wed is irrelevant. If such parties don’t want to attend the wedding in question, they don’t have to.

As such, I fail to see what the whole “controversy” surrounding gay marriage is – especially when we as a nation have far bigger fish to fry these days, like the economy going into a tailspin, and thousands of jobs evaporating daily.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Senator McCain & The Onion Belt

I know the election is over. I just can't resist anyway.

A Very Brief Review: "Quantum of Solace"

Although it suffers from too many explosions and chase sequences, “Quantum of Solace” is another welcome, new-generation Bond film that dispenses with all of the franchise’s old formula clich├ęs (e.g. super-gadgets, bad guys bent on world domination, pithy comebacks, Bond ending each film by screwing his chick-de-jour).

Long live Daniel Craig.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hello Kitty

Some were perturbed at the thought of a murderous, blood-belching cat armed with a Red Lantern’s ring, but you know what I say to such folk?

Get with the program.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Ann Coulter School of Conservative Humor

Has just found its latest valedictorian: Michael Barone.

Next Tuesday’s Lecture: “Holocaust and Child Rape Jokes: Two Great Gags That Taste Great Together”

Holy Straightjacket

It was bound to happen.

After the election of Barack Obama, Christian fundamentalists (AKA: “Fundies”) are going mad with panic, certain that the new president’s chief goals will include taking away everyone’s guns (or worse, curbing sales of assault weapons – because, y’know, one can never have too many AK-47s), expanding Federal funds for stem cell research, and revoking the “gag order” placed by Bush on some doctors restricting them from discussing abortion with patients.

But the good news for these fundies is that—as Obama’s election is surely a red flag for Armageddon—all of the above are indicators that God will soon rain His cranky wrath (in no small part for denying His best gal, Sarah Palin, her rightful throne in DC) on Earth, and usher the damned (e.g. Obama, and anyone who voted for him) into a lake of fire, and the saved (e.g. conservative Republicans) to heaven’s guest lounge to await the buffet of a million lifetimes (with free refills on coffee and cranberry juice).

So for God’s chosen folk, relax. You’re savvy.

But for the rest of us unholy scalawags, whoa boy – we is indeed fucked, because Hell has its own buffet hall, and the only thing on the menu is week-old cole slaw.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Benny Lucas & Moses Walk Into A Bar

Y’know what I just love about head colds?

It’s that while at their peak they make those suffering from them (like me, at the moment) feel like their skulls are buried in mud – making simple things like breathing, and listening to human speech a veritable chore.

However, I think 2/3s of said mucous evacuated my head—awful image, I know—when I saw the following piece via DFTCW and Wonkette today featuring (no joke) a group of Christians praying around a golden bull statue on Wall Street this past week for an economic rebound.

To wit, one of the participants explained the reason for their holy hoe-down:

“We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems.”

Hello! So-called experts on scripture! Do the terms “idolatry” or “craven images” ring a bell?

Aw man, Moses is so gonna kick your asses.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dance Break!

Woodshed

Poor Jill Stanek.

How unfortunate it is that most Americans do not share her 18th century, religious police-state view of women’s reproductive rights.

But even worse, Jill is just flummoxed that Barack “Infanticide” Obama won the presidential election this week, and that two rigid, pro-life state propositions she had backed were also defeated, one in Colorado (Prop 4) that would have deemed personhood at conception, and another in South Dakota (Prop 11) that would have barred most all abortions.

Poor Jill Stanek.

To be serious for a moment, I do not support abortion on demand (as a form of birth control) in the third trimester. I believe such incidents should not be legal, but must contain standard exceptions for a woman’s life and health, plus those for rape or incest.

Abortion in the first trimester, again IMO, should be freely available – which leaves second trimester cases, and in these situations, I’m not sure where I stand.

Now where was I?

Oh yeah, poor Jill Stanek.

I’ll pray for her tonight after I donate $100 on-line to Planned Parenthood.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

World Tour

Watching Obama’s victory rally in Chicago last night, it was amazing how so many places around the world were celebrating alongside us. Shots of pro-Obama partying in Times Square, Cuba, Kenya, Indonesia, Canada, France, South Africa, India, Greece, Senegal, Denmark, the UK and other sites gave the whole evening a New Years Eve-like feel of global renewal.

However, the celebratory shot I found most telling was of people dancing outside the White House – as they were not only marking the birth of an Obama administration, but also the end of George W. Bush’s in a few weeks.

Bush simply has no idea what an overall disaster he’s been as president, does he?


30 Reasons Why McCain Lost

  1. All summer, McCain kept insisting that "The fundamentals of the economy are strong." Then in September, Wall Street fell apart.
  2. Eight years of Bush and Cheney.
  3. McCain was badly overmanaged by his advisors, something that hurt Al Gore in 2000.
  4. Conservative moderates and independents were turned off by McCain's choice to take a classic, hard-right tone.
  5. Erratic debate performances.
  6. Horrid speechwriters.
  7. McCain's "campaign suspension" during the Wall Street meltdown came off as an awkward PR stunt, and contrasted with Obama's cooler response.
  8. He badly underestimated Obama's ground game.
  9. Carly Fiorino and Phil Gramm.
  10. McCain's Jekyll & Hyde temperament.
  11. Iraq War fatigue.
  12. McCain's mad dog-like posturing after the Russian invasion of Georgia.
  13. Two words: "My friends."
  14. Voters ignored McCain's negative ads (and those of 527 groups) on Obama's old associations.
  15. The long primary fight between Obama and Hillary Clinton denied McCain a single target his campaign could build a case against.
  16. Propping up the media as a straw man never clicked outside his base.
  17. The autumn plunge in oil prices negated his "Drill, baby. Drill" argument.
  18. Formerly reliable social conservative wedge issues like gay marriage were overshadowed by the economy.
  19. McCain hired the same political hitmen (e.g. Tucker Eskew) that Bush used to slime him in 2000. The result made McCain look like someone who was willing to compromise his own dignity to win.
  20. Bloggers posting video of ugly behavior at McCain rallies (e.g. Crazy McCain Lady, racism) did not cast the campaign in a good light.
  21. McCain's fundraising never took off.
  22. McCain often wasted time stumping in states he either had locked up (Tennessee), or didn't have a chance to win (Iowa, California).
  23. Using blue-collar workers as populist superheroes (e.g. Tito The Laborer, Joe The Plumber) soon became a public joke, especially when Joe Werzelbacher—who wasn't even a licensed plumber—began fielding questions at McCain events about US-Israeli policy.
  24. The government's $700B bank bailout undermined McCain's "Obama is a Socialist" argument.
  25. Though understandable, the physical toll of the campaign on McCain became visible down the stretch.
  26. McCain took strategic advice from Sean Hannity.
  27. Voter concerns about McCain's age and health.
  28. When Team McCain had to put on a unified face in its final weeks, it suffered from internal squabbling.
  29. McCain co-managers Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis never shifted beyond the Rovian model of stoking the base, which does not work in elections that are not extremely tight (a la Gore, Kerry).
  30. Finally, McCain picked Sarah Palin as his VP, who was completely unprepared for the national stage.

Post-Game Show

Beside the Apollo 11 moon landing and 9-11, Barack Obama's election as president last night was among the most historic events to occur in my lifetime (thus far).

Just watching the energy of his win boil across Grant Park--then the country, and the world—was incredible. Obama's critics can downplay his appeal as much as they want; he is no Messiah, he is a leader.

For his part, John McCain—whacked in the electoral college—was a gracious runner-up. Despite the many flaws of his campaign, none can dismiss McCain's service to this country.

As for Caribou Barbie, after coming off as so cocky in the RNC convention, it was a pleasure seeing her served a two-ton dollop of humility.

How's it feel to get pwned by a community organizer, guv?

Otherwise, here a few more follow-ups:

Joe The Plumber - Your 15 minutes expired three weeks ago. Go home and get a fucking job.

Joe Biden – Enjoy your new digs at the Naval Observatory. However, I think it would be best for everyone if you kept quiet for the next four years.

The Obama Kids – Have fun, and consider adopting your new White House dog from a local area shelter.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney – Get the fuck out now. You needn't wait until January 20th. Just go. We'll mail you your stuff. As is, Obama's going to have to kill 25 chickens in the Oval Office to rid the place of your bad mojo.

Barney and Beasley Bush – You can stick around.

Joe Lieberman – How's it feel to be fresh out of friends?

Sean Hannity – I'll give it to you, Slanthead. Your constant attempts to tar Obama with lame associations from Bill Ayres to his third-grade commie math teacher were tireless, and all for naught. But don't worry – they'll be more than enough crap that you and Mark Levin can still hurl at Obama from your foxhole in future days.

Rush Limbaugh – Having listened to you off and on during the final weeks of the election, I must say your attacks on Obama—and water-toting for McCain and Palin--were extremely weak. All those drugs you popped must have addled your brain worse than we thought.

Jerome Corsi – You are a sad, pathetic, 300-pound man.

Sen. Libby "Godless Americans" Dole (R-NC) – I am delighted that you lost. Your last-ditch tactics against Kay Hagen were revolting.

Utah-based opponents of California's Proposition 8 (Barring Gay Marriage) – Congratulations. Let homophobia ring.

The Voters of Alaska (Re: The Re-Election of Newly-Minted Felon
Ted Stevens) – What the hell is wrong with you people? Seriously.

Jim Oberweis – Gee, you just can't buy an election can you?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hello History

Wow.

It's Over

The cable news networks may be too hesitant to do it right now, but I will: Obama has won the presidential election.

As of this moment, he’s at 200 electoral votes including big wins in PA and OH. That means all Obama need do now is take CA, OR, WA, and HI (all states polling heavily in his favor) to eclipse the 270 mark to win.

Now the only question is if will Obama also take NC, CO, and FL (with VA being surprisingly tight) to reclassify his campaign from victory to blowout.

But you can book it: Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Final Map 2008

Okay, here’s my final projection for what the Electoral College map will look like on late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning.

Although Obama is narrowly up in Florida, I think that McCain is going to squeak out a win there. If not, he’s cooked. Otherwise, barring a massive swell in McCain’s support with undecided voters, I have a difficult time seeing how he can possibly counter Obama’s presence in red states like VA and CO.

Thus, I’m giving Obama a 311-227 win.


A Very Brief Review: "Changeling"

Although not quite perfect, Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling” is among the best true crime stories I have seen put to film – and considering the film clocks in at 2:20, that’s no small feat.

Written by JMS, “Changeling” stars Angelina Jolie who is very good as Christine Collins, a single mother circa 1928 Los Angeles whose young son, Walter, suddenly goes missing. Naturally, Mrs. Collins’ first impulse is to call the police, who inform her they do not respond to missing persons cases until 24 hours have elapsed.

However, when Walter still hasn’t shown up the next day, the LAPD takes Mrs. Collins’ statement in a way that is less than respectful. Three months later, the cops then contact Mrs. Collins at her place of business, and inform her that her son has been recovered in Illinois, and is returning home by train. But when Mrs. Collins goes to meet who she expects is Walter, another boy has been put in his place.

Initially, Mrs. Collins claims the boy is not her son, but faced with reams of bad press over police corruption in LA—spearheaded by a media-savvy local minister played by John Malkovich—the cops insist no mistake has been made, and that Mrs. Collins is obviously suffering from the shock of losing her son for three months.

The rest of “Changeling” plays off of this set-up, and develops from an odd mystery to a very gritty crime tale that has somewhat of an uplifting conclusion, but only somewhat.

In all, I enjoyed the film much better than I expected I would. It is also perhaps the best picture that Clint Eastwood has ever directed.