Saturday, August 13, 2005

The face of the right-wing

This is another one of those moments when I wish more actual right-wingers read this blog. Because, I'd like to be able to ask can you possibly sit still for this?

That's a picture of conservative radio host Mike Gallagher, who has four sons of military age, none of whom are serving. He's leading a counter-protest against Cindy Sheehan. Just to refresh your memory as to who that is, and why she's doing what she's doing, here are a few words from Ms. Sheehan herself:

People have asked what it is I want to say to President Bush. Well, my message is a simple one. He’s said that my son—and the other children we’ve lost—died for a noble cause. I want to find out what that noble cause is. And I want to ask him: “If it’s such a noble cause, have you asked your daughters to enlist? Have you encouraged them to go take the place of soldiers who are on their third tour of duty?” I also want him to stop using my son’s name to justify the war. The idea that we have to “complete the mission” in Iraq to honor Casey’s sacrifice is, to me, a sacrilege to my son’s name. Besides, does the president any longer even know what “the mission” really is over there?

Casey knew that the war was wrong from the beginning. But he felt it was his duty to go, that his buddies were going, and that he had no choice. The people who send our young, honorable, brave soldiers to die in this war, have no skin in the game. They don’t have any loved ones in harm’s way. As for people like O’Reilly and Hannity and Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh and all the others who are attacking me and parroting the administration line that we must complete the mission there—they don’t have one thing at stake. They don’t suffer through sleepless nights worrying about their loved ones.

Mike Gallagher and his group or right-wing goons are chanting "we don't care" at this woman.

Let me make that absolutely clear. A group of conservative republicans are mocking a mother who lost her son in war. I want just one person to look me in the eye and tell me that is defensible on any level whatsoever.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Anne Hathaway needs to get some sun

That's all I'm saying. (Do you realize that was over 150 posts without my mentioning Anne Hathaway or running a picture of her?)

I can't fight this feeling any longer

I love Roger Ebert. Especially when he's bitchy. The mere thought of him taking on the likes of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo is enough to make me start rubbing my hands together in gleeful anticpation.

But it was so much better than I thought it was gonna be. Read on, and kvell!

The movie created a spot of controversy last February. According to a story by Larry Carroll of MTV News, Rob Schneider took offense when Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times listed this year's Best Picture Nominees and wrote that they were "ignored, unloved and turned down flat by most of the same studios that ... bankroll hundreds of sequels, including a follow-up to 'Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,' a film that was sadly overlooked at Oscar time because apparently nobody had the foresight to invent a category for Best Running Penis Joke Delivered by a Third-Rate Comic."

Schneider retaliated by attacking Goldstein in full-page ads in Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. In an open letter to Goldstein, Schneider wrote: "Well, Mr. Goldstein, I decided to do some research to find out what awards you have won. I went online and found that you have won nothing. Absolutely nothing. No journalistic awards of any kind ... Maybe you didn't win a Pulitzer Prize because they haven't invented a category for Best Third-Rate, Unfunny Pompous Reporter Who's Never Been Acknowledged by His Peers."

Reading this, I was about to observe that Schneider can dish it out but he can't take it. Then I found he's not so good at dishing it out, either. I went online and found that Patrick Goldstein has won a National Headliner Award, a Los Angeles Press Club Award, a award, and the Publicists' Guild award for lifetime achievement.

Ebert doesn't mention this, but it's worth remembering that the studio that releases Schneider's movies had to invent their own film critic to get one of his last movies a good review.

On to Ebert's exciting conclusion!

But Schneider is correct, and Patrick Goldstein has not yet won a Pulitzer Prize. Therefore, Goldstein is not qualified to complain that Columbia financed "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" while passing on the opportunity to participate in "Million Dollar Baby," "Ray," "The Aviator," "Sideways" and "Finding Neverland." As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.

Ahhhhhhhh...that was good, man...

(Hee hee hee...)

Where the Hart is

Egalia from TGW tipped me to a good post by Gary Hart:

If democracy only works when there is open discussion of opposing ideas and policies, and if the opposition party, in this case the Democrats, has hand-cuffed, blind-folded, gagged, and hog-tied itself to a failed invasion and occupation in the Middle East, where will the expanding majority of Americans look for a representative, a spokesperson, a voice for their anger, frustration, and distrust at being misled?

The circumstances suggest it should be a Senate or House Democratic leader, a recognized authority on foreign policy constantly seen on the Sunday talk shows, certainly one of the many “leaders” lining up to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2008.

Strangely, no one in any of those categories comes to mind. Their voices are silent. Thus, both they and the party they claim or presume to represent look dumbstruck, awkward, pitiful, and timid. Where the single greatest issue of the day, and one of the most potent issues of our time, is concerned, there is no courageous opposition.

Ah, Gary Hart. The proto-Clinton. The same capacity for greatness..

You know... birthday is coming up...

...and it's been marked down, too...

The August of "no major news" continues

"Just 38% of Americans now believe the U.S. and its Allies are winning the War on Terror," according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey.

-Political Wire

Yay real women

Pandagon links to and comments on a

list of 10 movies that have female characters that aren't unbelievable icons of strength or bumbling idiots or some other stereotype but actual well-written, believable characters

We also learn about something called

The Mo Movie Measure: It’s and [sic] idea from an old Dykes to Watch Out For cartoon. The character “Mo” explains that she only watches movies in which 1) there are at least two female characters with names, who 2) talk to each other sometime in the course of the movie, about 3) something other than a man. It’s amazing how few movies can pass the Mo Movie Measure.

Yeah. Roxanne could pass, but My Best Friend's Wedding couldn't.

Some good choices on the original list, and in Amanda's addition and comments from other Pandagon readers. I've certainly got no problem with:

Ripley in Aliens
Auntie Mame in any version except "Lucy's Folly."
Kind of surprised to see Catwoman in Batman Returns on the list--kinky sexy, sure, but...
Annie in Bull Durham (that name sounds familiar...)

And I like the argument the original list makes for

Star Wars (1977) In The Empire Strikes Back, Princess Leia's tough talk is just that -- talk -- because, like the rest of America, she's falling for Han Solo. In Return of the Jedi, she's a longhaired love slave in a chain mail bikini, with very little to do but wait for her rescue. But back in 1977, when Leia bravely faced off against Darth Vader, she was the brightest of heroes. Even as a captive, pint-sized princess with cinnamon buns for hair, she showed little girls a new of idea of what a princess could be: defiant, politically able, impervious to torture, and, if that weren't enough, the best shot in the rebel forces. It was a promise no movie heroine has matched since -- not even Leia herself.
So who would I add? Well, apart from Stephanie in Grease 2 and Mabel in The Pirate, I'm kidding.

Holly Hunter in Thirteen, and Broadcast News, and Living Out Loud, and Home For The Holidays...I like Holly Hunter's work a lot. Have I mentioned that to you?

Anne in The Fisher King (that name sounds familiar...)

Veronica in Heathers

Sera in Leaving Las Vegas

Emily in Morgan Stewart's Coming Home, a guilty pleasure.

Jordan in Real Genius

Ladies, anyone on your lists?

Writings that are likely to come back and bite you in the ass

A couple of months ago, our friend James "the" Mann wrote in his blog:

Finally, a rightwing site that doesn't look like an insane asylum. seems to be a levelheaded sort of place, but then again, I've only read one article...

Demonstrating once again the truth of the old addage, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing."

Today, someone at that site (via The News Blog) called Cindy Sheehan a whore.

Enter August, no major news, and a media still smarting over the President's re-election despite everything they threw at him. Cindy Sheehan returns entering stage right -- this time a left wing media whore in the form of a grieving mother.

It's worth remembering that rightwing sites in general, and in specific, had no trouble playing off Gannon/Guckert as "an objective, professional journalist."

So, let's review. To the rightwing sites:

Cindy Sheehan, a grieving mother who lost her son in Iraq=whore.
Gannon/Guckert, who performed sexual favors for money=not a whore.

There are no sane, levelheaded rightwing sites, James.

PS: Oh! And get this! No major news? The president embarking on a five-week-vacation at a time of war isn't major news? A chief mouthpiece of the administration having a meltdown on television isn't major news? Bush's numbers dropping further with every poll isn't major news? Peter Jennings dying isn't major news? A CIA commander saying we let Bin Laden get away isn't major news?

Man. Those poor rightwing sites. The world in which they live must be absolutely frenzied if none of that even merits a blip on the radar.

There are no sane, levelheaded rightwing sites, James.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

How many times do I have to say it?

Tucker Carlson is an awful human being.


And so we come to the end of my little Eric Rohmer retrospective. Unforunately, it did not end on a happy note.

I should have known there was trouble ahead when I read in a review book that the dialogue was largely improvised. As one or two of you may know, I hate improvised dialogue. How much do I hate improvised dialogue? Ever hear of a movie called Dancing at the Blue Iguana? It's a largely improvised film about strippers. This is a movie that features Daryl Hannah, Sheila Kelly, and Jennifer Tilly in various states of undress throughout. And I have never been able to sit through it.

That's how much I hate improvised dialogue. It's like watching actors in a circle-jerk. And reading it in subtitles sure doesn't help.

Since the dialogue is such a wash, the best parts of the movie come when the characters are silent, and we can watch them and imagine what they are feeling or thinking.

It also may be that four Eric Rohmer movies in as many days is too much--like him though I do, he does have a definite style and taste.

A confession

I don't give a ratfucking piss about the Rolling Stones. And I'm going to go that one further: Nobody gives a ratfucking piss about the Rolling Stones. Except boomers desperate to cling to the illusion that the bands they liked when they were in college, and therefore themselves, are still relevant.

And in the case of the Stones, that hasn't been true for at least 20 years--and I am being very, very generous.

That's what all this bullshit tempest in a teapot about the "jab" the Stones are taking at the Bush administration on their new album is all about. And the blogs are all atwitter and CNN is all abuzz.

It's a publicity stunt, you idiots. It's another Rolling Stones album that you won't be able to name one song off of by the time their next album comes out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


According to The Hill...

there are signs that an...intriguing McCain-Kerry ticket could be in the works. If such an improbable thing comes to pass, its genesis might well be traced back to a one-on-one breakfast meeting July 27, when the two decorated Vietnam veterans huddled for more than an hour at La Colline restaurant on Capitol Hill.

Now, that's a disturbing enough idea. Although I've liked some of the things McCain has said and done, I'd have to think long and hard before I could vote for him. And Kerry, well, I still haven't forgiven Kerry. For so many things, really.

But here's where it starts making me want to scream and tear my hair out.

Guess it’s unlikely there will be a Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign if McCain and Kerry team up in 2008.

Yes, certainly, the republicans would never be so crass and opportunistic as to impugn the patriotism of a man who spent years as a prisoner of war. Because they've been such reasonable people of good will when it comes to their smear tactics in the past, haven't they?

I tell you, this is what makes Democrats (or whateverthehell I am) crazy: The fact that this kind of stuff is going on ALL THE TIME and it just seems to go through our cutural memory like water through a sieve.

The future exhibit "B" in my coming stalker trial

The lovely and sarcastic Amanda Marcotte, of Pandagon fame, has posted a link to a few photos of herself and her friends..

Going down to South Park, gonna see if I can't unwind

In Denver, a group of townspeople has mounted a protest against a city librarian. The protest is obstensibly against a Spanish novella with sexually explicit illustrations recently added to the collection.

But, of course (sigh), that's not really what this is about. It's about xenophobia and hypocriscy.

An exchange between two women revealed the deep division. Wanda Weatherford has lived in the U.S. all her life. Gabriela Casillas' parents are Mexican and moved to America when she was a little girl.

"You need to speak English," Weatherford told Casillas.
"I am speaking English, but I can speak Spanish too," Casillas replied.

"You need to speak (English) all the time," Weatherford said.

Justin Irwin of Loveland came to protest the novellas because he has four children and said he doesn't want them to be exposed to pornography.

"They are explicit and graphic and violent towards women," Irwin said, wearing a T-shirt with silhouetted pictures of naked women that said, "Experienced professionals wanted. Several positions available. Flexible hours."


Our old friend James Dobson, he who compares stem cell research with Nazi experiments during the holocaust, has some tips that might have reassured David Parker that his son was absolutely not going to turn out to be gay. Posted via Hullabaloo:

It features a full rundown of symptoms, like "is different" and "likes to play with girls" that are clear signs of impending homoism.

Well, I ought to be turning any day now, because virtually every one of the so-called "warning signs" applies to me. Except the bit about "A persistent preference to play female roles in make-believe play," of course.

(Uh-huh. And you write about what?)

And-I know this isn't exactly a novel observation-but once again I'm struck by just how...I don't know what the word is..."open to interpretation" the pro-life religious-right's approaches to childrearing are. You'll remember a couple of days ago when they offered

a great way to teach your kids about the "birds and the bees" without taking off your own clothes.

Now we find Mr. Dobson, cautioning that if they don't want their sons to grow up to be homos, the thing for a father to do is introduce his son to his penis immidiately.

the boy's father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son's maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger.

Hey, there's going to be a concert!

Our public opinion polls are in the toliet, but...

She poses foot on the chair, Coconut shy but...

I can recommend the September 2005 issue of Vanity Fair, the "Jen Finally Talks!" issue, and for more than just the interview and pictures of America's favorite cover girl. But about that--looking at the magazine racks at the supermarket over the last few days leads me to the question: How good is your PR (or how famous are you) when your cover story in one magazine becomes the subject of cover stories in other magazines?

As for the interview, well, allowing for spin, she seems like a very nice person. As for the pics... they're the best "my husband left me for another woman, I need reaffirmation of my sexuality and adorability" photos I've seen since Uma Thurman.

How good are they? Well, If I were Brad Pitt, I'd be seriously considering eating my heart out about now. Which is one thing if you're Hugh Grant and risked a relationship with Elizabeth Hurley for Divine Brown.

But prior to this, I would have said Pitt had made at least a lateral move...until I saw these pictures. So I'm saying she looks good.

But I promised there was more to recommend the issue than little miss got-it-goin'-on, didn't I? And so there is, including a good look at "Rovegate" and a funny piece by James Wolcott about a new literary genre: The porn star memoir.

Making a fanciful analogy worthy of a metaphysical poet, Jerry Butler compares erectile disfunction to bottled-up legislation: "sometimes your dick become like Congress. Even though the President puts a bill in to become law, Congress still have to vote on it. Sometimes your penis stalls on the bill."

Now that's a metaphor.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Autumn Tale you've probably guessed if you've been paying attention for the last couple of days, is the title of the latest film on the program in my ongoing homage to Eric Rohmer.

And boy oh boy, if there was ever a film to see if you want to know why Rohmer engages me personally, this is the one. A talent for dialogue (given that I have to assume that through the translator), an exploration of love and friendship, a taste for writing about women, misunderstandings, a wedding, an ambiguous ending, dancing.

Those of you who know my work: That sound familiar to anybody?

No lesbians, but given the way French women are always kissing each other and holding hands, it doesn't take much to imagine a certain subtext.

In Ebert's essay, the one that started all this by jump-starting my interest in Rohmer's films, he calls Marie Rivière's character in this film "perhaps the most lovable of all [Rohmer's] heroines." It's all a matter of taste, I suppose, but my eyes were more taken with one Alexia Portal...

Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves...and justice!

Cheerleaders' chant helps identify driver

They didn't have a pen or paper handy.

So, Kimmie Ostrowski and the other members of the Lincoln High School varsity cheerleading squad did what came naturally when a driver fled the scene after causing a chain-reaction car crash Wednesday near the University of Michigan campus: They turned the license plate numbers into a cheer.

And they cheered and cheered and cheered, committing the license plate to memory for police while their coaches rendered aid to a woman injured in the crash at Packard and Thompson streets.

"We just started to chant it so we'd remember it and help them get the guy,'' said Ostrowski, a senior captain, who with junior co-captain Amy Sirois led the nine-member squad's impromptu performance until the Ann Arbor Police arrived.

This is great!

A fella at WorldNetDaily has written a commentary entitled, "Why women's rights are wrong." Amanda at Pandagon has made some remarks about it, which are as love-filled as you might expect.

But for once, I'm going to suggest that you bypass Ms. Marcotte and go directly to the source. You know I love her, but in this case she can't hold a candle to the sheer greatness of one Mr. Vox Day. Who, among other things, has all the writing style of the ranting luntatic you expect to see outside stores begging for change.

Let's watch.

Men's increasing unwillingness to marry stems primarily from two causes -- the feminized family court system that transformed marriage from a mutually beneficial contract into a financial and emotional liability, and the removal of paternal responsibility for the sexual behavior of young women. Ergo, the need for marriage has been eliminated while its liabilities have increased. As Blue America and de-Christianizing Europe increasingly show, in the absence of religion there is now very little impetus for marriage.

I had to look that up--I didn't believe there was such a word as "Christianizing." Turns out, there is. But to quote William Goldman, "I do not think it means what you think it means."


The women of America would do well to consider whether their much-cherished gains of the right to vote, work, murder and freely fornicate are worth destroying marriage, children, civilized Western society and little girls. They can at least console themselves with the thought that, in the long run, it doesn't matter what they do, because the women's-rights ideology is an evolutionary dead end, and it is increasingly apparent that societies embracing it will not survive.

Wait. Women have the right to murder? Damnit, Amee, Moya, you gals have been holding out on me. Here I thought you were just running around, living your everyday lives, when really you've been out there exercising your right to murder.

Lucky. I never get to murder anybody...

(Although come to think of it, actually it all makes sense. That's what the whole "your voices reminding us of music" thing is about, isn't it? It's a Siren Song. You're luring us to our deaths!)

Finally, I know what you're wondering. Who is this Vox Day who is so learned in the ways of women?

Vox Day is a novelist and Christian libertarian. He is a member of the SFWA, Mensa and the Southern Baptist church

Christian. Libertarian. Sci-Fi writer. Mensa. Baptist. That's a good combination...


A strip club in LA has come up with a truly brilliant slogan, one that resonates with the kid in all of us.

"I don't wanna grow up, I'm a..."

Testing the limits of tolerance/Who's Going To Be Arrested First?

A columnist named Debra J. Saunders weighs in on reports of the war. Inexplicably, the following excerpts are from a column that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle--I didn't know we allowed such gullible fools to spout off there...

If the American Revolution were fought amidst all this nay-saying, America would be a British colony today. Don't take my word for it. "1776" author David McCullough recently told CNBC's Tim Russert that if the Revolutionary War had been covered by today's media, "and the country had seen how horrible the conditions were, how badly things were being run by the officers and what a very serious soup we were in, I think that would have been it, too."

Yes, but the Revolutionary War wasn't fought over a lie.

Which is what makes Cindy Sheehan's encampment in Texas so bizarre: No one can be unmoved by Sheehan's horrific loss. That said, Bush didn't kill her son. Casey Sheehan died at age 24 at the hands of men who routinely slaughter innocent children and civilians on principle.

That's true--there is a big difference. Bush routinely slaughters innocent children and civilians on no principle whatsoever.

If Bush did what Cindy Sheehan wants him to do, not only would some 1,800 soldiers have died in Iraq for no reason --

Too late.

worse, their deaths will have served the unhappy function of signaling to terrorists that if they kill enough U.S. troops, the White House will cut and run.


As the major noted, if Americans pushed for a pullout in the wake of bad news reports, "That would be a shame. I would hope most of my colleagues and friends in the Bay Area, even some who may have opposed the war initially," realize the benefit in completing the mission and "are now saying we should see this through."

Ok, lemme stop this "Mystery War Theatre 3000" thing I got going and go serious on you for a second. I know that a lot of people who opposed the war have been doing some soul searching, trying to figure out if there is any way to make, as they say, a silk purse from the cow's ear.

I did some thinking about it myself, and the conclusion I've come to is this: No. Not as long as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are in charge. They are utter incomptents, and the only "shame" is the one growing every single day we don't pull out of Iraq.

Take your toys out of the sand and wait until the big boys are ready to play responsibly, fellas.

ETA: Bob Harris points out that Bush is probably going to arrest Cindy Sheehan. Osama Bin Laden, however, remains free.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Tale Of Springtime the title of the next movie in my little mini-Rohmer revivival. And I'm thinking about how yes, people who don't like "pretentious" French films wouldn't like it. In some ways it exemplfies what I think they think they're all about.

But I'm also thinking about how the small scale of Rohmer's plots is what makes them compelling. The big action scenes take place inside someone's soul (can you tell I've been watching a French movie or what?).

I also want to talk about something that neither Ebert or I have mentioned about the women in Rohmer's films. Yes, they're beautiful, but they're beautiful as if they were a real person. No Helena Bonham-Carters, no Kelly Prestons, no Diane Lanes.

Now, I don't have anything against those women (more's the pity). But when was the last time you saw a woman on the street who looked anything like they look in most of their movies? Tale Of Springtime features, among others, a young woman named Florence Darel.

In one scene, she simply sits down at a piano and plays...and it's really quite moving.

Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earthshattering kaboom.

Via Political Wire, here's the latest poll saying what Taegan calls an "astonishing" number of people disagree with Bush's Iraq strategy. So what I want to know is, when do they--the SCLM--take the pin out?

This country is, undeniably, increasingly uniting against this war and the arrogant, lying, mass-murderering incompetent who started it. So why is it that when I tuned in to the local ABC News affiliate last night to see what they had to say about Peter Jennings, I was also treated to a neat little story about what good physical shape Bush is in?

Seriously, it was like a campaign commercial. All compared to the average American blah, and Bush doesn't mind the little cuts and scrapes and bruises he gets when he's out clearing blah. Because this president, by god, is a man.

And all I could think of was something Jon Stewart said on the Daily Show, two or three years back after the White House issued a similar statement about President Big Man Not Stupid.

"And in a completely unrelated story, Franklin Roosevelt was in a wheelchair and won World War II."

ETA: Further--why is the headline of this story, about the woman who lost a son in Iraq and is now protesting outside Bush's Crawford ranch, why is the headline:

Of the Many Deaths in Iraq, One Mother's Loss Becomes a Problem for the President

This might be the thing that I find most loathesome about him, if I had to pick only one thing: Why isn't every mothers loss a problem for the President? He doesn't seem to have any conception of responsibility for the fact that he is sending young men and women to die. Leave out completely that he lied about the reasons and that all his pre-war planning has blown up in his face. Well, actually...

But no, leave that out. Even if you really believe we went to war for good and sufficient reasons. Even if you believe "you go to war with the army you have." Don't you want to believe that the President Of The United States pains with every loss?

And do you ever get anything from Bush that indicates he thinks this is anything with more gravity than a college prank gone wrong?

From that same article:

Ms. Sheehan's story is certainly compelling. She is also articulate, aggressive in delivering her message and has information that most White House reporters have not heard before: how Mr. Bush handles himself when he meets behind closed doors with the families of soldiers killed in Iraq.

The White House has released few details of such sessions, which Mr. Bush holds regularly as he travels the country, but generally portrays them as emotional and an opportunity for the president to share the grief of the families. In Ms. Sheehan's telling, though, Mr. Bush did not know her son's name when she and her family met with him in June 2004 at Fort Lewis. Mr. Bush, she said, acted as if he were at a party and behaved disrespectfully toward her by referring to her as "Mom" throughout the meeting.

By Ms. Sheehan's account, Mr. Bush said to her that he could not imagine losing a loved one like an aunt or uncle or cousin. Ms. Sheehan said she broke in and told Mr. Bush that Casey was her son, and that she thought he could imagine what it would be like since he has two daughters and that he should think about what it would be like sending them off to war.

"I said, 'Trust me, you don't want to go there'," Ms. Sheehan said, recounting her exchange with the president. "He said, 'You're right, I don't.' I said, 'Well, thanks for putting me there.' "

The Dukes of Hazzard 2

Just two good ol' boys...never meanin' no harm...


Following up on that Feministing contest to pick the most "creepy-ass," but real, misogynist product out there, the winner was the toliet in the shape of a headless, armless woman. The runner-up was the transparent (and also, headless, armless, and legless--there's a theme here) pregnant torso key chain.

A blog called ms. musings found a, um, interesting little slip in the sales spiel for the latter product.

We hope you are not offended by the, uh, undressed nature of this key chain. If anything, we consider it EDUCATIONAL! It's a great way to teach your kids about the "birds and the bees" without taking off your own clothes.

Now, granted, I don't have kids, and I don't know how the parents of today are dealing with that "little talk." But I'm reliably informed that the taking off of the parents own clothes is still not a general requirement.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

the lesbian who makes even me contemplate using the words, "pushy dyke."

Rosie O'Donnell will be taking over the role of Golde, wife of Tevye, in the current Broadway revival of "Fiddler on the Roof." Lyricist Sheldon Harnick had this to say:

Ms. O'Donnell "is certainly strong, and down to earth, with a certain peasanty quality to her"

And that's certainly true. What I want to know, however, is how soon she'll be demanding to make changes in lyrics she finds offensive to her beliefs, as she insisted Bernadette Peters do when performing an Irving Berlin song on her television show a few years back.

Oh, shit

CIA Commander: We Let bin Laden Slip Away

During the 2004 presidential campaign, George W. Bush and John Kerry battled about whether Osama bin Laden had escaped from Tora Bora in the final days of the war in Afghanistan. Bush, Kerry charged, "didn't choose to use American forces to hunt down and kill" the leader of Al Qaeda. The president called his opponent's allegation "the worst kind of Monday-morning quarterbacking." Bush asserted that U.S. commanders on the ground did not know if bin Laden was at the mountain hideaway along the Afghan border.

But in a forthcoming book, the CIA field commander for the agency's Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora—intelligence operatives had tracked him—and could have been caught. "He was there," Berntsen tells NEWSWEEK. Asked to comment on Berntsen's remarks, National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones passed on 2004 statements from former CENTCOM commander Gen. Tommy Franks. "We don't know to this day whether Mr. bin Laden was at Tora Bora in December 2001," Franks wrote in an Oct. 19 New York Times op-ed. "Bin Laden was never within our grasp." Berntsen says Franks is "a great American. But he was not on the ground out there. I was."

Why do I get the feeling we are fast approaching a time when certain "Neocons" will be denying the president three times before the cock crows?

"I don't know him, I tell you--leave me alone!"

(Not that this should in any way be construed as comparing him with Christ...)

Ol' Pete was not the worst of them

ABC News' Peter Jennings Dies at 67.

I remember watching tapes of "The Century," and "America's Time," round about the turn of the century, and thinking them the best of the various networks attempts to dot the i's and cross the t's.

I like this guy!

Fella named Howard Tuttleman, who claims to be trying to organize a boycott of the Star Wars movies, on the grounds that they're not as good as the tie-in books. There's some question as to whether or not he's serious, but I don't care. He's brilliant.

You see, when I was younger I never happened to catch The Star Wars like so many of you did. Sure, I was aware of it quite a bit, and had heard OF it a lot. As a kid there were plenty of times when bullys would punish me whith wiffle-bats that they pretended were light-sabers, and I would always get drafted to play a Speeder-biker or an Ewok when everyone else got to be main-characters. Obviously these things left a bad taste in my mouth about the Star Wars. I started getting my parents to buy me the action-figures and vehicles, and that brought plenty of kids over to my house, and people THOUGHT I had seen it because I had quite a collection.

So when I finally saw some of the novels at the library, I gave-in and picked up the first in the series. It completely captivated me and made me realize exactly what was going on, and I didn't even HAVE to see the movie. I moved on to the next 2 books shortly after, and now reading them has become a yearly tradition for me.

You see, when I read the novels I have very vivid pictures of what certain space-ships, monsters or planets look like, and the best part is that I can imagine whatever actors I want playing the main-characters.

Four Adventures Of Reinette and Mirabelle

I rented four Rohmer films I haven't seen at my local video store today, prompted by Mr. Ebert's reminder of how much I'd liked those I have, as discussed in a post below. Was rewarded by a friend from when I used to work there renting them to me for nothing. It's an occasional perk--nothing I can count on or expect, but an occasional little something extra in a day.

The first film I watched is called (in English) Four Adventures Of Reinette and Mirabelle. It's about a couple of girls, one from the city (Mirabelle) and one from the country (Reinette) who strike up a friendship when the city girl is in the country, and invites the country girl to come and live with her in Paris. There, they find their expectations of life and each other confounded.

I'm making it all sound very slight (or at least being annoyingly vague), but as Ebert said in the essay I quoted, that's at least half the point.

Like the fellow once said, ain't that a kick in the head?

From Roger Ebert's review of Stealth:

Cummings has bad news: They're being joined by a "fourth wingman." This is a UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) controlled by a computer. The pilots are unhappy, but not so unhappy that Gannon and Wade do not feel a powerful sexual attraction, although pilots are not supposed to fraternize. At one point Gannon visits Wade's cabin, where she has laundry hanging on the line, and is nearly struck by a wet brassiere. "Pardon my C-cup," she says, a line I doubt any human female would use in such a situation.

That human female, ladies and gentlemen, played by Jessica Biel, once again testing my whole "smart women" belief system. The credited writer is W.D. Richter, who should know better--he wrote the 1979 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Big Trouble in Little China, and Home For The Holidays.

But director Rob Cohen has been known to fuck up a script or two (ask Charles Edward Pogue about Dragonheart sometime), so it seems entirely possible that was an ad lib.

But anyway, I put it to you gals--how likely are you to subtly work in a reference to your bra size in conversation, even with a studmuffin you've got your eye on?

Is this true?

Whether it is to do the dishes, clean the car or vacuum the living room, men now have an answer to their wife's war cry that they never listen: it's not me, darling, it's my brain.
Scientists now have discovered that women's voices are more difficult for men to listen to, and process information from, than the voices of other men.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield tracked activity in the brains of 12 men while playing recordings of different voices. The results showed that there were startling differences in the way the brain responded to male and female sounds.

Men deciphered female voices using the auditory part of the brain that processes music. In comparison, the sound of male voices engaged a simpler mechanism at the back of the brain.

A choice of responses:

1. Suddenly I have the image of Colley sitting between Keitha and Annabel, each with their fingers on one of his ears...

2. What is this, a Monty Python sketch?