Saturday, April 29, 2006

If there was any chance of my watching The View, it's just gone to hell

Further: In the writings of Douglas Adams, there is made mention of The Worst Poet In The Universe.

The name of this character was changed to Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings after complaints by Paul Neil Milne Johnson, an ex-schoolfriend of Douglas Adams. [Who said of him:] "He used to write appaling stuff about dead swans in stagnant pools." quoted in Don't Panic by Neil Gaiman.

We now have a challenger for her/his title. Rosie O'Donnell, who will shortly be joining The View, has penned an ode to her good fortune. A warning: It's probably best not to have eaten for a couple of hours before you follow that link, or to be planning to eat for a couple of hours after.

Come to think of it, this could be a smashing dietary aid.

Especially in gorgeous Technicolor

Psst...hey buddy, wanna see an animated cartoon? Thanks to the boys at Cartoon Brew, I discovered this blog that posts actual, entire cartoons (or sometimes just clips) from the 1940's.

I recommend the Fox & Grapes cartoon posted yesterday, directed by Frank Tashlin. Tashlin's career in animation also included a couple of my favorite wartime Porky and/or Daffy cartoons, like Plane Daffy ("Well, whadaya know-the little light-it stays on!"). He then became a live-action director of some of Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, and Martin & Lewis' most acclaimed films (Artists and Models). He's also someone I wish there were a major biography of-in books by Peter Bogdanovich and Shawn Levy's bio of Lewis he comes off as an interesting and sympathetic character, but he's yet to have a bio to call his own.

But if you watch this one, remember one thing: Don't worry...he can't jump that high!

Draftee Daffy was also posted recently. It's not as good as Plane Daffy (IMO) but it's pretty durn good. Directed by Bob Clampett, who went on to create Beany & Cecil.


Or, "Cut To Ben Banging His Head Against The Computer Desk, Pt. III."

Okay, let's review what we know. I have these couple of characters, Keitha and Annabel, a lesbian couple. First they were in a play, then they were in a screenplay, now they're in a novel in progress.

I've put my heart and soul into them in a way that feels different to anything else I've ever written and often I think the results have been pretty cool. Actually, most of the time I think my characters are pretty cool, it's just much less frequent that I think the way I'm writing about them actually is. My characters are much cooler than I am.

But periodically I get these twinges of inferiority complex and insecurity (writers are nuts, in case you hadn't heard). Especially when movies come out that seem to be treading in the same area.

Like, say, a movie that I just heard about that's currently playing the gay & lesbian film festival circuit. Now granted, apart from being a lesbian love story, it doesn't appear to have much to do with my characters and their story.

Oh, except that the name is Loving Annabelle.

I just want to die...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Darn it, I was really kinda hoping Stick It might be good

First of all, because it really makes me feel good to see a film promoted as "from the writer of..." for obvious reasons. Second, Bring It On, written by Jessica Bendinger who also directed this new movie, was so much better than it probably needed to be.

Lesser movies would've just brought in the teenage cheerleaders, and called it a day. But it turned out to be a really funny comedy with just the right attitude about itself. It might be one of the only teen comedies of the last 15 years worthy of comparison to The Top High School Nostalgia Movies.

But, if the talismanic Tomatometer is anything to go by, Stick It is a "Wait-for-the-dvd-if-there-are-any-interesting-bonus-features, otherwise-cable"

Ah well.

Hold the phone, Murray, I'm in love again

The Chicago Reader has a profile of Kos blogger "Georgia10", who I've noticed seems to be one of the KBs to which I most often link, but about whom I knew little else. She has a real eye and a good memory for information.

Oh, and she looks like this:

THE WOMAN who might be Chicago's most-read political writer doesn't have an office. On most days Georgia Logothetis, 23, is either at home in the same Rogers Park three-flat where she lives with her parents or at DePaul University's downtown campus. About four or five times a day, taking a break from constitutional law homework or prepping for a mootcourt trial, she'll type a righteously indignant rant clobbering the Republican Party on Iraq, warrantless spying, and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Then she'll post it, under the screen name Georgia10, on the front page of liberal blog Daily Kos (, which gets between 400,000 and 800,000 unique visitors daily. The Tribune's daily circulation, just for some context, is about 586,000; its Web site gets a little over three million unique visitors per month, which averages out to around 100,000 a day. (The Tribune won't release stats on how many visitors its blogs or news columnists get.)

LOGOTHETIS DOESN'T tell people about her life as a blogger because she tends to think of it as a dorky hobby--being a Daily Kos celebrity, to her mind, is like being the best origami artist in the midwest or an internationally renowned collector of 50s lunch boxes. "I don't shout it from the rooftops," she says. "To tell you the truth, not a lot of people are interested in politics. If they don't check the site or aren't interested in politics, I don't go out of my way to say, 'Look, I'm a frontpager on Daily Kos.'"

Be still my heart.

From XYZ to Women III

...which is actually the lyric to an OMD song that has little to do with anything here, but I couldn't think of a headline for this alphabetically inclined Meme, which I scooped up at Shakes' place...

Accent: So far as I'm concerned, I don't have one, but I amuse myself by imagining people who don't live on the West Coast might say I have a Californian one (which means like Pauly Shore). I also sometimes hear myself slipping into an English accent, but that's just the result of too many Monty Python records.

Booze: Rarely, but when I do I'm the cheapest drunk in the world. I'm so lightweight I enjoy Coronas and wine coolers.

Chore I Hate: If you'd ever seen my apartment, you wouldn't need to ask that question.

Dog or Cat: Cat. I enjoy playing with other people's dogs, though, if they're happy.

Essential Electronics: Computer; DVD player, TV, CD/casette player.

Favorite Cologne: Don’t wear any.

Gold or Silver: Gold. By Spandau Ballet.

Hometown: I lived up and down the Silicon Valley the first 25 years of my life, but I consider Palo Alto my hometown.

Insomnia: Yes, but I take pills.

Job Title: Writer, unless by job you mean something that somebody actually pays me to do.

Kids: None, but I'm babysitting my "common-law stepnephew" (long story) this weekend, which I'm a little but nervous about, actually.

Living Arrangements: Upstairs apartment with two cats.

Most Admirable Traits: Wit. Enthusiasm.

Number of Sexual Partners: 11.

Overnight Hospital Stays: None since I was born. Oh, unless you count the week I spent in the mental ward (also, a long story).

Phobias: Spiders. I saw Tarantula at a bad age.

Quote: "A mind is like a parachute...if you don't pack it right, it'll fail to work properly, and you'll plummet to your violent, bloody death."

Religion: None organized. I would descibe myself as an agnostic who leans towards beliving, but has such disdain for almost all of those who call themselves religious that I would sooner be dropped into a pit of spiders than align myself with them.

Siblings: None, except for two big sisters I created for my stage play/screenplays/novel in progress...

Time I Wake Up: Usually before 10.

Unusual Talent or Skill: =)

Vegetable I Love: Actually, I enjoy the celery. It's all Peter Davison's fault. And carrots, for which we can blame Bugs Bunny.

Worst Habit: Near-toxic cynicism.

X-Rays: Of my teeth, too often.

Yummy Foods I Make: I don't "make" foods, I'm a cliched bachelor in that respect. I do, however, pour a mean bowl of cereal (I could live on Special K).

Zodiac Sign: Virgo, but it means nothing...I refer you to the number "11" above.

Suspect's Face Blurred

...but what about the horse, who still has to face his friends?

Detectives in St. Gabriel, Louisiana arrested a male juvenile Thursday morning, and charged him with crime against nature in connection with alleged acts of bestiality with a horse.

Detectives say they received a tip from someone who saw a WAFB 9NEWS report in which still frames from a surveillance tape were broadcast Wednesday night. The tipster said they believed they recognized the young man shown on the tape, detectives said.

St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeau says in all his 20 years in law enforcement, he’s never come across a case like the one. "We gotta catch this guy, he needs help," Ambeau said Wednesday, when he first released the tape to the media.

"Always [going] to the same animal," Ambeau observed. "On the tape, he was [going] to the same animal performing sexual acts."

Well, at least he's faithful...he's not out there playing the ponies, so to speak.

They had to say "go down," didn't they?

So...what with:

  • Cheney continually embarassing the White House
  • Protesters keeping Bush from making appointments
  • Jenna and Barbara whining like babies
  • Bush's performance approval rating down to 32%
  • A majority of the military wanting Rumsfeld replaced
  • And censure or even impeachment seeming like a real possibility

...seems like it's been a pretty good week for the Doves, doesn't it?

But, I know what you're saying. You're saying, if only there was an actual, honest to god Republican sex-for-favors scandal.

Well, guess what.

There's an actual honest to god Republican sex-for-favors scandal.

But, I know what you're saying, again: If only The Watergate Hotel were involved.

Well, guess what.

The Watergate Hotel is involved.

About five months ago, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that lobbyist Brent Wilkes (co-conspirator #1 in the Duke Cunningham scanal) knew how to "grease the wheels" of Congress with cash, gifts, favors, and yes, "hospitality suites":

Wilkes befriended other legislators, too. He ran a hospitality suite, with several bedrooms, in Washington - first in the Watergate Hotel and then in the Westin Grand near Capitol Hill.

Ken Silverstein at Harper's blog dropped a bombshell last night about just how far-reaching the scandal may be, revealing that the FBI is investigating former lawmakers, including "one person who now holds a powerful intelligence post." TPM Muckraker points out that CIA Director Porter Goss fits that description perfectly. Silverstein also disclosed that there are pictures.

And let us not forget that, at this point, it is a Republican sex scandal. Porter Goss, if you'll recall, was a highly partisan Republican lawmaker for fifteen years before he was tapped as CIA Director. And Justin Rood over at TPM Muckraker thinks that the prostitution ring could lasted about fifteen years.

Is the CIA Director involved in a D.C. prostitution ring? (It's so surreal just to type that question out). In refusing to investigate the CIA leak case, Goss famously proclaimed "Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation." thing is certain, as evidence comes to light, this scandal is going to be blown wide open, and there's no telling who or how many Republicans will go down.

Is it my birthday?

Source: Daily Kos.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bless me father for I have sinned

...It's been over eight months since my last confession, when I said:
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.

That was written when there was this bullshit tempest in a teapot about the "jab" the Stones were taking at the Bush administration on their new album...and the blogs were all atwitter and CNN was all abuzz.

I said:

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.

Just checking in: I imagine one or two of you may have bought that album. From memory, can you name me one song off it? Ah-hah.

Now we come to Neil Young. Look, I got no quarrel with Neil Young. By and large it's not my type of music-although I have enjoyed some of his songs more when covered by other artists, like Saint Etienne's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". I like some of the CSNY material, including the underrated "American Dream" single. And I admire the attitude behind Trans (more than I admire the actual music).

So this isn't about him being anything other than a gifted songwriter and for all I know a swell guy. But recent history is repeating. He's got a new album coming out that expresses a bit of picque at Washington, and once again, the world press is beside itself.

They're quite dizzy with anticipation, because they believe Neil Young is The Great Truth-Teller Who Will Set Everything Right With His Urgent, Burning Guitar Lines And Scathing Lyrics.

I believe there will be a burble of interest among people who already believe themselves to be fierce, commited critics of the Bush administration and think the best way to express that is with the drug of their choice and a little rock n' roll.

Real life will resume the next day, and this lyric will still suck. Perhaps you remember a few weeks ago, when I said,
I don't like 98% or so of all political songs, on a purely asthetic basis. For me, they sacrifice emotion for stridency.
in reference to Pink's "Dear Mr. President," which I was citing as an exception that tests the rule. But Young's "Let's Impeach the President" reads like a National Lampoon parody of the kinds of songs I was talking about.

But even if it didn't, to pretend that this is a meaningful event on any sociopolitcal or artistic level is just the wishful thinking of a lot of boomers who had their chance to make the world a better place, and decided to vote for Reagan, and blindly support the "war on terror," instead.

Now, they look back on a time when gosh darn it, they were half a million strong.

Everyone has got their character

I'm stealing this from Shakespeare's Sister, where the question of the Day is:

Who are your most beloved characters from works of film fiction (not based on written works)?

Here's who comes to mind-as ever, this is not an ordered list:

Jane and Aaron, Broadcast News.
Newt, Aliens. And Ripley, but only as she appears in the first two films.
Nick (the William Hurt character), The Big Chill.
Parry, The Fisher King.
Louis (the Michael J. Fox character), The American President
Nick Stark, It's My Party
The Iron Giant, The Iron Giant
Lou, New Waterford Girl
Krush, Finding Nemo
Syd, Ice Age

Mystery talentless hack theatre 3000

As a rule, I don't write too many posts about Ann Coulter. It's like fencing with a cream puff. But today, I found a couple of posts...that are just too much fun not to pass on to y'all.

First, here's a lengthy but laugh-filled post by Al Franken, describing An Evening With Ann Coulter.

Then, via Pharyngula, here's a description of the contents of Coulter's latest book.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

It's really really scary in the deep dark woods

How Skary is YOUR journal?

That's as good an explaination as any for one of my favorite TV shows

You Are Boston

Both modern and old school, you never forget your roots.
Well educated and a little snobby, you demand the best.
And quite frankly, you think you are the best.

Famous people from the Boston area: Conan O'Brien, Ben Affleck, New Kids on the Block

But...Arrrrgh! New Kids on the Block?


Your Quirk Factor: 57%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.
Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!

To victory go the Swift

We've heard recently from one or two Christian folk who feel their beliefs have made them the target of disrespect. I have to admit, I have been skeptical in the past. But now, via Shakespeare's Sister, comes this real and really distressing information.

Three-quarters of students surveyed across America said that over the past year they heard derogatory remarks such as "Jesus freak" or "Bible basher" frequently or often at school, and nearly nine out of ten reported hearing "that's so Christian" or "you're so Christian" - meaning stupid or worthless - frequently or often.

...The study also showed that bullying has had a negative impact on learning. Christian students were five times more likely to report having skipped school in the last month because of safety concerns than the general population of students...In addition, the average GPA for Christian students who were frequently physically harassed was half a grade lower than that of Christian students experiencing less harassment.

Shakes then adds her own comment:
This, of course, is total bullshit. It’s an article about gay students that I changed to make this point to conservative homobigot Christians who constantly whine about being persecuted: Shut the fuck up, you moany cunts!

Emphasis hers, but I sympathize.
But [homobigot Christians] are dinosaurs, and one day they will be extinct—and we will collect their bones and put them in a museum and tell our grandchildren about the freaks who once thought that the LGBT community didn’t deserve to be our equals. Our grandchildren will laugh and shake their heads...

All the best cults are sex-based

As you may know, Plan B is a form of contraception. It is not an abortive. Nevertheless, the FDA is desperate to block its over-the-counter sale, to "protect" young women from this additional route to avoiding unwanted pregnancy. Which has the additional effect of reducing the number of abortions, but don't tell them that. Logic and consistency only makes the heads hurt of those whose brains have been addled by the holy spirit.

What's their excuse this time? Well, as I seem to be saying far too often lately, I am absolutely not making this up. Via Daily Kos:
According to Newsday, the Center for Reproductive Rights will grill FDA brass about the "wacky" worries of deputy operations commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock:

Simon Heller, one of the attorneys, plans to quiz Woodcock on a March 23, 2004, staff memo suggesting she was concerned Plan B might lead to teenage promiscuity.

The FDA is only supposed to consider the safety and efficacy of drugs.

In the memo released by the FDA, Dr. Curtis Rosebraugh, an agency medical officer, wrote: "As an example, she [Woodcock] stated that we could not anticipate, or prevent extreme promiscuous behaviors such as the medication taking on an 'urban legend' status that would lead adolescents to form sex-based cults centered around the use of Plan B."

And that's a woman speaking.

Now and then we wonder who the real men are

I do some talking-much of it tongue-in-cheek, but some of it serious-around here about, for lack of better words, "girlishness" and "boyishness." It's something that's important to me on many levels and in many ways.

In my entertainment, I like smart, headstrong female characters (see: Hermione in the Potter movies). I also like these qualities in my friends and lovers. I hope those of you who've been reading this blog for a while would agree that my liking for those qualities is reflected in many of the posts in it.

Of course, they're also what I like to write, and have always liked to write, in my female characters. Something that I really like about writing Keitha, Annabel and Colley is that to different degrees, all of them are about the masculine in the feminine, and vice-versa.

As I discussed recently, one of my favorite television shows is Gilmore Girls, and Amy Sherman-Palladino one of my favorite television writers (going back to Roseanne). Lisa is my favorite Simpson. Like everybody else in America, I'm in love with Chloe on 24.

Yet as we've seen, I also bristle at the notion, seemingly held by some, that having a vagina automatically makes one better than having a penis. Related to this is what I perceive as an implication that no woman has ever hurt a man, men have only hurt women.

I'm here to tell ya: It ain't necessarily so. In my life, no men have ever hurt me the way some women have.

Also, I dislike what I see as a victimization of feminism. Where on the one hand women claim to want to fight their own battles and take on men on their own terms. Yet too many of 'em can't wait to run to daddy when the going gets tough.

Please note I am not speaking of "all" or even "most," simply, "too many."

I am a straight, single man, with all (or at least much) that that implies. For instance, I can't see that a woman posing for Playboy, for example, is an inherently oppresive (or do I mean oppresed?) act. I'm not saying I think it's a freeing act either, as some might argue. I think a nude woman is a nude woman, and any political context is in the eye of the beholder.

I think Holly Hunter is one of the best actresses around, and one of the smartest in her choice of roles. I also think she's a babe, and have enjoyed her nude scenes on that basis. Must these be opposing views?

Anyway, to make a long story short (too late): What all this is in aid of is that Echidine has a good entry in her blog on masculinity and femininity, and how we define them. I think you should go read it.

Now I'll leave you with this song by Joe Jackson...

That sound you may have heard between eight and nine PM (Pacific time) last night...

...was the sound of a few million "Gimore Girls" fans sitting in judgement. You see, not only was last night's the first episode to air since we learned that series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is leaving the series along with her husband, it was written by the person who's replacing her as showrunner, David Rosenthal.

Now: Far be it from me to say that a man can't write something girly as "Gilmore Girls," which is the girliest thing I've ever liked (and I've liked some girly things). Though an investigation revealed some...curious...things about Rosenthal.

Like that he once quit a job and divorced his wife so he could write a play about his obsessive desire to have sex with Heidi Klum. But hey, we've all been there, right?

Admitting upfront that knowing what I know about the future of the series undoubtedly colored my perceptions of this episode, I have to say: For the first time in memory, last night I saw characters on "The Gilmore Girls" doing things that made me say "No. No, that character would never do that."

This does not bode well.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I know I can't be the only one thinking...

Wait-Charlie Sheen has a children's clothing line?
Charlie Sheen is convinced his estranged wife timed her latest legal attack on his character in a bitter attempt to sabotage his new children's clothing line, Sheen Kidz.

The actor has gone public with his angry feelings about Denise Richards' latest bid for a restraining order, which she won on Friday (21APR06) - and he's certain the former Bond girl had an agenda in mind.

He fumes, "It happened on a Friday and the kids clothing thing is launching on Saturday. Coincidence? We think not.

"I'm launching Sheen Kidz and my kids aren't here."

Via OhNoTheyDidn't.

What fool thought that was a good idea? I mean, not even getting in the middle of the couples legal machinations, Sheen's image was not that good to begin with. I hate to say it because I think the world of his father as an actor (and, insofar as I can tell, as a man), but...

You think Charlie Sheen, you think illegal drugs, ilicit sex that reportedly included paying hookers to dress up like cheerleaders, and porn star ex-girlfriends (including Ginger Lynn, who the sorry freak let get away).

Yes, that just screams out "should have clothes for sale at Toys R Us", doesn't it?

I stand corrected

This is the gayest thing I've ever seen.

Soul hip it hurts

Glenn Greenwald has a post in Unclaimed Territory that I highly recommend reading, and following the links he provides to The BradBlog & firedoglake. He takes as his starting point an informal interview that Brad conducted with Russ Feingold recently.

After a lengthy excerpt, Greenwald notes:
...I have been waiting for some time to hear Feingold explain: (a) whether he did provide any advance warning to other Senators before announcing his Censure Resolution and (b) if not, as seemed to be the case, what the reasons were for not doing so. This is the first time I have seen anyone ask him this. That the truly probing questions are being asked by bloggers rather than by national journalists is becoming increasingly commonplace.

Then another excerpt:

Whether supported or passed or not, Feingold said, it's important for the history books. When people look back to see what happened here, and wonder if anybody stood up for our Constitution in the face of unprecedented disregard for it, via the illegal practice of spying without a warrant on American citizens on U.S. soil, it'll be right there that at least he and about five others in the Senate had the courage to stand up and say, "No, this is wrong."

Greenwald then points to Jane Hamsher identifying a truth:

Jane Hamsher wrote yesterday about an American Prospect article by John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira on closing the "identity gap" for Democrats, and as Jane argued, the central problem for the Democrats is not that independent and swing voters think that Democrats stand for nothing, but that core Democrats like Jane think that, too.

And I think that, too.

Republicans get overwhelming support from our military

Except, of course, when they don't.

According to a poll at, a majority of respondents believe that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld should resign

Via The Raw Story.

Dave's not here, man

Tommy Chong was a featured guest and speaker at NORML's convention in San Francisco this past week, which attracted more than 500 attendees. Among his remarks:

"I know Dick Cheney's Secret Service guys smoke pot," Chong said. "The reason I know that is I sold them bongs."

He also compared Bush to a speed user or "tweaker." (Maybe he meant Adderall for ADD?)

Ask yourself: Do you really disbelieve that Cheney's SS guys or Bush are drugged up?

Oh, my god

I apologize in advance, but this post is about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. A subject I've avoided for the most part, apart from the odd irresistable joke or swipe at him for being a pissy little queen.

My favorite thing about the blessed Cruise/Holmes union remains the fact that-as far as I can tell-virtually no one is buying it. For some reason, we all bought Mimi Rogers. We bought Nicole Kidman. Some of you even bought Penelope Cruz. But Katie Holmes? An entire country basically went "Eh-no."

But now at least, now Tom has put the lie to any notion that he might be less a human being than a simulation automaton programmed to star in/promote movies, and repeat.

Via Paul at Shakeseare's Sister's...

Less than a week after the birth of daughter Suri, Cruise has forsaken diaper duty and turned up in Rome for the Italian premiere of Mission: Impossible III Monday night.

"My mission impossible was to be here today," he said at a press conference. "I didn't want to come. My daughter was just born and I didn't want to leave her and her mother...I thought about not coming to Rome, but Kate said go and have fun."

Bush supporters show their manhood threatening a 15-year-old child.
Ava Lowery is a fifteen-year-old who lives in Alabama. She calls herself a peace activist, and for the past year, she’s been producing her own short animations on her website, All in all, she’s made about seventy of them, she says, and most of them oppose Bush and his Iraq War.

“WWJD” (“What Would Jesus Do”) is a powerful animation that features a soundtrack of a child singing “Jesus loves me, this I know” while one picture after another of a wounded, bloody, or screaming Iraqi child fills the screen.

She says she’s received a lot of positive feedback in short messages back to her site. And she understands that the fact that “people are on the web, and they just let loose.” But she was unprepared for the viciousness of the negative feedback—especially the ugly sexual slurs similar to those that Cindy Sheehan has faced. (If you can’t stand foul language, stop reading now.)

“It’s people like you who need to fucking die and get raped while your corpse rots in the sun,” said one e-mail Lowery shared with me. “Fuck you, I would jack off on your parents if I could. If you don’t like the team, get out of the park. That means take ur small dick and get the fuck off of my homeland you faggot chocolate gulper.”

Ladies and gentlemen: The party of John McCain.

That 30% barrier is in sight

In the telephone poll of 1,012 adult Americans carried out Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corporation for CNN, 32 percent of respondents said they approve of Bush's performance, 60 percent said they disapprove and 8 percent said they do not know.

I know this is just projection, but take a look at the picture that accompanies that story...and tell me he's not starting to look like President Logan from 24.

Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice...

Ok, you know that CIA agent who was fired, that we've all been assuming it was because she leaked about the secret prisons (because that's what we were told by the administration)? Well, funny story.

Turns out...

It really is true. They lie about absolutely everything.

ETA: Crooks and Liars has some speculation about why agent McCarthy was sacked. My own theory is that Porter Goss wanted to replace her with "Ralph," the Wonder Llama, but that's probably just a lack of sleep speaking.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bauer blogging

It's observed on one of the last-season DVD commentaries that things happen in almost any given act of any episode of 24 that would only be the last act of whole episodes of lesser series. If not the finale of entire seasons.

Tonight's was an excellent example, and one of the best episodes of the year.

There's part of me that wants to believe Henderson wasn't just mindfucking Audrey and that her father might still be alive. But if he's dead, that won't bother me nearly as much as if Aaron is.

(Note to Corey-you won't know this having just come in last season, but Aaron's one of those characters who's been around a long time on the periphery of this series, gaining more lines and screentime each year, till this season he emerged as a major supporting player.)

And speaking of characters who've been around a long time: Was I the only one, when Jack raged at Henderson that he'd been responsible for the deaths of David Palmer and Audrey's father, two real patriots, who yelled:

"And Michelle and Tony!"

-at the screen? Besides being pretty good patriots themselves, they were also among Jack's oldest friends. What I said about Henderson two weeks ago still goes: A bullet in the middle of that landing field he calls a forehead is too good for him.

I want him to go slowly. With Jack on hand to make sure he suffers.

And now for something completely different

I'm trying a new it?

I'll never live this down

Your Heart Is Pink

In relationships, you like to play innocent - even though you aren't.
Each time you fall in love, it's like falling for the first time.

Your flirting style: Coy

Your lucky first date: Picnic in the park

Your dream lover: Is both caring and dominant

What you bring to relationships: Romance

The only good red is a...actually, this is pretty dead-on

You Are Red Orange

You are a very genuine person, although it takes a while for you to show the true you.
A bit introverted, you desire respect and affection from those close to you.
You are quite empathetic, and you have a true concern for the well being of others.
Many people have warm, heartfelt memories of you - even if you don't remember them well.

Y'hear that, Jenna and Barbara?

Prince Harry: Send me to war or I quit
Prince Harry has threatened to quit the Army if commanders refuse to send him to the front line.
He told senior officers before recently passing out of Sandhurst as a Second Lieutenant: "If I am not allowed to join my unit in a war zone, I will hand in my uniform."

On a completely unrelated matter, Jenna and Barbara Bush had a disturbing experience at their spinning class recently. Their teacher made critical remarks about their daddy, which made Jenna cry "oh pooh."

And just like a woman, she went running to a man (her boyfriend, one Henry Hager) to make everything all better. So he called the club to complain (instead of asking the teacher to step outside-y'know, like a real man woulda).

Poor dears. You'd almost think no one had instilled in them the notion that this "freedom" that other people are supposedly dying and killing for also includes the freedom to disapprove of their father himself.

That's the gayest thing I've ever seen

And I've seen The Lord of the Rings, the Golden Globes, and Pet Shop Boys live in concert. Nevertheless....

Oh, really

Josh caught an interesting paragraph in a Post story today about the firing of CIA officer Mary McCarthy...

The White House also has recently barraged the agency with questions about the political affiliations of some of its senior intelligence officers, according to intelligence officials.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sing it, Mac

Blender's 50 Worst Things To Happen To Music. Seems pretty dead-on to me. Especially:

Number 07: Finding God.
Number 50: Sgt Pepper.

Now I know what you're thinking, but hear them out, read their reasons and see if you don't agree:

Concept albums, progressive rock, Brian Wilson's nervous breakdown, baby boomers yammering away about the Summer of Love, musicians taking themselves more seriously than cancer surgeons -- all the Beatles' fault.

Now think about it, is "When I'm 64" really worth all that tsuris?

Number 31: Jazz Fusion.
Number 06: Madonna's British Accent.
Number 44: Rock Poets:
Memo to aspiring rock stars: Lyrics do not constitute poetry. Neither do pedestrian observations your lifecoach thinks are profound. And despite what Jim Morrison seemed to believe, disturbed Freudian ramblings you howl while waving your dick around onstage are also, alas, not poetry. Please "cc" Jewel, Billy Corgan and Jeff Tweedy on this memo.

And perhaps best of all, number 41: Melisma. Oh yes, lord. This elevation of technical mastery over any genuine emotional life in the song is why I will never watch American Idol and why I will never forgive Mariah matter how nice her T&A is (are?).

And some people tell me my beloved synth pop is soulless. Speaking of which, as a loyal Pet Shop Boys fan, I have to register official objections to the listing of Ecstacy and syn drums...but I understand what they're talking about.

Their number 43 seems to contradict itself. It's labeled: "Fake Non-Lesbians." Which would seem to be a wag of the finger at things like the "shocking" Madonna/Christina/Britney kiss. But their caption reads:

Don't get us wrong -- we love lesbians. Just so long as they're not playing music. From Melissa Etheridge to the Indigo Girls, real-live Sapphic rock stars are to blame for some truly awful trends: earnest coffeehouse confessionalism, the Lilith Fair, flannel.

Now t.A.T.u., on the other hand ...

So which is it? Personally, I can go either way.

...As it were.

I would have added to this list:

The big-hollow-dick swagger of Rock Stars. Then again, they do include both Van Hagar and Fred Durst on their list, so I guess they've got that covered.

The death of Kirsty MacColl. But I admit that's personal.

Indie movie soundtracks full of dreadful songs with "clever" titles riffing on pop-culture.

The Simpsons Sing The Blues.

Self-conciously political songs.

Morrissey's solo career(Viva Hate excepted, and maybe one or two other singles). That ought to get me knocked off Shakespeare's Sister's blogroll, but I stand by it.

And finally:

"Throw your hands in the air! And wave 'em like you just don't care!"

Okay, the Mary McCarthy thing

Greenwald's got it:
Deliberately obscured in the furor over the CIA's firing of Mary McCarthy is that she was fired for disclosing conduct on the part of our government which is plainly illegal, highly disturbing, and further reflective of the lowly and authoritarian levels to which the U.S. has descended under the Bush administration. What the story by Dana Priest revealed is that our government maintains secret prisons beyond the reach of the law, inspections by human rights organizations, and the knowledge of Congress or any other oversight body. Anyone who is kept in them is, by definition, disappeared and almost certainly tortured. How could it be anything but legitimate to reveal that our government is engaged in this behavior?

That is what the Bush administration is so angry about -- that leaks of this sort constitute the last remaining check on their power to act without constraints of any kind, including those imposed by law, and it is why they are waging war on it...

They better not use words like ideology

Semi-lengthy review of the Kos/Armstrong book 'Crashing the Gate' that articulates a coming schism in the "progressive blogsphere." It's worth reading the whole thing. Especially when the author, RJ Eskow, makes the point that the party dismisses so-called "special interest groups" at their peril.

But here are my responses to a couple of other key paragraphs. As Eskow defines the division:

One side would provide technical and consulting support to Democratic candidates that represent a wide ideological swath - and, not incidentally, would like to be the Party's new leadership. The other side, while having remained true to the Party by and large for many years, now stands ready to abandon it if need be - especially on the national level, should a right-leaning candidate (or one cynically assuming a right-wing pose) lead the ticket in 2008.

I find I am steadfastly in the latter camp. But I defend myself by asserting I've been forced to this position. By John Kerry, Al Gore, Joe Lieberman, and even Bill Clinton. No matter how much George W. Bush's performance has added to Clinton's stature, I don't forget what a political animal, not to say whore, he is.

I have seen what happens when Democrats try to appeal to the lowest common demoninator, and it ain't pretty. I'm not voting for a Democrat unless one shows up.

Another interpretation of Dean's candidacy can be taken as a direct refutation of the technocratic approach. Maybe Dean's campaign caught fire because of its ideology, and ultimately failed because of its dependence on the netroots. If that's the case, then forget all this new-tech stuff - be true to the 'Democratic wing of the Democratic Party' and you'll be in great shape. It's true that Dean raised a lot of money via the Internet, but maybe he started concentrating more on money (and technology) and less on message, to his own detriment.

For what it's worth, it's my feeling that we should be wary of any interpretation of Dean's losses that doesn't acknowlege the fact that he got well and royally fucked by the media. If you think you know what really happened on that night in Iowa, read this.

I wasn't as excited about his campaign as some of the "netroots" were. But he'll always have the distinction of being the only serious candidate to be right early about the Iraq war. And currently, he's just about the only biggie in the party that I can stand to see speak.

Which is probably why the rest of the party seems to distance themselves from him; they're still more interested it "having each other's backs" than in what "the base" wants. For example, see Ted Kennedy saying why sure, yup yup yup, he'd be glad to support John Kerry in 2008.