Saturday, May 27, 2006

Tag: The Assassination Game

I got hit by Jen.

I AM: posessed of a silver tongue.
I WANT: to be good, is that not enough?.
I HATE: the Bush administration. For everything they've ever done, basically, but if I had to pick two extremes I'd say:

Squandering an incredible chance to really unify the world and make the losses of 9/11 mean something

And the things they do to the English language.

I MISS: late nights at Lyons or Denny's with George and Turner.
I FEAR: what we've done to our country and our world with this war.
I HEAR: the applause and I hear the bells ...
I WONDER: if I'll ever get my comic romance published.
I'M NOT: in love.
I DANCE: to Disco, and I don't like rock.
I SING: the Body Electric.
I SEE: a world that no one else can see.
I CRY: for help.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: Anything.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: pretty girls go to heaven.
I WRITE: about friendships that endure, in a world in which people who are supposed to be together find each other. I'm a fantasist.
I CONFUSE: More than a few people, I've been told.
I NEED: more joy.
I SHOULD: be so lucky, lucky lucky lucky.
I START: with pictures of people.
I FINISH: with this image of Anne Hathaway it's been almost 120 days since I ran one...

I'm tossing this towards Julia, Amee, Bob, Bill, and Tom, in hopes it strikes their fancy.

Good cartoon

You'll find more good cartoons here. publishes a selection every Saturday; that's where I usually get the ones I run.

He said what?

On Media Matters:

On MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Time columnist Joe Klein asserted that former President Bill Clinton will be "a tremendous millstone around [the] neck" of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) if she runs for president in 2008, adding, "Not because of tomcatting, but because of the fact that he's been president for eight years."

How can eight years of peace and prosperity be a millstone?

Joe Scarborough then observed that a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean "a Bush or Clinton as president or vice president from 1980 to -- I guess it would be 2016," to which Klein replied: "Gag me with a spoon."

Y' one, as witness my post below referencing Mary Stuart Masterson, is a bigger '80s fan than I am. But...even I know it is laughable when discussing presidents or vice-presidents (okay, maybe Quayle), to use "valley girl talk."

Also on Media Matters: Okay, the Enron thing.
In their reporting on the conviction of former Enron Corp. executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling on fraud and conspiracy charges, the network news programs all failed to mention the ties between the fallen corporation and President Bush. Further, the Los Angeles Times ran six separate articles on the Enron verdicts on May 26, but not a single one noted Bush's connection to Enron and, in particular, his close personal and political ties to Lay.

Full story here. You won't want to miss the excerpt from one of then-governor Bush's letters to Kenny-Boy Lay:

One of the sad things about old friends is that they seem to be getting older -- just like you! 55 years old. Wow! That is really old. Thank goodness you have such a young, beautiful wife.

As a certain Mr. Jones' father said on a similar occasion,
if a man cannot manage his native language, how can he manage his native land?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Random Observations Of The '80s Man

This is a woman named Carrie Underwood. I know little about her; a quick Yahoo! search tells me she's an American Idol-winning country singer. But what I wanted to say is: Is she not, at least in the picture above, a dead ringer for Mary Stuart Masterson (below), of Benny & Joon fame?

Say...I haven't run a picture of a pretty girl yet today

That's Sarah Michelle Gellar, who's been looking really good lately, but whose luck in choosing non-Buffy roles does not appear to be getting any better. If reviews of her new movie, "Southland Tales" are anything to go by...

"Southland Tales" is the second film by Richard Kelly, whose "Donnie Darko" made the eyes of film student types roll back in near-orgasm. I have not seen it for precisely that reason.

After working with a bunch of FS types for a year or two, I came to the conclusion that by and large, what they like in their films is not usually what I like in my films.

For example, I like actual human beings.

However, "Darko" was well received by the critics.

This cannot be said for "Southland Tales." Jim Emerson, of Scanners, has put together a rather devastating assortment of reviews, including one by Dave McCoy of MSN Movies which gives this summary of the film:
"Southland Tales" is a broad satire that features The Rock as its lead (he's not bad, actually), Sarah Michelle Gellar as a porn-star idealist (she is bad), folks like Jon Lovitz and Kevin Smith as goofy character actors and Seann William Scott as twins. Oh, and Justin Timberlake narrates the whole thing, and takes time out to do a musical number.

Emerson, who identifies himself as
a big fan of the original version of "Donnie Darko,"
offers this in conclusion:
I do hope he can cut a good movie out of "Southland Tales," and that the film can get an American distributor, but things don't look promising. Most discouraging: On the "Director's Cut" DVD and in "Southland Tales," Kelly keeps company with Kevin Smith, which pretty much marks certain death for any aspirations toward cinematic integrity or ambition (or comedy). And I am never wrong about that.

So, like I say. Haven't seen it. Don't know. But there is part of me that is happy any time a heralded "visionary" crashes and burns.

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

One. Via Crooks and Liars, Mike Farrell (yes, the fella who played B.J. Hunnicutt on M*A*S*H) on the war in Iraq:
I loathe the people who have created this monstrosity. I want the criminals who lied and cheated and pretended and twisted and perverted reality - and those who rationalized their crimes - so they could send over 2400 servicemen and woman to their death, nearly 18,000 to come home torn - some never to be whole again - thousands more to suffer mental damage, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians to be swept into the garbage can of "collateral damage," to pay. These bastards and their apologists should be stripped naked and forced to walk the main streets of America, allowing every city and town that has lost a loved one to injury or death in this shameful catastrophe to heap on them the scorn they deserve.

John F. Kennedy said America would never start a war. Well, it has now, and its architects have damaged our character, poisoned our standing in the world and soiled the soul of what was once the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Two. Glenn Greenwald on the now-confirmed Haditha massacre:

...what incidents of this type do underscore is that wars are not something that are to be routine or casual tools in foreign policy. The outright eagerness and excitement for more and more wars that we see so frequently from some circles is not only unseemly and ugly unto itself -- although it is that -- but it is also so reckless and unfathomably foolish. Every war spawns countless enemies, entails incidents which severely undermine a nation's credibility and moral standing, ensures that the ugliest and most violent actions will be undertaken in the country's name, and, even in the best of cases, wreaks unimaginable human suffering and destruction.

Three. Say it again!

You know, this is actually remarkably soothing


Link via the Friday Funnies at TalkLeft, where it says that
...this is the most popular screen-saver in the U.S. (If he gets stuck, just move him with your cursor or right-click and press play.)

Okay, now, I suppose I can live with Qui-Gon Jinn...

Even if he was in one of the bad movies, he was a pretty good character...although y'know, that whole "we have to leave your mother in slavery, Anakin" thing didn't do much for his hero status.

And my top match from one of the good films is Han Solo, so who's gonna complain about that?

But Jar Jar Binks really hurts.

Your results:You are Qui-Gon Jinn
Overall, you're a pretty well balanced person. But maybe you focus a little too much on the here and now. Think about the future before it's too late.
Qui-Gon Jinn 64%
Han Solo 62%
Jar Jar Binks 62%
C-3PO 60%
Luke Skywalker 59%
Darth Maul 59%
Lando Calrissian 56%
Yoda 55%
Jabba the Hutt 54%
Obi-Wan Kenobi 53%

This list displays the top 10 results out of a possible 21 characters)

Click here to take the "Which Star Wars character are you?" quiz...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

More good news for any "Star Wars" fans left who still believed George Lucas cared about them

You know how you shelled out good money to buy the "special edition" DVDs of the classic trilogy, and then he announced he was gonna release the originals? Well, it gets better. They're not even gonna be letter-boxed.

You know what what that means; it means he'll still have yet another version to release and take your money at least one more time.

I gotta say, part of me is really enjoying the fact that Lucas is basically peeing on the floor and smashing the fans faces into it at this point. It's not often you see a filmmaker who so many hero-worship so openly disdain the people who made him his money.

But then, I wouldn't respect most anyone who thought episode III didn't suck either.

How true!

Robertson: Islam is a "Christian heresy," Jews are "very thrifty, extraordinarily good business people"
On The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson said "Islam is essentially a Christian heresy" that "picked up snippets of the gospels," and other Biblical texts and is now taking "everything that Jesus said" and "transport[ing it] into this fictional Mahdi." Robertson also perpetuated Jewish stereotypes in a discussion about the need for Israeli soup kitchens, stating that "When you think of Jewish people, you think of successful businessmen" who are "very wise in finance and who are prosperous." Robertson later added that "[i]t shocks people" to find out "there's poverty in Israel," because "Jewish people" are "very thrifty" and "extraordinarily good business people."

2006, ladies and gentlemen. We're living in the year 2006.

...well, you and I are. Mr. Robertson is apparently living in the 1950s.

Happy birthday, baby

Or, "Self-indulgent, yes, but it's my blog." When I was writing the last revision of My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, I finally nailed down something I'd been wanting to for a while: When exactly is Keitha's birthday?

Those of you who have read it know that one or two things in the storyline center on that date, and although I didn't think I was going to state it in the text (and I still don't), I wanted to pin it to a specific one, just in my own mind.

The date I picked-as if you're all not already way ahead of me-is today, May 25th.

Why May? I wanted a day around this time of year because of some other things that happen in the plot that are tied to real time (like when the gay parade is in San Francisco, for example). Why the 25th? Well, not because of any astrological signifigance that I am aware of (and I wouldn't have changed it for that either one way or another if it did).

I chose it because today is also
Towel Day...celebrated every May 25 as a tribute by fans of the late author Douglas Adams.

If it's good enough to tribute Douglas Adams, it's good enough for Keitha. So if you know any spiky, playful girls (as Corey recently dubbed her), buy them a drink today and tell them Keitha says hi.

Even if they sleep with boys.

Keitha: What's all this "baby" business?
Annabel: Sweetie, it's a nice gesture...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I kinda like this. I don't know why.

Oh look. Rocks.

Another one of them there Meme type things

I intercepted this from someone named Alison, whose blog I stumbled over via a Technorati search.

10 Favorites
Favorite Season: Huff, season one. But surely that's not what you meant. Probably winter.
Favorite Color: Green. Fieldy green
Favorite Time: Heavenly shades of night are...
Favorite Food: Special K.

Favorite Drink: Well, lately, I've been enjoying the filtered water. Also Gatorade.
Favorite Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry's vanilla-carmel.
Favorite Place: Someplace I'm safe and warm and can see a beautiful vista.
Favorite Sport: That's funny.
Favorite Actor: Geez, do I have one? The entire male half of the original West Wing ensemble. Or Hank Azaria.
Favorite Actress: Again, hard to name one, but you're not gonna go too far wrong with anyone who was employed on an Aaron Sorkin series. If by "favorite" you're going for cheer likablity, though, it might have to be Alyson Hannigan, who has an unbelivable ability to get an audience on her side.

9 Currents
Current Feeling: My leg is stiff and it's hot in here.
Current Drink: none.
Current Time: 8:31 PM
Current Show on TV: None.
Current Mobile used: None.
Current Windows Open: Bathroom window.
Current Underwear: White, Jockey
Current Clothes: Green plaid shirt, jeans, socks
Current Thought: What am I currently thinking?

8 Firsts
First Nickname: Benjy
First Kiss: Jennifer.
First Crush: A girl named Heather on an old PBS show titled Zoom.
First Best Friend: I don't remember, sadly.
First Vehicle I Drove: Tan Camry LE.
First Job: Video store clerk, Tower Video
First Date: I can't remember.
First Pet: a black cat named Frisky.

7 Lasts
Last Drink: milk
Last Kiss: a goodbye kiss to a crazy but fun girl before she drove away
Last Meal: Peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich
Last Web Site Visited: Yahoo! Seatch
Last Movie Watched: The Beatles, "Help!"
Last Phone Call: My mother, who had her car stolen yesterday and found today.
Last TV show Watched: If we're counting on DVD, Sports Night. If we're not, a Married...with Children rereun on F/X. Meaningless observation: Both shows featured Ted McGinley.

6 Have You Ever...
Have You Ever Broken the Law: yes
Have You Ever Been Drunk: yes
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: yes
Have You Ever Been in the Middle/Close to Gunfire: no
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: no
Have You Ever Broken Anyone's Heart: Probably, but I didn't know I was doing it at the time.

5 Things
Things You Can Hear Right Now: The hum of my computer, cars passing.
Things On Your Bed: too much-and my fuzzy gray cat, Siousxie.
Things You Ate Today: Special K, aforemenentioned sandwich, fruit snacks, cheese balls.
Things You Do When You Are Bored: Read, watch tv, or something else

4 Places You Have Been Today
Scarecrow video
My apartment
My mother's apartment
In this chair

3 Things On Your Desk Right Now
An old Mac I keep just for the eccentricity
A laser printer
My fuzzy orange cat, Donovan

2 Choices
Salt or Pepper: salt
Hot or Cold: Cool

1 Place You Want To Visit

More Dixie Chicks, or I don't know about you, but I like the sound of the truth coming from their mouths

Atrios has video of the Letterman appearance I mentioned earlier this afternoon. It's worth watching even if you've already heard the studio version of their new "Not Ready To Make Nice" song; superior in some ways.

Blue Sky

You Are Sky Blue

Dreamy and creative, you the potential in everyone ... and everything!
And while you strive to have an ideal life, you are pretty mellow about it. You know your time will come.

Wow...a heh heh...a heh heh heh heh heh...

So! Tom Delay. You remember him, he's the indicted of them. Former House Majority Leader. Classy guy, Godly fellow who tried to change the rules to benefit himself and his friends. Especially himself.

This morning, DeLay’s legal defense fund sent out a mass email criticizing the movie “The Big Buy: Tom DeLay’s Stolen Congress,” by “Outfoxed” creator Robert Greenwald.

The email features a “one-pager on the truth behind Liberal Hollywood’s the Big Buy,”

Before I tell you what the lead item is in that "one-pager" (no peeking, now!), I'd like to remind you of something I wondered about back when we were all talking about Stephen Colbert's performance at the dinner.

I said:
What interests me more than the question of Colbert's goal is what was the expectation of whoever offered him the job? I can hardly believe this is true, you suppose someone saw a few episodes of his show and...didn't realize he was being ironic?

Well, Ben of last month...believe it. The lead item in that defense of Delay ... Colbert’s interview with Greenwald on Comedy Central (where Colbert plays a faux-conservative, O’Reilly-esque character).

DeLay thinks Colbert is so persuasive, he’s now featuring the full video of the interview at the top of the legal fund’s website. And why not? According to the email, Greenwald “crashed and burned” under the pressure of Colbert’s hard-hitting questions, like “Who hates America more, you or Michael Moore?”


I've said it before and I'll say it again

I'm not voting for a Democrat in 2006 or 2008 unless one shows up. Let me explain what I mean by "a Democrat."

Unfortunately, Glenn Greenwald reminds me, such Democrats don't exist unless embodied by Martin Sheen.

The same paralyzing, stagnating, fatally passive Democratic voices who always counsel against standing up to the administration aren't going anywhere. It is not hard to imagine what they will be saying:

President Bush is a lame duck who is out in 2008, and so it doesn't matter what he got away with or what he did. Conducting investigations into these intelligence and ”anti-terrorist” scandals will be depicted as obstructionist and weak on national security, and will jeopardize our chances to re-take the White House and will cost us House and Senate seats. It is best to look forward, not to the past, and not be seen as conducting vendettas against the lame duck President. What matters is taking the White House in 2008 and so there is no reason to attack the President on these matters of the past.

Is there any doubt that the likes of Senators Feinstein, Rockefeller, Levin, etc. are going to follow that thinking, as they always do? I don't see how that can be doubted. I think Congressional Democrats will be more cautious and passive, not less so, if they take over one of the Congressional houses in 2006. People who operate from a place of fear and excess caution become even more timid and fearful when they have something to lose. [Emphasis mine-BV] The Democratic Congressional Chairs are going to be desperate not to lose that newfound power, and they will be very, very vulnerable to the whiny whispers of the consultant class that they should not spend their time and energy investigating this administration or vigorously opposing them on national security matters.

Digby joins in the discussion here:
Glenn goes on to speculate about the future and sees that there is not likely to be a whole lot of action on these matters going forward, even if we win. And that is my great fear, too. The Democrats have the GOP snake by the neck but I'm pretty sure they don't have the nerve to kill it. And that is a huge mistake as has been demonstrated over and over again for the last 30 years.

He further links to an article by Robert Parry:

My book, Secrecy & Privilege, opens with a scene in spring 1994 when a guest at a White House social event asks Bill Clinton why his administration didn’t pursue unresolved scandals from the Reagan-Bush era, such as the Iraqgate secret support for Saddam Hussein’s government and clandestine arms shipments to Iran.

Clinton responds to the questions from the guest, documentary filmmaker Stuart Sender, by saying, in effect, that those historical questions had to take a back seat to Clinton’s domestic agenda and his desire for greater bipartisanship with the Republicans.

Clinton’s generosity to George H.W. Bush and the Republicans, of course, didn’t turn out as he had hoped. Instead of bipartisanship and reciprocity, he was confronted with eight years of unrelenting GOP hostility, attacks on both his programs and his personal reputation.

Clinton’s failure to expose that real history also led indirectly to the restoration of Bush Family control of the White House in 2001. Despite George W. Bush’s inexperience as a national leader, he drew support from many Americans who remembered his father’s presidency fondly.

Not only did Clinton inadvertently clear the way for the Bush restoration, but the Right’s political ascendancy wiped away much of the Clinton legacy, including a balanced federal budget and progress on income inequality. A poorly informed American public also was easily misled on what to do about U.S. relations with Iraq and Iran.

Only a fool keeps feeding the mad dog that bit his hand.

I am not voting for a single Democrat in 2006 or 2008 unless one shows up.

Another reason to like John McCain, the "good" republican

He's a master of subtle nuance. Via Ezra Klein:
Brendan Nyhan reports on John McCain's bold plan to end the violence in Iraq:

"One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, 'Stop the bullshit,'" said Mr. McCain, according to Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, an invitee, and two other guests.

Woo! That's bracing stuff! And then, after the hasty consultations with translators to make sure he actually said that, the participants would stare at him quizzically, wondering what the straight-talk solution to oil sharing, political representation, entrenched hatreds, and varying conceptions of secularism will be. So what is it? McCain demands that they "stop the bullshit." What are his next ten words?

Cover me

BagNewsNotes has an entry analysing Time's cover story on The Dixie Chicks (who, BTW, gave a very powerful performance on Letterman the other night). I've read the story, I think it does at least as much to make country music fans look bad as the Chicks. It concedes-though it's buried fairly deep-that the Chicks have long-since been proved right, but says they still look bad to country music fans.

Why? Well, see if you can follow this (I can't). It's not because Natalie remarked that she wished the Pres. was from another state than hers. It's because (it says) she did it from a stage in the U.K., the old "foreign soil" attack that's never made much sense to me.

If you don't like your President critisized, that's one thing. I don't agree, but it's one thing. But I've never understood why where he's critisized should matter. I didn't understand it when George Bush, Sr. was trying to smear Clinton by saying he led anti-Vietnam war demonstrations while a England (the horror) and I don't understand it now.

As Maines says in the story, she said it in the U.K. because that's where they were the week the war started (I'm envious-I was in Knoxville). I'm left with the conclusion that frankly, where Maines made her statement doesn't really matter.

On some level, country music fans must know that. It's just that, put simply, country music fans don't like strong women. I have no patience for people like that. Apparently, neither do the Chicks, which may explain why they've gassed up their car and headed out of town.

Excuse me-my ride is here...

A declaration of cease-fire

Good afternoon. In the past, this blogger has had some unkind things to say about Madonna. I have implied, in so many words, that she was a bit pathetic, and emotionally disengaged as a musician to boot. And not even that attractive anymore.

However. A fella named Glen Beck, of CNN, recently went on his show and had these things to say:

"Gee Madonna why would you think theres too much filth on TV? (he plays her
videos for like a virgin and American pie) Look at this I'm not even sure but I think I'm getting crabs just from watching this, really in fact if youre at home grab some penicillin, swallow
it otherwise youre gonna be peeing cookie dough tomorrow."

"Do you remember when Madonna made out with Britney spears at the vmas apparently that confused her daughter Lordes, which is a stupid name, she asked her mom she said "mom are you gay?" Madonna's response in that fake British accent "I am the mummy pop star and
she is the baby pop star and I am kissing her to pass my energy on to her." By energy, Madonna if you mean cold sours then yeah youre probably right."

Here are a few other things Beck has had to say recently, which should explain why I don't even want to be in the neighborhood of agreeing with him. He's a war-mongering, Democratic progressive-left bashing, sexist racist.

So: This blog is now a Madonna-bashing-free zone.

I will do my best to think of her, not as the...frankly kind of pathetic, emotionally disengaged musically, not even all-that-attractive person that she has become. Rather, as the comical sprite of action, overflowing with emotion, charm and beauty she must once have been.

I will take the position from here on out that if I cannot say something nice, I will not say anything at all.

About Madonna, that is. Bill O'Reilly, George Bush and Rush Limbaugh are all still fair game, although much less likely to have me run pictures of them naked.

Thank you for your attention; go about your day.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I don't have much to add, but it should be noted

...that former Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen died today. I'm sure you all remember him for the same thing I do; one of the great sound-bites of the '80s.

Can't...resist...must shot...

Mariah Carey explains, in pantomine, a part of the secret of her success.

Via Dlisted.

Monday, May 22, 2006

I have these things to say about tonight's season finale of "24" (no spoilers)


2. Called it!

3. Oh, shit...but Corey, you'll be happy.


NBC Contemplates Schedule Shuffle

NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly says he may make changes to his fall prime time schedule, with rumors swirling about the network moving Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip to Monday at 9 or 10.

It's going to be opposite 24, I just know it.

Corey, shut up.

After ABC moved Grey's Anatomy to the Thursday 9 p.m. time slot that NBC had slated for its highly anticipated Studio 60, sources familiar with the situation say NBC is contemplating moving the Aaron Sorkin-penned show to Mondays at 9. However, those sources also say that show executives are pushing for a 10 p.m. time period.

Such a move would free up an hour for NBC on Thursdays. Options would include moving up shows previously slated for midseason, including The Apprentice or a block of comedies which could include Scrubs and rookie The Singles Table.

-- Broadcasting & Cable

And one more for the road: Words to live by

From How To Write A Damn Good Novel, by James N. Frey:
You can kill the spell of identification just as easily as you can create it-if you lose the reader's sympathy for the character. You can lose reader sympathy by having your character commit acts of cruelty to another character with whom the readers identify more strongly or for whom they have strong sympathy. You can lose reader sympathy by having the character make dumb choices-acting at less than maximum capacity. The idiot in the horror story who responds to creepy noises by going into the attic armed only with a candle is an example. You can lose reader sympathy when a character seems too ordinary, is stereotyped, or doesn't struggle hard enough. The reader wants to cheer a fighter, not witness a milquetoast wallowing in, say, self-pity.

South Carolina: We'd Like To Be Known As Even Stupider Than Tennessee

S.C. Girl Protests Confederate Apparel Ban

White Roses For Blue Girls

...which is a song by My Favorite, and that has nothing to do with anything, except I'm blogging about something blogged by Blue Gal.
Andrew Chung of The Toronto Star relates findings that (gasp) TDS viewers are more politically cynical than non-viewers. This is raising some alarms, as TDS viewers are primarily young and forming life-long habits of political thought and discourse.

Shouldn't the decider-in-chief take some of the credit for my cynicism, huh?

To which I responded in the comments:
I think a distinction should be drawn between cynicism and skepticism.

The former can be toxic, the latter is nothing but healthy, and I think if anything, Stewart encourages the latter.

Either way, you're right, blaming a professional comedian for any sour mood in this country is like blaming the guy who rings the fire bell for the blaze itself.

I'm going to stop now because I can see a Billy Joel reference in my future, and that'll really make me cynical...

Great day in the morning

I hate to tell you this, miss, but we can see right through your dress.
Actress and model Phoebe Price arrives for the screening of 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley,' at the 59th International film festival in Cannes, southern France, on Thursday, May 18, 2006. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)


A quick word for the producers of "Huff," should they be looking in

Guys and gals...

You can't have a character listening to a tape recording of a conversation that took place in the previous episode...and then have the recording show noticable differences to what was shown in that episode!

You especially can't do it when you have a show that is re-run several times a week, and is also accessable On Demand. Unfortunately, this is what you have done by showing Huff listening to a recording of his Ecstasy-fueled therapy session, but eliminating several of the dramatic pauses Azaria took. Adding a few lines of dialogue that were not in the scene last week, to boot.

It don't work.

This show is still hanging on to my interest by its fingernails, mainly by virtue of the acting, particuarly Azaria's, and whatever residual caring I still have for the characters.

And to follow up on my comments about Beth's flirtation with The L Word last week...well, they're still going after that dollar, they just didn't use her for it this week.

Which is actually kind of why I was upset about it. It wasn't that I minded the scene or was offended by it. It was just that I knew, with absolute certainty based on the way they've been handling that character this year, that there would be no follow-up on it.

This year Beth is all about faddism. She shows an interest in prayer and church...for a few episodes. Suddenly she's doing heart-pounding, shallow-breathing kissing with another woman...and the next episode it's as if it never happened.

None of the questions are raised that might be. Not even the obvious ones, let alone those I might have expected from last season's writing.

Last season I lost count of the number of episodes that made me tear up by the end. No matter how many times I saw them. This season that's turned into a sad, resigned sigh...when it's not an annoyed grunt.

Here's irony for ya: Huff's expressions of discontent with his marriage...have begun to sound echoic of my dissatisfaction with this series.

As I say, that's irony for ya.