Saturday, June 17, 2006


I think I understand why this film was not generally well-received by the critics, it probably helps to have come in predisposed to the collaborations of Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman, as I was. If you are so predisposed, one look at the trailer (which you can and should watch here) made you realize: This is a movie that looks just like a piece of Dave McKean artwork...which of course it is. That's the kind of spiral logic this film inspires.

Now I regret having waited for home video, I wish I'd seen it on a big screen. More, I wish virtual reality had actually worked out; if ever there was a movie that makes you wish you could strap on your goggles and step inside it, this is the one.

I believe it was also underrated by critics because at first viewing-I intend watching it again-the climax does not quite come off. And that sends critics home to their keyboards (trust me, I know) with a feeling that all the spokes of the wheel do not quite reach from the rim to the hub.

Yet as I think about it (or perhaps I mean reflect upon it given the title), I think that perhaps the seeds of the ending were planted earlier in the film and there is a logic to it, but dream logic. Which is all we should expect from Gaiman. I am being, of course, deliberately vague for your experience of this film should be your own.

I want to say: This is an amazing thing; something...

PS: As for the DVD, the "making of" documentary is worth it for the brief scene of Gaiman playfully bitching at his longtime collaborator alone."You were the one who had to have monkeybirds...mice on roller skates, I said, they'll be a lot smaller...but no..."

I've been reading a few books about Van Gogh recently

...though certainly nothing like enough to call myself any kind of an expert.

But I think this is my favorite of his portraits that I've seen. It's called Adeline Ravoux (for that is she) and it was painted 116 years ago this month.

You can find out a little bit more about the subject by following the link in her name.

Some of you might think these are gratuitious pictures of Anne Hathaway

Those of you who are foolish enough to believe there can ever really be such a thing, that is.



The Japanese are into some seriously fucked-up shit

But this is fucking hypnotic.

Cartoons at which to smile grimly

More here.

I actually think this is kind of funny

A local news team in Indiana has put together a little comedy commercial taking shots at Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. The sense I get is that it's of the "it's all good fun" variety. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, and I can't imagine Stewart sweating over it .

Some of the folk at Best Week Ever, where you can watch it, seem to think their hero has seriously been dissed. Some of the folk at Best Week Ever spend too much time thinking about the cast of Full House, Lindsay Lohan's pussy, and what goes into and out of Paris Hilton's mouth.

Friday, June 16, 2006

words and image

-Photo credit: Vincent.

Rain rain
Go away
I can't stand this
One more day
I'll close my eyes
I'll shut my brain
I can't stand this
Fucking rain
- Crush, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Lord, I wish I were a drinking man

The Beatles "All You Need Is Love."

  • Almost as naive as your average Howard Jones lyric? You betcha.
  • But a genuine celebration, an artifact? Absolutely. If anyone cares I think Barry Miles' Paul McCartney-Many Years From Now is the best book ever written on the songwriter, at least in his Beatle years. Miles writes of this song:
    It was the philosophy of Sgt. Pepper and the era reduced to five words.
  • It's the site of one of the great self-quotes in pop music history, when Lennon starts singing "She Loves You" at the end.
  • And of course, influencewise, it's all over Tears For Fears' "Sowing The Seeds Of Love," something they never hid-they used to follow performing that song in concert by covering the Beatle tune.

Yes, "All You Need Is Love" is all those things and even more.

And now it's the soundtrack to a commercial for credit cards.

The dream is over, yesterday.

Someone finally suggests a use for the Bush twins

Rep. Walter Jones, the North Carolina Republican who invented the phrase "freedom fries," invited me into his Capitol Hill office Thursday morning, a cluttered space festooned from floor to ceiling with military memorabilia, Pentagon plaques and photographs of soldiers. Then he pulled out an e-mail he had recently received from an Army captain who served in Iraq.

The e-mail quoted another American soldier serving in Iraq, a voice that Jones wanted people to hear. "Tell all those assholes in D.C. to get us the f--- out of here. This is bullshit," Jones said, reading from the e-mail, but choosing not to pronounce the f-word in full. "Either that or tell them to tell Bush to send over the twins. They can bunk with me. That would be useful."

From Salon.

This is the kind of thing that makes one proud to be an American

A couple of girls drive to DC for the Pride parade. While there, they are propositioned by a fellow who gives them his business card and eventually offers "to pay for our room and give us a thousand dollars if two of us would fuck him."

Charming, no? Being in town for the Pride parade, they respectfully decline.

Fellow turns out to be prominent RNC spokesman, defender of Ann Coulter's assult on 9/11 widows, and one who compared Patrick Fitzgerald to Joe McCarthy, Jack Burkman.

One of the girls has a MySpace account. Wonkette has the beginnings of this sorry tale. BTW, let the clicker beware: If you follow the link on that page to the DC Pride Event pictures, be advised that there's a hell of a lot of them and they may take some time to load.

But you might want to anyway, one or two of them are quite adorable.

PS-Girl adds:
he asked if i made exceptions for men at all, and i was like, "not for republicans."

PPS: Girl is from Tennessee, and I just don't know what to think about that.

That's a bad idea.

Okay...Logo, the (nominally) gay and lesbian network that wouldn't run an ad by the UCC promoting their message of acceptance has announced their plans for new original programming.

These include
a reality show that gives lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) participants an opportunity to confront friends and loved ones who have disowned them because of their sexuality.

That's a bad idea. That's a really, really bad idea. It's also, unfortunately, so typical of reality and talk shows which however much they may spew about building bridges, are about creating confrontation and never mind the consequences.

Even allowing that I haven't seen this reality show, I can't imagine how it's going to be about anything other than making a bad situation worse and exploiting the pain of others in hopes of good ratings.

Does anyone remember the Jenny Jones "gay crush" killing?

Also in their programming:
-- "That Gay Ghost," a half-hour sitcom pilot that centers on the members of a conservative family whose lives are changed when they discover that a gay ghost named Cosmo is living in the closet of their new home.

Wait a minute...that's Topper!

Source: ohnotheydidn't

Is it wrong that I don't even know who Dan Brown is?

According to Raving Road Warrior Queen magazine...I'm sorry, Forbes magazine (via Bricks and Stones),
The top ten most influential celebrities are as follows:
4. U2
8. 50 CENT

Now-leaving out what I may personally think of any of these celebrities-at least, I know who nine of them are.

Sweet god.

Oh dear.

You know, you try not to stereotype conservatives. Sometimes you fail to resist, but you try not to.

My quoting and agreeing with Mark's post about Ann Coulter attracted a comment by a fella who blogs under the name of (allow for fanfare)...Texas Truth. TT cordially invited me to visit his blog and read what he has to say, so I did.

Molly Ivins once wrote, of Rush Limbaugh fans or "dittoheads,"

I wouldn't say that dittoheads as a group lack the ability to reason. It's just that whenever I run across them they seem to be at a low ebb in reasoning skills.

When I read conservative blogs, I tend to jump on spelling errors, especially if there are more than might generously be explained as typos. My default joke is usually something about "the right's trademark original relationship with literacy."

Well, here's where a joke becomes sad. TT's blog has a number of such errors, including one he makes twice even though he's quoting an article in which the word is spelled correctly.

TT's occupation, as listed in his Blogger profile?
I am a public high school educator in my early 50s, who has been teaching for 28 years.

I've really got to stop watching television after 11 o'clock at night

The commercial kind, anyway. So I'm watching Moonraker on AMC and coming over all nostalgic-it was my very first Bond film. Then they cut to a commercial. It was for some erectile disfunction aid or other.

In the ad, a middle-aged-to-elderly couple are about to go upstairs, meaningful looks in their eyes. Just then, a knock comes at the door. Oh no! It's the kids and grandkids, making an unscheduled visit.

A voiceover informs us that if, just when you think the "right time" has arrived, you're interupted by such flotsam and jetsam, don't sweat it. Because this little pill is good for up to several hours. Thus gratified, they welcome the kids in to play.

So you're telling me...this guy is going to spend a few hours...playing with children...with some huge fucking boner on.

All right...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

You know, normally my default response to news of a bookburning... a Paula Poundstone quote: Did we learn nothing from Footloose? But for some reason, this worries me a little more.

Pam in da House:
Someone set fire to the gay and lesbian book section of the John Merlo Library in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, and there's speculation that this was a hate crime.

Blender Greg G. initially emailed me about this story; he called the library and was told by a staffer they think it was definitely arson and one target was the LGBT collection.

WMAQ Chicago has additional information on the arson.
Chicago police said they were calling Tuesday's incident arson, but representatives of the gay community said on Wednesday that the timing with the upcoming Gay Pride Parade and proposed laws dealing with gay marriage in the works, the incident is too coincidental.

..."Lakeview and the city of Chicago represents some of the most accepting, tolerant communities in the United States," said Art Johnston, a board member of Equality Illinois. "The fact that this could happen in a library, of all places, is scary for all of us. In my experience, an attack on any of the communities is an attack on all of us."

[A local "pro-family" (right wing) activist is] angry at Mayor Daley because the mayor welcomed the 2006 Gay Games -- and declined to bid for the next Republican National Convention...Then he was mad at Kraft and Walgreens, two sponsors of the Gay Games (Walgreens is providing HIV/AIDS awareness education as well) that refused to back out when he started throwing a tantrum.

Pam has several examples of the activists delightful tantrums at the link above. She concludes,
So, it's not as if there hasn't been a sufficient amount of wingnut activity around that would make it possible for some fool in Chicago to think burning gay books is A-OK with the moralists.

Or maybe I'm just bummed this happened before Bob's book could be part of it, let alone mine.

The last Ann Coulter post you'll see here for a while

It strikes me that all her invective and "controversial remarks" have but one purpose: The financial enrichment of Ann Coulter.

The section of Coulter's new book that's making headlines and getting her on highly-rated TV shows is her attack on a small group of 9/11 widows whose main sin seems to be that they made commercials for John Kerry. (Has anyone asked her if she'd object to 9/11 widows making commercials for Bush-Cheney?)

If memory serves, at least one 9/11 widow did just that.

Last night, Jay Leno had Coulter on, paired with George Carlin for what NBC press releases promised would be mano a mano combat. But that was a false promise because Carlin, even if he thinks Coulter is utterly wrongheaded, is not about to fault someone too much for saying things that some find offensive. He kind of makes his living doing that, after all. Leno offered a feeble challenge to her views but since she's good at this kind of thing and since her supporters packed The Tonight Show audience to cheer her, she came off as a superstar, at least to the kind of viewer likely to ever buy her book. I suppose Jay and his producers thought it was worth it because of the ratings they'd get with the great Carlin-Coulter Slap-Off...but they didn't even get that. The numbers for last night were about average for a Wednesday, maybe even a few tenths of a point off. I'd like to think it's because America, like me, is already bored with this bogus controversy.

Mark's right.

I'm not much one for cute pictures of kids

Especially kids I don't know. But come on.

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

Click to enlarge. It's from a webcomic called Sinfest (You can look at other strips here) that's new to me but which seems very well drawn and pretty funny. Here's a little information about the cartoonist.

Seven movies that apparently more of you need to see

...because none of you got them in my little movie-quote quiz last week.

Mother? I love art.
...was from It's My Party. One of the things I like most about this movie is the way it uses its large ensemble cast. The story's about a gathering of friends around one person; but there isn't time to map out every detail of all their relationships to him. So you just get enough.

"...who's Ann Miller?"
"Leave this house."
...was from Jeffrey. I adore this film for its performances, especially Steven Weber as the title character, Patrick Stewart getting to show more warmth and humanity than he ever did as Picard and Nathan Lane in a memorable cameo. And because the jokes are very, very funny.

I resent you. I resent everything about you. You had Mom and Dad's unconditional love, now you have the world's. How could I not envy that? I wish I could say it was because you're so much better looking than me. No, the real pain is that it's something so much harder to bear. You got the good soul; I got the bad one. Think about leaving me yours...

...was from Love! Valour! Compassion! I put these three films together because they're all about gay men. Two of them are also based on plays, the third, It's My Party, might easily be seen as a play since it's mostly on one set and takes place over the space of two days.

I've often joked with my friends that my personality, certainly my musical taste, would make so much more sense if I were gay. If I could just get over this darned "attracted to women" thing. In LVC we meet (among others) a character who I believe is very much the kind of gay man I would be if I was: The loving, apparently happy-go-lucky Buzz, played by Jason Alexander.

Except for Alexander, all the cast are veterans of the stage version. He was cast presumably to capitalize on his fame but it's a touching performance that I personally prefer to the overrated Seinfeld.

Also featured in another strong ensemble is Stephen Spinella, who turned up this season on 24 as the treacherous, ambitious Miles. The quote in question, though, comes from John Glover, who plays twins in the movie, reprising a role for which he won the Tony onstage. It's a performance of stunning brilliance and grace, aided immeasurably by the superb script.

"He just came in for few hours to uh, to uh, fuck me."
"It takes a few hours."
...was from My Best Friend's Wedding. Amee, this is the movie that you and I watched over here once when we weren't paying attention to other things.

This film stands for me as one of the best uses of a movie star (as opposed to an actor) in recent cinema history. Cast with someone who doesn't have the audience dazzled as much as Julia Roberts, the protaganist of this movie could come off as downright psychopathic.

But with her and a sturdy screenplay, it's as sweet a confection as a good wedding cake. Great soundtrack, too.

Oh, and there's another gay man in it. Means nothing.

"Now what the Good Master is telling us all right now is that up in Heaven, there are about a hundred million little tiny angels about 'yea' by 'yea', and they all take shorthand. And every time you do something silly, they write it down..."
"No, no."
"That's not what the Good Master is telling us." from Godspell, one of my all-time favorite movie musicals. I love it, so sue me.

"Are you nervous?"
"Good. My nervousness exists on several levels; number one, and this is in no particular order, I haven't done this in a pretty long time. Number two, uh, any expectations that you might have, given the fact that I'm... you know..."
"The most powerful man in the world?"
"Exactly, thank you. I think it's important you remember that's a political distinction, it comes with the office."

Now this one, I'm kind of disappointed that none of you got. Even if you hadn't seen it or just didn't remember that particular dialogue, from the context, it would seem to be a romantic comedy, wouldn't it? A romantic comedy about The American President.

Which was only written by Aaron Sorkin, who if you don't know I think is one of the strongest writers of film and television we have today, you haven't been paying attention.

"You were wonderful! We're free!"
"Kara, we're inside a Russian airbase in the middle of Afghanistan!"

Sherman came closest to getting this one, remembering it was from a James Bond movie but not which one. It's The Living Daylights, still one of my favorite Bond films. It always makes me a little sad that Timothy Dalton didn't get to play the part more than one other time, in the much-less successful Licence To Kill. He deserved better than to only do twice as many as George Lazenby.

It's also got John Barry contributing his last musical score to the series; it's one of his most exciting. And this is fucking self indulgent, but what the hell it's my blog: At the quiz in My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, this is the movie which end-credits song they're trying to remember, and there's an in-joke reason, beyond just that I like it.

That's the darndest callback I've ever seen

So I'm watching George Carlin on the Leno show, and they show a clip from Cars, in which he plays a VW van with the character of a hippy. In the clip, he's staring at a traffic light like a Pink Floyd fan at a black light poster.

And one of the other cars says to him, "The '60s weren't good to you, were they?"

Now-what you gotta understand about me is that I'm a George Carlin fan from way back, and I have a freakishly good memory. So the first thing I think of is a joke from Outrageous Fortune, a 1987 movie in which Carlin took a small part.

In that film, he played a cowboy/hippy type who, when Shelley Long and Bette Midler describe the convoluted plot so far to him near the end of the movie, replies, "The '60s were good to you, weren't they?"


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ford every stream, and so on

You Should Spend Your Summer in the Mountains

You're quiet, introspective, and a great thinker.
You need a summer vacation that gets you away from the crowds and the heat.
So retreat to the mountains, where you can clear your head.

See, what I love about Anne Hathaway...let me rephrase that...

...amongst the things that I love about Anne Hathaway, is that even though she already has my love, she keeps on trying to earn it:
"I was raised Catholic. When I was 11, I felt like I got a calling from God to be a nun. But when I was about 15, I realized my older brother was gay, and I couldn't support a religion that didn't support my brother."
-Anne Hathaway


(quote via ohnotheydidn't)

I believe the expression is "Like she's been ridden hard and put away wet"

Mary-Kate Olsen, ladies and gentlemen.

Anyone else ever get the feeling that Bush couldn't outsmart the Trix rabbit?

Ok. You should all know how I feel and what I think about President Bush by now. And if by some chance you're new, scroll down two or three posts and you should pick it up in a hurry.

But, I know what you're saying.

You're saying, if only there was footage of him making an ass out of himself by making fun of a blind man.

Well, guess what.

There is such footage.

Some like it hot and some sweat when the heat is on

So there's this fella named Bob Corker, Republican know it's coming...Tennessee. He's either a cynical opportunist or a homophobe (if you support a Constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, there just ain't a third choice).

The girl on the left is his daughter.

Thank you, Wonkette.

La la la, la la la la, la la la la la la la...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

There's a sun shining in the sky, but that's not the reason why I'm feeling warm inside

A commenter who wished to remain anonymous (but who almost certainly hails from Bolingbrook, Illinois-home of the second IKEA outlet in the state!) went looking for messages of support for Ann Coulter.

Unfortunately for them, since Ms. Coulter's most recent remarks are indefensible even by her low standards, what they mainly found were postings like mine of earlier today. Postings from Democratic bloggers suggesting that what Ann had said was, like what she usually says, stupid, false and silly.

This confused and infuriated them, and he/she/it wrote me with a list of questions. I'm here to please (and don't you ever forget that, ladies), so let's take a look at those questions and see if we can't help make things clearer for our new friend.

Who writes:

What do you know about conservatives?
I know that Dick Cheney is willing to cynically exploit people just like his daughter for votes. I know that he and Bush are incompetents who have run this country much the same way the Skipper and Gilligan ran the Minnow. I know that conservatives love to pat themselves on the back even (if not especially) when they don't deserve it. I know they're armchair warriors who love to talk a good game about supporting a war but get kinda queasy when you suggest they join up and fight in it. I don't know, but I suspect they like Larry the Cable Guy.

Next question?
Why don't you talk from your malcontent liberal heart!
Um...I thought I was. BTW, Malcontent: "One who rebels against the established system." With Bush's approval rating having hit 29%, there sure are a lot of us, aren't there?

Why don't you say what you mean - something like - "I wish conservatives were turning against Ann Coulter because she scares me.
Again, possibly because that's not what I mean. I mean that there's something really wrong with Ann Coulter.

[or]If all conservatives start talking like her, it looks like I'm in for the fight I've looking for."
Putting aside the right's trademark original relationship with literacy...if all conservatives start talking like her, we'll get a Democrat elected President in 2008 by a landslide.

Please don't hesitate to write again if you have any further questions.

There are some things to which only John Lydon songs seem to be an appropriate response

Things like this. Via Firedoglake:
The prosecutor in the C.I.A. leak case on Monday advised Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, that he would not be charged with any wrongdoing, effectively ending the nearly three-year criminal investigation that had at times focused intensely on Mr. Rove.

The decision by the prosecutor, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, announced in a letter to Mr. Rove’s lawyer, Robert D. Luskin, lifted a pall that had hung over Mr. Rove who testified on five occasions to a federal grand jury about his involvement in the disclosure of an intelligence officer’s identity.

In a statement, Mr. Luskin said, "On June 12, 2006, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove."

Mr. Lydon?

This is a world destruction
Your life ain't nothing
The human race is becoming a disgrace
The rich get richer
The poor are getting poorer
Fascist, chauvinistic government fools
- Time Zone, World Destruction

Vocals: John Lydon and Afrika Bambaataa
(by Bambaataa / Laswell)

Anything else you'd like to say, Mr. Lydon?
What's it all about
They scream and then they shout
Don't ask me
Cause I don't know
What's it all about
They scream and then they shout
Don't blame me
I told you so
(Public Image Ltd)
(by Dias/ Lydon/ McGeoch)

Well, that about sums it up.

Whoever's booking The Tonight Show these days has a delightful sense of humor

It was only last week I was marveling at the cross-booking of the Blue Collar Comedy fellas with Tim Russert and David Lee Roth. Tomorrow, Ann Coulter...and George Carlin. This should be at the very least, an interesting interview or two.

"For the record, both Cruise and Travolta have said repeatedly they are not gay."

If Tom Cruise's recent public displays weren't evidence enough, Scientologists Jenna and Bodhi Elfman prove that they, too, are willing to go to great lengths to defend their religion.

Indie film director John Roecker tells TMZ he was walking to his car with a female friend in LA's trendy Los Feliz neighborhood last Sunday when he was approached by a shirtless man and a tall blonde. "Hey, man, you're making fun of my religion," said the stranger angrily.

Roecker quickly recognized the couple as actor Bodhi Elfman and his wife, 'Dharma and Greg' star Jenna Elfman. Mr. Elfman's ire was apparently drawn by Roecker's self-made t-shirt, which had a picture of Tom Cruise on the front under the caption "Scientology is Gay!" and a 'Stayin'-Alive'-era John Travolta on the back with the words "Very Gay!" For the record, both Cruise and Travolta have said repeatedly they are not gay.

Roecker says Jenna repeatedly said "What crimes have you committed?" and began screaming at Roecker, "Have you raped a baby?" as motorists on Los Feliz Boulevard drove by in snarled traffic.

There's more if you can take it.

Okay, the bloggers in Vegas thing

As you may have seen elsewhere, this past weekend there was a convention of lefty bloggers in Las Vegas, complete with high-profile political guests like Wesley Clark & Nancy Pelosi and a certain amount of attention from the traditional media.

Those who were there have been blogging it. Hoo boy, have they ever been blogging it, in a disturbingly snake-chasing-its-own-tail manner.

Tom puts his finger neatly on the problem when he says:

The problem is that people seem to be taking themselves rather too seriously.
Yes, precisely that. And moreso-there is a palpable eagerness to be "legitimized". I recognize it from my days as a comic book and/or science fiction and fantasy fan. There were always people who were only too willing to talk to any local camera crew, in hopes of helping fantastic literature gain its proper place in the American Pantheon.

I happen to think it deserved such a place. I also happened to notice that the crews only ever stopped to talk to the loons in Superman costumes.

The conservative blogs are turning against Ann Coulter

As we haven't played in a while, I thought about doing this as a nice, rousing game of...Who Said It?

This time, though, I'm just gonna tell you who said it. Because this time, it's not just who said it, it's who they said it about and what it is they said.

Via Hullabaloo, someone at Daily Kos has come up with a sampling of prominent con-bloggers calling out Ann Coulter for her attack on the 9/11 widows. See, they want us to believe they find things like that just as morally repugnant as we do.

Almost as though they had a moral compass. Right.

In my favorite, Ace Of Spades sez:

this nastiness is uncalled for. Even if something is actually felt deep inside -- even if you're filled with toxic hatred for very annoying, very presumptuous, very left-leaning women with an overweening sense of entitlement -- most people would find less abrasive ways to express such an emotion. Does that mean that Ann is just more honest than us "nancy boys"? Not really. A lot of the time the excuse of "I was just being honest" is just a code for "I'm basically an inconsiderate [butthead] who cannot be bothered to modify my behavior in even the slightest fashion in order to observe basic conventions of social decency."

Now--put aside for the moment that AoS's argument is basically, "dude, I know it's true that the 9/11 widows are whores but you shouldn't say it."

As Digby points out, this sudden awareness that Ann Coulter is so utterly wrongheaded I doubt the happiest feminist would deny she needs a slap across the face is somewhat new to the right-wing community.

To refresh our memory, Dig's put together his own selection of quotes that these self-same Republican bloggers were only too glad to support, if only by their conspicuous silence, when they were in high cotton.

These were my favorites:

"When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."

"it's far preferable to fight [terrorists] in the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York where the residents would immediately surrender."

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

"Liberals can't just come out and say they want to take our money, kill babies and discriminate on the basis of race."

Digby concludes:

So what has precipitated this new wingnut sensitivity? Republican popularity, that's what. That's when the movement starts casting its dead weight overboard.

You can say this for the Republicans. They have the courage of their convictions.

And Huff this season has been just as smartly written as the first.

Okay...I know this isn't exactly a new question

...but could someone please tell me what L.A. does to some women? Let me explain what I'm talking about.

Once or twice around here and in my old blog, I've expressed my horror at redheaded actress Laura Prepon going blonde. My tongue is somewhat in my cheek when I say these things but not entirely. I considered the way her red hair set off her carnal, sensual face to be one of the most strikingly attractive things about her.

Now, as a blonde, her face just kind of disappears into the woodwork.

Jennifer Grey is another, and probably the most extreme, version of what I'm talking about. As most people probably know by now, she had a nose job that rendered her unrecognizable. And completely destroyed what was most distinctive-and I'd always thought kinda sexy-about her face.

So here's what brought this on. Early this morning, I'm watching the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Sara Rue, star of the sitcom Less Than Perfect is to be a guest. I've never actually seen an episode of Less Than Perfect, but I'd caught glimpses of Rue here and there. From what I saw on Celebrity Poker Showdown and the like, she seemed to have a decent sense of humor about herself, always attractive in a woman. And she was a big-sized girl, but damn if it didn't look great on her.

So-as if you're not already ahead of me-Ferguson introduces her and this walks out:

As I say, I know this isn't exactly a new question. But could someone tell me what L.A. does to some women that makes them want to remove what's most striking, attractive, distinctive, sexy and great-looking about themselves?

In favor of looking like everybody else?

Monday, June 12, 2006

And the human condition goes on and goes on and goes on

Good afternoon. Back in November, I mused, "Sometimes I wonder at what point Madonna was replaced by a robot." This was, obviously, before I'd declared the cease-fire that is still in effect.

Now then:

Sometimes I wonder at what point Denise Richards was replaced by a robot..., no I don't. Actually, I'd always kinda figured she was...

Pic via Best Week Ever.

The Real Larry the Cable Guy

This is the kind of information that should be shared with as many people as possible, so I encourage you to pass it along to your friends. It's a clip of Larry, A.K.A. Dan Whitney, as he was in the '80s.

For those of you who didn't know that "LtCG" is a character designed to appeal to stupid people and sexists played by a cynical opportunist, prepare yourselves for a shock. Those of you who always kinda suspected that, prepare yourself to meet the conniving hack behind the sleeveless shirt.

Colbert is going to be all over this story

Via Hullabaloo:

WEST MILFORD, N.J. - A black bear picked the wrong New Jersey yard for a jaunt earlier this week, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree — twice.

Jack, a 15-pound orange-and-white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, chasing small animals when he can, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising.

"We used to joke, 'Jack's on duty,' never knowing he'd go after a bear," cat owner Donna Dickey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's newspapers.

Be sure to click on the link above for the photos.

Random Flickr-Blogging: IMG_9369

(If you don't know what RFB is, go here)

Three songs and a book:

Take me out tonight
Take me anywhere, I don't care
I don't care, I don't care
And in the darkened underpass
I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
But then a strange fear gripped me
And I just couldn't ask
-There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, The Smiths (song)

There's a club, if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go, and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home
And you cry
And you want to die
-How Soon Is Now? The Smiths (song)

'You aren't meant to be alone. None of us are. Now come on back inside, where there are people, where it's warm.'-Happy Endings, Paul Cornell (book)

When the dance floor clears, I walk home alone with their voices still in my ears. The ghosts of dead teenagers sing to me while I am dancing. They're sad and young, and they'll be sad and young forever.
Homeless Club Kids, My Favorite (song)

Original source.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A "Huff" revelation

Each week during the hour of torture that used to be my new favorite TV show, "Huff," I find myself devoting at least part of my brainpan to trying to figure out how a series that I liked so much went so bad.

One of the more schizophrenic things about this season for me has been that I've noticed a lot more women's names in the producing, writing and directing credits. I admit I haven't made a direct comparison, but it seems like a lot more than in the first season.

As I think most of you know, I'm a man who likes writing women characters. And I think, he said modestly, the consensus among both women and men who've read my work is that I do it well. I would never suggest that women couldn't produce or write a show where the protaganist is a man.

A theme this season has been men trying, in their variously fucked up ways, to get things right and getting no sympathy from the women in their lives, who are never called on their own bullshit.

The last thing I want to sound like is a "men's rights" advocate here but it's getting ridiculous. Not least because it's completely out of key with the writing last season, which was supposed to have ended a couple of weeks (at best) before this one started.

Yes, characters evolve, people change. But in two fucking weeks of character time, I'm supposed to accept this new Beth, Izzy (and Bird) as though they were the same people?

What I couldn't figure out-and I've been asking myself for the past two weeks or so--is why, if more women are writing them, the women characters this season have turned almost uniformly nasty and unpleasant.

In tonight's episode, the answer flashed before my eyes like a searchlight. I think it was during the scene when they decided to turn Huff's son Bird into a violent criminal.

It's not that this season of "Huff" was written by women. It's that this season of "Huff" was written by women who, clearly, hate men. They are like the cliche of the man-hating, "feminist" (in the most wearisome sense of the term) lesbians.

I didn't think such women really existed. Yet once I imagined the characters and writing this season being shaped through such a perspective, it all made frightening amounts of sense.

That's why Huff is taking all the punishment for his marriage falling apart and Beth's holding dinner parties. Beth cannot share the responsibility, she can only be the victim. That's why Bird has suffered arguably the most wrenching character change-he's a boy, and boys are icky.

That's why the only exception to the above-stated theme of men who are fucked-up but trying getting no sympathy from the women in their lives is Teddy-because Teddy is completely dependent and childlike.

That's why Beth gets to have her hot tongue-kissing action with a girlfriend, but then is freed from the responsibility of dealing with that further. By a frickin' woman priest, no less, who dismisses it as "multi-tasking." How modern.

That's why the girlfriend is then exposed as a "drunken train wreck" about whom Beth says "her problems aren't my problems." Suuuuure they're not, Bethy. That's why Beth gets the thrill of being offered a night of string-free sex with a British stud but turns him down, because all of a sudden she's got morals and strength of character.

And that's why, meanwhile, Huff is betraying his wedding vows with an Asian hooker. In the kind of place where men lie in tubs while women pee on them (as they're all-too-happy to show us in a quick, explicit, "It's Showtime!" flash).

Men can be degraded, but women must be allowed to keep their dignity. They can flirt with being immoral, because that's dirty and sexy and fun, but only men, those callow beasts, can actually cross the line.

Because man is irredeemable unless, like Teddy, he is completely dependent on women.

"Huff" has been written this season by women who clearly hate men.

And I don't think I should suffer to endure it any longer.

non-verbal poetry

Ok, "Cars" has been out for two-three days now...'s time to start looking forward to the new Pixar movie, out next summer. It's called Ratatouille, bringing to mind one of my favorite Fawlty Towers jokes.

It's co-directed by Brad Bird, who made The Incredibles and (much closer to my heart) The Iron Giant, plus that "Family Dog" episode of Amazing Stories.

You can check out the trailer here. Click on "trailers" on the left side of the screen.

Patton Oswalt is Ratatouille and reportedly, Bird himself is the French waiter (he was also Edna in The Incredibles) you see in the preview.

Liz Hurley has a fair amount of cleavage

And apparently, French Elle felt it was important that we know that.