Friday, August 04, 2006

Recommended reading (if you can take it)

If you haven't had enough of people expressing their opinion on the Mel Gibson thing (and if you have, I completely understand), in Scanners, Jim Emerson has a couple. In the first, he quotes the most complete report I've seen yet on what Mr. Gibson said to the arresting officers, including this interesting little gem, given what we know about how often homophobic=latent:

The actor also berated the deputy, threatening, "You motherf----r. I'm going to f--- you," according to Mee's report.

In the second, Emerson offers this conclusion:
Last week, in my hometown Seattle, a man who was estranged from his Muslim family, who had left the Islamic faith and been baptised as a Christian, walked into the downtown of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and shot five women, including one who is pregnant. One person died, another is on life-support. The killer said he was upset about the fighting in the Middle East. So, with these events hitting so close to home, maybe I'm a little less tolerant of Gibson's brand of intolerance just now. As I said before, quoting "Under the Volcano": "There are some things you just can't apologize for."

Like I said: Recommended reading if you can take it.

There's something in this about all women # 3

I don't have anything else to say about it, other than that it is a very nice photo of Jennifer Aniston.

Look Jodie, just come out already

From the Celebrity Movie Post blog:

Jodie Foster worked with Mel Gibson. Mel Gibson is a friend of Jodie Foster's. And Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster says, is no anti-Semite.

"Absolutely not," Foster said in Friday's Los Angeles Times. "Mel is honest, loyal, kind, but alcoholism has been a lifelong struggle for him and his family."

Foster, who costarred with Gibson in 1994's "Maverick," is the highest-profile Hollywood star to publicly vouch for the troubled actor-director who faces charges for a drunken-driving arrest--and scrutiny for an accompanying rant that disparaged Jews and women.

Okay, let me see if I have this.

Number of times Jodie Foster has stood with a multi-millionaire mega-star whose inexcusable behavior includes (besides this most recent) a pattern of homophobic treatment of gay characters in his films, and anti-gay statements given in interviews (when he didn't have the "defense" of being drunk, BTW):


Number of times Jodie Foster has stood with people whose inexcusable treatment includes not being allowed to adopt children with or marry the men or women they love, gay-bashing and other "hate crimes" and not being allowed to serve in the military:


So good to know that girl has her priorities straight. I was about to say, play on words not intended, but you know what? I think it is.

Say-I haven't done this for a while.

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Not So-Random Confessions Of The '80s Man (that's me, actually)

You may or may not have noticed, but two of the last few music videos I've posted here recently have a lot in common beyond just being by synth pop bands that I like: Heaven 17's "Let Me Go," which I posted here, and the Human League's "Life On Your Own," which I used as part of my reaction for the last Random Flickr Blogging.

  • Both feature their lead singers wandering through the empty streets of post-apocalypticesque cities; in one or two shots, they could almost be the same streets.
  • They were released within a year of each other (Heaven in 82, Human '83.)
  • And, as any synth pop fan worth a bag of oranges knows, Heaven 17 was formed when two of the original members of the Human League split to make their own group.

So what does it all mean? Damned if I know. I mention all this, though, not just because I think it's interesting (although I do), but...because I wasn't mindful of much of those things when I was deciding to post them.

I posted Heaven 17 because I wanted a song that spoke of failure, trouble and resignation. The watched phone that never rings, the rising price, the sense ot time's all there. I posted the Human League video because it details isolation, which seemed to fit organically with the images I selected from the random number.

And by pure coincidence, the videos that my subconcious came up turned out to have these things in common; it just seemed to be where I was going. Funny, that.

the sound Precious and real and Ooo that's nice

Doug Fieger, best known as lead singer and songwriter for The Knack, of "My Sharona" fame, underwent brain surgery recently. Much to my surprise, I find I care. Not because of "My Sharona," that's always seemed second-rate to me.

But because I only learned recently that he wrote a couple of English lyrics for The Manhattan Transfer's Brasil, their homage to songwriters of the region. I first saw the video for one of the songs, "Soul Food To Go," as part of a continuous loop playing on the monitors of a plane. That was about to start my journey to Tennessee.

The lyrics are complete dada if read (see headline above). I found this about why in an online article from Goldmine:

One of the tracks on Brasil, "Soul Food To Go," a duet between Tim Hauser and Brazilian songwriter Djavan, received major airplay on adult contemporary stations. The English lyrics for "Soul Food To Go" were written by, of all people, former Knack frontman Doug Fieger. "Doug Fieger had been over to my house visiting," said Tim. "He was trying to be friendly, and I said, 'We got a couple of songs here, and we've got to get writers to do them.' We just came back from Brazil, and we've been talking to Djavan over dinner, and Djavan said, 'The way you want to write my material, my suggestion is when you listen to my tunes, when you hear an English word that sounds like a Portuguese word that I'm singing, write that English word down and then just keep listening until you hear another English-sounding word. Then connect the words by a stream of consciousness, try to find the relationships through abstract thinking.'

"And both Doug and I found that very interesting. And he said, 'Can I take a crack at that?'

When heard sung they're almost unbelivably cool. Check this out. I apologize in advance because the video's kind of cheesy; an obvious knock-off of Better Off Dead (and Tim Hauser looks just like Veronica Mars' dad)...

...but I don't apologize for loving the song. Along with Jimmy Cliff's "I Can See Clearly Now" (also on the same loop), it became a source of great comfort to me during those arduous journeys back-and-forth to The Land of Unhappiness.

So get well soon, Fieger.

Okay, so this is easier than thinking about fish in a barrel

Nevertheless, via the good people at Media Matters...
On his Fox News program, Bill O'Reilly called Mel Gibson's recent anti-Semitic comments "inexcusable," but said it is "more important" to discuss the "point where the media and individual Americans start to enjoy the suffering of rich and powerful people."

“Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Look it up, Bill: It's the role of the reporter. And of the satirist. Speaking of which:
Guest Geraldo Rivera later...asserted that Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert "make a living putting on video of old ladies slipping on ice and people laughing"

I've been watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for around six years and The Colbert Report since it premiered. That is not their shows. Perhaps Mr. Rivera is thinking of America's Funniest Home Videos.
and that they "exist in a small little place where they count for nothing."

I'm assuming most of you reading this are familiar with Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert's accomlishments, if not, I direct you to the links in their names. I should count for such nothing. You don't suppose Mr. Rivera is still smarting from such remarks of Stewart's as:

(After Rivera hinted during a remote broadcast that he was in fact packing):

The four most dreaded words in journalism: "Geraldo's got a gun."

"The United States Central Command of the Armed Forces has asked Geraldo Rivera to leave Iraq. It should also be noted that the only three other people that the U.S. military has asked to leave Iraq are Saddam Hussein and his two sons."

-do you?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lord knows, it's not that I don't trust The Daily Show

...but this one, I had to look up. Sure enough:
A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, though he says he never told his superiors he was gay and his accuser was never identified. [...]

On Dec. 2, investigators formally interviewed Copas and asked if he understood the military's policy on homosexuals, if he had any close acquaintances who were gay, and if he was involved in community theater.

And in what state did this take place?

Now say it with me, children. Duck-humping, homophobic, racist, rock-stupid, anti-sex, illiterate, flag-burning hillbilly idiots!

Tennessee. The state that keeps on giving.

Two cheap shots, no waiting

1. "Excuse me, Miss-your dress has slipped a bit."

(Kate Moss in Vanity Fair)

2. In the event of a water landing, Mrs. Aguilera may be used as a floatation device.

Give 'em hell, Hawkeye

Larry Gelbart says that...
Waking up is hard to do.

So much harder than it used to be.

So hard to start the day gagging on a body count before breakfast.

So hard looking into the bathroom mirror, still trying to absorb the sight of so many lifeless bodies on the tube at the foot of my bed.

Who am I that I should still have the privilege of brushing my teeth?

After seeing the sight of so many who died while I slept?

Read more here.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Whoops (Okay, the Gibson anti-Semitic thing-UPDATED)

Update: Mark Evanier has a quick comment you should read. I'd quote it but I'd end up quoting the whole thing.

Original post: I hadn't said anything here about Mel Gibson's drunk driving charge last weekend because, well, a star driving drunk-that's not really news. However, I'd missed this little part of the story:

...police in Los Angeles now confirm that the official police report on Gibson's arrest on drunken driving charges substantiates claims that he made anti-Semitic remarks and threatened a deputy, a law enforcement official said Monday.

This is what's known in the trade as giving your enemies ammunition.

"Mel Gibson's apology is unremorseful and insufficient," said Anti- Defamation League National Director Abraham H. Foxman. "It's not a proper apology because it does not go to the essence of his bigotry and anti- Semitism.

"His tirade finally reveals his true self and shows that his protestations during the debate over this film `The Passion of The Christ' that he is such a tolerant, loving person, were a sham. It may well be that the bigotry has been passed from the father to the son. It is unfortunate that it took an excess of booze and an encounter with a traffic cop to reveal what was really in his heart and mind.

Personally, I think if his next film makes money, the film community will forgive him. After all the sex-and-drugs songwriting community could forgive Elvis Costello for his "Ray Charles is an ignorant nigger" tirade. Surely even the highly principled Hollywood community can forgive this:

According to TMZ, Deputy James Mee wrote that Gibson tried to evade arrest and at one point went into an anti-Semitic rant.

"F-----g Jews ... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," Gibson allegedly said before asking Mee, "Are you a Jew?"

Gibson also allegedly turned to a female sergeant. "What do think you're looking at, sugar t-ts?" the actor said, according to TMZ.

"What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?"

Well, does he look to you now?


And I'll kick your Spellsword ass

33% Combativeness, 30% Sneakiness, 70% Intellect, 50% Spirituality
Brilliant! You are a Wizard!
Wizards are spells-casters who study powerful arcane magic. While Wizards tend to be pretty fragile, some of those spells can pack quite a punch. Unlike Clerics, Wizards aren’t as good at fixing people as they are at breaking them, so watch where you toss that fireball…
Your most distinctive trait is your intelligence. You're probably well learned and logical, if perhaps a bit fragile.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 99% on Combativeness

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You scored higher than 99% on Sneakiness

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You scored higher than 99% on Intellect

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You scored higher than 99% on Spirituality
Link: The RPG Class Test written by MFlowers on OkCupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Why The Internet Was Invented, part three

So we could have sites with quotes like these, on the subject of The Black Hole:
The ending of this film, with its dualist interpretation of heaven and hell, may be the most theologically revolutionary thing to come out of seventies' children's cinema. Very Cathar in its theological structure, the soul of Dr. Reinhardt is simultaneously imprisoned within the cast-iron shell of his own killer robot in the depths of hell (a gorgeous tracking shot of incredible detail - for instance, look at the death's-head faces on the humanoids who line the valleys of the hellscape) and brought through a crystalline tunnel into the next universe.

I always suspected it was the good guys who were being brought through said crustalline tunnel, while Dr. Reinhardt was being left to rot in hell-but either way, it's clear both of us have thought too much about this.

Random Flickr-Blogging: IMG_8485

Original source here.

Original source here.