Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sinfest: Still my favorite Webcomic

And not just because they're quoting Thomas Dolby on the website.

(click to enlarge)

This is bizarre.

Okay. There's a woman named Jessica, she co-writes the blog Feministing. I've linked to it a couple of dozen times, both at this blog and my old one, usually finding it a source of both good humor and good ideas.

Jessica was invited, along with several other bloggers, to meet with Bill Clinton recently. As one would, they posed for a group photo with the former President. Right-wing bloggers are, apparently, in a state of agitation about this.

What has them so stirred up? Well, apparently, it's because Jessica, besides being a funny and smart writer, has these...things. On her chest. These round protruberances, the outlines of which show even when she's wearing a sweater. My god, how distasteful.

Sadly, I am not even making this up. The often-inspirational Amanda from Pandagon had this to say about a couple of Jessica's critics, Ann Althouse and someone called Dr. Helen.

Ann, unable to muster up anything to actually say about the luncheon, decided to invite her male readers to make gross comments about Jessica’s body. Naturally, the word “intern” was thrown around, because about 95% of wingnuts think “interns” are concubines for politicians. When Jessica linked back and told her, far more nicely than I would, to cram it up her tight ass, she decided to write an entire post on Jessica’s boobs. Ann is a Boob Woman, apparently. Dr. Helen, never one not to vie for a chance to bash on women in hopes of earning an honorary penis (for some reason, they haven’t awarded it yet, making her the most optimistic moron ever to walk the face of the planet—the Dr. doesn’t know she can buy a strap-on for a couple hundred bucks, I guess) has written a post inviting her male readers to abuse Jessica for the audacity of being a pretty young woman and also a writer who gets invited to lunch with a former President. Dr. Helen’s excuse is we feminists are opposed to men groping women in bars. This means we are supposed to avoid men who have consensual sex with women. Dr. Helen’s unwillingness to understand the concept of consent still boggles my mind.

(Quick sidebar: A strap-on costs a couple of hundred bucks? Man. I am out of the loop.)

Jill from Feministe, whose responses to previous fun-with-feminism moments I've also linked to in the past, goes into it here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

let's go human racing...Let's go racing now.

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"I can pass this guy."

Suspicion of tradition so new wave

You Are Lightning

Beautiful yet dangerous
People will stop and watch you when you appear
Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power

Your dominant state: performing

Something going wrong around...

Tom tagged me with a t'do list: name five songs that make me cry.

As is my wont, I've added one or two videos where appropriate and availible. This is, as they say, in no particular order...

Joe Jackson - Is She Really Going Out With Him? (live version from the Beat Crazy Tour of 1980): With "Sentimental Thing" from Blaze Of Glory a very close runner-up. What moves me so much about this performance of one of JJ's best-known hits is not so much the lyrical content (though god knows I've identified with that in my time) as the emotion of the performance.

It was recorded at the last gig Joe would play with his original lineup until the reunion Volume 4 album of 2003. As he repeats the last line of the chorus-"Something going wrong around here"-it builds into a final emotional screech, a yelp-"Something going wrong AROUND...."

...before the band takes off into a final vamp that becomes chaotic when Jackson climbs "over the drum kit and accidentally pulling a few wires out of their sockets in the process," according to his liner notes to the Live 1980/86 album.

Level 42 - Something About You: Specifically, an unfortunately uncredited remix that I have on one of my '80s new wave compilations. I like the single version, which is featured in the video below, but I love the remix. Whoever did it actually took some parts out of the song and I've never missed them, in fact the opposite.

There is a moment in this song where I can absolutely see my characters Annabel and Keitha dancing together. I won't tell you just what it is because, again, that moment's not really connected to the lyric of the song and it doesn't matter.

But it gets me almost every time-even just now thinking about it. It represents every hope and dream I have of where I want to take them-which sometimes seems so far away...

For the record, it has nothing to do with the fact that a scene in the video features a painter, which another of my characters, Colley, is. I only just discovered that myself.

Tears for Fears - Year Of The Knife: This album track from The Seeds of Love is for my All That Jazz moment, if you remember the big musical number before Joe Gideon dies.

They say his famous final words
Came from the heart of the man
I made my bed on love denied
Now I ain't gonna sleep tonight

Too late for the young gun
To lead a simple life

(The sun and the moon, the wind and the rain...)

Fixx - Secret Separation: This is the second-best single the Fixx ever recorded (it'd be the best if not for that instantly-dated drum sound) and their most emotionally and lyrically coherent.

Like all their records it benefits immeasurably from production by Rupert Hine, who knew how to do vocal and instrumental arrangements and overdubs that showed the band to their best possible effect. Herein the simple strummed guitar that leads to the last lines of the song.

This consists in part of the first line of the first verse and the last line of the chourus, repeated over and over in different voices:

I'll bear one precious scar that only you will know
Passengers in time
Free me...

Eurythmics - Shame: First things first: The person who posted the video for this to YouTube doesn't want it embedded, but if you go here you can see it. I would suggest you do, not only to hear the song but to see, IMO, the best video the two ever made (I believe Dave was the director).

As for the song, it's a beautiful rebuke to the idea of "the glamourous life." Now, normally I get prickly about the notion that it's always multi-billionaire rock stars like Sting and John Lennon who are telling us to "live here and be happy with less" or "Imagine no possessions."

So why do Dave and Annie get away with saying


In the dancehalls and the cinema
On the TV and the media

-for promoting a lifestyle which, they say, "don't exist?" Well, maybe it's because they don't leave the bromides and bands upon which they were raised out of their finger-pointing.

And they said all need is love...
With the Beatles and the Rolling Stones

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I confess my first reaction to this information was... this a joke?

Cross-dressing British comedian Eddie Izzard will be joining the cast of the George W. Bush-loving series 24 in the sixth season. How fair and balanced.

Also joining the cast will be actor James Cromwell, in the role of Jack Bauer's father.

Probably a good choice. Can you think of anyone better qualified to play Kiefer Sutherland's father? I can't.

Let's ask this guy. Sir, can you think of anyone better...

Okay sir, we'll catch you later...

The TV producers of Hollywood aren't listening to a wide enough selection of music

The West Wing episode "Posse Comitatus" features a montage set to the late Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" near its conclusion. The song also featured on the second season premiere of House, "Acceptance."

At the end of the Huff episode "Is She Dead?" the song "Delicate" by Damien Rice plays...which it also does in the background of the third second season episode of House, "Humpty Dumpty." To make this even slightly weirder, the refrain of "Delicate" is
why'd you say hallelujah, if it means nothing to ya?

Now these are both artful, great performances and songs...but there are millions of others. You'd think someone would have noticed.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Random Confessions Of The '80s Man

On the commentary track for the new Special Edition DVD of Some Kind Of Wonderful, director Howie Deutch misidentifies Propaganda's "Dr. Mabuse," which plays under the opening credits, as "Do Anything" by Pete Shelley.

How to annoy the '80s man.

BTW, I know one or two of my vast reading audience are also Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans. This is the video for "Dr. Mabuse."

Tell me that's not a much, much, much, much cooler version of Manos, the Hands of Fate.

Further to yesterday's post


Monday, September 11, 2006

Seriously-Lindsay Lohan owns no underwear

(click to make pic bigger)

However, I admit that I like the fact she's standing under a sign with my old nickname when I was a kid on it. I'm a simple man in many ways.

A song and a few thoughts

Five years ago, after September 11, 2001, the first time I left the house, this is the song I put in my tape deck. Of course, the lyric can't give you the full effect. Especially as it's missing the recitation of "The Lord's Prayer" that runs throughought the song, ending with the haunting repitition of "God deliver us from evil."

But this gives you a rough idea.

I stand alone and watch the clock
I only wait for it to stop
And in the room locked up inside me
The cutout magazines remind me
I sit and wait alone in my room

And in my room against the wall
There is a picture very small
A photograph I took some years ago
It shows a picture of the room I know
I sit and wait alone in my room

The walls are white and in the night
The room is lit by electric light

I stand alone and watch the clock
I only wait for it to stop
The doors are shut and all the windows lock
The only sound is from the clock
I sit and wait alone in my room

The walls are white and in the night
The room is lit by electric light

--Yaz, "In My Room"

The more I am reminded of the pain of that day, the more I resent the folks who've tried to manipulate its memory. No event in my lifetime (I'm 54) brought Americans together the way our shared suffering brought us together that day. It is appalling not only that this unity has been lost but that the emotions of 9/11 have been reconfigured to demonize one another. The worst kind of partisans have claimed 9/11 as a club to use against the other side. The same thing has happened with the Iraq War: If you don't see things my way and vote for my side, you must be objectively pro-terrorist, plus you hate America and pray for our troops to be killed.

--Mark Evanier.

Roughly 3,000 people died on September 11 for no good, human reason. Countless others were injured and/or had their lives forever harmed in a myriad of ways...physically, emotionally, financially, etc. (I think there's an unfortunate tendency to talk about the number of dead as if that's the sole measure of damage that occurred.) I don't think we should look back at it all in a way that just makes us afraid it'll happen again. We usually do the wrong thing when we operate out of fear. But there's got to be a more constructive thing we can do with that memory than exploit it for short-term benefits.

--Mark Evanier (again)

Frankly, I don't see how 9/11 can be venerated in any legitimate collective way as long as George Bush is leading that process. Above all, BushCo's manipulation of the survivors and victims on the anniversary of this abhorrent tragedy shows the blasphemy of someone whose actions consistently demonstrate duplicity and a pure political motive.


There's a feeling by some bloggers today that it would "creepy" to blog about other, non-9/11 topics. Right or wrong, I do not share this feeling. Obviously I wanted to acknowledge the day, but I do not see how there is anything constructive in adopting a hushed, faux-reverent tone to my writings here.

As if showing that I have not "forgotten" the events of that day made one damn bit of difference. The quote from BAGnews above is quite correct: As long as George W. Bush remains in office, we-none of us-are doing anything to actually bring those responsible to justice.

And in a way it seems just as disrespectful a spit in the face of those who were lost, and their loved ones, to pretend otherwise.

They're on to me.

Your 'Do You Want the Terrorists to Win' Score: 91%

You are a terrorist-loving, Bush-bashing, "blame America first"-crowd traitor. You are in league with evil-doers who hate our freedoms. By all counts you are a liberal, and as such cleary desire the terrorists to succeed and impose their harsh theocratic restrictions on us all. You are fit to be hung for treason! Luckily George Bush is tapping your internet connection and is now aware of your thought-crime. Have a nice day.... in Guantanamo!

Do You Want the Terrorists to Win?
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