Friday, December 01, 2006

At least this chop to the neck was quicker

Dear Author,

Thank you for sending your proposal to us. We looked at it carefeully but decided to decline this opportunity to publish it.

We hope you will forgive us for sending you this impersonal letter. We receive many manuscripts each month, and simply do not have the resources to respond to each author individually.

Again, thanks for thinking of us.

With all good wishes,

.......... .........
Acquisitions Editor

Ah, there's that Christmas depression.

God, I need a woman.

Shake the Disease.

Glenn Greenwald has a lengthy-but-worth-reading (or at least skimming) post about the inability of our "leaders" and "opinion-shapers" to admit Iraq was a mistake. Must-read concluding paragraphs:

We stay in Iraq in pursuit of goals we know are fantasies, because to do otherwise requires the geniuses and serious establishment analysts to accept responsibility for what they have done -- and that is, by far, the most feared and despised outcome.

The invasion of Iraq was a huge mistake. But the behavior of our political and media leaders after that, and now, reveal that they are not just bereft of judgment but entirely bereft of character.

I should have posted this with the Bobby Darin entry

Best talk-show appearance EVER.

Kate Winslet appeared on the David Letterman show recently. Those of you who know how crazy she makes me will not be surprised to read that she walked out already looking so sexy she made me weak in the knees.

The first time she crossed her legs after sitting down, I almost had a heart attack.

But then, then she told a little story...

the Koo-Koo-Kookiest, Lidsville is the Ki-Ki-Kickiest

Here's my review of the first album by The Kooks at Ink19. And here's their video for "Eddie's Gun:"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Isn't that rich.

Michael Richards has found an understanding buddy in the Hollywood community, someone who understands that these things happen. That buddy? Mel Gibson. After all, they are brothers under the hood, whoops I mean skin.

A quick something I want to get off my chest

Fox is running an utterly ludicrious promo teaser for the upcoming season of 24. It centers around the slogan "America Doesn't Negotiate With Terrorists. Neither does Jack." Now-put aside for the moment that this is untrue from the perspective of reality.

We do negotiate with terrorists. Iran-Contra. The vile Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussien, and the fact that we sold chemical weapons to him. Oh, and we trained Bin Laden. But put that aside.

Even from within the context of the series, it's laughable, because on several occasions Jack has had to negotiate with terrorists.

So, you folks from Fox advertising who I know are looking in, please cut that out. It's annoying and stupid.

Thank you.

Get your mojo working.

Go and read my review of a new Bobby Darin DVD at Ink19

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Compassionate conservatism

Via tristero:

At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq [emphasis mine-BV], was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

"I didn't ask you that, I asked how he's doing," Bush retorted, according to the source.

Wow. That's all, just really: Wow.

So this is what it's come to, folks. This is who our president is, this is who the symbol of our country in the eyes of the world is...this is who we are. A man who can't even hear that a father would like to see his son brought home from a war-torn country without getting testy.

tristero reminds us that

This is the same man who reminisced about his hell-raisin' during a speech at the worst natural disaster in American history. This is the same man who, when, asked to name his greatest achievement while president, "joked" that it was when he caught a large fish in his fake pond on his Crawford estate - sorry, ranch. This is the same man who, when informed that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center in less than 10 minutes, sat reading "My Pet Goat" in a children's classroom. This is the same man who, in front of a supporter who he assumed wouldn't report it, mockingly imitated a woman about to be executed in his state.

All true. Except, isn't it really more clear than ever that when discussing George W. Bush, "man" is not the operative word?

Did you ever have the feeling that you forgot to do something before you went out?

"Let's see, I washed my hair, I did my makeup, I've got my energy drink, I've got my purse, I'm wearing a white belt against a black shirt, I've got my fishnets on and sexy shoes...what could I have forgotten? What?"

Source: Riding on the Metro.

Monday, November 27, 2006

For those of you interested...'s my latest Amazon review.

Nothing lasts forever

ABC is pulling 'Nine,' for now

ABC has pulled "The Nine" from its schedule. The first-year serialized drama struggled to retain viewers of "Lost," which preceded it.

Ah well. I'm somewhat saddened, the series impressed me as always really good and sometimes phenomenally good but given the ratings, I can't say I'm surprised.

"The Nine," an ensemble series about a bank robbery's effect on hostages and other involved parties, will return to ABC at an as yet-to-be determined point, a network executive said

You'll understand if I don't hold my breath.

Okay, important question time.

Given this:

Britney: Paris [Hilton] is my role model
And this:

Pamela Anderson has filed for divorce from husband Kid Rock

Which of these things is more likely to happen first?

1. Release of Britney sex tape.
2. Release of Pamela Anderson/Kid Rock sex tape.
3. Release of Paris, Britney and/or unnamed male player sex tape.

Because the way I see it, we're on a countdown to one or another.

Random Flickr-Blogging: IMG_2343

Till that night, David had been wondering if his new deodorant was working.


Things I've Found In Books

As I mentioned a couple of months ago, one of the things that somewhere between amuses and annoys me is when you get a book from the library and find that some thoughtful person has written little notes in it. A commentary, their own reaction to some of the wordage contained within.

So I'm reading David Thomson on The Alien Quartet, a book about the series of films starring Sigourney Weaver. Thomson is an...interesting writer. I haven't read his much-reprinted Biographical Dictionary of Film, but reportedly it contains few or no writers, so you know that pisses me off. And based on this and his more recent book about Nicole Kidman, he comes off as the very picture of the frustrated would-be director turned academic or reviewer.

He doesn't help himself in my eyes by his tendency to imagine on paper alternate, unmade films for his subjects. Lord knows I'm not saying Alien Resurrection was a creatively succesful movie or that every choice Kidman made has been wise. But...

If you're going to offer your own variation, with a sometimes-explicit but always implict air of'd better be at least as much of a drama writer as, say, Tom Stoppard or Joss Whedon.

Note that I do not say "as good." Niether man did their best work on their Alien or Kidman projects, but they are drama writers. And Thomson isn't. He shows it with every paragraph he writes.

Not only that, he shows a kind of creepy preoccupation with his subjects as sexual (or sexualized) beings. Again, I'm not blind to the allure of Weaver or especially Kidman, and I won't deny the odd fantasy.

But Thomson's would be better off left on the wallscreen in his mind when all he can give us is a frentically imagined scene of the newly-cloned Ripley copulating madly with a scientist while being observed by a technician and nurse:

'Every man should have one like her'
'Or vice versa,' says the nurse.

I'll say a lot about what's wrong with the last two films in "The Quartet." Mainly, I think they've been on a probably-irreverible downhill slide ever since somebody made the stunningly idiotic decision to kill Newt.

But none of them contain such leaden dialogue and painfully obvious masturbatory material as Thomson does in his attempts to show why the movies could be so much better, if only someone would just please listen to him.

Which is why it was grimly satisfying to come to page 156 in this movie guide and find my thoughtful commentator asking on the margin:

"What the hell is wrong with this author and his moronic fetishes?"

A fair question.

This needs must be shared...

According to the weekly traffic report I get for my blog, my average visits per day has just reached...666. That's right, I am Beelzebub, the Devil.

My visits have quadrupled in recent weeks. I would have mentioned this as one of my "things to be thankful for."

Unfortunately, Site Meter also tells me this has less to do with any of my witticisms, and more to do with my having mentioned Jennifer Connelly, Sylvia Kristel, lesbians, Jessica Biel, and the cursed words Lindsay Lohan and no underwear...

Sex sells. Imagine that.

Lesbian, lesbian, lesbian (uh-oh).

The first of an (at least) two-part Boston Legal that aired last night is interesting and potentially worrisome. Taken at surface value it looks like-and on that level is-such an obvious example of The Cliche you could almost laugh, hollow though it might be.

In one of the episode's multiple storylines, a young woman is suspected of killing her-recently-ex-girlfriend. She claims innocence-but suffered a blackout after discovering (or killing) the body and before phoning a lawyer.

At the end of the episode, this along with an incidence of screaming in the office and some background information obtained from her therapist has caused Alan Shore to sadly conclude she's insane.

Meanwhile, the woman the deceased woman left her for seems weirdly unresponsive to the loss-she mouths pieties about love but does so in a detached, almost formal way. Later we learn that the dead woman hand-wrote a new will just a week before, leaving this new girlfriend everything.

That's one dead lesbian for sure, and two possible insane and/or evil ones. So why do I say this is only potentially worrisome? Well, part of it admittedly is because I like Boston Legal and don't want to see it fall into the old trap.

The episode was written by series creator David E. Kelley, so for better or for worse, it is what Boston Legal is meant to be. And he seems to be setting The Cliche up so blatantly that I have to/want to believe it's misdirection. Comic blowhard Denny Crane and a TV commentator both verbalized the gay=insane/evil belief system. Experience tells me we're in for one of Kelley's patented Alan Shore jury summations.

One of the reasons I like Boston Legal is that it is, for lack of a better term, "liberal Hollywood" at its best. Some of the speeches are practically Communistic by popular network TV standards-a fact which has caused ABC/Disney to lean on the producers once or twice.

Also, in its first season BL already did an episode that featured a lesbian couple in one of the cases and at the end of the episode, neither were dead, insane, or evil. The episode had some fun with them-but for once the fun was rarely if ever at the lesbians' expense.

Rather, it was had by contrasting the delight Alan Shore took in the case with the extreme discomfort felt by his square colleague Brad. As it happens, there's a short clip from that episode on YouTube that shows what I'm talking about:

So maybe I've got blinders on, in which case you may expect to see me hanging my head in shame on Tuesday night, when this story will be continued.

But for the moment I just want to call it potentially worrisome...but definitely interesting.

ETA a few quick words about the "non-lesbian" aspects of last night's episode: I'm oficially sick of Lincoln Meyer, a character I'll be glad to see the back of. But I'm sorrier to say the same is becoming true of Jerry "Hands" Espenson.

At least Lincoln is supposed to give me the willies. Jerry is intended to be-and in past episodes has been-a sympathetic recurring character. But he's recurred too often, and I've gone from delightfully crying "Hands!" when I see him in an episode to thinking oh no...not again, with an inward sigh.

Should David E. Kelley be asking me (unlikely), I'd say the time is nearing for another Alan & Denny "road" episode. I like most of the other characters--though I'd still be perfectly happy if Brad fell out of his window--but Denny is the bread and Alan the butter.

Or, given his proclivities in a recent episode, the maple syrup.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kicks just keep getting harder to find (on Route 66)

So I saw Cars on DVD. I'm sorry to say that I really didn't like it. There have been plot holes in Pixar stories before, like Toy Story and (especially) Monsters Inc. But here the very conception of the film raised too many questions for me to willingly suspend my disbelief. Talking cars is one thing, but driverless ones? Then why do they exist?

Plus the limited-by-necessity design of the film stopped me from getting too into it. Toy Story could bring in any kind of toy. Even The Incredibles, which sets itself in a quasi-realistic (albeit cartoony) world had as much variety as there are kind of humans. the risk of sounding like a car bigot ("they all look alike to me"), a car is a car is a car. And there's only so much you can can do to put the breath of life in a car, and it's an idea probably better off not stretched to feature length.

For the first time in a Pixar film (and this is rare for me with any kind of cartoon), I found myself thinking more about the vocal performers than characters. This was not helped by their allowing Larry the Cable Guy (who otherwise actually did a fine job) to use a couple of his catchphrases.

This is something Pixar used to be better about. You didn't hear Tim Allen using lines from Home Improvement or Sam Jackson doing the bible-quote scene from Pulp Fiction as their Pixar characters.

But, suddenly Mater's spouting off with "That's funny right there, I don't care who you are, that's funny."

No it ain't. And neither, for the most part, in my (admittedly apparently minority) opinion, is this movie.