Friday, February 02, 2007

Or maybe, just maybe, Americans know the difference between a TV show and reality

Media Matters has the latest on how conservatives are trying to promote 24 for their own interests. My favorite examples:

...conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham told host Bill O'Reilly: "The average American out there loves the show 24. OK? They love Jack Bauer. They love 24. In my mind that's close to a national referendum that it's OK to use tough tactics against high-level Al Qaeda operatives as we're going to get."

See the above headline. Also, does anyone ever wonder how conservatives rationalize theories like this with Bush's 28% approval rating? Speaking of which:

From the September 7, 2006, edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: The president said these "alternative procedures" and secret prisons have saved American lives. He said they have saved -- or stopped plots designed to occur inside the U.S. Things like downing of airplanes, bombing office buildings, and potential biological attacks. Things we've never heard about.

Oh, well, if the president said it, that settles it. After all...what has the president ever done to arouse suspicion?

Of course, this stuff never used to bother me as much until I learned that 24's co-creator actually means the show to be a rationalization for torture...

I always suspected as much.

(As always, click on the picture above to make it get bigger)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Good golly, Miss Molly (UPDATED with additions)

Update: The Rude Pundit also has an insightful tribute. Excerpt:
She was goddamned smart, so smart she didn't have to flaunt it. So smart that she could use the down to earth side to say what she meant so all of us could understand it. She didn't suffer bullies. She loved Texas like a parent loves her child even after that child has gone on a three-state killing spree. She was unfailingly polite. And she could eviscerate anyone who was failing all of us with just an image or two. Those guttings will be desperately missed. That sense and celebration of the decency of the average American will be missed even more.

Original post: As you've probably heard by now, Molly Ivins passed away. There's a good tribute by her editor here. Did I say good? I meant absolutely teriffic. One of those "too much good stuff to excerpt" pieces. Read it, read it.

As for me, I can't add too much to what I said about her here a few days ago when we first learned she was sick again. But perhaps I can expand upon it. I wasn't kidding when I said she's a hero of mine.

If you search this blog for Molly Ivins, you'll find I've referenced and/or quoted her 10 times since it started in 2005. By an odd coincidence, I find the exact same number on my old blog, The Sound of the Crowd.

I won't repeat the quote here since I've used it so often, but I think if there's any justice, her line about (Bill) Clinton's weaknesses will ring through the ages.

I also wasn't kidding when I said I want to marry a girl just like her. It's obvious from reading this blog that I appreciate beautiful women like Anne Hathaway, Amber Benson, the gals from Friends, and Kirsty MacColl (bless her).

But what I'd like to think is at least as obvious, but probably isn't as much at first glance, is how much I appreciate articulate, accomplished, and/or funny women. Women like Amy Sherman-Palladino, Kirsty (again!) The Dixie Chicks, Linda Ellerbee, Amanda Marcotte...and Molly Ivins.

The world just lost a little bit of its flavor.

It's up to us to put some back.

ETA: Wings For Wheels' Dave Lifton sent along a link to a page of great rememberances of her on NPR, in the comments.

I've already waited too long and all my hope is gone

So I rented the DVD of The Illusionist yesterday. In a few words: Good, reminded me of the radio dramas of old in that it is a deceptively simple story, well told, that does not outstay its welcome and goes remarkably quickly.

But like many new DVDs these days, it comes rigged so that the first thing that comes up when you put your disc in is a trailer for another film. Normally, I cut through these by pushing the "menu" button. This is a good move. Unfortunately, early this morning before watching the film again with the directors commentary, on some foolish whim I let the the trailer play.

And this is what I saw. It's for a movie called Gray Matters, with Heather Graham and Tom Cavanagh as a sister and brother who are trying to help each other find love. Cavanagh finds and falls in love with a woman played by Bridget Moynahan, and asks her to marry him.

Graham finds herself opposed to the wedding for reasons she can't quite put her finger on. But she ends up spending a lot of time with the bride-to-be, and then during a late night conversation...they kiss. Turns out, the movie is about Graham realizing she's gay and in love with her brother's fiancee/wife.

That sound you heard was my mind screaming inside, and you may feel free to picture the word balloon above my head with the words written in very small letters:


A romantic comedy. A not just sibling-like friendship, a la my characters, but actual siblings. A love triangle. Lesbians. The song above just popped into my head.

Monday, January 29, 2007

God, I hate poets

Via TMZ:

Lesbian actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, partner of rocker Melissa Etheridge, is the first (and only) voice from Tinseltown's gay community to come out and defend the "Grey's Anatomy" pariah. In her blog, Hollywood Farm Girl, former "Popular" star Michaels writes, in free-form quasi-poetical Rosie-verse, that the Washington she knows -- the one whose kids play with her and Etheridge's kids -- "is not that man," i.e., the hot-tempered Isaiah currently in treatment for anger management.

Now, I think it's interesting context to know that this guy is friends with lesbians and his kids play with their kids. But she makes the point in such a frightfully precious way that it's hard for me to care.
Says Michaels,

he is not a bad man ...
i forgive his words,
because truth be told
i do not believe
the word
lives in his heart

Also, between this, Jodie Foster's standing up for Mel Gibson's inexcusable behavior, and of course, my BĂȘte noire, "The L Word," I was tempted to a bold, sweeping statement. To wit: Hollywood lesbians are stupid.

Fortunately, sense and sanity prevailed, and I know that can't be true. In some cases, though, I just don't know where their priorities are at.

Stay safe, Molly

Molly Ivins, a much-quoted hero of mine and a girl just like whom I want to marry, has been hospitalized with a recurrence of cancer. I just wanted to add my voice to those who are keeping her in their prayers or thoughts, as their types dictate.

Random Flickr-blogging 5019 BONUS

Douglas Adams was right!


The things you find via Sitemeter

My post about the unclear response to my recommendation of the CNN program about British Muslims was emailed by at least one person with a email address. Turner, as in Ted, the founder of CNN, I'm guessing.

I'd like to think it was Christianne Amanpour herself, but that's probably just glory-seeking.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Random Flickr-blogging 5019

There's no connection between these photos, and you'd be a fool and a Communist to make one.







That was a piece of shit.

As most of you know, I am a fan of Amber Benson, the actress who played Tara on Buffy. Unfortunately, being a fan of Amber Benson carries with it certain penalties. Much as my interest in Anne Hathaway has led me to sit through some pretty terrible films (three words: Princess Diaries 2), just for the chance to look upon her beautiful visage.

Case in point: The TV movie Gryphon, premiering this month on the Sci-Fi channel, in which Benson stars.

Even simple editoral matchup seemed to be beyond this movie. In one scene, I swear the position of Amber's hair changes about three times depending on which setup they're using.

And a few words about costuming. I can accept that Amber's character invented the off-the-shoulder tunic look centuries before the filming of Flashdance. I can accept that because I like Amber's shoulders and anything that exposes them to camera is ok by me.

However, there were also a couple of alleged "witches," in this film who dressed much like porno actresses. How much like porno actresses? Let me put it this way. I had no idea fake red leather had been invented in the middle ages. To say nothing of the fishnets.

Re acting, okay, again, I admit I'm biased, but Amber did seem to be trying harder than most of the rest of the cast. But even she looked like she'd lost her heart for it a couple of times.

I can't blame her. There's only so much you can do with a script that asks you to deliver lines like "Let us return them to the hell from whence they came!" with a straight face.

However, all is not lost. Should you wish to watch this movie, I have come up with a way to make it bearable. I give you: The Gryphon drinking game.

It works like this. Every time they rip-off The Lord of the Rings, you take a sip.

Every time a character delivers a line that is nothing but exposition, you take a shot. You know, the kind of dialogue that makes you think the characters are going to turn to camera and say "Everybody got that?"

Every time the exposition is something they've already established more than three times (did we mention the prince has "the sight?") you take a big swig.

Every time a character speaks to another and identifies his-or-her relationship to them in the dialogue, like this-

"The hordes are coming, father!"
"Go now, daughter, and be swift!'
"Look, my leige!"
"I will have my vengence on you, sorceror!"
"Do not worry, my friend."

--and so on, you chug.

You should start to see the room spinning within 10 minutes.