Saturday, May 30, 2009

This is the part of the show we like to call "It's too easy..."

Don't expect Paris Hilton to tune in to The Hills anytime soon.

"The show is, like, so lame and fake...

Up to something...

Pixar's latest feature, Up, for me is slightly lower-level Pixar...but that means I would only give it, say, 95.5% instead of 100. It's been said more than once, by more people than me, but even when they don't hit 100% they're so far and above what anyone else is doing...

For me Pixar's greatest achievement, and the one against which I judge all others either consciously or unconsciously, remains Finding Nemo. Then on the low-end we have movies like Cars and Monsters, Inc.

You see my point.

It's certainly possible that this one could inch "up" in my regard on repeated viewings--Ratatouille did. I liked Ratatouille just fine when I saw in the theater; through repeated viewings on DVD and cable I'd now say it's one of my favorite films.

As an achievement in animation, Up is really something; like WALL-E, it has the confidence to tell large parts of its story without dialogue. And you're really struck--I was, anyway--by how deeply its characters feel, and just how much of that feeling is conveyed by, well, pixels.

If they gave awards for animated performances, Carl Fredricksen would be a shoo-in. He's well-voiced by Ed Asner but, as I'm sure Asner would be the first to agree, his is only one part in this memorable and substantial character. The whole Pixar team, led by director Pete Docter on this project, would have to share in the award.

Even Carl's conception is something fresh for a family film.

As Roger Ebert wrote in his Journal, he is a

cranky old [man], which is a wonder in this era when the captain of the Starship Enterprise must be three years out of school, lest fans be asked to identify with a veteran officer. "Up" doesn't think all heroes must be young or sweet, although the third important character is a nervy kid.

Chuck Jones used to tell a story of being introduced to a child as "the man who draws Bugs Bunny," and having the child reply, affronted: "He does not! He draws pictures of Bugs Bunny"--implying that Bugs had a separate existence from that of his representations--which, of course, he does.

So does Carl Fredricksen.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Get used to it!

Many had long assumed Frasier and Spamalot star David Hyde Pierce was gay, but he only "came out" quietly a couple of years ago. And now...
After keeping his private life out of the spotlight for years, David Hyde Pierce has announced his marriage to longtime partner Brian Hargrove.

The actor and Hargrove, a producer, are still legally wed despite the California Supreme Court's decision Tuesday to uphold Proposition 8. The gay-marriage ban was approved by voters in November, stopping legal nuptials going forward.

Angered by the ruling, Hyde Pierce said Thursday: "It's like, `Oh great, we made the cut.'"

He called it a "very odd thing" that strangers have a vote on his private decision to marry.

Very odd indeed...

Get this...

Via ohnotheydidn't:

In an unprecedented effort to crack down on self-serving edits, the Wikipedia supreme court has banned contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates.

the muzzling of Scientology IPs marks the first time Wikipedia has officially barred edits from such a high-profile organization for allegedly pushing its own agenda on the site.

a former member of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs - a department officially responsible "for directing and coordinating all legal matters affecting the Church" - says the Office has organized massive efforts to remove Scientology-related materials and criticism from the web.

I suppose it's time that I admitted something...I recently made my own first-time contribution to a Wikipedia entry. It's one line (and footnoted link) in the "Impact" section of the Saw film entry. You guess which one.

But, that's not so much self-serving as it is defending something that I (however inexplicably) love...

That's probably not about what I think it's about, is it?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So you want to know what it would sound like if somebody played my entire record collection at once

Pretty much like this, I'm thinking.

A word of explaination

In creepier news, this blog has been found today by at least a couple of people who were searching for variations on "Montana" "Hannah" and "fuck."

The reason they found this blog is because I once titled a post

Fucking Hannah Montana makes 52 million and this movie was ignored?

It is not, I repeat not, because you are going to find any images, photo-shopped or cartoon, of Hannah Montana (or Miley Cyrus) engaging in the act of love here. Or on Dancing Girls.

First of all, I don't care that much about her one way or the other (the above-titled post notwithstanding), apart from thinking she did a good job in Disney's Bolt, and liking that she spoke out on gay rights.

But most importantly...she's a child, you pervs!

Which brings me to this cartoon I found by Kevin Moore...

Good stuff.

This is unquestionably me reading something into this that the person who did it almost certainly didn't intend. But I think you can hear this "mashup" as a dialogue, if you will, between the lighter and darker sides of all of our natures. But even if not, it's still pretty fantastic.

I wouldn't say that I was bitter, no...

Seems weird to still be pushing a series that's already been dropped, but that's what Summer Glau and Brian Austin Green are doing for my beloved Tokyo, where it'll be released on DVD.


Fucking Terminator Salvation...

In case you were wondering

buddha Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

...we ain’t what we ought to be; we ain’t what we gonna be, but thank God, we ain’t what we was.

There seems to be a growing consensus that, despite the California decision yesterday, the momentum of history is on our side. I found myself thinking of the quote I've used here as a title. It comes from a Martin Luther King speech, but he was quoting a former slave turned preacher.

Here "the other" Rob Thomas--meaning it's not the Veronica Mars creator but the singer/songwriter--speaks out in support of gay marriage.

Definitely read the whole thing, but he ends up with:
We've been here before, fighting for the rights of African Americans or women to vote, or the rights of Jewish Americans to worship as they see fit. And, just as whites fought for African Americans or Christians for Jewish Americans, straight people must stand up and be a voice for gay people.

I've heard it said before, many times, that if two men or two women are allowed to join into a civil union together, why can't they be happy with that and why is it so important that they call it marriage? In essence, what's in a name?

A civil union has to do with death. It's essentially a document that gives you lower taxes and the right to let your faux spouse collect your insurance when you pass away. A marriage is about life. It's about a commitment. And this argument is about allowing people to have the right to make that commitment, even if it doesn't make sense to you. Anything else falls under the category of "separate but equal" and we know how that works out.

Great article.

Man, this is weak.

Do you ever begin to get the feeling that maybe the GOP is opposing Sotomayor just because they think they're supposed to? I mean, you'd like to think that if the right-wing had a stronger, less-easy-to-demolish case than this to make, they'd make it.

But they're not.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The games have just begun.

or "Ok, the Sotomayor Nomination thing."

First read this from Daily Kos:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), reacting to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States:

Senate Republicans will treat Judge Sotomayor fairly. But we will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law even-handedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences.

Now, it's being pointed out by some that "apply the law even-handedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences," in this case, is code for "vote conservative and pro big-business." Probably rightly.

But what stands out for me is the condescension of saying they will "ensure she understands the role of a jurist."

A few of Judge Sotomator's qualifications (I got these from Jamelle):

...graduated from Princeton summa cum laude, edited the Yale Law Journal and sat on a federal bench for fifteen years.

Now, who do you suppose better understands the role of a jurist? Such a woman as that...or the senate minority leader?

Now read Dylan Lowe in HuffPost:

...the GOP is angling for a fight. Among the few who graced Obama's short list, Sotomayor was largely considered the most progressive of the bunch. But as the Republican leadership gears up, they may be walking squarely into another political trap, carefully designed by the president.

Saw IVOriginally uploaded by DauragonCMikado

Oh Stephen, do shut up, won't you, there's a good chap.

Or, "Actors shouldn't talk: The concept crosses oceans."

via ohnotheydidn't:

Stephen Fry--who I begin to suspect has a bit of jealousy over Hugh Laurie's American success, tho I'm sure he'd deny it, and I have no way of knowing--has been quoted as saying:

“I have met so many retired politicians and they are all unhappy and bitter.”

You sure that's not just because they were British?

Of the American President, he predicted: “If he has two terms I do not think the second term will end on an up. I think that all political careers end in failure and to be sure he is facing a lot of problems. He has got a lot of credit but he will go through it in the end. Nobody can know what will happen in the future. Who could have foreseen 9/11?

Actually, Stephen, Bush had plenty of warning of 9/11. He just chose to ignore it. We're hoping the new guy pays better attention.

That's what friends are for

So I was looking for a classy way to reply to my beloved California's really hateful decision to uphold the ban on gay marriage. I mean, apart from ordering my free I Support Gay Marriage sticker, which I invite you to do. And Corey sends me this:

Gotta love it.

This is beautiful...

So, it's hitting the gossip blogs that a new "Buffy" movie may be in the early planning stages...without a script, or indeed any participation, from Joss Whedon. Now, the likelyhood or advisability of this actually happening doesn't really interest me.

However. If, like me, you enjoy watching the little Whedon-zombies rattling their cages in impotent can't beat this, boys and girls...

(Be sure to read the comments)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

You know that recent NY "terror plot?"

Don't believe the hype. The FBI ginned it up for self-promotion.

And to hip some people into feeling good

From column by Frank Rich:

The civil rights lawyer Evan Wolfson, who is executive director of the advocacy group Freedom to Marry, notes that the current stasis in Washington is a bit reminiscent of early 1963, when major triumphs in the black civil rights movement (Brown v. Board of Education, the Freedom Riders, the Montgomery bus boycott) had been followed by stalling, infighting and more violent setbacks. Victories were on their way but it took the march on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech to galvanize John Kennedy and ultimately Lyndon Johnson into action. Even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Johnson had to step up big time — and did — to prod Congressional passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (now under imminent threat from the Roberts Supreme Court).

So what’s stopping the Democrats from rectifying that legacy now? As Wolfson said to me last week, they lack “a towering national figure to make the moral case” for full gay civil rights. There’s no one of that stature in Congress now that Ted Kennedy has been sidelined by illness, and the president shows no signs so far of following the example of L.B.J., who championed black civil rights even though he knew it would cost his own party the South. When Obama invoked same-sex marriage in an innocuous joke at the White House correspondents’ dinner two weeks ago — he and his political partner, David Axelrod, went to Iowa to “make it official” — it seemed all the odder that he hasn’t engaged the issue substantively.

There's nothing to be said about this, but so you'll understand why I removed the Kylie post from earlier:

A stampede at a world music festival in Morocco's capital Rabat that featured the likes of Stevie Wonder and Kylie Minogue left at least 11 people dead, most of them women and children, police said Sunday.

Some 1,700 foreign and local performers had converged on Rabat for the eighth edition
of the Mawazine festival, which was opened on May 15 by Australian pop icon Kylie Minogue.

Performers this year included US soul legend Stevie Wonder, Algerian rai singer Khaled, South African singer Johnny Clegg, Brazilian bossa nova artist Sergio Mendes and Italian composer and conductor Ennio Morricone.

Republicans fight against perception that they are unfeeling hollow shells

Or, "Emotions are dumb, and should be hated."-Bender, Futurama.

The Senate's No. 2 Republican on Sunday refused to rule out a filibuster if President Barack Obama seeks a Supreme Court justice who decides cases based on "emotions or feelings or preconceived ideas."

Sen. Jon Kyl made clear he would use the procedural delay if Obama follows through on his pledge to nominate someone who takes into account human suffering and employs empathy from the bench. The Arizona Republican acknowledged that his party likely does not have enough votes to sustain a filibuster, but he said nonetheless he would try to delay or derail the nomination if Obama ventures outside what Kyl called the mainstream.

Pst! Kyl! You wanna see outside the mainstream, go listen to Emperor Cheney.

"You have to have not only the intellect to be able to effectively apply the law to cases before you," Obama said in an interview carried Saturday on C-SPAN television. "But you have to be able to stand in somebody else's shoes and see through their eyes and get a sense of how the law might work or not work in practical day-to-day living."

Obama also has said he wants someone who employs empathy, "understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles," when arriving at decisions that could influence the nation for decades.

Fuck Yes!

Apparently, sometimes people don't want to watch (apparently) crap films.

This one's for you, Josh Friedman!

ETA: And you too, Summer "Maybe the new Lara Croft" Glau!

Fur Is Dead (and Pamela Anderson looks like a zombie)