Saturday, August 22, 2009

I don't like this poster as much as the first one*

--but it's growing on me.


He's Got The Whole World In His Hands...

*"The Game Comes Full Circle," at right.

10 Transports of Delight

In the past couple of years, Cool Runnings has become one of those movies which every time it's on TV, which it is a fair amount, I nearly always have to stop and watch, at least part of it. This is one of my favorite parts to stop and watch.

It's one of my favorite John Candy movies (and actually the whole ensemble's good), along with Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Stripes, and Splash ("...what about that, huh? What about a woman showing up naked in a public place, Freddie?" "Well I'm for it, of course."

In the above scene, BTW, notice that tbe whole "Derice, remember the radio? Radio? stick, hitting with the stick?" sequence seems to have been assembled from reused footage and ADR...but it works.

11 efficient excellencies

A new Amazon review by me is up--and it's of a book (actually, a Book On Tape) you may be surprised to read that I loved. I know I was.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Tidy 12

Once again, I am completely out of the mainstream when it comes to television. I don't watch any of the top-rated shows of the moment. In an odd way, I find that reassuring...even though I know it'll only last until House comes back and I start feeling all common again (it's the same feeling I get when I have to admit I like the shape of Angelina Jolie).

Two unrelated observations

1. Boring, stupid people do not become any less boring or stupid when in the nude, no matter how good-looking they are.

2. I've seen the Rebecca Gayheart/Kari-Ann Peniche/Eric Dane tape.

OK, they're not really unrelated...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

13 Turned loose, Unburdened and Relaxed

Originally uploaded by Cujoy

A contrarian view of 'Mad Men'

It's no great pleasure to stare for hours at a show that everyone is supposed to (nay, commanded to) adore and come away feeling depressed, underserved and unhip in every way...

Heretical as it may seem to say, "Mad Men" is the truest example of style over substance.

Try as I might, "Mad Men" fails to resonate, settle in, tell me something. It can no longer get out of its own way so as to allow its multiple story lines to experience actual forward momentum. (Only the calendar does that.)

A little dab of "Mad Men's" style goes a long way. If you find yourself with a stack of old episodes, getting ready for more of the "Mad Men" craze, and you want to believe, and yet you lack faith, I am here to absolve you. You read it here first: You do not have to watch "Mad Men."


This is beautiful...

Have you ever wondered, how low can the conservatives go?

Last week, Las Vegas radio station KDWN AM720 sponsored a “contentious” town hall, emceed by conservative morning show host Heidi Harris. At the event, local news stations were interviewing an Israeli man who was praising the “fantastic” “national health care” in Israel. During his remarks, a woman yelled out, “Heil Hitler!”

That's how low.

Recommended reading

Robert Reich:

The President's centeredness, calm, and dignity inspire trust but also suggest a certain lack of combativeness, a reluctance to express indignation, and an unwillingness to identify enemies -- resulting in a tendency toward compromise even at the early stages of controversy.

Obama may be temperamentally incapable of being more combative and identifying enemies. But surely he can state less equivocally what he does and does not want -- and, with regard to key matters such as the public option, what he'll sign and what he won't.

The widening gap between admiration for Obama and cynicism about his policies also reinforces passivity in Obama's base, which makes it even harder to advance a specific agenda. His presidential campaign strengthened the nation's political grass roots and spawned hope for a new era of public engagement, but Obama's reluctance to fight for any specifics is causing the base to lose interest.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

angry piece of shit dumbass racist skinhead calls for the physical beating of politicians.

Conservatives say, "Now that's the face we want to project to America!"

Y'know...I've said this before, but it bears repeating. It may be that the one thing for which I will never be able to forgive John McCain is that he elevated an angry piece of shit dumbass racist skinhead like Sam "Joe the Plumber," Wurzelbacher to the national stage.

During his appearance at the Americans for Prosperity RightOnline conference in Pittsburgh, August 15, Joe the Plumber said that in the old days, politicians would have been “taken behind the woodshed and slapped upside the head a couple times.” But, he said, “I don’t advocate violence.”

I don’t either, “Joe.” That's why I'm sure you'll understand I'm not advocating for violence when I say:

In the old days, angry piece of shit dumbass racist skinheads like you would rot behind bars for stealing drugs from dentists’ offices. And get punched out in the yard so many times you wouldn't be able to say "Joe the plumber"...much less your real name and occupation.

But I don't advovate for violence. I'm just saying, in my good old days--which are at least as real as your good old days--that's exactly what would happen.


Monday, August 17, 2009

I wonder if we could somehow get President Barack Obama a copy of The American President...

As you know, I've been getting a sinking feeling about President Obama (and his administration)'s apparent desire to make nice with Republicans. Especially at the expense of the progressives who got him elected or what I think they used to call "real, meaningful reform."

I'm far from the only one. Robert Kuttner of the American Prospect, for example, penned a piece for Huffington in which he says:

Clearly, the administration playbook is to stick to the high road and not take the argument to the other side. But the strategy isn't working. The approval ratings for both the president and for his health plan are falling. He isn't even inspiring his own strongest grass roots backers to turn out in numbers at support rallies.

Now, this is the end of a speech from The American President, one of my favorite movies (& my first Sorkin!). It's a speech that would make anybody in the liberal wing of the Democratic party's heart surge with warmth.

We've got serious problems, and we need serious people, and if you want to talk about character, Bob, you'd better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up.

As you also know, when I am feeling low about my government and elected leaders, I like to think of Presidents as played by Martin Sheen. Or in this case, Michael Douglas. Instead, I got...

(And now we're back to the HuffPo. BTW, there is no significance to the fact that the writer of that post is named Robert, and the character Douglas is addressing in the quote is called Bob. Just a coincidence.)

Instead, I got...

At his own town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire August 11, Obama was quite eloquent and detailed on the foolishness of the "death panel" lies, and he also said this:

Every time we come close to passing health insurance reform, the special interests fight back with everything they've got. They use their influence. They use their political allies to scare and mislead the American people. They start running ads. This is what they always do.

But, oddly, he didn't name the "special interests" (like the insurance and drug industry) because they are nominally part of his reform coalition.

I wonder if we could somehow get President Barack Obama a copy of The American President.

15 Freaky Fondnesses

President Obama:

When someone as deranged as Jigsaw is sounding saner than you about health's a sign of something.

16 Stunners of Style

A classic by Stephen Sondheim.

A song that outlived its show.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

You'll have to deal with Pressure/You used to call me paranoid/But even you can not avoid/Pressure! /You turned the tap dance into your crusade...

From the AP:
White House appears ready to drop 'public option'

Bowing to Republican pressure, President Barack Obama's administration signaled on Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new U.S. health care system

Republican pressure? Republican pressure? In what state outside the state of mind apparently endemic of Washington, DC, do the Republicans have enough substance to force pressure?

You've got to be kidding me.

The Republicans should be embodied by their last standard-bearer. John McCain, despite what could've been and should've been a genuinely inspiring personal story, hollowed himself out in hopes of aiding his rise to the top.

The Republicans are men and women of Jello. And the only thing keeping them in the driver's that the Democrats are men and women of pudding.

Republican pressure. Good god.

Un-fucking-believable. No matter how little the GOP gets-and they are very, very little, in any number of ways-it's clear they still have the whip hand.

Why are Democrats always so fucking timid?

Republicans say a public option would have unfair advantages that would drive private insurers out of business.

You're breaking my heart...