Saturday, October 17, 2009

The coolest thing I've ever seen

A hot chick showing how to make a sound like a Wookie.

Were I ever to go out with a girl who could do this, I honestly don't know whether I'd feel utterly freaked out, or just have no choice but to marry her.

Now for a happier note...

Obama said he would not abide "those who would bend the truth or break it to score political points and stop our progress as a country." He accused the [insurance] industry of "filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads," sending money and lobbyists to Capitol Hill and paying for studies "designed to mislead the American people."

"It's smoke and mirrors," the president added. "It's bogus."

...and it makes me stupidly happy to see an American President using the slang of a 1982 teen in defending health reform.

I shall sleep soundly tonight.

god forbid someone might fight for children who are not just like the GOP.

(How many Boogey men they have in their closets notwithstanding)

Personally, I like it better when they just say they hate gays. Makes it so much simpler than when they try to keep muddying the waters.

Case in point. Remember that post I wrote last week about the shameful way idiots like Sean Hannity were drawing a false connection between a man who now works for President Barack Obama and NAMBLA?

Which in turn was an outgrowth of a fantasy they'd concocted about the man, Kevin Jennings: That he had failed in his duty when, as a school counselor, he learned of the sexual abuse of a child and did nothing about it.

The fact that this never happened has, of course, done nothing to stop them from screeching and caterwauling about it. Concealing (they think) their homophobia by wrapping it in a pious desire to keep children safe.

Fortunately, most of the country is not bigoted; most of the country knows we need equality. Unfortunately, there is some question as to whether or not the Obama administration--which has been treating the Fox republicans more like doted-on children than I'd like--will fight for it.

(I mean, I'd like to say so, but could I then look at myself in the mirror?)

Anyway, the latest is that 53 right wing conservatives have signed a letter to the president asking him to fire Jennings.

This letter makes little pretense of keeping up the veil trying to mask anti-gay feelings as merely those of concerned parents:

Throughout his career, Mr. Jennings has made it his mission to establish special protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students to the exclusion of all other students. The totality of Mr. Jennings' career has been to advocate for public affirmation of homosexuality. There is more to safe and drug free schools than can be accomplished from the narrow view of Mr. Jennings who has, for more than 20 years, almost exclusively focused on promoting the homosexual agenda.

Ah. So it's not the sexual abuse of a child--itself in this case, the product of your own sick little minds--that bothers you.

Good to know.

I've always been suspicious of the fact that the NRA is run by a man with the wimpiest name I've ever seen.

And my name is "Ben Varkentine," for crying out loud. But c'mon, "Wayne LaPierre?" They buy that?

But anyway, the NRA's latest thing is calls telling Americans that Hillary Clinton and the UN are coming to take away the only things that make them feel like real men!


Why the '80s were better than the '70s: #6, 295 in a series

Scott Baio: What were we thinking?

What do you get when you combine a washed up child star and unimpeded access to a computer keyboard? Apparently, in the case of Scott Baio -- one-time "Happy Days" and "Charles in Charge" heartthrob -- the result is a stream of vitriolic statements about "liberals" and a flame war with some random person.

For the record, I thought Scott Baio was a schmuck, long before we knew he was a dick.

Looking for something serious to read on this Saturday?

Here's a lengthy, but unusual, look at President Barack Obama as a writer. It'll take you about five minutes to read, but IMO it's well worth your time. Here's a little something to whet your appetite.

“I think he sees the world through a writer’s eye,” says senior White House adviser and former Chicago journalist David Axelrod. “I’ve always appreciated about him his ability to participate in a scene and also reflect on it. I mean, I remember when we were meeting clandestinely with the guys who were vetting the vice presidential candidates. There was this courtly southern gentleman who was doing the vetting. The president said to me, ‘This whole scene’s right out of a Grisham novel.’

(Admittedly, I think a familiarity with the work of Grisham doesn't do much to keep the President's literary bona fides afloat--but it gets better)

Friday, October 16, 2009

As you might imagine, this is making zealots sad

(or should I say sad-er?)

The "C" in "CNN" does not stand for "credibility"

Have a look at this story from

Democrats chastise Snowe over health care 'influence'

Ok. First of all, this is another Headline that does not jibe with its story, because the story says:

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, said he understands how important it is to President Obama to be able to call his health care bill bipartisan.

"It looks as though the way the White House is maneuvering right now, that it is incredibly important to them to get at least one Republican, that being Olympia Snowe."

"This is the United States of America. This is not the United States of Maine," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-California. "I mean that one senator cannot hold the entire nation's health care plan hostage."

Get it? They're not chastising Snowe, but rather, the Obama White House, for their apparent focus on her at the expense of what the Amerian people both want and need. Democrats have said, and do in this story, that they dislike the "trigger" option Snowe wants:
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, blasted the idea of a trigger option.

"The idea that we are going to succumb to the insurance industry's fears and then do a trigger, which means that our constituency -- the American people -- will delay in getting a public option, that's like the house of cards just collapsing on top of us," she said.

But one last time: That's disagreeing on an issue of substance. It's not "chastising" anybody.

But then, CNN has made this story about "Democrats vs."

the challenge now for Democrats is that Snowe opposes what most of them support: a government-sponsored health care option.

Except that the so-called "public option" is what most Americans support (and most doctors). I find that important information, and I would've included it in the story.

Certainly before I would've quoted someone as silly as John Boehner, who says Christians are born that way, but gays aren't (and that's just his latest asinine statement).

CNN gives space to a content-free statement from him, I guess because they're forever in search of that false equivalence.

And like that, another part of the '80s childhood is gone

The new, slutty Rainbow Brite.

Kim Kardashian achives life's ambition

"as" Barbie.

Trying to make saving the earth cool and failing epically

Full cred for best efforts, though.

See, Scarlett? Like this.


From neon brights to fishnet stockings, video killed the radio star all over again on the runways, with many designers conjuring up the bawdy 80's as escapism from the current recession.

Time now for another important question: Why doesn't this work?

I mean, we have Scarlett Johansson, who ain't a bad-looking woman...she may or may not be stupid, but she ain't a bad-looking woman. And here she's in a sort of homage to the '80s, which as we know, I love.

And yet: Meh.

Photos via Hollywood Tuna

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Are they kidding me with this?

"First Thoughts" on touts an AP piece that asks:

"is [Obama's] do-everything, be-everywhere leadership style in tune with the times?"


Obama is still liked by over half the country. He's shown himself willing to shoot for some big game (mixed-metaphorically speaking). I haven't liked the way he's taken every shot either, no one could unless they were blind Obama-worshippers. And between you and me, I think there's always been less of those than the GOP would like to believe.

But, if we do have a President who might be trying to keep too many balls in the air...well, I still remember the guy before who dropped every single one. I think we'll let this new, lanky fellow work a bit more of his act on us before we get the cane, youknowutImean?

MSNBC adds:

Obama’s constant presence is raising the ire of the GOP’s dispirited base, which could translate into big Republican vote against the president’s style during the mid-term elections.

Uh-Huh. Problem is, candidates who pander to "the GOP’s dispirited base" are not electable.

I won't even get into the part where the AP asks...they actually ask...whether or not one of Obama's problems might be that he's too articulate. I won't get into that, because if I do, I know I'll just give myself a headache...

The insane anti-sex, bland-language-loving, antifeminist Republicans strike again

It was supposed to be an innocuous image – a playful snapshot of Meghan McCain’s “night in” with Andy Warhol’s autobiography.

But the self-taken image of a pouty Meghan McCain, daughter of former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, posted to TwitPic Wednesday night – and her profanity-laden Tweets in response to other users’ comments – has caused an uproar...

Oh, for the love of...ok, first of all, here's the picture. Yes, Megan McCain has big breasts, and big breasts make for big cleavage.

But do you see anything in that picture that should inspire anything more than (perhaps) a lusty thought or two? Much less an "uproar?"

And as for "profanity-laden Tweets," they're reprinted in this entry.

She used the word "fuck." Once.

Let us be clear: A 25-year-old woman chose to take and post a picture that revealed part of her bosom. After being harassed and called a slut for this, she chose to us a profane word in describing her response.

And somehow, the world just kept on turning.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ever see a movie just swerve into a ditch?

Management is like watching people you like get into a car, close the doors, drive off and plunge over a cliff.

One of the people is played by Jennifer Aniston, reminding us that beneath all the sitcom stuff (good and bad) and paint-by-numbers romantic comedies, there actually is an actress.

Given inspired direction, she's capable of creating thinking, human people onscreen. Stephen Belber, whose debut as a director this is, has helped her do just least in his direction. As a writer, he over plots here; throws too many obstacles in his stars' way.

All the obstacles (and conflict) these two people need are built into their characters. It is evident that the spinning out corporate career woman Aniston plays really likes Steve Zahn's blindly optimistic loser.

Not because it's in the script--or at least, not just because of that--and she has to, but because the characters have real chemistry. (This, as the Supreme Court once said about porn, is something I may not be able to define, but I know when I see it.)

But Aniston's character is stuck between security and romance, and Zahn needs to make something work for himself. Get it? Ok, so in the early parts of this movie, like just over the first half, it "manages" (sorry) to get past a lot of places where it could've misfired.

It's a bit like watching Indiana Jones trying not to put a foot wrong as he raids the ancient temple. Zahn's performance helps a lot in keeping him from being creepy stalker guy, but what really puts it over is Aniston's reaction to him.

One of the reasons her performance is so good in this section, is that we see her taking each step carefully in her mind, weighing the risks and consequences of letting herself be touched (emotionally) by and touching this goofy man.

But the more I write about this, the more I think I'm finding that I really didn't like this movie. The reason is that, like some heart tease, just as you've put your trust into it...the movie betrays you.

Worse, it betrays worse yet, it betrays those characters, by suddenly turning their story into...well, into a bad sitcom, paint-by-numbers romantic comedy. It becomes the kind of movie you want to pick up and shake, in hopes that all the bad parts will somehow magically fall away.

Chief among these: Woody Harrelson, who is miscast in the first place, and whose character should've been cut from the movie altogether in the second place. He plays the Aniston's character's ex-boyfriend, to whom she returns when she's in the "I really like the Steve Zahn character, but of course I can't be with him" stage.

I swear I almost fell asleep just typing that sentence.

We know he's not a real threat, we never get the sense that Aniston even likes him. So all the while he's onscreen, we're just thinking "Yeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeahyeah, get back to Aniston and Zahn, I want to see those characters keep on holding each other's hands!"

Eventually, of course, we do, but only after way too many things just "happen" to fall into place. Some of the "twists" of the script would've seemed unrealistic in a Muppet movie.

And it goes from being a beautiful song to a lie.

Dear Harry: Don't fuck this up, you bland mothafucker

"This" being Health-Care Reform:

The notion that anyone is now actually in control of this process is an illusion. But to the extent that anyone's hand is on the tiller, it is Reid's. Over the next four weeks, it is Reid who will decide whether to permit votes — and in what order — on amendments that could make the final version look very different from the one approved Tuesday afternoon by the Finance Committee. There will be fights over the lack of a public option in the bill, and efforts to reinstate one.

Of all five bills, only the Senate Finance Committee's garnered any GOP support and that came in the form of the single vote of Maine's Olympia Snowe. And Snowe made it clear that her support on final passage is by no means assured, rattling off a laundry list of changes she'd like to see made.

Adding to the drama is the fact that Reid is facing re-election next year, and for the first time since 1998 he may face a challenge. Reid is already losing in polls to not one but two GOP challengers. Outside groups ranging from unions to business associations have spent $2 million either lauding Reid for his work on health care or demonizing him for socializing it, according to TNS C-MAG, a group that tracks political commercials. The split in the ads has been 60% negative, 40% positive. Reid has pledged to raise $25 million to defend himself.

In 2004, Senate minority leader Tom Daschle became the first leader in nearly 50 years to lose his seat. In the months before the election he was paralyzed in the Senate, afraid to do anything that might make him more vulnerable. Reid, it seems, is taking the opposite approach. "It's always difficult being in leadership when you're up for re-election," says Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, a member of the Democratic leadership who faced a tough re-election in 2004. "But Harry's very, very committed. He understands the important role he has in history."

Courtney Love: The trainwreck continues.

You've "heard" me talk about Ms. Cobain before. I know she's sometimes incoherent, but I still think she should get her own TV show; she still means something to me god knows why. So, this is just the latest update:

Courtney Love no longer casts a huge shadow over Twitter with her incessant postings, and a possible reason for her lack of online presence has surfaced. Officials in Los Angeles County have filed a federal tax lien against Love, saying she owes $324,335.21 in unpaid taxes. Clearly, she has more important matters on her hands than Twitter.


January Jones:

Why you try to put up a front for me? I'm a spy, but on your side you see...


Slip, oh, into any disguise; I'll still know you, Look into my private eyes...

Via Popoholic.

I feel one of my patented self-evident statements coming on...

...Charisma Carpenter is one hot babe of a bitch.

(or bitch of a babe, whatever).

I won't be able to take it if she just breaks my heart again

The creator of the Gilmore Girls is coming to HBO. Exec-Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino has signed a deal to develop a dramedy for the cable network. She described the project as the "story of love, hate, family — and finding the perfect opening line,"

I used to have something of a mad crush on Sherman-Palladino (a hottie who can write with a magic touch, what did you think was gonna happen?). This ended, not because she left Gilmore Girls, but because the show she left it to do was such a slap in the face...

God bless you (please), Mrs. Jackson

Pop star Michael Jackson's three children "are not part of" the A&E reality show many of his family members have been taping over the past several months, the network said Wednesday.

Michael Jackson's children Paris, Prince and "Blanket" will not be part of an A&E reality show, the network says.

US Weekly magazine quoted an unidentified source as saying -- despite a sharp division in the Jackson family over the matter -- that Prince, 12, Paris, 11, and Blanket, 7, would be included in the show.

According to other reports Michael's mother Katherine, who has legal custody of her grandchildren, has said they will not be on TV "in her lifetime." Stay healthy into the next decade, Mrs. Jackson--your grandchildren need you.

"The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty," which focuses on the lives of Michael Jackson's brothers, was in the works before the singer's June 25 death.

One of the most insane things about the Jacksons--not exactly hurting for insane things--is this: I think they actually believe that the reason Michael burned so much hotter than the rest of them (with the obvious exception of Janet) was a matter of mere luck.* It wasn't.

I want to be fair: The Jacksons were--maybe still are--gifted entertainers.** But Michael was an artist, and there is a difference.

*And no, obviously I don't know them, but I've read a number of bios and other books so I can say that's at least a semi-informed opinion...

"Break me off a piece of that," I believe is the phrase

Tyra Banks as a young model.

Via Cityrag.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A jot of Jigsaw

Headlines that do not jibe with their story

Madeline Zima Says It Was 'Awkward' Kissing Hayden Panettiere On 'Heroes'
From that, one might infer that Miss Zima does not like kissing other girls.

The actual quote:
"It's always awkward, no matter if it's a boy, a girl or whatever. It's just an awkward thing to kiss somebody in front of other people..."

Slightly different, no?

Monday, October 12, 2009