Saturday, April 17, 2010

Holy crap...

Looks like Big Brother was about 25 years late. A school district used computers loaned to students to watch them, without their knowledge, on webcams and to read private messages they sent to their friends.

I have a feeling I'm going to be talking more about this. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It is an illusion that women in Hollywood have power

I don't know why this should surprise me...but it does, and saddens me too.

In the "Summer Movie 10" double issue of EW, they talk about Angelina Jolie's upcoming action film, Salt, which was originally written for a man.

But the process was a bit trickier than just changing the hero's name and adding high heels.

"In the original script, there was a huge sequence where Edwin Salt saves his wife, who's in danger," says [director Phillip] Noyce.

"And what we found was when Evelyn Salt saved her husband in the new script, it seemed to castrate his character a little. So we had to change the nature of that relationship."

In the end, Salt's husband, played by German actor August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds) was made tough enough that he didn't need saving, thank you very much.

Because god forbid a woman should ever save a man. Even if that woman is played by an Academy Award winner whose movies gross millions, to say nothing of the fact that she's broadly considered to be in the first rank of sex symbols.

So, proposed: It is an illusion that women in Hollywood have power.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

A modest proposal to my friends in the mainstream media...

...would it be possible in the future to limit your coverage of Sarah Palin to just the one sentence, "And somewhere in America, Sarah Palin said something stupid today"?

Thank yew.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Proof yet again that no matter how mainstream it's gotten...

...the internet was made by nerds for nerds.

The "spell your name with Empire Strikes Back stickers" generator.

t/y, Becca


You know how when a politician's name appears in the press, they'll put a letter next to it so you know what party they're from? In the case of the R's, I'm no longer prepared to accept that this means "Republican."

I've decided to start assuming that "R" stands for "ridiculous." To explain why, let's take a look at some things that good-humored elf Mike Huckabee had to say last week, shall we?

Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, remains in favor of keeping in place ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ the policy that requires the military to expel openly gay service members. “I wouldn’t support a repeal if I were commander-in-chief,”

Welcome to the 21st century, Huck.

Huckabee went on to draw parallels between homosexuality and other lifestyles that are considered by some to be morally aberrant. “You don’t go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal,” he said of same-sex marriage. “That would be like saying, well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let’s go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, so we should accommodate them.”

Yes, all those things are exactly the same.

He also affirmed support for a law in Arkansas that prohibits same-sex couples from becoming adoptive or foster parents. “I think this is not about trying to create statements for people who want to change the basic fundamental definitions of family,” Huckabee said.

Ah yes, the "basic fundamental definitions of family."

You mean these?


1 : a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head : household
2 a : a group of persons of common ancestry : clan b : a people or group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock : race

A group of individuals who share ties of blood, marriage, or adoption; a group residing together and consisting of parents, children, and other relatives by blood or marriage; a group of individuals residing together who have consented to an arrangement similar to ties of blood or marriage.

Don't fuck with the fundamentals, fundamentalist.

“And always we should act in the best interest of the children, not in the seeming interest of the adults.”

Yes, let's do act in the best interests of the children. If the entire country were to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting or fostering, it
could displace 9,000 to 14,000 children

Monday, April 12, 2010

Q & A

Two connected stories. One:

What kind of investigation will the Obama administration Department of Labor conduct into the Massey Mine Disaster?

The answer, BTW, is secret ones, to protect the corporate criminals.

And two:
Senate will hold moment of silence for victims of deadly mine explosion

I'm sure the knowledge that Senators are thinking about them will be a great comfort to the families and friends of the victims. That's much better than oh, say, having the investigation out in the open air for everyone to see.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Having run a classic Colbert clip a couple of days ago, here's some equal time for The Daily Show

Samantha Bee MILF
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Finally, another good movie dragon.

I enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon much more than I thought I would. Maybe not as much as most people (The script was quite predictable in one or two places); definitely not as much as my nephew, but still, I enjoyed it.

(Enjoyed the heck out of it, as a matter of fact.)

The reason why I didn't want to see it was because I didn't like the designs of the dragons as I'd seen them in ads. As you may know (from the name of this blog if from nothing else), dragons have long been my favorite mythological beastie.

As a result, I'm a bit snobbish about their depiction in films. Hundreds have tried but to my mind, maybe a handful has succeeded.

The dragon in Dragonslayer, that's my idea of a great cinema dragon. The movie wasn't so great last time I checked it out, but the dragon is awesome.

Literally. As in, it inspires awe. No one's topped it in live action for nearly 30 years.

Pete's Dragon is even more flawed as a picture, but the dragon is truly magical to the six-year-old boy I was when I saw it.

And from the 1977 TV-movie version of The Hobbit
Smaug. Now there's a dragon for ya.

Falkor in Neverending Story is exceptional; the dragon in Knighty Knight Bugs is great too.

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(Do not get me started on Reign of Fire, which was just stupid, or Dragonheart, which was fucked up by its director. And don't mention H.R. Pufnstuf to me or I'll simply have no choice but to bite your head off.)

The How to Train Your Dragon dragons looked to me like they were the "wrong" sizes and/or shapes. Silly me, I should've known: Wait until you get a good, long look at them animated.

A few of them still don't meet my ridiculously high standard, but the "star" dragon takes the movie and all but flies away with it. Watching the early "training" sequences in this movie, I was reminded of The Black Stallion, and if you've seen that movie, you know that's high praise indeed.

Directors Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders have created a dragon that can stand right alongside all the others in my little "box," and maybe above more than a few.