Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010

I don't think I've ever been so depressed to be proven right

Me, this blog, September 24th, this year:

Honestly, I am not worried about the tea party movement. They (and their effect on the GOP) are handing Obama and the Democratic party everything they should need to hold onto or even increase their majorities in the senate and house.

What I'm worried about is that they won't grab onto those teacup-nuts and use 'em to knock down some bodies. What I am worried about is that Obama will react to a mid-term "whacking" as Clinton did.

No, not by having an affair--by all accounts President Obama is deeply and passionately in love with his wife, and devoted to his family. But by resorting to the straddle-every-issue, don't-offend-anyone strategy that Clinton embraced from (at least) 1994-1996.

Howard Fineman, HuffPo, today:

The tax-bill fight is revealing a crucial fact about President Obama's new, post-"shellacking" White House: it is increasingly being run by veterans of the Clinton era.

The significance of this staff shift is beyond the operational. The Clinton-era alums, by outlook and experience, represent a centrist, pragmatic, pro-business "wealth-creation" wing of the Democratic Party that flourished during the Clinton presidency in the 1990s.

Outside the White House per se, the president is getting key support from John Podesta, whose Center for American Progress has placed dozens of staffers in key positions inside the administration.

CAP supports the tax-cut deal, perhaps not surprising given that Podesta was once Bill Clinton's highly regarded chief of staff.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

In which my love/hate relationship with Aaron Sorkin continues

Okay. You all know how good a writer I think Aaron Sorkin is, how thankful I am for his work, how much I prize my West Wing and Sports Nights DVDs. Also, I saw The Social Network this week, and thought it was the best film made from one of his scripts since The American President.

Sorkin has a piece on the Huffpo this morning attacking Sarah Palin for, in so many words, torturing and killing and slicing up animals for pleasure.

Now, lord knows I hold no brief for Sarah Palin. I think she makes Pamela Anderson look like a genius, I honestly don't get the whole "It girl" thing, and I hope that on his death bed--far away may that be--John McCain dies knowing exactly what he inflicted upon his country.

And though like Sorkin, I eat meat, I don't want animals tortured (not even John "Jigsaw" Kramer did that). So given all of the foregoing, why do I have any problem with Sorkin's new piece? Two reasons. First, this sentence:

Like 95% of the people I know, I don't have a visceral (look it up) problem eating meat or wearing a belt.

"Look it up?" Geez, Aaron, condescending much?

And second, the whole rest of the piece just isn't as well written as it could've been...or as I've seen such statements made before. For example:

Now, the trick in shooting deer is you gotta get 'em out in the open. And it's tough with deer, 'cause these are clever, cagey animals with an intuitive sense of danger. You know what you have to do to get a deer out in the open? You hold out a Twinkie.

That animal clopped up to me like we were at a party. She seemed to be pretty interested in the Twinkie, so I gave it to her. Looking back, she'd have been better off if I'd given her the damn vest. And Bob kind of screamed at me in whisper, "Move away!" The camera had been re-loaded and it looked like the day wasn't gonna be a washout after all. So I backed away, a couple of steps at a time, and closed my eyes when I heard the shot. Look, I know these are animals, and they don't play bridge and go to the prom, but you can't tell me that the little one didn't know who his mother was.

That's gotta mean something. And later, at the hospital, Bob Shoemaker was telling me about the nobility and tradition of hunting and how it related to the native American Indians. And I nodded and I said that was interesting while I was thinking about what a load of crap it was. Hunting was part of Indian culture. It was food and it was clothes and it was shelter. They sang and danced and offered prayers to the gods for a successful hunt so that they could survive just one more unimaginably brutal winter. The things they had to kill held the highest place of respect for them, and to kill for fun was a sin.

And they knew the gods wouldn't be so generous next time. What we did wasn't food and it wasn't shelter and it sure wasn't sports. It was just mean.

That speech, as if you're not already all way ahead of me, is from a television episode called "The Hungry and the Hunted," of the TV series Sports Night, and was written by...Aaron Sorkin.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Those fuckers.

Ok, I'm sorry to those of you who thought you were done seeing me rant about Saw...but it was just announced that the Saw 3D DVD will only be released in the theatrical cut on the DVD. If one were to want to see an unrated cut--which is the last hope some of us had for a Saw VII we could live with--one would have to get the Blu-Ray.

(And in my case, a Blu-Ray player.)

So, fuck them.

Saw 3D was a letter to Saw fans like me (the ones who cared about stronger writing and characterization)...a letter that was just two words long. And this is the exclaimation point.

(and to add further insult to injury, or just to add that extra dollop of cheese, they're calling it Saw: The Final Chapter on DVD.)

I feel so dirty.