Thursday, September 4, 2008



Nothing to add. I just want this to be on every site in the universe.

One's Just a Little Smarter Than the Other



During Sarah Palin's speech last night, the camera kept cutting to her lovely family and her adorable children. Who of course are to be kept off limits except for photo ops. After weathering the creepiness of my mom talking about how handsome Bristol's baby daddy was, I thought I'd had my fill of them. But I'm a real fan of this clip of her daughter combing the hair of the baby. I am not actually aware of her name, but going on her siblings I believe it is probably Trapper. Holding aside questions of why a baby needs its hair parted, I just wish this had happened at a better time. If only she had brought up her belief in Creationism, while her children looked on, grooming each other like monkeys.

Idiot



I usually don't watch MORNING JOE though I really should, because they play fantastic bumper music. Anyway, this douche bag just asked "Who's watching her children while she's working?" Are you fucking serious? If she was chosen in part to reveal sexism, and bait the media into chauvinism, it's working. Lawrence O'Donnell, you are officially demoted to my least favorite Irish guy on MSNBC. Don Draper called, he wants his era back.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Being President is Entirely About Character



Andrew Shepard for President. Apparently Keith Olbermann compared Obama's speech last night to Michael Douglas' address in THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, one of the three greatest movies ever played on TNT (the other two being SHAWKSHANK and IN THE LINE OF FIRE. They also play CON AIR, but that can not be held within the bounds of media, and therefore is not quantifiable). I think there are similarities. Another analogy was Ali's rope-a-dope. Last night I think Obama turned around and started wailing on Foreman's head, in this case McCain. We'll see how this Palin choice ends up. I don't think Biden has to wipe the floor with her, he just has to dance like a gentleman. We can't keep letting these people lower our expectations to any semblance of competence is a victory. This one goes out to the douchebag with the Miller Chill on the floor, and also to the Mexican guy who had to clean it up, which I do feel bad about. Ain't that America.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Crows Eat Tinfoil Because It's Delicious



I can't wait until I just hibernate between summers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Abraham Simpson for President



Payed for by John McCain for WHAT THE FUCK.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sakartvelo



This probably seems like it's posted ironically, but I have a sincere hope and admiration for the people of Georgia. Probably going to get into to this thing soon and hopefully halt this nonsense. In the meantime, the voice from 1:25-1:30 should stop Putin in his dirty tracks.
I watch things set in the desert, or in the snow, In Alaska, or Texas or Mexico, and I wonder How do people stay there? They were born there, of course. Well I was born here, but how do I stay here? I look directly out the window of my father's house and I see wind blowing our Korean neighbor's carefully tended Rose bushes, still dead. Suddenly I think how is this any better than rocks in the arid cliffs of Texas? Fuck, it's a lot worse. I'm sure an austere land like that rips the skin off your back and petrifies you, this place just sort of bleeds you out slowly. Cars go by, a lot, one of them even had really sweet rims. This country is rough on people.

Simulcast en Espanol


Obviously when discussing the best things on television, we are exempting HARD KNOCKS: LIFE IN THE DALLAS COWBOYS TRAINING CAMP, because otherwise things are not fair. Also BAD BOYS is usually on somewhere on TV.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Get Some



"Perfectly tuned Ferraris in a demolition derby"- Iceman

GENERATION KILL is the best thing on television right now. Episode 5 airs tonight, two left. Full appreciation to follow. Also, for the ladies, Jessica assures me these boys are so hot. Get some.

The Duke of New York

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Really Wish People Would Stop Dying



Never had a particular affinity for Bernie, other than to say pretty much everything he did made me laugh. That's probably the best thing I could say.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Our Dumb Century


This overhead shot of fireworks is amazingly BLADE RUNNER.

There is no fucking way on earth I am live-blogging the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I just happen to be watching it while I write this. There also happens to be a Russian war going on while I write this, but no one cares. John Edward's lovechild is probably also watching this, but I don't care. Except, like I said to Casey, how he could have seriously fucked us if he'd been the nominee (affair happened in 2006. What a total fuckmook.)

This is some crazy shit, I do have to say. We've finally got goose-stepping back in the opening ceremonies. And who warrants sitting between Putin and Bush, who I want to be drinking beers together right now, but at least they're talking. A lot of this is sort of restaurant music with Cirque du Soleil choreography, but some of this is damned impressive.

I was going to turn this into some big statement on my lack of apathy, or apathy, but the bottom line is they're entitled to their evil, and their overcrowding, and their pollution, and also their grandeur. This is definitely their time, and that was a hell of a show. If they can just keep it up for the next hundred years or so we'll be cool.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Truer Words

"Blogging is like masturbating into a mirror while you videotape yourself so you can watch it later while masturbating."
~ Lewis Black

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Power of Love



"I can't decide if it was funny or I thought it was funny because I was high" my friend Jessica asked me via text, after we'd both just walked out of the midnight show. It was funny. In fits and starts, and some people were more funny than others, but it was funny.

I suppose stoner action comedies might operate as if they were made by people who were high, and there's some of that in this film. There are also parts that are quite wonderful. For the first 75%, there's a relaxed reggae vibes to the scenes between action, and the action scenes are uneven but occasionally excellent. David Gordon Green, whose GEORGE WASHINGTON and ALL THE REAL GIRLS stand as two of the best original films of the decade, has no background to suggest he would knock this film out of the park, and he doesn't, quite. His style is largely sublimated, and this film largely consists of two shots and average cinematography, though he wrings some great performances and has a facility for broad comedy only touched upon in ATRG.

Those performances really are the true grace of the movie, in particular James Franco's Saul and Danny McBride's Red. Seth Rogen is fine in the lead, but I'm still not convinced he's not better as a satellite character. He's as good here though as he was in KNOCKED UP. McBride however has massive potential, too ugly to ever carry a picture, but maybe one day able to do what Will Ferrell only dreamed of. He reminds me a little bit of a slim Horatio Sanz, and I think we all know Sanz' real name is Talent.

Franco, for reasons unbeknownst to this filmmaking process, is the true treasure. Obviously far too good looking to be allowed his character acting immediately, he has finally found his nature. With his idiosyncratic shadings, he plays this role like, and I hate to say so, Heath Ledger would have. I took comfort that after a good 8 years of trying to make him a leading man, by playing a pot dealer in pajamas he has emerged as the greatest living actor of his generation, or at least moment. And he is, hands down, the funniest and most affecting person in the film.

Rosie Perez, last seen harassing Woody Harrelson, is also in the picture. She's completely wasted though, as is Gary Cole. Smarter writing would have made these two characters one character. Honestly who wouldn't rather be watching Rosie as the witchy head of a drug syndicate? The Asian villains who also factor into the nonsense are too broad. Maybe just by accident, but the rest of the picture feels real. Kevin Corrigan, who really could be the next Christopher Walken, manages to amuse with lines that are not amusing. Much of this film is hampered by the same thing that has hampered even the best films of the Farrelly Brothers- in a comedy, everyone should be funny. Enough with the straight-man hoody guys.

Unless, however, you want to aspire to be an all-time action comedy, like MIDNIGHT RUN or LETHAL WEAPON 2, in which case you'd probably reverse the lead roles and have a lot more shootouts. When the third act comes, and fuck HANCOCK, it's the worst third act I've seen all year, I can't be sure whether this film is a parody, an homage, or a continuation of action excess. Frankly, HOT FUZZ did it much better.

Still, it's really really really funny. Like its forbearer and spiritual cousin, SUPERBAD, this film's first act is pure bliss. While we discover the characters rhythms and become lulled by their speech patterns, it reaches heights of scatological and drugged-out perfection. Rogen and Evan Goldberg are excellent writers of dialogue, and will one day I'm sure write a great screenplay. In the film's best scene, perfectly capturing what it feels like to grow up and still be a loser, Rogen's Dale returns to high school to visit his girlfriend, and gets into what he thinks is a pissing contest with a hot young stud who apparently does a great Jeff Goldblum impersonation. It's a scene that ultimately falls short, like the film. A Jeff Goldbum impersonation is something magical, like saying you've been to Africa. You don't tease with it.

Grade: B+

Somebody Gets it



Don't these songs sound like they belong in a Wes Anderson movie? we said to ourselves and our friends, as Vampire Weekend's epymonious debut album provided the soundtrack to our winter of discontent. Well, somebody listened. While A Punk's video was a cute and antic mash of sweaters and high speed, this is a classy homage to Mr. A. These are smart guys, as their Ivy league educations and wardrobes convey. I'm sure I'm supposed to be ejaculatory about how this is a single take, but frankly I'm burned out on that. Batman has shown me the joy of cuts, perhaps more than is necessary. Would you like to know how I got these cuts?

I'm glad they listened, but this was such a no brainer I can't be too excited. I know I'm late to the party on this, but then Justin just bought their album last week. We're all in our own little MediaPod. I'm never going to care who Ezra is, but I'm glad he has his lead singer as music video leading man moment. And this song will always be unstoppable. This video is very well made. It's not like something that would happen if someone had won a radio contest. Still I don't think they quite nailed Wes, but it's important they got it. Next for collective consciousness let's all think about how good the singles off Carter III would sound on a space ship. And it will be done.

I have no conception of buzz, and I feel like I'd have to leave my place more to know if people still care about this band. Winter's ghost had better stay hot if it wants to last. We'll see.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Campy David



This was probably just the right approach to take. Obviously the less and less amusing horrors of the Bush Administration pour out every day, but as far as the story of his improbable rise, how could you take anything but a comic tone? Scott Glenn as Rumsfeld and Richard Dreyfuss as Cheney seem to know what they're doing. James Cromwell seems less sucessfully cast. Brolin had better bring it, because this is his time.

This project is probably terribly misguided, but it could also be face-meltingly insane.

Monday, July 21, 2008

You Cannot Be Serious!



Notice how he keeps talking regardless of what is being said to him. He's becoming Milton.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Killing Joke


Eventually Batman had to become a man of his time. For all of his social prominence he's always stood outside the eras of the films he's appeared. Especially those fucking little candy cheap-shit bush-league mother-fucking ass-clown third and fourth ones. I love it, but I'm man enough to say BATMAN FOREVER sucks despite its delicious ingredients. Being America, we are not defined by salads but by mixing bowls, and we are not able to excuse shit despite the presence of carrots. Especially since carrots are so good for our eyesight. As for BATMAN & ROBIN, let us not speak of that. All I need to say is that Foreigner still own the phrase 'Cold as Ice'.

This time, even more than in BEGINS we have a Batman who is entirely of his time. There is a raging debate now more than a month old over whether or not the film is conservative. This debate is largely retarded. The worst is the suggestion that Bruce Wayne is George W. Bush, hated for doing what is necessary but understood by those willing to acknowledge evil enough to combat it. This suggestion was clearly started by George W. Bush, in some chatroom using the handle BushMan. I feel much more confident in the fact that it is dealing with the issues of the day- What is an appropriate response to terror? What is the appropriate response to terrorism? How does one fight these abstractions?

It's also a fucking movie. And it kicks ass. Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman. These are manly names that get the heart racing. An absurdly handsome Latino named Nester Carbonell (Holy Shit he's the dude from SMOKIN' ACES, the worst movie I've ever seen five times) plays the Latino Mayor of Gotham, which means they are about 30 years ahead of us. Indie Queen Maggie Gyllenhall acquits herself admirably in the role of Rachel, certainly miles better than Katie Holmes, but it really is one the worst female roles ever, even if this time she gets to wear vests like Annie Hall.

If Heath Ledger were alive and playing at your house, his role in this movie would probably still make you cry. There is something absolutely sick to the core about this character. Obviously he's the reason the boys line up ten times in a row, but I'll never forget how disturbed my audience was by him. He has some punch-lines, but all the laughter was like nervous titters in a haunted house. Like Batman being a man of his time, this Joker has an ethos, even if it is chaos. His speech against the "schemers" and planners is probably the most relatable thing a movie villain has ever said. He's too psycho to root for, but when righteousness takes over at the end, it's a little bit disappointing, because in your heart you know he's right about us.

So why the hell is everybody talking about the next one? (DARK KNIGHT RETURNS? CAPED CRUSADER? I'm much more of a fan of the fan art title GOTHAM CITY. Should probably go with RAMBO: DARK KNIGHT PART II). It's only been a god damn month though. This is to be savored.

Are heros getting less heroic, or is our desire for heroism shrinking? Maybe it's not what we're looking for in this kind of movie. The only things Batman actually kills, as far as I know, are two nasty Rotweillers. THE DARK KNIGHT is too much about consequences of violence to be a film for sadists (an argument people at far too high a level of respectability have made), but in the dark of the matinee, we can take any pleasures we want. For some of us it's Batman pounding on people, for others it's the relentless pyrotechnics, and at 500 million dollars I'm sure for some it's the yelps of those dogs as they fall off a skyscraper. I could never be Batman, because I have no concern for the protection of such innocents. When I had a dog, I would always worry about their safety. Now, when I see them lumbering towards a man in body armor who knows six kinds of karate, all I can think is Kill That Bitch.

Grade: A

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Looks Like the Grammys Have Their Hip Album Nominee, If They Decide He's Old Enough


Though never driven by lyricism as much as his reputation might suggest, with lines such as "move through the room like ambulance drivers", Beck could be accused of what we might call first-draft stream of imagery. His closest peers are probably in the Hip Hop game, where meter and rhythm rule and wordplay means exactly that. He's been doing it for 14 years now, most of my existence and a substantial chunk of his adult life. If it can't break, why fix it?

So why does his new album MODERN GUILT hit me so hard? Is it because, even more than usual, I can't quite be sure of what he's saying? Or is it because for the first time I'm certain he can't be sure of it either? I've been writing Beck off for a long time, pretty much since 'Where It's At' climbed to an astounding height of popularity in a late 90s America too serene to realize how weird the thing was. Occasionally I'd check in like a prison guard looking through the slot on the door, happy to find him reading by himself, or dancing on Letterman with Borat.

With the driving 'Sexxx Laws' he seemed to be gunning for the title of our Minister of Irony, but then he seemed to shy away from that with SEA CHANGE, converted to something spare and stale like Damascus in reverse. Events like the death of Jeremy Blake reminded us of how quietly present Beck still was in our pop culture elite, one of the brightest stars not to cast his own orbit.

Is he feeling guilty about this? Perhaps, or how else to explain his teaming up with Danger Mouse, except that is seems like such a natural fit. With backing exhalations and moans that would have been at home on Man Man's first two LP's and Super Mario keyboard jaunts I would have loved to have heard Elliot Smith lay real wristcutters over, this is Beck at his most relaxed and amusing. It's not like reverb and distortion so much as these songs are being whispered at you.

I could quote lyrics and determine intentions, but it's be more fun to tell you for instance that I dont know what the hell 'Gamma Ray' is, but I do know there's only way to dance to it, and it's over 40 years old. I suppose you could read something deep into the ramblings title track, except this is the man whose had a Devil's Haircut on his mind for quite some time. I'm not lucky enough for 'Soul of a Man' to be about DMX's short-lived and hilarious BET reality series, so I'm just going to say Beck's too smart for that title to not be ironic.

'Profanity Prayers', on the other hand, is as strong as any song I've heard this year, even if you could be forgiven for finding the production more Gnarls rejected refuse than anything else Danger does on here. But even with Beck's absolute non-chalance, it's absolutely propulsive.

Mr. Hansen is reaching the age where to ensure his fashionability he must acknowledge his irrelevance. Still, unlike some of the mid-life crissys of his generation, Beck yields nothing. Maybe he just doesn't know. Or maybe unlike Rivers Cuomo, he doesn't have to worry about losing his hair. Even so, like Malkmus before him, he'd rather just riff. The great ones know that as we age there are some thoughts best left to ourselves. He has the rest of his life to turn 40.

Grade: A-

P.S.: the damn thing is only 33 minutes, making it suitable for any occasion.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tin Roof, Rusted


Edward Norton is ready to play Jesus. Pale, amazingly thin and with long slender arms offered outward, he's decked out beatifically in beggar garb several times in THE INCREDIBLE HULK, just one example of a film that, more often than not has no fucking idea what it's doing aesthetically.

Coming five years after Ang Lee's universally despised (though not by me) HULK, this one is generally more interested in getting down to business. Call it a reboot or a sequel, it features an all new cast that is a step down from the previous iteration, with the exception of Norton. Liv Tyler is burdened with a dumb character arc of apparently really wanting to see the green boy's hulked-out cock, and William Hurt is egregiously bad. I would say he phoned it in and cashed a check, but based on his performance here, he probably ate the check.

Meanwhile as the new villain, Tim Roth fairs much better, capturing the sweaty insecurity of a small, aging guy who wants to even the playing field. Without this nuance the ways in which Hurt's General Ross takes advantage of him wouldn't be plausible. His character immediately becomes uninteresting when he transforms into a crusty Hulk-sized monster for the final fight. Tim Blake Nelson is fine as Samuel Stern, setup to appear as The Leader in a later sequel (or AVENGERS film), whose look will probably have to be changed because of his resemblance to the brain guy in the Ambiguously Gay Duo.

Edward Norton really carries this thing though, bringing none of the apprehensiveness he brought to his last franchise sell-out appearance, RED DRAGON. One of the bigger problems I did have with the first HULK was Eric Bana being far too attractive and masculine to fit the model of bashful underachiever turned hero. The real genius of Marvel has been its ability to tap into vicarious desires by having its alteregos be dweebs on the level of Peter Parker or Bruce Banner. Even Tony Stark, as portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., is kind of a dork if you think about it.

So if Norton is not the problem, what then? The truth of it is the Hulk is just not a very compelling character, and made less so with the seqboot's further muddying of the thematic waters. Whereas before the gamma radiation tapped into Banner's anger that was already there, now apparently it merely preys on heart rate. 'You won't like me when my pulse is elevated?' Seriously?

Two positives I will include are a generally fascinating opening act set mostly in a Brazillian slum, in particular a sequence in which Banner takes some form of martial arts/yoga class to learn to control his anger. His teacher uses his few moments to make a great impression, and I could have used more of him. Another would be the all too rare use of Arlington, Virginia as the location of the Pentagon. I wish I could say this movie hit me where I lived because it was set where I lived, but it didn't.

And of course, in hiding, Bruce spends his lonely days with some kind of mangy stray mutt. The same black and white texture, the unkempt hair, the warm expression. You watch enough of these things, you realize it's always the same movie, because it's always the same dog.

Grade: C+

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Constructive Summer




HIATUS!

Summer term is already kicking my ass. Not that I write that much already, but it's going to be severely toned down around here for the time being. See you in August. I am glad that I had to save a picture of Batman onto a school computer to write this.

Yours in Christ,
Marshall

UPDATE!:

never mind.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Kids Came From Miles Around to Get Messed Up on the Music

Top Ten Songs I'm Looking Forward to The Hold Steady Kicking My Ass With:

10) Chillout Tent- This song is so dynamite except I've never cared for the other vocalists. I assume since this is live that part will be played by us, or as its going to be in Baltimore, John Waters and Patti Hitler.

9) Stay Positive- a newby but goodie, and sure to be an absolute monster live. Call and response, please.

8) You Gotta Dance With Who You Came to the Dance With- or, preferably, strangers.

7) Cattle and the Creeping Things- I can only imagine this is tremendously strange in person. Nice change of pace.

6) Sequestered in Memphis- another newborn baby, but I love it dearly and have commited it to memory. Except for until recently I thought he was saying Christmas, not business. Best sing-a-long since Mary Poppins.

5) Your Little Hoodrat Friend- I imagine the enormous appeal of this song is increased exponentially if you are actually surrounded by hoodrats. Fingers crossed.

4) First Night- I've been trying to quit smoking, but I keep lighters for occasions such as huge daddy power ballads.

3) Massive Nights- ever seen a white kid bouncing up and down like a douchebag to a cool bassline? It's awesome, isn't it?

2) How a Ressurection Really Feels- I assume, since we've already expended the lighter waving during the power ballad, we are obligated to set ourselves on fire.

1) The Swish- Fuck Yeah.

TONIGHT!

Don't Sweat the Petty Things



Yeah John Lennon & Yoko Ono & George Carlin. And Richard Nixon in the White House. I know I hate this fucking era too. Especially when confronted with the olden days and the really bizarre single pop culture. Also knowing I'll never watch a talk show where three out of four people are high. I could probably spin this into some bigger cultural treatise, but I'm wearing a towel and getting ready for a concert, and just not in the mood.

One important thing for the reader of my blog, whoever you may be, is that on Saturday night on its regularly scheduled time SNL will be playing its original episode from 1974, hosted by none other than George Carlin. There are clips up on NBC.com that aren't embed friendly, but its a cool opportunity to see the Not Ready for Primetime Players and the show when it was actually good. It's also history. I unfortunately won't be able to watch as I will be at an undisclosed location with the Vice President or just vice.

Watch that video and tell me the last fourty years haven't been one miserable comedown.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Favorite Moment in the History of Government



This lightweight is actually Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff? I imagine their daily interaction is very Peter vs. Lumberg, with about ten motherfuckers thrown in. Pretty sure Delahunt directly threatened him with a personal terrorist attack. He's flush with pride after the Sawx and the Celts, clearly he feels Al Qaeda is due for another championship. If you found that statement offensive you should hear what I thought but didn't type. Clearly Congressman should only be from the South or New England. MOLASSSSESSSSSSSSSSSSS to RUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Hey Ladies



BILL MURRAY IS SINGLE!!!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Than a Feeling

As I begin to write this, the starters have been taken off the court and there are substantial audio drop outs, I am hoping because Garnett and Pierce are just yelling FUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKK.

Ray Allen losing his eye and having it replaced with a cyborg one. When basketball is perfected it will at least 40% starters jogging back out slowly into the arena midgame. Paul Pierce is the man of the year. His decision making and charisma are unmatched. Later, when he takes off his sweatband he will be the most handsome man I have ever seen. Garnett's celebration takes my breath away. Usually it takes Kevin Costner to make me cry, but this is close. Did he say hyped or high? I feel like Garnett would be really good to hang out with. He's very down to earth, clearly. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Trademarked immediately I'm sure.

The big three are the new holy trinity. This is not the SuperFriends, this is the god damn Justice League of America.

This is unquestionably the greatest finals game of my lifetime. I haven't payed much attention since the glory days of the Chicago Bulls, but this was a wondrous rout. Sure Alonzo using his dying moments to inspire the Heat was stellar (he's alive?) and the Lakers had some flashy moments, but this was a game for the ages. Not so much a game as god damn human sacrifice. En fucking masse. A fucking Aztec coronation. Hearts are being held aloft still beating and blood is flowing down the temple steps.

Basement Tapes



I'm really just interested in the clip from Fox at the end, though Stewart does an admirable job throughout. He makes excellent points and is truly our greatest living critic of media. I refuse to directly post a Fox news clip. In the words of Agent Smith, I fear I may become infected by it.

The media in general has being a pathetic echo chamber, but no one else has become dangerous in the way Fox has. Maybe just because its audience is so stupid and impressionable, but more likely because it spends so much time manipulating people it knows are stupid.

Now it's sputtering and becoming a joke. This accusation of plagiarism, which Stewart implodes so well, is truly sad. It says everything about conservativism that two politicians a generation apart talking about the same economic strife appears to be plagiarism. There are still people hurting just like they were before Reagan. That's right, he really didn't make things better. He looked good on television but he was was a terrible actor. Clearly he continues to inspire these people every day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shock

"What's the point of being Irish if you don't know the world is going to break your heart?" - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Brief dispatch from Casa de Girlfriend in New York on the news of the death of Tim Russert. I'm not even really ready to think about a world he's not a part of yet. I couldn't bear the maudlin spectacle NBC must have prepared for the death of anyone. I decided to sing Danny Boy in the shower loud enough that a guy upstairs banged on the floor.

For someone interested in Political journalism, this is like the death of the Pope; the day the music died. Dissemblers, propagandists and fuckheads, breathe easy. Your greatest enemy is gone.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Live-Blogging the Death of an Era


8:39 PM: Preparing for battle by indulging in Fig Newtons, a cookie I haven't had in about ten years. This is terrible idea, and just reminds me of Sunday school.

8:42 PM: There's an Indian American Governor on TV right now talking in a Southern accent, and yet Apu offends them?

8:47-8:55: I can't stand to watch McCain speak. Sometimes he looks like he's still in captivity.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III. Hoffman owns this movie.

9:00: Barack Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee for President. Chris Matthews is holding back tears, and that is why he is a true daddy.

9:02: Keith Olby lays the black struggle out quite nicely. I was just thinking, as far as I can recall, no nation has ever elected a racial minority as its leader.

9:05: MSNBC is unreal. Matthews is quoting Desmond Tutu. Brokaw is talking about 1968,I think he wrote book about it, but it's still touching. Now that Obama is the presumptive nominee, they've given him a new, more commanding photo. This guy is gonna be on money.

9:09: HAROLD FORD. Is analyzing colors. Green represents the future. Second black president. Amazing.

9:18: Andrea Mitchell reports exclusively that Clinton plans to meet Obama as soon as possible, probably at AIPAC. Matthews immediately gets upset a secret meeting was revealed, and makes a disgusted look at Mitchell. Hmm. Maybe he sort of doesn't like women. Dad comes into the room 'Why is she on TV?!'. Definetly doesn't like women.

9:20: Yeahhhh. Panel. Gregory. Robinson. Buchanan. Sighhhh, Maddow. Patty Buck is pretty upset that a black man is going to be the nominee. He makes excellent points about doing to VP offer carefully to not appear weak. South

9:22: Hillary wins South Dakota? Been reading about it but WTF? Get ready for Vice President Clinton.

9:30: Dinner's on. My dad is basically throwing a party.

9:56: Hillary Clinton makes a damn good speech, albeit to an audience in a basement arena that could survive a nuclear attack, with no TV monitors. They are blissfully unaware Obama has clinched.

10:00: Obama wins Montana, ending the primary season on a high.

10:15: Obama has just declared victory, classily. The crowd roars. I just realize this is taking place in the site of the GOP Convention in August. Brilliant. In the coliseummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

10:30: Obama stemwinder. Favorite line so far: I will honor McCain's accomplishment's, evenifhe refuses to acknowledge mine.

10:33: My friend Jessica texts: "Typical of hillz to concede without conceding"

10:45: Not sure about the music choices tonight. Hillary picks Tom Petty's I Won't Back Down, which is troubling. Obama opens with U2's Beautiful Day and closes with Bruce's The Rising. Messianic perhaps but sexy.

11:10: Dear god Terry McAullife on The Daily Show. He's become even more of a WWE character than Howard Dean. Insane.

Well that's about it for me. On to fall asleep watching HBO Signature or StarzEdge. Ugh Mencia ad. Carlos Mencia is a great example of why it takes a truly brave person to even want to lead this country.

As for my own musical choice, I just finally downloaded The Strokes' Room on Fire, I've been spinning it, I'd forgotten how solid it was. It ends, perfectly, with the tracks The Way It Is, The End Has No End, and I Can't Win. Hilldog are you listening?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mama Said Knock You Out



A person will understand when it's dying, and accept. An animal usually will not. Saturday night, for all of C-Span viewer(s?)to see, the Clinton Political Animal, a 15 year ruling faction based on conspiratorial insecurity and centrist cowardice was finally wounded fatally. Don't expect it to go quietly, mind you.

Here are two delicious items, lifted entirely from my perusal of Daily Kos:

Delegates: Pledged Super Total Needed
Obama 1,724.5 328.5 2,053 64

Clinton 1,586.5 290 1,876.5 240.5

Remaining 86 205 291

(2,117 delegates needed for victory)

And second, a big bad quote from MSNBC's Chuck Todd, a man I value much more these days than Tim Russert, who is quickly becoming the Chris Berman of politics:

"You know, there is a big thing we should be getting out of this party tonight, and that is the Democratic National Committee is not somehow controlled by the Clintons. Not by the Clinton campaign any more. We may have started this campaign believing that the Clinton campaign controlled, but this is Barack Obama's party now. He's already been winning the outside game, he now won the inside game. Yes it's true that Harold Ickes can threaten this stuff about the credentials, but Don Fowler really did signal today by being for the Michigan compromise that, "Guys, it's over."

Congressman Wexler was undoubtedly the all-star of the Pro-Obama speakers, though Sky Marshal Donna Brazile continues to amaze. I'm trying to find video of his statements, but I can't yet. Just imagine a younger handsome Jewish version of Joe Biden. I mean, more than you do normally.

Happy June

No, the year is not already half over. Count it on your fingers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Leave Kentucky



Hey baby, what does KY mean to you?

Last competitive primaries on the calendar, really. Hopefully Oregon's totals will be so gargantuan as to really pull a lid on it. I'll be drowning my sorrows and trying to forget that Kentucky is even part of the United States. Big Brown certainly has.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

True Primary Colors (The Media Giveth, and Go Fuck Yourself)

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/05/13/carville-obama-likely-to-win-nomination/

My apologies for the crude link, I still can't figure out how to sexily insert them into words, and in fact I would have probably hyperlinked the word sexily.

I can feel the love for Carville already returning to me. I'd been really turned off by his dismissal of Obama for the last two years(!), though in fairness he never approached he Paul Begala levels of offensiveness ("I know chocolate is delicious, but it's bad for you"). Still, with his statements and advise in this article, I can be reminded why I so admire him in the first place, so much so as to even audit a course taught by the illustrious Cajun at my ghetto fabulous community college.

James Carville, in addition to being a hilarious and completely original character in the political scene, is a truly great Democrat. I can recall the ways in which he would cheerfully explain the value and supremacy of progessive ideas to all manner of students, the objectivity of A Survey in American Politics be damned. A Happy Warrior in the HH Humphrey tradition, and not a sick political animal in the Lee Atwater/Dick Morris mold.

Though I can get mad at my own mother for her blind loyalty, I can't really blame Carville for his continued support of Senator Clinton. He's been consigliere to the Clinton family for way too long to get wishy-washy now. As much as I'd love for him to grow a beard and put on some khakis and pull a switch like Bill Richardson, it's down with the ship and I admire that. Paul Begala will meanwhile remain forever trapped in a box on CNN, sitting in front of a fake plant in between two paintings of plants.

Some of Carville's advise is damn good. His ideas for running mates are more creative than I've heard pretty much anywhere, and though he doesn't mention my personal Tiger Beat obsession James Webb, it's just the type of thinking that will do the Obama campaign damn good in the general. He's just the type of Southern Democrat the party needs to thrive and grow. A little more ragin', a little bit less John Edwards.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Old Enough to Know Better


What's expected of a woman is different from what's expected of a man. Usually what's expected of a woman is much more. That is unfair. This country has been unfair to Hillary Clinton for a long time.

She chose to be a public figure, and surely didn't shy away from the spotlight. She expanded the role of First Lady from its historic duties, and she never fit the old fashioned view of a woman's place in the world. Amazingly, she was actually on the vanguard merely by having a career of her own. She was accused of being abrasive in a way that wasn't feminine, and perhaps she was, as her personal defects later led to huge embarassment, as in the Health Care debacle.

Later, when her loyalty to her own personal ambition and to the alliance of her marriage caused her to defend Bill's abhorent behavior, she become a brief pariah of the feminist movement, Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man writ large. What is expected of a woman during adultery is so schizo, especially a public figure, as to also be enormously unfair. Yet there is a flip side to all of this:

What would be expected of Hillary Clinton if she were a man? Would she still be in the race? Would her mischaracterizations, half-truths and damn dirty lies be tolerated even half as much as they are?

The truth of it is, as much as I have felt bad for Hillary Clinton in the past 15 years, she is not a good person. She has repeatedly dissembled, switched, or voted against her conscience (to the extent she has one), in the interest of her further success. Many Democrats cowardly supported the Iraq invasion, but few fought for it as strongly as Clinton, even going so far as to debate anti-war groups outside her Senate office. The Clintons have long had a hang up with using belligerence to distract from scandals or their own shortcomings, as far back as Bill bombing a Sudanese medicine factory in an attempt to get Lewinsky out of the news cycle.

Yet with 4000 dead, tens of thousands of Americans scarred and wounded and possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, with more of this shit every day, not to mention one madman replaced by thousands, well, such a strident advocacy for this clusterfuck should be enough to disqualify someone from the Presidency. Not to mention her steadfast refusal to acknowledge the mistake for more than a year. I bet if you pressed her now she still wouldn't really.

This really strikes at the heart of the argument against Hillary. This idea she has the experience and judgement to be President unique among the two candidates.

Hillary Clinton has been a Senator for 8 years, and a practicing one for six. For that entire period she has been triangulating and compromising with her future Presidential run in mind. What contributions can she point to? Co-sponsoring of any major legislation? Again, her greatest accomplishment was her full-throated support for the Iraq invasion.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama has been a legislator for 11 years, with serious accomplishments on both the state and nationa level. He's taken a major lead on issues like Nuclear proliferation and Lobbying reform, and made alliances across the aisle with Senators like Dick Lugar and Chuck Hagel. If you examine their governing records it's clear who has established a better case for the Presidency.

So in the face of all of this, what does Clinton do? She has her surrogates repeatedly play the gender card, suggesting that every slight, loss, or suggestion she leave the race is a criticism of her gender. She has aides like Lanny Davis go so far as to suggest her opponents are telling her to "get back in the kitchen".

She wants to be judged as an equal except when it suits her. She wants us to admire her for a toughness that is supposed to assuage our desire for a strong masculine prescence, except when we're supposed to be touched by her feminine moments of vulnerability. She plays into the different set of standards for a woman, where we all know that if I man had broken down and cried for what seemed to be the selfish reasons of possibly losing a primary, they'd catch hell for it (See: Ed Muskie).

Yet every day, Barack Obama gets closer to being the Democratic nominee, and hopefully the next President. But Hillary Clinton can still do enormous damage to him, and to the part. She can distract him from beginning to form a cohesive message against John McCain, and she can bare the social, racial and economic rifts in the Democratic party. I would rather lose the general election than win with her racist coalition, if it comes to that.

It won't though. The truth is, we are seeing the end of a strange and sad era in American politics. What's best for this nation and what's best for the Clintons are finally in opposition, and it is time for them to leave the stage. For most, this is a cause for rejoiciing. If Barack Obama is sworn in as President in January 2009, it will be one of the proudest days in the history of this nation. There are some who will not rejoice, and who will even stand in the way. The walls are closing in on them. Cry baby, cry.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Stuff White People Like: The Pope



When Divine put on a dress, he was a fag. When Cardinal Ratzinger puts one on, he's "beatific". That Popemobile is pimped out though.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Incest is Just Another Kind of Sex, in Some Instances It Might Even Be Preferable



Everybody today is debating the evolution of man, but twenty years ago it was about oral sex in hair metal songs. No man ever had a more satisfying evolution than Frank Zappa. From a hippy monster to a clean cut advocate, albeit John Waters character. No greater advocate for artistry, and perhaps incest or at least Darling Nikki masturbating to a magazine, has ever existed.

You've gotta love the conservative arguing that the Amendments to the Constitution are negotiable. But when he turns around and says laws are "words" and then completely flips the idea of the serious and connotation of words, I almost lost my shit.

It's so insane that this government actually tried to take a stand against Prince and Duran Duran while we were fighting the Cold War. Just as it's insane John Ashcroft thought Tommy Chong's online blog store was a greater threat than Osama Bin Laden.

It's a good thing this didn't turn into a fascist theocracy. Also, even if he hadn't won on points, he'd still win on default because he's the inspiration for Smoke on the Water. Dunnn dunn dunn, dunn dunn da dunnn.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Valley, or: Public Displays of Affection

Those romantic moments when people kiss
In the middle of the road
And stop traffic they never do it
On the New Jersey turnpike
Do they not want to stop that much traffic?
Or does the convenience of that road
Seem antithetical to love?
I want to kiss you on the Garden State Parkway
Where the strangest people say the devil is hiding
Legend has it he stands between you and your car
And you end up having to stay the night
We'd be between cities and have plenty of things to do
This is a vision of the future
Almost further than I've ever been able to see before
Still I'll have to put it on a list of requests
Or a list of regrets
It's absurd how much of my life I've spent away from the ocean
In the furthest vision I've ever had
I shacked up with a woman from Pittsburgh
Who told me that love was the original sin
And that sin was originally from Cleveland

From My Cold Dead Hands


While this blog will never be accused of timeliness, I feel remiss for not addressing the death of Charlton Heston before now. I come to bury him not to praise him? As I consider his passing I am struck by all the recent death I have avoided, as I am hoping not to become a eulogy/poetry site, as awesome as that may be.

For several reasons I don't play dead pools (do these still exist outside CSI MIAMI? Does anything?), but if I did I would have made a lot of money off of Chuck. I can recall no more than two weeks ago emerging from my room after reading an item in Parade Magazine and informing my father "did you read Charlton Heston is dying" and then exactly one week later to the minute my father emerging from his having read the Washington Post to inform me "did you read Charlton Heston died?". Why are we all so enamored of telling others of someone's passing? I think people are probably more interested in playing the Angel of Death than in playing God. Except maybe heart surgeons, fingers crossed.

Charlton Heston, Paul Scofield, Arthur C. Clarke, Richard Widmark. All excellent men, all men people thought had probably died many years ago, and maybe they had. Not to mention Jules Dassin, the director of the brilliant RIFIFI and the awesome TOPKAPI. This will probably become a film blog, as it's the only thing I can credibly write about, but not now.


Richard Widmark, whose awesomeness I was only recently discovering, with films like PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, but my strongest memory is still watching him in JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG at my Uncle Dick's house with my father when I was 7. I feel like it was probably more awkward for him to tell me about the Holocaust than it was for him to talk about sex. It's certainly the most halting and slow he's ever been in trying to explain anything. Maybe he thought I wasn't ready to understand total evil, or maybe he just thought Spencer Tracy and Widmark had already done an adequate enough job and I was wasting his time.

Arthur C. Clarke, who along with Isaac Asimov was probably the true genius of Science Fiction. He was creating worlds that actually have happened, or will. One of the coolest things my father ever gave me was a box full of his favorite Sci-Fi. The title of one of them is actually the name of this blog. FIRST AND LAST MEN, a pretty bizzare but awesome supposition on the future evolution of man, with its Hegelian ideas about the ever constant rise. I personally choose to believe in Vonnegut's vision that we will evolve into an aquatic species that hunts for fish like seals do, but it's still a great read. Nevertheless, Clarke's CHILDHOOD'S END is a book I have a personal relationship with. I first took it off the cart when I was still in restraints, as a guest of the state. It was about 3 weeks after I'd gotten there, and it was the first time I realized there was a book cart because of course no one told me. I truly believe it pulled me out of madness. That and the love of my family, but that's not an escape. It's a really strange work, with a perhaps simplistic allegory at the center, but it's an awesome vision of the future and a wonderful humanist take at religion. Probably should have written him a letter while I had the chance, though I have no idea how to mail something to Sri Lanka.


A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS is a movie they make you watch in school, of course when you're too young and you think it's boring. But Paul Scofield really is brilliant in it. I was told about it long before I saw it, and my father gave me his personal copy of the play with notes scribbled from his days at Georgetown, almost 45 years ago. It's still quite odd for me to think about my father as a student like I am now, and not only because he was doing so much better. He's really sort of retreated into a stubborn mindset that it's hard to fathom him being educated, with Pat Buchanan and Bill Clinton at his side no less in the swinging '60s. There's a statue to St. Thomas More near his house, who Paul Scofield played in the movie. Since I don't really believe in those things, I prefer to think of it as a statue to Scofield and to the time when when everybody smoked and they made square awesome biblical/relgious epics. It's cool the Pope is coming and all, but I look forward to the day when people can put t-shirts and football jerseys on Thomas More, or maybe Mardi Gras beads.

Speaking of biblical/religous epics, I finally return to the big daddy. How many times have you watched PLANET OF THE APES? That should probably be on the citizenship test. Heston was obviously not a great actor, but he was a great screen icon. The obits have dealt with all the big points. SAG President, Civil Rights activist, and of course in what most of them are considering some Whitmanesque multitude contradiction, President of the NRA. I've never been against guns, probably because I grew up with an uncle that tried to shoot elk to survive. For a month. Charlton just did it because he believed in it, because he thought guns were necessary. He had too many badass lines based on the threat of force not to. I choose to remember him as Hollywood's most ridiculous/awesome Mexican in TOUCH OF EVIL, and to quote it: He was some kind of man.


Are old time movie stars like World War 2 Veterans? I mean of course besides the ones who actually were. As we lose more of them do we lose a little bit of what America used to be? I don't mean the bad, but the musky, the Studebakers, the ridiculous high levels of pomade, good posture, great handwriting, stoicism, scotch and cigars, the necktie? Will they live on forever in 12 reels? If they are immortal, is America?

When Sam Goldwyn was told Ronald Reagan was going to run for Governor, he was reported to have quipped "No no, Ronald Reagan for best friend, Jimmy Stewart for Governor."

Charlton Heston for President.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Stander

The brand new metal plates beneath the street
I feel them underneath my feet
For now I sing the small praises of public transport
Later I will be driven insane by the tales
Of a woman who mends birds
She has a state and local license to do so
For now I sing the small praises of public transport
As I find my way I weigh my options
I recommend we build: Invention
When I see families walking all together
I become concerned are we being bombed?
When I get home will I think of us?
A lot of good looking Russian men waiting for the bus

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thank God I Can't Vote



This clip leaves out Letterman's best jab, which is that McCain looks like the man at the hardware store who makes the keys. He really does. They should probably turn this into some kind of advantage, with a stupid nickname and a cheesy ad campaign.

"Only one man can make the keys to ensure America's prosperity and safety", and then show him handing out keys, preferably to children who smile.

Point is, I think McCain is really an excellent man. Talk shows are probably much more important to me than policy, and if he weren't so insane on the war, whoa daddy. It's a dangerous proposition. He really is a liberal's worst nightmare, though this liberal's worst nightmare is two totally unhot gay guys getting married and ruining it for the rest.

For the present, because Mommy and Daddy are fighting, McCain is allowed to relax and define himself exactly as he wishes. The Olberman's aren't doing much damage. When he picks a running mate and as we get towards the general it's possible he'll drape himself in conservatism and become more depressingly Republican. He may actually not give a fuck though. Watch out.

Breaking news: Bill O'Reilly says 'Obama' like my Nana used to say pie, or cookies. Would you like some Obama? Would you? Fix yourself a piece.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Natural Bridge

There are things in your house that you don't own
Things you own that you don't use
People you know that you never speak to
Friends you have who dont know who you are

There are days you wish you could remember
Nights that feel like they'll never end
Places you could get to before you wanted to
Areas that are secret for no good reason

There are boxes filled with dust
Things before love you keep around you
Tools that fix what's not important
Levers, and pullies, and things that lift

There are times when it's fine to be afraid
Times when it seems right, and it is right
Things you do that feel like obligation
Love that feels wrong, and it is wrong

There are roads you never drive down
Your whole life you'd never need to
Sadness creeps up and fills your chest
Like water and then you're drowning

If you don't leave when it feels right
I dont even know what to tell you
The people who don't talk only stare
You can't look back it isn't fair

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Tom Cruise Drinking Game


Note: the above video is in no way an endorsement of the just released SUPERHERO MOVIE, or the wretched trend of new movie parodies in general. AIRPLANE is the greatest movie of all time probably, and THE NAKED GUN is a close second, but they have been embarassing for quite some time. Biggest problem: no one famous in them. God bless him, but Tracy Morgan is not Robert Stack.

The man's excellent impression is rather a jumping off point for me to discuss one of those most appealing parts of movie watching, and the reason why Tom Cruise is among the premier figures in the history of the planet: The Tom Cruise Drinking Game.

First Rule: drink whenever Tom Cruise is a slick bastard. While some of you may think this means drink whenever he is on screen, that is where you will run into trouble. Tom Cruise is actually an excellent actor, and becoming more so. You'll have more trouble with his later films, though there are plenty of slick moments in WAR OF THE WORLD (I'm sure people have died watching him make sandwiches). But from COLLATERAL to THE LAST SAMURAI, he's breaking freer and freer of his young slick days. (Caveat: One must drink the entire five minutes Cruise screams Sake! in SAMURAI, especially if one is drinking Sake).

From A FEW GOOD MEN to MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, you'll be provided with ample opportunity for this, if you know what to look for. Warning though, never attempt a Cruise marathon. That is like walking on the sun. You will die. Also, never attempt this alone. You will die. So gather the friends around, break out something stiff, and feel the need for speed.



This is not a serious discussion of his abilities, mind you. I would in fact consider Cruise to be in the top ten of actors from his generation, and on track for some serious Pacino late period insanity. If you'd like to see him do some crazy shit, check out BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY or MAGNOLIA, or for some campy fun, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE.

Casey told me a terrible story that he had to have a stand-in throw a baseball for him in WOTW. But I just can't face it. I believe in a place called hero.

Monday, March 24, 2008

4000


There are some things the media should not be allowed to cover. One of them is morbid milestones. As I woke and turned on the news (which is the routine at my dad's, at my mother's I just smoke a cigarette and take a shower), I was confronted with the latest ugly marker: 4,000 dead in Iraq. Less than a week after the 5th Anniversary of the invasion. Less than 7 years after 9/11. I was waiting for one of these useless twats to mention that it's been 12 years since the OJ Verdict.

Grim! There's a shallowness to cable news that I normally enjoy, but that does not lend itself to serious discussion. There are few things I love more than panel discussions on these endless and often useless primaries. Buchanan, Scarborough, Matthews, Olbermann, Maddow, all those daddies (and Maddow, and the attraction for her which I can no longer deny.) It's like St. Patrick's Day every day, some Irish bar that's turned into a forum, where they rail against the gods but take it all about as seriously as a simulation. One of them has already run for President (Patty Buck) and one is sure he should be (Olby).

But when serious things come along, I really can't take it from them. It's like the early Steven Seagal movies where he would quote Arthur Miller and try to be a serious actor. Or when Chuck Norris would try to cry. Operative word is try, don't worry.

I guess the problem is I can tell they're as apathetic as I am. Or am I just projecting? I've really never been able to get behind my anti-war views. This war has been brutal, aimless, incompetent and cruel. Is there anywhere more appropriate for this America to be right now? I don't even really know anyone who's there. I know one kid actually who's going, and his Facebook statuses are all still about road trips and kegstands. Obviously it's not that big of a deal.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Luv Guv



This guy is awesome. Win/Win for everybody.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stunt



Seeing the first picture, I was a bit wary. Who was that guy who looked a little bit like Darryl from The Office? When I found out it was Downey I was concerned. Having seen the trailer (which may be down soon from YouTube, if it is I'll try to replace), I think he's playing with some brilliant but still possibly dangerous fire. This movie has now shot up towards the top of my anticipated list. It's going to be a good August, with TROPIC along with BLINDNESS, THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and of course SISTER OF THE TRAVELLING PANTS 2.

Between this and IRON MAN I think it's time to christen this the Year of Downey.

The Talented Mr. Minghella

This will be the second great artist we've lost this year way too soon. It's not quite as ridiculous or as tragic as Heath Ledger, but just as sad and unfair. It's hard to believe that Minghella only directed 5 films in his lifetime. THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is among my favorites and THE ENGLISH PATIENT and COLD MOUNTAIN are both intimate epics, that if not perfect, have their own strong merits. In trying to search for a clip to best show off his talents, I came across this clip from TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY, which I haven't seen in forever, but which is a wonderful film. I dont know if this completely captures it, but it's a fun scene. Too god damn fucking soon, as usual.

A More Perfect Union?



Does this stem the bleeding? Is it even really fair to taint Obama with another man's words? Does anyone care about this outside the media?

The truth is though, he's running as a post-racial and post-partisan candidate, and it is a problem for him to be tied to such a radical figure as Jeremiah Wright. Not precisely racist, but surely racial. My father thinks it was a good speech, but not enough. I think it was excellent, but I've come to expect that from him.

Pennsylvania is still 5 weeks out. It'd be really nice if this insane loop could stop. I've never been more concerned for his candidacy. Did this do the trick?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

DMX Puts Things in Perspective


From XXL:

Are you following the presidential race?
Not at all.

You’re not? You know there’s a Black guy running, Barack Obama and then there’s Hillary Clinton.
His name is Barack?!

Barack Obama, yeah.
Barack?!

Barack.
What the fuck is a Barack?! Barack Obama. Where he from, Africa?

Yeah, his dad is from Kenya.
Barack Obama?

Yeah.
What the fuck?! That ain’t no fuckin’ name, yo. That ain’t that nigga’s name. You can’t be serious. Barack Obama. Get the fuck outta here.

You’re telling me you haven’t heard about him before.
I ain’t really paying much attention.

I mean, it’s pretty big if a Black…Wow, Barack! The nigga’s name is Barack. Barack? Nigga named Barack Obama. What the fuck, man?! Is he serious? That ain’t his fuckin’ name. Ima tell this nigga when I see him, “Stop that bullshit. Stop that bullshit” [laughs] “That ain’t your fuckin’ name.” Your momma ain’t name you no damn Barack.

So you’re not following the race. You can’t vote right?Nope.

Is that why you’re not following it?
No, because it’s just—it doesn’t matter. They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. It doesn’t really make a difference. These are the last years.

But it would be pretty big if we had a first Black president. That would be huge.
I mean, I guess…. What, they gon’ give a dog a bone? There you go. Ooh, we have a Black president now. They should’ve done that shit a long time ago, we wouldn’t be in the fuckin’ position we in now. With world war coming up right now. They done fucked this shit up then give it to the Black people, “Here you take it. Take my mess.”

Right, exactly.
It’s all a fuckin’ setup. It’s all a setup. All fuckin’ bullshit. All bullshit. I don’t give a fuck about none of that.

We could have a female president also, Hillary Clinton.
I mean, either way it doesn’t matter. I don’t care. No one person is directly affected by which president, you know, so what does it matter.

Yeah, but the country is.
I guess. The president is a puppet anyway. The president don’t make no damn decisions.

The president…they don’t have that much authority basically?
Nah, never.

But Bush pretty much…You think Bush is making fuckin’ decisions?

He did, yeah, he fucked up the country.
He act like he making decisions. He could barely speak! He could barely fuckin’ speak!
Can’t be serious. He ain’t making no damn decisions.

Well Barack has a good chance of winning so that might be something.
Good for him, good for him.

Friday, March 14, 2008

When I'm 64

Happy Birthday to my father, John Marshall Finch. Many of you know him as Santa Claus. 64 years young. Next year in Caracas.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Update


Al Franken has now sewn up the Democratic nomination for US Senate in Minnesota. I am a golden god. Best of luck to him. I suggest they hold a debate in Larry Craig's stall. Russert can moderate.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Curb

"How is it that Clinton became the one who's perceived as more equipped to answer that 3 a.m. call than the unflappable Obama? He, with the ice in his veins, who doesn't panic when he's losing or get too giddy when he's winning, who's as comfortable in his own skin as she's uncomfortable in hers. There have been times in this campaign when she seemed so unhinged that I worried she'd actually kill herself if she lost. Every day, she reminds me more and more of Adele H., who also had an obsession that drove her insane." -- Larry David, on the Huffington Post

Excellent point. I can imagine Jeff laughing and Suzie yelling at him right now. Cheryl is just giving him a hard stare.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Esquire Magazine, 1933-2008



http://www.esquire.com/features/heath-ledger-last-days

Needless to say, from here on out I am strictly a GQ man. This is one of the more tasteless pieces I've ever read. Tasteless is an understatement. It's misguided. The Iraq Invasion of celebrity journalism. I feel bad for even linking it but everyone should have a little righteous indignation in their day. I would love to have been in the room for this editorial decision. To add insult to injury it's pretty poorly written. HaHa I just blew some coke and watched Sunset Blvd. I doubt this person has been off Manhattan in 10 years. WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE

Prometheus Went Prematurely Gray



His retirement video is a five alarm fire, or so I hear, but I've not watched it yet. This recording however is the saddest and strangest piece I've heard from him so far. A man like Favre shouldn't have to explain himself. As strong a case as Eli Manning made, Brett is truly the Everyman quarterback. Few football players in this era have meant a damn thing to me. Bruce Smith because he was a composed warrior, Reggie White because he was cuddly and insane, John Elway because he was a goof and then suddenly he was upon you from all sides, and Brett because it was a distinct pleasure to watch him play. He's probably the most human player we'll see for awhile. Hercules was human too, or at least his mama was.

Take these guns from him, he can't use them anymore.

In Defense of Lonely Nights



There are those who say Paul Banks is not a poet, but I must disagree. Interpol is indeed a perplexing band, but as the most worthy standard bearer for Ian Curtis of this generation, they naturally attract a certain disaffected fan. Goth dance jams and toruch songs for intellectuals.

Having seen them live, I can attest to their dour professionalism. Carlos Delgado will often just sit indian-style with his bass, and I could not tell you for the life of me what Mr. Banks' speaking voice sounds like. If at first they seem disinterested, or if their love songs seem unromantic, their sex drives unsexual, it's an attitude that still draws you in. For people of conscience, they are among the finest bands of this Balkanized media age. Their songs will probably be on the radio less and less, and I doubt they'll be doing this when they're 40, but while they're coming around, attention must be payed.

On the subject of Mr. Banks, his terseness is the closest we have to an indie rock Hemingway. He's feeling out his emotions and not quite sure how to address them. But sometimes, there is a major breakthrough. The lyrics of the song above are like a manifesto of being lost. It becomes a mantra. You may sing it ironically, but someday, you won't.

It's too early to talk about this decade, and by the time we're ready, it will be too late. But TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS stands with IS THIS IT, FUNERAL and GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS as a Colossus for our time, if landlocked perhaps.

We are the children of Nirvana. Rock N' Roll. Deal with it.

Stuart Saves America



We the people, I apologize for my abscence. I've had midterms to deal with, along with a general malaise that for some reason, unlike most, PREVENTS me from writing. Gaybabies. Anyhow, I've been trying to formulate my thoughts on Ohio and Texas, but it's just too god-damn depressing. I'm getting very sick of the over 40 under-educated crowd who quake in fear of dark skinned "mooslims" while their world is quite literally falling apart around them. To those in Ohio who voted their fear instead of their future: go try to find an abandoned building. I assure you, it will be quite easy.

But as liberalism looks forward, I thought I would share for any who aren't aware of it one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time. Al Franken is running for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, and he's got a serious shot. He is dominating in funds raised, and he's just been endorsed by the local SEIU. He's got his head on straight with the right priorities on health care, the war and poverty.

For anyone not familiar Al Franken used to write for SNL. I believe he wrote Massive Head-Wound Harry, and since that dog who ruined/made the sketch by eating brains can't run for Senate, someone should be rewarded. He's also a really bright guy, went to Harvard, and has emerged as one of the premier satirists of the age. He has the right answers for the problems that make Lewis Black scream. His book LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM is one fucking essential read.

Most endearingly he has gotten into the craw of conservatives more than almost anyone alive. Sean Hannity despises him and Bill O'Reilly goes into fits of apopletic rage. Even the laid back fascists at Fox News actually tried to sue him for using 'Fair and Balanced' in his book title. When they were laughed out of court and left sputtering on the street like Jon Voight at the end of all the movies where he plays the villian, a Fox spokeswoman said "It's time to return Al Franken to the obscurity to which he is normally accustomed". Anyone who can get that kind of honest hatred out of a T-1000 is doing something right. He has been named a "Pinhead" by O'Reilly over 50 times. If that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is.

Monday, February 25, 2008

With all these riches and all these riches


The knives are already out, and absurdly pretentious. Nothing makes me prouder of my Team Juno support than the overwritten putdowns from her detractors. Here is from the boards this morning on CHUD.com, from a real person, or at least a ripe and demented machine:

"I, too, was appalled (but unsurprised) by the Diablo Cody win. Juno went down like spoiled shrimp: while watching I thought it was diverting but thin, but the more I thought about it, the more it raised my bile."

Uh huh. How's that screenplay coming, bud?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How the Other Half Lives



7-8PM: Red Carpet. John Travolta is now consistently hilarious looking. His wife is an embarassment. I feel like telling someone what you're wearing before they ask is the ultimate in sadness. George Clooney looking damn fine for all of us sinners. He'll win his second Oscar for playing Romney. Viggo Mortensen looks exactly like the old neighbor in Home Alone.

Will someone please explain the appeal of Ryan Seacrest to me? He doesn't make me want to buy cigarettes, which even 50 years on should still be the first role of a TV host.

8-830 PM: Regis Philbin. This is a fucking TV host. To the crowd: "This is George Clooney! What's wrong with you people?!" I want to buy Lucky Strikes now.

8:18 PM: These interviews with people from the bleachers are entirely unacceptable. This is a republic, not a democracy.

Here's Daniel Day-Lewis. No one would ever call this man Danny except Regis Philbin, which is why they assigned the woman instead. A Serious man. I wish they would stop saying Daniel Plainview was an inhuman character. He's perhaps the most human character ever. Mmmm, Amy Adams.

My dad already has two zingers. He says that Tilda Swinton looks like David Bowie, which makes it officially true. And upon seeing Cameron Diaz he exclaims "They padded her rear end!"

People need to stop calling JUNO the little indie that could. It's a tired narrative. It was put out by Fox Searchlight. It may yet prove to be the best John Hughes movie ever made, but this is not THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.

8:27 PM: Almost there. Stay on target. Stay on target. Regis is now inside, Jack Nicholson is vaguely trying to grope a pregnant Cate Blanchett. "Xavier Bardem". Somebody is giving these things alcohol!

8:30: Here we go. This opening segment is beautiful. It's very much peyote in the Modest Mouse sense. I can see how someone thought this was sentimental, but it's just terrifying. Transformers chasing Wyatt and Billy from Easy Rider. If that's not America, I don't know what is.

8:43: First Award of the night, Costume to ELIZABETH 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO. Eh.

Wesley Snipes! Jon Stewart is killing.

8:47: Within 20 years, George Clooney will be President. By force if necessary.

Ehhhh Amy Adams.

Katherine Heigl, if you are not good at this get off the stage. God damnit man you're wasting my time! It makes me so unbelievably happy that a clip from NORBIT recieved prominent time. Makeup goes to LA VIE EN ROSE. I'm kind of sick of making pretty girls ugly. The opposite is so much harder.

My dad, on PERSEPOLIS: "This is a cartoon in a foreign language? Fuck." Second award, RATATOUILLE, well deserved.

This clip is pretty good. Nobody really does these any better, except maybe the Republican Convention. But they have 9/11 and Reagan.

9:07: The Rock should probably host this next year. ZODIAC should really be up for Visual Effects, but no one noticed them because it was so seamless. TRANSFORMERS win. Any friend of Shia is a friend of mine.

9:11: Art Direction to SWEENEY TODD. The first category in which THERE WILL BE BLOOD was robbed. I just got a diatribe from my dad on why Cate Blanchett's dress could have been better and still accentuated her pregnancy. He clearly missed his calling in fashion.

9:18: Javi. Fuck yeah. It's a very strong category, I would have accepted Casey, Hal or Tom. But Anton was just too legendary. Now he's talking to his mom in Spanish, which is making my Venezuelan dad very misty.

Short film to French guy. Don't you have to be fairly retarded to be French and not speak English?

This new cast of Dancing with the Stars is without question the most insane thing ever assembled. Adam Carolla, Marlee Matlin, Priscilla Presley, and Steve Guttenberg. Show's back. Tommy Lee Jones looks exactly like LBJ.

9:35: Best Supporting Actress. I'm a big Cate supporter, and would accept Amy Ryan as well. I should support Tilda Swinton since I'm of the select few who finds her really hot, even in this. Plus, again, David Bowie. Whoa Tilda. I am a golden god.

9:47: Coens. I thought they'd spread the wealth, go with Harwood or Anderson. This is good though. That dialogue was austere murder.

Sid Ganis blabbing about about the Oscars. We enter the dark period for the next hour. This would be like Jack Johnson doing the halftime show. Here's Travolta with Gary Oldman's hair from Dracula. Consistently. Never mind, this video is actually fairly amusing.

9:53: Miley Cyrus. I was really hoping she would present Best Picture. All right, it's over. Turn the kids off now.

9:56: Some of these songs are too long. They probably should have had a revue of some of the best Oscar-winning songs of all time. By which I mean the Theme from SHAFT.

10:01: Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. Funny. I do hope that are from a different species of extremely curly-haire people. Sound Editing goes to BOURNE ULTIMATUM, which is fine. I was dreading TRANSFORMERS, which is one of the most non-sensically loud movies I've ever seen.

NO COUNTRY needs to win at least one sound award. But O'Connell's dry streak has gotten tragic, so I can't begrudge him. If 3:10 TO YUMA's editors are responsible for Peter Fonda's growling, they will also be acceptable.

10:07: Kevin O'Connell has now lost 20 straight Oscars I believe. Are they doing Best Actress already? "Every faceless woman of color". Ugh. Probably Christie, but I can feel a Cottilard. We'll see. I probably shouldn't be putting myself out there with predictions.

In 21 years, Forest Whitaker will be President. Why the hell aren't Jodie Foster or Angelina Jolie up for this? Wow Cottilard is possibly mentally ill in addition to being pretty and French. I don't have to explain how hot that is. I'm doing well so far.

10:19: Wii. Don't get it. If I want to do something physical, I would do it. When I play a video game, I play a video game. I think Colin Farrell is now homeless. He's very good in IN BRUGES by the way, go see it. Here comes ONCE song. This should be up for more. I'm bracing for my dad to insult this terribly. This is the only legitimately great song nominated. It's a consolation prize but they deserve it.

10:30: BOURNE ULTIMATUM has taken Editing from Roderick Jaynes. If they love it this much why isn't up for Best Picture? Seriously.

I have no idea who Robert Boyle is, but that's some good work. I love when men reach a certain age that they start wearing scarves with their tuxedos.

Jack Nicholson with the Best Picture revue clip. I am shamed how many of these I have not seen. I would say 30%. Some pretty damn good movies, my dad says.

10:42: Best Foreign Language. Everyone is so angry that 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS and 2 DAYS and PETROPOLIS aren't here, will the winner be forever tainted? Odds I would say go to the Holocaust film, though MONGOL looks fucking awesome. Yep, THE COUNTERFEITERS.

MCDREAAAAAAMMMMMMMMY. Oh man, sung by John McLaughlin. Apparently it's a different person. They shouldn't tease me like that.

10:49: Best Original Song, to ONCE. Excellent. T'anks.

10:57: Jon Stewart is as classy as Josh Brolin is hot. Marketa has the best speech of the night so far. Nice they let her say it after all. Fair play to those who dream, well said.

10:57: Cinematography. Deakins needs his Oscar. I would prefer for JESSE JAMES, but NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is also legendarily shot.

And it goes to Elswit. Well deserved. As Justin said, some of the shots could be paintings. Probably the most painterly film of its type since ROAD TO PERDITION. Now Deakins will have to win for almost anything he shoots. This will probably inspire a Cinematography fetish blog down the road.

Damn Hillary Swank looks good. And here comes the Memoriam. Heath will probably devastate me.

11:09: Amy Adams presenting Best Original Score. The music reminds me I believe they left Roy out of the Memoriam. Madness. Dario Marinelli wins for ATONEMENT, which is fine, though that fucking type-writer drove me insane. This is Johnny Greenwood's Oscar in any just world.

The insanity of Tom Hanks is very underrated. Enjoyed the presentation from "Bagh-DAD". Go SICKO, the most moving film of the year.

11:17: I look forward to a lecture on torture that will in fact be torture.

This man is very wrong if he thinks Guantanamo bay makes it impossible to make a romantic comedy. I guess after his BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE speech Michael Moore will never actually win an Oscar again, or be allowed to speak. It's a shame they didn't let him bring Castro, but I suppose there is already too much sexiness in the building.

11:25: God bless Harrison Ford for piercing the veil of glamour and revealing that there is apparently nothing more miserable than presenting an Award. Original Screenplay to Diablo Cody. Her speech is kind of a mess, certainly very human. She did herself a lot of favors by not trying to crack any jokes. I know girls exactly like this. So the dream is only getting closer.

This Best Actor montage is my favorite thing of the night so far. It's a mix of sad and happy to see Marlon Brando jogging up to the stage like that. Mmmmmmmm Helen Mirren.

It seems the height of disingenousness to not play the naked fight as Viggo's Oscar clip. And the winner is Daniel Day-Lewis, fucking great. It's absurd how nice he is in person. He is the Third Revelation.

11:44: Director to Coens. Sweet. Everything seems assured. Denzel is here to give me what I want, or is he?

Best Picture of the Year to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Nice to see McCarthy there. What evil thoughts he must have in his mind. It's nice that the Academy and I are in total agreement.

All in all, a good show. Jon Stewart did an excellent job. I enjoy how we accept rudeness from him but not Chris Rock. I suggest locking him down every year. My own thoughts on the film year soon to follow. Good night and good luck.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Still My President



We shall never see his kind again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V-Day



Apparently, this is a double holiday. Our baby Surge is turning one. From AP:

'A year ago in Baghdad: Shiite militiamen and Sunni insurgents owned entire neighborhoods and key areas beyond. Iraq's government was adrift, and U.S. commanders weighed the real possibility of being trapped in a full-scale civil war. Washington's response was 'the surge,' launched Feb. 14, 2007, with the 82nd Airborne as the vanguard of an American troop buildup that would climb to 30,000 extra U.S. soldiers by summer. A year later - through a mix of military might, new allies and some fortunate timing - Iraq looks very different.'

I will concede that the surge has appeared to lower violence, though political progress amongst the Iraqis is still almost nonexistent. It would seem just enough has been done to push it all into the lap of the next president. Interesting milestone. I already associate Valentine's Day with 9 Gangsters getting machine-gunned to death in Chicago, so this was clever of them. Happy Single Awareness Day, and God Bless Our Troops!!!!!!!!!!!!!