Saturday, July 25, 2009

Quote of the day

"I hope Jesus likes the word 'fuck.'"

My aunt, regarding her recently deceased relative.

Song of the day: "I Didn't Know"

I have a track from Lisa Hannigan in my iTunes. I think it was (possibly is) a free download via Amazon or iTunes or Spinner at some point. I tend to get stuff if it's free, and unless I hate it (see "Nike Boots") it stays ("Nike Boots" was deleted with a fervor).

She may have appeared on The Colbert Report, or I am confusing her with some other sweet voiced young woman doing a song that reminds me of this. That happens (confusion happens, not the young woman on Colbert thing, at least not often enough to be "a thing").

So this is the bonus song of the day, the next stop on the Mercury Prize short list. Irish singer songwriter Lisa Hannigan:

Underappreciated: John Sayles

So 1996 was a very good year for movies, and a GREAT year for independent films. It was the year of Shine, Fargo, Secrets & Lies, Flirting with Disaster, Big Night, Trainspotting, Bound, Breaking the Waves, Sling Blade, Marvin's Room, and The English Patient (which was Miramax, but I think had enough funding to not *really* be considered an indie). And it was the year of John Sayles's best work (in my opinion) Lone Star.

In any other year, where there was less getting attention in the indie community, Lone Star might have gotten more acclaim there. But Geoffrey Rush's performance in Shine took him to an Oscar, and that movie along with it to another six nominations. Fargo enchanted audiences and picked up seven nominations with wins for Frances McDormand (best actress), and Joel & Ethan Coen (original screenplay). Add it in the Miramax-generated buzz for Sling Blade, and genuinely brilliant work by the actresses in Secrets & Lies and Breaking the Waves, and it's easy to lose track, certainly at awards time, of the less flashy Lone Star.

A murder mystery that unfolds across two generations, as a Texas sheriff investigates the killing of one of his predecessors. The story incorporates smaller stories of the small border town's citizens, including Mexicans coming in across the river, and troops at the Army base.

I'm pretty sure it was Roger Ebert who said "it's like watching a novel unfold on screen." On his old TV show they showed the "you're sheriff junior" scene (briefly in the clip below) and either he or Siskel pointed out that even the old woman is a three-dimension character (their point being even characters with the briefest screen time are given character development). Critic Janet Maslin echoed that with her review:

"Though none of the actors are given much screen time, a remarkable number of them create fully formed characters in only a few scenes."

It's part murder mystery, part social study of the dynamics of race and class in America, part love story, and all good. Oh yeah, there's one other plot point that I'm not going to mention. But it makes for an interesting twist to the story.

The movie's cast includes returning actors Chris Cooper (who had worked with Sayles in Matewan and City of Hope), Joe Morton (who had worked with Sayles in The Brother From Another Planet and City of Hope), and Elizabeth Pena (who worked with Sayles on his short-lived TV series Shannon's Deal). Kris Kristofferson, Matthew McConaughey, and Miriam Colon give notable performances as well.

A special mention should be made of the movie's original score by Mason Daring, because it incorporates a variety of styles (Tejano, honky tonk, blues, Americana) while always feeling like a single piece.

The movie managed a single Oscar nomination, original screenplay (Sayles's second nomination) and lost to Fargo. Sigh. The Coen Brothers went on to win a slew of Oscars for No Country for Old Men, so it's not like they NEEDED that one, but whatever. The real crime that year was any nominations at all for Jerry Maguire, but we can talk about that later.

To conclude my week (more or less) of showing some love for the underappreciated John Sayles, here's the trailer for my favorite (so far) of his movies, Lone Star:

How to open a banana LIKE A MONKEY DOES

I find this amazing, and I am not currently stoned or drunk. It's just so... duh.

Another reason Portland is cool

Star Trek in the Park!

Suck it Shakespeare.

Details here.

And, I can walk there! (Will I? Dunno, it's supposed to get really hot... I mean "hot for Portland.")

Flashback song: "Shipbuilding"

I picked up the 2-disk reissue of Elvis Costello & The Attractions' Punch the Clock from the liberry a few weeks ago (the 2nd disk is packed with cool alternate/demo versions of songs, and b-sides; GOD BLESS RHINO RECORDS) and the demo of "Let Them All Talk" came up on shuffle, which led me to reviewing more of the tracks.

Since Tasmin Archer does an great cover of "Shipbuilding" (which is from that disk) I figured it would be a good flashback opportunity to play the original and the remake.

How little I knew about the song.

So it seems that "Shipbuilding" was originally written by producer Clive Langer (EC&TA, Madness, Hothouse Flowers and many more) for Robert Wyatt (formerly of Soft Machine, a band and a singer I know nothing about).

According to the song's wikipedia entry (it has its own here):

According to Clive Langer, he'd written the tune for Robert Wyatt but wasn't happy with the lyrics that he had written himself. Langer played the tune to Costello at a party hosted by Nick Lowe, and within days Costello had written lyrics he described as "the best lyrics I've ever written"

I'd always thought it was an original by Costello, so this was an interesting wrinkle. The lyrics, inspired by the Falklands War and the contradictions of a new prosperity in the manufacturing cities of England that comes with sending men off to fight and die.

Is it worth it
A new winter coat and shoes for the wife
And a bicycle on the boy's birthday

I think I'd always understood the lyrics, but never linked them specifically to the Falklands War, which seems like such a random footnote to Americans (I could be wrong). Who was that against? Argentina? (Hey, a quick shout out to Mark Sanford who still hasn't resigned.)

Anywho, I have come to find several versions of this song. The Robert Wyatt version preceded Costello's (1982), so I will start there:

I wasn't able to find a video that uses the track as it was released in 1983 (which includes some haunting trumpet work from Chet Baker), but here is a live version from Elvis Costello & The Attractions:

Jumping ahead to 1994, when Tasmin Archer (best known for her song "Sleeping Satellite") released an EP of 4 Elvis Costello songs called Shipbuilding. Her cover of the title track was a minor hit in the UK, but didn't help her escape "one-hit wonder" status over here. After hearing the Wyatt version and this together, I find myself realizing how brilliant Costello's own version is, since he balances the elegant moodiness of the song (which Archer honors) with Wyatt's, which places emphasis on the politics inherent in the lyrics (which seem obscured in Archer's version, at least in my opinion). Sadly the sound quality in this video isn't great, but here is her version (which I still love):

And I will wrap this with Suede (who is, officially, Suede UK in the US, because someone else is Suede in the states). I have very little recollection of Suede from the post-grunge Brit 90s--a lesser artist (is it a guy? is it a band?) in the flood that includes Oasis, Blur, that band that Eric is always telling me is better than either of those (Pulp?), Ocean Colour Scene, Paul Weller's ascencion, etc. Not crazy about it, it seems like he's nagging me or something. But here it is:

Song of the day: "Sea within a Sea"

Next on the Mercury Prize short list is The Horrors, from Primary Colours. That superfluous "u" tells you they are Brits.

As I listen to it, I think "not bad." It reminds me of The Church, and someone else (let's say a low-fi version of Ian McCulloch for now).

Happy birthday Matt LeBlanc

Happy birthday Illeana Douglas

Friday, July 24, 2009

A cock, in a frock, on a rock

I am watching Priscilla, Queen of the Desert on IFC, in part because of Terrence Stamp's recent birthday. I haven't seen it in something like 12 years--despite Terrence's inability to "perform" the movie is F-U-N.

How long has it been for you?

Song of the day: "Kiss of Life"

The bonus song of the day comes from the next stop on the Mercury Prize list: Friendly Fires. A Brit band nominated for their debut LP: Friendly Fires. This track is a forth-coming single, and while it's not catchy (which is to say I think it's difficult to sing along to), it's really interesting. Great rhythm stuff going on here... it's like MGMT got into world music.

Math skills in Texas

Previously on The Rebel Agenda, we discussed a quote by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX).

An expanded reading of the quote is interesting:

"Well, if you go to the socialized medicine countries, you find about 20 percent worse results. You get it? One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine! Now, I’ve got three daughters and a wife. I would hate to think that, among five women, one of them is going to die because we go to socialized care, and we have to have these long lists."--Louis Gohmert (R-TX)

This response from the blog Sadly, No! here.

"I wouldn’t trust any health care statistics that come from a guy who adds up ‘three daughters and a wife’ and gets ‘five women’."--SteveB

I hadn't seen the last part of the quote, which just makes it all the more fun! Who's got a tea bag I can borrow?

Okay, what?

"Let’s face it, President Obama’s black, and I think he’s got a chip on his shoulder."--Rush Limbaugh

Obama is black?! WTF?

Flashback song: "That's Entertainment"

4 versions of this classic Jam song.

The original, around 1981:

A wonderfully moody (what else would you expect?) version by Morrissey, early/mid-90s (sorry, it was a b-side and I don't track his releases well):

Paul Weller went back to this song for his 2nd live solo album, and released it as a stripped down song (him on an electric guitar). I can't find that version, but it's similar to this version (except, you know, different):

And finally, Bruce Foxton and Rick Butler, from The Jam, began touring as a band called From the Jam whose Portland show a couple years ago I *loved*. Sound quality isn't great, but this has a good feel for how the new 4-man line-up embraces the old Jam songs and does them justice.

Song of the day: "The Key"

Next up from the Mercury Prize nominees list is Speech Debelle, from her second album Speech Therapy. Don't know jack about her, but this is, I'm sure, what Michael Steele means when he describes an urban/suburban hip-hop setting.

Sorry, that's not true.

I don't actually think Michael Steele means anything by that, it's just jibberish to him too.

I love Michael Steele.

Here's Speech:

Happy birthday Gus Van Sant

"No one's ever really ready for Paranoid Park..."

I certainly wasn't.

Great location though!

Happy birthday Laura Leighton

See you soon on the *new" Melrose Place.

Or, you know, when you go back to managing the Olive Garden (*love their salads!*).

Happy birthday Robert Hayes

"Worse than Detroit..." is that possible?

Happy birthday Lynda Carter

Happy birthday Kristin Chenoweth

Happy birthday Dan Hedaya

To all my fake eBay inquiries

I do accept PayPal.

I do ship to your state.

So quit asking.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cool shit at Strange Maps

This is a depiction of how far television broadcasts from Earth have traveled since they first aired. It's found here.

There's all kinds of cool shit there, if you're into maps or visualizing data. And really, who isn't?

A history of canine hysteria

Fantastic article about the history of around various dog types is here.

"None of the dog bite or fatal dog attack studies conducted from 1959 to 1979 make any mention of either the pit bull or the Rottweiler. These two breeds of dogs were not popular as guard dogs, as the dogs of choice for negative functions were the German Shepherd, Great Dane or Doberman pinscher. Indeed, in the decade from 1965-1975, less than 2% of all the fatal dog attacks in the United States were attributed to either a pit bull, pit bull-type dog or Rottweiler."

Song of the day: "Geraldine"

Next up on the Mercury Prize list is Glasvegas, a Scottish band I've been hearing a lot this year. It looks like they have 2 albums, but the 2nd may have been tracks that were rushed to market after the success of their self-titled debut (which I wish were called Self-Titled Debut, but what can you do).

I hear "Geraldine" a lot on YRock on local KNRK. It was a free iTunes track a few months ago. And I dig it. So here's your bonus song of the day, Mercury Prize nominees (and a few other nominations for other critics type awards, list here) Glasvegas.


From The Big Bang Theory.

Jon Stewart on the BMs (birther movement-ers)

Summarizes it all quite nicely. And let me remind the audience that in the US of A, one does not have to prove his/her innocence--one's accuser has to prove ones guilt.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Born Identity
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Flashback song: "Hello Earth"

This morning I decided to hit "play" on iTunes and see what would qualify as a flashback song. This was the first song that came up, and definitely does: Kate Bush from 22 years ago. It's a deeper cut off of Hounds of Love.

I can't say much about Kate except that, like XTC and Pink Floyd (to name 2 artists) I owe her catalog more than the cursory knowledge I have of it. I used to lament the fact that I spent too much time with Pet Shop Boys, but I think they've proven themselves. Let's blame Randy Travis for now.

Song of the day: "In for the Kill"

Since I recently featured Bat for Lashes (here), the next one up from the Mercury Prize nominees is La Roux. Don't know her, so we can learn together.

Happy birthday Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Happy birthday Edie McClurg

Happy birthday Charisma Carpenter

Happy birthday Allison Krauss

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another Kasabian track

This one I know from YRock.

Song of the day: "Underdog"

Okay, so technically this is the second today, but since I'm working through the Mercury Prize nominees, I'll try to get all 15 knocked out in about a week.

This is from West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, which I'm pretty sure is their 3rd album (3rd studio album, per Wikipedia). I believe their biggest hit, thus far, is a song called "Club Foot." Or "Club Foot" ended up in my iTunes somehow, and I infer that it is their big hit. I'm easily influenced (no subliminal messages required, just show me something shiny or delicious looking or hand it to me and I'll probably think it's cool... hey, can I paint your fence?!).

Where was I? Oh, "Underdog" is the first single from the new one.

The view from my trek to the doctor's

I missed a train by, well, seconds--I touched the "ramp" button before it pulled away, and during the wait, I walked to the next stop toward my final destination and took this picture while waiting my 15 minutes. This had a trickle down effect which made me 20 minutes late for my doctor's appointment, but I got in and, TA DA, have an ear infection.

So Rx coming soon. Hopefully I will be able to hear again in both ears.

Underappreciated: John Sayles

I keep finding myself unable to finish on Sayles--I want to write about what I think is his best piece of work: Lone Star (1996). But I'm not able to get my shit together.

In the meantime, here's Sayles himself talking about the making of Matewan (among his best)... coming soon, Lone Star.

Funniest shit ever?!

Maybe. Texts from Last Night (here) is a blog of submitted text messages (alleged--some of these are too good to be true). Like:

(630): I'm gonna write a book, Things that go bump in the night: The story of Katelyn. Chapter one, my roommate is a dumb whore.

(585): He actually believes he's not an alcoholic if he doesn't go to meetings.

(704): One of my students just wrote an essay on how ninjas, like drug addicts, must realize they need help before they can get better...I gave it an A+

(712): The make-up sex just reminded me why we broke up in the first place.

Song of the day: "Dog Days"

I'm working through the Mercury Prize nominees as songs of the day. The first is Florence and the Machines whose track "Dog Days" I hear a good bit on YRock online here. I feel like there's a rash of euro-chick bands out there now, but can't really come up with a good list as it's only 7:16 a.m. But here's the first of the MPrize list.

Flashback song: "Love My Way"

While I'm shopping in the P Furs section, here's a real flashback, from 1982:

Interesting musical find from Psychadelic Furs

So a co-worker and I both frequent the public liberry and check out CDs, and share said CDs with each other because you never know what's going to interest you but you'd never think to get it for yourself. Which is how I ended up with a very old Psychadelic Furs disk on my work computer. The song "Blacks/Radio" caught my ear yesterday, and when searching for that, I ran across this live track. It's a bonus song on a recent (like past 10 years) live DVD, so not really a flashback song, not really song of the day, but worth sharing.

Convergence is real: The Electric Company comes to Hulu

The classic kids show from the very early 70s, the defines the Gen-X niche better than most other parameters (did you watch The Electric Company when it originally aired?), is now available to watch online at FREE. Check out the episodes here, or enjoy "Hey You Guys!" with wise/fiery Latina/Oscar winner Rita Moreno!

Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby and Irene Cara are among other notables involved in the show. So check it out!

Happy birthday David Spade

From 1993... has it been that long since you were genuinely... funny?

Happy birthday Willem Dafoe

Happy birthday Rufus Wainwright

Happy birthday Alan Menken

Have a party with your EIGHT Oscars. Maybe the 4 for Original Score can fight the 4 for Original Song.

Happy birthday Albert Brooks

Classic Tonight Show appearance:

And the theme for his Simpsons character Hank Scorpio (he likes German beer!):

Happy birthday Don Henley

Someone misunderstood me and I thought I was going to see Doug Henning one night. That would be different (though so might argue "not much").

Happy birthday Danny Glover

Trailer from John Sayles's recent movie Honeydripper... need to finish my John Sayles week.

Happy birthday George Clinton

Happy birthday Terence Stamp

From the wonderful Superman II

And the equally wonderful Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I am waiting for the birthers to prove Obama is NOT a citizen

Obama shouldn't have to prove anything. Prove he's not. Bitches.

Can we at least try this for like a year

Abstinence-only education is clearly not working (see below).

One-in-five American pregnancies ends with an abortion (if these statistics are to be believed: almost half of all pregnancies are unintended and four-in-ten unintended pregnancies end in abortion; 50% (half) x 40% (four-in-ten) = 20% or two-in-ten, or one-in-five).

Shouldn't everyone rally behind reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies? Everyone?

Who objects to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies?

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) are sponsoring the "Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act."

There are two major areas covered by the act: Prevention, and Support.

Prevention includes grants for comprehensive sex education programs, family planning services and, yes, even contraception. Support includes prenatal medical care, additional WIC funding, and expanded adoption tax credits. Details here.

Whether you are "pro-life" or "pro-choice" please contact your congresspeeps and ask for their support on this. Mine will be hearing from me tonight (I love the inter-tubes).

Let's try it for 2 years. If for some reason the number of unwanted pregnancies decreases, we can all celebrate. If it stays the same or increases, we can drop the program and go back to shame and pretending that will power works with teens. You can still pray for heathens while this practical approach is tested.

One hopes he takes the plumber to the next level

Another "victory" for abstinence-only education

"Teenage pregnancies and syphilis have risen sharply among a generation of American school girls who were urged to avoid sex before marriage under George Bush's evangelically-driven education policy, according to a new report by the US's major public health body.

In a report that will surprise few of Bush's critics on the issue, the Centres for Disease Control says years of falling rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease infections under previous administrations were reversed or stalled in the Bush years. According to the CDC, birth rates among teenagers aged 15 or older had been in decline since 1991 but are up sharply in more than half of American states since 2005. The study also revealed that the number of teenage females with syphilis has risen by nearly half after a significant decrease while a two-decade fall in the gonorrhea infection rate is being reversed. The number of Aids cases in adolescent boys has nearly doubled.

The CDC says that southern states, where there is often the greatest emphasis on abstinence and religion, tend to have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs."--The Guardian

Full article, with other great statistics here.

For example: 16,000 pregnancies among 10- to 14-year-old girls in 2004... I bet not all of them were planned, and some of the ended up as abortions. Why can't we get behind real, effective, proven sex education for teens?

Oh the hypocrisy!!!!

Gov. Piyush Jindal (R-LA) made an appearance in Anacoco, LA to present a novelty over-sized check to residents of Vernon Parish. The money represents funds that are part of the Obama administration's stimulus package.

Money that, wait for it, Piyush tried to reject, and claimed has not stimulated.

He printed his name and his office's name in the top left corner of the check.

The whole story, is here at Think Progress.

Okay, wrong!

"After a four-year hiatus, VH1 will bring back the legendary live concert event VH1 Divas by featuring some of pop music’s most talented female artists – Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis and Miley Cyrus. The VH1 Divas concert will be televised live on VH1 on Thursday, September 17 at 9/8c." -- VH1 press release

I think, technically, to qualify as a "Diva" in this context, you ought to have more than 1 hit. So 1 of 4 meets that minimal guideline. This is weak.

Article here.

Or follow them on twitter (cause, you know, nothing else going on right?) here.

Mercury Prize nominees

Details here. I know like 3 of these. So I rooting for Glasvegas or Bat for Lashes, until I hear more.

Florence and the Machine – Lungs

Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Bat for Lashes – Two Suns

La Roux – La Roux

Glasvegas – Glasvegas

Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy

Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires

The Horrors – Primary Colours

Lisa Hannigan – Sea Sew

The Invisible – The Invisible

Led Bib – Sensible Shoes

Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Twice Born Men

Deenie lives!

As do all the characters of various Judy Blume novels, when you read!

Here's Will Arnett reading a selection from Are You There God, It's Me Margaret?

A counter-point on healthcare reform

This is why we have to fight Sotomayor!

An aide to Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins says Collins will vote for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

See, you let one woman in and she's just going to let more and more. And then the club house will bill over-run with girls.


Flashback song: "Ça Plane Pour Moi"

From 1977:

Rachel corrects Uncle Pat

Rachel Maddow took a few minutes Monday to make some corrections and clarifications to things that Pat Buchanan said on her show last week that she felt needed to be addressed. They are worth hearing. Hopefully she won't have Uncle Pat back to work up his fellow Klan members.

So just extra vigorous spanking then?

"I never beat my son. The media keep hollerin' saying that I beat my son. That's not true. You know where this beating started? The beating started in the slavery days when they used to beat the slaves, and then used to torture them. That's where this 'beating' started. These slave masters. And that's where that come from. But hey, there's a lot of people in America, Larry. A lot of people in America spank their kids. If they say they don't, they're lying. Now Michael was never beaten by me, never beaten at all."--Joe Jackson

(Not the good one... not him.)

Hells yes!

Louis Black brings it home. Responding to Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) saying that one in five people "have to die because they went to socialized medicine." (I have no fucking idea what that's about, by the way.)

"I've got bad news for you. Five out of five people are gonna die anyway."


Unswayed by lobbyists?

Monday, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C. said that he believes Obama will fail on healthcare reform because "he's trying to convince America to be something other than America."

So being America = having the most expensive health care system in the world, but ranking in the teens (at best) for most objective measures of health care quality (like infant mortality rates).

Or America = so scared of the word socialism that we fail to realize that our schools, hospitals and roads are all socialized.

Or America = just fucking dumb.

Thanks Lindsay! See you at the Parliament House!

Song of the day: "I and Love and You"

By the Avett Brothers. Available as a free download here.

Happy birthday Yusuf Islam

(Cat Stevens)

Happy birthday Robin Williams

Happy birthday Edward Hermann

Happy birthday Janet Reno

Monday, July 20, 2009

And another

This is from "All About the Mormons":

South Park word cloud

I was discussing the "Trapped in the Closet" episode with a co-worker today, and thought I'd try the word cloud thing with the episode's script. Interesting, although I might have done better to delete the character names at the beginning of each line of dialog. Ah well.

Underappreciated: John Sayles

I don't know how to summarize The Secret of Roan Inish. It's from 1995, and I have it in my head that this was Sayles's biggest movie (and up until that time, it might have been). But that's saying that its $6.1 million was bigger than Passion Fish's $4.8 million--we're not talking huge numbers.

It seems like Roan Inish played for EVER. At the indie theater in Dallas (where I lived when it was released) it played. When I got to Portland in 1996 it was playing... I think (that was years ago and it's all kinda hazy--but Portland LOVES John Sayles and we have all kinds of second-run screen options where a movie can hang around for six months... p.s., the fact that Portland loves John Sayles is one of the many reasons I love Portland, but that's another entry, or series). According to Box Office Mojo (here) it was in theaters for 9 months. Passion Fish looks like it ran 5 months, and Lone Star doesn't show a corresponding closing date for contrast.

Anyway, it seems like forever. But it seems to have introduced a new audience to Sayles. People who'd never mentioned an interest in his movies, even after years of talking them up, all of a sudden, poof, big John Sayles fans. So hooray for Roan Inish.

I'm not a fan. It's not that I'm too cool to like it. It's got this fairy-tale quality that plays beautifully with Haskell Wexler's cinematography. (BTW, we should have a chat about Wexler at some point--I didn't appreciate the quality he brought to Matewan when I saw it 22 years ago, but I've grown to appreciate his talents. He has 2 Oscars, one of few American cinematographers who has won in the last 40 years, but that's a whole other Oprah... watch Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and think about the claustrophobia he brings with the close-up and medium shots--they're stifling.)

But I love Sayles because he brings a gritty realism. His characters, even those with brief screen times, have depth and, well, awkward humanity. I think that's lost here, with the fairy-tale. The characters lose that edge.

Or that's how I remember it. It's been more than 10 years, and I probably owe it another viewing also. To the film's credit, its Rotten Tomatoes score is 98% fresh. But the word "magical" appears in a LOT of the reviews, so you've been warned.

Zen and the art of supplements dosing

I have a cold. An unpleasant summer cold.

So I am taking some hippie herbal crap to help fight a cold that I know can't really be treated, per se.

Cold Snap is the name. It has phragmites and forsythia and honeysuckle. And more!

For dosage, there are 2 options.

Basic Way: Take two capsules three times a day.

Another Way: Throw out the notion that a printed set of directions will provide the exact answer.


An unfortunate thought to have at the tattoo parlor, circa 2000

"I will always love Limp Bizkit every bit as much as I do tonight!"

The Catholic Church shows its softer side

Raped? Pregnant by your step-dad? At age 9? With twins? That will KILL you if you carry them to term?

Tough shit.

Abortion is murder, bitches. And everyone who even THINKS abortion is a solution to this poor girl's nightmarish situation is automatically excommunicated from the oh-so-compassionate church. Fuck off. Don't let the rosaries hit you in the ass on the way out.

"This is not just theory. And you can't start backpedaling just because the real-life situation carries a certain human weight."--Senior Vatican official

So little girls, next time don't get raped. Bitches.

Article that fuels today's anger is here.

Why the internet was born

I like it that Michael Steele is taking a stand

"Yes. Next question."--Michael Steele, Chairman RNC

This was his response when asked this morning if Obama's health care reform plans represent Socialism.

If Steele's against it, I will take odds on it passing. After all, he stood against Rush, until he had to apologize.

And said definitively that Palin couldn't possibly run for President in 2012, until he backed off that.

And don't forget the hats. Never ever forget the hats.

Onion News on Children's Healthcare

Study: Most Children Strongly Opposed To Children’s Healthcare

This doesn't sound right

"It is true that I did wrong and failed at the largest of levels, but equally true is the fact that God can make good of our respective wrongs in life. In this vein, while none of us has the chance to attend our own funeral, in many ways I feel like I was at my own in the past weeks, and surprisingly I am thankful for the perspective it has afforded."--Mark Sanford (hypocrite, R-SC)

See Mark, I believe what you're trying to say is "I am a total hypocrite and I want to live by the standards I expect of others, so I would like to resign, effectively immediately." You can do it. Jesus can help!

2 years of sadness

Here's the only video I have of Rebel. Sigh.

I can't believe I didn't even realize it was this date... actually, I totally can. I never remember specific dates. That doesn't make me a bad person, does it?

419 scam word of the day: Demurage

(See post below)...

Pronunciation: \di-ˈmər-ij, -ˈmə-rij\
1 : the detention of a ship by the freighter beyond the time allowed for loading, unloading, or sailing
2 : a charge for detaining a ship, freight car, or truck

Deja vu Mrs. Rebbec Sanders

Haven't we heard your problems before?

I am Mrs Rebecc Sanders from Netherlands,I am 58 years old,i am suffering from a long time cancer of the breast,from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that i can't work or do any stressful thing, according to my doctors they have advised me that i may not live for the next two months,this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. I was brought up from a motherless babies home was married to my late husband for twenty years without a child ,My Husband ( Sanders) died in a fatal motor accident Before his death we were true muslims.

Since his death I decided not to re-marry,I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the sum of USD5.6million dollars with a Security Company in United states of America.Presently, this money is still with them and the management just wrote me as the true owner to come forward to receive the money for keeping it so long with attract a demurage fees as the security fees paid by me has expired or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not come over because of my illness or they get it confisticated.So instead of getting it confiscated i rather have someone whom i can trust to recieve the funds and utilise it according to my wishes.And the best part of it is ,The security company told me in the letter that they can have the consignment funds delivered to my approved next of kin in his house if within USA or transfered to his bank account and if outside USA then transfered to his or her bank account.

Presently, I'm with my laptop in a hospital in Frankfurt Germany where I have been undergoing treatment for my sickness . I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a 2 months to live.

It is my last wish to see that this money is invested/donated to any organisation/buisness of your choice and distributed each year among the charity organization,E.g the poor homes,the motherless babies home where i came from,the deaf homes,and churces etc .All i seek for is a God fearing person like you ,who will carry out my last wishes and before i emailed you today i prayed and the holy spirit gave me the confidence to send you this email.I took this decision, before i rest in peace because my time will soon be up. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Security Company in the USA.All i need from you is a confidential assurance that the funds when recieved by you will be used for the said purpose,Nowadays there are so much scams going on in the internet and it is diffcult to trust but i dont know why the Holy spirit still approved me to email you about this out of few email addresses i have from the internet,yours was the only one that was approved for me to contact.

Waiting for your reply.

God Bless you,
Mrs Rebecc Sanders.

Underappreciated: John Sayles

So in recent years, my ability to motivate myself out of the house to a theater has declined significantly. John Sayles movies are among the casualties. Here are 2 recent movies of his I've yet to see. I guess I will add them to my library DVD list.

Casa de los Babys--its ensemble cast includes Oscar winners Rita Moreno, Marcia Gay Harden and Mary Steenburgen; critically acclaimed actresses Lili Taylor and Maggie Gyllenhaal (remember, random spelling for her name); and Darryl Hannah (keep at it, you). Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Well-acted and thought provoking, if not completely satisfying. (59% fresh)

And Honeydripper, starring the always great Danny Glover, along with Charles S. Dutton, Vondie Curtis-Hall, and Lisa Gay Hamilton. Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Honeydripper's electric musical numbers and sharp performances make for an exciting film, despite its slow pace. (68% fresh)

Flashback song: "Once in a Very Blue Moon"

In honor of the moon landing, I'll do some lunar-themed songs this week.

Here's Nanci Griffith's classic from 1985.

Covered by Mary Black around 1995.

Song of the day: "Turn Cold"

By Cut Off Your Hands...

Happy birthday Kim Carnes

Here with pre-2000 model Kenny Rogers.

Happy birthday Dame Diana Rigg

Happy birthday Sandra Oh

Congratulations on life after Arliss!

Happy birthday Chris Cornell

Production room, anytime.

40 years ago today

Moon landing. (Allegedly.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Definitely worthy of a read: Pat Buchanan's racist screed

A Kos diarist (Jed Lewison) has a nice reply to Buchanan's appearance on Rachel Maddow's show last week here.

It's short and worthy of a read in its entirety.

"Perhaps the real problem with Pat Buchanan's narrative of America is that he views everything through a racial and ethnic filter. We're all in this thing together, and the last thing we need is to exacerbate the racial and ethnic divisions in America. Rejecting the anger and hatred and lies at the heart of Pat Buchanan's world view won't magically those divisions, but it sure would be a major step in the right direction."--Jed Lewison

The view from my living room

This is a man who stopped to urinate on my street. Broad daylight and everything.


And I live on Classy Street.

I don't think that's how one is supposed to wear pants

You do have to respeck (sic) the old school Kid-n-Play haircut. But I think he'd be much happier if he wore his slacks up at the waist. I'm just saying.

Underappreciated: John Sayles

I'm laid up with a summer cold (well, I'm taking OTC narcotics and sleeping a lot, it's not like I'm at an emergency room demanding Demerol), so I'm not giving John Sayles his due this week.

I'm also a little hampered by the fact that there aren't a ton of video clips from Eight Men Out, his telling of the Chicago Black Sox scandal from 1929 (the movie itself was around 1988). Christopher Lloyd, John Cusack, and Charlie Sheen gave this a Hollywood feel, but it maintained its indie cred. Gordon Clapp, Jace Alexander and the wonderful David Strathairn have significant roles.

86% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. I will let that speak for me (I'm coughing up phlegm now, sorry, and I'm overdue for a nap). Here is a clip, plus some local news "making of" footage when they filmed in Cincinnati.

Belated happy birthday Paul Verhoeven

Flashback song: "Stay Free"

From 1979, the Clash... don't really know them from this record. Suggestion from Lee (or was it veiled commentary that I didn't pick up on... who can say)...

And here's a recent cover by Mick Jones's current band Carbon/Silicon, with Pete Wylie. God I love the inter-tubes.

Song of the day: "Home"

Time between Michael's funeral and a sibling's tribute release: 9 days. Way to go LaToya!

Forced smile of the day

Friend John with Lauren Graham... somewhere. He's not a stalker, per se, just shows up unexpectedly. With a camera. And a Sharpie.

What's that noise?!

Happy birthday Vikki Carr

Happy birthday Campbell Scott

Happy birthday Jared Padelecki

Happy birthday Brian May