Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm #23,737,137

In web traffic (per Alexa).

Yes, my humble blog is among the top 24 million web sites.

And to think I've avoided the lucrative call of advertisers. They keep calling too. Or that's collections.

Happy birthday Alfred Hitchcock

Not so instant karma's gonna get you

South Carolina's attorney general said Thursday he wants state ethics commissioners to review Gov. Mark Sanford's use of state aircraft and any other potential violations of state law.--AP article from 1 hour, 41 minutes ago


Couldn't happen to a bigger hypocrite. Well, probably could, but I'm glad it's happening you Gov. Sanford. Enjoy being in the hot seat now. Remember how much fun you had when you held the torch and/or pitch fork?

Well, I don't have a time machine

And who the fuck is "Ronald"?


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The sad sad state of education

"The boy's 'fence swings both ways...'"--teacher Diane Cleveland, insulting a student.


The largest school district in Minnesota just settled a harassment suit, and this quote was part of the story (here and here).

And it's just sad. Not that a high school teacher would go out of her way to insult a 16-year old.

But that a high school teacher would be so fucking dumb to not realize that fences don't swing.

Gates swing.

Idiot.

Grow a brain moran.

Song of the day: "Constructive Summer"

This has been a weird year for me musically, in part because I'm enjoying some "arena rock" type music--Hold Steady and Gas Light Anthem are the most notables (which is to say, the ones I can remember as I type this, but I think there is at least one more, maybe two).

Stay Positive, the most recent from The Hold Steady has been out for a while now, but this song came on my afternoon commute shuffle and I wanted to post it.

This summer, grant us all the power to drink on top of water towers,
With love, and trust, and shows, all summer (Get hammered!)
Let this be my annual reminder that we can all be something bigger


And

Raise a toast to St. Joe Strummer
I think he might’ve been our only decent teacher
Getting older makes it harder to remember…we are our only saviors


Here you go:

Why not?



(h/t Towleroad) Brad Pitt's dedicated to helping rebuild New Orleans, and some folks there think he'd make a great mayor. Ann Curry brought this up, and he thinks he doesn't have a chance since he's running on a pro-gay marriage, no religion, legalize pot agenda.

I think he'll do just fine.

Flashback song: "Alison"

I'm appreciating Elvis Costello more as a songwriter these days (in part because I'm challenged by his lyrics), and was inspired to pick "Alison" as a flashback in part because a friend is getting married to a girl named Allison next month and I thought this would NOT be an appropriate song for the reception. I don't think. It's about disappointment, so probably not.

Anyway, Costello cites this song as an influence when he was writing--The Detroit Spinners with "Ghetto Child" from 1973.



Here's Costello's version from My Aim is True in 1977. It was recorded with a different backing band, so technically it's EC w/o the Attractions.



I'd forgotten about Linda Ronstadt's cover version from 1978. I'm including it because I want to listen to her take on the song. Costello was dismissive of her cover, but said he didn't mind the money it made for him.



And finally the Everything but the Girl version on their Acoustic album. As with "Shipbuilding," it's interesting that the covers give me a fresh appreciation for his original version. But I have a real affinity for this version. Which probably surprises no one.

Happy birthday Fidel Castro

This isn't about your politics. This isn't about your sense of style.

This is about the fact that America's political leaders have been so fucking inept at finding a reasonable way to deal with you--whether through legitimate diplomatic means, or through covert James Bond-esque means--that you have been a leader of Cuba for 50+ years. I know, technically, no longer #1 (that's your brother), but still hanging out.

Oh, BTW, Perez Hilton, your "Castro is dead" item might not be accurate (that was April 2007 if you are keeping track).

Anyway, yeah, right fucking there, and our politicians can't seem to figure out what to do.

The US has diplomatic relations with Russia, with Vietnam, even Libya. But not you. I don't know why, but at least we've pulled the plug on our propaganda sign.

So, for your birthday, here's Destiny's Child with "Survivor."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

David Mamet remaking The Diary of Anne Frank

Details here.

Tentative titles:

The Fucking Diary of Anne Frank
The Diary of Anne Fucking Frank
The Diary of Anne Frank Motherfucker

First Kid Rock, now Dating 101

The money comes from the strangest places.

Your friend, Frank Williams (barrfrank112@yahoo.com) has sent you this information from Yahoo! Personals.
(Email address has not been verified.)

Personal message:
Attention:

Your e-mail address came up in a random draw conducted by our law firm here in Lagos Nigeria over the will of late Mr Fedrick Venegas (12 million USD) as he mandated us before he died.

At the moment, I advise that you send to me immediately your full names,direct mailing address, age, occupation,bank account,and direct telephone number to enable me file for an application of claim on your behalf to the Bank where the funds are deposited, as soon as this is taken care of, then the bank shall contact you for more directives
reply to at:barrfrank112@gmail.com:

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Dating 101: Reviving Your Relationship
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Yahoo! Personals
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The 10-year difference rule

I have drawn the line at accepting a 10-year difference in the ages of actors and actresses in movies who portray love interests... with exceptions where the age difference is a part of the story (like Lolita, or As Good as it Gets [I infer that it's there anyway, as part of the larger "what could you possibly see in him" thing]).

To that end, The Time Traveler's Wife, opening soon, stars Eric Bana (birthdate: Aug 9, 1968) and Rachel McAdams (bd: Nov 17, 1978). They are 10 years, 3 months, and more than a week different in age.

So "no go" for me on the movie. Unless the age difference is a plot point (Benjamin Button would have been exempted as another example).

Here's a quick list of actresses who could have used the work instead of the talented and in-demand McAdams. Women around Bana's age whose "heat" has diminished in the wake of McAdams, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson.

Age-appropriate actresses that could co-star with Eric Bana:
- Samantha Mathis (2 years younger)
- Jena Elfmann (3 years younger)
- Kristin Davis (3 years older)
- Uma Thurman (2 years younger)
- Lucy Lui (same age)
- Debra Messing (same age)
- Mira Sorvino (1 year older)

A pretty pie chart on the deficit



Try to follow my source references, I'll make my point.

Matthew Yglesias (here) used an article in the NY Times (here) on the sources of the current deficit to create the above pie chart.

While I would have liked it if he had the % in each of the wedges, the chart tells a vivid story. That story is that the recession, in and of itself, is responsible for a little more than 1/3 of the current deficit--lost jobs mean less in income tax, less in payroll taxes, etc.

Obama initiatives and the stimulus that Obama signed account for 10% of the deficit.

The rest, more than half of the current deficit, is a combination of Bush initiatives (think massive tax cuts, and 2 wars) and continuations of those initiatives (maintaining tax cuts, continuing to fund 2 wars).

More than half.

Fucker.

We're Self magazine, and we know best

So Self magazine has an interview with Kelly Clarkson in the Sept. issue, and she's on the cover.

In the interview she's very confident and talks about her appearance. She's quite happy with the way she looks, and good for her. She looks healthy enough to me. Not a size fucking 0.

Anyway, Self magazine apparently decided to help her out a little. Their quote:

"Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best."


Before:


After:


LA Times has a nice piece on it here.

Another win for someecards



They have all kinds of funny shit here.

Tom Toles puts it nicely

Quote of the day

"She wants her America back? Go tell that to the Indians."--The Daily Show's Larry Wilmore (Senior Black Correspondent)


Actually, Larry was great last night--watch the whole segment.

Reform Madness - White Minority
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Song of the day: "The Fixer"

New music from "The Pearl Jams" (sic). I've been racking my brain (is that how that phrase is spelled? A quick Google search suggests I am not the only one confused by that phrase, so I will leave it) as to where I've heard this song before. A cover? (Another cover by PJ? Really?)

But it's not. Or so Wikipedia would have me believe.

But I've heard it before. If not literally, then I've heard its essence.

I'm thinking, deep down, it's channeling Urge Overkill, circa 1994. Which is NOT meant in a bad way. But go ahead, do your worst. I can take it, I just won millions in Thailand.

Flashback song: "What's Going On"

The title track to Marvin Gaye's 1971 album, the track (co-written by Gaye) was a #1 R&B track (#2 on the pop chart) during its release. In 2004, Rolling Stone named it the 4th greatest rock song of all time (ahead of "We Are the World" if you can believe it... list here).



There are dozens of covers including, naturally, Michael McDonald's. I'll save you from that. The best charting of the covers is by Cyndi Lauper, from her 2nd album in 1986. It went to #12 on the pop charts. It pales with the original, but I always liked her version as well.

Happy birthday Tanita Tikaram

Happy birthday Pete Sampras

Happy birthday George Hamilton

Set your sunblock to 16+.

Happy birthday Bruce Greenwood

(He's Canadian, you know.)

Happy birthday Casey Affleck

Glenn Beck=fucking crazy

Healthcare reform is about reparations?

Wow.

Tell the spiders in your head, I said "hi."

Another day, another Powerball win

This time from Thailand. I hope this doesn't mess with my chances for tonight's US Powerball. Of course, with my luck, I expect to hear from someone tomorrow with instructions on how to collect. Here's today's email:

POWERBALL ONLINE INT'L JACKPOT/ LOTTERY ASSOCIATION
ASIA PACIFIC REGIONAL OFFICE
BANGKOK THAILAND

This is to inform you of the release of the Power ball Online Lottery PRIZE DRAW, held on the 4TH of AUGUST, 2009.

Your email was attached to ticket number 085-12876077-09 with serial number 51390-0 that drew the lucky numbers of 03-06-18-10-12-16-27, which consequently won the lottery in the 5th category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay of $1.000, 000.00. (ONE MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS ONLY), in cash credited to file with REF: N.EGS/3662367114/13. This is from a total cash prize of 50,020.225.00, shared among the Fifty international winners in this category.

You are required to file a letter of claim to the coordinator for further instructions and directives on how to claim your prize.

All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 25,000 names, email addresses & official addresses, from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North and South America, Middle East and Africa, as part of our International Promotions Program.

To begin your lottery claims, Please contact our coordinator with your follows details,

Your Full Name:

Your Complete Address :

Occupation:

Date of Birth (Day/Month/Year):

Direct Telephone/Mobile Number:


NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in all correspondences with us, furthermore, should there be any change of address, please do inform our Coordinator as soon possible.

NAME: MR.VICTOR ADAMS.
Power ball Towers,45/4 Silom road,
Radjamdamrin, 23002 Bangkok, Thailand
TEL: +66853727267
Email: victoradamsclaimsagent@gmail.com

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Once again from all members of our staff and thank you for being a part of our International Promotions program.

We wish you continued good fortunes.

Sincerely, ,
President
Power ball Online Int'l Jackpot/Lottery Association
Asia Pacific Region

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Understanding Mark Sanford's philosophy on government spending

If the Federal government wants to give money to unemployed people (and there are many, even in South Carolina), that is something Mark Sanford (Governor of SC, for now) opposes. It's bad.

If Governor Mark Sanford wants to get his haircut, and uses the state's aircraft to get him there, at a cost of $1,265 (not including the cut or the tip), well that's fine.

If the Federal government wants to give your state money to pay teachers and fix schools (vivid details of the sad conditions here), that is bad. Mark says "no."

If Governor Mark Sanford travels on commercial airlines, it's usually in first class (or at least business--despite being against state laws the control the travel policy of state employees. It's not his fault y'all, it's the Dept. of Commerce, and also he needs his sleep. He couldn't POSSIBLY go a day early and crash at Motel 6. Also, you know, he saves money on headphones (they are free in first class).

So you state employees that still have jobs, use both sides of that Post-It. Your governor needs to put fuel in the jet so he can go watch his kids play football. He's missed a bunch of their games this season (apparently he didn't realize the demands of the job when he ran for office BOTH TIMES), and also fuck you.

Hooray for Mark Sanford. Your hypocrisy makes my heart sing.

The pot, calling the kettle ineffectual and controversial

During John Bolton's confirmation to Ambassador to the U.N. (which never happened, BTW; Bush used a loophole) I wrote to my Senators asking that, instead, we send a stapler to the U.N. Then Senator Gordon Smith replied that Bolton represented the kind of change the U.N. needed.

I am happy that Gordon Smith is no longer my Senator.

From Bolton's WSJ editorial, today (here):

"Barack Obama’s decision to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson has generated unexpected but emotionally charged opposition. Appointed by then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan as high commissioner for human rights in 1997-2002, Ms. Robinson had a controversial but ineffective tenure."


If anyone would know "controversial but ineffective" it would be Mr. Bolton... just by looking in a mirror.

It should also be noted that, despite his total pro-war attitude, Mr. Bolton avoided the draft during the Vietnam War. Because, you know, he decided that the liberals made it un-winnable. Fucker.

Song of the day: "Periodically Double or Triple"

New music from Yo La Tengo.

These are funny

KCSCougar on Youtube (here).

An example:

Happy birthday Kenny Gamble

Half of the song-writing/producing duo Gamble & Huff, pioneers of Philadelphia Soul. He's responsible (in part) for hits by Dionne Warwick, The Jacksons, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield and the O'Jays to name a few.

Here's one of my favorites, by McFadden & Whitehead.

Happy birthday Joe Jackson

Also, to Eric.

Flashback song: "Winds of Change"

Nona Hendryx, 1987--the original version features Peter Gabriel, but this live version shows off her vocal skills nicely. The song was written by Hendryx for the still-imprisoned Nelson Mandela.

On "date rape" in Sixteen Candles

I dreaded reading the article. Was one of my favorite movies now off limits due to a really un-PC scene? Kinda, but not really, I think. It's an interesting review of John Hughes and how his teen movies address class as well as teen sex. The full article, here, is well worth the 3 minutes to read.

In "Breakfast Club," it's Molly's character Claire who actually makes this explicit: When Bender asks her if she is a virgin, Ally Sheedy's character, Allison, says, "It's a trap. If you say yes, you're a slut. If you say no, you're a prude."


And if I understand correctly, the scene where the Geek (Anthony Michael Hall) sleeps with the too-drunk-to-consent evil prom queen, it's not really bad (from a cultural perspective) since we didn't really understand date rape at the time, and because it has a vaguely Shakespearean mistaken identity angle. Go read it.

Oh, and Newt Gingrich is siding with Palin re: "death panels"

So again, liar, stupid, or both. If no correction by EOD today, he's a liar or both.

Full story here, including video of him talking through the stupid, here.

This deserves a complete reprinting

It's from a DailyKos diary here.

Dear Conservative Free-Market Capitalism Muckety Mucks,

Why haven’t you fixed the economy yet? Seriously---what gives?

I'm asking because conservatives in fancy suits keep telling me---okay, screaming at me---about how fundamentally sound their ideas are, and how the private sector, not the government, is our best and greatest hope for making the economy leap back to life like Mark Sanford's libido when he lands at Ezeiza International Airport.

So what's the holdup? We've been in a recession since December of 2007. Why aren’t things all better yet for ordinary Americans? You were so awesome at making the mess, but cleaning up the pile of poopies you left on the nation's living room rug seems to be proving a bit more, um, problematic. Why?

You've got an army of giant, throbbing brains in your right-wing think tanks working day and night. The Heritage Foundation has never been wrong...just ask 'em! And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce never misses an opportunity to proclaim their infallibility in multimillion-dollar ad campaigns. So...why are we still in Sucksville? And why does the evil Big Government seem to be running circles around you?

And don’t try and hide behind the fact that there's a Democrat in the White House. He's been shoveling money into your coffers faster than Sarah Palin shoveling bullshit through Twitter. And he's hardly put a regulatory straightjacket on you...more like a snug cardigan sweater.

I admit I'm not an economist. I don’t know a Laffer curve from a box of David Vitter sex diapers. No, I'm just a simple, average citizen who has listened to you jawbone for decades---amplified non-stop by Fox News, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal and right-wing radio---about how perfect your system of "unfettered everything" is. How greed is good and regulation is the devil's work. And yet, you seem to be strangely ineffective at fixing it when it breaks. Could it be you've been bullshitting us all along? Are you nothing more than the financial equivilent of a bunch of two-year-olds randomly pushing buttons in the command center at NORAD? Or did you just lose your instruction manual? (Check under the couch!)

Fix the damn economy on Main Street already, you Ayn Rand-worshipping free-market capitalist wizards. Show us how it's done. Be the heroes we've been holding out for. I'll check back on your progress in 30 days. I expect Americans to be squatting over solid gold commodes by then. That's how much I believe in you.

Sincerely,
Billy

P.S. Make sure you do it honestly, ethically and legally. That won't be a problem, will it?

More on euthanizing Sarah Palin's "son"

Ezra Klein speaking with Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a strong advocate for end-of-life planning (currently a part of Medicare, and having nothing to do with deciding who lives/who dies [but when that is created, I know my new job]). Article here, but favorite part:

"I understand -- and you have to check this out -- I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin's web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You're putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don't know how that got so mixed up."


So my point earlier still stands. Either Sarah Palin is wrong, in which case she needs to educate herself, or she's lying for politics, or both. If she's a liar, you won't be hearing a correction from her by end of day today.

That will be how we know for sure that she's a liar.

Monday, August 10, 2009

You know, if ducks could enter into binding legal contracts I'd have no problems

with people marrying ducks.

Until then, let's just limit our hypothetical destruction of family values to 2 adults who can enter into a contract.

Flashback song: "It's About Time"

From The Reivers, around 1989. I offended them with some stupid statement in the artist info for this record... I have no idea what I said. Ah well.

Song of the day: "Return of White Rabbit"

Something new from Ash.

Happy birthday Antonio Banderas

Happy birthday Ronnie Spector

Happy birthday Patti Austin

Happy birthday Justin Theroux

An offer from Kid Rock Official Community... um, no

Ray Mathins has sent you a message on Kid Rock Official Community

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's wrong for Republicans to claim the government can't help

When it's just Republicans in government (heckuva a job Brownie, Bushie, Fredo [you had a job in the gov't, but you probably don't remember it]) fucking things royally that seem to be the problem.

Sarah (not Trig's mom) Palin's administration in Alaska fucked up Alaska's care for Seniors under Medicare. To the extent that the Federal gov't wouldn't let them take on new cases. The only state with that restriction, btw.

Details here at an article titled "Auditors: Palin's Incompetence Kills Patients."

"It's never made sense to elect Republicans who say they don't believe in government. If you hire a plumber who says they don't believe in plumbing, you're not going to get anything but a lot of backed-up toilets. It's time to stop sloshing through the backwash of the Bush and Palin administrations and put our whole-hearted support behind professionals who want to get the job done."

Flashback song: "Total Eclipse of the Heart"

I was looking for a clip of Portland's Mayor Sam Adams, on PDXposed last night, with an unmoving forehead, to see if it's the bad botox I suspected. Can't find that, but found Portland's force of nature, Storm Large, covering this song.

And since the literal version is so funny, and there's a Dan Band version, here's the first of FOUR videos for you. Happy Sunday.


Original:


The literal:


Storm fucking Large:


And the Dan Band:

Happy birthday Hoda Kotb

This isn't really Hoda, but nothing underscores how much crazy she gets to endure better than this.

Happy birthday Amanda Bearse

Happy birthday Sam Elliott

Sometimes there's a man. Sometimes there's a helluva man.

Happy birthday man!

Happy birthday Whitney Houston

Only 46.

Only.

We have all watched the freak show parade, and girl step back and take a look.

From Judy Garland to Michael Jackson, and even fucking Billy Mays. Keep going and get a really big funeral, or maybe get a sponsor and sing at your daughter's wedding. Wouldn't that be nice?

Song of the day "Good Times"

By Brazilian Girls.

I woke at 6:00 a.m. to let the dogs out/feed them, and had this song stuck in my head. Can't say why (it's overcast and cool here, which puts me in a good mood--and the hillbilly's are out of the state, which is a huge relief). I fell back to sleep and 3 hours later, it's still stuck in my head.

So now it'll be stuck in yours ;-)