Saturday, September 19, 2009

My dear Rachel Maddow, and my favorite sad state

In a wonderful convergence, Rachel Maddow focused on the state of South Carolina and its various problems with healthcare this past week. It's meaningful that the public servants of the people of South Carolina are staunchly opposed to healthcare reforms that the state's public needs.

Really really needs.

So Jim DeMint, Addison "Joe" Wilson, Lindsay "Wagner" Graham, Andre Bauer and Mark Sanford (all white men, by the way--I think that's all they have in the state), maybe you should watch the clip, and look at the people you serve. The people who might could use a little help. You might learn something.

The details don't really help my concerns

CNN reporting this, on the escaped legally insane killer in Washington state (which is less than 1 mile from my house, as the crow flies). I mean, he's up near Spokane (hopefully, still) but this in unnerving... if the whole "take the insane killer's out for an afternoon" thing is a state policy. But here's this:
Paul took a backpack of clothes to the fair, suggesting a planned escape, police say.
So guys, please, when you're taking the legally insane killers out on their field trips, check their backpacks.

Happy birthday RJLS, part 6

Here's some music for you.

1. Uncle Green


2. Big Dipper


3. Elvis Costello


4. Billy Bragg (we stayed up until like 5:00 a.m. hanging out with him at his hotel room in Colony Square... back when we weren't old)


5. And Morrissey

The Mercury Prize goes to Speech Debelle

Earlier in the summer I showcased the 12 artists short-listed for the Mercury Prize. About a week ago they announced the winner, and it's Speech Debelle. Here are a couple of tracks.



Happy birthday RJLS, part 5

Here's your biorhythm... next week looks good. (Click image to embiggen.)

Norma's Kitchen on Hayden Island

Went to get liquor for tomorrow night's Emmy party/Becky birthday thing/John is here celebration, and smelled a compelling aroma from Norma's Kitchen. So we stopped in and had some lunch.

I had the pulled pork with cole slaw. It was like a salted pulled pork. The cole slaw wasn't sweet, but the food was good.

Clark had fried catfish with red beans & rice.

We both finished our food. Next time? Maybe the fried chicken.

Happy birthday RJLS, part 4

Here's a collection of the MEGO Planet of the Apes commercials from the 70s. She loves Planet of the Apes. She loves the 70s. And there's no way she won't love "the woman scientist" reference. But really, all the modifiers are kinda fun.

The greatest thing ever?!

Maybe not ever, but ohmyfuckinggod this makes me happy!

But I think they may not have any Fs, to keep me from doing something really juvenile. So I'm setting for this:

A huge thank you to Clark for bringing this particular joy into my life! Hooray!

Okay... what the fuck?

A legally insane killer was on the loose in the state of Washington on Saturday, two days after he escaped during a field trip to a county fair, authorities said. (Details here lest you think I'm fucking with you.)

Why, in the name of all fuck, is the state of Washington taking its incarcerated legally insane killers to county fairs?!

Was the mall closed?

Did they not want to wait for Friday's high school football game?

Seriously.

No, seriously.

Oh snap of the day

"Dick Armey is the epitome of those people with power and privilege who are insured against the vicissitudes of life and want no government assistance for any suffering except their own..."--Bill Moyers

The nation of Nigeria is not known for quick action

Seriously, when did District Nine come out? I've already seen it, THAT'S how long ago. Jesus.
Nigeria's government is asking cinemas to stop showing a science fiction film, District Nine, that it says denigrates the country's image.

Information Minister Dora Akunyili told the BBC's Network Africa programme that she had asked the makers of the film, Sony, for an apology.

Way to wait until it's been out of the Top 10 for several weeks... they're getting the cheap movie & beer theater crowd.

I hear they are offering $500 for everyone that signs up on a protest form. You just need to send them your bank account information so they can deposit the money directly for you.

(Details here.)

Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay

Dr. Orly Taitz on MSNBC with Dylan Rattigan.

FUN!

Happy birthday RJLS, part 3

Here's post-apocalyptic Homer. I think it gets into Omega Man territory eventually, but not in this clip. But that's why I grabbed this one.

Happy birthday RJLS, part 2

From 1984, a Honda Scooter ad starring DEVO.



And R.E.M., who I thought was the first concert we saw together. But you know what? It wasn't. I ended up using her ticket and going in lieu of her with STB. Either way, here's "Harborcoat."

Happy birthday Rebecca Jean Lehner Such, part 1

Yes, her. It's her birthday too. Sorry Adam West. Sorry Tegan & Sara. She knows where I live and she's coming here tomorrow (or she better be--no wussing this time, John's here and I need back-up).

I've know Bek for more than 25 years. And we've liked each other for almost 25 years. There was also a couple days when she was pissed at me for something I did in one of her dreams (yes, it's like that at times), and then the time I couldn't work the answering machine and kept deleting her messages. That was bad.

Thank God I never went into her room with my friends to look for newspapers.

Anyway, the first in some things she likes. It's my way of scrapbooking her (gay). Here's Bruce from Family Guy.

Song of the day: "My Delirium"

By Ladyhawke. I totally need to bug Clinton to bring this in.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The anti-socialist purity pledge

Taken wholesale from a DailyKos post (here)...
I, ________________________, do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall strictly adhere to the following:

I will complain about the destruction of 1st Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 1st Amendment Rights.

I will complain about the destruction of my 2nd Amendment Rights in this country, while I am duly being allowed to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights by legally but brazenly brandishing unconcealed firearms in public.

I will foreswear the time-honored principles of fairness, decency, and respect by screaming unintelligible platitudes regarding tyranny, Nazi-ism, and socialism at public town halls. Also.

I pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:

* Social Security

* Medicare/Medicaid

* State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)

* Police, Fire, and Emergency Services

* US Postal Service

* Roads and Highways

* Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)

* The US Railway System

* Public Subways and Metro Systems

* Public Bus and Lightrail Systems

* Rest Areas on Highways

* Sidewalks

* All Government-Funded Local/State Projects (e.g., see Iowa 2009 federal senate appropriations)

* Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)

* Public and State Universities and Colleges

* Public Primary and Secondary Schools

* Sesame Street

* Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children

* Public Museums

* Libraries

* Public Parks and Beaches

* State and National Parks

* Public Zoos

* Unemployment Insurance

* Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services

* Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, State or Federal Government (pretty much all of them)

* Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)

* Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)

* Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking

* Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies

* Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain Inputs From Government Subsidies

If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will forego my VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care

I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of the following types of socialist locations, including but not limited to:

* Smithsonian Museums such as the Air and Space Museum or Museum of American History

* The socialist Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments

* The government-operated Statue of Liberty

* The Grand Canyon

* The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials

* The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery

* All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or in Washington, DC

I will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their government salary and government-provided healthcare.

I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist military of the United States of America.

I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as GE, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of others that are paid by our socialist government to produce goods for our socialist army.

I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their socialist employees.

Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social Security checks.

Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private health insurance until I die.

SWORN ON A BIBLE AND SIGNED THIS DAY OF __________ IN THE YEAR ___.

_____________ _________________________

Signed Printed Name/Town and State

David Sirota on selective deficit disorder

It's good (here).
"When it comes to spending on priorities like healthcare reform that would help ordinary Americans, the illness's victims scream about deficits and overspending. But when it comes to handing over trillions of dollars to financial firms, defense contractors and other corporate interests, deficits suddenly don't matter to the disease-addled politicians, protesters and journalists underwritten by those interests."

Piyush Jindal, tough on ACORN but soft on Satan

Piyush ("Bobby") Jindal, the Governor of Loser-anna, has issued an executive order cutting off all state funding of ACORN. Which is totally awesome.

But here's the thing. He's done NOTHING about the state funds that go directly to Satan.

And Louisiana has paid EXACTLY the same amount in state funds to ACORN as it has directly to Satan.

So why is Piyush Jindal being so soft about state funds to Satan?!

Maybe it's because Piyush Jindal is in LOVE with Satan.

Or maybe it's because Louisiana has never given a penny in state money to either ACORN or Satan.

Either response is fine, but remember Piyush Jindal in love with Satan is a possibility. And you read it here first!

House that I used to live in, part 4


My deluxe apartment in the sky--10th floor of a high rise at the intersection of Peachtree Street and North Avenue in Midtown Atlanta. At the time we (then roommate Mark who I've completely lost track of--last I heard he was turning tricks teaching accounting in New Orleans).

The place had a fantastic view of the downtown skyline, since across the street was a surface parking lot, and beyond that was a 6-story (or so) hospital. They started building a major new office building right as I moved to Florida. I think it was the C&S Bank tower that became the NationsBank tower. I assume it's the Bank of America tower, but who knows--what's on the SE corner of North Avenue and West Peachtree Street?

Ohnohedidnt...

So, yeah, Judge Land, the Bush appointee who is TOTALLY in the pocket of the Kenyan scammers who installed Barrack Obama into office with the foresight to fake a birth announcement in 2 Hawaii newspapers nearly 50 years ago, is considering sanctions against the one true patriot of America, Orly Taitz. Well, one of a few (Glenn Beckk, I'm looking at you, please stop crying).

Apparently Judge Land didn't like it when, after telling her to cut the birther shit (with a warning about sanctions), Dr. Taitz filed a motion asking him to reconsider (oh yeah, and accused him of treason--diplomacy skills on par with mine!).

She now has 2 weeks to tell the Judge why she shouldn't face $10,000 in sactions. Details here.

The best part was Land saying "competent counsel would have understood" one part of the law that was at issue.

Which is so cute, because I don't think anyone, ever, has thought of Dr. Taitz, as competent.

Or to quote her MSNBC appearance a few months ago: okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.

Dragonfish Asian Cafe in Portland, delicious to eat

But no fun to wear.

Happy birthday Fred Willard

I'm behind today. I woke up around 2:00 a.m. and didn't fall back to sleep until after 4:00 a.m., and that was because I took a sleeping pill, so when the alarm went off at 6:30 or so, I was still exhausted. It's even more boring than it sounds, so let's move on.

Fred Willard is funny. It's the same shtick, more or less, but it's funny.

Apparently FedEx gets the joke, since they used him for a faux infomercial to highlight their fedex.com features.


His most recent success has been with Christopher Guest's mockumentaries. Here's a clip from A Mighty Wind.


Here's Fred on with Letterman:


And here he is interviewing Portland's own Trans-evangelist Sister Paula (a former co-worker of mine).


Sorry this lacks any kind of personal interest angle, but I'm tired, there are a variety of Asian sauce stains on my white shirt (unrelated to Fred's birthday) and I need to do some work. Otherwise, I'm feeling really good about this post!

Dr. John Brewer, please tell your property to shut up

Dr. John Brewer is, of course, the husband (and therefor owner of) Jan Brewer, the governor of Arizona. How is it that a (shudder) woman has come to be in power. Are there no more men in the state? Women are merely property, and should never be in authority over men. That's what MY bible says anyway: 1 Timothy 2:11-14 (KJV).

I only bring this up because Jan (property of John) says that God put HER in a position to rescind benefits to domestic partners of state employees. That means the gays and lesbians, naturally. They can't get legally married there (damned if you do), and now you can't get benefits if you're NOT legally married there (damned if you don't).

Details here.

This is deplorable. Not the benefits thing. Just that a woman is running things. Would someone please stone her.

God must have thought "Jan" was a man when he made the assignment. Sigh.

The Daily Show on winning in Afghanistan

John Oliver points out the areas conquered by Genghis Kahn (the areas in red)--guess what he never got to conquer. But if we win, we can put our initials at the top!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Unwinnable War in Afghanistan
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Song of the day: "Sick Muse"

Two bands are neck-and-neck in terms of putting out consistently good singles this year: Camera Obscura, and Metric. C.O. got their 3rd song of the day earlier this week, and now it's Metric's turn.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The 10-year difference rule meets Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais has a new movie: The Invention of Lying. His love interest? Jennifer Garner.

Ricky Gervais, stocky Ricky Gervais (and take it from this kettle, that pot is black) was born in 1961... he's 48.

Jennifer Garner, hot hot Jennifer Garner was born in 1972. She's 37. (And no, this isn't basic math, sorry.)

Fail.

You know who would work? Jennifer Beals (1963); Demi Moore (1962); Courtney Cox (1964); Molly Shannon (1964). Even co-star from last year's Ghost Town Tea Leoni (1966). And every one of them is sufficiently hot for a man of Ricky Gervais's, um, overall look.

Shame, too. I like Gervais. He's funny.

Pictures around town

The dome ceiling at the main library in downtown Portland.

And a cool mid-century Maytag logo. If you haven't heard the Chris Wilson "Dadeland" story, I'll tell you about it sometime. I use "Maytag" instead. And it totally works. Which is why I took the picture.

That makes two of us


House that I used to live in, part 3

I rented an apartment here during my 6 miserable months in LA. I rented here, because they offered month-to-month, and I didn't want to commit to a 6-month lease.
And yet, I was there for 6 months.

Sigh.

The place is pretty devoid of charm. And the 5-mile drive back and forth to work took 45+ minutes, unless I was coming home around 10 p.m. Which happened. Part of the reason my 6 months there sucked.

But mostly I was away from Rebel for 6 months. And those are 6 months I don't get back. Sigh.

House that I used to live in, part 2

This was my 3rd (and final) apartment in Dallas. I had 3 apartments over the span of 4 years... what was I thinking.
I think it was the cheapest nice apartment, or possibly the nicest cheap apartment, in the area. The area is now super swanky, by the way. Not far from Uptown and Turtle Creek.

A squirrel fell in front of my car while I was driving back to the parking in the back. I hit it in mid-drop. Yuck.

Vengence of the Terminator

Or, more with Kathyn, the incredible AIDS Walk machine!



If you haven't kicked in a few bucks to her fund-raising, you suck.

Remedy that by clicking here and giving. Even $5 helps. It means you're kinda cheap, but it helps.

This is the house we used to live in... part 1

The title is from a Smithereens song, but, yeah, I'm not that emotionally invested in these old places. I'm just using the power of the inter-tubes to look at some places I used to live, as they look today, via Google Street View.
This is the house I lived in for many years as a little kid, including like 1st through 3rd grade, and much later as a 20-something for a couple of years. My grandparents bought the house as new construction in the 1960s, in North Miami Beach, Florida. It used to have a palm tree in the front yard. That died. And a neat wood fence with slats woven horizontally that were easy for a little kid (like me) to climb... I couldn't open the gate, but I could climb over the fence on my own.

Living in Portland OR, where the tree canopy has actually increased in the last 50+ years, it's amazing to see no trees or other plants in this front yard. In fact, it appears they've paved the yard. Seriously.

But it looks like NMB put in a sidewalk, so that's cool.

And then there's Marcia Gay Harden

She (along with Kevin Kline) could join the elite Triple Crown of Acting winners on Sunday (Emmys, host Neil Patrick Harris--it's his year!) with an Emmy win for supporting actress in a mini-series of made for TV movie.

Her movie isn't an HBO production, so I'm predicting Janet McTeer, but would be thrilled to see Marcia pull through!

Watch Sunday. Neil needs your support!

Question of the day

As mentioned yesterday, 1 in 12 in New Jersey think Barack Hussein Obama is the Anti-Christ(tm) (details here).

Someone suggested asking this in a future poll:

Do you think that Barack Obama is a zombie werewolf vampire who feasts on the blood of kittens?

Personally I think it's sufficient to ask if Obama feasts on the blood of kittens, that way folks who think he's a werewolf vampire BUT NOT a zombie can also answer yes. Ditto the zombie vampire BUT NOT a werewolf. Etc.

That's just good research.

Happy birthday Anne Bancroft

I've loved Anne Bancroft for a long time now. Probably since seeing her in the 1982 To Be Or Not To Be. Not one of her greatest roles, by any stretch, but she's positively radiant and funny and sexy.



After that I saw The Graduate. Talk about funny. Talk about sexy. A mere 6 years older than Dustin Hoffman, she's unflinching as the original cougar.


I met Anne about 6 or 7 years ago--in a doctor's office. She was not expecting to be introduced to people while there, but she was absolutely gracious, charming and every bit as nice as I could have ever hoped. There was a small stretch of time where I got to meet several celebrities and meeting Bancroft was probably the pinnacle. Cyndi Lauper a very close second. I won't mention who the jerks were, but one of them sings "Doctor My Eyes."

I was helping with a charity event and was originally slated to go to her and Mel Brooks's house, to pick up autographed memorabilia for an auction. And instead I had to drive someone to his beach house in Laguna. D'oh! The guy who got to pick up the stuff said he met her and Mel Brooks. Grrrr.

Anne is among the few actors who have won the "triple crown" of acting: a Tony and an Oscar for The Miracle Worker; and Emmys for Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man (which I know nothing about) and Deep in My Heart (ditto). Lucky for us, here's a clip from her first Emmy win--watching it now, it's fucking hysterical:


Aside from her win, Anne was nominated for 4 other Oscars, her last from 1985's Agnes of God. Directed by Norman Jewison, and starring Jane Fonda and Meg Tilly, it's something of a mess, plot-wise, but I think that's the play itself (sorry John Pielmeier, cause I know you're reading this). But it's an interesting piece inasmuch as it features 3 major roles for women, with no major roles for men. Tilly also received an Oscar nomination (losing to Anjelica Houston in Prizzi's Honor). All 3 women have their moments, but Bancroft gets to chew the scenery as a chain smoking nun... you can't beat that (unless you're Geraldine Page in The Trip to Bountiful, who actually won Best Actress that year--a well deserved award, and her 8th nomination). Here's the trailer:


Here she is back a million years ago on What's My Line? (I love these clips, by the way):


Bancroft took a stab at writing and directing, with 1980's Fatso (which I've never seen).

In the 90s she had 2 interesting turns, as a southern Senator in G.I. Jane (the accent is unfortunate, but otherwise she's fun--it's a movie I like a lot). And as an assassin's trainer in Point of No Return.


We lost Bancroft 4 years ago, but her work, and her glow, live on.

This says so much

"Most Republicans have been deeply unhappy with the Democratic health care proposals so far, and Republicans on the Finance Committee were said to be bracing for two possibilities: a partisan proposal that they were going to oppose, or a bipartisan proposal that they were going to oppose."--David Herszenhorn, NY Times (here)

RIP Mary Travers

Of Peter, Paul and Mary. People keep dying... what's up with that? Mary passed away from complications related to leukemia. She was 72.



Song of the day: "I'm Confused"

By Handsome Furs. Love the song, but here's the thing, if you have, how shall we say, "issues" with what appears to be black oil coming out of people's mouths (I'm not using the "v" word, but I'm saying one might be concerned), you're advised to minimize the browser window and just listen.

But don't worry, it's just zombie snow-balling!

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Runner-up runner-up quote of the day

"They say it takes certainty more than talent to make a star. I mean, look at John Stamos."--Emma on Glee

Runner-up quote of the day

“It doesn’t make sense anymore to talk about the relationship between the extreme fringe of the conservative movement and the modern Republican Party, because you can only discern a relationship between two things if you can tell those two things apart.”--Rachel Maddow

Business plan!

Business Progress
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A cool half million via ATM to me?!

Good Day,


It was Resolved and Agreed upon by the United Nations in partnership with the World Bank to transfer $500,000.00 via ATM card to you. A Financier affiliated with the United Nations will send you a Cashier check to cover all the needed fees to claims your unpaid payments entitled to you as compensation for Global Economic Financial Meltdown.


You are therefore required to forward your mailing address with your full names and direct tel # to receive the cashier's check that will cover all the needed expenses as regard the transfer.Thank you for your co-operation.


Mrs. Catherine Chan.
Payment Coordinator.
Send your reply to: projectsfinancier@world-bankgroups.org

Quote of the day

Judge Clay Land "should be tried for treason with Obama."--Orly Taitz, the "birther queen" trying to prove that President Obama was not born in the US

The headline at Salon says that Orly Taitz was laughed out of court (here) today. Which is awesome.

But you know it totally means that the judge is in the pocket of big Kenya. I mean, just because he is a Bush appointee doesn't mean anything. The Kenya scammers probably anticipated this along with the fake birth announcements in the Hawaii paper. That's how good these guys are.

So here's hoping she keeps going and files a lawsuit against Judge Land. Rock on girl, we need you to keep fighting! The negro President must be dealt with!

Sigh.

Underappreciated: John Mellencamp

I'm fizzling out on my attempts to give some props to John Mellencamp. Here's "Key West Intermezzo" live (regular video here)--an utterly unexpected song from him, and one that I absolutely loved. It harkens back to "Ain't Even Done With the Night" in some ways, but remains a fresh, wry pop song. You never know what you'll get some times.



And this is a song I love to hear covered badly by some lounge singer--it just gives it that special something.

The world lost a Bunnyman

Jake Brockman, keyboardist for Echo and the Bunnymen, passed away last week from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. RIP Jake.

Happy birthday Amy Poehler

She's up for an Emmy on Sunday (host Neil Patrick Harris!) as Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for her work on SNL. It's a fun category filled with 5 actresses I love... and Elizabeth Perkins (who I used to like, but she seems to suck the life out of every scene of Weeds she's in). Since Emmy voters are supposed to use a single episode (selected by the actors) to judge the work for the year, there's been speculation that Kristin Chenoweth will win for Pushing Daisies (apparently she does it all in that particular episode),  or that Poehler's episode selection will help co-star Kristen Wiig by showing even more great stuff for her (Wiig submitted a strong episode, while Poehler submitted the episode with her rapping while pregnant--impressive, but she's only in 3 skits, and Wiig's in like 5 skits on Poehler's submission).

I have hopes that Parks & Recreation rebounds a little. It's off to a slow start. But it might be good for her to get into movies full-time for a while. She can always come back to TV. She's been fantastic in Wet Hot American Summer, Mean Girls, Baby Momma and Blades of Glory--but these were funny movies to begin with.

I'm focusing on SNL clips, because you can see the zeal she brings to the performances. Happy birthday Amy!









Song of the day: "My Maudlin Career"

I'm grooving on the new Camera Obscura this week, so here's the title track to My Maudlin Career

This is what it looks like when I tweet in Bulgarian

(h/t to Eric who has made it about 2/3 of the way around the world so far... in coach)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ya think?

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man,"--Jimmy Carter

I guess it's good that someone of JC's stature has said it. But I don't think it will help things. Watching the self-aggrandizing of the talking heads on FOX News bluster about the size and patriotism of the 9-12 Project participants (last I heard, it was 24 billion people, estimated by the Department of, um, I forget)--via Daily Show clips, by the way--is freaking me out.

I'm starting to fear that Obama will be assassinated, and that will lead to a major race war, possibly the opening salvo of our next civil war?

Hooray.

Which one are you?


I think I'm more Dweeb than Nerd, but you may disagree. Post from here.

(h/t to Kassie)

Thank goodness, America!

The FCC is proving that they are TOTALLY an agency worth having, by re-opening the investigation into Janet Jackson's boob! Which is so incredibly important right now, you know, for the children.
The FCC has reasserted its power to regulate fleeting nudity and says it wants to further investigate "whether CBS' indecency violation [in the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Super Bowl reveal] was willful."

Details here and here.

Why didn't we torture her? A little waterboarding, a little rape... no need for investigations then!

The word you're looking for...

Today's Bush legacy ray of light

From Glenn Greenwald today at Salon:

So what was accomplished by the whole venture? Aside from the grotesque immorality, criminality, loss of innocent life and the disappearance of untold billions upon billions of dollars, the only real change seems to be that we replaced one brutal tyrant with another, although the one that used to be there at least was an enemy of and check against our Current Enemy (Iran, the nation against whom Tom Friedman assures us we are waging a new Cold War), while the one that is there now is a strong ally, perhaps even a client, of those Persian Hitlers. So -- other than finding an excellent way to prop up our National Security State -- the one thing we "accomplished" with the invasion of Iraq was to provide the largest possible benefit to the country that is supposedly our Greatest Enemy.

Colbert meets the fightin' death panelists!

Better Know a Lobby - Health Care for America Now
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

Happy birthday Tommy Lee Jones

One of my many "Jones" cousins (along with James Earl and Rickie Lee), Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones, along with former Yale roommate Al Gore, were both inspirations for the character of Oliver from Erich Segal's Love Story.

If love means never having to say you're sorry, then winning an Oscar and being an A-list actor (and occasionally writer/director) means never having to explain who you are. I still can't figure out how he got a nomination for JFK (especially with so many great performances in there), but I'm glad I watched In the Valley of Elah (-ella, -ella, hey hey... wait, this isn't about Rhianna) and he was fantastic in Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men.

I haven't seen his Cannes Best Actor-winning performance in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which he also wrote and directed.

Anyway, you know him, you (probably) love him (too). Here are some clips.















And finally a mash-up with his wonderful line from The Fugitive.

Song of the day: "Echo"

(h/t to Clark)

By Gorilla Zoe, from earlier this year.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I will take Kim S. for the block

"Well, put me on the list to bring back Silk Stalkings now that Monk is in its final season. Nothing against Tony Shaloub, but I wanna see Jeff Conaway as a sexy sleuth who walks the night in Dark Underpants."--friend Kim in, what, Forsyth county?

Remind me again, what happened with this?


Did we ever get any details on this? Or are we still working at a very abstract level here?

It says something about universal access to affordable coverage. I'd like to see the details on that please.

RIP Patrick Swayze

Let's all try to have a Patrick Swayze Christmas anyway.

The view from my commute home (wrong way edition)


But I was heading the other way... I wonder what I missed.

RudePundit is ruder than me... go RP!

The entire 9/12 march and rally was like the Special Olympics of protests. You wanted to say, "Good for you," and give them all certificates of participation. Actually, that's unfair. Considering the level of intellect and empathy at work in DC this weekend, a roomful of Downs Syndrome kids would have more compassion and genuine feeling than all of the 50,000 or so right-wing zealots, racists, idiots, and liars scootering and shuffling around the Capitol combined.

Full post here.

RIP Jim Carroll

"This song is for you my brother."

My training shift at the college radio station back in 1987, the guy who was training me played this as a "suggestion" (don't call them "requests").

I'd never heard it before then but I feel like I've heard it at least twice a year ever since then.

Misty water-colored memories... here's Jim's signature song.

Proof that while you can't please everyone, you can confuse most

This appeared outside my office building during my two weeks off. At first I thought it was a man with a totem poll riding a pig. On closer review I'm thinking maybe it's a boar.

I am sure selecting decorations (I'm reluctant to use the word "art") for public venues is a thankless task. This one's okay. I don't know if it's the folks who own/operate my office building, or if it's related to the new Portland bus mall, but it definitely could have been worse (and I'm not trying to damn them with faint praise).

If I find out more, I will update.

Happy birthday Morten Harket

I'm sure there are umlauts, or other Norwegian-type symbols missing from his name. Sorry. This morning's birthday list was a challenging mix: Faith Ford (liked her 20 years ago), Melissa Leo (reminds me I need to watch Frozen River), the lead singer for a-ha (they were a band)... I did a quick search, I'd hate to limit my options to currently living pop culture types and miss someone relevant like Billy Wilder, and I found Margaret Sanger which is one of those names, like Sojourner Truth, that I kinda know I should know, but oh god it's not even 7:30 a.m. so I don't remember (thank you inter-tubes: she was pivotal in the early 20th century in the birth control movement--her organization, the American Birth Control League, went on to become Planned Parenthood [although someone recently commented that Unplanned Parenthood was a more appropriate name] and considering how much of her work happened before suffrage for women, it's all the more impressive).

But Todd R. never pretended to be Margaret Sanger at a restaurant in Atlanta back in 1986. So Morten wins.

And in Todd's defense, he didn't start it. He looked enough like Morten (in fact, I'll bet they still look alike--which would not be a bad look to have) that someone asked him if he was the guy from a-ha, and if I recall correctly, Todd replied "yes, I'm trying to have some quiet time where no one recognizes me" (or something like that). It's not like he was walking around demanding free booze ("look at me, I'm Morten Harket!")... that's not Todd's style.

Well, it wasn't 20-something years ago. But it's also not his birthday.

Back in 1995 (it seemed so recently) Morten swept the Spellemannsprisen (the Norwegian Grammys) winning Spellemannsprisen of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Artist. It was a big night for him, where were you?

Of course we all remember his big hit from the year, "A Kind of Christmas Card." Here it is, underscoring Norway's higher-than-average suicide rate (this is a Christmas song? did he mention Fairuza Balk?):


There were 2 James Bond movies between Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan, starring Timothy Dalton (I liked them both--they were a good break from the campiness of the last few Roger Moore movies, but the box office dropped considerably). The first of these, The Living Daylights (also starring Joe Don Baker of Mitchell fame), featured a theme by a-ha--I assume they were hoping for a hit as big as Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill" but it was't. Which is a shame, I still think it's a pretty good single, although re-hearing it for the first time in at least 10 years, I'll say it feels like some producer played the Duran Duran song for them and said "give us something like that" and let them go to it.


"Cry Wolf" was the first single from a-ha's second album:


And of course, the most famous a-ha song, courtesy of Family Guy:

Song of the day: "Boom"

Anjulie, which I think is short for Duffy Adele Winehouse. Or maybe A&R guys really are still doing the same shit they've done since the beginning of time.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

RIP Larry Gelbart

Larry Gelbart, a co-creator of the TV series of M*A*S*H, the screenwriter of Tootsie, the under-rated Blame it on Rio and Oh God!, and a co-writer of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the musical City of Angels (no relation to the Nicolas Cage/Meg Ryan movie), passed away on Friday.

Here are some clips.






Runner-up quote of the day

"Mrs. Palin is an inspiration to working mothers everywhere because she bailed on her job right before Fourth of July weekend. You are living my dream. Thank you, Mrs. Palin."--Tina Fey when accepting her Emmy for Guest Actress in a Comedy for portraying Palin on SNL

I am getting sloppy

Ellen Burstyn's Emmy win last night adds her to the "triple crown of acting" list--the elite group of actors who have won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony. She is the 18th actor among the list (which includes the two acting winners of the Grand Slam, the triple crown plus a Grammy [Helen Hayes and Rita Moreno]).

Geoffrey Rush joined the list earlier this year with a Tony win.

Kevin Kline could also join the club next Sunday (with host Neil Patrick Harris) if he wins Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for Cyrano de Bergerac. Since that's the only nomination for that production, and it wasn't made by HBO, I'm saying not super likely. I'm thinking Brendan Gleeson for The Gathering Storm, or possibly Kevin Bacon for Taking Chance (only because it's the first thing he's been nominated for--which would be how Drew Barrymore could win for Grey Gardens... sympathy).

Addison "Joe" Wilson gets around

Quote of the day

The tiny silver lining in this utterly retarded story.

The Eagle in Atlanta was raided last Thursday night. Everyone in the bar was put face down on the floor (yes, that floor) and searched. Bar staff and anyone dancing in just underwear was handcuffed (is that a truncheon in your Ginch Gonch?). It was advertised as Underwear Night.

Despite requiring every one in the bar to be searched, only a few bar staff and dancers were arrested. The charge? No permit for men dancing in underwear.

More than a dozen officers raided the bar, allegedly looking for drugs (and by the way, I never hear about this shit happening at Shooters in Lilburn GA), but the only arrests were related to the lack of a permit for "strippers." (If you begin dancing clad only in underwear, you're not a stripper, you're a Go Go Boy.)

What's a little surprising to me is that Thursday nights used to be fairly, um, randy there. So good for them that it wasn't the reason, nor a cause for any arrests.

Which brings us to the quote. In a comments section on the article someone lamented the death of many gay bars in Atlanta over the past 15 years (overlooking the massive construction in midtown, and assuming it's the city government that wanted them out) and listed The Armory (sigh), Backstreets (sigh), The Phoenix (never went), some others, and The Cove (sigh). And the quote:
"The Cove? Jeezus Christ, honey, how old are you?"--Crispy

I am exactly that old Crispy.

The Nobel Prize for stoner foods


That's not an actual award yet, but I believe I have a nominee anyway. This is taco nachos from Jack in the Box. The tacos ARE the nachos. And then there's that fakey orange cheese and some jalapenos. Which is all good.

Until you get to the bed of shredded iceberg lettuce.

WTF?

Iceberg lettuce is a nuisance food. And by using it as a base for this otherwise fine delicacy, you're causing a major problem. Because the leftover cheese is no longer on the bottom of the bowl that can be licked clean. It's on a bunch of shredded iceberg lettuce.

Iceberg lettuce and gooey nacho cheese. Are you thinking "yum"? Me neither.

So Silver Medal, Jack in the Box. Silver Medal.

An update on John

He thinks he's in Nebraska. Or possibly Wyoming. Still on target to arrive Tuesday night.

But here's the reason for this post. When I finished the call, and clicked the little headphone toggle thing on my earbuds, the Pixies' "Here Comes Your Man" came on my phone (it's an iPhone).

John's not my man, is he?

Sigh.

Anyway, he saw the episode of Law & Order SVU with Ellen Burstyn. Her character is bi-polar and he said Burstyn did a fantastic job. For well over 14 seconds. So there you go.

Here's the Pixies.

While I was away

I apparently missed this great news.

Reminder Notification
2009 Prize Award!!
Winning/Confirm!!
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This email is to notify you that you have won an Award Sum of €500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Euros)in an E-mail program held in Den Haag, The Netherlands.
Please contact the claim officer with your winning info. REF NUM.(NL80246) BATCH NUM.(EU-0375908NL) TICKET NUM.(460205)Name;Mr.Paul Hanson,E-mail:spbglt1@aol.nl.
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Yours Sincerely,
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Public Relation Officer.
************************

Underappreciated: John Mellencamp

I don't feel like I've written enough about Mellencamp in terms of why I respect him. And with him, it can be summarized in a single album, 1985's Scarecrow. I probably wouldn't have purchased the cassette (yes, cassette) had I not liked the lead single "Lonely Old Night" so much.

Here's an acoustic version (original video here) from a performance he did at Walter Reed Hospital.


I'm sure my anti-rural snobbery of that time meant I thought there was no way someone could celebrate small towns and family farmers in a substantial way. Sell the farm, move to the city. That's what smart people do.

My how times change. I heard an interesting interview this morning on how $7/gallon gas will radically change America. Suburbs will be reclaimed by farmland. So when you see me in my unironic John Deere cap selling free range berries at the farmer's market, stop by to say hi.

Back to Scarecrow: it peaked at #2 on the Billboard Albums chart, and landed 3 singles in the Top 10 ("Lonely Old Night"; "Small Town"; "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A."). Rolling Stone ranks it among the Best 100 Albums of the 1980s. Allmusic (here) has this to say:
A loose concept album about lost innocence and the crumbling of small-town America, Scarecrow says as much with its tough rock and gentle folk-rock as it does with its lyrics, which remain a weak point for Mellencamp. Nevertheless, his writing has never been more powerful: "Rain on the Scarecrow" and "Small Town" capture the hopes and fears of Middle America, while "Lonely Ol' Night" and "Rumbleseat" effortlessly convey the desperate loneliness of being stuck in a dead-end life. Those four songs form the core of the album, and while the rest of the album isn't quite as strong, that's only a relative term, since it's filled with lean hooks and powerful, economical playing that make Scarecrow one of the definitive blue-collar rock albums of the mid-'80s.

The album opens with the powerful "Rain on the Scarecrow," and the song speaks for itself in setting the scene of the mid-80s farm economy (which, if you weren't there, also spawned movies with The River and Country, and kinda Places of the Heart).


There are two other songs I want to call out, the first is the sweet and somber "Between a Laugh and a Tear," a lamentation on aging. There are no clips readily available, but through the joy of youtube, here's a performance by youtube user BenjaminHWhite... thanks dude!


And finally, the philosophical "Minutes to Memories," a song whose chorus I wish I'd passed along to my nephews. Maybe there's still time.
Days turn to minutes
And minutes to memories
Life sweeps away the dreams
That we have planned
You are young and you are the future
So suck it up and tough it out
And be the best you can

Happy birthday Jean Smart

So I've made a decision to only do one birthday per day (I'm sure there will be exceptions). Generally I'll pick whomever I like most from the list on dlisted, but I might go ironic or in some other direction as a justification to tell a story. This was effective yesterday, but since I didn't blog yesterday, I did the birthday post (Ben Folds) this morning. Believe it or not he beat Paul Walker AND Jason Statham... proving I'm not as shallow as I think I am.

Today is Jean Smart. While I was a fan of Designing Women (another tick on the cliche chart), I didn't see Smart's comic genius until the short-lived High Society, an attempt to Americanize Absolutely Fabulous (with little success). It did give Smart and Mary McDonnell tons of camp lines, but in that typical sit-com ethic, there had to be some good side to them, so McDonnell took in an old friend who was down on her luck. The brilliance of Seinfeld was sticking to the mantra "no lessons, no hugs." I think High Society could have worked had they made the leads amoral, with no redeeming qualities. Like many of my friends. Here's a clip.


Smart won two Emmys (in the Guest Actress in a Comedy category that we've gone over earlier) for work in Frasier. Here's some interesting stuff about that: 1) I can't find a clip of Frasier anywhere--not on youtube, not on hulu, not on xtube (just in case)... weird; 2) while I remember her being on both seasons, and playing the same character, her credits show two different character names (Lorna Lenley and Lana Gardner). She was funny, but the role was a little too caustic for my taste. Anyway, no clip.

She starred in The Man Who Came to Dinner on Broadway and received a Tony nomination about 20 years ago. It seemed worth noting.

She played on 24--I think she was a first lady or something. Another show I ought to watch, I guess. I tried with the first season. When they were able to go from downtown LA to somewhere other than the street outside their downtown LA parking lot in less than 20 minutes, I gave up. And that was before the cougar showed up with the recently kidnapped daughter. She was nominated for two Emmys (one for Supporting Actress in a drama, one for Guest Actress in a drama, god that category is getting old). I won't bother with clips. Sorry. Cougar/kidnapping.

She returned to sitcoms a couple years ago in the "funny but a little much" Samantha Who? It was nicely assembled, but again they went a little too far to balance the cynical with a nice character (poor Melissa McCarthy). If they'd stuck with Christina Applegate, Jean Smart and Jennifer Esposito and taken no prisoners, the show would have been excellent. This clip doesn't showcase Smart well, but is a good overview on the show.


And just to close it out, here's a clip from Designing Women:

Congratulations to Joss Whedon

The Emmys have a lot of categories (there is a category for people who edit montages of photographs used in like flashbacks--just that). And they seem to be trying to anticipate programming and content delivered primarily online (as opposed to avoiding anything on cable channels like they did up until like 1992). I think that's how Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog made it in (and won) this year.

Dr. Horrible is a three-part musical prepared for internet distribution back during the Writer's Guild strike. It stars man of the year Neil Patrick Harris as super villain Dr. Horrible, Nathan Fillion as Capt. Hammer (as in "the hammer is my penis"), and Felicia Day, who you might know from a Cheetos ad.

And it's really fucking good.

It won the Emmy for (take a breath) Outstanding Special Class Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program. Easy enough, right? Not parades. Not Martha Stewart (instructional). Not a talk show. Not a game show. Not a traditional drama or comedy series. Not a mini-series. It beat Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Super Bowl Half-Time Show (which I've heard is a sporting event of some kind). It beat a series of online videos of The Daily Show's correspondents talking about Jon Stewart. It beat online content for 30 Rock (Kenneth the Page's show) and Battlestar Galactica (The Face of the Enemy). And it beat my interview with Candice Bergen on youtube (which wasn't actually nominated, but also didn't win).

Which gives Joss Whedon his first Emmy. The genius behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse, who has been nominated for an Emmy and an Oscar in the past, but generally doesn't get a lot of love, finally wins something. I mean, it's a "shmemmy" but still, it will look good on his mantle. So congrats.

And if you haven't seen it, here's the first part. Links to the next part will appear at the end.

Congratulations to South Park

The evil geniuses (Matt Stone and Trey Parker) behind South Park are geniuses. Seriously. And part of the evil, and part of the genius, is that they hide some of the most insightful satire in the middle of some of today's raunchiest base humor.

Last night South Park won its fourth Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program for the "Margaritaville" episode, an episode that deals with a frozen drink machine as an allegory for mortgage-backed securities. What a cliche, right?

Think it's a gross-out comedy for kids? This is from the episode's Wikipedia entry (here).
"Margaritaville" is a satire and commentary on the global recession affecting much of the industrialized world at the time of the episode's broadcast on March 25, 2009. Randy's approach to resolving the recession, calling for frugality and stigmatizing spending on luxuries, and the result of causing the quality of life in South Park to deteriorate, is a demonstration of the paradox of thrift. Kyle's counter-movement could be broadly interpreted as Keynesian, given Kyle's heavy emphasis on the demand-driven causes of the recession, his assertion that an entire economy is not a personal being and not driven by a moral imperative, and his final act of liquidating the town's bad debts in order to stimulate demand.

Here's a clip:

Congratulations to Ellen Burstyn and Michael J. Fox

The guest acting Emmy awards are presented during the Creative Arts Emmys the week before the televised Emmys (next Sunday, host Neil Patrick Harris) and that was last night. This years winners are no strangers to the acceptance speech. Yes that's the same introduction as the earlier post--I originally planned to do all four Guest Acting awards in one post, but decided against it later. The same shit applies.

Ellen Burstyn has an interesting history with Emmy. Last night's win, for Law & Order SVU was for her fifth Emmy nomination. Three years ago she received a somewhat controversial nomination as Supporting Actress in a Made for TV Movie/Miniseries for Mrs. Harris. This particular performance consisted of 14 seconds of screen time, and 38 words of dialog (I don't recall who rushed to her defense and said "and she was astounding in all 14 seconds"). To her credit, Burstyn's response was perfect:
"I thought it was fabulous. My next ambition is to get nominated for seven seconds, and ultimately I want to be nominated for a picture in which I don't even appear"

The next year, the Emmy rules were amended to require a minimum screen time of 10% of the total program time. But in a world with two-minute digital shorts, perhaps there's still a chance.

So her first Emmy, but it will share a shelf with her Oscar, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, numerous critics awards and whatever they give inductees into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. I'm guessing it's a plaque with the outline of the state.

She won for an episode of Law & Order SVU (which, on a tangent, I caught an episode of last night, and the extent to which they can blend multiple "ripped for the headlines" aspects into a single story line is amazing--there has to be a drinking game in there somewhere). SVU seems to have found the recipe for Guest Actress since Burstyn follows Cynthia Nixon (last year), Leslie Caron (2007), and Amanda Plummer (2005) as recent winners. Among the other nominees in the category were two more for SVU: Brenda Blethyn and Carol Burnett.

I tried to figure out what "ripped from the headlines" aspect was in this episode, and this was as much as I found on the episode: Swing--Stabler is shocked when his daughter, Kathleen, becomes the suspect in an investigation to catch a trespasser. He seeks his estranged mother's help in dealing with his daughter's case. I don't know who Stabler is, but I'll assume it's the fantastic Chris Meloni, and that Burstyn played his mother. It would have been way more interesting if it was Ice-T and Burstyn. I'm just saying.

Sadly there's no clip of her in this episode readily available for me (and I looked). They didn't even have her 14 seconds in Mrs. Harris. So here's a generic tribute to Burstyn.


And finally, Michael J. Fox won his fifth Emmy (3 for Family Ties, 1 for Spin City) for his appearances on Rescue Me. Among his other awards are several Golden Globes and the Aftonbladet TV Prize which is apparently from Sweden. The next year David Letterman won.

Rescue Me is on that list of quality television that I just don't make an effort to watch. Along with Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Damages and Saving Grace. So I have no idea who he is in the food chain of characters, but at least I have a clip: