Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy birthday Jon Stewart

This was a tough call. It's also Ed Harris's birthday. Ed Harris. But when it came down to it, I need Jon Stewart. He's a regular fixture in my life, 4 times a week if it's a good week. The bad weeks are the rerun weeks.

Jon Stewart took over The Daily Show in 1999. At that time he was a stand-up that I enjoyed. Under his leadership, The Daily Show grew from fun fake news to razor sharp political satire. Two Peabody awards, 13 Emmys, and various other awards later, The Daily Show is very important to me. I was giddy to recently discover that I can watch new episodes at 8 p.m. local time on the HD Comedy Central channel.

He also produces The Colbert Report. If he would come over on Saturdays and make me french toast, he would be the perfect man.

Decade in Review - 2000
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


Decade in Review - 2001
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

John's mom is on oxygen, bitch, what's your excuse?

Gah! Hey, look, my mom is like Sarah Palin!

Dinner at John's

A turkey was suffocated using this dry cleaning bag. These are not toys. Do not let your children play with them. By the way, what kind of ghetto parent even thinks of letting their kid play with a dry cleaning bag? I mean, really. John's mom, who drove from Long Beach CA to Portland OR on 6 liters of oxygen--over 3 grueling days--got up and cooked a delicious turkey. My mom wouldn't even get dressed to drive 1-1/2 miles to Walmart to get pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving night. Poor Michelle.



Clark improvised a quick cranberry thing. John's mom's medicine interacts badly with cranberries so I told him to keep some leftovers (just in case).
 

I made sweet potatoes (looking suspiciously like dog food, but actually very tasty)--brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, pecans, and optional coconut. Yes, they are a healthy side dish!
 

And two kinds of toppings. Both low fat.
 

Hooray for John, thank you for hosting. Good luck with your mom.

The office of the national security adviser

No, not General James Jones (my cousin). It's the national security adviser of Nigeria. Nigeria, please.

OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
TO THE PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
GET BACK TO ME AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVINIENCE

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am Lt. Gen. Peter Olu, National Security Adviser to the President Umar Musa Yar’ Adua Federal Republic of Nigeria. I decided to contact you because of the prevailing security report reaching my office and the intense nature of policy in Nigeria. This is to inform you about our plan to send your fund to you via cash delivery. This system will be easier for you and for us. We are going to send your contract part payment of US$4.1 Million to you via diplomatic courier service.

Note: The money is coming on two security proof boxes. The boxes are sealed with synthetic nylon seal and padded with machine. This fund was brought to us from America; it was meant for our Local AFEM market. But since the money was not used, I will use my position as the National Security Adviser to the President to send this fund to you.

The boxes are coming with a Diplomatic agent who will accompany the boxes to your house address in your country. All you need to do now is to send to me

Your full name
Your house address
Your age
Your marital statue
Your identity such as, international passport or driver license
Your contact phone and fax numbers,

The Diplomatic attached will travel with it. He will call you immediately he arrives your country's airport. I hope you understand me.

I will let you know by the special grace of God when the boxes are airlifted.

Note: The diplomatic does not know the original contents of the boxes. What l declared to them as the contents is Sensitive Photographic Film Material. I did not declare money to them please. If they call you and ask you the contents please tell them the same thing Ok, i will let you know how far I have gone with the arrangement. I will secure the Diplomatic immunity clearance certificate that will be tagged on the boxes to make it stand as a diplomatic consignment.

This clearance will make it pass every custom checkpoint all over the world without hitch. Confirm the receipt of this message and send the requirements to me immediately you receive this message. If you need more information about this, I will give you the contact of the diplomatic agents for more information on how to carry out the plan.

Please I need urgent reply because the boxes are schedule to leave as soon as we hear from you. Reply me immediately you receive this message via my private E-mail :(genpeterolu1002@gmail.com) Call me on my direct phone : (234-7026905160) or Fax: (234-8029402741)

Best Regards,

Lt. Gen. Peter Olu
National Security Adviser to the President
Federal Republic of Nigeria

The state dinner party crashers

So Barrack HUSSEIN Obama was directly in charge of the screening process for the state dinner last week, right?

And his ineptness led to 2 party crashers in the state dinner? Unacceptable.

If this keeps up, he's SURE to have us invade a country that poses no threat to us, leading to thousands and thousands of needless deaths, both Americans and (pfff) non-Americans.

Oh, wait, that's considered "keeping America safe" isn't it? So, um, good for you Hussein. Good for you.

Song of the day: "Hang On"

By Illinois. It's a few months old, but still from 2009.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Flashback song: "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" (with and without "Blue Monday")

Clinton will correct me if this ISN'T Kylie's biggest hit. This is listed as the "original" version. It sounds like what I was looking for.


And an all-time favorite mash-up combines Kylie with New Order. "Blue Monday" was the music bed for our daily concert calendar back at the radio station. It grew old, but 20 years later, it's nice to hear like this.

What else is new at the bookstore

(h/t to Eric for sending pic)

Eric sent me this picture, excited that Sully has a book finally (FINALLY!) out, but I was more thrilled to see that Ivanka Trump has finally given America the book that it so desperately needs. You see, Ivanka, daughter of Ivana and Donald is going to teach America how to be successful in business.

Step 1: get born to someone wealthy and successful.

Step 2: work for them.

Step 3: write about it.

And you're welcome America. You may now go to your book club prepared to discuss, without spending $24.99.

Happy birthday Jimi Hendrix

My disdain for "classic rock" was driven by forced 96 Rock listening. Hendrix was exempted from my disdain because Hendrix was never played on 96 Rock. And by never I mean, um, never. I don't recall hearing him, but perhaps he was. But if so, then really rarely. The new south of the early 80s didn't exactly welcome blacks to the rock lifestyle.

So when I started to hear him when I moved to Portland (he's from the Pacific Northwest, and my adult alternative station plays him among their classic artist roster) I was pleased. Dude made some fantastic music. Seriously.



He's considered by many to be the greatest electric guitarist ever. And there's no overcoming that--it will be impossible to knock a tragic figure like Jimi off that position, so just accept that 2nd is the best you could do at this point.

He's buried in Renton WA, and I only discovered this fact when coworker Jack and I were eating at like a Chili's or Applebee's by the mall there and it was filled with Hendrix memorabilia. We are long overdue for a visit there.


Hendrix died at 27 after ingesting a combination of wine and sleeping pills. Sigh.



Little Richard was a regular at awards shows in the mid-80s, complaining about the lack of appreciation he received for all the innovation he brought to the worlds of rock and R&B. Apparently he was right:
On March 1, 1964, Hendrix (then calling himself Maurice James) began recording and performing with Little Richard. Hendrix, in awe of Little Richard, adopted the rocker's flamboyant taste in clothing and grew a mustache like his. His playing also seems to have been affected by Little Richard, since he had been playing blues when he started with Little Richard, and subsequently played in a more rocking style.



So next time you're in Renton WA, skip the Chili's or the Applebee's (was it Friday's?) and hit the cemetery. Give the man his due. Jimi, dude, you are missed the way those gone too soon are missed.



Happy birthday dude! We rock on thanks to you.

Today I hear from the Central Bank of Nigeria

Excellent.

FOREIGN OPERATION UNIT.
CBN HOUSE, LAGOS NIGERIA.

VERIFICATION OF YOUR PAYMENT FILE.

ATTN: BENEFICIARY

FROM THE RECORDS OF OUTSTANDING CONTRACT/ INHERITANCE DUE FOR IMMEDIATE PAYMENT, YOUR NAME/PARTICULARS WAS DISCOVERED AS NEXT ON THE LIST.

I WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR PAYMENT IS BEING PROCESSED AND FROM THE RECORD IN MY FILE YOUR OUTSTANDING PART PAYMENT 0F TEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS.

KINDLY RE-CONFIRM TO ME THE FOLLOWINGS:

1) FULL NAME:
2) ADDRESS:
3) PHONE,AND MOBILE:
4) FULL BANK DETAILS:
5) PROFESSION:
6) AGE:

AS SOON AS THIS INFORMATION IS RECEIVED YOUR PAYMENT WILL BE MADE TO YOUR NOMINATED BANK ACCOUNT DIRECTLY FROM THIS OFFICE.CALL ME AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS MEMO FOR MORE DETAILS.+234-70-25728574

REGARDS,

REV FR PHILLIPS MATHEW

DIRECTOR FOREIGN OPERATION UNIT.
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)

Song of the day: "My Propeller"

From Arctic Monkeys--is it just me or are they going for a little Pixies thing there?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful for Glenn Greenwald


Crybaby/coward John Bolton, former UN Amabassador

"For a creep like Bolton to try to project his fears on the rest of us is disgusting."--Jesse Levine, counsel in New York City's Law Department

The whole article by Greenwald is worth reading (here).

The apples don't fall far from the tree

(h/t DailyKos)

Sarah Palin's fans articulate as eloquently as she does. "All of them, really..." What's funny is, I bet Bill Kristol would sound basically the same. "She's real" as if what, Hillary Clinton isn't?

Bitch please!

(h/t DailyKos)

Dana Perino you are so fucking wrong. Let me just say 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11. And who was in the White House?

[UPDATE: OH YEAH, and Anthrax! The fucking Anthrax! That was Bush... fuck.]


So Dana Perino, shut the fuck up you lying cunt.

I mean, seriously, did anyone there roll their eyes at least?

Happy Thanksgiving people

Friends always did a great job with their Thanksgiving episodes, enjoy some clips.




Happy birthday Tina Turner

Born Anna Mae Bullock, Tina became something of a footnote relegated to Vegas or cruise ships, until 1984, when she released Private Dancer and reminded us all that she was the queen."Better Be Good To Me" would have made for a stronger album opener, but "I Might Have Been Queen" gets there, suggesting a song written for her ("I remember a girl in the fields with no name," and "soul survivor on the river, but it won't stop"). It foretells the new stage she was starting in her life and career.


But anyone who saw What's Love Got To Do With It? (and if you haven't, you should, Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne are both amazing) you know superstardom didn't just fall in Anna Mae's lap. 24 years earlier, she had her first hit single with Ike, "A Fool In Love":


Her 1966 recording of "River Deep, Mountain High" has an interesting back story. Producer Phil Spector (yeah, the crazy murderer dude) wanted to keep Ike out of the picture because he considered Turner "controlling." So crazy dude A wanted crazy dude B out of the picture, and to make that happen he offered crazy dude B credit on the record if he agreed to stay far away. So Ike & Tina are credited with singing, but only Tina Turner was present in the recording of the legendary song. Written by Spector, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, it cost a then-record $22,000 and, while it didn't chart well when originally released, has become part of rock legend.


The cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" was her biggest hit with Ike, winning them a Grammy in 1968. She's probably done this very same intro to the song 8 million times by now.


Jump ahead to 1975 when she appeared in Tommy as the Acid Queen.


It was shortly thereafter that she broke free from Ike. See the movie, there's some good stuff in there. Her collaboration with Martyn Ware and Ian Marsh (Heaven 17), a cover of The Temptations "Ball of Confusion" was a minor hit and set the stage for her comeback.


We'll jump forward for the last few tracks. As much as Bryan Adams causes spontaneous eye-rolls from me, there's no denying that their duet was great.


Shit. I totally forgot about Thunderdome. Fucking Aunty Entity. "Thundadome"--big hit.


8 Grammys, the Queen of Rock & Roll, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, one of the greatest rock albums of all time, still touring, yadda yadda. I leave you with the song I heard Monday at the grocery store, from 1984. Better be good to her, or you'll end up like Ike (dead and obscure).


Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the day: "Fader"

By Temper Trap.

A montage of movie titles

Spoken by characters in their movies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thank goodness, it had been a few weeks

Luckily I won another lottery today. This is awesome!

STATE LOTTERY COMPANY
Plot 24 Bachelors Lane,
Green shire, New Castle Nez
London,United Kingdom.
+447011146775.

Dear Lucky Winner;

We are pleased to inform you about the result of the State Lottery conducted in London from our online jackpot draw, which is fully based on an electronic selection of winners using their email addresses.

Your email identity was attached to ticket number; 675061725 9356460902 Serial Number 67749137002. This batch draws the lucky numbers as follows 2-9-23-35-46 bonus number 14, which consequently won the lottery prize in the first category.

You have been approved a cash prize of $1,000,000.00 US Dollars (One Million United States Dollars) in cash credit file ref: ILP/HW 46704/03.

To claim your prize, please provide the details stated below to your claims officer which falls into our African Regional Office in Nigeria to enable him file and process your prize for immediate remittance.
=====================
Contact: Dr. Raheem Adams.
Phone: +23480-352-77-969
E-mail: heemadams@hotmail.com
=====================
Full Name:
Address:
Date of Birth:
Sex:
Occupation:
Mobile Number:
Telephone/Fax Number:
=====================

Congratulations once more on your lucky winning.

Best regards,
Elizabeth Addison
Online Coordinator.

The 10-year rule runs into George Clooney

Sigh. I am really looking forward to Up in the Air, Jason Reitman's new movie starring George Clooney and Anna Kendrick.

But now I'm conflicted. Vera Farmiga plays a love interest of sorts (or so it seems). And she's 12 years younger than Clooney [cue: disqualification sound effect]. This violates my 10-year rule.

Lauren Graham, Parker Posey, Olivia d'Abo, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laura San Giacomo, Samantha Mathis and Debra Messing are all more age appropriate. And would probably appreciate the call.

At least Clooney isn't romantically linked with Anna Kendrick who is 24. Clooney is 48. An impossibly handsome 48. Oh to look so good in 5 years. Dear Santa...

Anyway, there's a chance that the age difference is acknowledged in the movie. Also Clooney's character isn't supposed to be into relationships, so it might be "just sex." But still, a rule is a rule. Sigh.

Happy birthday Christina Applegate

Enough credit is not given to Married... with Children, a show I think helped reset the divide between the perfection shown on television and the reality of everyday life. I'm sure Norman Lear's shows on the 70s (All in the Family and Sanford & Son) deserve more credit than I give them, but every critic who calls Rosanne ground-breaking without calling MwC "ground-breaking 9 months earlier" isn't being fair. The Christmas episode "You Better Watch Out" remains one of my all-time favorite sitcom episodes.

Christina Applegate came to the world's attention as Kelly Bundy, but you know that.


Her post-MwC showcase, Jesse, is a show I barely remember. I know she had a kid? And lived with her dad and brothers? And one of them didn't talk. Until he did? But here's what was great about the show: the fucking Friends-ish-ness of the opening credits. Enjoy.


She won an Emmy for Guest Actress in a Comedy for her work on Friends as Rachel's sister.


She holds her own with the boys in Anchorman, but it's hard to characterize the acting in movies like this.


She impressed a lot of folks with a turn on Broadway in Sweet Charity, picking up a Tony nomination.


She was adorable in the show Samantha Who?, a show that got dumbed down a little too much by trying to make her nice. If they focused on Applegate, Jean Smart and Jennifer Esposito, and stopped trying to make a place for poor Melissa McCarthy and Kevin Dunn, it could have been great. Sadly it got the axe after 2 seasons.


Applegate is starring in a biopic about Elizabeth Montgomery, currently in production. Hopefully they'll get her back to Broadway soon. She'd make a great Roxie Hart.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Notes on Precious

(A reminder that these are more about keeping notes for the Oscar race, and less about writing a traditional movie review.)

There are too many movies I haven't seen yet for me to declare anyone a "lock" but Precious has to be considered a strong contender for Best Picture, Best Director (Lee Daniels), Best Actress (Gabourey Sidibe), Best Supporting Actress (Mo'Nique), Best Supporting Actress (Paula Patton), Adapted Screenplay, and Original Song ("I Can See in Color" cowritten by Mary J. Blige and Raphael Saadiq). The expansion of the Best Picture category to 10 slots and the significance of Sidibe's role and performance would seem to guarantee nominations there. Mo'Nique has some bad recent PR about her willingness to promote the movie/"play the game" to get a nomination, but failing to nominate this performance would be an injustice.

The cinematography has its moments, and they play with a variety of film stocks and lighting approaches to switch between the grim reality of Precious' real life and the opulence of her fantasy life. I am appreciative of that technique, but there are some scenes where the camera work seemed sloppy. For now, let's call it a soft chance.

There's a nice variety of make-up work in the movie, and it would be great to see that recognized, but I don't know if it's sufficiently showy to get a nomination. Those typically go to movies that involve prosthetics or aging (like Hellboy and Benjamin Button), but we'll see.

I'll grant a soft chance to the score, but honestly I don't remember it at all. But some might call that "inoffensive."

I thought the editing was weak, and have a hard time thinking the movie will earn a nomination there.

If they had a category for casting (long discussed, never acted on) this would clearly warrant a nomination. In addition to 3 solid performances, the entire cast of relative unknowns or "unlikely actors" is solid. And that includes Mariah Carey, who turns in some great work. It's not a showy role, but that's what makes it all the more impressive. There's no way she'll get an Oscar nomination ahead of Paula Patton. She will, however, be eligible for a nomination in the Screen Actors Guild's Ensemble category (which requires single title credit) and that would be a sufficient tribute to the performance. Lenny Kravitz is also eligible as part of the ensemble, but I think Sherri Shepherd may not be. She's funny, but she's Sherri Shepherd, so I couldn't tell if she was playing Angie Jordan or Robert's partner on Everybody Loves Raymond, just with different hair.

I went reluctantly, expecting a 2-hour bummer, but was really pleased with how well it's put together. Director Lee Daniels should be proud of his work, regardless of how many nominations the movie receives. It would also be great to see 12 more movies that are even better than this before nominations are announced, but I won't bet on it.

A sunny day in November


This used to be a parking lot, but it's becoming a public square that will house another interactive fountain. Either the square or the fountain (I have forgotten which, possibly both) is dedicated to teachers, which I think is great. It's a relatively thankless job, but what do you expect, it's socialism. Damn dirty apes.

Hey look everyone, Courtney Love still exists

(h/t Dlisted--go read the original)

Here's your teaser:
When is Rosetta Stone going to come out with a Courtney Love version, so that most of us can fully understand her crackisms?

I still hold out hope that VH1 pairs her with Flavor Flav for the next season of Flavor of Love (see, her last name is Love). Not that they would date ("date") each other, but they could pick each others dates. That would go well.

And by "well" I mean "spectacularly unpleasant."

Which is what one looks for in a VH1 series, I'm sure you'll agree.

Oh hell yes!

(h/t Dlisted)
The Muppets, the way you always wanted them, covering Queen.

Flashback song: "Everybody's Talkin'"

Harry Nilsson's original from 1969:


And the Beautiful South cover from 1994:

Song of the day: "Don't Stop the Music"

Jamie Cullum's take on the Rihanna song.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Okay Fallon, you're justifying your existence

"Neil Young" covers the Fresh Price theme.

The new purity test for the RNC

Keith Olbermann explains.

Happy birthday William F. Buckley Jr.

From his Wikipedia entry:
"One cannot doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed." Buckley has also stated that "...it's important that we acknowledge in the inner councils of state that it (the war) has failed, so that we should look for opportunities to cope with that failure."
Until his death in February 2008, Buckley represented a considered voice in conservative political thought in the US. But he was NOT married to Betty Buckley. His son Christopher wrote Thank You for Smoking and other fun novels, so there's that.

He founded the National Review and hosted Firing Line for 33 years. In addition to his non-fiction books on politics, history and sailing, Buckley wrote a series of novels inspired by his work as a C.I.A. agent, featuring a character named Blackford Oakes (really, William F. Buckley Jr.? that's your character's name? Anyone here ever met a "Blackford"?).

But again, he was not married to Betty Buckley, Tony winner from Cats.

As I began reading about him this morning, my first thought was "of course he's a conservative, his father was an oil baron." Oil baron. Baron. Yes. People whose lives are pretty well off and who want to keep as much of their money as they possibly can tend to be conservative. Or libertarian (although apparently he pissed off Ayn Rand... and Gore Vidal which prompted me to create this hastily rendered Venn diagram).



After serving in the Army during World War II he attended Yale, where he was a member of Skull and Bones. Afterward he was recruited by the C.I.A. to work as a covert operative. Just like George H. W. Bush. By the way, as a former covert C.I.A. operative, G. H. W. Bush (or "Daddy" as W. probably called him) must have been furious that his son's administration outed an agent for cheap political tactics.  Wow, I would not want to be at that Thanksgiving dinner (like that's a real pressing concern).

Buckley represents a lot of the philosophical inconsistencies I see in the conservative movement. He considered himself a Catholic, but left his position on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA when they took an official stance against capital punishment in 1977 ("Thou shall not kill" right?). And don't get me started on his hard-on for nuclear deterrence. Or his pissy-ness over Vatican II. Vatican II. I am on vacation and I am writing about Vatican II: Electric Bugaloo.

Fun fact, Buckley helped Joe Lieberman get elected to the Senate. Ugh. Apparently the sitting Republican Senator, Lowell Weicker, wasn't conservative enough for Buckley. But Democrat Lieberman was. Buckley organized a campaign against Weicker and endorsed Lieberman. Thanks a fucking lot Buckley.

But snarkiness aside, his brand of conservatism was laudable. It was thoughtful and considered, and not nearly as hawkish as douchebags like John Bolton or Bill Kristol, or hollow as buffoons like Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity. I tried to find any thoughts Buckley had on FOX News, but couldn't find any. The conservative movement seems to give him some degree of reverence, but I can't help but think he'd take Beck apart over some of his rhetoric. But it's likely he would have been marginalized as not being a true conservative (ironic given that he himself differentiated between Conservatives and conservatives)--after all, he changed stances on Civil Rights (supporting the creation of a holiday for MLK) and decriminalization of drugs.

It's regularly mentioned that Buckley must be turning over in his grave based on shit that gets posted at National Review Online but I'm sure he's still pissed about Mass not being in Latin any more.

I leave you with 2 videos. First, from the movie Aladdin, Robin Williams parodies Buckley when enumerating the limitations on wishes.


And second, Betty Buckley (not his wife), with her signature song from Cats.

Flashback song: "The Entertainer"

The ragtime classic by birthday boy Scott Joplin. From the "I learn something new everyday" category, I was surprised to learn that Scott Joplin was black. If he were referred to as Scott HUSSEIN Joplin, I might have picked up on that, but before today I would have told you he was white. After all, I don't recall any black actors in The Sting, which I closely associate with his music.

Actually, I have always watched a lot of TV, and I do not remember CBS talking about Joplin during Black History Month when they did their minute-long biographies between shows. Ever. And he won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his compositions (like 60 years after he died), so it's not like there wasn't something to talk about.

First you cancel King of Queens, now this? Thanks CBS.

Song of the day: "Full Steam"

Favorites David Gray and Annie Lennox decided to give me an early Christmas present by recording together (actually it's a charity single for Children in Need).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Less is Mormon

(h/t Towleroad)

This is totally suck

West coast viewers of last night's American Music Awards didn't get to see Adam Lambert get all gay, nor did we get to see Jennifer Lopez fall on her ass. WTF?


Fuck you ABC. Fuck you.

Asians still don't count

(h/t to Eric for sending; click image to embiggen)

Happy birthday John Wallis

The man brought us much of integral Calculus in the 17th century. And invented this symbol:

It was him or Bruce Villanch or Miley Cyrus. So happy birthday dude!

A little Palin perspective

Courtesy of Frank Rich of the New York Times (here):
The book’s most frequently dropped names, predictably enough, are the Lord and Ronald Reagan (though not necessarily in that order). Easily the most startling passage in “Going Rogue,” running more than two pages, collates extended excerpts from a prayerful letter Palin wrote to mark the birth of Trig, her child with Down syndrome. This missive’s understandable goal was to reassert Palin’s faith and trust in God. But Palin did not write her letter to God; she wrote the letter from God, assuming His role and voice herself and signing it “Trig’s Creator, Your Heavenly Father.”

The real question: who is less qualified?


Of course I mean "to be President." If it's about qualification to pretend your grandkid is actually your surprise 5th kid, I think we all know Palin is well qualified, having pulled that off for a while now.

Her lookalike lives somewhere in Indiana (you know, REAL America).

37 ethics charges, but a bitch ain't one

(h/t Wonkette)

According to South Carolina's The State newspaper (here): "The S.C. Ethics Commission has charged S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford with 37 counts of breaking state ethics laws."

Wow, that was... what's the opposite of "quick"?

When does the closeted Lt. Governor get to take over? Flame on, dude! Flame on!

More fun with math


Read the story here.

Marc Shaiman named music director of Oscars

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

Why Shaiman isn't running the entire fucking thing is beyond me, but I will take what I can get.

Congrats Marc.

How Satan's lackeys prefer to travel

From Premier Speakers, representing a spectrum of public speakers, from Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck. And Patricia Heaton. Yes, okay, they also have Lance Armstrong and Anderson Cooper, but it's not as fun to be snarky about them.

Glenn Beck is their featured speaker. They will not give his fee online. But they are clear about this: Glenn Beck travels from New York, New York and requires Private Jet (sic). (Apparently no articles are needed to modify the proper noun Private Jet, so figure that out.) Why Private Jet for a self-proclaimed average guy? Because:

P Paranoid
R Racist
I Insolent
V Vacuous
T Tasteless
E Enervating (it's an S.A.T. word people, look it up)
Glenn gets top billing, and the bottom right speaker (think of it as "And Special Guest Star...") is Sean Hannity. Sean Hannity travels from New York, New York (by the way, that place is FULL of homosexuals and jews and negroes... what the fuck are all these white supremacists doing living there?) and requires Private Jet. Why Private Jet? Because fuck Glenn Beck, that's why.

Mike Huckabee requires $4,000 flat airfare payment and travels from Little Rock, AR. Honestly, if he requires a flat airfare payment, I don't give a fuck where he travels from.

Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC, requires first class ticket for one (1)--the loneliest number--as well as ground transportation and hotel. He travels from Washington DC.

Steve Doocy charges $15,000. There you go, now you know what it costs to spend "quality time" with Steve. Steve also travels from New York, New York and requires first class travel for one (1). It just sounds so sad.

Brian Kilmeade charges $12.500, and also travels from New York, New York. But you know what, Brian understands that times are tough. He requires coach travel for one (1). Also there's a coupon code available and he will help with clean up. Please. Please.

And finally, Neil Cavuto (there are plenty more, if you want to see what Ben Stein or Lance Armstrong require) travels from New York, New York and requires private jet and local expenses. There must be some [piping] convention in the website and no one anticipated the need for "a" or "an" when they wrote the copy. Why does Neil Cavuto require a private jet and not round-trip bus fare? Are his imaginary friends afraid of being in public? What's interesting is that this is one of Cavuto's speaking topics:
Who says the little guy's so stupid? 
Cavuto view: "I have proof the smart guys have botched it big time.
Note to Neil: the little guys are flying coach. The smart guys are demanding private jet. Do you have a mirror handy.

Song of the day: "Graffiti Worth Reading"

New from Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Flashback songs: "Estoy Aqui"/"I'll Stand By You"

I'm watching the American Music Awards with Clark, and after Shakira's appearance I played her track "Estoy Aqui" which was my introduction to Shakira in 1996. Note the overall physical similarity to Alanis back then. When she released her English language debut she was very Britney.


After listening to it, Clark asked what song it was a remake or, or what song remade it. I didn't think there was any, but we relistened and there was clearly a familiarity to it. So I used the Google and this was the best answer. Somebody call the lawyers, since the Pretenders hit was from 1994. I wonder how much of my love for Shakira was based on this (although it's not a favorite of my as far as Pretenders songs go).

Flashback song: "Mary Mary"

Run DMC from 1988.

More Al Gore

From this past week's 30 Rock. A funny episode, by the way; Jena's not in it much but what she contributes is great ("'Drama' is like Gatorade for gay guys...").

Flashback: JFK assassination

46 years ago today in Dallas, John Kennedy was assassinated.

I took my father to Dealey Plaza and the grassy knoll when he visited me in Dallas, and was thrilled at the number of independent "tour guides" who mill around offering to tell you the real story for a mere $20 fee.



I think Oliver Stone's JFK is a fantastic movie, his mixture of film stock/format was innovative and he pulled together a lot of the mythology around the events and incorporated them into a as "reasonable" explanation as I've heard. I mean, after "lone gunman" of course--that's the official answer, and I totally trust our government.

Stone's cast is impressive. I don't get how Tommy Lee Jones picked up a nomination for Supporting Actor (although he's good)--I would have gone with Donald Sutherland, although the role is very brief. I think it's probably Kevin Costner's best work.

Carrie Prejean: 8 sex tapes (and counting)

I know this isn't exactly breaking news, but as I transition to vacation I feel the need to make this point.

When it was a sex tape, it was the "biggest mistake of her life."

She hasn't elaborated as to which OF THE EIGHT is the biggest mistake and/or whether she feels pretty good about any of them.

But I'm not writing this to castigate her for making sex tapes. Frankly, that's the most honorable thing she's done for her notoriety.

I'm writing to ask this question: now that we have established that she's an adult film actress, shouldn't conservatives stop caring about her opinions? I mean, does she have to have been paid to act in order for them to not care what an actor/actress thinks?

Al Gore's new plan

He was really funny last night on SNL.

Happy birthday Terry Gilliam

I get disappointed with myself when I write these about a favorite and realize how far behind I am on their recent works. In the case of  Gilliam, it's his 3 most recent works: The Brothers Grimm (widely panned), Tideland (which I never heard of), and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnissus (if I misspelled any of those words, who cares; the movie is the one Heath Ledger was making when he died, and it may not have been released yet so at least I have that excuse [just checked, it's playing the film festival circuit now and has a limited wide release on Christmas day, so let's go, after church]).

Gilliam has one of the most prominent senses of style of film directors working today. There is a wonderful but dark blend of madness, whimsy, chaos and passion in his movies. And a vision. Here's a fantastic scene from The Fisher King, in which Robin Williams follows Amanda Plummer through Grand Central Station.


Here's Michael Jeter delivering a hastily designed singing telegram. I can't think of the music from Gypsy without replacing "June" with "Lydia" because of this. Jeter passed away in 2003 which is a shame--he was a real talent.


The Fisher King earned 5 Oscar nominations (Best Actor Robin Williams, Supporting Actress Mercedes Ruehl, Original Screenplay, Score, and Art Direction), with a win for Ruehl (by the way, I am aware that I am inconsistent with capitalization on award categories, I apologize). Ruehl is great in the movie and won in a highly competitive field (Diane Ladd, Jessica Tandy, Juliette Lewis and Kate Nelligan).


The Fisher King was written by Richard LaGrevenese, and I recall passing a limo driver at LAX holding up a sign waiting for him. I recognized the name (this was late 90s, so I knew the name precisely because he got an Oscar nomination here and went on to write some other favorites like The Ref and Unstrung Heroes) and thought "can't they just use his last name?" and then realized "it's LA, they HAVE to use his full name so people know it's him." Cause, if you're gonna be marginally famous, you need to go all out (and I'm not suggesting that Richard LaGrevenese is a fame whore--I'm suggesting that limo services in LA just assume that anyone using their service is a fame whore; it's their default setting).

Gilliam's biggest hit movie is Twelve Monkeys, starring Bruce Willis, Madeline Stowe and Oscar nominee Brad Pitt (he lost to Kevin Spacey). It's ranked at #170 on IMDB's Top 250 by its users, and it is great. In fact, watching the trailer again I think I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it. If you don't know it, it's worth looking for. It's probably more singularly engaging than any of his other movies (there's a lot going on here, too, but it's all moving together nicely).


His follow up to Twelve Monkeys was an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro. It's grown into a cult hit, but I still don't get why it's not better received.


I'll leave you with Gilliam's greatest work (so far), 1985's Brazil.


Brazil is an interesting companion to Michael Radford's adaptation of 1984, and was prescient enough to foresee an obsession with face lifts.

The story behind Brazil is almost as interesting as the movie itself: the studio drastically re-edited the movie to give it a happy ending. And then shelved it. So Gilliam invited critics to attend unauthorized private screenings, and the unreleased director's edit received the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay awards. The studio then allowed Gilliam to supervise a re-edit, and that compromised version is what I saw back in 1986. All 3 versions are available in the Criterion Collection edition I got from Kim several years ago, but I will confess to not watching the 96 minute "happy ending" version.

I just read that Gilliam flirted with the title 1984-1/2 in homage to both Orwell and Federico Fellini (8-1/2). Love that.

The movie earned 2 Oscar nominations, for its Art Direction and its screenplay (by Gilliam, Charles Alverson, Charles McKeown and the brilliant Tom Stoppard) but lost to Out of Africa and Witness respectively. Rotten Tomatoes rates Brazil at 98% fresh, and it ranks #237 on the IMDB 250. It is routinely included in XXX of All Time movie lists. But it's not for everyone (John).

I'll wrap this without mentioning Monty Python. There's a lot there, but I feel like it's his "college radio" time. Yeah, it was cool and there's a lot to talk about, but it just set the stage for the real life stuff he's been doing. Of course, his real life stuff is w-a-y more interesting than my pie charts. Ah well.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the day: "WTF?"

A new track from OK Go. This is a test for me, a new way to embed a song without a youtube video option. But since OK Go earned their acclaim through the brilliance of their ultra low budget, incredibly clever videos (see "A Million Ways" or the Grammy winning video for "Here it Goes Again"). So here's the actual video, which appears to have been made by someone's teenage daughter showing what she can do with Apple iMovie, which totally makes it cool.

If my constituents want it, and need it, I'm against it

That's the gist of Blanche Lincoln's (D, AR) statement from the Senate floor yesterday. She voted in favor of beginning debate on the Senate's version of the healthcare reform bill, but says she will not vote in favor of a public option (which the majority of Americans, and Arkansas-ians [that might not be the preferred noun] support). And my Sunday morning wouldn't be fun if I didn't spend time googling things like "Blache Lincoln campaign donations" to find out that the healthcare industry represents her second largest donation block. And they will make a shitload more money without a public option.

Dudes, seriously, you are gonna need to pay up big because she's got your back. I mean, fuck the regular people of Arkansas who actually voted for her. You're the guys she really cares about. Not those hillbillies. But you've got to help her more. Right now, you're #2, if you know what I mean. And since I'm paying an extra 14% for my insurance for 2010 (with new limits on coverage, naturally) I know you've got the money.

Or it's possible there is no problem with access to affordable insurance and healthcare in Arkansas. That diabetes isnt' skyrocketing, especially among blacks. In which case hooray. Let's get Blanche to make a documentary about how they solved all their problems so we can learn.

That sounds perfect. Senator Lincoln, the floor is yours.