Saturday, February 27, 2010

Review of the day

"Wow finely a place that all the employees speak English."--a review of an auto junkyard/you-pull parts place (which I need since my truck rearview mirror was knocked off the other day)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Mr. English is confusing "finely" and "finally" I think. I'm sure he means "speak English as good as I does."

Song of the day: "Mess"

Martha + the Muffins from their first album in nearly 20 years (Delicate). It's pretty damn good, too.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A new greatest thing ever, ever

(huge h\t to Erin!!!!)

Colorado Springs: most problems solved, now focusing on this

(h\t Kassie) [UPDATE: h\t Kelly]

Avenue Q posters featuring the cleavage of Lucy the Slut have been banned from the streets of Colorado Springs. I guess every other one of society's problems have been solved there, so good for them.

Details here.

[UPDATE: Lucy responds!]
"When my P.R. people told me that my cleavage was banned from the bus shelters of Colorado Springs, my first thought was: they could fit my cleavage on a little bus shelter? Then I was disappointed -- I simply hoped to further beautify the community. However, given my notoriety as a profligate home-wrecker, I suppose all of the men of Colorado Springs might succumb to my generous charms. My bazooms are widely acknowledged as a threat to the traditional family structure.

"That being said, I keep getting romantic calls from one of the senior execs at Lamar Entertainment, the company that banned my billboard. He's sent me at least a dozen deliveries of flowers so far, plus a bunch of expensive jewelry. Maybe he banned me in order to keep me all for himself. Well, it ain't gonna work, bub! Lucy's for everybody!”--Lucy the Slut

Flashback song: "Call Tyrone"/"Call Simone"

Happy birthday Erykah Badu. Miss you girl!

And a funny response from Tracy Morgan.

Song of the day: "Laura"

Another track from Girls, off Album.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My beloved sister

My Dear Beloved in the Lord,

Good day to you and your family, My Name is Mrs. Rita Petrov,I am married to late Dr. Yuri Petrov who was an Oil Merchant and international businessman before he died in the year 2001 after a brief illness that lasted for only five days. We were married for Seventeen years with a daughter (Lillian)who later died in an Automobile accident. Before the Untimely death of my husband we were both born again Christians. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my Matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was Alive he deposited the sum of ($18,000,000.00 USD) Eighteen Million United States Dollars with a Bank in England whose name is witheld Until we open up communication,this money is still with the Bank till date.

Following my ill health, my Doctor told me that i may not last for the next Couple Of Months due to My cancer problem. the one that disturbs me most is my inability to move Around and Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a Charitable organization or a Trusted Person that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein,according to the desire of my late husband Before his death. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly Way.This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death Hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the Bossom of theLord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that "the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace". I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always.I don't want them to know about this development and i want you to know that With God all things are possible.

As soon as I receive your reply, I shall give you the contact of the Bank where you shall reach them and i will also issue you a Letter Of Authorization from the High Court Of Justice here in Russia that will prove you to be a beneficiary of this fund while I want you and your organization to always pray for me because the lord is my shephard,My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian.Whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth.Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another individual for this same purpose.

Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein while i am Hoping to receive your urgent reply.

Have a Blessed Day.
Your Beloved Sister
Mrs.Rita Petrov.

It's a what?

(h\t to Eric)
Could Admiral Ackbar be the new mascot for Ole Miss?


Details here.

Happy birthday Neil Jordan

He made the truly fantastic The Crying Game (for which he won an Oscar), and the excessively bitchy adaptation of Interview With The Vampire, but writer/director Neil Jordan's best movie is The End Of The Affair. Released in 1999, a year filled with overwrought, over-hyped movies like Magnolia (which has moments, but c'mon), American Beauty (which has moments, but c'mon), The Hurricane, The Insider (is it really as good as people thought it was), and The Cider House Rules, The End Of The Affair clocks in at a brisk 102 minutes. It's filled with great acting (Julianne Moore, Ralph Fiennes, Stephen Rea, and Ian Hart), beautiful cinematography, a lush score, and a lot of filmmakers working at the top of their game (text book examples of costumes, make-up, editing, art direction, etc.). It's adapted from a novel by the great Graham Greene.

Unfortunately this trailer is undermined by the voice of the late great Don LaFontaine (his is the voice of all 1990s movie trailers that include the phrase "In a world..." but isn't suited to this kind of small, smart drama). But just watch.

(The other, under-appreciated movie from that year is The Talented Mr. Ripley.)

And happy birthday to Neil.

Song of the day: "Swim"

Surfer Blood, from Astro Coast. It's too early for me to think of the right description of this music, but it's worth listening to.

From the queen...

to a queen. Despite being from England, it's almost like the writer of this letter speaks a whole different language than I do. But I guess the queen is infallible.

From Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Queen of the United Kingdom

Attn: Beneficiary

My names are Mrs Xu lee . I am the director of information Her Majesty Revenue and Customs, London United Kingdom. Our duty is to look into transactions and records of banks, securities companies and financial houses within Europe based on the directive of the British Prime Minister.

We also work in collaboration with American, Asian, African and Australian clearing houses. During our investigation we discovered un-paid debts from different banks and securities companies, worth over 400m pounds lying unpaid with Banks in UK and that you are to be paid for an INHERITED FUND/ASSET, You are going to receiver your fund from HSBC Bank London

View the website for more information:

Contact him on this information bellow

Name John peter
Tel phone number: 44-702-401475877

I want to inform you that the problem you are having is from your partners and the lawyers who is representing you, they do not reveal the reason for the delay of your payment and the reason you should pay the money they demand from you. My reason for contacting you is to inform you to stop payment of any such to the lawyer or to the financial institutions and securities companies as you will not receive your fund due to some anomalies we discovered in your file.

We are to protect your interest, contact me immediately so we can advice you on how you will receive your fund without any impediment. You are hereby advised to maintain constant contact with me and avoid any interaction with unscrupulous agents, partners or lawyers.

Yours faithfully,

Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Queen of the United Kingdom

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Letter from a mountain soldier

(h\t to Rachel Maddow, who featured this on her MSNBC show tonight)

This is a letter written from an active duty soldier to someone in the process of discussing the repeal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell (aka, "you can be black/a jew/a woman, just don't be tooooo black/jew-y/complain when we rape you" for teh gayz).

Letter from a Mountain Soldier
An infantry officer in Afghanistan explains the personal relevance of DADT


This is indeed revolutionary stuff. Not the deliberate reconsideration of the DADT issue, but that you're actively encouraging such an adult, open dialog.

I'm one of your officers, currently deployed supporting a WIAS tasker and I look forward to my Division meeting up with me here in Afghanistan. My partner of 10 years and I have happily accepted the various assignments the Army has given me this past decade and have weathered my two 12-month-long and one 15-month-long deployments like, I would imagine, nearly every other couple - save for one detail: the partner I leave behind has no support from any official channels. He would be notified after my brother who is listed as my Emergency POC/NOK. After 10 years, my partner has earned the right to be told first about my death. He has earned the right to make my health emergency decisions. And, he has earned the right to be recognized for his sacrifices just as any other spouse. The exception being that he is not a spouse. We are not a recognized couple. And the very fact that he and I live in a marriage-like relationship could cause us to lose my pension and our financial security later in life.

As a former combat arms commander, I've had to face the DADT issue not just because I am gay - an imutable characteristic that is no more a choice for me than someone could choose their race - but because I've had 4 gay men in my command who I have known to be gay. I knew about two of them because they believed that living a lie was counter to their ethical charge as Soldiers. One was chaptered and the other was transferred. I knew about another because he was outed by an Evangelical roommate who had "baited" him into admitting it to him. He was not chaptered because we were a week from deploying and no one believed he really was gay. When he left the Army after we redeployed, he came back to tell me that indeed, he was gay. And, I knew about the fourth one because after he died of wounds from an IED, his partner of four years wrote me - not knowing my orientation - to tell me how much SSG ___ loved the Army, how we were the only family he'd ever known, and how much he appreciated the support of his fellow NCOs who knew about his personal life and whose spouses back home had taken care of him (the partner).

The "there's a gay dude looking at me in the shower/coming on to me in the fox hole" argument is a pathetic, lame canard. Having been through more than my share of the Army's best lodging - Ranger School comes to mind, as do the Hindu Kush, the desert in Iraq, and multiple Army gyms across world - I can tell you that the only thing I've ever thought about while showering was getting in and getting out. I'd be lying if I was to say that I've not worked with attractive people. We all have. But the difference between being an animal and a professional is, among other things, our ability to control ourselves. And, the only thing I've ever thought about in actual combat was living long enough to take care of my guys and to make it home alive.

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this ongoing discussion. And, I hope that if GEN Ham and his panel ask you what your opinion is, that you answer based on the facts, on the beliefs of this current generation of Soldier, and that you eschew the bigoted hypotheses of those who do not believe that the only way for Soldiers to truly be the Soldiers they are ethically charged to be, is to be honest with their buddies, honest with their chain of command, and honest to themselves.


Mountain Soldier (fwd)

Fantastic Japanese SPAM in my comments

(A huge h\t to Erica from Wired Culture for her translation skillz)

This appeared in the comments under my happy birthday post to Julie Walters. Fun!

Song of the day redux: "The Ballad of Rush Limbaugh"

Previously on the Rebel Agenda (here) I featured a new song from the wonderful Nona Hendryx in response to some disgusting, partisan, thoughtless hack comments made by Rush "I speak outrageously because my listeners are too stupid to understand I'm just a fucking partisan hack" Limbaugh regarding Haiti. I wasn't able to embed that song, so it was an effort for you to listen.

Now I can embed. And you can listen. And you can donate to Haiti. Thanks.

I'm sure Congress will deal with this as quickly as they did A.C.O.R.N.

(h\t DailyKos)
Employees of the CIA-connected private security corporation Blackwater diverted hundreds of weapons, including more than 500 AK-47 assault rifles, from a U.S. weapons bunker in Afghanistan intended to equip Afghan policemen, according to an investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee. On at least one occasion, an individual claiming to work for the company evidently signed for a weapons shipment using the name of a “South Park” cartoon character. And Blackwater has yet to return hundreds of the guns to the military.

The guns were signed for by "Eric Cartman."

So you remember how quickly everyone rushed to judge and defund A.C.O.R.N., right? Where's THAT fucking outrage?

Song of the day: "Little Secrets"

Another track from Passion Pit.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The crazy just got crazier!

(h\t Wonkette)

Orly Taitz (remember her) has appealed to the United Nations for protection from persecution in the USA.

No, seriously (click image to embiggen).

But here's what I fucking love: the lawyer representing her works at Brimstone & Co. Maybe Satan & Sons wouldn't take her case.

This might be a hoax (Wonkette links to this) but something tells me it's not. It's exactly that crazy. And I love that the law firm's website has a banner ad with "hosting by Yahoo!"

You know when people say "it's all good"... well, truly, it's all good here!

Flashback song: "The House That Jack Built"

Tracie Young, Paul Weller protege from the early/mid-90s (billed as "Tracie" on her one US release). Apparently she's a DJ in the UK. Loved that record, happy to see this video--hooray for the internets!

R.I.P. Vernon Hunter

(h\t Joan Walsh at Salon)

Vernon was just a guy doing a job when some dumbfuck, angry about something, flew his private plane (which kinda undermines his issues, in my opinion--you own your own plane dumbass, don't be so selfish) into the office building where Vernon worked.

Yes, he's that guy. No one's talking about the victim, just the selfish fucking terrorist.

Read Joan's column on Vernon (here).
"There was just too much going on about what the guy did and what he believed in, and enough's enough. They don't need to talk about him. Talk about my dad. You know, some people are trying to make this guy out to be a hero, a patriot. My dad served two terms in Vietnam. This guy never served at all. My dad wasn't responsible for his tax problems."--Ken Hunter, Vernon's son

In this hyper-partisan world everyone's scrambling to blame Obama or the Tea-partiers, but fuck the terrorist. And fuck blame. Let's take a minute to appreciate Vernon. And ask yourself why you haven't heard about him yet?

Rest in peace dude.

Song of the day: "One Time We Lived"

Perhaps this is directed at aging Gen X-ers. Skinny tie, Flock of Seagulls hair, and a DEVO hat? This is no boating accident.

Another track from Moby's recent album.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy birthday Julie Walters

Educating Rita is hysterical, and well worth watching if you haven't seen it. It would also make a great Broadway musical (just saying--it worked for Pygmalion). And while she was an Oscar nominee for Billy Elliot, and has been in the various Harry Potter movies (which I haven't seen), my love for her is really rooted in a single scene in Educating Rita. Unfortunately I can't find the exact quote, and I'm not sure it's in this clip.

Rita is a hairdresser, and Caine asks her if she's any good. The gist of the quote is that's she's pretty good as long as you have realistic expectations. You can't come in the size of a cow with a picture of Audrey Hepburn and expect her to work a miracle.

Song of the day: "Down In New Orleans"

This gets another of the five Oscar nominees for Original Song out of the way. It's written by Randy Newman; the prologue is sung by Anika Noni Rose (aka, the other girl in Dreamgirls) and the song is sung by Dr. John.

Like Randy Newman, Johnny Mercer wrote many Oscar-nominated songs too, and like Randy Newman, not all of them are classics (case in point). Here's hoping Anika gets to sing during the telecast, thus getting herself a gift bag.

Not that you asked: the Supporting Actress Oscar

So a quick review of the five nominees for Best Supporting Actress this year, and then it's off to work! Hooray.

The five nominees: Penelope Cruz (Nine), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), and Mo'Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire).

If you haven't been watching the various "conference finals" that lead into this contest (that's a lame sports metaphor), you might not realize that Mo'Nique has swept virtually every critic and guild award. She didn't with the National Board of Review, but that doesn't qualify as either a group of critics, or as a guild. They just have good name recognition, and release their list of awards before any legitimate critics groups.

She suffered a lot of criticism several months ago by resisting a push for her to "play the game" in terms of the Oscar campaign. I don't think anyone gives that much credence at this point (she's been actively promoting the film), and the fact is she's given an array of wonderful, touching acceptance speeches over the last few weeks (while James Cameron's hubris during the Golden Globes may have ended Avatar's quick rise as a favorite for Best Picture). I can't imagine any Oscar voter passing over this performance.

And hooray for her. Of all the movies I've seen from 2009, hers is the performance that stands out. It's the one that made me cry (for which I was chided, thanks Sonya). And it the character reminds me, in some ways, of Kate Winslet's character in The Reader: they are both monsters whose character defects blind them to that. In one of her first acceptance speeches, Mo'Nique thanked her husband for giving her this advice on the role: don't judge it, just be it, and leave it on the floor (presumably the editing room floor when the movie was over). Not bad for a woman whose trophy shelf was filled with NAACP Image Awards for her work on The Parkers until just a few weeks ago.

I like the other four nominees, but I have a hard time even coming up with a scenario where Mo'Nique doesn't win. Perhaps if she kills Vera Farmiga before half the ballots are returned. Farmiga is great in Up in the Air, and I'm looking forward to watching The Departed (the only movie I know she's in).

Cruz is great in Nine (most everyone is great in Nine, it's just boring as fuck), and since she won the category last year, I can't see it happening here.

Gyllenhaal's nomination for Crazy Heart is fine. She's a great actress, but this isn't the role that people will remember her for (I'm fairly certain). I hoped she might sneak in this category for The Dark Knight last year (contrast her work as Rachel Dawes with Katie Holmes who originated the role a few years earlier to understand how much Maggie is bringing to the game)--and watch Happy Endings if you want to see one of my favorite performances from her.

Kendrick's good in Up in the Air, but I can see any number of actresses playing the role equally well. I do love her in Camp, here she is poisoning her co-star to ensure her big break.

And with this money I can print a non-defective Dilbert calendar

Dear E-mail Bearer
Lotto Company

Dear E-mail Bearer,

This is to inform you that your email has won a consultation prize of the UK National Lottery EMAIL DRAW held February 16th, 2010. Your email has won you 1,000,000. Great British Pounds. To claim your prize, contact the appointed claims Agent Morris Minnor with your file Number KTU/9023118308/03. REFERENCE NUMBER:Uk/9420x2/68 ticket number 6750617259356460902,serial number 67749137002 and with the following details listed below. Contact him via email immediately within the next 24hrs of receiving this Notification of prize.

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Mr. Morris Minnor
Head Winning Claims Dept.

Congratulations once again.

Yours faithfully,
Elizabeth Williams
Uk National Lottery

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy birthday Alan Rickman

This really doesn't do him justice, but I find it amusing.

Happy birthday dude!

Quote of the day

"I got fully fired up to take maximum risk."--Bode Miller on winning a gold medal in some kind of skiing thing (super combined?)
Fully fired up.

And maximum risk.

Congratulations dude!

Song of the day: "Fantasma"

By Janina. It's a Spanish language cover of an 80s hit--you'll have to listen to find out what.