Saturday, July 24, 2010

And did I mention that I LOVE Cyndi Lauper?

(h\t Towleroad)

Hey look, I'm not the only one calling George W. Bush and Dick Cheney criminals (they are both war criminals, and Cheney is also a war profiteer).

And, AND, I love Elvira Kurt... so that's where she ended up.


Yummy thy name is Miho

Miho on N Interstate Ave is Pan-Asian tapas in concept. I got a gift certificate for there, and used it for dinner. Among the items we had: watermelon with wasabi powder, grilled asparagus, boneless chicken thighs fried in potato flour, grilled squash that looked like tentacles and tasted like heaven, pork spare ribs of awesomeness, salmon, and crab cakes. I'm sure I'm forgetting things, and I made a mess of my white shirt (naturally), and my cocktail included tequila AND pear sake, so I am typing this from a haze of liquor and heat (it's hot out there, and Miho is not air-conditioned, sigh).

Good for foodies, bad for a date (even if you're NOT as sloppy as me, it's lots of finger foods and sauces with spill potential), don't go if it's above 82 degrees outside but do sit outside if it's pleasant enough.

I do appreciate my a/c, by the way. I do.

No, listen to me son... it's not your fault

Good Will Hunting may end up being the convergence of greatness for all involved. In any other movie, I would mock this scene, possibly mercilessly. But here, somehow, it makes me cry.

Every time.

It's Gus Van Sant's birthday today, so I'll give you a shout out here, but I'll also look for you tonight at The Escape (Portland's all-ages gay club).

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Kristin Chenoweth

Tony and Emmy winning actress/singer/all-around awesome gal, Chenoweth should have no problem picking up a Grammy, so we need to get this gal on the path to an Oscar.  In the meantime, enjoy...
It's worth seeing her here introducing the Tonys back in like 2004.

There you go, just a little cross section of the voice and the personality. I would really suck to find out she's dull in real life... really suck.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! Get that Grammy (and get it quick--don't dawdle like Liza).

The 2010 Barclaycard Mercury Prize nominees

...brought to you by Folgers. Or some shit. I get annoyed by the naming rights associated with awards and sports arenas (especially since the FUCKING CITY OF DALLAS paid for that shit, American Airlines... shit). Anyway, Mercury Prize list:
Biffy Clyro Only Revolutions
Villagers Becoming A Jackal
Corinne Bailey Rae The Sea
Mumford & Sons Sigh No More
Paul Weller Wake Up The Nation
Wild Beasts Two Dancers
Kit Downes Trio Golden
Laura Marling I Speak Because I Can
Dizzee Rascal Tongue N’ Cheek
Foals Total Life Forever
I Am Kloot Sky At Night
The xx xx

I've featured Mumford & Sons, Paul Weller, Dizzee Rascal and The xx (and today Foals), but will try to get to the rest over the next week. Eric just brought in Corinne Bailey Rae so that's probably next up.

Song of the Day: "Total Life Forever"

The Mercury Prize nominees are out, and while I've played some of them, I hadn't gotten to Foals yet--I "tagged" "Total Life Forever" from hearing it on KNRK on Weds. morning last week. I'll post the full list, but here you go; I know nothing about them except, huzzah, they are on the Mercury Prize short list.
  Total Life Forever - Foals by Lukkyboy

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Slash

Slash has a Grammy and Axl Rose doesn't. Ha ha.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! (And sorry about the Velvet Revolver comment...)

Happy Birthday Edie McClurg

Edie represents the best of comedy character actors--she isn't given a lot to do, but it's always a joy to see her. [Jane Lynch is similar, and it's great to see her get some EGOT love with 2 Emmy nominations.] McClurg hasn't been so lucky (yet) but there's always hope.

Here's Steve Martin demonstrating how you DON'T get a replacement for your defective fucking Dilbert page-a-day calendar from the prudes at fucking Andrews fucking McMeel fucking Publishing (those fucks), in a scene from Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Look I'm not TRYING to be anal here...

"Most people don't know this but there are invisible pink elephants all over"--graffiti on the fence post at Pioneer Courthouse federal court building

If they're invisible, how do you know they're pink?

Also Portland may not be the most densely packed metro area, but if they are ALL over wouldn't there be traffic accidents or at least fecal matter causing problems?!

Ultimately I have to say I am doubting the credibility of this graffiti. SIGH!

RIP Daniel Schorr

Schorr's passing at age 93 is a loss to journalism (and by "journalism" I mean traditional journalism which is nearly extinct--the modern school of journalism, or "fucking stenographers," is doing quite well and who the fuck cares if any of them die anyway, since they're all fucking replaceable with a sock puppet).

Rest in peace dude.

Happy Birthday Monica Lewinsky... and friends

Poor Monica, she has the unfortunate luck of being the name everyone knows. How sad that the economy was soooo great that Republicans had the luxury of fixating on her.

And kudos to her for moving on professionally, and not trying to make a career out of that. I'm sure FOX News would love to pay her for commentary in an on-going manner.

Today is her birthday, but I want to celebrate a variety of mistresses, not all of whom are household names like Lewinsky grew to be.
  • Callista Gingrich--at 23 years younger than husband Newt, she was having an affair with Newt while he was vocally critical of Clinton and, AND, while his second wife was being treated for cancer. Classy x 2!!! It looks like the Gingriches are still together, but then he usually loses interest at around 20 years, so Callista has another 8 to 10 years before she's left for another woman... probably. But maybe after Newt stops pretending he's running for President so he can get a small swarm of attention, he'll trade her in early. I mean, he's 67--why wait if he can get a newer model now?
  • Jennifer Fitzgerald--George H. W. Bush's mistress (Poppy, not the drunk--drunks don't have sex, in fact W's whiskey dick may explain a lot about why he's a war criminal... just a guess).
  • Anne Davis--the sodomizing partner of Mike Bowers, then Attorney General of Georgia, who pursued a case to keep the Georgia sodomy laws in place to the US Supreme Court all while he was enjoying all kinds of sodomy with Ms. Davis (in Georgia, any kind of sex outside of marriage, ANY kind, even between a man and a woman, was sodomy--but man on man was the only kind that ever got charged... fuckers).
  • The DC Madam--Sen. David Vitter (R, LA) had been seeing a variety of professional sex workers, some of whom claim he has a thing for being dressed in a diaper. Of course, Vitter is ALSO one of the critics of Bill Clinton (who, as you may have heard, cheated on his wife), and Vitter's wife also criticized Hillary--if she were in that situation she would be more "Loreena Bobbitt less Tammy Wynette." Of course, she IS in that situation, and she's done exactly what Hillary did, so she's a fucking liar. I think she owes Hillary an apology.

So hooray to all you gals. I don't blame any of you for anything. But the men in your lives... different story.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on! And appreciate that you've moved on.

Song of the Day: "Tonight, Tonight"

Passion Pit covering Smashing Pumpkin--there's a seed/pit/fruit/gourd type joke in here somewhere. Just pretend I came up with and laugh. Thank you.

A few notes on the economy

At the "Maddow" ad youtube comments section I am currently being lectured about how it's perfectly okay to spend a trillion dollars on war because, DUH, that keeps us alive (but remember, alive? yes!; healthy? go fuck yourself socialist!!!). Oh, and bureaucracy bureaucracy bureaucracy!!!! Um, hello!

So I just feel like repeating some simple points are really worthwhile:
  1. Personal taxes are lower than they have been in like more than 50 years.
  2. Under George W. Bush, TWO wars (we're at war, remember? remember? remember? someone needs to remind YOU that we're at war because you keep acting like we're not at war and we are, we ARE at war... in fact we are at TWO wars... don't forget) were never ever ever ever budgeted for in any of the annual budgets. We are a country with a massive deficit in LARGE part because of this. George W. Bush, war criminal AND bad at economics.
So yeah, maybe I am a total socialist for thinking that I, an employed person, can afford a few more $ in taxes if it means that, I don't know, my local bridges won't collapse.

But I don't want my taxes going to war. Cause that's just fucked. The people who think our spending trillions on defense will keep us safe probably haven't considered that we've been at ORANGE TERROR ALERT for fucking ever now... why might that be? Do we need to spend $6 trillion to be super DUPER safe and have that come down from orange to "yeller"? Shit.

By the way, we are AT WAR (2 in fact)--so fucking remember that you whiny tax-cut wanting selfish bitches. At war. No tax cuts at war. That's not only fiscally stupid, it's un-patriotic. Why do you hate America so much that you expect a tax cut when we are at war.

And we ARE Blanche, we are at war.

Two in fact.

Thanks to George W. Bush, war criminal, and Dick Cheney, war criminal and war profiteer.

Two wars=no tax cuts. Sorry, but that's America. You want tax cuts, go Galt.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

She's a total hero (she's the Flash, just watch her run)

By the way, those of you who WANT a free and prosperous America must totally agree with me that Bill Clinton was the greatest president that America has ever known.

(And I totally get that Clinton is buoyed by the introduction of the internet, but you have GOT to admit that when the economy is really impossibly good, it's easy to care about someone lying about a blowjob under oath in a civil trial, but when terror is afoot you totally overlook war crimes, right?)

Yes, well, technically...

I've been getting a little bit of grief because I went to the youtube page with that Marco Rubio ad featuring Rachel Maddow and bitching about the stupidity of trying to make George W. Bush's (war criminal) temporary tax cuts permanent while ALSO complaining about the deficit. Apparently if you support Rubio, as the folks who posted that ad do, you don't want to hear that kind of "non-Reagan-esque" thinking.

But someone DID make a valid point, which is that Democrats are also responsible for budgets that George W. Bush (war criminal) signed.

So I want to make it clear that I find there to be plenty of stupidity to go around. Bush is despicable and a war criminal and deserving of the fate of Saddam Hussein (and maybe Karla Faye Tucker's family will mock him before his death sentence is delivered), but he had plenty of enablers.

The cult of terror that Bush and Cheney created post 9/11 was really effective at getting nearly everyone to do their bidding. Cause, god forbid you look weak on terrorism even if it means you might have avoided invading a country without provocation and causing trillions of dollars in economic devastation on your OWN country, let alone the total fucking havoc you wreck on the innocent (yes INNOCENT) country you invaded to snap up their oil fields.

So bad Democrats. Bad bad bad. I hope many of you get your asses handed to you in November (really, I do). But not Harry Reid, only because I can't deal with the idea of Sharron Angle being anything but a punchline, and even that will get old by November 10th of this year.

RIP Andy Hummel

"December boys got it bad"

The original bass player for Big Star passed away earlier this week. Here he is on stage at a tribute to Alex Chilton from a few months ago--a rare occasion since he quit music for the aerospace industry decades ago.

Rest in peace dude.

How a sewing machine works

Thank you Roger Ebert!!!

UGH--I can't get the GIF to animate. Click here to see the cool shit.

Happy Birthday Alan Menken



Holy fuck!

Who's next, Sarah Palin?

Sure, those are all reasonable questions as my level of, um, esteem (cough), for 8-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (8, he has 8 Oscars that he's WON, he has even more nominations) is pretty well documented. You can search for his name in the upper left corner search box in the blue band--that searches my blog posts--to see words like "hack."

Today I celebrate a man I also, kinda, consider a hack. It's going to be a conflicted celebration because at one level the songs all run together and many of them could be in any other movie, but, SIGH, some of them are also really fucking good. Yes, ugh, I admit it, he does have some songs that aren't the worst things ever, ever.

First up "A Whole New World" sung by Person A and Person B, from Movie C. It's a perfect song to accompany the scene where:
- Pochahontas takes John Smith on that canoe ride
- Eric takes Ariel on a horseback ride
- Aladdin takes Mrs. Potts on a magic carpet ride
It's perfect for that scene, amiright?

Next is "The Coloreds in the Wind" "The Colors of the Wind"... from what movie does this lecture originate? Bonus: what racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, misogynistic "GOOD Catholic" is being lectured here? Hint: he recently made the news for abusing his mistress (he's a GREAT Catholic)!!!
- Mulan?
- Mulan!
- Not Mulan!!!

One wonders if Menken automatically agreed to any/all of his songs as commercials since they were for Disney. Of course "Be Out Guest" from that movie where someone is welcomed somewhere got used right away in ads for Disneyland and Disneyworld. Which hard-boiled Law and Order detective is singing here?
- Chris Noth
- Nathan Lane
- Lenny Briscoe

Of course, "Mountain Town" is classic Menken with its sweeping orchestrations. What's the greatest injustice of this song?
- Menken DIDN'T get a nomination for it
- It was never used
- It's a total parody of Menken written explicitly as satire

So there you go, Alan Menken, birthday boy.

Happy birthday dude! Rock (cough) on.

Song of the Day: "Sometimes I Don't Need to Believe in Anything"

I fell so immediately in love with this new track from Teenage Fanclub that I bought the album (via download) when I got home and will be listening to it on today's commute. I'm sure that, analytically, my adoration is based purely on some jangly guitars and tempo changes and swelling instrumentation, but then "love" is just endorphins, so there.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Dreams May Come

The Oscar-winning visual effects and -nominated art direction are an overwhelmingly lush tapestry for What Dreams May Come, and Robin Williams gives one of his better performances as a man willing to travel to hell for his soul mate.

It's also 1x Oscar winner, 2x Emmy winner, and 5x Grammy winner Robin Williams's birthday today. But this is about the movie. Go look for the movie.

Happy Birthday Edward Hermann

He's Richard Gilmore on The Gilmore Girls... that's all I need to say, right? (Oh sure, he's also an Emmy and Tony winner for non-Gilmore roles, but who cares... I mean, The Lost Boys is cool, but no award there.)

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Janet Reno

This is more a celebration of the evil genius behind South Park as anything--their satire of the Easter day raid on Elian Gonzales aired within 3 days, an insanely fast turn around for an animated show.

Here's the SNL take on the same situation.

I have some admiration for Reno, but Waco was seriously fucked and I think she deserves some heat for that. But I will take her ahead of John Ashcroft any day.

And Alberto Gonzales is just a fucking joke.

So hooray for America's first (and only, so far) Lady Attorney General!!!

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Never trust a Republican with economics

They call themselves fiscal conservatives but really, they have no fucking idea what they're talking about. As evidenced by this recent Marco Rubio ad invoking the evil (cough) of Rachel Maddow.


Total fucking dick.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Song of the Day: "Don't Turn the Lights On"

Canadian electro-funk (sure, why not?) band Chromeo seem drenched in the 80s with this track--and I love it.

It's like the Human League if they were produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, but, since that happened, it's not EXACTLY like that. Maybe it's like Hall & Oates if they worked with Kool & the Gang. It's like something good, that's for sure.

This is from Business Casual, out next month.
Don't Turn the Lights On by Chromeo

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Notes on The Kids Are All Right

(Note: this isn't a movie review in the traditional sense, but a quick summary and a focus on awards potential.)

I fucking love Lisa Cholodenko's direction. I do. I remembered on my ride home that when I first saw High Art, her direction had a very natural quality to it. I think I compared her to John Sayles which is a real compliment coming from me (actually it's a compliment coming from anyone, in my opinion). I wasn't planning on starting there, but it's worth saying that, all things considered, that's the thing that made this movie such a delight for me.

And it was. I loved seeing this movie, about characters who seemed like people you'd know (with some nitpicks, see below), in the middle of summer blockbuster movie season.

The cast is great--solid quality actors (as opposed to movie stars), and the screenplay is smart without being over the top (except for some nitpicks, see below).

I think Julianne Moore and Annette Bening could each pull an Oscar nomination out of this movie, but only if they heed this advice: position Julianne Moore as the lead, with Bening as supporting. It's a situation similar to William Hurt and Albert Brooks in Broadcast News, or Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago. A case could be made to push them both as leads, but I can't see them doing much beyond the Golden Globes with that approach. In fact, slotting Bening in the supporting category positions her strongly, I think. Both are very good, but it's 4 months before their competition is known. But it's never too early to slot Bening and supporting and perhaps pick up the National Board of Review award.

Mark Ruffalo, the thinking woman's sex symbol (or so I am told), is great in this as well. He'll suffer a little from the "could be lead/could be supporting" size of his role (which hurt him with You Can Count on Me as well). I think slotting him as a lead for the Golden Globes helps Bening, and since I'm hard-pressed to see Ruffalo get any further than the Globes (and since lead in the musical/comedy category is probably easier than supporting among actors), it makes the most sense strategically.

Original screenplay is possibly the movie's strongest play--Cholodenko wrote it with Stuart Blumberg, and it feels exactly like the kind of small, smart movie that can sustain and pick up a nomination in that slot (like The Savages or You Can Count on Me).

Most everything else about the movie has a really great quality that completely undermines its awards chances: it seems effortlessly real. The cinematography and editing, great but un-showy; the music, appropriate but not ANTHEM-Y ENOUGH; the set decoration (Rachel Rosales, if you're reading this and you're the one who picked the linens for the set, EXCELLENT JOB--but you won't get an Oscar nomination, I'm sorry to tell you... but I absolutely respect what you did enough to go find your name, so please take this as a compliment).

Oh, and because casting still hasn't gotten an Oscar category, kudos on the casting. Not just picking the leads, but the kids too--there is a real feeling that these people could genuinely be related. I'll attribute some of it to direction to watch and mimic each other, but the non-lead roles were pretty solid.

And now, here are my nitpicks: what lesbian names her son "Laser"; what lesbian(s) watch gay porn; had Jules ever had sex with a man before?; and why didn't Nic know whose truck that was in the driveway... Pretty minor, all things considered. [UPDATE: How many people does it take to move a car?]

Highly recommended, but it will hold up nicely on video. There you go...

Stars are falling, the time is changing

I love The Blue Nile, the frustratingly slow-to-record Scottish band that every 5 or 7 years releases a new album to fuck with me emotionally. I can't explain why their music gets me, in a really substantial way, but the number of times I find myself crying while listening their music is unsettling. And I'm pretty sure it's not intentional (on their part--I know it's not on my part). And I wish they were more prolific (which is a little counter-intuitive).

All that being said, their collaboration with trumpeter Chris Botti came on during my evening train ride home, and even with it not being an official Blue Nile song, boom, weepy-time. It's written by the Blue Nile's primary songwriters and features all 3 of the band, along with Botti, so think of "Midnight Without You" as one of their b-sides.

Happy Birthday Radney Foster

I've bitched about the structure of record labels and how they basically enslave unestablished artists. I don't know if Radney Foster made it through his tenure with Arista ahead or in debt to the label, but he's the kind of musician who can really win by doing his own thing via digital distribution.

Apparently he's starting his own record label and ignoring my suggestion about digital distribution (sigh)--he's putting video and music on Interactive Flash Drive(tm)... I have no idea but I'm including the "(tm)" because I don't want to get sued.

Anyway, here's a song of his I love from like 17 years ago.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Dame Diana Rigg

Okay, so I am a little torn. Yes, she is an acclaimed actress, winning a Tony for Medea (ugh, sooo dark), and an Emmy for a British television remake of Rebecca (it has Charles Dance and Faye Dunaway, too, interesting).

But she's Emma Peel. Emma Peel.



In a lesson we learned recently from Ginger Rogers, Rigg as Emma Peel had to be as smart and capable as Patrick McNee's Sneed, but she ALSO had to do it in a skin-tight jumpsuit. I'm not saying Patrick McNee couldn't have pulled it off, I'm just saying he never had to.

Rigg was also a Bond girl, but it was that one George Lazenby movie, so does that even count? Here's a scene where Emma Peel is threatened by a ventriloquist dummy (or something).

I don't know if there is a Jumpsuit Hall of Fame (and if not, I know what I'm doing on my vacation next month), but clearly she should be in it.

Dame Diana Rigg, jumpsuit excellence and more.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!


(h\t Towleroad)

This is the Horton Plains slender loris of Sri Lanka, photographed this month for the first time EVER.


Oh, and they thought it went extinct back in 1939 (it was sighted in 2003, so it has been "endangered" and "very shy" ever since).


It's adorable, for sure, but slender...?

Song of the Day: "The Phoenix Alive"

The other song from Sunday's Passport Approved broadcast that I rather liked, from a new band called Monarchy. I don't recall if they said Monarchy are from the UK or France, and apparently there is an intentional layer of mystery at play with the band.

In fact, the band may include Stuart Price!!!!

I have no idea who that is (he's a producer of some kind and people who are really into his music are REALLY into his music... duh).

Here's what I do know about Monarchy: I like it; you haven't heard it; Clinton will love it; and someone needs to mash this up with Kylie "Can't Get You Out of My Head" if they haven't already. Enjoy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why DON'T they sell one of their yachts?

(h\t Digby)

God bless Rep. Alan Grayson (D, FL).

And if either of your Senators is blocking the extension of unemployment benefits (Mom, Dad, Jackie, Lisa, Leann) send them an email or call them or go sit in their offices. This is bullshit.

God loves Batman... this makes me so happy

Wow, this is great. Closeted homosexual Fred Phelps (he's so repressed that he's created a "religious" empire that's fixated on homosexuality--they took a tax-free trip to a Lady Gaga concert for fuck sake) is threatening to protest the San Diego Comic Convention. Cause, you know... the bible, something something hatred.

The "members" of his fucked up "church" love to protest, and they are so obnoxious that often more than words are exchanged. And because these fucktards are experienced, they usually end up getting money in out-of-court settlements, which is how they can afford to continue.

So while it's tempting to want to get in their shit, you usually end up losing. The better option is to keep your distance. But Kelly Sue DeConnick (details here) did it one better: #godlovesbatman. That's the Twitter hashtag meant for folks at SDCC to post start and stop times of the fucktards' fucking protest.

And THAT information will be used to calculate the amount of an AmFAR donation made in Phelps's name.

Which makes #godlovesbatman the greatest thing I've heard all day.

I want to find out the results, because I will make a similar donation in Phelps's name, but to the Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Because if the Trevor Project had been around when Phelps was young, maybe he and Ted Haggard would be a couple running a B&B in New Orleans instead of living lives they hate. Details on the Trevor Project here.

And if you've never seen the Oscar-winning short Trevor, watch...

Normally if you have to explain it, it's not funny

But in this case, I think Rod Delaney makes it work. The details of his Twitter war with Sarah Palin (liar) are here. Here's an example and perhaps you'll see why I enjoyed it so much:

Did Bush literally “boil his breakfast in the blood of innocent people?”  Of course not!  That would be ridiculous. But he did knowingly used false intelligence in an attempt to refocus American anger after 9/11 at a pre-selected target (Iraq) that he, Cheney and Rumsfield, et al. wanted to control.  In so doing, he signed the death (and torture, and rape) warrants of many, many tens of thousands of people, including his own citizens, allies, and women, children and non-combatants from Iraq. Thus, the “blood” he boiled his breakfast in in my joke is metaphorical! See?  Now isn’t it funny? 
 PS: George W. Bush is a war criminal.

Ergo Sarah Palin writes like me...?

Oh no.

Previously on the Rebel Agenda (here) we established that Dan Brown writes like me (or possibly that I write like Dan Brown--the relationship is there, but we haven't established causation).

Now Rachel Maddow has established that Sarah Palin writes like Dan Brown (here).

Sarah Palin writes like Dan Brown who writes like me!

That's chrontastiful!!!

Pete Sessions blames George W. Bush, praises Bill Clinton

(h\t DemFromCT at DailyKos)

Okay, quickly, here's the quote from Rep. Pete Sessions (R, TX), the National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman, in the Washington Post (here):

"People had jobs when Republicans were not only in charge but George Bush was there," said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press".

And Sessions is half right. When George W. Bush weaseled the White House out of the Supreme Court, people had jobs. PRAISE BILL CLINTON did we have jobs. Fuck, the Clinton years were a prosperity that the US will never again see, I fear. Damn those were great years of peace and prosperity. Hate your job? Get another making $20k a year more in the blink of an eye.

At the end of the George W. Bush (I forgot to call him a war criminal, since he is) administration 2.5 million Americans no longer had jobs (not to mention the huge fucking deficit--also Bush's fault).

And since only George W. Bush was President during that time, clearly Pete Sessions is saying that Bush fucked up, and Clinton was teh aweSUM.

Cause if he's saying anything else, then Pete Sessions is a partisan fucking hack.

Unfortunately the high points were outliers

Steve Kornacki at Salon (here) has an interesting article on the woes of Sen. John McCain (R, AZ) going into a primary challenge next month. Thanks to the intellectually-challenged Tea Party folks, McCain is having to work to combat a challenge from a pretty big loser (I mean, he's no Sharron Angle, the poster child for how the Tea Party influence is batshit crazy, but he's bad).

Unfortunately the more I learn of McCain's past, and watch how he acts now, it's clear to me that McCain's not worth our esteem any more. The things that represent that best of McCain were either from spite, or a fluke of his frustration (that's what I attribute his frank comments during the 2000 Presidential campaign--not actual straight talk, just accidental straight talk).
"...the constant in McCain’s political career is his inability to let go of defeat and his compulsion to use his power to exact revenge. His posture in the early days of the Bush administration (pre-9/11) is a perfect illustration of this. McCain, long a reliably conservative vote in the Senate (except on campaign finance reform), suddenly found himself picking fights with the new Republican White House over tax cuts, a patients’ bill of rights, and gun control. This was uncharted territory for McCain, a jarring break with the philosophy he’d articulated for the first two decades of his political career. It was hard not to conclude that McCain primarily saw these issues as tools to aid his quest for payback against the man who’d beaten him in the 2000 GOP primaries."

At least if you think of him as cynically craven, Sarah Palin makes sense; the "let's stop the campaign and focus on the economy" Hail Mary Pass makes sense.

But here's my issue with him today: dude is turning 74 next month and re-upping for a 6-year term. To me that's saying "I have no fucking respect for my home state and don't care if they're left without representation when I pass away." Thanks dude. Glad I'm not one of your constituents.

Happy Birthday Brian May PhD

Brian May says he didn't know Freddie Mercury was gay?
Brian May says he didn't know Freddie Mercury was gay!
Brian May SAYS he didn't know Freddie Mercury was gay.

Oh yeah, Freddie Mercury was gay. I knew before I even understood what "gay" really meant--gaydar, it's real, and while I run in stealth mode (I am a fat slob, so clearly I am trying to star in a CBS sitcom, possibly with a hot 26-year old actress as my wife) that doesn't make it not real. Sometimes gaydar returns a false positive, but Freddie was at "11" so there's no mistaking. Unless you're his bandmate who's known him for years and sees him for weeks at a time (straight men=clueless, amiright?).

But this isn't about Freddie (any more), this is about May. A fucking legend in rock guitar something something. I was never a huge Queen fan, but I totally love that lots of straight boys, just as clueless as May, LOVE Queen. They fucking LOVE QUEEN. So satisfying. Oh, yeah, and Rob Halford... yeah. Nice. Thanks again Irony!

Queen are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but I can't find even a hint at a Grammy nomination. Seriously, even as I feel some expertise on Grammys, I am often hard-pressed to defend them. Survivor WON a Grammy in the Rock category... just saying. In fact, aside from the R&R HoF induction, the only award-type thing I can find is the Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music for Flash Gordon (which is teh aweSUM).

Meanwhile, Brian May, rock legend, is now an astrophysicist. (Or someone has a Wikipedia editor account and a vivid imagination ((oooh, who can I make an astrophysicist tonight?))--here.) I'm sure his parents were relieved when he FINALLY gave up on that whole ridiculous rock band idea and he did something respectable. Now he's DOCTOR Brian May, PhD. And he's Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University... I don't think any members of Survivor are doing as well, although one of them manages a nice new Olive Garden in Cherry Hill NJ, so there's that.

But, and I don't think I can stress this point enough, do you want your kids learning science from a man who, despite close proximity to Freddie Mercury for decades, did not know that Freddie was gay? "Let's look closer at this supernova"/"Sir, that's a Coke machine." Here's the title track from the their award-winning soundtrack to Flash Gordon.

Happy Birthday dude! Rock on! Or, perhaps, teach (your parents must be proud).

Song of the Day: "Youngblood"

I heard some of Passport Approved yesterday--it's what Musical Shores would have been if Mark Bailey limited himself to English-language songs (which he didn't--the man may lack social skills, good looks, regular grooming, hell any number of socially-desirable traits, but both his ability with languages, and his curiosity for exploring music of the world, amazed me)--and heard 2 bands I liked back to back.

Now some might say that I like New Zealand (btw, my blogger spell check doesn't recognize that country name, great) band The Naked and Famous because I like Passion Pit and they sound exactly the same. I do not yet have a rebuttal for that.

This is from their debut album which may or may not also be called Youngblood (I can't find anything specific to them and there are lots of songs and books with both the words "naked" and "famous" included, and "youngblood" is pretty common as well). The video (cause it's not on Soundcloud) is directed by Special Problems. That name I'm able to confirm. Happy Monday, and enjoy.

We can't ALL get her this

(h\t Dlisted)

"I had 2 glasses of wine, and went to bed."--Someone, hypothetically, once she possessed such a lovely and thoughtful gift

Becky's "Someone's" (don't want to spoil the surprise) birthday is in under 2 months, but, while this is the perfect gift for her, do we ALL want to get her the same thing?

We don't.

So 4 of you get her one of these, and I will work on some kind of anti-tipping/goblet rest. Honestly though, a really big straw solves this problem as well...

Inconsistency is one of my traits

How else could one explain that 2 of my blog entries would yield 2 completely different authors in the "I Write Like" analysis (here if you'd like to analyze your own writing). The website takes paragraphs of your writing and draws conclusions (I can't wait to learn whether or not Going Rogue was written by William Ayers!!!).

I write like

This likening is based on my blog post "A Tale of Two Daughters" (here), about Liz Cheney and Bristol Palin. If I have heard or read the name Cory Doctorow, I don't recall it, but apparently I've read him since I read Boing Boing.

Now, not that I don't WANT to write like Cory, but I wanted a second opinion. So my SotD post yesterday, about Enrique Iglesias (here), earned me a BIG NAME. A good name? A BIG NAME. That DaVinci something something dude. Tom Hanks, call me!

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

But you know what--we might know that similarities exist, how can we be sure these guys don't write like me?!

Tom Hanks, have your lawyer call me!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Paul Verhoeven

I recently enthused about Verhoeven here, so read that if you haven't yet.

Before coming to Hollywood, Verhoeven was an award-winning director back home in the Netherlands. And he worked with Rutger Hauer a lot. Like in Turkish Delight and Spetters... both of which I've seen. Along with The Fourth Man, which was cool. Actually that's the first of his movies that I saw.

In the US he makes Flesh & Blood, RoboCop, Total Recall, and Basic Instinct. Everything's great--his movies make a shitload of money, and he's working with A-list talent. Then he made Showgirls and nobody got the joke.

To understand Showgirls you have to ask yourself what would happen if Russ Meyer directed All About Eve.

Oh well, somehow it ended up making a shitload of money on video, and is considered a success (it's among MGM's 20 best selling titles).

Then came Starship Troopers and Hollow Man--2 of the 4 of his films that received Oscar nominations for Best Visual Effects.

He returned to the Netherlands and I haven't heard of or seen anything he's made since. Come back Paul Verhoeven, I miss you!!!!!!

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela

Remember apartheid, that systematic oppression of the rights of one group by another? (I know what you're thinking, "oh fuck, another gay marriage rant" and... we'll see.) Because the government that enforced apartheid in South Africa branded Nelson Mandela a "terrorist" he was, pretty much, treated like a terrorist. And because they were the government, they were right.

And because they were the government, and they were right, and they were dealing with "terrorists" (because the government said they were terrorists, ergo it was true), they needed to use torture against these terrorists. Hey, they're terrorists, it's what they deserve. They hate our freedom.

But you know, Mandela wasn't always a non-violent protester. He participated in a series of bombings of empty government offices (viewed as a "last resort" after non-violent means weren't gaining anything) which makes him no better than William Ayers. And according to Sarah Palin, Ayers is a terrorist, plain and simple (the fact is, although "simple" also applies to Palin, as do "greedy" and "liar").

Anyway, apartheid... yeah.
Just replace "bathing area" with "marriage rights" and "white race" with "heterosexuals." Hey, you were right. Here's some music.

And I leave you with the song that is ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ENDING APARTHEID (and it includes Nona Hendryx, bitches), "Sun City."

After his Presidency, Mandela became a highly-paid consultant for FOX News... no wait, corporate speaker? That doesn't sound right. He became an advocate for a variety of social and human rights organizations.

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "I Like It"

Officially credited as Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull, thanks to the miracle of Auto-Tune I can't say whether or not Enrique was anywhere near the making of this record and/or video (frankly, without the mole, I'm not sure it's him). But Clark nominated this for "song of the weekend" (he totally reads this blog regularly, can't you tell), and I like it (unintentionally using the name of the song) enough to include it, but not so much that I get all enthusiastic about it.

Auto-Tune is a fantastic example of "things that, if people are actually this kind of person, they wouldn't need"--singers: Auto-Tune; hunters: semi-automatic weapons; photographers: auto-focus. I'm sure more than 99% of us use auto-focus when we take pictures, but then I'm sure no one in that group ALSO thinks of ourselves as top photographers while doing it.

Clark recently provided an alternative to referring to the Auto-Tune-dependent as "singer" or "musician" by suggesting "recording artist" so please adjust your descriptions appropriately.

I Like It (Pitbull Remix) - Enrique Iglesias by DJ Shylock