Saturday, April 9, 2011

An open letter to Donald Trump

Donald Trump, totally serious candidate for President, short-fingered vulgarian, and 3-times bankrupt but only 2-times divorced (so far), has written the New York Times. And it is AWE-sum (here)!
To the Editor:

Re "Donald Trump Gets Weirder," by Gail Collins (column, April 2):

Even before Gail Collins was with the New York Times, she has written nasty and derogatory articles about me.  Actually, I have great respect for Ms. Collins in that she has survived so long with so little talent. Her storytelling ability and word usage (coming from me, who has written many bestsellers), is not at a very high level. More importantly, her facts are wrong!

As far as her comments on the so-called "birther" issue, I don't need Ms. Collins's advice. There is a very large segment of our society who believe that Barack Obama, indeed, was not born in the United States. His grandmother from Kenya stated, on tape, that he was born in Kenya and she was there to watch the birth. His family in Honolulu is fighting over which hospital in Hawaii he was born in-they just don't know.

He has not been able to produce a "birth certificate" but merely a totally unsigned "certificate of live birth"-which is totally different and of very little significance. Unlike a birth certificate, a certificate of live birth is very easy to obtain. Equally of importance, there are no records in Hawaii that a Barack Hussein Obama was born there-no bills, no doctors names, no nurses names, no registrations, no payments, etc. As far as the two notices placed in newspapers, many things could have happened, but some feel the grandparents put an ad in order to show that he was a citizen of the U.S. with all of the benefits thereto. Everybody, after all, and especially then, wanted to be a United States citizen.

The term used by Ms. Collins-"birther"-is very derogatory and is meant in a derogatory way. Had this been George Bush or almost any other President or Presidential aspirant, they would never have been allowed to attain office, or would have been thrown out of office very quickly.
First, I need to confirm, was your word usage at a very high level just then? Is "very high level" code for stoned? Just checking, cause I believe the Concerned Alumnae Alumni of Penn might be asking you to shut the fuck up soon.
Leaving aside that fact that the very tape that you assert has Obama's grandmother saying he was born in Kenya has her saying, seconds later, that he wasn't (the interviewer is surprised and asks for confirmation and she corrects what she said--that's on tape, her correcting herself, but for some reason no one ever listens to the next 15 seconds of the tape), I just want to say how fucking awesome it is that you're making this the crux of your very serious campaign. Totally awesome.

Hey, do me a favor. This will really help your case. Get one of those certificate of live births that you say is so easy to obtain. Get one for your foreign-born third wife. That will demonstrate to all of us how totally savvy you are and what a sham Obama is. In fact, have one of the investigators you sent to Hawaii get it. Since Monday's not a holiday, I'll expect to see it published on Tuesday.

Cause you're totally serious and all.

R.I.P. Sidney Lumet

A director of some legendary films. Here's my favorite.

Rest in peace dude.

Song of the Day: "When You Know"

I've seen The Feelies like 4 times, most of those in a jam-packed Cotton Club standing behind throngs of rapturous fans wondering what they were hearing that I wasn't hearing. It's not that I dislike the band, even remotely; but something was moving the audience to euphoria, and I wasn't along for the ride (which is just rude--at least bring enough for the whole class).

Still, happy that they're reunited and making new music, same as the old music (and I totally mean that in a good way--I'm concerned that Paul Weller will enter a new spoken word phase of his career, or Annie Lennox will become an X-Factor judge). So here's some jangly guitar pop for your weekend!

Song: "When You Know"
Artist: The Feelies

Friday, April 8, 2011

Song of the Day: "Last Night at the Jetty"

New Panda Bear, from his forth-coming Tomboy album.

Song: "Last Night at the Jetty"
Artist: Panda Bear

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Empty pockets don't ever make the grade"

It's Billie Holiday's birthday. "God Bless the Child" is one of a few songs that Holiday wrote or co-wrote, and is one of her biggest hits, selling more than a million copies in 1941.

I've never seen Diana Ross's take on her in Lady Sings the Blues. Maybe that's a library borrow.

Song of the Day: "Liza Forever Minnelli"

I got the new Mountain Goats album last night when I saw it for $5. Haven't listened to it yet, but that's what today's commute is for. There's no explicit mention of Liza (with a "z"), but I do like this lyric: "Anyone here mentions Hotel California dies before the first line clears his lips"

Song: "Liza Forever Minnelli"
Artist: The Mountain Goats

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Song of the Day: "Too Insistent"

I heard The Dø yesterday on radio from the Netherlands. I'm thrilled that the little slash through the o pasted into this and hope it shows up. I feel so international. Well that plus French Toast! Happy Wednesday.

Song: "Too Insistent"
Artist: The Dø

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Bette Davis

This is all one needs to say.

Happy birthday dude! Rest in peace.

Song of the Day: "Uberlin"

I'm really digging this new R.E.M. song, and I think the video is fun. The simplicity of the transit map graphic rendering the lyrics is compelling, although as I think about the (not real) geography of the map, there's just massive inefficiencies in the route planning... or I need to shut my brain off more.

Song: "Uberlin"
Artist: R.E.M.

It's official, irony wins (episode #42,865)

(h/t Alex Pareene at Salon)

Karl Rove is creating a right-wing response to Wikileaks, called Wikicountability which is using the Freedom of Information Act to gather documents on the Obama Administration, who have so far failed miserably at being even remotely transparent, let alone the most transparent administration ever (unless they declared it on Opposite Day, in which case kudos).

So Karl Rove, a man who made 5 million Bush Administration email disappear permanently, thereby exempting them from FOIA requests, a man who encouraged elected officials to use Yahoo- and Gmail-type accounts to keep emails away from FOIA request, and man who is just fucking putrid and evil, wants to bring transparency to the Obama Administration.

Nicely played, evil one.

And dear Irony, sorry I ever doubted you.

Here's Sir Jon Stewart on Obama's "transparency."
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Victory Lapse - Obama Transparency Award
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Quote of the day

"The (Obama) Administration has bowed to political pressure..."--pretty much anyone, any day, for any number of reasons, not all of them good.
Eric is giving me shit for pretty much hating Obama (as he [Obama, not Eric] is pretty much serving George W. Bush's third term).

"Good luck voting for Kucinich" he says.

"I wish!" I reply.

So it's official, Obama is running for President.

No shit.

Thank goodness he's got nothing else he needs to worry about for the next 19 months. It's not like we're fighting 3 wars (well, we pretend we're fighting 2 and that bonus war is really a, um, you know what, we'll get back to you). Or unemployment. Or Guantanamo ("day one"). Eric thinks I'm exclusively pissy about his "fierce advocacy" for (cough) teh gayz. SIGH!

Anyway, here's my point: as the only candidate that has successfully reformed health care, I'm "seriously" (cough) considering Mittens Romney. Although OMFG he needs to work on his ability to lie ("varmints" dude?).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy Birthday David Cross

From his 2002 album Shut Up You Fucking Baby! (Grammy nominated, and recorded in Portland and Atlanta), Cross was audacious to record material like this just months after THE EVENTS OF 9/11™.
The Official Symbol of THE EVENTS OF 9/11™ and THE EVENTS OF 9/11™.com (please don't count the stars; made in China)

I'll limit his post to just this clip, because, well, listen and see if you can figure out why I love it so much (pretty much all of it).

Aside from at least one Grammy nomination, Cross has won 1 Emmy with 3 additional nominations (none of them related to Arrested Development, sigh).

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Euphoria Take My Hand"

Glasvegas return with a new release this week; it's called EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\

Now normally I'd italicize the album name, to try to get some consistency around formatting, but this time I'll pass. I had to copy from their Wikipedia discography, and I doubt I'll type it ever, EVER. Even if I love the album, which I very well might.

Song: "Euphoria Take My Hand"
Artist: Glasvegas

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Girl I can't understand it why you want to hurt me"

It's Eddie Murphy's birthday, and while his career has some great highs and some deep lows, I think this musical collaboration with the late great Rick James is a little of both. And the video is great too (apparently he didn't know to put the headphones on, but nailed the recording on the first take!).

The song peaked at #2, denied #1 by Lionel Richie's Oscar winner, "Say You, Say Me"... I know.

Murphy really deserved an Emmy for his Voice-Over work on The PJs. Harry Shearer IS REALLY overdue in that category for The Simpsons, btw.

Funny of the day

(Adapted from Michael Winship at Salon)

Big Business, the Tea Party and Organized Labor are sitting around a table. A dozen cookies arrive on a plate. Big Business takes 11 of them and says to the Tea Party, "Pssst! The union is trying to steal your cookie!"

Notes on Cedar Rapids

I got a free ticket and I still come to this conclusion: meh.

I like dude. I like other dude. Hell, even crazy is charming in the movie.

From an awards perspective, I could see Ed Helms picking up a Golden Globe nomination, but I can't fathom him getting any critical acclaim or an Oscar nomination. Maybe a Film Independent Spirit nomination.

I cringe at the notion that its screenplay could pick up an Oscar nomination (too early to ascribe its chances). Of course all the talk about Jesus was just a cynical front. See here for my full-on rant about the cliches of Christian bashing. There are other plot points that I take issue with but am too meh-ed out to make the effort to articulate them.

That being said, Sigourney Weaver is awesome in the movie (the actress and the role). And the 25 year age difference between her and Helms doesn't violate the 10-year rule as its actually a plot point. Take that Liam Neeson.

Happy Birthday Marsha Mason

This is going to sound like I'm damning her with faint praise, but I really like Mason as an actress even as I admit she's not one of the greats. We can discuss in a minute, but first, here's an ad for her Santa Fe-area ranch (it may or may not be sold by now [probably not, looks like the price has been reduced (here)]):

Do I like Mason because I love Sir Neil Simon (knighted by me)? Maybe. They were married for a time, and her biggest success (and the things I think of when I think of her) came starring in his movies (and Simon is one of very few writers who gets his name above the title, even when it's an original screenplay). Her first Oscar nomination is for a non-Neil Simon movie (Cinderella Liberty) but I haven't seen it--I only just now realized that her pairing with James Caan in Liberty AND Chapter Two makes Chapter Two (two, the second, get it) all the more poignant or clever or something. Oh, hey, James Caan, you know he has a son:
Brazenly pandering to boost traffic, here's Scott Caan
I'm not crazy with any of the clips of Cinderella Liberty that I can find, so I'm reserving judgment.

In many other years, I feel like Mason's performance in The Goodbye Girl would have won the Oscar (her second nomination). Well, some. She lost to Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, and the 2 movies are an interesting contrast of writing and styles. The Goodbye Girl swept the Golden Globes (same initials is probably why) while Annie Hall picked up Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay on top of Keaton's win (while TGG's only Oscar was Best Actor for Richard Dreyfuss). It's probably a little twee to say that both TGG and Annie Hall are titled after the lead women, but are really focused on the lead men and their neuroses. I like what The Oscar Nerd had to say about Mason (here):
"Marsha Mason may be neither amazing nor groundbreaking in The Goodbye Girl. She may not have huge dramatic moments or huge breakdown or even hysterical comedy, she gives one hell of a performance, which is entertaining, moving, lovely and so damn natural."

Chapter Two is a great little movie made all the greater by its reference in Seinfeld's "The Letter." Sadly I can't find either Mason's original monologue or the Seinfeld reference to embed. It's actually got potential to be adapted into a musical, but no one's asking for my input even though I could have helped them avoid the whole Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark fiasco (oh, wait, they're crying all the way to the bank, never mind).

Okay, if those videos don't render in your browser, you can watch them here and here.

Mason's fourth Oscar nomination is for Only When I Laugh, which is kind-of a prequel to Postcards From the Edge (an alcoholic actress who tries to stay sober while dealing with the problems of her teenage daughter). The movie is more sappy than it needs to be, but both James Coco and Joan Hackett are fantastic (if a bit over the top) in their Oscar-nominated supporting roles. Sadly neither of those have clips that are embed-able, but Kristy MacNichol gets to chew the scenery a little too, so enjoy that (BTW, I have a sneaky suspicion that my totally awesome lesbian real estate agent, Tina, is Kristy MacNichol... the age might be off a little but Kristina, Tina, lesbians... c'mon people).

She received an Emmy nomination for Frasier (Guest Actress) but lost to Emmy hog Carol Burnett (poor Nancy Dussault), but for a show with an array of fantastic guest appearances, hers wasn't a stand out (I did appreciate the balance she brought to those episodes... and the banjo).

I leave you with a movie that's much better than its trailer would suggest. And, AND, it's Keifer Sutherland's first movie. Hey, let's see if this generates traffic.
Keifer Sutherland, 0 degrees of separation from Marsha Mason

Max Dugan Returns  |  Marsha Mason  |  Jason Robards   | Movie Trailer | Review

Happy birthday dude! Rock on!

Song of the Day: "Pyro"

Another track from Kings of Leon's Come Around Sundown. I haven't gotten this one from the library, but just checked Metacritic to see how it was reviewed (here). I liked this user review from humblefolks, "it's not good, it's not horrible, it's just blah: background music for coffee shops."

And that's how Kings of Leon joined the Dockers Rock list (the "rock" music one listens to when shopping for a pair of Dockers or similar slacks, at Nordstrom Rack or Banana Republic--think Train or Counting Crows).

Song: "Pyro"
Artist: Kings of Leon